DN: What’s your name?
Jalisa: Jalisa Logan
DN: Please tell the viewers a little bit about yourself!
Jalisa: So…I’m 30 years old. I’m a former military brat. I grew up in the South. My family settled in Virginia in 1998 in the Hampton Roads area, so this is home. Currently, I live in Newport News. I work as a teacher and a dancer and I also do Real Estate.
DN: When did the decision come to recharge your health?
Jalisa: I was dancing with a company at the time and I really needed to lose weight just to create better lines, to get on and off of the floor. We did a lot of floorwork. So, just for dance purposes, but also I was struggling with my acne and I really needed to change my diet. I didn’t want to have to take medication for acne. So I said, “Maybe if I change my diet, it will help me change my skin
DN: What diet(s) did you try and which one worked best for you?
Jalisa: It was definitely an evolution. I started out as a pescatarian, meaning I cut out meats but I still ate fish. And then I transitioned to a vegetarian, where I cut out the meat and fish. Finally, I am at the place where, I say, Whole Food plant based. Some people say “vegan”. I’m not a strict vegan so I don’t use that term because I do still eat honey and use products that have animals in it. When I say “Whole food plant based” that means I eat mostly foods that are plants, whole grains, nuts, legumes and those things.
DN: Were there times when you “cheated” on your diet?
Jalisa: If so, how did you bounce back? I don’t know if “cheated” is what I’d call it. I never went back and eaten meat. I’ll say that. I was never like, “I need a piece of chicken.” I tell people that I have never been a picky eater. I’d eat anything. But once I stopped eating meat, my craving for it went away. If I did eat meat, because I have, it was because someone said, “Hey, Jalisa, will you try this or will you try that?” I’m okay doing that, but it’s not because “Mmm. I need a piece of chicken right now.” I would say that I overindulge on things that I shouldn’t eat because I never said that, “I can’t eat this at all”, except meat. I try to stay away from that. But things like dairy, too much bread, if I overindulge in these things, what I have to do is stop buying it. Get it out the house. Stop shopping hungry. So the key for me is that if it’s not around, then I’m not gonna eat it.
DN: For exercising, did you do workout at home or go to a gym?
Jalisa: First, I began exercising at the dance school because my workout is very dance-specific. I have very specific goals when I exercise. Then I transitioned to the gym. I transitioned to the gym when I met a personal trainer. She was talking about weight loss and I was so impressed. So I was like, “Hey, can you work with me?” So she taught how to really use the gym and that’s when I really started working out at the gym more.
DN: How often did you begin to workout?
DN: Are there any exercise plans that helped you?
Jalisa: I told my trainer that I wanted to do legs. She gave me a whole body plan. She wouldn’t do just legs, but she taught me how to do a circuit. You do a circuit of three exercises and then you change the circuit, do three different exercises and then you switch. So working with a trainer taught me how to organize my workout. I think that’s what I needed. I used to go to the gym and just start grabbing stuff in no organized fashion. She taught me on how to focus my workouts. But I tell people that my trainer was exceptional. She was excellent, but the workout didn’t fit my body because I’m a dancer and she was giving me a gym body. She was giving me a body to look good in clothes, but I didn’t need that kind of body. I needed a dancer’s body. My muscles needed to work a little bit differently. So I had to start changing the workouts to fit me. My whole premise is understanding your own body is really key to all of this for diet and exercising. Knowing how your body works and what your specific goals are because what she gave me was a gift, a framework. A framework that I had to adapt for myself.
DN: Did you have a support group, to keep you motivated?
Jalisa: I never had a support group. But, your peers will influence you so going to dance class was definitely a factor. Group exercise is really helpful in reaching your goals because you have the accountability of everyone in the room. You don’t want to seem like the slacker. Also, I read a book called, “How Not To Diet” and I would listen to that audiobook. So even if I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I would listen to that book in the car. If I felt like I was getting off-track, I would listen to the book.
DN: How long did it take you to become 100% committed to the process?
Jalisa: I was committed from the beginning. It was something that I knew I had to do. I tell people that I come from a family where diabetes runs on my father’s side. So I knew that part of this was for dance, part of this was for my skin, but also a part of this was for longevity in life. I didn’t want to become a person who had to be on, or dependent of, medication later in life. So I did understand the importance of doing this now is going to help me later. So it was never about, “Oh. I going to revert back.” It was more about what really works because when you start you may lose some pounds, but you’re like “Is this really working?” When I found something that worked for me, that’s when I became more intentional.
DN: When did you have the “Ohhh, snap!” moment, where you noticed results?
Jalisa: When I looked into the mirror and my clothes fit better. When I started doing the whole food plant based diet and that was about three years ago. I noticed that I’m slimming down. My hair is growing back faster. This was probably within a month of doing the whole food plant based diet. It didn’t take long because I had already cut out meats and so I have been making tweaks along the way of my diet.
DN: Do you take any supplements?
Jalisa: I started taking B12, which is important for your teeth. My dentist asked me if I drink coffee or if I am a smoker. That’s when I realized that I need to take a B12 supplement.
DN: Do you have any tips for the viewers who are in their beginning stages?
Jalisa: I would say pay attention to your body. Take a journal of what you’re eating because you want to notice what different foods are affecting your body. I started noticing changes when I started the whole food plant based diet. I noticed how significantly my weight was affected by taking out the dairy versus when I added it back in again. Use yourself as an experiment and don’t rely on your doctor. I say that because you are with yourself every single day. Your doctor only goes by what they see when they see you in that one moment of time or from what you tell them. So you wanna catch as much data on yourself as you can so that you’ll know what your problems are. So when I went to the dentist, I had to understand what she was saying about my teeth. My whole food plant based diet is fine, but what is causing my teeth to stain. After doing some research, I learned that I needed to take the B12 supplement. I wouldn’t have known that I didn’t keep track of my diet. I would also say don’t get caught up into fad diets. Do something that’s sustainable. I knew that I wasn’t doing this for a short term. I knew that this would be for the rest of my life. I need a lifestyle change. I didn’t want to just lose a few pounds quickly. I want something that I can sustain over my lifetime. If you look at your diet as a lifestyle change, versus something that I’m gonna do for now, you’ll find that it will be more beneficial for you as you are in it for the long haul. The little mistakes or bumps in the road are not going to deter you. If you’re in a short-term diet, you will quit your diet after making one mistake. The longevity will help you stay the course.
DN: Do you have any social media pages or businesses that you would like to promote?
Jalisa: I’m currently doing real estate in the Hampton Roads area. So you can follow me on My Hampton Roads Groove on Instagram and on Facebook.