Age in Reverse

Yesterday I came across this photo of my husband, his mother, and I from 2011.¬† This was 7 years ago.¬† I would have been 24 or 25.¬† Still a youngin’ by any reckoning.¬† I was taken aback though, because I seriously look younger now, at 31.¬†oldcicic

Yes, I know, my husband is really tall.  It leads to awkward hugs and a constant battle over the driver seat settings in our cars!

At the time I was dealing with severe chronic fatigue.¬† It was starting to dawn on me that I had celiacs disease.¬† But it took a long time to give up wheat.¬† It took time to grieve the fact of all that I had to give up.¬† I loved pizza and pasta and sandwiches…and just eating like a “normal” person.¬† Plus, at the time, the gluten free options were limited and pretty gross.

I knew my potential future though.¬† I come from a very large Irish Catholic family and virtually all of my dad’s 10 sisters had MAJOR auto-immune health problems.¬† Lupus, celiacs, hashimotos, R.A. just to name a few.¬† I didn’t want to live sick and die young.

I gradually made changes as I learned.  I went from eating a standard american diet to a more natural anti-inflammatory diet.  I cut back on sugar (I was a major sugar junkie!) till I eventually cut it out together.  I also have to avoid preservatives, MSG, carageenan, nitrates and soy lecithin.  If I eat any of these triggers I will feel like absolute death.  My body is just hyper-sensitive to inflammation.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I have to eat a very limited diet, I choose to see it as a gift.¬† It forces me to be accountable and eat well.¬† I mostly embarked on my health journey in order to feel better.¬† I’ll be honest, I’m not there 100%.¬† I still have days were I feel exhausted.¬† I still slip up and eat food I shouldn’t.¬† But I’ve come so far.¬† My health issues started me on a path not only towards healing, but towards optimized health.¬† The journey has been tough at times, but I’ve learned so much along the way.¬† For that I am grateful.

Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a little!) but I think I look younger now then I did then.  When you take care of yourself, it shows.  Especially as you get older. 20180510_0909142132568400.jpg

Make smart choices to feel better today.¬† Make those smart choices into your habits and routine.¬† Those smart choices will have a cumulative effect, one of them being a more youthful appearance, and who doesn’t want that?!


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.

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.¬†¬†

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.

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.

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.