Tuesday, November 11, 2014

50 Pounds Lost At 50 And Feeling Great! Janeann Is A 'Real Food' Success Story!

That's right... you read that correct, this woman is 50! Meet my gorgeous friend Janeann! When I saw Janeann this summer at my husband's band gig I was blown away by her exceptional changes. I just had to share her amazing "real food" story with our blog readers, and Janeann has generously agreed to give us the scoop! Oh yes! You can learn the secrets of her over 50 pound weight loss within five months in this very blog post! Whoo-hoo I am so excited!!! I know Janeann will inspire many others to make positive changes to their current food choices as they read what she has accomplished! The beautiful photo of Janeann above was taken on 6/3/14 in the exact same pants she wore on 1/3/14 when she said goodbye to her husband before he went overseas. Those pants were a size 18 and five months later she welcomed him home as a size 6-8! Wow! A super fun surprise for both of them! Can you imagine his face as she greeted him?!!!

Before/After   Look at the difference in her arms and the shape of her face!

Before we begin I want you to know a few important facts about Janeann to set the scene. She is a 'Director of Real Estate' for a local commercial real estate company, she works long hours, and lives over an hour from her office. We have heard many people use the excuse that because of their work, or a long commute, that they do not have time to prepare 'real food' and make changes that may include exercise. She did not let those realities stop her from reclaiming her good health. When you eat organic plants and whole foods, plus add some exercise... it can change your life... even busy working lives. Janeann was able to welcome her husband back after five months with a new improved vibrant self; while going to work at an office that adds an additional two hour commute to her day, raising two children, maintaining their home while on her own, and including a new daily exercise routine. So let's find out what food and methods worked for her quest towards great health, since there might just be some things that will resonate with you! 

Before/After    Janeann and her lovely daughter.

You look fabulous Janeann! What are the details of your transformation, and how do your doctors feel about your choice of a new food and health lifestyle?

"When I see my doctors they are thrilled at my changes. In fact my cardiologist called all his nurses into his office to see me. They were asking "me" how I did it! That was so cool! I am on no meds! 

I have been going to a holistic doctor, Dr. Wayne Bonlie. I did get sick and feel awful in the beginning though. During the first six weeks my body was detoxing from years of chemicalized processed foods. It was Dr. Bonlie who pushed me through that phase, promising that it would get better and not last. He told me to stick with what I was doing. I just love him, and the supplements that I get from him as well at the natural pharmacy in Hunt Valley, MD. that he sends me to. Since I stuck with the program, I am even back to shopping in the Juniors department! Gotta love that since I am 50! 

These are my body changes after less than six months."

Janeann, what was it that finally made you say enough!?

"It was not just one thing. It was my overall health. I had stomach issues and I wasn't sleeping. I got colonoscopy tests for suspected IBS and Crones symptoms. I had panic disorder for years and it had went away. I had stopped smoking to help with that problem over 6 years ago, and then the symptoms started reappearing. I wanted to try anything to avoid taking medication! I was also seeing photos other people had taken of me. I felt like this weight gain suddenly happened. I was always skinny, and had even been a model. I was 5'10 my whole life, I weighed 110 -120 pounds (except through pregnancies). Last year as I would walk into my office in the morning I saw the reflections of the windows, I thought, "Who is this?" I don't even know this person anymore."


Totally relate. How many of us just cannot see the slow change in the mirror at home? Yes it was the reflections in stores, and photos that others had taken, that had given me another viewpoint of myself too. I then asked Janeann what information or people inspired her to change the actual quality of the food she ate as a reaction to her body and health issues? Her answer made me gasp!

"It was you! I saw you at band shows, I watched as your body and energy changed. I witnessed your huge weight loss, I saw your skin glowed, and your eyes looked clear. I started to ask you about what you were doing. I was interested, but not quite ready to make any changes yet. Although I did start reading your blog and reading about food and health from other blogs and sources. I also noticed that a few of my friends were paying attention to the food they were eating, and some were using weight loss apps on their smartphones."

I have to say that Janeann has always been a woman whom you can not miss when she walks into a room! Blonde, vivacious, and statuesque, she is the epitome of the tall cool woman. To see our dear smiling Janeann at band gigs with the puffiness of tell-tale inflammation showing on her face, I was concerned. I knew it all too well, and I continue to see it happen to many people our age. Learning not to say anything to people unless they ask me about food and health issues, I was hopeful when Janeann continued to come up to me at various gigs to ask good questions. Seeing Janeann's transformation months later into the striking beauty that she is meant to be was so exciting! I am so happy for her! I know how transformation feels! Finding out that I had some small part made me think, "Are you kidding me? Really? Okay then... I will keep this blog thing going!"


What motivation keeps you continuing down this healthier path Janeann? 

"The motivation all started when my husband went overseas for a mission that was expected to take from 6 to 9 months total. This was in the beginning of 2014... specifically January 12th. I thought this was a good time to work on myself, and perhaps surprise him when he came home with a 'new and improved me.' These days I like the way my clothes fit, and how I look since I went from a size 18/20 down to a size 6 or 8 (depending on the manufacturer). I especially like the way I feel now too.

I don't find this lifestyle hard at all, it just takes personal motivation, willpower, and dedication. Instead of grabbing a processed food item, it only takes a bit more time to make a healthier food choice from scratch. I started this change by downloading a book called Super Shred: The Big Results Diet by Dr. Ian Smith. This was a good kickstart program as it promised that if you followed the plan you could lose up to 20 pounds in 4 weeks!! I liked that idea and I also did the The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman which eliminates grains, dairy, caffeine, and sugar. I experimented and did these routines a couple of times to see how I felt, and boy did I start seeing results on the scale and how my clothes fit... or didn't fit. I find the whole process of changing my lifestyle much easier now, as I have created good habits while shopping, and when making my own food. For example I now use unsweetened almond milk instead of dairy. Now when creating meals I enjoy finding new healthy ingredients and tastier spices. My husband and I used to eat out all the time and now on those times that we do dine out I try to make better menu selections, and I especially like the farm to table restaurants like 'Woodberry Kitchen.' I really try to avoid the things that got me into this mess like eating the bread and butter, and ordering pasta.

Before/After     The puffiness of inflammation is gone.

Do you find changing up the quality of food difficult? What other changes have you made in food choices?

"No it is not difficult, it just takes a little extra effort. For example, I now read labels, including the organic ones, and I try to buy organic as much as possible. From May to October I buy most of my produce from the local farm stands, which are prevalent where I live. Another HUGE change for me is that I no longer drink soda. I used to drink a lot of diet soda even though I hated the taste, as I believed the "low calorie" story they sold us. I just got used to that awful taste since I thought it was better in some way. I also used to believe in Splenda for the "low calorie" story as well. In the past I was up to 3 - 4 Splendas at a time! Turns out the Splenda actually made me crave more cookies and sweets! So now it's no soda, no Splenda, no fast foods, no processed foods, and no to pre-made juices and smoothies from the store. One of my daily routines is that I make my smoothies at home in my Vitamix, and I make things from scratch now like tomato sauce. Through educating myself I now make different food choices."

Left/before. Right/at Janeann's surprise 50th birthday party.
 I have a feeling SHE surprised everyone with how great she looked!

What does your daily food routine look like, and do you make green juice or green smoothies?

"I have never made a green juice, although I do make green smoothies every morning. The smoothies and the Vitamix! I love them both! I put everything in there including seasonal local fruits and vegetables. I particularly like items such as kale, cucumbers, beets, spinach, Swiss chard, squash, red peppers, yellow peppers, almond milk, organic blueberries, raspberries, and peaches. Most of the time the berries are frozen. I also always add turmeric, ginger root, flax seed, 1 tsp cinnamon, and even sometimes avocados, and Greek yogurt.

Through out the day I only drink water. I may have some organic green tea sweetened with coconut palm sugar, monkfruit, or stevia. For breakfast I always have my green smoothie, or occasionally steel cut oats. For snacks I have fruits, almonds, cashews, edamame, homemade hummus, and chopped veggies. For dinner I eat veggies, or a salad with a small amount of fish, meat, turkey, pork, or chicken. Many times I use my organic sandwich thins, fresh grated parmesean cheese, and my home made tomato sauce which I cook in the crock pot.

At work Janeann puts together a quick watermelon, chicken, chopped veggie salad.

For work almost every day, I bring my own lunch ingredients, and I try to prep on Sunday for the entire work week. I put together bags of individual items that I can then combine during the week to make myself fresh food at the office. I will put into the refrigerator at my office: a bag of cucumber slices, a bag of greens, a bag of peppers, a bag of various other chopped veggies, and a bag of rotisserie chicken (great when you are in a hurry and don't want the mess. BJ's sells organic ones for $5.99 each!). This way I can make myself a salad or a sandwich at work everyday. I also ate a lot of turkey-bacon sandwiches this summer, and will cook a big batch to put in ziplock baggies to use throughout the work week.

What are some of your favorite foods to eat now? 

"Beets, avocados, brown rice, mashed cauliflower, farro, salads with watermelon, steelcut oats, fish (which I never used to eat at all), and organic chicken. I make a delicious quinoa salad, and avocado dressing. I now enjoy eating whole grains. In the past I ate a lot of red meat. Now it is rare that I do eat beef, but if I do, it is organic grass fed and I will cook it with twice the amount of organic ground turkey, or chicken to make it all taste yummy. I also cook this in big batches with onions and mushrooms and put it in small baggies to use in lettuce wraps."

Before /After

Do you make these healthier organic foods for everyone in your family? What do your friends think about your new lifestyle?

"I continue to make my healthy organic foods for my husband and myself, although my children often want the old style food. I just make it homemade and organic as much as possible. The people in my house may not be as into whole foods and plants as I am, but it does not stop me from working the new lifestyle. Most of my friends do want to know what I am doing food-wise. If someone asks me I tell them about real food. If they do not do anything to help themselves to change, I figure it is just not their time yet. Just like when I saw you and read your blog at first. It took awhile for me to react and embrace changing myself. Those of my friends who have actually tried to change their food choices are starting to feel good."

Janeann shows us her mac face plus her new toned arms!

Janeann can you recommend any other doctors, books, websites, or ideas, that you found helpful in your health journey with us?

"Because of my commitment to research I found that I rarely watch television. I am a big reader and as I stated, "Supershred" by Dr. Ian Smith was a big kickstart early in my transition, and his method of eating certain foods at certain times resonated with me. Eating that way made me feel good and lose the weight, and although I don't eat that way all the time now, it did help me change my patterns to eat better. I also joined the 'Shredder Nation' and enjoy reading the information and the comments of their online community. I have turned four other people onto Dr. Smith's food shredding techniques. And Dr. Mark Hyman's 10 Day Detox was great as are all of his health, food, and cookbooks. Plus your blog 'The Queen's Table' was a big help, I went to it often to read your advice.

And for 5 months, the 'My Fitness Pal' app also helped me to track every bite of food that went into my body. It's a food diary which was great in seeing exactly how many calories I was consuming everyday. I tried to keep my calorie count between 1,200 - 1,500. I also used a Zumba fitness app, and DVD's including Dr. Ian Smith's 'Burn 27' and Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs DVD Workout for exercise. I also worked with a personal trainer for a couple of months. The trainer came to my house and gave me tips on how to do modified exercises using my own weight, some small handheld dumb bells, and an exercise ball. I also did a circuit of workouts including wall push ups, squats, lunges, burpees, modified jumping jacks, and sit-ups on a medicine ball with my feet on the wall. Even my husband has commented that my arms are starting to be toned now!

Janeann the night I first saw her changes at a Hectic Red gig.

Since I have not been good at adding exercise, my readers and myself would like to know what are your daily routines Janeann?

"My job requires me to be sitting in an office. So I try to get up 3 times a day to move! I go up and down flights of steps in my building, or just simply walk around the parking lot... another trick is to park far away from your destination. Whenever I take a bathroom break I take that time to do some wall push-ups. Just stand with your feet shoulder width apart and stand out from the wall. Do them slowly, pushing against and from the wall in front of you. I am up to about 120 a day. I will also step away from my desk and do squats with my hands on my hips. When I am out walking, I do little arm circles 100 front and back. I now have definition in my arms, shoulders, and back. It required no special equipment or trips to a gym. So it can be done."

You are already motivating me to get moving! I have tried those wall push ups Janeann! I think I can do those! So now what things are you still hoping to improve upon Janeann?

"I would like to do more exercise and weight training. I try to walk and jog everyday. I also was highly motivated to move because of my Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker which is a wireless, wearable activity tracker that measures data such as the number of steps walked, quality of sleep, and other personal metrics. I aim for 15,000 steps, or 7 miles a day. I do this by walking with a friend every morning. We also started using the Couch to 5K app so we can learn to run and perhaps one day even do a marathon. I usually do 4 to 5 miles every morning before work. I am hoping to do better when eating around my husband but, I still have bites of his food just for a taste. I can honestly say that if I take a sip of his soda it tastes vile!! Never thought I would say that."

Before December 2013         After is June 2014 with husband back home!

What would your personal recommendation be to anyone considering to finally make changes to the quality of their own food and health lifestyle?

"Pick or make a plan that you feel would work best for you. I do not mean anything like Jenny Craig or Weight-Watchers with points and pre-packaged foods. What I mean is follow one of the doctors whose eating plan or book mainly says 'eat real food.' Watch your alcohol consumption. No soda. No concentrated orange juice. Drink water. Read and do your own research. Have someone with whom you can ask questions for support. If not a friend or holistic doctor, perhaps an online community, or a blog with similar interests."

Wow! Janeann at 50! So impressed girlfriend!

What are some of your favorite results from making these changes to your lifestyle Janeann?

"Besides looking and feeling better... I am sleeping better! I really enjoy the walks every day too. The added bonus from not watching TV is reading more books, and that is awesome. I like to reward myself after a good workout. Not with dessert or wine like the old days, but now my reward is a nice warm bath with regular (CHEAP) epsom salts mixed with Dr Teals fragrant Epsom Salt. It's really important to have some quality downtime after so much work and exercise during the day."

The Oriole Bird approves!

Have you inspired anyone within your life circle to make positive changes as a result of seeing your success?

"At work I have been asked to supply the everyday office snacks. Instead of the old candies, chips, cookies, etc., I try to stock our shelves with a variety of other products such as protein bars, wasabi peas, and bowls of fresh nuts. My best friend Frank has also changed his own food lifestyle and has lost 25 pounds! A few others have started on new food journeys as well. It's amazing and I love it! Now we can talk "food" together!"

Janeann & hubby after her successful plan to 
surprise him with a new and improved healthy
wife when he came back home from overseas!!!

Wow! That is our first 'Queens Table Blog' success story! Can you believe it??? Whew! That amazes me! You are so awesome Janeann! Thank you so very much for sharing what worked for you! Being one of the nicest ladies I have ever met out at Ben's band gigs, I think Janeann is a great ambassador for changing what you eat. Janeann kindheartedly also sent me all of those before and after photos to encourage you that change is still possible at 50! It's obvious that Janeann has been truly beautiful inside and out, no matter her weight. Now that she has more vitality and energy Janeann will be more able to accomplish the things she wants for her life. You can too!

 Janeann with my husband Ben at a Hectic Red gig this summer.

Since we each are different in what, or who, motivates us to change our old SAD (Standard American Diet) food lifestyle, I feel it is important to share other peoples' methods besides my own. Healthy change is about getting off of the toxic processed foods, and adding more nutrient dense organic plants and foods. I am all in for sharing what works. When I find out that this blog has encouraged another person to improve their health, there really is no words to describe how that feels... It does my heart good, and this is what keeps me blogging about the power of organic whole plants. Whatever our age... younger or older... we have the personal power to make the important changes that affect our well being. 

Once upon a time... at a Hectic Red show I saw this striking hot rockin' woman in the crowd with fabulous long hair. Sort of like Janeann, although this lady was very slender. Could it be? I kept trying to get a view of her face... and then I saw her! It WAS Janeann!!! I went running up and grabbed her! We both looked at each other in joy! OMG! OMG! She did it! The energy of a moment like that feels magical! I want you to feel that shining positive enthusiasm for your personal accomplishments too! Feeling great is so contagious!

Janeann may have gotten the idea for a 'food change' from me, but I know in reality she did all the work. Going forward she may now influence many others to reconsider what they have been eating and doing too! Take care of yourself, so the ones that you love, can enjoy YOU much longer. I am happy that we can help each other change our old patterns, and pay it forward to help someone else's life. Be an inspiration. Show by example what works and no words will be needed. Others will eventually come to you with their questions. Then like our friend Janeann you can share the love and the knowledge! Hey! If you started your journey to greater health by reading this blog please let us know! You could be a future featured success story that may inspire others to get healthier! In the meantime go hug a Vitamix blender and make fresh local organic greens your new best friend! 

Be happy. Be healthy. Be peace.

Check out the related books and products below that helped fuel Janeann's success!

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