Who Knew Eating Healthy Could Be Sooo Good!

Who Knew Eating Healthy Could Be Sooo Good!

Who Knew Eating Healthy Could Be Sooo Good!

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Eating healthy….sounds boring, unexciting, don’t-want-to-do-it, don’t-have-time-for-it, don’t-like-to-cook, too expensive, doesn’t-taste-good, miss-my-old-favorite-foods…I thought all of these things about three weeks ago. Literally, I was in tears a few times over all the foods I had to say goodbye to and thought about googling for a support group with people who have had to do the same thing. Let me back up and share my story.

Via Maria’s Facebook page 

For the last two years (about) I have been losing my hair, having chronic headaches, back aches, chronic fatigue, all among other little day to day things that were bothering me, but I could put up with. About 6 months ago, my stepmother approached me about talking to a nutritionist that has helped hundreds of people get healthy by completely changing their diet and taking supplements when needed. This nutritionist’s name is Maria Emmerich and she has a very popular website, blog and pinterest page all about eating healthy. She’s been on several shows and has written at least 2 different recipe books (that i’m aware of). We talked about it a lot, and then finally I decided to give it a shot. I was hesitant
because this woman is known for telling people to not eat gluten or carbs at all (scary for me because I LOVE bread, baked goods and the like).

I exchanged some emails with Maria about my general diet (what i was eating at the time), how well i slept, what my symptoms were, what my priorities were for getting healthy and I took an extensive online test that she analyzed. I received an email telling me I was not to eat gluten, sugar, rice, corn products, fruits, hydrogenated oils…basically everything i’ve come to know and love about food. Plus, I received a major list of vitamins to help jump start my body (not meant to be taken for the rest of my life).

So, there I was, feeling super sorry for myself about everything I couldn’t eat. Fortunately, before I started my major diet that she recommended, I had already cut out wheat gluten (which was hard, but not as bad as I expected). The first week of my new fangled diet was a cleansing diet to help get all of the carbs out of my system. I was literally only allowed to eat the following for 7 days; cucumbers, lettuce of any kind, celery, and any kind of meat. Literally. That was it. Not even conventional salad dressings. Well it didn’t seem so bad the first 2 days, but after that it was total hell. I was sad, felt hungry all the time, didn’t ever want to see a piece of chicken again, but I got through it.

Surprisingly, on the 8th day, when I was allowed to introduce tons more food back into my diet, I had no cravings for the kind of food I would normally want like a cupcake or frozen mac&cheese. I started baking with almond flour, flaxseed meal and healthy substitutes for sugar like Swerve (granulated erythritol). I made things that tasted almost exactly like the real thing, but are 100% healthy and guilt free!

From DJFoodie.com. I love these!

The first thing that was made for me by my stepmom was a one minute muffin. Fairly easy to make and tastes pretty damn good when you haven’t had anything but chicken and cucumbers for a week. I took the first bite of this fluffy, chocolatey little cake and ate it all in about 30 seconds. It was literally the best tasting thing I had had in what felt like forever. After these 30 moments, I thought this is all suddenly so doable. The whole diet seemed like nothing, piece of cake (no pun intended).

In that same day I made three different recipes, all 100% healthy, all 100% gluten free, all 99% carb free (maybe 1 or 2 carbs in a recipe). Two of them turned out amazingly, and one was not so great (explanation below).

So you might be wondering why i’m telling you all this. Well for the last however many years, i’ve been completely unhealthy. I may not be overweight and I may have been an athlete for years, but my body was hurting and it wasn’t until I started this “diet” that my body stopped hurting in a lot of ways. A friend recently told me that I should blog about what i’m doing because it is very different than what most people are doing and i’m getting real results from this. At first I thought, I don’t have time to blog! But then I realized that we have a blog already and our readers/viewers are all athletes/dancers, what a better place to share my new found healthiness!

My results so far:
My headaches have decreased dramatically. I still get some headaches, but not nearly as frequently and they aren’t as painful. My post nasal drip (I was always clearing my throat) has gone away completely. Even my friend was amazed as she was telling me that almost every other word I would say I was clearing my throat. I didn’t even notice that this went away lol. The soreness under my ribs went away. I was always sore under my ribs when sitting down or driving. I haven’t felt that soreness in weeks. My skin has cleared up; I recently developed acne on my back and chest, but this has cleared right up. I’m more awake then ever; I stopped telling my parents how tired I was and I feel way more energetic throughout the day. My dad (who rarely comments on my appearance) told my stepmom that I just looked healthier and i’ve had the same comments from parents that I work with on the swim team I coach for. And….I lost 15 pounds! I weigh less now then I did in college and my stomach is practically flat. I wasn’t doing this to lose weight, but it’s been a major bonus and I feel so much better about myself in general. I feel more confident than I have in the last year. If all this isn’t a sign that this change in my diet is working then I don’t know what else will be.

Ok, without further ado, here is what i’ve made so far and where you can find the recipes. I hope this has inspired someone, anyone to try something new and get healthier than they think they already are.

1) Coconut Pumpkin Bread – tasted great! Just like pumpkin bread. Really dense, great with butter or cream cheese on top. Toasts perfectly, great for breakfast!
http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2012/11/pumpkin-coconut-bread-bobs-red-mill-guest-post.html

2) Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust – AMAZING! If you love cheesecake this is a must make! Tastes just like cheesecake and the crust was incredible. Literally 100% guilt free, eat it for breakfast or dessert. Soooo Good!
http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2013/07/lemon-cheesecake-bars-with-shortbread-crust-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html

3) Psyllium Bread Loaf – This should be good, because it gets tons of great reviews on the website I got it from, but mine fell flat and got so dense that it was gummy. Also it turned purple from the kind of Psyllium powder I used (didn’t mind the color, but I think a better quality psyllium powder would have made better bread).
http://mariahealth.blogspot.com/2013/06/amazing-bread.html

4) Cheesecake Brownie Bars – Equally as amazing as the Lemond Cheesecake bars, but with chocolatey goodness at the bottom. Even the batter for the brownie tasted great! I promise you can’t go wrong with these! Just made these the other day and have eaten half the pan already on my own. My family is begging me to bring them over. Seriously. http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2013/02/brownie-cheesecake-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html

You may notice that all of these recipes are from the same blog, All Day I Dream About Food. If you’re on a strict diet, or can’t eat gluten or sugar, or want to eat something sweet and not feel like you immediately have to go to the gym (who am I kidding, the pole studio) and work it off then this is a great place to find awesome recipes.

Other fantastic blogs with tons of great recipes (that I have yet to try):

DJ Foodie

Maria’s Nutrition

So, does this mean that i’m never going to have a regular piece of cake or pizza in my life again? No, of course not. But what it does mean is that I know exactly what i’m putting into my body and I know what i’m going to feel like the next day. This has given me a way to make great decisions about what I decide to eat and has taught me that you can eat amazing food and it can be so healthy for you that you can eat as much of it as you want. I’m just starting this food journey. I never thought I’d be cooking, I mean actually cooking, until I was married and had kids. Now, here I am cooking for myself every night and surprisingly not hating it. I am telling you that I never thought I could do this, I thought I would just have to suffer with all of my health issues because I loved food too much and I wasn’t willing to let it go. If I can go through all this, anyone can. The first week may have been the worst week of my life, but the following weeks have been some of the best (physically and maybe a little mentally) weeks of my life. I feel like i’m 26 and not 75. If you are struggling with your diet or have started a similar diet and need someone to talk to, i’m your woman! Share your stories or recipes. Be my baking buddy, try out some of the things on these websites provided and let me know if it’s any good! And i’ll be sure to do the same as I make new things!

All the best,
Alex Davies

UPA Business Manager

Annemarie Davies

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