Healthy Family  >  Do You Have A Secret? I Have Ten.

Do You Have A Secret? I Have Ten.

[caption id="attachment_2558" align="alignright" width="320"]Photo courtesy of Robert Sturman Photo courtesy of Robert Sturman[/caption]

Can you think of something about yourself that most people don’t know? (And I’m not just asking about what or how you’re eating.) Something real. Something personal. Something uniquely you.

Do you sing show tunes in the shower? Have an unhealthy obsession with sriracha? Secretly watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (as a guilty pleasure, of course)? Maybe you were president of your high school Drama Club, or traveled to the other side of the world where you met the love of your life. Perhaps you fantasize about owning a restaurant and becoming a famous world-class chef.

We all have dreams, stories, and traits that we keep under wraps, consciously or unconsciously. Yet, we lock them away from most of the world, even though they add so much to our sparkle… and uniqueness!

Here’s why sharing our personal experiences matters so much:

Because these details are more than just silly, or fun, or “guilty” pleasures. They remind us of who we are at our core.

Too often, we get stuck in our own stories and create labels that don’t honor our amazing multiple dimensions and dynamic life experiences.

“I struggle with ______.”

“I want to be ______.”

“I’m always the person that _______.”

Sound familiar?

We all do it to ourselves, and the people around us. Think about it. In the first moments of meeting someone, we tend to assign a title in our brains and file them away. Even something as simple as being vegan or paleo can spark assumptions.

But, when we pause to reflect on the course of our lives, the turning points, and the highlights, we remember: we're so much more than our jobs, relationships, and what’s on our plates. We’re a mash-up of adventure, strength, humor, and joy.

Love hides in the details. And when we don’t embrace and share our personal stories, we hold ourselves back from really connecting with the people around us.

So, in the spirit of opening up & sharing, I’ll start! Here are 10 fun(ny) little-known facts about me.

And, since it’s my birthday, I would love for you to drop in some shiny trivia tidbits about yourself in the comments below. (C’mon. I don’t ask for much.) I’ll even randomly select one lucky reader to receive a scrumptious treat. (Just because it’s my birthday, I shouldn’t have ALL the fun … or all the chocolate. Hint.)

10 Delicious Details About Me

1. My parents named me after Beethoven’s Fur Elise. Classy!

2.  I went to an all-girls school in Los Angeles, where I was voted “Most Likely to be Stung by Sting”.  Somehow this still hasn’t happened, despite the fact that I was on a deserted island with him, in a bikini.  (Ok, I was on my honeymoon at the time… and no, I am not making this up.)

3.  My family spends every summer at a dude ranch in Montana pretending we’re cowboys. Yep, boots, hats, horses and all. Yeehaw!

4.  I met my husband at the gym. On a stairmaster to be exact. A friend introduced us, insisting we’d be perfect for each other. Guess she had a point.

5.   I don't actually know how to turn the TV on in my house (with all the crazy remotes)... and I refuse to learn. What are a husband and two sons for, anyway?

6.  I love 80’s music, and if you walk into my kitchen at just the right time, you might catch me singing anything by Madonna into my spatula.

7.  I keep homemade cookies in my freezer for those times you just need the real deal. That’s right - white sugar, white flour, butter and all. (I’m more of a salty than a sweet type - my family eats the cookies while I munch on sweet potato fries. Yum!)

8.  Prior to launching Kale & Chocolate, I practiced immigration law at the Department of Justice.  For my first job, I clerked for 9 judges at the same time. (And if you’re wondering, it’s nothing like Law & Order.)

9.  One of the best days of my life was when I ran the Boston Marathon in 3:41, marking a personal best. I still run, but just for fun.

10.  When I was very young, my dad would seal the fridge doors with a padlock at night. While this was meant to keep him out of the fridge – not my sister, brother or me - we became very crafty at wedging open the doors and getting our little hands inside.

Now it’s your turn! Don’t be shy. Time to share a delicious detail (or a few!) about YOU in the comments below. Besides, nothing makes me happier than spending my birthday sipping green tea and reading your juicy answers. Ready, set, go!

**UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who shared a fun fact about themselves in the comments.  I loved learning more about you all.  I have randomly selected a winner, and Hannah will be receiving a box of my favorite deep dark chocolates delivered to her doorstep.  Yum!


  • Lorna says:

    Happy Birthday Elise! I love lists like this. A dude ranch? Never would have guessed it. 🙂
    One of my facts: I walked down 105 flights of stairs after the 1st WTC bombing.

  • Karyn says:

    I’ve been collecting pigs since I was a little kid. I have many, many pigs in all forms, but, not a real one… yet. 🙂
    Happy Birthday, Elise!

  • Ami says:

    Happy birthday Elise!! You inspire me with your words, thoughts and actions. I LOVE your top 10 list. Even after all these years of our friendship I learned a few things about you! FUR Elise??? How purr-fect!!

    • Elise says:

      Hi Ami,
      It’s fun to learn things about people we think we know so well. You inspire me, and I am so happy that one of the best days of my life at that Boston Marathon was spent with you. xxx

  • Sarah says:

    Happy Birthday Elise, No 5 that’s me too, well I can do the tv but nothing more than that! My secret is do a sneaky half in the cupboard spoon of peanut butter, one is usually enough to see me through 😉

  • Rebecca says:

    Fun post! Hmmm…I have an unhealthy obsession with CW shows about teens with magical powers and I used to go to a circus camp as a kid (with a full trapeze and everything)! Happy happy birthday!

  • Lana Shlafer says:

    I speak the international language Esperanto from birth. And I was born in Tomsk, Siberia and lived there until I was 10. I was a professional salsa dancer in college…. I could go on and on! What a great idea for a future blog post – I loved getting to know more about you Elise! Happy Birthday Gorgeous!!!

    • Elise says:

      Lana! You inspire me all the time, and now even more so, learning all these fun “secrets” about you. I think this could make for an interesting blog post from you! xxx

  • Happy Birthday my beautiful friend and January soul sister! Can’t wait to have some quality time together on the chilly coast; it’s going to be 80-somthing here today! OK, here’s my fun fact:
    I won $35,000 on Super Password when I was 19 years old!

    • Elise says:

      Thanks for rubbing in the LA weather. Actually, We have a blue sky, so I can’t complain. I love being Capricorn Sisters with you, and thanks for sharing your secret win. So fun! The real question is what did you do with it:).

  • Diane Lewis says:

    nning into Robert Redford in Georgetown back in the late 70s….very handsome and nice.

    Being at Clinton’s 50th bday party at the Waldorf Astoria…he grabbed my shoulder as I turned to walk away(after asking him to autograph the program for Maya) looked down into my eyes very intently and asked, “can I help you with something?”….stunned, ridiculous me answered, “no thank you”….hmmmmm….missed opportunity. Hillary was only 10-15′ away eating dinner.

  • Meredith says:

    HBD Elise!!! My secret is that I love my schedule- waking up at 4:30 to get to the gym. Every. Single. Day. Even if I was up late the night before. I sound crazy to my friends, but I love my routine.

  • Susan Richman says:

    Happy birthday Elise!! I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you so today seems like the perfect day to reach out! A couple of not-so-secret secrets — I’ve been really enjoying your website and blog and gleaning wonderful tips and information. AND I too will be celebrating my birthday in ten days and it’s a biggie – 50. I am hoping that you will guide me with your nutrition and wellness knowledge as I embark on the second half of my life!!! Hope to connect with you soon.


    • Elise says:

      Susan! Happy almost birthday to you. Thanks for sharing your not-so-secret secrets. I am so happy to “see” you here and glad that you are a part of this community. I would love to connect with you VERY soon. Hopefully, you have wonderful plans to celebrate. xxx

  • Elyssa L says:

    Happy Birthday Elise! What an amazing and cute list! You are so wonderful and make me smile!! Wishing you a year of happiness!!!

    I like Rebecca’s remark about shows with teens and magical powers! I have a healthy obsession (or sometimes not!) with vampire or witch shows! I am a severe chocoholic and love having dance parties with my family!

    • Elise says:

      Hi Elyssa,
      oh..a healthy obsession with vampire or witch shows. Fun and maybe a little scary? Nothing like a big dose of chocolate to get you energized for your family dance parties:).

  • Jen says:

    I love, love, LOVE this post! So awesome and the perfect way to mark the birthday of such a special lady 🙂

    My favorite fact about you has to be #6 – can totally imagine that! And as for my own secret…although I’m still pretty new to it (bruises and all) I am in LOVE with pole dancing – best work out in ages!

    • Elise says:

      Jen! Thank you for your enthusiasm and birthday wishes. Pole dancing!!! Good one for sure, and I am so happy you found a fun way to channel all your amazing energy:)

  • Carey says:

    I meet my husband of 34 years,while on a date with his best friend in college.
    They are still best friends

    Happy Birthday , hope today is great!!!!

  • Tara says:

    Happy birthday, Elise! Love this post!

  • Joanne says:

    Happy Birthday Elise!
    I laughed so hard at #5, that being me too! Great post, loved every word, and the idea too!
    Ok, here’s a little known fact about me: When I was a kid, I spent way too many hours sitting on the speaker at my brothers band practice..…resulting in my not so subtle loss of hearing. Oh well, I just have to crank up the music a little bit louder! 🙂

    • Elise says:

      Joanne, There are a lot of us #5’s out there! I am sure you had a blast sitting on those speakers at band practice, but I’m sorry that it affected your hearing. Cranking the music is a good solution.

  • Maureen says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday!
    It’s been a while since we chatted but I found your fun list and your special day to be a good time to reach out and say hi! I hope your day has been filled with magic, laughter and a special indulgence or two!

    Ok – a couple of my big secrets – I love to listen and sing along to Barry Manilow and John Denver (as well as 80’s music)!! I’m an avid fan of anything by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dr. Horrible…, etc.), I am a huge klutz and am constantly running into walls. And my current guilty pleasure is looking at cat posts on pinterest – so funny and entertaining! Cheers!

    • Elise says:

      Hi Maureen,

      Love love love your list, and I am glad to see another 80’s girl joining the conversation. Thank you for the kind and thoughtful birthday wishes. I am going to check out your current guilty pleasures on Pinterest now!

  • Jenny Luu says:

    Happy Birthday Elise! Great read!! I love that you listed 10 things!

    Besides escaping from my homeland on a boat as an 11 month old? Hmmm, I speak a rare dialect of Chinese that hardly any Chinese person understands and when I was in 1st grade, my mother told me to pick a western name so that I could get a job later in life. I picked Jenny 🙂

    • Elise says:

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. You certainly are contributing some interesting stories to the conversation! It’s hard to top escaping your homeland as an 11 month old. And, Jenny was a good choice for a western name:).

  • Beth says:

    Hi Elise,
    Happy birthday and loved your post. I love watching any reality tv show I can find while doing the elliptical daily . Could be anything from Real housewives to dance moms to couples therapy on VH1! It’s a good way temporarily take me away from my own reality.

    • Elise says:

      Hi Beth! Sounds like a fun “guilty” pleasure while doing something good for your body at the same time. Thank you for reading and sharing your fun fact.

  • Hannah says:

    Hi Elise,

    Happy Birthday, and what a great list! I’d love to know more about how you ended up on a deserted island with Sting on your honeymoon! Sounds like a delicious story.

    Due to a hurricane, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company’s plane was grounded once in the little Louisiana town I was living in at the time. Not only did they do two performances while they were there, they came to our high school dance! They had us students bouncing off the walls and leaping like there was no gravity. That weekend gifted me with my love of dance.

    • Elise says:

      Hi Hannah,

      I may have to write a post about my deserted island experience with Sting. Sadly, it was not all that exciting….

      Your story about the Alvin Alley Dance Company is so fun and memorable! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Um, I feel so much better now that I know you also eat cookies. Happy late birthday!!

    I also have 2 boys and a hubby. The oldest is in junior high and I’m not dealing with it very well. I used to sing as a child and until B-School, I wasn’t comfortable talking about it. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Elise says:

      Thanks, Melissa! I am glad that you can proudly talk about the fact you used to sing as a child. Love that B-School provided you with the courage to own it!

  • Mamaste says:

    Here you go:
    If you look close you can see the words *talk to me* inscribed on my forehead. 🙂
    It’s an Englewood thing.

  • Silvia says:

    Elise. Can’t believe i missed wishing you a happy birthday so I’ll do so now. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I’m sure it was a good one. What a fun post. I enjoyed reading it and all the comments here. Now for a little know fact about me…hum…

    When I was 11 I took one of the last cross Atlantic trips on an ocean liner (when they were still used for transportation) with my father to Italy. I used to sit on deck or in the dining room making up stories about all the elegant people I saw. I’ve been in love with ships and people watching ever since.

    • Elise says:

      That is so cool, especially to an 11-year-old kid. Thank you for posting your very fun fact. So happy to learn a little more about you:).

  • Lacy says:

    “Love hides in the details.” <– Like poetry! So true.

    Hmmm… Fun facts. I have a degree in the "moving image arts" (or, film in plain language) and I wrote a full-length Harry Potter novel to amuse myself at a TERRIBLE temp job between the fifth and sixth books coming out. True story. 😉

  • Jenny says:

    Love this post. When you are up in a plane looking down on a city and get amazed at how many people there are in the world…then you think about this post and how we are all so fascinating and unique, it is hard to not be in awe. You are right, it is people’s crazy unique stories that make them so lovable, relatable, and real.

    Here are a few from my end:
    1. I lived in a ghost town in Death Valley (with only one other inhabitant) for 3 months.
    2. I actually ran away with a traveling circus while living in Nevada.
    3. I was in Russia during the Coup.
    4. If I had my life to do over, I would be a hard core traveler in remote and inhospitable places of the world (like a journalist or something).
    5. I am deeply addicted to salt and caramel ice cream (especially from Salt and Straw in Portland!). I keep searching for a substitute…but no dice.

  • Ksenia says:

    Nice getting to know you Elise! And wow.
    My name means “hospitality” in Green, and I have a cord in capoeira. And I can’t wait to meet you!

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