I’m passionate about nutrition, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle full of balance and moderation. I started this blog in March 2008 as a way to share my passion, provide a resource for healthy recipes that taste delicious and help others interested in eating healthier.
All that said, I didn’t always eat healthy. Growing up my mom cooked in a very southern fashion and you better believe that butter was put on everything. Iced tea was made with at least a 1/2 cup of sugar and biscuits with chocolate jam, cornbread and fried potatoes were normal occurrences in our house.
High school and beyond:
During high school I ended up weighing the most I have ever weighed. Although I never really thought I looked overweight or felt big, I look back on pictures now and realize that I was. I also think back to my eating habits and thoughts on eating healthy and realize I was a little confused. For one, I thought tortilla chips were more nutritious than regular chips so I would pack those in my lunch. I thought bagels were the healthiest thing you could eat for breakfast, and my favorite snack was Little Debbie Nutty Buddy bars (the ones with the peanut butter and crispy wafers) or Oatmeal Cream Pies, or Easy Mac, sugary cereals, chips or Chex Mix. I ate fast food often — I loved french fries and would order BIG MACS from McDonald’s and think nothing of it. Chick-fil-a was my all time favorite. I seriously went there any chance I got. I loved their nuggets, waffle fries and special sauce.
My senior year of high school I started working at the Kid’s Zone at a local gym so I was able to use the facilities for free. I tinkered with working out and started running a little bit, but didn’t really change my eating habits or lose any weight.
Fall 2003- Just starting college:
The start of a healthier lifestyle:
When I went away to college I knew I couldn’t gain the infamous “freshman 15” so I began working out every day and eating healthier. When I say working out every day, this means moderate exercise daily, such as running or walking 30 minutes on the treadmill/elliptical and doing a bit of strength training (most commonly arms and abs). I definitely wasn’t doing intense workouts each day. But instead of gaining 15 pounds my freshman year, I lost about 20. I finally came to the realization that the foods I was eating before were weighing me down. Having a ton of healthy options at school and not eating fast food really helped. It didn’t hurt that I went to the gym often, had to take 3 flights of stairs to get to my dorm room and did a lot of walking all over campus for classes.
Being from a small town, I had never been introduced to ethnic foods. The only ethnic restaurant I had ever been to was a small take-out Chinese place. Since I was at one of the most diverse colleges in the US, my options for ethnic foods were widened tremendously. I tried every ethnic food I could get my hands on and developed a strong love for Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian cuisine. Now, I would much rather eat out at an ethnic restaurant than one with standard American fare. I also like to experiment with ethnic cooking at home. Check out some of my featured recipes to see what I mean.
To sum it all up, I lost a considerable amount of weight my freshman year of college without dieting — just eating healthier and working out. It was a slow and healthy loss, but after losing the 20 pounds I felt much more confident, happier with myself and most of all healthier.
I have stayed consistently at the same weight by keeping up with the habits I started 7 years ago. On a regular basis I try to eat healthy and workout 5 to 6 days a week. I have also started to enjoy running. I have ran quite a few races including a half marathon in November of 2008.
After seeing how small changes can make such a big difference in myself, I decided I wanted to help others live healthier and happier lives so I became a certified health coach and personal trainer. Learn more about my services here.