Grocery Store Trip

These aren’t the only things I will eat this week, and some things may take me months to finish. However, I thought it would be good to share with you guys a little bit of how I grocery shop and what kinds of things I keep around. Notice: lots of raw things, less pre-packaged stuff… ūüôā

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Tips for Starting Keto and Bonus Update

It’s about the time of year when people start re-evaluating their New Year’s Resolutions. We start to ask ourselves questions like, “Do I really need to give up smoking, I’ve already been doing it for 20 years, the damage is done, right?” “Is it realistic to put ¬†50% of my income toward debt so I can be out of debt by the end of the year?” and “Can I really make it to the gym that early and workout for that long? And in the end, is losing a pound per week worth it?”

For most people, New Year’s resolutions means you start something on January 1st or maybe the 2nd, and you stick with it for the entire year. According to the United State’s government, three of the top thirteen resolutions made in the United States are directly related to eating healthier, losing weight, or getting fit. And According to the New York Times, “Losing weight and getting fit” and “eating a healthier diet” are two of the top ten most broken New Years resolutions.

So, if you made a resolution to get healthier, lose weight, eat better, go to the gym more, etc, you are not alone.

You are also not alone if you feel like giving up! Only twenty percent of people that begin a new diet plan are keeping that plan at the three month mark!

A lot of people have already been telling me that keeping their New Year’s resolution in difficult. I thought I’d explain some of these best reasons to at least try Keto for 30 days.

  • Fat keeps you full. If you aren’t eating fat, you’re eating either carbs or protien. Protein will keep you full better than carbs, but not as much as fat. Also, too much protein will be converted into carbohydrates in your body, so if you eat excess protein, it’s almost as bad as eating carbs.
  • On the other hand, Carbs make you hungry. It’s not just that fat will keep you full, it’s that carbs add to your hunger. Check out our trusty sugar addiction chart below. Keep in mind that all carbohydrates are just strands of sugar that once they enter your body, are broken down into simple strands of sugar, not much different than a dum-dum sucker of slice of pecan pie. The more carbs you eat, the more you’ll want to eat. So, if you are on a low-fat, high carb diet like the American Heart Association recommends, you’re going to be hungry all the time.
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  • “Low Fat” foods replace fat with sugar to add flavor. Do I need to say more?
  • Insulin spikes leads to food storage.¬†When you eat carbohydrates and your body has enough energy for the time being, your body will store the carbohydrates as fat. Boy doesn’t that make a banana split sound awful?
  • Weight loss is quick.¬†Studies have shown that women that lost weight quickly, were more likely to stick to their diets than women who did not.

So now you might be a little more interested in keto verses the American standard diet of a low fat, high carb diet. Here are some steps to get you started out.

  1. Read as much about Keto as you can. I could reiterate a lot of information that has already been written, but it’s just not necessary. ¬†Here are a couple of links to some very helpful resources:¬†Keto in a Nutshell¬†and¬†r/keto’s FAQ page.¬†
  2. Calculate your “Macros”. This is just a fancy word for the numbers you want to get as close to possible each day. For most people, you will want to have about 5% or less of your diet coming from carbs, 30ish% coming from protien, and 65ish% coming from fat. This calculator is amazing. It takes into consideration your age, height, weight, gender, body fat percentage, activity level, and how much you want to lose. ūüôā
  3. Keep track of what you eat.¬†Find a way to keep track of what you are eating. All day. Everyday. Count everything, because everything counts! My Fitness Pal has an online site that can help with this, as well as an App. The best part is, it’s free.
  4. Connect with people doing keto. Thankfully for introverts, you can do this on your laptop. http://www.reddit.com/r/keto is an excellent site for support and help for those that are excited about doing keto. You will not be a stranger there.
  5. Remember to drink lots of water. A gallon of water a day is not too much on this diet.
  6. The Keto Flu will come.¬†The first week, as your body adjusts to not using carbs and begins to use ketones, you will probably start to feel crappy. It’s normal and expected. It lasts 1-3 days at most

Most importantly, don’t give up. This diet will make you feel more energized. You will likely sleep better at night. Eating healthy has more benefits than just looking good.

As Promised: a Bonus Update:

4 months into Keto and I’ve gone from wearing tight Xtra-Large clothing to comfortably wearing mediums!!!

My body fat percentage has gone down 12%

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For comparison:

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No wonder I feel better about myself!

English Toffee Fat Bombs

I’m pretty sure that Fat Bombs were named by a male because the name does not sound nearly as appealing as the treat itself is. I think if I invented the fat bomb, I’d probably name it “PMS Lifesaver” or “Chocolaty Drops of Heaven” or “There’s No Way I can Eat these and Lose Weight Candies”.

These delicious treats keep me full for hours with providing me with my coconut oil needs for the day. They also help get my fat intake up, which is essential to the keto diet. If you have concerns about me eating too much fat and my body absorbing all the fat, don’t worry. Remember, on Keto, my body runs on fat, not glucose. In fact, studies, like this one completed last month in the UK, have shown that even saturated fats aren’t bad for you. Remember, fat doesn’t just go straight from our mouth to our stomach to our hips and gut. It’s broken down and used by the body, just like other nutrients. If there is excess, then yes, the body will store it. However, your body won’t store the fat if it is used as energy.

Ok… Enough already!

This is the recipe for English Toffee Fat Bombs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbs¬†Davinci Gourmet Sugar Free English Toffee Syrup

The suryp comes in a bottle like this:Image

Directions:

  1. Put all of your ingredients in a pot on the stovetop on a medium/low heat. Image
  2. Stir until everything melts together and is smooth.Image
  3. Pour them into a mold of some kind. I used a mini muffin pan, but I hear some people use silicone pans. Pop those suckers in the freezer for a few hours.Image
  4. After a few hours, they’ll be good to go. Pop them out and try not to eat them all! They store well in the freezer.Image

Nutritional Information:

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Why Keto? What on earth is Keto? and are you a crazy person?

Why Keto?

I’ve always been a fan of low-carb diets. Cutting out carbs is a quick way to drop a few pounds and lose your water weight to fit into something you haven’t been able to wear for a while or just to feel better for a special occasion. I’ve also had a low-metabolism since I was a kid, so this diet was something I frequently went to when I felt like my metabolism had helped me add on too many pounds. I successfully lost about 15 pounds in Middle School with a low-carb diet. Of course, I gained it back, but in High School, I lost 20 pounds with a low-carb diet and lots of exercise. Both of these times I ended up weighing between 135 and 125. ¬†Below is me in my senior pictures. I dropped 20 pounds in about 8 weeks with my senior pictures as my motivation.

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Fast Forward 5 years, to about 45 days ago. I’m at 173.3. Not the highest weight I’ve ever been, but given the fact that I’d spent the last year hovering around 165, I was not happy. There are a lot of reasons that I got to this weight, many of which I’ll talk about later in other posts. Here’s a picture of me at about this weight. Sucking my gut in, of course. Don’t get me wrong. I think I’m beautiful. Just really unhealthy.

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Enough was enough. I immediately put on sweatpants and running shoes and went for a 1.5 mile jog. The next day, the scale didn’t really budge. On top of this, I’d been going to the bathroom about every hour to urinate, and not much was coming out. This happened all day long. A tell-tale sign of diabetes (which I’m √ľber predisposed to have). Given that I knew low-carb diets help regulate insulin levels, I knew that this was the quickest way to get myself back on track.

Except, I didn’t follow through. A true Ketogenic diet keeps carbs that affect your insulin levels (any carbs except sugar alcohols and dietary fiber) at below 20 grams per day, which is about 10% of what the average American woman my height, age and weight is recommended to eat by most nutritionists. ¬†Instead of counting my carbs, I just guesstimated each meal and made sure I didn’t eat all of my potatoes, but a few bites were ok. Or I’d eat a few bites of dessert. And of course, there were special occasions which would require¬†(the new me now roles eyes) me to eat to eat some sort of carb that was bad for me. In reality, I wasn’t eating much different that what an average American probably eats. And in the end, I wasn’t making progress.

So 30 days ago, I woke up committed. I’m not sure why. I just was. I still can’t decide what the determining factor in my attitude change was. I was probably still at about 173, maybe 171 or 172. And I just did it. I’ve cheated once¬†in those 30 days. And I fully regretted it. I just felt gross the next morning.

So, now you are probably wondering the details of what a Ketogenic diet is.

I’m glad you asked!

What is a Ketogenic diet? 

This is going to be the short version. I’ll be posting lots of scientific evidence to support this diet later, but let’s just get a quick, laymen’s term overview.

Your body uses energy, all day, everyday. Primarily, your body will use glucose, aka sugar as the go-to source for energy. If your body has glucose in the blood stream, it will use this first. Most of us live a lifestyle where all our body ever uses is glucose. Glucose will come from any carbohydrate, because as soon as your body breaks down the carbohydrate, it turns into sugar. So that potato you ate, 15 minutes after you ate it, it was primarily sugar. The bun on your burger at lunch, is also sugar by now. If you have excess sugar that your body can’t use, the insulin in your body will carry it back to your cells and store it for later. (In the form of fat.)

If your body can’t find sugar, it will use your liver to turn fat from your cells into ketones. Your body can use the ketones for energy instead of glucose. When your body is only using ketones, your body is using your stored fat as a resource to burn energy. This state is called ketosis.¬†

So, on the Keto diet, I keep my carbs at about 20 grams. Unless I do a lot of exercising, in which case, I may up my carbs anywhere from 21-30 grams. The less carbs I eat, the more body is relying on my liver to turn my fat into ketones. And as a result, the less I weigh.

So, I’m not a crazy person.

The Ketogenic diet is healthy. In fact, I would argue that it is most like what God would have wanted us to eat. When we think about the Garden of Eden, and life shortly after the fall, there were no processed foods. It was a lot of veggies and meats. Their primary source of sugar would have been fruit, which at least in the western world, are typically only found in the fall, when people may need to put on a little extra weight to keep them warm. 

Also, there is no comparison to how I felt 30 days ago and how I feel today. I feel like a whole new person. I have virtually flawless skin, my nails are super strong, and my mind is super clear. I think more quickly on my feet. I laugh a lot more. I have massive amounts of energy! And I literally mean massive, the other day after power walking for 4.5 miles, I still had so much energy, I was skipping across my house to go to the bathroom. This, coming from the girl that has such a low metabolism that she used to gain weight by looking at food.

In addition, I don’t eat red meat and rabbit food all day. I get to eat things like cheesecake; avacado, bacon, blue cheese lettuce wraps; and loaded mashed cauliflower. And bacon. Lots and lots of bacon! I usually have to force myself to eat more calories so I don’t get pushed into a starvation mode. I love the foods I get to eat on this diet!

Oh. And ¬†for results, in 30 days I’ve lost 14 pounds. I don’t really have a goal weight. My goal is to live this life for the rest of my life. That’s my goal.

So thank you, dear reader, for joining me on this journey. I hope this can be a way to keep me accountable to sticking to the lifestyle. I also hope I may help someone else learn how they can have their life and their body back.