My name is Elisha. I grew up in a small-ish town near Tulsa, OK. As a kid I was a seriously competitive gymnast until age 13. It was then that I made a very hesitant switch to being on school and all-star cheerleading squads until I graduated high school. Athleticism always came naturally to me and so did having a muscular, toned everything no matter what or how much I ate! I thought I was a shoe-in for collegiate cheerleading, so I tried out for the Oklahoma State University squad. Yeah, that didn’t go the way I expected! Not long after the toe-touches and tumbling stopped, I began to get what I referred to as squishy. That was much nicer than telling myself I was getting fat! By my second semester alcohol was discovered and consumed in excess; fast food and Eskimo Joe’s were staples of my diet and physical activity was non-existent. I did have to walk to class, so there’s something! After graduating with a B.S. in Advertising, I traveled all over the U.S. for my job, so the restaurant fare and consumption of adult beverages continued (I had to network, c’mon!) Somehow my job landed me in Springfield, Missouri in November of 2006. I had absolutely no intention of staying in Springfield, but that December I met Mr. Hess. We had an immediate connection, but probably not in the traditional sense. About as soon as we said hello to each other for the first time, we made fun of each other’s profession and did our best to get under one another’s skin for the remainder of the evening. It’s like when you were a kid and you’re minding your own business on the playground and the boy you like comes and kicks you in the shin because he likes you too kind of thing. Like I said, love at first sight! Being with Justin sparked a new passion in my life…cooking. (The man somehow figured out how to domesticate me.) I was as enthusiastic about learning new techniques and recipes as I was about eating. Food Network supplied the majority of my inspiration beginning with Rachael Ray and evolving, along with my skills, to the likes of Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and Alton. I made a conscious effort to stay away from the butter-lovin’ Paula Deen, but her recipes have made a few appearances at our dinner table, for sure! I knew that most of the things I chose to cook weren’t terribly healthy, but they were certainly a step up from fast food and hamburger helper! (yuck!) Fast forward through 3 years of marriage and 2 kids, then add about 30 lbs of goo onto my waistline and you have one, really old feeling, tired all the time, momma. I hated how I looked and I was tired of using the “you just had a baby” line to make myself feel better. That only works for so long after you actually give birth to said baby! After a year or so of half-ass attempts to get back in shape, I finally went all in and made a commitment to finish an entire workout program. (Read more about my transformation here.) It wasn’t until recently though that I realized how important food is to leading a truly fit and healthy lifestyle. For years I thought I had to give up food and all the flavors I enjoyed so much if I wanted to lose all the poundage I so easily gained during college and the years following. I want to kick myself for believing all that nonsense…especially when I would roll my eyes every time Justin would tell me I needed to eat if I wanted all my efforts to yield results. (Yes dear, I’m saying you were right!) Through trial and error, tons of reading and experimentation I am finally beginning to understand how to eat, what to eat and when to eat it so I can really reap the benefits of all my hard work in the gym (or in our case, the garage). I want to share all my mistakes and victories and everything in between with anyone who is willing to change their life like my family and I have. We can only hope our recipes and ramblings inspire people to want to change…to eat clean, whole foods….to lift some weights and break a sweat!
- I eat clean, whole foods 80%
- I lift weights to stay fit 95%
- I love me some HIIT 80%
- How often you catch me doing cardio 5%
My Recent Blog Posts
I have so much looked forward to my 1 o'clock meal every day this week. It's been a while since I've been this overjoyed about eating lunch, but it's just that good! It's hugely flavorful, filling and packed full of all the good stuff. My Turkey "Skinikopita"...
It's always fun to discover new foods. It's even better when that food instantly becomes one of your favorites. The Japanese Sweet Potato did exactly that for both Justin and myself. I found them tucked away on the bottom row of a whole shelving unit full of...
It struck me this morning as I was walking into my office building struggling to maneuver my way through the 3 very heavy doors carrying my backpack, 6 pack bag, gallon of water, and shaker cup, that I would be walking onto an brightly lit stage in 5" heels and some...
I was a small boy in Missouri when I found the value of being fit. My father like himself, put me in the ring to box in the USA Boxing Association. As a kid I thought it was cool to be able to punch another kid and not get into trouble. It didn’t take long till I found out that they punched back and a lot of them were rougher and tougher than me. So from the moment I took my first loss, I deicided I didn’t like the notion of someone training harder than me. I did the basics outside my normal boxing routine, pushups. crunches, and calf raises plus a little wieght when the neighbor and my dad would play around with the iron. I had done that till middle school and school sports started. That is where I got valuable influences like my football coach taught me the discipline of getting into the gym before school and putting in the time and my baseball coach influencing me to eat plain tuna on wheat bread, instead of the regular cafeteria food like all the other kids. now a day’s I’m jealous of all the calories I was missing out on. I was eating a healthy lunch but not really knowing why, plus eating well… junk basically. I was the normal kid drinking soda at all hours of school, literally bags of sugary cereal: you know the big bags of generic kinds, and whatever else I coud find I would eat. I thought it was ok… everyone else did, why not me. When High School started I started using Creatine to bulk up. It was something I thought I needed which to this day I still believe in a lot of the benefits it yields but when you’re lifting and practicing two a days’s be it football, wrestling. or baseball… a teenager with a crappy diet and not drinking enough fluids, it’s pretty hard on the body. Back then it wasn’t “micronized” you had to take a loading phase of 20 big capsules pre and post workout. I was a 152lb lineman center and always had to wrestle the coaches little brother to make varsity team. I looked for any edge I could find. It wasn’t until my Jr. year all that stopped and I gained a new perspective on life. For two years I was in doubled over pain with IBS “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” symptoms. Then finally after test after test, the Doctor did a simple ultrasound and found that I had gallstones. This was pretty weird because I wasn’t any of the “four F’s” usually seen in patients with gallstones: fertile,fat,female, or over forty… So they took out my Gail Bladder and I was cured. Next came the down side, the gallons of milk and sugary, fatty foods I loved so much, I could no longer eat. It was a constant trial and error to find the foods I could and could not eat. It took two more years of doctors telling me I had Celiac Disease, which was a big deal in Europe at the time; people had intolerance for eating gluten. It was in those two years and after a appendicitis. The doctors had me logging what I ate and results of how it made me feel. So I was whittled down to eating a paleo diet, or it was the great race to get to a rest room I felt comfortable to be in pain at. So… little eating out and no fast food. This came at a perfect time in my life. I started rock climbing before I left school and had a great network of friends who introduced me to “hippy beatnik” living. The climbing bug had bit and a more Zen life was underway so much was gained I mean stress was down, stools were solid and after many years I could even start putting dairy back into my diet. Then my life blossomed even more, I cut my long hair off and a week later met the love of my life. She understood my diet and enjoyed food as much as me. It makes me feel like the luckiest guy in the world, my wife took the time to learn how to prepare wholesome meals which introduced me to a world of preparing food in delicious ways… no more steamed vegetables and meats in my electric skillet. After eating what feels like a diet compliance rebuild I now can stomach a ½ gallon of milk as a serving size and feel confident to eat while riding 100miles on my bike and most importantly I can set goals in my passions of bodybuilding (more about my goals)which is a true “battle of knife and fork” without having to know where the closet bathroom is or scared of being in pain because a static meal plan with whole foods is what I feel is what the body craves and needs. This now is our journey we share with you. I hope others with goals or setbacks can find a place with us to help find what we need to live healthy.
- I eat clean, whole foods 80%
- I lift weights to stay fit 100%
- How often you catch me doing cardio 0%
- How much I love Arnold 100%
My Recent Blog Posts
Well for those who have been with us on our journeys it has be reached, I conquered my quest to be a grown ass man, yes to quote again "A man isn't worth a damn under 200lbs" and I made it. not going to lie, took awhile and I'm proud to say I stayed pretty lean too....
This last weekend Justin and I had the privilege of attending the Lifters Corner & Iron Radio Skills Refinement Camp in Topeka, KS. These are my (fairly lengthy) reflections of the weekend and my very first powerlifting meet. Enjoy! What was it? Iron Radio...
Mrs. Hess and I just received our latest shipment from bodybuiling.com. They usually put in inserts about varies things and this is one I would like to briefly share about. It reminded me about all the crap people shovel down thinking its healthy....
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If you want to know more about our lifestyle, recipes, training or just want someone to be there for you during your journey towards a heathier you, send one of us a quick note and we’ll talk!