Keto Family

I posted awhile back about wanting to try the keto diet for the whole family.  20180524_181823894515596.jpg

Reasons being, I now technically have three special needs kids.  One with severe eczema/TSW, one with aspergers, and my youngest now with autism and/or ADHD.  All three struggle with anxiety to some extant.

One unexpected perk I experienced going keto was a drastic reduction in my own anxiety, along with an increase in mental clarity and focus.

They are all three very thin so this would technically be a therapeutic approach and I’d have to monitor their weight to make sure they weren’t dropping any.¬† It’d be wonderful if we were able to avoid perscription drugs for my youngest, and get my oldest¬†off¬†of his.¬† I really believe in the therapeutic value of ketones for brain health.¬†¬†keto for ADHD

Either way, it can’t hurt to cut out refined sugars and empty calories.

We’ve been slooowly easing in by having keto-style dinners.¬† Thankfully, my kids generally like veggies and meat.¬† I decided, for the sake of my sanity, to wait until school was out before going full-bore.

A high fat diet is great for¬†¬†developing brains.¬† Not to mention fresh veggies and good protein.¬† Admittedly, it’s probably going to be a tough transition so we’re just doing a trial period to see if the potential benefits are worth it.

There’s one week of school so I have time to start meal planning.¬† I’ll post as we go!

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Cycling in Carbs

Disclaimer: I’m just trying to figure this all out as I go.

Lately I’ve been feeling¬†really¬†tired and rundown.¬† This past week I’ve had that awful zombie-esque feeling I get sometimes.¬† Lupus and auto-immune disorders run in my family.¬† My grandma died young and a major factor was her lupus.¬† Because of my genetics and family history, my body is just incredibly sensitive to inflammation.¬† If I eat something inflammatory, I’m feeling it,¬†big time.¬†¬†The chief inflammatory offender being gluten, of course.¬† But also carrageenan, soy lecithin, MSG, preservatives….

It keeps me eating a mostly clean diet, so it’s good in that sense.¬† But I have been eating¬†pretty¬†clean and still, the feeling persists….

I happened to listen to this¬†podcast specifically on women, inflammation and the keto diet.¬† It’s the “wellness mama” herself (she’s kind of a legend!) and Thomas Delauer- an expert on all things keto.¬† It’s a great podcast, check it out.¬† If you want to know fo sho that this Thomas guy knows his stuff; just check out his transformation-¬†woah

He lost 100 pounds and now models on magazine covers.¬† So¬†pretty¬†sure he knows his stuff.¬† But anyhoos, one thing he discussed is the topic of “cheating” on ketosis.¬† He cycles in carbs when he stops feeling great.

See, our bodies do store reserves of glycogen that can last for weeks.¬† But those levels do get depleted eventually.¬† That’s when you start feeling run down, achey, tired, etc.¬† Bingo.

I’ve been at this for three months with only one official cheat meal (haha I did “cheat” eating some mediocre leftover gluten free mac and cheese but we won’t discuss that!).¬† Maybe at this point I need a cheat meal or two to rev up my engine.

I’m going to give it a go.¬† No crappy restaurant food this time, though.¬† I’ll probably make a homemade meal with some rice or potatoes- all in the name of replenishing glycogen stores, of course! ūüėČ

With the keto diet, as with anything- you need to listen to your body.  What worked well at one point might need tweaking in the future.  You have to be flexible. 1950s-blond-woman-winking-eye-vintage-images

 

Still?!

I’ve gotten multiple comments like, “You’re¬†still¬†doing keto?”¬† Wow, my friends and family apparently don’t have much faith in my ability to stick things out!¬† ūüėõ

Honestly, I am a bit of a bandwagon jumper.  I see something that catches my eye or interest and jump right in.  Only to lose interest and move on to the next thing.  But keto is different for me.  What started as a plan to lose a few holiday-chocolate-truffle-cookie pounds morphed into so much more.

The pounds melted off quickly, yes.¬† But that wasn’t the end point.¬† Because I’m sure the weight would creep back up if I went back to carbs and sugar… but I’m sticking it out because I genuinely enjoy my keto foods and¬†especially¬†the way I feel on the plan.

This is a lifestyle and one that I plan to maintain.

I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I’ve struggle with depression and anxiety.¬† No shame in my game because I know that so many others do as well.¬† For me, a good hunk of it is genetic.¬† I believe, at the moment, my three most closely related relatives are on anti-depressants and anxiety meds.¬† My grandma still texts me anxiously whenever there is a storm front in my neck of the woods.

I am stubbornly naturally-minded person though and I’m determined to live my happiest, healthiest life¬†naturally.¬†¬†Please don’t hear me condemning the use of meds.¬† This isn’t that.¬† Some people need them.¬† Period.¬† My depression/anxiety is mild enough that I am able to function well with some lifestyle adjustments, or “hacks”.¬† That’s my own conviction but I certainly don’t judge people who use meds as a well-rounded approach to supporting their mental health.

I am a generally happy person but I would get slammed with periods of depression on a regular basis.¬† I’ve always used exercise and a healthy lifestyle to combat that.¬† I am also a person of faith so I practice that every day as well.¬† This diet, and the effect of ketones on my brain, has filled in the missing pieces for me.¬† It’s hard to explain but I feel much more confident, much¬†less¬†anxious.¬† Things that used to bother me horribly I am able to shrug off now.

There is evidence that the brain runs more¬†efficiently on ketones over glucose.¬† For one thing, it upregulates mitochondrial biogenesis.¬† bfb5f95c29a922587cf7bfe1a6dd684ecc7dbe603add9b7ffc7246984dcdfff0¬†Mitochondria are like the tiny power plant powerhouses that we have in every single cell.¬† They basically power our bodies at the cellular level.¬† For example: cyanide works because it shuts down our mitochondria.¬† Without them, we die pretty quick.¬† Ketones in the brain (or elsewhere) leads to a process where the weaker mitochondria die off and stronger ones replace them.¬† It’s literally an anti-aging process.¬† Forget wrinkle cream.¬† Put MCT oil in your coffee instead.

That’s why so many people fast and end up feeling better and getting relief from chronic pain and other conditions.¬† Any time you’re fasting your body is making ketones.¬† The ketones cause rapid autophagy- basically a cellular deep cleaning where weak old cells get gobbled up and replaced.

The good news is that you don’t have to fast to get the benefits.¬† A very low carb diet with provide the same benefits, in a much more sustainable way.¬† If you’d like more info check out¬†this article¬†from Mark’s Daily Apple.¬† There is also evidence that ketosis can reverse dementia and other forms of mental decline.

Any plan where copious amounts of cream, cheese, cream cheese is encouraged while your brain gets sharper and your bum gets smaller- is a winner in my book! ūüėČ

Red Unveiling

So guys, I promise this is going to be the LAST post in my week-long hair saga.

Even after multiple toners my hair was still just not a shade of blonde you would find in nature.  I was surprised how much it affected my self-esteem.  However you feel about beauty standards, we feel so much better when we like the way we look.

If only for your own confidence, do things that make you feel good about yourself so that you can move about your life with the confidence that you should!

So after a bit of debating, I went and bought a hair dye kit.¬† There was no salvaging the blonde.¬† I decided to cover it up with a dramatic red.¬† I’ve gone red before and I really like it.¬† I did it myself (after a glass of wine!) for under $10 and in under 30 minutes.¬† Yay for DIY.¬†20180309_104808.jpg

I think it looks better, but¬†more importantly;¬†it makes me feel better.¬† I’ve got my confidence back.¬†¬†620c3b22ab2fa50849727b03eeaaf53a92cae398ea83e789e09258055d7d02a6

I think it’ll be a¬†long¬†time before I dye it again.¬† I’ll be doing lots of deep conditioning to rehab the damage from so much processing. *sigh* lesson learned, ya’ll.

Meanwhile, on the keto-front, I am doing really well.  I stopped tracking my food and macros a few weeks ago.  I felt like I had the hang of it, plus, tracking everything you eat is really annoying!  I step on the scale to check in every few days and so far I have maintained my fighting weight.

I feel really good mentally.¬† I am sleeping better than ever and I still feel calm and focused 95% of the time.¬† My only concern continues to be the dreaded “keto breath”.¬† My husband said it’s gotten a lot better but I talk to so many people at work and I don’t want to have bad breath!¬† I am currently experimenting with chlorophyll.¬† It works amazing well to eliminate bad breath and even body odor.¬† Plus there are plenty of health amazing benefits¬†to using it.¬† I’m definitely going to give it a shot and get feedback from my long suffering husband and report back! ūüėČ