Ok, lets see if we can get through this as this blog has deleted more than once.... bah.... but as promised here are my “Keto conclusions” after thirty days on the ketogenic diet (high fat, very low carb, moderate protein) and around thirty days back on the carbs (lowered fat, higher protein compared to keto). Am I a fan? Well yes and no. For me no, not at all, however I have seen wonderful success from a ketogenic diet and if I or another loved one was diagnosed with cancer or epilepsy I sure as heck would give it a shot again.
I decided to give keto to fight off inflammation, increase energy and improve my mental clarity. No such luck for any of the above. Weight loss was not my main goal but I was looking forward to loosing the 2-3 pounds I put on over the holidays, no such luck there either. In fact I feel like I put on 2-3lbs (nothing major, not complaining, but still interesting). My first conclusion is the reason I didn’t seem to feel any better could be because I was already eating very clean (2 cheat meals, ok well 3 over the holidays, a week, and about 85% organic). I’m not slamming anyone else that has had great results with keto but perhaps their great results were due to dropping out preservatives and refined sugars that I wasn’t eating before.
Next conclusion, after seeking out various experts, podcasts and of course googling until my fingers fell off, it seems that some body types do better with ketogenic diet compared to others. This lead me into researching Ayurveda medicine and Ayurvedic body types. Being a primarily mesomorph body type (athletic build, builds muscle and looses weight relatively easily, medium or short high with relatively even weight distribution) this translates best into a Vata dosha or body type (although one is rarely a straight dosha and instead a combination of the Vata, Pitta and Kapha). Vata body types are very cool (I’m always cold, like painfully cold during the winter) dry, rough and light so it is advised to choose foods that are warm, moist, oily, smooth and nourishing. Vata body types are also known have a slower digestion which make sense that slower digesting foods (fats and proteins) in the keto diet made me feel sluggish and bloated all the time whereas before on a lower fat, higher carb diet, I was able to digest food quicker.
Another notable point I saw while researching is how much better men seem to do with on a ketogenic diet vs women, especially women of child bearing ages (which includes me). Reason being is yes good fats (and vitamin D) regulate thyroid, which are directly related to hormones, however low carbs can also be hazardous to the T4 (thyroxine) T3 (triiodothyronine). Your T4 and T3 (the most active hormone) help to regulate your energy levels, mental clarity, memory, mood, metabolism and weight.
To understand this better let me see if I can explain some thyroid basics the way I understand them. When thyroid hormone levels are low, the brain's hypothalamus produces TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone). The pituitary glad at the bases of the brain senses low T4 and it makes more/releases TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Next in the thyroid gland (located in the front of the neck, below the Adam's apple and wraps around the trachea) gets the message to release more T4. This message goes back to the pituitary gland in a feedback loop, which even though it starts in the brain, it must make it's way to every cell in the entire body to be effective. Next the TBG (thyroid blinding globulin) binds with/carries T4 in the blood therefore making it inactive. When estrogen is raised, TBG is raised, which leads to hypothyroid (slow) symptoms. Which would explain why men have less of a problem on a ketogenic diet. (Estrogen, ding, ding!) Now the 5'DL enzyme needs zinc and selenium, to finishing converting T4 to T3 which also requires vitamin B, vitamin C and adrenal hormones (DHEA, hydrocortisone and testosterone in the adrenal glands) and on an improperly planned ketogenic diet these nutrients may be lacking. On a side note, T3 and T4 are made mostly of iodine, hence why on a ketogenic diet, pink Himalayan sea salt daily is so important, especially when fluoride in our water and toothpaste etc. can lower the body's iodine but that is another topic for another time. Now if the adrenal glands become fatigued the body will produce cortisol, or your stress hormone, in the cortex of the adrenal glands (which make the body more insulin resistant, which will make a ketogenic diet more difficult) which need progesterone to make cortisol, which cause a deficiency of progesterone which affects the balance of estrogen and testosterone. But back to T4 to T3 conversion, once the conversion takes place all receptors of the cell must receive the message otherwise free T3 (not able to be used) may be the problem where yes, a ketogenic diet could help the receptors of the cell become less stiff and rigid, to work better however a full panel of blood work is a must!
According to Dr. Cate Shanahan, "an abrupt elimination of sugars and carbohydrates can actually stimulate what is known as hibernation syndrome. Hibernation syndrome sounds like what you might expect: It is identified by weight gain, the desire to sleep, and cold extremities. The biochemical marker for hibernation syndrome does not show up on a normal thyroid panel, which is a lab test that looks at levels of TSH and the thyroid hormone T4 (and not T3)." Which would explain why so many people have problems seeing thyroid issues on normal thyroid panels, and even more of a reason to advocate for your own health and seek out specialist! Also problems such as adrenal fatigue, adrenal failure, Hashimoto's, Addison’s disease and Graves disease can start/be accelerated by an improperly balanced diet so again, make sure to do your research! I would also highly suggest if you choose to do a keto diet to "ease into keto" and slowly lower your carb and sugar intake instead of completely dropping them both immediately (which I did not do, which may have also been a reason I was having so many problems with keto).
Back to my keto experience, unfortunately I did not get a full panel of blood work done before, during and after my keto experiment, so I can not exactly pinpoint where my problem with keto was. However, after being back on an average of 100g of carbs per day, roughly 75g of net carbs per day, coming from my dairy free, gluten free, soy free Isagenix shakes and bars, salads, sweet potatoes, beans, a serving or two of fruit a day, and veggies every meal, I feel much better. I've seemed to have lost the few pounds I put on during my keto experiment, my digestion seems to have sped back up to normal, and my energy levels have stabled back out. I will say my low blood sugar (which could have also been a problem I had with keto) seemed to improve with keto, and I don't have as much of the "hangry" symptoms or blood sugar crashes as I did before, as well I don't wake up starving as I did before. For me this was a great experiment, I'm not for or against a well balanced, well formulated keto diet, if it works for you, I'm also not against it as a temporary cleanse or detox, as long as you are well aware of your body and do your research! For me I've decided to keep my fats higher, using whole eggs instead of just egg whites daily, increase my daily avocado, and not be afraid of the occasional slice of no nitrate bacon or organic grass fed butter. I would say add in more coconut oil but I'm still working through the taste thing.... I also will keep implementing a 12 hour daily fast, and keep my carbs from natural sources and around 100g, 75g net per day! But again this is what works for me and my body but I hope something in here helps you too!
Quote of the day:
“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sitting here in my massage chair, my new favorite spot with Bella Grace since Christmas.... I figured now was a good time to untangle my ketogenic diet conclusions (side note: ketogenic shows up as a misspelled word without any suggestions). As I mentioned, or at least I think I mentioned, I decided to drink the keto Kool-aid and see what this bacon and butter diet, that is supposedly curing inflammation, casing drastic weight loss, helping depression, curing migraines, fixing blood sugar issues, giving you more energy, repairing your cells even curing cancer and diabetics, blah, blah, blah is all about. Oh and in case you were wondering Wikipedia defines keto or the ketogenic diet as: "a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source."
I'm a big fan of New Years resolutions, it's a fresh new start and everyone is all encouraged and on the same team cheering each other on. I, just like the rest of us, somewhat over indulged over the holidays, not as bad as in years past, but that is a whole other blog, so I decided to give keto a try. I've had some clients and friends who have had great weight loss and performance results from changing their diets to keto and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Mind you a dramatic weight loss was not my main goal, however I wouldn't complain loosing the few extra pounds I put on over the holidays, but my goal was decreased inflammation (the annoying back pain I've had for years and I've recently had a lot of swelling in my knuckles, and on one side of my foot), leveling out my blood sugar (I've been diagnosed with hypoglycemia a.k.a. low blood sugar), as well as see if I could see an improvement in my energy and performance. Now in all of my years of fitness competitions I've done low carb and no carb diets before with drastic weigh loss, and I've also burned out my thyroid and adrenals from having my carbs and fats so low, which took me about two years to fix and that was a living nightmare. So I was determined to do this thing right. After hours of podcasts and googling, talking to my chiropractor (man is a genius...) and reading the "30 Ketogenic Cleanse," and "Keto-Adapted" (ok, so I'm still working on that one) by Maria Emmerich, I decided January 2nd (because you should never start a diet on Sunday New Years Day...) it was on like Donkey Kong. Side note here, the Maria Emmerich 30 day keto cleanse is one of the most extreme and she recommends staying away from nuts and dairy during the first 30 days as well as keep your carbs under 30g total (not net as most keto diets say) per day. However she does have recipes for and plans the entire 30 days but most of them contained coconut and I hate, like I'm talking can't stand the smell of lotions or soaps with coconut, plus I have feed the hubs too, who is not into my science experiments, so I didn't use many of her recipes.
Day 1-3 I was doing ok, except for struggling with what to have for a quick preworkout breakfast since I've had an Isagenix shake pretty much every single morning for about 7 years. I discovered collagen protein and MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil in my coffee was only a great idea in theory, hard time getting it down but I still carried on with my science experiment. I also decided to implement a 12 hour daily fast eating from 8am-8pm everyday, which goes hand in hand with keto diets. It was pretty doable after getting used to it for a few days. Day 4ish, now I know the energy crashes that always come with low carb and expected it, but I've never really had the keto flu but low and behold the stomach flu/bug/virus/curse from satan himself, found me and had me nauseous, unless I was laying down, for over a week straight. I can't say I didn't have a case of the keto flu as well (symptoms include: "fatigue or constant feeling of weakness, dizziness or headaches, extreme cravings for carbohydrates i.e. sugar, irritation, diarrhea, mental fogginess or blurry focus, nausea, and sleep deprivation") but I'm 90% sure my problems just came from the stomach bug I got from clients (thanks guys haha) but I still trucked on. I stayed keto while I was sick minus a serving of white rice around day 5 or 6 and 2-3 hard ginger candies for a few days just trying to get calm down the nauseousness so I could function. So needless to say my week 1-2 wasn't exactly a true read. About 2 weeks in, I started to feel a little better and but still no energy, I lost a lot of strength in the gym and still had the unexplained swelling in a bunch of my knuckles. I did develop major chocolate cravings (sign of low magnesium) and found coca nibs with a little almond butter, vanilla extract and a tiny bit of stevia would cut it though. I also did get a little creative with keto recipes and the keto cookies I concocted (recipe is posted under my recipe tab) made Saturday nights, my normal cheat meal, a lot better. Somewhere between 14-21 avocados (2-3 weeks averaging at least an avocado a day since I'm still working on that coconut oil thing) I noticed I seemed to be loosing a little muscle and gaining weight, like a pound or two nothing crazy, which could be attributed to slow digestion and "bloat." However, it was just odd because normally I drop about 2-4lbs a week on a no carb diet (not saying this is healthy) and I normally didn't experience digestion issues on super low carbs. I also had sharp stabbing pains in my elbow, that I've never had and sharp knee pain a few times where I couldn't stand (but I missed a week or so foam rolling my quads but it's never caused sharp pains), No real change in my normal back pain, and I still had one or two migraines so far this month. I've also been very careful to plug in my macros to make sure they were correct but doing ketone urine strips were still not showing I was hitting ketosis. After talking to my chiropractor who also does integrative medicine and the nutrition guy at his place they said to add in more veggies for fiber to help with the digestion and see if that helps, also my low blood sugar was probably causing some problems. Week 4, where I should be in ketosis for sure by now, I still wasn't hitting ketosis even after a 12 hour fast according to my ketone urine strips. I added in exogenous ketones by "Kiss My Keto" and finally showed trace levels of ketones, as well as noticed more energy and mental clarity for a few hours after taking them, as well as what seemed to the "weight" I gained in the first three weeks leveling back off. However still no miracles, I didn't feel any better like everyone else claimed, little to no progress with the inflammation issues, no improvement with strength, energy or performance, and I still felt my digestion was slow. I simply just didn't feel healthy or as healthy as I did before....
So here it is 10pm on January 31, day 30 of my 30 day keto diet and what's my keto verdict?!?Stay tuned for my next blog to find out my keto conclusions (because this blog was about an hour longer than I expected...)!
Quote of the day:
"Don't blame the butter for what the bread did."
"30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse"- Maria Emmerich
"Keto-Adapted"- Maria Emmerich
Happy New Year ya'll! Hope everyone's year is off to a great start and everyone is already on their way to reaching their goals. Geeze, I can't believe it' already 2018! My 2017 was full of fun including placing top three in Mrs. North Carolina America (so close!!!) and travels to the beach and a much needed big week long vacation to SoCal a few weeks ago! My main goal this year, beside of course keeping ya'll more updated and giving you more product review and workouts, is to learn to stress less and take care of myself more, what are your resolutions or goals for 2018?? If they are working out and you don't have the time or $$$ to make it to the gym come and join me and my group fitness and barre workouts from my studio, Foundation Fitness at Burn Along (www.burnalong.com, the link is also posted in the bottom of this blog! Also here's a promo code for ya'll good for an extra 40% off the affordable monthly membership: FOUNDFIT Ya'll make sure to give me feedback on what you guys think and what you guys want to see more (or less of!)
Lots of love,
Quote of the day:
"Write on your heart that every day is the best day in the year" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ok, ok, ok I know I haven't posted in quite a while however I've had quite a lot of great things going on! I've been very busy with puppy cuddling time, no really the hubs and I made it to the beach about 6 or 7 times this season, so I've been making puppy playtime quite the priority when I'm home! Haha. Despite all the travels business has been booming here at the studio, Foundation Fitness and my all natural supplement line has been blowing up as well! There really isn't enough said about the importance of vacations, as soon as I relax I remember how blessed I am to spend my days doing something I so enjoy, helping others look and feel their absolute best and reach their highest potential day in and day out! I've also been into about twenty other project around the house, which reminds me time I guess now that the weather is cooling down it is time to finally tackle the tiling and completely redo our master bath, prayers please!
Any who, long story short I'm really trying to get some more product reviews up for you guys on healthier alternatives so stay tuned and let me know if there are any products you would like to see!
All the best,
Quote of the day: "If there's even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life's too short, and happiness is too rate."
Barre and more!
Im a bad bad bad blogger but just wanted to update everyone that I recently became barre certified and have started teaching barre classes at Foundation Fitness Wed at 6pm, Fri at 12:30pm and select Sat at 10am. I'm absolutely loving her barre has change my body back into the "ballerina body" I had in college, with a little more muscle of course :)
Since I've last posted I've also finally graduated, and am now fully focused on building my studio, building my Isagenix business and most importantly helping others looking and feel their absolute best naturally!
all for now! Gotta go clean up my spilled coffee so I can get started on a huge pot of turkey chili for the weekend! :)
Quote of the day:
"Do all the good you can, to as many people as you can, as often as you can."
Happy New Year! Hope everyone's year kicked off with a bang! Mine sure has and I'm ready to make this year the best year yet!
Instead of focusing all my time and enery on doing show after show I've made the resolution to enjoy life this year. If I end up looking three or four weeks out from a show I might do one, if not then I won't. I'm done killing myself just to say I got onstage when I know that's not when and how I come in my absolute best. Life is too short to not enjoy and I've got a lot to enjoy this year! Over thanksgiving my Prince Charming, Tim proposed to me and of course I said yes and I'm not spending the most exciting time in my life worried about if the scale says up a pound or two or how many calories are in one glass of wine.
To be honest I think I've lost a pound or two over the holidays by actually relaxing and not taxing my body with stress, low calories/carbs and high cardio. Don't get me wrong I'm not completely off the clean band wagon, far from it. I did have a nice Christmas dinner, a few drinks with the relatives and over New Years. However I'm enjoying eating clean and honestly I really don't want all the sugar and garbage.
More to come on this in a few days (hopefully) but time for a little cardio!
Quote of the day:
I've been asked this question a lot; "can I still exercise while I am pregnant? The answer is yes! Within reason, Of course consult your doctor first! I highly advise working with a certified trainer with experience training through pregnancies.
-Avoid contact sports
-Monitor heart rate
-Make sure you stay hydrated
-Immediately stop if you feel faint or dizzy.
-Avoid lifting heavy weights (which increases intra-abdominal pressure. Excess intra-abdominal pressure can be a serious matter causing muscle injury or even early labor or bleeding)
-Avoid multi joint exercises. (Low-blood pressure during pregnancy and changes in the hormones which help lubricate your joints)
-During the last trimester:
-Avoid balance exercises (that baby belly will through off your center of balance)
-Avoid any exercises the require you to lie on your back (personally I avoid these during the entire pregnancy with my clients).
Don't let this scare you off though! There are many reason to keep exercising during pregnancy!
Reasons to continue to exercise while being pregnant:
-Detoxifying the body
-Increasing insulin sensitivity
-Increasing energy level and mental clarity
Improving cardiovascular function
-Helping the brain gain better control over the body
-Maintaining appropriate weight gain
So I'm finally getting a chance to lay out by the pool (obviously this is quite rare) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon counting my blessings after a good church service and going to the memorial of a wonderful man.
Selfishly I wanted to go on the lake today as it's one of the last weekends I have before going back to school online (with my studio this means weekends is when class work gets done) but after hearing friends and family speak of all the lessons laughter and memories of "Bob" I knew why God just so happened to have me in a church service speaking of his two loving arms and then a memorial service for a good friend of my boyfriends. I was lead to think what will be said at my funeral? How will I be remembered? What type of legacy will I leave?
I believe this goes for all of us. I'm here at the pool thinking wow I really shouldn't have had a cheat meal of hamburger and fries (at least they were sweet potato fries right lol) and I realized really, who cares? Everyone else at the pool is either concerned with their own self insecurities to notice me, or too concerned about watching their kids to care or simply just having fun with their kids and friends to even notice. Funny how hard on ourselves we get huh? But is that how I want to be remembered? Oh the girl who looked good in a bikini... You know the one who missed out on life because she was to busy going to the gym or didn't want to be tempted to eat bad... No way... I want live life, I want my legacy to be the girl with a big heart always ready to do whatever with friends and family and always full of fun! I want to be the girl people can always come to and count on I want to spend my days developing my faith and relationships not just my glutes and guns or whatever. Don't get me wrong i''ll still be in the gym 6 days a week and still eating 95% clean but when the situation arises I want to have fun and just importantly I won't feel guilty about it. I do what I do as far as competing training and fitness modeling because I love it. And I want to continue to grow and further my career I just don't want that to be my only legacy...
Quite frankly the women who are considered real successes in this industry aren't always teeny tiny. Just pull up a few google images and I'm sure you'll be just as surprised as I was to find these women have lives families and quite frankly have quite the pay checks and I hope they are just as happy and healthy as they are beautiful...
Quote of the day:
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." -Aristole
Back at it this Monday after almost 20 hours in the car this past weekend to see my grandma in Indiana for her 90th birthday! It's hard to be hundred percent dieting and training while traveling but I've learned to do the best I can and more importantly I've learned to be okay with that but even more importantly I've learned that enjoying the moment with friends and family is where life's priorities should always lie! So if a nice sweaty treadmill run, a nice long scenic walk on the railroad bridge in Lousiville Kentucky, and some abs is all I got in I'm okay with that because multigrain pancakes and burger and sweet potato fries in Ashville North Carolina every now and again won't kill you :)
Quote of the day:
"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony" - Thomas Merton
Did I eat too much for Easter yesterday?… Yup! Am I gonna beat myself up over it today?… Nope! In the words of my grandma you can't cry over a glass of spilled milk, because if you did it wouldn't do any good anyways and then your spilled milk is going to go sour.
So I'm going to make sure I keep it clean for the rest of this week and use all those extra carbs for a even more powerful workout in the gym! Please note this is not mean an extra hour or five of cardio… it means throwing an extra 5 pounds on or cranking up the knob even more maybe even sprinting a little harder but not doing timeless cardio for hours yes I believe in cardio but cardio should be used as a reward not punishment! Don't let yourself get on the never ending cycle of binge eating and binge working out, all you're doing is spinning your wheels record your body and messing with your head!
Life is too short not to indulge and enjoy every now and again! One bad meal won't make you fat just like one bad meal won't make you skinny now if you'll excuse me it's time to go lift :)
Quote of the day:
"Success is built, not given, one step at a time, progress not perfection"