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Nutrition Tips

A Little Milestone That Ultimately Changed My Life

I just granny jogged 2 miles in the sand.

I’m so relieved I could cry.

That sounds overdramatic, but hear me out.

A year ago, in April 2021, I had to stop working out completely.

Like most fitness enthusiasts, I don’t work out just to like what I see in the mirror. Fitness is one of my main tools for coping with stress. It’s a crucial part of my mental health care.

Plus, it helped me reverse childhood allergies and asthma. I used to get 4 months of asthmatic bronchitis every fall. I had to be on a nebulizer, that machine you breathe with for 10 minutes at a time, every couple of hours even during the night.

I distinctly remember the terror of my lungs closing completely, so that I was gasping but literally not a drop of air was entering. I instinctively learned to relax in order to encourage my lungs to open up, and intuitively discovered that I could press two places on my upper chest to help this process. Remembering this now, I’m realizing that this was the beginning of my mind-body awareness journey.

I started working out the summer after high school because I thought I was fat. It quickly became much more than that.

By living a fit and healthy lifestyle, I got to the point that I treated my fall allergies only with oregano oil. I had an inhaler but didn’t use it for years at a time, only if I got a bad chest cold.

It was life-changing to trust my body, to feel strong, to have mental clarity, and experience the improvements in my mood.

In college, most of my friends would study nonstop for days before finals. I would make sure I went for a run the night before.

Over the next decade-plus, fitness slowly became part of my career. I even had a martial arts gym at one point.

Fast forward to April 2021.

I had injured my knee running. It was the latest of a series of overuse injuries up and down my right side, from my neck to my knee. I even felt discomfort in my right foot and feared that would be next.

In 2012, I tripped on a loose plank on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk while running and injured my right hip. (For those of you familiar, yes, this was a few months before Hurricane Sandy, back when the boardwalk was made of planks of wood.)

I couldn’t immediately get it treated due to a gap in insurance and other factors. It healed badly.

When I finally did get treatment, I became pregnant soon after. I had a rough pregnancy and made dealing with that my priority. Treatment for my injury was on hold again.

With pregnancy, the injury snowballed to my lower back. I started treatment again after my son was born, but they missed something.

What likely happened was that, due to the hip injury, my pregnancy expanded weirdly. Then, my son’s birth didn’t go smoothly and involved 4 hours of pushing followed by an emergency C-section. This was likely when a tiny muscle directly interior to the injured hip also got injured. My current physical therapist definitely doesn’t think the location of this injured muscle is a coincidence.

Yet, despite me telling this entire story, with all the red flags to check for pelvic floor issues, multiple practitioners over the next 9 years missed this crucial component of my injury.

This injured pelvic floor muscle is involved in things like breathing and stability. Without it working properly, my entire kinetic chain had to compensate. In other words, all of my muscles had to change the way they worked together. This is what caused the series of overuse injuries up and down my right side over the next several years.

Unfortunately, the various practitioners I saw treated each injury separately or thought the core issue was overactive nerves.

Overactive nerves are part of the issue for sure. Basically, after all, they’ve been through, my muscles are traumatized. They react to everyday stimuli by tensing up as if there is danger, injury, or pain. These unhelpful contractions affect my entire kinetic chain.

That little pelvic floor muscle had been contracted for at least 7 years by the time a talented sports medicine doctor found the issue. Recognizing the overactive nerves was important, but without addressing that little muscle directly my kinetic chain continued to function improperly.

That is why, a year ago, I had to completely stop working out.

Prior to that, my practitioners had encouraged me to keep up my routine to the extent possible. That wasn’t the best idea.

My current physical therapist said that I could keep up my routine as long as it didn’t cause flare-ups.

Well, anything but lying down caused flare-ups. I couldn’t lie in bed all day, but, out of fear of more overuse injuries, I stopped doing any workouts beyond physical therapy, and eventually light walking and stretching when I could handle it.

Physical therapy exercises, light walking, and stretching are NOT enough to provide the physical and mental health benefits of fitness that I had come to depend on.

It’s been a rough year.

I leaned deeper into my nutrition and mindfulness regimens to compensate, but that wasn’t enough.

I did ok mentally but felt the difference. My mood was consistently a couple of notches lower than before.

Physically was worse. After a year, my childhood asthma and allergies are coming back. Even with a diet so strict that I started seeing signs of malnutrition, I have had a cough and congestion. I have been getting an inflammatory response to too many foods. My allergist recommended I use iron infusions to combat anemia so I can stick to the restricted diet, rather than consume foods that are contributing to flare-ups.

Unfortunately, I don’t react well to asthma meds or supplements. The anxiety usually isn’t worth it. I’ve been going back and forth between dealing with the effects of asthma and dealing with the effects of the meds, depending on what I can better tolerate at the moment.

I’ve started taking allergy meds frequently and had the worst swelling I’ve ever experienced from being around pets.

But I still couldn’t work out.

For the first few months after that knee injury, my physical therapist worked on getting me to the point that I didn’t dread the subway stairs on the way to her sessions. We also started retraining my breathing pattern.

After four months, we moved from breathing while lying down to breathing while standing up. It was frustratingly slow progress.

By the end of last season, I was permitted to try three 2-minute runs in a day, as long as there was no flare-up. I felt minor flare-ups, but the boost in my mental health was worth it sometimes.

I stopped these s short runs in the winter. It sucked to be in the NYC cold in workout gear when I couldn’t run enough to warm up. I shifted my focus to other things.

About a month ago, my physical therapy exercises finally crossed over into the realm of light workouts. That’s still not enough to experience the benefits I had come to depend on, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Now that it’s warming up, I tested running again. My physical therapist had me run on a treadmill and cleared me to try it.

Cautiously, yesterday I did a walk-run with six or so sets of 3-minute walks followed by 2-minute light runs. My knees weren’t happy but they weren’t too bad either.

I woke up today expecting to feel the familiar pain in my back and knees, but it wasn’t there. I felt great!

So I set out again and decided to see how long I could go beyond 2 minutes. I granny jogged, but I went for over 2 miles in the sand without stopping.

Unless you’ve experienced it, I can’t describe the sense of relief I felt. I am unconditioned enough that this short granny jog felt like a cardio workout. I had been yearning for this feeling for a year! The immediate peace, calm, opening of my lungs – I live for this!

It will be a long road back to the state in which I wake up on a Saturday and run 10 miles for fun. It will be 6-12 months before I can lift what I used to without defaulting to the dysfunctional kinetic chain. But I’ll get there.

At the urging of my amazing team, I’ll share my journey back to health and fitness.

Of course, if any of you feel stuck in your own journeys or want some support feel free to reach out.

Thank you to all of you who have been supporting and encouraging me along the way.

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𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸, 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘋𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘺 – 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺.

𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 4 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘭𝘦𝘧𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮 𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵. 𝘐𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥, 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦. 𝘋𝘔 “Stopped by Nothing” 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘺. ✅

Here’s one of my high-profile programs, feel free to check it out and then DM me about it!

Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

Food Cravings: A Human’s Everyday Kryptonite

Let’s debunk the myth that if you give in to cravings it’s because you don’t have willpower or discipline. The inspirational moms I work with are some of the most disciplined people you can imagine, making miracles in impossible situations. How can a tiny piece of chocolate be their kryptonite?

There’s an element of cravings that most people miss. For many, it’s the main reason we give in to cravings even though we don’t want to.

If any of you took a Psych 101 class, you might remember learning about rewards, or “reinforcement”, and punishment.

Positive reinforcement
Negative reinforcement
Punishment

Most people think that negative reinforcement and punishment are the same things, but that’s not the case.

Positive reinforcement is when you get something pleasant for performing a certain behavior. You eat chocolate, it tastes good and reminds you of cherished childhood memories.

Punishment is when you get something unpleasant because you performed a certain behavior. Eat too much chocolate, and you feel sluggish and don’t fit into your clothes anymore.

Negative reinforcement is when you are rewarded by having something unpleasant removed. I’ll pause and let that sink in.

There’s a difference between enjoying chocolate and CRAVING chocolate. A craving is an intrusive, recurring thought, accompanied by agitation, that nags at us incessantly until we give in.

It’s like a speaker is blasting in your head “EAT THE DAMN CHOCOLATE!!!”, interrupting everything you try to do. And the speaker keeps screeching with that annoying feedback sound. It happens to be telling you to do something enjoyable, but wouldn’t you even do something unpleasant to get it to stop, even if the relief was temporary?

Stop trying to have the discipline to ignore the screeching speaker, and learn how to turn it down, or shut it off completely. Ahhh, doesn’t that feel better?

———————————-
𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸, 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘋𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘺 – 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺.

𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 4 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘭𝘦𝘧𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮 𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵. 𝘐𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥, 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦. 𝘋𝘔 “Stopped by Nothing” 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘺. ✅

Here’s one of my high-profile programs, feel free to check it out and then DM me about it!

Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

Do You Know Which Lever You Should be Pulling?

First, let me preface this by saying that I understand how crazy it might sound. Please hear me out.

So much of what we feel emotionally is biological and unrelated to the outside world, our past, or our psychological conditioning.

So much of what we feel physically, such as pain and energy levels, are rooted in our thoughts and psychological conditioning.

If you’ve failed to alleviate physical or mental ailments despite going to doctor after doctor, you might be pulling the wrong lever.

On the surface, it’s not so far-fetched. Think about it…

➡️ If mental illness was purely psychological, why would it be treated with pills?

➡️ Why do we get “hangry” if we don’t eat, or feel more cheery after a cup of coffee?

➡️ Why do we feel physically depleted when we’re depressed?

➡️ Why are we wide awake on 2 hours of sleep when we’re really excited? Or terrified?

➡️ Why do we get headaches or tension pains from stress?

We all know that our minds and bodies are connected.

But sometimes they are connected in counterintuitive ways.

Or, factors that seem like they might be a mild influence can turn out to be the main cause.

As crazy as it sounds, the following factors, alone or combined, can be enough to cause or cure mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and brain fog – 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬. I’ve witnessed it multiple times, including with my own clients and even in my own life.

✅ Food sensitivities, even if no physical symptoms are present

✅ Exercise

✅ Unfavorable gut microbiome

✅ Caffeine consumption

✅ Alcohol or cannabis use, even in amounts that aren’t typically considered problematic

✅ Inadequate or poor-quality sleep

Stress management and/or mindfulness practices can alleviate or even eliminate:

✅ IBS
✅ Headaches
✅ Any physical pain
✅ Asthma
✅ Low energy levels

None of this is wishful thinking or “holistic” myths.

Biological conditions affect brain function and hormones, which affect our mental health. Some gut microorganisms are even capable of secreting their own hormones!

Muscles and nerves control everything in our bodies. Some practices allow us to gain control over muscles and nerves that we normally can’t control consciously. This can allow us to relax tension pains away, remove tension that impedes gut function, or release constricted bronchial tubes.

Pain management is especially fascinating to me. Pain isn’t a sensation on its own. Sensations have to be interpreted as pain, sort of like smoke setting off an alarm. We can train our brains to interpret these sensations as just sensations, without setting off the pain alarm. I’m not saying you’ll be like a monk who can sit peacefully in flames, but the average person can learn to reduce or “turn off” some pains with a bit of practice.

So, if you’ve tried doctor after doctor or therapist after therapist with disappointing results, try pulling a different lever.


𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸, 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘋𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘺 – 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺.

𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥, 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 4 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘭𝘦𝘧𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮 𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵. 𝘐𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘴 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥, 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦. 𝘋𝘔 “Stopped by Nothing” 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘺. ✅

Here’s one of my high-profile programs, feel free to check it out and then DM me about it!

Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Healthy Foods for Any Situation

Eating healthy is a challenge in a society filled with McDonald’s, steakhouses, mall food, and diet scams. As if that’s not hard enough, add in the fact that most of us aren’t able to cook all of our meals from scratch every day.It can be challenging to follow a nutrition plan that isn’t made for your circumstances.

Sometimes, if you don’t have the right information, it can seem impossible, like healthy eating can’t work for you. Instead of trying to mold your life around your nutrition plan, why not create a nutrition plan around the realities of your life? There are ways to succeed in any situation if you know the right tricks. Here are a few examples. If you want guidance for your situation, message me. I create plans for the most difficult situations and can hold you accountable too.

At Work


All workplaces are different, with some providing daily meals and others not even having a fridge and microwave for employees to use. Here are some suggestions that can work in various situations.
Nuts and seeds – ideally raw or lightly toasted/dry roasted yourself in advance. Check the ingredients!
Dried fruits – figs, raisins, dates. These are calorically dense, but also nutrient-dense and healthy in the right amounts.

Check the ingredients for added oils, preservatives, or sugars.
Salad greens and veggies. Keep them in the fridge. Keep extra virgin olive oil and apple cider or balsamic vinegar in the pantry or your desk.


Throw pouches of wild-caught tuna or salmon on top for protein.
Raw veggies (celery, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, etc.) dipped in hummus, guacamole, plain (dairy or non-dairy) yogurt, or salsa.

Super Busy at Home


Sometimes cooking takes a lot of time, but not much work. If you’re going to be home, you can prep something quickly and then go about your day while it sits on the stove or in the oven.

Stew

1-Saute garlic, onion, and/or ginger in a large pot.
2-Dump roughly chopped ingredients such as meat, beans, and sturdy veggies into a large pot. Even better, buy them pre-chopped if you can.
3-Add liquid, such as tomato puree, stock/bone broth, coconut cream, or water. Add enough water to cover everything.
4-Add sea salt and herbs such as thyme, bay leaves, cilantro, or rosemary.
5-Simmer (a few small bubbles) for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Roasts


1-Dump meat or fish on a greased pan.
2-Dump veggies in a pan. Toss in avocado oil, or any oil with a high smoke point. Make sure veggies with similar cooking times are together.
3-Add desired seasonings, such as sea salt, garlic, onion, ginger, rosemary, thyme, peppers, or cumin.
4-Roast at 400-450 F (205-235 C) until the desired doneness.

Eating Out


It can be hard to stick to a healthy diet when eating out. What to eat depends on your dietary needs, but here are a couple of options that are safe for most people.
Sushi restaurants often have multiple clean options. Many also have whole grain rice and vegan options. Depending on your needs, be careful with spicy rolls, crunchy rolls, and tempuras.


Grilled meat or fish with veggies. Most restaurants offer something like this, even if you have to modify a dish on the menu. You can ask for no sauces or oils, depending on your dietary needs.


If you’re vegan, look for nuts, seeds, and legumes, which will help to fill you up better than the typical vegan options at a non-vegan restaurant (basically, garden salads).

Out with No Healthy Options


Here are some of my favorite healthy snack recipes that are small and travel well. These can be made in large batches and frozen to bring along when you need them. They’re calorically dense so you don’t have to eat much to be on track

-Cinnamon Cookie Dough Bites

-Brownie Dough Bites

-Banana Pillow Bites

If you don’t have time to prep, try:
-Nuts and seeds
-Dried fruit – raisins, figs, dates
-Clean bars made with whole foods, such as RxBars or Truvia The Only Bars.
-Put single servings of clean protein powders in zip locks and mix them into a water bottle.

The key to eating healthy when life is against you is patient persistence. Experimenting to figure out what works for you and for your unique situation is a process. If it doesn’t go smoothly at the beginning, that’s normal. With time, you’ll find what works for you.


In case you’re wondering, I’ve been offering a 5-star program for single moms around the world for 3+ years to help them cherish their lives providing them with meal plans, high-quality exercise workouts, a godly mindset, and much much more.

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I Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

How to Create the Perfect Meal Plan for Yourself

I wish I could say it’s discipline.

That’s what people have been thinking when they hear about the elimination diet I’m on – no gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, citrus, added sugar, processed foods, or nightshade vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant…).

“It’s good you have the discipline to do that.”

But I can’t credit discipline.

If you don’t already know, an elimination diet is when you eliminate certain types of foods to test for sensitivities to them. Often, many categories are eliminated at once. After a couple of weeks, if you notice a positive difference, you reintroduce the foods one at a time to determine which are causing symptoms.

I’m not doing this to get abs. I’m doing it because I noticed concerning symptoms and I want to nip them in the bud before they become a serious problem.

Of course, there is some discipline involved. Even everyday tasks like waking up for work when you want to stay in bed require some level of discipline.

However, the main factor is that I am trained in how to overcome obstacles to dietary changes and successfully make new habits stick. I knew exactly how to set myself up for success and make it feel as easy as possible.

Here’s what I did:

1) I gave myself a week to prepare. I figured out what I would eat, finished perishables in my house that didn’t conform to the diet, and ordered groceries.

2) I started planning from scratch. Starting with what you’re currently eating and trying to find substitutes is a sure way to end up feeling deprived. I see this mistake all the time. Sorry, blended bananas, avocado, and cacao nibs will never be ice cream, so no use pretending.

3) I identified all the foods I like that fit within the diet and built my meal plan from there. What fruits do I like? What non-nightshade veggies? What fish? What nuts, seeds, and nut/seed/butter? Gluten-free grains? Non-soy legumes? Preparing my meals from scratch makes it easy. Cutting up fruit or roasting fish and veggies while I work doesn’t take much time, and I don’t have to worry about unexpected ingredients.

At this point, if I didn’t already know plenty of foods and recipes I could use I would have given myself a couple more weeks to learn and experiment. Because I have to help clients with situations like this, I already knew how to make a diet like this work.

4) I decided what my meals would be for the first week and ordered groceries accordingly. I added nonperishable/frozen backup plans just in case. Looking around the house to see what I’m running out of would have kept me focused on things I can’t eat or dissatisfying substitutes for them. Plus, shopping that way wastes money and hurts the environment as half of it rots.

5) I leveraged ways to reduce my cravings and appetite. Too much to detail here, but I’ve posted about it before, or message me if you want me to go on a super nerdy rant 🤓

6) I avoided mindset traps:

I reminded myself that diets don’t continue to feel as hard as they feel in the first few days, while your body is adjusting, as long as you don’t slip up (then you start from zero).

-I reminded myself that it’s only for a few weeks, and then I’ll begin experimenting with reintroducing foods to see how I react.

  • Most importantly, I reminded myself that no matter the results I don’t actually have to do anything forever. If the difference I see isn’t worth it, I can go back to what I was eating before. Knowing will simply give me control over my symptoms instead of keeping me a victim to them.

Someone asked me what I’m actually eating since compared to a typical American diet it sounds like there are no foods in the world left to eat except lettuce. I’m actually doing great! Considering I was eating healthy, to begin with, it wasn’t that much of a transition. I’m simply eating certain foods more often while eliminating others.

  • All the fruits I would normally eat: apples, bananas, berries, kiwis, grapes, dates, raisins
  • Wild caught fish
  • Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, gluten free oats, red lentil pasta (one of the few substitutes I enjoy as much as the original)
  • Beans, lentils, peanut butter, almond butter, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed butter
  • Asparagus, greens, onions, squash, zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, carrots, radicchio, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, coconut cream/milk, avocado oil, sea salt, fresh herbs, certain spices, tons of garlic
  • Favorite indulgence: cinnamon “cookie dough” made only with dates, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseeds, gluten free oat flour, vanilla extract, and spices. Never would have guessed it wasn’t real if I didn’t know.

Of course, if these were the only foods I could eat for the rest of eternity it would be disappointing. But these are great foods! If I served these foods to guests over the course of a week they probably wouldn’t even notice it was part of a diet.

Yes, it takes some discipline. The hardest part is trying to have a social life when I can’t eat the foods most people want to eat. But the main reason I’ve been able to stick to it for the past 3 weeks is that I know tricks that make it easier.

Plus, now that I have more energy, am sleeping more deeply, can focus better, feel less stressed, and am dropping weight effortlessly while eating more calories (even though I can’t work out due to injuries), do I even want to go back to eating the way I was before?

I don’t have to decide now. I’ll choose when the time comes.


If you enjoyed this article and want a legit 5-star program that will bring you the desired results, you will definitely find value in the Single Mom Fit to Thrive 30-Day Challenge.

Healthier Replacements for Your Favorite Foods

Most people begin a new diet something like this:

1. Figure out what foods they can no longer eat.
2. Look up healthier replacements for those foods that fit within their new diet.
3. Eat those replacements and be miserable.

There’s a better way. (Thank God!)

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Is Gluten Free Healthier?

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Why can’t experts agree on nutrition advice?

Do you ever feel like giving up trying to eat healthfully because in a year experts will probably change their minds? Do you ever get confused when some experts claim a food is good, and others claim it is bad? Different foods have different effects on the body.

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IT’S NOT A RACE – Adjustment is Challenging

Any Major Lifestyle Adjustment is Challenging So you got back in your pre-pregnancy jeans in 6 weeks. Or lost 20lbs in 30days. Or won first prize in a weight loss contest. That takes hard work a tons of discipline, and I applaud that.

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The Biggest Mistakes People Make with Sweet Cravings

If you struggle with sweet cravings, try cutting them out completely. The biological aspect of your craving should subside within a few days. Psychological and emotional cravings have to be dealt with differently, but removing the biological aspect should take the edge off significantly.

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