Healthy food, healthy body

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How can cooking healthy meals make me healthier?

I can speak from experience: It’s taken me from 90 pounds heavier in late August of 2012 to where I am now–a slimming, sassy work in progress. I love that I not only can share my creations with you, but that I enjoy them daily to create this amazingly terrific lifestyle.

What, to me, has helped make my success a reality? It’s cooking and baking healthy, low-carbohydrate, sugar-free and gluten-free foods.

It’s also:

  • Noshing when hungry and stopping when not hungry. My body is smart enough to know what it needs, so I listen to it. If it needs fuel, I sock it fuel in the form of healthy, whole foods (and sometimes a bite of a cookie).
  • Nixing food allergies. Through my personal allergy testing (through food elimination),  I know I can’t typically am averse to (not always necessary allergic, but, minimally, intolerant): wheat, sugar, soy, dairy in any appreciable amounts, broccoli, potatoes, rice, maltitol, avocado, eggplant,  excessive fiber,and oats. Stevia is also a no-go, because as a super-taster, I can’t handle the too-too of it.
  • Fresh fruits, vegetables, some dairy, healthy, saturated fats, some legumes, proteins, nightshades in limited quantities, xylitol, erythritol, and occasional corn. And that’s enough. Oh. And the occasional bit of a cookie. Because I can.
  • Journaling every bite I eat. Accountability matters. It is so easy to forget what you’ve eaten. It helps to know if you’re suddenly hungry or tired what you ate before that may have caused it. I have nailed down so many of my food allergies this way.
  • Finding a support system. That’s partly why we’re all here, right?
  • Nixing perfection. In my decidedly imperfect view, my lifestyle means if I want to bite the lips off of a cookie occasionally, I will–and without any guilt. I spent far too many years in a negative space of all-or-nothing perfection;  it only led to months of ‘pristine behavior’ followed by months (nay, years)  of bad choices. I am not afraid to eat one French Fry from a kid’s lunch, or take a single bite of a candy if I really just want the flavor/texture; I’ve found my tastes have changed so much that the one bite is enough to remind me that I really don’t miss the super-starchy or sweet.

I’ve found through six months of diligent journaling, making better food choices, eating what I cook, and cooking to what I can eat, I now know more about what works for me–and why. Sure, sometimes it was a lot of work, and sometimes things change. In the end, paying attention to how I behave with food helps the good choices  become great choices.

How are your food choices helping to shape you into who you want to be? What are your food truths? Share in the comments below! I love hearing from you.


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  1. Janie Bryan says

    I do love reading and trying your recipes. I have been on the Atkins plan of eating since Jan. 26, 2013. As of this morning I have only lost 11 lbs. I am really getting discouraged because it is coming off so slowly. I will say that I am 71 years old and on medication for blood pressure and arthritis. I am afraid that the medication is causing me to not lose the weight. What do you think?

    • Hi, Janie! Thank you for being so sweet! I do think medications can definitely help cause a slow-down in weight loss. Maybe your doctor can tell you more about what you’re taking in particular? I remember taking a birth control shot back in the day and have NO clue whatsoever that it was to majorly help cause for a massive weight gain I had.

  2. Janie Bryan says

    I have made several of your recipes and when making a dessert I always use Splenda. I have thrown away so many of them because I can’t get past the after taste that it leaves. What would you suggest? I am not familiar with the sweeteners that you mentioned in your cheesecake recipe. Where do I purchase those?

    • Hi, Janie. I am a supertaster (meaning my taste buds are so sensitive, I can figure out most ingredients in dishes simply by tasting them). That said, my favorite “sweet” is a 50/50 combination of Splenda and xylitol. I have the three sweetener recipes (regular sugar, brown sugar, confectionery/powdered sugar) here on the site in the baking tab up top.

  3. Hi – I’m new to your blog and have my own baking company (just me) specializing in gluten free/vegan/and or sugar free cookies/muffins. I also have been in a frustrating yet necessary battle to realize my own food truths – you don’t have to be over weight to battle similar demons. Thanks for your encouraging words and often hilarious blogs! My dogs monitor the neighborhood too – LOUDLY. Great to “meet” you and my fellow followers 🙂

  4. Janie I also am on Atkins and figured out that my meds and vitamins were causing me to get to many carbs.

    • I have seen some of those supplements containing sugar/starches! I know one I have contains wheat since the nutrient is derived from it. I totally spaced reading the label on that one… *sigh*…

  5. These are really great reminders for sure! The hardest one I have is eating when hungry and not eating when not hungry, a lot of times I get bored and want to have a snack, then another time I am actually hungry and then feel guilty like I shouldn’t be “snacking”, but I think I need to find that balance of listening to my body like you said and being aware of what it needs. THhnk you for sharing your positive healthy tips!! 🙂

    • I love what you’re sharing. I hear you on the boredom eating. I try to stay really busy, but it can be tough sometimes. And eating beyond satiety is so easy to do when you really enjoy what you’re eating. I really have to fight overdoing it with pizza toppings. The cheesy goodness almost gets me every time.

  6. You’re such an inspiration! There are so many low carb blogs now a days, but you’ve always been my fav, since way back in the day, before low carbing was cool! 🙂

  7. Fab post Jamie, thank you so much for the last part!!! This is my whole problem, I do everything prefectly never cheat, never sway then once I have one little thing, binging and months (or years 🙁 ) of bad bad behaviour ensuses. I need to learn to have a little naughty and carry on with being good 🙂 and believe ive spoilt it all by one bad thing or meal, thank you, you really inspire and motivate me 🙂

  8. Janie Bryan says

    What is the difference in Xylitol and erythritol?

    • Xylitol tends to have less of a cooling effect. Erythritol has more of a cooling effect, but it melts nicely, making it a terrific caramelizing agent. Xylitol in appreciable doses is poisonous to dogs, so definitely use caution if you have pets. I know I’m careful.

      • Janie Bryan says

        What do you mean by a cooling effect? I don’t have any pets so don’t have to worry about that. Thank you so much for all this information. I will certainly purchase both the Xylitol and the Erythritol.

  9. I’m so happy you posted this blog today. I’ve been on a weight loss journey for almost a year. I workout 5-6 days a week for at least an hour and I haven’t been losing weight. Bouncing back and forth 1-5#s. I’ve finally connected that my lack of cooking may be part of my problem. It’s been hard to get me to cook once my daughter left home for college and it’s only me there now. I’m motivated to give it a try after reading this blog and seeing a you tube video last nite. Thanks for sharing your recipes and blogs.

    • I love that you’re thinking about trying something new! I think it’s so much fun to make things in the kitchen–it just lasts in the fridge longer without the teens in the house (meaning even more for you!).

  10. Kathlene (Kathycan) says

    Congratulations on the 90 pound loss, Jamie! You are such a great resource for those of us who are improving our health and what an inspiration. The only way you could be even MORE inspiring would be to post some photos of your new trimmer, healthier self. I mean 90 pounds! Sheeesh, what an amazing difference that makes in so many ways. Once again, love you–love your success!

    • Hi there! I did take some new pictures, but I’m not loving them (I look like a surprised chipmunk). I’ll share some in the near future. I want to hit 100 pounds gone first!

  11. I just found your site and while browsing the recipes, I found myself singing “I Think I Love You” by the Partridge Family – because I think I do! I’m already at the grocery store in my mind because I can’t wait to make everything! Thanks for all the awesomeness.

    • You are so sweet! Thanks so much for your kind words. I hope you love everything you try. Everything I make is my new favorite, so it’s always so hard to decide which ones I love positively most!

  12. frank weir says

    Jamie…I recently used your recipe to mimic Ideal combining xylitol and Splenda. For yhe hevk of it, I taste tested all the myriad sugar replacements I have and was stunned to see the terrible aftertastes of them except for your recipe.

  13. frank weir says

    Your recipe truly tastes like sugar.

  14. Excellent article Jamie! I’ve learned some new things about myself and I believe a lot of it has to do with you and my cadre of Low Carb Friends. Now when I binge, I think, “uh oh, got to fast or eat very little tomorrow,” which leads to more binging behavior. So now, I stop myself and I eat my typical low carb meals. So instead of the merry-go-round (AKA vicious cycle), I am maintaining my weight loss (80 pounds and maintained for the last six months). Hugs from the heart!

  15. Tina Tierson says

    Hi Jamie. I’m fairly new to your blog and just love it! I’ve done low carb for years, but everytime there’s a crisis in my life I start binging on carbs. I’ve gained about 60 lbs in the last three years, (several major crises) and started eating low carb again just after the first of the year. I’ve lost about 20 lbs so far. I really have to remember that carbs are JUST NOT GOOD for me! Anyhow, I’m loving your recipes and would especially like the recipe for the yummy looking stir fry (or whatever) is pictured at the top of this page. Thanks so much for all your good work! xoxo

    • Hi, Tina! Sometimes the up and then the down is so reinvigorating. While I know sometimes I want to kick myself in the pants for having to start over, at the same time, every part of this journey is such a learning moment! I am really proud of your re-committing to yourself. And you’ve already lost a third of the weight! That is so cool!

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