journey

Monday Madness (publication #14)

Welcome back to another publication of Monday Madness. Not much madness here this Monday morning, but it’s another chance to have another great week. Last week was super busy, stressful and dis-heartening. So I have high hopes that this week will not be like that.

I really struggled last week and I am struggling writing this today. I wish that everything was 100% positive all the day and I could just share those moments, but that is not real. Life isn’t perfect and it is not always positive. I have been struggling to get my head above water and find that positivity. I even took a break from social media the majority of the weekend.

One thing that has been effecting me horribly is my sleep. I am just not sleep well at all. When I get stressed and life throws rocks at me my sleep suffers. I have learned that my optimal range of sleep is no less than 7 hours a night. I have not been getting anywhere close to that for the last 2 weeks, and it is taking it’s toll on me. I just feel ran down and tired, and I am almost positive that a big portion of that is due to cortisol spikes.

I have also been struggling with binge eating a lot in the past week. I wanted to find comfort so I turned toward my old friend food. Now I by no means went carb crazy or dove off the deep end, but I did eat way past my satiety level. A couple of times to the point that I gave myself a stomach ache. I am very depressed by the fact that I let this happen, but I also know it will help me heal to share with you and others that my struggles are very real.

It has also been almost a month since I have weighed and measured, and boy do I wish I would not have. I have gained four pounds and 6.25 inches back. That is a hard pill to digest when I was losing quite regularly and still have quiet a bit of a ways to go as far as loss is concerned. Now part of that gain could be muscle which is good. So I had to keep telling myself yesterday that the scale is evil and not to give up, because boy did I want to give up. I am glad to say I didn’t and while I did overeat yesterday, I am 20 hours into a fast today and feeling pretty good about it.

I’m battling a lot of inner demons right now in my personal life and it is just like all the flood gates came open at once and I’m drinking more water than I am treading. I have to take time for myself in the next few weeks and really start to learn how to better deal with my stresses. I also think I need to revisit what I am eating and how I am approaching things. I feel I am venturing too far away from my comfort and what makes me happy, what was working for me. I need to search for my bigger why.

No matter what my inner demons are doing to me I refuse to give up. I will never go back to a high carb lifestyle. I have cured too many things by giving up carbs. I just have to find the right things for me and the right people to keep me motivated toward my goals. Next week will be my one year Keto anniversary, and I plan to celebrate every pound I have lost and every disease I have cured. I promise to give my best self to all of you, but also promise to keep it real and show you there are struggles for all of us along the way. Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

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Friendly Friday (publication #2)

Happy, happy Friday! It’s been a blessed day and and busy one. Today’s addition of Friendly Friday is all about the other kids in my life…my fur babies. If it was up to me I would probably own a small zoo, and in some ways I do have a one.

I have always had a passion and admiration of animals. In my opinion there is nothing like a love an animal has for it’s owner. I honestly can not remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a pet. I have had dogs, cats, hamsters, rats, birds and fish. They all meant something to me on a different level. I can come home after having a bad day and my dog will be there wagging his tail and loving me with every wag.

So without further ado let me introduce you to my fur babies. All of my fur babies have been rescued and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to give them their best life.

My fur babies

On the top right we have Kismit. Kismit is the newest addition to our family. We found her around six months ago in our back years. She was filthy and terrified and fit in my hand. We recently had lost an outdoor cat we had for a few years, so we named her Kismit since we thought it was meant to be that we have her.

Directly below her is my baby Loki. I have had Loki for about a year and he was rescued from a house fire. His name is the most fitting as he is the most mischievous cat I have ever owned. He is also referred to as my third dog. He fetches, does tricks and follows me everywhere. He even has to go to bed with me at night.

Below him is Penny. Penny was our second cat we ever got and was a barn cat rescue. She is also frequently known as princess fluffy butt. She is very much a solo traveler who sticks to herself. She will let you know when she wants attention and other than that you need to leave her to her own.

On the top left is Sheldon. Sheldon was our first cat rescue and he is a lover. He is pretty much my daughter, Salali’s cat. He follows her everywhere and cries for her when she is gone. He is also very nurturing and fathering to all the other cat’s in the house.

Below him is my dog Sampson. Sampson was rescued when he was 6 months old. If there was ever a dog that was supposed to be mine it is him. He is very attached to me and has bad anxiety when I am gone. We comfort one another and he makes my world a brighter place. He is also super smart and loves to do tricks for treats.

Last but far from least is Delilah. We rescued Delilah to give Sampson a companion and friend to play with. I think she ended up rescuing my husband though. She is his without a doubt. She is all legs and super goofy. She fits in perfect in our lives.

So there you have it, my miniature zoo! I love all my fur babies and would have more if I could. I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Until next week…..

Blurring The Lines of Food

Happy Wednesday! Fellow readers we have made it through half this crazy week, and I for one am doing great at finding positivity throughout it. For those of you who are struggling with that seek it out with purpose and you will be glad you did. Today I want to talk about something we are all guilty of, blurring the lines of what foods are and what they are intended for.

We all have been drilled for years that we need fruits and veggies, grains, and proteins, and fat is bad. Told that we can’t eat this and we have to eat that. Then we stumble onto keto or carnivore and we got through it all again. You can’t eat that that it’s not keto, if you eat that your not carnivore. So many people being told no and how to do it when we are all individuals and we need to do the following: 1. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU 2. STOP COMPARING YOUR CHOICES TO OTHERS 3. LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE FOR YOU NO ONE ELSE.

Three things that we all need to tell ourselves every single day, and for some of us we need to say it way more than once a day. There is so much misinformation on the internet, and so many people who think they are experts. I can sit here with you every single day and tell you of my successes and be a guiding light, but I am no expert and it is not my job to tell you you are eating the wrong things. It is my job to support you and guide you to better choices, and choices that will work for you and how they fit in your best life.

Here is a perfect example. Fruit is not keto friendly. Total and complete lie. There are fruits that are higher carb and fruits that are lower carb. Depending on your carb restriction and how you react to fruit you can enjoy it. Many people on Keto find that berries work well. Here is another shocker an avocado is a fruit! You tell someone on keto they can’t have an avocado and you might want to run. Same things go for vegetables. Another one that is commonly misidentified is peanuts. Peanuts are not nuts at all they are actually in the legume family and for a lot of people they are inflammatory, but that doesn’t mean they are for everyone.

Take some time to really research your food. Don’t just determine what food group it belongs time. Really dig in and understand what if any nutrients you are getting from the food. Take the time to write down how you feel after you consume certain foods. Try an elimination diet if you suspect something in your diet is bothering you. If you don’t eat that food for a couple weeks and you feel better, and then you re-introduce it and you feel bad again chance are you just need to avoid it. Don’t look at food as bad or good, look at it as a source of nutrients and nothing more.

So the next time someone tells you not to eat that or your can’t eat that, tell them to piss off! Then remind yourself you are living your best you, and you want to take the time and look up why that person thinks you don’t need it. Most importantly until next time…Keep Ketoing On!

Kids and Keto

Happy Tuesday fellow readers! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Today I want to talk about a hot topic that is hitting many main stream media pages as well as many people’s mind in general. Should kids be on any form of keto? Do my kids eat Keto? Should your kids eat keto?

So many questions and so little answers and controversy surrounds this topic. So let me start with my kids in this matter. When we made the decision to go Keto I knew I would have to adapt to my menus for the kids, but I simply refused to make two separate dinners every night. I’m fortunate in that my kids are willing to try most things, so they would try most of what we were eating. Some things I never sold them on were mashed cauliflower and zoodles. So for a while I still allowed them mashed potatoes and pasta. The further we progressed into the way of eating they progressed with us. They even started to enjoy some of the Keto treats as opposed to regular sugary treats. They could actually start to taste the food and not all the preservatives and chemicals in packaged foods. They even started to explore spices more and realized how a bland piece of chicken could come to life.

When we progressed into a mostly carnivore diet I still purchased veggies for them to have with their protein every night. That lasted about a month and now they are probably 75% carnivore with us. The other 25% is normal foods that they want. So they eat a much healthier lifestyle now and actually do intermittent fasting as well, but they also get to enjoy foods that kids their ages are enjoying. Keep in mind that my kids are also teenagers so it makes it more challenging to correct years of bad eating. I also want them to make choices for themselves. So I spend a lot of time educating and less time preaching to them what they have to eat. They ask a lot of questions and I provide a lot of answers and resources for them. They know what is good and what is bad, but it is their choice on what they put in their bodies. As their mother I always offer up an alternative and sometimes I win and sometimes I don’t.

With all of that being said had I known and followed Keto when they were younger they without a doubt would be following a 100% keto diet or at a minimum a very low carb diet. I hear it to often well they just won’t eat that. Guess what? They will you just have to be persistent and not cater to what they think they want. They will eat what you fix once they are hungry enough. If you disagree with me that is fine, but watch the documentary the magic pill and you will see exactly what I am talking about. You don’t need to stress yourself out meal planning and spending extra money to make them happy. A big help with my son was getting him in the kitchen to help me. Watching him cook and learn was priceless, and he even got to the point he started picking out keto recipes for us to try. I even taught him how to make homemade pasta sauce that was low carb, sugar free and tasted amazing!

I do think kids still need to be kids as well. So if there is a birthday party I think they deserve to enjoy the celebration and have a piece of cake with their friends. The difference is I think you need to educate them that it’s something just for a celebration and consumed in moderation. You also need to explain to them what they are consuming and why it is not the best choice. Just saying that cake is bad doesn’t work for me, I need to know why it’s bad and I think kids deserve that too. Socializing in children is so important and to deprive them at that in my opinion opens up a whole other door to problems.

Another thing is we need to stop using food as a reward system for children. Just because they cleaned their room doesn’t mean they need ice cream. Food should be associated with hunger and nutrients not reward. I wish I would have never done that with my kids. I think it teaches children to use food as a crutch and that is something that has been a struggle for me. I am finely learning that food is to sustain me and not make me happy.

I also think that younger kids can be a little higher in their carb consumption than an adult. So if they want fruit give them an avocado or some berries. If they want veg give them veg not a potato. You can make many meals keto friendly that kids will love. Instead of chips for a snack, try cheese whips and pepperoni or a cheese and meat tray. You may be amazed how many keto friendly snacks are out there that kids will enjoy. While it may not be the best option even a hot dog is better than a twinky! If they want a sweet make them a fat bomb or keto friendly treat. This is all about a way of eating that sustains your life not limits you and makes you miss out.

As parents we also have the challenge of dealing with industry marketing. They make sugar filled foods appealing to children by adding in cartoon character and bright colors to packaging. That makes it hard for explain to our little girl why the princess cereal is a bad idea. An easy fix to this is if they shop with you avoid the aisles in the store, only shop the perimeter. Then they don’t get as much exposure to it. You can also just go the old fashion mean way and say no! I hate, even as an adult, going to the store and the whole entire checkout area being nothing but junk food. Temptation and arguments ensue because of this and it’s nothing but marketing hyper to get people to impulse buy.

You as a parent decide what your child consumes and you alone can decide what you feel is best for them. You just need to offer them the variety and the opportunity to explore food. If you are eating whole good foods they will follow in your foot steps. You are going to find resistance no matter what way of eating you choose for your child. You doctor may not agree, your mom may not agree, your friends may not agree, but at then end of the day you just have to make sure you agree and your kid is truly healthy and happy! Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

Monday Madness (publication #13)

Welcome to another addition of Monday Madness! I hope everyone had a great weekend and had an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful women in their lives. I personally had a really nice mother’s day and enjoyed every minute of it. Looking forward to my crazy week ahead. I am beginning to think I run on chaos and caffeine!

Last week was a true testament to my inner strength. I had stress hitting me from all angles and did not handle it well at all. This just help plant the seed in my head that I really need to work harder on stress management. I need to make time everyday to start de-stressing. So I plan on coming up with a plan and a method and I am going to have stick to it. I have tried meditation in the past, but have not been very successful. My mind kicks into overdrive and usually end up more stressed than when I started. I also want to look at other forms of stress management such as grounding. Check in later for an update.

In addition to last week’s stress I got a message on Sunday while attending a church service that I want to share with everyone because they need to listen to it. “Ladies when you look into the mirror and you see a pinto, you are wrong you are a Lamborghini.” A friend of our family said this and I tell you what nothing has ever rang more true. We all too often don’t see what our true beauty is and we all need to work on changing that! We are all beautiful in our own ways and we all need to start seeing it and accepting it!

My diet continued to be 95% carnivore last week and the majority of the week I did one meal a day. I avoided dairy all week and felt great. I did allow myself some heavy whipping cream over the weekend. I also had a little splurge and made some Texas Twinkies for mother’s day. These are basically jalapeno poppers with brisket added in. All I can say is that they were worth every bite, but unfortunately the cream cheese revolted against my body. I even purchased a new brand with less ingredients. So while it is disappointing I more than likely will keep cream cheese out of my diet. I also discovered that our local Earth Fare grocery store had ground kobe beef this week, and I think I found the holy grail of burgers. This stuff was phenomenal! Generally I don’t partake much in ground beef because I don’t like the flavor. This stuff; however, tasted absolutely amazing. So flavorful and so juicy and all I seasoned it with was some Redmond’s Real Salt. Shockingly it wasn’t that pricey either.

I did not get the opportunity to weigh or measure this week, due to all the activities we had planned. So I am going to do my best to weigh and measure Sunday this week and I will give everyone and update on how it’s going. I am not too worried about what the scale says though because I still feel great and I am noticing my clothes getting bigger and bigger. I think for now I have entered a period of letting my body heal itself, and once that happens I feel more weight will just naturally come off.

I have started to pick up my activity level quite a bit also. I managed to get over 10,000 steps in at least three days last week. I hope to be able to grow that number to four days a week and then 5 days a week. It amazes me the amount of energy that I get after the walk, and I am also blessed to have a great walking trail right behind my house. I do need to get back on track with lifting to tone up my arms, but I’m not going to rush it.

I am looking forward to another great week and hope that all of you have a great week as well. Check back in this week as I will have some new material coming out. Until next time ….Keep Ketoing On!

Friendly Friday (publication #1)

Happy Friday everyone, we all finally made it to the end of the week! I am for sure counting down the minutes to my weekend. Check back in on Monday to see what happened this past week and weekend in my next publication of Monday Madness.

Today I bring to you an all new series…Friendly Friday! Friendly Friday is where I am going to share with you a little piece of me each week, and potentially some tied bits about some of my friends that influence my life in some way. So without anymore hesitation I bring to you Friendly Friday (publication #1).

Since this weekend is Mother’s Day my tidbit I want to share this week is that I am indeed a Mother. I have three pretty great kiddos, and I am very blessed to have them in my life. They have been my guiding light since the day they were born, and even though they try my patience quite often I wouldn’t trade them for anything or anyone.

Aiyana and a fruit tray she prepared.

My eldest is two and 1/2 months from her 18th birthday. It seems like just yesterday I was teaching Aiyana to walk and helping her tie her shoes, and now she is living on her own. She has a full time job in the cooking industry at a private bistro here in Chattanooga and this fall will be attending school to pursue her passion in culinary arts. She has been an over achiever since day one and just as goal focused and stubborn as her Mother. I love getting the opportunity to see what she is growing into though and I am so excited to see where she goes next.

Salali and one of her dress designs.

My middle daughter Salali is about two months from being 16. Sweet sixteen, seems like a sad day for me instead of a happy one. Never has their ever been a force in a child like this one! She is going to take the fashion world by storm, and I will honestly be shocked if one of these days her name isn’t on a designer dress. She has so much artistic talent I am in awe of the work she does. Getting to sit and paint with her is like nothing else I can describe. She will be a Junior in high school next year and I plan on enjoying every little bit of time she has left with me before she spreads her wings and flys.

Riley comparing his head to a burger and playing golf!

My baby of the group is my son Riley. Riley is 13 and 110% boy. While he doesn’t quite play in the dirt piles anymore he still enjoys the outdoors so much. He recently took on to liking golf and why I know nothing about the sport, I have enjoyed watching him. He is also a Boy Scout and does a lot to support his troop in a leadership role. I am very proud of him, and while I don’t know what he is destined for yet I am sure whatever it is it will be greatness in my eyes.

So there you have it, my three reasons for living and breathing! They are my heart and soul and I love them more than they will ever know. Until next week…hug your kiddos a little tighter they grow up way too fast!

Yes You Can!

Happy Thursday fellow readers! So I have seen a lot of talk in the last few weeks about individuals saying your are doing great, but I can’t do that. I am hearing an abundance of can’t instead of yes. I use to be in that same group, but not anymore so I wanted a chance to talk to you about changing your outlook on things.

First, how do you know you can’t? Do you really have a legitimate reason to say you can’t or are you saying that because someone else put that in your head. Very few people actually have a legitimate reason to utter the word I can’t. The real and honest truth is your being reserved and you won’t. Something or someone is holding you back and it saddens me to think you are living that way. You need to take control of your life and instead of saying can’t how about saying I will try, and then progress even further and say I WILL DO IT!

Believe me when I tell you I was a leader of the I can’t club at one point in my life. I felt that everything I enjoyed I couldn’t do because I didn’t know how to do it or I didn’t know how to fit it into my life. I can’t sell a painting because who would buy it? I can’t write a blog who would read it? I can’t write a book! I can’t inspire others! All of these went in circles in my head constantly. All of these things are things that I believe in and things I have a passion for, but I was letting my worry of others opinions get in way of my happiness. I was letting people that I don’t even know weigh me down and keep me from my creativity and my passions.

So what changed? I woke up one day and realized I had so much negativity in my life that there was no way I could live my own life and ever be happy. So a day at a time I started looking for positivity and over the past few years of my life I have found some great people that inspire me to be me and chase after what I want. I now have the blog I have always wanted. I have put my paintings out there for the world to see and purchase. I have started a book. I have started taking steps to do what I love and teach what I believe in to inspire others. Am I making millions and rich from all of this, to be honest I haven’t made a dime, but I am so happy with what I am doing! I love sharing me with anyone and everyone. I enjoy being a positive step in the right direction for myself. I enjoy the simple things in life all thanks to the smallest changes. I’m thankful to be alive and be happy.

To tell yourself you can’t is plain and simple bullshit! I’m sorry for my language but that it how I feel about it. I will never tell myself that I can’t again. I may try and fail, and I may discover thing that are not for me but I will never not try! I can do what I want because I believe in me and who I am and what I want. If someone else doesn’t believe in me then I won’t let them be a part of my life. I refuse to allow negativity in, and when it tries to creep in anyway I take time to refocus and restart, because I don’t want to carry that with me.

Start small if you have to, but promise yourself your start trying and saying I will and eliminate the I can’t from your life. A great rule of thumb is eliminate the word from your vocabulary completely. If you really have to say no to something don’t say I can’t do that, instead try saying not today but how about next week. Then you didn’t say you couldn’t you just made it clear it didn’t work in your life at the moment but you also committed to doing it in the near future. That doesn’t mean keep putting it off either, remember we are never promised a tomorrow!

I can, YOU CAN, we all can! Remember that and remind yourself that every single day, and until next time…..Keep Ketoing On!