real life

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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How to Hang In There

Welcome, welcome come on in and enjoy this Thursday with me! I hope you are all having an amazing day and enjoying your life to your fullest. If you not take pause and re-focus yourself on your best you. You are amazing and your life is awesome! Today I want to talk about how you keep going with a goal when you think and/or feel that everyone else is being successful and you seem to be failing.

First and foremost you are not failing if you are trying! You may have not found your clear path or your way to succeed but you are far from failing. You only begin to fail when you give up. You have to work hard for anything worth getting in life. It was all handed over to us we would all be millionaires and super successful. You have to have drive and want to get there. For some that will happen way sooner than others.

It only takes one epic event to change everything. That event can be one action you have taken, a person you met, or an action you completed. All it takes is to get the attention of the right person or the right group of people and you can fill your sails with wind and fly. I honestly believe that with everything. Rather we are talking of personal success, business success, or some other form a success if you pave your way and you keep fueling it eventually you will have enough fuel to fly.

I read tons of information every day by individuals that I look up to and admire. Many of them have been way more successful in every aspect of their lives compared to me. The difference is I am just starting my journey and I don’t have much wind in my sails. I am not giving up though and every single day I keep gaining more and more wind and reaching more and more people. I am sharing my growth with you as I go. I share my successes and my failures because they are both very real. I am very much so defining me and my brand, and you get the privilege of seeing those sails fill up, and I am 100% positive that I will fly when I am ready and my time comes.

Does all this mean that since my time is not yet I should just give up? Absolutely NOT! My time will never come if I give up. Not only that but I am happy with where I am at and how I am growing on a daily basis. I am proud of my determination and happy with the people I am reaching. I AM HAPPY! That is what makes all the difference. If you are miserable in trying to reach your goal then maybe you need to rethink your goal. I could write every single day of my life and know that absolutely no one read my material and I would still be happy. How is that possible you ask? Because my happy place is when my mind is free to write and put my thoughts and emotion into print. While I hope individuals read it and find something in it and enjoy it, I did this as much for myself as I do for others.

Instead of dwelling on the failures you need to align yourself to figure out what factor needs to change to start succeeding. If you are trying to remove weight and you all of a sudden stall out do you just give up? No you sit down and see what you need to adjust to continue on the path forward. If you washing machine blows up do you just give up and start wearing dirty clothes, or do you sit down and come up with a game plan too fix it or replace it? There are always two options, one leads to permanent failure and the other eventually will lead you to success. Just because someone else figured out a quicker path to that success doesn’t mean you can’t do it too. You have to start doing things and living for yourself instead of others.

Now with that being said there is nothing wrong with having people in your life that inspire you. Just make sure though that you have them there for inspiration and not for motivation through envy. Surround yourself with positivity and all that it can bring you. Jealousy will chew you up, spit you out, and chew you again if you allow it. Instead of seeing someone as having more than you look at them from a different angle. Look at what they do in their life that drives them.Learn from them and let them inspire you and guide you. If you find yourself constantly envying that person then you need to move on and remove that person from your life because you are just hurting yourself.

You can do anything you want to you just have to really I mean really put your mind to it and you can’t be afraid that you will fail. Become the best you you can be and enjoy life to it’s fullest. You will notice that once you find your own happiness more and more things will fall into place for you. I believe in you and you should believe in you even more. Until next time …. What’s Your Confession?

Monday Madness (publication #14)

Welcome back to another publication of Monday Madness. Not much madness here this Monday morning, but it’s another chance to have another great week. Last week was super busy, stressful and dis-heartening. So I have high hopes that this week will not be like that.

I really struggled last week and I am struggling writing this today. I wish that everything was 100% positive all the day and I could just share those moments, but that is not real. Life isn’t perfect and it is not always positive. I have been struggling to get my head above water and find that positivity. I even took a break from social media the majority of the weekend.

One thing that has been effecting me horribly is my sleep. I am just not sleep well at all. When I get stressed and life throws rocks at me my sleep suffers. I have learned that my optimal range of sleep is no less than 7 hours a night. I have not been getting anywhere close to that for the last 2 weeks, and it is taking it’s toll on me. I just feel ran down and tired, and I am almost positive that a big portion of that is due to cortisol spikes.

I have also been struggling with binge eating a lot in the past week. I wanted to find comfort so I turned toward my old friend food. Now I by no means went carb crazy or dove off the deep end, but I did eat way past my satiety level. A couple of times to the point that I gave myself a stomach ache. I am very depressed by the fact that I let this happen, but I also know it will help me heal to share with you and others that my struggles are very real.

It has also been almost a month since I have weighed and measured, and boy do I wish I would not have. I have gained four pounds and 6.25 inches back. That is a hard pill to digest when I was losing quite regularly and still have quiet a bit of a ways to go as far as loss is concerned. Now part of that gain could be muscle which is good. So I had to keep telling myself yesterday that the scale is evil and not to give up, because boy did I want to give up. I am glad to say I didn’t and while I did overeat yesterday, I am 20 hours into a fast today and feeling pretty good about it.

I’m battling a lot of inner demons right now in my personal life and it is just like all the flood gates came open at once and I’m drinking more water than I am treading. I have to take time for myself in the next few weeks and really start to learn how to better deal with my stresses. I also think I need to revisit what I am eating and how I am approaching things. I feel I am venturing too far away from my comfort and what makes me happy, what was working for me. I need to search for my bigger why.

No matter what my inner demons are doing to me I refuse to give up. I will never go back to a high carb lifestyle. I have cured too many things by giving up carbs. I just have to find the right things for me and the right people to keep me motivated toward my goals. Next week will be my one year Keto anniversary, and I plan to celebrate every pound I have lost and every disease I have cured. I promise to give my best self to all of you, but also promise to keep it real and show you there are struggles for all of us along the way. Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

Friendly Friday (publication #1)

Happy Friday everyone, we all finally made it to the end of the week! I am for sure counting down the minutes to my weekend. Check back in on Monday to see what happened this past week and weekend in my next publication of Monday Madness.

Today I bring to you an all new series…Friendly Friday! Friendly Friday is where I am going to share with you a little piece of me each week, and potentially some tied bits about some of my friends that influence my life in some way. So without anymore hesitation I bring to you Friendly Friday (publication #1).

Since this weekend is Mother’s Day my tidbit I want to share this week is that I am indeed a Mother. I have three pretty great kiddos, and I am very blessed to have them in my life. They have been my guiding light since the day they were born, and even though they try my patience quite often I wouldn’t trade them for anything or anyone.

Aiyana and a fruit tray she prepared.

My eldest is two and 1/2 months from her 18th birthday. It seems like just yesterday I was teaching Aiyana to walk and helping her tie her shoes, and now she is living on her own. She has a full time job in the cooking industry at a private bistro here in Chattanooga and this fall will be attending school to pursue her passion in culinary arts. She has been an over achiever since day one and just as goal focused and stubborn as her Mother. I love getting the opportunity to see what she is growing into though and I am so excited to see where she goes next.

Salali and one of her dress designs.

My middle daughter Salali is about two months from being 16. Sweet sixteen, seems like a sad day for me instead of a happy one. Never has their ever been a force in a child like this one! She is going to take the fashion world by storm, and I will honestly be shocked if one of these days her name isn’t on a designer dress. She has so much artistic talent I am in awe of the work she does. Getting to sit and paint with her is like nothing else I can describe. She will be a Junior in high school next year and I plan on enjoying every little bit of time she has left with me before she spreads her wings and flys.

Riley comparing his head to a burger and playing golf!

My baby of the group is my son Riley. Riley is 13 and 110% boy. While he doesn’t quite play in the dirt piles anymore he still enjoys the outdoors so much. He recently took on to liking golf and why I know nothing about the sport, I have enjoyed watching him. He is also a Boy Scout and does a lot to support his troop in a leadership role. I am very proud of him, and while I don’t know what he is destined for yet I am sure whatever it is it will be greatness in my eyes.

So there you have it, my three reasons for living and breathing! They are my heart and soul and I love them more than they will ever know. Until next week…hug your kiddos a little tighter they grow up way too fast!

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!!!!!!

Not Everyday is a Good Day

Happy Friday Everyone! So today I wanted to touch on a few things that most people never want to talk about. I talk a lot about how great I feel on the Keto diet. I have energy for days, I feel better and have less pain, and overall my health continues to improve. So everything may seem perfect, but I promise you it is not. In fact I am human and I still have emotions and the last few days have been super challenging for me for emotionally and mentally.

I have always struggled with my body image. I’ve been up and down with my weight my entire life and I don’t think I was ever happy even when I was at my smallest size because I still saw myself as fat. I would do a diet stick with it for a few months and then get depressed from not seeing results and dive off the deep end. I would gain what I lost plus ten every time. At the darkest point in my life I simply didn’t care anymore. If dinner was a bag of Oreos so be it because I would never be thin and no one would ever love me fat. I now know all of that was just my mind playing games with me, but it doesn’t mean the struggle stays away.

I daily have to remind myself that I am a work in progress and that I am beautiful inside and out. Do I still have weight to lose? Yes I do but I’m not focused on the scale anymore. I am focused on how I feel and where I am headed. If I cannot be positive for myself then how can I be positive for my family, friends, or anyone else that needs a pick me up. So I repeat it over and over in my head every day “I LOVE MYSELF”. I know in time I will improve, but if nothing ever changed I can honestly say right now I love myself and I am happy with where I am at.

The last few days I have struggled missing things that I know are not good for my body. Some of them for stupid reasons others because I see people I follow eating them. I have to remind myself that my body is my body and I can’t always have what everyone else has because I may react badly to it. It also doesn’t help that I am still doing my carnivore experiment right now so I struggle with the limitation. I have always been big on cooking and variety and trying new things, and right now I am lacking that. I cooked a sweet potato last night for my daughter and it was amazing how much joy I got from cooking one small item. I miss that!

I also have been looking more at the scale than I normally did and since starting the carnivore experiment it isn’t moving as much as it was with Keto. That is because my body has had to adapt to a whole new process of eating and digestion. I have lost some and I have also lost inches, but when I slow down I get discouraged. So I have to remind myself that I didn’t gain it in a day I’m not going to lose it in a day.

All of these negative things weigh me down and suck the energy out of me and make my mood very dark. So I have to focus in on some positivity and make the most out of it. I also have started doing some meditations to clear my mind. No matter the solution I thinks it important for everyone to understand that there are going to be bad days. You just have to recognize them and find a way to reinforce them with something positive. Put yourself in a time out and ask yourself what you need before you ever make a decision. Don’t just act on your impulse of negative thoughts. A close friend of mine always told me even the darkest hour only lasts 60 minutes, and that has gotten me through so much.

So find some good in your day or in your life and use it every chance you get. If anything remind yourself that your alive and that is amazing in itself! Do Not give up on yourself! Until next time Keep Ketoing On!