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Back in July of this year, I told you all about my adventures into the Gluten free/Sugar free/Grain free/etc. etc. diet. I reluctantly started this diet for several health reasons and after 6 weeks was so happy that I had made the switch. Alas, staying on any diet forever is quite challenging which is what I ran into as soon as I left my apartment for a month to go on vacation and travel with UPA.

An awesome dinner I made recently.
Alfredo spinach sauce over chicken with
green beans! Made the sauce myself with
grated parmesan, heavy whipping cream, salt,
pepper and a little garlic powder. Then just
through the spinach in there and mixed it up!

On this “diet” I had lost weight, was awake for the first time in years and had several little things clear up like my skin, my post nasal drip and sore ribs. I say “diet” because it’s not really a diet, it’s just a new way of eating. To me “diet” has a negative connotation. I think of the lemonade cleanse or the Special K diet.

Anyway…after these 6 weeks of conquered greatness, I went on a small vacation to Pennsylvania and New Jersey (I know doesn’t sound that great, but I laid on the beach and visited family!) to relax. I had decided long before I left for the vacation that I was allowed to eat anything I wanted…and I did. I ate way too much, all kinds of things that I wasn’t allowed to eat and my body was not afraid to tell me that it didn’t like what I was doing to it.

Almost immediately after eating the first Philadelphia pretzel, my skin was breaking out and I was bloated. Gross. Well, I ignored all that and continued to binge for a week. Then came the traveling for UPA. I told myself I would try to eat as well as possible while traveling, because vacation time was over. That went out the window the moment I got to Vegas. It’s so hard to eat well and travel. Some people can really make it work like Jamilla Deville, who you won’t see eat one unhealthy thing no matter where she is. As for me, it was not happening.

I was surprised that by the end of the month I was soooo ready to get home and cook the healthy things I had been eating before. When I left, cooking had no longer seemed like a big deal, I felt great and I was liking the healthy eating lifestyle. When I got back, I looked 15 heavier again and needed a serious diet change just like I did before. I’m glad to say that the transition this time was much easier. I didn’t go through a Keto Flu stage and I was starting to feel more energetic again.

I will admit that I have cheated on occasion since my traveling in August, but it is rare and I always feel so guilty afterwards, like everyone I know is judging me (even though they don’t know what i’m eating lol). It does help that i’ve started dating someone who is on an eerily same diet as me, so going out for food isn’t as tough as it used to be.

I have noticed that when I do cheat, I don’t feel so great within just a couple hours and I can’t finish my meal at dinner. My body has been telling me to pick a way of eating, forcing me to choose the healthy way because I know all of the benefits to it. One thing is for sure, once you’ve successfully gotten through a long enough period of eating extremely healthy, nothing is ever the same. Old food that you love doesn’t taste as great (which I’ve experienced with my favorite Thai food place), every food commercial you see for anything “whole grain” makes you cringe and your body is ready to push out all the bad stuff through every single pore almost right after you eat that very thing you shouldn’t be eating.

Don’t want to take my word for it? Then go on vacation and travel for a month and see how you feel after that. Sometimes you need that comparison to make you realize how great you have it when you eat healthy. It’s like comparing your old boyfriend to your new one…the old bf was a jerk, so you let him go and once you were ready you found a new one who is great and treats you well. Sometimes you may get irritated with him, but you look back at what you used to have with the old guy and realize that he’s worth sticking it out with (until you have to have mac and cheese or you might die! ;-D ).

Here’s a list of some other foods that i’ve come across in my new way of eating lifestyle:

A little extra crispy, but they still tasted great! The honey
on the side is sugar free and also tastes really great!

Chicken Nuggets: Not sure who to credit for this genius idea, but I got really excited the other day when I realized that I could probably fry just about anything with the same breading used here.
Ingredients are: 1 cup almond flour, 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, 1 egg and 2 tbsp of grated parmesan (you can use more if you like) and coconut oil or butter.

This is really simple to make. Lightly beat your egg in a container or bowl. Mix the almond flour and parmesan cheese together in another bowl. Cut up your chicken into nugget size pieces (or you can make giant chicken fingers), dash on pepper and salt, dip the chicken in the egg and then coat in the almond flour mixture. I like to use coconut oil to fry them in. Typically I just make sure the bottom of the pan is covered in has a few millimeters of oil in it. That’s it. They taste just like chicken nuggets and they are amazing. I probably eat these twice a week. This would be great for kids, I promise they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Chocolate Cheese Cake Mousse:A really small
portion of what I actually made.

Cream Cheese Mousse: This recipe comes from She uses Splenda in her recipe. I stopped using Splenda as soon as I learned about how extremely bad it is for you. Now, I only use
granulated Erythritol (a sugar alcohol) like Truvia or Swerve and instead of putting in an exact amount, I just add a little at a time and taste it. You don’t want to over sweeten this or it will taste gross and weird. You can find Truvia in grocery stores and it’s not that expensive. Make sure you don’t get the kind that says it’s mixed with real sugar for baking (I did that recently and had to bring it back to exchange for the other one). This recipe tastes great and I eat it for breakfast or dessert! I love cheese cake and this mousse tastes just like cheese cake. It’s awesome. I made mine chocolately the other day by adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Fantastic!

Since i’ve been dating a strict Paleo diet eater, i’m always being introduced to new foods, so i’ll introduce you to some new things in the near future!

If you’re interested in other great things you can do for your body like taking magnesium, epsom salt baths and using coconut oil for everything under the sun, then check out this blog by Elysabeth Lilly from Pole Side.

– Alex, UPA Business Manager

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