how I eat.

Let me start by saying that I am a work in progress.
I have come a LOOONNNNG way from last July when I got started on this change.
But I still have things I’d like to change.
  • I don’t eat 100% organic.  I want to.
  • I buy most of my (non-meat) food at Sam’s club which doesn’t do much to help support farmers. I want to support farmer’s with good ethics and practices.
  • I still feed my family gluten. The more I read about gluten and how it affects the gut and the brain I know I must continue to make the change. For all of us.

Now that THAT is out of the way, let me give you a warning.

I have a degree in dietetics and how I eat now is completely the opposite of everything I learned in college.
This is also the first time in my life that I look the way I want to look and feel the way I want to feel.
The. First. Time.

The warning? This is not mainstream thinking here…not yet.
You might read this and think “she puts what in her coffee?”.
I get it. It’s 100% understandable.
I’m not paleo. I’m not gluten free.  I’m a bit of everything and still a work in progress.

I am learning more through podcasts like The Bulletproof Radio, Fat Burning Man, and the SANE Show.
I listen while I fold laundry or tend the goats.
I read books from the library like Grain Brain or Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It.
I listen to my friends who eat this way and feel great.
I learn about how to eat better because I know it’s important.

And that’s the key:  you must find what makes you feel great.
And if you think you feel great now, well, you might be full of crap.
I can say that because I thought the same thing.
Trust me.  You will never know until you try.
Try eating more veggies. Try eating less grains.  Stop eating processed food crap.
Eat real food. And lots of it.  Exercise enough (which I think varies for all of us).

Alright.
So here we go.
This is how I eat.
Don’t knock it until you try it.

5 a.m.  Drink water. 8 ounces with a pre-workout drink mix before I workout.  More plain water while exercising.

8 a.m. Regular/decaf coffee blended/shaken with Bulletproof XCT oil and Kerrygold butter (about 1 tbsp each).

11 a.m.-noon  Lunch: Usually leftovers or a salad with nuts/veggies/avocado and homemade vinaigrette.
  • I focus on veggies big time at this meal.  Whatever ones I have on hand and love eating.
  • Lettuce can be the base for ANYTHING. Try it.
  • Salads do not have to be boring.  Be creative already.

3 p.m. Shakeology–vegan chocolate with peanut butter or PB2 blended with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

6-7 p.m. Dinner usually has a meat of some kind (not always) and more veggies.
  • We eat roasted veggies at dinner and have raw ones setting out before dinner for snacking.
  • Non starchy veggies rule the roost.  Any veggie you would eat raw=non starchy. (So not corn or peas.)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts (really, they are good!), cauliflower and broccoli are our favorites.
  • Salad is always on hand and easy if we need something else to go with a meal.
  • If we have grain or carbs (non vegetable kind) then it is quinoa or rice.

That’s it.
I am done eating after dinner.  No bedtime snacks. No nibbles.  Just water.
It’s based on the ideas from this site: www.eighthourabsdiet.com and the principles of intermittent fasting.
I eat during an 8 hour window.
And I eat a lot.  Mostly veggies and proteins like beef, pork, chicken or fish.

Some extra info:
  • I have Shakeology daily. It has my vitamins/minerals/superfoods/probiotics/prebiotics that I need.  And it’s easy. And tasty.
  • I drink lemon water throughout the day and green tea and Kombucha when I can get my hands on it.
  • Other supplements: Turmeric capsules and Membrane Complex (2-AEP)
  • I eat meat, but mostly vegetables.  The meat I eat at home is local and raised by a friend.  I want to know what’s in my meat.  I want it to be grassfed and nutrient dense.
  • I eat some dairy–usually cheese–because I love it. I don’t eat as much as I used to.
  • I eat a little dark chocolate–good stuff–when I want some.
  • I love fermented foods as they taste good to me and are SO good for your gut!  Examples are sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.
  • I don’t avoid gluten but I just don’t eat much of it. I feel better when I don’t and I feel best when I eat lots of veggies and healthy fat.  So we don’t really keep bread on hand and have pasta maybe once every 2-3 weeks. No one complains. Anymore. (I’m smiling when I type that.)  We eat homemade pizza every Friday night–that is my gluten fix for the week!
  • I get healthy fats everyday and shoot for 1 avocado a day along with my XCT oil (it’s MCT oil sold by Bulletproof Exec.). I cook with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, lard and butter. Vegetable oils are crap. Don’t use them.
  • I eat a lot of veggies (did I mention that?). Kale, spinach, lettuce blends (I don’t buy everything organic, but I do with lettuces, etc) are always on hand.  I keep carrots, cauliflower and other raw fresh veggies on hand for snacking or roasting.
  • I keep frozen berries (again organic here when I can) in the freezer for mixing in Shakeology or making smoothies.
  • I love nuts. I keep mine in the fridge. Some nuts don’t like me much and I mainly eat pecans and walnuts.
  • I eat dessert once a week or so–usually dark chocolate but our family dessert night is almost always something homemade but not always.
  • We try to avoid processed/packaged foods with added sugar.  If we have them, it’s usually in granola bars or cereals that we keep on hand.
  • I don’t buy junk food or chips or packaged foods. If they don’t come in my house, I can’t eat them.
  • My kids eat fruit, raw vegetables or mixed nuts for snack; I have Shakeology or nuts/nut butter and fruit.
  • My kids eat fruit smoothies, Shakeology or eggs for breakfast.
  • On the weekends I have wine. Beer can give me a head ache now, and wine can, too, so I spread a bottle out over 3 days and enjoy it.  And I recognize that I might not feel great after I drink it.
  • When we go out, I almost always get a salad loaded with all the stuff I love and I eat every bite.  And sometimes I eat a burger and fries and enjoy it!
  • Eating for me is truly about making me feel my best and staying healthy.  I don’t count calories. I don’t think too much about it.  I find recipes I want to make for my family that sound good, I buy good, real food, and we eat it and then we go do other things.  It is NOT about quantity of food/calories–it’s about quality.
  • Eat real food. Eat plenty. Move your body in the form of exercise a few times a week (I do 5 days because exercise is energizing and a great release for me, plus I just want to be able to kick someone’s ass if I need to).  Get rest.  Be awesome.
  • SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT: Saturdays are the one day a week I don’t eat this way.  I always make a big breakfast for my family–sometimes it’s green smoothie bowls, sometimes it’s donuts, sometimes it’s bacon and eggs.  And I may or may not each crap food at some point but it’s not  a goal for the day like some “cheat” days are.  I don’t feel good when I eat it so I still limit it on Saturdays.

Did you know I have a Facebook group where I share my weekly menu including recipes?
I also share this, that and the other related to eating throughout the week.
Want to join this free group?  –>Eat Like Me Facebook Group

Link to Eat like Me form

baked oatmeal cups.

Trust me.
It might not sound good, but it really is.
Baked oatmeal.
In muffin cup form.

Not only do they taste good, but they are incredibly easy and my kids love them.
Win, win, win.
Plus they have good stuff we all need–protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and whole grains.
I now make a double recipe at a time.
Refrigerating half to eat during the week and freezing the other half.
My kids eat them cold or you can warm them up in a bowl with some milk.

Baked-Oatmeal-Cups

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Bananas and Berries
modified from Team Beachbody Blog
(Makes 12 servings, 1 cup each)

Total Time: 45 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 30 min.

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large bananas, mashed
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or raw honey)
2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup fresh blueberries (or raspberries)

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by coating with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine eggs, extract, bananas, and maple syrup (or honey) in a large bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine oats, cinnamon, chia seeds and baking powder in a medium bowl; mix well.
5. Add oat mixture to egg mixture; mix well.
6. Add almond milk; mix well.
7. Divide oat mixture evenly between prepared muffin cups.
8. Top evenly with blueberries.
9. Bake 26 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Tip: Raisins, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds, or dark chocolate chips can be substituted for blueberries.

the anniversary of me.

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It’s been almost one year.
One year since I said yes.

Not to a marriage.
Not to a new home.
Not to having another child.

I said yes to me.
I was clueless as to what was about to happen when I said yes.
At the time, all I really said yes to was a new workout.  Seriously. (Stay with me here, it gets better.)
And all I knew  for sure was that I was unhappy.

Unhappy as a mom.
Unhappy as a wife.
Unhappy with my body.
Unhappy with life.
(That was not supposed to be a sad rhyming poem but it sure is, isn’t it?)

I had no clue that saying yes to this workout was going to change my happiness.
I was hoping it would change my unhappiness with my body but the rest of it?
Um, no way.  A workout is a workout.
It’s not going to change everything I’m unhappy about.
Or so I thought…

So I ordered this new workout called PiYo, which happend to be the opposite of everything I had ever done for exercise.
I took my “before” pictures and joined a PiYo challenge group on Facebook.
What happens next is kinda, sorta, totally crazy.

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A total transformation–mind, body and spirit.
–>that weight I thought I’d always have? gone.
–>that flat belly I figured would never be found? got it.
–>that depression I battled for years? managed without medicine. (thanks to Shakeology)
–>that realization that I do have something to contribute to this world? incredible.
–>the learning about how we should really eat?  mind blowing. and freeing.
–>that strong body I was sure would never exist? got it.
–>the purpose I never had? figured that out.
–>the career that helped me combine my love of fitness and nutrition? all mine.
–>the financial contribution to my family? yep.
–>the confidence to teach a weekly fitness class? whoa. so fun.

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So these pictures?
Taken last weekend as a celebration.
A celebration of me and this life that I have gained in the past year.
A celebration of potential and realizing that I can do great things with hard work and the support of others.
A celebration of life and all it can be when we find that passion that is ours to have.

These pictures are proof that saying yes to a simple thing can lead you down a path that God has intended for you.
A path you never would have imagined or expected.
So this is my anniversary of me.

I want to encourage you to be on the lookout for opportunities to say yes to you.
Eat well.  Move your body.  Read books that teach you things.
Work hard.  Laugh and smile.  Help others.
You have no idea what could happen when you do.

And if you need help with knowing what to eat or what workout to do to reach your goals?
That’s my thing.  My purpose.
So it’s be kinda cool if you asked me to help you.
Check out my contact page or click here to sign up for free.

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Pictures by Nicole Speer at Nicole Speer Photography

Make Up by Abby Prather at Abby Prather