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Author: Nicole Cruz

Creating REAL Hope in the Darkest Times of life

When you’re at rock bottom, sometimes hope makes all the difference.

How can we create REAL hope for ourselves in the darkest times?

I’m not talking about blind optimism or faith, though those can be helpful. I’m talking about the hope that comes from feeling like you’re on the right path, and that you have a real shot at better times ahead.

It doesn’t have to be a cosmic “right path”, and for me, it wasn’t.

It was a plan. A very long-term plan. That simple.

But a long-term plan is POWERFUL – uniquely so in dark times.

And it worked. Less than six years later I’m living my ideal life.

I speak to people all the time who shy away from what they want because it is impossible in their current circumstances. In that case, why not change your circumstances?

Because you can’t? I get it. I couldn’t either. Then why not work on changing the things that are preventing you from changing your circumstances?

If you’re tempted to roll your eyes, hear me out.

Small, incremental action can add up. It doesn’t always, but if you’re strategic it can.

In my case, I wanted to be both the provider and caregiver that I had imagined for my son before my life took an unexpected turn. It’s totally normal for a mother, especially a single mom, to have to sacrifice one for the other. I was away from my son 12-13 hours a day and so tired that I wasn’t the emotionally present caregiver I wanted to be in the little time I had with him. Plus, I was meeting our basic needs, but money was tight.

I want to acknowledge and emphasize that this is a totally normal and common situation, and both my son and I would have been fine if we had to live like that forever. But it wasn’t fulfilling for me, and I wanted to try to change things.

So, I created a very long-term plan, taking tiny actions consistently over the past several years. The path ahead wasn’t always clear, but I stayed on it, knowing in which general direction I wanted to move even if not how I would actually get to my destination.

Taking these tiny actions and knowing that there was a real chance that they would eventually get me where I wanted to go GAVE ME PEACE. I felt like I was on the right path.

I had hope.

First, I had to drastically reduce expenses to get myself through financial emergency after emergency.

Then, I was relentless in paying down debt. I considered things like bottled water or ziplock luxuries. I didn’t so much as use a tissue if I could avoid it. Small, incremental actions.

I started building a side business. I could only spend a few minutes a day on it, but I used that time in ways that would compound. For the first couple of years, I wasn’t sure if I was wasting my time.

However, I knew that whether or not I generated a significant amount of income, I would be giving myself valuable experience that I could use to improve my resume. More small, incremental actions.

I used that experience to get higher and higher-paying jobs over the next few years. Each job I got, I worked my ass off.

I implemented all of the strategies I knew to stave off stress and burnout so that I could perform at my best and be a more centered mom. I didn’t always succeed, but it made a huge difference with jobs that were considered high pressure.

I used my experience to improve upon and refine the methods I was using to optimize my body and mind until I could handle the load with minimal stress. I then tested these methods with other moms and used them to improve my side business. Small, incremental changes.

Eventually, I landed a family-friendly, work from home position, working directly with extremely successful people from whom I’m learning a ton. It’s in line with my strengths, partially because I created work experience for myself through my side business that highlighted my strengths.

Now I have a fulfilling job, a fulfilling business, and the emotional presence my son deserves. I am at every school event. His college fund already has enough to send him to a local public university. And we’re traveling the world together!

What is on your “someday” list? What do you wish was different in your life, but seems impossible to achieve? Can you make a 5, 10, or even 25 years plan to achieve it? Can you commit a few minutes a day or even a few minutes per week? Perhaps just a google search to start?

The years will pass whether we take small, incremental steps toward our dreams or stand in the same spot.


If you’ve enjoyed this article and the story of my pathway to success from being rock-bottom to a sky-high person and wish to see the footsteps I have taken to acquire a healthy and happy life inspiring people around the world, feel free to check out my program tried by many single moms around the world with the link down below.

Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Healthy Foods for Any Situation

Eating healthy is a challenge in a society filled with McDonald’s, steakhouses, mall food, and diet scams. As if that’s not hard enough, add in the fact that most of us aren’t able to cook all of our meals from scratch every day.It can be challenging to follow a nutrition plan that isn’t made for your circumstances.

Sometimes, if you don’t have the right information, it can seem impossible, like healthy eating can’t work for you. Instead of trying to mold your life around your nutrition plan, why not create a nutrition plan around the realities of your life? There are ways to succeed in any situation if you know the right tricks. Here are a few examples. If you want guidance for your situation, message me. I create plans for the most difficult situations and can hold you accountable too.

At Work


All workplaces are different, with some providing daily meals and others not even having a fridge and microwave for employees to use. Here are some suggestions that can work in various situations.
Nuts and seeds – ideally raw or lightly toasted/dry roasted yourself in advance. Check the ingredients!
Dried fruits – figs, raisins, dates. These are calorically dense, but also nutrient-dense and healthy in the right amounts.

Check the ingredients for added oils, preservatives, or sugars.
Salad greens and veggies. Keep them in the fridge. Keep extra virgin olive oil and apple cider or balsamic vinegar in the pantry or your desk.


Throw pouches of wild-caught tuna or salmon on top for protein.
Raw veggies (celery, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, etc.) dipped in hummus, guacamole, plain (dairy or non-dairy) yogurt, or salsa.

Super Busy at Home


Sometimes cooking takes a lot of time, but not much work. If you’re going to be home, you can prep something quickly and then go about your day while it sits on the stove or in the oven.

Stew

1-Saute garlic, onion, and/or ginger in a large pot.
2-Dump roughly chopped ingredients such as meat, beans, and sturdy veggies into a large pot. Even better, buy them pre-chopped if you can.
3-Add liquid, such as tomato puree, stock/bone broth, coconut cream, or water. Add enough water to cover everything.
4-Add sea salt and herbs such as thyme, bay leaves, cilantro, or rosemary.
5-Simmer (a few small bubbles) for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Roasts


1-Dump meat or fish on a greased pan.
2-Dump veggies in a pan. Toss in avocado oil, or any oil with a high smoke point. Make sure veggies with similar cooking times are together.
3-Add desired seasonings, such as sea salt, garlic, onion, ginger, rosemary, thyme, peppers, or cumin.
4-Roast at 400-450 F (205-235 C) until the desired doneness.

Eating Out


It can be hard to stick to a healthy diet when eating out. What to eat depends on your dietary needs, but here are a couple of options that are safe for most people.
Sushi restaurants often have multiple clean options. Many also have whole grain rice and vegan options. Depending on your needs, be careful with spicy rolls, crunchy rolls, and tempuras.


Grilled meat or fish with veggies. Most restaurants offer something like this, even if you have to modify a dish on the menu. You can ask for no sauces or oils, depending on your dietary needs.


If you’re vegan, look for nuts, seeds, and legumes, which will help to fill you up better than the typical vegan options at a non-vegan restaurant (basically, garden salads).

Out with No Healthy Options


Here are some of my favorite healthy snack recipes that are small and travel well. These can be made in large batches and frozen to bring along when you need them. They’re calorically dense so you don’t have to eat much to be on track

-Cinnamon Cookie Dough Bites

-Brownie Dough Bites

-Banana Pillow Bites

If you don’t have time to prep, try:
-Nuts and seeds
-Dried fruit – raisins, figs, dates
-Clean bars made with whole foods, such as RxBars or Truvia The Only Bars.
-Put single servings of clean protein powders in zip locks and mix them into a water bottle.

The key to eating healthy when life is against you is patient persistence. Experimenting to figure out what works for you and for your unique situation is a process. If it doesn’t go smoothly at the beginning, that’s normal. With time, you’ll find what works for you.


In case you’re wondering, I’ve been offering a 5-star program for single moms around the world for 3+ years to help them cherish their lives providing them with meal plans, high-quality exercise workouts, a godly mindset, and much much more.

Interested? Click the link down below now!

I Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

Extreme Prioritization for Single Mom Life

It’s easy to talk about prioritization in our life, but people often don’t take it far enough.

Not everything will get done. We got that.

However, when your life reaches a certain level of craziness, sometimes even the things that are normally non-negotiable can’t all get done.

At this point, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it all and allowing things to fall through the cracks unintentionally. We feel less guilty if we at least tried.

However, it’s more effective to consciously choose what won’t get done, even if it’s painful. I call this “extreme prioritization”.

When it’s all important but there’s not enough time, I ask…

Will this matter tomorrow?
Will this matter next week?
Next month?
Next year?

What I don’t do:

  • Beat myself up about it
  • Compare myself to others
  • Think there’s something wrong with me
  • Complain about how unfair it is
  • Pity myself when I have to deal with the consequences of whatever I chose not to do.

It’s your life. It’s your family. It’s your choice. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Choose consciously.


I’m currently offering a 5-star single mom program used by single moms all over the world in order to help them live a healthy, fruitful life as I do

Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

If you want to contact me, hit me up on Facebook at @superbusymommycoach

A Rebellious Single Mom’s Audacity to Dream

One of the biggest obstacles I see to happiness for single moms is that the idea of being happy as a single mom seems so far-fetched.

How could a single mom have the AUDACITY to strive for anything other than survival, being a good mom, and finding a husband?

How dare she???

😱

How about we flip that idea on its head?

✅ The BEST way to be able to survive the demands of single motherhood is to take care of your health and manage your stress.

This will help you to handle more responsibility with a clear head and make wiser decisions.

It will also make you feel more energetic and…happy!

✅ One of the best ways to be a better mom is to go from being a burnt-out, stressed-out mom with a fuse the length of your baby’s fingernail to a HAPPY, patient, and centered mom.

Besides responding better to your kids and being more emotionally present, you’ll model for them how to live happier and more fulfilled lives.

✅ Being happy is SEXY! It attracts people who are also happy and grounded. If you want to find a partner you can live a happy life with, being happy yourself is a great start.

So if it seems selfish or entitled as a single mom to strive to LOVE your life, know that it is in fact a great way to help you get the things you’re striving for now.

Except for a much more pleasant path. ❤️


The next cohort of the Single Mom Fit to Thrive Challenge starts in a few days. DM me for info or to join our community of empowered single moms or click on the link down here to witness it right away!

 Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

I Am Not Damaged Goods

We single moms don’t have to buy into the popular narrative.

I’m not broken.
I’m not a victim.
I’m not damaged goods.

My life isn’t a pile of misery.

I don’t cry myself to sleep every night wishing I had a husband.

No, this isn’t what I had hoped for.

Yes, it’s hard.

Guess what? Everyone’s life has its own challenges. They’re not always as visible to the outside world as single motherhood is.

I take responsibility for my role in creating these circumstances – which is not the same as blaming myself or ignoring the role others played, by the way.

Taking responsibility empowers me to take control of my life and circumstances instead of being a victim to random events and other people.

I am creating a life that I love. Yes, even as a single mom, though there shouldn’t be a need for that disclaimer.

I am going after my goals and making dreams come true for myself and my son.

I’m cherishing these years as a single mom.

When the right person comes along, I’ll cherish my time in a relationship.

Whatever the universe throws at me, I’ll find a way to create a life worth cherishing.
———

PS: Ask me how to reap the benefits of a fit and healthy lifestyle even in the toughest situations, when you need it most 🙂


Oh and by the way, I’m offering a high-quality program for single moms around the world so that they’re healthy both physically and mentally. Why not check it out 😉

 Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

Feel free to hit me up on Instagram: @Superbusymommycoach

5 Benefits of Personalized Home Fitness Programs

It used to be that elite fitness trainers only served clients at gyms, and you had to pay heaps. Home programs were limited to watered-down cutesy videos geared toward people who weren’t serious enough to get to the gym.

Several years ago training began moving online, and with the pandemic, home programs exploded. Now, more elite trainers are providing personalized home programs than ever before, making advanced fitness training accessible to those who, for whatever reason, don’t have access to a gym or prefer to work out at home.

Here are some of the benefits of personalized home fitness programs to help you decide if trying one is the right move for you

1-Personalized home fitness programs are customized to your lifestyle

They can be adjusted for your schedule and circumstances, and even for your personality.

Whether you have a crazy work schedule or there’s nobody to watch the kids, sometimes even the most dedicated fitness fanatics can’t get to the gym. Sometimes, especially if you’re a parent, you don’t get long stretches of uninterrupted time. Maybe breaking your workouts into two or three chunks throughout the day works best, or doing intense sets with rest in between so you can multitask with young kids or answer calls for work.

On the other hand, maybe you prefer 2-hour workouts with a couple of rest days in between so you don’t have to work out every day.

Maybe you prefer to exercise outdoors. Maybe you live near a sandy beach or a mountain or a lake and can use them for workouts that others can’t do.

In any case, with home programs, your trainer can get more creative with the format of your regimen.

2-Personalized home fitness programs are customized for your fitness level.

Unlike generic workout videos or Googled regimens, when you work with a trainer they customize the program for your fitness level.

A quality trainer will take time to assess your current fitness level and exercise form, which can be done in a video session or by sending videos to your trainer.

They will then design a program with each exercise, intensity, and duration chosen deliberately for your body’s needs.

The best ones will have you send video samples, or assess you in a video session, to ensure that you are doing the exercises correctly. Besides being important for results, form is crucial for injury prevention.

3-Personalized home fitness programs are customized to your space.

Got a home gym? Awesome! Got a tiny apartment with neighbors that knock their broom on the ceiling every time you do burpees? That works too!

The best trainers know many ways to reach the same goal and can get creative with varying access to equipment and space. They can also help you leverage public spaces such as doing box jumps on benches, pull-ups in a playground, and resisted running on a sandy beach.

4-Personalized home fitness programs can put your trainer in your pocket.

Online trainers often offer support between sessions or throughout your time doing the regimen they crafted for you. The best learning often comes when you’re in the thick of it on your own, not when you’re in a session with your trainer. Being able to text your trainer for suggestions on what to eat at a wedding or get their feedback on a workout that feels wrong boosts your skills and results. Plus, they can keep you motivated when you’re tempted to fall off the wagon.

Online trainers vary widely in this regard though. Be sure to ask your trainer if they offer support between sessions, and if so, the nature of that support. Some welcome daily texts. Others limit you to an email per week or rarely respond.

5-With personalized home fitness programs you can access the perfect trainer for you from anywhere in the world, and even take your regimen on vacation.

Gone are the days of going to the gym and having a few generic trainers to choose from. Now you can find a trainer who specializes in getting the specific results you want specifically with people like you.

There are trainers for comic book nerds who are new to working out.

There are trainers for postmenopausal athletes who are suddenly putting on extra pounds.

There are trainers for those who are recovering from specific injuries or want to be able to do acrobatics or want to compete in powerlifting.

Personally, I train single moms going through tough times, who need creative regimens when they can’t get to a gym, they’re burnt out, and their kids interrupt them every 2 minutes. As you can imagine, most of my clients were failed by other trainers and programs because they couldn’t adjust their life to fit their regimens. Getting a regimen designed for their unique needs is a game-changer.

Being able to access a trainer from anywhere in the world also means you can continue your regimen when you’re traveling. Vacations or frequent business travel no longer have to throw you off your path.

A Warning

While there are great benefits to personalized home fitness programs, their quality varies greatly. Make sure your trainer will give you personal attention, either through calls or online support. They should be assessing you and giving you feedback on your workouts.

Unfortunately, there are many trainers who provide cookie-cutter programs and call them customized. They give their clients a list of workouts and then leave them alone for a month with little or no support. Customization is limited to their gender and general fitness level, not truly customized for each exercise and for the person’s life. Choose your trainer carefully.

Final Words

While going to the gym for an hour a day and working with a trainer in person is a great option, it’s no longer the only great option. Personalized home fitness programs allow those with a variety of needs and circumstances to get just as great results or better from home. There’s no right or wrong – it’s about which is best for you.


Well, if you’re still reading till here, you’re definitely invested in the idea of a personalized home program. Luckily for you, I have my own business where I offer 5-star personalized stress-free programs globally for my clients. Excited? Well, go check out my recent program Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

How to Create the Perfect Meal Plan for Yourself

I wish I could say it’s discipline.

That’s what people have been thinking when they hear about the elimination diet I’m on – no gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, citrus, added sugar, processed foods, or nightshade vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant…).

“It’s good you have the discipline to do that.”

But I can’t credit discipline.

If you don’t already know, an elimination diet is when you eliminate certain types of foods to test for sensitivities to them. Often, many categories are eliminated at once. After a couple of weeks, if you notice a positive difference, you reintroduce the foods one at a time to determine which are causing symptoms.

I’m not doing this to get abs. I’m doing it because I noticed concerning symptoms and I want to nip them in the bud before they become a serious problem.

Of course, there is some discipline involved. Even everyday tasks like waking up for work when you want to stay in bed require some level of discipline.

However, the main factor is that I am trained in how to overcome obstacles to dietary changes and successfully make new habits stick. I knew exactly how to set myself up for success and make it feel as easy as possible.

Here’s what I did:

1) I gave myself a week to prepare. I figured out what I would eat, finished perishables in my house that didn’t conform to the diet, and ordered groceries.

2) I started planning from scratch. Starting with what you’re currently eating and trying to find substitutes is a sure way to end up feeling deprived. I see this mistake all the time. Sorry, blended bananas, avocado, and cacao nibs will never be ice cream, so no use pretending.

3) I identified all the foods I like that fit within the diet and built my meal plan from there. What fruits do I like? What non-nightshade veggies? What fish? What nuts, seeds, and nut/seed/butter? Gluten-free grains? Non-soy legumes? Preparing my meals from scratch makes it easy. Cutting up fruit or roasting fish and veggies while I work doesn’t take much time, and I don’t have to worry about unexpected ingredients.

At this point, if I didn’t already know plenty of foods and recipes I could use I would have given myself a couple more weeks to learn and experiment. Because I have to help clients with situations like this, I already knew how to make a diet like this work.

4) I decided what my meals would be for the first week and ordered groceries accordingly. I added nonperishable/frozen backup plans just in case. Looking around the house to see what I’m running out of would have kept me focused on things I can’t eat or dissatisfying substitutes for them. Plus, shopping that way wastes money and hurts the environment as half of it rots.

5) I leveraged ways to reduce my cravings and appetite. Too much to detail here, but I’ve posted about it before, or message me if you want me to go on a super nerdy rant 🤓

6) I avoided mindset traps:

I reminded myself that diets don’t continue to feel as hard as they feel in the first few days, while your body is adjusting, as long as you don’t slip up (then you start from zero).

-I reminded myself that it’s only for a few weeks, and then I’ll begin experimenting with reintroducing foods to see how I react.

  • Most importantly, I reminded myself that no matter the results I don’t actually have to do anything forever. If the difference I see isn’t worth it, I can go back to what I was eating before. Knowing will simply give me control over my symptoms instead of keeping me a victim to them.

Someone asked me what I’m actually eating since compared to a typical American diet it sounds like there are no foods in the world left to eat except lettuce. I’m actually doing great! Considering I was eating healthy, to begin with, it wasn’t that much of a transition. I’m simply eating certain foods more often while eliminating others.

  • All the fruits I would normally eat: apples, bananas, berries, kiwis, grapes, dates, raisins
  • Wild caught fish
  • Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, gluten free oats, red lentil pasta (one of the few substitutes I enjoy as much as the original)
  • Beans, lentils, peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed butter
  • Asparagus, greens, onions, squash, zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, carrots, radicchio, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, coconut cream/milk, avocado oil, sea salt, fresh herbs, certain spices, tons of garlic
  • Favorite indulgence: cinnamon “cookie dough” made only with dates, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseeds, gluten free oat flour, vanilla extract, and spices. Never would have guessed it wasn’t real if I didn’t know.

Of course, if these were the only foods I could eat for the rest of eternity it would be disappointing. But these are great foods! If I served these foods to guests over the course of a week they probably wouldn’t even notice it was part of a diet.

Yes, it takes some discipline. The hardest part is trying to have a social life when I can’t eat the foods most people want to eat. But the main reason I’ve been able to stick to it for the past 3 weeks is that I know tricks that make it easier.

Plus, now that I have more energy, am sleeping more deeply, can focus better, feel less stressed, and am dropping weight effortlessly while eating more calories (even though I can’t work out due to injuries), do I even want to go back to eating the way I was before?

I don’t have to decide now. I’ll choose when the time comes.


If you enjoyed this article and want a legit 5-star program that will bring you the desired results, you will definitely find value in the Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

How to tell if you’re on the right track with your body

Trainers be like…

“You gained weight? It must be muscle. The program is working!”

“You lost weight? It must be fat. The program is working!”

How do you really know?

Most ways of measuring body composition are inaccurate.

Stick with a program for at least a few months. Notice performance increases. Notice differences in the way you look. Ask the people around you, if you tend to have a skewed body image.

Yes, weight and measurements can be great data points, but they’re not the whole picture. You really could be bigger because of muscle, or smaller because of fat.

Or it could be that the program isn’t working.


If you enjoyed this article and want a legit 5-star program that will bring you the results you desire, you definitely will find value in the Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

How to Make Major Lifestyle Changes When You’re Burnt Out & Overwhelmed

1-Choose small action steps that take minimal effort but help you FEEL better.

2-Once you feel better, you’ll naturally want more. Gradually add more small changes as you continue to feel better.

3-When you fall off the wagon, get back on without judgment. It is part of the process.

4-Stay consistent. Don’t be an inspiration junkie, jumping to another program/regimen when the first one isn’t new and exciting anymore.

It’s that simple.


However, it’s not always easy to know which small actions will actually get enough results to make you feel better. After all, there’s a lot of money to be made selling easy “miracle solutions” that get little or no results.
Here are a few of my favorite first action steps:


Fitness: 1-minute jumping jacks as soon as you wake up. Once you can do that, keep weights right outside your bathroom and do a set of an exercise every time you leave it, working your whole body over the course of the week.

Nutrition: Make half of your food fresh fruit and non-starchy vegetables.
Stress Management: Try out a variety of adaptogens to find a few that work for you. Use them as levers to adjust how you’re feeling at any given time. Ashwagandha is the most popular among my clients.

Mindfulness: Observe your inner monologue and “reel” throughout the day. Any time you feel uncomfortable, observe what’s happening in your mind and body in detail and without judgment, as a scientist.

While these may seem random, I promise they were chosen carefully after considering how much effort they take, how noticeable the results are, and how quickly they begin to work. I’ve also tested them on myself and seen them work over and over again with my clients.
Over time, these small steps turn into a sprint and we transform in the process.
Not sure how to make a healthy lifestyle work in your tough situation? Pick my brain ???? I love getting messages about this stuff.


If you enjoyed this article, you definitely will find value in the Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

Healthier Replacements for Your Favorite Foods

Most people begin a new diet something like this:

1. Figure out what foods they can no longer eat.
2. Look up healthier replacements for those foods that fit within their new diet.
3. Eat those replacements and be miserable.

There’s a better way. (Thank God!)

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