Today we’re switching it up and doing this post interview style.
It’s been about 5 years since Peter and I both lost 20 pounds by taking responsibility for our health and making some lifestyle changes.
Us, Before and After
I think I was able to hide it a little better than Peter… the makeup and the hair really helped.
However, when looking back at old pictures, before creating healthy habits, I looked tired and my skin definitely didn’t have a glow.
Our refrigerator before and after
Okay, now onto the habits!
We found that 3 things really helped us lose the weight, and we wanted to share them with you. If you’re trying to shed extra weight, get healthier, or increase your energy, we suggest picking up these same habits we did.
Oh, and I’m going to be interviewing Peter for this one;)
Habit #1 – Saying Goodbye to Dairy
I know this sounds brutal, but it actually wasn’t that bad. I will say that cheese was the last thing I ditched from my diet because I thought it was going to “hurt”… a little dramatic, but I was totally addicted to the stuff.
It turned out okay for me:)
Sarah: Why did you initially cut out dairy?
Peter: Because I always felt heavy and tired. I was getting into running and never knew what to eat before/after workouts – everything about nutrition I found online was confusing and contradicting, but one thing I kept reading was the importance of reducing the amount of dairy you consume because it weighs you down.
S: How much/often were you consuming dairy before removing it?
P: I’d say at least 3-4 times per day, between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
S: How difficult would you say removing dairy was?
P: Kicking the dairy wasn’t hard for me, not sure why because I ate a ton of cheese and drank a tall glass of milk with dinner my entire childhood. I just wanted to see if it would make a difference, so I made sure not to eat anything with dairy for 4 weeks.
S: For the record, Peter did drink milk with dinner every night. Personally, milk wasn’t my thing – but cheese, milk chocolate and cheesecake were :) Okay, back on track…
S: What things helped you make the switch?
P: I really wanted to feel better, and was tired of getting a long night’s sleep and still slugging through the day. Being tired of being tired and indigestion while running was enough for me – I wasn’t very happy with myself at the time and desperately needed to make some changes in my life.
S: What happened once you removed it?
P: I remember getting on a scale after 4 weeks of no-dairy and realizing I lost 10lbs. I was blown away, I literally wasn’t doing anything different with diet and exercise. And I feel like it mostly came off my face and stomach.
S: Do you miss it?
P: Nope, never. Sometimes I miss being so flexible when it comes to eating and accepting food that’s offered to me, but it’s for the best – there really is a lot of crap in most food today and dairy is only part of the problem with it.
S: Anything you’d like to add about when you cut out dairy?
P: I think a big reason why I never missed it is because I never felt a lack of flavor. Many recipe creators rely on using dairy to make stuff taste good – just sprinkle a little cheese on top and call it good. Finding good quality recipes is the best way to avoid that.
S: Love that Peter, you are so right about the good recipes! Well I had a different journey giving up dairy, but I will say I had the same – if not a little more – weight loss when I made this move.
Habit #2 – Going Green in the Morning
When you start your day with green living foods (think spinach, chard, kale, cucumbers), you provide your entire body with a rush of truly sustainable energy. Unlike the limited energy that comes from processed foods, packaged cereals and lattes.
S: Before you cut out dairy, went vegan and started adding green in the morning, what did breakfast look like for you?
P: I usually had 2 eggs and toast, or breakfast burritos, or a microwaved Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich, or bagel with cream cheese, or microwaved instant oatmeal while driving to work.
S: What made you re-think your morning eating habits?
P: Well, after the whole cutting-out dairy experiment, I kept making little improvements. My breakfast shifted to homemade oatmeal in the morning (You and I were actually going to start an oatmeal business we loved it so much) and I did that for about 9 months until you convinced me to switch to a green smoothie instead.
S: What does going green in the morning mean to you?
P: Greens in the morning for me is in the form of green juice and a green smoothie. Oatmeal first thing in the morning sure tasted great, especially when I would throw some chocolate chips on there, but I always felt so tired afterward – which isn’t how I want to start my day. Greens in the morning gives me light energy and makes it so easy to workout and get going without wanting to take a nap!
S: What are some of the benefits of adding greens to your morning/ what have you noticed?
P: My energy for sure, but also my digestion. I’ve struggled with constipation my whole life, and eliminating grains from my breakfast as been absolutely life-changing in that department.
S: Anything you’d like to add about adding greens in the morning?
P: It can take a little getting used to, but having a green break-fast is ideal for your system.
S: Peter thanks for keeping it real:)
Habit #3 – No Processed Foods
M&M’s, Pita Chips, Doughnuts – they all used to be part of our diet. We didn’t really think that much about it, but these things add up and they don’t do anything for your nutrition. Once we learned that… we ditched them!
S: Before making improvements to your diet, what kind of processed foods were you eating?
P: DiGiorno Pizza, Jack in the Box Ultimate Cheeseburgers, 4th Meal from Taco Bell, Subway, Teriyaki, Lot’s of Alcohol, Sprite. I had no self control, if it was good, I wanted in.
S: Omg, you used to love Sprite, and I loved Diet Coke! Okay so, when did you find yourself eating those things?
P: For dinner, for lunch, all the time. I knew nothing about health nor did I really care.
S: But did you know processed foods were unhealthy?
P: Nope, I made sure to have salad whenever it was on the table, but I never thought the main course was unhealthy.
S: So what made you want to cut them out?
P: I feel like I had a nutrition-sheltered life or something, because after watching 1 food documentary, Food Matters, it completely rocked my world. I was blown away and fired up about the hidden dangers of processed/conventional foods and instantly had a passion for eating more whole foods.
S: Okay, so what’d ya do next? Cut them and replace?
P: Yes, and similar to quitting dairy it wasn’t hard for me either. There is a whole range of flavors, textures and cuisines to experience that I never really felt like I was missing out.
S: Once you stopped eating them did you notice any changes in your weight?
P: Yes, I made a final dramatic shift to my diet and went completely vegan. 4 weeks after than I had lost like 15 lbs, which, again, was hard to believe I even had that to lose.
S: Anything you’d like to add about how you removed processed foods?
P: I followed advice I heard at the time from vegan ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek, which was to focus on incorporating new foods, rather than excluding old ones. So true and super helpful for me at the time.
What are your vices?
For you it might be chips, candy, cereal, pop or something else.
For me it was cereal, cereal bars, Diet Coke, chips and M&M’s. Once I cut them out I no longer needed my 4pm nap… I know a 23-year old needing a nap is kinda pathetic, but that’s the truth.
If you’re curious exactly how we cut out processed foods (the play by play), then come to our class… Stay In the loop and get 14 of our best Green Smoothie & Green Juice Recipes.
We all want to be a healthy weight, increase our energy and improve our digestion. Peter and I did, and well, it doesn’t have to be hard, expensive or time consuming.