Welcome to FitFoods with Claire!
I wanted to share my story with you and the reason why I am so passionate about health and wellness. For the past 20 years, I have struggled to keep up with juggling a full time career, single mom duties, finding time for family, friends, and relationships. All these factors added up and I neglected to take care of myself. I ate poorly, mostly take out when we were on the go, (pretty often due to sports and school activities) or restaurants. When I cooked, it was unhealthy, overly processed meals like Hamburger Helper or chicken nuggets.
Soon afterwards, I learned I had diabetes.
I decided I didn’t want to live with the health risks that diabetics are prone to, so I made a big decision to change. I began to eat clean, exercise, and incorporate healthy habits into my lifestyle. Then on my 40th birthday, I quit smoking for good. Was it easy? Heck no. But was it worth it? Definitely!
Within one year, I had lost 30 lbs. and I reversed my diabetes.
Now, at age 45, I feel better than I ever have and I have a completely different relationship with food. I use food to nourish my body and my soul, to stay healthy and fit, help fuel my workouts, and give me the energy to do everything I want to. I don’t diet or restrict myself from the foods I love to eat, and I strive to get all the nutrients my body needs by simply eating lean protein, healthy carbs and fats, plus a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
I have found that I have more energy than ever plus I almost never get sick.
I eat organic whenever possible to reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals I put into my body. Also, I love to eat food that tastes good! So instead of adding tons of salt, butter, and sugar to my food, I use different herbs and spices which enhance the flavor of foods. They also add health benefits. For example, since I have diabetes, I cook with cinnamon, cumin, and ginger, all of which help to lower my blood sugar levels. As a Korean American, I love to eat Korean dishes as well as many other types of ethnic foods. I love the unique flavors that people from all around the world use to cook their foods. I have learned to incorporate many of these flavors into my own recipes, often adapting them and substituting my own favorite ingredients.
My passions are cooking and creating new healthy and delicious recipes and also helping others by teaching them how to meal prep for success. Eating healthy is easier when you start planning.
They say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail” and I absolutely believe this.
After being diagnosed with diabetes, I knew I had to start exercising. I tried just about everything from spinning classes, kick boxing, Zumba, even yoga. But I fell in love with lifting because it helped me to build muscle, tone my body, and lose fat. The confidence I gained in the gym was so empowering that it carried over to all other aspects of my life. I started competing in fitness competitions as a way to motivate me. If someone told me years ago that I would be competing on stage in a figure competition, I would have thought they were crazy! But after a lot of hard work and discipline, I am proud of what I have accomplished and will continue to find new ways to challenge myself.
I'm not afraid to set big goals for myself.
Finding my "why" was the first step, then afterwards I set challenging goals that would help me achieve my dream of feeling, looking, and living better. The goals I set for myself were big ones that I know would make me uncomfortable, even scare me...but it's how I was able to make the positive changes in my life I needed to find happiness and balance.
By 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will develop type 2 diabetes. It’s never too late to change your lifestyle. Start eating healthy and exercising more. You have to love yourself in order to love others, so be kind to yourself, eat well, and enjoy life! You deserve to be your best you.
Wishing you peace, love, happiness and good health!