Saturday, May 26, 2012

{Transformed} Courtesy of Clean Eating

Where do I even begin? I guess I'll go back as far as I can recall before starting to EAT CLEAN.  I remember making a pact with a cousin of mine one October day in 2009 to lose weight.  Back then it was all about losing the weight and very little concern about getting healthy.  I didn't truly understand the meaning of HEALTHY back then!  This pact was before I was introduced to Tosca Reno and the world of Clean Eating.  As for exercise, I remember doing the elliptical machine many nights a week (hating it!), the Jillian Michael's 30 minute workout DVDs and jogging. As for eating, I was always hungry.  I remember eating Lean Cuisines (or similar low calorie foods) often and drinking diet coke on a daily basis. I ate chemicals, preservatives, added get the point.  A {dirty} lifestyle.  

Fast forward to almost a year after that pact to July 31st 2010 when I decided to give up Diet Coke. (trust me, you remember the exact day you give up soda) I am really not sure why I made that choice, but I would guess desperation. BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE for my health. That next month I went to the doctor and weighed in at 164lbs!!! I was defeated. My weight wasn't budging at all. I was clearly doing MANY things wrong. 

My doctor decided to order a cholesterol test. A couple days later I got the results that my cholesterol was higher than it should be.  Not extremely high, but enough for the doctor to suggest I go on medications for it. I wasn't going to cave to medications without a fight.  When I got the results my friend, Shawna, was at my house. I was devastated by the news.  High Cholesterol? Ugh.  Four months prior I had just lost a good friend, Megan, to Breast Cancer at the age of 34.  I was ready to get healthy. I remember this moment very vividly, Shawna explained {eating clean} to me and suggested I check out the book by Tosca Reno. I believe I immediately went out and bought the book and the education process began.  

My husband was on board right away. We had a date night scheduled for that Friday. We decided to skip eating out and took the book with us to the local grocery store and had "date night" there. We were in search of things I had no clue where they would be on the store shelves...Flaxseed, Wheat Germ, Oat Bran to name a few.  And what the heck is a Leek? :) It was very overwhelming but I was committed to change my life. I was committed to become a healthy mom for my kids and a healthy wife to my husband for decades to come. I was determined to make my family (and myself) proud.  And there folks is when the {eating clean} process began for our family. August 23rd 2010! 

In early 2011 I stumbled onto this success story of clean eating on Clean Cuisine and More's page. I read about Ivy Larson's success with eating clean and battling MS with food and exercise. I contacted Ivy and a friendship was born. I began to study her way of eating clean and the anti-inflammatory components of their "way".  I have never looked back. I embraced it.

I was VERY good at hiding how FAT I had gotten in pictures. It wasn't easy finding "good" before photos to share with you to really drive the point home (unless I was willing to share my true before pictures with sports bra and underwear) of my weight gain. But then I found these images from a trip to Disney in May of 2009. Yikes. I had found the images needed.

This {eat clean} journey was quite different from the pact I made with my cousin.  It wasn't about losing weight first. It was about getting healthy first and the weight should come off (at least I hoped it would).  I trusted Tosca. I focused on eating {clean} foods day in and day out (for the majority of the time). We ate out A LOT less.  I started doing Zumba two days a week. I started to stretch daily.  I spent more time being active with my kids.

I think by January 2011 my family was living 85% clean (my goal) and I decided to start this blog to share my journey with others. Hoping to inspire others to feel as great as I do right now!  I am blessed by many of your success stories and decisions to follow me in this {eat clean} journey. There is nothing more in life you should want than great health for you and your loved ones!

It's been 21 months since I made the decision to change my life.  It hasn't  always been easy.  The beginning is hard. Many people look at you like you are crazy to give up soda. Many people don't believe in {eating clean} and the results. Many people don't want to put in the work. Many people are scared of change.  Ignore those people for now. Prove to them it DOES work.  I AM that proof. I've done the work. You can see the results. I can feel the results. My family benefits from the results. 

Thank you Tosca Reno for sharing your story and changing my life. Thank you Shawna for simply sharing her message with me. Thank you to Megan for inspiring me to live life to the fullest in the healthiest way I know how.  I will be forever grateful.  

The remainder of 2012 is dedicated to continuing my clean eating and toning, toning, toning!

The NEW and improved ME! Inside and out.
May 2012
21 lbs down
LOTS of inches lost
2 sizes down in clothing

May 2013 Update: I am still within 2-3 lbs from the weight I was in the pictures above (I think I'm down a couple lbs from the image). I am 5'-6" and I weigh 140-145 lbs. This has been the case for the past year or more. I truly don't weight myself often, but I find it important to point out that if you eat real food (not processed with added chemicals, preservatives, etc) you can keep the weight off! What a blessing! It's always nice for your doctor to tell you that you look great (and feel great too). 

October 2013 Update: My cholesterol numbers are FINALLY normal! YAY!


  1. It amazes me that what brought me to your page is the same thing that brought you to clean eating...high cholesterol. I'm really only about 10 pounds overweight, work out almost daily, and yet those terrible results came back. I was shocked! I never would have guessed that at my age (35) and my "health," this could happen. But the truth is I have not followed a very healthy diet lately. So...time to commit to something better, clean eating. I look forward to reading your blog and trying your recipes!

  2. Glad you found me! Good luck with the clean eating. :) I was supposed to fast and retest before our Disney vacation(my choice) but sadly a friend passed away and it was TOO hectic. SOOO I will be retesting a few weeks after we return. I'll post my results.

  3. Angie, I am so proud of you and so incredibly inspired by you. Way to go, Sista!!! I simply shone the light on the path, you've done the rest! I love you! ~Shawna

  4. Angie, you look amazing. Wow! I am impressed. Also, I love your story, your blog, and your recipes. You have inspired me to eat cleaner and I cannot thank you enough. I was pretty healthy before, but not like I am now. I feel better and I see a difference in my husband and my kids. Thank you!!!!

  5. Angie I really want to try this but I feel so intimidated :(

  6. Chelsea- what books have you bought on this subject ? Treat it as a test in school. Study well and use your body as the test. Start with what you drink daily and rid it of any unclean items. Then move on to artificial sweeteners