keto

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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Monday Madness (publication #19)

Happy Monday fellow readers and welcome to another publication of Monday Madness. No major madness in the works this week, and I am actually excited as I have a short week this week as far as my normal job goes. So I will have a few busy days followed by a long weekend with more work but it is the work I enjoy. I don’t have any major party plans for the 4th of July holiday, but I do plan to relax and enjoy de-stressing as much as possible.

So last week I attempted my first longer duration fast. The goal was to reach 72 hours (3 days). I was really focused and thought it would be a walk in the park. Well it was not! I ended up making it 48 hours and then I chose to stop and have some food. I just felt off and that I wasn’t in a good head space to continue on. I was consuming my water and my electrolytes but I was not experiencing the boosts of energy that everyone else in the fasting challenge. While I am disappointed that I didn’t make it, I am proud of what I did accomplish. I will attempt a longer fast again at some point and while I may not make it 72 hours anytime soon I am more confident in my abilities. I don’t know if I lost any weight as that was not the point of doing the challenge.

I had an amazing day fishing at the lake with my husband and both my daughters this weekend. We really didn’t catch much but the time together was priceless. I have always found peace when I am near the water. So if anything it is one day I had that my stress was not through the roof and I got a chance to forget about all my problems. I also got some much needed grounding and vitamin D from the source. I hope I have opportunities in the future to have more days like this.

I also learned last week that I am spending way too much time obsessing how to perfect my keto/carnivore lifestyle. I need to stop that and just get back to what I know and what was working for me. I think I do better with stability and less experimentation. I’m not saying I won’t be partaking in future experiments, all I am in saying is I need to step back a little and focus on what works for me and make it happen. I am 1/2 way through 2019 and now it is time to focus and make the most of the next 6 months.

I plan on also upping my research on the APOE 4 gene. I have this gene and I am learning what impacts it has on my cholesterol as well as looking into the impact that gene can have on an individual developing Alzheimer. These are both things that are important to me on my path of achieving better mental health. I really want to figure out how to improve that even more so than dropping the weight I have left to remove. In my opinion the better my mental health becomes the quicker my weight removal will resolve itself.

I am hoping to bring you more topics this week as I am actually on top of my game and feel that I can give you the content you need this week. I don’t have any crazy experiments in line for this week. Just focusing on me and enjoying life. Until next time…What’s Your Confession?

I’m Only Human

Happy Thursday fellow readers. I hope everyone has been having a wonderful week. I unfortunately have let my madness consume me this week. Which brings me to today’s topic. I am only human.

When I write to my readers I want to be able to give you 100% of my attention and make sure that the words I am sharing with you are coming from not only my heart but also from my knowledge base, and this week I could not offer that to you. So I chose to be away a couple days and work on my head space. Sometimes life just grabs you and decides to throw you for a few loops, and those loops may be fun and exciting or plain out frightening. In my case this week it has been a jumble of the two. I have some exciting things coming, but I can’t quite share yet. I’ve also had a lot of stressful and bad things going on as well. All of that all at once and my body feels like I have been in a blender for a few days.

I am proud to say that for the first time in a very long time I did not turn to food to find comfort. Generally I would have dove off the deep end and binged until I was miserable. Instead I took on a fasting challenge and I stuck to it. I also didn’t veer from my keto/carnivore food items. I am glad I stuck to my guns on this because as much as stress is a trigger for a binge for me I know that in the end it just makes me feel even worse in the long run. Then I end up feeling guilty and wanting to punish myself. So this time around I get a pat on the back for being strong.

With everything that was going on and the toll it took on my body I haven’t even had an opportunity to take in a yoga class. This actually makes me sad as I was finding my way into something that my body was loving and it was opening up to thinking more deeply and more clearly. So I plan to get back on that horse as soon as possible. I feel that the further I dive into my yoga experience the more open I will be and the more I will be better equipped to handle weeks like these.

This week has also been a testament to how important it is to surround yourself by positivity as much as you can. I don’t have a close circle of friends that I can turn to always for support, so by seeing others successes I am able to use that as a fuel to realize that my struggle is temporary and there is a bright light at the other side. I just have to keep pushing toward that and never give up. I will never get were I want to be if I give up.

So I ask you all to forgive me for my absence and know that I have new material up and coming. Sometimes we just need a break to be human and I needed that this week. I needed to be vulnerable and deal with my head space so that I could come back and give you all 100% of what you deserve. So until next time …. What’s your confession?

Monday Madness (publication #18)

Good Morning fellow readers and welcome to another publication of Monday Madness. For once I don’t have too much going on Monday morning, but this could be the classic situation of the calm before the storm. I hope everyone had an amazing week last week and that this week is even more amazing! So let’s get to it.

I continued my journey into the world of yoga last week. We ended up taking two more classes. We did an Ashtanga class and then a Yin class. Both are very different from each other and I enjoyed both. Ashtanga was way more challenging and much more active as to where Yin was very relaxing and I got the opportunity to open up my body and expand my flexibility. The Yin class also helped relieve some of the soreness I was experiencing from the Ashtanga class. I also learned that during the Yin class I need to start focusing on ways to get my mind to slow down. It was racing all over the place and I struggled to focus and ground myself. I without a doubt see us continuing on our path with yoga.

I allowed stress to dominate my life last week. I let every little thing get into my head and consume me. I am 100% sure my cortisol was completely out of whack. I let it consume me so much that I couldn’t even sleep. I was averaging 3-4 hours most nights as opposed to my accustomed 7-8. It really had a huge negative impact on everything in and around my life. The sad part of this was most of what had me stressed was completely out of my control. I chose to let it control me instead of me controlling it. I continue on my path of discovering things that will help me focus on more positive things, ground myself and relieve my stress. So much negativity with no positive counter was so detrimental to my health last week and I am still feeling the effects this week.

I also allowed myself more keto type treats last week than I ever would I have. I searched for solace in food. This is typical for me and and a pattern of my binge eating history. Like someone if I eat something that is not perfect I am hurting those who are hurting me, but I know in my heart that I am actually only hurting myself and hindering my progress. Self awareness is the first step in my opinion to figure out how to solve or change any issues. I’m getting a little help with that this week as I decided to participate in a 72 hour fast sponsored by Redmond’s Real Salt. I started last night and will fast until at least Wednesday night but may end up pushing into Thursday morning. During my fast I intend to reflect on my food triggers and what I need to do to keep them out of my life. I also plan to refocus what I am fueling my body with and decide what is best for me to achieve my goals and feel optimal.

Last week I also ordered a copy of Keto for Women by Leanne Vogel. So I plan on diving in this week and seeing what she has to say. I plan on blogging a review once I have covered the material thoroughly so stay tuned for that.

All and all that is about all I have been up to. I look forward to sharing some exciting topics this week with everyone, and this Sunday will also be my monthly weigh and measure so I will be sharing those results next week. Until next time…What’s Your Confession?

Importance of Electrolyte Balancing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Did You Call Me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repetition Is Acceptable

Happy Tuesday fellow readers! I hope you are all having a wonderful day and magnificent week. I am trucking along in usual fashion and trying to enjoy every moment that I have been blessed to have. Today I wanted to talk about how it is okay for us to actually repeat certain things in our lives. Repetition is not always an evil thing and I want the opportunity to explain to you how it can be your friend.

Anytime you take on a new lifestyle it can be overwhelming. That lifestyle could be an eating lifestyle such as keto, paleo, or carnivore. That lifestyle could also be one of career or social status. No matter what the criteria is when you set out to make a change in your life that is going to have a significant long term impact on you it can take a toll on you. So why would anyone want to make it more complicated than what it should be? I personally am guilty of doing this on more than one occasion and it more than one instance it brought forth failure.

I am going to use diet as my main example for the simple fact that this is the area in my life which I have the most experience with failure due to over complicating things. So let’s time travel backwards five years ago. I stumbled across this amazing “new” (not really) diet called paleo. I jumped into paleo 100% on board to succeed. Only to six months in fall flat on face and fail and go back to eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and completely derailing my progress. Why did I fail? I failed because I over complicated everything and made it impossible to be happy. I spent every second of my spare time budgeting and planning to afford the food I needed. I spent hours planning dual meals because I didn’t want to make my kids eat what we were eating. I thought I needed a new meal every single day and I couldn’t have left overs. It was stressing me out more than it was helping me and that’s not a good place to be for a person who eats more when stressed. Between the stress and a grocery bill that was doubling paleo died as quickly as it started.

Now fast forward to a year ago and I discovered Keto. How was this going to be different? I learned from my first mistake. Rule number one I refused to make more than one meal a day for my family. If the kids wouldn’t eat it then oh well. I wasn’t going to let my budget stand in the way of this happening. Rule number two I had to find a way to keep it simple and also not get bored. I have always been this huge advocate for variety and you can’t eat the same thing twice in a week, let alone in a day. Well guess what I have never been more wrong. The reason I was wrong was because I was eating way more junk than actual food that was making me feel good and satisfying me. Let me tell you now I can eat the same thing seven days a week without batting an eye, why? Because I know those things will make me feel amazing.

There is nothing wrong with having the same things over and over and over in this type of situation. That same thing I am eating day after day is fueling me and making me feel optimal. It is just like working out, I can do the same workout every single day and as long as my goal is health I will be successful. Now if my goal is to build muscle I will have to have some change at some point, but to just be active and get in physical activity I can do the same thing everyday as long as I am happy doing it.

My point of all of this is don’t let over complicating things divert you from your path. Don’t be afraid to do the same thing or eat the same thing everyday. The key is to ensure whatever you are repeating is making you happy and not dragging you down. Don’t think you have to do something extravagant in order to be successful. Just keep it simple and do what makes you happy. If you don’t know what that is take the time to figure it out. Pay attention to how you feel when you are doing that activity. Then pay attention to how you feel after that activity. If you are not happy then you don’t need to repeat it. Repeat your happiness and grow and until next time …Keep Ketoing On!