diet

Health First

Happy Tuesday all. I hope you are having a great week. It is a blazing hot one here in Chattanooga but its absolutely gorgeous! Today I want to talk about the importance of health.

So when it comes to health we can think of hundreds of different things. I want to specifically discuss the importance of health associated with diet. First off, disclaimer, I am not a medical professional and I am not offering any medical advice. The following content is of my own opinion and own experiences/beliefs nothing more.

In no way, shape or form will a singular diet work for health improvement for every single person. We are all so different from one another biologically speaking that just because something works for me does not mean it will work for you. A great example is that some people are allergic to eggs and can’t consume them. I can consume them just fine. That is because we are different. That is also the reason why there are so many different versions and methods of doing Keto or any other lifestyle diet. A great example of this is that my husband and I both started keto together; however, if I would have ate what he was eating it is highly unlikely I would have had the results I have had. In reverse had he ate what I ate he would have failed because it would have left him feeling hungry.

I hear so many people say you can’t do that it’s not keto. Well who are you the keto police? You can eat anything you want on a keto diet as long as you are eating whole and healthy foods. If you are avoiding grains, sugars, and processed junk you are well on your way to a keto diet. There are optimal keto foods but that doesn’t mean you can’t have something not on the list. For example if you can fit a small portion of sweet potato into your macros and you feel fine eating the sweet potato and it doesn’t spike your blood sugar then you can have it. Now if you can’t control the portion or if you eat it and your blood sugar goes haywire you can’t eat that. At the same time I can make a donut fit my macros if I wanted to but that is not a whole healthy food. So that my dear friends no matter how you look at is not keto.

So many people think they will start eating keto and restrict all this things and they are going to lose hundreds of pounds. Keto is NOT a weight loss diet, it is an inflammatory reduction diet. It also needs to quit being viewed as a diet. A diet is something you are forcing yourself to do and not a lifestyle choice. Keto is a lifestyle choice as I am choosing what to put in my body. In return my body is slowly going to heal itself. The years of damage I have caused need to heal before they will ever correct themselves. So I have been a little stalled on weight for a while but for once in my life I don’t care. I know my body is healing and I still continue to feel better and better. The more I worry about a number on a scale the more I stress and the less chance of me actually losing anything.

I am choosing to heal my body through food nothing more. So I need to listen to my body’s queues and give it what it is needing. Our bodies will crave certain things when we are deficient in them. One for me is magnesium. I can always tell when my magnesium levels are off because I start craving chocolate like crazy. There are many food cravings that have a correlating mineral that you may be lacking. Take some time and learn about them. I also am working on becoming more intuitive with my eating, chances are if I am wanting a sweet potato there is something in that sweet potato that I need. So rather than avoid that I will have a small amount. My ideal carb range may be able to be a little higher than others. Insulin resistant individuals may find the exact opposite to be true.

After being mostly carnivore for the last few months I decided I wanted to add some veggies back in. What did I learn some small veggies are ok, specifically pickles and avocado. I ate a couple full fledge salads and I felt absolutely miserable for a few days. So I am learning less veg for me is key. I can also tell based on my cravings if I need more fat intake. If I start craving major sweets I know I need more fat for that day. I have also became aware that my coffee obsession was going over board so I am actively cutting back my caffeine intake. So far so good just feeling a little more tired in the afternoons than usual but I know that will pass.

You really have to spend some time dialing into listening to your body and do what your body needs. The more you restrict and the more you cut the more stress you put your body under. If you body is in a constant state of stress your body will never heal and you will never see the results or health outcomes you want to. I highly recommend start making a journal and record how you feel after you eat specie things, what you crave and when, anything your body is trying to tell you write it down. Then research and see what it may be telling you, or even share with your doctor and they may have some additional input for you.

What you eat is only a super small piece of the puzzle, but a very integral part of it at the same time. Proper nutrition will heal you if you listen to it. You also need movement in your life. No you don’t need a CrossFit membership, but as little as 10 minutes walking everyday is better than being sedentary. Take control of your health and become the better you. Until Next Time….What’s Your Confession?

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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!

Keto and Mental Health

Happy Wednesday fellow readers! The week is half way over and I am so looking forward to the weekend. Just as a reminder it is Mother’s Day this Sunday, so call up your mother, mother-in-law, or even a friend that is a mother and thank them for all they do. Being a mom is one of my best accomplishments and I have loved the experience that being a mom has brought me. My children are like little pieces of me fluttering around the world sharing my wisdom and creating their own.

So I wanted to talk today about mental health and what Keto has done so far for my mental health struggles. Long before I even knew what Keto was I struggled with mental health. I have battled depression and anxiety since my teen years, and have been medicated for it since my younger twenties. I cannot even list what medications I have been on and off of trying to find what worked for me. Years and years of different meds, therapists, doctors, and trials I finally found a combination that worked for me and I have been living stuck in the combination for the last 5 years.

That combination has also landed me in the emergency room for severe withdrawal when a doctor mis-directed me on how to change my pills to a new regimen. So I spent the last three years trapped in the vicious lifecycle of Effexor. Effexor has been wonderful in the sense that it really did help my depression and anxiety, but it has been a death sentence in the essence that I don’t know if I will ever be able to get off of it. It is by far one of the most highly addictive medications I have ever taken and I am one year into weening off the medication. The withdrawal symptoms will put you on the floor in the fetal position after simply missing one dose by a few hours. My starting dosage was 225mg and I am just now down to 112.5mg. I am praying that when I go back to the doctor in a month we can go down another step. Every time I try to drop below 100mg though I end up rather ill and start having massive withdrawal symptoms. Still it is progress and I will take it. How I wish I knew what I know now then, and that a pill will never truly fix the problem.

Two things have lead me to the road of even beginning to reduce that medication. Number one is my doctor did some genetic testing and we discovered I have the MTHFR gene mutation, and have a major vitamin D deficiency. So I basically take 15mg of l-methylfolate and 5,000miu’s of Vitamin D daily. I noticed within a week of starting the supplement how much better I felt. So I continue to take it daily and continue to see positive results from it. Second I started keto and within a month I started to notice the mental changes. The amount of clarity was crazy and my energy was through the roof. For once in my life I was starting to see and find the real me buried below tons of years of abuse and sadness. I contribute both of these back to having a supportive healthcare provider who doesn’t think you just need to shove pills at problems. I thoroughly enjoy that she wants to get to the root of things and is always open to natural methods before medication.

The longer I progressed on the keto diet the more I noticed the changes. I actually started wanting to leave my bedroom and do things. Most days now I can’t stand the thought of just sitting around. It cleared my head enough to lead me back to my passion of writing and this blog. It made me want to reach out to others and inspire them on their journey. I constantly see improving in my mind and how it functions, and I believe that switching to predominantly carnivore has helped that even more. Whole feeds heal your body and it just takes time. I am almost 1 year into my journey and the differences between day 1 and now are amazing. My smiles are no longer fake, I no longer hide behind everyone else, I have a voice and I use it. I’m so close to being medication free and it feels absolutely amazingly wonderful. I find the positive in things again and don’t dwell on the negative. I could never lose another pound and it would all be worth it. Keto changed my life and it will never be the same and I am thankful for that.

If you suffer or know someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, know that there is hope out there. There are ways and methods to improve your mental health and you don’t have to be drugged to succeed. Do not be ashamed to get therapy! Do it person or online whatever you are comfortable with. It may be strange at first but it is so worth it to have someone who is biased to talk to. There is hope, and as one of my best friends used to tell me even the darkest hour only lasts 60 minutes. Take it a minute at a time if you have to. You can always reach out to me and I can put you in touch with mental health resources or teach you all about keto and how it can help. You don’t have to be alone! Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!!!!!!

Monday Madness (publication #11)

Hello fellow readers and welcome to another publication of Monday Madness. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I had a very productive weekend and yes my Monday has already been crazy! Nothing like an 8AM work meeting to get your butt in gear for the week! Let’s recap last week and look ahead at what may be to come.

I have taken a few days off from my arm weights and decided that I will more than likely continue on with another 21 day challenge starting on May 1. I did give it a go a few days ago with heavier weights and I was quite shocked in the difference. I did do some lifting this weekend, in the form of transporting 152 bricks by hand three times to build a fire pit. So my arms were definitely feeling the burn. I am also starting to see a little muscle definition in my arms, but I have a long road ahead of me for them to be where they need to be. I’m not in a hurry to get there and I am working so that the muscles get adequate rest and healing between workouts. So far this method has kept me pain free. We ended up with a pretty awesome fire pit as well from the weekend. We designed it so that one end is the fire pit and then there is a grated run for charcoal outdoor cooking. I can’t wait until my custom grate comes and we can give it a good test run. I also learned I have no desire to ever become a mason!

I had another discouraging week in the weight department. I somehow managed to gain three pounds. So I am hoping this was muscle gains from increased workouts and not fat gains. It discourages me, but at the same time it makes me realize I just need to get my head deeper in the game. I have struggled since switching to keto carnivore and I need to find my niche within that area. I think the answer for me may be going back to tracking my macros for a few weeks and seeing what I am lacking to get the progress that I want. I am currently working on a blog about tracking and macros, I will be releasing it this week.

I got brave this week and tried a new snack. I made bacon chips and piped a small amount of cream cheese onto each one and then added some Redmond’s seasoning salt. They were absolutely amazing! It was the first cream cheese I had tried since December 2018. Guess what I learned? No more cream cheese for this girl! Within two hours of eating it I was ready to hug a toilet bowl and it took a good 24 hours to even begin to feel better, and I was bloated up like a dead whale on a beach. It was not a pleasant experience and disappointing to know that cream cheese is just out for me now. So for now my diet is pretty much consistently meat, eggs and salt. That is what seems to make me feel the best. I also can get away with a small amount of heavy whipping cream.

Our local market had it’s opening weekend here in Chattanooga so me and my husband had a date day and checked it all out. I was pleasantly surprised to see the addition of a couple grass fed meat farmers, fresh eggs, and a few other items at the market. I also always enjoy checking out the local arts and crafts. I highly recommend you take the time to look up local markets in your area and check them out as often as you ca. Not only is the food better for you, you get to meet some really nice local farmers as well. My prized score this week wasn’t food though it was a hand made ceramic mug from 3 Generations Art Studios out of Sweet Water, TN. Crazy coffee lady needed a new coffee mug and she loves it!

Just a couple quick reminders before I wrap up today’s madness. I am now offering coaching options on my page, if you have questions feel free to contact me before purchasing. I am always open to questions and suggested topics free of charge! I will never turn anyone away who wants to better themselves in some way. Always and mean always love yourself and surround yourself with positivity, and until next time…..Keep Ketoing On!

The Brain Pain

Happy Friday fellow readers! I am so excited to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and my weekend coming into view. Yesterday was a very long and rough day for me as I was blind sided with a migraine. Which in turn made me decide today to write about migraines, how they have impacted my life, and how Keto has changed them for me.

I have suffered from migraines since I was about ten years old, maybe even earlier than that but I can’t really remember before that time. As a kid there isn’t a whole lot that can be done and being in bed all day with a headache is no fun. As I grew up my migraine problems only increased. By the time I was in my older teens I was experiencing at least 2 migraines per week. I chose to treat them with OTC medicines such as execedrin migraine and was told to chug a coke. So that is exactly what I did an they never got any better.

In my mid-twenties I started to develop vertigo in conjunction with my migraines and this stopped me dead in my tracks. I decided it was time to seek out a neurologist. Problem solved….NOPE! The first neurologist was just a trip to many others until I found the perfect one. The first one completely mis-diagnosed me with a disorder that I had zero symptoms of other than the migraines. The second one decided it was simply a vertigo induced migraine. This meant that the vertigo was my body’s reaction to an upcoming migraine. Other than that there was no logic behind it. I was prescribed maxalt and sent on my way. I thought this was the winner because even though I was still having the migraine the meds helped.

Welcome to my thirties and yet another change in my migraine patterns and medication failure. I was now not only having vertigo with the migraine I was experiencing limb numbness. So off to neurologist number three. This doctors solution was to throw every medicine at me humanly possible. A pill for the migraine, a pill for the side effects of the migraine and a pill to try and prevent the migraine. Months of trial and error and medication side effects ranging from severe weight gain to extreme mood swings. All that on top of anxiety and depression was not a good combination.

Finally I got the break I needed when I moved to a Chattanooga, TN. I had to find a new neurologist and I hit the doctor jackpot with this one. He actually listened to me and my symptoms and wanted to figure out what exactly was possibly causing them. It took months of frequent visits and a few medication trial and errors, but in the end we figured out what worked for me. While I still have a migraine pill I have to take when I get a migraine, I have went from having 2-3 per week to 1 a week.

Then I found Keto and started eliminating sugar and within three months that once a week suddenly turned into 1-2 a month. What I have discovered was that a vast majority of my migraines were food induced and the few I still have each month I have deduced are linked to hormones and monthly cycles. In 2018 I was released from my neurologist and told I could manage what few I was still having through my primary care doctor. All because I chose to eliminate the sugar that was poisoning my brain!

The next step for me to take will be to discuss with my family doctor about testing my hormones to see if they are where they should be. I hate that I still have migraines and I hate even more that the meds completely drain me. The difference now is I don’t let them control me. Yesterday I made myself do my weights and made myself stay up and move instead of retreating to bed. I accredit being able to do both of those because I am fueling my body with whole foods that it can use the nutrients from and not crap that is wasted.

If you are a migraine suffer take time to notice what may or may not be triggering them. An example is for me I cannot tolerate any fake sweetener such as sweet-n-low or equal. One taste of those and it’s like insta-migraine. If I get super stressed it can also trigger one. Get to know your body and make a journal as to what you were eating and doing when the migraine hits. Secondly find a doctor that will listen to you and not just throw pills at you. Pills may be necessary but they are not necessarily the solution to the matter. Educate yourself as much as possible. The more you know the better position you will be in talking to your doctor.

Has Keto cured my migraines, no, but it has made them way more manageable and way less frequent. Your diet may be your biggest trigger and you not even realize it. I always swore that mine were not hormonal and come to find out they apparently are to a point. Don’t live in fear of talking about it or trying to improve it, just give it your all. Until next time Keep Ketoing On!