Nourish Interview Series: Blaine McConnell

It’s submission day for the 2015 CrossFit Open workout 15.3, which means there are only 2 workouts left! Thank goodness. I don’t know about you but my legs are still on fire from all that work. Who knows what challenge will be thrown at us next. In the meantime let’s talk about nutrition and meet Blaine, bulletproof coffee lover and athlete to learn about his balanced, smart, and sensible approach to nutrition.  

Please introduce yourself. Who are you, what is your background professionally/athletically?

I am Blaine McConnell from Tacoma, WA.  I have been involved in athletics throughout my life and was fortunate enough to play at the Division 1 collegiate level.  After college I started doing more power lifting and plyometric type workouts since I have always liked to lift heavy and jump around.  I wanted to get back into competing and found CrossFit about a year and a half ago and got hooked on that style of fitness and competition.  Recently I have competed at the regional level on a team for the CrossFit Games, and even more recently signed with Phoenix Rise in the NPGL (National Pro Grid League).

Blaine McConnell, CrossFit NW Regionals 2014
Blaine McConnell, CrossFit NW Regionals 2014

What are your current goals? Are you training for something specific or training in general?

I am training for two main goals right now.  I am training for the 2015 CrossFit games, and also for the upcoming NPGL season in June.

What motivates you?

My motivations come from many different areas.  I have always been an athlete so competition runs through my blood.  Being in an atmosphere like CrossFit allows me to stay in a competitive environment and motivates me to get better every time I step in the gym.  Watching others do something great, it doesn’t necessarily have to be from the CrossFit world either, also motivates me.  Everything from seeing an athlete make a great play on the field to the mom with three kids kicking butt in the gym.  Seeing people go out and do great things helps give me more motivation to be great at what I am doing.

Tell me about your diet/eating philosophy.

My dieting and eating philosophy is very simple.  It all starts and ends with what you put in your body.  80% of what I can do in the gym and how I look comes from what I eat and when I eat it.  If you put in bad foods, you are going to perform bad and look bad.  If you put in good foods, you are going to perform good and look good.

How are you using nutrition to help reach your goals?

I am basically relying on my nutrition to help fuel me for workouts and help me recover after workouts so I can perform at my best.  I plan out my whole weeks worth of food in advance and pre-make my meals so I always have them with me after the gym, at work, and when I am out and about.

How important do you feel nutrition is to getting you to your goals? Would you still be able to achieve your goals without paying attention to your nutrition? 

Blaine McConnell, CrossFit NW Regionals 2014
Blaine McConnell, CrossFit NW Regionals 2014

I would not be able to achieve ALL of my goals without having the proper plan in place. I could probably achieve some, but I do not do what I do just to achieve some of my goals.  Having the proper nutrition for what you are trying to achieve, is like having an unfair advantage.  It becomes SOOO much easier to reach your goals when your workouts and you nutrition are working together to achieve the goal.  Rather than having great workouts and terrible nutrition fight each other the whole time.  Nutrition will win that battle every time.

Tell me about your nutrition journey. How did you find what works nutrition wise for you?

I played around a lot with my nutrition during college and still do to this day.  I have taken some nutrition courses in school, read books, and looked up articles to find ideas about what other people are doing and what I can learn to implement some of that for my own benefit.  I would find a nugget in a book, for example, about hydration and when the best times to hydrate before/during/after a workout and tried it out and it worked so I stuck with it.  I have also read an article about what to eat before a workout for energy, tried it, and not feel the benefit from it so I didn’t stick with that.  Doing little things like that and sticking with them have added up over time and basically become a true tailored nutrition plan for me.

What nutritional information have you learned that you find most people don’t know or find surprising?

Most people do not know WHEN to eat WHAT.  Nutrient timing is huge. For example knowing when the best times to eat your carbs can be the difference between recovering faster between workouts and feeling better, to storing more fat!  There are a lot of little things that you can tweak that people just have no clue about, and make a world of difference in how they feel and look.

What do you eat on a typical day? If you time your meals to a schedule according to your training, when do you typically eat?

I always time my meals according to my training.  I usually get up around 6am and make my bulletproof coffee.  Bulletproof coffee is black coffee (no sugars, no creamers), with 1 tablespoon of MCT oil (for energy and healthy fats), 2 tablespoons of unsalted grass fed butter (for good fats and energy) and 30g of protein.  The bulletproof coffee helps kick start your day AND your metabolism as well.  It basically gets the furnace burning and kick starts your body in to fat burning mode.  I could go on and on about the benefits but there are many many articles online about the benefits of bulletproof coffee.  About an hour after that I go train at the gym.  After my workout is when I eat the majority of my carbs.  I usually drink a protein shake with 40g of protein and add some extra carbs, about 200-300g depending on how hard my workout was, to help refuel and recover faster.  A couple hours after that I usually have 8-10oz of lean meat (chicken, fish, turkey) along with a sweet potato and asparagus.  An hour after that I usually snack on some almonds or a bar and have another bulletproof coffee.  2-3 hours later I usually eat 10-12oz of lean meat and cut out some of the carbs and just stick to about 1 cup of mixed veggies.  Then before bed I will snack on something small like a bar so I don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.  And throughout all of that I am constantly staying hydrated.

Do you change your nutrition in preparation for a competition?

In preparation for a competition I do not change what I eat.  I perform best when I stick with my routine.  The day of the competition may be different because I could be doing multiple events in a day which would make me change my protein and carb intake a little so I can recover between events, but as in preparing for the competition I have found that sticking with my daily routine will keep me at me best.

What are your favorite pre and post workout snacks?

Since I workout in the morning my favorite pre workout snack is my bulletproof coffee.  There are sometimes when I will skip the usual protein shake and go for some chocolate milk and a donut! Sounds terrible I know, but sometimes after a really long and tough workout, you just need it!

Blaine McConnell, CrossFit NW Regionals 2014
Blaine McConnell (with the CrossFit Nine 2014 NW Regionals team from left to right – Adam Kraft, Alex Konicke, Emily Emery, Keri Arvidson, and Chelsea Nicholas), CrossFit NW Regionals 2014

Do you plan your meals? If so, how do you plan and what tips do you have for others who might need help planning their meals?

I do plan my meals.  If I did not I would just go order some food which is what most people do too.  I usually make 3 days to a weeks worth of meals on the weekend and then if I need to make the other 2-3 days worth of food for the rest of the week later on.  It is easier for me to break it up in two cooking sessions so then you don’t have to spend 5 hours in one day trying to do the whole week at a time. I would say that would be the biggest tip for people starting out.  Do not try to make the whole weeks worth the first time you want to plan your meal.  Start with 3 days for the week.  Then if you have time, a few days later make a few more days worth and your life will be much easier.

What is your favorite treat meal?

PIZZA!! I love pizza.  Treat meals or cheat meals are the best way to keep your sanity.  Some people start a meal plan and they get depressed because they think they can never eat the fun foods again in their lives, which is 100% not true.  You can, you just can’t go crazy and let one meal turn into one day and then lead into one week of treating yourself, because then you are really cheating yourself.

How important is supplementation to you? Do you think supplementation is required of an athlete to have the best measure of success or do you think nutrition and training are enough?

First off I like to break supplementation into two groups.  Performance supplements, and Sexy supplements.  Performance supplements are things like creatine, pre workout powders, BCAA and other things that can physically help you perform better in the gym. Which if used right can definitely assist in you in achieving your performance goals.  I myself take creatine and BCAA powders because I train hard and my body cannot physically perform at the level I need it to without supplementation.  Sexy supplements are things like energy boosters, fat burners/weight loss pills, and other supplements along those lines.  Which are ones that no one needs to take. With proper nutrition you can achieve your results better and keep those results longer than using “sexy” supplements.  When you take things like energy boosters, energy drinks and fat burner/weight loss pills, you throw off your body’s natural ability to produce the things your body can to give you energy, help boost your metabolism and lose weight.

What suggestions or advice would you give others who are trying to optimize their nutrition to nourish and fuel their bodies?

For anyone who is not an elite level athlete, DO NOT MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES IMMEDIATELY.  I had to all caps that because it is super important.  If you are a person who eats a ton of sweets, do not stop cold turkey and throw out all of your sweets tomorrow.  You will go insane, have withdrawals and eventually give in and go on a bender eating every doughnut in site.  Same with the person who drinks a lot of soda, do not stop drinking soda all together in one day.  Start off by trimming a little off the top, as I like to say.  If you eat a bag of skittles every day, start by not eating them on Mondays. Then when that feels comfortable, cut out Monday and Wednesday. And so on and so forth until you have cut out sweets.  Same with the soda drinker, if you drink 3 cans of soda every day, start by cutting it down to 2 cans, then cut out a day, then 2 days.  Then start substituting. Every time you get a craving on your day you are not suppose to eat those skittles eat some fruit instead, or when you have the craving for a soda, drink some water or even get some of those calorie free flavored waters.  Moderation is the best way to succeed.  Eventually they build up and when you look back you see the drastic change has been made all while taking these baby steps along the way.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

The last thing I would like to share is that no one meal plan is perfect and no one person is perfect.  If you started a new plan and it isn’t going as well as you had hoped (and hopefully this feeling is not on day 3) then don’t get discouraged and quit.  Anything worth having takes time.  Nutrition takes time, results take time.  No one person is perfect either.  So if you cheated on your meal plan and ate a bag of chips, don’t beat yourself up about and just give up on the whole thing.  I to this day, have days where I feel like it was just a terrible day and the only thing that will make me feel better is some Ben and Jerry’s.  Just don’t let that day become every other day ok! Stick to your guns and stay the course.

Where can people follow you?

You can follow me on Instagram @blaine_mcconnell and see how I train, how I eat and how I like to unwind.


Like the Nourish Interview Series? Be sure to sign up for the Nourish to Fuel newsletter in the sidebar so you don’t miss out on upcoming interviews. 

Missed a Nourish Interview Series post? Check out the first interview with Chelsea Nicholas here and the second interview in the series with Alex Konicke here.

Or maybe you have an interesting take on nutrition or a story to share about how nutrition has changed your health or life? You don’t have to be an athlete to be considered. If you’d like to be considered for a future Nourish Interview Series post, email with a brief introduction to yourself for consideration and more information.




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Nourish Interview Series: Chelsea Nicholas

Feeding our bodies is one of the most important things we do every single day, multiple times a day. As important as this is, there isn’t one way to nourish ourselves that works for each individual. What works for one person may not work for another person. Although there are many basics nearly anyone can incorporate, it’s important for each of us to find our own path to how we best nourish to fuel. Taking into account many things, such as body composition, goals, athletic performance, allergies, food intolerances, health, you name it. Each journey is our own, but we can learn a lot from others and how they fuel their bodies. In the first of a new series, the “Nourish Interview Series”, I interviewed Chelsea Nicholas an Engineer, CrossFit NW Regionals Athlete, and awesome woman to welcome in the CrossFit 2015 Open and this exciting new series on how an individual uses nutrition to reach their goals! Over the course of the next couple weeks you’ll hear from other CrossFit regionals athletes (including one athlete who was just signed to the NPGL Grid league) as the series continues. 
Let’s get started and hear about Chelsea and her nutrition! 
Please introduce yourself. Who are you, what is your background professionally and athletically? 

My name is Chelsea Nicholas. I’m 27 years old. I grew up in Bothell, WA. I’ve always been busy with sports including gymnastics, cross-country and track and field. I earned a BS and MS in Civil Engineering at Washington State University, where I pole-vaulted on the Track and Field team for my first two years. After graduation I started working as a Structural Analysis Engineer at Boeing (December 2011). Right around this time I also found CrossFit.

Chelsea Nicholas - Cretus 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – Cretus 2014, Photo by Henry House

What are your current goals? Are you training for something specific or training in general?

After competing on a team at the North West Regionals CrossFit competition last year, I decided I wanted to start competing as an individual to see how far I can go with the sport. I hired a coach to design my programming and have been working with her the last 9 months or so putting in 15+ hours a week. I have countless goals that vary in magnitude and depth. The main goal I have been working towards this year is qualifying for regionals as an individual. Day to day I’m also chasing personal records (PRs) in various lifts and common workouts such as a 300 lb back squat. I like to have something to train for. CrossFit is an exciting sport to participate in because everything is measurable; you can literally track your fitness. I think that’s why a lot of people fall in love with it so quickly.

What motivates you?

Initially my motivation for getting to the gym was purely aesthetics; I wanted to look good. At some point I realized that everyone has a different idea of what it means to look good and you get a lot more satisfaction if you focus on performance. That’s when I stopped “working out” and started “training.” I try to be my own motivation. The only person you should worry about impressing is yourself.

Tell me about your diet/eating philosophy.

My perception of healthy eating has evolved so much over the years and I’m sure it will continue to change. It’s all about something you can sustain and enjoy every day that keeps you energized and fueled for training. Nutrition is very personal and you have to find what works for you.

Chelsea Nicholas - Toys For Tots 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – Toys For Tots 2014, Photo by Henry House

How are you using nutrition to help reach your goals?

I use nutrition to energize, recover, and heal. It absolutely affects performance and if I want to reach my goals I need to plan/track my nutrition (and sleep) very closely.   If you are eating right you will feel happier, healthier, stronger, more powerful, and ready to attack your workouts. This means eating enough of the right things at the right times.

How important do you feel nutrition is to getting you to your goals? Would you still be able to achieve your goals without paying attention to your nutrition?

Nutrition is essential to reaching my goals. If I want to maximize performance and uncover my full potential then I can’t ignore it. They go hand in hand.

Tell me about your nutrition journey. How did you find what works nutrition wise for you?

I started paying closer attention to nutrition about a year and a half ago. At the time I was still working out because I wanted to look good; I cared more about the weight of my body than the weight of my barbell. I started tracking my food to control calories and macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) but was not as concerned about what foods I was eating. I set my goal numbers using a calorie distribution of 30/40/30 for protein/carbs/fat. Wanting to lose a few pounds I set daily calorie intake too low. This was effective for losing a little weight but it came at a price; I was not enjoying my time at the gym and it was completely exhausting! Ultimately it was not sustainable and at some point I stopped counting. From this initial food tracking experience I developed a concept of how many macros are in different foods. I learned that I tend to be low on protein and high on fat if I don’t pay attention. With this in mind I tried to consume more protein and continued eating what seemed healthy and training hard. When I hired my coach 9 months ago she set some new macros for me. They followed the same calorie distribution, but with protein set at my body weight which ends up being right around 2000 calories a day.   This was great for a while, my body weight stayed the same and I continued making gains in the gym. Several months later my workouts were getting longer and I reached a point where my muscles would fatigue before my lungs gave out. At this time we added an extra 100g of carbs post workout to ensure my muscles are properly nourished. I don’t eat the extra 100g of carbs every day, but I can tell if I am going to need them based on the types of workouts I see in my training week and how I am feeling. It’s nice to be in a place where you know your body and what it needs to perform at its best.

When it comes to what foods to eat and what foods to avoid I’m still experimenting. When I find things I like that are easy to prep for the week, I stick with them. I don’t have any food allergies so I was never too worried about cuttings things out of my diet. Then about two months ago I had a weightlifting accident…I won’t tell the full story because I don’t want anyone thinking CrossFit is careless or dangerous but I tore the ulnar collateral ligament in my right elbow more than 50%. Right after the injury my coach had me cut out all wheat, dairy, and sugar from my diet to help with inflammation. I also doubled my fish oil and started taking tart cherry concentrate. Cutting these things out of my diet was surprisingly easy with the mindset that it would speed up my recovery. It’s been a frustrating yet amazing process. Your body can be extremely resilient if you treat it right. I plan to continue with the new restrictions. The only thing I really miss is ice cream and that can still be a rare treat.

Chelsea Nicholas - CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House

How did you eat before finding what works for you? Did you pay attention to what you ate? How did that affect your training?

Everyone has their own notion of healthy eating and there are different levels. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who eats healthy, but my definition of the word is constantly evolving. Before I started tracking my food and reading labels I think my diet was probably low in protein and high in fat. I did not cut any food groups from my diet and I did not pay attention to the timing of my carbs. I am not the same athlete I was a year and a half ago. Knowing how to feed your body is a game changer.

What do you eat on a typical day? If you time your meals to a schedule, when do you typically eat?

Chelsea's Sample Meal PrepI will include a sample of my meals for one day but basically I try to hit 150g protein, 200g carbs and 60g fat each day. The only real timing rule I have is eating carbs immediately post workout. This is for recovery; I also try to put in more carbs at night after I train. I like to start my day with protein and fat because it keeps me feeling full longer; my favorite lately is 4oz ground bison with 2 eggs. It seems like most of my calorie intake is in the beginning of the day, but most of my carbs are consumed closer to the end of the day.

Do you count macros? Why or why not?

Yes I do. I developed an excel spreadsheet with a database of all the foods I like to eat so I can plan my meals. I have a scale in my kitchen to weigh out portions. It’s not every meal, every day, all the time, but enough to know I’m getting enough of the right things. When I don’t count I tend to fall short on protein and carbs and I pay for it at the gym.

What are your favorite pre and post workout snacks?

I always keep little packets of baby food in my gym bag. Mostly things like sweet potatoes and bananas. They are easy to eat, simple, and about 20g of carbs. After workouts I usually have some kind of post-workout drink like Progenex Recovery, Afterglow, or Revive Rx Recovery. These are all powders you mix with water and have roughly a 2/1 carb/protein ratio. This is all for ease and consistency. When I get home from the gym it’s always something like 150g sweet potatoes with more protein.

Do you plan your meals in advance? If so, how do you plan and what tips do you have for others who might need help planning their meals?

I do plan my meals, in a way. On Sundays I go grocery shopping and meal prep. By “meal prep” what I mean is I cook all the foods I bought so they are ready to portion out and eat through the week. I have all my meat and potatoes cooked and veggies chopped. It makes the week a lot easier and it still leaves room for some flexibility. I have an off day from the gym mid-week and this is an opportunity for me to try a new recipe or something different. I have it easy since the only person I’m planning meals for is myself. This method works great for my lifestyle. For others, try to sit down and outline what a perfect couple days would look like before you head to the grocery store then prepare food accordingly. It’s nothing fancy but it is efficient and effective.

What is your favorite treat meal?

On Sunday mornings I go to Whole Foods for breakfast with my sister. Usually we get bacon and eggs but every now and then we’ll get biscuits and gravy. This breaks a couple of my rules but that’s why it’s called a treat. I’m lucky to be one of those people who actually enjoy simple foods. When people ask me what my favorite meal is I always say steak salad. I’d pick that over biscuits and gravy any day.

Chelsea Nicholas - CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House
Chelsea Nicholas – CrossFit NW Regionals 2014, Photo by Henry House

What suggestions or advice would you give others who are trying to optimize their nutrition to nourish and fuel their bodies?

You have to find something that you can maintain and that means DO NOT starve yourself. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt because everyone is a little different. Find things you like to eat that fit your own personal guidelines for healthy eating and experiment to find what works best for you and your goals. A good starting point is to track your food for a week and find out about how many calories you consume in a day. From there you can try redistributing your macros to fit the 30/40/30 calorie distribution of protein/carbs/fat based on your current calorie intake. Make adjustments from there based on how you feel and how you weigh in.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

We all have this vision of who we want to be and where we want to end up. But how do you know when you get there? What do you do IF you get there?? You’re not going to go back to your old ways and feel satisfied for the rest of your life; that would be completely unfulfilling. You have to learn to love the process because the process is your life.

Where can people follow you?

On Instagram @chelsnichs



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Balance and Rhythm

San Juan Islands Trees
Relaxation here I come! Trees in the San Juan Islands.

Balance and rhythm is not something that comes easily to me. I struggle with maintaining a balance between work and school, personal and professional pursuits, working out and rest days, family time and me time. It doesn’t help that I push myself to always do my best, even at the expense of my sanity. I’ve always been a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I can be very hard on myself when I do not give everything 100%. Having as full of a plate as I do means at some point something has to give and I need stress relief.

It’s become more apparent that my balance and rhythm is out of whack. I chipped a tooth and cracked another because my nightly teeth grinding habit since I was a little girl has migrated to the day time. I was asked what that weird noise was recently and I realized it was me grinding my teeth. In the middle of the day, without realizing I was doing it. The classes I’m taking for my degree are more mentally challenging than any classes I’ve ever taken before, and writing technical papers in the third person is not something I excel at apparently.

So I gave in here and there. I let a little more dust and cat hair settle around the house. I’m changing to posting here every other week until I finish my degree (for more regular posts and updates you can always follow me on Instagram at Nourishtofuel). I got my cracked tooth fixed and I’m getting Invisalign to correct and prevent further teeth grinding mishaps. I’m making rest days as important as lifting days. I’m letting everything I have to do for school go while I’m at work, because there is nothing I can do about it then. And most importantly I’m focusing on my family when we have time together.

Having a super long 23 day vacation from work starting this Friday helps too! Especially since part of the time I will be home with my girls while they are on winter break and part of the time I will be in the San Juan Islands with my husband.

The lesson to be learned here is we don’t always have everything worked out and flowing the way we think we do or the way we want it to. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure or not doing your best. Sometimes life and stress catches up with us in sneaky ways, such as grinding your teeth unknowingly during the day. The important thing is to recognize this. Step back and evaluate what can be changed, what can be let go, and move on from there.

Monthly Inspiration:

Recently HumanX Gear posted my story in the first of a blog series about eXtraordinary people. I was approached in September with a request to tell my story in more detail about transformation, what CrossFit means to me, what it’s done for me, and more tidbits after I had entered a contest to win tickets to the 2014 CrossFit games by stating briefly what CrossFit has done for me. I did not win tickets to the games, but I did get the opportunity to share my story with a wider audience. For that I’m thankful, and I hope my transformation can help to inspire others.

The second story in the series was just released and it’s pretty amazing.

Guest Post from Free and Whole Living

Part of the journey to health is finding your path, which may change over time as there is more than one way to health and wellness. My personal path lead me to a Paleo/Primal way of eating with CrossFit, olympic weightlifting, and yoga as my exercise and stress relief.
In today’s guest post, Mulu from Free and Whole Living discusses her personal path which lead her to a gluten free and vegan lifestyle. While a Paleo meat eater and a vegan may outwardly appear contradictory, for both Mulu and I eating non-processed foods and responsibly grown vegetables and fruit is something we share a passion for. Similarly we were both able to find our path to health and healing by changing the way we ate.
Here is Mulu’s story.

Mulu from Free and Whole Living

My name is Mulu.  I have spent most of my life unhealthy and overweight.

I smoked, drank, and ate very bad for so many years.  I also have been in pain and have had multiple issues for most of my life.  Two years ago my quality of life was very poor.  I spent most of my days with horrible irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and almost debilitating migraines.  I have had so many doctor’s appointments, MRI’s, ulcer and acid reflux medications.

I started working at a Naturopathic clinic and saw several doctors.  One doctor asked me if I would consider the elimination diet to rule out gluten intolerance. Well, it was right before Thanksgiving and I didn’t do it. I continued to eat and drink like always. I quit smoking in June 2012. That was great, but I still felt awful. One day, I was in so much pain and I called out sick because of a terrible migraine, and I knew that I had to do something.  I will never forget the day that I went on the elimination diet, it was July 5, 2012.

The elimination can be brutal for many people.  You cut out wheat flour, gluten, corn, soy, eggs, dairy, nuts, and nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants).  I ate gluten free oats, quinoa, fruit, and all vegetables except nightshades.

I hated it.  I had such a bad attitude about it.  I was so stuck on the deprivation and loss of all of the foods that I loved.  As I was introducing food back to see what I reacted to, I noticed an immediate reaction when I ate a piece of wheat toast, a hard-boiled egg, and mozzarella string cheese.

I decided to cut out wheat, gluten, egg, and dairy.  It wasn’t until six weeks later that my friend asked me if I lost weight, I didn’t. And, then she asked me how I felt. I had to stop and think.  I realized that I hadn’t had a migraine or any of the IBS symptoms in six weeks. I was more focused, had more energy, and my mood was more stable (I wasn’t snapping at people or bursting into tears).  That was the moment everything clicked for me.  I realized that what I was eating was definitely affecting the way I was feeling. Instead of focusing on the loss, I focused on the amazing foods that I was discovering and the way I was feeling.

I felt great for the first time ever.  I started walking home from work, which was about 3.5 miles.  I never walked around the block let alone 3 miles.  At the time I had this goal of running a 5k, which I never thought I could accomplish.  I joined a couch to 5k training program, it was the best thing that I ever did.  I met great and supportive people, and discovered a love for running.  It is my stress reliever and helps me cope with my chaotic life.

It has been two years and I have lost 40 pounds, and went from a size 14/16 to a 4/6.

Weight loss wasn’t my objective when I went gluten free.  Improving my quality of life was my main goal. I also like being in control of what I eat.  I make all of my food. I know exactly what I’m eating and I can pronounce all of the ingredients that I use.

You can check out my blog if you are interested in learning more about me or a gluten free and plant based lifestyle,