Posts tagged Keto
Bouncing Back into Keto
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A weight loss journey isn’t linear. It’s up and down, high and low. Some weeks you kill it mentally and physically. Everything is aligned, you’re motivated, and knocking out good choice after good choice. Other weeks you’re off. Unfocused mentally, making poor choices that you KNOW aren’t beneficial and the last thing you want to do is cook a meal for yourself. I’ve come to accept that both avenues are just part of the process.

I can’t expect myself to be a robot who never gets off track (you can’t expect that of yourself either, by the way), but what what I can expect of myself is to pull it together and get back to what works and what makes me feel my very best.

When I’ve gone off track in the past, it’s taken me different amounts of time to get back on my Keto track. Sometimes I bounce back quickly, other times it takes me an extended amount of time.

So, how do I do it? How do I bounce back?

It’s important to note that as I’m writing this, I’m trying to bounce back. These are strategies and tactics that Im coaching myself through right now at this very minute. I’m not writing these as an expert, but as someone who genuinely needs to read this.

Know what’s coming up and plan Ahead

Take a look at the next few days and do your best to be aware of what’s coming up. Do you know that you’ll be going out to dinner at a restaurant on the weekend? Do you know if you’re going to be extra busy and won’t have as much free time? By having an idea of what your next few days will most likely look like (I can’t plan longer than a week) you can mentally prepare yourself and make plans for staying on track.

If you know you’re going out to a restaurant, you can view the menu online before you go and already pick out what you’re going to eat. Personally, I hate doing that. I think browsing the menu and looking at the food as it comes out of the kitchen is part of the fun of restaurants, but I’ve had to learn that I need blinders up, especially when I’m trying to bounce back.

If you know that you’re having a particularly busy day, you can meal prep a couple of days before, so the question, “what am I going to eat?” is already answered.

Go back to Keto Basics

What are the Keto Basics? Know the “why” behind things always helps me snap back in line. When I go back and refresh myself on the science behind Keto (read more here) and remember what happens in my body when I eat high carbohydrate foods, it helps me center myself and make better choices.

Get back to personal basics

Just like refreshing myself on the science behind Keto is helpful, it’s incredibly helpful for me to remember my personal reasons for this lifestyle change. I think about my hormones and PCOS, the person I want to be in the future, and I think about the long game. Yes, it’s going to take time to fully heal my hormones and reverse my PCOS, but I believe that it will happen.

Reframing my priorities is always helpful.

Eat your Favorite Keto Food

I LOVE Keto food! It’s rich, delicious, and filling. All of my favorite things. But the crazy thing is that sometimes I forget that I love it. When I need to get back on track, I’m not going to try out a brand new recipe that may or may not be a winner. I am going to prepare food that I know I LOVE and that makes me feel good after I eat it.

Check your Emotional Health

This is a biggie for me. When I can’t bounce back for an extended time, I know that something is off emotionally. Whether I am avoiding dealing with feelings or I am actually in my feelings processing through tough things, my desire for junk food is high. I haven’t 100% made the connection that the last thing my body needs when I’m down is damaging food. I’ll get there one day.

When there is deep emotional issues and I need help processing, I bring in the big guns (read here).

And a bonus strategy to bouncing back is to

Focus on all the non-scale / non-weight loss related Keto Benefits

There’s so many benefits of this way of eating and I’ve experienced them all. Here are a few highlights:

  • better sleep

  • more energy

  • no mental fog / able to concentrate and focus for longer periods of time

  • sense of accomplishment / proud of myself

  • decreased inflammation

  • regular menstruation

Sometimes I have to ask myself if I want better sleep and more energy and the answer is always, “yes, duh!”

Conclusion

To sum it all up, the way I am bouncing back is mostly all mental. It’s coaching myself to remember the “why” behind why I wanted to eat this way, why I love Keto food, and why food is not the way you heal your emotions. It’s getting back into the driver’s seat instead of letting your cravings drive the car. It’s about taking back control of your choices and your life. If you find yourself un-motivated and unable to stop ordering fried chicken sandwiches and french fries from Chick-fil-A (just me? No?) take a minute to stop and think about what’s coming up, plan, reframe your priorities, and get back to the basics.

Pro-Tip: write these things down!

Write down your priorities, reasons why and what you want.

If you have any tips as to getting back on your healthy habits, I would love to hear them!

And yes, sometimes I call myself “superstar” don’t judge.

My Typical IF & Keto Day
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I wanted to share some behind the scenes action with you on what a normal day in my life looks like. After I posted a couple of my Keto and Intermittent Fasting blogs, a few friends reached out and asked me what my days typically look like, when I eat, what I eat, and what I do, so here we go! 

Evening

Instead of starting in the morning, we're starting at dinner time the night before. When you're doing Intermittent Fasting (read more about IF here and here), the clock starts ticking for your fasting window as soon as you finish your last meal of the day. For me, I aim to complete my last meal between 6:00-7:00pm. When you eat a nourishing and satisfying meal the night before, you are setting yourself up for success the next day.

A typical dinner at our house looks like protein cooked in fat with a side of vegetables cooked in fat. Example - Ribeye Steak (or whatever cut of beef is on the best sale at the grocery store) cooked on my cast iron skillet in grass-fed butter, avocado oil, and garlic with roasted broccoli that I drizzled with avocado oil.

I don't normally track my food or macros, but I know I know I'm staying below 5oz of protein and am having 1-2 Cups of low carb vegetables during this example dinner meal. It's the fat that's most satisfying and what keeps me full for long periods of time. 

Bed Time

I start winding down for bed around 9:45. I do my night time routine -- take off my makeup, wash my face, brush my teeth, and wash my feet (weird I know, but I like it) and turn on my diffuser (usually lavender or stress away) and that signals my body that it's time to go to sleep. I'm usually asleep by 10:30. Lately, I've been sleeping with a sleep mask (such a diva, I know) and I think it really helps get me into the deep sleep cycle.

Good sleep is so important to our overall health. I'm working up a separate post about what happens in our body when we sleep as far as our hormones are concerned. Turning on the diffuser while we're going to sleep has been very helpful for both Luke and me when it comes to good quality sleep. 

Morning

I am typically out of bed and into the day by 7:00am. I sit down with a cup of coffee, read my Bible, journal some thoughts and prayers, and write out what all I want to accomplish for the day. Getting started this way really helps me focus and know what to expect. Once I'm finished with my Bible reading and journaling, I'm ready to tackle my work tasks. 

In my coffee, I use about a TBSP of organic Heavy Whipping Cream. I use a milk frother (we have this one) to blend my coffee and cream and it makes a big difference in the texture of the coffee. I love it! 

I mentioned this in a previous blog about Intermittent Fasting, but I wanted to mention it again. Black coffee and a splash of cream (half & half or heavy whipping cream) will not break your fast, but anything more in your coffee WILL BREAK YOUR FAST. Fat and calories add up so quickly when you're adding creamer and sweetener. Make sure to pay attention or your fast will be broken. Intermittent fasting is all about the time between meals, you don't want to break your fast with a sugary latte or a bulletproof coffee. 

Afternoon 

I typically start getting hungry and am ready for my first meal in between 1:00 and 2:00. That puts in an 18:6 IF eating window. If I'm hungry, I'll eat my first meal. If not, I'll just keep on chugging along on my work until I want to eat. When I first started Intermittent Fasting I would heat my first meal up in the microwave at 10:55 so I could start eating exactly at 11:00. I'm not joking, you guys! 

I've come along way since I first started IF! It goes to show that fasting is like a muscle. You have to start slow and build your way up. 

First meals look a lot like second meals. Protein, Fat, and Vegetable side. For example I would make a pot of butter chicken and serve it over asparagus,  green beans, broccoli, cauliflower or any low carb vegetable cooked in butter. I meal prep lunches on Sundays, making sure I make enough to last all week. 

If I am using chicken for meal prep lunches, then I'll make sure it has some sort of sauce -- like butter chicken or curry -- because chicken can dry out in the microwave. 

After lunch I dive back into my work or meet up with someone for a coffee. Then, I start prepping dinner around 5:30 and the cycle starts over. 

That's a typical Keto and IF day for me! I love how now my day doesn't revolve around how often I could eat anymore. Now that I've been removed from it, it was exhausting (and expensive) to always healthy have snack food readily available. Eating this way gives me the freedom to be productive in my work and side hustles while taking the best care of myself. 

A note about tracking

You'll notice that I didn't share my macros in my example meals. A lot of Keto people track macros and percentages, but I am not one of those people. I was overjoyed when I realized that I could delete MyFitnessPal forever! I have ALWAYS hated tracking my food. Even in my early days of Weight Watchers, I never tracked consistently. I used to think I didn't like tracking because I didn't want to own up to what I was eating. But now, I know it's because I genuinely don't like it - LOL. 

I do believe that tracking has it's place in a healthy lifestyle, I just don't feel the need to do it right now and that's okay! I would rather focus on eating the right foods until I'm satiated, not eating to the limit just because I could. I'm realizing now as I'm writing this that I still need time to heal and redeem that part of my story. "Breaking free from My Fitness Pal" sounds like a great blog to me!

I hope you enjoyed this brief view into my everyday life with Keto and IF.  If you have any questions or specifics, drop a comment and let me know! - JJ

 

Tips for Beginning Intermittent Fasting
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Intermittent Fasting (IF) is definitely a hot button topic. When I started paying attention to my blog analytics + the messages I have been receiving, I noticed 2 things: 1. People are curious 2. People are looking for answers.

Before I continue on with my tips on getting started with IF, take a few minutes to read through my "what happened with I stopped eating breakfast" post. It goes through the basics and benefits of IF in easy to understand terms. 

Once you've done that, let's dive in!

Here are my tips and suggestions for getting started with If:

Do your own research 

Every body is different. Everyone has their own issues. Just like I did my research in starting Keto, you've got to do the same thing here. Start with a Google Search, start listening to podcasts on Intermittent Fasting, and start soaking in advice from credible sources.

Immerse yourself in the knowledge and start doing the mental work to set yourself up for success. It was so much easier for me to make the switch mentally and physically when I had the science to back me up. I was able to push through cravings and hunger pangs in the beginning because I knew what I was working toward. 

If you like Podcasts, I recommend listening to all of the podcasts on Fasting Talk. It's extreme, yes, as they talk about not just Intermittent Fasting, but extended fasting. Like "let's fast for a week or two" fasting. I'm definitely not there, I'm focused more on IF, but it's FASCINATING. 

If you want to read or listen to a book, I recommend The Complete Guide to Fasting. Even though I haven't finished the book just yet, I've read enough to confidently recommend it. The same people who wrote this book facilitated the Fasting Talk podcast and the information is the same.

The next book I'm going to read is the Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. I am really excited to dive into that! You can read it too and we can have a book club, cool?

If you are looking for voices to listen to - bloggers, article writers, social media accounts to follow - then I recommend Dr. Jason Fung, Megan Ramos, Jimmy Moore, LeAnn Vogel, and Jessica Tye.

Eliminate snacking

One of the best ways you can start IF is by being conscious of your snacking and working to eliminate it all together. Make the most out of your meal times by eating delicious and nutritionally dense food. If you feel the urge to snack out of habit or because you're "snack-y" (my word for when I want to eat because I'm bored or want to avoid something), distract yourself by drinking a glass of water or a La Croix, doing a beneficial chore like putting away laundry, or simply changing your scenery (leave the room). Doing a combination of these things helps to distract my mind from wanting to snack. 

This was particularly difficult after dinner. I was a major after dinner snacker and I still struggle with this from time to time! It's most helpful when I have an activity like crochet or I'm browsing things on Pinterest -- something to keep my hands busy. It's also mega helpful if I keep cravings or snack ideas to myself. As soon as I say them out loud, it's over. 

Understand the if Eating Windows

The typical eating windows for IF are: 

16:8
18:6
20:4

The first number is how many hours you go without eating (fasting). The second number is the accumulative hours where you can eat. Let's take 16:8 for example, if you FINISH eating dinner at 7:00 and don't have any after dinner snacks, then your fasting would last until 11:00am. That's 16 hours of IF. Then, you would have from 11:00 am - 7:00 pm to eat your 2 meals. 

Let's do the same thing for 18:6. If you finish dinner by 7:00pm, then you could have your first meal after 1:00pm and your 2nd meal would be finished by 7:00pm. 

And just for good measure let's see what 20:4 would look like. If you finish dinner by 7:00pm, then you would eat between 3:00-7:00pm. Easy enough, right? 

Set yourself up for Success

Keto and Intermittent Fasting work very well together. Because of the high fat content in the Keto Way of Eating, you stay fuller for longer periods of time. This enables you to go longer in between meals. When you're eating mostly carbohydrates, you do not stay full. I can attest to this from my own experience.

I share more details on that in this blog post. 

So, when you're ready to make your first attempt at IF, eat a good Keto meal the night before. Make sure that you eat enough. One of the worst things you can do for your body and your metabolism is eat a low calorie meal before you fast. 

You can totally do IF without doing Keto or another low carb eating style, it's just going to be difficult. Again, I can back that up from my own experience.  

See how long you can go before eating your first meal 

When you wake up in the morning, don't tell yourself that you can't eat. Don't obsess about it. For me, when I obsess about something I drive myself so crazy that I find myself doing exactly what I said I wouldn't do. Can anyone relate to that?

When you're just starting out, all you're doing is seeing how long you can go before you eat your first meal. Get out of bed, have a glass of water, **drink a cup of coffee and do all of your morning things (other than having a bowl of cereal, a couple of pieces of toast, and a glass of orange juice. Don't do that). 

When you are legitimately hungry (not when you're bored, eating because others are eating, or because it's "time" to eat), have your first meal. Pay attention to the time and see how long you went between the last thing you ate the night before and now (including sleeping time!). 

CONCLUSION

Those are my tips for getting started! If this is something that you're interested in or think would benefit you, you should give it a try! I know it might seem scary to think about going 16, 18, or 20 hours without having a snack or skipping a whole meal, but let me tell you that you are totally capable of doing it! If you can't make it a full 16 hours, be proud of yourself going 10 or 12! This is YOUR journey your progress is the only thing that matters.

I love this quote,

Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, or your middle to someone else’s end.
— Tim Hiller.

Thinking through that quote has helped me stay focused on what I am doing and not be envious of other people, but inspired by them. 

I am going to continue writing about IF and what I'm learning because there is so much more! Hopefully, through me sharing my experience, I can help you feel empowered to try something new and take a close look at your habits and internal health. I don't claim to have all the answers and I'm definitely not a medical professional, but I can share my story and hopefully encourage someone else. Let's get to it! - JJ

**A note about Coffee. You can have coffee during your fasting times. Black coffee is best. You can have a splash of cream (I use Heavy Whipping Cream) and it will not break your fast. A bulletproof coffee WILL break your fast, though. So just be mindful of what you put in your coffee and how much you're putting in your coffee.  

What Happened when I Stopped Eating Breakfast
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Intermittent Fasting (IF) has become a big part of my life and one of the keys to my Keto success thus far. IF is periods of eating and not eating. It's an eating pattern, not an "eat this not that" type of deal and it's pretty popular in the health/wellness/weight loss space right now. 

Around this time last summer I started hearing about IF and I was NOT interested. Give up one of my meal times? No way. You see up until last fall, one week after my 29th birthday to be exact, food controlled my life. "What am I going to eat today?" "What do I have to snack on?" "What flavors sound good?" And other questions like that ruled my day. All I had ever known was that you eat 3 meals a day and breakfast is the most important one. It was counter-cultural to hear that you could only eat twice or dare I say it, once, a day. 

I didn't want to give up another time where I could eat because I was "supposed to." It wasn't that I was hungry when I woke up in the morning or when I got to work, it's that I could eat and no one would think anything of it because it was breakfast time. At that point in my life, I was more concerned with eating as much as I could instead of stopping to think, "am I actually hungry right now?"

Everything changed when I really dove into the science behind Keto. I read this book and for the first time, I felt like it was okay for me to skip breakfast. It was like I had permission to do something new that would help me long term. Looking back, it was one of my first major step towards intuitive eating and learning how to listen to my body. 

I see it as a way to let my digestive system take a break and slow down instead of it going at full speed during the hours I'm awake. The longer you fast, the more time your digestive system (mainly your liver and pancreas) have time to rest. Because no new food has been introduced, whenever the body says, "Hey, I need some energy!" It can pull energy from fat stores and burn fat instead of whatever snack was just consumed. 

As I've shared before in other blog posts, I am not a medical professional, just someone who decided to learn more and try things for myself! 

What are the benefits of IF?

  • Decreases insulin resistance over time -- I talk more about insulin resistance in this post.
  • Anti-aging -- "When you fast, it gives your cells the ability to detox and recycle, so your body can slow down aging and even prevent age-related diseases." Read more here and  here.
  • Weight loss -- it's real fat loss not lean tissue/muscle loss. It's the kind of weight you want to lose.
  • Stimulates brain -- Check this out. Side note: I'm starting to understand now why Fasting is spiritual. Posts on that coming in the future. 
  • Reduces inflammation -- EVERYONE can benefit from reduced inflammation in the body read more
  • And there's more, but that's a lot of info to comb through, so I'm going to stop here. 

You can read more articles about the benefits of IF here, here, and here

How did you actually start doing IF?

I started skipping breakfast.

It was actually pretty easy for me to get started. When I woke up I would have my coffee (coffee with a splash of cream doesn't break your fast, a bulletproof coffee will tho) and then plan to eat lunch around 11:00. Meal prepping definitely helped me get into the rhythm because I knew that I didn't have to worry about what I would eat, it was already there ready for me.

Over time I backed my lunch up in 30 minute increments. Now, I can wait until 1:00 or 1:30 before I'm thinking about lunch. 

How do Keto and IF work together?

Since IF is all about when you eat, you need to make the most out of your meal times eating nutritionally dense (i.e. foods that are full of the good nutrients, I didn't know what that meant for a long time LOL) filling foods that keep you full for long periods of time. That's where Keto really shines! Because Keto is a high fat low carbohydrate way of eating, you stay fuller longer; therefore, you can go long periods of time without reaching for a snack or packing in 3 meals a day. 

The Standard American Diet is high carbohydrate and low fat meaning that your body burns glucose (SUGAR) instead of it's preferred energy source ketones (FAT). That's why you hear "sugar-burner" or "fat-burner."

It's the fat you eat that keeps you satisfied (or satiated). I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it for myself. Whenever I do consume carbs, it never fails the next day my stomach is growling and grumbling wanting MORE carbs. Whenever I'm killing it on Keto, no growling stomach, no hunger pangs, and no digestive issues. That's real life talk! 

So, to answer the question, "what happened when I stopped eating breakfast" the answer is simple. This is the first time in my life that I've been able to maintain a weight loss. I've been able to maintain my weight loss and progress even when I go off the rails and eat all the carbs. Not to say that IF is a license to eat whatever you want (because you definitely pay for it!), but it's something that I can do to keep me on track and feeling my best. 

Honestly, it's something I never thought I could do. I never thought I would be one of those people who chooses not to eat when others are eating. It's shown me that I can exercise self control and that I can listen to my body. To me, that's more important than physical results. 

I will be writing a follow up post with my tips on how to get started if this is something that you want to incorporate into your daily life. I highly encourage you to do your own research and to not be afraid of trying something different. If you have any questions or want to know more, let me know! I'm happy to dialogue with you about IF or anything else really. This girl loves to talk!

Be on the lookout for my follow up post in the next few weeks. Have a beautiful day! - JJ  

30 by 30
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This is a big year for me. I'm turning 30 in a couple of months! I'm not going to lie, I'm having a little trouble grasping the fact that I'm not going to be in my 20s anymore... BUT I genuinely am excited for the next season of my life. 

In the last few months I've been coaching myself through some "if you want different, you have to do different" (my personal mantra) strategies. One of those "different" things I want is to finally commit to a complete lifestyle change where I lose the weight, keep it off, and continue implementing real life healthy habits. 

This past Spring I set the goal of losing 30 pounds by my 30th birthday. A little backstory about me, I'm not a goal oriented person. For some people they can set a goal and they HAVE to complete it. I'm not wired that way. In fact, I'm a little jealous of those people. I've never really been able to lock in and stay focused on goals for long periods of time and actually complete the goal. 

I've tried all the goal setting and completing strategies and nothing has worked for me until now. When it comes to following through on your goals, do you know what I believe is the difference maker? A combination of maturity and personal growth. It wasn't because of a magic goal accomplishing formula. It wasn't because I took an online class on how to reach your goals (I do love online classes, tho). It was because I knew that it was time to grow up and I was ready to grow up. I wanted big changes. I wanted a new normal. I was finally ready to start working toward being the person I really wanted to be. 

Even something as silly as "30 by 30" has really helped me stick to my new way of eating. I'm not 100% perfect all of the time, but I am good 85% of the time. That's a win for me! Usually, I lose interest/focus within 2 weeks and I'm back to my old ways. This time has been different! 

I started my 30 by 30 back in May. So far, I've lost almost 20 pounds! I've got 2 more months to lose the final 10. Between Keto, Jesus, and my Essential Oils, I KNOW that I can do it! I KNOW that I will be able to reach the goal in the timeframe that I want. 

October 1st (my birthday), I'm coming for you! I started an IG specifically for my Keto journey called @CampbellHouseKeto. Check it out and keep up with me!

So what is PCOS?

One of the things I've mentioned a few times here on the blog and on Instagram posts is that I have PCOS. I want to share some details with about PCOS, what it is, how it effects women, and how I'm working to reverse it. 

Remember, I am not a professional in the medical field, just a woman who feels empowered enough to figure things out. 

PCOS is an acronym for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The name makes it sound like it's an issue with cysts on your ovaries, but the name is just a scratch on the surface to the real issues going on inside. Some women do develop cysts on their ovaries, some (like me) do not. The real issue at play is hormones. PCOS is a hormone disorder. 

When your hormones are disrupted and not functioning properly, everything is thrown off. With PCOS your cycles are extremely irregular, you have difficulty losing weight and it's incredibly easy to gain weight. Other symptoms are partial or total infertility, fatigue, acne, excess production of testosterone, male pattern baldness, facial and abdomen hair, and mood changes. Yeah, there are some real great symptoms there. 

When did you realize that you had it?

When I was in college, my cycle wasn't really a cycle. It was nonexistent. So like any mature college student would do, I called my mom. She encouraged me to find a gynecologist in my area and make an appointment, you know like real adults. 

After that visit to the doctor, I was put on birth control to regulate my cycle. They threw out the term, PCOS, but didn't really explain it to me. It was one of those situations where the doctor said, "You more than likely have PCOS. Take birth control." So that's what I did. I didn't do any research about PCOS or how birth control effects you. It didn't even cross my mind that I could be doing something about this diagnosis without medication.

I had heard that being on birth control helped some girls lose weight, so I was excited to have that prescription. I was thinking that being on birth control would help me lose weight without me changing any of my habits. Yeah, college JJ wasn't all that smart. 

Being on birth control made me feel crazy so after 6 months I quit taking it. Also, it still never crossed my mind that PCOS was a real life condition and that I needed to do something about it. That drive and desire wouldn't come until years later after I got married and wanted to get pregnant. 

Why is it a big deal?

PCOS is a big deal because your hormones are a big deal! PCOS is the leading cause of infertility. A LOT of women have it, they just might not realize that they do. Not everyone shows all the symptoms and that's why it's so tricky.

PCOS causes infertility or makes it extremely difficult to get pregnant. If you do get pregnant, it's a high risk pregnancy.

Along with fertility issues, the other main symptom that I am focusing on correcting is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a dangerous road that leads to Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Those are 2 internal issues that I do NOT want to have. 

Finally, the 3rd reason why PCOS is a big deal is because it's linked to higher risks of cancer. 

What are you doing about it?

For a long time I avoided the diagnoses. I just continued on my merry way slamming cheeseburgers, pizza, ice cream, and fries, but in the back of my mind I knew that things had to change. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I actually felt empowered enough to take my life into my own hands and start making changes from the inside out. 

I knew that I didn't want to be on medication. I KNEW that I could work on my issues in a natural way. I knew that just taking synthetic medication wasn't going to solve my problem, but contribute to more. That was a turning point. 

The timeline coincides with our adoption timeline. After trying to get pregnant for a year and a half, I knew what it was. My body wasn't healthy enough to get pregnant. The systems weren't working. That was another major turning point. 

I started devouring all of the information I could get my hands on. I read story after story of people who reversed PCOS and went on to lead healthy lives. All of my research led to a 2 pronged approach to healing my hormone issue: diet/lifestyle changes and reducing exposure to endocrine disruptors.

I've already shared making the switch to Keto in another blog post. You can read more details about that here. 

What are endocrine disruptors?

"Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the production, release, transport, metabolism or elimination of the body’s natural hormones." (Dr. Axe)

So toxins, unnatural products, chemicals, all the bad and scary stuff that's in processed food, cleaning products, beauty products, and pretty much everything else we come in contact with in our everyday lives. Yeah, that's kind of a bummer because toxins are everywhere, BUT, there are things we can do!

We can make the switch to using the right kind of products in our homes and eating as natural as possible. That's one of the biggest reasons why I've joined  up with Young Living, first as a customer and now as a distributor. Read more about that here and here. 

The first thing I did to start limiting endocrine disruptors was not order a starter kit of oils (that came a little while later!).  I took a look at all the products that I came in contact with in the kitchen and those in my beauty products. 

Instead of storing my food in plastic containers, I started using glass containers. 

I stopped drinking out of plastic water bottles (that includes convenient water bottles like Dasani) and started drinking out of my stainless steel cup. I'm not perfect with it. I have the occasional bottle of water, but 95% of the time I'm drinking my own water out of a stainless steel cup. I bring my water with me everywhere I go. Glass bottles are also A-okay! I just prefer stainless steel. Too scared I'm going to break the glass.. LOL. I also got a stainless steel travel cup for my coffee.

The next thing I did was evaluate my beauty products and did research on what to buy once I ran out -- soap, body wash, lotion, face wash, moisturizer, makeup remover wipes, and makeup. If it was going on my body, I wanted it to not be filled with chemicals. That also includes laundry detergent. It's been a slow change on that front, but I'm LOVING trying new products. 

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I hope that gives you a clearer picture of what PCOS is and why it's a big deal. Even more so, I hope that you feel EMPOWERED to start taking health things seriously. You CAN make changes. You CAN do research for yourself and learn what's effecting you internally and externally. I would love to help you do that. I'm figuring out this stuff for myself and I would love to share what I'm learning with you along the way. We're a team! We have to help each other! 

If you have any questions about PCOS, tell me in the comments because I've probably had or currently have the same questions! I also recommend making the switch to non-toxic living if you don't have a condition like PCOS. You don't want endocrine disruptors effecting you at all! 

Tips for Starting Keto
Photo by Katie Smith on Unsplash

A few weeks I ago, I shared a post about how I got started on Keto. I went into the backstory of the why behind why I wanted to do Keto and today, I'm sharing my tips on how you can get started. Since publishing that blog post, I've received messages from friends and acquaintances with questions about Keto and how to know if you're ready to start. I've compiled my best tips and suggestions to share. Enjoy!

1. do your Science-y research. 

Understand what Keto is and why you want to do it (or any lifestyle change). 

When you're doing your research, you're going to see over and over that Keto is short for Ketogenic. Ketogenic is the state in which your body produces Ketones to be used as energy.  Your body can either run on glucose (sugar) or ketones (fat). You can either be a sugar burner or a fat burner. When you eat the Standard American Diet that's high carbohydrate and low fat, you're a sugar burner. When you eat Keto that's high in fat and low in carbohydrates, you're a fat burner.

I am not a scientist or a nutritionist, but I am a believer. You can read more on the basics of Keto and the science-y stuff here, here, and here. I also read this book and it was incredibly helpful for me. 

2. Do your Personal Research

If you are just looking to lose and gain the same 20 pounds over and over again, you can skip this step. 

If you're like me and want a lifelong solution to being healthy on the inside and reversing conditions like PCOS and prevent type 2 diabetes, then you MUST be willing to dig deep on a personal level to uncover your "whys."

What's motivating you? What's driving you toward change? Are you living up to your potential (wrote some thoughts about that here)? Are you being the person you truly want to be?

You have to be willing to answer those questions on a heart level, not a surface level. Once you do, you know what you're looking for. Even if you aren't a goal oriented person you can do this because there is a difference between quality of life and goals. I'm not very goal oriented, by the way. 

If I've learned one thing over the years it's that you cannot force someone or yourself into a lifestyle change. It's a personal choice. YOU have to be willing to recognize what you want and realize that you have to do act and think differently in order for things to change. If you want different, you have to do different. That's been my personal mantra for the better part of 2018. You can adopt it, too. I'll share!

Doing your personal research helps you act and think differently so you can get the different results. 

3. Forget all the rules about "eating healthy"

To buy into the whole Ketogenic lifestyle, you need to be a little bit of a conspiracy theorist. It's funny because it's true! Like I mentioned above, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or a scientist, but you don't have to have a medical degree to know that processed food is terrible for you and environmental toxins are wreaking havoc on our bodies. You do not have to be a scientist to know that feeding animals chemically altered food effects the meat products, which in turn effects the consumer. You do not have to be a nutritionist to know that eating chemically processed food is not the way our bodies were designed. 

Keto is basically the food pyramid turned upside down. Keto is a high-fat, low carbohydrate way of eating (WOE). You're looking for healthy fats (butter, coconut oil, nuts, full-fat/good quality dairy), a moderate amount of quality protein (grass fed beef, non-vegetarian fed chicken, salmon, etc), and limited carbohydrates (leafy greens, vegetables, not starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn). When you're eating a combinations of these foods they are the most delicious, flavorful, and satisfying foods! 

It doesn't take long to get over "food guilt" once you realize just how good real butter is and what it can do for ANYTHING. It's just a little difficult to change your muscle memory. All of the sudden mayo is encouraged and bacon is welcomed. It takes a hot minute to get adjusted to.  

What I am not interested in is a debate about this way of eating vs. that way of eating. Every way of eating (WOE) has pros and cons. Every WOE has scientific studies backing them up (the real question here is are those studies credible, but I digress). If you aren't on the Keto train, that's cool. However, I've done my research and I know that Keto is the right WOE for me. 

4. Don't tell anybody what you're doing

This is the perfect follow up to forgetting all the old rules about "healthy eating." Unless people have done the research and have seen for themselves the benefits of eating Keto, they aren't really going to understand. They might try to debate with you on why multi-grain wheat bread is good for you or give you weird looks when you say you skip breakfast everyday. You can have those conversations when the time is right. For me, I needed to sit a while with Keto and continue doing the "science-y" research, so I could confidently know what I was talking about and know whether or not it was working for me. 

Luke and I didn't tell anyone that we were doing Keto for months and I'm glad we kept our mouths shut. You see, now we have the results to back up what we say. People have seen us stick to Keto and fully enjoy ourselves. Also, the methodology is second nature to us now, so we can casually talk about it without feeling like we have no idea what we're actually saying! 

The final tip is to just start

You can start a new WOE on a Tuesday. It doesn't have to be the first day of the next month. It can be any old day. I think that you'll just know when it's the right time for you to start. Also, you don't have to make a complete 180 and start strict Keto at the beginning. You can take your time and warm up to it. Like I said in my first post about why I started Keto, I started really slow. I started leaving the starchy carbs off my plate during the week while I was continuing to learn the ins and outs about Keto. You can do the same! Whatever you're starting looks like, just go ahead and do it! Don't wait for a magical time because there will never be the perfect time.

Those are my tips for getting started with Keto! I hope that you find it helpful and are encouraged to make a lifestyle change. Don't forget to follow my Keto instagram account @campbellhouseketo ! I post food pics and updates. It's been a really fun and helpful project for me! - JJ

How I Started Keto
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Maybe you've heard of Keto, maybe you haven't. Maybe you've heard a co-worker mention the word Ketogenic, Keto, or Ketosis, but you aren't really sure what it is. 

I'd love to give you some insight onto the things I've learned over the past year. You see, before Keto, I had an idea of what I wanted my everyday life to be like, but didn't know how to get there. I had a vision of how I wanted to be, but had no idea what to do. Then, I found Keto. 

Now, I had heard of it before, but never really dug into it. I didn't think I could live without bread and pasta. Turns out I can. 

My Keto story starts back in 2017. I was working with my OBGYN, taking hormone medication, and trying to get pregnant. It wasn't working. The hormone medication was actually making me gain weight and I felt like my efforts were canceling each other out. Gaining weight on top of excess weight surely wasn't helping me get pregnant. 

My journey, I'm sure started like many others, GOOGLE. I started searching things like, "What to eat to get pregnant" and "Pregnancy Diet." A few rabbit trails later I found articles sharing how eating Keto was good for people who have PCOS. 

This was the first time that I ever felt empowered enough to try to heal my body from the inside out, not just rely on medicine. I wanted to take an active role in healing my body, not just wait for it to magically happen. So I started researching and soaking up everything I could about reversing or healing PCOS. The majority of credible resources that I found pointed to Keto and Essential Oils. 

I started listening to podcasts and reading through Keto basics each night after dinner. I knew that this was what I needed to do. I needed to ditch all processed food, grains, sugar, and household toxins to get what I wanted. 

This meant more than wanting to lose x amount of pounds. It was deeper. I wanted to start Keto because I wanted to heal my body naturally. I want to heal my hormones and take back my fertility. 

Also, I was eager to try Keto because I loved all the foods on the approved foods list. Cheese? OH YEAH. Ranch Dressing? OHHH YEAH. Bacon?? Are you kidding me?? Cream in my coffee?? What is this gift?!!  I was particularly excited about the Ranch Dressing because even though I like salad, I don't love "healthy" salad dressings like vinaigrettes. Never have. I like the creamy and rich stuff. 

So you jumped in right away, right?? 

No, I didn't. I'm kind of a slow processor when it comes to making big changes. I needed to immerse myself in the knowledge and change the way I thought about food.  I knew from my previous diet experiences that to be in this for the long haul, to really see the long term results that I wanted, that this wouldn't be a quick fix, 20 day diet. This would be a complete OVERHAUL entailing physical and (most importantly) mental work. 

So I started making changes upstairs before I making major changes in the kitchen. I took a slow, boring approach. For example, I started leaving out the starchy carb sides (rice, pasta, bread) when I would cook during the weekdays. Then, we slowly stopped having dessert every night. 

As I was learning about Intermittent Fasting, we started skipping breakfast. We weren't breakfast eaters anyway, so that was easy. 

I am confident that these slow changes are what set me up for Keto success. 

So thats how I got started! I am working on a separate blog post with suggestions on how anyone can start shifting their life towards Keto. If you have any specific questions, please let me know so I can include them in my post. I'll also include references for the resources that were super helpful to me then and helpful to me now! 

Also, as a teaser, over the past year of doing halfway Keto (2017) and full out Keto (May 2018 and onward) I've lost about 30 pounds total! And you know what the best part is.... I've kept it OFF. 

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Okay, okay, I'll go ahead and give you one of my tips for starting Keto.

Start doing your research. Maybe you don't have any glaring in the face health issues like me, but maybe you want to clean up your lifestyle, quit the processed stuff, have more energy, ditch the toxins, etc. Start reading things for yourself. And of course, be on the lookout for my follow up post, Tips for Starting Keto.

Oh and one more thing!

I've started a separate IG account thats strictly about my Keto Journey. You can follow here -- @Campbellhouseketo

Let's Go! - JJ