The First Step of Reclaiming My Health…A Food Diary

When I first met my spiritual healer, she wanted me to make my physical health my #1 priority.

At the time, I was working as a Personal Assistant to a CEO of a hedge fund in Manhattan.  This job was no joke.  There was always sooo much to do.  I was your typical NYC work-a-holic at a finance firm, working as many hours as the investment team and analysts – often times more.  I barely saw the light of day.  I almost never left the office as we all ate lunches at our desks.  7 pm turned into 9 pm and then often times 10 pm+.  Dinner would be ordered in, also eaten at the desk.  I’d take a car service home to Brooklyn, then often times take care of more work emails from the blackberry.  I also saved every bit of money I could and spent my weekends investing in real estate.  I was so driven to be financially self-reliant (I think due to growing up poor).  I also was the breadwinner and hoped that I could one day take a break and raise some kids.  So I was trying to fund my motherhood years so that I could do that.  And I gave it my all.

And all this time (years), I was so driven that there was about ZERO care for my physical body. Even going to the bathroom seemed like it got in the way of my work.  (That can be New York for you.  And I was a complete sucker.)

Lunch often came late in the day when I realized, “Oh, I haven’t eaten lunch yet.  Or breakfast. Crap.” Nearly every second seemed occupied with working instead of caring for my own needs. Though, of course, it would be almost a guarantee that I would have eaten a morning pack of M&Ms and a pack of Oreos from the fully stocked candy cupboard at work.  Work paid for lunch, so eventually when I ordered, I would just get whatever sounded good…and dessert would often be ordered in, too (Carnegie Deli cheesecake anyone?)  Being slim can have it’s disadvantages as it’s easy to get away with eating unhealthy foods.

As you can imagine, my physical body and hormones were amuck.  Combine this lifestyle with nearly zero spiritual practices or emotional abilities.  And a marriage that for years had offered no feeling of security whatsoever.  Oh my.

I had monthly headaches – sometimes severe.  I had PMS – sometimes severe.  I had cramps.  Even though I was thin, I noticed that my stomach was often bloated in response to what I was eating.  My skin was never clear. I had anxiety

[social anxiety, fear of planes going down or subways being blown up (it was post 9/11), anxiety over losing my husband.]  Later on I started to get some serious fatigue during the day and often wished I could take a nap at my desk.  And at one point – because of a record low with my husband’s state and his declarations and plans, I actually felt dead.  That’s the only way I can describe it.  No life.  No energy.  Dead.

And this was nearly the state I was in when I met this spiritual healer.

Can’t you just see that starting with my physical body was the #1 place to start??  I think that’s the case with just about all of us.  I think it’s really, really hard to be in harmony with your spirit when we’re not being kind to ourselves.  And so…

The first thing she had me do was keep a food diary.

Ohhhhhh…….yikes……that was a wake-up call.  Just the practice of this helped me to eat healthier foods because I was mortified to write down “Nutter Butters” and “a handful of chocolate kisses” at 10 am.  Likewise, I didn’t want my lunches to start at 4 pm (due to being “too busy” and also that candy cupboard.)  And so, I started deliberately setting aside time to actually nourish my body.  I ate breakfast!  Ha!  I tried to order lunch earlier.  I started snacking on healthier foods and cut back on sugar.  And…I cut out gluten at her suggestion. “Cold turkey” she said.  And so, cold turkey it was.

Here is a sampling that I still have in my phone under “Food Diary.”  This was the beginning, and while not perfect, this was a really, really good start compared to what I had been eating:


10:00 am – Banana.  Puffed Brown Rice with a little whole milk (I was not dairy free at the time.)

12:00 pm – Rice Crackers

1:00 pm -Organic Green Split Pea and Carrot Soup.  Hemp Smoothie with Banana, Blueberry, Omega supplement, Rice Milk.

8:00 pm – Bowl of Beans with grated cheese.


10:00 am – Bowl of Gluten-Free Oatmeal

1:00 pm – Cashew Chicken with Broccoli and Brown Rice

4:00 pm – Snacked on Terra Vegetable Chips

7:30 pm – 1 Chicken Enchilada w/ corn tortilla, Bowl of Beans

9:00 pm – Friends over. 1 Gluten-Free Brownie and Icecream


10:00 am – Greek Yogurt and Honey

11:00 am – Almonds

2:00 pm – (2) Chicken Tacos (w/ cheese, lettuce, tomato), Side of Black Beans

8:00 pm – Baramundi Fish w/ garlic and olive oil, side of Sauteed Carrots


10:00 am – Organic Peach Yogurt, Rice Crackers

2:00 pm – Turkey Chili with white beans, hominy, bell peppers, carrots, a little cheese

4:00 pm – 1/2 cup Puffins corn cereal, Raw Cashews

7:00 pm  – Taco Soup (beans, tomatoes, corn, organic ground beef, cheddar).  Side of raw carrots and hummus.


So, the food diary.  It!!

It made me accountable and started a new pattern.  My spiritual healer wanted to see it each week when I met with her for acupuncture.  And so I dutifully recorded my food.  And then she’d say, “Let’s do this again this week.”  And I’d do it again.  I kept the food diary for maybe 6 wks.

I really, really have to give it a lot of credit because for the first time in years I was CONSCIOUS of what I was eating.  And I was intentionally trying to NOURISH my body with nutrition.  This required setting aside extra time to care for myself, something I had not been doing for years.

The physical changes that took place in me were unbelievable.  Eating healthier foods was one thing, but being gluten-free brought me vitality that shocked me…

-I had what felt like never ending amounts of energy.
-My stomach became flat as a pancake – no more bloating (for me, this is directly related to gluten).
-I no longer even thought about taking a nap.
-My face glowed and people would comment on it.  And…
My PMS, headaches & cramps disappeared.  I mean…GONE-ZO!!!  I haven’t had them since!!!

But even greater than the physical changes was the spiritual awakening that began to take place.  It was like I became so connected to life, to my potential, to my soul, to my worth.  I went from feeling “dead” to this & this.  (These were two photographs that I happened to have taken right at the beginning of this transformation.  I swear, I became a different person.)  My anxiety disappeared.  My self-worth increased.  Since my body was well and had what it needed, it was like I had an abundance of energy…energy that I could use to heal, to reach new levels of worth and potential, and to pursue virtues like love, gratitude and forgiveness.  That takes some good, healthy energy.  And if you don’t have any of that energy stored up…I think emotional healing can be very, very difficult.

There is more to come.  But today – for starters – I thought I would just put this out there…

Does anyone want to do a food diary?  πŸ™‚  πŸ™‚  πŸ™‚

Perhaps you are wanting to change your life; perhaps you are wanting to cut out gluten or dairy or sugar or caffeine or any foods you’re sensitive to or addicted to; perhaps you want to just eat better snacks; or eat a healthy amount of food (whether it is more or less).  Whatever your goals are, I encourage you to start a food diary now.  I’m telling you, it’s empowering!!!  It can be the beginning of a new life.  I’m proof of that.  πŸ™‚

And, find someone to share your food diary with!  I think that is key as it makes you accountable.  Or, if you’d like, I invite you to use the comment section here to record your foods.  πŸ™‚  πŸ™‚   πŸ™‚  Yes.  Sounds crazy, I know.  But it could be a helpful way to stay committed to something.  And it might even be inspiring to see other people doing this with you.  It could be a way for us to swap some healthy food ideas and perhaps as readers here we could offer some support to each other.  Of course, you could do it anonymously if you’d like.  Let’s do this for ONE WEEK and see what happens.  Thursday to Thursday.  Anybody game?   My first bit is in the comments.

With Love,


(I took these photos in Prospect Park last spring.)


Get The About Love Experience


  1. mara July 25, 2013 at 6:05 am - Reply

    10:00 am egg cooked in olive oil with a side of sauteed kale and garlic.
    12:00 pm spoonful of peanut butter drizzled with honey
    12:30 pm – (2) handfuls yellow grape tomatoes with chopped cucumber, red onion, and garlic (dressed with olive oil, salt/pepper, and red wine vinegar)
    1:00 pm -plate of sauteed rainbow chard and garlic (in olive oil)
    3:00 pm – green smoothie with spinach, 1 cup berries, 1/4 banana, water/OJ, 1 T coconut water kefir, 2 T chia seeds.
    6:00 pm – Large salad with romaine, lots and lots of yellow grape tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, red onion, slivers of sliced salami, homemade basil dressing
    6:30 on – 3 small apricots, 3 small plums

  2. Kristie July 25, 2013 at 8:53 am - Reply

    What a great idea! I was horrified at the thought of writing what I ate today which I guess is the whole point! Lol…If I'm going to publish what I ate for the world to see, I guess I better make it good! Lol..
    Thanks for the reminder to look after ourselves…it doesn't come naturally to me and even though I feel amazing when I do I seem to slide back to my old habits pretty easily…
    I'm looking forward to reading all of your steps!

  3. City Chick July 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Great idea Mara. Since I have gone gluten/dairy and mostly refined sugar free I mentally keep track of what I have eaten every day. I have thought of a food diary, but never did it. But, I love the idea!! So here is mine for yeaterday…

    5:45am- 2 small raw almond coconut cacao nib bites:
    7:00am- 1 oat flour waffle with a drizzle of honey, sliced banana, handful of blueberries, small spoonful of hemp hearts, cup of coffee:
    11am: kale/almond smoothie
    12:30pm: 3oz salmon, salad of spinach/kale/chard with sliced tomoatoes and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinager & salt and pepper
    2pm: 1 cup frozen peaches put in the food processor to make sorbet!
    5pm: Thai chicken lettuce wraps with pickled carrots
    7pm: 1/2 cup fruit mousse (so delicious!!):

    Katie K.

    • mara July 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      Oh my goodness…this food sounds amazing. I want to try it all. I keep hearing about cacao nibs…how are they? I just looked at that recipe and it looks so simple and healthy. Definitely trying it.

      I also have peaches in the freezer – definitely trying that sorbet. What a great idea! (We have done the same with bananas).

      And you've inspired me to get a pancake into my routine. I never eat them but there are so many healthy, GF ones and it would be an awesome addition to my morning foods, which can get so routine.

      thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. Rik July 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    This is such a great idea! I'm going to do it.

    Right now (8:40 am), I'm eating a green smoothie with banana, yogurt, spinach, frozen fruit, and OJ. (My 2 year old is eating it now, too!)

  5. minotchka July 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    I was eating ( emptying ) the biscuit box when I was reading this post. Then I realized I didn't eat a proper lunch today ! I'm a full time mom but I should take care of myself ! Good point

    • mara July 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      K, love that you wrote that. I remember when I had to write down "Gluten Free Brownie" as part of breakfast lunch and dinner once…because we had a pan of them. It's hard to be honest like that but it was alos a good reminder that we had no business baking a pan of brownies for two people to consume. And so any serious dessert like that got reserved for nights when guests were over.

  6. Anonymous July 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Can't tell you how much it has meant to me to see this post and the previous one. I have that work consumed life and was feeling completely lost. You've given me direction, insight and most of all, hope. Thank you.

  7. Anonymous July 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    These are two of the best blog posts you've written in my opinion. So helpful. I feel like it's tangible practical advice that I can understand and do myself. Thank you. So good.

    You look different now than in the two links to pictures you posted. What is the cause?

    • mara July 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      ha. well, those photos were taken about 5-6 years ago. My hair was also straight that day…I haven't worn it that way in years as it takes so much time. Also, in those days, my looks were perhaps one of the forefronts of my existence…it was very, very important to my former husband and he very much disapproved of how I looked…and so I was used to doing anything and everything I could to try and look good.

    • Andrea July 25, 2013 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Aw, that last sentence just breaks my heart…

  8. Whitney Shepard July 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    So inspiring! For the past two weeks my husband and I have been eating healthier (we like the paleo diet which is gluten free) and feeling great. Feeling great is a good thing.

    This morning we made a smoothie with broccoli, apples, kiwis and coconut water.

  9. Whitney Shepard July 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Also, I am obsessed with the app called My Fitness Pal, which keeps track of everything I eat… that's where my food diary is.

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      LOVE this app as well. You can have it on your smart phone and log or Scan (MY FAVE, I'd scan all day) all the foods you're eating. Also, if everyone got the app, everyone could be friends and keep each other accountable.

  10. Anita July 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    I'm game! I know I need to do this, now I have motivation πŸ™‚

  11. Anita July 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Oh and I agree, these posts are helpful as a starting point for someone who wants to make changes. Just giving one simple task can really help you get started on the right path.

  12. Valerie July 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I love that you posted this. After your last post, I've been thinking about how I need to exercise more, but I think eating healthy might be a better place to start. A food diary seems like a great immediate thing I can do.

    In January/February this year I tried eating no sugar, no gluten, and no dairy (mostly because the guy I was dating at the time adhered strictly to that diet). I did feel healthier and attributed it mostly to the no sugar part. I have tried sticking with a modified low sugar habit since (no candy, cookies, brownies, only homemade, less abundant, more "worth it" treats), but it is still difficult sometimes. I am wondering now if I should also reconsider the no gluten or no dairy things and how that may have contributed to my improved health during those months too.

    • mara July 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Yes, yes…try it! I can't recommend it enough.

  13. Raven July 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Mara, was the gluten-free diet a recommendation based on your personal dietary needs, or do you think she would recommend that to anyone? I ask because it seems like lots of people are going gluten-free these days. I don't know if I have a medical intolerance to gluten or not, but am wondering if I should give it a try. Re: food diary, I've just started doing that and it's amazing what it reveals!

    • CSB July 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Suggest reading Wheat Belly by William Davis and Clean by Alejandro Junger (even if you don't do a cleanse). It will be a wake-up call about wheat and other gluten products.

      And the "Wheat Belly" that Dr. Davis refers to is the one that goes away when you stop eating gluten. I don't eat gluten products except 1-2 days on the weekend (it's hard for me to be completely gluten-free with small children), and it's made an ENORMOUS difference in my energy level. I was actually motivated to do it largely because of Mara's past posts.

      Thank you, Mara, for a really excellent post.

    • Raven July 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I'll look into that reading. Goodness knows, I could use more energy πŸ™‚

    • mara July 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm - Reply

      Raven, she would recommend to anyone and everyone to go off gluten and dairy! She's been a healer for about 15-20 years and has seen again and again people's lives transform when they eliminate these foods. Too many people go through life feeling like they don't have enough energy…and this will change that immensely. Also, I always say the proof is in the pudding. It's free and harmless to try it, and if it works, you'll know for sure if it's a positive change for your body (though I would give it awhile…even 3 months!) Also, when you consider the LOADS of sugary foods, packaged foods, and simple carbs that are automatically eliminated on this diet, that alone is transformative. One thing to be aware of, though…since GF is so much more common now, companies have been making tons of GF processed foods, cookies, and crap. So you really don't want to eat that stuff, either. Stick with homemade foods and almond flour and occasionally other GF whole grain flours like quinoa, oats, etc.

    • mara July 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      CSB – I have not yet read Wheat Belly but I really, really should! Thanks for the reminder.

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      When going GF, try shifting the GF diet idea to eating more plant based. That way removing flour isn't just about substituting it for the processed cookies, breads, and other crap, it's about supplementing in more whole, unprocessed, natural fruits, veggies and grains. Just an idea, because I think Mara is right in that when people go GF, they simply just replace the processed Gluten foods for other processed GF foods.

  14. Anonymous July 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    These two posts have been awesome! My husband eats a HUGE amount of sugar and Diet Coke. It totally affects his moods and energy levels (and thus can affect the mood of the household). After one 3 frosted Dunkin Donut morning followed by candy, and a family bbq of bad food, he just felt like throwing up. I think something finally switched in his thinking, and he hasn't had any Diet Coke, and hardly any sugar for the past week and a half. I can't even begin to tell you how much his mood has improved, and I can definitely see it in his skin tone!

    I often feel tired, but I tend to eat fairly healthy. I wish there was something I could give up to just feel better, but I'm not sure what it is. I've tried some of the gluten free/sugar free/whatever free diets, have never felt the surge of energy/better sleep/flatter stomach/clearer skin that so many do. I also have colitis and have to be careful with what I eat so I don't trigger a flare up.

    So, here's what I ate yesterday…I'm thrilled to join in the discussion!
    Breakfast: Tea with Greek yogurt and almonds
    Lunch: Crackers, cheese, nuts
    Snack: Apple sauce, a few slices of proscuitto
    Dinner: Lobster salad w/ veggie, no mayo

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm - Reply

      Have you had your Iron, vit B, Vit D and thyroid levels checked? You can eat super healthy and have a great diet and exercise lifestyle but if you're deficient in any of those areas your energy level will be low. That's one final area to look if you're diet isn't the cause.

  15. Melissa July 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I agree, the last few blog posts have done wonders for me–this one especially. I admire you a lot, but at times living the way you do seems so unattainable for me at my stage in life. This post gives me hope that I can make the changes to become better. Thank you!

    (I also use myfitnesspal–its great for keeping track of calories for those trying to lose weight)

  16. Alison Rae July 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I just recently cut out sweets due to what I think is a sugar addiction! I feel a lot better and this is inspiring to see how you changed your life by changing your eating habits. Thanks for sharing!

  17. estes girl July 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this post. I teach a personal health course to college students and while I fully believe in the practice of keeping food logs (I make my students keep one for 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day- then compare to the USDA's food guide), I forget how eye-opening a food log can be to one who as never thought in this way before or is struggling with medical conditions that you attribute to other, non-food related issues (i.e. sleep, genetics, fate). Your post is a powerful reminder of the representation of you are what you eat. Thank you for reminding me of this. Would you mind if I share this post as a "case study" next semester?

    • mara July 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      please do! That would be wonderful!!

  18. A Sport Second July 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I cut dairy out and the difference is really amazing… bloating, skin, etc. It's easy at home, I just don't buy it… it's when I got out that I have the hardest time avoiding CHEESE!

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  19. mara July 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Oh my. I haven't done a food diary since I first did it those many years ago. Already I'm realizing this is uncomfortable enough that this will be helpful to me.

    11:30 -I had an egg fried in olive oil and chard and garlic sauteed in olive oil for breakfast…i did get up later, but still should have eaten sooner.

    Not sure what lunch will be. I need to head to the store as my healthy foods are running low and will surely run out before the weekend. thankful to have this little push.

  20. Bree July 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post Mara! I'm definitely game with getting a community together to food blog. Your blog seems like such a safe place to do just that. Everyone is so supportive and has great ideas for making the process of healthy eating easier. I've also thought about going gluten free and definitely dairy free as I do have an intolerance. One natural doctor told me that dairy for me is a condiment, not a food group- and I've been living by that lately but would like to go completely dairy free as it never makes me feel all that great. Alas, this morning I did not stick to that wish. But I will keep working at it with the support of this blog and all these great people!

    Thursday breakfast:
    homemade PB granola (oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, craisins, peanut butter, brown sugar)with almond milk and a dash of strawberry yogurt
    1/2 glass of orange juice
    earl grey tea with honey

    **If anyone has a granola recipe that is GF with something other than sugar as a sweetener, I would love to hear what it is!***

    • Spencer Family July 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm - Reply

      We love Design Mom's granola recipe. It uses honey as a sweetener and I sub coconut oil for the canola. I think you could even use a little less honey though I haven't experimented with that yet. Here is the link:

      Oh and I think you can get gluten free oats at Trader Joes.

    • mara July 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      THANKS for this recipe!!!! Granola is such a great thing to have around. Lately I've been eating a grain free, paleo granola (made with nuts and seeds) by Steve's Paleo Packs.

  21. Mariko July 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    I agree that it's so important to nourish yourself, but my problem is that I can get carried away and a little obsessed with it, especially when I don't feel like I'm in control of other areas of my life. So right now I'm trying to find balance, rather than going all or none.

  22. Tiffany July 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    I'm in! I cut out dairy and meat about two months ago, and I've really loved the results! However, I've found that even though I eat healthier, I still eat a little more than I want to, so I'm down for the diary! Let's do this! πŸ™‚

  23. Laura July 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara, I loved this post! I'm keeping a food diary right now. I was going on the paleo diet (no wheat and no dairy except eggs) for a month, but vacation kind of ruined it and I ate gluten again. After only a few days of eating wheat, I noticed a big change in my body, similar to the one you wrote about. Bad stuff! I continue to keep a food diary, even though I haven't been able to stick to the diet as closely as I'd have liked.

    I made a website for it:, if you're interested in having a look.

  24. Aubrey July 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this. I would love it if you, or any readers could recommend what they purchase when at the grocery store, if they have cook books that are gluten and diary free, etc…

    I just wrote to you saying how I have NO ENERGY and I mean, like I am dead (my life is good though) – I realized that I had been eating Cereal for a week straight (not gluten free) because I am lazy and didn't go to the store for groceries and it's just easier to eat what my boss has in the kitchen – not doing that again!!

    I also haven't eaten chocolate in 7 days – I eat chocolate EVERYDAY, from m&m's, sees candy, you name it, I eat it. Surprisingly I am doing really well. However, I would also love some recommendations for the cravings, maybe chocolate mousse maid without diary…? Thank you!

    • Stargirl July 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Fresh produce! That's mostly all I buy at the grocery store. We eat GF (because of celiac). Price matching at Walmart keeps the price down. I buy very few GF packaged foods (brown rice pasta, EnJOY brand; cookies occasionally, LΓ€ra Bars; GF flour mixes too, Pamela's brand for waffles). Cut out the packaged stuff and eat meat and produce is my strategy.

    • Aubrey July 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Thank you.

    • mara July 26, 2013 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Aubrey, I actually want to do a whole post about this. But I agree with Stargirl. produce, produce, produce. I have my regulars and finally that includes tons of greens! I eat very simply and don't follow a ton of recipes. I LOVE kale or rainbow chard, chopped and sauteed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Same for Broccoli; Bell Peppers & Onions; Turnips; Asparagus. Carrots, celery, jicama, fennel for snacking. Zucchini for ribbon pasta. Grape Tomatoes, Cucumber, Basil, Garlic – chopped for a cold salad with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper. Lettuce greens for salads. Cabbage and radishes for tacos. Lemon for lemon water (instead of juices and soda). Butternut, sweet potato, and baby potatoes for roasting.

      Other snacks: Jerky, Nuts, GF granola, Coconut Chips (if you can find them at trader or costco), Terra Veggie Chips, Hummus for vegetables, Olives (a staple of mine), Dried Apple Chips (costco). I'll put together more ideas for a post!

    • Stargirl July 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      I also want to mention that I would LOVE to buy organic and at whole foods/trader joes. Unfortunately I am a newlywed on a tight budget. So that's why I go to Walmart. Not my favorite, but I mostly go to the produce section and also buy eggs. So I don't even go down the sugar/gluten aisles. That helps.

  25. k8te July 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    what a great post. i have been trying to eat healthier lately, and am contemplating going soy-free, as i've heard it can be helpful in clearing up skin issues (i have psoriasis)…a food diary is a great idea though, and can really make you hold yourself accountable!

  26. City Chick July 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply


    Something is wrong with my computer and I can't figure out how to "reply" at my comment, sorry!

    Cacao nibs are yummy. However, they are not quite as sweet as chocolate chips, but I think they are delicious and so good for you, kind of like your crio bru I think?

    And yes to waffles!! I love them. For a while I tried kind of going Paleo (no grains whatsoever), but I honestly didn't feel too hot. Then one morning I had a 1/2 cup of oatmeal (this recipe: and felt SO amazing for like 5 hours!! I guess my body repsonds well to small 1/2 cup portions of grains like whole rolled oats, lentils, beans, and quioa.

    The thing I love about that oatmeal waffle recipe is the flour for the recipe is just ground whole rolled oats! No processed gluten free flours that I typically avoid. I am kind of obsessed with them becuase they make me feel so good after eating them, no 2 hour post meal slump! Now I am on a mission to find more baked good just using rolled oat flour. I'll let you know what I find!

    Katie K

  27. christina July 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    How serendipitous! A few days ago, I was just thinking that I would really love to have some online accountability friends when it comes to eating right and getting exercise. There are sites out there, but they all seem to focus on the more superficial aspects of health (flat tummies, non-jiggly thighs, etc.). I want to eat right and move my body because it makes me feel good on the INSIDE and because it helps with my anxiety. To me, a flat tummy is a nice bonus of physical health, but it's not enough to motivate me on a day-to-day basis. If there's anyone who might like to connect via email for healthy living encouragement and support (for the sake of feeling good on the inside!) let me know πŸ™‚

  28. Christy July 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Ugh. My days look awful now that I am home all day. 9am donut, 1130 small bit of max and cheese, 1230 spoonful of nutella. Fail. πŸ™‚

    • Michelle Bunt July 26, 2013 at 6:56 am - Reply

      Hey Christy, Just remember we all have to start somewhere. Honestly last year my diet looked completely like yours, but I have managed to turn it around this year (although it still could be improved further) and apart from the weight lost, clearer skin, more energy the thing I am noticing the most is how much more I am actually enjoying my food. I never thought eating mostly healthy could be enjoyable!! Anyway please don't give yourself a hard time πŸ™‚

  29. Clare July 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks for giving me that last kick that I needed. I often have migraines and have never found the trigger, maybe a food diary would help with both!

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      YES!! My grandfather would suffer from horrible migraines every evening in the summer. Being a redhead, it was always thought to be the heat and sun from working at the Air Force Base.
      Then on a business trip in New Orleans, he over-indulged in the shrimp and cocktail sauce and went BLIND for two days. Turns out he was allergic to tomatoes, and his dinner of garden tomato sandwiches every evening, all summer long were triggering his migraines.
      Write down in your food log WHEN a migraine hits, you may see a pattern in what you ate the meal before.

  30. Tracy July 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply


    A few months ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to test my blood sugar levels four times a day, and record my meals for the last three months of my pregnancy. I took my chart to my twice-weekly dr. appointments, and it really made a huge difference in the amount of extra weight I gained this pregnancy (this being my third). Looking back at my pictures from the day I delivered each of my children, you can really see the difference in how healthy I look.

    Being diabetic really opened my eyes to what I was eating, when, and how much. (Not that I was eating crazy before.)

  31. brooke field July 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    i haven't been eating good lately, which i blame on an upcoming move & having most of our things packed. but today i wanted to change that!

    breakfast: oatmeal, strawberries
    lunch: bun-less black bean burger, 1 slice cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion
    snack: strawberry banana smoothie
    dinner: tomato & basil pasta

  32. RCardon July 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I used to keep a food journal and it helped me realize dairy and gluten were no bueno for me. Definitely a good idea!

  33. Andrea July 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    I am in the middle of a stressful time and weaning my almost one year old and my hormones and energy levels are seriously out of whack! I think this will be just the ticket to help me bounce back and finally get closer to my pre-baby self.

    Thursday so far…
    Protein shake (sf-almond milk, whey protein, and cocoa powder)
    chicken salad on sprouted wheat bread and spinach
    small bit of pound cake with fresh strawberries
    iced coffee with half-and-half and truvia
    dinner is scheduled to me chorizo and scrambled egg tacos

  34. teddynykiel July 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    While I do think food journals are a great way to keep yourself accountable, I would warn that there is a flip side: you can become a slave to the food. I did food journals for awhile, and after awhile it became almost obsessive that I was planning meals in my head and thinking about every single thing the passed through my lips – even a breath mint. While it is good to be mindful about what you eat, it is easy to take it to the extreme and focus TOO MUCH on what you are eating. There are so many other stimulating issues, ideas, relationships, events to think about, and I think food journals can sometimes lead people to think too much about what they are eating.

    • mara July 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you for this comment. I agree! Food is such a tricky thing for so many. Eating well and taking care of yourself should be a joy. And while the food diary can be helpful, the idea is for it to a short term thing so that you can begin to form some better habits and begin to be more conscious of you're eating. Though I think if a food diary begins to feel obsessive, I would guess that maybe one's self worth is tied to eating or tied to weight loss or tied to eating perfect food choices or tied to being a certain size (I would love your thoughts). My hope for everyone is that nourishing your body is done with JOY and with RESPECT and GRATITUDE for your body…not because you need worth, but because you already have worth just as you are…and therefore it makes sense to be kind to yourself instead of abuse yourself. And it makes sense to keep yourself well for your own happiness and your ability to be of service to others.

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      I totally agree that food diaries can bring out self worth issues. I also think those self worth issues can get tied into the counting calorie part of a food diary. That is a huge distinction from what you're asking people to do. Writing down what you're eating to see eating patterns, focusing on nutrition, and being accountable is completely different than logging for counting calories.
      I recently asked an Ironman athlete friend about my food log/calorie counting and if I was doing anything wrong and he told me to first stop counting the calories, focus on adding more plant based foods into my diet and focus on the nutrient richness of what I eat.
      I do want to lose a few pounds to improve my triathlon and he said the calorie deficit would take care of itself just by focusing on plant foods.

  35. SarahN @ livetolist July 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Firstly, you look so different with straight hair, I needed a double take to make sure it was you.

    Now onto food dairies. I did this for a short time. My issue isn't with doing them, it'd remembering to record stuff! yesterday, during a dull meeting, I listed all the trigger foods for psoriasis. I've had it for years now, mainly on my arms, but with the stress of a new job on Monday, moving my bf in this weekend, and us moving out together in the next few weeks, I have noticed some spots on my arms. I am FREAKING out (ie the BF will never marry someone with spot on her arms style, even though when I told him, he's like 'we can fix this, we can eat better' – the "we" had me melting!). I've tried to be GF and lactose free, but now I need to ramp it up to no red meat, no red vegies, no cinnamon and similar spices, so many things… no citrus fruit. It's pretty overwhelming! But I want this skin condition to 'flare' down, cause there's no cure πŸ™

  36. Ria July 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for doing this series on taking care of yourself physically. DH and I are really making an effort to improve our eating habits, but it seems so overwhelming! Especially to do things like try to cut out gluten (which I think might be really helpful for both of us). I just don't know where to start. Thanks for sharing and making these changes seem a little more doable!

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Start small, like next time at the grocery store, instead of bread, buy rice cakes, instead of chips-rice crackers, corn chips. Instead of flour tortillas, corn. Going cold turkey can be hard, so slowly start supplementing your beloved gluten foods for other GF alternatives. If you can't think of an alternate, ask a GF person, they are a great resource.

  37. mara July 25, 2013 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    11:30 – egg fried in olive oil; chard and garlic sauteed in olive oil
    2:00 pm- 2 plums, handful of veggie chips, spoonful of peanut butter drizzled with honey
    4:00 pm – sides of 3 salads: quinoa and summer vegetable salad; kale salad w/ dried cherries, lemon and almonds; skirt steak & arugala salad
    Prob. 8 ish – I plan to have the same 3 sides I had earlier.

    • mara July 27, 2013 at 12:54 am - Reply

      I forgot to add that I also had one of those Steve's Paleo Packs with grass-fed jerky, raw nuts, and dried fruit.

  38. Just me July 26, 2013 at 12:50 am - Reply

    I just loved this post!!. I am going to start a food diary, I hope it will help me, because I know that I dont eat very well: my biggest weakness is breakfast,I know that breakfast is very important because it gives us the energy we need to start the day, but I just cant eat anything when I wake up and then, when I am at work, I am so hungry and I eat unhealthy food. I want to try a dairy and gluten free diet too, if you and many others say that it helps you to feel healthier, it has to be good, I just hope I will be able to do it :-).

    Thanks for always inspiring us with your posts!!

  39. Liz July 26, 2013 at 1:22 am - Reply

    My question is how to do you stay full? I studied nutrition in college and I agree with your principles of healthy eating, though I do not believe everyone needs to be gluten free/dairy free. Perhaps it is the fact I am a nursing mother or that I have to eat a lot more to be full….but how on earth does this give you enough energy throughout the day? How are you not hungry all the time? My question is not about the types of food you eat, but rather the amount.

    • rebecca July 26, 2013 at 10:09 am - Reply

      just chiming in here to say that from the looks of what Mara eats, she is eating food that has higher vitamin/mineral value so she will be fuller longer because it provides her body with what she needs rather than empty calories.

      for example, eating something like quinoa instead of white rice. or having a handful of raw nuts for a snack instead of a yogurt or crackers, etc.

      i'm a nursing mother too, and i find that eating similar to what it looks like Mara eats keeps me full and energetic.

    • mara July 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Liz, in the early days (i.e. the first food diaries I wrote in the post), the amounts of foods I was eating were really not enough. I wasn't hungry, though. I was used to just working, working and then snacking and eating way too much sugar, so my appetite was really screwed up. What I wrote in the post was really just my transition phase (it just happened to be all I had recorded on my phone) and I was just getting used to eating raw nuts instead of candy, etc. Honestly, I had to really train myself to make time and eat more because I just wasn't making the time for it. That's how busy I was and how shot my appetite was. I also started drinking protein/hemp shakes daily in order to help regulate my appetite, which helped.

      Not sure if you were also referring to what I've written in the comments, but I am actually never hungry. Since I work from home, it's easy to eat whenever I feel any hunger at all. haha. I do eat a lot of vegetables (we are part of a CSA and I also go to the Farmer's market once or twice a week) and just about everything is sauteed or dressed with TONS of olive oil (we literally have to refill our tall olive oil jar weekly!) I think that helps to make a dish more filling. And every once in awhile I can tell I need some meat, so I just go by what I feel and what my body needs.

      Also, I do think that everyone's bodies are so different. Nursing mothers or athletes or people of all sizes have different needs. I think the key is just finding that nice balance of what your body needs to feel nourished and energetic. Obviously, too much food can kill the energy. So it's just a matter of listening to your body.

  40. Anonymous July 26, 2013 at 1:58 am - Reply

    This post really resonates with me, as I am also working at a high-stress, all-hours-of-the-day, eat-at-your-desk corporate job in Chicago. My question for you is, how did you make the time to take care of your body? Even if I wanted to plan my meals, prepare them, grocery shop, and clean-up after the meal prep, I wouldn't have the time to do it. It's just not feasible with my work schedule. Did you leave your job to make healthy eating a priority? If not, how did you manage it?

  41. rebecca July 26, 2013 at 10:02 am - Reply


    Thank you so much for sharing this!!! What we eat, the beauty products we use daily, household cleaners, laundry soap, etc have a huge impact on our health/well being and so many people are not aware of it. I emailed you quite a while back mentioning how making lifestyle changes and doing Dr. Junger's Clean Program reset my body and made me feel great and also how I think it is one of the main reasons I was finally able to get pregnant.

    Taking care of our physical body really is a priority so that we can be well spiritually. Again, your blog is my absolute favorite. I am constantly forwarding posts to friends that can use your helpful, loving advice.

  42. Jennifer July 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Mara, I've been reading your blog these last few months, and many of your posts about health-related and skin issues, as well as your previous marriage, have really resonated with what I've been going through these past few years. What you describe in this post is me in 2011/2012. I hit rock bottom physically and emotionally. With a hectic work schedule, I also spent years not taking care of myself the way I should have, and it caught up with me. Though I'm skinny, I also experienced the bloating after eating–not comfortable when you're sitting at a desk day and night! My skin was breaking out, I was constantly getting sick, and I was utterly exhausted. I actually did start falling asleep at my desk a few times and even in a meeting (thankfully I had a very understanding boss who urged me to seek medical help). Finally, at a point when I literally could not function any longer, I went to an integrative medicine doctor who helped turn my life around! He found that I also have a thyroid condition, and he told me to give up gluten and dairy immediately. That alone has been transformative. Working through my health issues and having more energy has resulted in spiritual/emotional progress after years of periodic anxiety and depression (and yes, feeling "dead"–I got goosebumps when I read that, because it's exactly how I felt). I also quit my publishing job to start freelancing from home, which made a huge difference. It's so true that our physical and spiritual selves are completely connected and that to truly be your best self, you must take care of both. I love that you're sharing your experience with others who may be going through something similar!

    • mara July 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      Oh my goodness…this comment just hit me. It's like I'm reading about my own life. Wow. Thank you so very much for sharing. SOOO happy to hear that you've been able to change your life!! Oh man, I know what a big deal that is…and it's truly just a miracle anytime that happens.

  43. Spencer Family July 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    I'm in! I just had a baby and am still riding the wave of "I'm pregnant, I can eat whatever I want" when really I need to get back to eating healthier so I have energy to keep up with two kids and a newborn.

  44. Krista July 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Here we go! Thursday:
    7:30 am: small can of Pepsi (Only drank because I needed the caffeine to kick my PMS headache)
    7:45 am: 20 oz of Earl Grey tea with tons of caffeine (I found in the kitchen at work after I drank the Pepsi…) Cleared the headache right up!
    8am: 2 jalapeno chicken sausages from Trader Joe's and lots of raw baby carrots
    12 pm: Leftover Asian skillet meal from night before (ground beef, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, coconut aminos…)
    4:30 pm: Fruit strip from Trader Joe's
    9 pm: 2 otter pops (frozen sugar liquid, ugh). Then I realized I was going to document this, so I made two eggs in cocount oil and topped with a little salsa πŸ™‚
    *Lots of water throughout the day

    Let's see how the rest of the week goes. I am nervous about Saturday as it is my birthday, and I plan on eating pretty poorly. Maybe I will have self control and not go completely overboard, though…We shall wait and see.

    • mara July 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Good idea to cook the eggs in coconut oil. I'd love to try that. And early happy birthday!!

  45. Anonymous July 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Thursday 7/24:
    toast, yogurt, quesadilla, chocolate cake, brown rice with broccoli, carrots and carnitas, hot dogs, diet coke, espresso

  46. Rachel Webster July 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Mara – its Rachel! While we've shared emails and twitter messages and I read your blog daily and hopefully you know how much I love you and Danny!, I don't think I've ever taken the time to comment (though I've wanted to several times…cause all of this stuff on here is just life changing…shame on me for this!)

    Anyways – few questions about this stuff. There is just so much to say isn't there? Haha. Oh my.

    My whole life I've been a sound, heavy sleeper. Because of my dwarfism, I also snore. I was tested for sleep apnea as a baby but my results were negative. For the past few years I've noticed my body ALWAYS feeling exhausted. Even though most nights I fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow and I don't wake up until morning, I am always feeling still SO tired when I wake up. To sum it up, I can't remember the last time I woke up feeling completely rejuvenated and refreshed. During the day as I am working, I can't wait for bed. When I find myself at home, I have a huge lack of energy and motivation.

    I just went to the hospital last night for another sleep test. Long story short, I came home feeling frustrated because it did not mimic a normal night sleep for me. I was restless and anxious and couldn't sleep. Who knows what the results will find, but I came home wondering if sleep apnea is really my issue.

    And then I opened up my computer and came to your blog and read this post! And it hit me. I wonder if my diet and lack of exercise has anything to do with how I feel. Duh, Rachel! (I could also bump up the amount of hours I sleep. Right now I average about 6 or 7).

    I think I am going to try this. Do you remember a while ago I wrote you on twitter about my motivation to go dairy free (I even bought a Clarisonic, too) That didn't last long. I just get so overwhelmed with cravings. The food diary comments on this post have really helped give me ideas of what to buy and how to meal plan. I know I need to just keep it simple.

    Couple specific questions:
    1. I love avocado. So much. Do you use it a lot? I feel like it might curb some of those cravings for creamy, fatty things.

    2. Quinoa. Is this healthy? I have a whole bag of it I bought from Costco. Just want to make sure I'm going in the right direction. Ha!

    3. If I kept any kind of dairy in my diet it would be yogurt. Do you think greek yogurt or goat's milk yogurt might still hold some value especially if they carry all the probiotic nutrients? OR do you recommended when initially trying this to be really strict?

    3. Most importantly, how do you stick with it? For as long as you've been doing it, I'm sure the negative consequence of indulging in gluten or dairy foods far out way the temptation to indulge. But don't you ever crave a chocolate bar or buttery popcorn or a cinnamon roll or a plate of cheesy pasta…a plate of just cheese for that matter…ha! How do you resist?! How are you so strict with yourself? Haha I find temptation to cheat occurs mostly when I am going out to eat with friends or they invite me over. Being single it's hard to say no to…"Lets go out for a burger!" How do you respond to those type of things?

    I know there are so many questions in here! But they are the concerns that make me anxious. Just putting it out there to get some advice! What a great community this blog has.

    Sending so much love for all that you and Danny have done to inspire so much change for so much good. xox

    Love, Rachel

    P.S. We have a friend from Brazil who is nannying just outside of NYC. I am dying to go out to visit. Maybe it will happen. And if I do, I really hope we can meet for a little walk. πŸ˜‰

    • mara July 27, 2013 at 12:42 am - Reply

      1. YES to avocado. I eat as much of it as I can. It's so good for you and yes, I find it to satisfy the desire for creamy things. (hummus as well)

      2. I love quinoa! It's GF and has tons of protein – it's such a good alternative to rice. Though some do have problems with grains and cut out grains completely.

      3. yogurt does offer probiotics. But actually, because it's dairy I don't go near it. It has the same effects for me as all other dairy. They do have almond milk or coconut milk yogurt. I get my probiotics from a dairy free coconut water kefir called Inner Eco (that stuff is amazing. Available at Whole Foods in a refrigerated area with other probiotics).

      4. Sticking with it became very easy for me as the effects have been so positive. While pizza or bread would taste good, for sure, and smell good, for sure….I actually still don't even consider eating it. It's like there isn't a craving strong enough to want it. Just last night i took my nephew and bro. in law for pizza. I ate dinner prior and then just sat with them while they ate the pizza. This happens all the time and it never bothers me. I think it helps that those foods are completely out of my system as they are so addictive…I think it's the addiction that causes all those cravings. As for chocolate – I do eat super dark vegan chocolate from time to time. But if I notice I'm craving it, I know I've had it too regularly and I cut back. Crio Bru is a great chocolate fix, without any sugar. I make stovetop popcorn with coconut oil and it is AMAZING. We both just love it. As for baked goods – I have found a few Paleo recipes here and there that we enjoy from time to time (made with almond flour, which I buy in bullk). And cheese – no real substitute. But still, it's worth it.

      -Regarding restaurants – I just do my best to order vegetables, fish, legumes, meat. At Italian restaurants, it's salads, soups, or sauteed vegetables. For burgers, I just order w/o the bun. Weird to eat it with a knife and fork but it does still satisfy that desire for a burger. At pizza joints, you will be hard up unless they have great salads. Though dominoe's does make a GF crust and I order it w/o cheese – just sauce, veggies, and pepperoni and it actually tastes really, really good.

    • Rachel Webster July 27, 2013 at 3:07 am - Reply

      Oh man oh man! This is amazing!! So much input and inspiration. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I wrote you an email today, too. Hopefully it went through! I was having technical troubles.

      Haha I am just obsessed with this whole process.

      And your food diary posts help so much with different ideas. So awesome.

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      I've found one of the best ways to say no to temptations, and to choose alternatives to cravings is to phrase your dietary choices as "I DON'T eat……" rather than "I CAN'T eat…" One is a declaration of a restriction or a withholding, the other is a matter of fact. Try it out, I'd love to see if you feel it changes the commitment.

  47. Virginia July 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I love this, Mara! I agree, exercise and proper nutrition are ESSENTIAL to overall well-being! I notice a huge huge difference in my mood, confidence, and energy when I'm eating well and exercising. I actually started a food diary back in January and was fairly consistent with it for a few months. What I think is quite valuable is tracking not only food, but also EXERCISE, spirituality, and anything else you find important to the quality of your life. Because if you're not nourishing your body with the right foods, chances are you aren't nourishing your body in other ways. For me, I was taking a college course that required me to meditate and I was also interested in figuring out migraine triggers, so I tracked all sorts of things. I will say that every body is different. I know my body requires at least 8 hours of sleep each night to feel rested, that my body reacts poorly to gluten, and that I seem to need the endorphins of exercise. Consequently, I make it a priority to get adequate sleep, exercise, and have entirely cut out gluten.

    I don't really have a food log for today, as I'm sick in bed and was throwing up this morning. So far all I've eaten at 1 PM is a handful of gluten free pretzels.

    Here's an example from February:

    Date: Tue 2/26
    Sleep: 11:10 – 7:20 AM
    Breakfast: banana w/ plain whole fat greek yogurt, 3 eggs
    Lunch: cucumbers, carrots, 1/2 avocado, cashews (on-the-go lunch between classes)
    Dinner: asparagus, broccoli, and brussel sprouts w/ coconut oil, TJ’s chicken burger, carrots + almond butter
    Snacks: apple
    Hydration: coffee, water
    Vitamins: D3
    Exercise: yoga, 30 min run
    Meditation: 15 min LKM in class

    PS my little sister is about to begin school at Columbia in August. Someday I'll visit her and I would love to meet you and Danny!!

  48. mara July 27, 2013 at 12:52 am - Reply

    breakfast: Kale Salad with dried cherries and almonds. A white nectarine.
    snacks: bowl of blueberries, veggie chips
    lunch: bowl of yellow grape tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.
    snacks: bowl of blueberries, veggie chips, 70% dark chocolate squares (4)
    dinner: green stir fry: zucchini, chard, & onion tops sauteed with a bit of Italian sausage and olive oil
    snack: another white nectarine (So good)

    • Rachel Webster July 27, 2013 at 3:09 am - Reply

      Did you use raw garlic with your lunch? Or sautΓ© it in the oil first?

    • mara July 28, 2013 at 1:20 am - Reply

      You inspired me. Typically I have sauteed it. But today I just added the chopped garlic raw at the end, and it was amazing. I'm going to be doing that for every saute now with one or two cloves…raw garlic has so many health properties!

    • Rachel Webster July 30, 2013 at 3:10 am - Reply

      Yay!! Haha I'm going to try it, too!

  49. kh July 27, 2013 at 2:33 am - Reply

    Oh man, am I strong enough to give up soda? I do love the idea of a healthier life. . .

    • mara July 28, 2013 at 1:18 am - Reply

      Do it do it!!! πŸ™‚ Try drinking waters flavored with slices of cucumber, orange, grapefruit, watermelon, peach, lemon, etc…. it's so good. Though I typically don't get fancy and just drink water with 1/2 lemon in it each day. Kind of sour but I like it for some reason. Also, lemon is supposed to be very cleansing.

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      This is how I kicked my Diet Coke habit (and I was literally raised on it). I bought a box of decaffeinated DC, and started out by alternating every 3rd DC for a caffeine free DC. The 2nd week I'd have one regular, then 2 caffeine free. The 3rd week I was on all caffeine free DC. Then I started the same process over only to fruit juice. Once I was on all fruit juice, I did the process all over with Crystal light and flavored waters. Once there, I even weaned myself to all water. Now, I only want water, all. of. the. time. You can do it and will love it!

  50. blankets of light July 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    This is wonderful. Starting a food journal today! πŸ™‚

  51. mara July 28, 2013 at 1:15 am - Reply

    breakfast: skipped. πŸ™ Up at 7 am to do a Sandy rebuilding project.
    12:30 – grabbed whatever I could find to take with me to Gerritsen Beach: pint of chopped grape tomatoes, raw garlic, salt and pepper. Lots of Cucumbers, salt and pepper. White Nectarine. Veggie Chips.
    5:30 pm – handful of raw cacao nibs (super bitter but I like them)
    6:00 pm – green stir fry: chard, green onion, Italian sausage – topped with basil, chopped raw garlic (I'm going to try and use raw garlic from now on – it has so many health benefits and the flavor was awesome.)
    8:00 pm – a few more cacao nibs
    9:00 pm – sliced apple with peanut butter

  52. Camille Millecam Whiting July 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    I did a cleanse diet last summer without anything gluten/wheat, dairy, processed, etc. It was all natural proteins and produce. WOW I couldn't believe how much more clear my brain was, and how well I did at work. I love this post, and I love the idea of a food journal too!

  53. Anonymous July 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    espresso, pancakes with homemade blueberry sauce, cheeseburger, watermelon and feta salad, bruschetta, 1.5 hershey bars, hot dog, fritos, beer, diet coke

    uhmm…i could do better πŸ™‚

  54. Krista July 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Friday: 8 am: Leftover Asian stirfry(see Thursday)
    12pm: Tuna with mayo (I really need to hop to it and make my own mayo)and baby carrots.
    4pm: Trader Joe's fruit strip
    7pm: 2.5 slices of pizza

    Saturday and Sunday were much like dinner on Friday… I ate a whole lotta junk that isn't even worth documenting here. I have, however documented it very closely in my head, and I am determined to start out new and fresh today (Monday) morning. I can do this!

    • Amanda July 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      Try supplementing the mayo with Plain Greek Yogurt in your tuna. I did it last week and really liked the flavor it gave. Very subtle, so wasn't too far from the mayo taste, but much healthier.

    • Krista July 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      I am trying to stay away from dairy as it causes my acne breakouts. I know, I know, I ate pizza for dinner and that has all kinds of dairy, so it sounds kinda lame for me to "say" that I don't do dairy…
      But, if I make my own mayo, I will be using just olive oil for the oil, so that in itself is much much healthier. I have all the stuff to make the mayo, I just haven't done it yet. I think I will have to finally do it when I get home from work.
      The Greek yogurt in the tuna does sound delicious, though. I am sure someone who does dairy more often will run with that idea.

  55. KMH July 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm - Reply


    Breakfast- Yogurt and Granola
    Snack: blueberries and chai tea

    Lunch: bagel with butter
    Snack: carrots and hummus

    dinner: spinach salad with goat cheese, strawberries, cucumber, peppers
    snack: sea salt chips!

    …My naturopath wants me to keep a food diary for 1 full week. A helpful hint as well (I'd think for determining sensitivities, maybe?) is to write down your 'feelings'. For example- hungry, tired, energetic, bored, etc. !

  56. dervla July 30, 2013 at 3:03 am - Reply

    It seems so obvious now but i'm struggling with rough facial skin and it's just occurred to me that it could be my diet. I'm way too heavy on the caffeine and chocolate. On everything else I'm fairly healthy. Here's my day:

    9:30am: oatmeal with fruit and nuts at my desk, 20oz cappuccino with two sugars
    3pm: organic chicken breast with mango in a bun, sweet potato fries
    8pm: homemade pizza
    10pm: trader joe's chocolate bar

    ok that wasn't so good now that i write it all out … i'll be better tomorrow! I like this accountability.

  57. mara July 30, 2013 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Today sucked for my food intake.
    breakfast: Danny's Homemade Black beans (delicious)
    lunch: chips and salsa, dark chocolate (so not a good lunch)
    snacks: cacoa nibs
    dinner: avocado/tomato/corn/red onion salad with lime vinaigrette (delicious)
    Not enough food today due to a crazy schedule lately and guests in town.
    Determined to make tmw better. Also heading to Fairway tmw to restock.

  58. Napoleon Nalcot July 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    This is my first time visiting your blog and all I can say is that your blog is such an encouraging one and it's all worth my stumbling upon your site. I'll sure sign up to be one of your blog's followers.

  59. Krista July 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Monday: Breakfast: Chai Tea with coconut milk (no sugar)
    Lunch: Tuna with mayo and raw carrots
    Dinner: This recipe: Not sure what I thought of the recipe, but then again, I didn't have one or two of the spices
    Dessert: Lots of peanut M&Ms. We go to my husband's grandparents' house every Monday night for board games, and Grandma is one of those ladies who has candy dishes all over the house. I can resist most of it, but those M&Ms get me every time. Maybe today's post about sugar addiction came at the right time…?

  60. Amanda July 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    This is a pretty typical day for me:
    7-8am – 1c cooked old fashioned oatmeal with 1/2 c cottage cheese & fresh strawberries

    10am – 1c greek yogurt (honey flavor) with strawberries. Chocolate chip cookie from catering rep (not typical)

    1:30pm – mixed green salad with lentil taco(meat)
    other chocolate cookie from catering rep

    3pm – apple & string cheese (+ cherries today)

    7-9pm probably lentil tacos again, OR chicken on salad or with veggie
    9pm hershey chocolate bar (4 squares)

  61. mara July 31, 2013 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    breakfast: a bowl of black beans and salsa
    snack: cacao nibs
    water with 1/2 lemon
    lunch: sauteed kale & green onions in olive oil with bits of Italian sausage. Topped with raw garlic and chopped basil (so good)
    snack: cacao nibs
    water with 1/2 lemon
    dinner: Dinosaur BBQ in Bk…(they have a GF menu): pulled pork, cole slaw, BBQ beans
    evening snack: sliced apple & peanut butter

  62. City Chick July 31, 2013 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Here is my diary for yeaterday:

    Breakfast: Bowl of GF oats with 2 TBSP of almond butter, sliced banana, 1 TBSP chia seeds and drizzle of raw honey
    Lunch: Green curry with 1/2 cup brown rice
    dessert/snack: 2 plums
    Dinner: This salad:
    and a pumpkin smoothie made with pumpkin (of course), pumpkin pie spice, almond milk, and a date. It's been kind of chilly here in Minnesota, so I have been craving some Fall flavors.

    Katie K.

  63. mara August 1, 2013 at 3:22 am - Reply


    Breakfast: Bowl of black beans and salsa

    snack: cacao nibs.

    Lunch: (2) small golden plums, 1/2 pint blueberries, 1 1/2 bowls chopped yellow grape tomatoes with raw garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, Himalayan salt, ground pepper.

    Snack: a few green olives, handful of peanuts.

    Dinner: Green stir fry: zucchini, rainbow chard (so pretty), kale, green onions, raw chopped garlic at the end, lots of chopped fresh basil, and chopped/seasoned organic chicken thighs from Costco. Side salad of cucumbers (cut like noodles), shaved vidalia onion, rice vinegar, and crushed peanut.

    snack: (3) small golden plums.

  64. Krista August 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    8 am: 2 eggs, scone, chai tea with coconut milk
    12pm: Tuna with mayo and carrots
    8 pm: 2 slices of pizza
    8 am: Chai tea with coconut milk
    10 am: Baby carrots
    12pm: Leftover organic ground beef with onions, baby carrots
    4pm: Cheez-its and Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup
    8 pm: The infamous one egg+one banana pancake with maple almond butter.

    What I am figuring out is my not so awesome eating is coming from times when I just don't plan out my day properly. I really need to think out my day more and plan and be prepared for changes in those plans.

    • Krista August 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      Oops. Need to edit: Tuesday lunch was actually leftovers from the night before. Not the tuna. I was starting to think that I was eating way too much tuna and not enough anything else πŸ™‚

  65. City Chick August 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm - Reply


    Breakfast: 1 and 1/2 waffles made with oat flour and almond milk, topped with a banana, almond butter, flax seeds and a drizzle of raw honey
    Lunch: Salad with tomaotes, cucumber, onion, radishes and ginger carrot dressing. Bowl of frozen papaya
    Snack: kale and apple smoothie: 1 cup kale, 1 apple, 1/2 lemon, ginger and water
    Dinner: Kale and almond smoothie, a few handfuls of homemade granola and a bowl of corn chowder
    snack: a few pieces of frozen papaya

  66. City Chick August 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I am in for another food diary week!

    Breakfast: 1/2 cup GF oats with chia seeds, some toasted coconut, a banana and a couple tablespoons of almond butter
    Lunch: Kale and almond smoothie (kale, almond milk, almonds, almond butter, a little raw honey and a tablespoon of coconut oil), and a salald of cucumbers and bokchoy topped with a handful of peanuts, cliantro and carrot ginger dressing
    Dessert: bowl of frozen papaya
    Dinner: a lttile bit of scrambled egg and cabbage, i small slice of GF banana bread, and a couple bites of unsweetened applesauce: not enough food for dinner. We were heading out in a hurry last night.
    Dessert: 3 small pieces of black bean fudge
    Recipes: The kale/almond smoothie came from my husband and I's favorite cookbook. "It's All Good." By gwyneth platrow. It is seriously amamzing. All recipes are GF, or have the option to be. We have made some amazing,easy meals from that book. Highly recommended. The black bean fudge came from, another super website for great, healthy recipes.


  67. mara August 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    breakfast: Green smoothie for 2 w/ tons of spinach, 1/2 cup berries, 1/2 nectarine, 2 Tb. chia seeds, 2 Tb. coconut water kefir, water, a little orange juice

    lunch: sauteed rainbow chard w/ salt & pepper, a few pieces italian sausage, chopped raw garlic mixed in after cooking, chopped basil on top; a farm egg; chopped yellow grape tomatoes, raw garlic, basil, salt & pepper

    snack: cashews and raw cacao nibs (LOVING this combination!)

    dinner: Danny's black beans and rice, homemade salsa and chips

    snack: nectarine

  68. mara August 9, 2013 at 2:19 am - Reply


    Breakfast: Sauteed Kale with raw chopped garlic and basil, farm egg cooked in olive oil

    snack: popcorn, cashews & cacao nibs

    Lunch: Danny's Rice and Beans, homemade salsa and chips (he makes big batches that we eat for days.)

    Coconut Water Kefir – I consume 1 Tbl. daily and it's amazing for digestive health

    Dinner: Green stir fry: Sauteed Rainbow Chard w/ salt/pepper, raw garlic and basil, sliced zucchini
    and another fried egg.

    snack: nectarine, cashews & Cacao nibs

    mmm… I'm realizing that my foods are so repetitive. I guess I'm just LOVING the kale and chard we get from our CSA. Also, with just the two of us, it's takes a few meals to get through a huge bunch of chard.

    Haven't had ANY cravings for dark choc. I get so fooled by all those articles raving about the benefits of dark chocolate and can easily get sucked into having a bar around. But I haven't had any in quite some time and I don't even miss it. Those cacao nibs are somehow helped a bunch with that. I'm getting all the antioxidants w/o the sugar.

  69. City Chick August 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    I have some catching up to do!

    Breakfast: Bowl of GF oats with 2 spoons of PB, a banana, TBSP of chia seeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon, a few sips of coffee
    snack: a couple pieces of fruit
    Lunch: Kale & almond amoothie, cucumber noodles and carrots with a peanut soy sauce and a handful of cilantro and peanuts
    snack: bowl of frozen peaches
    Dinner: Ate dinner out at Brassa: pulled pork, raosted yams and andoullie sausage, black eyed pea salad
    Dessert: bowl of frozen peaches
    Thursday: Bowl of GF oats with PB, chia seeds and coconut flakes
    Lunch: greek salad and kale/amond smoothie
    Dinner: grilled Salmon burgers with no bun and sauteed bok choy. Banana "ice cream" (bananas frozen and blended) with chopped almonds and cacao nibs, from "It's All Good."


  70. christine August 14, 2013 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Tuesday august 13
    blueberries, espresso, chicken/brie&avocado sandwich. m&ms. pasta with olive oil and garlic. pistachios

  71. James Brown August 16, 2013 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Hello friend, What a great idea! I was horrified at the thought of writing what I ate today which I guess is the whole point! I also want to write something on health. If you are interested in the health topics you can visit here

  72. francis692 December 19, 2013 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Excellent blog

  73. ashtonmilam December 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Your first step will definitely prove beneficial for your long term health. Everyone wishes to have healthy life and they are eager to know about good foods that play vital role to achieve it. However, with a little bit research, you can come across some good bloggers like Boris Wolfman who is frequently creating awareness about healthy foods and way of living good lifestyle.

  74. Harlin Q. March 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Is that plant a food? Can you really eat that? As a veggie or other?

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