A personal journey to health and wellness that became her life’s passion and career
Introduction by Mia Bertelsen
The following story is written by MacKensie and shows us a very personal look into her journey. Her reasons for being so open and honest with the world are to let us know that we are not alone and there are so many people out there who are experiencing the same ups and downs in life. At different points in her life she found herself at a very low place struggling to make a living, 100 pounds overweight, suicidal and addicted to pain medication. Through her faith in God, being super organized and goal driven and meeting the love of her life, she turned her life around. Today she is so proud to have created her own business cooking healthy meals for her clients. Her financé Shawn has been at her side making this dream become a reality together.
MacKensie shared with me that writing is one of her talents. “We really paint a picture with our words,” she said. “It is so powerful when we get together to share our own accounts and testimonies. The statement ‘me too’ is that moment when we realize that the struggle we are going through is something that someone else is experiencing and we know that we are not alone. That can trigger healing in and of itself.”
MacKensie’s personal weight loss is a huge achievement and especially because she has maintained it. “I just hit four years of maintenance,” she shared. “I lost 108 pounds in 9 months.”
Her journey to be a personal chef started with a nice couple who were both approaching 500 pounds each and were in serious danger with their health. “After almost three years of cooking for them and coaching them, they have lost almost 400 pounds combined,” she boasted.
Her business based in Joplin, Missouri almost didn’t happen. The plan was to drive around the US in their RV and promote their faith and healthy meals. Wisconsin was their next stop. “When we were ready to take off, our RV just shut down,” she laughed. With some help they pushed the RV into the closest parking spot and worked to fix her for over a week. They decided to stay in Joplin. “I had my old job as a recruiter all lined up, and then a friend of mine told me about a couple who was looking for a Keto chef to assist them with major weight loss,” she explained. “We only had one car at the time so I had to truck over there with the whole family. Wherever I went, the RV went. I had the organic Keto pound cake in hand. They hired me on the spot. They offered me a position that paid me more than my old job. I was scheduled to start my recruiter job on Monday and I saw them on Sunday. So, God was really quick to come in between of what could have been.”
People really struggle to have a healthy diet. “A lot of it has do with our mind set and our knowledge,” she shared. “Do we know what substitutions we need to make in order to enjoy some of our favorite foods that we used to have? Once we have a game plan established, it makes the execution a lot easier. If we are failing to plan, we are planning to fail.” She prepares the meals for her clients according to their individual dietary needs and goals, vacuum seals it and delivers the meals to them. She cooks for about ten people and she covers all meals for the week. MacKensie is a self- taught cook. “I grew up in a household of four kids and my mom and my granny were very passionate about cooking,” she said.
“I only prepare food with organic, non-GMO ingredients and I’ve expanded services as a canine chef as well,” she added. “Many people are serious about improving food quality for their pets.”
Not all of us can afford to have a personal chef and wellness coach to help us improve our health and diet. But we can learn from MacKensie’s positive, can-do attitude, based on her strong faith. Our hope is that you will be inspired to take the next step to improve your health too!
By MacKensie Struble
Let’s flashback to January 7th, 2011, when my entire world changed. It was a typical Friday night. I got off work at my second job and was headed into my third at McGraths. I was waitressing in the bar that night, and people were already parked outside when I arrived. I rushed in, waved to everyone on the line, secured my apron, took a glance in the mirror to ensure my hair and makeup were up to par, and headed out to the floor. One by one my tables began filling up. I headed back to the waitress station to submit my orders and prepare salads. Naturally, Shawn was working with me that night, too. Fridays always called for all hands on deck.
I delivered to my first two tables and then I heard the phone ring, which was normal on a Friday night, but this time, it was for me. My boss hurriedly motioned for me to take the call so I could get back to work, and I rushed over. It was my Mom.
I grabbed the phone and very quickly said, “hello?” There was silence for a moment, and then suddenly, without hesitation, my mother belted out, “Adam is gone!”
I dropped the phone. My boss quickly picked it up with a puzzled look on her face, unaware of the news I’d just been provided. My body began to cave. My mouth was agape, though I lacked the ability to produce any words. A coworker grabbed me in the midst of my lament, and proceeded to drag me behind closed doors.
Once there, another coworker pulled me into a hug for what seemed like forever. The world around me ceased to exist. I had fallen deep into a pool of debilitating emotion and I couldn’t breathe. The sound of my mother’s grief-stricken voice just kept playing over and over in my head, “Adam is gone!”
I briefly snapped back to reality and released myself from his hug. I wouldn’t discover the irony of this person’s placement in my life that night until later when I learned the cause of my brother’s death and how, he, too, had attempted the same thing, but survived. It is funny how God is always in the details.
The next two and a half years of my life felt like a prison sentence, waking up every day in my own personal hell only to be reminded of the same heartbreaking news I had cried myself to sleep over the night before. When the desire to join my brother exceeded my will to live, I found myself abusing OxyContin and Percocet.
My life slowly started crumbling before me a little at a time. On the outside, I still held down three jobs and “acted” like an adult, but behind closed doors, I had lost all vitality. My once jovial life ceased to exist. There was no zeal or purpose left, just a mere existence of going through the motions.
It wasn’t until 1/5/14, just a few days before the anniversary of my brother’s death, that I finally surrendered and gave my life back to God. I dropped to my knees after contemplating my own suicide attempt and told the Lord that if He still had purpose for me, I would live the rest of my life serving Him.
With each passing day, I felt myself growing stronger and stronger. I stayed with my sister and her family for support the next few weeks, and then relocated to Joplin to begin rebuilding my life.
I took my first job at a local flower shop on Valentine’s Day, and then transitioned into a better-paying position within a month’s time. It wasn’t long after that the Lord blessed me with Marcus. Words can’t describe the amount of joy I possessed in my heart.
At five months pregnant, I unexpectedly lost my position. I had no idea how I was going to make ends meet. I came home that night and decided to draw a bath for myself. I remember being so fearful of what was to come and just asking God for the strength to trust in Him.
I thought to myself, “who would hire me now? I’m five months pregnant!” To make matters worse, I was also without a vehicle. The thought of finding another place of employment that was within walking distance immediately made me feel overwhelmed, but I took a few deep breaths, and handed it over.
In the meantime, I decided to take advantage of the time off by going to see my Mom. I was standing in the kitchen when I received the call. There was a new position available for me and I could return to work the following week. God had successfully come through for me again.
I celebrated one year of sobriety on 1/5/15 — just a month before naturally giving birth to my healthy, 9 lb 13 oz baby boy on 2/10/15. We had just moved into our new apartment, breastfeeding was going great, AND I was able to take a decent amount of time off work to bond with him.
Not long after I returned, God blessed me, yet again, with a better-paying position as a recruiter for the same company. Everything had fallen into place. I conquered sobriety. My job was secure. The next order of business was self-care.
After giving birth to Marcus, I had reached a weight of 232 lbs. I can still remember the day I stepped on the scale at my Dad’s house and the numbers “2-3-2” reflected back at me. It was in this moment I made the harsh realization that I needed to start making myself more of a priority.
I began researching the science behind Lowcarb/Keto and how it would affect my body. My primary focus was finding a regimen that would allow for me to focus solely on my nutrition to produce results. This was the perfect fit.
In March of 2016, I began my journey. I configured my macros and dove right in. Most nights, I would stay up late after Marcus went to sleep and prep all of my food. I planned out exactly what I was going to eat the following day, logged it, and tweaked it accordingly so I could stay as close to my allotments as possible. I was steadily losing weight every week, and my energy levels had increased.
Around August, God introduced me to Young Living essential oils. It is then that I began combining the use of Lowcarb/Keto + therapeutic grade essential oils to properly support my body. By November of 2016, I had hit goal and lost over 100 lbs.
Throughout the course of my weight loss journey, I was also preparing to relocate Marcus and myself closer to family. Every night after I finished prepping my food, I would go and count our money, anticipating the moment we would reach our goal.
Anyone who truly knows me will tell you that I never intended on returning to Sedalia. In fact, I fought against it, but, God was persistent. Once I’d saved up $854 to cover all of our costs, I put in my two weeks. My last day was 1/6/17, and we moved the following day on Saturday, 1/7/17, the anniversary of my brother’s death. As if it wasn’t clear enough that God had His hand in this entire move, that confirmed it. Everything had officially come full circle, down to the date and time.
It wasn’t even two months after Marcus and I were settled in that God reconnected me with Shawn. What initially began as two friends hiking at Bothwell quickly blossomed into so much more. It all suddenly made sense why God was so persistent about Marcus and me moving to Sedalia. Shawn was our missing piece.
Just a few months later, we made the decision as a family to downsize and pursue our dream of RVing fulltime. We moved to Yuma, AZ and soon after started our first business, ChefGirlRV.
What initially started as a temporary side hustle in our toy hauler to help others achieve success, has turned into a growing business reaching clients all over the US. We’ve invested over 30,000+ hours into our trade (and counting), became personal chefs, started catering, provided meal prep and coaching services to thousands, and, most importantly, we’ve kept God at the forefront of it all.
The magnitude of ONE decision to pursue, in faith, the desire God so strongly planted in our hearts resulted in waves of success that spanned much wider than just our family. Here are some success stories we are proud to share:
- A woman was able to release 85 pounds and carry a healthy pregnancy.
- A busy Mom was able to take control of her health and feel more comfortable in her skin.
- An elderly woman who was too weak to cook for herself was able to release weight, drastically improve her quality of life, and begin weaning off of prescriptions.
- A middle-aged woman was able to successfully regenerate hair growth where she was experiencing major loss and improved her overall wellness.
- A breastfeeding mother was able to invest in herself to lose weight without sacrificing her supply.
- An officer was able to release weight to pass his physical for a long-awaited promotion, and fit perfectly in his tuxedo on his wedding day.
- A mother was able to come home after working a long shift and spend what little time she had with her children without having to worry about how dinner was going to be prepared because we cooked the healthy food for her.
- Another woman was able to regulate her hormones, release weight, and restore her sex life with her husband.
Despite late nights, breastfeeding, insane workweeks, and raising a child, I succeeded. I had completely transformed my life with small, consistent action steps every single day.
Instead of focusing on all of the reasons why I couldn’t, I pressed forward and created my own conditions to support the reality I was determined to create.
If I hadn’t taken the action needed on 1/5/14 to pursue sobriety, or that leap of faith in 2017 to fulfill the purpose God had for me, EVERYONE would’ve missed out on all of this. The fulfillment of your purpose doesn’t just affect you, it affects everyone who is meant to cross your path.
It doesn’t matter what you’re going through in life or decisions you’ve made, God still has purpose for you. He will take all of your broken pieces and intricately place them back together for the fulfillment of something greater than yourself. Don’t fear the fire, embrace it. Trust in Him. Allow yourself to be refined by His hand, and once He’s done, you’ll come out stronger than ever before.
There’s nothing I can do to change the past, but I can find peace in the woman that I’ve become and the purpose that God has for me. It is through God’s healing hand that I’m even here to share my testimony with you today, and I do so in the hopes of sparing even just ONE person from having to travel the roads I did.
On 1/5/21, I’ll be celebrating the obvious, but it represents so much more than that. This isn’t just a celebration commemorating seven years of sobriety, but, rather, life, and God’s continued openings for me to make a difference in this world.
Now I’m the one in the position to love on others and assist them in reaching their full potential. He turned my tragedies into triumphs, one by one, and He’ll do it for you, too, if you’ll let Him. Every single day that we wake up is an opportunity to embrace our purpose and change someone’s life. I pray you never forget how valuable your contribution is to the world, and that you’re always eager to fulfill it.
In this new year, it’s time to release everything that’s no longer serving us, and take a clean step into the abundance that’s to come. Forgive those who have wronged you and free yourself of all negativity. Don’t deny yourself the blessings He has for you. If you’re not in love with your life, start creating a different one. Satan will tell you it’s too late to make a change, or you’re unqualified, but God reminds us every day how faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains. The only thing standing between you and the life you want is doubt.
If there’s only one thing you take away from my testimony today, please understand that you can ALWAYS start over. Seasons aren’t permanent. Winter NEVER follows winter. There’s ALWAYS time for you to make a change. For anyone who is struggling with self-worth or thoughts of suicide, please reach out. Believe me when I say that the world would not be a better place without you. I’d give anything to have my brother here today. Check on your family and friends, and do it often. We’re all fighting silent battles that no one knows about. A kind gesture truly can make all the difference. God bless #ChefGirlRV
Recipes and tips from MacKensie:
ORGANIC LOW CARB/KETO STUFFED MUSHROOMS
1 oz Young Living Thieves Fruit & Veggie
Soak 20 Organic Mushrooms 1 Tb Organic EVOO 3 tsp Organic Garlic (minced) 4 oz Organic Cream Cheese 6 Tb Organic Grated Parmesan 1/8 t Organic Pepper 1 TS (Toothpick Swirl) Young Living Oregano
Vitality 1 – Preheat the oven to 350. 2 – Pour Young Living Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak (1 oz for every gallon of water) into a bowl, making sure to completely cover the mushrooms. Soak for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with clean water. Pat dry with paper towel.
3 – Remove stems from mushrooms and chop until finely diced.
4 – Heat 1 tbsp of EVOO over medium heat, and sauté stems 5-10 minutes.
5 – Add minced garlic. Cook for thirty seconds, or until fragrant.
6 – Reduce heat to low and add parmesan, cream cheese, black pepper, and oregano.
***For anyone who is new to cooking with YL vitality oils, a toothpick swirl is a simple method for incorporating tiny amounts of very potent essential oils into your creations! To measure out a toothpick swirl, simply dip the tip of your unflavored toothpick into your essential oil, and then stir into food. The deeper you dip the toothpick, the more essential oil you’ll absorb. I advise starting small and building. A little goes a long way!
7 – Transfer mushrooms to lined cookie sheet. Spoon mixture into caps, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
8 – Enjoy! Macros per Mushroom Fat: 2.5 g Carbs: 1 g Fiber: .3 g Net Carbs: .7 g Sugars: .4 g Protein: 1.6 g
MY TOP PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ASSISTING WITH KETO FLU
•Mineral Essence — balanced, full-spectrum ionic mineral complex.
According to two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling: “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”
•Alkalime — natural alkalinizing supplement that is formulated with nine biochemical mineral cell salts, the refreshing taste of Lemon and Lime essential oils, and organic lemon powder to help your body transition more easily during this lifestyle change.
•Citrus Fresh Vitality — drop it in your water to help you stay hydrated and get an internal boost with its antioxidants and cleansing properties! This is awesome for detox! Use it in the kitchen, too! I love adding this to salmon, chicken, and salads!
To order these products, visit my website at www. chefgirlrv.online, or send me a message at [email protected]