Jennifer Lost 56lbs and Gained Back Her Health

Since November 2018, Jennifer has lost 56.5 pounds, her sinuses have cleared up, she is finally sleeping through the night, and has said good-bye to knee pain for good. 

It’s hard to believe that all these changes began with cooking the first batch of what would become the family’s favorite recipe - Apple Pie Oatmeal.

In November 2018, Jennifer was not looking for a new diet. Weight loss was the furthest thing from her mind. She had lost 50 pounds in the previous decade and her weight naturally settled in the 180s. After trying various methods, she had decided her body was happy at 180lbs. And she was ok with that. After all, she HAD lost 50 pounds and maintained that loss for 10 years.

So no, that November, Jennifer was not looking to lose weight. What she was looking for is the answer to why her daughter was exhibiting odd symptoms. Google searches landed her on the Full Plate Living website where she watched Michelle Jones’ story of weight loss and overcoming PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Jennifer felt inspired to start eating 40g of fiber per day in an effort to help her daughter stop the progression of her disease. 

Her first try? Cooking Diana’s Apple Pie Oatmeal. It was an easy dish to incorporate as it cooked overnight in the crockpot. The family loved apple pie, which was an extra bonus, and she could make a large batch that would last for the remainder of the week. The surprise came from her husband who found that for the first time in his life, he wasn’t hungry before lunch break (for a man who’s appetite rivaled that of Paul Bunyan’s in her teasing description, this was a big deal.)

Since the family was already eating a diet high in whole foods, Jennifer chose to focus on what they were lacking and adding more of those foods to their plates instead. So after adding oats, she went out of her way to sneak in beans wherever she could - burger beef stew, lentil casserole, soups of all kinds. Veggies and fruits were already a staple in their cuisine so she just continued serving them.  She had started experimenting with whole grains such as quinoa, barley, and brown rice as well, so the jump to 40g of fiber wasn’t overly complicated. 

She didn’t obsessively count fiber grams. Instead, she watched as many Full Plate videos she could get her hands on, and gravitated towards the foods presented in the recipes. It was an easy way to gauge if they were getting enough fiber from the meals. 

The last piece to the health improvement puzzle? Jennifer came across the idea of intermittent fasting - or eating all of her meals in 8 hours per day or less. She implemented the philosophy and loved how well her high fiber diet mixed with the new eating schedule - the fiber-filled dishes kept her so full she didn’t feel hungry between meals. 

Now down to 128.5 pounds, Jennifer is just 8 pounds away from her ideal weight. Her daughter’s PCOS symptoms have lessened, and she feels as though her entire family has benefited from their new eating habits.

Her excitement is a palatable force even through a phone line. Her final words before we hang up and say goodbye sum up her experience nicely: 

“Full Plate wasn’t just for me - it was also for my family. I’m nurturing these lovely people in my home by putting something in front of them that is balanced and will nourish their bodies. It’s not about taking away food - giving up protein or dairy. You can still enjoy protein and healthy fats, but you balance those with the fiber foods that have vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that our bodies need to function properly. This isn’t complicated. It’s simple, easy to incorporate, and I think anyone can do it.”

Full Plate Living is a small-step approach with big health outcomes. It's provided as a free service of Ardmore Institute of Health.

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