14 Feb My Nutrition Evolution.
I have evolved a LOT in the past few years, and by that, I mean that basically I don’t recognize the “old me” anymore … which is a good thing. The old me was tired, unmotivated, chronically sluggish and unable to build lean muscle. A few of my friends have asked me how I made my energy/performance transformation, so I wanted to share and be honest about what has/has not worked for me. In a nutshell, my lifestyle has morphed from a diet of pasta with a side of sourdough bread, to gluten-free, to strict “paleo”, to completely eliminating any/all sugar, to finally, what I like to call “nutritional re-balancing”.
The nutritional re-balancing came about after approximately 2 years of eating paleo/Whole30 when I reached a point where I was brutally exhausted, but absolutely could not figure out why. By all accounts, I was doing everything “right” – so I had no idea what was wrong with me. It got to a point where I was pretty desperate to feel better, and I’m happy to say, that I found a solution.
As a reference, let me share a few before/after photos so you can see the difference.
So what am I doing differently? Well, first I will tell you what I DON’T DO:
- I do not count calories, macros or ounces. I eat very intuitively – i.e. if I’m actually hungry, I will eat something healthy and delicious, pretty simple.
- I do not do “cheats”. If I choose to eat something, then it is a conscious decision to do so. I think that having a mindset that certain foods are “cheating” or “bad” can have serious ramifications as far as feeling guilty and/or ashamed of choices, which can lead to disordered eating behaviors. There are certain foods that I will not eat, because I don’t like how they make me feel (buh-bye donuts and giant bowls of pasta), but as long as I’m not eating pizza 30x per week, it isn’t going to be an issue.
- I don’t deprive myself of joy. If my food choices are not enjoyable, it is not going to last on a long term basis.
- I do not drink soda or highly sweetened beverages, and my alcohol consumption is minimal.
Here is an example of what my typical day might look like (on a work day, hence the tupperware):
My day is usually structured like this:
- wake up and drink an herbal adaptogenic tea (reduces stress and cortisol)
- drink a superfoods smoothie plus greens (trace vitamins and minerals, grass-fed whey protein, BCAAs and alkaline pH)
- salad with avacado and salami for a snack
- another superfoods smoothie for lunch or post workout
- hardboiled eggs and homemade healthy “fat fudge” (grassfed butter/tumeric/tahini/maple syrup) for a snack
- big salad and crockpot tex mex carnitas with cauliflower rice for dinner
- sliced apple with almond butter and green tea infused salted caramel chocolate for desert (optional – sometimes I just do the chocolate)
That’s it! Pretty simple, sustainable and delicious! I love the smoothies because they contain tons of vitamins and minerals, which I wasn’t getting when I was strictly eating paleo, and certainly not when I was eating a pasta/bread-concentrated diet. I don’t spend my entire day chopping vegetables anymore – I used to spend HOURS and HOURS meal-prepping. I cannot begin to describe how simple my cooking/meal prep is now – it’s almost non existent! I have seemingly boundless energy, AND my results are speaking for themselves. A few friends have asked me if I just, “drink milkshakes” all day, and that is (obviously) not the case.
One more note – just to give you an idea of my fitness routine – I do workout often, most days, but not all. I do a combination of HIIT (interval training) and weight lifting, plus an occasional run and lots of endurance training (hiking/snowshoeing). I also try to get at least 10,000 steps per day, more if possible. I love yoga, and I also take Pilates reformer classes 1x per week, if possible.
After years and YEARS of experimentation, I truly believe that this is what works for me. It probably seems regimented from the confines of a blog post – but really, I don’t even think about it anymore – it’s just how I eat. I am never “dieting” or “depriving” myself. It is sustainable, easy, delicious, and nutritious. I could go into the science all day long, but honestly all that really matters is how I FEEL. I think back to that tired person that I used to be – so exhausted that I was using sick leave to take naps in my car at work (seriously!!) – and I am SO relieved that I will never be that person again.
Let me know if you have any particular questions or if you would like specific product or recipe recommendations – I love this stuff!
Catherine Clifford GatesPosted at 06:28h, 14 February
Staci! I definitely enjoyed hearing your journey. Where you are in your routines is truly awesome. I appreciate you sharing and letting folks know there are more ways to feel confident in your body than starving yourself.
You set goals, not goals for someone else, but goals you felt were achievable for "Staci" and that’s encouraging. Something to ponder people… It’s hard to win a race that wasn’t yours to begin with. Thanks again Staci!
SorinaPosted at 10:54h, 17 May
PamPosted at 02:33h, 01 December
Can you share more about the tea and superfood smoothie. A certain brand, etc. thanks. At the start of my journey.
Anastasia AllisonPosted at 21:57h, 03 December
Yes!! Absolutely. I use a bunch of different products – I’m not sure if I will
Be able to share an appropriate amount of information In this comment section, so when you get a chance, shoot me an email … firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a bunch of links!