Health Progress, Keto Basics, Open Blog, Pregnancy, Supplements, Uncategorized

Miracles Do Happen!

It’s still really early and there are some things that still worry me, but I’m excited to tell you that I’m pregnant!  My body repaired itself enough to actually get pregnant!!  What?!?  It’s so dang crazy, I can hardly believe it myself.

I did Keto so that I could get healthy and have a chance at getting pregnant.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would work.  I mean, 20 years ago a high-profile Endocronologist told me that I have PCOS (polycycstic ovarian syndrome) and that in no uncertain terms would I ever get pregnant.  He added that if I do get pregnant that I would surely miscarry.  That was 1998, just before I turned 18 and graduated from High School.

Over the years, more has been learned about PCOS (though still not much) and many women have gotten pregnant and had babies.  It gave me hope, but in the back of my mind I always remembered what that one doctor told me…and it was confirmed by the fact that I never got pregnant.  In some ways it was a relief.  If I never got pregnant, then I never had to worry about having miscarriages and lose the baby.  I also didn’t have to worry about my health problems becoming the problems of my baby, which were pretty bad, if I never had a baby.

Did I ever not want children?  No.  It was like a biological need that was so strong coupled with the fact that I want to prove the medical field wrong.  I just wanted a baby to love and care for.    There were times that I thought I might be pregnant but never got a positive test.  I’m aware if was probably wishful thinking and uncontrolled hormones causing me to think it was possible.  It was a let down every time.  It became a game over the years that I almost wouldn’t want to take the pregnancy test because as soon as I took it, the possibility of being pregnant went away.  (I’m not an idiot.  I realize this is crazy.  But sometimes its nice to have hope.)

In this serious about my pregnancy, I want to talk with you about how I improved my health and actually got pregnant.  I will keep updating the blogs to you can follow along with how things are going with me and the pregnancy.  I hope this provides some hope to just one person out there.  If you want children and can’t have any, there still may be hope for you.

To get the notifications about the postings, please click on the Follow button.  If you have questions, comments or would like to share your story to give others hope, be sure to write in the comments section below.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!  -Rebecca

Health Progress, Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Open Blog, Uncategorized

Back 2 Basics: Update Blog

Update: 9/8/18

I have been tracking for 2 1/2 days now and I’ve already lost 1.2 pounds (as of this morning).  I’m feeling great and doing well.  I did pay for the Premium version of the Carb Manager so I could add every single thing I consumed…it’s a lot of individual ingredients when I cook at home.

Also, as you read through, you may be interested in viewing my recent, Back to Basics, blog to help get a good grasp on some keto basics.  If you’re totally new to keto, you may want to check out Keto Basics and Getting Started.

Remember, you can always reach out to me.  I’d love to help!  I am not a medical professional, but I have experience, research, resources, recipes and common sense…all of which may assist you in meeting your health goals.

-Rebecca

_______________________________________________________________

It’s so easy to get comfortable.  It wasn’t very long into my time doing keto that I stopped tracking my consumption.  I has a pretty good handle on my macros, carbs and overall consumption.  Uh…I was wrong.  Yep, you read that correctly.  I was wrong.

It gets a bit tedious to track every single item you eat every day of your life, at least for me.  I was doing a great job of tracking for the first 3-4 months, then I stopped and just eyeballed thinking I would be fine.  I didn’t gain weight, but I didn’t lose.  My health continued to improve and I did continue to shrink a little.

Mostly I am glad I didn’t go backwards, but that simply isn’t good enough as I have quite a ways to go.  I started thinking about getting back to the basics and the one thing I was putting off the most was tracking in my app (BTW, I use the Carb Manager app, but there are so many great ones that will do the trick), mostly because it takes time and is kind of annoying.  Feeling convicted and knowing that I’ve been fairly status quo for the last several months made me bite the bullet and start tracking again.  I also started fasting more regularly and not eating when I wasn’t hungry (I’ll admit that sometimes I would go out to breakfast with my husband just because I wanted to spend more time with him).

Yesterday I began my new, strict regime of fasting in the morning and tracking everything I consumed, except water and my electrolyte drink.  The one big thing I noticed was that I was over consuming carbs, didn’t have quite enough protein and went slightly over on my fat.  It’s really no wonder why I haven’t lost.  I mean, I fasted, was more careful and I still ate 31g net carbs!!  I cannot even guess how far I was off these past months.

Going to bed with this all in mind confirmed that I need to be more careful and mindful of what I’m doing and how well I’m taking care of myself.  Realistically, I don’t see myself tracking every single thing the rest of my life.  But I can make a reasonable compromise that will still help keep me in check.  I’ll tell you what I decided below.

This morning I already saw a difference!  I lost 0.8lbs.  Crap, this means I was way off when I was eyeballing!!  I lost nearly an entire pound in one day.  Dang it.  That means I was stalling because of my diet and maybe not as much because of stress as I thought.

Taking all of this in has changed my perspective.  I need to pay more attention and focus on what’s important.  I need to check myself more often than I have been.  I still have a lot of weight left to lose, at least 65 but more than 100 if you ask the doctor.  I want to be healthy for myself, my husband and I want to have children so badly…and I want to be healthy enough to get pregnant and help them to grow to be healthy babies.

My solution is simple.  I will track myself until I cannot stand it anymore and need a break.  But, instead of waiting until my annual Keto-versary to assess, I think I need to make reassessment and tracking something I strictly follow at least every season (3 months).  I’m thinking it could look something like this:

  • September track consumption in app
  • Maybe in late October or early November I stop tracking and try to eyeball
  • December reassess and track again
  • repeat for March and June

I should be tracking all of the time, but it’s just not who I am.  So I will take the time to focus on myself and reassess, then strictly track for as long as I can and tallow myself a break for the rest of that season.  Does it have to be seasonal?  No.  But I thought it would be easier for me to remember.

Here are some questions to ask yourself (and feel free to share your answers in the Comments section):

  • How are you doing right now?
  • How have you been feeling mentally and physically?
  • How do you track your consumption?
    • What tools or apps do you use?
    • Are they effective and user-friendly?
    • Do you need a different solution?
  • What are your goals?  Do they need to be updated or modified?
  • What changes do you feel that you need to make to achieve your goal(s)?

If you’re enjoying this blog, please share with others and click the Follow button so you get notifications when I post anything new. 

If you have any suggestions, questions or comments, please add them to the comments section below or email me directly at beckdoes20@gmail.com.

I’m not a health professional, just a regular person who may have some experience and resources that can help.

Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Open Blog, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics 2018

New to Keto?  You’ve come to the right post.
An old Keto pro?  You’ve also come to the right place.

Sometimes we find ourselves getting comfortable and lax with our health.  I know what Keto is and how to follow it.  But that doesn’t mean that after a year I’m still as strict as I used to be.  This blog is dedicated to the basics of Keto success, which you are either learning now or refreshing and reminding yourself of now.

What is Keto?

Your body needs fuel.  It can use either carbohydrates (carbs) or fat for what it needs.  Carbs and excess protein turn into glucose, which is what your body uses as fuel very easily (in most cases).  When your body has glucose to use it stores the fat for later.  When glucose is used up or is unavailable, your body switches to fat for the energy it needs.  The fat is turned into ketones naturally and is then used by your body.  When your body burns ketones for energy, you are now in a state of Ketosis, or Keto for short.  The fat can come from what you consume or what your body has stored, but it will take from the stored fat last, so that is important to keep in mind.

The Keto lifestyle is basically consuming a very small amount of carbs (20 grams or less daily) so that your body is forced to be in ketosis.  In the beginning you have to train your body to make this change and you will see and feel many changes, including rapid weight loss, which is mostly water weight in the beginning.  Keto’ers, or those in ketosis, do not retain water like they did before.  After the initial weight loss and you’re keto-adapted (used to fat for fuel), you will see real changes in fat loss and improved health.

That was a really long way of saying that your body is a machine that runs off of fat…either the fat you feed it or the fat it has stored around your body.  To do this, you should eat 20 grams or less of carbs daily.

There are a few more tidbits, such as foods to avoid and whatnot, like grains and sugar.  But you can learn about that another day.

black and grey casio scientific calculator showing formula
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Macros…What Are They & How Do I Figure Out Mine?

Every body is different.  What my body needs is much different than what your body needs.  A simple calculation of where the calories are coming from is a ratio of 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein and 5% carbs.  I did say simple though, right?  Using apps and macro calculators help a great deal in identifying your specific keto macros.  I particularly like the Keto Calculator on Ruled.me.  It’s easy to use and understand.

Example:

I’m a 38 year old woman who is 5’7″ weighing 266 pounds.  When I calculate using the Keto Calculator on Rules.me to reach my goals, my macros look like this: 1799 calories, 126g fat, 146g protein, and 20g net carbs.

(Carbs are total.  Net carbs are carbs minus fiber.  Some Keto’ers use carbs and some use net carbs.  I use net carbs and am happy.)

Try a macros calculator and see what you come up with for yourself.  This is super important information, so be sure to write it down or add it to your app.

Modifications:

You may find that the ratio is not good for you.  For instance, some body types are better with more protein, while others seem to do well with way more than 75% fat and zero carbs.  You will want to make adjustments based on your own body and how you feel.

You will want to keep carbs low.  Most people do well on 20g carbs daily, but if you’re pregnant or have other needs, perhaps aiming for 50g is better until you are well enough to drop down to 20g.

Intermittent Fasting:

There are a lot of great resources and medical professionals who support Keto as a healthy lifestyle.  One of which is Dr. Eric Berg.  While many of us believe intermittent fasting (IF) are helpful, Dr. Berg is a true believer who strongly believe Keto and IF got together to improve and maximize your health.

Fasting is when you go without eating for a long time and is usually seen as suffering.  IF is a small fast that can be done multiple times during the week and isn’t generally very much of a struggle at all.

When you eat anything your body has an insulin spike (just smaller when on keto) and stops or slows ketosis.  But when you’re IF and in ketosis your body has time to rest and heal…and the more time you have between meals, the longer your body has to heal itself.  The reason its easy with keto is because you don’t get very hungry when you eat a lot of fat…you feel full and satisfied.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone until after they are fully keto-adapted.  And you should start off slowly, gradually increasing the length of each fast.  It doesn’t work well for everyone, but most people do quite well.  And remember, you aren’t starving because your body will consume the stored fat if it needs more.

Usually you will skip breakfast and have coffee, pushing your first meal of the day back a bit.  Then you will eat your second meal and that’s it for the day.  Go to sleep and wake up to do it again.  The most common fast is 18:6 IF, which means you fast for 18 hours and eat during a 6 hour window (1 or 2 meals).  Most of the time during a fast you’ll be sleeping anyway, so you will hardly notice you aren’t eating.

A typical day of IF:

  • 6 A.M. wake up and have a cup of coffee (some say butter is okay, some say it isn’t…I do butter and am very happy)
  • 1 P.M. eat a good lunch
  • 6 P.M. eat a good dinner
  • 9 P.M. go to bed
steak food
Photo by Malidate Van on Pexels.com

Great Keto Meals/Snacks: (I’ll work on updating all of these recipes so you can click on the links to find more information.)

  • Magic coffee
  • Taco salad with nuts and seeds for crunch, your favorite taco meat, shredded cheese
  • Bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs, zucchini and squash, and a side of avocado
  • Crack chicken over steamed broccoli
  • Porterhouse steak, creamed spinach and mashed cauliflower
  • Chicken wings and bacon with ranch
  • Kalua Pig (pulled pork) salad with ACV dressing, nuts, seeds, hemp hearts, cucumbers and fresh bacon crumbles
  • Bacon wrapped pork chops with roasted cauliflower and guacamole
  • Baked salmon with pesto butter over a pile of parmesan and herb cauliflower rice
  • Fathead pizza or cheesy bread
  • Chocolate peanut butter cups (fat bomb)
  • Blueberry cheesecake fat bombs
  • Chocolate chip protein cookies
  • Keto chocolate frosty
  • Blackberries and whipped cream

 

Best Advice:

  • Be kind & forgiving to yourself!
  • Get a Keto-Buddy!  You don’t want to go through this alone.  Having the support of family, friends or even a new Keto Facebook Friend will make all the difference in the world.
  • Salt everything!  You need to keep up your electrolytes and since you’re not retaining water, you lose electrolytes way faster than before.
  • Check labels, ingredients lists and nutritional information on all packages.
  • Stop and figure out why you’re hungry.  Are you upset or bored?  Or are you really hungry?  If you’re hungry too soon…did you eat enough fat?
  • Figure out your macros and keep track of what you’re eating and drinking.
  • Pay attention to how you feel!  There is a reason you feel a certain way.  Are you missing something nutritionally?  Maybe you need to change your diet a little or add a supplement.
  • Track your progress and successes in many ways, not just by the number on the scale.  I wish I took real before photos so I could see the difference (I just thought this would be like everything else I tried and failed.)…and I wish I took measurements too!  It’s also important to do your blood work before starting, so you can see how that improves as well.

Please comment below any questions or suggestions you may have.
Also, be sure to follow my blog to get notified as soon as I post a new recipe, update, or encouragement by clicking on the Follow button.