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She Gave Up Processed Food, And WHOA! Look At Her Results!

A couple weeks ago I received an email from Shannon, a reader of my book The Food Babe Way, and my jaw dropped to the floor! In just the past few months, Shannon has made an incredible transformation to her body – she went down 5 sizes in 4 months, but what I think is most important is that her health and fitness has improved dramatically. I am so excited she wants to share her story with you. 

Shannon’s story just goes to show how quickly you can change your body even if nothing else worked for you in the past – and that you can still enjoy amazingly delicious food all day, every day!

She told my team that she hopes others can relate to her story and that maybe it will inspire them to know that it can be done. I really love that she wants to help others, and I am so happy for her and all she has accomplished! Are you ready to be inspired?

The “Before” picture that Shannon sent in was taken sometime prior to January 2016 (when she began eating The Food Babe Way) and the “After” pictures were taken in May 2016: 

Shannon M. Food Babe Way

Shannon’s story:

In the beginning: When I was in my teens and early 20s I competed in pageants…even winning swimsuit awards at a few state competitions. Fat-free was all the rage then and I prided myself on eating less than 5 grams of fat a day during competition season. I was muscular, 5’6” and 125 lbs. Losing weight wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard either back then. I love a lot of diverse foods, but gave up a lot when competing. When I joined the workforce I challenged myself with a job that required a yearly fitness test…push-ups, sit-ups, waist measurement and a timed run. While the amount of my physical activity has ebbed and flowed throughout the years, it has always been a part of my life.

What happened: As I moved into my late 20s and early 30s it became harder. I worked out daily, but was still 20 lbs more than when I competed. Folks said that’s what happened with age. I was still within my BMI though and felt good, but always had to have a daily nap! When I got married in my early 30s I maintained my weight until I had children. I put on 25 lbs while pregnant, but 25 lbs never came off. Sure, some of it did, but as most new moms can relate it was a struggle. For years I teetered between a normal BMI and what doctor’s consider overweight. It was frustrating.

In 2010, I started actively running, about 4-5 miles a day. I used a stand-up desk because I read it burned 500 extra calories a day. I also started a ‘healthy” eating routine…whole grain breads and pastas, yogurt, oatmeal, low-fat dairy, soups, fruits and vegetables. I often had a Lean Cuisine, Weight Watcher’s or Healthy Choice for lunch. I mean just look at the names…how could these meals not be good for me? When I traveled for work I ate at Subway. I got back to an acceptable BMI, but that only lasted about 7 months and the scale started to go up again.

I remember at my yearly physical I told my doctor about my daily running routine and my “healthy” diet. When she said, “You might have a thyroid issue,” I thought “YES! Something that explains it.” First off, what crazy logic is that to get excited about a possible illness to explain weight gain! Thank God, I did not have a thyroid issue, but what was happening?

In 2013, I took on a new, more stressful position, but still went to the gym. I drank coffee with creamer like a fiend in the morning and drank a glass or two of wine at night to unwind. Store bought French bread became a staple at every meal. I always tried to balance the plate with a meat, starch and vege, but again the numbers on the scale kept climbing. I also must admit I have a sweet tooth, but a bit of Dove, Hershey’s or M&Ms always seemed to satisfy it. In 2014, we had a British soccer coach stay at our home. We went to the grocery store to buy food for his lunches. He couldn’t believe all the choices we had. He told me how many of the foods here were outlawed in England. I thought it was interesting, but didn’t give too much more thought to it as I took him through a McDonald’s drive thru later that day.

By 2015 I had gained all my baby weight back. I was 15 lbs over my BMI and officially dubbed overweight. I felt tired, stressed, unhappy with my appearance and hopeless. In Dec. 2015 I gave away a ton of size 8 clothes thinking I’d never, ever be able to wear them again since I had not been able to wear them since 2010.

A new chapter: In late 2015, a friend told me about an M.D./nutritionist she was seeing. I quickly made an appointment for after the New Year. On Jan. 7, 2016 I met Dr. B. and she talked to me about gluten and casein allergies, GMO’s, glycemic index, organic foods and foods dubbed healthy that would actually sabotage weight loss. I had never heard about GMOs! She gave me a daily caloric plan, recipes, shopping lists and supplements to help me as I changed my eating habits.

That weekend we had a snowstorm, so I binge watched every Netflix film I could find on food. FedUp, Food, Inc, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, SuperSize Me…yep I watched them all. FedUp and Food, Inc. really hit home. I was shocked to learn what Big Food was doing to our food and what little the FDA was doing to protect us. I went through my pantry and got rid of boxed rice and pasta sides. I swapped out whole grain wheat pastas for brown rice, corn and quinoa. I made a few changes, but my low-fat cereals stayed, my Chunky soups stayed, my lunch meats stayed…as did many other products that I thought were “healthy.” In fact, I bought more Gatorade Power Bars for my son. The packaging said 20 grams of protein. We kept the Carnation Breakfast drinks with 11 vitamins and minerals. That stuff had to be good for you right? I mean, the packaging said so.

For as long as I’ve known my best friend she’s always been into food and fitness. She is a wealth of knowledge and an inspiration. When I shared with her my new knowledge she told me about Food Babe. I looked at the Facebook page and was intrigued. I went to the library to get the book. I’m not a fast reader, but that book went with me to every soccer game, baseball practice, and carpool line I went to. I knew half-way through that I had to order my own copy. I wanted to dog-ear it, highlight it, tab it.

By the middle of the book I was back in my kitchen pantry. I spent three days reading EVERY LABEL in my kitchen. By the third night I wanted to sit on the floor and cry. All these foods I was feeding to my kids were loaded with TBHQ, BHA, hidden MSG, sugar, sugar and more sugar. If I didn’t recognize an ingredient I looked it up on the internet. The vast majority were not good. For me, the light bulb went on. This wasn’t healthy food. My body had no idea how to process it. It was making me sick and fat and was causing who-knows-what damage to my kids. I did another clean out and started looking for other alternatives to baked crackers, granola bars and peanut butter.

I must tell readers that I’ve been through my pantry and freezer at least six or seven times. Food has an emotional pull… either because we are addicted to the taste or we can’t wrap our minds around the cost of getting rid of it. My taste buds started to change after the first month, but my wallet still cringed at the thought that I had just bought a club-price pack of turkey bacon and year’s supply of Eggo waffles (Ok, not really a year, but certainly a month’s worth…maybe two).

The turning point came as I started to see the scale go lower and lower each week. Pounds were coming off like crazy! Real food tasted great. I was cooking and finding new recipes to satisfy my needs and my sweet tooth (Yep, Babe’s Almond Butter Fudge recipe rocks!) I remember I left for a business trip and my husband found the last pack of frozen, processed lunch meat. When I came home I was so disgusted by it that I immediately threw it away. He came home a few days later looking for it as I feigned like I didn’t hear him ask me, “What happened to the lunch meat?” I finally had to confess that I threw it away. It wasn’t good for any of us. I promised to make an organic chicken weekly so that he would have lunch meat.

When I went to the gym I talked to people who looked fit and healthy. Fitness instructors are a wealth of knowledge, as are many people who take their classes. I’d ask a question during class about food and get three or four varying answers… all good answers that would lead me to a new recipe, or gadget or better, cleaner way of living my life. All the instructors said that changing your body was “20 percent exercise and 80 percent food.” WOW were they right! I started seeing muscles and definition in my arms and legs from only lifting five to eight pound weights. I went from wearing my husband’s t-shirts and baggy running pants to buying cute, matching yoga outfits (a reward for meeting each new weight goal).

When my copy of The Food Babe Way came in March I was close to reaching my initial goal weight…35 lbs less than when I started. I wanted to be the weight I was when I got married and fit into some adorable jeans my husband bought me that I hadn’t worn in years (a pair of size 8s I just couldn’t bring myself to donate). I decided to order a few more copies…one for my doctor, one for my fitness coach, one for my sister and a few spares for special gifts. I’m trying to follow the 21-day plan and do pretty well at it. A few things took me some attempts… the lemon/cayenne water didn’t stick right away, but I tried again after a week or so and have been on it for nearly two months now. I can’t imagine not starting my morning without it.

I recently went to a hibachi-style restaurant and didn’t read the book before going. I knew the hibachi was out when I asked the cook, “Do you have brown rice?” And was told, “Umm well we have white rice and we put soy sauce on that and it makes it brown.” Every question I asked about what they were putting on the meat to the bananas was answered as a joke. I ordered sushi knowing it wasn’t that great of an option either. I swore off that restaurant that night. I was saddened to learn our state farmer’s market doesn’t sell organic, so I make treks to Whole Foods and order from online services I read about in the book. I still haven’t been able to master the 12-hour fast, but I’m working on it. I’ve read the book twice now and it still travels with me. In fact, I made up several packages of Vani’s oatmeal with dates for an upcoming trip. I’ve probably recommended the book to more than a dozen people who ask me “What are you doing to look like that?”

Four months after I started this journey I’ve lost 42 lbs and am considered by doctor’s and weight calculators as being at “an ideal weight” for my height! My husband has never seen me at this weight. I haven’t been this weight since I was in my early 20s. I want folks to know that I eat too! I eat a lot! My body craves blueberries and asparagus cauliflower lemon risotto, sautéed spinach and cabbage, green juice and smoothies, nuts, avocados (I eat one a day!), coconut and organic chicken and fish. I’m also asked all the time “Don’t you reward yourself?” I sure do… every day! I reward myself with healthy sweets like those pumpkin-spiced nuts or chocolate coconut fat bombs or homemade ice cream. I also reward myself by fitting into size 4 clothes! Clothes are actually fun for me now, not something to hide under.

Most importantly I’m setting an example for my children of what healthy is and should be. I’ve opened up a whole new dialogue with them about what constitutes healthy eating so that we’re getting the most out of our minds and bodies. I want them to see me as strong, fit and healthy on a daily basis… not a picture of what I once was in my early 20s. I believe we lead by example and I need to be an example for them.

A few final notes, I kicked butt on my annual fitness test this year. I ran faster than any previous year, did more sit-ups and push-ups than any previous year and had the same waist measurement I did 20 years ago when I was 25. I outran 90 percent of the people I tested with that day … most of them were much younger. In addition, I usually suffer 6-8 weeks with spring pollen allergies (a curse I gained moving to the South)…taking a daily pill. This year my allergies have practically disappeared. I only suffered two days! I can’t 100% say it is the diet, but I sure think it is. The Food Babe Way changed my life…and it feels and tastes wonderful!

My Top Tips:

  • You must make time for yourself. If you give your time away to everyone else and have nothing left for you at the end of the day then positive life changes, whether losing weight, working out, etc, will be very tough to accomplish.
  • Only you have the power to change your life. Spouse not on-board with the program? That’s ok. You make the decision as to what food goes into your body. If you’re not the shopper or the chef, it is harder, but you can purchase for yourself or make requests. You have to want it and not let anyone stop you.
  • Don’t be a naysayer. There are so many people I’ve encountered that don’t believe that organic is better or that pesticides are hurting us. All I know is that I have seen the difference first-hand and I won’t let anyone argue with my facts. If you don’t believe that’s up to you, but don’t put it down unless you’ve tried it.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences! This one is SO IMPORTANT. I could not have done this alone. I had fit, healthy people to encourage me and answer my questions and lift me up. I know my limitations. I know I cannot go to restaurants or drink on a daily or even weekly basis (by the way, I no longer want to), but my positive influencers were all about finding other ways to socialize like PARKfit or making homemade meals. Sure we imbibe from time to time…a girl’s gotta live! But I love them for their company, energy, spirit and support…not because they come with a cocktail.
  • If you stick with it…truly stick with it…then you’ll need to go clothes shopping! Don’t buy a complete wardrobe the next size down because you may surprise yourself at where your body decides it’s comfortable. I wanted to wear those size 8 jeans in the worst way…and I did, but only once. Now I need a belt for a few of my size 4s!

Good luck with YOUR JOURNEY. I know The Food Babe Way can help you too!” – Shannon M. 

Shannon

Whew! Isn’t she amazing?

If you see yourself in Shannon’s story, I hope this helps you to realize that you can do this too! 

The Food Babe Way contains the 21 essential habits that I taught myself to take control of my health. This book is for anyone who is tired of the food industry hijacking their taste buds and wants to take matters in their own hands and become their own food investigator, nutritionist and food activist. We have the power to change our health faster than anyone else and I wrote this book to show people how to do just that.

You can pick up a copy of my New York Times Bestseller, The Food Babe Way, at any major bookstore or online here.

If you are looking for more inspiration, meal planning help and motivation – check out these other stories from readers and members of The Food Babe Eating Guide Program:

After you apply the principles in my book or eating guides, I want to hear from you too! Send me your story here, I’d love to feature your story to inspire others on this journey!

Please share this post with your friends who need to give up processed food once and for all! 

Xo, 

Vani

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66 responses to “She Gave Up Processed Food, And WHOA! Look At Her Results!

  1. Wow, such an inspiring story! Completely agree that our body composition is 80% food and 20% exercise. And it’s not a calorie thing…it’s the quality of the food we are putting in our bodies. When we start eating real food we know when we have had enough. And that definitely can include some treats…I enjoy some high quality dark chocolate almost every day, but balance that with lemon water, my crazy green concoctions, and all kinds of other fun, healthy foods. Not only does Shannon look amazing, it sounds like she feels even better.

    1. Hi Elizabeth…I’m totally tracking what you’re saying! I enjoy treats everyday!…but they are clean food treats. My energy level is crazy…so much so that I need to really pay attention to the amount of sleep of getting (or not getting) now.. Thanks for posting such positive comments!

  2. Wow!wow!amen! Amen!! I pray some day . My story is going to be here… Reading this stories keep inspiring us to keep going…

    1. Margarita— YOU GOT THIS! Your story can be here…keep plugging away ok? You have all the tools you need in her book…just apply them and find that network of positive influencers to keep you going! Good luck!!!

    1. Hi Myrna—my awesome Zumba instructor/friend got it for me from Forte Fitness in Southern Pines, NC! I bet they ship! This motto reminds me of the journey and to keep at it!

  3. Congrats Shannon, Your comment 80% food 20% exercise struck a chord. I had it the other way round and am not losing a pound. I think I eat clean with a few cheats to make it through the day but will have to review that.

    1. Hey Becca—FOR YEARS I had it the other way around too! As I said in the article in 2010 I was running 5 miles a day and couldn’t get below 154! I have never, ever seen muscle tone like I see it now…not even when I was competing in my 20s…and I was pretty tone then! Honestly I still can’t believe what I see. I do workout often now b/c I like the results (and I’m a bit addicted to it at this point), but when I ‘restarted’ in January I just tried to make it to four classes a week and either run or do elliptic another two days. My dog has also benefitted from a few extra walks 🙂 Clean eating has totally transformed my body and energy level. I hope to hear how you are doing when you make the conversion.

  4. “All I know is that I have seen the difference first-hand and I won’t let anyone argue with my facts.”
    Amen to that.

  5. Amazing story!!! A huge inspiration to all of us who are in this path against the system but in pro of our health!!!

  6. Congrats! I had the same epifany two years ago – cleaned out the kitchen and changed our diets. I’m down 20 and luv life again . Still struggle with naysayers – especially parents and in-laws… It’s a constant battle when they watch and feed my kiddos. School lunches aren’t much better – that needs to change to change the obesity epidemic!!!

    1. Missive Dunn…yes, school lunches make me cringe now. We pack everyday except for when I travel and then they order. One kid loves the almond butter packets with grapes or carrots and the other can be found with shrimp, whole milk organic yogurt and fruit/veges. I’ve spent a small fortune trying to find a granola bar they like that isn’t Quaker Chewy! It is odd though b/c I’ve watched their taste buds slowly changing too. I had one that LOVED Chocolate Cheerios…had to stop buying those and went to Environmental Kids Coco Chimps instead. They didn’t take right away, but after a few weeks they suddenly became quite good. Same child also grabbed my raw almonds recently…YAY…baby steps!

    2. I can relate to inlaws; one with a Ph.D in education; one with Masters in education; and brother-inlaw M.D. Cardiologist Imaging Specialist. In-laws refused to avoid toxic chemicals;sugar. I had articles as all five children had ADHD and in-laws poo;poo’d information; including M.D. In three states I made school lunches with clean food; spent a lot of time teaching them why clean food. Called into the schools three times and told by head of school lunch and Superintendent of schools not providing nutrious lunch. Also if you do not start paying for school lunch will be reported to Child Protective Services. I explained what and why I was sending all five clean lunches and after talking my self until blue in the face. I was told all the children were throwing my lunches away and wanted the unhealthy toxic additive school lunch. Are you ready for this next school comment? What you do at home is your business; school peers rule while children in school. Your choice child protective services or pay for healthy school lunch program. this happened in MA.; ME.; and AZ. The real kickker was at parent teacher conference; with all five- your child is not paying attention and doing poorly on all tests. I regret not having moved to CA. where there are a number of schools serving only clean organic food; no sugars allowed. All my attempts met with failure and frustation. Maybe Google those schools in CA. and maybe those school districts can tell you how they changed the school lunch program. I wish I could give you better solutions. It really hurts my heart that I was unable to make a difference.

      1. Unfortunately, until our society changes drastically, you are left with only two choices. If you want healthy food for your children, either home school them or move to a different State. Unfortunately, I’ve been away from raising children for so long that I can’t tell you which State would be any better than you have.

  7. Please consider staying away from Whole Foods because they support GMO products and put money behind not labeling GMOs.
    You might want to try total vegetarian life style. Your body will love it. ron

    1. Ron…really? Sorta like telling a DJ “if you will play this song everyone will dance” …when the dance floor is already packed.

    2. That was a wonderful inspiring story but Ron I think you are misinformed about Whole Foods Markets. They are leading the way in requiring GMO labeling. See this quote from their website:
      “At Whole Foods Market, we believe you have the right to know what’s in your food. So we’re the first national grocery chain committed to providing GMO (genetically modified organism) transparency for our customers. We are well on our way to meeting our 2018 deadline. Currently, we offer more than 25,000 organic and 11,500 Non-GMO Project Verified products.”

    3. Ron, nothing could be further from the truth! Perhaps you have Whole Foods mixed up with another store? While they still carry some items that may contain GMO’s, they are so dedicated to transparency and actually put their dollars BEHIND LABELING… not the opposite! Please recheck your facts for your sake and others whom you may be misinforming. Just a friendly FYI here!

      1. Thanks everyone for weighing in on this. I do not shop solely at Whole Foods…in fact, I shop many, many places now including on-line. I will say this about WF though so that everyone knows b/c it somewhat shocked me. A friend recently bought me their freshly ground, honey roasted peanut butter. There is a special place in Heaven for this stuff I’m sure. Have you ever eaten something that you were told was healthy, but after tasting it thought “no way!” … Well I didn’t just taste it, I ate the whole thing like I was the newest taste tester on the assembly line and wanting to impress the boss. IT WAS AMAZING! (BTW- I usually steer clear of PB, but this was a treat). When my buddy went to buy me some more she noticed they posted the ingredients…yep maltodextrin was right there! UGH. No more freshly ground, honey roasted PB for me…but we had a good run while it lasted! Haha!

  8. I wish I could send you my story and my pictures. But I have it in Spanish.
    I have lost 110 pounds in one year!!!! Just eating clean foods and reading ingredients.

  9. I must say you are extremely rare one of the unique one to lost whopping 42 pounds in just count of few months! Sounds scary to loose that much so fast, but what important is that you lost all that the most healthiest way you can. But what about people who actually have Thyroid (got it after pregnancy)!? What changes to make for people who are already green-based diet since birth – vegetarian? For people who are meat-eater, it is a tremendous positive change to their body and effects can be seen. I am one of the person who is vegetarian, mostly eat at home, have mild exercise routine but still facing weight-loss challenges.

    1. Hi R Patel…Trust me I still can’t believe the weight came off that fast either. It was as though my body had waited for years for me to understand what I was doing to it and was ready to make the change and make it quickly. Please know I was also being monitored by my MD/nutritionist along the way. I’m sorry that I have no answers for you on your issue, but if you live in NC I’d be glad to share my doc’s name with you. She is cutting edge in this area. I’d seen nutritionists before, but no one had ever explained food the way she did. By others I was told what we are all told…eat more whole grains, low-fat dairy, more fruits/veges, exercise more … yep I did all that and nothing. My doc and Vani came along and BAM!

  10. After asking questions and listening to the managers at Whole Foods, they are 3/4 GMO’d and 1/4 organic with NON-GMO’s. They are trying to reach their goal by 2018 to have their products be all organic, and labeled appropriately. Because it’s a process, simply be extra cautious and read labels. They cannot guarantee that all their products will be kosher by 2018, but they will try. That’s just from two managers at two different Whole Foods locations in Colorado that said this, despite what their website says.

  11. A human can literally live of their own kidney distilled water along with supplemental distilled water. Everything else is just a preference, but this is too much reality for most to handle or even begin to process. Now You know, dismiss it outright or apply it and start to regain your sovereignty on a biological level.

  12. I love the story very inspiring. I can not afford The Food Babe Way Book right now. Please give me just one or two tips to just start doing to food or not eating. Thanks

  13. I have the same result’s, although I did not read your book, I am sorry. I have read your posts and watched all the food documentaries, did research and also changed my diet to non processed, I do eat rice noodles out of a box but hey give a girl credit. I have lost in the last 2 years about 60lbs!! Oh and by they way I am 56, a mother of 5. It’s not that hard once you realize it’s just the crap you are eating!! I wish I could send you pictures! I feel so much better it’s amazing! Thank You for all the information you have given me! Truly been a life changer! Namaste!

  14. I think it’s great Shannon is eating clean and feeling good. Personally, I think she looks beautiful in her “before” picture, actually better than the size 4.

    1. Thank you Kathy…that is very sweet of you. My hubs tells me all the time he liked me that way too (of course, he likes me now as well…smart man!). I FEEL 100% better though. I can’t even begin to explain how I feel…healthy, energetic, strong. The clothes are fun now. (I bought a two-piece swimsuit this year!). I wasn’t persay aiming for a size 4 (actually the size 8 was my goal)…but with the clean eating it just happened. I feel amazing and that is what’s most important.

      1. Shirley – There are so many interpretations of what we humans find beautiful – The most important part of Shannon’s story that stood out to me is that she feels beautiful, healthy and strong – and frankly – that’s all that matters. Also calling her a skeleton is a form of body shamming that I do not tolerate on this blog. Normally I would remove such a comment – but I am leaving your comment as an example of what is NOT acceptable here.

      2. Haha I love this comment…it just cracks me up! Trust me I’m anything but a skeleton! My aim is to be strong and fit. When I think ‘skeleton’ I conjure up a picture of a Hollywood starlet on some crazy, new wave diet. I eat a ton during the day…maybe even more than I should, but it all happens to be clean. My personal view is that I think our society has become so used to seeing a statistic that we forget what a truly healthy weight looks like. I’m at a truly healthy weight and I feel great…but again thank you for thinking I’m too thin (I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before!)

    1. Way to go Shannon! She doesn’t look like a skeleton at all, she looks amazing. This country has become so overrun with overweight and obese people that being fat has become the normal. It’s a pleasure to see thin and healthy people. The food industry is totally at fault as many people just can’t afford or have the knowledge to eat the right foods (organic whole foods). Even patients in hospitals choose from foods such as French fries, hamburgers, pancakes, etc. It’s sickening. I’d say 98% of foods advertised on tv are junk, avoid them. Just as Shannon explained, she thought she was purchasing “healthy” foods for her family. It’s misleading and those that don’t know the truth fall for it, their health eventually fails, they end up on prescription drugs and it goes downhill from there.

  15. Great story Shannon! You are living proof that we are what we eat – or don’t eat. I too lost a tonne of weight 5 years ago and have managed to keep it off with consistent and conscious healthy food and lifestyle choices. I felt so good I became a personal trainer and I feel better qualified to help others. Yes when one understands what one is eating and being sold in the supermarkets etc under the guise of ‘healthy foods’ one becomes a passionate Sherlock Holmes in weeding out the culprits. Nutrition nutrition nutrition is the key to weight loss and weight management. Exercise strengthens, tones and gives us that glow of being truly healthy and fit from the inside-out. I congratulate you on your commitment to take control of your health and wellbeing. The Food Babe is an inspiration to me also. We need more people like her!

    1. Thanks Valerie! I do feel like Sherlock Holmes. I do so much more research now! Your comments inspire me. When you lose weight like this you kind of wait for the other shoe to drop and it to come back…always has, but then again I was following fads, not eating real, clean food. I don’t feel like I’ve given up anything…in fact, I’ve gained a huge love of new foods (never had spaghetti squash before February!…love me some flax seed now!….Kale? Why yes, please!) I commend you on following it through to become a trainer… I wish I could go that far, but I have zero balance and very little coordination…makes the exercise classes all that more fun for those around me though…haha!

  16. We shop more at Trader Joe’s than Whole Foods. They also have no GMO’s in their stores!! Also, I just love Earth Fare. Two stores have come to Atlanta on the north side recently. I used to go to their stores in Asheville when I visited my daughter. I said I’d love to put a rope around the store and bring it to Atlanta. It wasn’t much longer before they built the first one in Atlanta. It is a long drive to both Trader Joe’s and Earth Fare from the south side, but we go there occasionally and stock up on certain products. Earth Fare is the only store that I can find organic cakes in!! I love the organic breads in Trader Joe’s, their almond butter, and many other products. I’m like a kid in a candy store at these stores!!

    1. TJ’s is also a favorite of mine…although Vani’s investigation on them did concern me. I agree that if you have nothing to hide then why be so secretive and evasive. There were a few things I had to stop buying there … I loved their jalapeno, cilantro hummus…but now I’m going to make my own. O yea, and I’m sure I invested stock in a “3-Buck Chuck” winery somewhere … that all had to go too. I do still love their goat cheese (umm blueberry goat cheese on greens with strawberries and slivered almonds…YES, YES, YES!) and their organic veges and fruits and a few other things. I just read more labels now when shopping there.

  17. Exactly the motivation I needed at the exact time I needed it.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story in such a detailed way. You’re pretty amazing and a inspiration.

    Tom

    1. My sentiments exactly, Tom!

      My body had been telling me for years to eat healthier, but I have been too lazy to make the necessary adjustments.

      Additionally, my 8 year old daughter loves sugar way too much for my liking. My motivation is to help her eat clean at a young age so her quality of life is better than mine ever was.

      Shannon, your story is definitely what I needed to read. I look forward to the changes and hope to share my before and after story.

    1. Forte Fitness in Southern Pines, NC! I bet they ship!!! The shirt reminds me of the journey and helps me stay on track!

  18. Congrats! You look awesome. I went through a similar situation about a year ago. I was having gallbladder problems and changed my diet instead of having it taken out. I cut out everything processed and only ate simple things for months. I lost over 75 lbs in about 5 months and have kept the weight off since then. It really is what we eat!

    1. And no gall bladder surgery? These stories AMAZE me. “Food be thy medicine” right?

  19. Food Babe and crew
    Congrats, well done and YET another voice sharing the real realities of nutrition. I see that you have won the war and are marching forward with the living truth. Once you come out shaking off the lies, mis-intended inform-‘mal’-ation from the greedos and your body is the picture of a thousand good words, you can not but help change people’s lives. Well done and keep dancing. WE CAN WIN THS WAR against the godless goliath necromancer industries. Blessings!!!
    jpakdc
    p.s. Nobody makes an apple like Him!!!

    1. Hey JohnPatrick …. when people ask me what I eat my quick answer is: “If God made it and man hasn’t totally screwed it up then I eat it.” Love His blueberries too!

  20. Great post! Thank you for sharing Shannon. Your story is an inspiration to stay the course.

  21. Your story is inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing and for the pointers. I just had a question from the viewpoint of your wallet. I would love to buy all organic, but with the prices usually being 60-70% more, it is difficult to deal with. Everyone says that buying at a local farmers market is the way to save, but the prices are comparable to the prices of organic in the supermarket. Where, if at all, have you compromised conventional for organic, and have you seen a rise or fall in your grocery bill each month?

  22. Great story! You inspired me to buy Food Babe’s book! Can you describe a typical food day? Example of a breakfast, lunch and dinner?

  23. Hi, great transformation! I am cutting out processed foods too. They are addictive and unhealthy. Have you thought about going vegan too for optimal health? Meat & cheese are not good for you! I was surprised you watched all those documentaries and didn’t think about giving up meat & dairy?! Watch cowspiracy if you haven’t already! But overall great work!

  24. I am trying to change my eating. I’ve begun ordering weekly boxed meals from Green Chef… Are there any positive/negative comments anyone has on this service? (I get their weekly organic vegetarian meals).

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