A Very Bad Hair Day

Sorry guys, this post is going to be incredibly self-indulgent and possibly even whiney….

Let me set it up for you: I haven’t been to a hair salon in an entire year.¬† Partly because it’s been a tough year for us, with my 9 year old and his extended illness.¬† The other part being that I am a terrible control freak and sitting in the chair of a stranger and putting my hair into their hands gives me more than a little anxiety.

My hair had been growing out and taking on it’s usual “bronde” color. It was looking pretty healthy but really needed a trim.¬† A comment from a loved one about me looking better as a blonde tipped me over into deciding I was going to go blonde again, along with cutting off a couple inches.

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My Natural “Bronde”

Problem is, I don’t know where to go, because I never go!¬† So I looked at some reviews online and made an appt. to get in to a local salon that had good reviews.

What followed was a complete disaster.¬† The lady was obviously used to doing foils, not all over color like I wanted.¬† She did a horrendous job and after washing out the color…the “reveal” was¬†bright¬†orangish-yellow hair.¬† It was truly horrifyingly hideous.¬† Like the worst dye job you can imagine.¬† Like I could have done better with a $4 box kit in my bathroom,¬†in the dark.¬†20180305_143252-1.jpg

I’m not a drama queen (ok, I usually keep it in check) but my eyes welled up with tears.¬† I was¬†devastated.¬†¬†I walked over to the front desk with still almost sopping wet (bright orange!) hair.¬† She looked apologetic but took no responsibility, just offered to blow dry it (like that would help!)¬† As I was loudly proclaiming that it looked terrible and on the verge of an emotional breakdown she told me she wouldn’t charge me as patrons nervously looked on.¬† I grabbed my stuff and ran out, sobbing.

I booked it over to another salon (through a blizzard, at that) with a hat on and eyes puffy from crying.

The new salon ladies (yep, they all pretty much converged to try to fix the disaster) ran copious amounts of two different toners through my hair to tone down the hideous orange.¬† It wasn’t just that.¬† The original stylist had put way more dye on my roots so that they were a day-glow yellow and my ends were¬†much¬†darker.¬† Like a reverse ombre from hell.¬†¬†The end result was still no where near what I wanted but a million times better.¬† I also ordered a blue mask to get it back to an even more natural color and blue shampoo and conditioner.

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End result, still a bit orangish but much better thankfully!

Moral of the story…don’t dye or do anything drastic on an impulse.¬† At the end of the day, it’s just hair, but still….¬† Do your research and if you find a good stylist, make her your best friend!¬† And God bless all you good hair colorists and stylists; like the ladies who worked hard to salvage my hair, you are worth your weight in gold!

Sometimes life hands us the proverbial lemons (or sickly-lemon colored hair!).  Go ahead and cry and throw a pity party.  But then pick yourself up, wipe away the tears, and get on to fixing it!

Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

I love chocolate…. Like it’s a food group to me.¬† The most important one.¬†¬†11062757_10156302585070074_8547220417261379568_n

If I couldn’t have chocolate, I wouldn’t stick with keto for long!

Luckily for me, there are many great chocolicious keto recipes out there as well as recipes that are easily adaptable.

Flourless chocolate cake is one such recipe.¬† It’s high fat, low carb.¬† It’s rich, dense, sinfully delicious.¬† It’s easily made sugar free with the use of a low-carb sweetener.¬† My favorite at the moment is monk sweet– a blend of stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit extract.

I adapted a combo of recipes to make this delicious and keto-friendly!

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Everything’s Better with Butter, Ya’ll!

You’ll need~

  • a stick of butter (preferably grass fed!)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your sweetener
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (or raw cacao powder)
  • 1 tsp. pink salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

I started with melting my butter and the broken up chocolate on medium-low in a medium saucepan.¬† I added the sweetener as well, so that the cake wouldn’t be gritty.¬† As that melted down I turned the burner to low and added the rest of the ingredients, mixing after each addition.

I removed the pan from the heat before whisking in the eggs.¬† I poured the brownie-like batter into a greased, round 8″ glass pan and baked at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

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The result was Ah-MAZ-ing.  I ate a piece with some whipped cream on top.  It hits the spot for sure.  Not only is it keto-friendly but you are also getting loads of antioxidants from all the chocolate.  Believe it or not but chocolate is pretty much the richest source of health-boosting antioxidants that you can eat.

“One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, which included¬†blueberries¬†and Acai berries.” –¬†health benefits of chocolate¬†

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Chocolate is a superfood in every capacity; high in fiber, iron, minerals… and this is a great way to get the full benefits without the health-degrading effects of sugar.

So treat yourself to this recipe with zero guilt!

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.

Son of a Biscuit

I love (really love!!)¬†that I am able to incorporate baked goods into my ketogenic lifestyle.¬† This makes me incredibly happy.¬† I’m an ok cook but an enthusiastic baker.¬† I’m not incredibly talented or anything, I just enjoy it.¬† The warmth of the oven, the aroma wafting through the house, tasting warm and gooey creations… it make me happy.

My latest creation was a recipe I adapted from chocolate chip cookies at perfect keto.  Can you think of anything nummier than a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie?  Me neither!  20180221_184356.jpg

If you’re into cookie dough, this is one recipe where the dough is almost better than the finished product.¬† I might have helped myself to a few bites…and this recipe may have been my dinner last night. ūüėČ

I didn’t want my recipe to be too dry (as recipes with almond flour can be) so I reduced the “flour” down to 2 1/2 cups and did equal parts almond and coconut flour.¬† I also added almond and vanilla extract.

For my chocolate I chopped up a 90% dark chocolate bar.

I also found that I had to “nuke” my butter and coconut oil.¬† They said room temp, but my room temp is a bit too chilly for coconut oil to blend.¬†¬†20180222_081614.jpg

The end result was delicious.¬† Still a bit dry so have a cup of steaming coffee or cold milk to wash these down.¬† The texture is a bit more biscuit than cookie, but the taste is¬†pretty¬†close.¬† This is a more sophisticated, grown up cookie.¬† Just sweet enough to be a treat, minus the guilt.¬† Your kids won’t steal them.¬† Win-win.¬†cookies

Workin’ Girl

I haven’t written in a few days.

Honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to write.¬† Plus, I started my new job and then today got hit with the stomach bug that’s been going around! ūü§Ęūüėę

I do want to expand a bit on my Valentine’s day cheat.¬† Ya’ll know it didn’t go super well.¬†12121 And in honesty, it threw me off so much that it took a good 3-4 days to feel like I was back on track.¬† I had a lot of cravings and generally feeling icky.¬† I suppose it’s just more reinforcement that my body really likes keto, and thrives on it.¬† Next time I cheat I’ll do it a lot smarter.¬† I’ll “re-feed” with complex carbs to replenish glycogen without unleashing insulin fury and setting off a week of sugar cravings!

But honestly, the stress of starting a new job has caused major cravings too.¬† Sometimes you just want some ^#*$ing carbs, right?!¬† I’ve been wanting to mow down on some popcorn or pizza.¬†2121 I’ve been really good though.¬† To get a bit of a comfort food fix I made some chocolate keto ice cream.¬† ¬†No pictures will be posted because the end result wasn’t pretty.¬† Pragmatist that I am I decided to not do all the separate mixing and (dirtying of bowls!) consolidate into less steps (and dirty bowls!).¬† The chocolate didn’t quite blend all the way in so there are bits of solid chocolate in the end result.¬† I do like it though, it makes it¬†almost¬†taste like a cookies and cream ice cream.¬† I also used regular baking chocolate for less carbs.¬† It was still pretty sweet.

I’ve also had to figure out some quick, easy and portable meals to take to work.¬† I’ve been eating ham and cheese egg muffins (I posted the recipe¬†here).¬† I’ve also been throwing together a very simple tuna salad.¬† I don’t like fish¬†except¬†for tuna.¬† I buy lower mercury, wild caught canned tuna and of course add in a generous amount of my avocado oil based mayo.¬† Plus a diced up dill pickle, because, pickles and tuna go together like p.b. and jelly!¬† I just mix it up and eat it straight.¬† You could also dress it up with celery or spinach leaves.

I’ve also been making a big travel mug of chai tea with coconut butter and ethyritol.¬† I sip on it all day for steady energy.¬† When lunch time rolls around, I am just starting to get hungry because the tea really tides me over.

When I do get hit hard with carb cravings I try to remember all the benefits I’ve gained.¬† Starting a new job and getting out of my comfort zone, I’ve had so much less anxiety than I would have otherwise.¬† I even dealt with a less than nice costumer who was giving me a hard time (for being new, and human) and it didn’t even faze me.¬† Like, at all.¬† Plus I do get to eat a lot of delicious food and my jeans have all un-shrunk! ūüėČ

Air Purifying

Even though we had a high yesterday of 17 degrees F I am feeling some major spring spirit!!¬† I always throw open all the curtains and blinds as soon as the sun comes up.¬† It could be cold but as long as it’s sunny, I am happy.¬† The anticipation for spring usually means fresh motivation to tackle big projects around the house.

Yesterday was one such project.¬† I have a lot of houseplants that were needing major TLC.¬† They needed pruning and cleaning up because the stale winter air in here causes the leaves to get dusty.¬† When the leaves are dusty they can’t photosynthesize as well or oxygenate the air.

I started my house plant collection a few years ago.¬† I inherited my mother’s “black thumb” but I kept at it.¬† I bought inexpensive plants and pots from IKEA and Wal-Mart.¬† I killed my fair share but I currently have 10 plants that are doing fairly well.

I love houseplants because not only do they add a nice ambiance, they work hard to eliminate toxins from the air and create a healthier living environment.  They look great and are 100% functional.  20180217_072850.jpgSo I spent a good hunk of the day lugging my many plants into the bathroom and literally showering off the dust and grime.

I also added diatomaceous earth to the soil to aid in growth and prevent those yucky little flies from breeding in the soil.

Another method I use to improve indoor air quality is using himalayan salt lamps.¬† They’ve been known to¬†purify air¬†by eliminating mold and emitting negative ions into the air.¬† All the electronics in air home create a very unhealthy abundance of harmful EMFs¬†and positively charged ions; which at the¬†very least¬†make us feel sluggish….but could also be contributing to cancer and other major diseases.¬†¬†20180217_073004.jpg

If you’ve ever felt refreshed after standing near a waterfall or going outside after a huge storm, it’s a similar idea.¬† The lamps look nice and do really seem to help with energy levels.

They aren’t too expensive, you can even find them at Wal-Mart.

You¬†can¬†call them salt lamps but around here, 80’s kids that we are; they are known as our “sankara stones” and may or may not have magical powers ūüėČ

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Cheating on Valentine’s Day

Sweet son of a monkey wrench I am feeling like poo this fine morning….

a123I was waffling all day on whether or not to “cheat”.¬† I read some articles.¬† I did some thinking.¬† I decided to cheat.¬† We went to Applebees and I got barbecued chicken with a side of mashed potatoes AND fries.¬† I had a glass of white zin.¬† I ate everything on my plate and had a couple chocolate truffles as well.¬† The fries were really good.¬† But pretty much immediately after eating I felt my heart beating harder.¬† I was thirsty all night.¬† My stomach was¬†not¬†happy with me.¬† The chocolate was really disappointing.¬† It tasted like gritty sugar and chemicals.¬† I guess my taste buds have really changed.

My carb-fest must have spiked my insulin and blood sugar and I had trouble falling asleep and basically slept like crap.¬† I am feeling¬†terrible.¬† If a food hangover is a thing, baby, I’ve got it.¬† Waking up after cheating on Valentine’s day with a headache and regret…. sounds like a country song that I don’t want to hear!

However, irritatingly positive person that I am; I am already framing this as a learning experience.

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Stars from Scars, People!

The takeaway for me is that I’ve gotten used to feeling better.¬† Sleeping better.¬† This experience really put that into perspective.¬† I like feeling good.¬† I don’t like feeling like a steaming pile o’poo.¬† Carbs and sweets really aren’t even something that appeals to me anymore, or not enough in the context that how they taste isn’t worth how they make me feel. ūüí©

I feel a sense that I was right in thinking that this ketogenic diet is much more than a diet for me.¬† It’s a way of life.¬† It’s the way of eating that best supports my health and well-being.

I don’t know if I’ll have more cheat meals in the future.¬† I probably won’t eat more crappy Applebee’s food, that’s for sure!¬† ¬†But truly and honestly I enjoy the keto-friendly food that I am eating and I really don’t see a pertinent need to cheat, on such a rich and indulgent diet that yields so many benefits.

From a physical standpoint this one cheat experience didn’t ruin my state of ketosis.¬† From what I’ve read online, there are people who are militant and overzealous about the state of their ketones.¬† I’m not.¬† I don’t know if I left ketosis or not but I know for sure I am definitely in ketosis this morning.¬† My lovely breathe is always a reliable clue.ūüćí