Keto Diet and Me

PCOS and KETOSo I’m sure that by now you’ve heard of the Keto diet. It’s all the rage these days. This diet is very similar to Atkins which I had some really good results on…so naturally I wanted to give it shot but why? Well….I had been working out consistently, eating all the right foods and drinking my water like I’m supposed to but it creeped up on me out of no where….the dreaded “plateau”. I hadn’t lost a single ounce for 3 weeks despite everything that I did….I increased my weights, reduced my cardio, increased my cardio, cut back my calories, ate more calories….but still no budge on that scale. So I sought help on the internet. I joined some fitness groups, read some blogs and some articles. The best thing I read in all my research was this diet is the optimal diet for women with PCOS. PCOS is an insulin resistant syndrome which basically means our bodies do not recognize insulin. The insulin that the pancreas keeps making just floats around in our bodies with nowhere to go. With this surplus of insulin in our systems it leads to elevated testosterone levels which then causes the fertility issues like missed periods, failure to ovulate, facial hair and all of those other horrible symptoms.

So I’m sure by now your asking…..so what’s so special about Keto? So the Keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb and sugar diet. Yes you read that right “HIGH FAT?!?!?! WTF???”. I know that it’s so hard to think that eating more fat will in turn cause you to lose weight and that’s because over the years all the health professionals brainwashed us all to think fats are bad and healthy carbs are optimal to fuel our bodies. Well now carbs are bad and fats are good! With the Keto diet your diet should consist of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs which for my calorie allotment is roughly 125 grams of fat, 106 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbs. So when on this diet you are basically teaching your body to use fat as fuel instead of carbs which in turn lowers your blood sugar levels and improving your insulin resistance. So to sum this up lower carbs, lower sugar…..improved/relief of PCOS symptoms.

My Results so far…

So I started the keto diet on Monday April 16th and today when I stepped on that scale….I did not believe what I was seeing. I lost a total of 7.8 lbs!!! That’s right….I lost almost 8 lbs in 7 days! I immediately jumped off the scale and back on again…and again…and again….and again. Each time my weight came back the same. This now brings me to 6.8 lbs away from my goal weight to finally start fertility treatments. My dream of becoming a mommy is within my grasp and I am both nervous and excited at the same time. It’s like that first day of school when you are so excited to see all of your friends but your so nervous for the actual school work to start. I’ve been waiting so long for this to become a reality and I’m so happy that all of my hard work and dedication has finally paid off. You all know that I’ve given up and started over numerous times. My mental state had taken a turn for the worse and I was losing hope fast….the thought of just giving up completely had crossed my mind a time or two but one morning I woke up and said “NO”…..I’m going to do this and I’m going to reach my goals. As of today, I’ve lost a total of 70 lb….yes getting to this point may have been slow but I did it on my own terms. No surgery, no pills, no miracle cure…just hard work, dedication and discipline. I’ve never felt better than I do today. My spirit, my mind and my body have overcome so much over the course of my journey. I learned a lot about myself throughout this journey and I’m loving the person I’m growing into.

So here’s to kicking those last 6.8 lbs to the curb! Stay tuned…..

xoxo,

Jen

Christmas Cookie Temptations

Gingerbread CookiesSo…..I’m sure that by now you have noticed that Christmas is right around the corner. As if all the lights, Christmas music and Christmas tree vendors didn’t give it away! All joking aside….Holidays are definitely the time to spend some quality time with family. I’m not sure about your family but with my family that involves FOOD and lots of it…specifically COOKIES. I grew up in a household where my mom loved to bake Christmas cookies and over the years watching and helping her, I too fell in love with baking. I will bake from the moment I wake up to the time I go to bed on the weekends. Baking for me started out as something my mom and I could share but it soon turned into a stress reliever for me. There is just something about following a recipe and measuring everything out to the exact measurement that is just so satisfying.

Obviously being around all of that sugar and amazingness can cause temptation to rear its evil head. Dealing with that constant temptation isn’t an easy task. I would love to say that I have the worlds strongest will power but let’s be honest……I’m weak! SOOOOOO WEAK! I refuse to be that person who goes through the holidays depriving myself to the point where I dread the holidays. So yes….I will have a cookie or two but never three……never (insert sarcastic eye roll here). So how do I keep myself from eating the 20 dozen cookies I just baked….I give them away. I will keep a few dozen for me and the hubby to enjoy because you can enjoy all things in moderation which I have had to teach myself. Hubby however…..I can’t control him! He is known as the cookie monster in our home.

I hope that everyone enjoys the holidays and spending some quality time with their families.

XOXO,

Jen

I Joined the Gym!

Joined the gymSo I’m sure a lot of your are in the same boat as me when I say that I’ve always cared too much about what people thought about me. So much so that it has held me back and kept me from reaching my goals. I always avoided situations where I had to physical in front of other people or be in a swim suit in front of people just because I didn’t want them to judge me for being plump. With that being said I never in a million years thought that I would ever join a gym…working out in front of tiny little women in their cute little workout clothes….but I did it! I took the plunge and joined a gym. I’ve officially been a member of Edgewater Fitness for about a month now and I AM IN LOVE! I never thought that I would be so comfortable working out in front of other people……I feel more motivated there than I do at home. I guess it’s the fact that you never want to appear as if you are a slacker so you kick your own butt just to keep up with the lady beside you on the treadmill or lift 20 lb. weights instead of your normal 8 lb. weights because the girl next to you who is half your size is currently curling 30 lbs.

When I decided to join the gym, I knew that I needed to be committed to this because a) I was paying good money to be there and b) I have goals that I want to reach and I had to get serious if I want to reach them.  So far I hit the gym 4 days a week for at least an hour and a half during the week and on Saturdays I’m usually there for at least 2 hours….sometimes 3 if I don’t have much to do that day. Leaving the gym hot, sweaty and sore is by far the best feeling in the world. I always walk out of the gym knowing that I’m one step closer to the ultimate goal. I have no idea why it took me so long to do it.

If you are on the fence in joining a gym because you aren’t comfortable working out in front of people or just worried people are going to judge you….don’t listen to yourself! Take the plunge and join….its the best motivation I’ve ever had! I’ve already lost 10 lbs.  just by sticking to my schedule and trying to kick my own butt in the gym. I push and push myself harder and harder each and every time my sneakers hit that floor.  I can’t wait to see what happens after the end of month number 2!

Face to Face - 9.10 to 11.1

xoxo,

Jen

 

My Go To Recipes

Hey everyone! So everyone says that a healthy diet is the most important thing when you are trying to lose weight. This was and still is a big thing for me because I am all about convenience especially when it comes to lunch. I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that getting 5 minutes to eat at work on any given day is a win. I’ve been super swamped at work lately…short staffed, new year and a ton of projects to prepare for. So meal planning and prepping have been my new best friend. Prepping on Sundays for my lunches and dinners for that week has kept me on track and kept me from making some major mistakes. Below are some of my recent go to receipes. I hope that you enjoy them! 

My first go to meal is a Grilled Chicken Breast with side salad dressed with my homemade Italian dressing. This is one of the easiest meals you can prep. 

Season your chicken with a low sodium seasoning of your choice and grill until done. My favorite is the Mrs. Dash Fiesta seasoning. Toss spinach and roman lettuce together with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions. Dress your salad with the homemade Italian dressing. 

My favorite Italian dressing recipe is:

Ingredients:

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp italian herb

1 tsp Dijon mustard (no sugar added)

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper 

1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend very well. 

2. Transfer dressing to a container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 months. 

3. Shake well and serve.

NOTE: Best to let it sit for a day or so to allow the herbs to infuse in the oil and vinegar. 
Greek Turkey Burgers topped with Tzatziki sauce and a Tomato and Cucumber salad

This is a favorite of mine and hubbies! The office is usually pretty jealous when I make these as well because the office normally smells amazing when I reheat them! 

Recipe is super easy as well:

Ingredients:

3/4 cup grated zucchini (squeezed to remove as much water as possible)

1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup of diced red onion

1 Tbsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well by hand. 

2. Divid into 6 Raquel patties. 

3. Cooke burgers on medium heat, about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the middle. 

4. Top with tzatziki sauce and serve with your side. I chose a tomato, cumber and red onion salad dressed with my homemade Italian dressing (receipe listed above). 

You will have to forgive me…I forgot to snap a picture of this final receipe but this recipe has saved me so much time! This is called the 4 ingredient slow cooker salsa verde chicken! 

Ingredients:

6 Bonless, skinless chicken breast

2 Cups salsa verde

1 Bottle of beer (light of course!)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Directions:

1. Add chicken to the slow cooker. Top with salsa verde and beer, and sprinkle with cumin and season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. 

2. Coat chicken by turning chicken over.

3. Cooke for 3 to 4 hours on high heat or 7 to 8 hours on low heat. 

4. Once chicken is done, remove from slowe cooker shred with two forks and place back in the slow cooker to toss with the sauce. 

NOTE: Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

This chicken is great for tacos or burrito bowls or even to eat on a salad. Great for lunch or dinner! 

I hope that you all enjoyed these recipes! Let me know if you try any of them! If you enjoyed this post and wish to see more like this let me know!

Just a personal update…..I’ve lost a few more pounds and just that much closer to my goal!! Stay strong and keep moving everyone!

XoXo,

Jen

At Home Work Outs

So….yet again life got in the way of my blogging! The holidays are always such a busy time for me both in my personal life as it is in my work life. I have done my best to keep eating clean and working out as much as I could but lets face it….its the holidays! The time to be with family and eat amazing food prepared by your loved ones….if you are going to indulge the holidays is the perfect time to do it. Needless to say I only gained 3 lbs over the holidays and for me that is a win!!! From the last time we talked I had lost 17 lbs…..and since then I have lost 10 more. I am now 20 lbs away from my goal! I need to lose these last 10 lbs to start the next step in my fertility journey. With that being said, I was looking to mix up my workout routine a bit because the workouts I have been doing were getting old and I needed to step it up a bit. So on the hunt I went for something new.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I enjoy watching UFC and I happened to find the at home UFC Full-Body Intensity Training dvd set. I’m going to be honest…when I first started this program I was having second thoughts. The workouts were very tough for me and some of the moves weren’t that easy for me so I ended up modifying some of the moves to accommodate my physical level. The important thing is…..I KEPT GOING! The program has gotten easier for me to do and I’m having a blast! If you are looking for a new workout program and enjoy kick boxing or martial arts, I highly recommend this program!

ufc-home-workout

Some of my other workout programs that I have gotten and loved are the 21 Day Fix Program, Zumba and Tae Bo with Billy Banks. I will touch base with you guys next week with some of my go to lunch recipes!  Until then….drink your water, have faith in yourself and keep moving!

XOXO,

Jen

My love hate relationship with….WATER

Drink More Water I never was a huge fan of water…it just seemed boring to me. Why drink tasteless water when I could drink that delicious sugary ice-cold soda or a big glass of southern style sweet tea? After taking a good look at my daily soda intake, I knew it was time for a change (I’m not telling how many soda’s I drank in one day….way to embarrassing!). My body needed the water and I knew that I had to drink more if I wanted to see the results I wanted. I did some research to find out how much I really needed to drink to keep my body healthy. I kept hearing “Drink half your body weight in oz of water” and “Drink your 8 glasses everyday”.  I still haven’t found a clear medical article that states which is better so I decided that I would try to drink between 70 and 100 oz. of water everyday. Hey….its more than I was drinking!

During my research I found some interesting facts and I would like to share them with you!

 The harmful effects and symptoms od dehydration:

1. Tiredness (Yep felt that!)

2. Migraines (Yep got those all the time)

3. Constipation (Didn’t have an issue with this)

4. Muscle Cramps (Yep got these occasionally)

5. Irregular Blood Pressure (Haven’t had this)

6. Kidney Problems (Haven’t had any)

7. Dry Skin (Yep!)

I just knew after reading these that I needed to change! I purchased some new water bottles that had the total oz listed on the side of the bottle so that I could track where I was for the day. I made it a point to drink so many oz every hour so that I didn’t have to chug a huge bottle of water at the end of day. We all know what happens when you start drinking more water…….you pee all the time!!! Any who, after the first few weeks of making the swap for more water, it started to get boring. I was slowly slipping in a soda or a sweet tea everyday. I was allowed to indulge right…..WRONG? Well one thing led to another and soda was back on my grocery list more and more. NOT GOOD! So I started to do some research on what I could do to mix up my water so that I could have a little flavor and sweetness in my life! So I hit up pinterest (addicted to pinterest) and found some great fruit infused water ideas!  My go to is usually just lemon water but you can use anything. Below are a few of my favorite fruit combinations. To infuse your water, fill up a pitcher with water (not all the way….leave some room for the fruit) plop in your fruit and sit in the fridge for a few hours. The longer you let the fruit steep the more flavored your water will be. Helpful hint: If you use a fruit that has a peel, you will want to peel it before you put it in your water. The feel will make your water bitter.

1. Strawberry and mint

2. Cucumber and lime (Peel both of these)

3. Watermelon and mint

4. Lemon and Lime (Peel both of these)

5. Orange (Peel this one)

6. Orange and Pineapple (Peel these too)

7. Strawberry and Blackberry

Hope you all enjoy!!

XOXO Jen

Drink Your Water