Welcome to Pineapple Courage

Hi Y’all!  I’ve been living in the south for over eight years now and this is how we say hello to strangers and people we like.  Welcome to my inaugural blog post.  I’ve been thinking about blogging and writing for a while and the pandemic has left me wanting to connect with people more than ever, so the timing feels right.  My name is Natalie and I’m passionate about helping people to be successful at work and in their personal lives through following their values and striving for balance based on their own defined values and criteria. 

I am a wife, a mother and an executive.  I value health and family above all else in life and I strive to ensure these values are not compromised in anything I do to make a living and support my family.  I am driven to make a difference and grow in my career and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. 

I’m from a small town, a very small town in southeast Nebraska.  I left that small town when I was 18 and have followed my dreams and career.  There is nothing wrong with small towns and they are great places to grow up.  The only challenge for me was there were not enough large companies to move around and gain experience in my field that would allow me to continue to learn new skill sets and be challenged.  I had to look elsewhere for that and be willing to move. 

I currently live in San Antonio, but I have lived in Wisconsin, Iowa, Georgia and now Texas.  These career-related moves have allowed me to visit many states and large cities and even travel abroad – all with my companies funding the trips.  This travel has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking beyond what I would have ever experienced had I stayed living in Nebraska for my career.  It has been a wild and amazing ride so far.  There have been ups and downs, highs and lows, but the thing I have learned is that I am always in control of my reactions and decisions regarding each situation.  I am not a victim and I must be accountable if I am to continue growing and take myself further in my personal and work life. 

I’m an executive in the food manufacturing industry.  I’ve been in the food industry for over 18 years and it has been a wonderful career path and industry for me.  While you may have not heard of the companies I work for, most likely you have eaten products produced by them.  I’ve served in the restaurant and retail food industries making things like French fries, sauces, soups, fried chicken, chili, mac and cheese, burgers and more.  It is a lot of fun spending time with chefs and food scientists from large national restaurant chain accounts developing their next new menu items.  Because of this career path I am a foodie and an avid Yelper.  I like to try the newest restaurants and new food innovations to keep up with what’s hot and on trend. 

While I’ve been in the food business my whole career, I’ve also been in the people business and I’m passionate about creating high performance cultures where I work.  The results I’m most proud of in my career include stories of others whom I’ve been able to listen to, coach and guide through difficult situations, leading to career changing outcomes.  I do this for people both inside and outside of my organization because it is my passion and I love to hear the positive outcomes of someone being promoted or working through an issue with their boss or a peer to then truly be happy at work.  These skills to have vital conversations at the office are also effective at home and with friends and family.

Finally, I am a health and fitness fanatic.  No, I do not run marathons or compete in Ironman competitions.  I compete with myself, always trying to be better than the day before.  I like to join others in fitness activities, but it is a very individual, self-motivated thing for me.  I work out at least six days a week, most often in my own home or in my neighborhood.  I love going for what I call “wogs”.  These are walk/jogs in the mornings, and I listen to energetic, uplifting or sometimes reflective music.  I take virtual classes with a very good friend for barre, yoga, cardio burn, circuit ladder and body sculpt.  I like to mix it up to stay healthy and feel like I’m well rounded in my fitness.  Staying healthy is a big part of the balanced equation for me between work, home and self.  If I don’t keep up on my workouts and eating healthy, every other area of my life suffers. 

My hobbies include cooking and gardening.  I like to try new recipes and I’m one of those cooks who never, ever follows a recipe completely.  I’m always subbing ingredients and hardly ever measure, except for baking.  It’s a joke in my family that I never make the same thing twice and that’s pretty much true when you cook from your head and heart instead of hardcore recipes.   

Well, if you’ve made it this far in my inaugural post, thank you!  I’m excited to get started and hear from you as I share varying topics.  I will share my stories on this blog with the goal of helping you through whatever may be your opportunity – work, family, kids or significant other.   If you have any comments or questions for me now, please feel free to leave them.  I’d love to hear from you!


20 thoughts on “Welcome to Pineapple Courage”

  1. Thank you for committing to connect more to people when many feel secluded in the pandemic! The food industry is a great space to be in, and it has definitely opened my mind to so much more than I experienced growing up too. I look forward to joining you on this journey.

  2. Natalie this is so YOU!! You are a motivator and encourage the best potential in everyone you meet. I’m excited to follow Pineapple Courage!!

  3. Congrats Natalie. Wishing you the very best in this new season. Your are a gifted, talented person and know you will do well.

    1. Interesting! I love the connection to vital conversations.

      I also recently learned that eating pineapple after surgery may reduce the time of recovery due to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain. It has been shown to reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising and pain that often occurs after surgery.

      So…it could be said that applying Pineapple Courage principles could reduce the pain associated with having tough conversations as well!

      Check out #7 on this list: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-pineapple#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8

  4. Good for you, Natalie. You write as well as you speak. There is something about your authenticity and simple inherent goodness that makes people want to listen and follow you. Keep posting — I’ll be here to read.

  5. Congratulations Natalie! This is so awesome. Thank you sharing your thoughts and being so transparent. I personally thank you for being a courageous leader! I admired your work ethics and inclusive personality. You are my SHEro!

    Praying that God continues to bless you and your family 🙂

  6. Congratulations Natalie! You truly care about people and I appreciate you taking the time to talk to my daughter Katia, sharing your career experiences and giving her constructive advice on how to further her own career development. You have 2 fans on us and we can’t wait to read all your blogs.

  7. I’m so excited about this Natalie! You are a natural at this and every time we visit I feel better for having spent time with you . . However, it never seems to be long enough! I look forward to following your encouraging words here to help me and so many others become better everyday!

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