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

Bulletproof Coffee Pods

 

One of my favorite things about the Keto diet so far (besides the amazing results I’ve been seeing) is Bulletproof Coffee.

Bulletproof coffee is, essentially, a fatty cup of coffee, to kick-start your morning and keep you full. While technically, the term “Bulletproof” is a trademark for a specific brand, people have adopted the term to describe any cup of coffee that has added fats to it.

bulletproof!

There are many ways to make bulletproof coffee and everyone likes it made differently. The common denominators, though, are usually some sort of butter, or fatty oil or a combination of both.

 

Because I normally don’t eat breakfast, and I love coffee anyways, bulletproof coffee is great for my mornings on-the-go (or just any morning)! However, it can be quite time-consuming on a busy morning. I have to grind the beans, brew the coffee, get out the ingredients, mix those together, pour the coffee, and then blend it. And some mornings, I just don’t have time for that!

So, I made these bulletproof coffee pods with all the pre-measured ingredients, frozen together, for a fast, convenient time-saver.

I started by measuring out my butter (1 TB), coconut oil (1 TB), vanilla (1 tsp) and collagen powder (1 scoop). While I filled the muffin tin with my ingredients, my oven was preheating to a very low temperature.

Pre-made pods

When I had filled the muffin tin, I popped it in the oven for a few minutes until all the ingredients were melted together. Then, I placed them in the fridge (you could put them in the freezer but mine wasn’t big enough to accommodate my tray 🙂 ). Once they were solid, I popped them out of the tin using aknife, put them all in a ziplock bag and stored them in my freezer. Frozen pods

Now, in the morning I can just brew my coffee, pull one of these pods out, add some heavy whipping cream, and blend it all together!

You can easily vary or substitute these ingredients to suit your personal taste, as well. You could use cinnamon, cocoa powder, ghee butter, stevia drops (if you like your coffee sweet), protein powder, etc… the possibilities are endless! Bulletproof pods

I know it sounds weird, at first to think of putting butter in your coffee, but trust me, you will love it (blending everything with Heavy Whipping cream is the key–it foams up like a latte!) And now, with these convenient pre-made pods, making your bulletproof coffee will be easier than ever!

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 Body Positivity, diet, July 2017, Weight Loss

Will I Always be the Fat Kid?

All my life I’ve been the fat kid.

It didn’t help that I lived in France for a while where I towered above all of my classmates in elementary school. Nobody was shy about talking about my weight, not even the grown-ups. I remember one kid teasing me and asking me “How much do you way? 50 kilos???!?!” And I said “No….” (because I actually weighed more than that).

The doctor I went to in France wanted to put me on a diet. I was eleven. I remember him talking to me about the things I should and shouldn’t eat and all I could think was that I don’t make the meals in the house…I just eat whatever is set in front of me and whatever my family is eating.

In high school, I decided I’d had enough and started running every day and basically starving myself. I would skip breakfast, have an apple for lunch, have a small portion of whatever meal was prepared for dinner, and I avoided sweets. Towards the end of that school year, people started noticing changes in my body. But I wasn’t skinny enough to be called thin, even though I had lost a good amount of weight. So, still, I was the fat kid.

So I wonder…when/if I make it to my goal weight, will the doctors still classify me  as “obese” according to the BMI chart? Will people still call me “big-boned” or “curvy”? And most importantly, when I look in the mirror will I be able to see myself as I truly am? Or will I always be the fat kid?

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!

 

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

Plan on Cheating

I got into a discussion on one of my facebook groups the other day because I responded to somebody’s comment about people posting pictures of their cheat meals on the fourth of July and how that leads newbies to assume it’s acceptable to cheat. I responded: “It is acceptable to ‘cheat'”. *gasp* shock, and awe! I know….

The reason that it is acceptable to “cheat” for me is because trying to not cheat is the one thing that seems to always trip me up in a healthy lifestyle. If you’re doing a fad diet for a short period of time, sure I understand not cheating. But that’s not what Keto is. The Ketogenic Diet is a change of lifestyle. It’s longterm. And if you don’t plan on having some indulgences, here and there, you’re likely to fail.

Now, I’ve put the words “cheat” in quotation marks because if you plan on “cheating” it’s not really a “cheat”, it’s a choice. And when you change the language about it, it is so liberating! Instead of passively messing up, and feeling like a failure, as the word “cheat” implies, you can take ownership of your decisions by choosing to eat off plan. And planning like that is what sets you up for success.

Life is about balance. It’s not healthy to always eat junk food. It’s not healthy, either, to never “treat yo’self”. It’s not healthy to be controlled by food and that can manifest itself in your overindulging and in “underindulging” (if that made up word makes sense in this context) because you’re too afraid to let yourself go a little bit. True health is balance.

So plan on “cheating” every once in a while.