Today is a BIG day and I am celebrating hard!
365 Days ago TODAY I committed. I committed to eating ALL real foods and removing all protein shakes and bars… 1 full year later I can honestly say that from the deepest part of my soul that I DID IT! I didn’t budge, I didn’t stray, I didn’t break my own personal promise, I stuck to all real whole foods for a FULL YEAR! 🎉
Why did I do this, you may ask?
I believe that whenever ANYTHING starts to control you and throw you out of balance it’s time to look that thing in the eyes (person or packaging) and say- “you do not OWN me. You do not Control me, I control me!”
As a busy mom, entrepreneur and woman living in this fast paced 2021 life- it is so easy to grab the quick and easy fix. It is so easy to choose quick over quality. While not all protein shakes are to be created equal- some are higher quality than others- anytime we are consuming MORE of the processed (even if it is quality) than REAL, it is not healthy.
As many of you know, I use to be an owner of a protein powder company (Devotion Nutrition). I had protein powder pouring out of my pantry and became obsessed with the the products we worked hard to create. I realized that too much of good thing becomes not such a good thing- anymore… My meal prep became nil, I was loosing my creativity, I would go to bed bloated, I started to have breakouts on my skin, and I was starting to have serious brain fog. I needed to STOP this madness. I KNOW the importance of REAL FOODS. I didn’t major in Foods and Nutrition because I don’t LOVE FOOD and the power it has to nourish our mind, body and souls.
I knew I needed to stop but just wasn’t ready to commit. August 8th I met a friend/client, Laurie, for a swim and we were chatting about all types of yummy foods she wanted me to add into her plan… My pumpkin seed tomato salsa, yogurt parfait, Avocado Toast, etc. My mouth was watering as I could literally taste the fresh cilantro and tomato salsa added over top a veggie scramble…
Something in me changed. Something in me clicked. It was in that moment that she and I, together, committed to a 21-day real foods challenge. We held each other accountable, shared recipe ideas, and did it! 21-days of all real foods.
I knew I could do it but I also knew it was going to be HARD! Protein powders satisfied my cravings with zero guilt and we all know when cravings come on, they come on strong! Protein powders are great craving crushers and what I had been using for years and years.
Things I learned or things that were reinforced …
- You have to be ready to commit to make a lasting change. I knew I needed to make this change long ago but wasn’t ready. I would try then find myself back in my old habits … The catalyst for change comes in the oddest ways and most random of times but when they happen, there is no turning back.
- We become creatures of our habits. So much of what we do is out of habit. Often we do things not out of want or need but simply out of habit… In order to change our habits, we must make a radical shift.
- They say it takes 21-days to create a new habit- it’s TRUE. 21-days is the PERFECT amount of time to create a new habit, create new ways and prove you CAN DO IT! I would 100% agree, after 21- days what was “hard” becomes easier and becomes your (healthy) habit.
- Where there is a WILL, there is a WAY! If you want it bad enough and you have the WILL to do something you will always find a way!
- Greek Yogurt and Egg Whites (Egg Whites International) are PERFECT Protein swaps. These two products were the game changing products that replaced the convenience of shakes while also having a way of easily satisfying your sweet tooth!
- The Power of COMMITMENT builds confidence. Is it confidence that gives you the ability to commit or is it commitment that gives you the confidence? I would have to say that it is through commitment confidence is built, grown and magnified. When you 100% commit, you have the confidence to commit in other and all areas of your life- FACT!
- When you set your mind to something NOTHING or NOBODY can get in your way. I had this same laser focus when I competed and use the same principles and FOCUS to fuel my personal challenges to this day!
- NOTHING feels better than a Flat Belly! Of course we all have our days where we have hormonal bloat or veggie bloat however removing processed foods can greatly reduce that pouch and leave you feeling great ALL day. I remember as the days would go on, the bloat would begin and by the time I went to bed I looked 4 months pregnant. Real foods changed this for me. I was able to throw on a bikini any time of day and not feel the funk… (Pic below is mid day-real foods vs. mid- day post protein shakes)
- Food is Medicine. It can heal low levels of energy, brain fog, digestive issues, bloat, skin issues and so much more… We are quick to blame everything BUT we are not quick to take a look at what we are eating (or not eating) to help us solve our problems! Food can heal. Food is medicine!
- We have 100% Control over ourselves and our choices! We are so quick to blame blame blame and make excuses why we cannot do something but everything is a choice. If we choose to live a certain way- that is our choice. If we choose to live a different way- that is our choice. The choice is 100% up to us and within OUR CONTROL. This is our super power that resides within each of us. We just have to have the courage and strength to dig within and tap into that super power!
- You can MAINTAIN your body/physique and conditioning without shakes. After 15+ years of adding protein powders into my diet, I wasn’t sure what the physical outcome would be. Would I lose muscle? Would I get soft? Would I gain fat? Proof is in the pudding that not only was I able to maintain I believe whole foods built a better body and better ME. Nothing can replace what nature intended us to have.
- There are OTHER ways to replenish your muscles post workout. You hear that protein shakes are a great post workout snack/meal. Very true- an isolate or whey protein are great utilized post workout for their quick delivery into your muscles but there are other great sources such as eggs and better yet- yogurt + eggs = slow/fast digesting protein that mimics a whey/casein blend.
- Yogurt doesn’t make you Fat! This definitely was a BIG ONE. I went from eating yogurt here and there to daily and often multiple times a day. The question was- would the lactose cause weight gain or sugar in yogurt cause me to gain. After a year of daily yogurt intake I have the answer- No, No and NO!
- Consistency is KEY! If you have been following me for a while, you know this is one of my big claims to fame. Consistency is everything, especially when you are making a (big) change in your lifestyle. In order for you to have sound evidence and form conclusions (such as #13), it is important to be consistent in all other areas of your life. I maintained EVERYTHING else the same- cardio, daily G-Fit Workouts, eating for purpose with my carb cycling formulas, eliminating sugar, etc. The only thing I did was replace the shakes with another source of “lean protein”. If I would have changed more than ONE thing, I wouldn’t have the same findings from my personal 21-day Real Foods Challenge.
- The Power of Practicing what you preach. As a committed expert in the fitness/health space, I continue to learn, grow, evolve and try things on for size before making claims, creating challenges or shouting from the rooftop my beliefs when it comes to living our best and healthiest life. I believe it is important that as life changes, the food industry changes, we change, we must continue to change, grow and evolve. Before I can honestly share with confidence I know the power of being the personal role model for my teachings. How can an expert make a claim that they do not practice themselves? With so little trust in the food industry these days, I hope to continue to practice what I preach and use my own personal (and client) experiences to help each of you!
- Gosh I love to cook and get creative! I have been KNOWN for my creative recipes and during the past 365 day journey, the creativity has been taken to another level. I had to dig within my tool chest to create many recipes that typically call for protein powder. Some of my all time favorites have been created within the past year- everything bagels, pizza bagels, seed bread, turkey lasagna, no-oatmeal, oatie cookies, olive bread, cloud bread, guilt free brownie bites, meringues, gelatin peanut butter cups, candied radishes, G-Fit Cookie dough, Crinkle Crumble, coffee cake crumble, crinkle cookies, gelatin coffee pumpkin pie, black bean brownies, oh my the list goes ON and ON! This challenge reignited my creativity that had been lost over the years … Gosh I love to cook! Checkout ALL these + 100’s more in the G-Fit App Recipe Section.
I know the question now becomes, so Gina will you be adding back in protein powders and bars?
Great Question! The answer is YES but in a strategic and BALANCED way. I didn’t come this far to only come this far… I am not going to tell myself I “CAN’T” have a shake- I don’t think that is healthy either! What I WILL be doing is using them just as they are meant to be used – as a supplement when needed. I will NOT be doing things out of habit rather out of purpose. I will be sharing more about my transition and how I will be doing this. It has to be done strategically otherwise a few things can happen…
- Your body can react negatively
- You can quickly fall back into old habits
I am excited to share more about my transition Stay tuned for my next steps as I slowly start to incorporate quality protein into my days but in a very strategic and balanced way…
Until then, raise your protein shake and celebrate with me!
Looking to remove processed foods from you diet?? Download the 21-Day Real Foods Challenge HERE and COMMIT. I am excited to hear from you!!