Frozen and Cheating

It hasn’t been a great week.

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My oldest son, definitely sums up the week!

In the spirit of being transparent and real (keep it real!)- I’ve been cheating left and right.¬† Popcorn.¬† Easter candy.¬† Chocolate bunnies.¬† I’ve been on the cheating train and that train is a crazy one.¬† In my defense, it has been spring break week.¬† It has also been snowing, freezing, windy and nasty.¬† So I’ve been pent up with three kids with serious spring fever.

We’re not going to kill it 100% of the time.¬† I am working on viewing myself with a bit of compassion, honesty, and of course- humor.¬† I stepped on the scale yesterday to face the music and thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I feared.

I got super strict with my carbs again and got that rush of ketone-energy that I’d been lacking.¬† The problem with the diet is that it only works as long as you follow it!!

I’ve found that the more I cheat, the more I¬†want¬†to cheat.¬† I just need to be super strict, and it is actually easier.¬† Because a “few” sips of my kids chocolate shake turns into a few chocolates turns into gummy bears turns into feeling awful… you get the idea.

It doesn’t help that my husband thought it’d be a good idea to stock up (and I do mean STOCK up) on clearance Easter chocolate and candy because it was 70% off! ūüėí

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I’m not kidding!!!!¬† This isn’t even all of it!

But honestly, as long as I’m being super strict, the cravings disappear and I can ignore the obnoxiously abundant supply of chocolate-covered peanut butter in my pantry.

It really boils down to getting back in touch with your goals.¬† Then you can decide, is it worth it?¬† Then you just do it.¬† Succeeding long term requires a mixture of being honest with yourself but also giving yourself grace… and believing that you are worth it.¬† That your health should be a priority.¬† Because junk food may taste good but it isn’t worth it.¬† Because feeling good is better than momentary indulgences.

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Day Seven and a Caveat

One thing I have encountered in my researching into the ketogenic diet is a prevalent arrogance against people who report that the diet¬†didn’t¬†work for them.¬† They tracked their carbs, stuck it out, and saw no progress…or¬†worse,¬†gained weight!

Are these people lying, as some would suggest?¬† I don’t think so.¬† My mom tried the keto diet and she is one of the people who didn’t do well on it.¬† She gave it a month and didn’t lose any weight.

For many people, the diet works amazingly well.¬† The weight melts off, your thinking is clearer, you have more energy, etc. but that isn’t everybody.¬† There’s a million diets out there for a reason.¬† We all have different physiology.¬† There isn’t a one size fits all approach…despite what some blowhards may claim.

From what I knew of my body, I was fairly certain this diet would be a good fit.  And it is.  Eating a greasy cheeseburger (no bun!) with a big dollop of mayo makes me happy and makes me feel good.  A big hunk of bread would make me feel ill.  A cinabon would do me in for the day.  You have to pay attention to the way your body responds to different foods.  What gives you a sense of well-being?  Head in that direction.

A diet should be sustainable and should be nourishing.¬† If you can’t stay on it successfully, you’re almost certain to gain back the weight.¬† That’s why it’s so important to find a diet that enhances your well-being, a diet that you can *gasp* enjoy!¬†¬†117

Today I ventured to eat out for the first time since starting keto.¬† I got the steak salad bowl at chipotle.¬† I skipped obvious carbs like rice and beans and added extra veggies, cheese and guacamole.¬† It was so good!!¬† I didn’t feel deprived at all.

Feisty Day Five

I’ve realized that 20 grams of carbs a day is a bit unrealistic.¬† In fact, it’s crazy hard keeping the numbers that low.¬† I’ve decided to aim for it but not stress as long as I’m under 50 grams a day.

I’ve ordered a keto cookbook to help me keep going and not get bored with my food choices.¬† I also ordered some liquid electrolytes to add to water.¬† Keto makes you so thirsty and it is easy to get into¬†hyponatremia if you aren’t careful.¬† Hyponatremia occurs when your electrolytes get too low.¬† A lot of low-carbers can run into this, feel awful, then give up.

One unexpected benefit to cutting out sugar and carbs is improved oral health.¬† When you go to floss there is going to be nothing there!¬† Because plaque is caused by “sticky” carbs, and your aren’t eating any, you’re oral health is going to be on point.

Another unexpected change is the way I feel during a workout.¬† Now that I’m burning body fat (hells yeah) instead of glucose, a workout feels totally different.¬† I’m not getting as winded.¬† I feel a very calm and stable energy.¬† I know I’m still working hard and sweating up a storm but I’m not huffing and puffing.¬† It’s kind of strange but not unwelcome.

Here is more “fitspo” that I find incredibly inspiring.¬†¬†1116

Cautionary Tale

In my research I saw that a lot of people use MCT coconut oil because of it’s energizing properties.¬† Of course I had to buy some!

This morning I put about a tablespoon in my coffee (and blended it, because fat bubbles=gross).¬† It was actually really good and frothed up like a bulletproof latte.¬† I sucked most of it down then realized…uh-oh.¬† Not feeling good at all.¬†¬†So I sit here feeling light headed and nauseous.¬† Apparently it’s something you want to slowly ease into. ūü§¶115

From what I understand, this stuff is like coconut oil on crack.¬† It’s powerful so you have to proceed with caution (not a strong suit for me!) and start with a teaspoon, max.¬† Don’t throw caution to the wind and dump it into your coffee with a gusto like me.

It is good stuff though.¬†¬†https://draxe.com/mct-oil/¬† I’m guessing one reason why it can make people feel sick is the die-off result.¬† When ingested, especially on an empty stomach, it can have a very strong¬†natural¬†antibacterial and antifungal effect.¬† It kills off yucky stuff in our guts, basically.¬† When those nasty little buggers die, they release some toxin crap and don’t go down without a fight.¬† That’s why you want to make sure you are eating fiber and drinking lots of water to help your body target and then flush out candida and parasites.¬† While it can have a profoundly positive effect when those nasty hitchhikers are gone, the actual process of getting rid of them can be quite unpleasant.¬† But coconut oil and MCT are very effective even if not for the faint of heart.¬† https://coconutoil.com/study-candida-infections-can-be-controlled-with-coconut-oil/

Aside from accidentally over- doing it on the MCT, I’m doing pretty well!¬† I’m already down a couple pounds and looking less “puffy”.¬† While I know that is probably due to losing excess water, I’ll take it!

Aside from dealing with decreased energy and a slight headache that comes and goes, I’ve already noticed a lot of positive effects.¬† My mood has been much more stable.¬† Before my mood would go through fairly extreme high and lows, no doubt coinciding with my wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels.

This is really huge for me because I do struggle (and always have) with depression and anxiety.¬† I’d liken it to being bipolar but going through the entire cycle of elation to crash every.single.day.¬† If this diet can help regulate my emotions it will be more than worth it!!

Another thing I’ve noticed is generally less aches and pains.¬† I have a minor scoliosis which leads to daily back pain for me.¬† It’s hard to measure in any scientific way but my back pain seems to have been less these past few days.

Another great feature of the keto diet is that when you cut out sugar, you eliminate a huge source of inflammation in your body.  So if you struggle with chronic pain, it could potentially greatly improve your quality of life and reduce dependence on medication.  https://www.furtherfood.com/how-to-reduce-chronic-inflammation-by-limiting-sugar-intake/

When it comes to cutting out sugar you may (like me) want to find a worthy substitute.¬† I’ve been using xylitol, which I do really like…¬†but¬†it is not carb free and can impact blood sugar levels.¬† One sweetener (of course natural, artificial aint even an option, people!) that is popular in the keto community is erythritol.¬† You can get it by itself or mixed with stevia.¬† I’m going to track some down today and start experimenting.

Toppling Day Three

I’ve always been interested in the ketogenic diet.¬† I’ve read about it quite a bit over the years and there is real science behind it.¬† But just lately as I’ve embarked on this keto-journey I have spent a lot of time researching on how to do it¬†right.¬†

One thing I’ve learned is that the emphasis is not on high protein.¬† The emphasis is on fat.¬† Not just fat, but healthy, nourishing fat.¬† The diet is about giving your body optimum nutrition while drastically cutting carbs so you can burn fat instead of glucose.¬† A process known as ketosis.

This is not an pork rind, bacon and artificially sweetened protein shake type of diet.¬† The emphasis should be on foods that you actually require refrigeration and proper preparation.¬† If you’re overly reliant on boxed foods, this isn’t going to work.

Now that your primary source of energy is fat you want to make sure you’re eating the right kind.¬†¬†113

In “exhibit A” here we have two sticks of butter.¬† One is obviously much darker in color.¬† That’s butter from healthy, grass-fed cows.¬† It’s much higher in nutrients because cows are condensing all the nutrients from a proper grass diet into an easy to absorb, delicious form for us.¬†¬†Butter is a Superfood!¬†¬†With grass-fed butter you’re getting¬†5 times more¬†conjugated linoleic acid, which just happens to be amazing for overall health and AIDS in weight loss.¬† Yes, you heard it right.¬† Eat butter to lose weight.

Other healthy fats to consume would be in coconut oil (also great for weight loss), olive oil, wild caught salmon, cod liver oil, avocados, and fat from properly raised animals.

 

To do this diet well you want to cut out all the fluff your body doesn’t need while nourishing it with great, high-quality foods.¬† You shouldn’t feel deprived and your health shouldn’t suffer.

As I’ve really committed to this diet I’ve also researched alcohol consumption.¬† I’m a wine drinker.¬† The research I did led me to believe that one should abstain from alcohol on this diet, at least until you reach your goals.¬† Alcohol, in any form, is basically pure carbs (sugar) and completely halts fat burning.¬† So I’m retiring my wine glass for the time being.

I also obviously had to stop adding sugar to my coffee.¬† Right now I’m using a bit of xylitol to sweeten it, along with keto-friendly powdered coconut milk and heavy cream to make it rich and satisfying.

Additionally I’ve added smart water to my routine.¬† I read that many aspects of the ‘keto-flu” are caused by electrolyte imbalances.¬† When you suddenly go low-carb your kidneys start flushing out salt and water weight while you adjust.¬† You need to make sure to stay properly hydrated and one of the best ways is by drinking water with electrolytes.¬† You also want to add extra salt to your meals.¬† I use pink himalayan salt.

I’ve decided to keep my carb intake at about 20 grams a day to really kickstart the process.¬† I’ll probably adjust up to a more manageable 50 grams as needed.

It’s definitely an extreme diet and not for everyone.¬† But I’m finding it very doable.¬† Partly because the high fat consumption really leads to feelings of satiety.¬† I haven’t had too many cravings.¬† Though last night I was really jonesing for an¬†apple¬†of all things.

But I’ve really refined my goals and even found some “fitspo” as a reason to stay 100% committed to the process…¬†1115

This woman achieved this transformation in 4 weeks on a keto diet!!!¬† Wow, wow, wow.¬† I want shredded, lady abs like that!¬† So I’m dreaming of abs instead of snickers.

 

 

Day 2, Rocking Ketosis

Day 1 (of the rest of my life…) actually brought me into a state of ketosis.¬† How do I know?¬† By golly, my halitosis!!¬†¬†halitosis-948x640

About halfway through the day I noticed a constant sweet, fruity taste in my mouth.¬† As if I had drank a diet cherry soda.¬† It isn’t unpleasant but the feedback on my fruity breath¬†was.¬†¬†

How am I already in a state of ketosis?¬† I’m thinking because I’m fairly active and transitioned right from a pretty high-carb diet.¬† That and I did a very challenging workout that probably drained much of my stored glycogen.

Some people go through a rough transition, the “keto-flu” while their body adapts.¬† I haven’t experienced that yet.¬† I felt, surprisingly, really good.¬† I had zero cravings for sugar or carbs, which is a shocking departure from my norm.¬† I felt energetic but much calmer than usual.¬† I feel like this diet will be pretty easy to stick to for me.¬† I get the sense that this is the way I am supposed to be eating, for my body.

I’ve tried losing weight in the past (just a few pounds as needed) and it was¬†excruciatingly difficult.¬† I was still eating too much sugar and carbs.¬† For people who are sensitive to insulin spikes and don’t handle sugar well, you need to do more than just cut calories.¬† You need to go low carb or even keto so that your insulin levels stay low.¬† Insulin in excess is bad, bad stuff.¬† Not only does it make your body store fat (and put you into a cycle of constant cravings) but it also feeds tumor growth.

Even though I’ve always been pretty thin I know I’m at risk for developing type 2 diabetes as I age.¬† My blood sugar went berserk and I was borderline diabetic during my pregnancies.¬† I’ve been trying to eat my sweets in moderation but it just doesn’t work for me.

I really believe that on this diet I will feel better and be able to effortlessly shed a few pounds.¬† I know some might roll their eyes¬†but¬†I have a very small frame and a few pounds makes a huge difference on my body.¬† I’d like to lose about 4.¬† At that point I’ll have a body fat around 15% which will mean pretty sick looking abs.¬† ūüėȬ† I’m vain, ok?¬† Sue me.

The only drawback so far is that last night I felt too wired to sleep.¬† I’ve read that is pretty common at first but most people quickly transitioning to sleeping much better than before adapting a ketogenic diet.¬† Well, that and my odd fruit loops breath.¬† Hopefully that will dissipate as well too.

So far I’m feeling pretty good and excited about all the nummy, nourishing, low carb food I get to eat.¬† Avocados, cheese, cream- hurray!

 

First day of the Rest of My Life

I’m a little late in the game, here at the 7th of January but late is better than never, right?¬† Sometimes motivation kicks in seemingly at random.¬† I’ve been wanting to make some changes for awhile but I woke up today and knew it was the right time.¬† I wanted to start this blog to document my progress.

First, a little about me.¬† I am actually already pretty physically fit.¬† I’m one of those weirdos that enjoy a tough workout.¬† I love doing HIIT cardio and a tough strength training workout.¬† I love endorphins and progress.¬† I’ve always been motivated to workout so that isn’t the problem.

What is the problem is that I have a major sugar addiction.¬† I don’t really “binge” per say but I snack and I almost always want something sweet.¬† Chocolate, cookies, sweetened coffee…¬† I really am overly reliant on them for an energy boost.¬† I lie and tell myself I deserve them after a tough workout.¬† But my heart and tight jeans know the truth.

Coming off the holidays my weight, while still in the healthy range, is higher than I’d like.¬† But more importantly, I just want to feel better.¬† I know sugar is terrible for me.¬† I can’t seem too properly regulate it.¬† I just need to cut it out.¬†¬†26638168_10159925309005074_866830561_n

So this is my first picture.¬† My “before”.

I’m 5’5″ with about 20% body fat at 119 pounds.

My plan is to keep doing my workouts 5 times a week as usual but really overhaul my diet.

As a type O blood person I do best with a lot of protein and meat.

While my heart wants carbs galore I know I feel best eating high fat, high protein and low carb.

I want to start out at about 1,500 calories a day and keep carbs under 50 grams, with very little sugar.¬† I’ll be getting my carbs from veggies.

I’m looking forward to having more level energy and emotions.¬† I’m looking forward to getting more definition and less “cushion”.¬† I’m not interested so much in weight loss as I am in generally feeling better and¬†gaining¬†lean muscle mass as I cut some body fat (while staying within what is healthy for a female).¬† I really love a lean, strong look and that is my goal.¬† I would like a more defined six pack and a smaller toosh!

I plan to update on progress with pics and other fun details to help myself stay motivated.