Silencing that Inner Critic (swimsuit season!)

Guys, this is going to be a very real blog from my heart (and swimsuit drawer!).

My inner body critic has been really loud lately.  My weight tends to fluctuate up and down a few pounds and it fluctuated back up again.  I am also leaving for a vacation in just two days.

I was really hoping to be able to confidently rock a cute new swimsuit.

I kind of put it off til the last minute and checked out the selection at target yesterday.

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Where’s the covers the cheeky option?!

It was disheartening to say the least.¬† First off; 80% of the swimsuits seemed to be designed for teen girls.¬† The other 20% is for grandmas.¬† Where’s the middle road, people??¬† Like I’m not 19 but I’m not¬†that¬†old?!¬†¬†I don’t know about your neighborhood target but mine has really horrid dressing rooms.¬† Like bad (horror movie) florescent lighting and a mirror that somehow makes flaws you didn’t even know about “pop”.¬† I tried on two swimming suits before leaving empty handed and feeling pretty crappy about myself.

I’ve been stressing about it all week.¬† This morning I just decided, “screw it.¬† I am going to silence that inner critic and love my body where it’s at.”¬† I pulled out some of my old swimsuits that are¬†unapologetically “mom suits”.¬† ¬†Cute enough but modest.¬† I’ll be able to enjoy myself without worrying so much about how I look.

Because really, you¬†absolutely¬†should not let your inner critic push you around and rob you of your self worth.¬† You are¬†so much more than your body or your looks.¬†¬†Your body is just your shell.¬† Your legs were designed to get you from point a to point b, not to look flawless in a ridiculous “extra cheeky” swim suit.¬† Your body is a gift and the vehicle through which you get to live and partake and experience life.¬† Don’t lose sight of the amazing blessing that your healthy body is.

And if you’ve been feeling bad about your dietary choices you need to give yourself a gentle reality check.¬† I like to stop and take a moment to be grateful to God that I have all these food choices available to me.¬† That I don’t have to go hungry, or heaven forbid- watch my children go hungry.¬† I am¬†blessed.¬† I am worthy of a healthy self worth, independent of my size….and so are you.

Keto Family

I posted awhile back about wanting to try the keto diet for the whole family.  20180524_181823894515596.jpg

Reasons being, I now technically have three special needs kids.  One with severe eczema/TSW, one with aspergers, and my youngest now with autism and/or ADHD.  All three struggle with anxiety to some extant.

One unexpected perk I experienced going keto was a drastic reduction in my own anxiety, along with an increase in mental clarity and focus.

They are all three very thin so this would technically be a therapeutic approach and I’d have to monitor their weight to make sure they weren’t dropping any.¬† It’d be wonderful if we were able to avoid perscription drugs for my youngest, and get my oldest¬†off¬†of his.¬† I really believe in the therapeutic value of ketones for brain health.¬†¬†keto for ADHD

Either way, it can’t hurt to cut out refined sugars and empty calories.

We’ve been slooowly easing in by having keto-style dinners.¬† Thankfully, my kids generally like veggies and meat.¬† I decided, for the sake of my sanity, to wait until school was out before going full-bore.

A high fat diet is great for¬†¬†developing brains.¬† Not to mention fresh veggies and good protein.¬† Admittedly, it’s probably going to be a tough transition so we’re just doing a trial period to see if the potential benefits are worth it.

There’s one week of school so I have time to start meal planning.¬† I’ll post as we go!

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The Magic Pill

Last night my husband and I watched¬†this film (on netflix) called “The Magic Pill”.¬† My husband, Tim, was actually the one who wanted to watch it.¬† Which was surprising because it’s all about the keto diet and it’s role in reversing all kinds of health conditions. This is a man that would eat mac and cheese every day of his life if I didn’t intervene.

It was really good, very informative.¬† It centered around people in crisis mode with their health and using the keto diet as a life-saving intervention.¬† One woman was able to get off her antibiotics and rescue inhaler for her severe asthma and respiratory infections.¬† One woman gained back her clarity from descending into dementia.¬† One little girl started to talk for the first time and stopped seizing.¬† Most shockingly, a woman was able to completely cure herself of a metastic breast cancer- with no other interventions!¬† Sorry for the spoilers, but really, it’s a must see!

Not only that, but these people got their joy back.¬† Their zest for life.¬† By the end of the movie they not only looked different, but they¬†were¬†different.¬† They weren’t trudging through life anymore.

My husband got up and dramatically tossed his box of cheezits into the garbage.¬† He doesn’t need to lose weight, but he does want to feel his best.¬† We both agreed we should try it out as a family.¬† It might really help our kids with their various issues.

I just had my daughters IEP meeting this week.¬† They classified her under the autism spectrum.¬† I think she has more signs of ADHD but they aren’t allowed to diagnose that anymore for political reasons.¬†¬†Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor

I do still think that vaccines are the leading cause of neurological problems in children.  The aluminum adjuvant is in nanoparticle size and gets deposited in the brain- causing all sorts of damage.  My daughter only got one, at her birth.  But we also live on very tainted land.  For years we lived next to big GMO fields where they sprayed pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer and that was poisoning our water, soil and even the air we breathe.  We live in the upper midwest in a smallish town, so a GMO field is only a stones throw away from even where we live now.

I think all these things are affecting us and our children in ways we can only begin to understand.

But if we can medicate ourselves with dietary interventions instead of resorting to potentially dangerous medications, we certainly should.¬† Please don’t hear that I’m condemning meds.¬† My oldest son needs concerta to get through his school day.¬† But the hope is that we could find a natural intervention that would eliminate that need.

I need to figure out how to approach this, and do it the healthiest way.¬† I’ll probably wait until summer break starts, so I don’t have to worry about packing keto-friendly lunches.¬† It’ll be tough for sure, but I believe 100% in the neurological and health promoting benefits of the keto diet- even for the most extreme and dire conditions.

 

Body Image Tips from Victoria

I am trying not to sound like a sarcastic skeptic¬†but¬†I was rolling my eyes big time when the latest model comes out claiming the industry gave her an eating disorder.¬† She’s apparently a model for Victoria’s Secret and was told to lose weight when she was obviously already thin.

Gag. me.¬† Seriously.¬† Parents- don’t let your kids grow up and be models.¬† Or child actors.¬† Or singers.¬† Just give them a normal upbringing and don’t let them go into careers were their living depends on fitting into an unattainable beauty standard.

It’s a good publicity move.¬† I’ve never heard of her until this week.¬† She got two days worth of headlines because she also apologized for misleading her social media followers by claiming she was stick thin as a result of healthy lifestyle and she was giving impressionable people tips while promoting her frail body as a model of health.

Forgive me if I’m not being sensitive enough.¬† It just irritates me.¬† Of course Victoria’s Secret promotes unhealthy, unattainable beauty standards.¬† The real secret is under-eating and breast implants.¬†¬†2E8A8B7C00000578-3322752-image-m-2_1447797528275Of course the blame doesn’t lie with the particular model.¬† She’s just a cog in the massive beast of a system.

The problem goes back to a lack of common sense.  We need to do better for our daughters.

My little girl is only 5 but you can bet when she gets older I’ll do my damndest to keep her from being exposed to messages that tell her that her¬†intrinsic worth as a human being¬†depends on her ability to be sexually appealing or ridiculously thin.¬† She will not be on social media or read trashy magazines until she has the sense to be able to differentiate truth from fiction.; real beauty from stinking bullsh*t.

As someone who has struggled with body image issues myself, I feel a real responsibility to ensure that my daughter grows up with healthy self-esteem.¬† I don’t make remarks about the size of her body.¬† I don’t make remarks about my weight, or any other women’s weight.¬† I don’t tear down or criticize my appearance or anyone else’s.¬† I tell her that she is¬†strong.¬†¬†She is¬†brave.¬†¬†She is¬†smart.¬† She is¬†kind.¬†¬†And she knows that her parents adore her.

My kids see me eating healthy and lifting weights.¬† Not the pink kind, either.¬† Not that there’s anything wrong with that- we all start somewhere!¬† But I work out to get stronger.¬† I eat healthy to nourish my body.¬† I care a bit about my body fat but I care¬†more¬†about the fact that I have great bone density.

Things aren’t going to change until we stop feeding the beast.¬† Don’t buy overpriced, uncomfortable underwear.¬† Don’t read fashion magazines.¬† Stop the negative self-talk and build other women up.

Our words become our mantras.  Our mantras become our beliefs.  Our beliefs become the foundation of who we are.

When I see my daughter conquering a fear and quietly whispering to herself, “I can do it, I am BRAVE.”¬† I know I’m doing my job.¬†29513277_10160291168480074_8974072131688246731_n

I hope we can reject the destructive messages that would seek to undermine our value as human beings, and women.  I hope that we would instead choose life.  That we would pass onto our daughters messages of strength and worth that put enough steel in their backbones that they can reject the lies and embrace their true intrinsic worth as well.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

Still?!

I’ve gotten multiple comments like, “You’re¬†still¬†doing keto?”¬† Wow, my friends and family apparently don’t have much faith in my ability to stick things out!¬† ūüėõ

Honestly, I am a bit of a bandwagon jumper.  I see something that catches my eye or interest and jump right in.  Only to lose interest and move on to the next thing.  But keto is different for me.  What started as a plan to lose a few holiday-chocolate-truffle-cookie pounds morphed into so much more.

The pounds melted off quickly, yes.¬† But that wasn’t the end point.¬† Because I’m sure the weight would creep back up if I went back to carbs and sugar… but I’m sticking it out because I genuinely enjoy my keto foods and¬†especially¬†the way I feel on the plan.

This is a lifestyle and one that I plan to maintain.

I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I’ve struggle with depression and anxiety.¬† No shame in my game because I know that so many others do as well.¬† For me, a good hunk of it is genetic.¬† I believe, at the moment, my three most closely related relatives are on anti-depressants and anxiety meds.¬† My grandma still texts me anxiously whenever there is a storm front in my neck of the woods.

I am stubbornly naturally-minded person though and I’m determined to live my happiest, healthiest life¬†naturally.¬†¬†Please don’t hear me condemning the use of meds.¬† This isn’t that.¬† Some people need them.¬† Period.¬† My depression/anxiety is mild enough that I am able to function well with some lifestyle adjustments, or “hacks”.¬† That’s my own conviction but I certainly don’t judge people who use meds as a well-rounded approach to supporting their mental health.

I am a generally happy person but I would get slammed with periods of depression on a regular basis.¬† I’ve always used exercise and a healthy lifestyle to combat that.¬† I am also a person of faith so I practice that every day as well.¬† This diet, and the effect of ketones on my brain, has filled in the missing pieces for me.¬† It’s hard to explain but I feel much more confident, much¬†less¬†anxious.¬† Things that used to bother me horribly I am able to shrug off now.

There is evidence that the brain runs more¬†efficiently on ketones over glucose.¬† For one thing, it upregulates mitochondrial biogenesis.¬† bfb5f95c29a922587cf7bfe1a6dd684ecc7dbe603add9b7ffc7246984dcdfff0¬†Mitochondria are like the tiny power plant powerhouses that we have in every single cell.¬† They basically power our bodies at the cellular level.¬† For example: cyanide works because it shuts down our mitochondria.¬† Without them, we die pretty quick.¬† Ketones in the brain (or elsewhere) leads to a process where the weaker mitochondria die off and stronger ones replace them.¬† It’s literally an anti-aging process.¬† Forget wrinkle cream.¬† Put MCT oil in your coffee instead.

That’s why so many people fast and end up feeling better and getting relief from chronic pain and other conditions.¬† Any time you’re fasting your body is making ketones.¬† The ketones cause rapid autophagy- basically a cellular deep cleaning where weak old cells get gobbled up and replaced.

The good news is that you don’t have to fast to get the benefits.¬† A very low carb diet with provide the same benefits, in a much more sustainable way.¬† If you’d like more info check out¬†this article¬†from Mark’s Daily Apple.¬† There is also evidence that ketosis can reverse dementia and other forms of mental decline.

Any plan where copious amounts of cream, cheese, cream cheese is encouraged while your brain gets sharper and your bum gets smaller- is a winner in my book! ūüėČ

Cheesecake Plus Positive Thinking

I love, love listening to podcasts.¬† I do so many menial chores around the house every day that are made so much more¬†enriching¬†with a good podcast.¬† When I vaccuum, I put on my hot pink beats and totally zone out.¬† One of my favorites is Dave Asprey’s bulletproof podcast.¬† The guy is a mad genius.¬† I love it.¬† One thing he really emphasizes on the show, and it’s 100% backed by research findings, is the sheer power of positive thinking.

I thought about that today as I had to go in to work with hair that still makes me sad ūüė¶¬† The ladies I saw at the¬†second¬†salon were able to help, but still…my hair is canary YELLOW.¬† It’s not cute.¬† I tried lots of tricks at home to tone it down.¬† De nada.¬† I even slept with my hair soaked in coconut oil and cocoa powder.¬† All it did was make my hair crunchy.¬† I washed it out and voila!¬† Bright yellow.

I pulled it back and decided that I was just going to have to rock it with confidence.¬† There was nothing to be done and I’m not about to call out of work on account of embarrassing hair.

So I did, and I survived.¬† I decided I’m just going to scrap the whole thing and dye my hair an auburn color to cover up this horrific misdeed.¬† Especially after being told, multiple times, that it didn’t look¬†that¬†bad.¬† Not exactly a look I want!

I did comfort myself with a¬†delicious¬†piece of keto cheesecake for breakfast and that made it all ok for about five minutes! This was so good, guys.¬† This cheesecake, in itself, is worth converting to keto…if you haven’t already! ūüėȬ†20180307_081333.jpg

I found the original recipe at¬†fat for weight loss.¬† Not only was it delicious, but a small (ok, generous, I had another “sliver” after this piece!) kept me full for hours.

The only things I changed was the crust and the cook time.¬† I don’t have shredded coconut so I added much more almond flour.¬† Like 1 1/2 cups.¬† He recommended a cook time of 45 minutes but at that point it was more hot, oozing custard than cake.¬† It needed another 15 minutes at a higher temp. of 345 degrees F.

I’ve never made cheesecake before and I had the impression that it would be hard, but this was really pretty simple.¬† The hardest part is waiting for it to cool before digging in!

 

ADHD and Diet

Aye aye aye…it’s always something, right?

My young daughter has always been, ahem, “unique”.¬† She has the face of an angel and the temperament of a feral raccoon.¬† She’s sweet, silly, fun but she has zero impulse control.¬† Have you heard of the marshmallow self control test?¬† Where the researcher tells the child not to eat the marshmallow and then leaves the room?¬† Well, Shiloh would not only eat the marshmallow but then she’d toss up his file of papers into the air.¬† She’d find a pen and scribble unicorns on the wall.¬† She’d dig through his briefcase and doodle on the leather.¬† She’d do all this with great joy until she got busted at which point she’d wail with impassioned (feigned) heartbreak at her own naughtiness.

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She only looks angelic!

She’s always been kind of nuts but we’re pretty used to it.¬† From the time she could crawl she was getting into everything¬†with a destructive twinkle in her eye.¬† She’s my third so I’m chill with my parenting almost to the point of being negligent.¬† We just kind of accept and love her for who she is.¬† She routinely makes us laugh as we struggle to maintain a straight, disciplinary face.¬† Like the time she decided she needed to smear zinc diaper cream¬†all over her entire body.¬†¬†

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This is why I drink, people

 

In a leather chair, no less.  Why?  Well because the tube was there and supervision was not.  Of course she was extremely apologetic after the fact.

So this has been a running joke in our family.¬† But it got considerably less funny when her kindergarten teacher started dropping heavy-handed hints that she is severely A.D.D. and struggling big time in school.¬†¬†giphy (1)Since I’m really not keen on medicating my 5 year old I am going to try to deal with this the way I usually do.¬† Denial.

Haha just kidding…. seriously though, I’ve been doing research (everyday I’m googling!) and I’ve decided to put her on a gluten free diet, at least for a month long trial run.¬† For two reasons; I have a genetic predisposition to gluten intolerance.¬† It’s highly likely it got passed down to her as well.¬† And apparently there is a huge link between gluten and ADHD .

So it makes sense to start there.¬† And because I’m an overachiever I’ve decided to force all three of my precious little, anxiety-ridden angels on a gluten free plan for at least a month.

I know I’ve greatly reduced my anxiety and general nuttiness through diet manipulation.¬† It makes sense that I could use a special diet to improve their health and especially their mental health, as well.¬† I’m not going to push keto on them, because it is so extreme.¬† But cutting down on grains and junk food definitely can’t hurt.