I wasn't always a health nut. Far from. I grew up on kraft mac and cheese, mini hot dogs (the kind with cheese inside which i thought were AMAZING!), wonder bread, nestle's quik hot chocolate (with 2% milk), suzie Q's, and chips ahoy. I was a sick kid. I had stomach aches all of the time and i just didn't feel good. I spent the better have of the 3rd grade at a children's hospital where i was constantly poked and prodded. Inevitably i was diagnosed as lactose intolerant and needed an appendectomy (appendix removal). I never got off milk, my parents tried but didn't force me. Probably because i created to much of a fuss without it and honestly they didn't know about alternatives to dairy, as there weren't as many on the market as there are now. The removal of my appendix may have been important, but i was still sick....very sick. Along with this i was chronically constipated. It blew my mind that people were supposed to be having bowel movements daily even multiple times a day. It just didn't seem like that was in the cards for me.
I got older. I've always been active, but in my mid 20's i put a hold on group fitness to focus on group socializing. Maybe not the smartest thing to do at the time, but i was young and needed to experiment. I drank...a lot. I ate...a lot. I was a good time gal. I'd eat out with friends having diner breakfasts, late night bean burritos, swilling beers, and close down bars. I was a party girl. I knew it, everyone knew it. It's an identity i was living by (most likely because i assumed that's why i had the friends i had). I was wild, and so was my weight. At my biggest i weighed 160 which was a lot for my 5 foot 5 frame and i was unhappy with how i felt in my skin. I needed to create change.
I started a more vigorous exercise regime called Turbo Jam that I could commit to with consistency since i could do it at home and joined Weight Watchers. My weight started to slide off. I loved the fitness program so much that i ordered a bunch more and completed Slim in 6, Yoga Booty Ballet, and did a little p90X. My physical results were great, but my diet was still suffering. I was getting smart with portions because of Weight Watchers, but i was still eating crappy foods. I started to really dig deep into nutrition and holistic health, something ironically i had always had interest in. I got certified to teach yoga and certified as a Holistic Health Practioner. I cleaned up my act.
I went Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, you name it - i tried it. I learned to eat healthy and even started teaching health classes and detox/nutrition workshops, but my portions expanded. I thought as long as i was eating fruits and veggies i could eat as many as i wanted…right? Nope.
Welcome to my 30's. Where i live now in what i call a flexitarian diet. I don't create limitations for myself, however i do choose to eat a primarily plant based diet rich in healing foods. I avoid processed foods, gluten, dairy, soy, and limit my celebratory drinking...with an occasional indulgence here and there. The past 8 years of my life have been dedicated to learning as much as i can about whole body health and nutrition, not only for my benefit, but to share the abundance of education i've received with anyone who wants to try to create positive changes in their lifestyle as well. My weight is a good fit for my body around 130, i do not get stomach aches, and well....i go to the bathroom regularly. I share my story with you because i want you to see how far you can come when you choose to let go of an identity you've given yourself and choose to begin to create the identity you TRULY want. What is your dream? How do you want to live and how do you want to feel? Now...let's take the first baby steps to get you there! It's taken me the past 8 years to get where i am now, i'm still learning everyday, and i can only imagine where i'll be in another 8!
I'm at my finest now at 38, and i know it's only going to get better. I feel so incredibly vibrant, so passionate about so many things, and it is my JOY to share that with others. I am so fortunate to have found an amazing career; teaching yoga and supporting and guiding others in their quest for personal vibrancy and health. My studies to get certified as a yoga teacher, a holistic health practitioner, and a nutrition counselor were a big part of what has lead me to presenting Ayurveda (ancient system of Indian Medicine), detox and wellness workshops, running privately coached online fitness and health groups, and giving lectures on the healing and energizing powers of healthy eating. With that said, much of my education has been through self study, experimentation, book recommendations, and choosing to live the life i want. I take as many classes as i can to continually thrive and fulfill my endless quest for knowledge. I was certified in raw foods in 2005 through Alisa Cohen and I continue to take a variety of classes in nutrition, herbs, cooking, and alternative health modalities. Overall, I'm not seeking enlightenment...just looking to keep it real and be happy, healthy and vibrant, and enlivened by life, my friends and loved ones, and all who continue to inspire and amaze me. Enjoy my blog and healthy recipes. If you're in San Diego I hope to see you in one of my yoga classes, if not connect with me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meredith.gnau. I'd love to support you in your quest to get healthy and fit too. I'd love to meet your more personally. Please take a moment to click here to be coached by me for free and to receive and occasional newsletter.