Featuring others is truly an honor. And honestly, my guest blogger for today is truly a blessing from God. Kelly Olexa is a true inspiration. She works HARD and has made significant impact in the fitness industry. I am so glad to have gotten the chance to know her through my partnership with Team INSPIRE. Kelly is the CEO and Founder of FitFluential; a business committed to informing and equipping people with the latest and greatest information, resources, and products to pursue a lifestyle of fitness. Kelly is a visionary and a fitness warrior. She has been a huge source of encouragement to me as I jumped into starting Jillian Redefining Wellness. I know you will love her no-nonsense, can-do approach and admire her dedication to doing what is best.
It’s funny because — the first objection I usually hear from people wanting to get/fit or lose weight always revolves around FOOD. People automatically assume that getting fit and staying fit or being healthy means eating stone soup, smoothies made with grass and herbs and water, and spending most of the day listening to our stomach growl because of food deprivation. I’m not sure when or how this misconception was created but it most certainly has proliferated far too many conversations to be ignored.
Here’s a secret: Most healthy people and fit people work out and stay active….so they can eat. And they LOVE TO EAT. All kinds of food. TRUTH! I’m one of them. Are there some rules and guidelines to follow? Yes. Is moderation a key? Yes. But can you pretty much enjoy whatever you want and still get healthier and fit and stay that way? Yes.
Let’s stop the insanity shall we?
I’ve been a fitness fanatic for YEARS AND YEARS, well before I founded FitFluential
. It started way back in the days when home workouts came on VHS TAPES, yes tapes. I worked out to Cher Fitness and Step Reebok and I bought that book title Stop The Insanity by Susan Powter. #truth.
Back then it was all about LOW-FAT and eating all the carbs you wanted. And I lived on fat-free cheese, milk, yogurt, cookies, cereal, you name it.
Fast forward to today- we all have learned so much about health, about fitness, about food, nutrition and what our bodies need and deserve. Today, we know that our bodies need FUEL and that extreme dieting and deprivation not only don’t tend to work in the short term, but they most definitely don’t work in the long-term and set most people up for gaining back more weight than they first lost. Ugh.
Food is a good thing. Food is not to be avoided. And committing to getting healthier should not be a “sentence” or a punishment. Will you probably have to tweak what you eat a bit? Sure. Do portion sizes matter? Absolutely. But- food is a part of life and to be enjoyed and frankly it is a very important component of a healthy lifestyle. Food provides FUEL for our workouts and it also provides valuable nutrition and support to our bodies and minds.
About a year ago, I took a big step in my life to dramatically improve my health. I started to get treatment for massive hormonal imbalance (including hypothyroidism and insulin resistance) with bio-identical hormonal replacement treatment. 9 months later I can tell you that although it has not been easy- and I have made significant changes to my diet and lifestyle, it has been transformational in a HUGE way.
Because of having to address both hypothyroidism and insulin resistance at the same time, I had to cut out a LOT of foods that are known contributors to perpetuating those conditions.
- Bread, and anything with wheat/flour– Gluten Free pretty much covers it
- Corn, corn products
- Sugar, obviously
- Artificially colored/sweetened products (this cut out a lot of supplements I was taking like pre-workout powders, protein shakes and more)
- Fake products with tons of chemical ingredients
Ouch. Sounds like I have a boring food life now right? THINK AGAIN. People, there is a world of amazing food out there and for me, having to cut so much led me to discovering new options and I Love what I eat. I really do.
I regularly enjoy:
- Bulletproof Coffee every day with coconut oil, Clarified Butter (Ghee), Stevia, and Almond Extract
- Sushi — mostly sashimi and non-rice items but now I do have some sushi rolls with rice, just not 4 huge rolls like I used to! I also love seaweed salad, excellent for hypothyroid
- I’ve embraced a gluten-free pretty Paleo lifestyle.
- I enjoy steak, chicken, seafood and bacon whenever I want.
- I’ve come to love asparagus and have learned to like a lot of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables.
- Fruit. I focus on low-glycemic but hello– bananas? pinneapple? mangos? berries? Come on.
- Healthy fats like nut butters, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil…you name it.
- I still love shakes but I only use Shakeology and also VEGA Sport Protein because it has higher protein/lower carb ratio and tastes great and has pure ingredients. I have one of each a day.
- Eggs. Egg Whites. In every way.
- Plantain Chips– obsessed!!!
I can honestly say that although I do still have the odd craving for things like Olive Garden breadsticks and Alfredo sauce and Pop Tarts, for the most part, those cravings come and go. They don’t obsess me- why- because my life and my diet satisfies me. I enjoy what I eat and I enjoy how GOOD I feel. When I ate a lot of the stuff I listed above that I cut out, I spent a solid portion of almost every day bloated and uncomfortable. That is no way to live.
So- I encourage you if you are thinking about a healthier lifestyle and think that it means a tasteless existence, you are wrong. Dive in and start tasting a new world!!