How Eating Cleaner Saved My Life
“A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement.”
–Jess C. Scott
It’s so simple, but hard to always remember. Food Feeds Us.
Is it possible to eat food that not only tastes as delicious as the foods you’re used to, but also provides your body with everything it needs to function perfectly, have more energy, heal itself from the inside out, get fit automatically, feel amazing, and burn fat all day long?
The answer is YES!
Companies will try to sell you exercise and workout gimmicks all day long, but ask any trainer or professional athlete and they will tell you that 95% of your success in your health and fitness is determined by WHAT YOU EAT!
I’m Chef Mareya, The Fit Foodie, and I’m going to show you how to transform your favorite foods into fat burning fun, and protect the environment in the process. I’m not a superhero, just a single mom of two young kids who figured out the secret to achieving a fit approach to a healthy lifestyle out of a sheer need to achieve balance, de-stress my life, and keep myself and everyone around me sane. You see, food was my pain for a long time but I knew that if I didn’t get things straight, I was going to put my family in jeopardy. I’ll talk about that more in a minute but the point is, if I can do it with my fast paced, hectic life, YOU can too!
Remember this: Sound nutrition is the key. You can look and feel better than you have in your entire life in 31 days by following what I call my “Fit Foodie Filosophies”.
How do I know this? Because they have transformed thousands of lives, including mine…
HOW EATING CLEANER SAVED MY LIFE
Sometimes you have to starve your ego to come clean.
I have a confession to make. About 10 years ago, I finally beat a severe eating disorder that I had lived with from my late teens into my twenties. I never admitted it to ANYONE, including my own parents, because I thought it meant I was a complete failure.
Today I’m coming clean with how I kicked junk food and my eating disorder to the curb because I don’t want anyone to have to go through such struggles alone.
The doctors called it Bulemia and Anorexia. I called it, Hell on Earth.
You could say my fear of food was eating me alive. When you come from a family that plans lunch while eating breakfast and has conversations about dinner at the lunch table – where you’re not supposed to leave the table without stuffing yourself to the gills – it’s easy to get crazy about the subject.
My eating disorders started in my late teens. Somehow, I lost my way from the dinner table.I swung from gluttonous overeating binges where I’d make myself sick from excess to a starvation diet because I got tired of making myself throw up.
I would fast until 3:00pm everyday then maybe eat a bagel, some rice, celery sticks, a few rice cakes and a green salad, washed down with a bottomless supply of black coffee. I counted every bite as though my life depended on it and if I indulged in anything that I perceived as excess I’d kill myself at the gym until late in the evening so I would avoid eating dinner.
After a few months, I became too weak to exercise and cut back my intake even more. At my lowest, I reached 87 pounds. In a twisted way, I thought this was an incredible achievement, and in my mind, restricting my calorie intake and getting to that new low showed discipline. But my body was clearly in distress.
I started losing clumps of hair. I became an insomniac and began having panic attacks and memory black outs. One night, I was out with some friends and had a panic attack with hallucinations so intense that I was rushed to the hospital because I felt like I was going to die.
It even affected my memory. It’s so hard for me to admit this, but there are significant life events that I blacked out on, like being given a cat by my parents for my birthday – I don’t remember it ever happening!
I had such an unhealthy relationship with food that I avoided any social events where eating was involved, which alienated me even more from friends and family. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings – life’s most cherished events – I found an excuse to get out of them every time.
I knew that being fat and overeating wasn’t healthy so I became focused on being the skinniest girl around. Wasn’t that supposed to make me feel happier? NO. It did just the opposite. I felt weaker, sicker, and more depressed than at any time in my entire life. I had less energy, less concentration, and less confidence than ever before. I had succumbed to the biggest lie about weight loss: Being skinny makes you happy.
My first step towards balanced health came through my job. The year I graduated from college, I started working for a natural foods chain in Colorado. The idea of entering into a job that was centered on everything edible scared the cheesepuffs out of me. But this didn’t look like any of the other local stores. Filled with clean, locally grown produce and natural alternatives to the stuff I found on most grocery shelves, I started to warm up to the idea – and more importantly, I needed this job.
Gradually, I began my clean culinary education and became the editor of our monthly magazine called Healthy Choices. I also ran the demo department for all 11 stores, so my role was to help our customers understand what “certified organic, hormone-free, and non-chemical preservatives” meant and to create simple recipes around the foods we featured.
I was hungry for knowledge on what eating healthy actually meant. I started reading labels on the shelves like books in a library and looked up every ingredient I didn’t know. I interviewed every department manager and asked an abundance of questions. I read nutrition and recipe books voraciously and immersed myself in cooking, focusing on what was in season and playing with textures, cooking methods and colors. This kick started my own food rehab and I began warming up to this “natural food” idea, albeit one bite at a time. That’s when the transformation happened.
As soon as I started eating regularly, it was like I had gotten a shot of adrenaline. I looked forward to waking up in the mornings and I had an INSANE amount of energy and enthusiasm. My boss even noticed the change and gave me kudos for sharing it with others. The insomnia began to turn into hours of deep sleep. The panic attacks went away. I felt comfortable showing up at food functions and even began hosting dinner parties to flex my culinary muscles.
I learned and lived what it meant to feed my body at the cellular level, not just my face. I didn’t have to be tempted by a sponge cake filled with cream and a 20 year shelf life. What was that going to do for me, anyway? Food was meant to keep my body moving and thriving and even though there were a lot of choices out there, I learned which ones were best for me inside and out. I finally understood what it meant to “Think Before You Bite” and I wear that on my tank top as a constant reminder.
My mission is to get you fabulously fit with your food and lifestyle choices. If I can help one person avoid the turmoil that I went through, it makes all the pain I went through worth it.
THE SECRET to Losing Fat Permanently!
One of the most important and overlooked keys to controlling your weight that I learned is managing your blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels and insulin levels are spiking and dropping, it puts an enormous strain on your metabolic system and signals to your body the “I’m in distress mode” message to store fat and energy. Your body is pre-wired to take care of you in the event of an emergency. Stop telling your system that it needs to store fat and you can turn your body from a fat storing machine into a fat burning machine.
Caloric intake will vary based on your sex, age, activity level and pre-existing health conditions. But if your goal is to get leaner, you MUST start by eating cleaner – not by going on a diet that focuses on deprivation.
The way to real, effortless, and permanent weight loss is a proven formula of eating the right combination of foods – or what I call “the Fit Foodie Triangle” (pg.55) – at regular intervals throughout the day. While the point is not to be a slave to calories, this proven formula of eating cleaner, unprocessed meals and focusing on the right combinations at the right times will help get you where you want to go and keep you there for LIFE.
There are 3 keys that helped me unlock the fit life for good:
Understand REAL Nutrition
WARNING: Most people skip this first step. They don’t fully educate themselves on what they actually need to eat in every category in order to turn on their body’s natural fat burning, energy producing power.
Human beings are amazing machines. Keeping our engines humming is a pretty clear cut science, but most people don’t eat enough healthy food and don’t eat often enough for their bodies to work efficiently. Eating the right natural foods at the right times will rev up your metabolism higher than you ever thought possible!
The secret to balancing your blood sugar and revving up your metabolism is eating smaller, perfectly balanced meals, and eating them more often. This book will teach you the basics of this new art. For more step-by-step examples, I created my Cleaner Plate Club Meal Prep Program to show you how to do it effortlessly right from home, every day.
Imagine if just by eating delicious food, you could turn on innate powers in your body that will heal you from the inside out. Your system was designed to heal itself, to burn fat effortlessly, and to produce endless energy. Guess what it needs to do that? Clean fuel!
That is what happened to me. I was an 87 pound sickly shell of a human being. Then I started eating MORE of the good stuff. A year later I was fit, feeling fabulous, and on my way to becoming successful in every area of my life. Not surprisingly, my weight balanced itself right where it needed to be without excessive calorie counting.
Put in the right fuel, and your body does what it was meant to do AUTOMATICALLY.
When you have that AHA! moment where you realize that food is energy and vitality. It shapes your physical being. Even though there are a lot of tempting choices out there, you can weed through the muck without getting stuck. You can exercise for wellness rather than as penance for overeating. At the corner of ‘eat’ and ‘diet’, it’s time to take the right path.
|I did, and it changed my life forever.|
| Key # 2
DITCH THE DIET MENTALITY
The key to a balanced diet is not to diet. I mean, why would you be motivated by something that begins with the word DIE?
One of the most common questions I get from clients is about why they aren’t losing more weight. Most of them sound something like this…
“But I’m barely eating anything…”
“I’ve completely cut out fat…”
“I stop eating after 4:00 pm…”
“All of the frozen meals I buy are 400 calories or less, and I eat 3 a day…”
Guess what their REAL problem is…THEY ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH GOOD FOOD!!!
When I tell them they’re not eating enough, they raise their eyebrows in surprise. America is on a perpetual diet, but we just keep getting bigger. Obviously, something’s broken here because the binge and purge routine just isn’t working. How can the number of people dieting increase at the same time as obesity in America? Because DIETING DOESN’T WORK!
Diets come from a place of deprivation and no one likes to feel that way. If you’re not eating enough of the right foods in the right combination, it can actually undo all the good, including burning muscle instead of fat.
When you eat cleaner and exercise effectively, you are living a sustainable lifestyle – the Cleaner Plate Club Lifestyle – that feeds your sanity, not your face.
Being too restrictive, not eating the right combination of lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, and not eating often enough, can all sabotage your efforts to get slim and healthy. This is exactly what diets do.
There is nothing more stressful, mentally and physically, than trying to reinvent what your body requires you to do to survive and thrive daily. The better and more consistent your habits become concerning what you eat, when you eat, the quantity of food you eat, the quality of food you eat, and how those foods combine, the easier this concept of health maintenance becomes.
Make It A Habit
Once the knowledge of how to eat cleaner is in your head, you need to get it in your belly, eat and repeat! Fortunately, this is the fun part.
Your body needs regularly scheduled care. Not sporadic, when stuff starts to break down kind-of-work. It’s the little things every day that will keep your engine humming like the well-tuned machine that you are. Make proper nutrition a habit, and your relationship with your plate will never be more fulfilling.
When I finally got healthy, I went wild in the kitchen with veggies! I’d find out what was in season, play with textures, and mix cooking methods and colors. Soon I had married these wonders of nature with picks from the seafood and poultry case, which was always brimming with real fresh food. Even the bakery offered goods made with whole grains, vegetables and low sugar. I was amazed at how many healthy choices were out there, and how great they tasted when combined in the right ways.
Once I got the hang of how to put it all together, it took preparation and practice to be consistent. They say it takes 21 days of repetition to create a habit, but when it comes to food I think you need 31 days – enough days to get you through even the longest months of the year.
“My 31 Essential Rules for Health, Wellness, and a Fabulously Fit Life are bite-sized approaches that, when practiced every day, will help you establish the most important habits you’ve ever wanted to make – the ones that will carry you through your months and years of the fit life. I call them my Fit Foodie Filosophies because, as guiding principles, they are a mindset for your new, cleaner lifestyle.”
Just like anything new, don’t worry if there are days that don’t go as planned. That will happen because life happens every day. The idea is to just get back on board and keep practicing, eating, repeating and doing it all over again. Soon enough, you’ll be making some beautiful music in that kitchen of yours. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you for your new vitality, unprecedented energy, and fabulously fit body. Are you ready to sink your teeth in?
The get the 31 Essential Rules, Grab a copy of Chef Mareya’s book, “The Clean Eating Handbook: 31 Essential Rules to Health, Wellness and a Fabulously Fit Life” with our award-winning eatCleaner wash bundle HERE.