Healthy Snacks For The Whole Family

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A healthy lifestyle is not a change you have to make alone. Why not involve the whole family? Here are a few healthy snack suggestions that are delicious and nutritious for everyone in your house! 

That’s It Bars

On the run? Grab a That’s It fruit bar! That’s It is dedicated to simple and easy ingredients made from real plant foods, and in some cases, organic dark chocolate. That’s It uses natural, non-GMO fruit to make eating healthy snacks easy and stress-free. That’s It fruit bars have 6 or fewer ingredients. No washing, cutting or peeling required. Delicious, safe, and easy!

Veggies & Primal Kitchen Ranch

An old classic. Veggies and ranch are always a crowd-pleaser, but we recommend switching your ranch for Primal Kitchen Ranch! Primal Kitchen Ranch is better than ever: Primal Kitchen added cage-free organic egg yolks to their best-selling recipe for a thicker, creamier Ranch. Dunk, dip, and dress your veggies with a Ranch made with avocado oil and without dairy, sugar, canola, soy, or artificial ingredients for a spiffed-up classic ranch dressing you and your family will love on everything from summer salads to a dipping sauce for veggies! 

Chomp Jerky Sticks

A great addition to any lunchbox is a Chomp Jerky stick! Chomp Jerky sticks have no added sugar, wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, or shellfish. These jerky sticks are completely clean and will keep the whole family satisfied and on track with their healthy lifestyle. 

Apple and Almond Butter

Another beloved snack with a twist! Switch out the peanut butter you would usually pair with apple slices, and try out almond butter! Almond butter provides more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than peanut butter. And it is just as delicious! 

Lesser Evil Popcorn

Popcorn is a great source of fiber, and there isn’t a better popcorn than Lesser Evil. With only 3 ingredients, Lesser Evil popcorn is a clean, reliable, and delicious snack for any time of the day! 

Soley Gummies & Raw Nuts

Soley Gummies have created a real fruit bite with the fewest possible ingredients to replace sugar-filled, highly processed snacks. It needed to retain the nutritional benefits of whole fresh fruit, but without added sugar, additives, preservatives, or chemicals. Add in some raw nuts to the mix, and you’ve got the perfect snack! 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started! 
You can also visit our online store, we carry all the weight loss essentials including water bottles, vitamins / supplements, protein powders, and more!

Back to School Meal Planning Tips

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Don’t let the chaos that comes with back to school knock you off track of your weightloss journey. Whether you are planning meals for yourself as a time-saver or prepping some healthy options for the students in your house, here are 5 tips to successful meal planning from the Aspen Clinic of Louisiana 

Utilize A Meal Planning Tool

Here at the Aspen Clinic, we recommend using a log that includes a space at the beginning of each week to plan out meals, or printable meal planning sheets. Having a plan before your week starts will help ease the pressure of coming up with meal ideas during your hectic school week. 

Buy Groceries in Advance

Once you have a plan of action for your meals for the week, it will be easy to map out exactly what ingredients you will need from the grocery store. Even if you don’t cook them right away, at least you will not have to drop everything and run to the store during the week! 

Stock Up On Containers

If you plan on cooking in bulk and storing it in the fridge for later, don’t forget the containers! Make sure you have an equal container to lid ratio so that you’re not ripping through your cabinets trying to find a lid with the right fit! 

Invest In Fast And Slow Cookers

Both kitchen aids will be beneficial to your meal prep strategy. A slow cooker, like a Crockpot, allows you to “set it and forget it” when it comes to cooking. On the other hand, fast cookers, like an Air Fryer, can cook food almost instantaneously if you ever need it in a pinch. Both will prove to be time and lifesavers in the long run! 

Variety is Essential

Food fatigue is real. If you are planning out the same meals every week you will start to get bored at your repeated selections and start to reach elsewhere for your meals, and that can throw your whole plan off track! Sprinkle in variety wherever possible. 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started! 
You can also visit our online store, we carry all the weight loss essentials including water bottles, vitamins / supplements, protein powders, and more!

3 Ways To Drink More Water

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According to Healthline, drinking water increases the number of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure. It may sound simple, but there are people out there who find it hard to constantly be drinking water! The Aspen Clinic of Louisiana is here to offer 3 tips to help with drinking more water! 

Drink A Glass Of Water Before Every Meal

Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion. Remember not to drink too soon before or after a meal as the water will dilute the digestive juices. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients.

Invest in a Water Bottle

Not only will you be more inclined to reach for your water bottle more often because it just feels more predictive to have one, you will also be able to track your progress! Water bottles these days can come with time stamps on them, reminding you to make it to the next line before the time runs out. Have fun with it. Make it a game or a race between you and a friend!

The Aspen Clinic has a water bottle for sale if you are looking for a new one! 

Infuse Your Water

Adding lemon, mint, or other fruits like strawberries to your water can make the drinking process more enjoyable! If you are drinking something that tastes good, you’ll be more inclined to go in for another sip! Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring or mundane. Put your own spin on it and find what works for you! 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass.

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

Weight Loss Tips: Eat Real Food

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One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to losing weight is that eating is the enemy, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. A healthy diet not only helps you manage your weight, but also builds and strengthens your body. Focus on adding fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Here are some of our favorite recipes and tips featuring real foods to eat while on your weight loss journey from the Aspen Clinic of Louisiana. 

Where to Get Started: Real Food Tips & Recipes

First it is important to determine which real foods are beneficial to weight loss, rather than detrimental. Did you know that not all fruits are recommended for weight loss? Check out our list of fruits that we have deemed as “The Best Fruits For Weight Loss.”

Snacking with real food is not impossible! Indulge in a bit of prepping and try out our Avocado Pudding when you need to satisfy a sweet tooth. 

Looking for some real food meal ideas? We have you covered. Throw some Egg Whhite Muffins in the oven to enjoy for breakfast, or try out our Avocado Cauliflower “Toast” recipe that puts a healthy spin on a classic!

Fire up the grill and whip up some Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa for dinner.  Blackened Fish Tacos are always a crowd pleaser and are super easy to make on a busy week-day night. 

Eating while losing weight doesn’t have to be torture. Let yourself enjoy the journey with foods that make both your mind and body happy! We have a ton of recipes to choose from. 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started! 
You can also visit our online store, we carry all the weight loss essentials including water bottles, vitamins / supplements, protein powders, and more!

Best Fruits For Weight Loss

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Fruits are a notorious diet food, but they are not all beneficial when it comes to losing weight. By now, you have read our blog on which fruits to stay away from when losing weight. Now, The Aspen Clinic is back with some fruits that are more beneficial to eat when losing weight! 

Fruits Approved For Weight Loss

Low sugar fruits will balance your energy, rather than high sugar fruits which tend to spike blood pressure. Here are some low sugar fruits to snack on while on your weight loss journey: 

  • Grapefruit
  • Granny Smith Apple
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Kiwi
  • Tart Berries

Low sugar fruits can still provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals! Your body will thank you for all of the nutrients you are feeding it, all while keeping yourself on track for weight loss. 

Grapefruit can be eaten at breakfast time either alone or accompanied by some eggs for extra protein. Add lemon or lime to water to make staying hydrated more fun! Top oatmeal or yogurt made from almonds with some berries. Get creative with your fruits and make weight loss more fun and effective. 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

You can also visit our online store, we carry all the weight loss essentials including water bottles, vitamins / supplements, protein powders, and more!

5 Healthy Snacks to Aid Weight Loss

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Snacking is an integral part of your day. Especially when losing weight, it is important to keep a healthy flow of nutrients going into your body throughout the day. Here are 5 healthy snacks to help you lose weight while satisfying your hunger! 

Mixed Nuts

According to Health Line, nuts are an ideal nutritious snack. They’re linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and may help prevent certain cancers, depression, and other illnesses. Despite being relatively high in fat, they are very filling. When choosing nuts, try to choose raw or unflavored! Any nut is okay, except pnuts which are a legume and cause inflammation. Several studies suggest that eating nuts in moderation can help you lose weight. Nuts provide the perfect balance of healthy fat, protein, and fiber. They contain 180 calories in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, on average. Because they don’t require refrigeration, they’re perfect for taking on the go, too!

Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are extremely healthy and have become a bit of a phenomenon as of late. Although all bell peppers are nutritious, red varieties are particularly high in antioxidants like beta carotene, capsanthin, and quercetin. They are also rich in vitamin C. Try pairing 1 large red bell pepper with 3 ounces (85 grams) of guacamole to add healthy fat and fiber while keeping this snack’s calorie count under 200!

Berries and Yogurt

This pair is a notorious weight loss journey snack. Not only is it delicious, it is also a wonderful source of nutrients! Dairy free yogurts made with almonds or coconuts are a great source of potassium and calcium, and are very high in protein. Berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants around. Eat a mixture of differently colored berries to get an array of these powerful compounds.

Apple Slices and Almond Butter Butter

A tale as old as time. Apple slices and almond butter are such a popular pair that even people who aren’t on a weight loss journey incorporate them into their diet! Apples are high in fiber and polyphenol antioxidants that improve gut health and reduce heart disease risk, and peanut butter has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are one of the healthiest and most weight-loss-friendly foods you can eat. They pack plenty of protein, as well as vitamins K2 and B12. Eggs are incredibly filling and may reduce the number of calories you eat for many hours, which should help you lose weight 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

You can also visit our online store, we carry all the weight loss essentials including water bottles, vitamins / supplements, protein powders, and more!

Diet Myths: BUSTED!

If you haven’t heard the news yet, we started a podcast! 

It’s been so much fun to discuss some of the topics/questions that we get every day in our offices with you whenever and wherever you choose!  As of now, we have 3 episodes available. 

Happy Healthy Days Podcast hosts, Barbie and Nikki

Episode 01: Welcome to Happy, Healthy Days

Our co-hosts Barbie and Nikki introduced themselves and talk more about their backgrounds, how they ended up working for Aspen Clinic, and shared some of their personal beliefs on health, nutrition, and overall wellness. 

Episode 02: Ditching Dairy

They dove right in to one of their favorite topics: DAIRY!  They both have some pretty strong views on why you should completely eliminate dairy from your diet if you haven’t already done so.  Finally, in

Episode 03: Busting Diet Myths

They address tons of diet myths and give you the truth on topics that often have misinformation. 

In case you missed episode 3, here’s a recap of the myths Barbie and Nikki discussed:

Myth: Muscle weighs more than fat

When you really think about it, 5lbs of muscle and 5lbs of fat weigh the same (each is 5lbs).  The difference is the amount of space they take up in your body.

Myth: Eating as little calories as possible is the best way to lose weight

If you are only eating a few hundred calories per day your body will end up going into starvation defense.  Keep in mind, your body is made to survive.  This means that if you don’t give your body enough fuel to burn off, it will end up storing everything you eat and burning it off as slowly as possible.

Myth: All fruits and veggies are good for weight loss.

While fruits and vegetables are healthy and loaded with vitamins and minerals, they aren’t ALWAYS the best option when trying to lose weight.  Starchy veggies and fruits are very carbohydrate dense and will take up a good bit of your carbohydrate allowance per day.  Try to stick to the green/leafy veggies and berries.

Myth: Eggs give you high cholesterol

Eggs are high in cholesterol, but they are high in HDL cholesterol which is the good kind!  It would literally take close to 50 egg yolks in a day to effect your cholesterol levels, so don’t be afraid of those yolks!

Egg whites are better than eating the whole egg: We all know that the egg white contains zero fat, but the reason we want you to eat eggs is because they are very low carb and high in protein.  Just eating the egg white only gives you about 3g protein while the entire egg will give you 8g.  Also, the yolk has been considered a “nutrient goldmine” and is part of the reasons we allow our patients to eat eggs until you’re sick of them!

Myth: Red meat and pork are bad for you

When it comes to protein, red meat and pork are actually higher grams per ounce than chicken and turkey.  The main reason that we tell you to limit your consumption of red meat and pork is because it is harder for your body to digest than other forms of protein. Remember, digestion begins in the mouth, so if it feels dry and chewy when you’re eating it, it will likely be like that through the rest of your digestive system.  This is also why it’s important to take digestive enzymes every time you eat meat.

Myth: Gluten-free is always healthy/good for weight loss

Gluten is found in tons of foods that we would like you to avoid when losing weight.  However, that doesn’t mean that because something is “gluten-free” that it’s a healthy option.  If you go down the gluten-free aisle in your grocery store you will notice that there are nothing but GF crackers, cookies, etc.  Those things are still high in carbohydrates and sugar even though they are GF.

Myth: Fat makes you fat

The only way that your body stores fat as fat is if you consume carbohydrates along with that fat.  In order to be stored, fat must enter into your cells and the only way to open the “door” to the cell is with insulin.  Consuming a high fat (healthy fats) and low carb diet will not lead to an increase in fat mass.

Myth: Eating healthy is more expensive

The key to spending less money on food is to plan!  Healthy food is no more expensive than unhealthy food, the issue is that if you over-buy fresh foods they spoil and you have more waste.  We recommend making a weekly meal plan and only buying the foods you will need and use that week. 

Myth: Calories vs calories out

We all know that in order to lose weight it’s important to eat less calories than what you burn per day, however not every calorie is created equal.  1200 calories of junk food is way different that 1200 calories of healthy food.  We are way more concerned with where those calories came from than just how many of them you ate.  Keep in mind, your body doesn’t know that you’re food journaling and its’ all about giving your body nutrients and energy that can be easily digested.

Myth: Cardio is best for weight loss

Weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, we recommend 30 minutes per day but it is so much more important to get to the grocery store than the gym.  However, when it comes to which exercise is more effective for weight loss strength training would be the best option.  The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn even while at rest.  More muscle = faster metabolism.

If you haven’t tuned in yet be sure to search ‘Happy, Healthy Days’ in the podcast app on iTunes or scroll to the bottom of the page under the ‘Blog’ tab on our website to find us!  

Listen here: http://aspenclinic.libsyn.com/

Chomps Jerky Snack Sticks

New at the Aspen Clinic!

If you’ve been in to any of our 9 locations recently you probably noticed that we have a new product in our offices!

We are so excited to announce that we are now selling Chomps Snack Sticks!

When it comes to healthy snacking, it’s hard to beat jerky… but only if it’s made right.

If you’ve never heard of Chomps, they’re made from high quality protein that look similar to a Slim Jim, but they are made from animals who were raised in a free range environment and consumed only vegetarian diets.  The original beef and jalapeño beef are made from 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef and the turkey flavors are sourced from only free-range , antibiotic-free turkey.

Chomps Jerky is made with 100% all-natural ingredients without the unnecessary fillers (no pork!) that big-name brands like to use which makes Chomps the highest quality jerky on the market.  You don’t even have to worry about added preservatives because Chomps uses celery juice to make sure their jerky stays fresh!

Aside from the great taste and all-natural ingredients, Chomps aligns perfectly with our nutritional program. Each and every one of Chomps’ products are filled with 9g of protein, more than most jerky sticks.  They’re also made with no added sugars or gluten, there’s no MSG, no fillers, nitrates, binders, or added preservatives.  Every flavor is 1g of carbohydrate or less and are all super lean!  These are the PERFECT option for anyone who often skips breakfast because the macronutrients are almost identical to an egg or just the perfect snack when you’re hungry between meals!

Stop in to any of our offices today to try one!

  • 9g protein 
  • No added sugars
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No gluten
  • No MSG
  • No Fillers
  • No Binders
  • No added preservatives
  • Less salt
  • No nitrates
  • Whole30 Approved
  • Keto and Paleo friendly

Flavors Available:

  • Original Beef
  • Original Turkey
  • Hoppin Jalapeno Beef
  • Jalapeno Turkey
  • Salt and Pepper Venison

Here’s to healthy Chomping!

www.chomps.com

Ditch the dairy!

Did you know that humans are the only species on Earth who continue to drink milk after we wean from breast milk? 

We are also the only species who drink another species’ milk. If you’ve never considered why that may be, it may be time to start re-thinking your recommended 2-3 glasses of cow’s milk per day.

Sure, your grandparents grew up drinking milk every day and your parents told you to drink your milk to get strong bones, but the truth is that the milk we get in today’s grocery stores isn’t the same as the milk our grandparents drank.  Today’s milk contains dozens of reproductive hormones, allergenic proteins, antibiotics, and growth factors known to promote cancer.  It’s also been proven that we actually don’t need milk to have stronger bones.  In fact, dairy may increase the risk of bone fractures by 50% and research shows that Vitamin D is much more effective at preventing fractures. 

Aside from the lack of nutritional value found in milk, it has been determined that almost 75% of the world’s population suffers from digestive distress due to lactose intolerance.  Milk can cause inflammation, poor gut health, and skin issues.  And to make matters worse, milk is 100% for weight GAIN not weight loss.  Think about it, a baby cow triples in size during its first month of life drinking only milk!  Don’t be fooled into thinking low-fat will save you, fat is not the issue when it comes to milk, 8oz of milk still has 13 grams of sugar!

“Based on research and experience practicing medicine, I typically advise most of my patients to avoid dairy completely.”

~ Dr. Mark Hyman

In this YouTube video Dr. Hyman outlines 6 reasons to give up dairy:

1. Milk doesn’t benefit sports performance

2. There is no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis and the animal protein found in dairy may cause bone loss.

3. Dairy is linked to prostate cancer in men.

4. Dairy causes digestive distress to 75% of the world’s population due to lactose intolerance.

5. Full of Saturated fat and is linked to heart disease.

6. Aggravates Irritable Bowel Syndrome

So to save yourself from a ton of health problems, digestive issues, and unnecessary sugar in your diet you may want to consider giving up your dairy completely. Try switching to a non-dairy alternative like unsweetened almond or coconut milk and using a non-dairy coffee creamer.  If you want to make sure you have strong bones take a good Vitamin D supplement, get Calcium from other foods like leafy greens, seeds, sardines, and salmon with bones, and if you do not have digestive distress due to dairy, only use raw/organic dairy from fermented products like yogurt or kefir.

The Whole30: Not Just for Weight Loss

At the Aspen Clinic, one of the main things that we pride ourselves on is that we work extremely hard to teach our patients how to eat to be healthy, not just how to eat to lose weight. If you come in to one of our offices to watch the Grocery Store Tour or looked at the foods on the shelves in our classroom you would notice that most of the foods that we promote are completely natural, whole foods. We do our best to teach patients the importance of reading ingredient lists just as they do the food label. We believe in the power of the digestive system and eating foods that can be used for nutrients and energy, not just eating something because it says “zero, zero, zero” down the food label. Even though these “zero everything” foods don’t affect the numbers in your food journal, they can still have negative effects on your weight loss by causing inflammation, digestive issues, damage to organs, etc.

All of these reasons are why we encourage our patients to eat real foods that provide your body with the nutrients and energy you need to function in your day-to-day life. If you always feel sluggish, tired, bloated, have headaches, etc. the fix could be as simple as changing your diet to REAL food and the benefit is that you will likely lose weight at the same time!

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One “diet” that is similar to the diet that we teach in our offices is The Whole30. This diet, for the most part, promotes high protein, low carb, and moderate fat.

The 5 main rules are to avoid dairy, grains, legumes, sweeteners (even the natural kind), and alcohol.

You have to read the ingredients on EV-ERY-THING to make sure you aren’t consuming anything artificial. This diet requires a bit more effort than the one that we teach, however the basic rules are the same: have lean protein at each meal and fill the rest of your plate with veggies, eat fruit occasionally, and only consume healthy fats.

You’ve probably heard the quote by Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Turns out, research is proving that food is/can be more effective to treating illness and disease than medicine.

amy

One person’s Whole30 journey recently caught our attention. Amelia Gerken, 29 from Metairie, is currently completing her 3rd strict round of the Whole30 diet (but aside from a few cheats during the holidays, she lives like this all of the time) and has had amazing results managing an illness that she has spent almost 15 years trying to cope with.  In 2004 Amelia had her first seizure. Since then, she has spent copious amounts of time and money trying to find out not only why she has seizures, but also how to manage them. After many trials, errors, and failures she made the decision to try something completely new: eat clean, 100% of the time.

Here’s what she had to say:

Q: How long have you had seizures and what treatments have you tried?

 A: I started having seizures when I was 15 – I was a sophomore in high school – but my pediatric neurologist at the time wasn’t initially convinced that I really, truly had epilepsy. I didn’t get officially diagnosed with epilepsy until I switched to a different doctor, an epileptologist, following hurricane Katrina. I have tried just about EVERYTHING to remedy my seizures – I’ve been on at least 10 antiepileptic medications (probably more), I’ve seen about 5 different neurologists, I’ve seen homeopathic doctors and a chiropractor, my mom and I even traveled to New York to see a neuro-endocrinologist, I have seen healers – you name it, I have done it.

QWhat was your diet like before you started Whole30?

AMy diet was the standard American diet – total crap. I think I didn’t realize until I did Whole30 how terribly I ate. My breakfast was a croissant and a grande vanilla latte from Starbucks – so zero protein to start my day. I snacked on junk like flavor blasted gold fish pretzels ALL DAY. My lunch was a lean cuisine pizza, chips, and coke usually – again, totally lacking in vegetables and protein. My dinners weren’t terrible, but they were always served with a side of macaroni and cheese, and usually missing vegetables. I think whole30 just really opened my eyes to all the things that I was missing in my diet. Mainly the delicious vegetables and that I actually AM a pretty good cook when I put forth the time and effort!

Q: How long did it take you to adjust to the Whole30 requirements?

A: I usually tell people that you have to give yourself a solid two weeks to adjust. It’s not easy going from a super sweet vanilla latte to a coffee with no sugar in it – but your body really, truly does adjust to it!

Q: Were you able to identify potential trigger foods that may have caused seizures in the past? Or any food allergies/intolerances?

A: I think I realized that I am definitely sensitive to dairy. I have tried to reintroduce it into my diet a few times and it just doesn’t sit well with me unfortunately.

Q: Aside from not having seizures, did you notice any other physical or mental changes since you started the program?

A: Well, I did lose some weight, of course. I mean, that isn’t why I started my whole30 journey, but it was a perk! Also, one of my favorite things about doing whole30 is that my eczema cleared up – I think because I am not eating dairy and gluten which I have read can really exacerbate it. My skin is much clearer overall, but anyone who knows me knows that I usually have random patches of eczema hanging out – but when I do whole30, it always clears up!

Q: Did anyone close to you do the Whole30 with you and can you briefly talk about their results?

 A: My husband, Kevin, did whole30 with me and he was a total Rockstar! He tried all my new recipes, even when they were a little strange, and he really kept me on track with everything. He has lost 35 pounds so far, but I think my favorite NSV (non-scale victory) for him is that his snoring cleared up!

Q: Favorite Whole30 recipes?

 A: Right now, I am really loving the shrimp & grits recipe from the Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook. It takes about 10 minutes and it is fabulous. I also love anything that I can throw in the crockpot or the instant pot. The Zuppa Toscana soup is so easy and delicious in the instant pot, and there is a crock pot recipe, too. Easy meals are your best friend on Whole30. Whole30 chicken tenders are a weekly staple at our house – we tend to recreate our traditional favorite foods, just in a whole30 version. It is possible to do, I promise! And no whole30 is complete without homemade ranch – whole sisters’ recipe is the best and easiest and it is amazing.

Q: What would you tell someone who is hesitant to start the Whole30?

A: I think I would say, what do you have to lose? It’s only 30 days – and honestly, it really isn’t that hard. I know it seems daunting and like, ‘oh my gosh how could I ever give up all of these things,’ but if you plan your meals, I promise you can do it! Especially if you are struggling with a medical condition or you just want to lose weight! You can do it!

For the first time in 5 years, Amelia has been seizure-free for 6 months (and counting)!

She contributes most of her success to Melissa Hartwig, the creator of the Whole30 program.  Click here to read the thank you letter that Amelia wrote to Melissa.

Congratulations on your success, Amelia!  Your friends at the Aspen Clinic couldn’t be more proud.  Thank you for sharing your story with us!