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!


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!

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!

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!!!!!!

How Do I Start Keto?

Happy Thursday fellow readers! I hope everyone is have a great day. Today I wanted to address the elephant in the room. What is this Keto I keep talking about and how do I start it? Both are great questions and there are so many different ways to approach it. So I want to share how I discovered it and how I would explain it as simply as possible.

I didn’t wake up one day and be like OK I’m doing Keto. It was actually a complete accident that I discovered Keto and even when I discovered it I had no clue what it really was and how to do it. I first read about Keto in Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore’s book The Complete Guide to Fasting. My doctor had recommended fasting and this book kept mentioning how this thing called Keto worked well with intermittent fasting. So me being the inquisitive person I am started googling Keto. Little did I know it was about to embark me on this journey that has changed my health and my life so drastically.

Disclaimer…googling Keto will open up a flood gate of information. Some of this information will be great, some good, some ok, some bad, and some will be just plain out ridiculous. So how do you know what to listen to? For me it was finding videos on you tube and finding someone that could explain to me what it really was. Then as I started into my journey I learned who I wanted to follow and what was working for me. Believe me when I say there were ton of bumps along the road to get where I am today and to have the confidence I do today. I have joined many groups and left many of the same ones I thought were for me. My number one rule if there is any negativity I am out! I have had enough of that in my life and I refuse to have anymore!

INSIDER TIP #1……you do NOT need to buy a product to be successful on Keto. Now there are products that can be helpful on your journey and you will find ones you like, but you don’t have to have them to be successful. Also, there is not a single product on the market that allows you to eat what you want and maintain a state of Ketosis.

So let’s start with the basic and give a simple definition of what the keto diet is. The Keto diet is a low carbohydrate high fat diet that allows the body to use fat for fuel instead of sugar. It is important to understand that in order to achieve your low carb high fat diet you need to know the macro nutrients that are in what you are consuming. This can be done by using a tracking app and their are several that are free. I recommend using carb manager or cranometer. Ideally in the beginning you want to achieve 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.

These are standard starting macros and as you progress on your path you will learn if you want to tweak those to better benefit you. Keto Clarity is a great book by Jimmy Moore that really helped me better understand that macros are not stuck in stone and you may need to adjust them to make them work for you. For example I discovered I do a little better with more like 80% fat and less carbs.I would even recommend that while you are researching Keto start tracking what your eating just so you can see where your starting ratios are at. You may choose to jump in with both feet like I did or ease yourself into the Keto macro world. I wanted to rip the bandaid off and to be honest I went through a week of hell for it (sugar withdrawal is real folks), but I knew if I didn’t do it that way I would never do it.

INSIDER TIP #2….Keto is not a weight loss diet! Keto is a diet that reduces inflammation and helps heal the body. A side effect of that for many is weight loss. Do not come in blazing saddles thinking you are going to drop 50 pounds in two months. Many people lose, but many also struggle to lose anything for months. You did not gain that weight in a month and your not going to lose it in a month either. I am 11 months into my journey and down 74 pounds. I have lost slowly and steadily but there has been months at a time where a single pound didn’t drop. Your body needs to heal itself. So don’t rush it and let the food heal you and in time results will come.

So now you know you need to research, you have some basic macros to start looking at, what’s next? Clean out your kitchen!!!!! If it is carb loaded, in a box, a frozen dinner, a sauce, junk food or anything with sugar in it get rid of it! If it is in your house your going to be tempted and in the first 7-10 days you will cave if you don’t have strong will power or an even stronger support system. Had my husband not been by my side pushing me I would have completely caved on day 5 which was the worst day for me. If it’s going to tempt you remove it. If it hasn’t been opened , donate it! If it has been opened toss it! Take time in your research (or read my sugar blog) about all the different hidden forms of sugars. You have to take the time become familiar with ingredients and if they are good or bad you can’t just assume because it looks good it is good. Labels are tricky (I also have a blog on this as well).

When you are researching your also going to hear a lot about net carbs and total carbs. To me this was the most confusing part and it took me weeks to figure out the art of net carbs. Then I started finding my groove and a light bulb went off. How is it I can eat this food and subtract out things from it and count it as a net carb? If it’s in the food and I ate it, it doesn’t just disappear. So net carbs went out the door for me and I became a total carb counter. I would recommend for anyone starting out just stick to total carbs it makes label deciphering easy and you will see better results in a quicker manner in my opinion. Now if you want to do net carbs you absolutely can. Net carbs is the principal of taking total carbs and you subtract out any dietary fiber and any sugar alcohols. This allows for a little more flex room in what you can and can’t eat. Total carbs doesn’t give as much flexibility but you end up eating a lot more Whole Foods that are better for you this way. Think of it on the concept of shopping the outer ring of the grocery store, meat, cheeses, and keto friendly veg and your good to go.

INSIDER TIP #3….butter (NOT margarine) is your friend! Many people struggle with the amount of fat you have to consume on Keto. This was not an issue for me as I have always loved fat. The problem for me was I was eating all the wrong ones. You need a good grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or even avocado oil. All of these are great choices, add to the taste of the food you are preparing, and will make you successful on your journey.

My last piece of advice for someone starting out is in addition to all the above….ASK QUESTIONS! I promise you someone will give you and answer, and if you don’t understand the answer ask again or find someone willing to try to explain it. There are great communities, live forums and boards that can take you under their wing and teach you the ropes. You can also reach out to me and I will help you in any way I possibly can. I will never turn someone with questions and wanting to learn away, and if I don’t have the answer chances are I know someone who does and can refer you to them.

Now there is a lot of information and science behind Keto and you can find all of that out there, but I wanted to just give you some basics and a few tips to start your journey. Remember a step forward is the best step you will ever take and I promise you there are some amazing benefits down the road waiting for you. Until next time…Keep Ketoing On!

I Can’t Eat That!

Good morning fellow readers! Hope everyone is set to have a wonderful weekend. So as I was enjoying my back deck time with my coffee this morning I ran across a picture on social media that sparked this topic. The picture was a women eating a salad while staring at her co-diners steak with envy in her eyes. I would almost bet she is either thinking it or maybe even said it out loud, I wish I could eat that! Well guess what you can, the only thing stopping you from eating that steak is you.

This goes for all kinds of foods not just steak. I have heard this and said this for years of my life. I can’t have that or I wish I could have that, but the truth is most of the time I could have that I just made an excuse as to why I couldn’t. I’ve tried so many different diets and trends that most of them left me feeling limited and deprived throughout. Keto has changed that for me and I no longer feel that there are foods that I can’t have. I now have the perception of their are foods I choose to eat and foods that I choose not to eat. I can have anything I want that is my option and my right as a human being. I choose not to eat grains, starches and sugars because of the side effects I have from eating those, but it doesn’t mean I can’t.

Even within the Keto lifestyle there are many people that say you can’t have that because it is not Keto. Well it may not be Keto to them because it doesn’t work for them. It doesn’t mean you can’t have it. If your not insulin resistant and your younger and your highly active your Keto may look way different than mine. All you really need to do is make sure you conscious about what your putting in your body and know the effect that it will have on you. There is nothing you can’t have, but there are many things you may choose to not have.

There has been a huge influx of “Keto” products in the market lately. Some of them are great products others are a little dirtier than I would like. Does that mean I can’t have them? Absolutely not! I need to pay attention to the ingredients and know what those ingredients will do to my body. If I truly want a keto protein bar I can have it, what I have to do is be aware that it doesn’t have whole ideal ingredients, it may spike my blood sugar, it may cause some stomach irritation, and its going to pretty much kill my macros for the day. If I can live with all that and I want it as a treat, then guess what I’m going to eat it. I’m never ever going to tell myself that I can’t have it again! I instead tell myself I choose not to have it today!

The longer I do the Keto lifestyle the easier it has became for me to tell people my preferences and what I want. I use to hate that and was ashamed to be so picky. I now know that I need to be picky because it is my body and my health that is at risk. So I will continue to read my labels and request my food a certain way because I am not willing to sacrifice my lifestyle and well being for anything. I also won’t preach to someone who thinks their salad and veggies is the best for them. If they feel good and believe they are benefiting from their way of eating then good for them. I want to spread the message of health and well being. Keto just happens to be my avenue of having both of those and I have measurable results to prove so.

The next time someone tells you that they can’t have something simply ask them why? If their response is I am on a diet they are more than likely depriving themselves. Then ask them can you not have it or do you really not want it? When they can look at you and say I choose not to eat that or I really don’t want that then you can see that they are in a better place nutritionally speaking. So remind yourself you can have whatever you want, you should choose what you don’t put in your mouth! Until next time Keep Ketoing On!

What is Killing Me Today?

Good Afternoon fellow readers. So anyone that has ever followed a diet or a lifestyle change has eating has became aware of the negativity within the media. This is a tactic used by many companies to convince you that what you are following is bad for you. Generally most of this articles don’t have a proper study to support their claim and many of the times they are written by PR firms to help boost pharmaceutical and diet industries markets.

So I personally take most of the articles with a grain of salt and most of the time I don’t even read them. Many of them are simply click bait and are using your view to boost their cause. So every time you share one of these it also boosts their cause. So unless I see something from a really reliable source I don’t waste my time. That doesn’t mean I am not aware and believe me I have friends that send them to me as well. Most of them in all honesty give me a good laugh. The sad part is not everyone has this mentality and when they see something from a news source they automatically think it has to be true. In turn those people will bail and leave this way of eating before they ever get a chance to see the true benefits it can bring.

In the last two weeks I have learned that after being on the Keto diet for over 10 months I should be suffering from one if not all the following: keto crotch, worms, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, advanced cardio vascular disease, poor nutrition due to un-sustainability, kidney problems, etc. etc. etc. I could keep going with this list for days and days. So what is the solution according to media? I should just eat carbs. So a slice of bread is going to save me from all the above. Now think about that for one minute! If carbs were the cure to all these bad things, then we wouldn’t need doctors because we wouldn’t need their big pharma to control our blood pressure and cholesterol, etc. You would simply eat bread and be cured of everything. So you can see that these all start to align more and more with someone just pushing you towards something that they can cure with a pill or a diet plan they want to charge you an arm and a leg for.

Well I may only be one person, but this is my experience with the low carb lifestyle. In the last 10 months I have had: better sleep, less inflammation, weight loss, better mood, no more stomach medications or reflux, decreased heart rate, better blood pressure, clearer skin, increased energy, better dental hygiene, increased libido, and that is just to name a few. Looks like to me I seem to be doing just fine and my doctor would agree also! I’m in better health right now than I have been since I was a child. I feel ten years younger and like a ball of fire.

I’m not into keto to make myself or anyone else millions. I am simply into it because it has changed my life and my health and I’m passionate about it. Every diet or lifestyle you choose had some inherent risk associated with it. That is why it is important to understand what your doing and work with your doctor to ensure you are getting what you need. You can be genetically predisposed to certain conditions no matter your diet. You can’t be afraid to ask questions and do your research to see what works for you! We are all different so there is no one answer. It just is so sad that media is trashing people and their way of eating  in order to make bigger companies more money and by doing so putting many lives at risk.  So keep bringing the negative articles and I will keep ignoring them and sharing my positive experiences to counter them, and until next time Keep Ketoing On!