I have been on a health journey I didn't really see coming in the last year. It all began (or I guess continued, really) when I could hardly keep my eyes open at about 1 pm every day last year. This was after "eating healthy," exercising and getting a full 8 hours of sleep. I didn't think this could possibly be normal, but I also didn't know what I was doing wrong or what I could change.
I was talking about it to my mother and sister-in-laws and my MIL told me that when she was about my age, she was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr. After doing more research and listening to how she felt, I thought that it sounded very similar. It's the same virus that causes mono, and a doctor had told me after I delivered my twins that I had a "raging case of mono." I swept it under the rug at the time because I was a little preoccupied with newborn twins!
You can read more about my journey in 2020 HERE to understand what it meant for me and what I did to help get it under control. It really opened my eyes to how debilitating it could be. My extreme fatigue was interfering with the mom that I wanted to be, the wife I wanted to be, and the advocate for women with infertility that I wanted to be.
In December of 2020 (just about one month ago) I had a significant impression that I wouldn't be able to fully put all of my energy into helping women with infertility, coaching and offering the best tools to help them understand their brains if most of my energy was going to simply making it through the day. I knew there had to be some answers for me.
I made it a top priority to learn about my health and get my mind in control of not turning to food to help solve any emotional issues. It has been a snowball effect. Once I realized how much I was turning to food to help me emotionally (spoiler alert: it can't), I was then open to the coaching that has changed my life in the coaching program I am currently going to learn how to coach women with infertility to help them see how their brains are working and realize they have all of the control over how they feel. It has changed my life completely.
I still needed help with keeping my "WHY" at the forefront of my mind, and that's where Amanda has come in. We met on Instagram before our kids were born when we were both experiencing infertility for the first time. She is helping me the truth in food. Our adversary is so cunning that he uses the foods we eat, that we oftentimes think are good for us, to make us so sick in our bodies and our minds that we can't focus on the purpose that God has for our lives. I'm seeing it all so clearly now. I am currently coaching with her, and my relationship with God has grown so much. I turn to Him for help.
Resources that have helped me to see the truth so far are The Plant Paradox book (SO EYE OPENING; I would HIGHLY recommend it), Medical Medium, The Come Follow Me curriculum in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (an INCREDIBLE resource to help me know God better; the one who knows ALL), my friend Karalynne (follow her Instagram Just Ingredients here) and Amanda (her blog here, and her Instagram here).
You Have Questions, I've Got Answers
What are one or two things to replace if you can't do it all?
Take it slow. Don't overwhelm yourself. I think when something (food or a product) runs out, replace it with something that is better for you. Our skin absorbs everything so I would for sure replace your lotion (asliceofstyle for 15% off) and your deodorant for your personal care items. I am still working on finding natural hair care that I love, but this hairspray has been amazing. When it comes to eating, buy organic when you can on the "dirty dozen" produce items. You can google what those are for each year; they are the produce that has the most pesticides and can harm you the most.
Clean skin care products you are liking?
This lotion and body wash (asliceofstyle for 15% off), this deodorant, this hairspray, and this nail polish for Goldie. For self tanning, I LOVE this self tanner that actually works. I'm continuing to try new items that I love but my stipulation is that they have to work just as well as the chemical-filled products. I want CLEAN, healthy, AND effective.
How long were you committed to these changes before noticing a significant difference?
It is a constant learning process. I still feel like I am learning and growing. When I stopped eating sugar and focuses mostly on fruits and veggies last year, I felt a big difference after about a month. Everyone will be different, though.
Nail polish, makeup, healthy treats/snacks?
I'm trying out some all organic makeup right now and I'll let you know if it passes my tests :) I'm also going to test out a more natural way to do my nails, but haven't done so yet. I'll update you when I do. I actually am not eating treats or snacks right now! I am only eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am filling those meals with nutrient dense vegetables, fruits and grass-fed beef and free range chicken. If I get hungry before dinner, I'll have my dinner salad before I eat so I don't snack on something else.
What do you do for fitness?
I work out at least 4-5 times per week. I love going on walks near my house, I love group fitness classes like HIGH Fitness and spin. I am currently working on creating a home gym so I don't have to leave my house in order to work out. This will enable me to save a TON of time so I can focus more of it on helping women with infertility through the Slice of Sun.
Can you make a highlight of your meals?
What do you eat for breakfast?
My favorite breakfast right now is a grain free cassava flour tortilla, 2 omega-3 scrambled eggs, Redmond Real Salt and 6 oz of some type of fruit!
What do your kids/husband eat for dinner hwen you are eating on a strict diet?
I'm eating real foods like fruit, veggies and delicious meat so they eat the same thing! My kids don't always like the veggies, and they are eating grains so I'll add that for them. Tyler eats the exact same as me! Salads, grass-fed meat, fruits and veggies.
Follow me on Instagram for how I cook things! The meals are VERY simple. 4 oz protein, 2 oz fat, 6 oz veggies, 6 oz fruits, and 6 oz salads. I just mix it up and toss together and use different spices to make it all interesting! Here is the food plan I'm on right now! I'm not eating grains so I sub it with something like sweet potatoes or grain-free similar items.
How many oz of protein and how many oz of veggies are your goal per meal?
Click HERE for food plan I'm on right now!
Are there recipes that go along with it, or just the food guidelines?
Just the food guidelines and you can get creative! It's honestly super simple and I love that it's so easy to follow. It has really simplified my life! Back to the basics.
Are you doing this forever?
I won't always be so strict not eating sugar and flour, but I am going to REALLY limit it. Watch this documentary. It's ASTOUNDING. I'm going to eat sourdough Kamut flour bread when I start to eat bread again and I'm going to substitute sugar with stevia and erythritol when I can.
Who do you see for your thyroid?
Steve Ruiz. He's been amazing! Here is his bio.
Any changes with your water? bottled, filtered, etc.?
YES!!! Oh my goodness. I do not talk about this enough. I got the AquaTru water purifier (THIS LINK offers you $150 off) and it's incredible. It purifies your water using reverse osmosis to take out 82 toxic chemicals from tap water which is FIFTEEN TIMES MORE than most filters.
Can you share your toxin free beauty products and kitchen essentials?
See beauty products above that I like. Kitchen essentials: Organic apples, organic blueberries, organic spinach, organic spring mix lettuces, Primal Kitchen sauces and salad dressings, Redmond Real Salt, grass-fed beef, grass-fed polish sausage from Teton Waters Ranch (I buy at Costco), avocado, walnuts, macadamia nuts, omega-3 eggs, brussel sprouts, my AquaTru water filter, organic stevia, organic lemon juice not from concentrate
How do you know how much ounce of food you're allowed to eat?
Click HERE for food plan I'm on right now!
Are there certain types of veggies that you're including more of?
I have been learning about lectins from this book. So I'm avoiding those (the seeds are toxic to our bodies) and eating things I like such as broccoli (I mean...it's okayyyy ;) ), brussel sprouts, green beans and spinach. I love to sauté veggies and meat together for my meals!
How to fight sugar cravings and how do you live without candy?
I talk to my coach, I allow myself to want them and let the urge just be there without giving in to it (the more you do this, the more you will be able to just sit with it and have the urge be there and not be met), I remember my WHY (to have enough energy to be able to be the best mom, wife and advocate for women with infertility that I can be), and I text my coach every night what I'm going to have the next day specifically for each meal. If we commit with our rational minds, our impulsive minds won't take over.
Did you see benefits from celery juice?
Yeah! It gave me more energy. I'm not as consistent with drinking it because it's so nasty to me, but if you are feeling absolutely awful, it's a great thing to incorporate into your diet to help cleanse you.
Do you limit carbs?
No. I do have a specific amount of food I eat at each meal, though. Click HERE for food plan I'm on right now. Carbs are not our enemies. Overly processed food with a lot of sugar in it is. GOOD carbs like fruits with fiber in it so we can properly digest it and use it for our benefit is good for us.
Do you find your energy levels improve?
YES 100%. I am a different person when I'm fueling my body with proper nutrition I'm not lethargic, I don't have brain fog, and I have a clear vision of what my purpose is in this life.
Do you drink diet soda?
No. I don't drink artificial sweetener like aspartame and I don't like to consume artificial dyes. I do like Zevia, though! It's sweetened with stevia which is 100% natural and doesn't have artificial dyes in it. I also LOVE water, ice, lemon juice and stevia mixed together. It tastes like lemonade without the calories or sugar and the lemon juice is good for cleansing your liver.
Are you trying to lose any weight?
I am a couple pounds higher than I have been in the past but this is NOT about losing weight. I'm sure a few pounds of fat will come off where they need to because I'm not bombarding my body with so much sugar that it's completely sick. I'm fueling my body with what it needs to thrive and I'm feeling like the version of myself that I've wanted to be.
Do you have to make several meals a day for you, kids, Tyler?
We eat mostly the same. I'll add in some grains for my kids and they'll have things like yogurt and snacks that I don't eat, but meals are mostly the same.
Why are you changing your diet?
So I can have enough energy to be the best mom and wife I can and focus all of the energy I was using to help heal myself and get my energy back into helping women with infertility. I'm doing a coaching program right now to help me develop a program to help women understand their minds and brains to take their power back to find joy while experiencing infertility, I'm going to start a podcast and I'm growing the retail side of The Slice of Sun. I wouldn't be able to do any of this if I didn't have the energy I have through healing my body with whole, natural and unprocessed foods.
Does Tyler eat the same as you?
He does when he's at home with me!
I switched to a menstrual cup about 6 months ago because regular cotton tampons can cause toxins to leak into your body. This can be a huge problem! Menstrual cups are a little strange to get use to, but once you are used to them, they are a game changer for many people. I use the Bloody Buddy linked HERE (the name...I know!!) and you can use code JENICA10 for 10% off.
Do you think this approach is sustainable long term for you?
1000% yes. I am seeing how good I feel and how my body is healing, and I'm learning that this is how our bodies were supposed to be fueled. My brain is clearer, my relationship with God is so much closer, and I have enough energy to do what I want to do which is be a good mom, a good wife, and grow The Slice of Sun to help women understand how they can find joy even while experiencing infertility. 2021 is going to be a huge year for me, The Slice of Sun, and any woman in this community.