Why Moderation Didn’t Work For Me


Hi everyone! I want to talk a little bit today about my own personal struggle with moderation (in terms of diet and exercise).  As someone who has struggled their entire life with finding a healthy balance between eating and activity, I finally found what worked for me and made me successful.

I can vividly recall when I was a teenager going on the 3-day Military Diet that my mom was always really successful with.  My mom has never been overweight, but she did struggle occasionally with a stubborn 5-10 pounds.  We were never made to feel like we were fat or out of shape in our house, which I am thankful for because I’m sure my emotions wouldn’t have handled that well.  However I was always mesmerized by how dedicated my mom could be for a short period of time, lose the weight, and then go back to eating all of the foods that she wanted to.  She would repeat this cycle maybe once a year, and it just helped rid her of any unwanted weight gain.

My own foray with the 3 day military diet didn’t go over as well.  By the end of the first day, I was starving.  The goal of this diet plan is to severely restrict your caloric intake for 3 days, and only eat a set amount of food (think saltine crackers, tuna fish, steamed carrots). GROSS.  By day two, I was off the wagon and eating everything like normal.  This was NOT the diet for me, and SURPRISE, I didn’t lose any weight.

When I got older, I started adopting more of an 80/20 rule when it came to diet and exercise.  80% of the time I would eat healthy (or what I thought was healthy), and the other 20% of the time I would eat….whatever I wanted! I remember actually rewarding myself with a triple cheeseburger from Wendy’s after I spent a whole week eating less than 1000 calories per day.  This was a very unhealthy cycle, and my body saw very few gains.  And honestly, I felt AWFUL all of the time and had little energy.  I had no idea what I was doing and the toll it was taking on my body.

We often hear how a calorie in is equal to a calorie out.  Eat less than you burn and you will lose weight.  So if your body burns on average 1600 calories a day through normal functions (breathing, sleeping, blinking) and exercise, then in order to lose weight you should only consume 11oo calories to have a caloric deficit.  500 calories a day equals 3500 calories a week which equals a pound lost. Woo!

Wrong.  Calories are not created equal (that 500 calorie piece of cake is NOT equal to 500 calories worth of veggies), and eating anything less than 1200 calories a day puts you at risk of being in starvation mode.  And what happens when your body goes into starvation mode? You store fat! Your body doesn’t want to think that it’s starving, it wants to know that more food is always coming and you can go ahead and burn all of the energy that you need.  Eating MORE calories for weight loss allows you to burn your energy stores in the form of fat, rather than muscle, and you will lose weight.

Eating more makes you lose more? That doesn’t make sense.  But it DOES! Our metabolisms are such delicate machines.  The minute our body feels like it isn’t going to get enough food, it slows down to as not consume all of your energy stores.  Eating more, and being more active in general, keeps your metabolism high and thus allows you to lose weight.  (However, I should mention that you can’t just eat 2000 calories a day of cake and lose weight.  You need to eat lots of vegetables, protein, fat and fruit. Limit your sugar to less than 25 grams a day. More on this below.)

So what happens when people stick to a low calorie diet for an extended period of time? Your organs fail to function properly, your body is depleted of essential vitamins and nutrients, and your metabolism doesn’t know how to function properly anymore.  The minute you start to eat more than normal, you will gain weight.  Your body soaks up those extra calories like a sponge to store for the next time you decide to starve yourself.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Now you’re probably wondering “what does this have to do with moderation?”  If you recall, eating healthy Monday-Friday and bingeing on a burger on Saturday was not the best route for me in order to gain control of my weight and my health.  About two years ago, I got really serious about eating a Paleo diet after my cancer diagnosis.  I started doing a lot of research into Ketogenic diets (where you limit carbohydrates and eat more fat and moderate protein) and no sugar, to help starve out the cancer cells.  It worked! In addition to chemo (which I’m sure did a majority of the work), I was able to beat my stage 3 lymphoma.  The best part was that I had minimal side effects while undergoing my chemo treatments.  I felt great! I even continued to work out and eat a healthy diet.  Aside from an upper respiratory infection and a case of mouth sores, I sailed through cancer with ease. Because I felt better, my mood was better, and I know that my positive attitude helped me beat cancer as well.

I have a very addictive personality, and in the past I had very little willpower when left to my own devices.  Most people don’t have the willpower to eat healthy and workout like a professional athlete and that’s okay.  They do it because that’s how they get paid.  But what if we considered our bodies like a bank? Every good deposit that we made (eating healthy, getting in a workout, playing catch with your kids, dancing in your kitchen) started adding up to some big savings? Would it make a difference if it bought you another 10 years to be with your spouse? To see your kids get married and start families of their own? To take a dream vacation and be healthy enough to enjoy it?  That’s how I had to start looking at my life.  I am definitely living for today, but I am also making sure that I have enough life left in me in the future to continue living the way I want.  So for me, eating that bread is not worth it, and that’s how I have had the success with sticking to my healthy lifestyle.

For many people, they have success with the 80/20 rule.  They can eat healthy and work out most of the time, and they allow themselves a treat on the weekends.  Again, I have never had great success with this plan.  Have you tried this before and failed? It’s probably because, like me, the temptation to continue eating the “bad” for you food was too difficult to overcome.  Monday would roll around and I (you) would just continue eating the junk.  Trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s a vicious little cycle to break.

So what has worked for me? I’ve been able to maintain a steady weight for over two years now.  Even with health setbacks (a deadly staph infection, my autoimmune disease, cancer), I stuck to my healthy way of eating.  I never eat less than 1200 calories a day. Honestly, I don’t even count calories anymore, and the only reason I might is to make sure that I have enough! I work out at least 5 days a week doing moderate intensity activity (30-50 minutes a day) and try to stay active outside of my formal routines.  I found exercise routines that I enjoy, and that makes me excited to do them again the next day.

I eat a diet that consists of protein, fat, vegetables and fruit.  I do not consume dairy, and especially not grains! This includes wheat, barley, oats, and rice.  I love finding new recipes and trying them out in my kitchen.  I even got my husband on board with me and he has lost over 10 pounds in less than three weeks.  The only way I can be successful with this way of eating is to remember WHY I’m doing it.  Eating foods that make me tired, bloated, sick, and achy are NOT worth it.  Eating foods that give me energy, make me feel clean inside, give me almost an euphoric high is what I’m all about.  Knowing that I’m taking care of my body and putting good fuel into it makes me proud.  I know that I’m going to be around for a long time to be with my husband, spend time with my niece and nephews, and take care of my parents as they get older.  My stress is getting under control, I’m sleeping better at night, and I’m able to enjoy life like never before.

If you have tried and failed at the 80/20 rule, I really suggest dedicating yourself to a clean eating plan for a full 30 days and moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. Challenge yourself to be a better version of you.  There are very few things in life in which we have control.  Food and exercise are two things over which we have absolute power and control. Take back your life and give it a shot.  What do you have to lose?



My Second Week…The Autoimmune Protocol Diet


“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an act.”

– Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Hi again, friends! I’m back with the latest edition of my AIP adventure.  Hubby and I just completed week 2, and I have to say, we are so proud of ourselves! Between going to a friend’s house for the open ceremony of the Olympics, a relative’s house for an overnight stay, to a weekend where it was hot and tempting to not cook and just go out to eat…we made it through.  I bought some new cookbooks, did a lot of working out and house projects, and was just overall BUSY.  I hope that you find through my own experience that taking control of your health can seem daunting, but it can be done, no matter how busy your schedule is.

I mean, look at this picture of bacon.  You can eat BACON! (Uncured) WHAT?!?!



In addition to the “Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook” by the fabulous Mickey Trescott, I splurged last week and bought four additional books to help me on my AIP journey.  You just cannot read enough, know enough, or sample enough to feel like you have a complete grasp on anything in life, right? That’s definitely my approach with handling this new way of life.

IMG_2843 (1)

I bought all of these books on Amazon and spent around $80.  If you are able, I suggest giving them all a go:

  • “The Paleo Approach” by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (the BIBLE of AIP books and the foundation for a lot of AIP authors)
  • “The Paleo Approach Cookbook” by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (because of course you need the cookbook to go along with the guide!)
  • “Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook” by Rachael Bryant
  • “The Healing Kitchen” by Alaena Haber and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne

I spent the first two days skimming through each one, and then got down to business with a highlighter, some page flags, and a notebook to jot down recipes and tips.  I am far from being done with all of them, but they really got my creative cooking juices flowing (don’t mind the pun) and inspired me to create some new and interesting meals.

Aside From Eating…

This week for me was a challenge because I wasn’t always at home and had to rely on family and a friend to prepare a meal for me (which I didn’t ask for, but they were gracious enough to do).

On Wednesday, I spent the day at an amusement park with my uncle and cousin and packed some leftover fish and tabbouleh salad to eat in the park.  It didn’t have to be warmed up, so it worked out well.  That night, my uncle and his wife prepared a roast chicken, salad, compliant dressing, and grilled zucchini.  It was perfect!

On Friday, we were invited over for appetizers to our friend Jodi’s house and to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  She prepared bacon-wrapped shrimp, an avocado dressing, homemade sweet potato fries, and a meat and olive platter.  It was delicious, interesting, and filling.

During this second week, I also upped my exercise and worked out nearly every single day. Whether it was a formal workout or just a TON of walking, I made my goal 6 out of 7 days. The only day I didn’t work out was my day traveling back from my Uncle’s house, and I was exhausted!

I didn’t lose any weight, but my clothes felt baggier and my skin looked more taunt.  Jason did lose about 7 pounds, and will lose more than me regardless (size and more to lose). Our cravings have nearly gone away completely.  I still miss coffee, especially Starbucks, and I still have a sweet tooth, but we don’t seem to be craving those things nearly as much as we did in week one.  Going into week three, I feel confident that the cravings will diminish completely.

Recap of Prepping for Week 2

For week two, I prepared the following foods on Sunday to have as meals throughout the week:

  • Whole chicken (to shred)
  • Nomato sauce (The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook)
  • Beef/Pork patties
  • Bone broth
  • Radish and Jicama Tabbouleh (The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook)
  • Chicken stock/bone broth from chicken carcass
  • Shredded beef roast

Menu for Week 2

  • Monday – Squash noodles with lamb meatballs and nomato sauce
  • Tuesday – Salmon and tuna with radish and jicama tabbouleh salad
  • Wednesday – Garlic beef and broccoli with riced cauliflower
  • Thursday – Shredded beef and salad
  • Friday – Dinner at a friend’s house

On The Menu…

8/1/16 Monday- Day 9

Woke at 7:30

  • Breakfast (9:00): Cup of hot tea, beef/pork patty, kiwi
  • Lunch (1:15): Chicken lettuce wraps (leftover from Sunday night)
  • Snack (2:30): Small dish of cherries
  • Dinner (8:00): Spaghetti squash with nomato sauce and lamb meatballs over wilted greens
  • Snack (9:30): Cup of bone broth and clementine
  • Workout: 35 minutes of PiYo Sweat, cleaned garden and played catch
  • Journal: “Felt great today! Worked out and ate well.  I did get really hungry after lunch so I ate some cherries.  Worked on my log, cleaned the house. When Jay got home we worked on the garden and then played catch and let the boys run around. It was a perfect evening!

Spaghetti squash with tomato-less sauce, lamb meatballs over sauteed greens

8/2/16 Tuesday- Day 10

Woke at 7:00

  • Breakfast (8:10): Cup of hot tea, beef patty, two pieces of bacon, clementine
  • Lunch (12:45): Leftover nomato sauce over spaghetti squash, lamb meatballs with greens, kiwi
  • Dinner (7:30): Tuna steak and salmon (each 3 oz) with radish and jicama tabbouleh salad, 1/2 of an avocado, and sauteed kale
  • Snack (9:25): Handful of dried fruit
  • Workout: 35 minutes of PiYo Sweat
  • Journal: “First day since starting this way of eating that I wasn’t hungry between meals.  Got in a good workout and prepped dinner for tomorrow night because I will be visiting family.  Also packed lunch and breakfast for while I’m gone.”

Salmon and tuna with radish and jicama tabbouleh salad, avocado and kale

8/3/16 Wednesday- Day 11

Woke at 6:00

  • Breakfast (7:10): Cup of tea, beef patty, two pieces of bacon, sauerkraut
  • Lunch (1:30): Leftover tuna, salmon, tabbouleh and kale
  • Dinner (6:00): Roasted chicken, zucchini, kiwi, salad with balsamic vinegar dressing
  • Workout: Over 15,000 steps (over 6 miles)
  • Journal: “Spent the afternoon at an amusement park.  Got over 15,000 steps.  Packed my lunch so I wasn’t tempted to eat anything at the park.”

My lunch at the amusement park! No deprivation here!

8/4/16 Thursday- Day 12

Woke at 7:00

  • Breakfast (9:00): Cup of hot tea, beef patty, two pieces of bacon, clementine
  • Lunch (1:00): Riced cauliflower with ginger garlic beef, broccoli and mushrooms, and a small dish of freeze dried fruit
  • Dinner (7:00): Shredded beef with blackberry balsamic sauce (recipe below), salad with veggies, olives, avocado, hearts of palm, balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Snack (9:00): Fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and mango)
  • Workout: None
  • Journal: “Had a bit of stomach bloat today.  I believe this was due to the freeze-dried fruit.  Was also hungry all day today and did not work out.”

Shredded beef with blackberry sauce, salad packed with deliciousness

8/5/16 Friday- Day 13

Woke at 6:45

  • Breakfast (9:45): Hot tea (2 cups), beef patty, 4 strips of bacon, two clementines
  • Snack (1:30): Cup of bone broth
  • Lunch (2:30): Salad with balsamic vinaigrette, beef with blackberry sauce
  • Snack (4:00): Small dish of fruit (berries and mango)
  • Dinner (7:00): Three pepperoni/salami wraps, 4 bacon wrapped shrimp, olives, serving of fruit
  • Workout: 30 minutes of PiYo Core and 20 minutes of TurboFire 20 min HIIT
  • Journal: “Ate a lot of fruit today,  A friend had us over for dinner and we did well with eating (Thanks to her).  My stomach did get a bit bloated after dinner (may have been something in the pepperoni).  Did two great workouts today.  Feeling good about my progress.”

8/6/16 Saturday- Day 14

Woke at 9:45

  • Breakfast (10:15): Bacon-wrapped shrimp, fruit (berries) and sauerkraut
  • Lunch (2:30): Salad with olives, avocado, grilled chicken and balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Snack (4:50): Banana chips and veggie chips
  • Dinner (9:00): Brussels sprouts, shredded beef, bacon-wrapped shrimp
  • Workout: 2 hours of scrubbing the front of the house
  • Journal: “Did a lot of outdoor work today scrubbing and cleaning the front of the house.  No formal exercise.  I ate a lot of banana chips and my stomach got upset.  Won’t do that again.”

8/7/16 Sunday- Day 15

Woke at 7:35

  • Breakfast (10:15): Bacon and berries with mango
  • Snack (2:30): Handful of freeze-dried apples, banana chips and root chips
  • Dinner (6:00): Pork roast and brussels sprouts with blackberry sauce
  • Snack (9:25): Applesauce with cup of bone broth
  • Workout: 34 min Country Heat Country Swing
  • Journal: “Worked out this morning and then did housework outside all day.  Ate a snack of banana chips (I said I wouldn’t do that again) and I feel constipated and sick.  Will drink more water tomorrow.”

On the Menu for Week 3

  • Monday – Lettuce-wrapped burgers with zucchini and coleslaw (recipe below)
  • Tuesday – Loaded sweet potatoes with shredded chicken and broccoli
  • Wednesday – Steak and green beans
  • Thursday – Dinner at a friend’s house
  • Friday – Sockeye salmon with asparagus
  • Breakfast – Turkey herb patties, bacon, fruit
  • Lunches – leftovers

Recipe for Blackberry Sauce

Makes 1 1/2 cups of sauce approximately

  • Two small containers of fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup (this is just to sweeten…I used raw honey)


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
  • Allow to simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes, until sauce thickens and the berries are soft
  • Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the ingredients until ingredients are fully combined.
  • You can strain the sauce through a mesh sieve if you do not want seeds.  I just left mine in.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Serve over chicken, pork or beef.

Recipe for Coleslaw

Makes 5-6 servings

  • Two bags of pre-shredded cabbage (I like red cabbage with carrots)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and put in the fridge until ready to serve.  Mix well before serving.

Coleslaw with sweet dressing


Thanks for tuning in for another week of my AIP journey!  Please don’t forget to leave a comment, and let me know if there is anything you would like me to include for next week.









My First Week…The Autoimmune Protocol Diet


*Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor.  I am a loan officer, which makes me specialized in interest rates and angry customers.  However, I am an avid researcher and practitioner of all things healthy.  I encourage you to discuss any new diet or exercise regimen with a doctor before beginning.

Hi friends! I know it has been a while since my last post, but that is because I have anxiously been awaiting the completion of my first week on the Autoimmune Protocol diet so I could share my results with you.  I have spent the last week cooking, reading, prepping, journaling and photographing my journey to give you now an in-depth look at this crazy adventure that both Jason and I have been on with great success.

To begin, the Autoimmune Protocol Diet is the Paleo diet with more foods being eliminated.  So in addition to grains and dairy, I also eliminated nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), nuts and seeds (including their oils and spices), eggs, coffee (gasp!) and butter (even ghee).  The reason behind this is to uncover any hidden inflammatory foods that could be further enhancing my autoimmune disease (I have a lung disease called PVOD).  Many people who follow this protocol have thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, etc.  The list of autoimmune disease is lengthy.

The goal is for the next 30 days (I am currently on day 9!) to eliminate all of these trigger foods, concentrate on consuming only whole, natural food, and then slowly reintroducing the previously eliminated foods back into my diet in stages. I will not be adding everything back, as I know grains are a huge trigger for me already. I will then be able to judge by my body’s reactions (stomach upset, bloating, headaches, fatigue) if those foods were trigger foods for me all along.  This will help to alleviate my autoimmune disease symptoms and get me on track to living a fuller, more energetic life!

As many of you know, I eliminated grains a long time ago, so I really thought this would be a piece of cake.  But do you know how hard it is to not eat something with tomatoes? Or pepper (the seasoning)? I didn’t.  But we made it through the first week successfully, and have hope for the next three weeks.  The following information gives you my day-by-day meal plan, results, and things I know now that I didn’t know before that would have helped me better prepare for this undertaking.

For anyone interested in learning more about the Autoimmune Protocol, I recommend getting “The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook” by Mickey Trescott and doing a lot of research. There are a lot of books out on Amazon that can help you navigate this lifestyle.


The Beginning

I began this journey by buying “The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook” on Amazon and reading it cover to cover.  I did some Pinterest searches for some recipe ideas, and began following different pages on Facebook.  The amount of information is staggering, so take a day or two to fully immerse yourself in the details and buy yourself a good cookbook.  It’s an investment that you won’t regret.

I made a batch of bone broth (slow cooking marrow bones with water and apple cider vinegar for at least 24 hours) as a starting point.  I went grocery shopping and bought some veggies, some fermented sauerkraut, tea that I knew I would like to drink, and some protein (ground beef, pork chops, fish).  The sky is really the limit on what you decide to purchase.  I just tried to ensure that all of my meat was organic, grass-fed.  You don’t want to continue putting toxins in your body.  There are great lists on Pinterest that show you what foods to eliminate or avoid, and the ones to add.  I recommend saving the picture on your phone so you can reference it while shopping and preparing your foods!

Meal prep was key for me to start the week.  In addition to cooking bone broth, I cleaned all of my fruits and vegetables, cut them into sizes for my recipes and for snacking, and I cleaned out all of my cupboards and the refrigerator with foods I knew I wasn’t going to consume in 30 days.  I knew to be successful I needed to eliminate all of the temptations in my house.  I also used my cookbook and my own foresight to create a meal plan for the week.  Without having a definite meal plan written down, I had a feeling we would cave on a late night and just order takeout.  I needed to be prepared for all of these hiccups.

I also continued to take all of my required medication and my supplements.  Vitamins are still a critical part of my health.

Day One – 7/24/16 Sunday

Starting weight = anywhere between 127 and 125 (two doctors’ scales said two different weights…we’ll go with 126 to split the difference.)  Even though this diet is NOT about losing weight, I feel weight loss is inevitable because you are eating only whole foods and nothing processed.

On Sunday we went to the Strip District in Pittsburgh with my uncle and his wife to do some shopping and have lunch.  Yikes.  I knew we would be eating out, but I figured I could manage to find SOMETHING that was compliant.

  • Breakfast: Hot tea, a handful of grapes, uncured pepperoni
  • Snack: Stopped at a coffee shop and grabbed a cup of Earl Grey tea with some coconut milk
  • Lunch: Went to a brew pub (awesome choice, right? No.) Ordered chicken lettuce wraps with zoodles and sweet potato fries.  Two things: the chicken was cooked in an unknown sauce, so it probably contained pepper, and the chicken also had peanuts.  I had water to drink.
  • Snack: A small dish of sauerkraut and more pepperoni
  • Snack: Cup of bone broth
  • Dinner: Beef liver, onions, mushrooms, all sauteed in coconut oil with garlic, bay leaves and salt
  • Journal: “Felt great until 1:30, and then I got super hungry.  Ate 5 pieces of pepperoni and had a small dish of sauerkraut.  Also drank the bone broth which filled me up until dinner at 9:30.  Napped during the day so I took 5 mg of melatonin to fall asleep.”

Overall, not the best day of eating and being compliant, but I worked with what I had.


Not the best picture…beef liver, onions and mushrooms

Day Two – 7/25/16 Monday

Woke up with a lot of energy.

  • Breakfast: Irish breakfast tea, half of a plum, 2 pieces of uncured bacon, 1 herb turkey patty
  • Snack: Cup of bone broth
  • Snack: Grapes
  • Lunch: Salad with red wine vinegar dressing (homemade), leftover liver and onions, one avocado
  • Snack: Cup of tea
  • Dinner: Squash noodles (zoodles) with sauerkraut and two all-natural hot dogs (I cooked the sauerkraut and hot dogs in the crockpot on high for 4 hours)
  • Journal: “Took a nap today out of boredom, not of necessity.  Was hungry today, but again, I know it was from boredom.  No stomach upset or headache.  Did a lot of relaxing.  I did crave sugar today.  I desperately wanted to cave and get an iced mocha from Starbucks.  Even writing about it makes me salivate.”

Overall, eating was on par, but I needed to get more movement.

Day 3- 7/26/16 Tuesday

Woke up at 6:45.  Today I started to keep track of the times that I was eating to gauge my hunger.

  • Breakfast (9:00): Cup of hot tea, blueberries, turkey patty, two pieces of bacon
  • Snack (11:10): Two pieces of bacon
  • Lunch (1:00): Sauerkraut, two hot dogs, squash noodles (leftovers from last night)
  • Dinner (8:00): Salmon filet over lettuce, carrots, snow peas, cucumbers, mushrooms, olives, avocado with lemon vinaigrette dressing
  • Snack (9:30): Cup of bone broth
  • Journal: “Took another nap today.  Felt fine, did a lot of relaxing but also got a lot of housework done.  My need/desire for caffeine is fading.  I made one cup of hot tea this morning for breakfast and didn’t even drink it all.  No headaches or stomach upset. Decided to drink a cup of bone broth before bed to ensure I got all my nutrients.”

Salmon over lettuce with olives, veggies, avocado and lemon vinaigrette dressing

Day 4- 7/27/16 Wednesday

  • Breakfast (9:00): Cup of hot tea, turkey patty
  • Lunch (12:30): a few grapes, 3 oz of salmon, lettuce, snow peas, carrots, cucumbers, olives, hearts of palm, 1/2 of an avocado, with lemon vinaigrette dressing
  • Snack (4:00): pepperoni slices
  • Dinner (8:00): Pork belly, coconut tumeric sweet potato noodles with zucchini and squash
  • Journal: “Didn’t eat as much today but I was busy helping Jodi paint and it was so hot out I wasn’t very hungry.  Did get home and take a nap.  My energy has been low the past couple of days, but I think it’s from the detox.”

Pork Belly with a coconut tumeric “curry” over sweet potato noodles

Day 5 – 7/28/16 Thursday

Weigh In: 123 pounds (down two/three pounds)

Woke up at 6:45

  • Breakfast (8:30): Cup of hot tea, turkey patty, plum
  • Workout: 20 minutes PiYo Lower Define
  • Lunch (11:36): leftover sweet potato noodles with zucchini and squash, coconut “curry” and pork belly (leftovers from last night’s dinner)
  • Snack (2:30): pepperoni and bone broth
  • Dinner (8:30): Pork fried “rice” (cauliflower) with avocado
  • Journal: “Did my first workout since beginning this way of eating.  Took a small nap from 12:30 to 1:30.  Went to get my hair done, so I drank bone broth and ate pepperoni on my way, knowing I wouldn’t get to eat dinner until later.  Overall, felt great today.  Down 2 pounds since last week.”

Pork fried “rice” with avocado and veggies

Day 6- 7/29/16 Friday

Woke at 7.

  • Breakfast (9:30): Cup of hot tea, turkey patty, olives, blueberries
  • Workout: 10 minutes of PiYo, 17 minutes of Core Rhythms quick workout
  • Lunch (1:00): leftover pork fried cauliflower (no avocado)
  • Snack (4:00): Olives and grapes
  • Dinner (9:00): Spaghetti squash with scallops, capers, yellow squash, garlic and shallots
  • Journal: “Felt good today.  No headaches, stomach upset or fatigue.  Did an intense yet quick cardio workout and attempted Buti yoga (which was hilarious).  We made it through six days so far without caving once, even though we wanted to.  I desperately wanted sweets this week but I’m doing better with the cravings.  About an hour after dinner I got some stomach upset, bloating and gas.  Will watch for symptoms tomorrow.”

Scallops with spaghetti squash, yellow squash, capers and bacon

Day 7- 7/30/16 Saturday

Woke at 7.  Today we went shopping, so we were out and about all morning/afternoon.

  • Workout: 20 minute energize yoga
  • Breakfast (9:00): Cup of hibiscus tea, three pieces of bacon
  • Snack (3:00): Handful of Terra chips and baked apple chips with cinnamon, cup of Earl Grey tea with coconut milk
  • Dinner (6:00): Steaks from our new butcher with a dry herb rub, onions and mushrooms, and sweet potato curly fries (not good.  Did not get crispy and just burned).
  • Workout: 40 minute pilates
  • Snack (9:30): Cup of bone broth (pure gelatin!!!!) and a clementine
  • Journal: “Had terrible period cramps today.  My whole body was sore because of yesterday’s workouts so I only did a calm 20 minute yoga sequence this morning.”


  • “Was restless after 9 so I did a pilates workout and had a cup of bone broth that was nearly pure gelatin! I was so excited!”

Delicious steaks…failed attempt at sweet potato fries

Day 8- 7/31/16 Sunday

Woke at 7:00.  Dogs had to go to the vet at 5 in Cranberry so we left the house around 3:45.

  • Breakfast (9:00): Cup of hot tea, homemade guacamole and plantain chips
  • Lunch (12:30): olives, turkey wrapped prosciutto, half of a plum, half of a clementine, 3 pieces of pepperoni
  • Snack (2:00): apple chips
  • Snack (6:45): black tea, iced, with coconut milk
  • Dinner (8:30): Shredded chicken lettuce wraps with zucchini, cucumber, and broccoli slaw with an olive oil and avocado dressing
  • Journal: “No exercise today. I spent most of the day food prepping and batch cooking for the week ahead.  Feel good about going into next week, except for snacks.  Need to figure out some different ideas to get Jay more calories and to keep hunger at bay.  Need to do some Pinterest searching.”

Batch Cooking (to prepare for week of August 1st)

  • whole chicken (to shred)
  • Nomato sauce (AIP cookbook)
  • Beef/Pork Patties (AIP cookbook)
  • Bone broth
  • Radish and Jicama tabbouleh (AIP cookbook)
  • Chicken stock/bone broth from chicken carcass

What I Learned This Week…

  • Sugar cravings and sugar addictions are REAL
  • Pepperoni has paprika in it (no good)
  • Most vegetable chips are cooked in sunflower oil (no good)
  • Prepping food and batch cooking is a MUST to be successful!
  • Bone broth is fun to drink
  • Bacon tastes good on everything and satisfies salt cravings
  • “It’s not that hard to eat this way.”- Jason
  • Eating out is impossible and should be avoided
  • Meat markets are a life-saver
  • Pack snacks if you are heading out…don’t get stuck hungry and away from compliant food!

On the Menu for Week 2 (August 1st-August 8th)

  • Monday: Squash noodles or zoodles or leftover spaghetti squash with lamb meatballs and nomato sauce
  • Tuesday: Salmon/tuna with radish and jicama tabbouleh salad
  • Wednesday: Garlic beef and broccoli with riced cauliflower (will make ahead Tuesday night; I will be gone for Wednesday dinner)
  • Thursday: Shrimp skewers with sauteed kale, chard and collards
  • Friday: Shredded beef and rosemary skillet
  • Saturday: Pork chops with mashed sweet potatoes and kale
  • Breakfasts: Bacon, fruit, beef patties
  • Lunches: Leftovers from dinner

Overall Impressions

I can honestly say that after the first week of following this way of eating, I feel great.  I don’t constantly crave food and I don’t crave sugar as much.  I thought that planning meals and sticking to the diet was going to be more difficult, but with the right planning, it was not that bad.  It really does require a lot of cooking and prep work, but that is something both Jason and I enjoy doing.  We typically dedicate our Sundays to staying at home and prepping for the week, and even if we have something to do, we always try to get our prep work done ahead of time.  I have noticed less pain in my chest and the ability to take deeper breaths, which is something that I have to constantly remind myself to do.  I haven’t had a headache in over a week, and my allergies are under control.  I am anxious to see what I feel like at the end of next week and beyond.

Thanks for reading, everyone!! Please comment below to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions about starting the AIP for yourself! I can also answer questions about batch cooking and prep work, and get more in depth for those that have questions.