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ABOUT

So, who is YOWZAlicious?

Hi, I'm Bree!

I live in a bustling apartment community which is 1-part urban / 1-part country. I'm surrounded by biking trails, nature paths, and...longhorn cattle. No, seriously! I absolutely love my apartment community.


I don't have a yard for a dog, so I have a cat; she's a little schizo but very sweet.

I play piano and sing on YouTube for fun; I'm a huge fan of (and have competed in) ballroom dancing and West Coast Swing; I got a Kindle for Christmas and have really been enjoying all the free eBooks!

For the last 10 years, I held an executive position in the finance industry. When my company closed, I saw it as an opportunity to work towards something more meaningful....and so that's what I'm doing now.

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I was born in Georgia: the land of biscuits and gravy, where anything that can be fried - is, and then it's all covered in cheese or dipped in ranch. Now, I'm certain that not everyone in Georgia eats this way... but man, it sure was hard to escape! Then my family moved to Texas, and we all know everything's bigger in Texas.

Needless to say, during my childhood, I was always carrying around an extra 10-20 pounds. I was also always dieting.

Starting my senior year of high school, I had a good 5yr run where I was in pretty good shape. No - let me rephrase: I looked good on the outside - but only because I was obsessively counting every calorie, eating cardboard (diet foods), and exercising more than any human being ever should. Even though I looked good, I realize now that I was extremely unhealthy on the inside... I would even go so far as to say I was malnourished.

Then, at only 23 years old, I went through an unexpected and heartbreaking divorce. While grieving, I no longer had the energy to devote to harsh dieting and intense exercise. And to make matters worse, we all know how comforting a pint of Ben & Jerry's can be when you're feeling low. For the next decade, I gained and lost 100 pounds many times over.

And I probably would have continued along that miserable path forever had it not been for GMOsWhat??? I know! That sounds crazy! But here's what happened... One day, I read an article about GMOs. For the first time in my life, I took a good hard look at what I was putting in my body. I finally realized that "diet foods" (which is all I'd been eating for the last decade) are some of the worst things a person could possibly eat: diet sodas, sugar-free cookies, fat-free chips made with Olestra, skim milk, margarine, deli turkey... the list goes on and on.

[Photo Credit: motivenutrition.com]
I realized that "dieting" is flawed at its very core. Dieting is a temporary solution. But *real* health is a lifelong, consistent journey. So, that was the end of dieting for me. I stopped worrying about my weight and, instead, started worrying about my health and my quality of life (now and in the future).

I began to teach myself everything I could about nutrition and living a truly healthy lifestyle. It was a long, hard road. I made lots of mistakes along the way. I still have plenty of unanswered questions and a long way to go, but I continue learning. I also stopped listening to "experts" and started trusting my inner voice. I encourage you to do this too! I can only tell you what makes sense TO ME. If it makes sense to you as well, all the better! If it doesn't, use it as a catalyst to find something else which does.
  1. First and foremost, I learned that the only way to be truly healthy is to prepare the majority of my meals at home from scratch. I've spent an embarrassing number of hours in fast-food lines, so this was a daunting prospect. But I figured out a few tricks which made it simpler and (shockingly) cheaper!
  2. I also decided that everything I purchased from that point forward would be organic. It started with the atrocities surrounding GMOs, but then I realized how much deeper it really goes. Conventional farming dumps (literally) tons of toxic chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and insecticides onto our soil & water supply every day. Without healthy soil & water -- you can't grow healthy food. And GMOs are even worse than conventional produce because the insecticides are built into the DNA of the food! Furthermore, for hundreds of years, conventional farming has been selectively breeding the diversity out of our produce. Produce diversity is extremely important, not only for our bodies, but also for our wildlife (which is -again- key to supporting healthy soil and pollination).
  3. The next goal was to completely eliminate processed sugars from my dietThat was a hard one! After all, sugar is a drug which has been found to be as addictive as cocaine! I quit cold-turkey and went through some intense physical withdrawals (lots of headaches & afternoon naps). But after only 1 week, I felt like a brand new person! Despite the withdrawals, I actually think that quitting cold-turkey was advantageous, because it allowed me to really feel the dramatic difference between the before and after... which helped my resolve to never get addicted again!
  4. Finally, I worked on removing all processed foods from my home and my lifestyle. Processed food is simply worthless. All of the original nutrients are stripped out in order to extend the product's shelf-life. So basically, you might as well be eating cardboard. The manufacturers sometimes add vitamins back in, but they're all synthetic.
Once I overhauled my kitchen, I started noticing all of the other toxins that I'd been surrounding myself with for most of my life: scented candles, air fresheners, soaps, lotions -- in fact, it ended up being 99% of my personal care and cleaning products. I simplified my beauty and cleaning products to concoctions containing no more than 5 ingredients. It has saved me boatloads of money and stress.

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YOWZAlicious was born from a desire to share all this knowledge I've gathered from reading medical journals, scientific articles, and op-ed pieces... every day... year... after year... after year.

On this site, I will never espouse the benefits of one food philosophy over another (vegan vs. paleo vs. grain-free vs. dairy-free vs. fruitarian vs. raw). I feel that each of these philosophies has something to offer and something to teach us. I have so many friends who religiously follow one of the above philosophies... and watching their journeys, their struggles, and their successes has provided me a unique vantage point.



Based on those observations and my own research, I've developed a simple/balanced philosophy:

  • Eliminate 100% of GMOs from my kitchen
  • Eat as many organic foods as possible (buying produce in-season makes this cheaper & easier)
  • Eliminate all processed sugar (raw organic honey & grade B maple syrup can be used sparingly)
  • Prepare most meals at home from scratch (eliminating all processed foods along the way)
  • Compose meals/recipes around seasonal fruits & veggies (meat, dairy & grains should be sides/toppings)
  • Eat at least 3 uncooked fruits/veggies every day (this will help keep you hydrated & provide max nutrients)

The great thing is: these simple rules can be applied to every single food philosophy listed above.



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Please, leave me lots of comments -- so I can get to know what's on your mind. I want to hear about things you've tried, questions you have, and your favorite finds!!

And if you ever want to contact me directly, just shoot off an email to yowzalicious@gmail.com

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