What should I eat?

What should I eat?
There’s a lot of confusion out there when it comes to what we “should” or “shouldn’t” be eating.⁠
The question I hear the most is “What should I eat?” ⁠
My follow up questions is “What do you want to do?” ⁠
✅ Lose Weight⁠
✅ Burn Fat⁠
✅ Gain Muscle⁠
✅ Reduce Inflammation⁠
✅ Balance Hormones⁠
✅ Eliminate Cravings⁠
The food you put in your body will directly influence your results.⁠
The answer is complex and different for each person.⁠
This is what inspired me to create a workshop that will answer this question.⁠
The Protocol Creation Workshop will help you create a way of eating with tools, not rules.⁠
But first, you need to know WHY you haven’t been able to permanently lose weight in the past….this is the science of weight loss. Neurobiology, Biology, and Psychology to be exact. You need this information to create a protocol that will get you the results you’re looking for. ⁠
Next, you need tools to create a protocol that works for you. Not someone else’s rules. When you create your protocol, you are more likely to follow it. I’ll teach you 12 tools to create a protocol that you’ll actually WANT to follow and fits in your life.⁠
Finally, we need to address what keeps getting in your way. These are obstacles, and we need to identify them so that we can come up with strategies to overcome them. This piece is VITAL to your permanent weight loss.⁠
This “Protocol Creation Workshop” is going to be a game changer for you. These are lifetime tools, not gimmicks or fads. ⁠
This Workshop will be over three days, 90 min each and it starts NEXT WEEK. ⁠
All this for only $99. To sign up, click the button below!
See you on Monday!⁠

Come join my communities!  

If you are a WOMEN in EMS, click HERE to join the ALL EMS WOMEN private FB Page!

Open to both Women and Men in EMS is my EMS Weight Loss & Well Being private FB Page.  To join, click HERE.

Do your Part

Are you doing your part?⁠

We like to talk about all the reasons why we “can’t” do our part when it comes to our weight loss (or life for that matter!)⁠

🔹My work schedule is too irregular⁠
🔹My kids love to eat pasta⁠
🔹I have to stay up late doing the dishes and laundry⁠
🔹I’m just too tired⁠
🔹My spouse doesn’t support me⁠
🔹It’s too expensive⁠

I used to call these excuses. ⁠

Now, I call them obstacles.⁠

When we call them excuses, we are acting like victims. Like we have no control over them.⁠

When we call them obstacles, we feel more in control. Like we can overcome them.⁠

Are you doing your part in creating ways to overcome your own obstacles?⁠

I can’t do this for you. YOU have to do YOUR part.⁠

You actually don’t need to know how…you just have to have the desire to figure it out.⁠

Get creative. Remember, losing weight is not complicated. ⁠

🔸Assess hunger/fullness⁠
🔸Begin upping your water intake⁠
🔸Commit to protecting and prioritizing your sleep⁠
🔸Decide what you will eat ahead of time⁠
🔸Exercise. No crazy work out..just move your bod.⁠

What obstacles are really getting in the way of you doing that? Do your part and overcome them!⁠

xoxo. Valerie⁠

PS. Watch the FREE video training I made on the ABC’s of Weight Loss for EMS.   Just click the blue button below to watch the video.

Come join my communities!  

If you are a WOMEN in EMS, click HERE to join the ALL EMS WOMEN private FB Page!

Open to both Women and Men in EMS is my EMS Weight Loss & Well Being private FB Page.  To join, click HERE.

Hello There…

Hello There!

Well Hello there!⁠

In case you’re new around here I wanted to take a minute and tell you a bit about me and how I got here. ⁠

I’m going to do it EMS Report style with my favorite format…VOMIT…⁠

V= Vitals…Flight Paramedic. Married. Three kids. Coach. Blogger.⁠

O= Origin..West/Central Wisconsin, originally from Minnesota⁠

M= Mechanism…married. divorced. moved. married. 3 kids in 4 years. 100# weight gain. two knee surgeries. sick all of the time. hot mess express (aka hormones).⁠

I= Interventions…hired a Life Coach, hot yoga, meditation, walking.⁠

T= Treatments…coaching, reduced sugar and flour, limited ETOH, listen to my bodies signals, mindset upgrade, stress reduction, sleep improvement, and increased water intake ⁠

The result of this HARD work? Down 50#, completely new attitude, feeling better than I have in two decades, became a Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach and started my own Coaching practice and helping other EMS professionals improve their Well Being and Lose Weight!⁠

To grab a copy of a Free Training on the ABC’s of Weight Loss for EMS, click the blue button below!

xoxo. Valerie

Come join my communities!  

If you are a WOMEN in EMS, click HERE to join the ALL EMS WOMEN private FB Page!

Open to both Women and Men  in EMS is my EMS Weight Loss & Well Being private FB Page.  To join, click HERE.

Stay Well EMS

Stay Well EMS

Good morning!⁠

As many of us head in to work this morning I want you to think about how you can stay well while on Duty.⁠

What would that look like for you?⁠

Are you willing to put your brain to work and figure out how to drink a few extra bottles of water today?⁠

What about deciding to only eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel satisfied…not full?⁠

How can you move you move your body while not on a call?⁠

What about when you feel the stress building up while en route to a trauma? Can you take 4 slow very deep breaths? ⁠

If you do have a bad trauma and you are feeling especially stressed when you clear the hospital (and your not driving!) pull out your phone and play a game on your phone for a few min.⁠

I know these things seem small and don’t seem like they matter, but my friends, they do. ⁠

Taking care of ourselves during this pandemic is critical.⁠

Have a safe day.⁠

xo. Val⁠

PS. Watch the FREE video training I made on the ABC’s of Weight Loss for EMS.   Just click the blue button below to watch the video.

Come join my communities!  

If you are a WOMEN in EMS, click HERE to join the ALL EMS WOMEN private FB Page!

Open to both Women and Men  in EMS is my EMS Weight Loss & Well Being private FB Page.  To join, click HERE.

Weight Loss Formula

Here’s a weight loss formula you might not have learned!
What you want most (weight loss) minus what you want now (cupcakes for example)= weight loss.
What do you really want most?
If the answer is Weight Loss, you have to be willing to not have something in this moment that you really want.
This is not easy, and it is not what most people do.
We live in a world of instant gratification. .
Our brain is very confused when we really want something and don’t have it.
Tell your brain that we are giving up the temporary pleasure of cupcakes for the long term satisfaction of achieving our weight loss goal. .
You might feel disappointed for a little bit, and that’s ok.
Seeing the number on the scale go down is totally worth it. I promise!
xo. Val

PS.  I’d love for you to check out a FREE Video I created just for YOU!!  Click on the blue button below to watch it!



According the W.H.O shift work is a probable carcinogen. 

This is serious stuff.  We have to have a paradigm shift about the importance of sleep and take it upon ourselves to make every effort to get better sleep.  It’s time to stop using our work schedule as an excuse to not get enough sleep.

15-20% of the US work force is shift workers.

Sleep in a necessity, not a commodity.

Here are some interesting things I have learned about sleep:

Lack of sleep in linked to overeating.  Ghrelin (hunger hormone) and leptin (fullness hormone) are both effected by lack of sleep.  When we are sleep deprived, our Ghrelin levels are spiked and we feel increased hunger, and leptin levels fall which leads to overeating.

Losing weight will help you sleep better.

Why do we feel sleepy?  Adenosine. Who knew!!

Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter…it is a CNS depressant and inhibits many processes related to wakefulness.  It builds throughout the day.  The longer you are awake, the more it builds and the sleepier you will become.  This high level of adenine is the cause of sleep pressure, which is what helps you fall asleep.  Once you fall asleep, the levels decrease.  Caffeine works to inhibit sleep by blocking the action of adenosine with in the brain.

Melatonin is the darkness hormone and is secreted by your pineal gland.  Sunset is generally the start of melatonin secretion, and it stops secretion at sunrise which causes you to wake up.  It is a key player in our circadian rhythm.  Melatonin decreases as we age.

Our circadian rhythms is responsible for some of the following body processes…sleep and wakefulness.  Metabolism. Core body temp.  Cortisol and melatonin levels and other hormones like growth and thyroid hormones.  Every organ and every cell in our body has it’s own unique circadian rhythm.

As shift workers we have disrupted circadian rhythms.  This negatively affects us in many ways. 

Lack of sleep prevents our brains from making new memories and we build up toxic levels of beta amyloid in our brain which is contributor to Alzheimer’s.   

Being awake for greater than 16 hours will start to show sings of mental and physiological deterioration, we are as deficient as someone who is legally intoxicated.  We need 8 hours of sleep to repair the damage of wakefulness.  



But, HOW do I sleep with this crazy work schedule?

  • Commit to making Sleep a priority.  Stop wearing your lack of sleep as a badge of honor or importance.
  • Plan.  Don’t make plans for things when you should be sleeping.  Yeah, I’m talking to you…don’t make dentist appointments for the kids when you should be sleeping.  Don’t schedule meetings for when you should be sleeping.  Stop it.  Right now.  Just like I tell clients to plan their food, plan their exercise…you gotta plan your sleep.  Make an appointment with your self to go to sleep.  Put it in your calendar.  If you happen to get rest at work on the night shift and don’t need to sleep all day then, consider it a bonus day.  Get caught up on things around the house, or whatever.  
  • Transform your bedroom to an area for sleep and sex only.  No TV, iPad, or phone.  Room darkening shades, white or pink (steady rain, wind and the heartbeat are examples) noise maker, a comfortable bed, good pillows and high quality sheets.
  • Invest in a nice dark eye mask and good ear plugs.
  • Cool rooms temp (~65 degrees F is best), a sign on your door to let everyone know you are sleeping.
  • Get your family/roommates on board and explain to them how important it is for you to get sleep.
  • Limit your caffeine.  Avoid caffeine 12-14 hours before you plan to sleep.  Even though you may be able to fall asleep shortly after you consume caffeine, it’s half life is 6 hours…and it’s 1/4 life is 12 hours so it will still be in your system when you go to sleep.  Caffeine will reduce your deep sleep by up to 20%.  Caffeine hits the mute button on adeonosine, which we need to help build sleep pressure.
  • Skip the Wine-Down, or Breakfast Bloody Mary.  Alcohol disrupts the sleep cycles.  It blocks REM sleep and shortens it as the night progress and the alcohol is metabolized.  Your brain will naturally try to make up for the lost REM sleep, resulting in you not feeling rested upon waking.  When you drink, you are taking away the benefits of sleep.
  • Exercise is a great way to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.  As you exercise more regularly, you will sleep better and when you sleep better you will feel more energized to exercise more.  Avoid exercise 2-4 hours before bed.
  • Prep your phone for sleep. If you do have your phone in the bedroom, make sure it is in “Dark Mode” or “Night Shift” to limit the blue light. Blue light from phones will interfere with melatonin production. Even 1 hour of blue light exposure before sleep will reduce melatonin production by 50% and delay the spike of it for 3 hours.  Turn off all notifications.  Put phone in do not disturb mode.  Calls will come though from your favorites list if they call twice with in 3 min in case of an emergency.  Remember to talk to your kids/family/friends about calling twice to get a hold of you.  
  • Create a pre-sleep routine…wether you are on days or nights, this is a form of auto-suggesting and will help tell your brain and body that it is time for sleep.  It is recommended that you start this 1 hour before bedtime.

  • No devices.  The blue light disrupts the production and release of melatonin.  
  • Melatonin supplements should be taken 45-90 min before bed time. Start with low does of melatonin.  This will take time to figure out.  I like Doc Parsley’s sleep remedy or Bullet Proofs sleep remedy.  Stay away from OTC sleep aids, they induce a more sedative state and prevent restorative sleep activity. 
  • Sleep promoting herbal teas are also a nice option to try.   
  • Journal for 2 min to get the ruminating thoughts out of your head and on paper.
  • Take a hot bath.  This is beneficial b/c it will help drop your body temp by 2-3 degrees which will initiate sleep and help maintain your sleep.  
  • Guided Meditation to help you fall asleep.

Protecting and prioritizing your sleep is critical. 

Make a great effort to optimize your sleep when you can, especially when you are at home. 

The only solution to sleep deprivation and fatigue is sleep.  

I realize that some of these tips may not be useful to everyone.  Pick a few things to focus on and see what your results are.

When I coach my clients around sleep, we spend time figuring out what all of their obstacles to getting good sleep are, then come up with strategies and a pre-sleep routine that will work for them.

Creating the plan is EASY….following the plan…well, that’s what we coach on in our session! 

Now go, get some sleep!

xo.  Valerie

>PS…want to know how to work with me?  It’s easy, just click the button below to send me a direct message on FB.  Or send me an email.  I’d love to hear from you.  val@hemscoach.com

PPS..Looking for references and resources?  I have them posted in my close FB group…come join it here HERE.



I am so busy.

Why do we glorify “Busy”?

We wear our busyness as a badge of honor.

But are you reeaalllyyy busy? C’mon…..tell the truth.

Being on you phone, trolling social, watching TV, listening to a podcast is not busy.

Those are distractions. 

Why do you want to be busy?

Is it possible you are just being busy to distract yourself?

Distracting yourself from your own negative self talk.

Many of us stay busy because we don’t like the idea of being alone with ourselves, with our own (painful) thoughts.

The truth about busyness is that it does not drive any action.

Yeah, you might get a few things off your to-do list, but you likely aren’t doing that ONE things you know you need to do.

If you really think you are a special snowflake and are over scheduled, I challenge you to do a time journal for three days. This is where you write down what you are doing every 30min from the time you get up until the time you go to bed.

I call this a reality check. I did this. Turns out, I was super busy…doing stupid shit all day. 

I made some radical changes. 

Goodbye NCIS, Foodnetwork, Bravo, HGTV. I will miss our time together, but I need to GSD.

I started saying no to everyone and everything that did not align with my goals. 

“I’d love to volunteer, but I can’t, I’m sorry”.

Another thing I changed was dropping the word “Busy” from my vocab. 

I’ll catch myself every now and again, and I notice how terrible it feels when I say it.

Then you’ll notice how everyone around you says how busy they are.

I challenge you to tell yourself the truth about what you are really “busy” doing…then drop the word busy all together.

Want help from me to free you from the busy mindset and get you taking real action on your goals? Whether you want to lose weight or feel better, I can help.

Click the the blue Book Now button below.  This will take you to my Free 30 min Consult Call schedule.  Pick a date and time that works best for you and we will get on the phone and I’ll show you how different your life can be!

I look forward to hearing from you!!

Xo. Valerie

Get Back on Track

Get back on track

Did you “fall off the wagon” this weekend?

Too much food & booze?

It happens.

But, there is no wagon.

You didn’t fall off anything.

You simply had thoughts. Thoughts that lead to overeating & overdrinking.

I have a worksheet that I use with my clients.

It is called “learn and move on”.

Each time we overeat or overdrink, it’s a great opportunity to learn.

After we learn about why we overate or overdrank we simply move on.

It does not serve us to beat ourselves up over it and hang out in guilt and shame.

Guilt and shame will not drive you to do better today.

If you are trying to lose weight, you HAVE to F-up many times to learn what is really going on.

Learn. Move on. Repeat. Learn. Move on. Repeat.

This is the way to wight loss.

The key part is making the decision to get back on track.

And by track, I’m talking PROTOCOL.

You know what to do.

Just follow your protocol.


Skip all the drama.

Focus on your next decision, not the next 10.

Need help creating a protocol that is perfect for you? This is what I do. I help you create a way of eating that fits your life. Not my life, not some other chicks life…yours.

If you really want to lose weight for the last time, click on the blue button below and set up a free 30 min consult call.  

xo. Valerie



If you are in HEMS you are very familiar with what a Protocol is.

But, have you ever considered creating a protocol for yourself?

How you will eat?

How you will sleep?

How you will eat or sleep post nights?

I bet you want to change some of your protocols at work.

If you have ever tried to do that you know that it is not something that happens overnight.

There are committees, meetings, more meetings, approvals, revisions and so on.

Then, it takes time for crew members to follow the protocol.

That is the challenge. Following the protocol.

The reason why a protocol is created is so that there is less “guess work” with what to do in the heat of the moment.

When I work with my clients, we create a protocol that works for them.

There are tools that we can add to the protocol that make it very customized.

The hard part is following the protocol.

When my clients (and myself!) follow our protocol we lose weight.

And, when we don’t follow it, we don’t lose weight.

Then WHY the F don’t we always follow it 100%???

Our brain. The primitive, child-like brain. The one who only wants to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and stay safe.

We need to learn to manage this part of our brain.

This is the reason why people hire me. I show them how to do this. I help get them out of their OWN way.

It does not happen overnight. It takes time and a ton of patience.

Let me help you create your own protocol.

If you want to learn more, click on the blue button below and set up a free 30 min consult call with me.  It is super easy!

XO. Valerie

Hunger & Full Scale

Hunger & Full Scale

There is a tool I teach all of my clients.

It looks like the pain scale we use at work.

-10 is the most intense hunger.

+10 is super full.

0 is neutral and right in the middle.

Did you know that you should ONLY eat when you are hungry?

I see you roll your eyes at me…..

But really think about this. Do you only eat when you are hungry? Are you sure?

Do you eat breakfast every morning?
because it’s 8:00am, and well, that’s what time breakfast is?

12:00….lunch time. 6:00 dinner time.

Do you eat more according to the clock or your hunger signals?

Or, are you at work and think “Well, I better grab something now, not sure if I will get to eat later!”.

Oh the horrors if we had to miss a meal! I don’t want to go into “starvation mode”.

Come on. I KNOW you have thought that.

I work with my clients to get real in touch with their body’s hunger signals. It is eye opening for all of them.

Now, lets focus on the fullness side.

How do you decide when to stop eating?

Many of us where conditioned to stop eating when our plate was clean.

We eat until we feel physically full. Full belly. Tight pants. Sometimes we almost feel sick we ate so much.

That my friends IS the #1 reason WHY you are over weight.

You are eating more food than your body requires for fuel.

For the next week, try this….

  1. ONLY eat when you are hungry, no matter what time it is!
  2. STOP eating when you are satisfied…not full.

I suggest to my clients eating -2 to +2 in the beginning, then we go to -4/+4.

If you just stop overeating (aka eating to feeling full) you will lose weight. Period.

And, this is NOT about calories-in calories-out. Or ANY calories. I’ll cover that in a different post!

If you would like to lose weight and feel Confident & Comfortable in your Flight Suit again, click here, this will bring you to my schedule and you can pick a day and time that works best for you.

Don’t be shy. I get it, we are super smart in many areas of our lives and yet we continually struggle with our weight.

I used these tools to help me lose over 50# and I know that I can help you too…despite your work schedule, your hours, or whatever other obstacle you have standing in your weigh…..(see what I did there??) LOL.

xo. VB

PS. I have a limited number of new clients I can take on each month due to my full time flight job!