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

Keto: How To

Dear Diary, 

Today, I typed up this informational packet that I can share whenever someone asks me how they can get started with Keto. I’m keeping a hard copy in here for reference. 

WHAT IS KETO?

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? If you’re going to embark on this “keto lifestyle” journey, you have to know what “keto” means. “Keto” (short for “ketogenic” ) when referring to a way of eating generally refers to a high fat/very low carb diet. But that is a very general definition (we’ll talk about that later).

More scientifically speaking, “ketogenic” is a term used to describe a diet that replaces carbohydrates with fats as a source of energy.  With a high carbohydrate diet, our bodies run on glucose (which is essentially a fancy term for “sugar”). When carbohydrates are severely restricted, our bodies will start to burn fat and produce “ketones”.how keto works

“So I have to eat fat to burn fat?!” Yes, that’s exactly it. This concept seemed crazy to me, too, at first. Why would I eat more fat? That’s the stuff I need to stay away from! Our culture is so accustomed to “low-fat” everything that we are scared of eating healthy fats. That’s a key distinction.

If you still don’t believe me, I would encourage you to do more research into what actually causes weight gain (sugar) and read more about the process of using fat for energy. I would highly recommend reading The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. It is not specifically a “keto” diet book, but has a great explanation of weight gain/loss and uses good studies to support its claims. It’s fat-scinating (oh my…what a terrible pun!).

KETO BASICS

Let me try to boil this down to a few basics to keep in mind.

  1. The keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet.
  2. Your diet should consist of roughly 70% healthy fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
  3. Examples of healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil, butter, animal fats… etc.
  4. Most of your carbohydrates should come from green leafy vegetables.
  5. You can’t have sugar (not even brown sugar… and before you ask me about “healthy” cane sugar, that’s a no, too).

HOW TO START

Step 1. JUST DO IT!

Seriously, the most important step in starting the keto diet is to decide to just do it. There are so many reasons to delay. You might feel unprepared to start on the keto diet because you just don’t have enough information. It might be a “bad” time of year because holidays are coming up and you’re going to cheat anyways. Maybe you just went grocery shopping and you don’t want all your carb-heavy foods to go to waste.

Starting this new way of eating is only going to get harder if you keep delaying. So start with what little information you have. Start even if Christmas is only two days away. The sooner you get into the “keto mindset”, the sooner you’ll start seeing results and feeling better.

Step 2: Cut the Carbs

You might not be ready to track every single morsel of food that goes into your mouth. That’s ok. But what you CAN start doing right away (today!) is counting your carbs. The magic number for most “ketonians” is 20g of carbs. If you can keep your carbs under 20g/day, you’re well on your way to “ketoville”.

You don’t even need an app if you want to count your carbs. Because the number 20 is so low, it’s so easy to just keep a tally in your head or on a sticky note, or in the “Notes” on your phone. If you prefer to be super precise or you’re just bad at math (like me), you can use a tracker like “My Fitness Pal” or “Carb Manager” (both offer free versions).

Make sure you are reading the labels of literally every food item you are planning on eating. There are so many carbs in so many foods and when you are just starting out, it can be shocking how quickly they add up if you don’t read labels carefully. Obviously avoid simple carbs like bread, pasta, rice and grains (yes, even whole grains like quinoa) altogether. Other categories that are high in carbs include fruit, dairy, legumes, and root vegetables.

carbs in fruitCarbs in root vegetables

Net vs Total Carbs

There are two “camps” of carb-counters on the keto diet: net carb-counters and total carb-counters. Counting total carbs is going to be much harder and require you to be more disciplined and selective in the foods that you eat. I would say that most people on keto count net carbs.

Avocado nutrition facts

To count total carbs, simply refer food label and record the “total carbohydrates” number. (insert avocado nutrition facts picture. ) In the picture on the right, for example, you would calculate your total carbs for eating an avocado as 17g, meaning you would have 3g left for the day if 20g is your goal.

To count net carbs, subtract the amount of fiber from the total carbs. Referring back to the nutrition facts for an avocado, we can subtract 13g of fiber from 17g total carbs and get 4g of net carbs, meaning you would have 16g left for the day if 20g is your goal.

Because starting keto is hard enough as it is, I would recommend counting net carbs over total carbs.. Later, after you’re used to eating this way, you might want to try being more strict and counting total carbs.

Step 3: Fat is your Friendhealthy vs. unhealthy fats

Because fat has been demonized in our society, it is going to feel weird to soak your food in a bunch of healthy fats. On the keto diet, though, because you are severely limiting

julia childs butter

your carbohydrates (which is where your energy usually comes from), you need to really focus on increasing your consumption of healthy fats. A lot of times, when ketonians see a stall in their weight loss, it’s because they need to add more fat to their diets.

So, push through the mental barrier of feeling guilty for eating fat and enjoy that extra butter on your veggies!

Step 4: Calculate Macros

In your first month of being on keto, I would highly recommend plugging everything you eat into a tracker like “My Fitness Pal” or “Carb Manager”. If you’re like me, you’ll find this to be very tedious and annoying and time-consuming. And it is. But it is also super beneficial and important to see exactly what is in the food you’re eating. Your eyes will be opened to the lies and deception of the marketing world of various “health” foods.

Secondly, to maximize your results, use a keto macro calculator to calculate how many calories you should be getting in each of the macronutrient categories. (Remember, on keto, you should get about 70% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrates. As you lose weight, you will have to re-calculate these goals.

Sticking to these numbers can get you some amazing results if you have the patience for it. But if you try it for a month and you just can’t stand it (like me), you can always go back to counting just your net carbs. If you LOVE tracking things like this (you weirdo), you can be even crazier and start tracking your micronutrients! But don’t ask me how to do it ‘cause I ain’t got time for that!

Step 5: Avoid the Keto Flu

In the first few days of eating keto, your body will go through a transitional phase as it switches from using carbohydrates to using fat for energy. During this time, you may experience some flu-like symptoms such as headache and fatigue. This is commonly called the  Keto Flu. To avoid these symptoms, make sure you do the following:

  1. Stay hydrated.

Drink insane amounts of water.

  1. Supplement your electrolytes.

A lot of people like to buy supplements at a pharmacy, but you don’t need to go buy magic pills to get your electrolytes in. You can supplement by adding pink salt to your food, and making sure you eat foods that are naturally high in potassium (like avocados) and magnesium (like almonds and spinach).

  1. Don’t restrict your calories.

When you are just beginning, don’t try to restrict your caloric intake too much, Focus on limiting your carbs, but when you are hungry, eat and eat fat, specifically. Fat will make you feel full and will make your brain less foggy. Try drinking a bulletproof coffee or making some fat bombs!

  1. Get extra sleep

Plan on going to bed early or sleeping in when you are starting keto. First of all, if you’re fighting hunger pains, sometimes it just helps to go to bed early so you don’t have to face those midnight snack cravings. Secondly, your body is going through a major shock in transitioning, so help it through that process by getting plenty of extra rest.

LAZY vs. STRICT

There are two sides of a “keto spectrum”, if you will. Lazy Keto and Strict Keto. You don’t necessarily have to decide which side you’re on, but you will inevitably fall closer to one side than the other and you need to be prepared for the “other” side judging you and your every move.

If you want to be super hardcore about your weight loss and health goals and you like tracking all the things, then strict keto might be for you. Generally, with strict keto, you want to avoid processed foods and keto-fied “junk” food like Halo Top Ice Cream. You want to stick to organic, grass-fed, unprocessed foods and you want to make sure you’re hitting all your macros. Basically, your diet is going to be even more restricted than with just regular keto (you won’t be able to make recipes that call for cream cheese, for example).

With lazy keto, there’s more flexibility in the types of foods you eat. The focus is not so much on avoiding processed foods (although that happens kind of naturally as a result of not eating carb-y foods) but more on keeping your carbs low. So, if you had enough carb allowances at the end of the day, you might make yourself a keto dessert with sugar substitutes and almond flour.

It can be tricky to navigate the whole spectrum of different levels of strictness when it comes to keto. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

– Lazy keto is going to be easier to maintain.

– Lazy keto is going to be easier on your wallet.

-Strict keto may produce results faster.

-Strict keto is the “ideal” to strive towards (in my opinion).

If I could do strict keto (emotionally and financially), I would. But the reality is, sometimes I just want to eat something that tastes sweet and if it’s going to make or break my diet, I’d rather have a lazy keto treat every once in a while than try to be so strict only to cheat really badly later. So find a balance that works for you and shut out all the haters who are going to say you’re doing it the wrong way.

NEXT LEVEL: INTERMITTENT FASTING

When you have adjusted to the keto lifestyle and your body is running efficiently on fat (after the first month), you can start adding in periods of fasting, or fasting intermittently. There are several benefits to fasting, but if weight loss is your number one goal, you’ll notice it start coming off even faster.

Start by simply restricting your eating times to a 12 hour window (8am to 8pm). Eat three solid keto meals per day and don’t snack in between meals.  When your body has adjusted to that, cut out breakfast and eat within an 8 hour window ( 12pm – 8pm), still no snacking in between meals. This second step is commonly referred to as 16:8 intermittent fasting and is, in my opinion, fairly easy to do.

If you want to bump it up even more, you can do OMAD (one meal a day) and just eat once a day. This is what I currently do. It takes a while to build up to this point, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t get there right away. I think it took me about a month to fully adjust to OMAD. There were days when I would eat just the one meal and then the next day at lunchtime I felt like I was going to faint so I ate a small lunch. I just kept on trying to have just one meal a day until I could consistently do it.

WEIGHT LOSS AND HEALTH BENEFITS

 

If you’re here, you’ve benefits of ketoprobably already heard about the benefits of eating a ketogenic diet. It’s a great way to lose weight, but it also may help reduce the risk of cancer, improve heart health, reduce seizures, reduce inflammation and improve other areas of your health.

You need to keep in mind, however, that everybody is different when it comes to these health benefits. If your goal is to lose weight, you can ask about someone’s results, but remember that their body is totally different from your own and they might be able to lose ten pounds a month while you can only lose 5. There’s no magic equation that applies to everyone, so set realistic goals and keep track of your progress by taking pictures, recording your weight and measurements, and checking your blood work periodically.

EXERCISING ON KETO

In the first week of doing keto, I would suggest NOT exercising as your body will be run down from the transition. A lot of people who lose weight on keto never exercise. So, if you have a health issue that prevents you from exercising, you can still expect to lose weight just by changing your diet.

If you CAN exercise, though, go for it! You’re going to feel more energized, reduce your levels of stress (which can contribute to weight gain), and tone your body.

“WHAT CAN I EAT ON KETO?!”

The most common questions I get from people when I mention I’m on a ketogenic diet is “can you eat this? Can you eat( fill in the blank)?” It’s actually really simple once you get the hand of it but it does take a while to become familiar with all the DO’s and DON’Ts. Thankfully there is a wealth of information on the internet and a whole lotta keto recipes on Pinterest. But for now, just take a look at this list.

Food red light green light

SAMPLE MEAL PLANS

Below are some meal plans I found online. Unfortunately, I’m afraid my own meal plans won’t be super helpful because I only eat once a day. I would recommend just keeping it really simple at first. It can be overwhelming trying to make keto cookies, for example with substitute sugar and flour and weird ingredients that you have to order online. Just keep it easy and work your way up to the fancy recipes. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with grilled steak and asparagus and bacon and eggs.

Sample Meal Plan 3Sample Meal Plan 1

 

Note from the author

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I hope you have benefited from reading this post. Please be aware that all of the information I share comes from my own personal experience being on the ketogenic diet. I have been eating this way since May of this year and have lost 40 pounds so far. However, I’m not a doctor or scientist and cannot make recommendations for your specific health concerns. But I do hope I can offer some insight and encourage and motivate you to start your own journey towards a healthier you. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Ketogenic, Weight Loss

Did You Miss Me?

Dear Diary,

Did you miss me? I know it’s been a while and I know what you’re thinking: “You’ve failed your diet again. You are ashamed and that’s why you haven’t written.” Normally, you would be right. But not today. Well, not exactly. So let me give you an update.

Let’s start with the bad news first, I guess. The truth is, I have cheated on my diet. And I mean, I’ve cheated a lot. I took a trip to Paris at the end of September for about a week and ate my heart out with pastries and baguettes and pastries, and chaussons aux pommes (which is a type of pastry…). I cannot say that I regret any part of that decision. But I have not been able to get back on track with Keto since then. Sugar addiction is a real thing!

The good news is that before I left for Paris, I hit two HUGE milestones! First, I officially lost a total of 40 pounds!!! Woot woot! As a visual reminder of what that looks like, here is 40 pounds of bacon (or, at least, what the internet says is 40 pounds of bacon…)!Bacon

Secondly, I finally weighed-in at under 200 pounds! I FOUND ONE-DERLAND! *cue Taylor Swift song “Wonderland”* So, my weight pre-Paris was 197. As part of this good news, I have been able to maintain that weight up until now. I was so worried I would be about 10 pounds heavier when we came back from France.

So, that’s where I’m at. 40 pounds lost, under 200 pounds, and stuck in a rut. But, I am starting to climb out of it and get back into the keto diet and intermittent fasting. I still have about 40 pounds to lose to hit my ideal goal weight and with the holidays right around the corner, I’m a bit anxious. Last year, when I was doing keto, the holidays came and I completely lost all of my progress and by February had gained back all the weight.

Maybe I can come up with a good plan for this season so that won’t happen again.

 

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, 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