ESM Podcast: Episode #2 105lb Weight Loss Success Story — Yvette Nathan-Jones Interview

As I begin to take my weight loss more seriously than I ever have in my life, I’m always on the lookout for people who have lost a great deal of weight and dramatically changed their life in the process.

Yvette Nathan-Jones is one of those people.

After reading her weight loss success story on the Hufington Post, I had to ask Yvette about what her life was like before her 105lb weight loss, how she was able to create the momentum to get started and keep going, and what her life is like now.

Just a quick note: The audio quality isn’t as high as it should have been. I’m working with a new microphone and didn’t get the recording settings quite right.

However, it is still an in depth and incredibly motivating interview that I hope you will enjoy.

Time: 70 mins


Yvette’s Huffington Post article

Yvette’s Web site

Yvette on Twitter

Read the full transcript of the interview: show

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Week 4: The Perils of Being a Woman

Last week: 354.5lbs

This week: 354lbs

Loss: 0.5lbs


Have to be honest, this week I was dealing with PMS and had intense cravings for salt. So, I indulged in tortilla chips, potato chips, and French fries.

The crazy thing is, this would have been the time for me to soothe myself with chocolate, bread (in some form), and beef—all the things I usually crave during PMS. I never did though. I stuck to salty things.

I continued to drink green juice, citrus juice, and green smoothies. I continued to eat beans and rice.

I’m starting to really appreciate how, I have come to notice, eating beans and rice fills me up without making me feel sick and uncomfortable afterward like, say, pizza always did.

I’m not going to beat myself up over the junk food indulgences this week. I know, once my period has ended, things will be back to normal.


As the month ends, I feel a bit frustrated with myself for only working out a handful of times this month. With me, it always seems like I go through three different phases:

-I eat well, but don’t workout

-I workout, but don’t eat well

-I completely check out and don’t workout nor eat well

My hope is that, now that I have spent nearly a month glutten-less, sugar-less, and meat-less that February will be the month I focus on workouts.

I’ll be documenting my workouts on I’ll also be posting at the 300+ Club thread and the Walk Away the Pounds thread on the 3 Fat Chicks message board.

Other Things:

I’m not one to take comfort in finding a label for any sort of thing that feels off when it comes to my body. I hate the idea of a medical condition becoming part of my identity.

Having said that, I’m starting to wonder if I suffer from Adrenal Fatigue. Some argue that Adrenal Fatigue isn’t an actual medical condition. I don’t know what to believe. I don’t have all the usual symptoms, but I have enough to make me wonder. Over the years, my horrible eating, lack of exercise, crazy sleep schedule, and holding on to decades worth of anger, I’m sure, has taken its toll on some part (if not all) of my body.

The cool thing is, Adrenal Fatigue can be treated with better lifestyle choices. It’s letting go of the tension I carry from the past and the worry about the future that I just don’t know how to deal with to better help my body.

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Top 10 Leslie Sansone Workout DVDs: Part 1

Last week, my goal was to start a round of Power 90. After giving it some thought, I realized my goal might be a little too ambitious and that I needed to lose a bit more weight before I could handle the power yoga part of that workout.

Instead, I revisited my collection of Leslie Sansone DVDs. They really are the perfect at home workout. You don’t need a lot of space nor equipment. The moves are easy to do and easy to modify.

I’ve been using her workouts on and off for ten years.  Over that time, I’ve bought 25 of her DVDs. I find that, even though she comes out with a few new workouts each year, there are certain workouts I keep going back to over and over again.

Here’s my list of the 10 best Leslie Sansone DVDs.

Walk Aerobics: 2 Mile Walk (1999)

Leslie Sansone - Deluxe Walkaerobics Special Edition Walk Aerobics (Weight Loss Walk/Two Mile Walk)This was my first Leslie Sansone workout. This workout is a bit more challenging than the Walk Away the Pounds DVDs she would release years after this one. This workout uses the same basic moves—leg lifts, kicks, side steps, and walking in place—but she adds variation that you don’t get in the workouts she released in 2001 and beyond.

This workout has you doing grapevines, side steps up and back, kickbacks with your hand touching your toe in the back combined with knee lifts touching your toe in the front. Just before you get to the cool down, you do a segment of squats and “abductors” (coming up from a squat and raising your leg off the floor).

It’s a fast-paced 30-minute workout that I like to come back to when I’m starting to get bored with Leslie’s usual choreography.

Heart Healthy Walk (2001)

I know a lot people don’t like the Leslie Sansone workouts in which she is working out alone. Personally, I don’t mind them. From what I can, her more advanced workouts are the ones in which she is alone. While this workout isn’t considered advanced, it does move briskly. It’s typical Leslie Sansone moves, but I found with this workout, there is less walking in place and more of the other moves are used.

Some days you’re going to be in mood for a long workout that moves at a steady pace. Other days you’ll appreciate a workout like this that is 30 minutes long, challenges you by not letting you rest up too much between the more exerting moves, and leaves you feeling like you got a lot out of the workout.

Walk & Kick (2001)

I have always been interested in kickboxing. When I weighed a lot less, I loved doing the original Tae Bo series. Since I’ve gained weight, I haven’t found many basic kickboxing workouts I can get through. This workout soothes my craving for kickboxing.

This workout is divided up into segments. Half the segments are of Leslie and her background exercisers doing Leslie’s signature moves. The other segments are basic kickboxing moves including: various punches, kicking, speed bag, etc. What I most appreciate about this workout is that the non-kickboxing segments are challenging while the kickboxing aren’t. During the kickboxing segments, you get a chance to catch your breath while doing some cool moves and then, before you know it, you’re right back into doing fast-moving knee lifts and kickbacks. The variety of moves and pacing help the workout go by really fast.

Walk Away the Pounds—Original Series (2001)

This workout series was the beginning of an annoying trend, but is the DVD I always recommend to people wanting to know which Leslie Sansone workout they should buy.

Leslie began using gadgets to make her various walking workouts just a little bit different. Over the years she’s used “stretchy” bands, weighted gloves, a resistance belt, and something called a “WalkBlaster”. In this original Walk Away the Pounds series she uses weighted balls. Substituting light dumbbells for the weighted balls is easy. I appreciate this series because it comes with two workouts—the 1 Mile Super Challenge and the 2 Mile High Calorie Burn. Both workouts move at a moderate pace. They’re good for the days when you want to get in a workout, but aren’t quite in the mood for anything too challenging.

Another aspect of this workout I like is that, while most of the background exercisers are following Leslie, one is doing modified moves that are a bit easier while another person is doing an extremely easy modified version. There have been times when I have just gotten back into exercising and couldn’t keep up with Leslie and had to follow the modifications. I appreciated having that person to watch.

Back in 2009, a DVD that has all the original WATP workouts was released. It’s called Leslie Sansone: Walk Away the Pounds Ultimate Collection.

Walk Strong

Leslie Sansone--Walk StrongI’m all about doing dedicated strength training workouts. However, over the years, I’ve really enjoyed Leslie’s strength training interval workout. As always, After a warm up, Leslie takes you through a segment of her basic moves. This lasts about three minutes. This is followed by a weight interval. You’d think because her workouts are considered “basic”, the weight intervals would be a breeze to get through. Not so much.

For the few minutes you’re using weights, you’re doing compound moves (two moves at the same time, like, lunges and bicep curls). If you were using heavy enough dumbbells your biceps, triceps, back, and shoulders get a decent workout. She doesn’t do any exercises for the chest and abs though. Your lower body is also getting worked out with repeated squat and lunges. The workout is 30 minutes and for days when you want to do a workout that’s a bit different than the usual Leslie Sansone DVD.

In part two, I list the other five favorites. These are more recent workouts and are the ones that are longer, faster, and more challenging.

What are your favorite Leslie Sansone DVDs? Please tell me in the comments below.

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Review: Juicing With the Omega Vert VRT350 Juicer

Last summer, I wanted to buy a new juicer. I wanted one that didn’t take up a lot of counter space, one that yielded a lot of juice from the produce I would be juicing, and one that didn’t sound like an airplane landing in my kitchen when I was juicing.

I kept hearing about the Omega VRT350 and its exceptional performance and quality. Omega has been around for years and they are known for making premium blenders, food processors and juicers.

Often times, when people first get into juicing, they buy a cheap juicer. It’s understandable considering you’re not sure how much you’ll be using it. As you get more serious about juicing, you’re going to want a better juicer. (That’s what happened to me.)

When it comes to cost, the Omega VRT350 is a middle-of-the road juicer. It’s more expensive than the cheaper Breville models, but it is cheaper than the all-mighty Green Star juicer.

I recommend making the investment in the VRT350. Remember, this is an investment in your health. This juicer can get you started on the road to a healthier lifestyle by strengthening your immune system and detoxify your body from free radicals.

Product Features
• Dual stage juicing system with fine and coarse filter screens
• Auto pulp ejection and reverse mode in case of clogging
• Compact base
• Suitable for juicing wheatgrass
• Low-speed juicing prevents oxidation and degradation
• Contemporary and stylish design
• Easy to store
• Comes with accessories including coarse and fine screens, self-cleaning screen holder, tamper, cleaning brush
• Two juicing cups (50-oz)
• 10-year Limited Manufacturer Warranty


Before buying any juicer, you have to ask yourself what you want out of that juicer. Sadly, there isn’t one juicer that will fit all your needs. Remember, Omega VRT350 is optimized for low-speed performance but stable functions. Low-speed juicing prevents oxidation of juice which means you’ll get more nutrients from this juicer than you would using a high-speed juicer.

Also, this juicer does an amazing job at extracting juice and leaving very little pulp. What pulp is left is very dry. Bottom line: For the money you’re spending on produce, very little of the food you are juicing will go to waste.
However, quality does come with a price. You’ll need to take time to cut your fruits, veggies, and greens before you use this juicer. You’ll also need to give the juicer time to thoroughly juice your produce.

Overall Design

At first glance, you’ll notice that Omega VRT350 has a really cool and distinctive look. It screams modern and contemporary features unlike other conventional juicers available. The compact and stable base is also a big plus.

Many people are happy that they purchased this juicer since it doesn’t use up much space on the kitchen counter. That was a selling point for me.

When it comes to noise, compared to a juicer like the Breville Juicer Elite, the VRT350 is much quieter.

One thing to note, this juicer heats up the longer you use it. The manual recommends you not use it for longer than 30 minutes.

Another feature I appreciate is the “Reverse” switch. If, by chance, something gets caught in the juicer (like fibers from kale stems), you can switch to “Reverse” mode and the juicer will turn counter clockwise until it is unstuck.

Best Uses

One of the main reasons why I bought this juicer was because it also juices wheatgrass. It’s a bonus to have one less appliance in the kitchen and to have not needed to buy a dedicated wheatgrass juicer.

In the near future, I’ll be making a video showing how to juice wheatgrass. For now, I can say that 225g/8oz of wheatgrass yields about 8oz of wheatgrass juice and leaves behind extremely dry pulp.

Some people say this juicer isn’t the best when it comes to juicing greens and that there are better juicers out there for juicing greens (such as the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer), but I juice greens in the VRT350 all the time and feel as though it does a good job.

Want to see the Omega VRT350 in action? Watch this video I made of me making a huge batch of green juice:


• Easy to clean
• Works quietly and efficiently
• Efficient design
• Juices comes out smooth and clean

• Not the cheapest model out there
• Juicing takes time

If you’re willing to invest some money and some time, this juicer will not disappoint. It’s small and compact, but it’s a powerful workhorse. Omega is a trusted company that makes good quality products. How often do you come across a company that offers a ten year warranty on a kitchen appliance? I have been using this juicer almost every day for the past eight months and I have no complaints.

Check out this juicer on Amazon. (That’s where I got mine.)

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Week 3: I Want to Stop Killing Myself with Food


Last week: 356lbs

This week: 354.5lbs

Loss: 1.5lbs


On a scale from 0-10, when it came to eating this week, I was at about a 6.

Most days were on track. I drank a lot of juice. I ate beans and rice. I drank green smoothies.

A habit I’ve had for decades is to always buy some sort of “treat” when I run errands. This week, I had to stop in at Staples then buy a few things at the grocery store. Normally, I’d pick up some chocolate bars at the drugstore and stop for a large chicken burrito as I walked back home.

This time, since I’m not eating gluten, sugar, nor meat, my “treat” choices were limited. While I was at the drugstore, I tried to go for a non-food treat and picked up a bottle of nail polish. It just didn’t feel the same, so I headed for the food section and picked up a bag of Pop Chips. (I love Sour Cream & Onion flavour.)

I felt good about my choice. I ate the bag when I got home. The thing is, the high sodium really got to me. (There’s over 1000mg of sodium in a “share” bag of Pop Chips.) Not only did I become bloated, but I started to seriously crave other salty foods. I ended up ordering out for takeout food—the first time in three weeks—and getting two orders of French fries.

The thing about eating fries is that, in your mind, you remember them tasting awesome. I have to admit, the first 25 or so were pretty good. But when you eat (or drink) a lot of fruits and veggies, you start to get used to the taste of live food. When you eat something cooked—or deep fried—once your mind is satisfied, you start to realize how unnatural fries taste.

Once again, I don’t quite understand why I keep craving potato-related foods. I do know though, I have got to be so much more aware of my sodium intake and be mindful that too much will take me off track.

One other thing…

I had a conversation with my mom about food. She loves baked goods and meat. I try to talk her into eating more fruit or trying green smoothies. She refuses to even consider it.

After I got off the phone, I realized something. My mom doesn’t have the happiest life. Food is the thing that brings her pleasure. I really think she’s biding her time until she dies and is enjoying all the muffins, steak, chocolate, etc she can as she continues on that path.

I can’t judge her. I used to be the same way. Someone once asked me, “Do you really want to live?” I couldn’t answer with a firm “yes”. However, today, I feel like I’m leaning way more toward “yes” than I have in a long time. My fear is that I’ve done too much damage to my body by neglecting for so long that I won’t have the longevity I now want.

I just know I will no longer be killing myself with food.

This week, I’d like to try a three-day liquid feast and drink green juice, citrus juice, and green smoothies.


Honestly, I didn’t work out much this week. I feel like, for the past three weeks, my focus has been more on food.

I have 90 days until I visit NYC. I was going to do a round or Power 90, but, after giving it some thought, I realized I’m not physically ready to do that right now.

So, instead, I’m going to dive into my Leslie Sansone DVD collection and start “walking away the pounds” as well as do strength training every second day.

The thing about Leslie Sansone DVDs, is that I appreciate their simplicity, but after awhile, I tired of Leslie. I’ve read of people who turn down the volume and put music on instead. I may try that.

I will be using a Web site I found recently, DailyMile, to keep track of my workouts.

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My First Weight Loss Vlog…

At last! I took the plunge and posted my first video. In it, I talk about what inspired me to start this blog and to get extremely serious about losing weight.

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Review: Dan McDonald’s “Lose 1 Pound A Day The Healthy Way” DVD

Lose 1 Pound A Day The Healthy Way DVD

Time: 90 minutes

Cost: $27


For the past two years, I’ve been watching Dan McDonald, the “Life Regenerator”, on YouTube.  I found Dan when I came across a blog post in which someone had posted one of his videos.

Back then, most of his videos were shot while he stood outside, in front of an RV, making juice with his Breville juicer and preaching the healing qualities of fruits and vegetables. Within a week of finding him, I bought my first juicer.

When Dan started making, and selling, more professionally produced videos, I was anxious to check them out. My first purchase was the DVD promising to teach how to lose a pound a day.

DVD Breakdown

During the 9-minute introduction, Dan talks about the many clients that have come to him dealing with serious weight issues. He says he created a simple plan those people could follow to lose weight quickly.

Dan’s weight loss plan is this: Eat fruit for breakfast, fruit during the day, and salad for dinner. Eliminate cooked food and avoid fat almost completely.

The next segment is devoted to explaining the kitchen tools you will need (knife, food processor, blender, etc).

This is followed by a rundown of the various fruits, vegetables, greens, and herbs he recommends. Dan goes into detail about the healing properties each have.

Next up: the recipes. Dan offers snack and/or meal recipes for:

-fruit dishes

-veggie dishes




Each recipe section features two recipes.

Following the recipes, Dan concludes the DVD with another 9-minute talk about the benefits of eating raw when you need to lose weight.

What’s To Appreciate

Dan McDonald’s passion for fruits, vegetables, and good health are infectious. I have found that after a lifetime of having such strong attachments to things like pizza, burgers, cake, etc, shifting my mind to getting excited about raw food is a huge endeavor. It takes hearing the same “raw foods will save your life” message repeatedly for me to stay on track. Passion and reinforcement are abundant throughout this DVD.

While a lot of the things Dan mentions in this video can be found, for free, within many of his YouTube videos, this DVD is more like an “added bonus” than it is a DVD containing any sort of exclusive, never before given information or insights.

Production-wise, the kitchen which served as the setting for the DVD was cozy.  I do give compliments to whoever decided to oversaturate the video’s color. The greens looked dark green and lush and the oranges looked bright orange and ripe. It really helped to make all the food look vibrant, fresh, and delectable.

When Dan says he’s keeping things simple, he’s means that literally. The fruit and veggies dishes had no more than three ingredients. I have mixed feelings about that. His first “recipe” showed how to mix slices of an orange with slices of apple with a bit of mint added. For me, it was uninspired. However, I could see how being shown how fast and simple raw foods can be might be a good motivator.

I have to admit, I consider myself fairly well-versed on the topic of raw foods, but even I got a few ideas from this DVD. One was the idea to add asparagus to my juices. (I hadn’t considered it before.)  The second was to try Dan’s orange, tomato, and basil salad dressing.

You want to get a clean body that is running off of oxygen rather than off of the stimulation of spices, heavy foods, and food additives. -Dan McDonald

What Was Lacking

I think this DVD is more of an introduction to raw food meal preparation than it is a weight loss DVD.  People new to raw foods will need advice on blenders and juicers as well as simple recipes.

It seemed like the thought behind this DVD was that the viewer would be someone who is overweight and new to raw foods. (Is the presumption that if someone was familiar with eating raw they wouldn’t be overweight?)  For someone with a bit more knowledge and experience, only small gems of advice could be gleamed here and there.

The camera work was basic, but could have been better. Often times Dan would be pointing out something on the cutting board while the camera lingered on his face so you couldn’t see what he was referring to.

With almost a quarter of the DVD devoted to Dan simply talking directly at the camera, I do wish there had been less talking and more recipes. Three recipes—basic, moderately creative, and really creative—would have been better.

Is it Worth $27?

For someone who is truly wanting to make eating raw a central part of their life (whether you have to lose weight or not), until eating raw is second nature, watching DVDs like this is essential. The overall message throughout helps reinforce good habits. So, in that sense, it is worth buying.

As I mentioned earlier, you could spend the time going through Dan’s videos on YouTube and learn just as much, if not more, from them. However, even if you got just one good idea from this DVD, it makes the purchase worth it. Also, you never know when a friend of a family member may a show an interest in eating better and you can share this DVD with them to help get them started.

If you are looking for a DVD that contains more recipes and ones that are a bit more advanced, I recommend Jennifer CornBleet’s Raw Food Made Easy DVD. (I’ll be reviewing that one soon.)

Rating: 3 out of 5

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