Archive for Success Story

Inspiring Success Story; and How To Be a Real Whole Foodie

lunch on beachOh gosh, I love reading my email!  Here’s another great Success Story that will absolutely inspire you:)  I know this woman and she is fit and healthy and looks fantastic.  How eye-opening that even young, beautiful women who honestly don’t need to lose a pound, stress over their weight.  That’s because we’ve been conditioned since birth that a normal standard of beauty is a Victoria Secret model.  Or, if you’re in the fitness world, a Victoria Secret model with great muscle definition and a few slight veins showing through the abs.  It’s awful. It’s unattainable for most, or if it is attained, it’s impossible to stay there for very long.  And…it fills your headspace with worthless thoughts about food and calories and weight and data that are so completely, totally un-important.  That’s what Dieting and Calorie Counting do though.  They mess up your brain and actually interfere with Real Life.

Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t let Dieting sabotage your brain and your energy and your focus when there’s so many other worthwhile things you could be doing.

How do you start?  Differentiate dieting from health; then realize that dieting never works (more than 95% of the time). Acknowledge that Dieting is an Industry, a Business, and it’s business agenda is to make money by promising you the secret to weight loss. ( Can you think of any other business in the world that continues to fail over and over and over and yet makes more money every year? )

I’ll tell you the secret:  Eat for health, and weight loss will be a side effect.  Look at food for it’s nutrient value, become a nutrient seeker.  Learn to cook if you don’t know how already.  Get out a notebook and plan, then shop, chop, cook and pack.  That’s it.  That’s the trick.  You are what you eat.  If you eat crap, you’re going to feel and look like it.  Eat good meats and proteins, tons of vegetables and fruits, lots of healthy fats, some dairy if you can tolerate it, and you’ll exude health.  If you need help with this and want to work with me, get in touch.  It’s not that hard to shift your brain patterns with a little guidance.

(Oh, about the Victoria Secrets mags:  I have 4 daughters.  I don’t let those magazines, or any woman’s magazine, be in our house.  They tick me off and I didn’t want my girls comparing themselves to the airbrushed, starving women in them.  It’s worked.  My girls are ardently opposed to women’s magazines and love to talk about how demeaning they are!  See Moms, we do have influence!)

Now you have to read Mandy’s story, she’s a hoot!

“All the eye opening knowledge I’ve gained from you and your website has TRULY changed my jaded outlook on food…you have no idea how much better I feel not constantly trying to figure out what “diet plan” I’m going to try next. I eat ONLY whole foods when I’m hungry, no measuring, NO CALORIE COUNTING…It’s like I’ve been released from diet prison.  Being in the intense martial arts training I had with a traditional Korean instructor, I was forced to get my body down to certain weights for certain fights and the constant reminder of “lose weight; train harder; eat less” gave me a HUGE complex. I’ve struggled with body image and eating disorders practically my whole life and you have definitely played a big role in healing my mind from that.

I’m by no means a picture of perfection haha but I have definitely come leaps and bounds from the jaded health (aka dieting) I used to obsess over.  It’s all about the REAL health now…I could kick myself repeatedly for the horrible things I’ve done to my body in the past, but I praise God that the veil has been lifted from my eyes at a young age. I hate that we live in a world where no one can see what real health is….It’s just not fair.  Having worked as a bartender/food industry for 10 years I’ve seen it all….low carb menus…Skinny cocktails…fat free dressing….diet coke with rum to watch your calories….HOLY COW…I struggle to keep my mouth shut, so I don’t sound like a know it all, cause I’m definitely not. The way I NOW see it is… “low carb” cheesecake=pancreatic cancer….preparatory binge cocktails..”fat free” but God bless your liver to process it…..and I don’t honestly know what’s worse rum or diet coke…. probably diet coke…If I was stranded on a desert island I would drink the rum not the diet coke.” 

Well, you could use the rum to kill bacteria if you were stranded on an island – I know that from watching Reality TV.  And Jesus drank wine but He never drank diet soda, so the rum over soda is probably a solid choice:)

Seriously though, Mandy puts forth a brilliant statement:  “We live in a world where no one can see what real health is..”   YES!!  That’s my message!! Dieting doesn’t give anyone “health”, but we’ve been conditioned to think of “skinny” as healthy.  It’s not. Healthy means that you have great energy, your immune system can fight off invaders, your arteries are clear, your digestion rocks and you poop every day, your skin glows, your joints move well, you can handle stress, your blood sugar stays normal, you think clearly.  That’s real health.  That’s Real Health.   Eat to support all that, and your weight will be perfect.  Be a Real Whole Foodie.

Success Story – See if you can’t relate!

Who doesn’t love Success Stories?  Mary writes about stomach pain, fatigue, bloat, belching, back pain, weight loss and food sensitivities.  Sound familiar?  She’s resolved all of it with smart nutrition:  Real Whole Food, avoiding foods that irritate her gut, supplementing her digestion, and focusing on what makes her feel good and what makes her feel bad.  Here’s her story:

For years, I ignored the signs.  It was always there, waiting to be discovered, but I never put much thought into it.  Eventually I started to piece it together, but even then I was missing the motivation to do anything about it.  It was much easier to dismiss everything and proceed as usual.  If I go back into my history far enough, I would say it began with a doctor’s appointment when I was still in my 20’s.  I was on the table being examined for a run-of-the-mill physical or chest cold.  The physician was checking my heart and we both noticed my middle abdomen thumping to the beat of my heart.  It was so weird, you could see it plainly.  He put his hand on me and it was moving, bumping up and down.  It looked as if my heart was in my belly.

A few years later, I was in with my chiropractor, who is an astute healer.  He too, noticed my hard stomach and obvious discomfort.  It was easy to dismiss with the recollection that I had eaten half a box of Kraft Macaroni late the night before and had skipped breakfast aside from my morning cup of joe (extra half/half.)  Nonetheless, he encouraged me to consider that I may have food allergies…dairy in particular.  He asked me to do two things, reduce my sugar intake because he detected I had an abundance of yeast, and to eliminate dairy from my diet.

I was open to the first, for sure, but give up dairy? Entirely?  I had already reduced it in a lot of ways.  I never drank much milk, and I knew ice cream sometimes turned my stomach.  But his timing was really bad, because I had just purchased a huge load of groceries, with gourmet cheeses, and heavy cream and sandwich Havarti.  This idea of going dairy free was going to have to wait a month because I was not throwing out $50 worth of dairy.  No way.

I also developed eczema sometime during college.  Looking back, it all started back then.  I went to the Doc and received a hydrocortisone Rx and it was on again, off again for years.  When I finally quit drinking coffee and changed my soaps it went away for a number of years.  I went back to the dermatologist two or three years ago for a horrible rash on my fingers and got a tube of steroid cream.  I pressed him for insight on what could be causing this outbreak and he just dismissed it too.  Use the meds.  They worked.

The next sign was much harder to dismiss.  Back Pain.  I noticed it the most during my yoga workouts.  Pain in my low back, hip, tailbone, sometimes down in my leg.  It was almost always exacerbated by exercise.  I attributed it to my hips being out-of-whack due to pregnancy and child birth and figured that eventually, it would go away.  But it did not go away.  So then I attributed it to carrying my baby on the same hip all the time.

I spent the entire month of December going to the Chiropractor three times a week, usually right after my Yoga class, for regular adjustments.  It was time to put everything back into place and if that didn’t work, then I’ll try massage. I was committed to getting myself put back together so I could get back into working out to my full ability.  It didn’t work.  Neither methodology worked.  One of my massage therapists pointed to my sciatica.  I’m 35 years old.  My SCIATICA? Are you serious?  Those stretches never worked.  I was resigned to feeling this way, defeated by my own age and body.

Thankfully the timing was right for me to meet with Debbie Abbott, Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

But first let me back up one more time.  I have known Debbie for years.  She was my instructor the very first week I joined Old Town Athletic Club and started taking “yoga-ilates” style classes.  My motivation was, not surprisingly, a New Year’s Resolution to “start stretching regularly.”  I am not a big fitness person.  I like to swim, but at the time, there was no gym available with an indoor pool, so I toured the Club and joined.  From then until now my routine remains the same.  I take Centergy (Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates) three days per week.  That is all I ever do.

This journey is and was never about weight loss for me.  Thankfully, I don’t agonize over weight and battle with food.  I just like to better myself and I like to feel good.  I notice that when I am working out, I tend to eat better and sleep better and for me, that is why I do it.  I lost a little weight when I first joined, and then all bets were off when I had my two children.  I pretty much weighed the same prior to my children as I did after.  I am lucky my tall frame stretches everything over pretty well.  And the low intensity yoga workouts were a welcome part of my weekly routine and have helped me maintain my weight.

So Debbie and I see each other once, sometimes twice a week on a regular basis.  And may I just interject here and say that Debbie is easily one of the MOST cheerful, happy people I have ever met.  She is so positive and she seems to really care, sincerely.  She often begins or ends her class with a little tidbit, a golden kernel of knowledge or wisdom she’d picked up from somewhere that week.  She is and was a teacher and healer even way back when.

She used to dispense what I would describe as our little ‘minute-clinics’ before or after class.  I would complain about this or that and she would offer insight on what to do or try.  I remember mentioning to her that I always fasted before class, because I felt my performance and ability was greater when I had not eaten anything beforehand.

Another time, I complained about ‘my sciatica’ and how it was preventing me from certain poses, and taking on more vigorous work outs and that I was discouraged that I had not the same ability before my pregnancies as I was experiencing after them.  I just could not get over the hump, despite my weight/body rebounding in due time.

Thankfully, one day, she pulled me aside and asked that we meet for nutrition counseling.  I was complaining that my belly was always hard when I was in a prone position (face down on the mat) during the Pilates back exercises.  Sometimes, so much so, that I would not participate in the exercise at all.  She brought up food allergies and also mentioned the words “leaky gut” which I promptly googled.

We set up a time and she sent me a link to a questionnaire that covered all topics from diet, to sleep, to moods, to sex, to digestion.  She compiled the insight and I came to the consult armed with a recent blood test, a bag full of supplements, a blank notebook and about two pages of questions for her.

For all reading this, I recommend that you absolutely take my advice and do the same for yourself.  I cannot begin to tell you how important this meeting was for me and how long overdue it was.  Nutritional Therapy changed my life.

I met one-on-one with Debbie for just under two hours.  It was jam packed with all her ‘golden kernels’ of insight.  She ought take the surname Redenbacher for the quality and density of what she puts into her consultations and wellness classes, but I digress.  She sat me down and told me that almost all the red flags in my answers on the survey pointed to ‘problems in my upper-digestion.’  She took a pen and paper and showed me what was supposed to happen, what wasn’t happening, and began to crack the seal on what I could do to make it better.  We also talked a lot about glucose, blood sugar, and how it works through the human body.  It is worth mentioning now that I had a very healthy diet to begin with, my weight was good and my blood work was all excellent.  Our pursuit was not improvement in these areas, but more about feeling better, stronger, and free of the chronic discomfort I was experiencing.  I asked her point blank what I could and should do and she outlined about four or five things to try straight away.

One was to eliminate gluten from my diet.  Though I did not have leaky gut nor did I have Celiac’s or a serious allergy to gluten, she thought there was definitely enough of a sensitivity that it was not good for me.  (In hindsight, I feel as though I was slowly poisoning my body with wheat and other grains, and it would not have been long before I DID have leaky gut or worse.)

The second was to remove all dairy from my diet…everything…for a temporary amount of time.  She encouraged me to let my body ‘heal’ and reset and that perhaps in a few months’ time, I could try to re-introduce dairy and its many benefits back into my regular diet.

She prescribed me to take 4 new Natural supplements.  She told me what to get and where to get them.  This is when I pulled my bag of nutrition supplements up on the table and started showing her all the different things my Doctor, Gynecologist, Chiropractor etc. had persuaded me to take over the years.  It was 8 or 10 different things.  She looked at me and said not to take any of it.

“Are you sure?  Not even a multivitamin?  Seriously?”  And her reply was, “don’t take anything for a month and see how you feel.  Take the stuff I recommend, and cut out the foods we talked about and see how it goes for a month.”  I felt liberated. Hell yeah, I don’t have to sit down at a table and take 15 horse pills every morning.  Yeehaw!  She was so right.  Boy was she right.  With these new supplements, I could get all the goodness out the foods I was already eating.  It made a huge difference in a lot of ways.

Here’s what did, and in some cases, didn’t happen to me in one month:

I started feeling GREAT.  I mean great.  Call it placebo effect if you want, but I went into my yoga classes feeling typically the same and leaving feeling like The Hulk.  All of the sudden I was able to do those extremely hard balance poses, and I was able to rock out a Pilates Core workout with sweat dripping off my forehead only ramping up the energy and stamina with each new attempt.  I felt like I had a new body!

My back pain withered away to completely unnoticeable.  That helped me to grow stronger…to get back into those core strength poses I had been missing for years.

I stopped needing a nap.  I mean stopped.  I used to take a 2-3 hour nap a couple times a week when my kids were down or when my husband was home to watch them.  Especially after a big deli sandwich with baguette and cheese.  One of those knocked me down like clockwork for a long midday slumber.  Now, I have so much energy,  I cannot fall asleep if I try.

Cravings were gone.  When I gave up gluten, I started eating more meat and veggies.  One of the supplements she turned me on to was instrumental in allowing me to process red meat and hard to digest proteins.  It was amazing.  I could eat this huge steak and pig out on veggies!  I started eating all these foods I had previously denied myself.  I almost never got hungry between meals.  My blood sugar cozied on down to the perfect level where I felt fine all day. No spikes and crashes.  If I was busy and couldn’t stop to eat a meal, a tiny snack was enough to tide me over. Before I would have grabbed any carbo in sight and mashed it in my face to stave off my hunger pangs and jitters.

A smoothie actually became enough to comprise an entire meal.  Before, I would not have been sated.  Not without a half sandwich or some chicken salad with it or something else.  My body was somehow reconditioned to require less food at any given meal provided that my other meals were nutrient rich and substantial enough to satiate my appetite.  I didn’t want those salty crunchy starchy foods anymore.  The impulse just went away after a few months’ time.   My brain finally stopped giving me that impulse to go grab a bag of pita chips at 9pm.

Another unexpected perk was the complete absence of belching and indigestion.  My husband would always complain about me burping during meals, but I honestly couldn’t help it.  I mean, how do you keep in a burp without making your stomach even more upset?  On my new plan, burping was a thing of the past…instantly!  By the way, if you burp during meals, YOU HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES!!

Something I didn’t expect was the overall improvement of my immune system.  I used to get sick all the time. I would have sinusitis multiple times every winter.  I would get chest colds, and I always suffered through whatever my kids brought home with them from school.  Amazingly, I get sick a lot less.  When I do get sick, it is for only a week instead of three or more.

Top to bottom my body is performing so much better in every possible way.  I feel better, I look better.  My body is getting the fuel it needs with better choices and improved digestion.  I am more productive. I am stronger physically.  This is not a fitness thing. This is just from better nutrition.  Young and old, overweight or trim, we all need this.

A year and a half later I still feel great.  I am stronger than ever.  And the bonus everyone envies… I lost 20 lbs.  I actually weigh less than I did when I was in high school on the volleyball team.  I believe that I currently weigh what I SHOULD weigh.  The perfect, fit and healthy weight for Mary.  I am minus the birth control weight, the college beer and munchies weight, the pregnancy boob gain.  I lost the chin and the midsection ‘cottage cheese’ and my husband can’t take his hands off of me.

I went to the clinic for my physical a year after starting my new regimen.  My blood work was practically identical despite the fact that I eat eggs every other morning, and steaks and that I dump butter and coconut oil into and on everything I cook, eat or drink.  Triglycerides were about the same.  I had the same overall cholesterol count but I switched 8 points from Sith (LDL) to Jedi (HDL).  Not that I care about cholesterol anymore.  Through her blogs and classes I have come to view cholesterol in a whole new light.  The best thing Debbie taught me on this subject was something she learned from another health professional.  “Blaming high cholesterol for death due to heart disease is like blaming the fire fighters for the fire.”  If you are confused about this, then you need to take one of her classes.

As far as weight loss, after one year my doc recorded I had lost 17 lbs, weigh in to weigh in.  I’ve since dropped three more.  I am not obsessive about weight but I think it demonstrates the transformation in a relatable way.  I never liked scales before.  I didn’t trust them, because I would get on it one day and it would say 168 and then the next day it would say 162.  I hated that. I felt like I didn’t even have a TRUE weight because it fluctuated so much day to day. I put no stock in it at all.  We bought a scale for shipping and now when I get on it, it seems to be more convincing.  I can stand on it when I am feeling super fat (yeah, as a woman I still have those days) and again when I am feeling super slim and it always reads the same.  What happened to all that water weight, well I guess it went wherever the gluten went to die.  I’ll take that 148!  I even let it blink five times and then go solid just to enjoy the moment.

I’ve given up a lot of things I love to get to this point.  (read BEER) And I would say that I have excellent discipline, but I could not have gotten to this point without Debbie Abbott as my guide and motivator.  Her blog is not to be missed.  Not only does she help me to understand all the confusion and misinformation about diet and nutrition, but she is really funny.  One of my favorites is about the origins of Crisco and the advent of margarine.  It had me practically cheering after I read it, “Stick it to em’ Debbie!”  Her series “Looks Healthy But It Isn’t” is so insightful.  She shares her struggles too, which is such a great way to relate to people and encourage them.

Nutrition counseling was such a wakeup call.  I am so grateful for Debbie’s direction and insight.  She has done so much to change the way I feel about food, how I cook, how I plan meals, how I snack or space out my meals.  I read her blog and I continue to learn so much.  She always preaches about how you can’t view your diet and nutrition in terms of calories in and calories expended.  She taught me that you can’t ‘burn fat’ and that dieting, in all its forms and variations, is so temporary.  Rather, the ideology is to CHANGE YOUR BRAIN about food.

If you want to learn more you have to educate yourself on whole foods.  Lean toward Paleo, but don’t go all the way lest you become frustrated.  Identify any allergies you may have.  You have to educate yourself on fats, and blood sugar, and GMO, and gluten, and soy.  We all know that processed food is bad for us.  But perhaps the difference between me and you, is that I have decided that, as much as I would like the taste of that Banquet Pot Pie on my tongue, the winning argument for me is how disgusting that food really is with its chemicals and its sodium and sickening processed chicken.  For me, it is not about will power anymore–Standing up to the foods or whatever.   It is more a change in my view of said foods.  Ignorance IS bliss.  And you can decide to stay right where you are.  But the more I learn, the more I run far far away from things that are bad for me.

This is my body. It is perfect.  It takes care of me.  And yet, for years I did not respect it.  I abused it with spikes and crashes in my blood sugar, with caffeine and alcohol.  I slowly poisoned and ruined my digestive tract with inflammatory foods.  I put it off.  I dismissed it.  I excused it.  I didn’t really care until I finally got to the point where enough is enough.  Lucky for me, I was only 35 years old.  Move on from there and you might not be able to undo all of the damage.  Debbie taught me all of this.  She put me on the path of discovery and RECOVERY.  That is when and where real change can occur.

She was like this ‘Nutrition Tarot Card Reader.’  I came to her, and we put all the cards on the table.  We talked about each card. She took some away, she put some new ones on the table.  In the process, she eliminated a lot of the confusion I had and buttressed what I was doing right with a few essential cards I had been missing and it all clicked in to place, Finally! It was like she knew all along but she recognized I had to process my ‘reading’ for myself for it to really make sense and carry me forward.

It is so easy.  It requires some effort in the beginning, and self-control.  It requires you to reformat a lot of your processes when it comes to shopping, dining out, cooking and putting meals together.  But I can honestly say that I eat like a HOG.  I mean, I am seriously not on a diet here.  And we’ve arrived at the dreaded words where everyone stops reading….I Eat Whatever I Want.

Can this be true?  Hell Yeah.  Because you know what?  I respect my body now.  I will not puncture the lining of my gut or overrun my bloodstream with damaging insulin.  I have no desire to eat a frozen pot pie.  Lasagna for dinner at a friend house?  Hopefully there is a salad, or if not, I have an apple and some nuts in the car.  Sure, I miss Coronas and Mojitos, but I finally figured out that I get that horrible rash on my fingers from squeezing the limes.  What do you think it is doing to my insides?  Those days are over for me.  The cleaner I eat, the more easily I now read the signs.  I have an allergy to citrus.  Yeah, it is a bummer.  But I am done ignoring it.  This is my one perfect body.  I am not about to make it suffer.

When you change your mind this way, it becomes so liberating in other ways.  Yeah, so I can’t have citrus, but now I can experiment with pineapple or cranberry in my cocktails.  I can’t have mac n cheese.  Well, when I am desperate, I can find a gluten free version and the realm is once again at peace.  Dinner?  I will grill a fat ribeye and not feel a bit bad about it, and it won’t keep me up all night with indigestion.  No cheese on that broccoli, how ‘bout a tablespoon of Kerry Gold BUTTER?  Oh yeah.

The box is all in how you look at it.  In my case, I win some, I lose some but either way I am doing what is best for me and my perfect body…my perfectly designed body.  My miracle of a body, given to me by God.  I will take care of it.  I will not ignore it anymore.  I will work to improve it in every way that I can.  I will teach my children the same.  I am grateful to Debbie for helping me tip the scales and for guiding me to find a way to make it work for me.  I’m certainly not perfect.  I cheat on some things (dairy) and I stand firm on others (beer) but in the end, it has worked for me.  I found a way for it to work.  Swapping one thing for another, or selecting the lesser of two evils.

I am a shining example of what can be done, and conversely what can be undone.  I have more to do and much to aspire for with Debbie Abbott as my example.  I don’t see myself undertaking as many things as she does to stay healthy, but I know where to turn when I am ready to step it up in my own journey.  Her knowledge and enthusiasm are always available to me.  I think that, as a Nutritionist, because she began as a fitness instructor/trainer, she has this very welcoming means of getting you on board.  She truly wants to build a better you.  Because of your trust in her, she is invested in it…in the overall improvement of YOU.  She wants you to make small changes and realize your goals in a manageable way and once you get there, you can decide to step it up a little more.  Like adding more weight, or increasing your stamina bit by bit until you feel Supremely Awesome, like I do now, thanks to her.

Success Story!! and What I’m Eating: Real Whole Food Ideas

I’ve got a Happy Success Story for you today, meal ideas, and Sad Stats on our Kids.  The sad stuff first, so we can get that out of the way:

All chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and weight issues are on the rise, with no end insight (according to CDC predictions).  That means our children, who right now might be thin and active, will eventually become even heavier and more unhealthy than we are.  Studies show they’ll live shorter lives too.  Did you know that Fast Food companies are spending 5 Million dollars A DAY to advertise to our kids?  That the food and beverage industry spends more than 2 BILLION a year marketing TO OUR CHILDREN?  That the average American kid sees more than 4,000 food commercials a year?  That the average American kid doesn’t eat any vegetables outside of ketchup and french fries?

Some advertising is blatant, and some is very subtle, like when professional athletes promote crappy food to our kids, a la Subway’s SuperBowl commercial last night:  Michael Phelps, Apollo Ohno, and more Olympians promoting the new Frito’s Chicken Enchilada Melt. OMGosh.  Frito’s smushed in a sandwich! Subway’s done a good job of insinuating that they’re a fairly healthy choice (eat fresh, Jared, blah blah blah).  It’s not. It’s a giant bunch of chemicals put together to look like Real Food.  It’s not even close.  Please, please, look at the ingredient lists I just highlighted.

I often get asked questions like: what is Real Whole Food, and what else is there besides pasta/bread/cereal for kids.  I’m going to post some picture ideas this week of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, including dinner this past Saturday in a hotel (again), that we shared with our daughter Macy.

Keep reading, because after the pictures is the “good” news – another Success Story!

breakfast This is Shelby’s breakfast most mornings lately ( she’s my last one still at home, 11th grade).  Turkey bacon, one egg plus egg yolk ( I always have extra yolks because I make a lot of macaroons).


To the right is a typical lunch for her:  turkey/cheese roll-up in the aluminum foil, 2 clemmies, a big bag of nuts/dark shelby lunchchocolate/seeds/dried cranberries, and a macaroon.

sardinesBack to the left here is one of my lunches, a tin of sardines, parsley, salt/pepper, and sea kelp flakes ( iodine!), a macaroon, 2 carrots, and some pumpkin seeds.

Nothing tricky.  And last, over to the right, is our latest hotel dinner:  tomatoes, broth, brussels, carrots, cauliflower, onion, and fish – Oh my gosh was it good. dinner:hotel

Now for the Success Story, and when you read it, look at it from the angle that food makes or breaks us.  It matters what we put in our mouth. Feeling tired, feeling depressed, feeling bloated and bad, it’s not normal.  Food and lifestyle changes can fix these issues!

For the past 15 years, I would have considered myself a healthy eater. I’ve always been very ‘food’ conscious…and weight conscious. However I also have felt there was something missing in my ‘healthy’ diet. It left me never feeling quiet full and satisfied. As I got older, I was often drained and run down. I also have always experienced huge fluctuations in my blood sugar level-which often left me in a not so chipper mood! In May 2013, Debbie put forth a challenge of eating better, cleaner and less processed. I had to completely change the way I thought about fats and grains. I had to stop the mentality that I needed carbs (bread, grains, rice, etc.) for running and working out. What seemed difficult (even impossible) at first, has now become a way of life. A way of life I do not see myself ever changing. Within 2 weeks of the challenge I felt like a different person. I had so much more energy and a new zest for life. The addition of healthy fats has made brain function much more efficient. I was so excited about this new way of eating, I wanted to learn more about what was making me feel so nourished and ‘normal’. I took several classes from Debbie on digestion and read everything I could about eating grain and processed free food. It is truly amazing to see the difference in my life. Everyone in my family has noticed this change (and are joining in to the life of cleaner eating). I now eat primarily whole foods and have a new love of cooking. I’m excited to cook b/c I know what I prepare is going to make my family and myself feel good and nourished. I can easily run and exercise after a carbohydrate free breakfast. I NEVER crave bread, chips or crackers. It just doesn’t taste good to me anymore. My body now craves the food that makes me feel good…whole real foods!


Success Story Inspiration!

debbie (12)I’ve got another Success Story to share with you, from a client who’s 68 and struggled through years of different diets.  She’s helping to illustrate – again – that “diets” don’t work, none of them.  As long as you’re focusing on the perfect meal plan, or the right amount of calories, or even worse, tracking calories in- calories out, all that happens is obsession, craziness, and incredibly powerful backlash-binges.  Remember, almost 100% of everyone who loses weight on a diet gains it back.

The secret to permanent weight loss and ZERO FOOD STRESS?  Start in your mind.  Work on deleting the deeply ingrained notions about dieting that you’ve heard your whole life.  A healthy weight and a healthy body comes from FEEDING it, not starving it.  Starving your body just makes it scream more loudly at you.  That temper tantrum is actually for nutrients:  good fats, quality proteins, carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits, vitamins, minerals, water and phytonutrients that your body needs to make and repair cells.  There are no nutrients in fat free pretzels, low fat Starbucks lattes, or Weight Watchers Frozen Meals.  They’re all crap food, and your body will protest – loudly.

Read Carolyn’s story; think about your own history of health and dieting, and be determined that today is the day you start making permanent changes to your foods, your habits, and your thoughts.  Check out my What I Eat page for ideas, it’s all about Real Whole Foods.

I’m a sixty-eight year old woman who has been dealing with weight issues since my last child was born in 1977. (Seriously!). I kept on a extra 10 pounds after her birth and then every year or two, I added another pound.  (That doesn’t sound so bad).  Well, adding a pound every year meant that now I was up another 10-15 pounds.  Weight gain in spite of buying all the latest diet books and magazines that were published each year.  I tried low-carb , low -fat, high carb, vegetarian ( which I hated and made me feel horrid),  low calorie, portion sized diets. None of these diets made me feel good and any weight lost was quickly regained.  Plus, an added result of the weight gain was high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Next came an anti-depressant because I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and didn’t feel so good about myself.
    I’m a strong person, not weak willed, but for some reason couldn’t get a handle on my eating habits. I have an addictive nature so when I got on to something, especially something made with sugar, I was hooked.  I felt like I was fighting myself all the time.
    Because of a very lovely person, Debbie’s Mom, I was introduced to Debbie and her passion for health and fitness.  We hit it off even though we’re long distance. She got me on a road less traveled– common sense.  Everything she taught me made sense-  sugar is addictive! Preservatives are bad! Diet Coke is terrible!  Grains are inflammatory.  She said focus on real food that we evolved eating.  Don’t measure, don’t weigh! 
    Well, I gave it a try.  The worst was no snacking because I evolved snacking.  But I persevered and felt great and lost a few pounds along the way.  I’m off all medication except the antidepressant.  And I don’t obsess about my weight, my body is slowly giving up those extra pounds.
    I feel so good for my age!  I exercise too. Pilates is my passion.  I’m so fortunate to be enjoying good health and I have Debbie to thank for getting me off the diet mentality and unto a much healthier lifestyle.”