My Story

 

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Order Comforting Eats Spiral Bound Version Purchase the eBook

Grains and Real Sugar made me FAT!

 1 month after the birth of my first son & 8 weeks pregnant with my 2nd son 12 months later
before & after
 
1 month after the birth of my first son & 9 months after the birth of my 2nd son
post connor1 week after Connor was born and 9 months later
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 10-12 years old and about 150 lbs.
My Story

I have always had to watch my weight, and for years, I watched it steadily increase. As a child, I was very overweight (155 pounds in the 5th grade at 5′ 1”). I ate what every kid ate, Pop Tarts, Frosted Mini Wheats, lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and lots of Kool Aid.  My mom really didn’t keep lots of junk food in the house and we rarely drank sodas. I was the fat child who was picked on at school, and told by friends of the family “you would be so pretty if you lost weight.” That was me.  

In late middle school and early high school, I began to cut back on fats and fried foods and I became more active. Over 4 years, I lost 40 pounds and I gained needed self confidence.  In college, I put on a few (not quite 15), but quickly lost it through a “diet” of fat-free mayo, whole wheat bread and Splenda sweetened desserts.  In college, my dad suffered from a stroke at the age of 46 and died within the week.  It was a very tough time for me, he was such a wonderful man.  I had just declared my major in college, Kinesiology, and finished my degree at Georgia Southern University then moved to Louisiana to do my internship.  This is where my view on nutrition began to change.  I took a Nutrition Lifestyle Coaching Course and through the course material and my fellow colleagues, I learned so much life changing information about nutrition.  I was delivered from being Fat Phobic!  Then I started reducing the amount of sugar I used in baking and started using Stevia.  I would always bake desserts for people and “hide” stevia in them and they would never know! ;-)  I also watched my below ground vegetable consumption, limiting my carbohydrates.  I had the hang of it and I was healthy and maintaining a good weight for me. Over the next few years, I tried to avoided wheat, especially in preparation for my wedding.  I was the happiest I had ever been and I felt I looked the best that I had ever looked.  Over the first year of marriage, life got busy and I didn’t watch my bread consumption as closely and my attitude toward wheat was, if I could avoid it, then I would but if that was the only choice, just eat it.  Well thinking like that put on 10 pounds in my first year of marriage.  No big deal, I just dealt with it, I just bought bigger clothes.  

In October, 2010, I found out I was pregnant with our first child.  I was so excited.  I continued to eat healthy when I could, and continued to do Pilates. Then the migraines hit, and they hit HARD!  I was getting migraines every week for about 6 weeks and they lasted 2 days.  It was horrible.  I found myself picking up pizza on the way home because I thought it was making me feel better. In retrospect, it was probably making me feel worse.  Then as I began to eat more grains, then I wanted more grains.  It was a vicious cycle!  I developed horrible varicose veins in my right leg that bulged out, and the weight that I was packing on didn’t help.  When taking the glucose test, I was one point away from them making me take the 3 hour test, I begged for them not to order the test because I knew what the problem was, grains and sugars!! Two days before I had my son, I had gained 58 pounds!! Hunter arrived May 29, 2011.  It was a great delivery and recovery but life just got so busy that it took me months to get back to my low grain, low sugar lifestyle.  Looking at pictures, I actually think I put on weight after my son was born.  I started back teaching Pilates in August and I was so uncomfortable in my body.  I teach Pilates, I should have not gained so much weight and it should be coming off faster, right?   I was nursing and that didn’t seem to help.  So in September, I started cutting back on my carbs but still eating wheat thinking, it wasn’t a big deal.  The weight was slowly coming off so I was happy.  

Then in October, I stumbled across a cardiologist’s blog and book, Wheat Belly.  Reading the book, reinforced the need to cut Wheat out of my diet 100%, and not only wheat, but other grains and sugars.  Day 1, no more low carb pitas which I was living on, the next day on the scale, 1 pound gone.  This was good.  Next day I got on scales after being wheat, grain and sugar-free, 2 pounds gone.  I normally do not weight myself that often but I was intrigued about what was happening. Day 3, another pound gone.  Day 4 another!  I was beside myself!!  Why had I not started this earlier.  So my lifestyle changed from that day!  Not only was the weight coming off, I wasn’t craving the sugars and breads that I had before.   All the while, I have enjoyed all of my favorite foods: eggs, bacon, steak, dark meat chicken, pork, spinach, asparagus, green beans, etc. and my favorite: chocolate, oh yes, I said chocolate!  Some times I eat chocolate every night for a week! It all made sense, reading about how wheat stimulates your appetite and that we were not designed to eat all of the grains that the Food Pyramid suggest.  I continued eliminating grains and sugars and the weight continued to fall off.  I stopped using wheat for, gluten-free baking mixes, sugar, honey, and replaced those foods with almond flour, coconut flour, stevia, coconut oil and bacon, lots of good bacon!   By the end of December, when my son was 7 months old, I had officially lost all of the 58 pounds!  Oh, happy day! ;-)  I will never go back to the old way of eating or cooking again.  I have been so excited to make my favorite foods without the use of grains or sugars and have other people taste the food, and love it!  I have enjoyed blogging about my internet finds and my culinary creations! I hope I inspired you to start today on this new lifestyle that will change the rest of your life!

6 weeks before Hunter was born.  Last doctor visit before he was born, I weighted 183 pounds!!
I was carrying around an extra 58 pounds on a small, 5’1” frame.  Starting weight 125.

Four days after Hunter’s birth.

3 weeks after my son was born.  Looks like mama had put on more weight since my son’s birth!
My Success Story and how to get started!

7 months after the birth of Hunter, December 2011

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The day I went into labor with Connor, March 2013

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My son Connor is 5 days old, March 2013

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August 10, 2013 with my 5 month old son Connor

“My Story” taken from Satisfying Eats Cookbook:

A little over a year ago I made a life-changing decision. I went “against the grain” and stopped eating ALL grains, not just wheat. I am so glad I did. I have struggled with my weight since I was a child. Then after gaining 60 pounds during my first pregnancy, I was struggling to get the weight off, even while eating low-carb and being very active. I knew the dangers of “gluten” but never understood the impact of all grains. I stumbled upon Dr. William Davis’ book, Wheat Belly, and the rest is history! After a lifetime of struggling with my weight, low blood sugar and fatigue, I found that giving up all grains, not just wheat, and eating a lower-carb diet made all the difference. Now, I have no more headaches, no more fatigue and no more having to eat every two or three hours to keep up my energy. I also lost all of my “baby” weight plus one pound by the time my son was 7 months old! This is the first time in my life that I have felt in control of my weight and satisfied after eating. I will never go back to the old way of eating or cooking again.

I am currently pregnant with our second son and due in a few months. I am so thankful that during this pregnancy, I know to stay away from wheat, grains and other high-carb foods which had previously been my downfall. By this time during my first pregnancy, I was having horrible migraines lasting 36 hours at a time and was putting on weight very rapidly. So far during this pregnancy, I have gained less weight and I have had only one migraine (which was induced by wheat).

Just recently I started a food business, “Hunter’s Kitchen,” where I sell my foods at the local farmers’ market. It has been a huge success! Now, I am thrilled to put all of my favorite recipes in this cookbook for everyone to make for themselves! I have enjoyed blogging my culinary creations at www.satisfyingeats.com .  This cookbook is an extension of my blog and has been a lifetime in the making! In choosing this cookbook, I am so glad you have decided to improve your health and embark on the grain-free and sugar-free lifestyle! I hope the recipes contained in this cookbook make living without grains easy and that you don’t miss any of your old wheat and grain-laden foods!  Also be sure to check out my Facebook page for great articles and updates athttp://www.facebook.com/SatisfyingEats .”

10-15-13 Update

For the second time in 2 years, my maternity clothes are all boxed up… I’m one happy mama! Technically I still have 5 lbs to loss but I ain’t sweating it! ;-) No counting calories, No skipping meals, No low-fat food, No working out everyday! I eat tasty foods that leave me full of energy. I eat chocolate almost everyday. I feel great… What more could a girl want?!?!    

Finally my battle with weight, hunger and headaches is GONE! Eliminating grains seems like a daunting task but it’s not as hard as you think. The reward is great.  With all of the yummy recipes I have created, this lifestyle is SO easy!  

Have you finally took control of your life by changing your diet and eliminating grains??

53 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Hi, I’ve been following you for a little while and lately I’ve noticed that all your posts are password protected. I was wondering what it was all about? Thanks! :)

    • April, glad you are following. This is a test recipe so it is not official. The only other one was the brownies which are now “public.” Just wanting to get feedback before officially posting. Check out my Facebook page for password to this recipe. Sorry for confusion.

      • Hi,
        Thanks for the quick reply! That makes sense. I was just confused and thought maybe you had begun a program or something similar. I’m looking forward to seeing the recipes after they’ve been reviewed!

  2. Fat or thin, I think you’re just cute as a button. I bought your cookbook and bought one for my sister as a gift, she is also on a HFLC program and loving it. Your recipes are fantastic!

    • Joyce, not really. Depending on what type of recipe. In savory breads like my Better than Red Lobster Biscuits, the salt covers up any sweetness from the coconut flour (if there is any). Hope this helps!

  3. What a lovely family and inspiring story. Really interesting about giving up the low carb pita bread and losing weight. They are a staple for me but now I’m going to try and give them up and see if I can shift a bit more weight.

    • Thank you vlaing! I used to eat a few packs of it a week! When I gave it up and stopped eating low-carb “prepared foods” the weight really started to come off. I think the key was stabilizing my blood sugars. At the beginning, I only had an occasional low-carb piece of PB bread but other that that it was meat and veggies and some dairy. Good luck and keep me posted!

  4. Hey,
    Just this past Monday I got some alarming news from my nautropath that after some hormone testing I now have to go grain and sugar free…Working out and fitness being a huge part of my life and generally eating well I seemed to keep gaining weight and was never able to take it off…Reading your story was so inspirational that finally starting this new lifestyle I will be able to get the weight off and keep it off…not to mention how much my health will benefit! Thanks so much for sharing and I cannot wait to order your cookbook!

  5. I have printed out so many of these recipes to try! I’ve been reading alot about how bad sugar and refined grains are for you – even aside from the whole weight issue. One thing I was wondering – have you ever attempted a yeast bread without wheat flour? I have a great-aunt who made the most amazing southern potato rolls, and I would love to be able to make them sugar and grain free! Thanks!

    • Valeirie, yeast is something I don’t use anymore either. Lots of people have an overgrowth of candida and avoiding yeast is best. Since I am not using wheat flour, I don’t feel the need to use yeast. The potato rolls do sound good! ;-)

  6. I just found your site today and I love the recipes, can’t wait to try them all. I am 100% sugar free, but still eat some wheat and corn, although it is a very small amount. I will pick up Wheat Belly and give it a read. Thank you for sharing all the recipes!! It is so nice to find down to earth recipes, so often they are not for the everyday cook.

  7. Can you list the ingredients in foods that are supposed to be a warning? I saw that Carrageenan is bad which I found out from your post on one of the desserts and I also know to watch out for High Fructose Corn syrup, Sugar, Wheat flour, Hydrogenated Oils, and Dextrose; but do you have any other warnings about other ingredients?

  8. Hello Melissa,
    In the last 3 weeks I have been working to make myself and my family healthier by changing the way we eat. I read the Wheat Belly book and realized I needed to do a full revamp of our eating habits. I had made some of the recipes from the Wheat Belly cook book and was not really impressed. After doing some Internet research I came across your blog and your Facebook page. Oh how it has changed my thoughts on grain and sugar free eating. I have made the chicken pot pie, the pizza crust, the banana peanut butter muffins and the like red lobster biscuits. I also bought the ingredients to make the Pumpkin delight tomorrow. I am also going to try to use your chicken pot pie crust to make a spinach and feta quiche this week.
    Your recipes are simple and delicious, which is exactly what I need as a working mother whose husband is away with the Navy. Thank you so much for helping my family eat healthier.
    Thanks from Canada,
    Rendell

  9. Melissa,
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I have tried to go grain-free/sugar-free before without much staying power. I have tried other peoples recipes and most were not worth repeating or eating for that matter. I’m not particularly creative when cooking without a recipe, especially with these specific needs. In the last two weeks, I’ve found out I’m testing with diabetic blood sugars. Going grain free/sugar free was no longer an option, but a life sustaining need. I was so depressed and deflated, knowing what I was facing food wise. I have no idea how I found your website, although I totally think God led me to your site. Because of your recipes, I CAN do this. I bought your cookbook and HIGHLY recommend it. As a “southern sista” our food needs to be good and at last it will be! Thank you!

    • Donna, I am glad you are enjoying the recipes! Yes, having Southern Food with a grain-free twist is essential to me too! Please keep me posted on your success and let me know if I can help in any way!

  10. I stumbled upon your blog initially because I was searching for a crock pot spaghetti squash “technique” and I loved yours. I came back today because I had previously noticed your sugar free, grain free banner and I’ve got to prepare a dessert for a group meeting tomorrow night and there are lots of Paleo eaters in our group. In reading your “story” linked to one of the dessert recipes I find myself confused. My family and I have been slowly re-vamping the way we eat for the past year after I read the 100daysofrealfood blog. After reading her blog and advice/recipes, etc. I found Food Babe and got confused because 100daysofrealfood says to switch from refined flours to whole wheat and encourages you to avoid processed foods but Food Babe says don’t do whole wheat and do use Honey/Maple Syrup as sweeteners and not Stevia (in moderation) because they are “real” and now I’ve read your information which also says no wheat but do use Stevia and I’m utterly confused. For someone who has been working hard to lose weight and gain information it can be a frustrating thing to find so much conflicting information and not know what is best.

    • Lindsy, soory it has taken me so long to respond… your comment got lost! My first comment would be to read Wheat Belly. This will help you understand why grains should be avoided. About Stevia… I have been using it for 10 years. I use Kal which has no fillers. I also use small amounts (very small) of raw honey and coconut sugar. I don’t believe in using artificial sweeteners but I want to make my desserts lower in carbs so that is why I use stevia. If looking to lose weight, I would definitely restrict and limit the amounts of honey, maple syrup, etc. Do what you feel comfortable with and what words. I can elaborate if you like but DEFINTELY read WHeat Belly by Dr. William Davis: http://bit.ly/wheat-belly-book-amazon Hope this helps!

  11. Hi! I have your cheesecake in the oven as I type :) I was wondering if you have a FB page to follow? Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

  12. Just found your blog and find it very interesting! I do have one question though. I have a given up sugars, most carbs, white anything (rice, flours etc.) and seriously thinking about giving up all grains. I have tried Stevia and actually have an allergy to it. Come to find out it is related to Ragweed, so those who are allergic to ragweek should avoid Stevia as well. I use 1/2 tsp honey in the morning, but you say you no longer use honey either. Do you have a suggestion for what kind of natural sweetener can be used other than Stevia?

    • Jan, I actually do use VERY small amounts if raw honey and coconut sugar. I am curious about your allergy to stevia. Did you have a reaction or was it diagnosed through a test? Most stevias contain fillers, which is possible is what you are allergic to. Again, only speculation. I hope this helps!

  13. Melissa, How are you getting your fiber, if not grains. I know you have also said you don’t use soy – NO soy, or just not processed soy? All of your fiber is coming from vegetables and fruit?

    Thanks,
    Debi

    • Yes Debi, my fiber comes from veggies and fruit. I drink lots of water and I personally don’t have a problem with needing extra fiber. Soy, I don’t consume any form but the only type that would be ok is fermented soy. Hope this helps!

  14. Hi there! Love your blog and cant wait to try your recipes! Just wondering what you do with all the Holiday parties that you go to or going out to eat to keep on track? Thanks!

    • Thanks Susan! I have been eating like this for over 2 years and I have created over 400 recipes (on blog and in 2 cookbooks) so I usually bring a few things that EVERYONE loves. I also stick to meats and veggies. No cake for me even though that used to me by favorite. When I go out to eat, grilled fish, shrimp, shake, fajitas (no corn chips or tortillas). Keep scanning the site.. you’ll see plenty of things to bring to your Christmas Parties! Good luck and keep me posted!

  15. I am just beginning my second round of wheatfreeness. I went wheat free last year for three months and was very successful. I am getting motivated for my next adventure. I am also beginning to make several cooking changes (of course, wheat free) and researching many products. I see that you recommend Pure Kal Stevia. I almost ordered some and then I started reading reviews and several people mentioned that they changed their formula and it was being processed in China. I was wanting to know your comments.

    • Hi Sheila, glad you are getting prepared, that’s the most important thing when making such huge dietary changes. About the Kal, others have mentioned about the formula being changed. Just last week I ordered a new bottle and I was nervous that there would be a difference and I 100% can’t tell any difference. I am a little unsure of the reviews. I do however see that it is made in China… a little disheartening but for now, that is what I use. You are free to use whatever kind of stevia or sweetener you like, you will just need to add small amounts to the recipes and sweeten to taste. Hope this helps and if I discover a better alternative, I’ll keep everyone posted!

  16. Hi Melissa,

    Me again..ReNae.. I noticed in your story that you went to Georgia Southern. I’m from GEORGIA…but I remarried 6 years ago and I live in Indiana with my husband now. I travel back to Georgia now every 2 to 3 weeks as my dad has dementia and Stage 4 cancer lymphomia. I am praying that I will stick to the life style change and I’m ordering your book now. My best friend in Georgia is starting a lifestyle of Wheat Free too today. I’ll keep you posted to the changes and I’ve printed out your meal plans for myself too. THank you so much for your inspiring story. I want to make these healthy changes I need to lose over 80lbs and I’m going to take it 1 lb at a time like you did.. Again Thank you and any advise would be appreciated. ReNae

  17. Love your website, my cousin introduced me to it. The picture of you when you were heavy in the purple shirt, is me now. I started low carbing again last week and feel great. Why I every stopped I don’t know, I have been miserable at 185 lb at 5’5″, tired all the time and nothing fits good. Always kept myself at 140-150 range and then my 40s came and its been tough. I realize now the culprit “sugar/carbs”. At the grocery store I saw 30 carbs/ 27 grams of sugar in a tiny yogurt! The food industry is killing us. No wonder so much diabetes and obesity in this country. I looked at everyone’s cart while there at the grocery store and everything in it was sugar saturated, and they do not even realize it. What has happened over the years? Why does the food industry put so much sugar in our food, its not necessary. My mother passed away 2 years ago from complications of diabetes and had been overweight most of her adult life. My son is 200 pounds and 10 years old. You can see why I am scared for my son. He and I are going low carb 4life, never going back. Your website with your recipes will help us so much. My son craves the sweets and breads he is used to and he is a kid, they love bakery items, etc. Cannot wait to get some extra money to afford the almond flour, etc. Some stuff is expensive, but will be so worth it. Will be buying your cookbook soon :)

    • Lisa, I am glad you enjoying the blog. Yes, almost everything that is marketed to us (and our children) is loaded with sugar and is slowly killing us! I commend you for taking that first step to show your son a healthier way to live and eat. Please keep me posted on your success and let me know if you have any questions! Good luck to you Lisa!

    • Sorry, life gets busy and I haven’t been able to do this daily. The best way to know if the deals are valid is to click on the link and view the site. I am aiming to do better in the future!

  18. My family recently went grain-free in an effort to alleviate health problems that have been plaguing my fiancé for years. I can’t tell you what a blessing your website has been. Your recipes, resources, and advice have been absolutely invaluable to me during our transition. My what-am-I-going-to-make-for-dinner stress level is way down, and my guy says everything I make is the best he’s ever had! Our toddler enjoys everything as well, and most importantly we are all feeling much healthier. A HUGE thanks from all of us and PLEASE keep it up!

  19. Although the book you mention “Wheat Belly” is indeed informative, I found it a very dry, formal read. There is another book written in simple straight forward language that anyone can understand. It explains everything you need to know and also has some great recipes…. did I mention Doug Varrieur (the Author is also a Master Chef) and also has a couple of recipe books available both in print or E-book. One book which is 600 pages is an everyday type cookbook and the other is a Baking book. both are amazing. He also recommends dozens of sites to obtain products you may need….. Absolutely amazing! Check it out… ( “Fat To Skinny” fast and easy) I got mine at Barnes and Noble. I wish you all great success!

  20. Hello,

    I love your story! What a beautiful family! Quick question- the KAL Pure Stevia that you use in your cheesecake, is it powder or liquid? Thanks so much!

  21. Pingback: Melissa’s No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake | Wheat Belly Blog

  22. Hi Melissa -

    Thank you for sharing your story and your recipes. I would like to purchase one of your books, but I’m not sure which to get. It’s hard when it’s not in front of you to “flip” through it. I am attempting to go grain free…. which of the two would you recommend for a newbie?

    Thank you!
    Stacie

    • Stacie, if I had to pick one, I would say Satisfying Eats. There are more of the basic recipes however there are not as many pictures or intro information as there is in Comforting Eats. To be honest, 60% of people get both at the same time (saves on shipping). I think you will enjoy either on. The greatest compliment I receive is how often people use my books a week! I will get your book out as soon as it is ordered! Thanks so much!

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