Testimonial Tuesday: Heather Kelly

Heather and I were lucky enough to “meet” online and have a Google Hangout a few months ago. That interview was mostly about my story, but today I’m sharing her AMAZING story. Read on to find out how food has changed her life in a tremendous way, and if you’re not much of a reader, watch her talk about her story on our video conversation

HeatherKelly

By following a Paleo diet, I literally don’t have to think about food anymore.

I went to college at Western Washington University and was immediately recruited for the women’s rowing team. I had not been an athlete before that, but I was tall and willing to get up at 4:15 to go to practice everyday. After my first day on the water, rowing through fog and cold crisp morning air, I was hooked.

When I joined as a freshman, our team had already won two consecutive national championships. We were a strong, successful team, with some of the fittest girls in school as our captains. I knew right away that I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be strong, fit, fast and lean.

My freshman year, instead of gaining the freshman 15, I actually lost weight because I was training so much. We would be on the water from 5 to 7 a.m. six days per week, with afternoon workouts that could last as long as two hours. I worked out as hard as I could, took naps, and ate A LOT! My diet seemed to consist of Kashi Go Lean Cereal, soy milk, trail mix, bagels, fruit and peanut butter. That was healthy, right?

At the end of my freshman year, I was one seat away from going to nationals with my team. Determined to make the varsity eight the following year, I marched into the athletic department office and made an appointment with Becky, who was a registered dietician. I knew food was important for performing my best, so I wanted to get some things straight.

After reviewing my food log, measuring my wrist size and asking my height, she said, “You should weight about 145 pounds, that needs to be your new weight goal. You should cut down the amount of fat you’re eating and aim to eat eleven servings of grains everyday.”

Mind you, I was about 157 pounds at the time, and hadn’t weighed less than that probably since fifth grade. Despite that, I took what this woman said as gospel and walked immediately from her office to the dining hall to start pounding bagels.

Fast forward to my sophomore year. I’m walking around at a regatta in my unisuit, making a concerted effort to not eat the food all the parents had brought for us. I was 5’9” and just above 140 lbs, and I looked like a bobble head. I had been calorie counting for months, aiming for 1800 calories per day, and my God the weight had come off. However, I was so far down the rabbit hole of an eating disorder, I had no idea what I was doing to myself.

Long story short, I did not make the varsity eight that year. I had surpassed my weight loss goal, and now here I was, completely consumed by the number of calories that passed my lips, and weak as a kitten. I missed two seats in the varsity eight, and two seats in the varsity four, and went to nationals as an alternate with my team. I could not for the life of me understand why losing weight had not made me a better rower.

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Sharing Saturday: Free Meal Planning Template

It’s Sharing Saturday again. This Saturday I want to share a tool that I use weekly to help me with organization. This is especially important with school approaching and busy weeks ahead! Want this free meal planning template? Sign up here for my email list, and it will appear in your inbox!

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Planning is PRETTY powerful. I like to say “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail”. You have to plan for those sticky situations, especially if you’re busy. When school starts, it’s always important for me to prep my food on Sundays. When I get back from a long day at school or the coffee shop, I like to have my dinner cooked already. I can heat it up, enjoy dinner, and either study some more or get to sleep (usually it’s sleep!). 

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Paleo Garlic Aioli and Kale Chips

There’s something about dipping and dunking food. Before I went Paleo, I was a huge fan of queso. I liked to go to Mexican restaurants just to order queso and chips (real healthy, right?)! Today I recreated a healthier recipe with that same dipping concept. Today I present to you, Kale Chips and Paleo Garlic Aioli. Paleo Garlic Aioli

Who else has trouble with Paleo appetizers? *Raises my hand* I certainly have. Whenever I’m asked about appetizers for parties and such, I sorta draw a blank. This recipe finally fits my bill. It’s dip-able, tasty, pretty, and really easy to make when I’m in that last minute rush. This recipe should only take you 20 minutes! Perfect for when you’re asked to a party or get-together an hour before, and you want to bring something to eat!  [Read more...]

Sharing Saturday: Opal Basil, A New Paleo Restaurant

What I love about blogging is that I get to share with you some of my favorite foods, places, products, or people in the Paleo world. There are some places and people that I come across and can see the passion shining in them! Their passion is contagious and gets me so excited to know we’re all working together to make this world a better place.

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the patio of Opal Basil

Today on Sharing Saturday, I’m sharing with you a favorite local Paleo restaurant called Opal Basil on the Trace. The restaurant is located in Mandeville, Louisiana (an hour away from New Orleans). It’s hard to find restaurants that are Paleo-friendly, but its even harder to find Paleo-friendly restaurants that have great, gourmet food! Read on to hear about the world-known chef and his sweet wife who opened this restaurant together only a few months ago.  [Read more...]

Four Layer Beef and Bacon Casserole

A couple of weeks ago, I made my way over to Houston to see Lady Gaga’s Art Rave concert with my sister. One thing you should know about me is that I’m really bad at driving long distances.  5 hours is way too long. When I got to Houston I made my way to a coffee shop for some studying, even though all I wanted to do was stretch my legs and go run! As I was sitting in this cute coffee shop, checking my Instagram feed, I noticed PaleOMG was also in Houston. What are the odds? Of course Houston is gigantic, and she could’ve been an hour from where I was, but after a quick google search I found she was down the street in a small bookstore signing her new book, The Paleo Kitchen

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It was extremely exciting! Juli and I are internet friends, and she has kindly let me guest post on her blog before! I posted a delicious Cauliflower Casserole. It’s another favorite recipe of mine. Casseroles are kinda perfect. In the case of this new Four Layer Beef and Bacon Casserole, it’s really perfect because it includes my veggies from the sweet potato and cauliflower and my protein from grass fed beef and bacon. I definitely had seconds…  [Read more...]