If you are someone who has always struggled with your weight and just don’t believe you have the genetic makeup to be slim then the incredible Clean Cuisine anti-inflammatory diet success story of Holly Reynolds (featured in the before / after photos below) and her 90 pound weight loss is sure to be an inspiration!
Holly found us at CleanCuisine.com after reading our first book, The Gold Coast Cure (HCI Books, 2005). Although Holly was overweight and taking blood pressure medication she initially purchased the book in 2012 not for herself, but for her husband, who suffers with multiple sclerosis (MS).
For those of you who don’t know, it was Ivy’s diagnosis with MS in 1998 at the age of twenty-two that motivated us to overhaul our own diets and start researching the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet. What we have since learned about an anti-inflammatory diet is that it has tremendous far-reaching benefits that can improve the overall health of just about anyone. We can’t think of a single person who would benefit from being inflamed!
Importantly, if you have an inflammatory condition and are also overweight then losing weight is essential because extra body fat puts your body in a constant inflammatory state. One of the first things you should do if you have an inflammatory condition such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, endometriosis, MS, etc. is to reach a healthy body weight. Luckily, the number one “side benefit” of following an anti-inflammatory diet is weight loss.
Although our first book, The Gold Coast Cure, is absolutely an anti-inflammatory diet, our latest book, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel (Berkley-Penguin, 2013) presents an even more powerful anti-inflammatory diet program. Clean Cuisine is stricter than the Gold Coast Cure, with the biggest difference being the emphasis on more plant foods and more phytonutrients. Both Gold Coast Cure and Clean Cuisine are based on unrefined, “whole” foods and even though both are excellent for weight loss, neither one requires calorie counting or portion control.
When it comes to weight loss following an anti-inflammatory diet will not only help you lose weight without hunger, it will enable you to reach your ideal body weight—we stress the word ideal because many people lose weight following a diet, but not many actually completely trim down and maintain their weight loss too!
But let’s let Holly tell you in her own words what following an anti-inflammatory diet has done for her and how you too can make anti-inflammatory diet changes that truly can change your body—and your life
Clean Cuisine Anti-Inflammatory Diet Success Story:
Interview with Holly Reynolds
Clean Cuisine: Hi Holly, we were so elated to read your success story!! Can you share with our readers what brought you to Clean Cuisine?
Holly: July 2012, I started researching alternative therapies for my husband, who was diagnosed with MS in 2001. He was having an increasingly difficult time with his walking and speech. Since being diagnosed, he had been taking medication to manage his disease, starting with Avonex, which he took for about seven years. The side effects were taking too much of a toll on his body and so he switched to Copaxone in hopes that the side effects would be a bit milder. He took Copaxone for about two months. During that time frame, he developed six new lesions. The doctor then advised him that the best medication available was Rebiff. This medication did help him manage the MS but the side effects were more severe than the Avonex and even worse than the MS!
I came across the Swank diet when looking for alternative therapies for MS and when researching that, I stumbled onto the Gold Coast Cure. Writing this now, I am elated that I found this book. It is hard to put into words because I had no idea how much it would change my own life.
I convinced my husband it was worth a try. I was hoping he could manage the MS with diet and maybe someday stop taking the medication that made him feel just as bad as the MS.
Clean Cuisine: Is your husband still on his MS medication? What kind of improvements has he made by switching to an anti-inflammatory diet?
Holly: We began the Gold Coast Cure’s anti-inflammatory diet late July 2012. I did not know it at the time, but my husband stopped taking the medication when we started the plan. He still battles from his MS but he has not developed any new lesions. I truly believe the anti-inflammatory diet has helped him stay off MS medications and has helped prevent new lesions from forming.
Clean Cuisine: How did the changes you made for your husband end up helping you?
Holly: During the past fifteen years my weight has been like a rollercoaster, but it really skyrocketed in the past seven years. I was taking shortcuts with meal planning and meal prep and we were eating processed foods and eating on the run a lot. I stopped getting on the scale about three years ago.
I knew I would follow this anti-inflammatory diet plan with my husband but I did not realize how much of an impact it would make on my own health and my own life.
I am embarrassed and proud to say, I have lost 90 pounds following the anti-inflammatory diet. Many people say I look younger. I was also taking an alpha blocker, a beta blocker and a water pill to control high blood pressure. I no longer have to take any of my medications. My triglycerides have dropped from 174 to 67. This is the healthiest I have been in my life!
I have learned so much about nutrition from this book and the Clean Cuisine website and I want to share it. I think the website and the newsletter with recipes and nutritional information is wonderful. I really appreciate them and I think it is a wonderful service that Ivy provides.
I know that I am working on disease prevention. And I never have to worry about weight gain again because now I have the tools to continue with a healthy lifestyle. I really wish I found this plan years ago.
Clean Cuisine: I am sure many people have noticed the changes in you and your husband’s health and lifestyle. Have you been able to be a positive influence on anyone else’s health?
Holly: I hope I have inspired those around me. My parents have adopted a lot of ideas from the book. My father is a diabetic and if I didn’t find this book, I am convinced I would be following his footsteps.
Many co-workers want to know how I lost the weight and I share the plan with them. I just purchased a third copy of this book for a coworker, who is trying to lose weight. I am convinced everyone will benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet, you do not have to have a disease to reap the rewards from it.
Clean Cuisine: What is a typical day of eating for you? Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner?
Holly: My typical day goes something like this:
Breakfast: 1/3-1/2 cup of a whole grain, I alternate (steel cut oats, quinoa, barley, roasted buckwheat, millet etc.) 1/2 cup berries (alternate, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries) 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp. chia seed and sprinkle with cinnamon and no-cook morning muesli (Ivy’s recipe from the Clean Cuisine book)
Coffee with unsweetened almond milk
Mid Morning Snack: smoothie with 2 Cups kale and 1 cup Fruit +1/2 banana 1/2 serving of protein powder
Lunch: 1/2 almond butter sandwich with Ezekial bread or 100% wheat bread 1 tbsp. apple butter( no sugar added)
Mid Afternoon Snack: serving of a veggie
Dinner: LARGE salad with 3 greens (alternate, spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, cabbage) with tomatoes, 1/4 cup corn, mushrooms, 1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds or 1 oz almonds or walnuts, 1/4 cup of a bean (cannellini, chick pea, navy, black, etc.) sprinkle with Italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar (no oil), I never thought I could eat a salad without dressing or oil, but I truly do not miss it and it saves on calories. Piece of fish.
2-3 times a week add one of the following: 1/2 sweet potato (no butter) cinnamon, 1 tbsp. Greek Yogurt, chopped walnuts, butternut squash, bulgur wheat salad, black rice, roasted red potatoes, quinoa or other whole grain
Clean Cuisine: Thank you so much Holly for sharing your amazing story. We are sure you are going to be a huge inspiration to so many people. Are there any other tips you would like to give our readers?
Holly: One of Ivy’s tips that I found very helpful was creating a master shopping list. Yes, at first, this is very time consuming but it is definitely worth it. It really saves a lot of time in the long run and I just store it on the computer and make several copies at once. It is a constant reminder of things you should be eating and purchasing at the grocery store. I also make the grains for a few days at a time for our breakfast and a different grain for my husband’s lunches.
Another thing I do that helps a lot is to pre-package foods weekly. That way there are always veggies, fruits and nuts ready to go when you are on the run and I find this very convenient for the week ahead. When making salads, I always prepare one for the following night. I even pre-package the fruit and kale for the smoothies I make every morning before work
I feel planning ahead is key to healthy eating. When people are eating junk they always say, “I didn’t have time”. Planning ahead will eliminate this problem.
Thank you Holly!!!
Share YOUR Clean Cuisine Success Story
Has following Clean Cuisine’s anti-inflammatory diet changed your life? If so, we want to hear from you! Please share your story with us by contacting Staci Kresser at firstname.lastname@example.org .