keto

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!

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Kids and Keto

Happy Tuesday fellow readers! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Today I want to talk about a hot topic that is hitting many main stream media pages as well as many people’s mind in general. Should kids be on any form of keto? Do my kids eat Keto? Should your kids eat keto?

So many questions and so little answers and controversy surrounds this topic. So let me start with my kids in this matter. When we made the decision to go Keto I knew I would have to adapt to my menus for the kids, but I simply refused to make two separate dinners every night. I’m fortunate in that my kids are willing to try most things, so they would try most of what we were eating. Some things I never sold them on were mashed cauliflower and zoodles. So for a while I still allowed them mashed potatoes and pasta. The further we progressed into the way of eating they progressed with us. They even started to enjoy some of the Keto treats as opposed to regular sugary treats. They could actually start to taste the food and not all the preservatives and chemicals in packaged foods. They even started to explore spices more and realized how a bland piece of chicken could come to life.

When we progressed into a mostly carnivore diet I still purchased veggies for them to have with their protein every night. That lasted about a month and now they are probably 75% carnivore with us. The other 25% is normal foods that they want. So they eat a much healthier lifestyle now and actually do intermittent fasting as well, but they also get to enjoy foods that kids their ages are enjoying. Keep in mind that my kids are also teenagers so it makes it more challenging to correct years of bad eating. I also want them to make choices for themselves. So I spend a lot of time educating and less time preaching to them what they have to eat. They ask a lot of questions and I provide a lot of answers and resources for them. They know what is good and what is bad, but it is their choice on what they put in their bodies. As their mother I always offer up an alternative and sometimes I win and sometimes I don’t.

With all of that being said had I known and followed Keto when they were younger they without a doubt would be following a 100% keto diet or at a minimum a very low carb diet. I hear it to often well they just won’t eat that. Guess what? They will you just have to be persistent and not cater to what they think they want. They will eat what you fix once they are hungry enough. If you disagree with me that is fine, but watch the documentary the magic pill and you will see exactly what I am talking about. You don’t need to stress yourself out meal planning and spending extra money to make them happy. A big help with my son was getting him in the kitchen to help me. Watching him cook and learn was priceless, and he even got to the point he started picking out keto recipes for us to try. I even taught him how to make homemade pasta sauce that was low carb, sugar free and tasted amazing!

I do think kids still need to be kids as well. So if there is a birthday party I think they deserve to enjoy the celebration and have a piece of cake with their friends. The difference is I think you need to educate them that it’s something just for a celebration and consumed in moderation. You also need to explain to them what they are consuming and why it is not the best choice. Just saying that cake is bad doesn’t work for me, I need to know why it’s bad and I think kids deserve that too. Socializing in children is so important and to deprive them at that in my opinion opens up a whole other door to problems.

Another thing is we need to stop using food as a reward system for children. Just because they cleaned their room doesn’t mean they need ice cream. Food should be associated with hunger and nutrients not reward. I wish I would have never done that with my kids. I think it teaches children to use food as a crutch and that is something that has been a struggle for me. I am finely learning that food is to sustain me and not make me happy.

I also think that younger kids can be a little higher in their carb consumption than an adult. So if they want fruit give them an avocado or some berries. If they want veg give them veg not a potato. You can make many meals keto friendly that kids will love. Instead of chips for a snack, try cheese whips and pepperoni or a cheese and meat tray. You may be amazed how many keto friendly snacks are out there that kids will enjoy. While it may not be the best option even a hot dog is better than a twinky! If they want a sweet make them a fat bomb or keto friendly treat. This is all about a way of eating that sustains your life not limits you and makes you miss out.

As parents we also have the challenge of dealing with industry marketing. They make sugar filled foods appealing to children by adding in cartoon character and bright colors to packaging. That makes it hard for explain to our little girl why the princess cereal is a bad idea. An easy fix to this is if they shop with you avoid the aisles in the store, only shop the perimeter. Then they don’t get as much exposure to it. You can also just go the old fashion mean way and say no! I hate, even as an adult, going to the store and the whole entire checkout area being nothing but junk food. Temptation and arguments ensue because of this and it’s nothing but marketing hyper to get people to impulse buy.

You as a parent decide what your child consumes and you alone can decide what you feel is best for them. You just need to offer them the variety and the opportunity to explore food. If you are eating whole good foods they will follow in your foot steps. You are going to find resistance no matter what way of eating you choose for your child. You doctor may not agree, your mom may not agree, your friends may not agree, but at then end of the day you just have to make sure you agree and your kid is truly healthy and happy! Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

Monday Madness (publication #13)

Welcome to another addition of Monday Madness! I hope everyone had a great weekend and had an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful women in their lives. I personally had a really nice mother’s day and enjoyed every minute of it. Looking forward to my crazy week ahead. I am beginning to think I run on chaos and caffeine!

Last week was a true testament to my inner strength. I had stress hitting me from all angles and did not handle it well at all. This just help plant the seed in my head that I really need to work harder on stress management. I need to make time everyday to start de-stressing. So I plan on coming up with a plan and a method and I am going to have stick to it. I have tried meditation in the past, but have not been very successful. My mind kicks into overdrive and usually end up more stressed than when I started. I also want to look at other forms of stress management such as grounding. Check in later for an update.

In addition to last week’s stress I got a message on Sunday while attending a church service that I want to share with everyone because they need to listen to it. “Ladies when you look into the mirror and you see a pinto, you are wrong you are a Lamborghini.” A friend of our family said this and I tell you what nothing has ever rang more true. We all too often don’t see what our true beauty is and we all need to work on changing that! We are all beautiful in our own ways and we all need to start seeing it and accepting it!

My diet continued to be 95% carnivore last week and the majority of the week I did one meal a day. I avoided dairy all week and felt great. I did allow myself some heavy whipping cream over the weekend. I also had a little splurge and made some Texas Twinkies for mother’s day. These are basically jalapeno poppers with brisket added in. All I can say is that they were worth every bite, but unfortunately the cream cheese revolted against my body. I even purchased a new brand with less ingredients. So while it is disappointing I more than likely will keep cream cheese out of my diet. I also discovered that our local Earth Fare grocery store had ground kobe beef this week, and I think I found the holy grail of burgers. This stuff was phenomenal! Generally I don’t partake much in ground beef because I don’t like the flavor. This stuff; however, tasted absolutely amazing. So flavorful and so juicy and all I seasoned it with was some Redmond’s Real Salt. Shockingly it wasn’t that pricey either.

I did not get the opportunity to weigh or measure this week, due to all the activities we had planned. So I am going to do my best to weigh and measure Sunday this week and I will give everyone and update on how it’s going. I am not too worried about what the scale says though because I still feel great and I am noticing my clothes getting bigger and bigger. I think for now I have entered a period of letting my body heal itself, and once that happens I feel more weight will just naturally come off.

I have started to pick up my activity level quite a bit also. I managed to get over 10,000 steps in at least three days last week. I hope to be able to grow that number to four days a week and then 5 days a week. It amazes me the amount of energy that I get after the walk, and I am also blessed to have a great walking trail right behind my house. I do need to get back on track with lifting to tone up my arms, but I’m not going to rush it.

I am looking forward to another great week and hope that all of you have a great week as well. Check back in this week as I will have some new material coming out. Until next time ….Keep Ketoing On!

Keto and Mental Health

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

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

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

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

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

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

Binge Eating

Happy Tuesday fellow readers. I hope everyone is making the most of their week. I wanted to talk today about something that has effected me for many years of my life, and I still struggle with today, binge eating. Binge eating is something that can take a huge toll on the person suffering through it and there are also many levels of what binge eating can be, not all binging is the same.

First off I have to state in advance that any information shared in this blog is solely of my opinion. I am not a medical doctor and I am not offering any medical advice. I highly suggest that if you feel you are suffering from any type of binge disorder you speak with your medical doctor or a trained psychologist/therapist.

According to dictionary.com binge has the following definition:
(noun) a period or bout, usually brief, of excessive indulgence, as in eating, drinking alcoholic beverages,etc.; spree. In that definition alone you can see the variance of what a binge can be. It is often even used in common day slang as referring to watching an entire TV season in one sitting. Many forms of binging often are harmful to one’s mental and physical health. Often times individuals who partake in binge eating also become bulimic, and have to purge the food they binged. I am very blessed to not have that severe of a form of binge eating, and I will not be talking about that here in detail as I don’t have experience or knowledge in that.

My problem with binge eating is quite simple, yet very difficult to overcome. My binge eating consists of eating and eating, usually a specific food, until I am literally nausea’s from eating it. Then I feel horrible and spiral into a depressive cycle trying to correct my previous actions usually by sever dieting as a punishment. In the past my binges were solely junk food driven. If it was a cookie, a cake, a lunch treat, etc I would find a way to sneak it, and one was never enough. There are days that I can say I consumed around 5-6 little debbie’s (snack cakes) on top of all my other snacks and food. It was my guilty pleasure and I hid it from everyone. A trigger for me to set off on a binge is strictly emotionally stress driven. One bad thing could happen in my life and I would spiral into the darkness and in turn I would punish my body. Then after I punished it I would turn around and not eat for a day or maybe 2 or if I did eat I would limit my calories. It was a never ending cycle for me at least until I found proper support and keto.

Ironically enough keto saved me from the junk food binges, but not binges in their entirety. My husband stood by my side and I went through 7-10 days of pure hell. Sugar withdrawal is one of the worst things I have ever been through in my life. I was mentally drained, physically sick, migraines for days, and at one point I was sure I was going to fail. Then day after day it got easier to tolerate and within 2 weeks no more withdrawal, but cravings took months to kick. Keto forced me to be accountable and track what I was eating and because my husband was on my journey with me we shared that tracking. So I was less prone to binge, but I did have the urges. After about three months into my journey the urges became stronger and I found myself reverting to my old binge ways. The difference now was it wasn’t sugar it was whole foods but in a quantity that no human needs to consume in one day, let alone one who is trying to lose weight and better her health.

To this day even though my health has improved, I’ve lost 75 pounds, and my mental health is improving I still struggle. I just recently had to deal with some things with my ex-husband and the stress overload triggered past memories and events and led me to go onto a two day binge where all I did was eat anything and everything I could sneak. All of it was keto friendly and I am still sugar free, but the quantity that I ate was not healthy and I knew I was eating past the point of being full. Then I turned around and punished myself with an extended fast. I fast often but this fast was for all the wrong reasons.

As you can see it is a constant struggle for me and I know it more than likely always will be. The difference is I can admit that I have a problem, and I know what triggers that problem. I still need to work on how to prevent that trigger from taking control. Keto is leading me in all the right directions, but support is also key. Sometimes having that person that understands and can tell you no makes a huge difference.

I encourage those who have binging issues no matter how big they are to reach out and talk to someone. Find the support you need and don’t be afraid to share. Also reach out to the national eating disorder association they have great resources and helplines. The first step to getting any help is admitting you have a problem. Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

Monday Madness (publication #12)

Welcome to another addition of Monday Madness! I hope everyone had a great weekend and your Monday isn’t too crazy. In typical fashion mine is crazy! I’m fairly certain if I ever had a Monday that wasn’t crazy I would think something was wrong. I did have a fairly nice weekend though so that was a plus to kick off this crazy day.

Exciting news for me from the weekend. I took a bold step and got a new summer hair cut and color. I feel like a new women ready to take on the world. I decided to go super short for the summer so things will be easy to manage and that southern Chattanooga heat won’t get to me as much. I also decided to finally buy some flowers for our house. I do not have a green thumb but I do like flowers. So we planted three rose bushes in front of our house. I can’t wait for them to start growing and blooming so I can share some photos with you. We also spent some time at our local market this weekend. I always enjoy seeing all the local vendors and it’s a great way to get in some steps for the day.

Not much has changed in my Keto world. I did sort of fall of the wagon the last couple days, but not like most people do when they say that. I did not consume anything that was carb loaded or a “cheat meal”, but I way over consumed my normal amount of protein and I definitely ate more than what my hunger was. So why did I do that? Stress eating has always been a struggle of mine, as well as binge eating. I let both of those things take a hold of me this week, and I am very disappointed that I let it happen. I let negativity and stress of my life completely take over my body and my routine. So how do I fix it? I simply have to re-focus and re-set. So today I am doing an extended fast to get myself back on track and show myself that food does not control me, I control me! I plan to go at least 24 but ultimately would like to make it to 40. I just want to really focus in on my body and listen to it so we shall see how far I make it. May be less or may be more. Check back later this week on my blog for topics about binge and stress eating.

I did have something quite phenomenal happen this week which reassured me that eating a more carnivore heavy lifestyle is the way for me to be eating. For the first time in 25 years I did not get a hormonal migraine during my monthly cycle. My last two cycles have also been shorter in duration and I have had to take no medication to assist with cramping. This is huge for me as I suffer from endometriosis and functioning during my cycles has always been a challenge. Other than a few chocolate cravings though they have been improved ten fold. As for the craving part most of the time I find it easier just to give in and allow myself some dark chocolate. This also excites me to have an opportunity to see what else eating meat heals in my body.

I hope that everyone has an amazing week. Take some time for yourself and reflect on all the positive vibes you can. Until next time…Keep Ketoing On!

To Macro or Not

Hello fellow readers! I wanted to talk today about a topic that I constantly have struggled with from day one. When I started researching what keto was and how you do it I started seeing this one word everywhere I turned MACRO. What was this and why was it so important?

Macro is a short way to say macronutrients. Macronutrients are by definition foods that are required in large amounts in our diet. The main macro nutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. These three main items are the items when following keto you need to become aware of and possibly track.

Now why do I say possibly? Not everyone who follows a ketogenic way of eating tracks their macros. I personally recommend for people who are just starting to definitely track everything you are consuming. You need to learn what you are putting in your body so you can adjust to what fits into a keto diet.

So how do you know what fits into the macros. For a ketogenic diet macros are generally as follows: 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein and 10-5% carbohydrates. That basically means that 70-75% of your calories are coming from fat. That will seem like a lot to someone who is just starting out, but you need the fat to fuel your body in place of the sugar you are eliminating. Protein is the next essential item you need. Keto emphasizes moderate amount of proteins in your diet, and has so many useful vitamins and nutrients in it. The combination of fat and protein will optimize your body function and your energy levels. Carbohydrates are the smallest portion of your diet and with keto you need to learn that those carbohydrates are best if they come from dark leafy greens or other keto approved vegetables.

When I first started keto and started my tracking it took a couple weeks (more like a month) to figure out what I was doing and how to eat within my macro’s. First off let me assure you that my issue wasn’t overeating, the issue for me was not eating enough to meet my macros or eating too much of one and not another. One lesson I learned was that while cheese is allowed, too much of it will quickly make your protein macro go through the roof. As time goes and you track and see what the macros do you learn how to refine and make it work for you. The longer you do keto the easier it get’s because once your body is fueled correctly you will start to notice you don’t need snacks and many people over time start to automatically fast and only eat 1-2 meals a day.

Now that I have been keto for almost a year, I don’t really track much anymore. I do track occasionally just as a sanity check, but 90% of the time I know what I am putting in my body and I know when I am full. Also, if you ever reach a time that you stall or plateau I think tracking is a great tool to see what you may be doing wrong or what may need adjusted. For example I noticed that I benefited from a little higher fat % and was doing around 80% at one point. You have to learn what your body wants and what works best for you.

A golden rule for carbohydrates is don’t go over 20 grams in a day. Now that can be doing total carbs or net carbs. For those starting out I think it’s fine to focus on net carbs. Net carbs are basically total carbs minus any dietary fiber and any sugar alcohols. I started with net carbs and as my journey progressed I started thinking if I am eating it how is it that I can subtract it out. Does it just magically disappear? So in my opinion total carbs is the way to go. I ate it so I need to count it. In my opinion this also makes deciphering labels easier and not as much of a mathematical headache.

So macro as intimidating as it seems really are a necessary evil I think for many. I know for me it made me be able to know I was following the rules and being successful. It also helped me be able to to see if certain foods that are even keto approved were stalling me or affecting how I was feeling. It is a great resource for eliminating certain foods from your diet to see optimal benefits. I know it can be confusing as well. So if you want more information or to discuss more about macro’s feel free to reach out to me with all your questions, and until next time….Keep Ketoing On!