A Year of Being Plant-Based!

I cannot believe it has been a year already! I can’t remember the exact day we switched to being plant-based, but it was right around the time or shortly after we moved into our house which was late February 2016. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired so I decided to watch the documentary Forks Over Knives again (yes, I had seen it before and became mostly vegetarian but still ate dairy). This time it really sunk in and I decided to become plant-based that night.

We cleared out our fridge of all animal products. This was an easy task since we were mostly vegetarian (except for the occasional fish/sushi) so all we had to throw out was some cheese. Luckily (or not?), I had just finished off some yogurts so we didn’t have to waste too much food. But in reality, we didn’t really consider it food anymore. It is linked to so many diseases and isn’t food supposed to be nourishing? It felt good to just get rid of it rather than try to finish it or give it away. If it’s not good enough for us to consume, why would we give it to someone else?

I’ll admit that this year hasn’t been perfect. There was definitely a transition period where we had to figure out what foods were actually vegan. By the way, I use vegan and plant-based interchangeably but in case you’re not aware, plant-based is the diet aspect, and vegan is actually a lifestyle. However, vegan is the term used by society more often when it comes to the diet and is how companies market their products to let consumers know there are no animal products in them. Just so you know.

At home it was easy to be vegan since we knew exactly what was going in to our food. It was a great discovery of new and delicious foods. Who knew that vegan food was actually the tastiest?! Not even kidding. And it’s not restrictive in the sense that you can still have all of your favorite foods–just without the animal products. Do you love pizza? There’s vegan cheese for that! Do you love hamburgers? There’s vegan meats for that! And they are surprisingly realistic but without the saturated fat or cholesterol (and yes, you should still be concerned about dietary cholesterol regardless of what the dietary guidelines) Anyways, my point is I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

But back to the tastiest part. The flavors are so so good! You’d be pleasantly surprised. We make delicious curries, soups, stews, stir fries, burritos, pastas, sandwiches (like BBQ jackfruit “pulled pork”) and so much more (pics below)! It’s all about the sauce and spice you add. And your same favorite sauces/condiments are most likely vegan except for the obvious ones like ranch and mayo–but we have replacements for that too! I’m going to put together a page of my favorite vegan replacements in case anybody wants to try them out. So stay tuned!

Vegan Food Collage

As I said though, it hasn’t been perfect. When going out to eat there have been mishaps, but I try my best to stay vegan as much as possible. I didn’t realize how much cheese is on EVERYTHING. And how little knowledge of dairy people have. You can’t just say “no cheese,” you must say “no cheese, cream, butter, or anything with dairy in it” when ordering. There have been times when I was not specific enough and had something at a restaurant still have some sort of cheese or butter on it. If that happened, I tried not to beat myself up over it. I just knew better for next time. It’s always best to call ahead and ask if the restaurant can accommodate. Most of the time they are happy to make something special just for you! I usually tell them any egg-free pasta with a red sauce and veggies will work so they don’t have to go out of their way (most restaurants have some sort of pasta dish). On the plus side, Daniel and I usually go to asian restaurants which typically already have vegan options on their menu.  Score!

Overall, we cut down on going out to eat because most of the time our food at home tastes WAY better. Why go out to a restaurant when you love the food you make at home? It’s cheaper, and so delicious! And it’s actually pretty quick to throw together a vegan meal. No more waiting for meat to thaw and having to ensure that it is fully cooked. With veggies, you just cooked them to your preferred crunch-level. I prefer mine to still have a little crunch to them. You actually don’t want to overcook your veggies because it will break down the nutrients in them. Nutrients = Life

I FEEL so much better on this diet. Meat and dairy are hard on the body–they’re linked to 14 out of the 15 leading causes of death. They lack important nutrients that the body needs. And they’re full of death and disease. Why not eat an abundance of bright and colorful fruits and vegetables that provide the energy you need? I really do feel a difference in energy on a vegan diet. I don’t feel sluggish anymore. I also lost 5 pounds without trying! I will admit that I was a bit of a junk food vegan in the beginning too. I ate french fries almost every night. And even still, I felt better.

Now I’m working on being WHOLE FOOD, PLANT-BASED. This means cutting out the processed foods and oils. We don’t really cook with oil so that has been easy, but I am tempted by processed foods from time to time although my cravings are much more in control now than they were back then. My work provides lots of free snacks so veering away from them has been a bit of a struggle. I am working on being better prepared with snacks so that I am never tempted by hunger. I try to bring a banana, a Larabar (the only ingredients are dates and nuts!), or veggies with hummus.

I am also a part of the Nutritarian Women’s Health Study so as a part of that, I need to be better about not consuming processed foods. The Nutritarian diet focuses on nutrient-dense foods and eating lots of vegetables daily. The doctor behind the study recommends eating a pound of raw and a pound of cooked vegetables daily! If I’m properly doing that I shouldn’t have any room left for processed food! Additionally, the study recommends taking certain supplements to ensure no one is deficient in any nutrient since the purpose of the study is observing long-term health through a nutrient sufficient lifestyle. However, some people are unable to absorb enough nutrients through the diet so to ensure no one is deficient they require supplementing Vitamin D, B-12, DHA (omega-3 fatty acid). I have yet to supplement but am looking in to options now. They don’t recommend a multivitamin though as most contain folic acid and Vitamin A which have risks linked to them. Those should be, and can be, easily obtained through the Nutritarian diet.

Anyway, that is how my year has been! I am really satisfied with the changes I’ve made. I hope you’ll consider making similar changes. If ever you have a question, feel free to email me at healthmylifestyle@gmail.com.

And don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list so you don’t miss a single post! It’s delivered right to your inbox! 

xoxo Rachel


 

 

How To Remove Meat From Your Diet (Slowly)

I often get asked how one even begins to start removing meat from their diet. It can seem overwhelming. The diet is rather simple but shifting the mindset from a Standard American Diet to a plant-based one can seem complex for a lot of people. I want to show you how easy it is to make the change.

How to Remove Meat From Your Diet (Slowly)

First of all, you need to determine your motivation behind this decision to remove meat. Is it ethical? Watch Earthlings to reinforce your decision. Is it environmental? Watch Cowspiracy to understand the implications of animal agriculture on our environment. Is it health? Watch Forks Over Knives to solidify your understanding of why a plant-based diet is the healthiest and only proven diet to prevent and reverse chronic diseases. Educating yourself on these matters will help build your foundation to success and staying the course. After taking off the metaphorical blinders, you’ll wish you had known all of these things a long time ago.

The next step is to make a plan. Decide what your comfort level is first. Maybe you just want to try Meatless Mondays and then expand to other days of the week over time. Maybe you want to cut out red meat first, then eventually poultry and fish. I myself started with something as simple as ordering only vegetarian meals every time I went out to eat. I didn’t really know how to cook vegetables at home to make them taste as good as restaurants do and I knew I needed more nutrients in my diet so by eating a vegetarian meal when at a restaurant I was guaranteed to get a couple servings of veggies. Most restaurants have vegetarian options now but a great site for finding veg-friendly restaurants in your area is Happy Cow. Eventually, I wanted to recreate those same tasty meals at home. Soon enough, there was no more meat in my fridge.

Crispy tofu thai curry

Crispy tofu thai curry ordered at restaurant

Have a favorite recipe that includes meat? One of my friends mentioned that she simply left the meat out of her recipe and said it was just as good! If the recipe seems sparse after the removal of meat, just add more of whatever vegetables are already in it or add tofu or beans as a meat replacement. They are both great for absorbing whatever spice/sauce is in the dish and are excellent sources of protein.

easy stir fry

Easy stir fry with chicken omitted

When eliminating meat, remember not to just replace it with processed starches. Bread is okay when it’s whole grain with minimal ingredients (my favorite is Ezekiel) and brown rice is good too. The best thing to do is to think about whole grains as the center of the dish rather than meat and your meals will come together a lot easier. It is the largest food group after all! So load up on sweet potatoes, brown rice, squash, whole wheat items, and oats!

Hearty homemade stew without the meat

Hearty homemade sweet potato stew without the meat

There is also a plethora of fake meats on the market now if you choose to go that route. They are great for transitioning or to have on occasion when you have a craving. Just remember that they are processed and more expensive. You’re better off with the above suggestion of using tofu, beans, and whole grains (for a slimmer waist and fuller wallet).

Also, as you make the conscious decision to remove meat, think about what you’re gaining not what you’re giving up. You’re going to be trying new foods, finding new favorites, gaining back back health and energy, reducing your impact on the planet, and saving lives! And when you slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just do the best you can and reevaluate what caused the slip up and what you can do to prevent it next time.

In the end, do it at a pace that is comfortable for you. There is no rush, because any progress is good progress. Ultimately, the end goal should be to cut out meat entirely but setting up a step-by-step plan will ensure you make progress towards your end goal. Set a timeline, plan the steps, then do it!

Hope this helps and inspires you to make the change! xoxo

For some additional resources, check out my series on How Your Diet is Slowly Killing You Part One, Two, Three, and Four.

“Super Immunity” Book Review

Super Immunity by Dr. FuhrmanAs mentioned from my previous post about joining a women’s health study, I received a free copy of the book Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It was an excellent read and has added a new layer of evidence for me that the plant-based diet is the only diet we should have.

The book is focused on micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals) which should be what we center our diet around, not macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein). You could be hitting your macronutrient goals and still be micronutrient deficient. Since the state of our health is based around those micronutrients, the nutritarian approach focuses on revving up our immune systems not just to protect against infection but also to protect against cancer, heart disease, strokes, and dementia. Dr. Furhman cites that,

“the lifetime probability of being diagnosed with an invasive cancer is 44 percent for men and 37 percent for women. However, because of the earlier median age of diagnosis for breast cancer compared with other major cancers, women have a slightly higher probability of developing cancer before the age of sixty. Currently, one in four deaths in the United States is due to cancer.”

Although these statistics are alarming, Dr. Fuhrman provides ease of mind with many recommendations on how to significantly reduce our risk of developing cancer along with reducing the risk of other diet-related diseases that commonly kill those on a Standard American Diet.

He also has a chapter regarding how to fight colds and viruses. He gives recommendations on how to prevent and combat these illnesses so that they do not affect our daily lives as often or as intensely as they may have if not for a strong immune system. He debunks many common remedies that could cause more harm than good in the mending process, such as eating chicken noodle soup. It can actually slow the recovery process by causing the body to have to work harder to digest the animal protein.

And in case you’re wondering, no–you can’t just supplement for optimal health. Many of these essential micronutrients are not easily absorbed as a supplement as they are consumed in their whole form from the plant. For optimal health, you need to be consuming it from the source. In fact, the book explains that some instances of supplementation can be more harmful than good. For example, I’m sure if you’re a woman you’ve been told to supplement with folic acid if you’re at child bearing age and could potentially become pregnant. Although folate (the natural version found in plants) is essential for preventing neural tube defects such as spina bifida that occur when the fetus’s spine and back do not close during development, folic acid is the synthetic version which can cause serious health concerns if consumed in high amounts. Since many foods are fortified with folic acid, such as refined grain products, adding a supplement poses a risk of consuming too much. This is linked with the increased occurrence of certain cancers. However, there is no risk of consuming an abundance of the natural form, folate, in your diet. In fact, increased consumption of food-derived folate is linked with a decreased risk of breast and prostate cancer. Plants for the WIN!

This is just one of the many fallacies of supplementation and micronutrients that Dr. Fuhrman explains in this book. It is an excellent read for those wanting some motivation to eat healthier in the new year. He also provides a full chapter of recipes and a 2 week meal plan. Some of the recipes that I can’t wait to try are Sweet Potato Cakes with Strawberry Sauce, Thai Longevity Stew, Bean Enchiladas, and Coconut Carrot Cream Pie (say what?!).

You can purchase a copy from Amazon or receive a free copy by signing up for the 30-day trial of the Nutritarian Women’s Health Study.

Nutritarian Women’s Health Study

The time has come to share my exciting news! As you may know, I initially transitioned to this lifestyle for my health. I really just want to live forever. Is that too much to ask for?! But with things like heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, breast cancer, and Parkinson’s disease all running in my family, my risks seem a lot higher…. Or are they? Apparently, regardless of your family history, these things can still happen to you. It all boils down to diet.

For example, an ultra marathon runner who eats whatever they want and is in great shape will still have worse arterial function than the lazy vegan. You literally can’t outrun a bad diet. See the brief vid below from NutritionFacts.org that further explains how this is possible.

But I don’t just want to be the lazy vegan, I want to be a fit, active, healthy vegan! So to motivate myself to improve me eating habits and eliminate more processed foods, I’ve decided to join a health study! It’s called the Nutritarian Women’s Health Study from Northern Arizona University. It’s a long term observational study on the health of the nutritarian diet on occurrence, recurrence, and progression of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and all forms of cancer. The Nutritarian diet is coined by Dr. Fuhrman and is described as being “nutrient-dense and plant-rich, and includes anti-cancer superfoods, which also facilitate weight loss.” These nutrient dense foods include whole fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. This study is open to all females over the age of 18 in the United States. This is an open-ended study so it can go on for years but you do have the ability to opt out at any time. I highly recommend checking out their welcome page and intro video. If you decide to join the health study, you will receive periodic questionnaires to answer and occasional blood tests. Don’t worry–they send you a kit that you take to a lab to be performed so you don’t have to poke yourself. You should only need to do that once every 1-2 years. Easy peasy!

If anything, you should at least sign up for the 30 day trial so you can receive a free copy of the book Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman for free. Did I mention it’s free?

And don’t fret males, although they may exclude you for the actual study, I’m pretty sure you can still sign up for the 30 day trial and receive the free book 🙂

Ok, so here’s how you get started with the 30 day trial:

  1. Go to the enrollment page and start filling out the information. If you ever need to pause while filling it out you can either leave the page open and come back to it later (I did that sometimes) or you can pause it to return later and they’ll give you a code (save that!) and email you a link to return for later. You will need to use that link and the code they gave you to return. But honestly, it didn’t take that long to fill out so you might not even have to bother with that.
  2. After you fill out the information you watch a few short videos from Dr. Fuhrman and answer some questions.
  3. Then you get to download the free book! At this point they will email you the information to download the book and you will need to use the pause feature so that you can read the book before you continue. So again, don’t lose that code!
  4. The book isn’t too long but has excellent research and information on the nutritarian diet and what is best for achieving “super immunity” to live longer and healthier lives (disease free woot woot!). The back of the book also has easy to follow meal plans and recipes–and yes there’s even desserts! The recipes sound delicious and I plan to make several of them soon like the Sweet Beet Potato Cakes with Strawberry sauce, Better Burgers, Bean Enchiladas, Thai Longevity Stew, and Coconut Carrot Cream Pie just to name a few. Listing food makes me hungry.
  5. After you’re done reading the book you return to the study with the email link and that code you saved so that you can answer a quick 15 question quiz about the book. It’s super easy.
  6. Then you answer one last questionnaire about your health history. You will need to take a couple measurements around your waist and hips and know your blood pressure. Don’t worry, places like Kroger (Dillons, King Soopers, etc.) and some Walgreens have those free machines that take your blood pressure for you. You can see my results below. Once that is all complete, you fill out the consent form and you’re in the study!
Yeah, my results are a bit high and could use some improvement! Good thing I found this heath study!

Yeah, my results are a bit high and could use some improvement! Good thing I found this heath study!

It may seem like a lot but you have 30 days to complete it all. But seriously, at least sign up so you can get the free book. It is worth the read, and perhaps may convince you to add more fruits and veggies to your diet. I’ve already started adding pomegranates to my diet (yum!) and I’ve stopped picking around the mushrooms in my meals and have accepted that eating them daily is associated with a significantly decreased risk of breast cancer. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime so I’m all for reducing my risk. C’mon ladies–none of the women in our lives should ever have to suffer through that–so let’s pass this amazing knowledge along!

So go read that book! And let me know if you decide to join the health study. We can help keep each other accountable so that we can live longer healthy lives together! xoxo

P.S. Stay tuned for a short review of that book coming soon. I really enjoyed it and think you will too!

 

How Your Diet Is Slowly Killing You (And All of Us) Part 2

Welcome back to the second installment of “How Your Diet Is Slowly Killing You (And All of Us).” Isn’t it exciting?! If you missed the first installment, you can check it out here.

First of all, I know there is a lot of conflicting information out there and it can be very overwhelming at times. That is why I urge you to check out NutritionFacts.org which is a non-profit organization that aims to unbiasedly deliver the latest in nutrition related research in an easy to understand science-based format. There are so many health myths and misleading information out there mostly from “research” funded by those industries whom benefit from it, so I urge you to take those with a grain of salt and not fall for their cherry-picked results.

Also, recognize these lovely diagrams below? Well, forget about it!

foodpyramid mypyramid myplate_magenta

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is full of members with conflicts of interest from the Sugar Association, McDonald’s Corp.’s Global Advisory Council on Healthy Lifestyles, Danon Institute, National Dairy Council, Mars Inc., National Dairy Board, Coca-Cola’s Beverages Institute for Health and Wellness, American Meat Institute, American Egg Board, etc.

See the issue here?

And to top it all off, here’s an excerpt from “Saving U.S. Dietary Advice From Conflicts of Interest” from the Food and Drug Law Journal:

“…[T]here is oddly no discussion at all of the scientific research on the health consequences of eating meat. If the Committee actually discussed this research, it would be unable to justify its recommendation to eat meat, as the research would show that meat increases the risks of chronic diseases, contrary to the purposes of the Guidelines. Thus, by simply ignoring that research, the Committee is able to reach a conclusion that would otherwise look improper.”

Case in point:

2011-02-23-arlo-janis

But I digress, today I want to address dairy. Every day we’re sold that we need the calcium in milk for strong bones, however, the acidity of milk lowers our pH levels to the point where our bones actually leach calcium as a buffer to bring our pH levels back up. So in reality, our bones are weaker from consuming milk. This is why we have one of the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world even though we have one of the highest rates of dairy consumption. In additional to this health concern, dairy has been linked to acne, diabetes, heart disease, bovine leukemia virus (a growing concern in today’s milk supply), and various cancers including prostate, ovarian, and breast cancer. I won’t get in to all of these today, but feel free to do your own research now that I’ve given you the tools to do so.

Today, I just want to highlight one of the biggest and scariest risks associated with dairy consumption: CANCERS.

First up, let’s look at the study “Milk Intake in Early Life and Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer” from the American Journal of Epidemiology. This study concluded that drinking milk every day in adolescence was found to increase the risk of prostate cancer by 320%. Additionally, when dairy was introduced in to a population that previously did not consume it, such as in the study “The Experience of Japan as a Clue to the Etiology of Testicular and Prostatic Cancer”, as the consumption of dairy consumption rose by 20 times, so did the rate of prostate cancer. That’s a pretty high correlation.

In looking at the findings from the study “Milk Stimulates Growth of Prostate Cancer Cells in Culture” from the journal of Nutrition and Cancer, dairy milk increases cancer growth by 30% while almond milk decreases cancer growth by 30%. That is incredible! The alkaline nature of almond milk creates an environment that stifles the growth of cancer cells.

Additionally, dairy is full of hormones–the naturally occurring hormones of a pregnant mammal. This includes very high levels of estrogen, which has been classified by the National Institute of Health to be a carcinogen. This is because of the way it breaks down in the cell and releases free radicals. And unfortunately digestion does not destroy the estrogen in milk. Blood levels of estrogen are increased after the consumption of dairy. These increased levels of estrogen have been linked to an increase in breast cancer and ovarian cancer as found in the study “Milk and lactose intakes and ovarian cancer risk in the Swedish Mammography Cohort” from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and “Indicators of lifetime estrogen exposure: effect on breast cancer incidence and interaction with raloxifine therapy in the multiple outcomes of raloxifine evaluation study participants” from the Journal of Clinical Oncology. That was a mouthful!

Basically, there is no need to consume dairy for calcium when you can get calcium from an abundance of plant-based sources including leafy greens, legumes, fruits, whole wheat bread, fortified cereals, tofu, broccoli, and almonds. This is not an exhaustive list even, so why are we even bothering with dairy?

Tiptoe to Health Tip #2

I am back again with another easy tip to help transition to a healthier lifestyle. This should be an obvious one after the discussion today, but skip the dairy milk! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again–there is a substitute for everything meat and dairy! Switch to almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk, etc. Find your fave!

plant_milk_cartons_september_2010

I cook and bake with unsweetened almond milk so don’t forget to use it in place of dairy milk in your favorite recipes! It’s a one-to-one ratio, so there’s no need to measure a different amount than what the recipe calls for. Easy as pie (see what I did there?).

Fun Fact: Did you know we are the only species that drinks another species milk after weaning? There is absolutely NO need to drink milk from another species.

cows-milk-for-baby-cows

Look for Part 3 coming soon! xoxo

My New Lifestyle

Hey Everyone!

I just finished drinking a delicious smoothie and snacking on some Triscuits with hummus (so yummy and energizing!) and was inspired to write up a post. I am sure you all have been on the edge of your seats for a couple weeks waiting for my next post so I apologize for the delay 😉 I was really hoping to get something up sooner after my return to blogging post here, but alas, life happens. I am interested in eventually making YouTube videos to share quick snippets of this new path I am on with you while having a more personal medium to share in but I couldn’t wait to just blab on here about what I’ve been up to. YouTube may take the back-burner because I like not wearing makeup or pants and I don’t want to scare anyone.

nopants

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have transitioned to this new lifestyle which has literally changed my life for the better. I don’t like using labels because there is a stigma associated with just about everything now (why is life so controversial?) but basically, I have switched to a lifestyle studied, proven, and recommended to be the healthiest diet by organizations such as Kaiser Permanente (the largest U.S. managed care organization), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It is referred to as the whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet. It consists of eating mainly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and tubers, while minimizing or eliminating meats (including poultry and fish), eggs, dairy, and highly refined foods like bleached flours, refined sugars, and oil.

You may be thinking that it sounds restricting, but in fact, it doesn’t feel that way at all! This comes from a shift in mind-set from “I can’t have that” to “I don’t want that.”

To understand what I mean by this, I recommend watching the documentary Fork Over Knives. It is available to watch on Netflix. The trailer is below. Watch it right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. — Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C.

*Shivers* Doesn’t that just give you the chills?! It is life-changing and life-saving!

My medicine

And good news–it is incredibly easy to make the transition. There alternatives for everything meat and dairy. Check out the options at your local grocery store. Make the switch t0 non-dairy milk. My personal favorite is almond milk but you can also try soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, cashew milk–the list goes on. They are fortified with calcium and vitamin A and D for strong bones! Also, contrary to popular belief, all fruits and vegetables have protein in them, which I know is a major concern in our society today (even though Americans eat twice as much protein than they need) but if you eat a well balanced plant-based diet, you can easily attain more than enough protein. If you are concerned about your protein intake, there’s also tempeh, seitan, and tofu that you can add to your meals. And don’t forget that nuts and beans are packed with protein!

The chains have fallen off and I no longer feel bound by food. I never have guilt when eating, I am never counting calories and I never feel deprived. I feel satiated, I eat whatever I want, I think clearer, I have so much more energy, I recover faster after workouts, I get all the vitamins and minerals I need (minus B12 which I’ll get into in another post), and all while easily losing weight! I was very sedentary during my switch to this new lifestyle due to endless hours of studying I had to do for a certification I needed for work. Literally, didn’t try to lose weight and yet I dropped 5 lbs! I feel fueled, energized, refreshed, excited, happy, and healthy!

This blog was previously dedicated to my journey to be fit but the blog posts were all about limitations and counting calories. They are the perfect example for what not to do. Funny thing–I had a previous post also titled “My New Lifestyle” which focused on limiting calories. YIKES. Going forward I plan to post about my new lifestyle and share the benefits of eating WFPB, how to get started, and what my journey has been like so far after almost 8 months on it. I am also going to be sharing some of my favorites recipes so far, what I shop for, and how I prepare meals. Woohoo!

I want to share this because I truly care about you all and want us to make these steps towards a healthy lifestyle together! xoxo