Family

Friendly Friday (Publication #7)

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have had a week filled with joy and love. In todays publication of Friendly Friday I decided I wanted to share with you the story behind my name.

I have a very unique name and as I child I absolutely hated it, as an adult I couldn’t love it more. My first name is Uteva (pronounced you.tea.va). Most people try to over pronounce it and others won’t even try. So I am probably just as use to going by my last name as anyone else would be to going their first. I went through the majority of my younger year not knowing what it even meant.

So the name was actually the name of a young lady that my mother went to middle school with. She told her that if she ever had a daughter she was going to name her Uteva and so she did. When I became old enough to know the story and the name all I knew was the name was of Native American descent. You could search it and research it and I could never find what it meant. So I always felt a little left out in school when kids talked about the meanings of their names.

Fast forward to the age of sixteen. I went to a science/environmental camp (yes I was some what of a nerd) and one of the presenters was of Native American descent and studied all the different tribes. This was my one chance to maybe find the answer to my question. So after his presentation I went up to him and talked to him. I think he was almost as excited as me to be answering my question. Turns out the name is from the Cherokee tribe and actually mean a”Wonder Spirit”! How awesome is that. I fell in love with my name the day I found out it’s meaning and I have loved it ever since. It was like I was destined to be something wonderful before I even existed.

So I treasure my name and in tradition I actually gave both of my daughters unique Native American names as well. I hope that when they are older if they have children and its a girl they continue on with that as well. Having that unique name just helps solidify that you are one of a kind no matter what and you are you inside and out. To this day I think that is one of the reasons I don’t mind being different or marching to my own drum.

Anyway a short and sweet tid bit about me today. Until next time….What’s Your Confession?

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Monday Madness (publication#16)

Happy Monday fellow readers and welcome to another publication of Monday Madness! I am ready for my crazy week as usual, and I think it’s going to be a great one. I have a lot of things on my plate this week but plan to tackle it head on.

So last week I did WOBO, which stands for week of beef only. I did great and not once did I go off course. I did a ratio of 1:1.5 meaning for every gram of protein I consumed I consumed 1.5 grams of fat. I did this for the sole purpose of trying to determine at what ration of fat to protein I feel the best. In conclusion I am inconclusive at this point. I felt fine all week but I did not see any amazing results. There were a couple days that I even found myself feeling a little hungry. I also was completely tired of ground beef by the end of the week. Which I found a little odd as I can have steak everyday and never get tired of it. I also did not see any change in the scale. I maintained my weight all week, and I chose not to measure. I was focusing more on how I was feeling and less on what I was removing from my body. That was not an easy task for me but I’m glad I did it.

This week I will be pretty much returning to my normal keto/carnivore diet. I don’t plan on focusing on my ratios but just focusing on my satiation. The new thing this week will be adding in exogenous ketones from pruvit. I am doing this for the purpose of evaluating my mental clarity and mood. I am not doing it for weight loss or so I can have a “cheat” day. I simply want to see what kind of mental support they can provide. I am hoping to see reduced anxiety, less depressive thoughts, and increased focus and clarity. I will update everyone next week on if a week of them is enough to see a change.

I’m really focusing on trying to figure out how to live things I want in life forward. I’m still searching for my why. I am working on building a planning portfolio that will help me focus and figure out these things. I am also continuing to build the positive people I need in my life to help me reach those goals. It literally does take a village, with a constant reminder that it’s up to me to make it happen.

In unrelated keto news I made the decision last week to move forward in home schooling my youngest two children. The more I researched it the more I realized it was the right choice for all of us. The political influence of public school where I live is very detrimental to what my kids are actually learning and I feel they are being set up for failure instead of success. So if any of my readers also home school and you have any pointers or tips please feel free to share them with me.

I hope that each and every one of you reading this have an amazing week. As always feel free to ask questions and share this blog with anyone you feel would benefit. 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!

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!

Holiday Survival

Hello fellow readers and Happy Tuesday! Today I wanted to take some time and write about something I think a lot of people, no matter their diet choice, struggle with. Holiday meals with family and friends. I personally believe that holiday meals de-rail more people than any other temptation. I made it through Thanksgiving , Christmas, New Years and the super bowl (yes that’s a holiday to some) and never once strayed from my Keto lifestyle. So with Easter weekend fast approaching I thought I would give you some pointers on surviving the holidays and not jumping off the deep end!

First of all keep in mind that holiday’s are supposed to be about family and spending time together not the food you are consuming! I have found that holidays and social events are actually more enjoyable because I am not consumed by the thought of food. Instead I more interested in what Uncle Joe has been up to or what gossip Grandma Betty recently heard. So take a deep breath, relax, put down the phone, and actually spend some time getting to know the people in your family. Who knows you may learn something new.

Second, unless you are preparing every single food item yourself their is a highly likely probability that you will encounter food that will look tempting and not fit into your way of eating. News flash…..your an adult and “YOU” can choose what goes into your body! If you want to eat a spoonful of stuffing no one can stop you besides yourself. The issue is how is that spoonful of stuffing going to make you feel, is eating off your plan worth the discomfort that may follow. So stick to basics and keep it simple. You don’t have to be dramatic and walk around and say well I can’t eat that and that’s bad for me, simply look for whole healthy foods. Almost every meal has a protein and some sort of veg, you can’t go wrong with that.

Also, take the extra incentive and make a couple dishes that you know you can have and bring them with you. You can always say you really wanted to help and it will be appreciated and who knows someone else may fall in love with your Keto recipe. I think this is especially helpful if you are an individual who has a sweet tooth. Make some keto treats to munch on so your not tempted to dive head first into that pie. You just have to take the time to be conscious about your choices and let it come naturally to you. If you do happen to eat that spoonful of stuffing I mentioned earlier it won’t be the end of the world either. Jump back on the wagon the next day and you can even do some intermittent fasting to get back on track quicker.

Fasting….well now that will kill your holiday hopes and dreams in a heartbeat. Guess what? Letting your fasting regiment go away for one day will not kill you nor impede your progress! Instead perhaps plan doing a longer than normal fast to reset after the holiday. Believe me you will be able to get back into your routine fairly quickly.

Alcohol is another part of a lot of holiday celebrations, and while alcohol in itself is a poison to your body, we all have to face the reality that often as adults in holiday situations we want to enjoy an adult beverage (also known to help in handling family stresses). So do your research and try to choose alcohol that meets your dietary requirements. Many pure liquors are keto friendly and can be mixed with flavored sparkling water for a treat. There are also many lower carb beers and wines on the market now days. Just read your labels (bring your own if you need to), know your stuff, and enjoy in moderation. Make sure you also hydrate well as the alcohol can dehydrate you and you will want to flush the toxins from your system if you partook in drinking. Just as a note here, you can 100% have a good time without alcohol try it sometime you might like it!

My last piece of advice to make it through the holiday is try to relax and enjoy the time. Being stressed is just going to raise your cortisol level and in return probably cause more damage than a spoonful of stuffing. Take time to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead and the challenges that you may come into. Remember only you can control you and only you are responsible for your choices and the consequences they lead to. I hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed Easter and until next time Keep Ketoing On!

Monday Madness (publication #4)

Good Morning fellow readers! Welcome to another installment of Monday Madness, and as usual its shaping up to be a crazy one! This Monday seems a little more off to me due to the wonderful time change of the weekend. I enjoy my sleep and even though I got my 7 hours last night I feel like I could use an hour or two more.

First things first I continued on my carnivore experiment last week. Today is day number 39. This Thursday will be 6 weeks since I started. I somehow have managed to not get sick of steak, but have became a chicken hater even more than before. I also tried some breakfast sausage this weekend and it tasted horrible. I am amazed how my palate has changed and how aware I am of the different tastes. My energy levels are still phenomenal and I can feel subtle changes in my body. The scale hasn’t been dropping yet much, but I am not gaining either which I am fine with as my body needs to heal. My unique thing I tried this week was beef heart. Once I got over the idea of what I was eating it actually tasted quite good. It is definitely not something I would eat all the time, but occasionally it may be worth it. As of right now I plan to continue with carnivore at least through the end of the month.

I had planned on doing longer fasts last week, but my body said otherwise. While I still did IF of a minimum of 16 hours each day I did not get any long fasts in. I’m not disappointed in that at all as I was proud I listened to my body and gave it what it needed. I have started to notice the last few days that after I eat my dinner I am a little nauseated. I think this is my bodies way of telling me I’m either eating too much or too late. So this week I want to play around with my second meal and see what I can discover.

I realized this weekend just how much I am missing cooking these days. Carnivore is pretty simple and not much you can do to cook meat. So I may start incorporating more keto veggies for the kids a couple days a week so I can get a little cooking time in. I may also look into some cooking classes just to have the fun and experience.

Other than that my week revolved around work, blogging, my kids, my husband and all the madness that brings together. I did go on a coffee spree last week and tried a few local joints that I had never been too. Less coffee this week for sure and more focus on my body and what it needs. I hope everyone else has a great week and your madness doesn’t get to mad. Until next time Keep Ketoing On!

So why the coffee cup?

So when I was branding my blog I wanted it to be a place of comfort and place of transparency. So I took a lot of time to decide what I wanted to represent me. Well in a nut shell coffee represents me in a lot of ways so that is why I chose it. In additona I’ve always been charming (ok 80% of the time) and I’m here to confess to everyone and anyone who wants to listen.

One of my fondest memories of child hood was going with my mother to numerous neighbor houses on different days of the week. One of the perks of living in a small neighborhood. What did we do on those visits? My mother and her friends sat around the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about anything and everything. I don’t remember a time that conversations didn’t involve a pot of coffee or two.

As I grew older that same type of expereince became my thing as well. The only difference the kitchen table of a close neighbor became a local copy shop, firehouse, or even a living room sofa. I enjoy coffee and for me it’s always brought me closer to people, even those who I am just getting to know. It’s never too early or too late to have a cup and sit and talk in my opinion.

Cofee is my get up and go and at the same time can be my relax and reflect. I want my blog space to be all those things for all my followers and readers. I want you to feel welcome and be motivated by what I share.

So I invite you in to Charming Confessions, a place where I will always be honest with you and share with you. I’m always open to questions and I’m always willing to just listen, even if you don’t like coffee! The more the marrier!