Lets talk Breakfast…

Everything Keto Bagels.JPGAs a child we are always told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I grew up eating scrambled eggs, toast, french toast, pancakes, waffles and if we were really in a hurry a giant bowl of cereal.  As adults many of us just opt for the largest cup of coffee we can make and forego a traditional breakfast. When I started my keto journey I decided that I would also do a 16:8 intermittent fast each day. I did this because I was used to skipping breakfast so it wouldn’t be any different from a normal day for me. I also noticed that I was relying on my cup of coffee in the morning to keep me full until I had my first meal at 2 pm. So I loaded it with almond milk or heavy cream. For a while that kept me full until my meal. After a while I noticed that my weight was up and down the same 3 lbs or it just stayed the same. So I decided that I would try something different and eat 3 meals a day but continue to stay in my macro count. I also decided to give up coffee. (Insert shocked face here). YES I gave up my morning coffee. I’ll be honest…..that was NOT easy but after I got through the first few days I noticed how much better I felt and it really sunk in how much I was depending on coffee to get me through the day.

Since I didn’t have my morning caffeine jolt, it was tough getting out of bed in the morning to cook a full breakfast. I needed to find something that I could prep before hand and would be an easy grab and go breakfast. I started off with just eating hard-boiled eggs, half an avocado and maybe some bacon or sausage that I could just reheat. That got boring after a while so I took to my best friend Pinterest and came across this amazing everything keto bagel recipe! So I jumped in my car, drove to the store and got everything I needed to make these amazing round pieces of heaven. After I tried these bagels for the first time, I was immediately hooked and I now make these every Sunday for the week.

The recipe came from an amazing blogger and cookbook author Kyndra D. Holley or Peace, Love and Low Carb (https://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/). If you do not know her….you NEED to jump on your computer or phone right now and check it out! I purchased her Craveable Keto cookbook last week and I plan on trying every recipe in this book! So….here it is….the infamous Everything Keto Bagel Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 Cups blanched almond flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon italian seasoning (I omit this but that is just my preference)

3 large eggs

3 cups of shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese

5 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons Everything Bagel Seasoning (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Slipmat.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder and the italian seasoning (if you chose to use it). Mix until well combined.
  3. Crack one of the eggs into a small bowl and fork whisk. This will be the egg wash for the top of the bagels.
  4. In a large microwave safe mixing bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese and cream cheese. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir to combine. Return to the microwave for an additional minute. Mix until well combined.
  5. To the mixing bowl, add the remaining 2 eggs and the almond flour mixture. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. (I found that it is easier to mix with my hands once the cheese cools down a little). If the dough gets to stringy and unworkable, put it back into the microwave for 30 seconds to soften and continue mixing.
  6. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
  7. Gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to make a small hole in the center and form it into a bagel shape.
  8. Brush the top of each bagel with the egg wash and top with the everthing bagel seasoning.
  9. Bake on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Here is the link to the recipe as well: https://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/low-carb-keto-everything-bagels/

I’m telling you that you will not be sorry if you try these!! If you try these…..please let me know how you like them!!!

xoxo,

Jen

Lets talk about PIZZA!!!

Cali'Flour Pizza CrustsA few posts ago I mentioned that I was on the Ketogenic diet. Everyone keeps asking me whats one thing I miss the most….my answer is always PIZZA. Until now! I had the worst craving for pizza that I turned to my trusty friend the internet and searched and searched for hours for the best keto pizza recipe. I found a few that looked promising so I marched out to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to get all the ingredients needed. After hours in the kitchen I had successfully made 3 different pizza crusts all of which were absolutely GROSS!!!! I’m not sure if it was me or the recipes but I just couldn’t handle the taste and how soggy these crusts were. I’m a crispy crust kind of girl. So my search continued.

One day I was just mindlessly flipping through my FaceBook feed when I came across one of those pesky sponsored ads for the newest health food craze but this one caught my attention because it was for a pizza crust. I immediately checked it out. When I opened up their website and clicked on the variety starter pack…..I had instant sticker shock!! These crusts are on the more expense side so I was very hesitant to buy these at first. The more and more I thought about it…..did I really want to spend $40 on 6 pizza crusts that were probably the size of my hand? Fast forward about 10 minutes and the answer was YES!!!!!!

So let me tell you about the brand. Cali’Flour is a California-based company who has perfected the cauliflower crust! Accordingly to their website (https://www.califlourfoods.com/), the owner was diagnosed with lupus and knew she was going to need to make some changes in her diet to keep her autoimmune disease in check. That was when Calif’Flour foods was birthed! I’m so thankful that she had the courage to develop this product and share it with the world because this has been a game changer for me!

So let’s get down to the ingredients and the Nutritional Facts! I ordered the variety pack where I got 2 Original Italian, 2 Spicy Jalapeno and 2 Sweet Red Pepper Crusts. Below are the ingredients for each crust:

Original Italian: Fresh Cauliflower, Mozzarella (Whole Milk, Enzymes, Cheese Culture, Salt), Egg Whites, Basil, Garlic, Italian Spice (Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley).

Spicy Jalapeno: Fresh Cauliflower, Mozzarella (Whole Milk, Enzymes, Cheese Culture, Salt), Egg Whites, Jalapeno, Garlic and Red Chili Flakes

Sweet Red Pepper: Fresh Cauliflower, Mozzarella (Whole Milk, Enzymes, Cheese Culture, Salt), Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Seasoning (Garlic, Red Bell Peppers, Salt, Roasted Garlic, Red Pepper, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor of Turmeric and Annatto) (Natural Flavor and Color).

Below are the Nutritional Facts label for their Crust and yes you are reading that correct….only 1g of carbs for a third of the crust!!! This is why I don’t feel guilty when I eat the whole thing!!!

Cali

The crusts are easily prepared as well! So if you order these online, you can order the starter pack that comes with a special pan that they recommend. I was cheap and decided to forgo the pack with the pan. So I literally just open the crust and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I pop it into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I let the crust cool for a good 10 to 12 minutes before I top the pizza with my favorite toppings. I love topping my pizza with the Rao’s pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and banana pepper rings. Once my pizza is carefully crafted, I pop it back into the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. The edges of this crust will be dark and super crispy but overall the taste is AMAZING!! I highly recommend the Sweet Bell Pepper crust as that is my favorite but all three crusts are amazing!!! I will say the jalapeno crust baked by itself with some cheese dipped in some ranch dressing is a great snack!! That’s just how versatile these crusts are! You can easily top them or eat them by themselves because the taste is just that amazing!

If you decide to purchase these…..please share with me your favorite flavor and what you top your pizza with!!! Thanks for reading!!

xoxo,

Jen

Eat the pizza!!

PizzaSo…this weekend didn’t go so well for me and Keto. Specifically Sunday. For the past few weeks my husband and I haven’t really had the chance to really spend much time together. Sundays are normally our day to hang out together whether it be date night or just chilling in bed together all day. Well since we haven’t had a Sunday together in about 4 weeks and we’ve both been spending a lot of time away from home we decided that it would be a lazy Sunday where we didn’t leave bed. A day of nothing is exactly what I needed…..except for I had to prepare all of our meals with nothing in the house. We normally do our grocery shopping on Sunday’s. So I had a VERY tough decision….do I go to the store or do I just hang with my husband all day? It didn’t take me very long to make the decision to stay at home with hubby. Luckily I’m doing the intermittent fasting thing so my first meal wasn’t until 12pm anyway and hubby likes to sleep in until about 11 or 11:30 on the days he doesn’t work. When lunch time rolled around I went in search of something that I could make that was Keto friendly. Luckily I still had a dozen of eggs and some bacon. So for lunch we had scrambled eggs with coconut oil, salt and pepper and bacon.

We were both satisfied for a few hours and then the munchies started to take over. I settled for some almonds and a sugar free jello cup….but an hour later I was hungry again. I had nothing to make for dinner because everything was frozen. Hubby suggested pizza….so I said lets order from Domino’s because they have salads….then we started to order and one thing lead to another.  Hubby ordered a Philly cheese steak pizza and the brownie cookie for dessert. I ordered a salad and some wings….completely forgetting that their wings are breaded. Strike 1 for Jen! When the food arrived, the smell of melted cheese, green bell peppers and steak filled the entire room as if it was a sinking ship filling with water. I fought my urge to have a slice and settled for my salad and my wings (which I was already beating myself up over).

Hubby and I decided to watch Son-In-Law with Pauly shore and about 30 minutes in Hubby starts snoring…..the devil on my shoulder seemed to be getting louder and louder. “One piece wont kill you” it kept saying over and over again until I finally caved…….I didn’t eat one but two slices of pizza and then I couldn’t stop. I had two pieces of the brownie cookie too!! I felt so defeated and wanted to sit there and feel terrible about myself but something told me to reach out to a friend who is also doing the Keto diet. She has been my rock through this whole thing and has kept me sane. I told her all about my “cheat day” and what she said to me has given me a whole new outlook on my “accidents”. She said to me: “Its life….get back on track tomorrow. It can’t be all consuming, life has to happen and that includes pizza.” The more and more I thought about it….shes totally right! Being so strict on myself and not enjoying life was just setting me up to fail. I need to enjoy my life and if I want a slice of pizza I should have it because everything is “OK” in moderation. Moral of this story is….DO not beat yourself up for having a slice of pizza, a slice of cake or a scoop of ice cream. We are all human, we are going to make mistakes…..what we do to recover from them is what really counts. Until next time!

xoxo,

Jen

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

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

 

Polar vs. FitBit

polarWho doesn’t love a good fitness gadget! I’ve owned my Polar Ft7 for a while now and I fell in love the moment I first used it. I am a very competitive person by nature so I was in constant competition with myself. Watching my calories burnt increase was the best feeling in the world. It really helped me push myself harder every time I strapped it on but it really left me wanting more. I only put it on when I worked out and it didn’t count my steps and I really had to track my progress manually. The heart rate monitor strap was a little uncomfortable as well. Don’t get me wrong….I still think the Polar fitness trackers are an amazing product and work really well but there had to be a better option that fit my every day needs.

Recently my company started a FitBit challenge on September 1st. Each participant was supplied with the FitBit zip which we all received in August so I got to use it for a little before the challenge started. All the ladies in my office are participating so I have the best support group anyone could have. After using the FtiBit Zip I was instantly hooked so I decided to splurge and get the FitBit Blaze watch. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! The FitBit app is multifunctional and really helps me track everything in my daily life from my water intake to my sleep patterns and it even monitors my heart rate like my Polar does.

fitbit-blaze

Working in an office I knew my activity level was pretty sedentary but I never fully understood how sedentary I really was until I got the FitBit Watching my co-workers hit 4,000 to 6,000 steps before lunch and I was at 1,000…..I knew I had to step up my game (pun intended). I work in a mall that is just shy of 2 miles long if you walk an entire loop. I have the best work place for those trying to get some major steps in…..so why wasn’t I taking advantage of it? I set a schedule for myself because lets face it…working in an office its hard to walk away from your office if you don’t have it on your calendar! So I walk at least 3 times a day….once in the morning, once after lunch and once right before I leave for the day. So for all my non-fitbit users out there your daily goal is 10,000 steps which approximately 5 miles and if I walk my mall 3 times a day like I have scheduled I hit that 10k mark every single time. Now you may ask….should I really be walking 10,000 steps every day? Here is the link to the FitBit Blog that explains why you should:

Should You Really Take 10,000 Steps a Day?

Another great function of the FitBit app are the challenges you can do with your friends. All the ladies of my office love doing the Work Week Hustle. Like myself, my coworkers are also competitive so it’s a constant battle in my office to beat each other….who doesn’t love to have bragging rights in the office! The first two challenges I came in dead last because I underestimated the ladies I work with…so here I am pushing myself even harder to keep up with these amazing ladies. We just ended this weeks challenge and I finished 2nd with a total of 59,351 steps for the week! Whoop Whoop! I can’t wait for next week!

So if you are on the fence about purchasing the FitBit…..do it! It has changed my life and really pushed me to keep moving throughout the day. So much so that I have lost 17 pound in the last 2 months! Yes…..17 pounds!!!!!! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Jen

 

Where have I been?

Ugh….so here we are months have gone by and I haven’t posted an update. Well life has gotten in the way yet again…what’s new. In my last post the doctor had finally released me to workout again from where I sprained my back….well two weeks into getting back into my routine I had a pretty nasty fall down an entire flight of stairs. Not only was my pride broken but so was my tailbone and several nasty bruises. Yep…..I broke my ass…..literally! So I had to face 8 weeks of sitting on donuts and popping pain killers to help me get thru the day. It just hasn’t been the greatest few months for me physically. To top it off at the beginning of the year my husband was facing the possibility of being without a job because not only was his company selling his division but the building he worked in was also selling the building and their business. Luckily the company who purchased the business and building kept his contract intact. That ordeal took about 4 months to workout….so making a baby was put on hold until we knew exactly what was going on. 

So now that hubby has a job and I’m finally feeling great…..it’s time to jump in with both feet and hit the ground running superhero style. I’m sorry it took me so long to catch everyone up and I promise to get better at this stuff.

Xoxo,

Jen

Rest for 4 to 6 weeks??

So I apologize for the lack of posting…I really need to get better at this! So last week I was down for the count with back pain…it went away with rest but it came back yesterday so I decided it was time to see a doctor. My regular primary care didn’t have any openings so I opted for an urgent care facility near my office. Luckily I was able to get in right after work. Once I saw the doctor and got my marching orders I wasn’t that happy. I have a severely strained lower back and I now have to take it easy and rest for 4 to 6 weeks! 4 TO 6 WEEKS!!!!!????? How am I going to reach my goals of I’m not allowed to work out?  By eating clean!! My plan for the next 6 weeks is to really focus on my diet…I haven’t been really that consistent with my diet lately but making healthy choices is super important. Healthy weight loss is 80% diet. I am challenging all my readers to send me your favorite healthy meal recipe! Here’s to a new adventure!! 

Xoxo,

Jen

New Beginnings…

Happy-New-Year-Greetings-Best2015 has come and gone and my 2015 resolutions were far from being met. Every year we all say “New Year…..New me” but half of us really follow through. Well I have finally come to terms with the fact that if I really want to shop in those cute clothing stores that all my friends shop in and finally be able to get pregnant….I HAVE TO DO MORE! Don’t get me wrong….losing 35 lbs this past year was amazing but I had fallen off the wagon more than what I probably should have. The holidays were not so good me this year either…we all know that I have a passion for baking and well…..a passion for eating. Over indulging comes with the territory during the holidays but my self-control flew right out the window. So when I say….NEW YEAR NEW ME….I truely mean it this time. I vow to lose 50 lbs by July and learn basic spanish! So who’s with me?? Bring it on 2016! Happy New Year everyone!

xoxo,

Jen

Detox Tea..good or bad?

I’m seeing celebrity advertisements all over the place for different detox teas….so what’s all the hype about? Obviously it intrigued me enough to do some research and I found that Detox herbal teas have been in use for centuries…..and here I thought it was the “new thing to try”. During my research, I read that when you are undergoing a detoxification program, your body is ridding itself of the built up toxins we’ve accumulated through diet or your environment (perfect after indulging in that yummy Thanksgiving dinner). These toxins are most commonly found in the liver and kidneys and after just passing my very first kidney stone (p.s. if child-birth is anything like that pain, I will most definitely be getting an epidural!), I thought to myself, GET THOSE TOXINS OUT!!! I never want to experience that pain ever again!  After doing a quick Amazon search on detox teas, I was definitely overwhelmed by all the options. I spent about 3 days going back and forth reading all of the reviews on each tea before I finally decided on Triple Leaf’s Detox Tea.

Detox Tea (1)

This tea is a cleansing and revitalizing tea made with potent Chinese purification herbs but the best thing it’s Caffeine-Free. When I got the box from Amazon, I read the following message on the top of the box:

“For thousands of years, the Chinese have been using herbs to clear away toxins. Today, we are exposed to increasing levels of harmful environmental pollutants and toxins in smoke, air, water and food. many synergistic and potent Chinese purification herbs have been used to create our Detox Tea. Traditionally, these herbs were used to support the healthy function of the liver, kidneys, lungs and blood, and to cleanse the body of toxins. They were considered to help promote clear, healthy skin, increase the flow of energy (chi) to the body and mind, and promote calmer, more positive and peaceful emotions.”

At first I was very skeptical….how could a tea do all of that? I will admit it took me a few days to build up enough courage to even try it but I am so glad that I did! I was feeling really tired all of the time even though I was getting between 6 and 8 hours of sleep each night. I drank this tea every morning for about a week and I can honestly say that I felt rejuvenated and well rested. I had more energy, I was more focused at work and overall I felt good.  Now was it really the tea or was this just a placebo effect? So I did my very own experiment and stopped drinking the tea for a few weeks and I could tell around day 6 the sluggish feeling and lack of motivation was back.  So back to the tea I went!

I’m going to be brutally honest with you, the taste is very weird at first and very earthy. Knowing that adding sugar to a detox tea would pretty much defeat the purpose, I added a slice of lemon. Bingo!!! This tea with a slice of lemon is what I prefer to drink in the morning rather than my normal cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Even though its caffeine free, I still get this burst of energy when I drink it. If you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new lately, I would recommend this tea.

Bottoms up!!

XoXo,

Jen