Keto Eating & Going Sugar-free

On July 4th of this year after a long-weekend of over-indulgence ‘American-style’ (think Beer, BBQ and sheer gluttony) in Kansas with friends, I came home feeling, well, bloated and gross to say the least. I didn’t like how I felt and hadn’t liked much about myself for quite some time. Last year I went alcohol free for about 6 months and while it was super hard for me at first, I loved the way I felt a few months into it. During that time I shed approximately 20lbs just from cutting out booze and integrating more activity into my routine. Jed was great about encouraging us to go for walks in the morning or evening (even when I was dragging my ass out of bed or off the couch) and it all made a difference in the long run. The little things added up.

Around December of 2016 I made the decision to hop back on the wagon (or off?), feeling satisfied with my weight loss journey, and started reverting back to some of my previous lifestyle choices. Partly because I wanted to, but partly as a bit of an experiment to see how reverting back to old patterns would impact my body.

It’s important to note that besides cutting out alcohol and being more active during those 6 months, I didn’t really do much in the way of changing my eating. We were still eating out a fair amount, just cutting back on blatantly unhealthy things like Costco Poutine and late-night pizza. *sob*

So, back to this July…. I once again came to a point of dissatisfaction with myself. I knew now, however, that I was capable of achieving a healthier lifestyle because I had done it before just the year prior. I made a decision to once again make changes to help get healthier and lose weight. This is where Keto comes into the picture.

Having done a bit of research on the Ketogenic diet over the past year, and partially attributed to a friend of ours who saw great success with it, Jed and I decided to make the leap into Keto life. High fats, lower proteins, no carbs and no sugar. During the first month I took it even further and went so far as to cut out ALL sweeteners (evening the natural ones). No honey, stevia, syrups at all. It was SO challenging. Sugar is in everything!!! Not just the obvious stuff like BBQ sauce and salad dressings… but ketchup, salad kits, fruits, yogurts (even plain), bread, pressed juices and pasta sauces. Literally, everything.

I felt like a hermit for the first month because I was almost afraid to leave the house due to limitations and temptations. Eating out meant not being able to have most of the menu (or so I thought)… and my trips to the grocery store became record time since I could only really shop from 2-3 departments (rule of thumb: outer walls only – all inner aisles are non-keto).

Today it’s been 2 months of Ketogenic diet. I slowly started to integrate sugar alternatives and very small amounts of natural sweeteners into my diet, but haven’t had bread/pasta/carbs for two months. I have lost a total of 37lbs since last year…. 15lbs in the past 60 days alone.

It’s a shock to me that my body is even capable of losing weight again after feeling so hopeless and out of control for years. I feel like I’m dating my body – slowly getting reacquainted and learning things about it that I have never know. This journey has been an empowering and hopeful one… and I’m not even through with it. I’ve had to lean into my husband for support along the way (he too has been on this as well), and my family has all been very accommodating with the silly requests I have had to make – even adopting some of them.

There’s a great sub and community on Reddit for Keto people that share inspiration, encouragement, recipes and tips. If you’re considering keto I would highly recommend you join Reddit for the /keto thread alone. It’s worth it.

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Reasons, Seasons and Lifetimes

Bird quote

Growing up I had (and lost) a lot of friends. I was so eager to please the people in my life (especially during my insecure and impressionable teen years) that I often laid down my morals and muted my voice in order to be accepted by my peers.  I was so afraid of being my authentic self that I completely lost touch with who the real ‘Windy’ even was. As a result, I surrounded myself with mirrors (as my mom calls them), people who reflect back to me an aspect of myself that I need to be shown. Needless to say a lot of my friends were untrustworthy, dishonest and inauthentic – all aspects of my teenage self that I didn’t like, let alone aknowledge were a part of me. 

Sometimes it took months, even years, but eventually the inevitable would happen and I would get friend-dumped. Being a teenage girl was hard enough; having a rotating door of inauthentic and sometimes abusive ‘friends’ was torture. During one of these heartbreaking friendship breakups, my mom once said to me that there are three types of people/relationships in life. Reasons, Seasons and Lifetimes. 

At the time I didn’t comprehend just how true this statement is. In my mind there were three categories, sure, but they were ‘best friends, friends and I hate her.’ Now, as a young(ish) woman, I get it. Let me share with you what I think she meant. 

Reasons

These are the people who intersect our life lines for a reason – and usually that reason is to teach us (and subsequently teach them) a lesson or show us something about ourselves we need to be shown. Whether it be with a coworker by the coffee maker or the guy who fingered you in the IKEA parking lot, EVERY interaction, no matter how big or small, happens for a reason. Ask yourself what that reason is. 

Seasons

Longer than a brief interaction, but equally as important, are the Season relationships and people in our lives. Sometimes they’re a friend, partner or husband/wife, but no matter their method of delivery, these people are intended to stick around and see us through a time or lesson in our life that requires a little guidance, support or partnership. It may be months or years, but these people are here for us through the times when we need them, and leave our lives in the same manner they came – in perfectly Devine timing. 

Lifetimes

The Lifetime relationships are an entirely different category in themselves. Depending on your belief system and how you perceive our roles here on earth, Lifetime relationships are ongoing and evolving, changing with us as we grow and develop. Lifetime relationships may be with friends or family; those with whom we have soul contracts to help one another fulfill a greater goal and accomplishment during our time here on earth. These relationships may be few and far between, but they are sacred and should be cherished. 

As an adult who still often struggles with making and maintaining authentic friendships, I frequently ask myself what role(s) the current people in my life play, and what aspect of myself they are reflecting back to me. So, the next time you find yourself wondering about the people in your life and the type (or purpose of) the relationships you have with them, ask yourself if they’re a Reason, Season or Lifetime… and be open to whatever they’re here to teach you. 

Bought a juicer – Heck Yeah!

So… I did it. I caved and bought a juicer. Given, I happened to strike GOLD and scored a commercial-grade (really nice) Breville Juicer in MINT condition for $60 from a local Swap ‘n Buy group just hours after Jeddy and I finished watching ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ and ‘Hungry For Change’ (for the second/third time). It was fate.

I went on a rampage last night and bought an obscene amount of ingredients needed to make Joe’s Mean Green Juice for the next few days:

  • Kale
  • Apples
  • Ginger Root
  • Lemon
  • Cucumber

In addition to this, I also picked up spinach, pears and avocado to make a few variations of juice. This morning I made my first batch and it was surprisingly… amazing. The apple and ginger really shines and makes drinking 16 stalks of kale and 2 whole cucumbers totally tolerable. My only complaint would be the amount of cleanup involved – but most of it involves rinsing so it’s not all that bad.

Unfortunately I forgot to to take a pristine IG-worthy photo of my juice – so you get a progress shot of an almost finished glass. You’re welcome.

Joe Mean Green Juice

Obviously my first juicing experience was delicious. I forgot to take a photo.

In addition to beginning to juice, I have also been sticking with the 4 Hour Body eating plan (greens, beans and proteins – as described here). I absolutely love chicken and fish, so I have no problem being creative with these staples and making a variety of veggie-rich dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have officially only botched 1 meal (do NOT recommend red pepper seasoning on basa filets – ew)… and am continuing to impress myself day after day. Here’s a pic of last night’s dinner… two large chicken breasts baked on a bed of black beans, smothered in organic salsa, spinach and mushrooms affectionally dubbed ‘salsa fiesta pollo’ (which translates into ‘salsa party chicken’. I am so spanish.

My 'salsa fiesta pollo' dish.

My ‘salsa fiesta pollo’ dish.