For most of her life, Donna Stevenson Manley struggled with food and portion control. Little did she know the solution to healthy eating would someday be waiting on her doorstep. After little more than a hundred days of eating fresh, gourmet meals from The Fresh Diet, Donna (or, as she is known on her blog, “The Fresh Diet Girl”) has dropped 52 lbs. and is feeling better than ever!
“So far, this has been the most fantastic journey of my life,” Donna says.
The journey began when the 40-year-old mother of three from Illinois won The Fresh Diet’s “Diet With Glenn Douglas Packard Contest” back in March. Donna is a big fan of Glenn Douglas Packard, because she admires the “energy and love” the popular entertainer exudes.
“When I saw the post on Glenn’s Facebook page about this contest, I just knew it was my time,” Donna says.
Donna already knows exactly how she wants to look! After reading The Secret, she created a vision board, which includes pictures of the thin, fit person she will someday become. However, she soon put those personal goals on hold in order to focus on caring for her beloved, terminally-ill grandmother. Ultimately, Donna cared for Grandma Belle for nine months before laying her to rest. As painful as it was to lose the matriarch of the family, the trauma of losing her grandmother was soon replaced with the hope of making a personal transformation.
“We buried my grandmother on a Saturday,” Donna says. “I started The Fresh Diet the following Monday.”
Donna’s favorite Fresh Diet meals include crepes, Philly cheese steak, pizza, Chicken Szechuan Stir Fry, Chipotle Steak, and cheesecake. No matter what she eats though, our fresh, healthy meals give Donna plenty of energy.
“The energy I have on The Fresh Diet is like nothing I have ever felt before,” Donna says. “There is so much power and strength in everything I do!”
And, that’s a good thing, because Donna has quite an intense workout regimen these days. Now, it is a big achievement for anybody to get up and workout every single day and push themselves to extremes – but especially for Donna because of her medical history. Donna has had 39 operations during her lifetime, surgeries that began when she was a mere teenager.
“It is a bad thing when you know all of the people working in the emergency room by name,” Donna admits.
As if the surgeries weren’t bad enough, Donna suffered a stroke three years ago. She completely lost feeling on the right side of her body. In order to learn how to walk again, Donna worked with a personal trainer named Joe Ghanem. Today, she is once again working with the same trainer, but the workouts have become much more intense.
“Three years ago, I wasn’t even walking,” Donna says. “It is mind-boggling to think how far I have come in such a short period of time.”
Donna even found a type of cardiovascular exercise that she loves. During her trip to Miami, Glenn Douglas Packard took Donna to quite a few different classes in order to introduce her to different forms of exercise. Fortunately for Donna, he introduced her to the wonderful world of Spinning.
“I am totally addicted to that bike now,” Donna says. “I ride at the hardest level for at least half of the workout.”
On that same trip to Miami, Donna visited The Fresh Diet kitchen and met the company’s founder and CEO Zalmi Duchman. She was amazed by all the work that goes into preparing Fresh Diet meals and was impressed with how much care the chefs take when they make the food. Donna was also extremely impressed with the man, who founded The Fresh Diet.
“Zalmi is a saint,” Donna says, tearfully. “I owe him everything for creating this company.”
A few months later, Donna had the opportunity to meet Fresh Diet Executive Chef Yosef scwartz, when she flew to Houston to appear with him on Fox News. She says it was a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the science behind The Fresh Diet meals.
“I was honored to be able to go on television and share how The Fresh Diet is changing my life for the better,” Donna says.
One of the things Donna shared during that broadcast was the dramatic changes that have taken place in her blood work since being on The Fresh Diet. When she started having our fresh, gourmet meals delivered, her CRP (C-Reactive Protein) level was at an alarming 10.14, indicating high levels of inflammation and putting her at extreme risk for heart attack and stroke. After she lost 40 pounds on The Fresh Diet, Donna’s CRP level went down to 3.16, which is close to the normal range. Donna says this is beyond life-changing, because it proves that The Fresh Diet is saving her life!
“The Fresh Diet has absolutely changed everything I have ever thought about food,” Donna says. “I started working out with a trainer after I had a stroke. Eventually, I began to really enjoy exercise. However, I still never lost a single pound, because I couldn’t get the food part right.”
Today, Donna has healthy eating in the bag! And, she can take that Fresh Diet cooler bag with her nearly everywhere she goes. Even during those few occasions when she doesn’t have a Fresh Diet meal within easy reach, Donna says being on the plan has taught her about proper portion control.
“Not long ago, I ordered a salad at a restaurant,” Donna says. “They brought out the biggest salad I have ever seen in my life. I ate about a quarter of it and took the rest home, because The Fresh Diet has taught me the portions I should be eating.”
Not only did Donna scale back her portions, she cut the portions she serves to her children. That’s one reason Donna says that The Fresh Diet has been a blessing for her entire family. The other is that Donna has more energy to play with her kids than ever before.
“Now, I can physically go out and play with my kids outside,” Donna says. “They love having me be this active with them. I have always been the one to just sit there and watch.”
Donna even went on a dream vacation to Colorado with her family this summer. Though she had been to the Centennial State many times before, this trip was special because it involved a week of physical activity with her husband and kids. The itinerary for the vacation included whitewater rafting, hiking, tree-top zip lining, and gold mining.
“It has taken me all of forty years to find out what life is about,” Donna admits. “I always had this image of not being worthy.”
Today, Donna says she is finally starting to love herself enough to realize that she is worthy of all the positive changes that have been coming her way since she started The Fresh Diet. Ideally, Donna wants to lose about a hundred more pounds, though her trainer thinks that would be too much. Ultimately, Donna says she will just try to get to a weight where she is comfortable, but she is visualizing wearing size 8 clothing.
“I am excited to be losing weight the safe way with The Fresh Diet,” Donna says. “Knowing that I am eating fresh, healthy food means everything to me.”
Not only is Donna writing her own success story with The Fresh Diet, she is inspiring other people to do the same by blogging about her experiences. Donna says it is a very humbling experience to be known throughout the blogosphere as The Fresh Diet Girl. (Click here to check out Donna’s blog.)
“If my blog can help other women love who they are, what a blessing that will be,” Donna says.
The process of keeping a blog has also been very therapeutic for Donna. From day one, she has been brutally honest on her posts. Writing about the food she is eating has also helped Donna to stay accountable. Ultimately, she hopes to pass on the newfound inspiration The Fresh Diet has given her.
“When a person becomes as heavy as I was, you start to lose hope,” Donna says. “The Fresh Diet has given me that hope back.”
Donna Stevenson Manley is writing her own success story with The Fresh Diet, and you can do the same. Don’t lose hope. Click here to sign up for The Fresh Diet today!