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The 10 things I learned from taking a break

As I knew it would, taking this short break helped me reset and redefine what I want to do with my life, blog, social media, and business. It took a solid week of letting go of everything for me to realize what, exactly, was missing and where things needed to change. As my first blog post after my personal reset, I want to share with you the 10 things I learned from stepping away:

  1. I want to be more creative, not do what I “should” be doing.

I was starting to feel trapped in the coach-and-entrepreneur-persona, and inspiration was seriously lacking. I went back and read a few of my blog posts from a year ago, and they were so good! It was when I had just started, and the content I created was so valuable. I didn’t know what I was “supposed” to be doing at that time, so I just did what my heart told me, and the outcome was brilliant.

From now on, I think you’ll probably notice a change in some of my blog posts. I’m planning on getting much more creative, less information and “how-to” sort of blog posts. You can read those all over the internet, and I want to give you (and me) something new and exciting! Creativity is an area I have struggled in more and more as the years carry on, so now I plan on working to change that.

  1. I wasn’t doing things I was passionate about anymore.

Things I’m “supposed” to do to grow my business: post in networking groups multiple times a day, post to my own FB/Instagram/group 3-5 times a day, make daily offers, find networking events, blog at least once a week, continue my education, learn about funnels, ads, etc…

Things I dreaded doing: post in networking groups multiple times a day, post to my own FB/Instagram/group 3-5 times a day, make daily offers, find networking events, blog at least once a week, continue my education, learn about funnels, ads, etc…

I saw a quote recently that said if you’re not enjoying your work, you’ll never be successful. How true that is! I decided that it’s time for me to create my own path to success. I may not know where the path goes or how to get there, but I’ll work to carve my own trail!

  1. I need to listen to that inner voice rather than “shush-ing” it.

I think that for a while now, I’ve known that something needed to change. I scroll past pictures from a few months to a year ago, and I’ve noticed one big difference: my smile doesn’t always reach my eyes. A year ago, I was excited and optimistic about this new path, but the trials of life have gotten me quite down. There’s been that voice that has been trying to tell me to try something different, but I shut it up real quick because all the “experts” told me to not “reinvent the wheel.” Well, screw you and your wheel.

  1. I need to make FUN a priority in my life.

I was becoming bitter. I could barely remember what it was like to truly have a day off, where I wasn’t checking emails or creating content or networking. I envied those who had free time and were off adventuring, while I was glued to my computer screen. I realized that I was the only thing standing in my way, and it was up to me to make fun one of the biggest priorities in my life. It certainly doesn’t deserve to be on the bottom of my list.

  1. Let go of the “to-do” list.

Speaking of lists… I really had to let go of my detailed to-do lists. Before this break, I would have weeks planned in advance, and if I wasn’t staying on track, I would get exceedingly frustrated with myself. Then the negative self talk would begin, along with the temptation to throw everything away. I need to remember to stop. Breathe. Just be. It’s okay.

  1. Stop idolizing others and their stories and success

“I made $5832058209 in 3 days!” “I quit my job in 4 weeks and now I’m traveling the world!” “I just bought my dream home after landing all of my high-paying dream clients with a single email!” And here I am…. Still living off a nurse’s salary, making ends meet but feeling trapped by a schedule and a lack of PDO and tight-ish purse strings. I’ve been at this for a solid year, yet I haven’t made the financial impact that other’s had. What was I doing wrong???

Answer: Trying to do what everyone else is doing. That has been my biggest problem. Their success is amazing, but I truly believe that God has his own plan for success for me, I just need to be patient and follow my heart – not someone else’s marketing plan. My own flavor of achievement will be much sweeter than tasting someone else’s.

  1. I enjoy sharing and teaching and connecting with others.

I realized that while I enjoyed my time away, I did miss connecting with other people and inspiring and teaching. Even if I were to never make another penny from blogging or business, if I could positively impact other people’s lives, I think that would be enough. Hearing, “because of you, I was able to…..” is priceless.

  1. I’m the biggest self-sabotager.

Confession time! Because I was feeling like such a big flop in my business, I was letting my own physical health go. I’ve had issues with emotional and binge eating that have only gotten worse over the past few years, and I was letting them control me. Over the past few weeks, it’s been a real struggle. Thinking about it, my perceived lack of success in my business made me feel like I probably couldn’t be successful in much else, might as well let my physical self go…. And then came a good 10 lbs, and how could I ever be a successful health coach if I let myself gain that weight?

….I’m the biggest self sabotager…. But no more!

  1. Focus on the present

This time last year, I was doing a lot of yoga. I was practicing almost daily, and it was my quiet time. No distractions, no cell phone, no social media – just me, my yoga mat, a cool, dark room, and occasionally my cat.

Over the past year, I’ve lost that. With losing my practice, I lost my peace that went along with it. I forgot what it was like to just sit and breathe. This was also my time for gratitude, and when I lost that, I think that bitterness crept in and took its place.

I realized over the past few days how important it is to be grateful. I’m prone to stress, which means I get very irritable very quickly in even minor situations (just ask my husband…. Lol). When this happens, I need to stop. Breathe. Be thankful for each breath. And while I’m at it, think of 5 other amazing things that are right here, right now.

  1. Take care of ME first

I didn’t even realize it, but I was slowly being pushed to the bottom of my priorities. Everything else in my life was coming first except for me. The thing is… When I wasn’t taking care of myself, I wasn’t truly showing up for everything else. The emails, the dishes, the Instagram posts….. they can all wait. What’s important is for me to step back, breathe, and figure out what I need to do for me. Most of the time, it’s nothing big: maybe take an hour at the bookstore just to sit and have a coffee, or maybe just plan on a relaxing bubble bath tonight. It’s okay to do these things. It’s okay.

I know this post is a little lengthy, but I hope that my time away and what I learned has revealed something that maybe you need to be doing, too. I think that we get so carried away in what we are “supposed” to do or be, that we forget – and even lose – who we really are. It’s not selfish or bad to prioritize and take time for yourself. In fact, I think that the world might be a little brighter if we all did.

All my love,

VIRTUAL Coaching | FAQ & Free offer!

I am SO excited to announce a brand new adventure into the virtual coaching world!

I have been working tirelessly for the past few weeks trying to organize everything for you all with these digital programs. I believe that this step will make health and lifestyle coaching more accessible to a LOT more people… which means I get the chance to impact YOUR life, so that YOU can impact the world!

If you’re like I was, you probably have a LOT of questions. So let’s dive in, FAQ style!

What is virtual or digital coaching?

Virtual coaching is done through the free-to-download Coach.Me app (or at www.coach.me). You select a coach, purchase one of their programs, and it’s basically a messenger platform to communicate on as well as track your progress.

What are the virtual coaching options?

Individual Coaching Packages: This is the option you choose to work 1:1 with me via the Coach.Me messenger platform. We have regular conversations to make sure you’re making progress towards your goal. Currently, I offer 3 packages: Healthy Lifestyle, Binge & Emotional Eating, and Positive Mindset coaching.

Typically we will either start with a 30-45 minute phone or video chat about your goals and what you want to achieve. I prefer talking, but if you wish to do this part via messenger, it can be arranged. I just want to make sure we are on the same page! Then, we’ll create a “game plan” to get you towards your goals based on habit change. I will check in with you a few times a week to look at your progress, and we can talk about and work through any challenges together. If you run into any issues or have any questions, you can send me a message in the app at any time, and I will get you a response within 24 hours.

Individual Coaching Sessions: These are the more traditional coaching phone or video chat calls. You can purchase the calls individually, or bundle them for a discount. This is more in-depth than the messenger option, and is more focused on uncovering the “why” behind certain things, and moving past it to create new patterns in your life. Calls do not have to be weekly, even if you purchase a bundle; schedule them when you need them. This does not include the messenger piece.

Plans: Plans are basically like E-courses. Each day you’ll get a new challenge or instruction, and you will track your progress as well. For example, there are plans for mindset change, sleep hygiene, diet plans, meditation, etc.

**SUPER BONUS** I’ve created a FREE Paleo 7 Day Challenge Plan! CLICK HERE! 

How much does it cost?

The app itself is free. All plans come with a 3 day free trial.

Currently, the Healthy Living and Positive Mindset packages are $14.99/week, and you can cancel any time.

The Binge/Emotional Eating package is set at $25/week, billed monthly. This package offers more support, hence the price difference.

Plans vary in price; many are free or very low in cost, and some can be up to thousands of dollars. I would say that most plans I’ve seen are well below $100, most in the free to $50 range.

What are “goals”?

The goals feature on Coach.Me is basically a habit tracker. Pick a goal/activity you want – such as drink 64 ounces of water, exercise 3 times a week, eat a healthy breakfast, journal, etc. – and check in each day to track it. Goals are free of cost.

Where can I find you?

I’m so glad you asked! 😉

Click here for coaching packages and sessions

Click here for the free 7 Day Paleo Challenge Plan

*Also get 7 days of FREE coaching with ANY coach and ANY program, use promo code “PRETTYHEALTHYWEEK”

Hopefully that clears up what exactly virtual coaching is! Hope to hear from you soon!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me at healthbykc@gmail.com or comment below!

Always with love,

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Bikini Body Bull-sh….

Hey! Guess what!

I don’t have a “bikini body!”

NOPE.

I’m a little bit fluffy. I struggle with gaining/losing the same 10 pounds. I don’t always eat “clean.” Ice cream is my weakness. I always have room for dessert.

I’m not a fitness model.

And you don’t have to be either.

What am I?

HEALTHY.

I’m learning to eat to NOURISH my body, NOT eating because some guru told me I should be “grazing” every 3 hours.

I’m exercising WHEN and BECAUSE I want to, not because I’m going for a 6 pack, but because it makes me feel awesome.

I prioritize self care because sometimes sitting on the balcony with a good book & the silence of an early morning is more important than attending spin class.

This notion that we need to get “bikini body ready” is driving me insane. We as women tend to beat ourselves up enough already without the pressure to “look good” half-naked in front of a bunch of strangers. I’ve struggled with body image for as long as I can remember, and it’s time for me to stop being strict with myself, and start being gentle with myself. How about you?

For some women, aiming to be fitness-model-slim is healthy and something they truly enjoy doing. It’s their hobby, their passion… And that is awesome. I think for the majority of us, though, it’s a major cause for stress and unhappiness.

Focus on finding out what foods make you feel good (I’m talking in a healthy way, not in a I’m-stressed-and-chocolate-is-necessary-to-feel-good kind of way).

Focus on finding ways to stay active that you enjoy.

Focus on finding out what exactly in life brings you happiness… and seek more of it.

Focus on the things you can do to make someone else’s life better. Yours will probably improve, too.

Focus on enjoying beach time… not worrying about how you look in your swim suit.

Life is far too short and too precious to be upset because you have rolls when you sit down.

The beach, the waves, the salty air, the seagulls, the warm sand, the chill of the ocean… It’s all there for you to enjoy. Take it all in. Embrace our beautiful world, and let go of unrealistic expectations.

After all, healthy is the new skinny, right?

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Why your faith is key to your health

I’m not here to preach my faith to you.

I’m here to encourage you to explore your own.

In my health coaching education, we were taught that there are 5 areas to your life:

  1. Health
  2. Money
  3. Love & relationships
  4. Career
  5. Spirituality

When I first started school, I totally understood 1-4. But was 5 really necessary? I didn’t think so, so I never really explored it deeper. Sure, I was a Christian on the surface and I went to church when I could, but that was about it. Was faith really so important that it was one of the 5 big areas of life?

Thinking about it now, I can barely understand where I was coming from back then. My faith has grown a lot over the past year with all of the changes I’ve experienced, and I’ve realized how crucial it is to my overall happiness and well-being. Without my faith, I wouldn’t have the courage to have started down this career path and become a blogger and have a presence on social media. For a painfully shy introvert, that stuff is scary!

This Sunday, the pastor at my church said something that struck me. Obviously I don’t remember his EXACT words, but here’s what I do remember:

We all need something to believe in that is bigger than our problems.

In today’s world, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own little bubbles of worries. Like when your phone battery dies and you don’t have a charger. Like when the fruit you just bought turned out to be bad. Like when you feel sick because you ate too much sugar. Like when your kid throws a tantrum and poops on the floor. Like when the wifi isn’t working. Like when you’re so bored and you don’t know what to do….

Is solving all of those little problems the only thing you’re living for?

Believing in something bigger than yourself gives you perspective: is this really going to matter days from now? Years from now?

Am I using the time I’m given wisely?

Am I bringing goodness into someone else’s life? To the world?

Do you trust that if you have faith, things will start to look up? That if you decide to take a leap, you could soar?

This blog post is purposely short. Like I said, I’m not here to spout my beliefs at you. I’m challenging you to think. What are you living for? Why are you living for it? How are you spending your time? Where do your worries lie?

Our lives are short. If we live only for ourselves, we will always feel like we’re missing something.

Look beyond your walls.

It’s a beautiful world out there, no matter who you believe created it.

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Superfood Study: Coconut Oil

Welcome back to my Superfood Study series!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard all of the miracles that coconut oil brings. Skin, hair, weight loss, better teeth…. But what’s the truth? What do the studies show?

Weight Loss

I’m starting here because this is what most people are concerned about – is eating more FAT going to help me lose FAT? The short answer? YES.

We’ve been raised to believe that fat, especially the saturated fat that is in coconut oil, has been demonized. Just look around in your grocery store – low fat cheese, low fat dairy, reduced fat, crackers and baked goods, “lean” meats, fat-free salad dressings… However, more studies are showing that consuming HEALTHY fats is good for your waistline! The saturated fats in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which are metabolized differently than the fats on a steak, for example.

Coconut oil has been found to increase your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn each day, up to an average of an extra 120 calories burned/day. Coconut oil also helps curb hunger. The MCTs in the oil are turned into ketones, which are known appetite suppressant.

The Cholesterol Question

But isn’t eating more fat going to raise my cholesterol? Probably!

Hear me out, though: studies have show that coconut oil increases the GOOD HDL cholesterol while reducing the harmful LDL cholesterol, which can actually improve your health, especially in regards to your heart.

Brain Health

I can say from personal experience in my work that this is 100% true. A known treatment for seizures is a ketogenic diet, in which carbs are almost completely eliminated and most calories come from fats. Your brain then runs on ketones instead of sugar, and it really does help reduce seizures. Coconut oil is a staple in these diets.

Studies have shown that coconut oil can also be beneficial in Alzheimer’s with a similar mechanism.

Hair, Skin, & Nails

Obviously, coconut oil is an OIL, and therefore will help with dry skin. Did you know, though, that it also works as a sunscreen, too?! The same goes for your hair: moisture and sun protection.

Dental Health

Coconut oil has several oral health benefits. It contains lauric acid, which can kill the bacteria that causes dental problems and tooth decay. It can also help to reduce plaque, which may help prevent gingivitis (gum disease).

The final verdict?

If you’ve ever played with coconut oil, it’s kind of weird. But based on available research, it seems to play an important role in your overall health!

Try replacing your cooking oil with coconut oil. Yes, it DOES give a slight coconut-y taste, but even my husband (who hates coconut) doesn’t notice most of the time.

  • Add a tablespoon into your smoothies or coffee in the morning.
  • Create your own toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda, and a peppermint extract.
  • Try “oil pulling,” for your teeth: swish some coconut oil in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes, and spit into a trashcan (not your sinks unless you want clogged pipes!)
  • Replace your moisturizer with coconut oil, but remember: a little goes a long way!
  • Use coconut oil as a hair mask, and leave on for an hour or even overnight for soft, shiny hair. You may have to shampoo twice to get it all out after!

Want to review the scientific evidence for yourself? Click here!

To your health!

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*All information based on studies and articles on authoritynutrition.com

Superfood Study: Flaxseeds

I’m going to do something a little different from the normal blog post today and share some info about a superfood: flaxseeds.

I’ve been wanting to add more flax into my diet due to it’s healthy fat and fiber amounts, but I also wanted to look into it a little more and find some CLINICAL evidence as to why they are supposedly so good for you.

I was happy to stumble upon authoritynutrition.com, a website dedicated to evidence based nutrition. Being in the healthcare field, I really appreciate anything that can be backed up by a clinical study! I went over to their flaxseed page (you can access it here) and here’s the quick down and dirty of what I learned:

Healthy Fats

A 3 tablespoon serving of flaxseeds contains 6,338 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. You know, the kind that gives you really nice hair, skin, and nails… without the gross fish oil pills! However… it is important to note that while you do get a good hit of Omega 3’s, the body doesn’t convert the fatty acid into EPA or DHA very efficiently, so you may want to make sure to include some oily fish in your diet.

Fiber content

3 tablespoons of flax seeds gives you a whopping 8g of fiber… which is pretty darn good, considering the recommendation is generally 20-25g a day. Fiber is great for balancing blood sugar, but perhaps more famously for helping with, well, elimination. It’s a natural laxative!

Contains lignans

I had no idea what lignans were until I started researching flax. Lignans are compounds that protect against certain types of cancers like breast and ovarian cancer according to the Journal of Nutrition and Journal of Clinical Cancer Research. They also are antiviral and antibacterial, and who doesn’t want to avoid a cold?!

Vitamins and minerals

Flaxseeds are a superfood for a reason; they contain a ton of vitamins and minerals. On the powerhouse list is vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and selenium, among others in varying amounts.

Heart health

While omega-3 fats are known to be good for the heart and brain, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flax seeds into the participants’ diets reduced cholesterol.

But, buyer beware…

With all the good things in flax, one must also be aware that with any good thing also comes some bad. In large amounts, the fiber content can cause nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain – especially in those who were not on a high fiber diet previously. Also in large amounts, certain components of flax can cause issues with the thyroid. Finally, flaxseed contains phytic acid, which is known as an “anti-nutrient” because it blocks the absorption of other vitamins and minerals. The most concerning would be iron, especially in those who are anemic. Keep in mind, though, that in moderate amounts, these effects are unlikely.

How to add flaxseed into your diet:

  • Add to smoothies – you won’t even notice!
  • In oatmeal
  • In muffins, breads, and other baked goods. Google “flax seed egg” and use as a replacement for eggs in baked recipes.
  • No-bake cookies and treats
  • Create crusts and tortillas (that are naturally low carb if that’s your thing)

That’s it for now! As you can see, flax has great benefits. The beauty of it is, if you buy a bag, it doesn’t take much of it to see the benefits, so the bag should last a while! I’m thinking I may do a superfood series of blog posts and look at the evidence behind supposed superfoods to see if it’s worth including in your diet or not…. Let me know what you think!

Until next time!

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Ethical Eating: Beyond the vegan diet

Over the past year, I’ve done a lot of research on my food and where it comes from. I’ve watched documentaries such as Food, Inc., Cowspiracy, Earthlings, and Forks Over Knives and witnessed the atrocities of the factory farm. (Seriously… viewer discretion is advised). I even tried going vegan for a bit (and didn’t last long) but realized that my body runs best on a LOWER carbohydrate diet…. Which is difficult to do in veganism. I felt like crap, and felt kind of alienated from friends and family and my husband.

Yet, I couldn’t get the images of these animals out of my mind. It was truly awful. But…. Am I opposed to eating meat? Honestly…. No. We have been for millions of years, and I do feel best including some animal products in my diet. Am I opposed to the unethical, outright abuse of animals? Of course!

Now, the vegan community might rip me to shreds for even suggesting something other than veganism when it comes to ethics, but I do believe there are other choices. I think if you feel great on a vegan diet, then that is a wonderful thing! It takes a lot of commitment, and I am honestly happy for those who are thriving.

But what about the huge population that isn’t vegan, but still gives a sh*t about their food?

I believe there is a such a thing as ethical eating.

Ethical Eating: Meat

It’s the elephant in the room: how can killing an animal be ethical? Again: we have been eating meat for a looooong time, and I believe it does have a place in our diet if one chooses. HOWEVER, there are ways to ensure that your meats didn’t come from an abusive factory farm – and in fact, these meats are a LOT better for you, beyond the ethical piece of it. If you’re a hunter who hunts for food & uses the whole animal, I don’t really have a problem with that, either. **Again, this is all personal!**

So… how do you choose foods that are a bit more humane than a factory farm?

Organic: This generally means that there are no hormones/antibiotics used, and the animal’s foods cannot be GMO or be grown with pesticides or chemicals. Don’t our animal friends deserve to not eat chemical garbage, too?

Grass-fed: Whenever possible, find grass-fed beef. This is the natural diet of cows. Grains can do some funky stuff to both human and animal physiology. Also, natural diet = happier cows!

Antibiotic/hormone free: This should be covered under organic, but it’s good to double check. We already overuse antibiotics, so if I can do something to limit that, I sure will! Also… I don’t know about you, but I deal with enough hormone issues, so no thanks.

Nitrate/nitrite free: This is more for processed meat products like bacon or salami which should be limited in consumption anyway, but if you do consume these, avoid nitrites, which can increase cancer risks.

Free-range: This usually applies to poultry and eggs. Your best bet is to get eggs from somewhere local (like your friend’s chickens) and spend a few extra dollars to ensure you’re getting happy chickens/eggs!

Sustainably sourced/raised: This is critical for seafood. Many fishing practices don’t take the environment into play and are wiping out areas of our ocean and changing habitats. Make sure the seafood you consume is fished in a way your great great great grandchildren can enjoy, too!

Humanely Raised: This is a big one, but honestly can be somewhat hard to find. Check your health food stores, farmers markets, or a Whole Foods. I’m not gonna lie: this can get pricey. However, it’s an investment in your health, the environment, and the welfare of animals. The designation is pretty hard to achieve; in fact, for beef cattle alone, there are 53 pages of requirements for the designation. Personally my husband and I have agreed to eat LESS meat but high quality meat – most Americans consume far too much meat anyway! If you want to learn more about what it means to be humanely raised, check out www.certifiedhumane.org

 

But does it really make a difference?

Honestly, I don’t know – but I think it definitely could if more people bought their animal products like this. The way the food industry is set up right now, most people are throwing their money at factory farms. Vegans boycott animal products, which limits the amount of money these companies take in, which is an amazing thing to do.

However, I have chosen to use my dollars to support the humane, healthy treatment of animals. I think that if all of us started doing this, then the profits of factory farms would drop, and they would be forced to change their ways (hopefully!). To be honest, I think this is a lot more feasible for people than veganism – or at least it’s a great place to start.

But it’s so expensive! How on earth do I get started?!

I’ve already admitted that this way of eating can stretch your wallet. To be blunt, you cannot consume meat the way you are used to if you are going to choose this path. However in the long run, you (like me) will probably end up SAVING money. Animal products are generally the most expensive grocery items.

You have to commit to eating smaller portions of meats. It’s that simple. Find somewhere that has cheap produce (farmers markets, fruit and veggie stands, Trader Joe’s, grow your own) and really load up on it in your meals. Even though you are eating less meat, you should NOT be eating less in general. In fact, it’s healthy to eat MORE when you’re eating this way! Bulk up with as much produce as you like!

Watch for coupons and discounts on high quality meats. Chat with your local farmers or butchers, and become a regular at your local farmer’s markets. Some places allow you to buy in bulk and get a good savings, so grab a couple of friends and buy together and split.

I know that changing your lifestyle and your diet is intimidating, especially when money is tight. Start slow. You don’t have to overhaul everything at once. Just switch to one or two products a week or month that have the above labels, and eventually you will get there!

Want help getting started, need more direction, or have other concerns? Be sure to book a free Discovery Call with me, and we’ll create your roadmap to success!

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Going Back To My Roots | Spring PALEO Challenge

Living in Florida has this one big problem for me….

I constantly feel like I’m on vacation!

While that’s an amazing thing and I’m so thankful I feel that way, it’s been pretty rough on my nutrition and health-nut status, not going to lie. Last summer I was eating and feeling so good, and I want to get back to that! Lately, I feel like I’ve been “treating myself” with food far too often.

Soooo what am I up to now?

A 28 Day Paleo Challenge.

That’s right, I’m going back to my roots (as a human) and working on that caveman diet thing. I’m currently taking a course in Paleo-based nutrition, and it all makes sense to me… so now I want to put it into action! I tend to gravitate towards eating this way anyway, so I don’t think it will be too much of an adjustment, I will just need to be more food conscious.

What is a Paleo diet?

A Paleo based diet is one that includes high quality meats, an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and excludes grains, dairy, and processed foods. However, contrary to popular belief, a Paleo or “caveman” diet is actually NOT a meat-heavy diet. It focuses on high quality (grass fed, humanely raised, antibiotic/hormone free, free range, organic, etc.) meats and animal products in moderate portions. It’s all about quality, not quantity! In fact, this way of eating tends to be very vegetable-heavy, as typical sides of breads/rices/pastas/etc. are eliminated, and the bulk is replaced with produce.

As for the elimination of grains, I’ve already been going mostly gluten-free, so I expect the transition period to be okay. I’ve been reading quite a bit on grains and how they affect the body (Grain Brain, Wheat Belly, The Wahl’s Protocol, Practical Paleo are all great reads) and the evidence is enlightening. I already know that I tend to feel better when I eliminate them, so this was just confirmation for me. However in our society the elimination of this food group is a challenge.

Dairy also has lots of evidence that it is potentially harmful to your health, but to be honest I’ve eliminated it in the past as well but haven’t noticed much of a difference. I seem to tolerate it pretty well, but again, this is something I already limit in my diet, so getting rid of it completely should be fairly simple (except for ice cream… and cream cheese… ugh).

What are the benefits?

Of course this varies from person to person, but studies have shown the following benefits:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • Better blood sugar balance
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Improved digestion
  • Better mood, concentration, and neurological health
  • Demonstrated to help with autoimmune diseases
  • Hormone balance

How will I hold myself accountable?

The last time I did a challenge, I tried doing weekly recap posts…. That didn’t work. So this time, instead, I’ll be posting on my Facebook page with daily updates. I may not post every single thing I eat, but if I cheat (which I’m going to try not to!) I will tell you there!!

Not following me on Facebook yet? Click here and like my page for updates!

I will be challenging myself from Monday, April 17 to Monday, May 15.

Where am I getting my recipes? Am I following a meal plan?

Because life is unpredictable, I will not be following a 28 day meal plan. However, I already meal plan every week and adjust to fit my own schedule, so I will continue to do that!

Most of my recipes will be coming from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, which I highly recommend! I love her book because ½ of it is all the science behind a Paleo diet, and the second half is all simple, clean recipes with only a few ingredients… something I can handle!

I also have a Paleo-based Pinterest board full of yummy recipes, which you can find here!

Truth be told I’m very excited about this challenge. Like I said, I already eat close to these guidelines anyway, but I need that little extra push right now to get myself out of treat mode! Looking forward to keeping you all updated! J I’m also considering putting out my own whole foods based nutritional guide after I complete this any my course, so be on the look out this summer!

Stay tuned!

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