TRUE – TRUː/ = REAL; GENUINE; AUTHENTIC:
BELIEVER – BꞮˈLIːVƏ/ =
TRUE BELIEVER = A PERSON WHO PROFESSES ABSOLUTE BELIEF IN SOMETHING
Danielle started her career as a teacher, finding creative ways to inspire and educate her students. And while you no longer find her in the classroom, she is still educating and inspiring – whether that be through her fitness business Fit & Funky, as a Mom or by sharing how her family embraces Active Living.
Danielle’s authenticity, positivity and energy is present in everything she does and this is a trait that she has passed on to her daughters.
When her youngest daughter Bee was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, the dynamic pair used this life changing experience as an opportunity to do good. To raise awareness, educate and seek to remove the stigma attached to this misunderstood illness.
Meet Danielle Natoni, Lorna Jane True Believer …
Danielle Natoni – True Believer
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Consistent, driven, compassionate, funny, motivated
Tell us about your family and how you balance being a Mom and a business owner.
We are a blended family and that certainly has its challenges. But what I love about my family is that we do our best every day to blend better than we did the day before. We love each other, respect each other, and do our best to be the best for each other.
I don’t balance my career and family, as weird as that sounds. I do my best to own the role I am in at the moment. So when the kids come home from school I do my best to focus on being their mom and while they are at school I do my best to focus on my career. There are some days where I am kicking butt at being a mom, but not giving my business 100 percent, and of course the opposite can be said about the days I am hyper focused on my business and not as in tune to the role of mom.
Being a working mom is a constant dance, which is one of the things that makes it so amazing.
A lot of wives, moms, and women in general can get lost in those roles and begin to lose sight of the fact that they are still important and a priority. I believe that if I love me and take care of me, then I am better for those around me who need me to be at my absolute best.
Tell us about your experience since Bee was diagnosed with Tourette’s and what you have learned.
When my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome there was never a question of whether or not she wanted to go public about it. She immediately offered to go LIVE on Facebook with me, make videos, and tell others.
When someone asks her about her tics, she proudly tells them about her disorder. I believe that this means I modeled a behavior for my daughter where she knew that having a voice is an opportunity to share with the world your special gifts.
When Bee and I decided that we would be public and vocal about her Tourette Syndrome on social media I had no idea the impact that would have for mom’s out there with kids of all special needs.
So many moms out began to reach out to me seeking advice not specifically about Tourette’s, but about how to best help and advocate for their child. In return, so many people also were sharing with us tools and resources they have come upon in their own journey that have been useful to us. We learned a valuable lesson in that the more you share, the more we all collectively grow.
How has Active Living help your daughter cope with Tourette’s Syndrome?
We manage my daughter’s tics through movement and nutrition. We noticed that on days where she eats poorly or is sedentary, her tics are far more extreme. On the days where she is active and eating healthy and nutritious foods, her tics are very minimal. The cleaner she eats, the more she moves, and the more positive her environment the healthier she is which is true for all kids, not just those with special needs.
I was floored when I went to the Tourette Association of America Youth Ambassador training, that during meal time I was one of only a handful of parents that manages their kids tics through nutrition.
I would love to help put together a program or a plan that encourages kids with Tourette, and other disorders or special needs, to start with food.
What is one lesson that you have learned from your daughter?
We have a saying in our house called, Be like Bee — which simply means, don’t be afraid to be yourself, be proud of who you are, and be brave and tell your story. Bee is one hundred percent herself all the time, and more of us should strive to #belikebee
Who inspires you and why?
There are so many people I am inspired by, but if I am just choosing one I am inspired by Michelle Obama. She is a strong, powerful, graceful female who exudes confidence and integrity.
What drives you every day to strive for your goals?
I wake up every day knowing that there are people watching me…counting on me to show up and show up in a big way. There is no better driving force for me than knowing that my voice, my message and striving for my goals helps even one person get better.
How do you maintain self-belief through challenging times?
I know that there is no challenge that I can’t get through. I just focus on the positive, no matter how dark the situation is. If I can find some piece of positive light, I know that will brighten my path and get me through anything life throws my way.
My daughters can only do what I model. So my goal, not only on the challenging days but every day, is to be my absolute best. So that they have no choice but to be their absolute best too.
Quick fire Favourites:
Book: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Food: Brussel Sprouts and French Fries (weird I know)
Drink: Sparkling Water
Quote: it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
Instagram Account: cats of instagram
How do you Move?
I use Beachbody on Demand mostly and do a wide variety of workouts. I also really enjoy hot yoga.
How do you Nourish?
I typically stay away from grains, dairy, and legumes. I eat healthy fats, tons of fresh fruits and veggies, and animal protein raised on their natural diet.
How do you Believe?
I like to start and end every day with a quiet moment where I set my intention for the day. This ensures that no matter what is going on in the world I can keep focused on the positive instead of the negative.
If you could share one piece of advice, what would it be?
YOU COME FIRST. If you constantly put yourself last, you will give those around you your worst. But when you put yourself first, you give those in your life your absolute best.
Who inspires you through their incredible drive and self belief?
For more information on Tourette’s Syndrome, visit Tourette’s Association of America here