Women should be able to document their bodies however they want. Share it, keep it to themselves, whatever they see fit. I’ve never been so comfortable in my own skin and I’m so glad I could collaborate with Megan and Austin Gilliam on this project. I can’t wait to look back on this video when I’m 85 and be like, “Heck yes.”

I didn’t do this boudoir video for the “wrong reasons” or for the reasons some people who see this might think. But then again, what’s wrong with doing something that I want to do and makes me happy?
I did this video because I think documenting the female body is amazing. Sure, I could have stood in front of a mirror, taken a photo, and documented it that way but how many of us can say that they actually have a video of their body when they feel their sexiest that they can look back on? I wanted to be able to say and have that. There are so many different styles of boudoir photography and it’s all about your personal taste and what you feel comfortable with. For me personally, this encapsulates how to show the female body in a beautiful and artistic way.

For almost 3 years now I have been on the vegan diet and I’ve seen the most dramatic changes with my body and health. I’ve lost over 15lbs and I’ve shed over 4 inches just from my waist alone. I’m also rarely ever sick, I have tons of energy all of the time, I’m never counting calories, and I just feel so good. I can honestly say it’s the best life decision I have ever made and I know I wouldn’t feel as confident with my body today without it. Also, for over a year now I have been training with Hannah Lovelis and that has helped me shed even more inches and weight off. She inspires me to get in the gym every day without making me dread it. When I go in I run 2+ miles and then spend an hour weight lifting/toning with her. It’s the perfect balance for me.

Coming to this point of “loving myself” was not easy at all. Don’t get me wrong, I never hated my body. I would not sit and obsessively think about how much I wish I looked like someone else. Instead, I would think, “How can I work hard to get my body to look like that?”
I would look at things like cellulite, curves, bigger thighs and arms, and think to myself, “Ew..no.” And why? Because I would see models on the Victoria Secret runway and be think, “Whyyyy am I not tall like that? They don’t have big arms or thighs. Wait, hello?? Why don’t I look like that?” And then it wasn’t until the Beyonce era that these thoughts I had went away. When I saw her I thought, “Wait… her body frame is similar to mine and she looks amazing.” And then she quickly became my new female body role model and I was hooked.
Most of you know about my obsession with Beyonce and think it may just be her music, and some of it is, but it’s really more about her powerful image both with her body and her success. A curvy figure became something that looked interesting and strong to me. I then decided to work on pushing my curvy figure to the extreme instead of wishing I was 5’11″… because let’s face it, that’s never going to happen.

A lot of people send me emails and message me about my diet and ask for tips, recipes, or anything that will help them pursue the vegan diet or just a healthier eating lifestyle. Here are some tips for those who want to start:

(1) Watch these documentaries on Netflix:
Forks Over Knives
Cowspiracy
Fed Up
Engine 2 Diet

(2) Buy these cookbooks:
Forks Over Knives (they also have a cookbook app you can download that updates regularly with new recipes)
Engine 2 Diet
Leslie Durso (vegan blog! try the walnut chorizo and cashew cheese!)
Chloe’s Kitchen
Oh She Glows
Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen
Chloe’s Vegan Desserts
Thug Kitchen
Isa Does It

(3) Get out there and workout.

What I hear the most from people is this: “I could totally be vegan but I just love cheese too much so I can’t.” And trust me, I was the exact same way. But after doing my research and sticking to the vegan diet, I no longer crave cheese or anything associated with meat. Also, after seeing the health benefits there’s nothing that would make me want to go back to eating that way.
Being vegan is not easy. It’s a mental game and extremely hard. Think about it, you were raised on meat and dairy and you are literally having to change your taste buds of 20+ years. That is SO hard to do and it actually takes a long time to achieve. But it’s worth it not only for your own health, but for the environment as well.

A lot of people also ask me what I eat daily and I’m going to give out two of my favorite breakfast and lunch/dinner recipes that I eat almost every single day. I made these myself and I have shown basically all of my friends and so far, everyone really likes it.

Breakfast (I like to call this my magic cereal):
Pour a small amount of the 365 brand “Bite Sized Wheat Squares” in a bowl
Then add a small handful of blueberries
Then add about 2-4 strawberries cut up into halves or smaller
Then add about 1-2 tbs of PB2 (powder peanut butter)
Then add a drizzle of honey
Then add a small amount of “Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Granola
Then add 1-2tbs of Qi’a Chia, Buckwheat, and Hemp
Then add however much almond milk you need.

You can buy ALL of these ingredients at Whole Foods or any natural food store and even some of these ingredients you can find at Walmart or Kroger.
This cereal is perfect for me because I go workout about an hour or so after. It gives me tons of energy and keeps me going throughout the day without feeling hungry. However, for those of you that want less in your cereal, replace the Bite Sized Wheat Squares with a low sugar Raisin Bran, and then add extra raisins to replace the strawberries and blueberries.
Along with vegetables, it is also extremely important to incorporate fruit into your diet. Fruit does SO much for your immune system, it promotes good health, and is an excellent source of calories. So when it comes to nature’s candy, feel free to enjoy it in abundance (read more here).
You can also make smoothies as another optional source of nutrition to start off your morning. A friend of mine would make smoothies every morning and add oats, fruits, peanut butter, juice, bananas, kale, carrots, etc. to his smoothies and they were delicious. I am terrible at making smoothies though..however, I plan to get better at it this year. I’ll keep you all posted on that.

Lunch/Dinner:
In a rice cooker, boil a 1-2 servings (or however much you want) of brown rice. Make sure you add a lot of water so your rice isn’t dry.
Add 2 “no chicken” broth cubes to the rice (it’s going taste so good omg).
Wait like 15 minutes.
Then start boiling water.
Once you’re at a boil, add 2-3 small red potatoes.
Once your rice and potatoes are almost done, start cooking any type of beans you want. I usually pick between Kidney, Pinto, Cannellini, Great Northern, etc. I do not do baked beans because there is quite a bit of sugar in those.
Grab a plate.
Put your rice on it.
Then grab your potatoes and cut them into halves or 4 pieces.
Put a small amount of vegan butter on them (if you want) for flavor.
Chop up some green onions (chives) and sprinkle it all over.
Once your beans are done add them to your plate.
Then add a side salad (I usually top my salads with shredded carrots, sprouts, and broccoli along with a light drizzle of vegan dressing).

This is literally so much food and so nutritious. And if you want it to be even more healthy, you do not have to add the vegan butter and you should go easy on the dressing. Remember that oil is a processed food and is very dense in calories, so it can easily sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Oil-based salad dressings, for example, dramatically increase the calories in a salad.
These are just recipes I apply to my diet daily because I workout every day and need a lot of food to replish what I worked out in the gym. That’s why I listed the recipe books above. You will all find what you’re comfortable with and even end up making your own recipes if you stick with it.

Above all else, find a way to feel comfortable in your own skin. That’s the base of this blog post and why I did this video in the first place. I will continue to document my body throughout my entire life and push to be the healthiest version of myself that I can be.

Showing 7 comments
  • Kati Mallory
    Reply

    Love this, Stephanie! Your self-confidence is so inspiring, and you SHOULD feel amazing in your own skin cause you are gorgeous! 🙂 The video turned out perfect – that last shot of you looking into the camera gave me goosebumps! Seriously loved it all, keep it up!

    xo, Kati

    • stephanieparsley24
      Reply

      Katiiiii!!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!! <3 I'm so happy you liked it and your support means everything!

  • Lauren Graves
    Reply

    😍 so awesome

  • Amber Lee Snider
    Reply

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I probably should have asked first, and I do apologize, but I shared this on my Facebook to show all my lady friends they can all be comfortable in their own skin. You are a beautiful woman, an amazing photographer and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your work with the world.

  • DJ BREGGA
    Reply

    Omg… You are officially in my dreams 😍😍😍 love this!!!

  • Clara
    Reply

    Kaisa,kuorineen keitetyt perunat ovat tikkuperunoita, lapsuuskodissa puhuttiin tipuukerknoista. Paistetut perunat ovat hyviä!Ei meilläkään soosia tehdä usein, mutta lihapulla- ja makkarakastike on pakko tehdä vanhalla lailla. Niin, ja palapaisti.:)

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