For most people, their love of food runs deeper than simply fulfilling caloric needs or satisfying taste buds — Stephanie Jean included. She developed a love for food and cooking at a very young age, having vivid memories cooking up a storm in the kitchen while watching cooking shows and dreaming of working in the culinary field.
As a competitive gymnast and cheerleader in her younger years, Stephanie has always been an active and healthy individual. While growing up on a diet filled with home cooked meals and fresh fruits and vegetables, it was until adulthood that Stephanie’s outlook on food shifted. At the age of 23, Stephanie was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and diet and exercise were her way of managing her OCD and anxiety. Developing a fitness routine that worked for her was easy, but food was a different story.
Across her 20s, Stephanie tried everything from vegetarian and veganism, to low-carb and keto with little success. She was first introduced to low-carb as a method to manage her second pregnancy and weight gain, and despite using keto on and off afterwards, it never stuck as she found it unsustainable and it led to periods of binging and an unhealthy mindset.
At the end of 2018, Stephanie found her way to paleo after her second cross country move in two years. Between the stress of having to navigate life in a new town, wanting to get back in shape after her third child, and battling newly developed skin issues for almost a year, Stephanie found herself struggling to keep up with her life and her OCD. Trying to get back to a healthy place but still nursing, she wanted to find a way to do so without medication, which lead her to look at how she was fuelling her body. She dove into paleo as a way to combat anxiety and the inflammation that was potentially causing her skin issues. Stephanie decided to commit to a Whole30 in January of 2019 and while she hoped that it could be a transition into a more paleo style of eating, her biggest motivator was the desire to see positive changes in her skin and OCD.
Following the Whole30, Stephanie not only had clearer skin, but she finally felt as though she could manage her OCD — so paleo stuck. She adopted what she calls the “paleo-ish” lifestyle, where 90% of the time she follows paleo, but she has the flexibility to eat non-paleo when she feels it’s worth it. Since paleo doesn’t focus on counting macros, Stephanie finds it much more manageable than low-carb or keto. She started her Instagram account as a method of accountability during her first Whole30, and has continued to use it as a platform to inspire others and share her recipes.
Stephanie’s goal is to create and modify recipes (like this Southern fried pork chops recipe) so that they aren’t just “good for being paleo,” but so good they don’t seem too modified.
To follow Stephanie along on her journey, be sure to follow her in Instagram @fromweightstoplates or check out her website at www.fromweightstoplates.com.
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