Mackin’ Macros

I’ve gone and forth a bit on this blog and there’s always temptation to go back and “fix” previous blogs to align with what I’ve learned along the way,¬†bbuuuttt since I want this blog to be on honest¬†chronicling of my keto “experiment” I’ll just let you all watch me make mistakes and change my mind on some things.

I’m a bit of a wino.¬† The 1-2 glasses a night kind, not the homeless with a shopping cart kind.¬† I tried to incorporate some wine here and there.¬† Just a 5 ounce glass of merlot (lowest carb wine) 4-5 times a week.¬† It made me gain back a bit of weight and stall out. ūüė•

I also was introducing more fibrous carbs, such as cauliflower, broccoli, etc.  Same noise there.  Progress flat-lined.

Xylitol messed up my insulin levels but I seem to do fine with my mix of ethyritol, stevia and monk fruit.  The three mixed together produces the best taste, IMO, while still having little to no impact on blood sugar or cravings.

So I scaled back my carbs again and cut out the wine and saw immediate progress.¬† I’m still eating just as much.¬† Yesterday I ate 1,900 calories.¬† My dinner was a hamburger topped with two slices cheese and a fried egg.¬† Not exactly what you’d think when you think “diet food”.¬† But it works.¬† I also ate a (delicious) ungodly amount of cream cheese and whipping cream.¬† I hit 81% calories from fat and only 18 grams of carbs.¬† Happy dance!

The “mabs” (mommy abs) are cutting up.¬† I still have some other trouble areas I’d like to shrink a bit more and then I’m going to slow my roll and figure out a healthy maintenance plan.

For anyone starting this plan I recommend weighing in every day to monitor your progress and find out what works the best for you.  Find the right balance in your macros and the weight should melt off effortlessly.  This is a great visual-Keto-Food-Pyramid-Ketogenic-Diet

Side benefits since I’ve been staying consistently in ketosis would be that I’m much calmer and patient with my kids.¬† I’m not getting snippy.¬† Every little thing isn’t bothering me.¬† Because I’m much more even-keel I’m feeling a greatly improved sense of confidence.¬† My skin also looks a lot better.

Funny side note, I’m facebook friends with a young lady who is a very vocal vegan.¬†tenor I saw a video she posted yesterday claiming that meat and dietary fat are the cause of diabetes and cancer.¬† It took a lot of willpower to refrain from commenting.

Live and let live!

 

“Fun” Bio-Hacks

Ok guys, if there’s one thing that attracts my interest it’s the idea of being able to “hack” into our biology to improve our health at the cellular level.¬† I’m really interested in preserving and even improving vitality and health with age.

You could say that the source of our life force; our energy and youth is the mitochondria locked in our cells.  They convert calories from food, heat from the sun and oxygen into energy, specifically the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  Like a tiny powerplant powering our bodies at the cellular level.  Anything we can do to improve our mitochondrial function is going to improve our health, vitality and even extend our lifespan!

One reason I’ve chosen the ketogenic diet is because it is¬†fantastic¬†for mitochondrial function.¬† Burning fat is a far cleaner process than burning carbs.¬† Anytime you are using glucose for energy, there is going to be glycation.¬† Glycation=free radicals.¬† Free radicals= aging, disease, decreased mitochondrial function.¬† A high carb diet is going to¬†accelerate aging at the cellular level.¬† Even if those carbs are coming from fruit or whole grains.¬† It’s all glucose to your body.¬† When you get into a state of ketosis your body is utilizing fat in place of glucose.¬† It’s an easy (ish…) way to dramatically slow the aging process.¬†¬†Ketosis and mitochondria

Another bio-hack is exposure to extreme temperatures.¬† It’s getting outside your comfort zone, literally.¬† We really like to be warm and comfortable in temperature controlled environments, don’t we?¬† But we could be missing out on the bio-boost we get from exposure to cold and even heat.¬† You can get crazy health¬†benefits¬†from even just blasting yourself with cold water in the shower.¬† Better immunity, increased circulation, improved body composition… Like these Siberian youngsters who play in the snow in swimsuits and never get sick.¬†1112

If you don’t have access to the tundra but still want to be hearty like a Siberian kid- you can get similar benefits from blasting yourself with cold water in your own shower.¬† It’s going to be unpleasant (understatement!) but it becomes easier with time.¬† It’s a “fun” and simple bio-hack that anyone can take advantage of.

Another “fun”….¬†1113 biohack is short bouts of extreme exercise.¬† Like 10-20 minutes of all out work that makes you feel like you might puke or pass out.

This tells your body that the weak mitochondria can just show themselves the door because they don’t have what it takes.¬† Weaker ones die to be replaced by beefier mitochondria.¬† It’s an intense shock to your system that will lead to forced adaptation¬†to halt aging (woohoo!) at that cellular level.¬† If you’re one that goes running or thinks you need an hour for exercise to count, consider the benefits of a HIIT or tabata style workout.¬† You can accomplish more in far less time!

One more pleasurable hack is using a sauna, especially after exercise.¬† A 20 minute sauna can dramatically increase¬†youth-boosting human growth hormone¬†by 140%.¬† Plus it’s a great way to have awkward conversations with sweaty strangers…

But anyways, hack on, people.  1114

 

 

 

 

Keto Recipes

Hey guys, so I tried making my first “fat bomb” recipe today…. and it was¬†the bomb.¬†

I’ve stalled a bit in my progress so I wanted to find ways to incorporate¬†more¬†fat and¬†less¬†carbs and protein.¬† You really want to shoot for 80% of your calories coming from fat to get the all the therapeutic¬†benefits of a keto diet.

So I tried making this vanilla cheesecake fatbomb recipe.  It was so good!  They suggest piping it into muffin cups but I suggest eating it straight out of the bowl by spoon!  This is the real, velvety taste of cheesecake mixed with the creaminess of whipped cream.  So good! 

I reduced the sweetener a bit because my mix is a bit sweeter then straight erythritol.  It was just sweet enough and the texture was great.  I put them in the fridge to firm up.

I also made¬†keto egg muffins.¬† I used 10 eggs to make 12 muffins.¬† I used diced ham and a heaping cup or so of cheddar cheese.¬† I also added about 4 tablespoons of melted butter to up the fat content.¬† I baked them for 20 minutes but next time I’d reduce that to 18.¬† Still, very good.¬† Much better cold, actually.¬† ¬†A great snack or quick breakfast!

 

What I Eat

When I read about a weight loss success story I really want all the details.  I want to know what you actually eat!

So I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been eating regularly on my ketogenic diet…

I always start my day with coffee.¬† I’ve played around with different versions of bulletproof coffee but what I’m drinking now is coffee mixed with a spoonful of collagen, some sweetener, and heavy cream.¬† I just enjoy the taste of real heavy cream over butter or coconut oil.¬† I add a spoonful of collagen, unflavored, because it has incredible¬†benefits¬†and adds extra creamy texture to my coffee.¬† I buy this one because it is cost effective, pure¬†collagen.¬† My sweetener is a mix of all the “natural, artificial” sweeteners I have bought and experimented with.¬† Monk fruit,¬†erythritol and stevia.¬† I just dumped them all into a gallon ziploc baggie, mixed them, and add a small spoonful to whatever I want to sweeten.¬†¬†20180128_063906.jpg

My coffee is usually my breakfast, because it is so rich and heavy.¬† I’ve really noticed an improvement in the way I feel after adding in collagen.¬† Plus, it’s amazing for skin, hair and nails!¬† I really recommend it if you suffer from joint issues, digestive problems, or just want prettier skin!

I usually take my supplements in the morning as well.¬† I take 5,000 ius vitamin D because I live in the arctic (Minnesota), I take iron cause I tend to run low, and I take cod live oil because I’m not a fan of fish though I believe in the benefits of omega-3s.¬† I also take a good multi just to make sure my bases are covered.¬† It may sound like overkill but I’ve done a lot to restore my health with vitamins and supplements.¬† In my early 20’s I developed celiacs disease.¬† I went to a lot of doctors who were pretty clueless.¬† I had to figure it out on my own.¬† By that time I had shredded my gut from years of cluelessly eating gluten and was severely vitamin deficient from lack of proper absorption.¬† I lost a lot of my hair. ūüė¶¬† I felt 90.¬† It was terrible.¬† So, yes, I do believe in being your own health advocate and proper vitamin supplementation!

Getting back to diet….so I’ll do my workout and shower and then have some kind of recovery meal.¬† Sometimes it’s just scrambled cage-free eggs, cooked in a good amount of butter, with a mound of sharp cheddar cheese.¬† Or I’ll do a protein shake.¬† I like using whole milk (lower carb, higher fat) and designer whey protein because it is sweetened with stevia and monk fruit.¬† ¬†That will also serve as lunch.

For dinner it’s meat and veggies.¬† For example in this pic I have a turkey burger (dressed up with curry seasoning) cooked in a liberal amount of avocado oil and topped with pepper jack cheese.¬† With a side of mayo, of course ūüėȬ† And riced cauliflower sauteed in butter.¬† It¬†almost¬†tastes like hashbrowns.

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I’m not a food photographer!¬† It’s yum, I promise.

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking.¬† The diet really forces you away from eating processed food.¬† Which is really a good thing.¬† Grocery trips are quicker because I’m just zooming around the periphery of the grocery store.

I’ve also been eating a lot of salad.¬† I hunt down dressing that is made with an acceptable oil, like avocado.¬† It’s super tasty and a way to keep your fat macros up.¬† I always add plenty of either shredded parmesan or cheddar cheese.¬† The salads are so nummy that my kids want them too!¬†20180115_063254.jpg In this one, I’ve made my own keto cobb salad.¬† There’s ham, cheese, soft boiled eggs.

So, you can see that it is possible to lose weight eating foods that are delicious and filling.  Foods that are going to add to your health and well-being.

I don’t want to do a lot of snacking between these filling meals… but snacks I incorporate would be things like parmesan crisps or spoonfuls or peanut butter.¬† I also like bai and vitamin water zero because they have zero net carbs, taste good and help me when I need to cover up my keto-breathe (an unfortunate side effect that hasn’t yet dissipated).

At this point, there are no desserts.¬† I’m honestly really ok with that.¬† As soon as I started keto my sweet cravings almost entirely dissapeared anyways.¬† There are a lot of keto dessert options that you can make though.¬† Maybe I will incorporate more in the future just to mix it up a bit.

 

Just Peachy

I’m not even on Instagram but I know there is a big trend of girls posting pics and guides on how they grew their glutes.¬† Usually accompanied by before and after pictures- from a sad little pancake to glutes that wouldn’t look out of place on an olympic sprinter.¬† Followed, of course, with 45 peach and kissy face emoji’s.

I just spent about three minutes googling for an example of these before and afters that are popping up everywhere and the vast majority are a little¬†too¬†gratuitous for me to include.¬† We’ll settle for this peachy pic, mmmk?¬†peachy

Until now I’ve rolled my eyes hardcore when these type of transformations get covered in the fitness articles I check out, possibly because I’ve got a love/hate relationship with my own “peach”.

In school I ran track, I danced on a dance team, I loved rollerblading…. I was pretty thin all over¬†except¬†for my “peach”.¬† All this is painfully embarrassing to admit.¬† I hated it.¬† I got whistled at, people commented…it was just a source of torturous¬†embarrassment for an awkward adolescent.

My friends with smaller backsides were jealous.  Which I never got, but proves that the grass always seems greener on the other side.

So I’m seeing these glute-tastic transformations thinking, “why on earth would you want to make your butt bigger?!?!?!” ūüė≤¬†Are these girls doing it to get more attention?¬† I don’t get it.

But I took the time to watch one such peachy Instagram model; Bethany Tomlinson, talk about Her Transformation.  And I realized that this is a good thing.  A very good thing.  Girls are building self-esteem and lifting heavy weights and actually eating.  Compared to the inane paper challenge where girls try to disappear behind a sheet of paper or the cringe-inducing thigh gap idealization, this is a trend that is actually healthy.

Girls are realizing that they can improve their self-esteem and their curves through lifting weights.¬† I still could do without the skintight leggings and to my old granny (I’m pretty prudish here at 31) eyes- gratuitous glute emphasis.¬† Butt¬†overall, I feel an odd sense of pride in these girls that could not care less about hiding behind a piece of paper.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve made more peace with my body and curves…

After I had my first baby, I lost all the weight really quickly and lost a lot of muscle with it too.¬† I lost my butt.¬† It gave me a new appreciation for what I had.¬† I started lifting weights because I was¬†not¬†feeling my sad, saggy “skinny-fat” look.¬† I started with 5 pound dumbells.¬† We all start somewhere.¬† Yesterday I was pulling 30# for a single arm row and deadlifting 60.¬† Strength training got things back “up” to where they should be, after three babies and breastfeeding for a combined 3 years.¬† Cardio will help shrink your body but you need weights to sculpt it.¬† I’d argue that weights are far¬†more¬†important than cardio.

9136b9d1d389ff8bb5728d405e007b99--lifting-weights-workout-lift-weights

I’m feeling pretty happy these days with my peach- built through a combo of genetics and a lot of hard work¬†butt¬†don’t look for any skintight legging-clad closeups of this peach anytime soon ūüėČ ūüćĎūüćĎūüćĎūüćĎūüćĎūüćĎūüćĎūüėėūüėėūüėėūüėėūüėė

Results!!

I’ve been at this keto lifestyle for 19 days and¬†drumroll…. I’ve lost five pounds of body fat!¬† Five pounds in under 20 days!¬† If you need a visual to process that, here ya go.

5lb-fat-brick

I’m sorry if you are currently eating.¬† Shocking, isn’t it?

20180125_093402.jpgAll I did was track my food with the fitness pal app.¬† I didn’t even cut back on calories much.¬† I just kept my carbs low (under 50 grams) and my fat high (over 110 grams).

If anything, I’ve cut back on exercise.¬† I do about 30 minutes a day.¬† I stick mostly with strength training.¬† I’ve been going over my supposed calorie needs every day, sometimes by up to 400 calories.¬† And still, results!

I’m feeling good.¬† I feel strong.

Obviously, I really highly recommend the ketogenic diet.¬† For most people, you are going to get results, and quickly!¬† The honest downside is that you are very limited in what you can eat.¬† If you stroll down the aisles at your grocery store you’ll realize you can’t eat 90% of what is in the store.¬† I have celiacs disease, so I’m used to a limited diet.¬† It hasn’t been a huge deal to me, but I can see how it would be to someone who is used to eating whatever they want.

But the real benefits are that you lose stored body fat without having to deprive yourself.¬† You won’t lose muscle like you would on a low calorie diet.¬† You’re eating foods that are great for you.¬† Your thinking will get clearer and your cravings will greatly dissipate.¬† All that fat is great for skin and brain health.¬†Fat and Cholesterol Critical for Brain Health¬†Dietary fat for Healthy Skin

 

Anti-Aging Skincare Hacks

Hey guys, I’m departing from my usual keto-talk today.¬† I recorded this vlog to share all my favorite, anti-aging skin care tips and tricks!

Check it out and enjoy!!!

What are your favorite skin care tricks?¬† Please share in the comments ūüėė

P.S. please forgive my sorry, busted looking nail polish. I’m a busy mom so they only get done once a month tops!