Hi Roxanne! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 46-year-old Educational Advocate and Dean of Students for 800 amazing kids. I’ve had the joy of working in various aspects of education for 26 years. I absolutely love being in the educational system and in the last 10 years I became a trainer for different companies who focus on educating adults. Something I share with clients is, “If you can make me understand it, I can teach the concept to anybody”.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with groups in inner-city populations in food deserts, who do not have access to grocery stores and want to improve their diet and overall health. I’m also a chef and the founder of Keep Stirring.
Unfortunately, I've also been like so many women: we give and give and don’t always take the time to do nurture ourselves. I decided this would be a season where I’m doing things for me.
I also tended to run low (I had hypoglycemia) at different parts of life's journey, and I wanted to be a little clearer about what my body needed. One of my concerns became that as I aged, I had some new allergies, and I wasn't seeing as much weight loss progress, even though I was doing the same things that worked in the past.
I wanted to use different methods to streamline what worked for me and eliminate what didn't work for me.
And that led you to Nutrisense…
Before the program, I’d checked my blood glucose levels before using a glucometer, but I had never used a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Of course, anything that allows me to track my blood sugar more consistently without poking my fingers all day is great. With the CGM, you get the best insights into how your glucose responds to lifestyle factors.
It’s helpful because when you don’t feel good, you can look back at the blood glucose trends and learn what to do about them. It gives you the best insight in a consistent way that’s pain-free!
What were some surprising things you found when you first looked at all the data in the Nutrisense app?
A lot of my sugar-free food choices were impacting my blood glucose levels. Especially the flavored sugar-free sweeteners I added to my water. I drank two or three of them daily, and I had no idea they were spiking my blood sugar so much.
I also had some surprises with blood sugar fluctuations and spikes with magnesium and vitamin D gummy vitamins.
Tortillas, low-carb wraps, also spiked my blood sugar. But a pleasant surprise was low-carb bread did not spike my blood sugar levels. Then there were other things that had a high impact on my glucose such as onions, bananas, and apples. I was expecting some of those to impact my glucose levels, so I wasn’t that surprised.
Tell us about the dietitian support you've had with the Nutrisense program.
I worked with Marissa [Kleinsmith] for the first nine, ten months, maybe even a whole year. And I'm now working with Victoria [Eaton]. Both my dietitians have been amazing.
They’ve taught me about meal sequencing and more about how I eat. Even the small suggestions helped; a big one for me was to close the door exiting my bedroom into the kitchen. I had never even thought about that, but closing the door at night when I go to sleep reminds me to cut out nighttime snacking.
They also inspired me to do some research and figure out how my body works. One of the challenges people have is not understanding what’s happening in their bodies in everyday terms. So it was all hugely helpful.
I always tell people: if you’re with Nutrisense, get the dietitian, and go all in.
During the first few weeks, Marissa was great about saying, "Let’s not try to change everything at once. If you do too much, it’s going to be overwhelming, and you’re not going to do anything." So we would pick one thing at a time to focus on.
What were some of these things?
One was my sleep pattern. Usually, I come home from work, crash, get up and work crazy hours, sometimes overnight. So we worked together on getting me to sleep at a reasonable hour. Another thing was not doing a lot of snacking in the middle of the night.
The program really helps with accountability, especially when you’re trying to lose weight, because you can’t lie to the sensor.
For example, if you have a spike at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and then 8 p.m., you know immediately: that was the taco, that was the burrito, that was the margarita So even if you don’t log everything you eat, you can’t lie to yourself.
I used to think I didn’t eat much because sometimes I’d skip breakfast and work through lunch. But even though dinner was the only meal I ate, I’d forget to account for everything in between such as random snacks to “tide me over” until dinner. Those snacks add up and lead to a lot of blood sugar variability throughout the day.
And are there any foods you’ve added to your daily routine or anything you’ve learned you have to limit?
I got a new food allergy tests done a while ago, which showed one of the things I was allergic to was wheat. As a baker and someone who cooks all the time, that's been a change.
So, I’ve had to adapt to that, but I generally stick to lower-cab meals. I don’t eat pork, but I’m pretty adventurous with food—I'll try almost anything once.
I have learned that fajitas (minus the tortillas) work well for me. I also love taking rotisserie chicken and making a chicken salad—it’s quick and easy.
I’m realizing that I need to do my prep and have things on hand. For example—I now keep Premier Protein shakes around the house, which helps with my nighttime cravings. So, if I have to cheat, I will have half of this protein shake instead of another snack. Having things like that on hand makes a huge difference for me.
What about guilty pleasures?
My favorite thing is sushi, but it does spike me. So I know on the days I eat it, it's just going to be what it is, and I adjust accordingly.
If I’m going to have sweets, I've learned to do so in small quantities after my protein and to chart it. I've changed those pieces in how I indulge, and I've seen improvement, even with weight loss.
Tell us a bit more about that.
I got married in May 2021. We had a small backyard wedding. And after, I noticed I wasn’t shining bright in my pictures—I didn’t feel my best. So I knew that when I had my real wedding (guests included) this year, I wanted to be in a place where I could enjoy my day.
Planning that wedding, I felt a big push to lose weight. And Marissa helped me focus on healthy, sustainable, and realistic weight loss. She made me realize I shouldn’t be focusing on a particular size, just go day by day. So that’s what I did, and I definitely enjoyed that process and the wedding—that was the greatest day.
I’ve lost 30 pounds already. And I didn’t just lose weight for the wedding; I’ve pretty much kept it off.
You mention not having had much success with weight loss before the program. When did you notice that you were making progress again?
I first noticed when I was getting fitted for my wedding dress, and the seamstress had to keep taking in the sleeves because they were hanging—I was losing weight from my shoulders! And then I started noticing the inches. I had to learn that every time the scale didn’t reflect pounds lost, it didn’t mean it wasn't working.
Marissa also helped me realize that every win is not a scale-based victory. There are non-scale wins where you’re losing inches, or you feel better, or you’re not winded, but it’s not showing up on your scale.
That’s so wonderful to hear. What’s next on your wellness journey?
In the beginning, I wasn't ready for a gym membership. But I recently joined a one-hour Orangetheory class. I love that they watch your heart rate throughout, and you aim to keep it at a certain percentage based on your needs. So, I only compete against myself when I go to the gym. I get no less than 6000 steps in a day and stay hydrated.
I went back to school—I got certified as a nutritionist to better understand these processes and what’s going on in my body. Marissa, Victoria, and Nutrisense have been a significant part of the entire process.
I’m working on the next piece of my wellness journey; I’m aiming now to lose another 100 pounds. It's a process, and I'm not yet done.