Building a better diet - Here's how Randi discovered that eating well doesn’t mean deprivation!

September 29, 2020

Hi, I'm Randi. I love food - to talk about it, to read about it, to cook it, and of course, to eat it. To me, the idea of a diet always seemed like an act of deprivation, so I’ve always avoided them. I have also suffered from bouts of acid reflux for a while, which is not a pleasant condition at all.

When I came across the ZOE program, it appealed to me because its approach is science-based and, even more importantly, tailored for me. There really weren’t any rough or hard times adjusting to the plan. In fact, I was pleased to see how easy it was to transition to the ZOE program.

"With ZOE I felt I was being armed with knowledge and a better understanding of which foods are best for me."

ZOE building blocks

Following the plan is easy. Really easy, in fact. No foods are considered forbidden. Adding in an ingredient that scores low for me means that all I need to do is to fill out the rest of the meal with foods that are better options for me. ZOE has taught me how to use food as a building block to create better meals and snacks.

"This isn’t about calorie counting, it’s about learning how to build a better meal."

I found the transition into the ZOE plan incredibly easy. The action plan and the app provided great alternatives for snacks. I discovered what foods were best for me, what meals were easy to make, and what foods to have readily available to snack on. Over time, with continuing progress, they soon became good habits!

I’ve finally been given a tool to help me think about food in a healthier manner and build better meals for myself and my husband. We’ve both lost a noticeable amount of weight while utilizing ZOE. We both have more energy. And, since starting the plan, I’ve had zero incidents with acid reflux.

"Since starting the plan, I’ve had zero incidents with acid reflux."

Randi's 'Aha!' moment

My 'Aha!' moment happened during my usual grocery shop. I was using the ZOE app as a guide to help me shop for groceries. I realized I was constantly checking to see what foods rated better for me (carrots vs. parsnips, quinoa vs. bulgur, rice cakes vs. whole wheat bread, shrimp vs. chicken), and made choices accordingly.

A lot of what I discovered was surprising and went against what I thought would be my healthier option. It wasn't until the checkout that I realized that by using the ZOE app to help me shop, I had purchased all the ingredients to help me create healthy meals.

I picked better food options for myself and I'm really enjoying my meals - more fruits, more vegetables, and a lot less sugar, fats, and processed foods.

I had another ‘Aha!’ moment when I realized I didn’t really miss my old ways of eating. I like my healthier meals and how they make me feel!

"Following the plan was like a food detox without being aware it was a detox."

The ZOE Effect

If I were to choose the three key takeaways from the ZOE program they would be:

  • Finding my motivation - My ZOE insight results were a wake-up call. I know that I have issues with cholesterol, and the results confirmed it. It gave a clearer image of how I could work on those issues through eating in a way tailored to my biology and to improve gut health. Seeing my gut health broken down into ‘good bugs’ and ‘bad bugs’ was enlightening and a highly motivating factor to eat better to improve my numbers and my overall health.
  • Eating well doesn’t mean deprivation - Looking at my personal foods and meals within the ZOE App, I realized I love all the foods that are well-rated and suggested for me. I had lost sight of how much I enjoy eating whole foods and plants. It’s now clear to me that eating well doesn’t mean deprivation. It’s become a strange source of joy to smash my daily plant target on the app and know that I ate well!
  • I’ve learned balanced eating and self-control - It’s been eye-opening to see that I can have anything I want, but it’s about balancing out the ‘good’ with the ‘bad.’ With my action plan, I learned a better approach to meals and snacks. Gone is the idea of ‘cheat day.’ Instead, I occasionally have a day where I plan for a meal that’s a bit more decadent. I’ll have a super healthy breakfast, a vegetable-packed lunch and then loosen the reigns a bit and eat something a bit less well-rated for dinner. I feel a lot less guilty and a lot more in control.

ZOE helped me understand the complex systems in my body in manageable pieces. It is very exciting to be able to break things down into elements that help me make smarter and healthier food selections.

"At the end of the plan I felt like I was rewired to think differently about how I approach food. This feels more like a lifestyle change for the long haul!"