Who am I?
My name is Summer Blankenship.
I am a full time student in Dietetics and Nutrition, a wife, and a full time evening shift hospital pharmacy tech supervisor. In less than two years I will be a Registered Dietitian. I am a mostly plant based eater, crossfit athlete, and dog lover. I’ve lost a lot of weight. And I survived brain surgery (viewer discretion advised below – there are hospital pictures!). I have experience, insight, and attitudes towards health and nutrition that I feel I need to share with anyone who cares to listen.
Why should you care to read what I have to say about nutrition?
I was once a few too many cheeseburgers close to 300lbs. I was about to graduate from college with a degree in Biology and at the heaviest weight I had ever been in my entire life. I was in a terrible relationship, partying too much, and without a clue what I would do with my future. Something had to give.
I remember so clearly the day I was in the bookstore at school attempting to buy a cap and gown for graduation. I say attempting because on that day they did not have a gown large enough for me. They would have to order one. So I left campus with a hat, embarrassment, and a determination to make a change.
I had dieted in the past. In high school I reached goal and became “lifetime” at Weight Watchers. Believe it or not I was once an athlete. I knew how to do it. It was just a matter of putting my knowledge into practice. Changing behaviors and attitudes. And sticking to it.
I tell everyone it was a long gradual process that is more of a lifestyle change than a particular diet. It starts with loving yourself enough to realize your health is important, to make the commitment to being a better version of yourself and making your life a priority. I first gave up fast food and started eating at home more, then I started exercising more, then I started eating more “clean” whole foods, and then after a stint with Weight Watchers online, I finally I discovered what I’m doing now – eating a whole foods, plant based diet. I eat on average 1800 calories per day, all while tracking on MyFitnessPal on my phone, of mostly vegan foods, with the exception of fish and eggs. And my food is delish!
I believe the Harvard Healthy Plate is by far the best guideline for healthy eating.
Two years later – and more than 100 pounds lighter – I feel amazing!
So what, I got skinny. Why does it matter?
In May 2011 I had brain surgery. I had an 8 hour, complicated, rare surgery on my brain. I spent a week in the ICU. And I survived it. I was diagnosed with Moyamoya disease, a congenital vascular deformity of my carotid artery on the right side of my brain, causing migraines and putting me at risk for stroke. I got lucky. Would I have survived that surgery if I had still been 300lbs? Probably not. I came close enough to death to know that I wanted to live. And if I was going to live, I was going to live the best possible life. I was going to make the most of every opportunity, treat my body well, and enjoy it.
This appreciation for health and wellness has transformed into a career for me. I’m in school to be an RD – to be able to get a job where I can impact the lives of others, who like me, struggle with nutrition related attitudes and behaviors that can be detrimental to health.
I hope for this blog to serve as a platform by which I can share my story, educate, inspire and motivate you.
On my wedding day I was in the best shape of my adult life! Let me help you get to your goals like I have. Slow and steady wins the race.
What will you see from me here on my blog?
- Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Topics
- Relevant Articles and Studies
- My Experiences. School, Relationships, Diets & Events.
- Food. What I eat, how I cook, recipes I like.
- Q&A Responses
- Work Outs & Fitness Tips
What I need from you?
Bring it on. Ask me questions. Comment here or email me at SummerVBlankenship@gmail.com
What do you want to know about me, food, healthy eating habits, or weight loss? No question is too small or to complex. I’m ready to take on this challenge and do it well. Lets do this.
Disclaimer: I am not doctor, Registered Dietitian, or expert of any sort, unless you count my Registered Pharmacy Technician Certification. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University and currently a student at Keiser University in the Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Bachelors Degree Program, which will include a clinical internship and allow me to sit for the RD exam upon graduation. The topics discussed here are based on my personal experiences and should not replace recommendations given by a doctor or another health professional. It is important to consult a health professional such as a doctor or Registered Dietitian before making any changes regarding diet and fitness. My blog documents my weight loss and how I carry out a healthy active and vegan lifestyle, but it is important to remember that what works for me may not work for you.