The Holiday Food Roller Coaster…Why Ride It?

There are treats galore EVERYWHERE. You would have to live under a rock or be dead to not be tempted by ‘bad‘ food during this time of year.

So many of us, me included, have ridden or are currently riding the Holiday Food Roller Coaster.

It goes something like this:

  • Restrict, restrict, restrict…
  • WHEE! Cookies!!
  • Go for a run and eat celery sticks…
  • Wahoo…wine, chocolates, and cake!

And on and on it goes until you have to grip the safety bars, close your eyes, and try not to throw up.

THEN we start having conversations about ‘being on track‘ after Christmas (which is totally annoying, right Kari?), rubbing our muffin tops, and comparing weight gain horror stories.

I’ve seriously put on 10 pounds this Christmas. Do you see how tight my pants are? I can barely breathe….but these cookies are SO GOOD!! Num, num!! Cake? Sure. After all, it is Christmas! I will start my diet in the New Year….

So what’s a girl to do?

Adopt a health eating lifestyle and learn how to enjoy food without riding the roller coaster.

Yup, you heard it here first…one cookie is not going to kill you.


No diets, no ridiculousness, no being on track or off track, and no crazy low calorie diets that screw up your metabolism. I have been there and done that more times than I would like to admit.

Meet Sheila. 

Isn't she adorable?

Sheila is the brains behind the epic collection of healthy recipes, substitution guide, and healthy integration guide known as Eat Well 360. She created Eat Well 360 because she once was overweight, didn’t understand food, and struggled with how to make it all work for many years.

Now she is healthy, happy, rocking the body of her dreams, and no longer riding the Food Roller Coaster.

Everyone has a story!

Here’s some of Sheila’s story.

What inspired you to created Eat Well 360?

For a long time, my relationship with my body and with food was totally out of whack. I had lots of self-esteem based “must get skinny to feel beautiful” motives and I was constantly on a diet, looking for the next quick fix weight loss cure. On the rare occasions when I would actually succeed in losing weight—I thought clearly there had to be something physically wrong with my body because what healthy woman has this much trouble losing weight—I always seemed to run into the same problem…I’d gain it back.

Never fail, once I lost the weight, I couldn’t keep it off. I was a big ball of fear, guilt, shame, frustration, and confusion.

Fast forward 10 years, and I can now tell you that my husband, Ryan, and I have solved this dieting, deprivation, and fear of food problem once and for all. We’ve both:

  • Lost a considerable amount of weight and gained our leanest bodies to date (a 90 pound loss for him and a 35 pound loss for me).
  • Successfully eliminated food sensitivities.
  • Gained an incredibly healthy relationship with food and healthy eating.

It took us some time and much trial and error, but finally we realized there IS a better way and you don’t have to go to war with yourself in order to finally achieve and maintain the body of you dreams.

Eat Well 360 is my compilation of all that we’ve learned about healthy eating. I wanted to share what I’ve learned, and what I’ve taught to many others too, is the key to not only healthy eating, but also the key to building a relationship with food that is satisfying and a healthy lifestyle that you love.

If you don’t feel happy with what you get to eat then you’ll never be able to stick with it for the long haul. Satisfaction is the secret to sustainability!

Eat Well 360 is more than a fabulous recipe book; it is a different approach on how to create healthy meals and create healthy perspectives on food. What was the rationale behind giving the healthy integration guide along with the recipe book?

Thank you, that’s so sweet. I really did put my heart and soul into it. The Healthy Eating Integration Guide is the glue that makes it all stick together. It gets to the root of what drives us to want to have the body of our dreams and how things like stress and our way of thinking about food and about our bodies are very often the things that hold us apart from achieving our weight loss and body-image goals. It explains why deprivation diets don’t work long-term and what actually does. And it debunks the common misconception that people have a willpower problem (they don’t).

Healthy eating, weight loss, and achieving body-image goals are about so much more than just food. Food is just the shell, and the Healthy Eating Integration Guide is what shows you how to be friends with food and use the amazingness of the human body (we are walking miracles) to work with you rather than against you to get what you want.

What are your top 3 favorite recipes out of Eat Well 360 and why?

Oh wow… it’s tough to choose just 3! Ok, I love thick crust pizza, so for me the Chicken Sausage, Green Pepper, Onion, Mushroom, and Jalapeno Pizza cooked on a cast iron skillet is orgasmic. The Almond Joy Oatmeal is incredible. And the Sweet Potato Hash is so hearty and filling.

There are nearly 200 recipes in Eat Well 360, how in the world did you create so many recipes? I am VERY impressed.

We just really like to cook and bake. I am more the quick and easy, throw a bunch of ingredients together and see how it turns out type chef/baker and Ryan’s the methodical, measure and follow the steps type chef/baker, so you get the best of both worlds in Eat Well 360.

Tell us a bit about your journey with food and healthy eating. What was the turning point for you to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I’ve had many turning points or as I like to call them, defining moments, along the way. I like this quote from Steve Jobs:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

There were so many times in my health and fitness journey where I felt lost trying to figure out what the heck I was doing, but looking back I can see now that I was never adrift at all, I was simply following each step that aligned me with the next step and then the next step.

I’d say that one big turning point was when I finally reached my weight loss goals through watching calories like a hawk and being meticulous about never missing a workout, and I was excited to have reached my goal, but I also knew that I didn’t want to live the rest of my life that way. I wanted to be able to enjoy the foods that I loved and not live under a microscope of my own fear-based mentality thinking that if I deviated from the plan that I’d lose what I worked so hard for. So, the journey continued. I stumbled and learned more, and eventually over a period of time, I let go of one thing after another that cleared space for and allowed a new, healthier more freedom-based relationship with food to emerge.

I think that the best way to describe it is that you hear what you are ready to hear… when you are ready to hear it, so I wasn’t ready to hear that weight loss didn’t have to be about deprivation until I experience it for myself and decided I was going to figure out a better way. These days I eat way more than I ever did back then and maintain my leanest body to date without trying anywhere near as hard.

I see now that each step in my path was a bridge to the next, leading me to where I am today—healthy, happy, and whole. I wouldn’t change a thing because every step was instrumental in me figuring out what I know now.

Healthy, happy, and whole indeed.

I am enjoying my Eat Well 360 recipes and all the fabulous hints, tips, and ideas that come along with it. First they made fabulous gym bags, now this!  Awesome.

There are TONS of yummy recipes!

I will definitely be diving into more of the oatmeal and breakfast recipes over Christmas.

What competitor doesn’t LOVE breakfast?

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  1. What a great story! I’ll have to check out the recipes! (And thanks for referencing my blog!) 🙂

  2. That book sounds perfect! I was not ready for the influx of cake and cookies in my office. There are only two other people in my office and yet in the past three weeks we have had one cake, three boxes of cupcakes, two tins of biscuits and about a dozen bottles of wine sent to us. Our clients love bribing us journos haha 😉 I only had one cupcake and one biscuit (on seperate days/weeks), and the biscuit tipped me over the edge. I felt so sick after eating that thing! My body is becoming allergic to sugar, I swear!

    • Tara I hear ya! I work in a small office too. Me, my chief, and 5 full time officers. Because it’s small, there’s one, sometimes two officers on at one time. So, max of 4 people in the office at one time. We’ve had ridiculous amounts of cookies, breads, candy, etc. come in the past week and there will be more! I’m usually the one stuck here alone, staring at it all. I’m with you, I’m sick of the stuff!!

  3. Our receptionist was kind enough to alert everyone via email that an appetizer table was being set up in the Newsroom today. I’m being kind to myself and taking the back hallway all day to avoid that table.

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