Food I have to eat every day: Wallaby's Greek yogurt. It is full of protein, creamy, and smooth. It is also pasture-raised milk so the fat is healthy! It makes the perfect high-protein breakfast meal especially topped with coconut flakes, almonds, and berries. Also Glutenfreeda's oats. Check out my delicious recipe here.
Fad Drink I like Right Now: GT's Original Kombucha-- great for digestive health and delicious! Get your probiotics!
Favorite activity: Developing new recipes in the kitchen!
Favorite exercise: YOGA! Or spending time outdoors in nature on a walk/hike. Or swimming in the ocean!
Something I wish I could do more of: 1. Sleep 2. Hike and camp 3. Sleep 4. Read
Diet I currently follow: My Whole Foods Diet (no gluten, no meat, some seafood, pasture-raised/grass-fed dairy, and an emphasis on organic foods as much as possible)
Favorite place to vacation: Greece
Have been interested in health: As long as I can remember
Reasons for staying interested: Longevity for myself and others; the obesity rate is steadily increasing in the U.S. and we need to work on prevention! That is my main goal nowadays and I believe with improved education and program implementation, we can and will achieve it.
Something most people don't know about me: I hardly ever watch TV, but when I do, I am obsessed with the British series Sherlock
What do I want to do when I'm older? Help others with their well-being and continue my research in health and nutrition; hopefully open up a Wellness center that merges all aspects of well-being from yoga, to cooking, to exercise, to healthy work habits, all in one location.
Best traits: Compassionate and forgiving
Worst traits: Impatience, being Type A
Last Movie I Watched: Beauty and the Beast; a fantastic remake!
Favorite song: Start a Fire by John Legend (after hearing it in the movie La La Land I became obsessed and I also think the entire soundtrack to that movie is phenomenal)
Favorite thing: Practicing my press handstands!
I've told you about myself, what about you? Go to the "Other" tab and take my survey!
Last time updated: 04/04/2017
Pre-Whole Foods Eating, living SHAD (Supposedly Health American Diet)
Me in 2008. The first time I was naturally thin in my life, but without assistance in my new eating habits, I had multiple deficiencies.
Ahh, where should I begin? SO much has transpired with my eating from probably around the age of 8. As a child I was embarrassingly chubby and being teased would have an impact on my increased interest in health, eating, and well-being. From when I was young my Dad always told me, "You will always be healthy as long as you eliminate white flour, sugar, and sweets from your diet." His simple principle was fairly accurate, however I was just too addicted to sweets to step towards health. This changed when I visited an Ayurvedic doctor who helped break through my sweet tooth through various treatments such as the special application of oils and detoxification in a special steam machine. Out of the blue, I went cold turkey and no longer had cravings for candy, sweets, and dessert. Nothing. I grew out of my chubbiness and gained some confidence.
At the same time, I continued to stay active doing swimming and gymnastics (great sports for muscular development). The only problem was, my Dad wasn't all-knowing in his statement. He and my mother still thought calorie counting was the way to go to maintain one's weight. I ditched red meat, eating turkey, chicken, and a little fish instead. I was still eating dairy and my diet was heavy in fruits and whole wheat bread in some form at every meal. If I ate vegetables, it would be a side of asparagus or broccoli, or a salad with cucumbers and tomato. My diet is much more vegetable-based now (and thankfully I get many more nutrients).
I eventually stumbled upon an iron deficiency and a Vitamin-D deficiency. I thought that fat would make me fat. I didn't avoid olive oil, but I wouldn't eat lamb because it had too much FAT. Well after continuing eating this way (still no pasta, white bread products, or sweets) I still remained thin, but I always felt something was missing. I knew that my sadness in the winter couldn't just be contributed to myself. I had heard of Vitamin D deficiencies and its effects. Thankfully, these effects were assisted with the arrival of Summer 2011 where I got plenty of sun and exercise (I was doing something active and intense almost every day and besides eating well, nothing keeps us in better shape).
But finally in September, after being given The Paleo Solution to read, everything finally clicked into place. I ditched grains (and corn and soy) and lost that bloated, water-heavy feeling in my stomach along with soreness after work-outs. I then gave up dairy and my skin cleared up and I stopped getting discomfort in my stomach after dinner. I switched my love of fruit to a love of vegetables and learned new ways to incorporate lots of veggies into my diet. I stole my Dad's cod liver oil and started slurping it for those omega-3s and I included more grass-fed meat (which my body loved). My deficiencies went away and my mind sharpened. I didn't have to calorie count and the whole foods I ate kept me full for hours on end. I didn't have a need for snacks any longer either.
Everything was fine and dandy with the Paleo Diet for about 1.5 years until I began feeling sluggish in many ways. My health actually started to decline (high cholesterol, never satiated, hormones out of whack) and I decided to make a change. I am certain I have a sensitivity to gluten and I definitely have a sensitivity to cow's milk, but I have re-incorporated some dairy in the form of grass-fed yogurt and goat's cheese and have seen minimal stomach discomfort. I also now eat sprouted gluten-free grains and legumes, from quinoa to lentils to brown rice. I would consider my diet more flexitarian now, although really it is my own version of all the dietary information I have read and dissected for myself. I feel best not eating gluten and eating more plant-based sources and less heavy meat. I only eat seafood a few times a month now and do not find myself craving it or missing out my protein needs. I make sure to correctly supplement my diet with enough protein from dairy and plant sources such as tofu and tempeh (also still getting my calcium).
Eating in my own unique and personalized way, I have seen so many benefits from mental sharpness to a much improved blood profile (finally) to stronger nails and shinier hair and an improved mood. It is amazing that the fuel we put in our bodies can alter how the machine runs so much! It is the difference between regular and premium gasoline and I feel like a sports car right now. I am so blessed to have found a way of eating that works so well for my body. Through this process of learning about nutrition, I have discovered that my way of eating is not for everyone. Instead, people should focus on shifting their diet to a whole foods base and tweak ingredients from there for what personally works for them. That may be still including sprouted Ezekiel bread (a great option if you still eat gluten by the way) or cutting out dairy. It all depends on each of our situations and having a one-track mindset and cult that one way of eating is the way for all is extremely negligent (and yes, I was guilty of this). I think if you have constant fatigue and don't feel energized after eating, you should make a change. There are a lot of irritating foods out there and through elimination our bodies really thank us because we can design a food lifestyle for happy digestion. Cutting out the boxed foods with 20 ingredients really will make a difference in so many aspects of your life, inside and out.
Throughout this entire process I have learned that listening to my body, well-educated health practitioners and researchers, and to my heart is the key to remarkable health.
MY WHOLE FOODS PYRAMID