About Me

graduationHi there! My name is Amanda and I am a PhD student in Health who loves to eat delicious, whole, plant-based foods and create fun recipes. My goal is to share some of these recipes and info with you in the hopes that you can benefit from my struggles and what I’ve learned so far.

This all seems a bit ironic in that I once weighed 336 pounds and the majority of my meals began with the words “Hi there, can I get a number 1, super-sized, with a Diet Coke.” It has taken me a long time to get to this place of enjoying my healthy eating and finding successful weight loss.

So where did it all begin? I was born fat. Over 10 pounds of chunky monkey baby goodness and I have pretty much been that way ever since (except for my lean years from kindergarten to about 2nd grade). It is funny that I should even talk about lean years being that young, but that was the case.

From 3rd grade on, I added weight until I graduated high school at 224. I know it was that much because my college vaccination medical report says so. But I was fun and bubbly and never let my weight get in the way of making friends or doing the things I wanted to do. I kept thinking that I would lose weight at some point down the road and I tried – many, many times I tried.

First there was the stint as a teen in Weight Watchers. I was the only teen and I was appalled to hear grown women sitting around talking about their periods and how they made them get fat.

Then there was the time Richard Simmons came to my high school and I had a friend slip him a note for me. I asked him for help and he did.

Mr. Simmons called my house one day when I wasn’t home and talked with my mom. He then sent me a big box with his latest program and tapes. That was one of the nicest things anyone ever did for me so I tried really hard – as hard as a young, immature teen girl could I suppose. I think I lasted a few weeks, lost a bit of weight, and was soon back to my old habits.IMG_16201

I don’t really remember how bad I ate back then, but it must have been pretty bad to get to the weight I was. I know high school lunches were a favorite of mine. While other students complained about lunch, I enjoyed the mystery meat hamburgers, nuggets, french fries, hash brown squares, and other tasty but nutritionally void offerings. I don’t ever remember having anything particularly healthy at school.

IMG_12201Sometimes we would go out to eat as a family at the 10,000th McDonalds which was built right down the street from my house. That was a big day when it opened and it certainly became a great place to hangout for me and my friends.  Between visits to McDonalds, Dairy Queen, or Pizza Hut, I would walk to the 7-Eleven store for a Big Gulp and a Snickers bar. There were a lot of bad choices.

As I became older, my weight started to bother me more and more. I continued trying to lose but, like many other people, struggled with cravings for my old favorites after a few weeks. I finally decided that I wanted to get healthy once and for all.Untitled 0 00 13-27

I have a BS degree in Microbiology and I decided that in order to lose weight, I had to create the right environment for my success. I needed to be surrounded by healthy people and figure out exactly what THEY were doing to be strong and lean. It was then that I decided I was going to get my Masters degree and PhD in health. I found a great program at a wonderful school and have been working hard at it ever since.

I have finally gathered the courage to implement the “truths” I have discovered for myself (again!)– whole food, plant-based diets produce the greatest results in terms of overall health and weight loss, food addiction is a real thing that must be addressed for long-term success, and stress management (via meditation, exercise, and organization) is critical to maintain focus.

I will be sharing with you all of the tips and tricks I learned to lose over 30 pounds in my first month as well as how I am progressing toward my goal weight of 149 pounds. There is no doubt in my mind that the road to a lean, healthy body will be bumpy, have detours (I was right about this!), and even a few potholes but I am determined to get to my weight loss destination! I hope you find a little inspiration in my journey.