Andrea Adams Britt took control of her health and the foods she was eating three years ago and has lost over 100 pounds. She did it on her own through a strict diet plan and exercise.
Andrea, a professional baker specializing in wedding cakes, lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband, Andrew, and their teenage son.
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Q: What made you change your diet?
A: I did not feel well. I was sluggish, unable to think clearly, developed memory gaps and was achy. I developed thrush and then a systemic yeast infection, but the drugs I was prescribed made it worse.
Finally, I discovered that I had candida, a fungal infection, and as I was not getting the answers I needed from doctors, I began studying candida and the relationship between my diet and my health. The date was Jan. 4, 2015, and that was a turning point in my life. I surrendered to what my body was telling me and have made a commitment to my health.
Q: What foods do you eat?
A: It is an anti-inflammatory diet, with lots of vegetables, especially green vegetables, lean protein, eggs, nuts and probiotic dairy. I strictly avoid carbohydrates and sugar of all kinds, including fruits.
I am an avid gardener and rely on my own herbs and vegetables. Everything I eat is organic, and I choose lots of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon.
Q: What is a typical daily meal plan for you?
A: I begin with three eggs and salmon for breakfast, a salad or soup for lunch and often eat chicken as the main dish for dinner. I don’t miss desserts anymore and now crave healthy food, such as eggplant.
When my family has tacos or other dishes that do not fit into my eating plan, I substitute lean meat and vegetables but add the same seasonings so I get all of the same flavors they are having. I am not deprived, nor do I force my diet on my family or others.
Q: What are the benefits from having lost the weight?
A: I feel better and am healthy and energetic. I am a happier person and have reduced my stress. I can control my emotions, focus my thoughts and am more at peace.
Q: Is exercise a part of your program?
A: Yes! I walk 16 miles a week and do vinyasa, a form of yoga. Most importantly, I care for myself first and have learned to balance my work and other activities.
Q: Do you ever eat out?
A: I do, and I discovered I can always find at least one thing on the menu that I can eat.
Q: Does your diet affect your work?
A: I have been a professional baker for 28 years, and I love what I do. I now rely more on my sense of smell and don’t crave eating sugar. My business has benefited from my improved outlook and my increased energy.
Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore are cookbook authors and food consultants that make up The Electrified Cooks. They have published 11 cookbooks and thousands of recipes. They are members of Les Dames d’Escoffier and blog at pluggedintocooking.com. Email them at KCComeIntoMyKitchen@gmail.com
Anti-inflammatory Chicken Soup
Serves 3 to 4
2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 small whole organic chicken or cut-up chicken parts, about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds.
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 head bok choy, thinly sliced
Heat the oil in a large soup pan or Dutch oven over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the celery, carrots, thyme, salts and pepper and cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken, then the water and the bay leaf. Cover and turn the heat to high. Once it comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat low and simmer for at least 1 hour.
Using a slotted spoon and tongs, lift the chicken out of the soup and set on a platter to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, cut the meat from the bone. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and return to the soup. Discard the bone and skin.
Stir in the napa cabbage and bok choy. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Tip: If you have a large enough soup pot, double the recipe if desired.