Posted in diet, fasting, Health, Ketogenic, Weight Loss

Intermittent Fasting Week!

It’s a new week! I’m going into my third week of doing strict keto, where I count my calories and macros and am being really careful.

Last week, (from Sunday to Sunday) I lost 2 pounds, going from 209.8 to 207.8. I’ll admit, i was a little bit disappointed that I did not lose more, especially since I was reeeeeallly good all week! I know losing 2 pounds a week is a pretty healthy, standard rate to lose, but I want it to be faster!!!! I’m so impatient.

Also, when I weighed myself this morning, I was up by like, .4 pounds. Am I obsessing too much over the scale? Some people say to just throw the scale away and go by how your clothes are fitting. I feel like that would be even more discouraging as I don’t seem to be noticing too much of a difference in the way my clothes fit. Maybe I should do a no-weigh month. What do y’all think? Comment down below.

I did measure myself the other day and saw that I have lost 2 inches in my derriere and almost two inches in my belly area. My arms and legs have stayed pretty much the same. So, that’s encouraging I guess, but the progress in measuring is much harder to see right away. Also, it is waaay hard to measure yourself with a measuring tape. I feel like I can measure the same area three times in a row and get three different measurements. Anyway… The point is, I’m still losing weight and still making progress even if it is slower than what I would prefer.

So, this week’s plan is to do some intermittent fasting (hereafter referred to as IF). IF is when you fast for a certain amount of time and only eat within a short window. The easiest IF ratio is 16:8, where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours. There are some people who make it more extreme and shorten the eating window to 6, 4, or even 2 hours. But I’m not that cray, yet.

This week, I am going to be doing a 16:8 IF. I have my lunch at school usually at around 12:15, so I will have until 8:15 to eat all of my calories for the day. This honestly doesn’t seem too daunting to me because before I was doing the keto diet, I would often skip breakfast and just have some coffee. So, I started today and have been successful, so far. I am interested in seeing if this type of eating is going to make me lose more quickly. So again, starting weight today was 207.8. We will see what it is next week!

My meal plan for this week was pretty easy, since I didn’t even have to prep any meals for breakfast. I always plan different dinners throughout the week and adjust as needed. Since it’s just James and I, we sometimes don’t even get around to eating all the meals we have planned because we just have so many leftovers. So, here’s what I’m having for lunch and snacks:

IMG_0198
Cauliflower tortillas

Lunch: Taco with cauliflower tortilla, topped with half an ounce of sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 tomato, and 1 TB guacamole. Side: 1/3 cucumber.

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Keto Taco

Nutrition: 485 calories, 7.6g carbs, 37.1g fat, 29.5g protein.

Snack: Protein Coffee: 2 scoops of Isopure protein powder (add some coconut oil or HWC if desired and if calories allow).

Nutrition (just protein powder): 220 cal, 1g net carb, 1g fat, 50g protein.

I also made up a batch of Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup that I thought I would interchange with my taco lunches to change things up a bit. (Also, in all honesty, the main reason is just that I didn’t make enough taco meat. 😉 ). (Nutrition for 1 cup of soup is 156 cal, 4.9g carbs, 10g fat, 9.3g protein.)

This will leave me with about 700 calories remaining for dinner. I also am planning on going to the gym this week and doing cardio three times and strength training three times. I’m super bummed, by the way because my chiropractor said I should stop running on the treadmill and do the elliptical instead. 😦 So we will see how that goes.

So that is the plan for this week! I will also be vlogging during the week, so make sure you head on over to my Youtube channel and subscribe so you can see it in action!

 

 

Posted in diet, Health, Ketogenic

Keto Meal Prep

I have been trying something new recently. It’s called “meal prepping”. Have you heard of it?

I started two weeks ago and prepped my breakfasts and lunchs for the week. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have not been very strict recently on my keto diet and I really need to crack down and get to work.

So, this week, I used this keto macro calculator to calculate how many calories I should be consuming (based on factors such as my height, current weight, activity level, etc..) and what percentage of those calories should be from fat, carbs, and protein.

When I first started keto, I didn’t worry about tracking all of my food. I just counted my net carbs and tried to stay under 20g. But I’ve been stuck at 209 pounds and fluctuating up to 213 and back down to 209. So, I thought I would try to go by the results of the keto calculator.

The calculator told me I should be eating around 1496 calories, 120g of those from fat, 100g from protein, and 20g of carb. The amount of calories honestly freaks me out, right now, because I’ve always though when you diet, you need to be at such a caloric deficit (i.e: under 1200 calories–which is torture, by the way!!).

So, this week, on Sunday, I pre-planned all of my breakfasts and lunches based on my macros. It took forever and I realized I would need a lot more protein than what I’ve been having to meet that goal.

Anyways, here is my meal plan for the week: (If you would like to see my video of what I eat in a day, click here.)

Breakfast:

Coffee with one scoop of Isopure protein powder and 1 TB HWC: 160 calories, 5.5g fat, 25g protein, 1.5g carbs.

Cinnamon Muffins

Cinnamon Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting: 249 calories, 21.6g fat, 7.2g protein, 3g carbs.

1 hard-boiled egg: 78 calories, 5.3g fat, 6.3g protein, 0.6g carbs.

(I have not been eating both the muffin and the egg each morning, but it’s nice to have the option to eat both, or one or the other.)

 

 

Lunch:

3oz. Chicken Breast: 142 calories, 5.2g fat, 21.8g protein, 0g carbs.

 

Zuchinni pizzas: 163 calories, 14.3g fat, 5.4g protein, 4.3g carbs.

Deviled Eggs with Bacon: 161 calories, 15.2g fat, 6g protein, 1g carb.

Snack:

1 oz almonds: 180 calories, 16g fat, 7g protein, 2g carbs.

Zuchinni Pizzas

Deviled Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For dinners, I have just been making different keto meals at home and making sure to stay as close to my macros and calorie goals as I can.

 

So far, I have really enjoyed doing keto this way. It is a lot less tempting for me to cheat because I have stuff ready to go in the fridge.

 

I’m also happy to announce that I finally saw a number lower than 209 today! 207.6, to be exact! It’s been a great week, so far and I look forward to sharing next week’s meal plan with you soon!

Posted in diet, Health, Ketogenic, Running, Weight Loss

I’m Baaaaaack!

On August 3rd, I woke up at 5:00am, drove thirty minutes north, took a few deep breaths, and walked into my first year of teaching middle school. I may have been more nervous than some of my students on that first day, thinking “am I really qualified to do this?”, “what am I even doing?” and the ever ambivalous question “what is differentiated instruction?”

Life has been a whirlwind ever since that first day, and while I never completely forgot about my fitness goals, they have not been at the forefront of my mind. Lesson plans, assessments, parent contact, student success, administrative duties, and all the other miscellaneous responsibilities of being a teacher took over. Well, it has been just over three weeks since the first day and I am ready to get back in the saddle.

It’s not that I have fallen off the wagon, per se, but I have not been as careful as I should be with my diet, nor have I been doing any sort of exercise (besides the two flights of stairs I walk up every morning and ambulating up and down the hallways). Despite the numerous cheat meals (or cheat DAYS), and my more sedentary state, I am thrilled to announce that I have lost another 10 pounds. That makes for a total loss of 20 POUNDS, people!!!

So, thanks in most part to my husband’s encouragement, I’m back at it! It never seems like a good time to get back at it. I’m still overwhelmed with school responsibilities, stressed, and tired. But that’s life. It’s always going to be that way. I’ve just got to bite the bullet and hit the treadmill. So that’s what I did, today.

I ran my fastest mile today (which is still not very fast, but hey, it’s progress). I’m still preparing for a 5k on September 30th, which is very scary and motivating. I also started the 200 sit-up program that my husband reccommended and am doing that on the days that I don’t run.

So, despite all of my set backs recently, I am very satisfied with my results and ready to make more progress in the coming weeks.

Posted in diet, Health, July 2017, Running, Weight Loss

Days 8 & 9: Making Progress

(To my readers: (Wow! It feels weird to say that!) I think from now on, I will continue to update this segment two days at a time, so as not to overwhelm with too many posts or be rather boring. 🙂 )

Day 8 was on Monday. I felt just ok about my run-not the best and not the worst. I’m totally scrapping the C25K plan for now and setting my own goals, instead. I feel like my own goals are slightly more realistic and manageable right now, and more than anything, I don’t want to become discouraged by not meeting goals.

I had a rest day on Tuesday. Sometimes I’m just not feelin’ it, I tell ya, and my hip was not feelin’ it on Tuesday. I don’t know what else to do about that-I’m taking fish oil and collagen supplements. I think the only thing that will help is seeing a chiropractor for an adjustment.

My body was feeling better tonight and ready to hit the gym, and I had a pretty successful run. I could really tell that progress is being made tonight. I ran at a faster pace at the beginning and then did intervals of fast running and walking for a total of twenty minutes plus a five minute warm up and cool down. I think my next run, I will try to focus on endurance, not speed, because I feel like that is my weaker weakness.

Onward and upward (and hopefully downward on the scale. 😉 )!

Posted in Health, July 2017, Running, Weight Loss

Days 6 & 7; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Cry

I didn’t write about my run yesterday because it was so bad and I was ashamed. I felt like a failure, poopy nugget, incapable of succeeding at anything and too discouraged to admit my shortcomings right then.

My run started out ok..I ran 8 minutes without stopping and then walked for about five, following the week 5 day 2. When I set out to run the second set of 8 min. I immediately felt burned out and couldn’t do it!

I had also been feeling pretty emotional all day, and there is just something about not being in a very good mindset that makes it so much harder to run. During the last 8 minutes of my walk/run, when I was struggling to find every last bit of energy in my body, I flashed back to when I was in high school and would go running almost every weekday with my dad.

We would agree on it the night before: “I’m going to the gym tomorrow, wanna come?” he’d ask. “Yeah! Just wake me up when it’s time to get ready”, I’d reply. And the next morning, he would come get me at 5:00 or so, I’d stagger into my workout clothes, and slowly wake up in the passenger seat on the way to the gym. We were sometimes the very first people there, walking in as soon as the doors opened and heading straight to “our” treadmills. And then we would run, side by side. We never really talked while we ran (we were too busy huffing and puffing) but it was nice to know we were there for each other.

And I missed that…so badly…and between that thought and all the negative thoughts about how poorly I was doing and how much I was failing, I began to sob on the treadmill. I mean, I was ugly crying. I left feeling sad and defeated.

Today, as I reflected on my run yesterday, I reminded myself that every day I go to the gym is something to be proud of. I didn’t know if I’d have time to go today, after working 8 hours, meeting a friend for coffee, having dinner when I got home, waiting for it to settle, etc…plus knowing I have an early morning tomorrow, as well.

I was really encouraged, though by my friend, who runs a lot and admitted to me her own mental blocks when it comes to running and shared a bit of her perspective with me. I felt so refreshed and motivated by our conversation, that I just had to go running tonight no matter what.

And I’m glad I did. I ran a mile without stopping! Granted, it was a really slow pace, but for me, it was an accomplishment. I pushed myself, having set a goal of running for ten minutes without stopping, I ended up running 12:30-something because I was so close to completing a mile that I couldn’t just stop at 10 minutes! So I’ve past my mental block-I know I can run a mile, at least without stopping, and am just gonna keep on working my way up to 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2…

Posted in diet, Health, July 2017, Ketogenic, Weight Loss

10 Keto FAQ’s

Are you thinking about trying out this whole Keto thing? Here is a list of  frequently asked questions about the Ketogenic Diet with some fairly simple answers to help you. I am not an expert in this area, per se, but I can share whatever knowledge and understanding I have. So here we go:

1.Where does the word “keto” come from? Keto is short for “ketogenic”, which refers to a state of ketosis that your body goes into when it is burning fat and using “ketones” as energy.

2. How does the ketogenic diet work? Normally, the body uses carbs (which are turned into glucose) as energy. The ketogenic diet forces the body into a state of ketosis by limiting the amount of carbs so the body can switch from burning glucose to burning fat (this is called being “fat-adapted”).

3. How long does it take to become fat-adapted? It depends on your body and how strict you are going to be with the amount of carbs you consume and if you’re hitting your macros every day.

4. What is the Keto Flu? The Keto Flu is a period of detox as your body is becoming fat-adapted. People often experience flu-like symptoms such as headaches and muscle aches during the first few weeks of the keto diet. Read this article to learn more about the Keto Flue and how you can prevent it.

5. What can I eat on a Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet focused on eating healthy fats, a moderate amount of protein and extremely low carbs (under 20g). So you can eat basically any meat, green leafy veggies, cheese, eggs, and healthy oils and fats. Click here for a more complete list of low-carb foods.

6. Do I have to limit or count my calories on a keto diet? Yes and No. In the beginning, it’s helpful to log all of your food to see how many carbs you are consuming. Lots of foods have hidden carbs, so until you know which foods to avoid, it’s best to keep track. You don’t need to be too concerned with actual caloric intake, though. Obviously, you don’t want to have too many calories and you want to be eating enough calories, but most importantly, you want to make sure you are hitting your macros.

7. What are macros? There are three groups of macros (or macronutrients) of which every food is made and those are protein, carbs, and fat. On a Ketogenic diet, the standard macro proportions to aim for are 60-70% fat, 30-40% protein, and 5-10% carbs. You can easily track your macros by using apps such as My Fitness Pal.

8. How much weight will I lose on this diet? It depends on your body, how much weight you have to lose, how strict you are going to be and whether or not you exercise. A lot of people see a dramatic weight loss in the first month. Some don’t have any weight loss according to the scale, but lose inches. The important thing is to trust the process because it does work.

9. Do I need to buy any supplements? You do not need to buy any supplements to do the keto diet. The only supplements you might consider are vitamins such as magnesium, iron, potassium, etc… as a lot of people tend to have a deficiency in those. But really, if you are eating your leafy green veggies, you should not have a problem. And you definitely don’t need to buy any “ketones”, or “keto pee strips” or other “keto diet products”. You don’t need them, trust me. Save your money to buy more bacon and steak.

10. How do I start the keto diet? You just do. Bite the bullet. Limit your carbs to under 20g net carbs per day (by subtracting fiber from total carbs), drink plenty of water, add lots of salt to your food to avoid the keto flu symptoms, make sure you’re getting enough fat and enough calories (especially in the first couple of weeks) and KETO ON, my friends!

 

Posted in Body Positivity, Health, July 2017

The Problem with Body Positivity

There’s been a lot of talk in our culture about “body positivity”, and what that looks like. In the ideal, body positivity promotes celebration of your body, no matter what it looks like, and self-love. “You have to love yourself above all else and don’t worry about what other people say or think.”

The message seems to be super supportive and loving, in and of itself, but when you take a closer look,  it’s not actually changing our mindsets.

For example, I was scrolling through my Facebook the other day and came across an article with a headline that read something like this: “15 Celebrities Who Claimed to Love Their Bodies and then Lost a Ton of Weight.” The main point being if you claim body positivity, why would you want to change your body?

Seriously? So, these people who are body positive and are promoting that message get slammed because they made their bodies better? If you love your body just the way it is, does that mean you aren’t allowed to work out or try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle? Should you just not care about trying to be healthy because you might change your body and that would apparently go against your body positivity campaign? Ridiculous… Obviously, if you love your body, you’ll realize it is something that you should take care of.

Also, when did body positivity become only about people who are overweight? What about people who have an unhealthy body image who have eating disorders? What about people who just don’t like the way their knees look?

We are at a point now, where nobody can win. Either you are fat-shamed because you are overweight, or you are shamed for losing weight because “you should just love your body the way it is”. Neither promotes a culture where everyone’s body is accepted.

Finally, as a Christian, I have a very hard time when I hear people promoting “self love”. No where in the Bible does it say “you should love yourself”. “Love God“, “love your neighbor as yourself”, yes, but not “love yourself”. Know why? Because we already love ourselves too much.

Does this mean that the Bible is against body positivity? Not necessarily. It just looks different. A Christian should still work to have a healthy image of their body, not because we need to love ourselves, but because God made us in His image and everything He made was declared perfect. He didn’t make a mistake when He created you and when you hate the way your body is made, you are doubting God’s goodness and perfect creation.

The other side of that coin, though, demands that we take care of these bodies we have been given. So, yes, workout, eat veggies, and do everything you can to have a fit, healthy body that is going to bring glory to God. But also realize that no matter how many sit-ups or push ups you do, or how many miles you can run, there will be things about your body that you can not change, and that you just have to accept.

So the answer is not to “love yourself”, but to love others. Because, maybe if we all focus on making somebody else feel loved, instead of criticizing them at every turn, we will all be able to create a culture that is truly body positive.

 

Posted in Essential Oils, Health, July 2017, Running, Weight Loss

Day 5: Essential Oils and Running

Day 5 of running is in the books!

I actually got up this morning and went to the gym right after my cup of coffee! Normally, on days that I don’t work until 12:00, it’s tempting for me to just lounge around the house and then all of a sudden, it’s time for me to go in to work and I never went to the gym. Not today! I was determined to go this morning so I wouldn’t have to come home and go late tonight.

Today was an easier day on the treadmill in preparation for tomorrow, when I’ll try to run for twenty minutes without stopping. So, nothing too exciting to report.

I did want to mention a few essential oils that I have been loving for running. The first one is deep relief. I use it pre and post-workout to help relieve pain in my muscles. A lot of times, I’m sore from the day before, still when I head out for my run, so this really helps relieve some of that and helps get my butt out the door. And then, obviously after a workout, it’s a nice little way to cool down those achy muscles. Essential Oils

Second (and I’ve been using this one like crazy, so it might as well be tied for first place) is R.C. , which stands for respiratory care. I apply this oil to my neck, my back, and right under my nose before I go to the gym, and I actually bring it with me and leave the bottle open on the treadmill so I can apply more as needed during my workout. I have sports-induced asthma and it is really hard for me to catch my breath, sometimes, so I am so thankful for this oil, which helps with that problem.

Finally, on days when I have literally no motivation to go to the gym and I feel exhausted from the day of work and need a little boost, I use En-R-Gee. I apply this oil to my wrists and sometimes my neck and take a little wiff of it to wake up my sense and clear the mental fog that’s holding me back.

Finally, and this is not an essential oil, but it’s still worth mentioning because it’s so helpful, is fish oil. This oil has so many great benefits for the body, but I find it really helps with my mobility. Running really takes a toll on my body and, specifically my joints, so I take two capsules of fish oil daily to keep me moving.

I’m so glad I have these natural supplements to help me along my running journey!

If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, click here.

And if you would like to get your own starter kit, click here

 

 

 

Posted in diet, Health, July 2017, Ketogenic, Recipes

Keto Pizza!

Oh my goodness! My keto life is now complete!

I was skeptical at first when I saw everyone posting about their “fathead” pizzas. Having lived in Buffalo, NY for quite a while, my expectations for pizza are pretty high up there. So believe me, when I tell you that this “fathead” keto pizza is the answer to all of your problems, my low-carb junkies. pizza crust

The crust is made with shredded mozzarella cheese (I also added in some colby jack cheese, cause why not?), almond flour, an egg, and cream cheese. You pre-bake the crust in the oven before adding toppings until it’s slightly brown. Add your toppings, and bake for another 8 minutes and you have pizza!

I also made my own pizza sauce because, as some of you know, store-bought has a lot of added sugar and a lot of carbs. Plus, it is so easy to make! I used my little food processor to blend a jar of canned, peeled tomatoes, added some fresh basil and parsley from my “garden”, and sprinkled in some pink himalayan salt, and garlic powder. That’s it! No added sugar and super low in carbs! Plus, I have leftover now in my fridge that I can use as spaghetti sauce!

I do think I needed to make my crust slightly thicker. It ended up being too thin to really hold up the toppings well. Next time, I’ll double the crust recipe so it actually fits my pizza pan and holds up better. baked pizza

I kind of guestimated total number of carbs for two slices to be around 6 grams. The crust itself has 5 per two slices, so with the tomato sauce and the toppings, I figured 6. That will probably change if I double the crust recipe and depending on the toppings I use. But, two slices was definitely enough to fill me up!

The best part of all of this is that Ace approves! He had two slices to begin with and went back for seconds!

I tried this recipe on Pinterest and tweeked it a bit to work for me.

The main takeaway: You have got to try this!

Posted in Health, July 2017, Running, Weight Loss

Day 4: 8 minutes without stopping

So I took a little break from running on Friday and Saturday. My body definitely needed the rest and recovery!

I was back at it today and I was honestly a little bit bummed still from my last session on the treadmill. I was nervous today and thinking “what if I fail again?”, “will I ever get better?” and just generally negative thoughts. Did not want to go running and put it off for a bit.

I wanted to attempt Week 5 day 2 of the C25K program again since I failed at that last time. The directions say “Run for 3/4 of a mile or 8 min without stopping, walk 1/2 a mile or 5 minutes, run 3/4 of a mile or 8 minutes”.

I decided I should try to go for distance as opposed to time since I’m training for a 5K and am going to have to run 3.2 miles. My goal isn’t really to run it as fast as I can, just to run it without stopping to walk. So, I set out at a realllllllly slow pace, aiming to run 3/4 of a mile without stopping. And I did it! It took me longer than 8 minutes, which was expected at such a slow pace, but I felt triumphant anyways.

After I walked for 1/2 a mile, I went back to running, but this time I tried to run the 3/4 of a mile in the 8 minutes allotted time. I set out at a really fast pace for me and had to stop and walk. And then i went back to running at a fast pace and then stopped and walked. I continued this process until I had reached 3/4 of a mile and it took me just under 9 minutes.

The next day in the C25K program, you’re supposed to run 2 miles or 20 minutes without stopping! *gasp* I can’t even…. I’m definitely going to have to work up to that. So tomorrow, I’m just planning on running for as long as I can without stopping, probably at a slow pace, until I feel like dying and seeing how far I can go.

Wish me luck!