Arielle’s Story

Life has a weird way of teaching you lessons.

Before, I didn’t really know what was good for me.

Like a jelly bean green juicy jumpsuit.

Yes, yes I did.

It’s weird, because sometimes we truly don’t know that what we’re doing isn’t the best for us.

Since I was little girl, I’ve always had an issue with the way I felt about my weight. Even at the young age of 10, I had this negative view about my weight and body image. Always wanting to be skinnier, to feel better, and wishing I could feel comfortable in the clothes I wore…Without feeling like I wanted to run home and put on baggy sweats.

This was me in high school.

I’m not going to sit here and say, “Look how fat I am, I’m pale, I was bloated, I look tired, and why in the heck aren’t I wearing cuter shoes…yidda yadda!”

See, that would be mean.

But it’s how I felt.

I was in the constant battle with myself, trying to feel good enough. You see I thought I was making the best choices for my body.I thought I was healthy. I thought that if I ran for 10 minutes it was okay for me to scarf down 3 chili dogs when I got home. I thought that eating a salad loaded with bacon, eggs, cheese, ranch dressing, and garlic croutons wasn’t bad for you. I mean, it was a salad! How bad could it be? I struggled because I thought I was doing everything I could to be healthy, happy, & skinny. Why wasn’t I?

I carried this (non) confidence in my self with me to college, and like most college students, eating & socializing is pretty common. It was a struggle for me to try to make the right choices, considering I really didn’t even know what was right. Then something happened. I got sick.I felt bloated, crampy, and sick to my stomach ALL the time. (Could it be the chili!?)  I went to several doctors, and no one could figure out what was wrong. Then one doctor took an x-ray of my stomach, and everything was black. My body wasn’t digesting food. The doctor suggested I omit gluten and dairy to see if that worked. So for the next 2 years I did just that. You see, back then, there wasn’t a lot of gluten-free/dairy free products, like there are today. So I had to eat really fresh and natural things like lean meats and fresh produce. At first, it was SOO hard. NO OLIVE GARDEN BREADSTICKS!!

With this new “lifestyle” I was living I began to notice not only a difference in my appearance but also how I felt. I had SO much energy. I was no longer tired and lethargic, now I felt awake and energetic. I decided to take up exercising, in particular running. I would wake up early in the morning and run…

Let me just add that I was never ever a runner. One time a friend and I tried out for track in HS, and we quit the next day.

Anyways I began to love it so much I started doing mini’ “races” at school.

I felt great!

But I became obsessed. Then the doctors told me that I really wasn’t allergic to gluten, but I was lactose intolerant, and I could start eating wheat again. I remember crying hysterically to my mom saying, “I’m gonna get fat again!” After that, I promised my self I wouldn’t let me get back to the old me again so I started really watching what I ate. Canned vegetables and rice crackers were my staple. I probably consumed 300 calories a day.

Luckily through the support of family and friends, I knew that things had to change.

I knew my goal was to become healthy & happy, and not focus so much on the skinny part.

I decided the best way to make this change was to do some research and become educated. I quickly switched my major to Health and Nutrition, studying up on some reading, and began to really learn and understand the beauty of living a healthy lifestyle and all it has to offer.

I stopped the fad diets, kicked the low carb, fat free foods the curb. Diets just weren’t working and I could never seem to stick with them, and there was no way I was going to diet the rest of my life. I knew that if I wanted to feel great inside and on the outside, I had to stop worrying about calories and counting my carbs. It just wasn’t the way I wanted to live.

My goal was to eat food, enjoy it, and feel great. The only way I was able to accomplish this was by eating wholesome and natural foods. After that I not only began to feel great inside, but I was able to maintain and feel great about my healthy weight. Taking the pressure off of myself of dieting was a load off my shoulders, and now I knew that I could eat foods without the constant worry that I struggled with.

Life has thrown a lot of curve balls. Some have been more challenging than others, but I am still learning to this day to be grateful for the body I have been giving. I know now how to make the best choices for my body. I know now that I am healthy. I know that I can run for as long as I want and still come home and eat chocolate, and this is because I know that I am no longer afraid of food. Instead I know that what I put into my body is going to contribute how I feel on the outside. And I must add I know I feel great when I eat chocolate =]..

Now I know.

Everyday is a new day. I’m not going to say I’m perfect. I mean I usually eat a gallon little bit of chocolate every day. I don’t always have time to work out, let alone shave my legs (TMI?). And sometimes my breakfast includes a cookie and left over brown rice.

This blog is about my life, my journey to making better decisions. All the while, trying my best to be an amazing wife and mother, and  keeping my family healthy and happy.

My focus is to raise my family with the attitude that our bodies are temples and we need to respect and take care of them. That doesn’t mean that we need to be skinny or fit into a size 2. That means that we need to give our bodies the food it needs to thrive, grow, and become strong to live healthy and happy lives.

Some of my recipes aren’t the healthiest, but I also started this blog two years ago. So my perspective about certain things have changed.

I am no professional, and I am no personal trainer.

I’m not perfect, and my recipes and tips always aren’t either.

But I am enjoying making this a fun and healthy journey to bettering myself as well as others.

And I’m not going to lie and say that every recipe on here is going to be lettuce and tomatoes.

You will see chocolate…and cake…

THAT I can promise you.

I do my best to use wholesome and fresh ingredients, believing that what we put into our bodies will reflect how we feel on the outside, and always inside :)

I hope you enjoy what you see =]

Feel free to send me an e-mail w/ questions/comments.

With Love,

The Diva Dish Family

Mama Diva, Hubby, Baby Boo, and Sweet Pea.


  1. Alexandra Ampuero says:

    I love that I’m the friend you quit track with, haha.

  2. Girl you are such an amazing writer! I loved your story, every bit of it. You are spectacular, it must feel good to come such a long way. 😀 I’m putting you in my Google Reader A.S.A.P. I can’t wait to read more! Oh, and your daughter is gorgeous! As are you. 😀

  3. Your “About” page is fantastic, Arielle!

  4. Love your blog, you are so pretty :)

  5. If I remember correctly, weren’t you like 5 or 6 months preggo in that very top picture? I only remember because I was only a week or 2 farther along than you and I about died when I saw that picture of you looking all thin and gorgeous. So not fair! Anyways, loved reading your story… I had no idea! Very inspiring!

    • actually I was 8 months prego. It was a wedding I went to in july! It was so hot that day, but I loved my hair! I want to go back that color, so I keep reminding my self what it looked like! haha

  6. Ashley Morgan says:

    Ari- You are the cutest, most talented lady ever! Love, love, love your blog! :-)

  7. I’m so glad I found your blog! I can really relate to your story. I was very unhealthy & overweight when my life changed bc of sever problems w/ my stomach/intestines. I had to change the way I ate and change my lifestyle. I’ve lost all that weight and eat very differently now. I’m lactose intolerant too btw. I love your story & I will deff. bookmark your blog & check it often. -Brittany

  8. your story is beautiful thanks for sharing :)

  9. i cannot believe that i hadn’t read your about me page!!
    i’m so glad i did.
    ari, you are so beautiful and inspiring!!
    i loved reading that and i can relate to a lot of what you wrote. all i can say is that you’re very courageous for being so honest with everyone and putting it all out there! i admire you!!

  10. So glad I found you, Ari! I relate to so much of what you’re talking about here! I’ve had some digestive issues for a long time, and it’s a long process of finding what’s healthy, but it’s so important to be happy and healthy as a whole! I was also relatively clueless in the kitchen until a year or two ago, and it’s SO fun to experiment and learn that I actually LOVE cooking and baking–such joys in life to slow down and appreciate our blessings!! XOXO

  11. I’m so happy I found your blog! i can really relate to what you went through. I enjoy to read more posts. all of your recipes look delicious

  12. Your blog is amazing and I really like you “About” page! You look great in all the pictures and you daughter is the cuttiest thing ever:)

  13. Hey Ari, LOVE your new blog design! I’ve been away from it for a while but it all looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing your inspiring changes and all that you’ve learned along the way. You also have such a beautiful family! Also- I had a feeling you were LDS! 😀 So am I. :)

    • Hi Annie! And I love that you love this new design, haha but it’s not staying :)! I just had to get rid of the header, but this week someone is going to be fixing it up for me so it’s all going to change :)!
      But thank you for your sweet comment, and yes I am LDS! It’s exciting to know you are too! There are lots of LDS bloggers huh :)

  14. Michelle Jones says:

    Hello Ari!

    I have to write in and tell you two things! As I told you when I first came across your blog, I had a planned Minnie Mouse bday party for my daughter nov 24th; as I mentioned I would, I used a bunch of your fantastic ideas for your daughters bday party at mine! And it was a HUGE HIT! I received so many compliments (&of course told all my friends about your wonderful website) and most importantly, my beautiful daughter loved it!! Second, I love your “upgrade ” on your website! You have great taste! Now that I’m following you on twitter , I get to enjoy your great humor and ideas!! God bless you and your BEAUTIFUL family! Please keep up the amazing work!!! I’ll be a faithful follower for as long as you do what ya do!!;)

  15. Hi, wow im really glad that i came accross ur blog cas i now know about chia and agave(which i never knew about before, but i am in England so thas probably why) from having a close up of your table an reading ur smoothie recipie which i will be trying aswel, cas the pic looks good an sounds good too, i didnt realise we could freeze bananas, so gonna pop some in the freezer, an have a look at the rest of your blog. Which i came across by looking up quinoa on google. x

  16. It is as though you have changed my life in an instant, i went straight down to my local health food shop and purchased chia seeds and agave, and im in love with it x

  17. Just found your blog and love it! Your story is inspirational :)

  18. Arielle, your story is so genuine, sweet and inspirational! I am that girl- I feel tired and just “yucky” all the time ~ eating clean definitely helps but it’s so hard to keep up with. I started a blog about 7 months ago to track my journey as well. Thanks so much for providing the inspiration, and the fact that no one’s perfect, and chocolate can be ok 😉 Your family is adorable!

  19. Hi there,

    I just wanted to say just how inspiring and genuine your story is, and it’s so, so refreshing to see someone open up about their experiences and be so honest, in order to help others in similar situations, reach out to them and to show everyone just how positive a healthy lifestyle change is!
    I really admire your amazing outlook on life, you’re so optimistic, live life to the fullest and have a great sense of humour!

    I love finding other bloggers who are just as passionate about healthy living as I am.

    Your family is absolutely perfect! So gorgeous. :)

    Keep blogging,

    Kloe x

  20. Arielle,

    I found your blog this morning on Pinterest through a photo of “Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad” (which I’m totally making today!). It seems as though I have had, and still have, the same struggle you did growing up. I’m currently taking a break from school to really figure out what it is that I want. I planned on going back next fall and wasn’t sure exactly what for. In the back of my mind I have always thought about Nutrition, and I think your blog has just convinced me of that. So I just wanted to say thanks!

    Ps you have a beautiful family. I wish you well!

  21. i just found your blog through the same recipe as the above gal. looks sooo yummy and it’s been a while since i’ve made quinoa so it caught my eye immediately. i also can relate somewhat about the body image issues. i don’t have any allergies or intolerances but finding that healthy balance has always been something i strive for. you’re family is so cute and your girls are just precious.

    on a fun side note, i also went to byu-idaho and met my hubby there. we were married in the portland, or temple in 2003. we graduated in 2005 and i went through their health science program. is that what you studied? i LOVED it so much. it’s so fun to learn about the body and how it relates to everything. food, exercise, etc.

    i’m excited to read more of your blog!

  22. Hi, You’re such an inspiration! I have two babies, a 2 year old and a 1 year old and when I left the hospital, I weighed 205 pounds!! I am 5’4″. I have tried hard and have lost down to 147! I’ve got about 20 pounds to go but I want to make a lifestyle change too. Get fit and be healthy and feel good about myself! I get discouraged at time but stories like this get me motivated. Thanks :)

    • Hi Samantha!

      Can I just say CONGRATS!! You are an amazing woman to have lost that weight, I can tell you have worked so hard! Keep up the good work, and remember how far you have come! And lastly, don’t forget to enjoy life :)!

  23. Love your story, blog and recipes!

  24. Stacy E says:

    I appreciate you sharing your story, your knowledge, and your life! During pregnancy I gained 40 pounds on top of being overweight by 50 pounds. I’m often overwhelmed by how much I hate how I look and feel. Reading a little about you has helped me to gain some perspective. I look forward to exploring more on your site, especially the recipes, and changing my lifestyle. Thank you for your efforts in helping others!
    p.s. I went to BYU-I as well!

    • Hi Stacy!Don’t get down on yourself, it’s hard to be a new mom enough! :) My biggest thing is not to stress over it because that’s when I make the worst choices about food. And so glad to hear you went to BYU-I! When were you there?

  25. Beautifully written and beautiful family. I am enjoying your recipes, especially the vegan ones! All the best to you and yours.

  26. You’re my starting line! My Husband and I were sealed in the temple March 24, 2012 and weeks later we found out we were going to start our family with a +1! Our little family lives here in Las Vegas, and sometimes it feels impossible to keep up good eating habits. I was up until 2am last night doing my grocery list (my Daughter Mazy keeps me up LATE!) and I came across your blog from google. It’s so inspiring! I have read almost every word on your blog and am copying down all your recipes! I hope to begin educating myself about foods etc. because my Hubby and I always feel tired, and even worse…a bit lazy. I have had it! My daughter is almost 6 months, and I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Our Heavenly Father wants us to feel joy, and I crave a life of energy and joy! So after a long silly paragraph…I wanted to say THANKS for writing your blog! You’re helping to motivate me to get my little family on the right track to becoming healthier!

    • Hi Paula, thanks so much for this sweet comment! I can tell how passionate you are about this and I LOVE that!! I believe in you and I know that you can do it! You are on the right track :-).
      P.s., I just moved to Las Vegas at the beginning of this year!

  27. Hi Arielle,

    I just discovered your blog today through Pinterest and HAD to drop you a line to say I’m in love with your blog, your recipes, and your philosophies and attitudes towards health and eating. I’m an aspiring Nutritional Therapist and I find this space so inspiring for me to work towards my own personal and professional goals. Keep up the good work!

    Love & Turtledoves,
    Lou xxx

    • Hi Louise, thank you so much for writing me! I love that you are an aspiring Nutritional Therapist, what a great career! Good luck on your goals, I know you will do great!

  28. Marissa says:

    I have to comment again here and just say I feel like I am exactly the same as you! I grew up always wanting to be healthy but it was hard..and sometimes I thought I was being eating low fat foods and such..and now have learned that those are not so healthy at all. Just in the last couple months I have tried to do a lot of reading to find out what is best for me and my family to be healthy-I totally think our body is a temple and we need to take care of it in every aspect-and eating right has a huge effect on the other areas as well. I find it hard to stay motivated and find recipes that my husband will eat because he grew up eating unhealthy things and its a drastic change for him. But we are learning and love to find recipes that we all think are yummy. Thanks for sharing your story and recipes!

    • This was one of the sweetest comments Marissa, thank you! Husbands are tricky, as you know my husband loves his fast food :). So working on you is the best thing, and soon enough those sweet husbands of ours will be interested in our healthy ideas! :) Or so we hope huh…

      I am so proud of you for being willing to make healthy choices! Keep up the great work!

  29. I just have to say that I had the opposite problem growing up. I was the runner and super skinny, but that made me feel unaccepted. At 5’8″ and 110 pounds, I was too skinny. It didn’t matter what or how much I ate, I just couldn’t put weight on. I married in the Dallas temple at 20 and had my three girls by 29. Then in my 30’s my metabolism finally slowed down and I put a few pounds on (about 125 at this point) and finally felt better about my image. Unfortunately my metabolism kept slowing! At age 38 I hit 165 and panicked. That’s what I weighed after having my kids and gaining over 50 lbs in pregnancy! I began to exercise more, eat less desserts and sit less (I love to sew). At my 40th birthday I was 150. Better, but I still would like to be more like 135-140. It’s not a “perfect weight” I’m aiming for, I just know that I feel good about ME at that weight. Thanks for all your great healthy recipes to keep me (and vicariously, my family) on the right track!

  30. Tavy Davenport says:

    I came upon your website when I googled “homemade milkshake with coconut milk.” I love the spirit of your story. It is inspirational. Thanks for sharing. I wish you the best in your journey!

  31. Claudette Washington says:

    Thank God for ur honesty. You are helping illuminate me in the area I most often struggle with and that’s food and weight. Be blessed!!!

  32. Holly Schall says:

    I think your blog/website just saved my life :) I haven’t been diagnosed yet but I’ve been having wheat and dairy issues! I’m struggling so much with finding recipes that work for me and that I can do for my family as well!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I can’t wait to start cooking again :) I had a feeling you were lds btw. I am too! Keep up all the goodness!

    • Hi Holly!
      Thanks so much for sharing your story with me. I can totally understand the struggle of finding recipes that work with different sensitivities. It can be so frustrating! But I am so glad I am able to help you in some way! :)
      And awesome that your are LDS :)!

  33. Thank you for sharing! I found your site while looking for the best vegan chocolate chip cookies. I have had my share of food troubles in the past and it was encouraging to here someone else’s success story. I too am a mom and I am searching for ways to foster healthy eating and lifestyle habits in my family. Thank you for the recipe and I look forward to visiting your blog again.

  34. Loving your work!…all the way from New Zealand!
    Well done

  35. linda morris says:

    hi Diva Dish was just trying to find one of your recipes for guacamole Kale salad an carnt seem to find it

  36. melissa Garner says:

    Love Love Love your blog!

  37. I’m so glad you commented on my blog today so that I could find yours! Your video is adorable and so is your family! And holy cow your transformation is amazing! Congrats! I look forward to following your blog now!

  38. Just came across your recipe…gonna try it out! I’m LDS too! And just went vegan a few months ago. Love your story! :)

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