Hi there! I’m Angela Coffman, a former 5th grade math and High School Choir teacher, professional blogger at www.groceryshrink.com, owner of a small sewing pattern company that sells on etsy, and I work from home with the MomCeo team. This is my food and fitness journal. I work with a virtual personal trainer, Holly Rigsby, and am proud to be a Fit Yummy Mummy. I live in Missouri, have 6 kids and a husband, Darren.
update: 7/16 This is my current picture, I gained 30 lbs recently during a chronic illness and am working at getting back to a healthy place.
I love long, sunny days. Watching action and adventure movies with Darren. Chocolate, Cookies and anything with Cool Whip. My house is usually messy, but I prefer it clean. If I find a spare minute I spend it sewing, crocheting, doing a DIY home decor project, or browsing pinterest.
I was obese as a child and grew up feeling badly about my body. When I was 12 years old, I decided enough was enough. I learned what a calorie was and how they affected our body size. That summer I counted my calories by reading labels and measuring foods. I lost 30 lbs and grew 2 inches taller. I went back to school my 8th grade year looking like a new person. I felt like a new person too! I controlled my weight by weighing every day and adjusting slightly my food choices for the day depending on what I saw in the numbers. I also worked out a lot by running in my neighborhood, gardening and jumping on our huge trampoline. I was very healthy and preferred eating fruits and veggies over meat, but also loved bread and sweets :).
Everything was good until my first pregnancy at age 22.
My metabolism took a nose dive and I gained 60 lbs! I lost 45 of them before getting pregnant again 11 months later. I’ve had 6 babies back to back gaining a good 50-80 lbs each pregnancy. I always lost back to the same level–15 lbs heavier of where I felt great before getting pregnant again.
After my 5th baby was a year old I had a huge health crisis. I was in a car accident and though my injuries didn’t require hospitalization, I was too run down in nutrition to heal properly. My blood pressure was 82/50 and I passed out a lot. My neck and spine were in severe pain and I didn’t have strength to get off the couch without fainting. Finally I went to a doctor who ran a full blood profile on me. He found I was deficient in everything, especially protein, cholesterol, fats, salt, and B vitamins. I had been experimenting with raw food diets trying to lose the last of the baby weight and the diet was so deficient in fats and protein that I was literally starving to death. I was gaining a pound a week in the process as my metabolism dived to try to save my life.
At this point in my life I had been pregnant, nursing or both for 9 years. And after delivery each time was limiting my calorie intake (1200-1400 calories a day) to lose baby weight (while nursing). I took no vitamins or supplements that entire time! Add the nutritional strain of healing from a car accident (think protein!) and my raw vegan diet, well, I’m just happy to be alive.
By following my doctor’s nutrition recommendations (15 g of protein 6 times a day and 2 servings of fruit and 3 of veggies too, plus some specific vitamin and mineral supplements–no grains and no sugar) I rebuilt my metabolism and lost all my baby weight back to the size I was in the 8th grade. Just in time to get pregnant with baby #6! I was ecstatic at the prospect of eating bread again, lol. Did some traveling for TV appearances related to my GroceryShrink blog and took my kids on a cruise and packed the pounds back on.
About that time I discovered Holly and found her plan to be nearly identical to my Dr’s except using real food instead of his prepacked items. Also Holly allowed more grains and indulgences which felt like a more doable life long pattern of eating. I was sold and really do love it.
Why the next time I’m a Vegan will be during the Melinnial Reign
While I occasionally will eat a meatless meal, I never go a full day without some kind of animal protein. As a Christian I’ve taken a second look a veganism and had to reject it theologically. I believe Christ was in the beginning with the Father and is my creator. Then came to earth to show me how to live. He ate meat while he was here. A vegan diet does not contain vitamin B12. As my creator, would He want a diet for me that requires B vitamin supplementation to prevent death? It doesn’t make sense to my simple mind. The roots of veganism come from the Hindu faith and the belief in reincarnation. If I thought my cow might be my great-grandmother, I probably wouldn’t eat it either. But Christ has freed me from such things!
That said, I do take supplements (because of the health crisis mentioned before and my recent pregnancy and nursing.) My diet is nice and varied with a huge reliance on fruits and veggies and simple meats and animal proteins. So if I had to go awhile without supplements I feel confident that I would be fine.
I am aware of the Bible verse that describes the lion and the lamb living together in peace and a little child nearby and no harm being done in the earth again. That’s the day I will become a vegan. That’s the day when God will change our bodies from these mortal ones requiring B12 from animal foods to immortal ones. I don’t know how it will happen, but it is enough to know that it will. I’m so glad I love fruits and veggies!
I’ve read some of the studies that show a link to animal protein consumption and cancer, but find those studies flawed. I appreciate the reading I’ve done at the Weston Price Foundation website and my nutrition choices are influenced a lot by them. So anyhoo, that’s why I do what I do. But have respect for those who feel differently about it.