Makeup and Trends

Yesterday I met up with a friend, daughter in tow, to seek out an eyebrow pencil at a fancy makeup store.  As I approached the cluster of heavily madeup employees my daughter grabbed some lipstick and smeared it all around the general vicinity of her lips.

Nice Sales girl toning down her bold choice

Flamboyant tart was the shade, I believe.  Lesson one: don’t bring your slightly A.D.D. daughter to a fancy makeup store.

I told them I wanted a long lasting eyebrow pencil.  Did they have one that lasted like, multiple days?  They make those, right?  Nope, no they don’t.

I did end up sitting in the makeup chair while the sales girl tried out a $25 eyebrow pencil on me.  I considered the age gap as I sat there, comtemplatively, her acyrlics mere centimeters from my eyeballs.  This girl was a decade younger than I.  She had never been indoctrinated into tweezing and plucking her eyebrows into glamorous submission.  She was raised on instagram eyebrows.  eyebrows

Brows that don’t enhance your look, they are the look, girlfriend.

I however, was not.  At 11 I realized I bore an uncanny resemblance to my dad, with my thick eyebrows.  I followed my older sister into the bathroom and learned the art of the tweezer.  The cool girls, like Gwen Stefani, had pencil thin eyebrows.

How does she look younger now?

Of course I’ve realized pencil thin eyebrows may be glamorous but they are very aging and not exactly natural looking.  All this was too late for me, because my poor, be-plucked brows had tapped out and stopped growing back.

So the sales girl leans in, contour on point, probably quietly judging my sad, patchy scraggles where eyebrows should be.  She works away on my brows for a solid 7 minutes, I kid you not.  I glance in the mirror and… 15181920372231871738540.jpg

emit an audible gasp of horror looking not unlike this baby.  She picked up on my not so subtle displeasure and wiped away most of the pencil.  I thanked her and raced out as quickly as I could.  I bought an inexpensive pencil on amazon instead.

This got me thinking about trends in makeup and just in general.  Now that I’m old enough to have weathered trends swinging from one extreme to the other: I have a bit of perspective.  Lesson two: trends come and go so you should only adapt what actually works for you.  Not every girl should wear those super short crop tops.  Very high-waisted jeans make your butt look weird and elongated.  I thought we learned this back in the 90’s when those were known as mom jeans.  SMH

Oh my eyes

Just cause everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it isn’t dumb and regrettable.

Makeup that looks good in indoor lighting and through three phone filters looks horrifying to the rest of us.

We aren’t fooled, we are, however; frightened

You want to use as little as possible, just enough.  If you are caking anything on or need a sandblaster to get it off, it’s too much, cupcake.  If you can’t go out in direct sunlight because your face will run off like beige lava, it’s too much.  Makeup should enhance your features, not completely obscure them.

Use as few products as you can.  If you’re trying to impress the opposite sex- they tend to prefer a more natural look, really.

Wash off your makeup really well every single night.  No makeup should ever touch your pillow.  Do a deep clean/exfoliater every week because soap isn’t always enough.  If you keep your skin in good shape you won’t need a million products, anyways.

Lesson three: don’t buy clothes based solely on what’s trending.  Figure out your body type and what styles actually flatter your particular shape.  Who cares if it’s trendy if it looks bad?  Forge your own path and develop your own style!

The Fat-Adapted Athlete

Exercise and fitness have always been really important to me.  It’s my natural antidepressant!  So, naturally, I wanted to discover how and why my ketogenic diet may affect my fitness abilities….

Mommy Athlete!

Your body can only store so much glycogen.  Often marathon runners “hit a wall” after burning through their stored glycogen.  They often take sport gels and drinks so they can keep going (and not collapse…!).  It’s the body’s preferred method of fuel, though there is a finite amount of what the body can store in the muscles and liver.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  However, if you are a fat-adapted athlete you have almost unlimited energy you can tap into.  Even a very lean person with 10% body fat has about 54,000 calories of energy stored in the form of body fat- which he can easily access.

If you are an athelte in ketosis, you have literal days of easily accessed energy…. Versus two hours as a sugar burning athlete.  fat adapted athlete

What is really interesting is that in a state of ketosis you stay in your fat burning zone longer and burn much more body fat- 230% more body fat  than you would on a high-carb diet.  You stay in the fat burning zone up to 75% of your VO2 max, as opposed to under 50%.  Which means you can work out harder before you get into an aerobic zone.

This really mimics my own experience.  I’ll be working out really hard but I’ll stay in a fat-burning zone, at the same level exertion that used to leave me huffing and puffing.  I’m burning fat as opposed to glucose.

I’ve also noticed it took time to transition.  When I first started I really paced myself, so I wouldn’t place undue stress on my body.  A little stress is good, and forces adaptation.  A lot of stress is bad and causes too much inflammation.  The article above states that it takes athletes at least 5 weeks to fully transition into being efficient, fat-burning athletes.  It is a huge metabolic overhaul, after all!  I saw that too.  I had less stamina and explosive power the first 2-3 weeks.  When I would push past 75% VO2 (perceived exertion) my body did not like it.  I got dizzy and even nauseous.  Though I am now about where I was before in terms of VO2 max.  I know this because I like to push myself to the limit with HIIT and Tabata style workouts.  I saw an initial hit to my cardio power and endurance but that has leveled out.  Workouts are even starting to feel easier!

If you’re an athlete and worried about a decrease in your performance, do some research and stick it out.  The decrease is temporary and you’ll come back stronger than ever!

Image result for arnold thumbs up
How many push-ups can Chuck do?    All of them.


Savory and Sweet

I happened upon this recipe for loaded cauliflower casserole (ahem, it’s hotdish, people) and thought, Woah!  Perfect keto extravaganza!  High fat, low carb- featuring bacon, sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar all tied together with the low carb darling veggie; cauliflower. 20180206_183501.jpg I went back to Whole Foods (the place is growing on me) and found uncured, nitrate free bacon and organic cream cheese.  I also realized that pre-shredded cheese has ishy ingredients that add up as unnecessary carbs. 😦  So I bought a big ole brick of sharp cheddar cheese instead.

There were a lot of steps, some of which I consolidated a bit.  I mixed in the sour cream (because my kids have violent reactions against the sight of sour cream, but not the taste), I mixed in everything but a cup of the cheese, which I sprinkled on top.

We all had pretty small portions because this stuff is incredibly rich.  It was savory and delicious.  My oldest son who is a savory person wolfed his down.  My somewhat picky husband gave it two thumbs up.  My two youngest who have tragically unrefined palates acted like I was trying to feed them vomit.

Oh well, can’t win them all.

I also found another solid gold recipe at the ketogenic queen.  This one is definitely sweet and mimics the taste of a frosty chocolate shake.  It’s only three ingredients; full fat coconut milk, stevia (or sweetener of your choice) and cocoa powder.  I bought coconut 20180207_075020.jpg

milk for the very first time to try this recipe.  I found it at Whole Foods for only $.99 a can.

I got home and opened it up to discover a thick putty like material that was a bit horrifying.  I poked around in it to discover the cream had just separated and gone to the top.  I threw the whole thing into the blender to reconstitute it.  I used a cup of coconut milk, two heaping tablespoons cocoa powder, and two teaspoons of my sweetener and put it back in the blender.  It equals out to 50 grams healthy fat, 500 calories of fuel, 9 grams fiber, 14 total carbs and only 5 net grams of carbs.

Guys, this stuff is Ah-MAZ-ing!  The taste has a delicate lightness even though the coconut milk is very rich.  It is like drinking a creamy and indulgent milkshake.  I also noticed a huge rush of energy after drinking mine.  The recipe is definitely a keeper!  It tastes naughty but it is full of fat-torching MCTs, antioxidants and fiber.  Solid gold.


The Gun Show

This is actually going to be a legit post and not just an excuse to show off my sweet lady “guns”… I promise 😉


Wow, a lot of pasty whiteness going on up above.  *shrug*  It’s February in Minnesota and we too poor for a Hawaii getaway and too smart to tan in a booth.  But anyhoos I am a lady who lifts.  Ever since I saw Linda Hamilton kicking ass and taking names in Terminator 2, I’ve been inspired with a fitness warrior mindset.

Beast Level: Expert

It’s an extreme look, definitely not everyone’s cup o’ tea.  Heck, even I don’t want to look quite that shredded.  But it is insanely inspiring.  You won’t look like this though unless you are training with commandos 2 hours a day and on an insanely strict diet.

You also won’t turn into a frightening female bodybuilder with quads like oak tress from hitting the weights room a few times a week.  I’ve been lifting weights for years and I still look like a girl.  The ladies who don’t usually are using questionable substances to alter their sex hormones.  Estrogen works to build denser muscles.  That’s why you can put on lean body mass (muscle) and gain weight but look smaller.  For instance, I’m ten pounds heavier than I was ten years ago but roughly the same size.  

Weight lifting causes your body to release a cascade of hormones that keep you young, healthy and more resilient.  If you want to avoid osteoporosis and frailty as you get older you need to go get a barbell, girl.

Another reason I lift is because of my role model who happens to be my mom.  She is 57 and is still hitting the weights and challenging herself.  We often swap workout videos!  She’s been lifting weights since the 80’s and she has a vitality and joy for life which is unusual for women even 20 years younger.  Plus she looks great!

After a color run, can you tell which one is my mom and which one is my sister? 😛

If you want to get started and don’t know how, don’t be afraid to get a trainer or pick up tips from a gym rat friend.  I’ve mostly stuck with videos because I can do them in the privacy of my basement.  I’ve assembled quite the collection of equipment and videos over the years.  I usually stick with Cathe Friedrich workouts because she is simply the best.

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Lady Beast

She’s 53 and as crazy fit as ever.

Start lifting now.  Do it for your body composition.  Do it for your bones.  Do it for your self-esteem and a vitalizing sense of empowerment.

Find your inner lady beast!  Or if you’re a dude and made it through till this point- your inner man beast!

Tired and Tempted

I hit a weird lull today.  Yesterday there was a lot of excitement (a job interview! Reconnecting with a dear friend!) with lots of nerves and java to match.

I didn’t sleep well and I’m tiirrreeddd. yep For the first time this month my seemingly endless motivation is melting away like coconut oil in bulletproof coffee.

Son of a nutcracker I just want a giant snickers.  Like the king size one you’re supposed to share.  I actually was entertaining this as a legit possibility.  I’ve made it a month, after all.

I reached my goals.  I’m feeling really good, after all.

But when I have my first big cheat I want it to be planned in advance and truly celebratory- not reeking like a giant steaming pile of weakness in the face of temptation.  I’m not sure I even want to do sugar again.  Even as an ordained “cheat meal”.  It’s just no good for me. yepp

I want to splurge on my favoritest food ever.  Mahkani Chicken with plenty of basmati rice.  Or a slab o’meatloaf with a pile of mashed potatoes.

So I begrudgingly ended up eating this instead.

The dog doesn’t know why I’m griping

Asparagus, that’s asparagus.

I did follow it up with 90% dark chocolate.  No nougat, but it’ll do.

Anytime we make big changes our motivation is going to be highest when we first start out.

But encountering temptation and overcoming it is (hard, it’s hard) but really… rewarding in the long run.

For the longest time I was a sugar junky.  I was a skinny sugar junky but one with anxiety, stress, and mood swings that would make me question my sanity.  Then later I was an increasingly plump sugar junky.

I’d love to add more inspirational garble but really… don’t make decisions based on how you feel in the moment.

Eat an alternative.  Focus on why you’re doing this in the first place.  The craving will pass.  Don’t do anything that is going to lead to regret later.  Whether that’s food or any sort of split decision.

You’ve got this! 980x

Oh and eat some guacamole while you’re at it! 🥑🥑🥑


The pace of life has slowed down for me this past month.  My youngest child is in full time kindergarten and my 9 year old is back in school full time (after spending months recovering and out of school from topical steroid withdrawal).

I’m a stay at home mom with no kids at home!

My husband likes it because I make him food and coffee.  My dog likes it because he’s the recipient of my misplaced baby fever longings.  But I’m getting bored and restless.

We’re codependent, it’s borderline weird

So when I wandered into a Williams Sonoma like a mindless moth drawn to a flame last weekend I happened to see that they were hiring.  I thought, yes!  I love this place.  Never bought anything here because we can’t afford it but I love the idea of fancy kitchen stuff.  Shiny espresso machines from Italy and condiments that cost more than my shirt!

Strussed Up

So I applied on a whim for a part time position.  I went in for an interview today and got the job!  I’ll get to interact with other adult humans and have a reason to look presentable 3 times a week!

My sad, codependent dog will be heartbroken but I’m excited!  I’ll still try to check in everyday with fun facts, hacks and blithesome updates!

Anyways, much love all.  I hope your weekend was great! ❤


A Tale of Two Soups

Here in Minnesota winter is stretching on and on… this is my current view. 20180203_121256.jpg

Ice, flurries, and air temp of 12 degrees F.

One thing that I love to do on cold, crummy days is make a huge batch of homemade soup.  It’s healthy, it’s delicious, it’s a clever way to get vegetables into my little angels (cough*brats*cough)…

I usually stick with the local favorite, chicken & wild rice soup.  It’s so good there is absolutely no need to try anything else.  Plus my kids love it.  This stuff is manna from Heaven.  Seriously.

Those little blacks things aren’t bugs, ya’ll.  That’s Minnesota Wild Rice!

Don’t drool, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Well, the soup, wonderful as it is, is NOT keto-friendly with the big golden hunks of potatoes, carrots and a flour roux.

So this morning I made soup for my hyperactive little darlings and a low carb soup for myself as well.  It’s Saturday so I can ignore my kids and putter around in the kitchen in peace for two hour stretches while my husband gets to deal with, er, enjoy quality time with them…

I split up the chicken stock I had made overnight into two pots.  It’s super easy to make stock.  You just cook a whole chicken, debone it, and cook the bones, giblets, and neck in your crockpot (covered with water) overnight on low.  It’s one economical way to wring every bit of flavor and nutrition out of a poor little chicken.  You can eat the chicken with a side for dinner one night, then turn the leftovers into soup the next!!  That’s a lot of meals out of one $5-7 dollar chicken.  Stock is also super easy to make, a delicious base for soup, and incredibly healthy.

So getting back to my tale… in my smaller stock pot I tossed some broccoli florets and diced asparagus into my broth on medium heat.  In a separate sauce pan I melted 1/2 stick of butter along with a cup of heavy cream and the random leftover cheddar cheese I hunted down in my fridge (about 1 1/2 cups).  I brought it to almost boiling and whisked it into a delicious butterery, cheesey, low-carb “roux” for my soup.

I dumped it in to my stockpot along with some leftover chicken.  I added a good amount of salt, pepper and seasonings.  Sorry, people, I don’t really measure anything.  One of the great things about soup is that you can throw in just about anything and it comes out great!

Seasonings that help the magic happen

I then let the flavors meld together for about 20 minutes while I made the other soup, the one with carbalicious veggies we won’t mention again… 😉

Then voila! 20180203_121702.jpg

Hearty, rich warming soup that is both filling and delicious and gloriously low-carb!  You’ve got collagen from the stock, a bit of protein from that poor wrung-out chicken, fiber and nutrients from your veggies, and phyto-nutrients from the herbs.  One bowl will have about 475 calories, 40 grams fat, 21 grams protein and only 5.8 gram carbs.

Plus it warms the cockles and steels the soul against the long, dreary winter!