Amy After

Tips, motivation & advice for a gluten-free lifestyle

Archive of ‘Featured’ category

The Pound a Day Diet by Rocco Dispirito

I am so very impressed. I really love the premise of this book. And I am also willing to bet that it will make a sizable portion of the American public upset. Rocco’s whole shtick is something he calls, “calorie correcting.” What he means is low calorie. As in 850 calories a day for five days out of the week and then the two remaining days are 1,200 calorie days. He says that if you follow this guideline, paired with about an hour of cardio a day, that you will lose about a pound a day. A POUND A DAY for the duration of your weight loss.

Sign me up. I like it.

The allotted calories are made up of a Mediterranean type of diet:

Tons of Veggies – especially green


Olive oil

Whole grains and grain products

Lean Meats, especially fish


That sounds totally delicious!

The traditional thinking for most of us is that we need lots of calories – don’t want to slow that metabolism down, do we?  And slow and steady weight loss is best – don’t want to gain it all right back, do we? But Mr. Dispirito cites studies which support that nutritionally supported rapid weight loss is more exciting and keeps people more committed to their weight loss plan.  Then he lays out a moderate maintenance plan which keeps the new weight set point stable, and voila!   I don’t know about you, but if I see the light at the end of the tunnel speedily approaching, I’ll be much less apt to throw in the towel.

I’m anxious to begin – can’t wait to see if I can get the pound a day results!

Is Indoor Rock Climbing Fatal?

I am stressing out about the climbing deadline that’s looming. Climbing outdoors, 5,000 miles away from home… I took off to the rock wall gym and having learned the hard way, warmed up and stretched first before getting on the wall. I was top roping on a 5.6 level which is the easiest level. That was fun! I’d just grab and step on all the holds and trek on up to the top. Fun! Unfortunately, I have to climb more than several grades harder to even think about going outdoors to climb.

I know that I’m doing it all wrong, I can feel it (and others telling me so is also a clue) and it’s making me panic! I MUST become a competent rock climber. I want it so badly!!! I decided that it’s time to get professional help. A couple of weeks ago while at the climbing gym I witnessed a women who obviously knew her stuff (she also had COACH emblazoned on her shirt) teaching a couple of teenaged girls how to boulder. I liked her manner and stayed until she was done teaching her lesson to ask her if she could possilbly help me. When I told her that I was an absolute beginner and that I wanted to be climbing outdoors in just a few months I braced myself for reaction of shock and disbelief. To her credit she just smiled and said it was indeed, possible. I can’t tell you the wave of relief and excitement that went through me. I trusted her and she had full confidence that I could actually become a real live rock climber.

I nervously met with my new coach, Emily, last week. She asked me some questions; did I have siblings, what was my favorite meal, was I better at math or English in school… She uses all this in fine tuning her teaching approach with each of her students. Brilliant! First she had me climb an easy wall just to see what good/bad techniques I was already using and then she steered me to an advanced wall with an overhang. I just stood there and stared incredulously. Really? I gracefully freaked out at that point. At her urging I approached the wall and did something to start elevating myself. I think I kind of blacked out at this point because the next thing I remember I was at the beginning of the overhang and the nice gentleman climbing next to me was telling me to breathe. Details, details…

After insisting that Emily lower me down I asked her what the point was of the public humiliation? She said that she wanted to see how I handled a challenging situation. Nailed it! So then we went to the beginners section which is usually swarming with kids but as it was late for a weeknight we had the place to ourselves. She broke the lessons down into the same curriculum she delivers to her five year old students which is exactly what I needed! She gave me drills to do on the kiddie walls over and over and over as my homework so I can build on efficient, solid techniques. Emily is wonderful. I’m squeezing in three climbing practice sessions this week before I see her next so I will hopefully make her proud.

Climb on!

From Flabby to Fit in Four Months by Rock Climbing

Okay, I have a new challenge before me. An experiment, really. What do you think? Can I go from being a relatively out of shape, soft, doughy wimp to being an athletic, toned, lean, mean rock climbing machine? In four months?  I say that I can. Let’s put this hypothesis to the test, shall we?

About two months ago an avid rock climber friend suggested that I too try rock climbing. I had, before that conversation, never EVER even considered trying to haul myself up a rock wall. It seems that these days I’m liable to try just about anything so I agreed and drove to the nearest indoor rock climbing gym and gave it a shot. I had to take a belaying (tying the ropes correctly and not letting your climbing partner free fall off of the wall) lesson first before they’d let me climb. When it was my turn to start the climb, I was a nervous wreck! I was stunned to find that not only could I make it to the top (terrible form & technique not withstanding) but I actually liked it! The wave of accomplishment I felt when I reached the top was intense and I was  immediately hooked .

Given the previously mentioned terrible form and technique, I dislocated my wrist during my second visit to the rock wall. After a trip to my chiropractor to set it I was back to my new obsession. I was too excited to waste my time warming up and stretching and went up the wall immediately upon arrival. Then came the second dislocated wrist. Sigh…  I’ve since read that you can learn a lot about yourself while doing this sport so I guess my first lesson was patience.  This time my wrist didn’t want to stay back in it’s proper place so I had several more visits to the chiropractor and a lot of at home therapy. My illustrious two months of climbing has boiled down to about five whole climbing sessions.

The Challenge: my rock climber friend invited me on an outdoor climb which takes place exactly four months from now. It’s in an amazing country I’ve never even been near and the trip sounds just too terrific to pass up. So, I have until June to lose at least 10% body fat and around 20lbs, build lean muscle mass and become a bona fide rock climber.

Deep breaths, deep breaths….

I Can’t Dance, Don’t Ask Me

I can’t dance now, but I’m learning! Ever since I was a little girl, watching The Sound of Music over and over and dreaming that I’d grow up to look just like Leisl, I wanted to learn to ballroom dance. A few weeks ago a friend who has been taking classes took me along and I was introduced to what it felt like to Waltz and Tango. I was instantly hooked! Even though my feet and brain don’t seem to be connected at all, I have visions of floating ethereally across the dance floor. I’ve found my own classes and have been learning more of the Waltz. It is such a gorgeous dance! Next our class will be learning Cha Cha. I’m nervous about that one as fast moving, hip swinging moves are so completely foreign to me. We’ll see how it goes…

New Gluten Free Guide

One of the most crucial parts of losing over 160lbs for me was getting gluten out of my diet. Even more importantly, my health improved by about 1,000%! No more swelling, achy joints, digestive problems, resistance to weight loss, foggy thinking, high blood pressure, extreme weight fluctuations… There are SO MANY people out there who are suffering on a daily basis who don’t have to. I am approached over and over by people who know that I have a gluten intolerance and are curious to know if they too might have it. I find myself having the exact conversation with every one of them, answering the same questions and offering the same explanations. They just need to know the basics, short and simple.

I found myself fervently wishing that I had a complete, but concise and straight forward guide I could steer them toward to answer their questions. There are many websites, blogs and books out there addressing the subject but nothing exactly like I wished for them. It finally dawned on me to just go ahead and write one! I’m working on it now and will make it available on this site as an ebook. I am excited about it as it will hit all the high points and help people decide if they very well could be suffering from this problem and could change their own lives by applying this crucial information themselves.

How I’ve Lost 150lbs

I’m Amy and I’m half the person I was one year ago. After steadily gaining a lot of weight over the past twenty years, I’d finally had enough. Even though I was a Certified Nutritional Consultant I couldn’t seem to apply my knowledge to my own behavior.  During a Dr. visit near the end of 2008 I was told that it was time to begin taking medications to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The prospect of this horrified me and I begged for a reprieve. My doctor told me I had three months to turn things around and then I’d have to come back to get my prescriptions if there weren’t drastic improvements.

As fortune would have it, a friend told me about another doctor in town who was offering a weight loss program. I ignored all of my immediate objections (too expensive, not enough time, assured failure) and committed to doing whatever it took to shed the weight once and for all. I showed up for weigh-in each week which turned out to be a crucial part of my success. Accountability is so very important. Portion control and low carb was a focus of the meal plan but for several reasons I had to create my own menu. I had become a pescatarian (abstains from eating all animal flesh except fish) a year earlier and my education was in holistic nutrition which meant that “diet” and artificial foods and ingredients were not something I wanted any part of. I also discovered that I was gluten intolerant and had to eliminate all gluten to see astounding improvements in my health.

Through eating simple, pure and wholesome foods, or eating cleanly, I lost 130lbs in one year. I’ve lost 150lbs so far and want to shed 20lbs more. Now my blood pressure is great and there is no more mention of needing any medications. I feel wonderful and all of the physical ailments that I’d developed have completely vanished.  Most of the aches, pains, allergies, etc. many of us have come to accept as a natural part of life can be a distant memory if you are given the right information.

I get incredibly frustrated with the messages about nutrition we are given by medical professionals and food corporations through the media.  Following the mainstream dietary recommendations makes us tired, sick and overweight. I want to teach you how to give your body what it needs to become the youthful, energetic creation it is meant to be.  Even though having the correct knowledge is paramount and the crucial first step, it is only half the solution. If the proper nutritional education was the complete answer then I would’ve been slim and healthy fifteen years ago. I couldn’t seem to effectively apply this knowledge because of emotional barriers.  I also want to help guide you through common mental and emotional obstacles you might run into during the healthy transformation of your body.

So, it isn’t just about getting rid of  extra weight, it  is about giving your body and mind everything it needs to become younger, more vibrant and brimming with health!