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Healthy Eating

Three Habits That Helped This Woman Lose 80 Pounds Without Trying



When Stephanie Wagner turned 40 ten years ago, it was a cruel year. She saw her father suffer from an illness that she wanted to spend almost every day on his sickbed. During this heartbreaking time, Wagner realized that one day she too could lie in the hospital bed and fight for her life if she continued to live as she was and indulge in her unhealthy habits. “I was stressed, sleepless, anxious, overweight,” Wagner recalled during a conversation about Zoom. “My doctor told me I was pre-diabetic.” That was enough.

Fearing that she would get sick, she decided to change her lifestyle, starting with a few important habits, and getting well once and for all. The next day, she decided to go to the gym at work and try something she had never done in her life – exercise. Only a few weeks later, after up to an hour of consistent walking in the morning, Wagner found even more motivation to change her life for the better.

The beginning of Wagner’s journey to weight loss

“I’ve always been someone who meditated, but the process never helped me physically,” she says today. She remembered being curious about health and wellbeing, but not motivated enough to actually make changes and develop new healthy habits. Her lifelong apology for bad eating and not exercising was a chronic stressful state.

Wagner had to hit rock bottom before that changed. Back then, their diet consisted of nightly runs for fast food burgers and fries, unrestrained snacking of fries, plenty of cheese and always simple carbohydrates like bread, pasta or pizza. “I came home late from work and called [in] dinner every night. “She had a stressful corporate job traveling the world and living in hotels, and room service was always a phone call away.”

Healthy lifestyle 1: Sport or especially walking

It all started with the treadmill. Walking up to an hour each morning without excuses was the start of her journey which resulted in her eventually losing 80 pounds without even bothering with it.

Wagner’s original intention was to get well, and that was it. “My goal was never to lose weight,” she recalls. It was about avoiding diseases and diseases of civilization such as diabetes.

But a week after the new habit of exercising regularly in the morning and simply walking for an hour, Wagner felt so good about her decision to take action that she was inspired to change her eating habits as well. Curious about the best diets for health and wellbeing, she began researching each diet and eventually decided to eat both plant-based and gluten-free foods, knowing that doing so would also reduce her caloric intake.

Healthy Habit 2: A plant-based, gluten-free diet

Whenever someone loses a lot of weight, it is interesting to know what they are eating on a typical day. While Wagner didn’t start out preparing their meals or buying fresh produce, it is encouraging to know that it is possible to eat healthily and not spend a lot of time or money.

When Wagner switched to a plant-based diet, she first did so by eating lots of frozen meals and buying vegan alternatives to meat and cheese in the store. She even ate packaged plant-based snacks and vegan energy bars, just for the sake of simplicity, but then she finally decided to cook her own meals – and discovered that she loved it. “I made recipes with lots of lentils, rice and beans, tempeh or tofu and all kinds of vegetables,” she recalls. “I’ve made soups, chilies, protein pancakes, and even plant-based yogurts. I also baked lentil cakes and other types of plant-based and gluten-free breads.”

Breakfast: Protein pancakes

Having lunch: Lentil soups, rice and beans with tempeh or tofu

Snack: Vegetable yogurt with fruits

Dinner: Lentil cake

After a few days of running on the treadmill and eating a plant-based and gluten-free diet, Wagner noticed a difference in her energy levels, mood, and changes in attitudes – and physique. “I lost 1.5 kilos a week,” she says now. “And I lived my values.”

Healthy Habit 3: Mindful or Meditative Eating

Six months after starting the plant-based and gluten-free diet, Wagner lost 50 pounds. She attributes her steady and natural weight loss not only to a consistent habit of diet and exercise, but also to mindful eating technique.

She used some form of meditation that allowed her to slow down while eating and really enjoy her food and savor the taste. “If you think about how good your food tastes, you can avoid overeating,” she explains now. “I thought about the taste, the texture, the smell,” she says. She also listened to the hunger signals that told her when she was 80 percent full, and then stopped eating. “I adjusted to my body and gave it what it needed instead of what it wanted.”

How to Practice Meditative Eating

Wagner advised anyone who wanted to practice mindful or meditative eating to turn off their phone and be present while eating. “Be aware of your eating habits, identify what is not serving you, then pause and make a mental note to check into yourself. Take a few breaths and ask yourself how you are feeling while you are eating, and wonder if you’re still hungry. “

Within a year of changing her lifestyle and eating habits, Wagner lost 80 pounds and learned to trust the wisdom of her body. That meant she knew how to maintain a healthy weight: “I knew that if I got a healthy number, I would stop losing weight,” she explained. In addition to losing weight, her blood pressure dropped, she stopped needing medication for her blood pressure and insomnia, and she noticed positive effects on her metabolism. Her doctor also tells her that she no longer has prediabetes, which provides relief. (There are over 100 million adults in America with the condition, and since it has no symptoms, it can be medically dangerous because if you are not tested for it, you will not know. Ask your doctor to test you.)

During Wagner’s health journey, she quit her company job to become a mediation teacher and is now working for Healthy Minds Innovations to help others reduce their stress levels and find peace in their lives just like she did. In fact, Wagner has just started a program called “Jump Start,” which includes 4 online sessions, daily news, wellbeing ratings, and a 30-day meditation challenge.

Wagner wants to share her mantra and the message behind it. “My mantra is ‘as it is’. For me, that means just being with things as they are. You don’t have to fix everything or get involved, because this kind of resistance can cause stress.”

Bottom line: To be healthy and lose weight, change your lifestyle

Try to eat a healthy diet, mostly plant-based, and exercise every day, even if you only have to walk an hour in the morning. Choose healthy and gluten-free foods whenever possible. Then, as you eat, pay attention to your food and how it tastes, and listen to your hunger signals. If you only eat until you are 80 percent full, you are giving your body what it needs, not what it wants.

For more great content like this, check out The Beet’s other success stories. Do you have your own success story that you want to share? Head over to The Beet’s Facebook page to post it and we’ll see and get back to you.

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Healthy Eating

Texas Couple From Dude That Cookz Website Gets a New Cookbook, Gordon Ramsay Love



The kitchen is often the heartbeat of a home. The place where memories and meals are made, and happens to be the epicenter for Shanna and Eric Jones’ burgeoning culinary empire.

Things are heating up for the couple with the imminent release of their first cookbook, titled Healthier Southern Living, a thriving social media presence, complete with big-name collaborations and even interest from infamous chef Gordon Ramsay Houston quickly up.

The couple, who are foodies and creators themselves, combined their talents and created the website Dude That Cookz in January 2018. The site is an enticing hub of recipes for every meal of the day, as well as cocktails, gift guides and other tasty bites.

Shanna Jones, the company’s creative director and photographer, previously co-founded lifestyle website Urban Swank with local adventurer and friend Felice Simmons. Eric was a professional athlete with an artistic flair and an abiding interest in all flavors.

Born in Louisiana and raised in his grandmother and mother’s kitchens, Eric savored every buttered bite of Southern cooking with Creole charm and spice. Although he never attended cooking school, he paid attention to how and what was cooked and recreated family recipes himself.

“I went to Grandma’s class,” says Eric Jones. “They lived down the road, so I saw all facets of southern cuisine. I grew up loving and eating everything.”

Eric and Shanna Jones’ Braised Okra and Tomato with Chicken Sausage.

Food is definitely a language of love. But when Eric recreated the dishes he grew up eating (or something memorable from a restaurant), he wanted that language to be spoken in a healthier way. The couple had dabbled in clean eating, but soon got serious about revising recipes and posting them on the site.

Eric’s other constant companion is a notebook he carries with him to jot down meal details that align with his taste buds and vision, and this notebook became the foundation for healthier living in the South.

In addition to her photography skills and marketing know-how, Shanna brought her love of desserts to the table, enabling the couple to create a complete collection of recipes. Each gets a healthy makeover while still maintaining a hybrid mix of Southern and Creole.

“We love our southern heritage and started clean eating as a family, swapping out whipped cream with coconut milk and olive oil for butter,” notes Shanna Jones.

“You can have great-tasting Southern food that’s healthy without sacrificing flavor,” adds Eric.

Creating a cookbook

The pair were approached by Page Street Publishing after the publisher noticed the Dude That Cookz website and appreciated their fresh take on well-known favorites. The collection of reimagined dishes — including chicken and sausage jambalaya, low-fat old-fashioned chicken and dumplings, and red snapper and cheese polenta with Creole tomatoes — emphasize ingredients that reduce salt, fat, carbs or calories in recipes. It was important to Eric that there should be dishes for everyone in the book, regardless of allergies or dietary habits, so there are shellfish swaps and vegetarian options.

The cookbook is divided into seven chapters. There are 60 recipes in total, including sandwiches, sides, desserts, breakfasts, and even soups, a section Eric particularly enjoys.

“The soup chapter will surprise a lot of people,” he tells PaperCity. “The healthy soup flavors are outstanding.”

His personal favorite is the Five Star Truffle Mushroom Soup, inspired by an asparagus truffle soup Jones had in Napa. Its healthy version includes baby bella mushrooms, garlic, and vegetable broth.

Eric credits his sense of smell rather than his sense of taste with driving his food recreations. And he relies on Shanna to act as head taster and give him honest, informed opinions.

“That’s the strangest thing. It’s aroma based,” says Eric Jones. “Once I have this scent, I throw the ingredients like a canvas in my kitchen. It’s my art.”

Their culinary chemistry started early in the relationship. Instead of reserving a table for two on Valentine’s Day, these two instead had a cook-off where everyone created a menu and tried to wow each other in the kitchen year after year. It is now a tradition in the Jones household.

The duo have already caught the eye of Success Rice, Gemini and Bob’s Red Mill and are collaborating with the brands on various projects. More collaborations are on the horizon.

Healthier southern cuisine The Healthier Southern Cookbook is just part of Eric and Shanna Jones’ food world. Vision.

When the Joneses got the call from Gordon Ramsay’s production company, it was simply a matter of timing that stalled the project. Eric and Shanna were knee deep in the cookbook and under a publishing deadline. With their book, Healthier Southern Cooking, out February 22, the couple is preparing for new opportunities in the kitchen and on camera.

“Four years ago we turned our hobby into a profession,” says Eric. “Shanna got me out of my shell and convinced me of the possibilities and now I’m really enjoying it. I’m excited to see what comes next.”

What comes next is bound to be delicious.

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Healthy Eating

Healthy soup makes eating vegetables easy – AgriNews



Like most people, I’ve made it my goal to eat more vegetables in the new year. Here’s an inexpensive and appetizing idea that made my goal a lot easier. Each weekend, make a big pot of highly versatile vegetable soup to enjoy for lunch all week long.

This soup is delicious, but to avoid the “re-soup”? Syndrome, simple additions to plain vegetable soup completely change the flavor so we don’t get bored. Some variation ideas follow the recipe.

What makes this recipe unique is that the veggies are sautéed for a light caramelization, maximizing their natural sweetness. This adds tremendous depth of umami flavor that you don’t typically find in vegetable soup.

Of course, you can add any veggies you like to this soup, but I focused on low-carb veggies. However, strong-tasting veggies like broccoli or asparagus tend to overwhelm the other flavors.

This delicious recipe can be made on the stovetop or in a Dutch oven, makes about 10 servings, is easy to double and freezes beautifully in single or family servings.

I’m all for anything that makes it easy and affordable to reach our nutritional goals. Here’s to a healthy 2022.

Very versatile vegetable soup

Servings: 10


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, chopped

4 large carrots, chopped

4 sticks of celery, chopped

4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped (more if you love garlic!)

1 medium kale, chopped

1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups green beans, fresh or frozen, chopped

2 small red potatoes (optional) peeled and chopped

8 cups (five 14.5-ounce cans) low-sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable broth

A large pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


The secret of this soup is the searing. Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until almost translucent. Add carrot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add celery and cook for a further 3 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Remember that you are not cooking the veggies, just sautéing them for the delicious flavor they impart. If you get a little golden color, that’s awesome.

Add the garlic and mix for 1 minute. Add cabbage and stir. I now add some salt and pepper. Cook until the cabbage begins to collapse. Add the tomatoes, green beans, potatoes if using, broth and pepper flakes and mix together.

If you are going to put this in a saucepan to finish, toss in now and set on low for 6 to 8 hours. To finish on the stove; let it come to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Let simmer gently until vegetables are tender and soup smells divine, about 30 minutes.

Add salt and pepper at the end to taste, because as the soup reduces, it concentrates the flavors, including salt. You can replace half the broth with water to reduce the sodium.


Change up the flavor by adding these ingredients to the hot soup next to the bowl.

• Mock Minestrone – Kidney beans, a large handful of spinach, cooked ditalini or small clam pasta, and Parmesan cheese.

• Cabbage Roll — Cooked hamburger, rice and a dash of Worcestershire. Finish with a dollop of sour cream.

• Southwest – Add shredded cooked chicken, black beans, corn, and a pinch of cumin and chilli powder. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

• Lemon Greek Chicken — Cooked shredded chicken, orzo or rice, dried or fresh oregano, and a large squeeze of lemon.

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Healthy Eating

Best Breakfast Sandwich Combinations for Faster Weight Loss, Says Nutritionist — Eat This Not That



Mmm… breakfast rolls. Anyone who grew up in the fast-food era will likely associate these tasty, genre-defying sammies with morning trips through the drive-thru line at your favorite chain restaurant. Personally, I can attest to the fact that there were many Egg McMuffin pit stops on my daily drive to high school—and a few more since.

However, now that I’m a nutritionist, I know that these commercially prepared foods are typically high in fat, calories, sodium, and artificial ingredients. If you’re working towards losing weight, you may have scaled back. But I can also confirm that making your own breakfast sandwiches can actually be a great way to start the day healthy. The right nutrient dense ingredients like whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables all have a place on a breakfast table or weight loss passenger seat.

Here are five delicious combinations that will lure you out of bed and help shift the number on the scale. Then for more tasty meal combinations, check out our list of the best sheet pan dinner combos for faster weight loss, says nutritionist.


In a world with literally thousands of diet options, choosing the right one can be mind-boggling. But I believe you can’t go wrong with the Mediterranean Diet — and US News and World Report agrees, ranking it the best diet overall for four straight years. A Mediterranean-style eating plan full of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lots of olive oil has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, promote heart health, and promote weight loss. How about a Mediterranean breakfast sandwich to be spoiled in the sun?

How to do it: Overcook an egg in a teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with a tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese and let sit in the pan until the cheese begins to melt. Layer a whole grain sandwich (I’m a fan of Oroweat’s 100% whole grain variety) in a thin layer and top with oil-pickled sun-dried tomatoes, a handful of fresh spinach, and a fresh basil leaf or two.

CONNECTED: Get even more healthy recipe ideas delivered to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter!

smoked salmon and cream cheese wrapShutterstock

While we talk about diet trends, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention keto, another hugely popular weight-loss choice. Although a ketogenic diet has its downsides (as noted in this recent study), it can be an effective way to lose weight quickly. That’s because when you heavily shift your macronutrients toward fat and away from carbohydrates, your body enters a metabolic state of ketosis, which burns fat for fuel.

If you’re on keto for weight loss, you can turn breakfast into a bonanza of healthy fats and minimal carbs with a simple smoked salmon wrap. (It may not be a sandwich per se, but I call it close enough!)

How to do it: Mix 2 diced green onions and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder into 2 tablespoons full-fat cream cheese. Spread this DIY schmear on top of a whole wheat low carb tortilla. Then fill with smoked salmon — Sea Bear’s Ready-to-Eat Bags of Smoked King Salmon are a handy choice — and garnish with alfalfa sprouts. Wrap everything up and get noshing!

Avocado toast with hard boiled eggShutterstock

Avocado toast is what the cool kids eat for breakfast. (Or at least it was a few years ago? I can’t keep up.) Give this trendy brunch staple a fresh twist by adding hummus and a hard-boiled egg to the mix.

How to do it: Start by toasting two slices of whole wheat bread for a boost of filling complex carbohydrates, then top it with creamy hummus for a bit of protein and even more fiber. Top with a few slices of avocado ripened with monounsaturated fat (aka the good kind) and a sliced ​​hard boiled egg. No matter what your morning brings, this combo should keep you full until lunch.

Waffles with yogurt and berriesShutterstock

Not all breakfast rolls are hearty! Stay on the sweet side with this tasty berry and frozen waffle option.

Surprised a nutritionist gave the green light to frozen waffles? This is because they are not all created equal. Nature’s Path Flax Plus Waffles, for example, not only contain 5 grams of fiber per serving, but also ALA Omega-3 fats from flaxseed. A systemic review and meta-analysis found that people who were obese or overweight who added flaxseed to their diet experienced significant weight reduction. With only 100 calories and two grams of added sugar per waffle, this organic choice is definitely for weight loss.

How to do it: Make this sweet start to the day by toasting two whole wheat flax waffles, brushing them with a layer of Greek yogurt and stacking them with sliced ​​fresh strawberries in the middle.

Tofu Pesto SandwichShutterstock

Eggs are an excellent source of protein in breakfast sandwiches, but if you’ve been cutting out animal products as part of a weight loss plan, you’re not without options. Extra firm tofu yields an egg-like sammie centerpiece that’s high in protein and even has a bit of fiber.

How to do it: Prepare a hearty vegan breakfast by topping a thick slice of pressed, extra-firm tofu with nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper, then pan-frying for about five minutes per side. Slide off the griddle onto a toasted whole wheat English muffin, topped with a tablespoon of pre-made pesto. Place a few slices of fresh tomato and a handful of arugula on top and dig in.

For more weight loss meals, read these next:

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