I know everyone thoroughly enjoyed Katie’s amazing 85-pound weight loss and life change from unfit to marathon runner and paleo exercise enthusiast Interview in Part 1. Now Katie of Personally Paleo has answered even more questions about her amazing life transformation with many insights and tips to help others. Let’s dive right in…enjoy Part 2 of this exciting interview:
1. The paleo lifestyle can be tricky for some to implement, what types of routines or tricks have you put in place to make the diet and lifestyle work for you?
Meal planning is so vital. We plan out our meals on a weekly basis. Even if we know we will be going out for a meal that week, we check the menu ahead of time and decide what to get. Too many bad decisions can be made on impulse. I also plan out my workouts in advance and try and recruit people to go with me. It helps so I don’t bail on going.
2. I know you are a runner, but CrossFit is a popular form of exercise for many starting paleo and for women trying to lose weight. Do you feel CrossFit is healthy for women or even women of all ages?
You know, I’ve actually always wanted to try CrossFit. I think the strength you achieve is unbelievable. While I don’t really have any basis for the health aspect of it, I know that there are some opinions that it can be really hard on your body. But you know what, I think too much of anything can be tough on it! Personally, I like to have some variety in my workouts. Cardio, strength and stretching are all equally important in my opinion.
3. What forms of exercise do you suggest others start out on who have been overweight and sedentary?
ANYTHING. Seriously. Anything is better than nothing. Go for a walk every day and slowly increase your time. If you want to try running, start off with the Couch to 5K training programs (it’s what got me running!). If you want to build some muscle, buy a set of dumbbells. Whatever you do, just get moving.
4. Do you have tips or suggestions on how to adopt a paleo lifestyle for people who travel a lot?
Paleo can be tough when on the road because it’s easy to want quick solutions and it can be intimidating to think about finding meals, but paleo is actually really easy. If you have to eat out for work a lot, meat and veggies are perfect. If you’re constantly in an airport, grab some nuts or a salad. Plus, there are tons of amazing companies out there making paleo-friendly snacks that are perfect for on the go – like RXBARS!
5. Do you have tips for those who work long and late hours that never seem to be able to find time for themselves, not even time in the kitchen?
A slow cooker can become your best friend. There are tons of recipes out there that take minimal prep work (like my Shredded Salsa Chicken) but can feed you for several meals. I also make use of the rare free Sunday and make bulk batches of chili and other dishes to freeze for later. Oh! And breakfast is really easy to prep for! You can make quick casseroles that will feed you for the whole week.
6. What can you suggest to those who do not know how to cook or do not like it at all?
Well, for starters, I used to be one of them. I’m self-taught in cooking and it’s really not as hard as it looks! If you’re intimidated, then don’t try difficult recipes and instead go for ones that contain minimal ingredients. If you don’t like spending a lot of time cooking, again, a slow cooker will be your best friend!
7. Going back to your inspiring story of losing 85 pounds (wow!), what does your current routine consist of in terms of daily supplements and food.
I try not to supplement too much, but I do take a Vitamin D supplement and I receive B12 shots. My food intake is similar to how it’s always been! Dinner is usually a meat with tons of veggies and I make a double batch so I have enough for lunch the next day. I usually do bulletproof coffee for breakfast or take some casserole, like my Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Bake, with me in the morning. A snack during the day is usually fruit with almond butter.
8. You’ve reviewed a number of paleo companies and products that I also work with or have worked with. Tell us just one of your favorites and why. I know this is a hard one!
Ha! You weren’t kidding – this one is hard! I don’t have a review up for them yet (it’s coming!) but Paleo On The Go is one of my favorite companies. They send pre-made meals that just get stored in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to eat. They have tons of dietary options, like Paleo, Whole30, Sugar Detox, etc. so it’s easy to meet whatever your needs are. Plus, they taste awesome! I’m always weary of premade meals but these ones are actually good! I can’t say I use them regularly, but that’s because I love cooking. I’ve gotten about 10 different items/meals from them and keep them in my freezer for when I really do run out of time!
9. I’m assuming you’re a coffee drinker since you mentioned on your site that your blood is 90% coffee. What brands of coffee do you recommend and why?
I could seriously survive on it! I never do any flavored brands and I drink my coffee black so it’s important that it has good flavor. I also like supporting local companies and companies that have good ethics, work on sustainability, etc. One of my favorites is Equal Exchange and I also love Kalamazoo Coffee Co, which is based out of my hometown!
10. Do you intermittent fast? If so, what kind and when and do you use coffee?
I used to do this frequently, but I have found on days where I do my HIIT workout I usually need something extra.
11. I know that you mentioned drinking bulletproof coffee for breakfast. What is YOUR recipe you like to make?
I LOVE BULLETPROOF COFFEE!!! I make this at least a few times during the week. It’s so good and creamy and helps keep me full. Plus it gives me energy for my workouts. I usually make mine in a Contigo container so I can take it to work so it’s about 16 oz. of coffee, 1 tablespoon Kerrygold butter, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelation (usually Vital Proteins) and sometimes I throw in a teaspoon or two of Maca powder!
12. How do you feel about the concept of high fat in the daily diet, with good fats?
It was difficult to adjust to at first, but I can notice a difference in my energy levels when I’m not eating enough fats. If I’m feeling lethargic, I like to munch on almonds, add some butter into my coffee or eat some avocado. Then I feel right as rain!
13. Is this hard for you to eat high fat knowing you were heavy earlier?
Absolutely! It was a really hard concept to adjust to at first because when I started on my weight loss journey it was with a personal trainer who really preached the non-fat/low-fat diet. Since then, I’ve learned so much more about the importance of putting non-processed, real food into my body that I really can’t imagine going back to that. There are days where I feel heavy, as most people do but I know how much better I feel when I eat high fat. It’s easy when I remember that.
14. I see that you were featured in Teen Vogue. That is quite an accomplishment. You must be so proud to have reached out to so many kids about your story. Can you share the link for anyone that may be interested in reading about this?
Sure Tina. Yes, it was quite an honor for me. Read the Teen Vogue article here.
15. You’ve been quite an inspiration, if you could reach out to all the girls and ladies out there that are struggling with weight loss, what words of encouragement would you share?
There are some people that make weight loss look easy and that can be discouraging. Just know, it’s not easy. It’s not easy for anyone, but every single person will tell you it is worth it. There are days where you are going to feel 100% on your game and on top of the world and there are days where you are going to feel awful. It’s NORMAL. Just don’t let that hold you back from where you want to be.
16. What does a typical day’s schedule look like for you with work and play?
I’m lucky enough that my gym is near my house and my HIIT studio is right by my work. On a typical day, I get to work at about 8:15, do a HIIT workout at 11:30 over my lunch and then I go back to the office until 5:30pm. On the days where I don’t go to my HIIT class, I try to stop by the gym on my way home, around 6:15pm and run for 30-45 minutes.
17. And now for my final question that I always love to ask, is there anything else you would like to share in this Part 2 of your 2-part interview?
So many people think that a paleo lifestyle involves “giving up” a lot of food, opportunities, experiences, etc. I would agree with them, but I think what I’ve given up is feeling like garbage all the time. I’ve given up not taking care of my body. I’ve given up eating junk and heavily processed food. I eat better tasting food now that I ever did pre-Paleo and every bit of it makes me feel good and helps me take care of my body.
Thank you Katie! It was such a pleasure to interview you.