This is SO embarrassing…

This is so embarassingBut I’m going to write this post anyway…just in case it happens to help ONE person feel not so alone or it leads ONE person on a healthy path toward weight loss. Then it will be worth the mega butterflies I have in my stomach about sharing this story…

Last night I was scrolling through facebook on my phone when I saw an ad for Garcinia Cambogia. It was late at night (first mistake), I was having a string of “low self-esteem” days (second mistake), and I was feeling fat (third mistake). The ad was offering a few 30 day sample of this new amazing weight loss pill.

I opened it (fourth mistake) and read the “testimonial” WITH PICS (fifth mistake) and then googled it and read the first link that popped up (sixth mistake) which explained that it is a natural fruit from Asia, India, and Africa that promotes weight loss with no side effects. I googled (seventh mistake) more reviews which were mostly positive. I was on the fence (ok…so maybe 1 foot off the fence and about to purchase) and the final straw was that one of the reviews said her skin cleared up as an unexpected bonus. Now I was lying on the greener grass on the other side 100%.

As much as I have been obsessed with weight loss and my body the past 30 years, I am also preoccupied with clear skin. I am super blonde and my skin in very pink, so even though I didn’t have blemishes as a kid, it was always red and irritated. As a teen I had normal breakouts, but my skin had been itchy and dry so it seemed to look worse on me than other teens. And then as a 23 year old, I developed adult onset acne which came on quickly and within 3 months my face was covered with zits. This only cleared up with the consistent use of Retin-A and oral meds which also made me nauseous, itchy, and sunburned so I would stop and start on a regular basis over the next 15 years.

Changing my diet helped a LOT and using a great product made my skin look the best it had in years. But this year I decided I wanted to use a more “natural” home DIY product and have been struggling to find a combo that works well for me. So now my skin is back to “not as bad as it was 5 years ago, but not as good as it was last year” and I have been frustrated with it lately.

So needless to say, I was ready to place my order.

I went to the website that was offering the free trial and searched for a list of other ingredients. The ad mentioned it was “all-natural” but there are plenty of all natural ingredients that show up in supplements that I won’t eat…like gelatin. I couldn’t find a list so I emailed the company to ask.

LUCKILY…I didn’t get a response that night. THANKFULLY…I have been eating 100% vegan diet and wanted to make sure there were no animal products in the pills. And GRATEFULLY…my credit card was in the car and it was pouring rain outside and I didn’t want to get wet.

I went to sleep dreaming about how hot I was going to look once I lost those last 10 pounds and my skin became as smooth as a newborn baby.

One thing I love about waking up is that I never feel desperate or anxious about my skin or my body, no matter how crazy I felt when I went to bed.

I went to check my email…no response yet from the supplement company. I went online to do a little more research with a clear and open mind (phew) and started finding all sorts of negative reviews. Not negative like side effects or poisonous or even anything artificial or chemical, but more like “waste of money” type reviews and “diet scam”. I found an article in “Women’s Health” which discussed the company that scammed their own magazine (which is ironically the ad that sucked me in the night before).

I was mortified. It took me back to my high school days where Hydroxycut was all the rage. I would spend my hard earned $3.35 an hour wage to make sure I never ran out of pills.

I felt like a total chump! Here I was, 24 years later, and none the wiser (or however that saying goes). And to add insult to injury, I JUST wrote a blog post like 2 weeks ago about how there are NO shortcuts to weight loss. That eating clean, moving daily, and loving yourself are the ONLY “secrets” to losing weight.

UGH! Have I not learned anything? Am I seriously still a desperate teenaged girl putting my hopes and dreams into a bottle of pills (which BTW, I learned the free trial, AFTER you place your order, shows the fine print of being charged $90 four days after your “free” trial is shipped unless you cancel).

SO EMBARRASING!!!

In the past I would have NEVER told anyone this story, but I know that if I was about to spend $100 for the hope of clear skin and toned thighs, someone else out there also was…or did. And if you did, it’s OK…we didn’t know! Companies spend MILLIONS on marketing so they KNOW how to suck us in. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t be doing it.

So the moral to the story is…

1. The only way to lose weight, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SEE ON FACEBOOK, is to eat clean, move daily, and love yourself.

2. Don’t beat yourself up if you want the “easy pill” or want to be better, just know there are no quick fixes.

3. When you feel desperate about changing something in your life, turn OFF your computer, call a friend, take a hot shower, and get a good night sleep.

4. You are NEVER alone. We are all in this together. Reach out. Share your fears. Be brave.

5. LOVE YOURSELF MORE!

Join our community at www.facebook.com/FoodFitnessFinanceFun

My First Raw Food Day

My first raw food dayEvery time I hear an interview with a “raw vegan” something inside of me stirs. It is super appealing to me, but I have no idea why. I don’t like to spend a lot of time or money on food and it always seemed like eating raw would be complicated, expensive, and time consuming. Plus, I travel all the time and it seems pretty high maintenance on the road.

But over the past few months, the raw thing has been more and more on my mind. I’ve been collecting articles, blog posts, and recipes to prepare. And then last night I decided to take a leap and go for ONE DAY RAW!!

I wasn’t prepared at all as far as groceries and meal plan go as of 10 pm when I made my decision, so I sat down and wrote out a plan for the day, set my alarm an hour earlier, and fell into a deep restful sleep with dreams of kale and bananas in my head.

Grocery shopping was a bit more stressful than usual. First of all I am usually still sleeping at 7 am so I was confused, second of all I had things on my list that I had never bought before so I didn’t know where to look, and third of all I was hungry. I usually eat right when I wake up, but I didn’t have any fruit or veggies or anything legal on hand.

My plan was to mostly get fruits, veggies, and raw nuts since those were already foods I understood. But I did find a recipe I was going to make for lunch which had a couple ingredients I had never used. I started getting antsy at the store when my 30 minute shopping trip was already up to 45 minutes.

I was also a little anxious because I was going to do a long swim and wasn’t sure what I was going to drink during it. I usually drink a protein shake immediately before and then some type of electrolyte drink during. I did buy some raw protein powder at the store, but didn’t have my shaker cup AND don’t always love all shake mixes with plain water. I ended up buying some raw coconut water and a raw cold pressed juice blend for the swim.

I also got sucked into buying some raw snacky foods like Kale Chips, Flackers (huh?), and a few raw food bars out of fear of not having something on hand in case I am stranded in my car for days nowhere near a health food store. I know…I have issues!

Anyway…the trip to Sprouts ended up being extremely expensive. $196.00. And took me over an hour.

I broke down my receipt and $53.00 was spent on food I ate today (yikes), $32.50 was food for the next couple days, and the remaining $110.50 was more raw stuff for next week (I forgot to mention I’m going to eat raw every Monday) like raw nuts, seeds, protein powder, snacks, etc.

So here is how it went down…

Breakfast: Pineapple, Banana, and Pistachios ($10.25…filled me up, was yummy, gave me plenty of energy to get through the first few hours of the day)

Snack before swim: Carrot Cake Cookies ($5.00…SOOOO worth it! I have had these before and LOVE them. Bought them as a treat to inspire me to do more raw!)

During swim: Raw Coconut Water ($5.50…YIKES! And I still don’t like the taste, I have tried so many! I chugged it down between sets for the nutrients and calories) and a delicious cold pressed raw drink with lemon, lime, kale, spinach, cucumber and such ($4.50…way yummier than the coconut water).

After swim: Grapes ($4.00…worth it…always LOVE me some grapes).

Lunch: Pad Thai ($10.75). Here’s where it got interesting. The store didn’t have 3 of the ingredients from the recipe I found so when I got home I found 2 others that were similar, but still didn’t have all the ingredients for either one, so I did a combo recipe thing that turned out DELICIOUS!!!

Here it is…Pad Thai Combo Recipe

You need:

  • Zucchini, 2-3 small
  • Carrots, 2-3 small
  • Sweet Pepper, mine was orange
  • Purple Cabbage, half head
  • Ginger, about an inch but I love ginger
  • Green Onion, 2 stalks
  • Cilantro, half bunch but I love cilantro
  • Garlic, a clove-ish
  • Raw Almond Butter, half cup, I would use less next time, maybe 2 tbsp
  • Tamari, tbsp.-ish
  • Sesame Oil, tbsp.-ish
  • Lemon Juice, one lemon
  • Grade B Maple Syrup, I would say I used 2 tbsp
  • Sea Salt, shook some on at the end

To make:

  1. Use a peeler to peel strips of zucchinis and carrots, set aside
  2. Cut up the pepper, cabbage, ginger, onion, cilantro, and garlic, set aside
  3. In a bowl mix Almond Butter, Tamari, Sesame Oil, Lemon juice, Maple Syrup
  4. Mix the wet sauce with the chopped veggies and then stir in the zucchini and carrots

It was AMAZING! My sister and 10 year old niece, neither usually like my crazy made up meals, loved it and even asked for multiple bites! SUCCESS!!

Only problem was I was WAY too full by the time I finished it and wasn’t even hungry for the salad I made for dinner 6 hours later.

Dinner: Salad with Kale, Tomato, Avocado, and all the veggies I had left over from my Pad Thai ($13…but couldn’t eat it all so I will have some for tomorrow too…BONUS!)

So all in all I had a great experience for my first attempt. I for sure over ate today, but it was my first day ever of all raw and I was a little consumed with it, so I forgive myself. It’s like an experiment and every Monday will get easier and easier as I fine tune my Mondays. And who knows, it may turn into a Monday, Wednesday, Friday thing!!

If you are VEG-CURIOUS, join our 7 Day Veg Challenge at…

www.facebook.com/groups/7DayVeg

My Most Relaxing Holiday Season Ever

My Most Relaxing Holiday Season EverI reached out to one of my support groups today and shared that I was getting anxious about the next 6 weeks that most people call “the holiday season”.

In the past I have struggled with the following during the holiday season…

  • Over Eating
  • Under Sleeping
  • Over Spending
  • Under Working
  • Over Traveling
  • Under Alone-Timing

When I reached out to my peeps, I found they all had similar struggles, which leads me to believe there are MANY of us out there fighting the same battles.

SO…what can we do NOW to lessen the anxiety that comes with these overwhelming undertakings…BTW…which haven’t even happened yet!?!?

I don’t have an answer (obviously…or it wouldn’t be an issue for me) but I think a great start is that I am even thinking about it BEFORE the point of no return. In the past, I would be mid-December already feeling fat and lazy and getting mad at myself for letting it happen. This year, I’m going to be proactive.

I think there are 3 things that I need to focus on NOW in order to alleviate the stress of the next 6 weeks.

Number 1: PLAN PLAN PLAN!!!

It’s funny that I am such a planner for my life in the LONG term, but don’t do as well for the short term. I have the next YEAR planned but not the next 6 weeks. So I am going to spend a few minutes making a general plan in each of the areas I struggle with.

For example…over eating. I tend to overeat at parties, get-togethers, late nights, and when I am tired or anxious. So I can look at my calendar in advance. Reach out to all the family and friends involved in such occasions, and plan my meals, snacks, etc accordingly. One thing that really works for me is to KNOW when I will be at a function where I may overeat, and then plan to eat less before and after the function.

So if the party is Thursday night, I will have a light Shakeology and fruit breakfast and a salad lunch. That way if I DO overeat, I won’t feel as gross as if I had eaten 3 big meals for the day.

Here is another “trick” I use to keep party bingeing at bay…Yes! I Am THAT Person At The Party

Number 2: Set Boundaries.

WOW! Just typing that SOUNDS scary!! I don’t know about you, but when I set a boundary, I feel like a selfish meanie. I have to remember that bounderies=self-love and respect.

It’s a way to let people know how important YOU are to yourself. When I think of it that way, I remember how important setting those limits are. So I am going to WRITE DOWN…in advance…where I stand with what I want to allow others to have a say in for each of the 6 issues I am anxious about. I think that is a GREAT start, and for those of you new to boundary setting just do that for now, but the next step would be to make a list of the people who are potentially affected by your new boundaries and LET THEM KNOW!

And again…remember…setting a boundary is NOT saying “no” to the other person, it is saying “yes” to yourself.

For me the over spending comes to mind. Every year I say I’m not going to buy presents but every year I feel like I should, and then I do. I typically go into debt spending money I don’t have to buy someone something so I don’t feel like the GRINCH. But this year our number one goal is to get out of debt and that currently doesn’t allow us a big gift fund. I’m not sure if I am going to tell everyone in advance or just not bring it up (suggestions are appreciated…PLEASE) as I am getting anxious just thinking about it!! But this is more important for me than ever this year so I want to stick to the limit I set for this.

Here is an article I found recently that is simple and effective at explaining how to set boundaries:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13176/6-steps-to-set-good-boundaries.html

And Number 3: Stop stressing!

Immediately after I reached out to my group, I came across this quote…which was NOT by accident I am sure!

“I’ve got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that I am stressing out about for absolutely no logical reason.”

So as Elsa sings so eloquently…

LET IT GO!

Plan as best you can, set yourself up for success, and then let it go.

Progress not Perfection…PHEW!!

Progress Not Perfection I have been a vegetarian since I turned 8 years old. I have been in the process of being a vegan for about 8 years. I used to beat myself up because I wasn’t perfect. I would go a day or a week or even a month 100% vegan and then I would eat Saag Paneer or something with butter or dip my chip into Queso. I gave up so many times because I kept failing.

Then I would read an article about how inflammatory dairy is or watch a video on the mistreatment of animals on the big dairy farms, and I would want to try again…and AGAIN after a day, week, or
sometimes even a month, I would fail.

I was so embarrassed because I would tell people I was vegan and then they would see me eat a bite of something that had dairy in it. I felt like a hypocrite so I just quit telling people I was vegan, and stuck with being a vegetarian, which was easy for me since I haven’t eaten meat since my 8th birthday.

But I don’t want to eat, wear, or use ANY animal products…eventually! I know that FOR SURE…I also now know it’s a process and that is OK!!

Thanks to AWESOME activists and advocates like Rich Roll, No Meat Athlete, Kathy Freston, and others who preach to “go at your own pace”, “lean into it”, or “just eat more plants”. You all have made me feel like I AM making a difference and that I CAN get to where I know I want to be.

I was actually listening to an interview with Kathy Freston today and she used the word “veganish” to describe people who are working toward a vegan lifestyle. I LOVE IT! And I am stealing it. So from now on, when people ask, I am veganish!

So first of all…THANK YOU KATHY!

Second of all…this can apply to all areas of our lives where we KNOW we want to move toward something (specific goal, weight loss, financial freedom, relationship status, career, living situation, etc) but aren’t quite there yet.

This has definitely been one of my greatest challenges to overcome in my personal growth journey. The idea of black or white thinking somehow snuck into my brain at a very young age and has taken me decades of un-doing to realize there are shades of grey.

And third of all…as a recovering perfectionist, I am proud to announce that I am not perfect and that I FINALLY value progress over perfection. I may not be making progress daily, but the graph of every area in my life is on an upward trend…and that ROCKS!

All I can promise you is that if you are AWARE of what you want and you CONSISTENTLY do things in your life to get there (even super duper small things), you WILL get to where you want to go!

I’m writing this from HAWAII…where I have been for a month…all because of tiny baby steps I have
taken over the past 10 years. I promise it works.

Join our 7 Day Veg Challenge…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/7DayVeg/

Finance and Food: Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

Finance and Food: Nothing Changes If Nothing ChangesIf you want a different result, you actually have to do something different. Darn!!

There are 2 things I struggle with every single day…

1. Money

2. Food

Now if you’re reading this, that means we were put into each other’s lives for a reason…so I would bet you ALSO struggle with one or both of these in your own life.

Every single month as I am setting my goals and making a plan for the month, I come up with the
perfect, simple solution…I’m brilliant by the way…Eat less.

I will be spending less money on food. Both problems solved!!

What? Sounds too good to be true!! Oh…because it is. I am an expert goal setter (big shocker) and this is my plan of how I can both lose weight and save money EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

I start every month excited and confident that THIS will be the month my plan is going to work!

However, this is how each month typically plays out-give or take a day…

On day 1 make some inexpensive dish that should last me all week. By day 2 it is gone. Day 3 I only eat what I have left in the house. By day 4 I want something delicious and exciting so I order take out because it’s enough for 2 meals right? Wrong. Day 5 I go to the store and buy whatever fruits and veggies are on sale. I’m hungry at the store so I get a couple pre-made salads from the deli and eat them that night instead of the fruits and veggies. Day 6 I’m tired and I want take out again. Day 7 the fruit and veggies went bad, I have no food in the house, and I have already spent my monthly food allowance.

Ugh! Is exhausting!!

After like 8 years if this pattern…no seriously…I decided I need to figure this out. Why can I NOT cut food and spending simultaneously?

It seemed like a daunting task, a deep dive into my bipolar psyche, years of research and therapy, and an answer I wasn’t sure I was ready to hear since I have had such deep seeded problems with both since a very young age.

But then I took a step back and remembered one of my favorite quotes “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes”. The answer has been a cover photo on my facebook page and wallpaper on my twitter account hundreds of times and I never thought it applied to me! I used it to inspire the clients I coach to move toward THEIR health, wellness, and business goals. Yikes! That one hurt!!

So I decided to be open to make some changes…again…

I revisited both my nutrition AND financial mentors and their Venn diagrams of advice intersected at one very obvious place. Again…darn!

So here’s my new plan…

1. Stay away from restaurants…even take-out

2. Put on your big girl panties and cook meals…at home…from scratch!!

3. And LIKE it!!

My friend Wendy is BRILLIANT!! She sees what she has in her kitchen and she googles a vegan recipe using those foods.

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes.

Today I am making a change.

PS…I am fully aware that overeating and overspending BOTH have deeper implications and I AM working through those. In the meantime…baby steps!!

What change can you make today to move toward a better version of yourself?

Food : How to Stop Emotional Overeating…Forever

How To Stop Emotional Overeating ForeverBeing an emotional overeater my entire life (got busted bingeing on cheese in the middle of the night when I was 2 years old…seriously), the title of this article triggers an immediate response in my brain that says “whatever…that is impossible…the author has no idea what it is like to be trapped in the world of disordered and out of control eating”.

So this article may piss a few people off, but I truly believe in what I am saying, and if it can help ONE person it’s worth it, so I’m going to continue…

I tend to complicate and over-think pretty much everything. And if I do, then I am sure there are others out there who do. For decades I complicated my disordered eating issues. I have been in and out of therapy for 20 years. If someone tried to simplify it for me, I blew them off…they OBVIOUSLY didn’t understand MY issues and the complexity of ME!

But as I have gotten older and hopefully wiser, I have simplified many of the things in my life. Overeating is an addiction, an addiction to the way certain foods make us feel, just like alcohol to an alcoholic or drugs to a drug addict. Of course we can’t abstain from food…we NEED it to survive, but I guarantee, most of us are not triggered to overeat every single food. When I am anxious, I don’t dive head first into a bag of spinach, I don’t sneak a pound of broccoli into my car and park down the street to stuff it down my throat, I don’t pull a half-eaten watermelon out of the garbage to finish it after I was the one who put it there.

What I am trying to say is that we all have certain foods that “trigger” our binges, just like an alcoholic “can’t have one drink”. So to simplify the process of stopping the emotional overeating cycle, I have a 3 step process for you. NOTE: This is easier said than done, but it’s a step in the right direction…I PROMISE!

1. Identify AND WRITE DOWN the foods that trigger a binge. This may take some time, patience, and mess-ups to get a complete list. And this is going to be different for EVERYONE. Oh, and don’t talk yourself into believing it’s not a trigger food just because you don’t want to give it up. Be honest and frank with yourself. If you “can’t eat one serving” of something or if a certain food makes you want other foods that you overeat, it’s a trigger. I don’t typically binge on diet soda alone, but when I drink a diet soda, I want chips, and I can easily binge on chips. So diet soda is a trigger food for me.

2. Avoid ALL the foods on your list. Don’t buy them, don’t keep them in your house! I hear the excuse “but I have to keep it in my house for my husband/kids/guests/dog/etc. That is CRAP! If they HAVE to have that food, they can go out and get it when they need it. And again, most foods we binge on aren’t typically healthy choices anyway, so removing them from your home will help everyone involved. Don’t take someone to Dairy Queen if ice cream is a trigger for you. I guarantee your thought process of “I’m not going to get anything, I’m only going for my kids” will not hold up! Even when I am STUFFED from already eating and my husband asks me to drive thru Del Taco to grab him some tacos, I am coming out of there with 2 Jacked Up Burritos no cheese.

3. You WILL screw up. Knowing this in advance you can PLAN on how you will react when you do. No one is perfect. If it was TRULY this easy, we would have kicked this “silly” habit decades ago right?? Make a list of ways to treat yourself with love and compassion. Naps, baths, walks, hugs, journaling, whatever makes you feel loved and calm. Immediately after a binge, write down your trigger food (if it’s not already on the list…which I bet it is…no worries…you’ll remember next time), make a plan for what to do NEXT time you are in the same situation (maybe tell a friend you are out with to remind you at the end of the night you DON’T want Ding-Dongs from 7-11), and then do something nourishing and loving toward yourself. I know it’s super tempting to tell yourself what a loser you are, how weak/disgusting/fat/hopeless/etc you are, but trust me (and you know this) it does NO good and doesn’t ever help long term.

Last night I ate 7 donuts for dinner. Gross right? In the past I would have NEVER told anyone that. So embarrassing, so undisciplined, so unhealthy (I’m a health coach if you didn’t know). My husband and I were at the store getting food for dinner. Nothing sounded good, I had just had an emotional day and I was exhausted. He got sushi, I got donuts. I said “you’ll eat 6 right?” He said yes, we both knew he was lying. I wanted to hide them in a bag as I walked out of the store, but I forced myself to carry them out in the open for all the world to see my choice. We got home, I put 3 donuts on a plate and sat down and ate them like they were a meal. Then I did the same with 3 more. I put my plate up, walked to bed (grabbed one more on the way to bed…that one I was a little mad at myself for because it wasn’t in my “plan”), and laid down to watch a movie (my favorite nourishing, relaxing, comforting thing to do other than eat). I woke up this morning and ate breakfast right away (in the past I would have skipped to make up for the donuts) and got on with my day.

Even 5 years ago I would have never thought I could be this calm after what I did. PROGRESS FOR SURE!!! Although…I am super grateful my husband either took or hid the last 5 donuts! I can’t find them anywhere…PHEW!

How Breaking My Collar Bone Taught Me To Eat More Fruits and Veggies

A little over two years ago I broke my collar bone in a bicycle vs cattle guard confrontation. PS…the cattle guard won!

The accident was only two weeks before my “A” (most important) race of 2012, the St. George Ironman.

I was devastated because I had worked so hard all year to kick ass in that race. I was also scared to death because I was at one of the lowest weights in my adult life and I knew without training I would most likely gain weight.

Now I’m sure most people don’t go from “oh crap I broke my collar bone” to “oh double crap, I’m going to gain weight” before the pain meds ever wear off, but if you have ever suffered from disordered eating, poor body image, or food obsession, then you know EXACTLY what I am talking about. If you haven’t, trust me, it’s SCARY!

The accident was on a Thursday. Friday I slept, cried, and answered calls/texts/social media posts to my friends and family…and I probably lost three pounds from adrenaline and dehydration.

How Breaking My Collar Bone Taught Me To Eat More Fruits and VeggiesSaturday depression kicked in (that was fast) and I ate a half gallon of Peanut Butter Panic Ice Cream in one sitting (and no, I’m not exaggerating).

Sunday I ate more Taco Bell than should be allowed legally, an entire bag of Buffalo Ranch Doritos, and a 2 liter of Diet Mt Dew to wash them down.

Monday I rotated back to the Peanut Butter Panic…this time I think it took two sittings to eat the half gallon…what discipline. You’re probably thinking, “You couldn’t get off the couch, who was fetching all this junk food”. I’ll just say, no one who loves you wants to see you suffering, so they will do what you ask every time.

Unless I had to pee, I spent most of the day on the couch. I didn’t ever weigh myself but as someone who knows her body too well, I would estimate I was up a good 10 pounds. Obviously a lot of that was water weight and bloat from my body going “what the hell just happened?” But whatever it was, it felt disgusting.

On Tuesday I decided my pity party was over. I knew I was going to be basically immobile for 6-10 weeks so I needed to come up with a plan. Beginning at the age of 12, I basically counteracted my over-eating with over-exercising, which kept me in “balance” with my weight. Even with several lower body injuries over the years, I could always swim. Now I couldn’t move at all…and it scared me enough to make some changes.

When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, you will change! Period!

By Wednesday, my Sherpa had followed my explicit instructions to pick up about 4 grocery bags full of fruit, veggies, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. See…like most people, I knew HOW to eat healthily, but my emotions and triggers from the past often stopped my brain from thinking logically when it came to food. BTW…if this all hits too close to home, check out Jessica Ortner’s “Tapping for Weight Loss and Body Confidence”-I’ll write about that another day.

Then on Thursday, my life changed forever. For breakfast I ate fruit (learn why in “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman), had a big salad with all my favorite ingredients (see my article “What I Love in My Salads”), and for dinner I had veggies w either a sweet potato or quinoa. Then I repeated this every day for the next 10 days.

At first I felt “hungry” until I realized I wasn’t hungry at all, I was just used to feeling stuffed every single time I ate. Then I started feeling energetic, light, and satisfied. I looked forward to eating, but wasn’t obsessing about it like I had in the past. I stopped craving crap, and started craving fresh fruits and veggies. I was seriously SHOCKED how little food I actually needed when I was eating nutrient dense foods.

The next day was my first “outing” and I went to cheer on my friends running a local marathon. I felt lean, spirited, confident, hopeful, and happy! I am glad no one knew my Peanut Butter Panic, Taco Bell, and Doritos secret. I felt so ashamed, weak, and undisciplined.

Two years later I feel differently about that time in my life and I want to share with others who may feel trapped in a food shame spiral. As you probably could have guessed, that wasn’t my first binge! And it wasn’t my last, but it was the last time I felt completely out of control and unable to stop my body from bingeing. It was the last time I hated myself for how weak I was and the last time I felt truly hopeless in my 30 year battle.

In the past two years I have discovered so much about myself and how to eat in a gentle, loving, compassionate, and nourishing way that is beneficial to my body, mind, and soul.

Food: Join Me in My Vegan Crockpot Adventure

Join Me In My Vegan Crockpot AdventureWhy would I turn to crockpot vegan cooking? Let me count the ways.

I was listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast today during my run…as I do every day…and had an epiphany! Yay!!

My husband and I have been on the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Plan loosely for about 7 years, but tightly for 2 months. If you have ever listened to Dave talk about “living like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else” you will know his phrase “beans and rice” when referring to tightening your budget to get out of debt (btw, the #1 advice rich people give to become wealthy is to get out of debt). Basically he is saying don’t go out to eat, stay home and cook w inexpensive ingredients…so

basically “beans and rice”.

Where we always get off track on our budget is food. Both eating out and buying convenient meals from the grocery store. So when he was talking to someone about beans and rice today, it hit me! I need to jump on the beans and rice bandwagon.

This will accomplish 10 things…

1. My meals will be less expensive

2. We can get out of debt more quickly

3. I can share my yummy meals with others who need to save costs on food

4. I will be eating healthy

5. I can teach others to eat healthier on a budget

6. I can put my crockpot to use, it’s been feeling left out

7. I can make big batches to last several days which saves time

8. I can come up with some amazing easy cheap vegan recipes to share on my YouTube channel, Vegan Diva Kir

9. I can add recipes to my 7 Day Veg Challenge on Facebook

10. Finally my husband can stop telling all his friends that all I make for dinner is twigs and berries

Sounds like a win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win (yes that is 10 wins) situation to me!!

So I am committing to at least one crock pot/beans and rice type meal a week for the next 10 weeks. If you have some good, inexpensive, easy, and vegan (or can easily become vegan) recipes, I would LOVE for you to post them. I’ll be sharing mine each week with ingredients, prep time, coat, and taste results from both me AND my hubby (he naturally gravitates toward chocolate, coffee, and Pepsi ) so most people will probable lean toward his review of the meal.

Stay tuned!!