CURRENTLY READING

Wow! When I first opened my Audible app to check out Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, I definitely didn’t expect the 15 hour+ reading time…however, I’ve definitely had some driving time recently and have enjoyed the biochemistry refresh along with her ideas on what’s making us sick and unhealthy.

One of the biggest takeaways from the book was how bad processed fats are for us. The biggest shift in my health was when I started cooking at home and only used high-quality fats like grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocados.

Trans fats and processed hydrogenated fats have been chemically altered to last on the shelf forever! Why is this bad? Well, we absolutely need fat to survive – it is a part of every cell wall and our brain is even 60% fat! We also need it to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Our bodies try to use what we eat – we pull vitamins and minerals from the food we eat and integrate it into our biochemistry for our bodies to function. This same thing happens with fat, but unfortunately, our cells don’t function well with processed fats. When we try to use this fat for our cells, the outer lipid layer normally lets toxins flow out, while nutrients flow in…but toxic fat makes our cells rigid, unable to release toxins. We accumulate fat the way we do in order to get it as far away from our vital organs as possible.

You truly are what you eat! Make sure it’s whole, real food that your body can use.

ELIMINATION DIETS

Elimination diets are a WONDERFUL tool to help you get to “food freedom.”

Everyone’s body is different and the foods you put in it are going to react differently as well. While wheat and gluten help me to pack on the pounds over time, I also found that I don’t do well with corn and many other grains.

Elimination diets are easier to follow when you lose control of your bowels – honestly, it might be one of the most challenging things you ever do. But it will change your life.

Elimination diets should be followed for a certain length of time – and that’s up to you. I personally stayed on mine for 4 months – the basic rundown was to eliminate wheat, gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, processed food, white flour, starchy carbs, and fruit. You have to focus on what you CAN have or you will become discouraged rather quickly.

I embarked on my journey without even knowing how to hard-boil an egg! If I can do it, you can do it 😉 Through this process you typically have a list of foods to eat and a list of foods to avoid – from there, you’ll figure out how to nourish yourself. I sure did eat a lot of cucumbers, celery, plain yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs in the beginning! But for the first time I could truly see and FEEL what food was doing in my body.

After trying many medications and spending hundreds of dollars with my doctor I was only getting worse. I knew that I had to give this a try. If you’re stuck and struggling – I encourage you to try an elimination diet, slowly and systematically add foods back in and see how you feel. Sometimes our bodies just need a break from all of the processed food and chemicals that we’re typically not aware of on a normal basis.

THE ONE THING YOU SHOULDN’T EAT WHILE RECOVERING FROM ULCERATIVE COLITIS

While this was a tough pill for me to swallow in the beginning – I know that it’s helped me heal in many ways.

You MUST stop eating processed food & fast food.

When I had my colonoscopy they asked me, of course after only eating jello the day before, what my next meal would be. By that point I was dreaming of the chicken nuggets, multiple sauces, waffles fries, and a diet coke. I excitedly answered “Chick-fil-a.” And…that would be the last time I had it.

chick-fil-a

I felt really good after my colonoscopy… mainly because of the cleansing period the day before. It was absolutely false hope as about 5 days later I felt even worse.

Looking back, this was one change I implemented immediately – the hydrogenated oils, the food that’s trucked across the country, frozen and processed a hundred different ways…McDonald’s fries look the same in Texas as they do in New Mexico and Hawaii…the fries alone have over 19 ingredients! This food is designed to make the trek, look and taste the same at every location, as well as send your taste buds into overdrive with the perfect ratios of salt, fat and sugar. Just because it’s served hot, does not make it “fresh.”

The chemicals in these foods cause your body to go haywire. Our bodies digest FOOD, not chemicals. There are so many opportunities for hormone disruption, and rancid oils to start altering our insides.

Cooking at home has changed my life – when you start looking at it, my fries have 4 ingredients, potatoes, salt, avocado oil, and pepper. If you crave these foods, make your own!

Just a thought… why do all of these diseases start later in life? Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmunity, etc.? These diseases are not rampant in children yet. My belief is that our bodies have the capacity to deal with toxins, but only until a certain point – and that’s when things start going wrong. If we continue to put chemicals in, at some point our body will throw it’s hands up and give up. Hormones go out of wack, cancer grows, your heart starts skipping a beat, you lose control of your  bowels. Our bodies are crying out to us to put in what we’re DESIGNED to eat – foods with the least amount of human intervention!

Praying for your health, wealth and happiness!

TAKE A BREAK

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?

It’s time to take a step back and create some space in your life to allow for something new to grow. There’s a lot of pressure in this world if we let it sneak in and steal our joy. Many of us get hundreds of emails everyday, have the demand of our jobs, careers, family and friends, pressures from social media, etc.

There are times and seasons of our lives where we just have to take a step back and reevaluate where we’re headed.

If you have 5 minutes, I encourage you to set your phone aside and allow yourself to think. Insight Timer is a great meditation app that has free, timed, guided meditations as well.

Relax, it will all work out how it’s supposed to!

Mother’s Day Brunch

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother’s Day is a special holiday! I love getting to hang out with my mom and mother-in-law.

We are going to run in a 5k together on Saturday and then host brunch at our house on Sunday! Since all of the restaurants are packed (and the mimosas are weak!) we decided to do our own.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

Cucumber Rafts: Thinly sliced cucumber, goat cheese, and strawberries

Berry Fruit Salad: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and sliced green apple

Biscuits & Gravy Baby!: Check out the recipe here

Breakfast Sausage Recipe I’ll be using for the B&G: Check it out here

Sage is typically what makes sausage taste “breakfasty” – and I don’t LOVE fennel…so it’s always nice to make your own and you can swap spices! Will be using grass-finished beef for the sausage. Can’t wait! This has been one meal I haven’t recreated yet. It’s been years.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you superhero mommas out there, you’re amazing!

THE TRUTH ABOUT CANCER

This is a can’t miss docu-series starting tonight!!

The Truth About Cancer has completely changed my view of cancer and how to treat it. I didn’t know that doctors got financial kick backs from chemotherapy and how 80% of them wouldn’t prescribe conventional treatment methods to his or her family. They also don’t tell you that cancer cells have more insulin receptor sites than normal cells and grow and thrive on sugar. Someone I’m working with told me her doctor said “eat as much as you want of whatever you want since you’re going to be so weak from chemo.”

When facing a life-changing decision and getting that diagnosis, wouldn’t you want to have ALL the cards laid out in front of you to make the best decision for you?!?

Sign up here, it’s 100% free. They’re not selling any products, pills, or potions. Hear from cancer survivors, doctors, scientists and experts.

In a time where one in three women and one in two men get cancer in their lifetime we cannot afford not to watch this. Get educated!!

thetruthaboutcancer-logo

DIGITAL DETOX

Are you in need of a detox?

I’m not talking about a juice cleanse, Whole30, or any other detox associated with food. I’m talking about Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc.

iphone

In our society it’s natural to compare ourselves. That being said, are you constantly spending time looking at other people’s lives and not living your own? The girl with the 6 pack may be taking water pills and fat burners and feel horrible, binge eat on re-feed days, and then resort to a small amount of calories just for a few thousand ‘likes.’ What I’m saying is, if we’re going to post it, it’s usually your highlight reel. It’s the flowers your husband or boyfriend got you, the race you just completed, or the time you spent with your best friend. Not the fight, the sick child, or the time you wrecked your car.

I love documenting memories and adding photos to instagram as a way of remembering things, but I too have gotten caught up in the comparison game…and you know what? It’s not real. Everyone goes through challenging times and they’re not going to post about it…and that’s okay – but you’ve got to be aware of how much social media is affecting you and your life. Are you unhappy because you bought a house and you’re making some sacrifices to pay for it while your friends (that may or may not be in debt) take lavish vacations?

The point is that you have zero idea what that person is going through, but at the end of the day, you wouldn’t be happy with their life anyway. Why? Because it’s you! and your life! Think about it…even though Kim Kardashian’s life seems pretty spectacular, she still had a sex tape leak and faces all sorts of unkind people and scrutiny every single day. Maybe you wouldn’t be happy with her life.

God doesn’t make mistakes.

You have the perfect body type, hair color, weight, height, and thoughts to live YOUR life and purpose. I realized that I will probably never be a ballerina, but I was a kick ass soccer player..why? Because I build muscle faster than anything. I’m strong, confident, and even though I ended up playing golf in college, all of that led to meeting my husband and where I am today. He’s an incredible partner and supported me big time during all of my health challenges. If I hadn’t been cut out for golf there’s a chance my life would be completely different. Even though it’s hard to find a pair of jeans sometimes, having more muscle allows me to be more active and I’m thankful!

Action Steps for a quick DETOX!

  1. Unfollow accounts that you spend a long time obsessing over – it’s not healthy
  2. Unfollow accounts that encourage restriction/bingeing
  3. Limit your time on social media – like not looking at it when you get in bed
  4. Use social media for other things – like a fun new project or vision board
  5. Use the time you have for social media to get outside! Put your feet in the grass and reconnect with the earth.
  6. Join with others to disconnect at the dinner table and turn the TV off too

 

THE DIET THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

If there’s one thing I can say for certain, it’s that real food has absolutely changed my life.

before & after

I went from sick, overweight, unhealthy, inflamed, and in pain to vibrant, healthy, and healing.

I used a variation of the candida diet food list as my elimination diet and action plan. My brother followed the protocol and actually gained weight for the first time in his life!

You can find more info & food lists on the candida HERE

I followed their “allowed” foods list to a T and made the decision to cut out nuts and non-glutinous grains as well because I heard they were hard to digest. At the time I couldn’t eat anything and I was desperate! Everything I ate seemed like a land mine and I had to be in the bathroom after every bite so my body could purge itself. This experience was daily – and it was painful, sad, and embarrassing (more so if I wasn’t home) – so finally I got to the point of not eating if I had to go somewhere. I came home to soup, crackers, and Gatorade before the candida diet – which I now know was only making matters worse (sugar, wheat, gluten, and processed, inflammatory snack foods).

Here’s what I ate for 4 months straight:

Vegetables: Asparagus, Avocado, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic (raw), Kale, Olives, Onions, Rutabaga, Spinach, Tomatoes, Zucchini

Yogurt to Replenish Gut Bacteria: Plain yogurt (like Chobani) sweetened with powdered Stevia (organic) + lemon or cinnamon.  For  a savory dip I used garlic/lemon/dill for a ranch style dip

Meat/Protein Sources: Beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, and eggs

Pantry Items: Coconut products (check for additives, etc.), basil, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, sea salt, lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar,  coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil, red palm oil, grass fed butter/ghee

Beverages: peppermint tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea, and lots of water

Within one week I saw so many positive results and decided to keep going. For one, I could eat and not run to the bathroom – secondly, I felt more clear-headed than I ever had in my life. My husband was so supportive and helpful during this time. I didn’t have control over my body anymore and he kept encouraging me to keep going. There were definitely times I felt like giving up and eating what everyone else was eating, but he reminded me that it wasn’t worth it to be where I was. I ultimately followed the diet until my weight stabilized – my total weight loss was around 30 pounds in 4 months. It felt like the inflammation was flying off during that time!!

I started with very, very basic foods and slowly started incorporating more recipes. I didn’t know how to cook or even hard-boil eggs, so it was quite the learning experience.

I literally packed yogurt, cut up celery, cut up cucumber, hard-boiled eggs and lemon juice almost everyday for snacks. For meals I had eggs and avocado/salsa with a side of meat and some veggies. I stuck to the basics and did not try to overcomplicate things.

Was this boring? Well, I felt like I packed food everywhere I went and couldn’t participate with others (food-wise), but what was the trade off? For me it was the freedom to go to my friend’s bridal shower, to run a half marathon, and to go out in public without fear – that to me, is living. You don’t have to eat this way forever, but you’ve got to help your body undo the damage you’ve done over  the years. The body can heal itself.

You can do this.