These 3 Small Things Made a Big Difference!

We’ve been making small changes to our lives over the past 2 years… and Jake especially has had a huge result! Over the past 3 and half months dealing with Jake’s amputation, I have been so incredibly thankful that we had already started down this road to better health.  There are a few things that we have done that have truly made such a big impact! But first… check out this stud!


The left photo is January 2016, and the right photo is March 2018.

Here are a few of the really simple things we’ve implemented in our lives.

Soda Rules

We changed the rules for soda in our house. When we started, Jake was drinking (gasp!) regular soda, and I was drinking diet soda. The evolution of the rules for soda went basically like this:

  1. Jake converted to diet soda! Which was huge! He had been drinking regular soda for his whole life!
  2. After about six months or so, we took it to the next level and restricted ourselves to only having diet soda after work. We each got a really nice big water bottle to keep at our desks at work. We also loved the idea of not spending so much money on vending machines.
  3. Slowly we started only buying the 17 oz. bottles of diet soda, and only allowing ourselves to have one bottle on weeknights and 3 bottles on the weekends. We also challenged ourselves to drink 100 ounces of water every day!
  4. We finally decided that we would cut it out completely! Its been over 6 months now and I can’t imagine drinking as much soda as we did. We both love drinking water and Jake has found that occasionally using Crystal Light flavor packets helps when he is feeling bored with plain old water!


Cooking was never something that I thought I would enjoy, let alone look forward to doing. Before we started focusing on our health, we had take-out or fast food many times a week. The only cooking I did was frozen pizzas or macaroni and cheese from a box. So when we started, that was a huge challenge for me! We started with basics, just literally cooking food at home. No matter what it was, even if that meant sandwiches or cereal for dinner.


Most women know all about calories and have at some point tried counting them as a weight management strategy. As someone who has struggled with my weight since early childhood, I was familiar with the logic of counting calories. It was something all new for Jake though, and seeing him have revelations about the fuel he was giving his body was fascinating! We used the MyFitnessPal app on our phones to track our calories. Jake made a connection that helped a lot, he treated his calories like cash, and he is thrifty! So when he saw how many calories were in his normal Taco Bell order, it was a huge wakeup call. After about a year of counting calories, we were great at budgeting calories and made it easy to give up something that was just “too expensive”.


The left photo is December 2016, the right photo is March 2018.

Those three things were really the main things that got us to where we are currently. Our health journey is still in its infancy, but getting started is the hardest part! If someone had told me two years ago that I would be cooking every night, avoiding all dairy, and eating mostly whole and plant-based foods, I would never have believed them!

There are so many things I can’t wait to document and share with people! If you have questions or would like to know more about our health journey, please contact me or comment below!

4 thoughts on “These 3 Small Things Made a Big Difference!

  1. RC says:

    Amazing post. I have a huge love affair with cooking and it really helps you make better choices. Plus these days there are so many creative things you can do and still keep your meals healthy and delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

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