Silencing that Inner Critic (swimsuit season!)

Guys, this is going to be a very real blog from my heart (and swimsuit drawer!).

My inner body critic has been really loud lately.  My weight tends to fluctuate up and down a few pounds and it fluctuated back up again.  I am also leaving for a vacation in just two days.

I was really hoping to be able to confidently rock a cute new swimsuit.

I kind of put it off til the last minute and checked out the selection at target yesterday.

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Where’s the covers the cheeky option?!

It was disheartening to say the least.¬† First off; 80% of the swimsuits seemed to be designed for teen girls.¬† The other 20% is for grandmas.¬† Where’s the middle road, people??¬† Like I’m not 19 but I’m not¬†that¬†old?!¬†¬†I don’t know about your neighborhood target but mine has really horrid dressing rooms.¬† Like bad (horror movie) florescent lighting and a mirror that somehow makes flaws you didn’t even know about “pop”.¬† I tried on two swimming suits before leaving empty handed and feeling pretty crappy about myself.

I’ve been stressing about it all week.¬† This morning I just decided, “screw it.¬† I am going to silence that inner critic and love my body where it’s at.”¬† I pulled out some of my old swimsuits that are¬†unapologetically “mom suits”.¬† ¬†Cute enough but modest.¬† I’ll be able to enjoy myself without worrying so much about how I look.

Because really, you¬†absolutely¬†should not let your inner critic push you around and rob you of your self worth.¬† You are¬†so much more than your body or your looks.¬†¬†Your body is just your shell.¬† Your legs were designed to get you from point a to point b, not to look flawless in a ridiculous “extra cheeky” swim suit.¬† Your body is a gift and the vehicle through which you get to live and partake and experience life.¬† Don’t lose sight of the amazing blessing that your healthy body is.

And if you’ve been feeling bad about your dietary choices you need to give yourself a gentle reality check.¬† I like to stop and take a moment to be grateful to God that I have all these food choices available to me.¬† That I don’t have to go hungry, or heaven forbid- watch my children go hungry.¬† I am¬†blessed.¬† I am worthy of a healthy self worth, independent of my size….and so are you.

The Magic Pill

Last night my husband and I watched¬†this film (on netflix) called “The Magic Pill”.¬† My husband, Tim, was actually the one who wanted to watch it.¬† Which was surprising because it’s all about the keto diet and it’s role in reversing all kinds of health conditions. This is a man that would eat mac and cheese every day of his life if I didn’t intervene.

It was really good, very informative.¬† It centered around people in crisis mode with their health and using the keto diet as a life-saving intervention.¬† One woman was able to get off her antibiotics and rescue inhaler for her severe asthma and respiratory infections.¬† One woman gained back her clarity from descending into dementia.¬† One little girl started to talk for the first time and stopped seizing.¬† Most shockingly, a woman was able to completely cure herself of a metastic breast cancer- with no other interventions!¬† Sorry for the spoilers, but really, it’s a must see!

Not only that, but these people got their joy back.¬† Their zest for life.¬† By the end of the movie they not only looked different, but they¬†were¬†different.¬† They weren’t trudging through life anymore.

My husband got up and dramatically tossed his box of cheezits into the garbage.¬† He doesn’t need to lose weight, but he does want to feel his best.¬† We both agreed we should try it out as a family.¬† It might really help our kids with their various issues.

I just had my daughters IEP meeting this week.¬† They classified her under the autism spectrum.¬† I think she has more signs of ADHD but they aren’t allowed to diagnose that anymore for political reasons.¬†¬†Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor

I do still think that vaccines are the leading cause of neurological problems in children.  The aluminum adjuvant is in nanoparticle size and gets deposited in the brain- causing all sorts of damage.  My daughter only got one, at her birth.  But we also live on very tainted land.  For years we lived next to big GMO fields where they sprayed pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer and that was poisoning our water, soil and even the air we breathe.  We live in the upper midwest in a smallish town, so a GMO field is only a stones throw away from even where we live now.

I think all these things are affecting us and our children in ways we can only begin to understand.

But if we can medicate ourselves with dietary interventions instead of resorting to potentially dangerous medications, we certainly should.¬† Please don’t hear that I’m condemning meds.¬† My oldest son needs concerta to get through his school day.¬† But the hope is that we could find a natural intervention that would eliminate that need.

I need to figure out how to approach this, and do it the healthiest way.¬† I’ll probably wait until summer break starts, so I don’t have to worry about packing keto-friendly lunches.¬† It’ll be tough for sure, but I believe 100% in the neurological and health promoting benefits of the keto diet- even for the most extreme and dire conditions.

 

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

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.

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

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

 

Being Insulin and Carb Smart

After going off sweeteners (except for a bit of stevia) I had a pretty rough couple days.¬† Then I woke up this morning feeling much better.¬† Feeling “keto-calm”- happy and positive.¬† I think the insulin spiking was too much for me, with the sugar alcohols.¬† I was turning into the wicked witch of the west.¬† I was craving carbs.¬† I was stressed out.¬† I felt awful.

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I’ll get you, my carb-ys!!

I’ve read that some people can tolerate different sweeteners.¬† Some people can’t.¬† You just really have to pay attention to how your body reacts.

Trust that your taste buds will adapt.¬† If you cut out the sweet, you’ll stop craving it.¬† Really!!¬† Yesterday I noticed the sweetness in a diced tomato like I never have before.

I’m keeping a bit of stevia in my diet to make life a bit easier.¬† I use vitamin water zero to mix my chlorella and probiotics (now that juice isn’t an option).¬† Plus it doubles as a sweet treat for me.¬† The taste isn’t amazing¬†but it’s good enough.¬†¬†Most keto experts agree that stevia is generally pretty harmless for most people.¬†¬†Benefits of Stevia

Another thing I’ve learned is the importance of timing your carb intake.¬† The best time to take in carbs is right after a workout.¬† It won’t spike your insulin, it won’t take you out of ketosis- because your body will use it to replenish your store of glycogen in your muscles.¬†¬†How to Carb Cheat

I had about 15 grams of carbs after a 45 minute workout in the form of a designer whey protein shake with fairlife filtered milk and a scoop of natural peanut butter.

You don’t want to go nuts, but if you are an active person you have more wiggle room in your carb intake while you stay in ketosis.

One big positive side effect that I’ve noticed is for my family.¬† My husband is making positive changes too.¬† He is a slim guy, he doesn’t need to lose weight but he is cutting back on carbs too.¬† He quit drinking soda, which is huge.¬† There are benefits to cutting back on carbs, even if you don’t go full keto.¬† Benefits of Cutting Back on Carbs¬† My kids are also eating less sugar cause I’m not eating sugar.

I don’t know about you but my kids want to eat¬†my¬†food.¬† If I’m eating snickers, they want it too.¬† Being wary of looking like a hypocritical meanie I shared my candy with them many times in the past.¬† Now when I make a salad I make a huge one because my 5 and 8 year old want to eat salad too!¬† Last night they all ate big helpings of asparagus with butter and parmesan along with their kid-friendly chicken nuggets.

When you make positive life changes it doesn’t just affect you!¬† It has a domino effect.¬† That in itself is reason enough to make changes.