“Hitting the ‘F’-it Button”

Nice title, huh?¬† I read that quote in an article awhile back.¬† They used it in the negative sense, but I kind of loved it.¬† That’s kind of been my approach lately.¬† Let me explain…

I think I’ve had an “it’s complicated” relationship with food ever since 7th grade.¬† I remember in FACS (home ec.) class learning about calories and fat grams and nutrition.¬† As everyone else zoned out, the teacher had my full attention.¬† This was back in the low fat era so I started avoiding fat like the plague.¬† I wouldn’t touch butter.¬† I’d make popcorn with a butter-esque spray.¬† Gag.

While my knowledge of nutrition has greatly evolved since then, has my relationship with food?  My relationship with my body?

I had a bit of an epiphany.¬† I had thought, almost obsessively, about food and diet every single day.¬† For way too much time each day.¬† I just kind of realized what a complete waste of time it was.¬† I was sick of forcing myself to “try harder” at staying keto when I was, frankly; over it.¬† I was sick of being so restricted.

For the past month or two I have been eating what I want.¬† No restrictions.¬† No fasting.¬† At first my weight did go up pretty quickly.¬† I had to trust my body.¬† I had to push through some uncomfortable “fat” feelings.¬† I haven’t stepped on the scale in ages.¬† It is literally covered in dust.¬† But I can tell that I’ve slimmed back down to what is probably my body’s healthy set point.

I’m feeling really good.

I think some of us are naturally drawn to more extremes.¬† But extreme doesn’t always equal healthy.¬† While I think the ketogenic diet is a good diet and it helps a lot of people- it is also very restrictive.¬† When I would “fall off the wagon” I would eat junk¬†excessively. ¬†For some people, that very restrictive way of eating triggers¬†more¬†unhealthy behaviors.¬† I am definitely one of those people.

Some people really benefit from structure and discipline but others just need to chill.  Life is so much better when you have figured out how to listen to your body; feed it what it wants, make peace with it, treat it well.

I’ve been listening to my body and it’s been really great.¬† Every morning I want scrambled eggs with cheese on buttered toast.¬† So I eat it.¬† I’ve still been adding collagen and goji berry powder to my coffee and my hair is growing really fast and my skin looks better than ever.¬† I’ve been enjoying carbs, oh yes.¬† I might again launch into a healthy eating plan in the future, but I’m pretty happy with where I am at the moment ūüôā

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My Daughter and I

 

Day Three, Yay Me

Yesterday I ended up feeling some die-off symptoms for sure.¬† I spose that’s to be expected after consuming¬† an entire cup of coconut oil. ¬†I’m a “go big or go home” type of person.¬† Obviously.

For me, it’s really all or nothing.

Part of the reason for the fast was that I wanted to get my drinking under control.¬† That sounds really dramatic.¬† *ugh*¬† I never drank much in my early 20’s.¬† The experiences I had as a teen were drinking to the point of blacking out.¬† I hated that out of control feeling and didn’t drink for years.¬† In my late 20’s I started discovering wine and the fact that I really enjoyed it.

I don’t know when it officially becomes a problem but I know I didn’t want to go a night without it.¬† I was also developing a tolerance and needing more and more to get my pleasant little buzz.

I knew I needed to check myself and that I was sabotaging my health goals.¬† Even lower carb wine is¬†not a great choice¬†if you have candida overgrowth.¬† It’s not great for staying in ketosis.¬† It’s not great when you feel like you *need* it.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying wine or beer or whatever in moderation.  But you have to be honest with yourself and evaluate if it is contributing to your goals.  Especially if you have a family history of alcoholism (and I do)…

I’m not saying I’m an alcoholic, or that I’ll never enjoying a drink again, I just want to give my body a break.¬† Plus, trying to do any sort of detox and continuing to drink is…really dumb.¬† You’re liver is going to be overwhelmed.¬† You’re likely to stir up toxins that you can’t process and they’ll just redistribute through your body…all while making you feel like death.

I did notice when I got super strict and low carb the desire to drink went away almost completely.  It makes me wonder if my desire to drink wine was, in part, due to the fact that little yeasty bastards were demanding more sugar- in any form.  Alcohol and Candida 

I’ve talked to some people who had candida issues and they couldn’t stay out of the bread bowl.¬† Or they get shakey if they go 4 hours without eating.¬† Some people become full blown alcoholics.¬† Or, like me, it’s damn near impossible to resist the siren song of¬†sweet. ¬†I am really proud of myself for taking these steps.¬† And it’s so important to “pat yourself on the back” when you make steps to break bad habits or better your health.¬† It’s not easy.¬† But it is worth it.¬† Especially since I¬†do¬†have a lot on my plate.¬† My kids are all home for summer break and they¬†follow me around all day. ¬†Not silently.¬† No.¬† They want to be fed.¬† They want to be entertained.¬† They want to tattle on a sibling.¬† All.¬† Day.¬†Image may contain: 5 people, including Sierra Rose, people smiling, child and closeup

Switching gears a bit- I’ve been doing pretty well.¬† I decided to do a workout and I noticed more little red bumps with white crystals on my abdomen.¬† Not as bad as last time.¬† What I’ve been doing has had the undesired effect of making me run to the bathroom for round after round of hot watery explosions.¬†See the source image
Not the intended effect.

I decided I need to add bentonite clay and psyllium capsules to get more of a real detox- not a “just ate sushi at a buffet in a dive at 4 pm” detox.

I also hope to use this time to not only break bad habits and feel better, but to grow closer to God.¬† I’ve really been slacking, spiritually, of late and fasting is a great way to shake off spiritual apathy.

 

 

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