January 16, 2012
By:  Maria
From time to time, I get wonderful, inspiring testimonials sent to me from clients or folks I meet and talk to about nutrition.  For some, the need to change their current nutrition is a medical one – they are headed towards disaster or worse.  For others, this need arises from being frustrated with conventional wisdom in regards to weight loss – they’ve tried other things and although changes do occur, there comes a point where progress stalls or stops. 
Whether to lose some weight, lean out, improve quality of life or even save a life, the testimonials all have a common denominator – success in all aspects of health.
When a person is committed to improving their health, incredible things happen.
Read the following testimonial:

I want to thank you for bringing this nutrition information into my life. Alot of things have changed for me over the past year. And yes, I have put in tons of work to make it happen but the bottom line is this-had you not offered up the information you did and all I continued to do was follow the typical standard American diet, I would still be overweight, unhappy without confidence, with high blood pressure and who knows what else. I found that cutting out grains and dairy is what really made the difference for me. I appreciate that you took the time to offer your expertise and great knowledge to our gym. It’s changed alot of peoples lives and I just want to say thanks!!

This all started in October of 2009.  I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I have lost and gained the same 30 or 40 pounds more than once or twice. I weighed in at a whopping 189 pounds. I was working out, running a lot, training 2 times a week and “dieting”, or so I thought.  
Before I followed your nutrition recommendations, my typical day looked like this:

Quaker “lower sugar” instant oatmeal or yogurt with granola and dried fruit- (dairy, grains and sugar)
Chef Salad (from a Mediterranean deli by my job that came with loads of wonderful cheeses and meats)
Whatever my heart desired. Typically included bread – prepackaged quick frozen meals(disgusting I know!!), some claimed to be “healthy”!
I snacked a lot too. Crackers- trail mix-potato chips- you name it I ate it. Not much moderation.
Then in November 2010-I was introduced to a low-carb diet that had you weigh and measure food – I dabbled with it- I followed many of the meal plans allowed, but they still contained plenty of unfavorable stuff (at the time, I didn’t know any better).
So a typical low carb looked like this-
(These were my favorites) Breakfast quesadilla or pita. These consisted of eggs-onion-black beans cheese-sour cream corn tortilla or pita bread.

Grilled chicken salad or a deli sandwich (what??? Really???)

Usually some kind of lean meat and veggies so I was good there. I weighed and measured everything until I felt super comfortable that I knew what my measurement was- also had 2 snacks a day- usually nuts and seeds and or a piece of fruit-sometimes cottage cheese and other dairy related products.

At this point I wasn’t really seeing much in the way of results and I still had not really cut out sugar, this meaning sugar in the form of real sugar, sugar substitutes, and even occasionally alcohol (very little of this but I bring this up because even in moderation it wrecked my diet).

Now enter you.  You presented me with information that seemed to go against everything I had heard from conventional “experts” in diet and nutrition.  But I wanted to give it a go.  I did the same thing with your nutrition plan as I did with the weighed/measured low-carb approach – I picked a few things to remove from my diet the first 2 being sugar and grain.  A miraculous thing happened- stomach issues I had been having for so long went away after about 2 weeks…. (I didn’t know this was the cause) I then cut out dairy and my body really started to shrink. I think this was about 3-4 weeks. During the first week, I experienced a few headaches and low energy.  After week 2, I began to feel pretty great. At that point I just went NUTS! I embraced this way of eating completely!

Following your suggestions and meal plans, my typical day now looks like this:

This is my staple and I pretty much eat similar to this everyday-
2 cups of spinach-1 whole egg 2 egg whites- I usually add a little Anaheim pepper and tomato or mushrooms I cook this for breakfast at least 3-4 days a week, some times using a different lean protein choice.

Some kind of fruit. I really watch my fruit-I tend to feel bloated if I eat too much fruit.

Lunch-usually leftovers from the night before- this could be bacon wrapped meatloaf-or fish with veggies or ground turkey on a little sweet potato a little avocado with a fried egg-turkey stuffed tomatoes-the list for lunch really goes on and on.

If I had fruit as my morning snack I usually have nuts or seeds maybe some veggies- a homemade lara bar (your recipes!), some protein – just depends.

Here again the list is endless.  I have completely EMBRACED cooking this way, using your recipes or recipes I find online that do not use processed ingredients, dairy, sugar or grain. If I have eaten leftovers for lunch, sometimes I just eat a simple salad lots of dark leafy greens with some grilled or baked chicken. I am constantly googling and trying new recipes.
I have also embraced your suggestion:  I sometimes will have dinner for breakfast-breakfast for lunch – lunch for dinner and so on and so forth.

I continue to buy co-op produce- so once I have my basket I usually plan my eating from there.
I have learned to love things like steamed kale, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, brussels sprouts, avocados, BACON….etc!!
I have cut out- all grains, most dairy, most sugars…every now and then I splurge on a yummy coffee as a reward for a great week. I have cut out any soy products-I now use olive oil more sparingly-I cook with coconut oil, use coconut vinegar and coconut amino’s, almond meal/flour, fresh herbs, seasoning and spices I had never even tasted before. I take the time to look at my week ahead and I cook in bulk and freeze a lot of food.
I am strict probably 85-90% of the time. I feel amazing- I finally feel like I look amazing and believe it or not-because I am more satisfied with myself- it has changed my relationships with the other people in my life. I am stronger-I can do a killer workout and recover like it was nothing. I even finally had enough confidence to complete the level 1 fitness certification course!  This is something I would have NEVER done a year ago. 

Before/After stats:

Then:  189
Now:  140 (I no longer obsess with the numbers, since most of that weight is now muscle!)

Pant/dress size:
Then:  14/16
Now:  A gloriously loose 6!

Blood Pressure:
Then: 138/94 (pre-hypertension)
Now: 104/70

Then: 228 (HDL 38)
Now:  168 (HDL right below 100 – yay!)

Blood Glucose:
Then:  158
Now:   100

 If I had to give advice to anyone who might read this who isn’t sure they can commit-understand that it IS a commitment -if you aren’t willing to make a complete lifestyle change this will never work for you. You can’t do it 1 day a week or 2 days a week and if you fail don’t wait even 24 hours to get your nutrition back in check.  In a nutshell it’s not even a “diet” to me anymore it’s simply my way of life. I am not going to say I don’t enjoy a little treat or ice cream or maybe even a little slice of bread every now and then because I do but do I enjoy these things daily? Or weekly? Not a chance.  The best part?  I know I will still get stronger, feel better and enjoy an awesome quality of life!

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