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.

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



Tired and Tempted

I hit a weird lull today.  Yesterday there was a lot of excitement (a job interview! Reconnecting with a dear friend!) with lots of nerves and java to match.

I didn’t sleep well and I’m tiirrreeddd.¬†yep For the first time this month my seemingly endless motivation is melting away like coconut oil in bulletproof coffee.

Son of a nutcracker I just want a giant snickers.¬† Like the king size one you’re supposed to share.¬† I actually was entertaining this as a legit possibility.¬† I’ve made it a month, after all.

I reached my goals.¬† I’m feeling really good, after all.

But when I have my first big cheat I want it to be planned in advance and truly celebratory- not reeking like a giant steaming pile of weakness in the face of temptation.¬† I’m not sure I even want to do sugar again.¬† Even as an ordained “cheat meal”.¬† It’s just no good for me.¬†yepp

I want to splurge on my favoritest food ever.¬† Mahkani Chicken with plenty of basmati rice.¬† Or a slab o’meatloaf with a¬†pile¬†of mashed potatoes.

So I begrudgingly ended up eating this instead.

The dog doesn’t know why I’m griping

Asparagus, that’s asparagus.

I did follow it up with 90% dark chocolate.¬† No nougat, but it’ll do.

Anytime we make big changes our motivation is going to be highest when we first start out.

But encountering temptation and overcoming it is (hard, it’s hard) but really… rewarding in the long run.

For the longest time I was a sugar junky.  I was a skinny sugar junky but one with anxiety, stress, and mood swings that would make me question my sanity.  Then later I was an increasingly plump sugar junky.

I’d love to add more inspirational garble but really… don’t make decisions based on how you feel in the moment.

Eat an alternative.¬† Focus on why you’re doing this in the first place.¬† The craving will pass.¬† Don’t do anything that is going to lead to regret later.¬† Whether that’s food or any sort of split decision.

You’ve got this!¬†980x

Oh and eat some guacamole while you’re at it! ūü•Ďūü•Ďūü•Ď

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.

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.

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.¬†¬†¬† 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.¬†

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¬† 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.

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.

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.