For those of you who don’t know, this time last year I was a size 12 with 34% body fat–not healthy by any means. I was addicted to sugar and other white carbs, including salty chips, and had to force myself to eat what little veggies I did. Then I watched my father go through chemo. I sat there in the hospital, reading the literature lying around, only to discover how many diseases including cancer can either be attributed to or aggravated by poor lifestyle. As a single parent, I knew I needed to get healthy, if not for myself, for my child.

It was difficult to make the change, but I did it in small, manageable increments. Luckily, someone referred me to the Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno. Easy to follow, full of common sense and tasty recipes I was hooked from the get-go. The diet prescribes real, unprocessed food in moderate amounts. Variety and flavor are key to creating tasty, healthy meals that the whole family will enjoy.

Side note: Diet, in its original meaning, refers to the foods commonly eaten. Today we refer to the term “diet” to mean to deny oneself of something, to starve, or some other negative association. Diet does not mean to cut out something or only eat one thing, it’s just quiet simply what you eat.

The basics of the diet prescribe:

  • Small meals 5-6 times a day (an adjustment, but it really does pay off)
  • Eating balanced meals that include fiber, protein, good carbs, and veggies/fruit
  • No processed foods
  • Healthy fats and lean proteins
  • Eat in season, organic when possible
  • Pair healthy eating with exercise

I get the magazine, which features seasonal faves including a healthy Thanksgiving dinner makeover and several desserts (carrot cake, hot cocoa, muffins-yum!).  Most of the meals cost less than $10 per serving (sometimes as little as $2) and not only do I like them, but my husband and 8-year-old daughter love them too! Bonus–most meals take less than 30 minutes to make and require just basic cooking skills. Mommy says sweet!

Of course, the best thing is I don’t diet, I just eat healthy. Now I am a size 2 with 26% (and shrinking) body fat. Along with exercise, I have lowered my metabolic age from 34 (which is older than my real age of 31) down to 24 (yes, I am physically younger than my actual age now!) and that is in just under a year. Health wise, I have eliminated most of my chronic pains, illnesses, and aggravations.What more could you ask for!

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