Are You Stuck? How To Start Moving Forward

Are You Stuck? How To Start Moving Forward

Moments in Life

The above picture was taken less than 48 hours after I received the phone call from the Nairobi embassy letting me know of Kyle’s passing, and after viewing the many headlines:

I had flown to Colorado as soon as I was able. The morning after I arrived, Kyle and Hope’s home was filled with kids running to and fro. Hope had invited some former foster kids and their mother over, in addition to some close friends and their children.

Here, I am looking around at all the activity and the Legos all over the floor, my eyes swollen from crying, and my heart in pieces. I was thinking how Kyle would love all the activity – knowing life was still being lived, and how he would appreciate the outpouring of love and support – from flowers to food – by so many faithful friends.

In the early days after a death, you are forced to keep moving due to everything that needs to get done.  But there comes a time when all that activity is over. Life pauses.

This podcast does not specifically focus on life after losing a loved one – that is just where I happened to be when I reached out to Donna.

But at different moments in life – you can find yourself stuck – in any number of areas – for any number of reasons.  Obviously being stuck in weight loss, exercise, or finances does not compare to losing a loved one, however there are still some common steps to moving forward.

In this podcast, Donna and I discuss some of those steps.

Remember:  Give yourself the freedom to give yourself the time, to take the small steps, that ultimately help you to start moving again.


To listen to the part one of this conversation, click HERE.

Resources Discussed In the Podcast

Donna’s Podcast Episode on the Self Coaching Model 

Although Donna’s Podcast is called Think-Feel-Eat, the “Eat” could also be replaced with the much broader context of “Act”.

In this episode, Donna covers this model:




In this Episode Donna Covers:

A. What is the Think-Feel-Act cycle?

B. What are thoughts?

C. How does Think-Feel-Act differ from the Power of Positive Thinking?

D. We can Think ourselves to Action

Donna has taken the principles discussed by these “experts” and incorporates them into her life coaching – which is why she can help you to move forward!

How To Make Lifestyle Changes That Will Last with Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Dr Ayan Panja

This is the podcast episode that Donna had posted earlier in the year, which I listened to, that focused on

“Feel better in 5”:



Donna’s Recommended books:

Donna’s Life Coaching

If you think you might be interested in having Donna help you “move forward”, you can sign up for a free consultation call here:


Down 220 Pounds: Small Steps, Huge Strides!

Down 220 Pounds: Small Steps, Huge Strides!

Donna’s Story

So much great info here!

In this episode of the Forti-fy Podcast, Donna shares her, and her husband’s, 220-pound weight-loss journey. There is so much here we can all relate to. Tune in to hear some great life-style tips!

To listen to Part Two of this conversation, click HERE.

Here are links to all the information Donna discussed in the podcast.

There are so many great resources here!

You can check out a previous blog post on Donna’s weight loss journey HERE

Our Walk With Covid and How It May Help You

Our Walk With Covid and How It May Help You

Our Stories

In this podcast episode, Rachel and I share our recent – not so great – experiences with Covid-19. We do believe that the statistics are probably accurate in  that a large portion of the population may only experience a mild case of Covid-19. However, we think this podcast episode is important to listen to in the event that you, or a family member, turn out to aquire more than a mild case, because it might help you avoid the “hurdles” we went through, and give you a better outcome. 


This episode covers the basics of Covid-19, some of the current views of treatment and thoughts on the future of medical choice freedom.


Here, I am just going to list a few of the studies I talked about in the podcast.  We would just encourage you to review the information and then consider having a talk with your doctor.


These were on the use of Methyl Prednisolone:


Pierre Kory, MD, MPA Medical Director, Trauma and Life Support Center Critical Care Service Chief Associate Professor of Medicine University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

“With this knowledge of the specific COVID inflammatory gene activation combined with knowledge of the gene suppression activity of all known medicines they were able to match the most effective drug for COVID-19 human gene suppression.. and that drug is methylprednisolone (this must be recognized, as the ability of other corticosteroids to control inflammation in cOVId-19 was much less impactful. This is, we believe, an absolutely critical and historic finding. Many centers are using similar but less effective agents such as dexamethasone or prednisone”

Also here:


Successful use of methylprednisolone for treating severe COVID-19: (Click below)

“In our study, we found that timely and appropriate application of glucocorticoids could avoid the need for invasive mechanical ventilation and improve the outcomes of critical patients with COVID-19, compared with outcomes in reported studies. “


The findings from this case series suggest that high‐dose, short‐term corticosteroid therapy early in respiratory failure may provide a good prognosis of patients with COVID‐19‐related ARDS without critical side effects of corticosteroids.

This study shows the importance of the early-stage use of a combination of favipiravir and methylprednisolone in severe cases to achieve a favorable clinical outcome.

In conclusion, early use of a short course of methylprednisolone, an inexpensive and readily available agent, in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 may prevent progression of disease and improve outcomes.

Notes from that link:

Methylprednisolone was identified as the drug most likely to work; it targeted 27 genes that were differentially expressed in COVID-19-infected tissues versus healthy lung tissues.

Prednisolone was also predicted to be effective at reverting many of the changes caused by COVID-19.“An important finding is that drugs in the same class will not achieve similar effects,” writes the team.

“For instance, methylprednisolone and prednisolone were predicted to be effective in reverting many of the changes triggered by COVID-19, while other closely-related steroids such as prednisone or dexamethasone were not,” write Sorin Draghici (Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University) and colleagues.”

Not all corticosteroids tested were effective

However, the closely-related corticosteroids, namely prednisone, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone, were not effective at reverting the changes. Prednisone only targeted three differentially expressed genes in COVID-19-infected versus healthy lung tissue, and of those, it only reverted one. Prednisone also targeted two genes in the NHBE cells, but it was not effective at reverting either of them.

Neither dexamethasone nor hydrocortisone seemed to be effective in the COVID-19 tissue, although hydrocortisone seemed to have a marginal effect on NHBE cells.

Treatment Combo Successfully Resolves Cytokine Storm in COVID-19

“A strategy involving a course of high dose methylprednisolone, followed by tocilizumab if needed, may accelerate respiratory recovery, lower hospital mortality and reduce the likelihood of invasive mechanical ventilation in COVID-19-associated CSS,” the authors wrote. “This historically controlled comparison of a strategy with intensive immunosuppression and close monitoring versus a strategy with supportive care only in patients with COVID-19-associated CSS suggests that clinically relevant improvement of respiratory status is 79% more likely, and can be accelerated by a median of 7 days, that hospital mortality can be reduced by 65% and that the need for mechanical ventilation during admission can be reduced by 71%. These outcomes were robust and, especially if confirmed in randomized trials later on, highly relevant from a medical and societal perspective.”


This is a video from the Editor in Chief of JAMA on the use of Corticosteroids and Covid-19

Click Here


What is the role of the IL-6 inhibitor tocilizumab (Actemra) in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

A retrospective review of 25 patients with confirmed severe COVID-19 who received tocilizumab plus investigational antivirals showed patients who received tocilizumab experienced a decline in inflammatory markers, radiological improvement, and reduced ventilatory support requirements.


Another IL-6 inhibitor, tocilizumab

The conundrum of interleukin-6 blockade in COVID-19 Click Here


When analysing factors associated with reduced mortality in those who received tocilizumab, baseline C-reactive protein concentrations of 15 mg/dL or higher emerged as a clear cutoff, suggesting that IL-6 blockade exerts its best effects among patients with an overt inflammatory state. Moreover, Biran and colleagues did not note any increase in secondary infections, thus supporting the safety of tocilizumab in this setting.


What is the role of the antiviral drug remdesivir in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Click Here


COVID-19 is, in the end, an endothelial disease


Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19



Spotting the Clotting: Hypercoagulopathy in COVID-19



The Real Reason Post-COVID Myocarditis Is a Worry

There might not be any guideline-directed therapy to offer those without overt heart failure, but these post-COVID cases need to be studied to check for functional changes at 6 months and beyond, he said.


COVID-19 coagulopathy vs disseminated intravascular coagulation

Severe COVID-19 infections seem to cause a profound coagulation abnormality caused by inflammation-induced changes in coagulation in combination with severe endothelial cell injury, with consequent massive release of von Willebrand factor and plasminogen activators.


Do The Twist! You Will Love It!

Do The Twist! You Will Love It!

One of the goals of the Forti-fy podcast is to feature local businesses in our neighborhoods so that you can get to know them better, and all that they offer!

On this episode, we sat down with Lori Berndt, owner of the Olive Twist. Listen in to hear the tasty experience this delightful store offers up!

And…. to all you who may be reading this and think you would have no interest in olive oil or vinegars…. I really want to encourage you to push the “play” button.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised and may seriously consider venturing out to your local Olive Twist by the end of this podcast!


In the podcast, you will hear Lori talk about the comprehensive quality checks that they do on their oils to insure that you have a fresh product!

The Olive Twist offers up 20 DIFFERENT FLAVORS of oils!  The top 3 best sellers mentioned in the podcast are:


Same comprehensive quality checks here and  30 DIFFERENT FLAVORS to choose from!  Do you have an idea for a new flavor you think would be popular? Let then know to see if they can create it!

Their top 3 best sellers are: Cranberry Pear, Traditional and Raspberry. The top flavor used at our house is the Denissimo Aged Balsamic!


Check out the cupboard of herbs and spices!

The helpful staff can assist you in selecting the perfect herb or spice to provide the taste you are looking to achieve.




Be sure to listen in on how Lori came to start serving a wide variety of teas!



As we discuss in the podcast, the Olive Twist offers up a perfect gift for anyone for almost any occasion.Click HERE for great ideas.


Click HERE for Website

You’ll have no problem locating the Auburn store!

Check out their Facebook page HERE for delectable delightful recipes!


When you shop local, everyone benefits! Strong businesses grow strong communities.  So head on out to your local OLIVE TWIST to enjoy a day of learning, tasting, and fortifying your community!


How 13 Kids and 8 Miscarriages Led to a Passion for Health, Nutrition and Training for Marathons!

How 13 Kids and 8 Miscarriages Led to a Passion for Health, Nutrition and Training for Marathons!

We are trying to keep the podcasts around 30 minutes and we really packed in an incredible amount of info in today’s podcast on health and nutrition – for recommendations for moms and kids!


Heather’s Top Book Picks:

Heather’s Top YouTube Channels

Heather’s Favorite Podcast

Supplements Talked About on the Podcasts

Check out Heather’s Instagram Page


Keep Moving!

Recording today’s podcast with Heather’s new grandaughter, Zoe!


The Voices of the Vaccine Debate and How They Affect You

The Voices of the Vaccine Debate and How They Affect You

The Goal

Every time I sit down to write on this topic, I am keenly aware of the voices on both sides of this issue.

My goal in writing on this topic is not to convince you whether or not you should or should not vaccinate your child, or yourself.

My goal is to provide information that you may not be aware of in regards to vaccine issues so as to encourage a dialogue around keeping vaccine choice a viable option for parents, and adults, without fear of retribution.

This post is part of a series I have been doing on vaccines. You can read my previous posts here and here. If you have a sincere desire to understand the entirety of this issue, I would strongly encourage you to review those blog posts. The main question of each of the posts is the same: Will you be allowed to have the freedom to decide whether you, or your child should receive a vaccine?

The Problem of “Science” In This Debate

I have been working for weeks reviewing scientific studies on vaccine related topics. However, the problem I have found is that each side of this debate has their own view of the studies that have been done, which they either choose to propagate or decimate. You can find a plethora of blogs and social media sites of each side “disqualifying” what the other side has said.

This issue is incredibly divisive and contentious – think of the divide between political parties right now, or any hot button social issue. The same is true on this issue.

It would be difficult to dissuade either side, unless both sides agreed to the parameters of study to look at vaccinated versus un-vaccinated children. (There actually have been studies done, but they are disputed, of course.) It is said that such a study would be unethical – to vaccinate some and not vaccinate others. However, I am wondering if there is now a large enough sample size where it could be done since there are many parents who have voluntarily decided not to vaccinate. Perhaps that is worth considering in the future.

At the time of this writing, there has never been a safety study done on the current CDC immunization schedule, which includes 72 doses for children. That number is expected to increase as more vaccines hit the market.

We have gone from:

1983: 24 doses of 7 vaccines by age 18

2017: 69 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18 (2020 72 doses)

Currently 1 out of 6 children now have a developmental disability. Source: CDC  (Also see my first post on this topic here.)


Although we hear that that ‘the science is settled”, there are many who would question the accuracy of that statement. And honestly, can science ever be “settled”? What if new information becomes available? What if new methods are developed? Would not “science” have to change as information changes?

It would be so helpful to many folks who have legitimate questions and concerns on vaccines to have an opportunity to watch a formal debate between these two viewpoints. One where each could make their case, evidence could be presented, and rebuttals given.

Unfortunately, that has not yet happened. As you will hear from the interviews below, the main voices on the pro-vaccine side have not been willing to publicly debate the vaccine-choice side.

My Attempt At Bringing A “Debate”

Because there has been no formal debate, I have decided to approach this in a different way than what I originally intended in regards to reviewing studies.

 In this blog post I will be bringing to you some of the main speakers in the vaccine “cultural narrative” for you to review for yourself, while they “debate/converse”.

 To begin with, let me quickly identify a few of the many voices in this dialogue that will be highlighted.

Pro Vaccine Advocates

First, certainly the most obvious pro-vaccine “advocate” is the CDC. This is where you will always be directed to find the information that “proves” that vaccines are safe and effective. It also probably carries the most name recognition as an “expert” source in the minds of most people.

 (Because I am already concerned about the length of this post, I will not delve into it now, however I will be doing a future post on the revolving door at the CDC of past pharmaceutical company employees and pharmaceutical lobbyists.)

 Next, two of the leading pro-vaccine doctors who are considered “experts in their fields” are Dr. Paul Offit and Dr. Peter Hotez.

 Paul A. Offit, MD, is the Director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

 Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., is president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also Professor of Pediatrics and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics.

 Dr. Offit is a firm believer in vaccines and has said “each person can theoretically respond to 10,000 vaccines at one time.”

 I have no doubt that these men both sincerely care about the health of children and believe in the efficacy and safety of vaccines.

 Simply for the purpose of this post, I would like to share some information that I think is important when considering any bias these men might have.

 CBS reports of Dr. Offit’s a possible conflicts of interest. Click here to read the article “How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?


“Offit holds in a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children’s Hospital, funded by Merck.” He is also the inventor of the Rotavirus vaccine, a vaccine listed on the CDC schedule for all children to receive.

And this on Dr. Hotez:


 “Today, Hotez is 49 and chairman of the department of microbiology, immunology and tropical medicine at George Washington University. He has received $52 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and conduct clinical trials in Brazil for his hookworm vaccine.”


Now let me clear. I am not inferring that just because they may of “conflicts of interest” that should nullify their voices. I am just pointing that these ties should be considered, as it may affect their views.

Vaccine Choice Advocates:

Probably the biggest name in this arena would be Robert Kennedy Jr., and his organization: The Children’s Health Defense, whose mission is “to end the epidemic of children’s chronic health conditions by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable, and establish safeguards so this never happens again.”

 This organization covers much more than vaccines, but vaccines are the only area I am familiar with, and that I am addressing in this article.

 The other prominent vaccine choice advocate would be Del Bigtree. Mr. Bigtree is primarily known as an investigative journalist and film producer. Most notably he received an Emmy award for his work on the show “The Doctors”.  He was also the producer of the movie “Vaxxed: “From Cover-Up to Catastrophe”. It was after producing Vaxxed, that he started devoting his efforts into researching vaccine safety. He is also the founder of Informed Consent Action Network

 Although these two men hold vastly different views on this subject compared to Paul Offit and Peter Hotez, they are also very sincere in their efforts to keep children healthy.

In Their Own Words

In preparing to write an article, my goal is to always find sources of the people themselves that I am discussing, actually speaking in their own words so that you can make judgments for yourself.

 In perusing through the vast array of articles and videos, I narrowed it down to these three for this “debate.”

 Please remember, there is no way to understand this controversy in a two-minute sound bite video. If you would like to fully understand the issue, this is going to take an investment of time. I will say that if you do watch all of these, you will have a very comprehensive view and a greater understanding of this issue than the majority of people around you.

The Voices

The first “voice” in this debate is the movie, Vaxxed II The People’s Truth.

I am starting with this resource because I think it shows poignantly why there is even a vaccine debate being discussed.

I do wish to make a few brief comments here on the first VAXXED movie; “Vaxxed: From Cover-up To Catastrophe”.

The focus of the movie was to show how the CDC covered up statistical findings that the MMR vaccine had caused autism at a higher rate in black children.

William Thompson, a lead researcher on the study, was at the center of the story.

Your can read his remarks here.

Additional statements of Thompson’s:

“Oh my God, I did not believe that we did what we did, but we did. It’s all there… This is the lowest point in my career, that I went along with that paper. I have great shame now when I meet families of kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem. “We’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated.”


“I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”


“The authors of the study decided not to disclose to the public that African American boys under two were more susceptible to developing autism or autism-like symptoms from the MMR vaccine.


“The remaining four coauthors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can. However because I thought it was illegal and would violate La Jolla and DOJ requests, I kept hard copies in my office and retained all associated computer files. I believe that we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the pediatrics paper.”

So that is the story behind the first Vaxxed movie.

Vaxxed II The People’s Truth” tells the real life stories of parents who were not “anti-vaccine”. However their lives changed forever, often hours or days, after their children became injured after receiving a vaccine. This is the story of what thousands of parents deal with every day. Regardless of whether one feels they are correct or not in what happened to their children, their stories should not be lightly dismissed.

Please take 2 minutes to watch the trailer! Click HERE to start.


This movie portrays why there is a vaccine hesitancy global movement, and why having a choice is important.  You can find a link to watch the full video here.   I would encourage you to take the time and invest the few dollars to watch it, as it will provide you with the best understanding of the issue.

It is important to note that the U.S. government does acknowledge that vaccines can cause injury and that is why it established the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program  – See video here.

The Conversational Debates

“The next set of voices come from 2 segments of the show “The High Wire’ with Del Bigtree.

I will say upfront that I am only familiar with Del Bigtree in regards to his work specifically with vaccines.

Because Dr. Offit and Dr. Hotez will not debate publicly on the vaccine issue, Del tries to have some type of “conversation” with each of them in these two videos, with two popular social media figures, Joe Rogan and Zdogg.

Please keep in mind that a formal debate would obviously look very different than what we see here, with detailed arguments, evidence and rebuttals given in a professional and tempered forum. This is just one “show” responding to another “show”.  Although, I appreciate Del’s zeal for his subject matter Del is very animated. He is very passionate and very expressive in his interviews. This can be refreshing and engaging – because sometimes you are shaking your head right along with him in what you are hearing – however I think sometimes it can take away from the seriousness of what is being discussed. I also think he gets a little too animated when talking about the measles. Although I agree that it is not the death sentence it is made out to be, certainly it can be serious in some cases.

All this to say, this does at least allow for some dialogue – understanding that it is an oversimplification of the “science”.

Joe Rogan Podcast

Here is the interview with Dr. Peter Hotez and Joe Rogan.  Joe has the number one podcast in the world.

It is interesting to note that later in this interview Dr. Hotez says that doctors like himself are at a disadvantage of getting their message out, which, as Del will also expand on, seems rather contradictory as he is sitting in front of the microphone of the number one podcast in the world. The other comment I would like to note on Dr. Hotez’s statement is that both he and Dr. Offit enjoy the great benefit of being well received by mainstream media. As anyone who has ever raised a question regarding vaccine safety knows, the reality is that you are quickly labeled as a quack, a fraud and excoriated for spreading misinformation. Just google the names Robert Kennedy or Del Bigtree and you will quickly see how they are portrayed.

Dr. Hotez once said this about parents who questioned vaccine safety, “They are a hate group who hates their families and hates their children.

What about all those people in the movie above? Do they hate their children if they decided not to vaccinate any more of their children? I think we have to have space for each other in this conversation – respecting each other. People can disagree without being disagreeable.

I know this is a long video, but it does an excellent job of covering many of the main issues, and it actually moves pretty quickly. I think this is an informative podcast for both sides of this issue.

Edit July 2020: Please note that You Tube has censored the video I had orginally posted. Thus, I have had to find a new link. This video was on Facebook, but I think itis still accessible if you do not have facebook.  Also, please note that it takes a few minutes for the video to start, but it is worth the wait to hear the interview!  Click HERE to start.

ZDogg and Paul Offit

Next is Zdogg’s interview with Paul Offit. Zdogg (Zubin Damania) is an extremely popular you tube presence as an American physician, assistant professor, comedian, internet personality, and musician. (Yes, Del is a bit animated, but the information he presents is still worth examining.)

If you watch nothing else in the full video interview, please check out this segment from the interview. If this is truly how a vaccine gets voted on, no matter what your view on vaccines, we should all be seriously concerned,

Honest Questions

So, what about all the injuries to the children you witnessed in the movie?

Is Paul Offit correct? Can a person theoretically receive 10,000 vaccines at a time?

If even our government acknowledges that vaccines can, in some cases, cause injury and thus set up the NVIC program, and the Supreme court stated, “… vaccines have “unavoidable, adverse side effects”, should we be allowed to take that information into consideration when deciding whether we choose to receive a vaccine or not? See info here.

The listing of all adverse effects for each vaccine can be found at this site here.

Can vaccines cause injury or illness in some children?  Yes, it states the injuries on the package insert and because of that we have the National Vaccine Injury Court.

So, who should get to make the decision for your child, or for you, to receive a vaccine?

What happens if you don’t get vaccinated? Will you be disallowed to travel? Go to school? Go to work?

I am hesitant to post this video for fear that some one will say I believe in a conspiracy theory about Bill Gates. That is not the case. I know there is a great deal of controversy surrounding some of the things he is involved with but I have no personal first-hand knowledge nor the experience to debate those issues, so I do not wish to engage on the topic. However, with all the financial resources Mr. Gates has, he certainly has enormous influence on which direction public policy will go. Thus it is important to know his involvement in this conversation.

Again, in his own words – except for the fact that the last sentence was edited out before being posted on the Internet. I am assuming it was taken out because of all the controversy surrounding his involvement with the digital ID 2020. (Please note that June 10th date is the day I uploaded it, not the day Bill Gates gave his talk.)

Will vaccine choice freedom end up being decided by “The Golden Rule”? Whoever has the most gold, rules?

Final Thoughts

In researching this for so many years, I would have to concur that the science is not settled. Therefore, I will make a prediction that this debate is going to be fought in the “cultural narrative” that goes out in movies, social media, podcasts and advertising. My guess is that at some point here in the near future we are probably going to see a multi-million dollar marketing campaign for getting all “caught up” on any missed vaccinations – and we will see some of the most amazingly well crafted commercials that will make us want to rush to the doctor as soon as possible and get all our shots, because if we don’t, we may be at risk for losing our jobs or not having our kids be allowed to go to school.

This will further divide people on this issue, and therefore I also predict, it will ultimately end up before the highest court in the land. This is especially true in regards to religious freedom. (See my last post here.)

This video with Constitutional lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, tells us that the constitution allows the government to forcibly vaccinate each one of us.

“You have no right not to be vaccinated.”

Click HERE to view video

So what happens then?

I don’t know.

But when we get there, if you have read everything in this series, you will have a much better understanding, than probably even the Supreme Court justices, of how we got there.

 #beinformed #vaccinechoice #withoutretribution