Authenticity is always challenging for me, but I try my best to show my real/everyday life (with all the ups and downs) through everything Sweaty Happy Healthy. I’m just a gal in my 20’s trying to find my way and struggling like everybody else. I have anxiety/depression, confidence issues, self-doubt, and sometimes forget to eat breakfast. The whole point is that we are all human; and as long as we try to be authentic, real, and honest, we can make the world a better place!
Making the choice to show up as your true self every day is not always an easy task. Most of the time we want to cover up our imperfections instead of embracing them, and we often have a hard time loving ourselves just as we are. Being proud of your unique traits makes you stand out from the crowd! Authenticity can give you a sense of freedom and can release you from trying to be something you are not.
Being honest can also give others the courage to be themselves around you. By creating this blog I truly hope to help people feel like they are not alone in their struggles! I’ve learned that by being transparent and by sharing my vulnerability, I'm more confident about who the real me is; and in turn, others are more comfortable in being their true selves with me. This chain reaction is such a pure and beautiful thing and brings about so much growth and honesty within relationships.
True liberation comes from being non-apologetic about the genuine you. We all live an ever-changing story and finding our authentic selves can take time and reflection, but it's worth the search! Discover who you really are (or want to be) and be passionate about that person!!
Be bold+ be brave+ be YOU
After having CDiff my colon just couldn't handle anymore gluten and dairy (both of which can trigger your body's immune response + lead to inflammation). In the early weeks of radically changing my diet, I struggled SO BAD with what types of food to buy for home. Everything I had typically gotten at the grocery before either had gluten or dairy or way too much sugar + preservatives. Needless to say, over the last 8 months I have tried LOTS of different types of products! But today I’m gonna break it down to my top ten favorites to keep in your pantry and fridge when you’re looking for some AWESOME healthy alternatives.
1) Rao’s Tomato and Basil Marinara
Rao’s marinara comes straight from Italy and you can totally tell!! The typical store bought marinara has added sugar or high fructose corn syrup and all kinds of other ingredients like “natural flavorings”, soybean oil, and unhealthy preservatives. I used to ALWAYS buy Prego but after changing my diet I knew I needed to find a better alternative + Rao’s tastes even better than what I had been eating!!
2) Banza Pasta
Mmmmmmmm!!!! I can’t get enough of Banza chickpea pasta! ALSO they sell this in bulk at Costco which is a big win for me considering how often I have pasta nights lol. Be careful not to boil it too long, because the chickpea pasta will tend to fall apart when overcooked. All in all I’ve found this to be my favorite gluten free alternative to pasta PLUS it’s loaded with protein from the chickpeas!
3) Oatly Oat Milk
Almond milk has never been my favorite milk alternative, so when I became completely dairy free, I knew I would need to find a more tasty option. I sampled cashew, coconut, and soy milk but didn’t just loooovvee any of them. Not gonna lie, Oatly probably attracted me mostly with their marketing, but I am so glad they did! Their oat milk is super creamy like real milk and makes pancakes and cupcakes taste just like ones made with cow’s milk. Oatly is a little hard to find in stores, so I always stock up when I’m at my parent’s Whole Foods in Georgia!
4) Healthade Kombucha
Ahhhhh Healthade, you are just too good to me. Kombucha definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but PLEASE pour me an extra glass! Healthade is organic, non-GMO, GF, vegan, certified raw, and much much more. My favorite flavor is the “Power Greens” which has wheatgrass, spirulina, and camu camu. If you’re looking for just a classic booch, go with the Pomegranate flavor which is my second fav! It's super important when recovering from C-Diff to introduce more probiotics into your diet, and kombucha is such an amazing source!
5) Panda Puffs Cereal
Okay, if I told you I only ate this occasionally I'd be lying. I wish I could say that I eat a wonderfully balanced breakfast every morning, I just don’t. Most of the time I tend to be running late, and cereal is such a quick + delicious option for me. Panda Puffs are organic, non-GMO, and gluten free + taste JUST LIKE REESE’S PUFFS!!! Run to the store and buy a box ... you'll love it!
6) Once Upon a Farm Baby Food
“But Grace, this is baby food? Why the heck is it on your Top 10 list of foods?” Okay okay, I get it, I’m weird, but Y’ALL this stuff tastes amazing. The yummiest flavor is the “Wild Rumpus Avocado” which has pineapple, banana, avocado, and spearmint. These little pouches are a great pick me up for a midday slump and a quick snack. It’s like a mini smoothie on the go!!
7) Amy’s Vegetable Soup
When I first started eating healthier, I struggled to find good/wholesome things to keep in the pantry for when I’m in a time crunch. This vegetable soup is such a good side or snack with any meal! It practically tastes homemade because the veggies in it are so fresh! Amy’s Kitchen makes a ton of great foods, but this one is definitely at the top of my list!
8) Skinny Pop Popcorn
Who doesn’t love a good movie night?! And you can’t have movie night without popcorn! Finding a non-dairy/non-GMO + yummy popcorn was hard, but this Skinny Pop that pops up in its own box really hits the spot. It tastes so buttery and delicious you would never know it's non-dairy!
9) Fitaid Recovery drink
Fitaid was actually a must have in my fridge long before I made the commitment to clean up my diet. I love the boost of energy it gives me from the green tea + the amazing blend of vitamins is a huge bonus! If you’re ever dragging halfway through the day Fitaid is the best way to snap out of it. Fitaid is typically sold as an after workout recovery drink, but TBH I like the extra vitamin and energy pick-me-up at any point before 3 PM (because ya girl doesn’t wanna be up all night hyped on caffeine).
10) last but most certainly NOT least, Simple Mills EVERYTHANG!!!
Simple Mills was founded by Katlin Smith who’s mission was to create foods with handpicked ingredients to nourish your body (nothing artificial EVER). They are truly a game changer in the gluten free world and deserve MAJOR shoutouts! Not only are they gluten free, but their ingredients are so REAL + SIMPLE + NATURAL! The photo above includes my main pantry staples like banana bread mix, cake mix + icing, almond flour crackers, toasted pecan cookies, and pancake mix! These are my top Simple Mills faves, but I could name so many more of their products that I’m truly obsessed with. You will never be disappointed with ANYTHING they make!!
So there you have it ... My Top 10 go-to's! Feel free to comment with questions or check out my Instagram for more suggestions (@sweatyhappyhealthy). The good news is these days there are a multitude of great options out there for anyone with dietary restrictions or for those just looking to eat healthy. So enjoy friends!
My name is Grace Austin, and about three years ago I started sharing my journey on a newly created fitness Instagram. What began as a fun way to update friends about my favorite healthy food, workouts, and life routines grew into what I now call “Sweaty Happy Healthy.”
These three years have brought a lot of growth opportunities. I've muddled my way through trials and hardships but also graduated from Belmont University (a place I have really come to love). Through this blog I hope to inspire, guide, and encourage that you are never alone … no matter what you are going through! During my life I have been through trauma, tough breakups, moving to new cities, battled an eating disorder, had an unhealthy relationship with fitness, struggled with anxiety and depression, dealt with chronic hives, and battled a colon infection called “C-Diff.”
Photo courtesy of mantraband.com
After having C-Diff I made the commitment to go gluten and dairy free for the sake of healing my gut. 7 months in on my new and improved diet, I can tell you that I absolutely feel like a brand new person! For many years prior to the infection, I struggled with “leaky gut” which is a condition where your intestines are permeable allowing toxins and bacteria to leak into your bloodstream…After reading the book “Eat Dirt” by Dr. Josh Axe, my views completely changed on how I use household items and on the quality of food I put into my body. Through this blog - I plan to share the insight I have learned and let you know about all of my favorite foods & products that I now incorporate into my daily life!
Photo courtesy of sheisrecovering.com
I believe in strong women, badassery, diminishing mental health stigmas, and movement for the sake of moving. Plus I positively believe that fitness can/should be for everyone (+ be fun!), and that all of us can benefit from a little doggy love! Welcome to Sweaty Happy Healthy where I hope you will benefit from my trials & challenges and find ideas that can help make your life easier and a little more interesting! Stay tuned for more blog posts coming soon!
Via @ReeseWitherspoon Instagram
P.S. You can always get through life a little easier with some Lizzo music in your life…Go check out my spotify playlist “HAPPY JAMS” for some @lizzobeating badassery.
Via @pinksilverfox Instagram
be bold + be brave + be YOU!