I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve updated my “about me” page. As I work to build a career in the nutrition world and further connect with people, I think it is super important to share my story and how I got to where I am today – because I certainly was not always eating veggies, grillin’ meat, running or lifting weights.
I’ve of course shared bits and pieces of this all over the blog – but it’s nice to have this written in one post. I hope you enjoy getting to know me a little better (and sorry for the redundancy you loyal readers, love you!) Any feedback or comments are always welcome :)
Hi, I’m Amy! I’m a former NCAA athlete, Twinkie eater and calorie counter. Now I’m into CrossFit, running, yoga and eating real food. I’m 23, single and live in Toronto, Canada. I love to travel, treat myself at Lululemon (or at the nail salon) and re-read Harry Potter until I’ve memorized every spell.
This little space is where I talk about eating and loving real, nutritious food (ditching nutrition dogma and processed gunk), staying active (moving our bodies to find strength and confidence) and most importantly: loving ourselves. I strive to be the happiest and healthiest version of me and hope to help in your journey to become the happiest and healthiest version of you.
I didn’t always live such a healthy life. I was always active but didn’t eat very well. Now I believe in fueling our bodies with delicious, nutritious real food. But let’s back up a little…
Growing up, I loved playing sports. I started to seriously pursue playing basketball in high school but my diet consisted of lots of nutrient-void carbs and sugar. I ate cereal with skim milk or bagels or toast for breakfast. Lunches were sandwiches or Subway. Dinners featured lots of pasta since it was fast and easy – and I was running to basketball practices/games/tournaments. I was in pretty good shape but I remember wishing that I could lose some weight or be thinner somehow but I never did anything about it. I was often getting injured and had bad acne but I overall felt healthy.
My hard work in the classroom and on the court lead me to study and play basketball at Emerson College in Boston, MA. But like most college kids, my lifestyle took a bit of an unhealthy turn. I drank more beer than water and frequented the pasta bar more often than the salad bar. I ate lots of pizza, Sun Chips, and dining hall food. Even though I was active, I was drinking a lot, eating a lot and started to pack on the pounds little by little, which I started to notice on my five foot frame.
Once I moved off-campus in my junior/3rd year, I started going grocery shopping, cooking for myself and learned about calories and counted them. I ate more real, whole foods but was also eating a lot of “diet and health food”: 100 calorie packs, frozen dinners, sugary-low-cal granola bars, protein bars, greek yogurt, fat-free everything. I also stopped eating red meat. On-top of playing basketball, I joined a boxing gym and started taking classes there a few times a week. I began to lose weight and I started to feel happier and more confident.
I graduated in May 2013 with a degree in Communications and Journalism. After graduation, I said good-bye to my friends, frat parties, Newbury Street and drove a UHaul back to my hometown of Toronto. Single. Living with my parents. Oh the glamorous life of a post-grad in the “real world.”
I fell in love with running and ate a mainly plant-based diet: lots of fruits, veggies, beans, lentils and whole grains. But I was blinded by conventional wisdom: eat less, low calorie foods, do lots of cardio, fit into the skinniest jeans, meat will give you heart disease, salt is bad for you, cholesterol will kill you.
I got prettyyyyy skinny, my skin began to break-out, I had digestive issues and developed some food sensitivities. Right before running my first half-marathon, I hurt my knee. I still ran the race but my body was telling me things.
Well, it was time to listen. So, I re-evaluated my diet and workout regimen. I completed the Whole 30 and experienced very positive results – my skin and digestion dramatically improved and I overall felt better. I started learning more about food and how it fuels us and makes us feel. I cut back on the cardio and started lifting some weights – which terrified me at first… I didn’t want to get “bulky”. But I’m not.
Today, I have stopped counting calories and fuel and nourish my body with real food – you know, the food that’s always been food (none of that chemical filled stuff). My diet consists of: lots of organic fruits and veggies, organic chicken, wild fish, properly raised meat, organic free-range eggs, nuts, seeds, oils; some properly prepared grains, beans and legumes; and lots of dark chocolate.
I have eliminated processed foods and added sugars from my diet. I am mainly gluten free and dairy free – but I do enjoy a cinnamon bun or ice-cream every now and again! I make my food choices based on what feels best for my body and what works for me physically and intellectually. I aim for consistency, not perfection. I’m no gourmet chef but I try hard and keep it simple, healthy and delicious.
I am currently studying to become a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner (aka a nutritionist and health coach) and will be launching Honey Bee Health & Nutrition in January 2015 – I can’t wait to work with you!
When I’m not geeking out on nutrition, I work as a freelance writer and coach girls basketball.
I am happy, healthy, confident and strong. Yup, I gained weight, but I feel better, my skin is clearer and I smile a lot more. I love being active but I rest when I am tired. I love running and doing yoga but I also love lifting weights. I ditched the diet mentality and simply nourish my body. I eat egg yolks, fat and reserve my measuring cups for baking.
So that’s my story but I am certainly far from perfect – we are all a work in progress. I hope you will join me for the rest of the ride.
Questions of the day…
What’s your story? Okay, the short version :)
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