here we go.

As summer turns to fall, I am usually looking forward to apple picking, the buying & wearing of fall-ish clothes (sweaters, jeans, boots, skirts and tights) and most of all...my birthday at the end of September. This year being especially significant because I am turning the big 2-5. It's been quite the year and I am celebrating it in a big way. I am taking my first and long awaited solo vacation. The year has definitely had it's ups and downs as I have completely turned my life upside down and inside out in order to be the best me. I know it's corny and sometimes I try to make sure I'm not on a soapbox about these kinds of things because of all the things I've learned I've realized that YOU are the only person who can make the decisions that will ultimately change anything in your life regardless if for better or worse. Regrets that anyone, including myself, may have....are ultimately due to choices and decisions we, ourselves have made and it's maturity that leads all of us to owning up to that.

As I have changed myself inside and out, learning about myself, my body and how to take better care of it, I have had to contemplate just how important food is in my life. It's a weird topic to discuss in general because a lot of people have their issues with food whether it is has to do with being overweight, having food allergies or intolerances, eating disorders, just being picky or super un-healthy etc.. I know for me, that I had this love/hate thing with food for a really long time and ultimately, in becoming healthy and in the search for optimal lifelong health, I know that struggle will be one of the hardest things to overcome.

Discussing this with one of my nutritional counselors this week, I started to feel like I was about to turn a page and say goodbye to any uneasiness I had felt in the past or about adopting a new way of thinking about what I eat each day. Some of the new things I am working on adding into my daily meals seem absurd and are pretty new to me but I am trusting these people as the results they have found for other clients are overwhelmingly encouraging.

So yes I will be foregoing wheat which means giving up pretty much any bread or cereal i've ever known along with dairy so no more milk, yogurt and most cheese but there are other options and I think that I have to keep telling myself that this will all get easier in time. There are bread, cereal, pasta, cheese and milk options for people who can't or won't eat the regular versions. I'll be OK. (p.s more to come about this topic soon)

Overall, I'm embracing the transition (as I am calling the period of my life over the next few weeks) with open arms because in the recent days I already feel more energetic and happier even if it has little to do with the food I'm eating, I know that my mood is optimistic with the anticipation of what's to come. Turning 25 will be a turning point in that I am closing a door on a life I wasn't always happy living. Because, and I say this in the hope that other people may embrace this too......I am living life to the potential I know that I have and trying day after day to reach and exceed that. I'm living my best life, being the best me---not for those around me, although i'm sure they do appreciate it--but I do it FOR ME. It only took 25 years to get here but it's been a fun ride. I 100% believe that things happen for a reason and that we're all on a path towards something.

So, my path has led me here. To the gluten free aisle in the grocery store, to the super crunchy-granola organic food store where there is a really cute guy with dreads and to my new "favorite" foods: beets, raw cheese, liver pate, sauerkraut, coconut butter and salt on everything. more on why all of that makes sense tomorrow, i promise.



Today, I decided to share with the world something I am about to embark on. You could call it an adventure. After years of feeling awful most of the time (about myself, about the way I ate and not to mention what the things I ate were doing to me), I went on a diet last February. It was something I had done plenty of times in my 24 years but for some reason it was different. I was different. I'll go into detail about those first few months another day but, the point I'm trying to get to is that by making a serious choice to change my life for the better and for good...I began to see things differently and since, my life has been remarkably easier and I've been happier, healthier and thinner than I had been in years.

But....that first jump start came with help from a little blue book called The South Beach Diet. Giving up foods like bread and cereal and fruit was hard but the weight came off so quickly that I didn't feel bad. Months progressed and I began to reintroduce foods I was missing and with the help of exercise and calorie counting, I figured out a way to eat the foods I still liked and continue to drop pounds. The problem is that for years I have struggled with indigestion and stomach issues related to the foods I couldn't admit were hurting me in more ways than one. I attributed it to stress or genetics whenever I'd have a stomach ache after eating something and most times I was just lying to myself to keep from realizing the truth.

The truth is, even after changing SO many things (giving up potatoes, pasta, fast food and others)...I haven't fully accepted my fate by learning how to eat the RIGHT way for ME. I eat breakfast daily, try to eat fruits and veggies, limit my carbs and fat, treat myself to sweets once in a while and watch portion sizes but I still feel sluggish most days, lacking energy to be more active which would help me tremendously and even after losing the weight I have, I'm tired A LOT. I get dehydrated easily and even feel faint at times...I get tense and moody when I don't eat enough or snack in between meals and I have a lot of issues with digestion (bloating, gas etc....sorry). I should feel better about the progress I've made but it's hard to when I feel so crappy most of the time.

This week I took the first steps to change all of that. I met with a nutritional counselor whom I was referred to by a very happy client. After tests and a lengthy discussion into my lifestyle and eating habits, family history and symptoms....I've found out so much about what is going on inside of me and why I feel the way I do. This blog will hopefully help me come to terms with what I'm about to do and be a place to discuss my fears and successes as they come up. Hopefully it will be a way for people including my friends and family to better understand why I'm doing the things I am.

First things first....starting tuesday when I have my personalized food planning session, I will begin a transition towards a life minus wheat, dairy, sugar and corn. I am taking this on after fully believing in the work my counselor has done to help numerous people like me to lose weight, get healthy and feel better overall. So...here I am ready to say "Bring it on", even if that means hearing a lot of "Is THAT what you're eating?"

-goodnight friends.