Sweets ruled my world from an early age. In fact, “c-a-n-d-y” was the first word I could spell—because my parents had to spell it out around me in order to prevent me from asking for it! I also notoriously claimed that I had a separate dessert stomach in order to justify my “need” for dessert without being able to finish my dinner. In high school I mistakenly thought my involvement in many sports made me immune to the effects of this behavior, but I was unaware I was only postponing the consequences.
It wasn’t until college that my love for sweets caught up to me as I put on the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen.” Ironically, this weight was put on while I was studying nutrition and religiously following the guidelines I was being taught: low calorie, low-fat was the best way to lose weight (now I know that was wrong!). Despite the fact that I was sticking to these guidelines, reaching for fat-free yogurts, 100-calorie packs of cookies, egg whites—cravings for sweets only got worse. I finished most meals in the dining halls with dessert and it wasn’t uncommon to pick up a pack of chocolate covered pretzels or cookies in between to cope with the stress of exams.
By applying an extreme model of the low calorie, low-fat message I was being taught in nutrition school, I was able to lose some of the weight, but at the expense of my quality of life. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was constantly hungry, I was filled with negative self-talk and I felt all around miserable. In an attempt to enhance my results, I began doing a ton of cardio, but much to my dismay, this didn’t budge the scale(!). This way of life was not sustainable for me and I felt so far removed from the best version of myself. Simultaneously, I was questioning other concepts in the nutrition curriculum—one sticks out in particular: I could not, for the life of me, understand why we were instructing individuals with diabetes to eat more carbohydrates with every meal when carbs are the very macronutrient that spike blood sugar levels! This contradiction (along with many others) led me to start digging through the research and searching for other likeminded dietitians.
I soon learned from many conclusive (yet overlooked) studies and other real-food-dietitians like Cassie that we’ve been very mislead. I didn’t need to be afraid of fat…in fact, once I made it a prominent portion of my diet, slowly but surely (and to my surprise!) the weight started to come off. I began to eat to nourish and fuel my body rather than restrict. The journey to my best self was not linear; I had to address areas other than food, such as underlying hormonal imbalances, high stress levels and food sensitivities…and once I did I had better energy, clearer skin, I slept better and I was able to recover from workouts much faster—all while eating truly satisfying, real food. Yay!
It is an absolute dream to be able to join Cassie and the Healthy Simple Life Team and help spread the message that changed my own life. There is no greater reward than helping others, like you, find the stubborn root causes of their weight gain and help you overcome them! It’s time to get back to the basics of real food and healing the body from the inside out to reach sustainable, optimal health and get the most out of life! Together, we can get you to a place where you are living your best life and are your best self!