January 7, 2013

You Are What You Eat

Another weekend ends. Another week begins. Mine, well, consisted of moving the in-laws into their new beautiful home, meeting puppy parents (more on that later), football (can I get a HELL YA to another Texans win?!), friends, food and champagne. Oooh how I am mildly obsessed weekends!

Oh-and because this is a record-breaking event, you should all
know that THIS happened twice this weekend...

Yes. That's a freshly made bed. Iono what's gotten into me...

Anyway-enough about me, more about, well...me.

So here lately, I've gotten a ton of questions asking about my diet so I figured I should probably go ahead and answer those requests. (Sorry y'all. This post is LONG overdue!)

For starters, I whole heartedly believe that you are what you eat. If you wanna eat a Big Mac, go for it. But you need to understand that you are probably going to feel just like that burger afterwards; round, plump and full of junk. If you want to eat asparagus, go you. You're going to become a lean machine. And if you want to eat broccoli, you're going to have big hair and/or resemble that of a tree. (Kidding. But cruciferous veggies, like broccoli, also make you lean.)

To jump right in, 90% of the time I follow a yeast-free diet. Yeast-free basically means I don't consume any sugar or anything that converts to sugar, like simple carbohydrates (white potatoes, white bread, white rice, etc.) If I'm eating a carb (other than fruit), it's going to be brown rice or sweet potatoes. The end. Yeast-free also means no dairy (milk, butter, yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese, etc.), no sugar (except for stevia and sugar alcohols like xylitol), no yeast (bread, flours, etc), and no heavily fermented alcoholic drinks. Wine and champagne are my cheats but my go-to drink is vodka/soda with a lime. (Sidenote: clear liquors are the least sugary.) When you're eating so low-carb, high-protein, counting calories is not necessary. (I've actually never been a calorie counter...)

The other 10% of the time I cheat. It's highly impossible to live like this every single day of your life. Well, I mean you could if you never wanted to be social again and live in a bubble but that's just not my cup of tea. When I say "cheat", I don't mean I go out and stuff my face with nachos and cheese fries. If I'm out at dinner and bread is on the table, I'll eat small piece. If Beau gets dessert, I'll steal a bite. Moderation is absolutely key.

Before (145 lbs) & After (124 lbs)


Why do I eat the way I do?

 A) I feel great and I'm never bloated (unless I cheat big time or drink beer). My clothes always fit me well and I never have to "worry" about bikini season.

B) I eat for my skin. I have very oily, acne-prone skin and I've quickly discovered that a sugar-free, dairy-free diet is the best thing I can do for it. I've tried birth control, antibiotics, expensive skin care lines and ridiculous make-up with no prevail. Without a doubt, 99% of my skin issues can be contributed to what I'm eating (or drinking) and though it's nowhere close to perfect, it's improved tremendously since I figured this out.

C) I preach health and wellness on a daily basis. (Also read: I'm a health blogger by day). What kind of hypocrite would I be if I sat there and told people how to eat and live a healthy lifestyle if I
didn't follow suit?!

I rest my case.

I should also probably go ahead and say, in my humble opinion, skinny does not equal healthy. There's a difference. You can be lean, and you can be thin. I prefer to be lean & muscular.

My diet isn't a "diet". It's a lifestyle. Yo-yo dieting is one of the absolute worst things you can do for your body. (Also see: Oprah Winfrey should not be your weight loss idol.) Exercise is absolutely key. Make it a part of your daily routine ASAP, if it's not already. (20% cardio and 80% strength training has seemed to be the best combination for me.)

And to answer 99% of the questions I've gotten recently, here's what I eat on a weekly basis:

Breakfast
Lunch
  • 99.9% of the time lunch consists of leftovers from dinner the night before
  • Amy's Black Bean Chili (if I'm in a bind)
  • Salad
  • Tuna salad made with vegannaise (not mayonnaise)
Dinner
 Go-To Snacks
  • Energy Balls
  • No-bake chocolate cake
  • Almonds or cashews
  • Terra Chips/hummus
  • Apples/sugar-free all-natural peanut butter
  • Fruit (apples, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruits & bananas)
Last night's dinner: cedar plank salmon, sautéed brussel sprouts, steamed cauliflower & baked sweet potatoes

Is it cheap? No. 
Is it easy? No. 
Do I eat a LOT of the same foods all the time? Yes.
Is it worth it? You bet your sweet tush it is.

Some count "points". Some count calories. Some prefer to just NOT eat. (I do not advise that last one.) Yeast-free is what works for me, is what has worked for me for over 3 years now and it's important for you figure out what works best for you!

(*Shameless plug but starting January 14th, I'll be hosting my company's 3rd annual "Yeast-Free with Me" challenge. It's basically 30 days of motivational emails including tips, tricks, grocery lists, recipes, etc., put on by lil' ol' me! If you'd like to join, by ALL means, sign up here! Whether you want to follow the diet to lose a few ell bees (lb's) or just get a little help reaching your health goals, you really have nothing to lose!)

So there. I think I covered just about everything I've been asked recently but if you still have those burning questions in the back of your mind, shoot me an email or leave a comment! Also, I have an entire page devoted to healthy living so feel free to check it out if you're still wondering if this is the right thing for you!

Cheers to a happy, healthy 2013!

65 comments:

  1. this post could not have come at a better time! i am all about losing this bay-bay weight but i want to do it in a way that i can stick to...i could easily crash diet and be back to where i was. i, however, could never be yeast free bcs i might actually die without pasta. so i'm counting calories and trying to get a handle on portion control AND eating more of the good stuff. thanks for the tips Steph! :)

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  2. I just checked out your work blog - wow, you really know your stuff, eh? I never knew that you dropped quite a bit of weight - you look beautiful either way, but you clearly know your stuff and it shows! I too try to follow yeast free...and save my carbs for wine ;)

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  3. This is so helpful! I have Celiac so my food choices are limited to begin with, so I am constantly looking at labels, figuring out new ways to cook the same boring things, and wanting to be at my healthiest! Thanks for sharing :) XO

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  4. Carbs, dairy and beer = my weaknesses. Your discipline is amazing! Out of curiosity, in reference to the 20% cardio/80% strength training comment, what would a typical workout be like for you?

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    1. LOL well the discipline doesn't come easy...trust me! I love all those things too, I just don't like the way they make me feel!

      Usually I do about 15-20 minutes of cardio (either a light jog or I walk at a brisk pace on the treadmill at the steepest incline.) For weights, I alternate legs and arms/back and I do about a 10-15 min ab workout at the end. I use a few machines (like the lat pull down, leg extension, leg press, bench press, etc) but I also use a lot of free weights for arms and legs, lots of lunges with 20lb weights in hands & squats (to keep my booty in check!), and I use enough weight to where when I'm on my third set, it hurts. Of course, I had to work up to it. Hope this helps! I don't overdue it and I spend no more than an hour working out. :)

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  5. MMMM...all of that food sounds very yummy!

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  6. I SOOOO need to try some of your recipes! I've been needing to for oh, say, the WHOLE time I've been reading your blog. Things I need to give up: 1)sprite, 2)yogurt, 3)mashed potatoes, 4)everything haha :P
    I'm going to make a conscious effort to start eating better because...I'm going to get certified to teach BarreAmped soon (!!!) and don't want to be sucking it in/a bad example/considered heavy by anyone!

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  7. My husband and I both need to start eating better. Him to lose weight, and me just to be healthy. Im going to show him this!

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  8. You go girl! I agree that the key is moderation! I wish I had your discipline, but I am holding onto the last bit of fast metabolism that I have!!

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  9. I think we would get along great! I have been eating GF, and Dairy Free for a year now. It is absolutely a commitment that you have to make to yourself, but the outcome is very rewarding!

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  10. Thanks for sharing! I agree, it's a lifestyle change. You can't diet your whole life, moderation is key.

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  11. ah, I actually started this today! and I thought you may be doing it again, so yay, I will sign up through your website again! Happy New Year lady and congrats on becoming an Aunt to 3!!!!

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    1. Oh and I just ordered Sweet-N-Natural from your website! :)

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    2. Aw yay!!! Glad you're doing it, too!! Let me know if you have any questions or need help!

      You will LOVE the Sweet-n-Natural!! I'm obsessed...use it EVERYDAY in my coffee and when I bake anything. It's a lifesaver!

      Good luck girly!! xoxo

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  12. Thanks for posting this! I'm at about 147 right now and would love to lose 10 - 15 lbs! You look fantastic! I like that it's all about a lifestyle change, not yo-yo dieting! I think what has worked best for me in the past is just eating healthy, Chicken fruits veggies - healthy snacks :) I always fall off the band wagon when I don't go to the grocery store! The first thing I will reach for is candy! Even though I know it's not filling....

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  13. I've been trying to find a go to breakfast and I think that smoothies would be the way to go for me (simply bc i dont want to make eggs every morning)... isnt using whey protein powder adding "dairy" to your diet since it is dairy based?
    I've also noted that you said stay away from carrots and mushrooms in the "guidelines" section & I was wondering the reason behind that?
    I'm really thinking I'm actually going to give this an honest shot this time ;)
    *My old blog pooped out on me... find me here!
    www.aswoonworthyblog.com

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    1. We get those questions all the time! So whey is the protein you get from milk, so since it's just the protein, it doesn't have lactose in it. The main thing to stay away from when you're doing YF is the lactose you find in dairy products and since whey does not consist of lactose, it is considered okay on the diet. Smoothies are my favorite thing when I do the diet too because they're easy and portable. (Or I eat a lot of hard boiled eggs, too.)

      As for carrots, they are very high in sugar, (same with corn) and since YF is mainly a sugar-free diet, you'll want to stay away from those at all costs. And mushrooms are a fungus. Since yeast is technically a fungus, you want to stay away from any/all foods that are in the fungi family. Make sense?!

      Great questions girly! Let me know if you have any more!

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  14. Thank you SO much for sharing all of this!! The Taco Wraps look good & easy! I think I actually have all the ingredients at home! Perfect :)

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    1. They are SO easY! And are perfect for family meals bc you can buy the taco shells for everyone else and just you eat the lettuce wrap! I'm actually making them tonight!!

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  15. I was pretty much about to email you this morning. what is the difference between paleo and yeast free again? also do you use substitutes like almond flour and soy milk? I've been researching like a maniac because this girl right here has gotten chunk!

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    1. So Paleo and YF are very similar...Paleo is MUCH more strict though because you can't have legumes (no beans or lentils), which I live on when I do yeast-free because they're filling and are a good source of fiber. YF, in my opinion, is easier than paleo and you still get great results.

      And yes-I use almond, oat or coconut flour when I bake or make salmon patties. (Mostly organic oat flour because you can buy a big bag of it for less than $5 whereas the almond flour is really expensive.) And for milk, I use unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Never soy milk because soy can really screw up your hormones. Hope that helps!! You can totally do it. 30 days...just try it!

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

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    2. thanks!! we are seriously considering making drastic changes! and if yeast free is easier I will finally give it a try!

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  16. man of man I don't know how you do it! such discipline!

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  17. You are a champ and you look fabulous! I'm so glad you found something that worked for you!

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  18. So I'm really glad that you posted this. We've chatted about it before, but I do a lot of these same things and have had great success. I never, ever limit myself and do everything in moderation. People don't wanna work but they want the results. The whole you are what you eat mentality gets me too. I always try to think, is this something I'm gonna want to work off in the gym? Probably not. (I'm lazy sometimes too). So thanks for the motivation and for listing your diet out. Quit being so pretty.

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    1. So glad you know exactly what I'm talking about. I feel like some people think I'm absolutely nuts when I talk about it lol. And YES-I'm FAR too lazy to wanna work of an entire piece of pie. (Now a bite of pie...that's different lol)

      GLad I could motivate you!! And YOU stop being so pretty...right MEOW.

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  19. You are an inspiration, girl! What a difference between your pictures! You look beautiful in both though :)

    My husband is a BIG meat eater, so it has been hard trying to make meals that we both like. I need to try out some new, healthier meals this year.

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    1. Aw well thank you! I definitely feel SO much better...I don't feel "puffy" anymore...if you know what I mean.

      My husband is a big hunter so he loves meat too. We just eat a lot of lean meat, like venison. Tell your husband it takes like 7 days for red meat to digest in your system (which is long enough for it to rot!) Maybe that will change his mind?! lol Scare tactics seem to work the best haha

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  20. I love your yeast-free diet! I've been doing it for a little over a month now and I've lost about 9lbs...that's w/ cheating just a little over the holidays. I feel great! I'm not as tired or run down and I have so much more energy! I love not worrying how my clothes will fit and shopping is a lot more fun! It really works!
    Thanks for all your tips and tricks!!! :)

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    1. Wow that's awesome girl!! GO YOU!! 9 lbs is great...especially over the holidays!! So glad to hear someone else is having great results too! Keep at it sister!!

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  21. I absolutely LOVE this post! 1- Your room. SUPER ADORABLE. Your bedroom furniture is TDF. 2- I've seen quite a few of your yeast free diet posts and references to your skin improvement and I've been DYING TO TRY IT. Only problem is carbs and dairy make up about 40% of my diet at the moment and I think it will be near impossible to just start this yeast-free diet and drop those items cold turkey. Any tips on making the transition would be HIGGHLLYYY appreciated! :)

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  22. I basically do the same diet! everything in moderations works well! I have very oily acne prone skin and recently started using Retin-A. IT WORKS WONDERS! NOTHING else has worked to clear up my skin so well. Talk to your dermatologist about it. Really is worth a shot, promise!!

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  23. I've just started yeast free for different health reasons and your blog has been a huge motivator. I like the idea of having reasonable cheat moments because I looooooove carbs haha. You make it sound very doable.

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    1. Aw well yay! Go you!! I am ALL about being healthy, but then again, I think it's only fair to reward yourself ever now and then! It's totally doable...I hope you're having great results, too!!

      xoxo

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  24. No one commented on the dog! lol

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  25. random question.. how much weight can you lose in that month? I leave for my cruise 2 days after it ends.. so I'd like to get into shape as quickly as possible

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    1. It just depends...on the person. For example, it took me a month to lose 9 pounds and I was at 145, if that gives you an idea? I'd say it's ideal to expect to lose at least lose anywhere from 5-10 pounds in a month, if you follow the diet to a tee!

      Cruise!? So jealous!!!

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  26. Damn it Steph this post made me feel guilty. And it also made me regret the fact Chris and I got a fryer for Christmas.... All hell is about to break loose.

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    1. If I had a figure like yours and arms like Michael Phelps, I'd buy a fry daddy too. Don't feel guilty my friend...embrace your tiny little bod. I mean, I would!

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  27. Was your husband always on board? My husband is a big meat eater and not a fan of restrictive diets, but I need a change. Any tips on making a smooth transition, or is cold turkey really the best way to go?

    Also where do you do your grocery shopping? Regular grocery stores or health food stores? I never know where to look for good brands and reasonable prices.

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    1. Well hey there namesake! Stephanie Nicole right here, too!! So cool!!

      Yes-Beau was pretty much always on board because I needed him for support. He also wanted to do it to lose a little bit of weight and to help with his allergies. It was a win/win for him for sure so it's been easy for him to stick with it when I do it. He's a meat eater too, which is the good thing about YF because you can eat all the meat you want. I would, however, limit his intake of red meat just because too much is not good for you but turkey, chicken, lean ground beef, venison, you name it....it's perfect for a yeast-free diet!

      I shop at a regular grocery store here in Houston (called HEB? Not sure if you're familiar with it? It's similar to Kroger or Randall's or Tom Thumb if you know of those?) We have Whole Foods here but honestly, it's just too darn expensive when I can get the exact same food at a different store for half the price. I don't necessarily look for good brands, I just read the labels of everything I pick up. Label reading is KEY! No sugar is mainly what I look for in the ingredient list. :)

      I sure do hope this helps but if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!

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  28. I'm down to the last five pounds of this baby weight and it is just sticking around! I gained FIFTY pounds while pregnant so losing 45 is an accomplishment in itself. I'm still nursing so I can't restrict carbs or calories too much (obviously I can't binge eat either), but I've been eating cleaner. I think once K is weaned I will for sure try this! I love your yeast free posts.

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    1. Holy WHOA! Go you!!! I would have NEVER guessed you gained 50 lbs when you were pregnant!! Oh those last 5 pounds...always the toughest but always the MOST rewarding! Seriously...go you!

      Glad to hear you like my yf posts...I always thought they'd bore people to death lol.

      Miss your sweet face! xoxo

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  29. I started doing a similar diet about 9 months ago (although it's more of an Atkins approach - I can't give up dairy!) and have lost almost 30 pounds. I limit the amount of carbs I eat throughout the day and have overall cut back on the things I used to eat. I don't eat pasta and I try to find bread with the highest amount of fiber. I must say that it has been one of the hardest things I've ever done-- especially that first week when my body was going through withdrawals. But, it's worth it in the long run because I'm so much happier being smaller and healthier.

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    1. 30 lbs?! Wow!!! You GO sister!! That's AMAZING! You should be so proud of yourself!! I agree with you that it's hard but yes, it is SO worth it in the long run!! Girl I would absolutely KILL to have a piece of cheese but I would have breakout city all over my face!! You're doing great...and it's obviously working! Keep at it!

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  30. Oh my gosh girl, I admire you...I don't know how you do it. I feel like I would keel over if I didn't eat cheese, pasta and bread!! As much as I would love to try something like this, my guy would NEVER be down to eat this way. I would have to make 2 dinners every.single.day. Umm no thanks haha.
    Thank you for the breakfast and lunch ideas, definitely using some to get rid of this baby weight!

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  31. This is an AMAZING and INSPIRING post! And a great way to kick off a new year!
    Thanks for sharing girl - you have a great attitude and regime to it all too. Since having a baby, I have tried a few challenges and programs but "everything in moderation" seems to work best for the body and mind. All these other diets play with your mind and emotionally, I never cope! i have decide to adopt a similar plan - healthy and no carb during the week and cheat days on the weekend.

    Want to share your exercise regime too?

    Well done for being so strict and disciplined but still living your life! I have always tried my hardest but having pre-eclampsia during my pregnancy caused me to balloon and i put on a lot of weight (22kgs) and it is so darn hard to get rid of it!!
    x

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  32. Thank you so much for sharing this post....I struggle with dieting & exercising constantly, and by struggle I am not doing either now. I like this idea...I think it's worth a shot! Thanks again!

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  33. I bought the Yeast Free cookbook about 8 months ago. I think this post is a great motivation to get back to that type of lifestyle. Cheese is my biggest downfall with this "lifestyle". That is my biggest weakness.

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  34. I've read about this on your blog before, and I was totally intrigued...and I am intrigued again! I signed up for the emails, I am down for the challenge!

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  35. Stephanie, you look amazing. Can I please have your body? Even your before photo is beautiful! I'm still nursing so I can't restrict my diet that much but you have inspired me to eat cleaner! Thanks friend!

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  36. you're the skinniest little minnie mousey! ;) and my bff {always, not just today} for sharing some of my links. I know I'm late to this post but I enjoy healthy lifestyle posts from you!

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  37. I could not agree more about the idea that you are what you eat. I try to live by that rule every day and fill my body with fresh, delicious, nutricious food! I think more people should give that lifestyle a try before they knock it. It's not as hard as it looks, it just takes a little effort and a bit more time in the produce department at the grocery store.

    Love your blog!

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  38. I'm really excited to try this out, I have made out a little grocery list! Can't wait to start :)

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  39. I just wrote a whole blog post about how I have put on weight and have been feeding my body crap! haha loved reading this, totally helped boost me in the direction I need to be going :)

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  40. I love this post, thanks for posting it! I started eating clean (paleo) on the 31st and I have noticed a lot of differences already! I am glad I am starting the new lifestyle. Can't wait for more inspiration.

    I am going to start posting my meal plans and what I have been eating!

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  41. The more I learn about different foods and their effects on your body, I find it harder to figure out what is right for me. When I started on my healthy living journey, I used the abs diet as a guidline. Lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies, protein filled snacks, etc. But then you read about dairy, so there goes my yogurt and my cheese. You learn about paleo, so there goes my brown rice, whole wheat, and dairy. Then you realize what the difference is between free-range and non free-range, grass fed meats...it's all so overwhelming and hard to figure out what works for me when I feel like am basically eliminating all of my options. I like to cook/bake, but only things with minimal ingredients and instructions, so a lot of recipes I see, I pass by. Just when I think I know what works for me, everything changes. Blah.

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  42. Stephanie,
    Thanks for sharing after I read more and more I wanted to get started & I did I started watching a little more the carbs. I am getting more strict but definitely getting those headaches & I know it will be okay my snack its a Protein Bar *Cinnamon Bun Flavor* Protein 21g, Sugar 1g (I feel like I am cheating but it says sweetened with all natural Rebiana/a Stevia based sweetener) and Net Carbs 1g...
    I haven't weight myself but I am going to do it today & monitor the progress - again thanks & I am getting e-mails already. Unfortunately, I am in California so I cannot attend the class.

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  43. You look amazing Steph, thanks for sharing!

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  44. You look great! I just recently lost 20 pounds and have been wondering how to keep it off since life is getting super busy! This post helped!! Thanks!

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  45. Thanks for the inspiration and info I am starting this next week I just ordered the Optimal eating cookbook and the Natural yeast cleanse capsules if you have any advice on the cleanse capsules it would be greatly appreciated. Great blog by the way (-:

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  46. Just found out that I'm allergic to brewers yeast and bakers yeast. oh joy. So glad I found your blog. I'm going to need all the help I can get as coffee & wine are my favorite foods. errrr, drinks. & cheese! I'm already mourning the loss of my favorites. Thanks for posting this!!!

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  47. Just found out that I'm allergic to brewers yeast and bakers yeast. oh joy. So glad I found your blog. I'm going to need all the help I can get as coffee & wine are my favorite foods. errrr, drinks. & cheese! I'm already mourning the loss of my favorites. Thanks for posting this!!!

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  48. Do you think it's safe to yeast free/gluten free while pregnant? I'm 21 weeks and was gluten free before I got pregnant, but the only that would keep my nausea at bay was good ol' soda crackers and it's been a backslide ever since. I can definitely tell a difference in the way I look at feel--- and it's not just because there's a baby growing inside me. lol.

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