A WHOLE New Food Life

I am super excited to share with you about a new thing that Cody and I have decided to do. With it being a new year, so many people say they are going to eat better, lose weight, diet and exercise. We all do it. When Cody went to basic training he lost a lot of weight. Even though he ate like crap, all the exercise and stress made him shrink. Once basic was over and he was off to Tech School, he was able to eat whatever he wanted. All the weight he had lost came right back. Even though he was exercising still it just wasn't enough. Most of the time when you watch some exercise infomercial there is always fine print that says,"with DIET and exercise." You can't just continue to eat what you want and exercise a few days week and think you are going to be suddenly skinny.

Last year I did Pilates almost everyday for probably 6 months straight and couldn't figure out why my cellulite would not go away!!! The main reason I was working out was to get rid of my cellulite, but it didn't have any plans of going anywhere! Since we moved here to Wyoming, Cody has starting to workout again trying to get rid of his gut and get back into shape. He found himself so frustrated because nothing seemed to be working.

We always have thought of ourselves as "healthy" people. We don't buy potato chips, cookies or ice cream. I have always figured if it isn't in the house you can't eat it. Pretty simple. Our typical dinner meals were spaghetti, tacos, pork chops, baked chicken and DiGiorno pizzas. Recently I had come up with the great idea of cooking chopped up chicken in Ramen noodle seasoning, then eating it with the noodles and steamed broccoli. Well, the broccoli is healthy!!! lol

Our old food that I plan to donateWhole Food Our old food

I have never been over weight and my goal has been to keep it that way. I have battled with body image issues for years. My legs have been my one problem area. I have had cellulite for years. My entire thighs, front and back. I don't wear shorts mainly for this reason. No one likes looking in the mirror and hating what they see. We are all so hard on ourselves. I have always blamed my coffee/caffeine addiction for causing the cellulite in my legs. I read somewhere that caffeine causes cellulite. I thought for sure this had to be the reason my legs looked the way they do.

I always talk about Netflix's and the movies I watch on my blog. One night Cody randomly chose to watch a documentary called Forks Over Knives. I didn't know what it was about, but became very interested very quickly. It's really a lesson on what is good and bad for your body. It's things you are never taught about the food we are putting in our bodies. Preservatives, sugar, oils, animal protein, animal fats and diary products are all VERY BAD FOR US! Everyone thinks you have to eat chicken for protein and drink milk for calcium. It's how we are raised and it is what is considered normal.


Forks Over Knives breaks the myths and proves that a plant based and whole food diet is what our bodies really need to function correctly. It has been such an eye opening thing for Cody and I. Yes, it seems hard and yes most of us don't want to give up meat. I get it! Did you read the meals I was eating daily? Also, I had a lunch meat sandwich for lunch daily and a sugary cereal for breakfast with my calorie loaded coffee creamer. I figured at age 30, what better time to start treating my body the way it deserves to be treated! The beauty of changing your eating habits is your immune system actually can correct all the damage done by poor eating habits in the past.

Broccoli & Sugar Snap Pea Stir-Fry & Spaghetti SquashWhole Food Pasta StirFry

So the moral of this long blog post is that Cody and I decided to change our diet completely. After watching Forks Over Knives and Food Matters, that was all the motivation I needed. We cleared out of fridge and pantry of probably 90% of what was in it and STARTED OVER!

Our new fruit and veggie filled fridgeWhole Food Fridge1

All dairy gone! We have been using skim milk for years. I hate milk no matter what kind it is. I forced myself to have it in cereal just so I felt like I was getting calcium in my diet. FORCED myself!! Well newsflash, Almond milk tastes amazing and has twice the calcium! I needed to know about this years ago. The main thing when doing this life changing "diet" is teaching yourself to read ingredient labels! That is key. Here is an example:

Whole Food Cereals bad good

I used to eat Cheerios everyday! We traded Cheerios for Post Shredded Wheat's because of the ingredients! Everyone thinks Cheerios are healthy. My favorite ones were the Multigrain Cheerios. How can they be unhealthy? Well they add so many sugars and preservatives, that's how. Here is the labels to the frosted Cheerios and the shredded wheat's...

Whole Food Labels Cereal

As you can see the Cheerios label on the left is crammed full of sugar, corn syrup (more sugar) and brown sugar syrup. Yes even brown sugar is bad for you. The label on the right is very short and straight forward: Whole Grain Wheat. Which is great for you. Whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables and fruit is all part of a whole food diet.

My new breakfast. Shredded Wheat's with fresh fruit and Almond Milk.Whole Food Cereal w-strawberries

When I use the word diet, it just means the food you choose to put into your body. When you choose to eat whole foods you basically eat as much as you want all day long. Currently we are using the Forks Over Knives recipe book, which has over 150 recipes and educates you more on what not to buy at the grocery store. So far one of our favorite meals has been a black bean salad....

Whole Food Cody & Recipe
It's nice to see Cody actually enjoying cooking again!
Whole Food Bean Salad

The meals are loaded with veggies high in fiber so you are just as full as if you would of ate pork chops for dinner. Other meals we have enjoyed so far are Pasta stir-fry's with an awesome healthy soy sauce substitute that is better tasting then real soy sauce! MexiCali Burritos, Black Beans & Rice, Asparagus Red Pepper Stir-fry and Black Bean Burgers. Most people would think, "There is no way I could give up sugar and meat!" These meals are loaded with flavors. There are recipes for muffins, cookies and cakes. Cody and I just haven't gotten that far yet! So I traded my lunch meat sandwiches for this lunch...

A Whole Grain Bagel, Natural Peanut Butter & Natural Jelly with fresh fruitWhole Food Lunch

The only bad thing about eating this diet, is the way people JUDGE you. It's horrible. My co-workers look at me like I have 6 heads. They watch me eat my fruit and bagel like there is seriously something wrong with me. You know what I watch them eat everyday? Arby's and Wendy's. I think it's sad that I have to feel self-conscience about eating healthy, or telling someone I gave up meat! Cody and I ate meat probably 25 out of 30 days a month for the last million years! We were both raised on meat. Last year we ate tons of fast food. I traveled and didn't even think about it. I would just get Subway and "think" I was being healthy. I never looked at any other ingredients on labels except the fat. Ignoring all the other crap that was in the food. The high sodium, sugars, oils and corn syrups. Sadly for me the hardest thing is worrying about what my family and friends will think. How will they judge me? It's as if there is something WRONG with me because I won't eat the meals they do. This is a major life overhaul. You can't eat out anywhere and you can't have that typically holiday feast anymore. Everyone knows you can't change what people think or how they choose to live their life. This is our choice and all I can hope is that people can understand and maybe take the time to do their own research. Honestly, to me this whole diet change is common sense. You watch Forks Over Knives and Food Matters and all the pieces just fit.

Want to know the best part for us so far? My cellulite, almost completely GONE after just 2 weeks. Cody, his gut that exercise alone (P90X AB Ripper) could not get rid of, is almost gone. So to me, that is all the proof I really need. The fat I have been carrying around with me for years is finally leaving my body. If I only would have know about this years ago. The hardest part of this change, is finding the correct things to eat at the grocery store. We have a local store called Natural Grocers that sells the only healthy bread and bagels with no added oil and sugars. It just took a few trips to different stores to learn what we could buy and where. Once you get over that hurdle, it's just like regular grocery shopping again. (Except I actually enjoy it now!) You just spend more time in the produce section,.....and yes some people stare at you at the check out. lol Like I said, apparently if you eat healthy you are a freak.

If dinner wasn't enough and we feel a little hungry still Cody fixes us smoothies.

Organic Cocoa Powder, Strawberries and Spinach Leafs! Yummy!gif maker at gickr.com

The point of this post is to inform people there is another way to live. It's okay to be a health freak. lol Cody and I both have more energy now. I feel better everyday inside and out. My self-esteem is better and I just feel happy. To me, it's really a simple solution. Most of us already eat some of this stuff, it's just taking it to the next level. You truly are what you eat. Living a long healthy life is way more important to me then eating pizza or fast food. If you are interested in learning more about a whole food diet please visit these links:

Forks Over Knives
Engine 2 Diet
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
Farms 2 Forks
Happy Herbivore

There is so much information that I can't even begin to tell you about! Please choose to inform yourself! I chose to share all this with you because this is all part of my journey in life and I hope to inspire others. Thanks for reading!


  1. i know what you mean. i started working out again, and have been TRYING to watch what i eat. lots of luck!

  2. Oooh, I think everything on the new plan looks DELISH! And a colorful fridge chocked full of healthy stuff is so motivating, doncha think?

    Good luck, you two!

  3. I understand 100% what you are chosing to eat! My Mom actually went RAW for a bit to help her feel better! I am on my way to healthy, just financially I have to ease into it. Each grocery trip is a chance to buy better food! If you hit any road blocks or come up with something fantastic, i would love to swap ideas. Living in Seattle means a plethora of healthy eating options! Please keep posting, it helps to inspire others!

  4. Yay for you Jessie!! Its never to late. Thats what i need to remember. It always amazed me how much better healthy food tastes and the stares people give. Like OMG you're not drinking a 64 oz Pepsi for lunch with chilli cheese fries?!? How dare you.

  5. It is a very pretty fridge to look at now! lol I can't wait for the farmers market to start in the spring. Sadly we can't have a garden here, because apparently nothing grows in the soil here in Wyoming. Thanks for all your kind comments.

  6. Oh my gosh, we watched Forks vs Knives a few weeks ago. I am having a HARD time cutting out dairy, but am trying to get there. We typically eat fairly healthy, but not enough, so we are trying hard to eat more fresh items and cut out a lot of animal proteins.

    Another great documentary is Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and we love the Food Maters one too.

  7. We did watch Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, I forgot to mention that one! That may be the one where they show the animals been killed? Dairy is hard to cut out, because it's basically in everything!!!! Good Luck! If you can find awesome cookbooks, it does help!

  8. Jessie! Your blog is amazing, I loved checking it out and your creativity is so inspiring. I like your most recent post, those are great documentaries. David and I have been changing a lot of our eating habits as well these last few months. Although we still eat meat we pretty much make all our own food as well and LOVE Natural Groceries, haha! It's basically the only place we shop I am surprised we haven't seen you in there before! Anyways, great to see your blog and learn more about you.

  9. Thanks so much, I did a lot more photography in CA but ever since I moved here it's been slooooow because I don't know a lot of people and its so darn COLD. haha. I haven't actually made bread yet because David is really good at it so he usually makes a loaf of sourdough a week. If you guys need any help or recipes let us know because he is super good at it. Also we make a trip once a month to Costco if you guys ever want to go with us, we get our organic fruits and veggies in bulk and it saves a lot of $$$

  10. I know exactly how you feel... so many people eat rubbish without realising it, and judge anyone eating something wholewheat or munching a piece of fruit instead of chocolate, or someone who won't eat the snacks they provided. I've been a vegetarian for 12 years and it's still difficult when I go anywhere for meals or when I eat around new people - they all have to ask me why I don't eat meat, and then start questioning everything I say and asking things like: "Do you eat fish/chicken?" like they're not animals. It's really not that strange to not eat meat.

    Good for you Jessie - it's so difficult to start, but the benefits are worth it! I'm still working on the dairy part...

  11. Great job! You inspired me to order the book "Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes". I haven't eaten beef for years, but on occasion do eat chicken. I feel awful about it though so I am hoping more ideas will get me away from chicken as well. I really don't like the food documentaries because many of them showing animals dying which is a little too much for me..but I will get much use out of the books. Keep up the good work and giving great tips!

    1. I love Happy Herbivore! She makes some great stuff and has a great website with even more recipes.

      I hear ya about documentaries showing animals dying. I couldn't get through 5 minutes of Earthlings. However, Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (from what I remember) don't show that.

  12. Joy,

    Sounds like you don't need to watch the documentaries anyways, since you already eat healthy! I think only one of those films I talked about showed anyways being killed, I think it was Food matters. It's sad though, people kinda NEED to see that stuff sometimes to make the change. I plan to share some recipes on my blog also. :)


  13. Good for you. We kicked most junk out the house here and don't buy many added sugar foods, and very limited 'fake' food. I am not committed to no meat at this point. After watching Food Inc we did change how we select our meat to avoid some of the terrible practices involved with distributing meat. I will def be following you at this point, all your recipes look great! Saw you over at Blonde Episodes.

  14. I love Forks Over Knives. Also the books they are based on, The China Study and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease are fantastic. For years my parents joked around about my being vegan. Then I asked them to please, at least read The China Study by Dr. Campbell. They did and about 20 pages in they both took all animal products out of their home. We now not only follow a vegan diet but a whole foods plant based one. :)

    1. Oh diet is more plant based then just vegan. You can be vegan and still eat badly. Oreo's are vegan. LOL That doesn't mean you should eat them all the time. ;) Cody read The China Study. He said it was amazing.


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