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Dee Dee’s Story – A Healthier You – Food, Fun & Fitness

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Meet Dee Dee!




Dee Dee is a very busy, wife, mother, an educational professional in her mid-50’s and very conscious of maintaining her good health.  But it wasn’t always that way.

 Here is her story:

Three years ago, I totally re-vamped my diet.  Upon my doctor’s recommendation, I chose the “gluten-free” lifestyle because I was chronically tired, mentally foggy and 30 pounds overweight.  Nothing I was doing at the gym was helping.  I was working out with a trainer,  eating like a bird, and feeling miserable.  I was incredibly frustrated on every level.

 Gluten is a protein found in certain grains (wheat, barley, and rye).  For 28 days, I removed the top 7 allergens from my diet (all forms of gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, tree nuts/peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners).  I lost 13 pounds the first month.  I repeated the process for 4 more weeks and lost 9 more pounds with very little effort.  After 3 years of struggling, I lost 22 pounds in 8 weeks. 

Prior to this “dietary experiment,” I was suffering from numerous health issues including gas, bloating, fluid retention, unexplained weight gain, chronic fatigue and mental fog.  This 8-week respite from foods known to cause allergic responses in some people gave my gut time to heal, the lining of my intestines time to calm down, and my brain an opportunity to re-boot.  After the 8-weeks, I began to add 6 of the items back into my diet one at the time over a 3 day period. If my body reacted negatively in any way, I gave up that food item for good.  I reacted severely to wheat gluten and egg, therefore, I eliminated those two items from my diet, and today, I choose not to eat them anymore.  (I never eat artificial sweeteners of any kind.  They destroy your metabolism and take more time to exit the body than natural sugar).

 If you are interested in learning more about this process, visit or pick up her book “The Virgin Diet.”  “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis was also very enlightening.”






Dietary Tips:

  • Eat all meals on a breakfast plate instead of a dinner plate.   Although you are eating less, your plate will look full.
  • Drink 16 ounces of water when your feet hit the floor in the morning.  I add fresh lemon juice or 1 teaspoon of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother” (probiotic strain) in it.  This is a great way to detox and cleanse the body, and it boosts your metabolism first thing in the morning.
  • Your plate should be divided into fourths.  1/2 of the plate should be leafy greens or non-starchy veggies, 1/4 should be starchy veggies or complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, whole grains, etc. and the other 1/4 should be a lean protein of some kind.
  • Remove everything that is white from your diet – white flour, white sugar, white rice, white potato, etc. 
  • Choose whole grains and raw foods whenever possible.
  • Eliminate processed foods from your diet.  Choose foods that are “as close to the way God intended them” for the most nutrient value and health benefits.  Food is medicine.  Use it to your advantage.
  • Take a probiotic daily.  60% of your immune system is in your gut.  If your gut is healthy, you will be healthy.





Exercise Tips:

  •  Combination of cardio and resistance training works best.  Minimum of 3 days per week for 1 hour or 5 days per week for 30-minutes.
  • Interval training burns more calories than maintaining the same level for the duration of your workout.  (3-5 minute warm-up; 2 minutes of high intensity such as running or walking at an incline on a treadmill followed by 3 minutes of recovery time such as walking at 3.5 mph on a flat treadmill at no incline; repeat for a 30-minute workout; 3 minute cool down).   
  • If you walk on a treadmill, warm-up for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph.  Increase the incline 1 level every minute for 15 minutes then decrease the level one step every minute for 15 minutes.  Cool down 2-3 minutes.
  • Alternate cardio days with resistance training days.  Do upper body strength training one day and lower body strength training the next.  Include stretching to maintain your flexibility which prevents injury and helps with range of motion.
  • Choose activities you enjoy doing – walking, biking, swimming, playing tennis or racquet ball, taking fitness classes, etc.  If you enjoy it, you will be more likely to continue it.

Dee Dee is a very disciplined individual and when it comes to her healthy lifestyle, she is certainly quite a role model for the rest of us.  I have gone out to lunch with her on many occasions, and Dee Dee maintains her healthy eating habits even while out to eat.  She is quite specific when she orders and most restaurants will “tweak” some of the meal selections for her.

 Thank you for stopping by for Dee Dee’s story on “A Healthier You – Food, Fun & Fitness!”

Now if I could just get Dee Dee to swing by and cook some meals for me… with all that extra time she has in her day (wink wink), I would be all set!

Until next time… stay tuned for some of Dee Dee’s recipes above featured soon!

Your Friend,



Readers- Just a reminder that Miracle Mondays will feature a diverse array of stories from real women of all ages.  This was Dee Dee’s story, and like the other women who have contributed to Miracle Mondays- this is her unique story.  


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • Robyn Petrik says:

    Lots of great tips here for a healthy lifestyle! It’s nice to incorporate these into healthy living, and not just feel like you’re always on a ‘diet’.

  • I haven’t gone gluten-free, but certainly think it might help me to limit my wheat grains. I know I’ve seen success when I drastically remove simple carbs from my diet. However, I am concerned about brown rice. A recent study says it has much more arsenic in it and can be dangerous. Are you at all concerned about it? For my family, I’ve chosen to stick to white rice, but in limited quantities and do more other grains, like quinoa.

    • Clare says:

      Let me ask Dee Dee this week and see what she says – this is her story – and i know she is quite particular with what she eats – and so devoted to her plan – which has made her feel so so healthier!  I will ask her about that – thanks for the comments!

  • Love this article! Dee Dee is such an inspiration. My little ones are gluten free and I’m slowly working on getting my hubby and I to be gluten free too.

  • Mary Collins says:

    Wow! This was such an educational post. I will definitely use some of this info!

  • Great tips, I am also gluten free, I am working on the rest! I definitely need to drink more water & as soon as it gets warm I will be able to get out and walk again. Or at least when the snow is gone, it doesn’t really need to be warm. Come on spring!

    • Clare says:

      Hi Nikki – so glad you like Dee Dee’s story and the tips!  I need to drink more, too, and walk more!  Even though we don’t have “snow” in Florida – we are all so glad spring is here!  Thanks for stopping  by!  🙂  🙂

  • Wow! What an inspiration! I loved the Virgin Diet book. I haven’t read Wheat Belly yet but I may have to add it to my list. I’ve been gluten free for 10 years and recently have gone grain free and reduced sugar with no artificial sugars. I’ve seen many improvements in my health and wish that more doctors were trained in nutrition and recommended dietary changes before medications and antibiotics that simply mask symptoms rather than treat them.

    • Clare says:

      Wow Rebekah – YOU are an inspiration!  Thanks for sharing your testimony and taking the time to comment!  So glad you liked the post!

  • I loved reading about Dee Dee’s story and she has such great/practical tips. I will be back to look at those and to implement her suggestions into my workout regiment and diet. Please tell her she is a great writer!

    • Clare says:

      So glad you found the article helpful, Grace, and yes, Dee Dee has such practical tips and she is very devoted and consistent!  She will be back on the website the see the wonderful comments!

  • Maria Hass says:

    Those are all great tips.  I know I do better cutting out white carbs as well too!

  • Sarah Ann says:

    Good for you!  It’s amazing how when you remove those foods how your body has a chance to heal.  Best wishes for a continued journey towards health!

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Sarah – So glad you enjoyed Dee Dee’s journey – in the coming weeks I will be featuring one or two of her recipes, too, so be sure to stop back!  🙂  🙂

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