How to Hang In There

Welcome, welcome come on in and enjoy this Thursday with me! I hope you are all having an amazing day and enjoying your life to your fullest. If you not take pause and re-focus yourself on your best you. You are amazing and your life is awesome! Today I want to talk about how you keep going with a goal when you think and/or feel that everyone else is being successful and you seem to be failing.

First and foremost you are not failing if you are trying! You may have not found your clear path or your way to succeed but you are far from failing. You only begin to fail when you give up. You have to work hard for anything worth getting in life. It was all handed over to us we would all be millionaires and super successful. You have to have drive and want to get there. For some that will happen way sooner than others.

It only takes one epic event to change everything. That event can be one action you have taken, a person you met, or an action you completed. All it takes is to get the attention of the right person or the right group of people and you can fill your sails with wind and fly. I honestly believe that with everything. Rather we are talking of personal success, business success, or some other form a success if you pave your way and you keep fueling it eventually you will have enough fuel to fly.

I read tons of information every day by individuals that I look up to and admire. Many of them have been way more successful in every aspect of their lives compared to me. The difference is I am just starting my journey and I don’t have much wind in my sails. I am not giving up though and every single day I keep gaining more and more wind and reaching more and more people. I am sharing my growth with you as I go. I share my successes and my failures because they are both very real. I am very much so defining me and my brand, and you get the privilege of seeing those sails fill up, and I am 100% positive that I will fly when I am ready and my time comes.

Does all this mean that since my time is not yet I should just give up? Absolutely NOT! My time will never come if I give up. Not only that but I am happy with where I am at and how I am growing on a daily basis. I am proud of my determination and happy with the people I am reaching. I AM HAPPY! That is what makes all the difference. If you are miserable in trying to reach your goal then maybe you need to rethink your goal. I could write every single day of my life and know that absolutely no one read my material and I would still be happy. How is that possible you ask? Because my happy place is when my mind is free to write and put my thoughts and emotion into print. While I hope individuals read it and find something in it and enjoy it, I did this as much for myself as I do for others.

Instead of dwelling on the failures you need to align yourself to figure out what factor needs to change to start succeeding. If you are trying to remove weight and you all of a sudden stall out do you just give up? No you sit down and see what you need to adjust to continue on the path forward. If you washing machine blows up do you just give up and start wearing dirty clothes, or do you sit down and come up with a game plan too fix it or replace it? There are always two options, one leads to permanent failure and the other eventually will lead you to success. Just because someone else figured out a quicker path to that success doesn’t mean you can’t do it too. You have to start doing things and living for yourself instead of others.

Now with that being said there is nothing wrong with having people in your life that inspire you. Just make sure though that you have them there for inspiration and not for motivation through envy. Surround yourself with positivity and all that it can bring you. Jealousy will chew you up, spit you out, and chew you again if you allow it. Instead of seeing someone as having more than you look at them from a different angle. Look at what they do in their life that drives them.Learn from them and let them inspire you and guide you. If you find yourself constantly envying that person then you need to move on and remove that person from your life because you are just hurting yourself.

You can do anything you want to you just have to really I mean really put your mind to it and you can’t be afraid that you will fail. Become the best you you can be and enjoy life to it’s fullest. You will notice that once you find your own happiness more and more things will fall into place for you. I believe in you and you should believe in you even more. Until next time …. What’s Your Confession?

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Importance of Electrolyte Balancing

Welcome back fellow readers and welcome in to those just checking my blog out for the first time. I hope that your Wednesday is an amazing day and that you are harnessing the positivity in your life for the best. Today I want to take an in depth dive into the world of electrolyte’s and why they are so important to keep in balance. There are many things that influence your electrolytes and keeping them in balance can make a huge difference in how you feel.

Before I dive in please understand that I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice. Everything I share with you here today is of my own opinion or from research I have performed. Any key info I share I will also provide a link to the source if you want to go to their site and read more in depth there. Always consult with you own physician for making supplemental changes in your life of any kind.

First things first what are electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals in your body that contain an electric charge. The main electrolytes we carry in our body are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine and phosphate. The majority of all of these we consume from our daily diet intake. Some people can be deficient in any of the above and may need supplements and there are even cases when people create too much of one of the above and also need medical assistance to keep it in a normal range. Having too much of one and not enough of another would place you in an imbalance and that is not optimal for your health.

When one pursues a low carb high fat diet one of the reasons you hear so much about electrolytes and balancing them out is because that lifestyle of eating promotes anti-inflammation. In addition when increasing water consumption the more you drink the more you venture to the restroom and the more you are eliminating all those electrolytes from your body. Does that mean everyone needs to supplement, absolutely not! Some people may only need to supplement certain ones and others may need more. This is where talking to your doctor becomes vital. Get a baseline blood work to see where you are at. Then listen to your body. Your body will let you know when you are not in align, then you can communicate with your doctor and determine what you might need added in. Two common ones that I have to add in are sodium and magnesium and I can tell when both are off balance in my body.

So what do electrolytes do for you? The biggest things they do are as follows according to medline plus:

From the list above you can see just how vital electrolytes are to your body. The two on that list that mean the most to me are moving nutrients into my cells and moving waste out. This in itself means so much to me as an importance to keep thing balanced. This means I am getting all the good things my body needs and removing all the things that are bad for it. That is vital to feeling your best.

We all lose electrolytes in a couple different ways. One being through urination and the other being perspiration. This is why there are so many factors that influence what your electrolyte levels are and how much they need replenished. Someone who is drinking over 100 ounces of nothing but water a day is flushing more out than someone only drinking 20 ounces of water a day. Those working out and pushing their bodies through physical activities are losing electrolytes more than someone just sitting on the couch. Even the smallest of factors such as age and sex can influence your electrolyte levels and what your body actually needs.

One of my common misconceptions that I used to have was when I would go a little while without eating I would start to get a headache and I would think of I need to eat. The reality was that was my body signaling that I needed more sugar to function. Once I eliminated the sugar I would on occasion still get a headache. After some researched I learned if I would let a little high quality salt dissolve under my tongue that headache would go away and I would feel fine. I wasn’t hungry I needed sodium. It is little things like that that you will start to pickup on once you are more aware of your body. I also learned for myself that if I start to crave chocolate, like I’m talking that is all I can think about I usually need magnesium. I can usually also gauge if I am in balance by my energy levels.

I really encourage you to not only talk to your doctor but also take some time to do some research and see how electrolytes help your body. Learn as much as you can and then make an educated decision on what you need in your body to make it optimal. Don’t just rely on one resource check out several. There are numerous medical studies out there that are electrolyte based. To think that something as simple as an extra shake of salt can make you feel better is awesome. Until next time …. What’s Your Confession?

My First Yoga Experience

Happy Tuesday fellow readers. I hope that everyone is having a marvelous day! If you are not take a minute for yourself and remind yourself of all the good in your life and that you are here another day, find your positivity and let it grow! Today I want to share with you my first yoga experience.

I have been wanting to try yoga for several months and I really wanted my spouse to go with me. Let me tell you that convincing a 6’3″ good ol’ Texas boy that he can go bend in various poses and learn to breath is not an easy selling point. I did not let that stop my determination. So I decided to google search for couples yoga in my area, well I found my golden ticket and it wasn’t even for couples. Enter stage left…. Brewga! What is Brewga you ask it was a yoga class being offered at a local studio that at the end of the class you also got to try some local craft beer….SOLD! My husband enjoys beer this was my chance. I made the call, baited him in and ta da yoga class scheduled.

So our yoga experience was scheduled at a local studio here in Chattanooga TN by the name of Thrive Yoga and Wellness. Located in East Brainerd it is a small quaint studio that is super welcoming. From the moment we walked through the door owner and instructor Jennifer Dixon made sure we felt welcome. Her spouse gave us a tour of the facility before the class began. They have very spacious and comfy yoga rooms, lockers for your personal belongings, and even a small store in the front with some various products. I was excited to see such a variety of individuals there for the special event and the fact that my husband and I were not the only first timers. A bonus note there was more than one guy in attendance! This particular class had a guest instructor. His name is Johnny Martin and he has a yoga group for children called the Young Yogaletts. He has a very unique teaching style and believe in core works importance in developing the rest of your body.

I had yoga completely wrong in my head. I was thinking peaceful and relaxing with stretches, and while I am new to the art I am sure there are types out there that this statement pertains to. This class was far from that and in more ways than one I am glad it was. This class centered around a ton of core work. I was soaked from working so hard within 15 minutes. The most awesome thing I learned was I can plank for way longer than I thought I could and with minimal effort. There were a few things that I struggles with, but the majority of it I hung in with those way more skilled than me. Johnny really pushed your body and I liked that about the class. It taught me something about myself. He also brought an ease to the room and did a great job of keeping us all focused in on our breathing in conjunction with our movements. It was very controlled and relaxing yet intense at the same time.

While I was enjoying the challenge I couldn’t help but think that my husband had done checked himself out and moved on. I would never get him back in a yoga class again. I am proud to say I was very wrong about that! Even though he thought he was going to die he really enjoyed how the class challenged him. He talked about it all weekend long and shockingly I have convinced him we need to do more yoga.

Post yoga experience we all got to gather in the lobby and enjoy some beer from local beer crafter Sigler’s Craft Beer. They had a few different options and I would like to say the pale ale I sampled was quite delightful. Our class ended at 7:30 and it was almost 8:30 before we left the studio. We had great conversations with all those in attendance as well as the instructor and owner. I have never been good at speaking with strangers but this was a great experience and I found it to be so easy to talk to all of them. The studio, the owner, and everything else about that night was great. I felt like I had been attending the studio for years even though it was only a few short hours.

The next morning I figured I would not be able to move from all the hard work, and while I was a touch sore I felt wonderful. I felt revived and awake and that my body actually enjoyed what it has experienced. So tonight my husband and I are off to our second class. This one won’t be as extreme as the last, but I am quite certain that it will be as exhilarating. Tonight we will be focusing more on getting our bodies in balance and our breathing. I am very curious to compare the two and I really want to experience all the different forms of yoga. We are also discussing attending one of the yoga with hit classes as well.

So I encourage you if you have been questioning doing yoga to try it! I really think you will enjoy it and if you live in the Chattanooga area I highly recommend Thrive Yoga and Wellness to be a part of your yoga family. Until next time….What is Your Confession?

Monday Madness (publication #17)

Welcome readers to another publication of Monday Madness. I hope everyone had a great week last week, and I hope you even have a better one this week. I tried a new N=1 experiment last week and I am looking forward to telling you all about it.

I decided last week to re-incorporate exogenous ketones back into my daily routine. I did this to see if I noticed a difference in my mentally clarity and mood. I did not do it for weight removal purposes or eating a cheat meal. So what did I determine. In all honesty I determined that five days wasn’t enough for me to draw a great conclusion. Overall within ten – fifteen minutes after consuming the ketones I did feel more alert and had better focus. I would like to take the test to the next level and try a full 30 days and see what happens. I really am looking for improvements with depression and anxiety. I used ketones by pruvit for the first round test, but I am also looking at ketones made by Perfect Keto. Both companies carry quality products it will simply come down to who I see results with for my own body.

I had another week of no scale change, and I wanted to measure over the weekend but I refuse to allow myself to obsess over it. So I will wait until the last Sunday of the month like I always do. I found that I am way more productive if I allow myself to avoid the scale and measurements too frequently. When I don’t see the progress I want to see I back slide and that is not good. I am glad to say though that my backslides involve keto treats instead of other treats.

I also tried a yoga class for the first time this week. It was so profound to me and I have so much to say about it I will be writing an entire blog about the experience this week. So stay tuned to hear about it and what my future plans if there are any with continuing yoga.

Nothing new or exciting to report in my diet. I continue to be keto/carnivore. I did not track this week as I did work more on paying attention to if I am hungry or if I am eating enough. I want to recenter where I am at in my diet and make sure I am getting the most out of it. I incorporate a very limited number of veggies. The majority of the time its pickles and/or avocado that make there way back in. I also have allowed myself an occasional treat with sugar alcohols in it, which has been nice but I think I need to go back to eliminating it. I notice when I add them back in I crave them more and more and then a hunger cycle kicks in and all I want to do is snack. I also feel that I need to find a way to eliminate heavy cream from my diet again. I really enjoy having it in my coffee on the weekends, but I also think it may be stalling me out. It is one of my last crutches and I just need to focus to get past it. I want you all to realize that even though I have been at this for over a year I still have struggles and I have to constantly work for what I want. The important part is not giving up and continuing to follow what is making you feel the best. I look forward to sharing more great info with you all this week….until next time…What’s Your Confession?

Friendly Friday (publication #6)

Happy Friday fellow readers! Another day behind us and a new day upon us. Let us all live today for the greatness that it has within it. In today’s publication of Friendly Friday I want to talk about some of the inspirations in my life. These are people that have inspired me that I have never met, but they have done something that sparked something in me.

When I was growing up for as long as I can remember every Friday night my parents got together with their friends played cards and we watched horror movies. I loved the adrenaline rush of being scared, and to this day I still thoroughly enjoy a good horror movie or story. That enjoyment of horror lead me to an Author/Artist/Cinematographer by the name of Clive Barker. In high school I discovered his writing not even realizing he was behind some of my favorite horror movies. The first book I ever read of his is called Weaveworld. Never in my life have I read a book that took me from where I was sitting and I actually felt like I was inside this world he created. I didn’t put that book down or sleep for two days to finish it. I then embarked on a journey to read as much of his material as I could and then I discovered everything else he performed. His words on paper inspired me to want to write my own stories, and I’ve never stopped writing since then. There are very few famous people in this world that I would actually get excited about meeting, but this man would be and had been #1 on my list since I was 13 years old. An opportunity to meet him and talk to him would be more valuable than anything I could imagine.

The artist in me has always loved all the greats. There are so many that are so talented I don’t know how you really pick just one, but I did. For me my artistic inspiration comes from MC Escher. He s a dutch graphic artist that actually used math to inspire his work. While I don’t enjoy math I enjoy the geometry and repetition in his work. He had such amazing lines that were so clear yet so fluid at the same time. I carry that over into a lot of my abstract pieces. I want you to be able to flow through the painting or draw and line and stop if you want to. To have art speak to you is a profound thing and his speaks to me deeply and means something to me. His favorite piece of work for me is called Reality and Illusion.

These two really are what inspire me with my current writing and art and those two things are super important to me in my life. I have other lesser inspirations as well and I may share those another day. I also have people that are in my life on a daily basis that inspire me and that will also be for another time. Until next time…What’s your confession.

What Did You Call Me?

Happy Thursday fellow readers! Hope everyone’s week continues to be amazing. Remind yourself daily that you are alive and you are doing your very best and that is what matters the most. Today I want to talk about how easily we misconstrue titles and what they can actually mean. There are so many different diets, methods and approaches who is to say what is right and what is wrong.

So for the majority of my journey I was what I would call relaxed keto, which later developed into strict keto, which then turned into a stage 1 carnivore, which has now become ketovore or meat heavy keto. Are you confused yet? Well if you are not you are doing better than me. Some days I don’t know what I am, but I do know that in the end all that matters is I am consuming whole nutrient dense foods that fuel my body through the use of healthy fats and proteins vs. sugars and grains. Now that last statement is one that you can actually start to wrap your head around.

I think we have all started to care too much what label we wear in this lifestyle. There are so many ways to do keto and carnivore that there really isn’t a single clear definition of either. It is all based on who you talk to and how you interpret it. When I first started I honestly thought what I was doing was simply keto. Turns out in some eyes I was doing a more relaxed or “dirty” version since I was only focusing on my net carb consumption. Guess what? It was working for me so what does it really matter. So after a few months I tightened up my belt and went strict keto, counting total carbs, eliminating certain foods completely and if it had a label I wasn’t consuming it.

In natural progression I jumped on the “carnivore” train. Which while for 30 days all I consumed was animal products technically I wasn’t a full carnivore because I was still drinking coffee on a daily basis. Coffee is a plant and I unfortunately am not at any spot in my life to decide I don’t want to consume it. Call it my life blanket. One day I may give it up but not anytime soon. Then I discovered I really really like dill pickles with red meat. So pickles and pickled cucumbers which are also plants. So I assumed the title of ketovore. Meaning I am eating a heavy meat keto diet which is pretty much zero carb. So far all of it has worked for me and I still feel amazing. So what does it matter what you call it.

I think we need to focus less on the title and more one the what we should be consuming. We need to educate why red meat is so nutrient dense and why eating as little as an ounce of liver a day can be more beneficial than a multivitamin or a bowl of spinach. We need to educate why wheat is bad and why total carbs are more important to realize than a net carb. We need to identify that everyone is a bio individual and that by condemning what works for them we are condemning ourselves and our future. If we could ultimately get everyone to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid anything packaged or anything processed we already managed to take advantage of a huge hurdle in the nutrient game.

I feel we also need to educate why fruits are not necessarily as good for us as we were all taught and that natural sugars in them are just as bad as eating a spoonful of sugar. Explain to people why wheat bread isn’t really any better than white bread. Teach them what insulin is and how it effects different people and how the science behind the food effects your body. We need to educate, educate, educate ….instead of label, label, label. No ones person way of doing something is perfect except for the person doing that. I know people that can eat dairy with no problem, if I eat too much of it I’m sick for days. I can’t eat pork belly but other carnivores can. Neither one of us are more right than the other, our bodies just tolerate food differently. So the next time you get ready to label someone or how they eat think about it before you do. Instead think of asking them why they chose to eat something or not. Instead take a chance and learn from what is working for them. We all have our way and our own label. So as of today my label is this I am eating a nutrient balanced diet high in healthy fats and proteins. Until next time …. What’s Your Confession.

The Importance of Shop Local

Happy Wednesday fellow readers! We have made it to the half way point in our week and I can personally say so far so good, I hope you can say the same. Today I want to talk about the importance of local and small businesses. I want to point out the importance in supporting them, shopping with them, and sharing your feedback about them. In addition I will give you a look into a couple local businesses here in Chattanooga TN that I personally support.

So first and foremost do you even know what local businesses are in your area? If you just said you think you do chances are you really don’t know. When I talk about small local businesses I am talking about the shops and stores that are locally owned and operated. Not stores or venues that are chains. Now don’t get me wrong I love certain chains as well, but they have corporate backing to help them thrive. I am talking about Jane down the road who opened her own jewelry store, or Mac who opened his own fishing depot. Real people like me and you who had a dream and took a risk to make their dream come true and bring you a personalized experience that you can’t get within a chain/incorporated business.

One of the easiest ways for me to explain how I see the difference is you can buy a shirt for $50 at any retail store in your local shopping mall, or you can take that $50 and go to a local boutique buy a better quality shirt. What’s the difference you ask? At that retail store you are padding a corporations pocket, at that boutique your helping that owner support his/her family. Your making a positive difference in their life by supporting their goals as well. Imagine wanting that boutique your whole life and the feeling of gratification when you finally sell your first shirt. Imagine showing your parents how far you have came or your children what determination can do for you. By shopping in those locations you are supporting something bigger and more important that you will ever comprehend unless you experience it for yourself.

Now I also realize that a lot of local small businesses are specialty stores. So if your the type that likes to shop at a certain giant corporate conglomerate because its convenient to have everything in one location, get over it. Your getting convenience at the price of quality and originality. I’m super guilty of shopping a ton on line. I do that because I don’t like shopping in general, at the same time you are limited to what you can find online and you also risk knowing exactly where it is coming from. I have found some of the most unique gifts at local shops. I also regular my local market on weekends which is a combination of local and regional vendors that have hand made crafts. I prefer hand crafted and made with love any day over manufactured and mass produced. The same goes for local restaurants. You can have a menu dictated by a corporate board who may know nothing about food, or a menu hand selected seasonally by a skilled chef that has a passion for the food they are preparing and serving to you. Trust me if you have never been to a starred local restaurant then you need to save and try it out. It will speak volumes to your pallet, your emotions, and leave you astounded.

So I have a couple local places that I absolutely enjoy going to and shopping at. I often even just go and browse to see what they have new and to check out prices so I can save for specific things that catch my eye. I will give each there credit and please note that they are not listed in any specific order.

Anyone that has been reading my blog knows I have a passion for coffee. Coffee is something I find peace and comfort in and will always be a big part of my life. I have two local shops that I visit consistently. First is Wired Coffee Bar in Ooltewah, TN. I visit Wired Coffee Bar almost every single Sunday. Not only do I love the atmosphere I enjoy the employees and the fact that they have always went out of their way to make my drinks exactly how I like them. They even adjusted the temperature on them so I wouldn’t have to add ice and water down the yummy coffee. My drink of choice from them is a latte made with two extra shots add steamed heavy whipping cream.

My other favorite local coffee shop is in downtown Chattanooga, Cadence Coffee Co.. I pretty much stop here every Friday morning and get a cup to take to work with me. My drink of choice here is an Americano add steamed heavy whipping cream. It literally one of the best tasting coffees I have had, and believe me I have had a lot. I also enjoy the fact that Cadence Coffee is a big supporter within the community. Their barista Joy definitely has a perfect name, because she is a pure joy in the morning. They also have a nice meeting space and I like the modernized light bulbs.

I promise not all my favorites are coffee joints. Moving on to a great local food place I enjoy from time to time. The reason I enjoy it is because they offer healthy and quick options in a world that has been diseased with fastfood. They also offer meals that are already prepped and you can take home to prepare. You can even order in advance if you want to have it available for meals at home or lunch on the go. It is the first place locally that I have had them go out of their way to make sure my meal was Keto and fit into my macros for the day. It is just good whole and healthy food. The place I am speaking of his Naked Foods. They also support other local businesses which is great to me! They also have a nice dining environment and are constantly holding special events. The owner and founder Allison Oakes is also a delight and when I dined there she personally made sure the food met my expectation.

My favorite local gift shop without a doubt is Blue Skies in Northshore Chattanooga. From unique local items to quirky humor this place has it all. They have so many different things that you can spend hours looking at. It is also one of the only shops I have been able to find things with the initial U on it. They also have handmade jewelry from other local vendors. The employees here are also super friendly and very inviting. They love to answer your questions as well.

As you can see there may be hidden gems among your location. Take the time to find them and take the time to get to know them. Go to events that support them, because when you support them you are also supporting other locals you support. This list is only a couple of my favorites. I could go on and on and on. If your from Chattanooga and you want to know other places please reach out and we can discuss. Until next time … Keep Ketoing On!