stress

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?

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?

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!

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!

Monday Madness (publication #10)

Good Monday Morning Everyone! I hope everyone that was celebrating the Easter holiday had a blessed weekend among family and/or friends. If you didn’t celebrate Easter I hope you still had an amazing weekend! I have lot’s to share with you from last week and my weekend.

So my April experiment of not eating after 2 PM pretty much was a failure and I decided it was not benefiting my body the way I wanted it to. I found myself even after having a very nice and well balanced lunch wanting to have some small snack in the evening when I got home. Since I am such a big advocate for listening to your body I didn’t deny my body what I wanted. So I think for optimization purposes for myself I need to have a larger meal around lunch and a small meal in the evening. I can say by only having a small snack in the evenings it has been easier to get myself into bed and sleep a little better without an overly full stomach. So my n=1 study at this time is inconclusive. Who knows I may try later in my journey again but I can’t say for certain.

Even though the experiment was a bust I was able to maintain my weight last week and I did lose 3″ in my waist/hip region. I will take inches over pounds any day of the week! I also was able to get into a size 14 dress!!!!! I have not seen a size 14 for over 13 years! So as far as I am concerned the scale can kiss off and I’ll keep adding up those inches lost!

I have been faithful to my 21 day arm sculpting challenge and finished day 21 yesterday. I have started to get a tiny bit of definition in my arms but I still have a very long road to get all the fat off my arms. I am 100% fine with that. So tomorrow I will start another 21 day challenge and up the amount of weight I am lifting as well as the amount of sets I am doing. Slow and steady will get me to where I want to be and I am good with that.

With any holiday comes temptations of non-Keto foods. I am proud to say that I did not stray from my carnivore diet this weekend as tempting as some of those sweets looked. I just kept telling myself that I choose not to put that into my body and I choose not to have the negative side effects of what it would do to me. I did indulge in a couple low carb beers and I am fine with that. I feel fine this morning and I will make sure that I hydrate well all day. I should add that in addition to a couple of those beers I also had over 100 ounces of water yesterday. It was also great to enjoy the holiday with friends that respected our diet choices and accommodated them so well. All in all I would consider my weekend another day of success in my journey.

I was also excited that over the weekend I got in my new business cards. I now have a card that I can leave in local shops to spread my blog and various other social media pages. If it helps me reach even one person it is worth it. My husband was also gracious enough to allow me to plaster a Charming Confessions bumper sticker to his car. I am working hard to share my messages and grow my brand.

This week I will have some added in stressors at work, but I am prepared to take them on. I have already came up with an after work meditation routine to relax myself and help keep my cortisol levels down. I am fairly new to meditating and I am trying to expand what works best for me and how I want to utilize it. Stress has been a huge factor of negativity in my life and I trying to turn that around and flood my life with as much positivity as possible. I even took the weekend off away from my blog and most of my social media and just tried to enjoy life and what was around me for a change. It was definitely worth it.

I plan to be adding a couple new pages to the site in the upcoming weeks as well. Some of you may know and others not but in addition to writing I’m a painter. I have decided to start sharing my art work on my site as it is special to me and a piece of me I want to share with everyone. I also am working on some coaching plans and meal plans that I will be offering in the near future. It’s a pleasure to be able to grown in the presence of my readers.

That is about it for my crazy week last week, and a little peak into my upcoming week. So until next time….Keep Ketoing On!

Holiday Survival

Hello fellow readers and Happy Tuesday! Today I wanted to take some time and write about something I think a lot of people, no matter their diet choice, struggle with. Holiday meals with family and friends. I personally believe that holiday meals de-rail more people than any other temptation. I made it through Thanksgiving , Christmas, New Years and the super bowl (yes that’s a holiday to some) and never once strayed from my Keto lifestyle. So with Easter weekend fast approaching I thought I would give you some pointers on surviving the holidays and not jumping off the deep end!

First of all keep in mind that holiday’s are supposed to be about family and spending time together not the food you are consuming! I have found that holidays and social events are actually more enjoyable because I am not consumed by the thought of food. Instead I more interested in what Uncle Joe has been up to or what gossip Grandma Betty recently heard. So take a deep breath, relax, put down the phone, and actually spend some time getting to know the people in your family. Who knows you may learn something new.

Second, unless you are preparing every single food item yourself their is a highly likely probability that you will encounter food that will look tempting and not fit into your way of eating. News flash…..your an adult and “YOU” can choose what goes into your body! If you want to eat a spoonful of stuffing no one can stop you besides yourself. The issue is how is that spoonful of stuffing going to make you feel, is eating off your plan worth the discomfort that may follow. So stick to basics and keep it simple. You don’t have to be dramatic and walk around and say well I can’t eat that and that’s bad for me, simply look for whole healthy foods. Almost every meal has a protein and some sort of veg, you can’t go wrong with that.

Also, take the extra incentive and make a couple dishes that you know you can have and bring them with you. You can always say you really wanted to help and it will be appreciated and who knows someone else may fall in love with your Keto recipe. I think this is especially helpful if you are an individual who has a sweet tooth. Make some keto treats to munch on so your not tempted to dive head first into that pie. You just have to take the time to be conscious about your choices and let it come naturally to you. If you do happen to eat that spoonful of stuffing I mentioned earlier it won’t be the end of the world either. Jump back on the wagon the next day and you can even do some intermittent fasting to get back on track quicker.

Fasting….well now that will kill your holiday hopes and dreams in a heartbeat. Guess what? Letting your fasting regiment go away for one day will not kill you nor impede your progress! Instead perhaps plan doing a longer than normal fast to reset after the holiday. Believe me you will be able to get back into your routine fairly quickly.

Alcohol is another part of a lot of holiday celebrations, and while alcohol in itself is a poison to your body, we all have to face the reality that often as adults in holiday situations we want to enjoy an adult beverage (also known to help in handling family stresses). So do your research and try to choose alcohol that meets your dietary requirements. Many pure liquors are keto friendly and can be mixed with flavored sparkling water for a treat. There are also many lower carb beers and wines on the market now days. Just read your labels (bring your own if you need to), know your stuff, and enjoy in moderation. Make sure you also hydrate well as the alcohol can dehydrate you and you will want to flush the toxins from your system if you partook in drinking. Just as a note here, you can 100% have a good time without alcohol try it sometime you might like it!

My last piece of advice to make it through the holiday is try to relax and enjoy the time. Being stressed is just going to raise your cortisol level and in return probably cause more damage than a spoonful of stuffing. Take time to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead and the challenges that you may come into. Remember only you can control you and only you are responsible for your choices and the consequences they lead to. I hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed Easter and until next time Keep Ketoing On!