YOU GUYS!!! I am so so excited about today’s post! I have been waiting for this day for months! I am more than honored today to have Chelsea from LiveFreeBeFit.com talk about her journey with health and fitness, specifically nutrition and her gluten-free lifestyle.
Now, this is not just some random girl I found on Instagram. No way, Jose. This girl and I go way back. We became friends about 5 years ago and decided to love Jesus & follow Him together. Naturally, this has led us to many adventures together, including traveling, leading small groups together, road trips, being in each other’s weddings, and even sharing an apartment. I cherish this girl and every memory we have together. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for her input, wisdom, and caring heart.
She just launched her health & fitness blog, LiveFreeBeFit.com, last week, so I wanted to feature her and get into her world a little bit. Plus, she gave us a delicious recipe for Pizza Crust! YUM! You will want to check out her blog and learn from her if you are also on a health journey of any kind.
Hi Chelsea! Tell us just a little bit about your health journey!
I would say my journey to health started about 2 years ago. I would say my weight loss journey started when I was 10. I distinguish those because the goals were very different for me. Weight loss was about how much junk I could shove into a calorie budget, or point system, that would still make me as skinny as possible. Ideally, weight loss and health should be one in the same. But for me, they were not.
When I decided it was time to get healthy, my goals were to be strong and to eat whole “clean” foods that would fuel my body. It has taken me two years to figure out what foods I run to for comfort, which foods make my skin glow, and which foods affect me poorly. I have lost about 30 pounds, gained a passion for helping women who want to lose weight, and have found out that I love to cook! It’s been a journey! One that I am still skippin’ along!
I know you’ve decided to go gluten free. What made you decide to make that shift? How long have you been eating that way?
I have been gluten free for about 1 ½ years now. I had really bad acne that I could not get rid of. A friend of mine gave me the book Wheat Belly (which I recommend if you have any questions about the gluten free diet) as a suggestion to see if going gluten free would help clear up my skin at all. Within two weeks, I was seeing a huge difference! My skin was clearing, my tummy was less bloated, I had a lot of extra energy. I just felt great that I made the decision to make it a lifestyle!
How has eating gluten-free affected your health and overall fitness? Have you noticed a difference?
Oh mama! I noticed a huge difference! Really, the energy is what hit me the most. I don’t feel so sluggish. I remember the feeling I would get after eating a big bowl of whole-wheat pasta. I would get up and feel like I needed a nap. I called it a “food coma”. I can’t even remember the last time I fell into a food coma! Beyond the energy, it opened up a lot of room for me to being creative with cooking. It forced me to try new recipes and foods, honestly pushing me towards more veggies! I needed a push!
Do you have any other dietary restrictions that you follow? What would you say your diet mainly consists of?
I don’t have any other restrictions. And if I want a bite of Caleb’s (my husbands) pizza, I take it! I ask first, of course. But 98% of the time I stay away from gluten and live by the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 means you eat “clean” 80% of the time and indulge 20%. Essentially I don’t deprive myself. I fuel myself. If my body wants a cookie every now and then, I say okay but I make sure to give it lots of lean proteins and veggies with some fruits and good fats thrown in there! I eat a lot of eggs!
What are some of your favorite go-to healthy meals? Favorite healthy snacks?
|Carrot sticks or bell pepper and hummus||Turkey Chilli|
|A piece of Ezekiel bread with almond butter and sliced banana||Enchilada Bake|
|Lara Bars||Grilled Chicken or Salmon with roasted broccoli|
|Apples and almond butter||Stir Fry|
|Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries||Turkey Burger with sweet potato’s and veggies|
|I also always keep a bag of dark chocolate chips in the house…just in case||Green Well Salad (Bread & Wine)|
What is your favorite post-workout snack or meal that really helps fuel you?
I gosh, I am so bad at this. If I have a post-workout its normally half an apple with some almond butter. But most of the time I workout before or after work which means a meal comes pretty soon after a workout.
Is there a specific healthy meal that is your husband’s favorite?
He has said a lot of meals are his “favorite”. Of course, any gluten free pizza I make. I make two kinds and he likes both. I made a spaghetti squash Pad Thai recently that he liked a ton! Other than that he loves turkey burgers, gf pastas, and did I mention pizza?
How often do you have “cheats” or “indulgences?”
I do not like the word cheat because it has such a bad connotation. I don’t think people should feel bad after they have a slice of cake! I enjoy sweets twice a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But I enjoy them! Sweets are typically my choice because I could literally eat a whole ice-cream cake by myself and don’t really crave rich heavy foods.
What advice would you give to someone who has struggled with weight and healthy eating their whole life and wants to make a lifestyle change?
Start loving and celebrating yourself right now, as is. If you can’t love who you are now, losing 100 pounds wont change that. Find out what you love about yourself and allow your weight loss journey to enable that to come alive instead of depending on it to reveal some idealistic you that will be super happy and have zero problems. Weight loss doesn’t solve all your problems. Well, it didn’t for me.
Weight loss is such a mind game. It seems impossible at times, it takes so much more time than you would like it to, and its hard- you really need to be convinced that you are worth it. It needs to come out of a place of self-love, not self-hate. Because when it gets hard and you feel like you can’t do it anymore, love will push you through and hate will tell you to quit. So take some time before you commit and figure out why you are doing this. Search your heart and ask if your are worth the fight. ( I will give you a hint: you are! But you need to know that.)
Make little goals and make much of it when you achieve them!
Bring people into your journey. People will hold you accountable and they will celebrate with you. They will call truth out when all you can see is lies. People are, in my opinion, necessary for success.
It is doable for anyone. You really just have to keep going. It can’t end once you hit an ideal weight or an event passes or even if it takes years to reach your goals. You just have to keep going!
What would you say would be a big win for your blog, LiveFreeBeFit?
If women read my blog and feel inspired and equipped to live a healthier life, both physically and emotionally, I would cry a little. Happy tears. I just want to see women embrace who they are, and out of a place of security, seek to live whole and healthy lifestyles. I hope to help women see that healthy living isn’t intimidating, unachievable or torture. It’s fun! It’s freeing! And it’s for everybody!
Check out this delicious recipe Chelsea has so graciously allowed us to feature on Kitchenspired today! I love that, as you can tell above, Chelsea and her husband love pizza, but they don’t have to sacrifice a food they love in order to still make healthy choices. If pizza is the one thing you just can’t do without, try healthier variations…like this delicious Garbanzo Bean Pizza Crust!!
Garbanzo Bean Thin Pizza Crust:
By Chelsea Dameron, LiveFreeBeFit.com
Pre-heat oven to 400 and place pizza stone in oven to heat while mixing the crust.
In a bowl, mix together:
¼ c. and 2 tbsp Garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp salt
1tbsp crushed basil
1tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
½ c. water
drizzle of olive oil
It should look watery. Let chill for 10 minutes in fridge. Pour on pizza stone and spread to desired thick-ness. Cook for 15 minutes.
Take out. Add Toppings. Bake for another 10 minutes!
BAM! Great GF Pizza. Enjoy!