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?
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.
Happy Wednesday fellow readers! Today is a momentous day for me and I wanted to share my story of progress, change, and failure over the last year of my life. Why now? Simply put today is exactly one year since I decided to embark on my Keto Journey.
Disclaimer….this is my journey. This is what has worked, what has not worked, what challenged me, and what guided me. Please keep in mind that everyone’s journey is their own and there is no such thing as right or wrong. Also, none of the information herein is intended to be any form of medical or psychological advice, it is simply my opinion and experiences in writing. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, I am always glad to have a conversation about anything with anyone.
To fully understand the impacts of my Keto journey I need to back up a few months. In September 2017 I was spiraling out of control not only with my weight gain but more importantly with my depression and anxiety. After I was given incorrect information from my doctors nurse I landed myself in an emergency room suffering from extreme withdrawal symptoms due to a sudden change in medication that was doctor authorized. I decided that day that it was time to shop around for a doctor and find one that had my best interest in heart and not just a prescription pad. Someone that truly listened to what I was telling them and wanted to help me.
In October 2017 I found my current health care provider, Dr. Jacqueline Gentry, and my life and health has moved mountains since that day. She has an amazing approach at medical care and is very open minded in how she treats her patients. She actually listens to everything I tell her and spends the time with me that she feels we need together. I was at my heaviest weight I have ever been of 266 pounds, and was on 6 prescription medications of which 1/2 were related to digestion disorders. At the age of 35 I had already had two upper scopes, a radioactive digestion study, my gallbladder removed, and a colonoscopy. I can’t even tell you the amount of medication I was put through to find a “combination” that worked for me. I had settled for the fact that this would be my life and I would always be on medication in order to eat without pain. I felt the same sort of impending doom on any hope of ever beating my depression or anxiety. Medication after medication failed for me and when we finally found one that worked the dose was so high that it can cause major problems when discontinuing use. In conjunction with these problems I was also suffering from anywhere from 4-6 migraines a month. On top of this I was (and still struggle with) a closet binge eater.
At the age of 35 all I wanted to do was stay in my bed and sleep or stare at the wall. I didn’t want to do anything and I didn’t think there was a way to get better or get the help I needed. If I wasn’t sleeping I was eating and I was eating all the wrong things most of them in secret. I am so glad now to say that I was wrong. Before finding Keto my new doctor recommended I try something called a flexitarian diet. So I did I gave it my all and it was very hard for me to follow. I was preparing multiple meals to ensure everyone in my house had food, and at the same time I was feeling deprived because I could see the food they were enjoying and I wasn’t allowed to have. After three months of that I lost ten pounds but then I stopped. It was like my body just didn’t want to lose the weight anymore. Chances are my body did want to lose more but was I loading it with carbs and sugar and was still hiding the fact that I was binge eating things every time I could get alone time. So her next step to me was a recommendation to read up on fasting as it was coming out in a lot of current research that it was useful in weight loss. So I purchased The Complete Guide To Fasting by Jason Fung, MD with Jimmy Moore. I solely credit this book for turning my life around. I was reading for the point of learning how to fast and how it could help and they kept mentioning how well a ketogenic diet worked in conjunction with intermittent fasting. In typical fashion as soon as I finished this book I decided I needed to know what Keto was and how one did it, and if I myself could yet again follow another diet.
On May 29, 2018 after a couple months of research and youtube videos from a wonderful lady by the name of Ashley Salvatori. I decided I would at least give Keto a go for a month and see if I had any results. I knew wanting to do it wasn’t enough for me though. I needed a strong support system to help me through. Ashley offered tons of videos and web information and also hosts a private FB group that I joined. Hearing others experiences and input became vital for me, I started to build up a group of people and groups that were doing what I wanted to do. I wanted to see their successes and their struggles. I knew one sure way for me not to give up was to get my husband, Tanner, to go on the journey with me. After a few weeks of explaining and throwing in the word bacon a lot he said he would give it a try too. So we started together and he became a bigger rock for me than I ever have been for him. He held me accountable and even managed to keep my binge eating in check because we were sharing food logs and doing everything together. I became his teacher and as the teacher I couldn’t let my student down.
The first 7 days of keto for me were the worst 7 days I have ever experienced. You hear of the keto flu, this was ten times worst than the keto flu. This was true withdrawal from an awful chemical called sugar! Let me tell you sugar addiction is real and stopping it cold turkey is no joke. I had a migraine for four days straight, I felt light headed, my temperature was all over the place, and I was probably the most crankiest person ever. I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to sleep, I physically hurt! I wanted to cave by day three but my husband wouldn’t let me. I hated him for that, but now I am grateful for him making me stick with it. After about 7 days I finally started to feel better and I noticed past the pain that I was starting to get energy and my mental status was changing. For the first time in months I actually didn’t want to stay in bed. I actually have moments today where I have so much energy that I go stir crazy because I don’t want to sit down and just relax.
One week after starting my keto journey I went from 263.2 pounds down to 252.0 pounds. A loss of 11.2 pounds! I was through the roof excited, and that was my first mistake! I formed an obsession with wanting to be on that scale every single day and if the number didn’t move I became depressed and I would have to fight to stick with it. No weight loss in a day would make me want to quit and dive into a barrel of ice cream. Also, 11 pounds is awesome what you don’t realize that those 11 pounds came off so quickly because it was inflammation and water weight loss not fat loss. It was my body adapting to it’s new lifestyle even before I realized it was. Thanks to Tanner I kept though and he encouraged me to stop touching the scale. I didn’t listen! I did eventually slow down with the scale. I went from weighing daily, to weekly and then monthly. So I currently weigh once a month and I don’t let it impact like I use to. It is just a number and nothing more. By the end of June I was down to 249.2 pounds a monthly loss of 14 pounds. So I chose to continue on beyond the thirty days I had promised myself with nothing but weight loss in my sites. It was like I had blinders on and all that mattered was weight.
Each day I continued on I found keto easier and easier to follow and I found myself no longer craving things I normally would have. I did make a conscious effort to avoid any place that would tempt me. I wanted to succeed so bad for the first time in a long time. Still I focused so much on the weight loss I wasn’t seeing the big picture in front of me. Three months in and I was down to 229.4 pounds a total loss of 33.8 pounds. That meant in three months I averaged a loss of 11 pounds a month. At the same time pounds were dropping inches were dropping as well. In three months a total of 46 inches taken off my body. In three months this was the first time I could look at pictures or in the mirror and see that my body was changing. When I started to notice that change I also started to notice there were other things happening that I wasn’t paying attention to. Things far more important than any amount of weight loss.
I have said this numerous times and I still say it today, but Keto is NOT a weight loss diet. In the beginning I thought that was what it was, but I was so completely wrong. It took me three months to start to see that and understand it has benefits way outside of weight loss that mean so much more. I started to realize I wasn’t in pain when I ate anymore. I have had a combination of acid reflux, IBS, and gastroparesis since I was 16. I have always struggled with food and digestion and for the first time I had zero symptoms. So my doctor allowed me to start reducing my digestion meds. Six month into my keto journey I no longer was on any of those medications and was feeling better gut health and benefits than I ever was. Six months in and my migraines were also down to 1-2 migraines a month and was officially released from neurologist for continued monitoring under my primary care with medication only as needed. I also started to see how much better my mood and mental disposition was and we started the process to gradually step me down on my anxiety medication. In addition to this my urge to binge was lessening. All these positives in my health, plus the benefit of weight loss added in, in my head it felt like a miracle in the making.
I even managed to make it through my first keto Thanksgiving and Christmas without cheating and de-railing my progress. I found keto friendly recipes and made those in place of the usual junk and treats that I would have usually prepared. Let me assure you though those six months were the hardest six months to stay on track and keep moving forward. There were days when I truly screwed up and ate way outside of my required macros. Then I would beat myself up for days until I reminded myself I am human. I am going to make mistakes what matters is if I keep going or if I just give up. I never gave up I just reset the next day and kept going. There were days when I had a rough day at worked and I missed the fact that I couldn’t just order a pizza for dinner. Meal prepping was frustrating to me and so complicated with my busy schedule, yet I found a way to make it work and I learned how to start simplifying things. I learned it really is okay to eat the same thing more than one day and meal prepping doesn’t have to be complicated. I started to find my groove and started to realize this was easier than anything I have ever tried to accomplish when it came to my diet.
Six months in an I met a major milestone for me, 50.2 pounds loss! I never imagined this journey would bring me to this amount of loss. Eight months in and I finally found “onederland”. What is “onederland” you ask? I finally dropped below 200 pounds and was now at 197.4 pounds, a total loss of 65.8 pounds since my journey started. At this point I also had been able to reduce my anxiety meds by 75 mgs. That may not seem like much but it was a big deal for me. It symbolized to me that there is hope that I may get off all of my medication at some point. At this point in my journey I also saw two more significant changes: 1.) Sleep 2.) Heart Rate. I went from sleeping and average of 3-4 hours a night to 7-8 hours a night. I actually sleep all night and feel rested in the morning. I wake up before my alarm clock most mornings. My resting heart rate has dropped 88-89 beats per minute down to 77-79 beats per minute. That means I am saving my heart 11-13 beats per minute or 5,781,600-6,832,800 beats per year, that is amazing!
Nine months into this journey and I chose to even cut my keto lifestyle a little more and try a more keto-carnivore path. Keto-carnivore is the majority of your diet coming from animal products but you allow a limited amount of keto friendly items. For me those items are mostly dill pickles and some occasional keto friendly sweeteners. I wanted to see what my body would do in the absence of carbs. Would I lose even more weight, would I feel even better, what if any benefit would I see? I did a lot of research and one thing I didn’t like the idea of was that I could actually gain weight by increasing my protein until my body healed and could utilize it properly. So did I gain? Not at first I actually lost a pound. So while I did lose it was a much slower pace than with just keto. Then in turn I ended up dropping down to 192.2 pounds. So was the switch worth it and am I strict with it? Yes the switch was worth it because for the first time in my entire life I have been migraine free for 2 months! And while that stupid scale has slowed down I still continue to lose inches and notice changes in my body composition. I also have noticed changes in my skin and hair quality. I have less outbreaks on my skin. I also have way less cravings and I don’t find myself being controlled by food as often anymore. There are days when I still struggle with wanting to binge, the difference now is the binge would be with something like steak and not a little debbie cake. I am 85% more conscious of what and why I am eating what I am and that makes a huge difference. I now know what triggers me to want to binge and I am learning what to do to deal with that in a positive way that is not food associated.
Welcome to one year! Today is the day I choose to celebrate my life and my health and how far I have came. Today is not the end but the start of a whole new focus and list of goals. Today is the first day of forever. Forever shall my lifestyle be keto/keto-carnivore driven. This all started as a weight loss attempt and has turned into one of the single most life changing event I have ever experienced and been through. I find inspiration and new changes daily in my life. I see what a year has done for me I can’t even begin to imagine what two, three, four or five years will be like. I can’t even begin to list all the awesome people I have met since I have started this journey. They have all had some sort of influence on me and have gave me so much great information, a few even inspired me to start this blog and share my story with others. A few that I have found the most influential are as follows or have been mentioned previously: Dr.Ken Berry, Neisha Sallas-Berry, R.N., Dr. Ryan Lowery, Josh Perry, Logan Delgado a.k.a. Goody Beats, and Keto Coach Lauren.
So here you have the final results of my year of keto:
Starting Weight – 263.2 Current Weight – 194.8 Total Weight Lost – 68.4
Starting Total Inches – 489.5 Current Inches – 385.25 Total Inches Lost – 104.25
Previous Prescription Meds – 6 Current Prescription Meds – 1
Previous Migraines – 3/4 month Current Migraines – 0 (2 months and counting)
Previous Sleep Pattern – 3/4 hours a night Current Sleep Pattern – 7/8 hours a night
Previous Resting Heart Rate – 88/89 BMP Current Resting Heart Rate – 77/79 BMP
I am proud of how far I have came in my journey and I am looking forward to see what the future brings. As always I am an open book and want to share with all of you all the good and the bad. I want to be able to answer your questions and offer you guidance just as others in the keto community have gave me guidance. Just remember it is your journey you own it and you can make it to your goals. Take it a day at a time and never give up… and until next time…Keep Ketoing On!
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!
Good Monday Morning! I hope everyone had an amazing weekend and is looking forward to a great week! I am jumping into April full force, and have decided to refocus and re-center myself. I will be kicking off today by starting my all new experiment that I announced last week. So with that in mind let me tell you a little bit about last week and then a quick look ahead for this week.
I normally don’t weigh or measure except once a month as it stresses me out and depresses me when I don’t see a result that I want to. I did jump back on the scale this weekend though so I would have numbers to start my experiment with. I did not lose any weight in a week but I did lose 3 inches, so I will consider that a success. During the upcoming challenge I will be weighing and measuring weekly to share my results with you.
I finished up my carnivore experiment last week. While I didn’t see major weight loss changes I did see an overall improvement in sleep and energy which is more important to me than actual weight loss. So this weekend I incorporated a few keto items in my diet and lucky me I had no bad effects from it. That will all change this week with my new experiment. Even though I may be adding in some Keto things I still plan to stay away from heavy amounts of dairy, sweeteners, and any type of nuts/nut flours. I am doing this because I feel at my best when I don’t have those things in my body. They are completely allowed and do-able on Keto though.
Other things from last week was I was fighting some vicious allergies still. Chattanooga and pollen are horrible this time of year. So I have been on a combo of allergy meds to be able to function and didn’t have a voice most of the week. I also managed to get bit by a spider…which is ironic because I absolutely hate spiders. So I am also on a week-long course of antibiotics to prevent infection. So for me I am hoping this week is a little better and stronger in the health area of my life. I also made another batch of Ghee over the weekend and even though it takes forever the reward is so worth it…Liquid Gold!
So what is coming up this week with my new experiment! The goal of the experiment is to see if eating earlier in my day and fasting a little longer, as well as tracking my macros again will make a difference. I am looking for results in fat loss, body mass, and increase in sleep patterns as a result of this. I will also be starting to add in some dumbbell workouts to start working on the bat wings on my arms. Which terrifies me as I have not much knowledge when it comes to weights. I plan to take it slow and see where it goes. I will be providing weekly updates as well as some video commentary on my Instagram account as well. If you want to follow me on Instagram you can find me @charming.confessions.
As far as what I will be eating, I will be doing more of a Keto Carnivore method now. So I will be staying below 10 total carbs a day and focusing on meeting my fat and protein macros. I will be doing 75% fat and 20% protein for the first week. Today will be day number 1 and I actually have planned out a day of zero carbs and only fat and protein, and I plan on not eating after 1 PM today.
I’m very excited to see what comes from this experiment and see if it works better for me than other things I have tried. I really just want to try to keep things as simple as possible and focus on basics. Until next time Keep Ketoing On!