About Us

The roots of Healthy Little Secret started 10 years ago.  I was living in Northern California, without family nearby and only a few friends to speak of locally.  I had a job that I wasn’t thrilled with, a house that was a little too big (in size and mortgage!) for just me and a lack of direction.  Lonely and a little depressed, I began to gain weight through bad habits and “easy” fast casual food.  Breakfast was often Starbucks.  Lunch was a sandwich or burger.  And dinner often included Chipotle.  Followed-up by dessert of 4-6 Krispy Kreme donuts.  Eating like this became the norm.

Cold Stone knew me by name and my “usual” order – no joking.  Little by little, I put 60+ pounds on my 5′ 5″ frame.  I stopped weighing myself at 190, so I’m confident that I was over 200 pounds.  A record high.  All the while I ignored the mirror, not realizing just how big I had gotten.  And even though I had to put rubber bands on the button of my jeans to give me extra room, I still continued to binge eat and ignore the fact that I had become not just overweight, but unhealthy.

With my family’s encouragement, I packed it all up moved down to Southern California to live with family. Slowly, I began to get my life back together.  I quit my old job and left my house behind — I wanted to leave the rest of my old habits behind as well.  Here it was, a chance to start over completely.  New job, new location, new body!  I was ready!  I started off strong by working out with a trainer a few days a week, drank kambucha and tried meal replacement beverages.  I saw a little, very slow change; but some was better than none.  Progress.

Six months into my new work-out routine, I got frustrated.  At this point, I felt I should have gotten better results (looking back I know it was because of the pancake breakfast I had multiple times a week!) and decided to join Weight Watchers.  Accountability too center stage.  Portion Control.  Community.  This was going to be the solve, right?  In the beginning, it was.  I lost 40 pounds.  It took some time, almost a year.  For the first time I believed I was so much more in control of my weight.  Was I really?

Life started happening and those 40 pounds began to fluctuate.  During this time I moved in with my boyfriend (+5 lbs), got a new job (+1 lb), got engaged (+1 lb), got another new job (-1 lb), got a new house (+2 lbs) and got married (-7 lbs).  I was still seeing a trainer and was tracking with various tools and the new world of apps as best I could.  But the reality was this: I had plateaued.

During the next 5 years, I continued to ride the weight rollercoaster.  Up and Down.  Good and Bad.  15 pounds all over the map.  I tried all kinds of things to get the weight off once and for all:

  • Running Club
  • Weight Watchers, again
  • Spin
  • Road Cycling
  • Green Coffee Extract
  • Yoga
  • Weight Watchers, again… this time the online version
  • No Sugar
  • No Flour
  • Weight Watchers, yes, again
  • Dr Oz’s Weight Loss Plan
  • Personal Training
  • Herbalife

And finally I asked myself this question: What about what’s right for me?  I get the ‘diet’ thing.  Eliminating calories.  But, which calories?

Suddenly it’s January 2015.  I leave my career.  After 23 years of being in the industry and over 10 at the position I was in…I decided I had had enough.  New Year, New Me.  It was drastic and it was a leap of faith…and I did it.  I committed to become the person that I know I was born to be.  I was still on my diet rollercoaster.  Up and Down.  Working out a bit more, but still  struggling with all the food choices.

In April I read about a ‘Clean Eating’ challenge.  A two-week challenge of eating NOTHING processed, all home-made foods.  Hmmm, what a concept.  So, I recruited my husband and took it on.  I lost 3 pounds during that time.  For 14 days just eating healthy, no processed sugar or white flour or anything from a can or a jar that was a mixture.  I decided to do it another 2 weeks.  I lost another 2 pounds. I felt so good that I started working out multiple times a day because I was having so much fun.

Catherine Penn - Healthy Little Secret
The Healthy Little Secret has changed my life so much!  I’ve moved on the scale from obese to physical fit and ran a 25k trail run just for fun!  And my mind?  It’s ready to take on the world and help others learn the joys of Clean Eating.

I felt so much better.  I was less puffy, I had tons of energy and I loved the food.  Am I onto something here?  Now the next 2 weeks.  Being really in tune to how I felt and which food triggered my body, I decided to take out beans.  That’s a big one because I would eat a chick pea over meat any old day.  No beans, lost another pound.  I am onto something!  Yes, I’m loosing weight and that’s the bonus here, truly it is.  It’s about HEALTH.  Yes, HEALTH.  I am more HEALTHY now than ever.  It’s about my food choices that will make me healthy.  Support my metabolism.  Make me have more energy.  Support not just 1 but 2 or even 3-a-day workouts.  FOOD = HEALTH.  What a new concept.  I had always equated food as weight gain or loss.  FOOD = HEALTH.

So, my new journey in life has begun.

I have learned the Healthy Little Secret!  And with my years of knowledge of where I’ve been and now months of practice with my family, friends and now clients, I want to share Clean Eating and the Healthy Little Secret program with all of you.

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