WARNING: Graphic Images of my Tummy Tuck  from the OR

WARNING: Graphic Images of my Tummy Tuck from the OR

Umbilicus see in the middle and the port to my cursed lap band at the top left. The belly button stays attached and when they pull the skin down they make a new hole for it and sew it in. 

Umbilicus see in the middle and the port to my cursed lap band at the top left. The belly button stays attached and when they pull the skin down they make a new hole for it and sew it in. 

The purple dotted lines show my diastasis recti, it was 2 cm apart

You can see where they stitched up my abdomen and repaired my diastasis

You can see where they stitched up my abdomen and repaired my diastasis

This is why you walk hunched over, they cut out and remove a lot of skin, then pull the sking from above all the way down to your pubis. 

This is why you walk hunched over, they cut out and remove a lot of skin, then pull the sking from above all the way down to your pubis. 

Just over 3 lbs and a tattoo lost. Most expensive tattoo removal ever ;)

Just over 3 lbs and a tattoo lost. Most expensive tattoo removal ever ;)

MYM in the Media

MYM in the Media

A few months ago I submitted my story to ShapeFit which shared it online, after that I was contacted by a journalist that asked to write my story and so far it has been shared on The Daily Mail, The Sun, AOL, Skinny Mom, HealthGlu,  News.com.au, Express, Delish, The Mirror, Follow News, Canada News, New Beauty the German Huffington Post, San Antonio ExpressGood Housekeeping, the Netherlands' LibelleDaily, South African news you.co.zaPEOPLE! and The Today Show! 

Being drop dead honest about my weight, my alcoholism and my immobility has been harder that the weight loss itself it is VERY hard to admit these things to myself let alone thousands of people but I know what is like to look up and see the train wreck that is your life and you think that you can't possibly put a stop to it, let alone reverse it. But by putting myself out there I hope that I can give people hope that they really can pull the hand brake and do a 180 with their lives. I was almost 300 lbs, an alcoholic, I smoked cigarettes and I could barley walk 500'  in 18 months I lost 137 lbs., went from 65% body fat to 25% body fat, a size 28 to a size 8, XXXL to a M and I can do anything I want to now. Run? sure. Yoga? yes please. Lift weights? love it! 

 

 

 

Welcome to Mind Your Macros!

Welcome to Mind Your Macros!

I've been where you have been and I have felt what you are feeling and I can help get you get healthy by personalizing your ketogenic macros which are made just for you and your lifestyle, and by creating a personalized meal plan to get you up-and-going on the ketogenic diet and set out for success.  I have six different packages to choose from so I am sure that you will find one that fits your needs.

 

Mind Your Macros (MYM) Packages: 

There are no contracts, no recurring payments and no hidden fees. All prices are in U.S. Dollars. If you have any questions please email me at mindyourmacros@outlook.com

PayPal Acceptance Mark

When you make a payment you will be automatically directed to my online questionnaire and once it is submitted I'll receive a  notification and from there I will start working on your package, expect to receive all of your information, via email, within a week from the submission of your questionnaire. 

Terms and Conditions

For a limited time: 

BOGO offer on our most popular plan the $125 - Personalized Macros, Startup Plan, & 7 Day Meal Plan  

Now you can buy one plan for yourself and get the same plan half off for your friend/ family member/ neighbor/ partner/ spouse 

$187.50 DUO PLAN: Personalized Macros, Startup Plan, & 7 Day Meal Plan for TWO

This plan includes personalized macros, personalized maintenance day macros, a startup plan, a 7 day meal plan with 21 different meals for two, tailor made for you based off of your macros and personal food preferences. This package also includes a detailed and a quick reference keto food list, grocery shopping guide, supplement recommendation list, an electrolyte guide (aka how to prevent the keto flu) and many recipes that are suited for a well formulated ketogenic diet.  

 


$50 - Personalized Macros and Startup Plan: 

This plan includes personalized macros will be calculated for you based off of your answers to my questionnaire, a startup plan, detailed and a quick reference keto food list, a grocery shopping guide, sample 3-day meal plan, supplement recommendation list, & an electrolyte guide (aka how to prevent the keto flu).


$100- 7 Day Meal Plan:

This plan includes a 7 day meal plan with 21 different meals tailor made and based off of your macros* and personal food preference and it comes with a detailed and a quick reference keto food list, grocery shopping guide, supplement recommendation list, & an electrolyte guide (aka how to prevent the keto flu). *Macros must come from the Mind Your Macros Calculator


⭐ Our most popular plan!

$125 - Personalized Macros, Startup Plan, & 7 Day Meal Plan:

This plan includes personalized macros, a startup plan, a 7 day meal plan with 21 different meals tailor made for you based off of your macros and personal food preferences. This package also includes a detailed and a quick reference keto food list, grocery shopping guide, supplement recommendation list, an electrolyte guide (aka how to prevent the keto flu) and many recipes that are suited for a well formulated ketogenic diet.  


OPEN ENROLLMENT

$150 - Monthly Membership: 

This plan includes personalized macros, a startup plan, instructions on how to implement a ketogenic diet, the ability to ask me questions 24 hours a day/ 7 day a week and accountability.  You will keep track of your macros, weight and measurements on a shared drive that I will give you access to.  This plan also includes a scheduled, weekly 15-minute phone call via Skype or Facebook Messenger if you want one.

I provide all the information that you need to get started,  I may send out an additional group email mid-week to all my clients with information that I think everyone could benefit from. If I don’t hear from you I won't track you down to see how you are doing as you need to be responsible for your own success but I am available to answer any question that you ask or assist you in any other way that I can. We can also arrange Skype of FB video chat/ phone calls in advance as well. 

There are no recurring payments, this is a one-time charge. If you choose to renew your membership at the end of the month you may do so for $100 and at I will send you an invoice through PayPal. 


OPEN ENROLLMENT

$200 - Monthly Membership + 7 Day Meal Plan: 

This plan includes personalized macros, a startup plan, 7 day personalized meal plan, instructions on how to implement a ketogenic diet, the ability to ask me questions 24 hours a day/ 7 day a week and accountability You will keep track of your macros, weight and measurements. This plan also includes a scheduled, weekly 15-minute phone call via Skype or Facebook Messenger if you want one.

I provide all the information that you need to get started,  I may send out an additional group email mid-week to all my clients with information that I think everyone could benefit from. If I don’t hear from you I won't track you down to see how you are doing as you need to be responsible for your own success but I am available to answer any question that you ask or assist you in any other way that I can. We can also arrange Skype of FB video chat/ phone calls in advance as well. 

There are no recurring payments, this is a one-time charge. If you choose to renew your membership at the end of the month you may do so for $100 and at I will send you an invoice through PayPal. 


Moving with Purpose

Moving with Purpose

I use to envy my daughter and the way she could run so effortlessly. She runs without even thinking about it, she runs because she can. I remember being athletic when I was younger, I remember when moving was easy.

Even before my herniated disc, the constant pain nerve pain, and being bed ridden I wasn’t in good shape; I was almost 300 lbs. and my exercise included walking from my door to the car and then after sitting in traffic for an hour walking from the car to my office building then 10 hours later back to the car, traffic, and then car to front door. That. Was. It. Maybe a few hundred steps a day. Maybe.

Even though I was sedentary I encouraged my child to play outside, swim in the pool, and take karate – she was active all the time, I was (still am) her biggest supporter: I cheered her on but I secretly wanted to be like her - I wanted to be strong and agile. At almost 300 lbs. it felt impossible, exhausting, and lonely and I thought that I was never going to get to move effortlessly again.

 

Over the last 14 months I have lost over 125 lbs. and I am a weight lifter, I go on hikes, take the dogs for long walks, go swimming and just recently tried running: I didn’t get very far and my lungs felt like they were on fire but that didn’t matter, the fact is I wanted to run and so I did. It might not be effortless but it wasn’t hard. This is the first time I am moving with purpose in my adult life and it is freeing. 

I'm off to the gym to lift and The Kid is going to a Strength and Speed Camp. I love that now I don't have to push my daughter to be active, I show her and that will make all the difference in her life. 

I'm off to the gym to lift and The Kid is going to a Strength and Speed Camp. I love that now I don't have to push my daughter to be active, I show her and that will make all the difference in her life. 

Now she wants to be like me

Comfortable in My Skin

Comfortable in My Skin

We live just 500 feet from a pool and we pay for the seasonal membership, last year at this time I had lost 40 lbs and I weighed in at 257, when we went to the pool I wore jeans, a tank top and one of these asymmetrical jacket things over it, I had to sit in the shade and I was miserable. 

June 18, 2015, had lost 40 lbs and weighed 256. 

June 18, 2015, had lost 40 lbs and weighed 256. 

 

 

I wore these jackets over everything, even in the hottest months of the Texas summer. 

I wore these jackets over everything, even in the hottest months of the Texas summer. 

 

I live in Texas and it is hot... I was hot. I was still very uncomfortable in my body and I was  recovering from back surgery and from having been bedridden for months and it left me in terrible shape physically and mentally... So even though we lived a stones throw from the pool I would drive the 500 ft instead of walking it and if I thought someone was paying attention to me I would take the long route home so they wouldn't see how close we actually lived. 

Now 1 year later I am down another 82 lbs. for a total of 121 lbs. lost so far. I am 175 lbs, I've been working out since September 2015 and not only have I gained my functional strength back but I'm even starting to feel athletic. 

Before at 296 lbs and now at 175 lbs. 

Before at 296 lbs and now at 175 lbs. 

Today when I walked (didn't drive!) with my daughter to the pool I didn't compare myself to the other women that were there, I got down to my swimsuit, jumped in and played with her - I had a blast and she got tired before I did! 

I like my body for the first time in a long time - I still have weight to lose but my body is strong and powerful, and I feel good in it. Whereas last year I was trapped in it: it was hot, covered in clothes, and unable to get me from point A to point B. Now I can lift weights for 2 hours, take the dogs for a long walk at high noon (it's hot), and then go swim for over an hour with my kid. 

At the pool 

At the pool 

Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.
— Kevin Mark Trudeau

Success when dieting with support

Success when dieting with support

Over 50% of American’s and 30% of the world’s population is overweight or obese; those number are staggering. How come we, as a people, keep gaining and gaining despite trying to lose? I believe it comes back to the one-size-fits-all mentality of the recommended diet that should be “rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish”; carbohydrates are a quick source of energy and not very satiating and they either get used for a quick burst of energy or if they are fructose then they get turned into fat and released into your blood in the form of triglycerides. This is why it is so difficult to maintain a low fat diet that is high in “healthy” carbohydrates… you get hungry and who can keep that up, never feeling full and always feeling run-down and hungry. The beauty of a low carb ketogenic diet is that being in ketosis is a natural appetite suppressant as well as both protein and fat and being very satiating so even though I might have you eating, for example, 1300 calories a day you will not be hungry and you will be able to Mind Your Macros and lose the weight. Many of my clients complain that they can’t eat enough food and I actually have to coach them and help them get their calories up because the goal is safe, healthy weight loss.

Some people can eat carbohydrates and never have an issue but not all are so lucky as evident by the 34% of Americans with Metabolic Syndrome; it is apparent that a portion of the population is carbohydrate intolerant and should be given different nutritional guidelines. By creating personalized nutritional guidelines (macros) for you I will make it possible for you to lose weight, stay full, be healthy and reverse any and all signs of metabolic disorder – you will no longer be in the overweight category; you can get down to your goal weight and stay there. This is a life style change and I will be there through the whole process.

According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association it’s been proven that you will lose more weight and keep it off longer if you are held accountable, attend meetings, share tips, motivation and success vs going it alone with no support system and this is what I bring to you: an online support system, motivation, accountability, and knowledge base.

When you sign up with MYM I will calculate your personal macros and give you a start up plan and everything you need to know about getting starting on a low carb diet while keeping it simple as to not overwhelm. We will also have "Weekly Weigh Ins" or meetings about your progress, I will check on what you eat by monitoring your MyFitnessPal (you can see what I eat too), you have access to me 7 days a week to ask me anything you want about the diet. I have two closed Facebook groups, Mind Your Macros & Mind Your Recipes & Q's where my clients and non-clients and I go to share recipes, success stories, ask questions, and to give motivation - feel free to join them and check it out! We are a keto-family and it’s nice to be able to share your journey with similar people because, like most of us, you are probably the only one of your friends and family that eats a low-carb, ketogenic diet and that can feel lonely and unfortunately make you more susceptible to peer pressure and to making bad decisions. I will be your support system, I’ll keep you on the straight and narrow, I’ll pick you up and dust you off if you fall, I’ll cheer you on when you succeed and I’ll be a shoulder to cry on when you need one. I’m here for you, you don’t have to do it alone. 

Are you thinking about Weight Loss Surgery?

Are you thinking about Weight Loss Surgery?

If you are on the fence about getting Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) please let me try to help you lose weight though a low-carb, ketogenic diet first. I had a lap band put in 10 years ago and it's never helped me lose weight and has only been a nuisance.

I have to eat very slowly, chew a thousand times and drink water with almost every bite to make sure the food doesn't get stuck in my pouch but some food is more difficult to manage than others and it gets stuck regardless of what I do and I have to go throw up because the pain is pretty bad; it feels like a golf ball stuck in your chest and your mouth with start to slime trying to unblock the food, if you drink anything after its stuck it just backs up because there is nowhere for it to go. Eating out can be awful when something gets stuck - trying the throw up quietly, in a public bathroom, is no fun. 

To use a lap band "properly" you aren't supposed to drink with your meal or after it, but I am not trying to use it to lose weight, I want to follow my macros and eat real food and lose weight though calorie restriction and ketosis. Veteran lap-band survivor field note *unhealthy food is oftentimes much easier to eat than healthy food is: greasy hamburgers, queso, and milkshakes slide right down; chicken, steak and broccoli get stuck. It was easy to eat the food that wouldn't hurt me. Eating "real food" in an attempt to be healthy hurts me everyday. 

Yesterday I had my worst event in 10 years, and usually I can feel when something gets stuck and it's usually my fault for eating too fast and not chewing enough or forgetting to drink water after each bite... But this time I didn't even know it was stuck until I drank water and it backed up, I tried throwing up, drinking cold liquid, hot liquid, throwing up some more everything that had worked for me before wasn't working at all and the event lasted for over 6 hours; it's painful and it makes me feel almost claustrophobic and panicky. Trying so hard to throw up, trying to dislodge it, I gave myself petechial hemorrhages around my eyes, mouth and neck.

petechial hemorrhages

petechial hemorrhages

 

I wish I had never had the procedure, yesterday was awful and because the food was stuck for more than 20 minutes my stomach lining thickened and I will be more likely to have food get stuck in the 24 hours after the event because of this. It took me an hour to eat dinner last night because every bite was getting stuck.

I have helped other people that were thinking about weight loss surgery lose weight, develop a healthy relationship to food and change their eating habits. If you would like to give this diet a real try before you commit to surgery, I am here for you.

Before weight loss surgery they usually put you on a ketogenic diet to help you lose weight and shrink your liver, after the surgery their guidelines for how you eat are very similar to mine: eat healthy, protein first, no snacking etc.  If you are ready to commit to surgery, recovery, changing everything about how and what you eat why not sign up with me first? Unlike surgery my diet plan does not require a lifetime decision to be made, you can go month to month as I help you lose the weight. 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. -
— Maria Robinson

Wild

Wild

Wild

 

I started my low-carb, ketogenic diet on February 20, 2015 at almost 300 lbs. I was a couch potato, depressed with no energy… I didn’t even want to leave the house. I had a permanent spot on the couch – there’s actually an indention.  By not cheating on my diet and by minding my macros I quickly lost 60 lbs. in 6 months just sitting on my couch watching Netflix for most of the day. On one of those days I came across a movie on Amazon, “Wild” starting Reese Witherspoon; it’s about a woman that has a self-realization that her life is not what she wanted it to be; she’s a recovering heroin addict that lost her mom , her husband left her, she’s estranged from her brother and she has nothing left to lose so she decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) and put herself ‘in the way of beauty’, she was going to walk her way to the woman her mother thought she should be. The strength of character, fortitude and path of self-redemption really moved me, I don’t have the same problems as she did but I had my own and I was stuck in a miserable rut and even though I was losing weight I wasn’t going in the exact direction that I wanted. I must have watched that movie 3 times a day for days on end, feeling more motivated every time I watched it. I have always pictured myself as a strong woman: physically, emotional and mentally but I had not been living up to my own standards. Because of my herniated disc and back surgery I had terrible muscle atrophy, I had given up on working on myself and I was letting life happen to me and that is not who I am so I decided to be the person that I was supposed to be; I needed to be in the driver seat of my own life so on August 28, 2015 I walked in the gym and signed up. You can be whoever you want to be, you don’t have to be stuck because it’s comfortable, let go and start your journey to become the person you always wished you could be.

Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.
— Sharon L. Adler
Weight training is my version of walking the PCT and I know that I am on the right path to get to the best version of myself. 

Weight training is my version of walking the PCT and I know that I am on the right path to get to the best version of myself. 

She's almost gone

She's almost gone

I find it hard to remember her, the Misty that fit in these pants... She was tired all the time and always made up excuses why she couldn't go out but it really was because just walking made her sweaty. She had to wear sandals in the winter because shoes didn't fit her - it's OK, at almost 300 lbs she was never cold anyway. She sat on the couch all day, depressed and too afraid she'd run into someone she knew if she actually left the house. Some days it took everything that she had just to hold her head up when she walked into a room because it's hard to be that big.

 

I allowed myself to get that way and I know why: I had given up. Trying can be exhausting, making the right decisions over and over again can seem like an impossible task when you have half of your body weight to lose. I am so happy that I decided to commit myself to this diet, everyday I continue to make the right decisions and everyday I try to push myself just a little bit more. I am working hard on becoming the woman I want to be and I will be stopped by anyone, least of all myself.

Seared Halibut with Haricots Verts

Seared Halibut with Haricots Verts

Seared Halibut with Haricots Verts.

Serves 4. Macros per serving: 43 g P/ 25 g F/ 15 g C

 

Ingredients:

    • 1 pound haricots verts or young green beans
    • Four 7-ounce halibut fillets, each approximately 1 inch thick
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
    • 1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other dry white wine
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 5 scallions, white part only, finely sliced on the bias
    • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
    • 1 large, ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice

 

PREPARATION

  1.  
    1. In a pot of boiling salted water set over high heat, cook the haricots verts for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Drain and place them in the center of a large, warm serving platter. Cover and keep warm.
    2. Season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn, reduce the heat to medium, and cook about 4 minutes longer, until the fish is opaque in the center and browned on both sides. Put the fish on the platter with the beans and cover to keep warm.
    3. Pour off any oil in the pan and add the wine and lemon juice. Raise the heat to high and deglaze the pan by scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sauce reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and stir in the butter, a piece at a time, to enrich and flavor the sauce. Add the scallions, capers, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over the fish on the platter. Serve immediately.

Exercise Not Required

Exercise Not Required

Good News: Exercise Is Not Required to Lose Weight

Exercise is not required to lose weight on my macros, you can sit on the couch and be Captain Netflix if you want and still lose weight... I did, I sat on the couch for the first 6 months of my diet and I lost 60 lbs.

After 6 months of losing weight I chose to go to the gym because I was feeling more confident and had a ton of energy. I chose weight lifting because I always enjoyed going to the weight room back in high school, I like feeling strong and when you build muscle and lose fat at the same time it's called body recomposition and it can really improve how you look. 

This is 6 months of progress losing weight while gaining muscle. 

This is 6 months of progress losing weight while gaining muscle. 

Pork Medallions in a Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Pork Medallions in a Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Pork Medallions in a Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Makes 4 servings: macros for 1 serving: 44 g P/ 34 g F/ 5 g C

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. pork tenderloin (about 2 tenderloins)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter

  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced (20 g)

  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup dry Marsala

  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt chicken broth

  • 3 Tbs. heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (20 g)

Trim the tenderloin of silver skin and any excess fat. Cut the tenderloins into 2-inch-thick medallions. Flip each medallion onto a cut side and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Season the meat with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Heat the olive oil and 1 Tbs. of the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. When the butter is melted and foaming, add half of the meat and sear until nicely browned, 2 to 3 min.

 

Flip and cook the other side until the meat is well browned and slightly firm to the touch, about another 2 min. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining pork.

Melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in the pan. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 30 seconds, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

 

Add the mushrooms and sauté until all of the mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden, about 3 min.

 

Season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and add the Marsala. Once the Marsala has almost completely evaporated, add the chicken broth and reduce by half, about 3 min.

 

Stir in the cream and parsley, return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan, and cook, flipping the pork once, until it’s firm to the touch and still a little pink in the middle (cut into a piece to check), 2 to 4 min. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

How to Deal With Cravings

How to Deal With Cravings

 

When you give up carbohydrates it can be difficult to get through the cravings but I will tell you the tricks that I have learned:

1.       Never, ever feed a craving. Think of your cravings as stray cats, if you feed them they will never go away.

2.       If white knuckling it through a craving is too hard you can try eating a pickle, sipping some pickle juice or brushing your teeth it helps reset your mouth and brain

3.       Drink water when you have a craving as most of us confuse thirst signals with hunger signals.

4.       It can help to visualize your craving like a wave; it will come, it will crest and it will dissipate. The waves will come fewer and further between and if you can just ride it out you will soon have smooth sailing. 

In 1 – 2 weeks (sometimes less) you will no longer have cravings, so it also helps to know that you won’t have to have this massive amount of will power, use visualization, or tricks for long – one day you will snap and realize that it has been a long time since your last craving. 

Everyone Poops

Everyone Poops

Constipation, fiber and bowel movements are one of the most discussed topics by my clients.

Being constipated and not have a bowel movement are two different things: on this diet you are eating less food, you've removed processed food and junk food, and you are eating fewer calories so your body is using most of what you give it so there isn't a lot of waste left over i.e. you won't have to go as often.

If you are constipated I do not advise adding fiber to your diet but instead making sure you have the correct amount of sodiumand I recommend buying magnesium citrate (in pill form or in powder form like Calm brand magnesium), take it before bed and you will not be constipated in the morning as it is a non-stimulant laxative.

 

Everyone poops
— Tarō Gomi

Being in Ketosis Does Not Guarantee Weight Loss

Being in Ketosis Does Not Guarantee Weight Loss

Eating a low carbohydrate diet has been around for a very long time with many civilizations thriving on a diet of mostly protein and fat such as the Inuit, the Sioux and the Masai. Restricting carbohydrates will put your body into ketosis but this does not guarantee weight loss, you still need to restrict your calories to lose weight. There are two schools of thought right now on the ketogenic diet, one that follows the medical ketogenic ratios: it is Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) with scant amounts of protein and the other camp is based off of the science and research of Drs. Phinney and Volek, where the amount  protein eaten is adequate to prevent muscle loss and the fat macro is used to control calories for the purpose of losing weight.

The medical ketogenic diet was originally designed in the 1920's to help epileptic children control their seizures, they were eating enough calories to not lose weight on the diet and it was strictly monitored by a doctor; it was not intended to be a lifelong diet but only to be used for a few years. Due to the the low amount of protein that was eaten muscle atrophy in the children was a known side effect that the parents had to agree to before the treatment commenced. 

The original ketogenic diet was NOT designed to help people lose weight. If you look on the internet you will see that what people have done is take those same medical ratios but eat at a deficit, they call it Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) and they will lose weight because they are eating fewer calories than the body requires but because they are not eating enough protein their body will break down or catabolize the skeletal muscles to get what it needs to maintain and repair the major organs. Read: if you restrict your protein you will lose your lean body mass (lbm).

Drs. Phinney and Volek, after years of research, have discovered that a well-formulated ketogenic diet for optimal health and weight loss is one where we eat low carb, adequate protein and eat fat to purpose, which means while cutting calories for weight loss you will eat low fat. This is the science that I use when I calculate your personalized macros,  this guarantees that you will retain your lean body mass while losing fat. 

How Much Water Do You Need?

How Much Water Do You Need?

It's very popular on the internet right now to tell people to drink a gallon of water a day, is that much water necessary? No, it isn't. Drinking too much water can cause an electrolyte imbalance and do more harm than good. It's best to drink when you are thirsty and if you are feeling hungry; if you are an over-eater your brain may mistake the thirst signal for a hunger signal. 

The Art of Buying Exactly What You Need at the Grocery Store

The Art of Buying Exactly What You Need at the Grocery Store

The Art of Buying Exactly What You Need at the Grocery Store

Planning a variety of meals can be tedious when you are trying to stay within your macros so to save on time I have found that the best solution is to meal prep. You spend it's a few hours in the kitchen one day cooking and packaging the food up and when you are done each meal is ready to heat and eat and your food is entered into MyFitnessPal (MFP) for the week.

Meal prep not only saves on time in the kitchen but if done properly it saves money and cuts back on food waste. Plan out your menu for the week and then you will be able to shop for exactly what you need, no more no less. We will use this Sample Menu Plan as an example of taking one day and hitting repeat so that we know that we are going to stay within our macros every day that week. 

Now that we have our menu for the week we will multiply the food amounts by 6 and then you have your exact grocery list and everything you will need for the coming week – on the 7th day you go shopping and meal prep again. 

Shopping List:

12 eggs

4.5 C egg whites or 36 oz.

6 oz. cheddar

6 oz. spinach

1 jar of coconut oil 

2.25 lbs. chicken breast

12 T pesto or 6 oz.

60 Kalamata olives

6 oz. mozzarella

3 large hass avocado (cut in half will give you around 3oz)

2.25 lbs. Sockeye Salmon

2.6 lbs. zucchini

Kerrygold butter

2 oz. parmiggiano reggiano

 

If you follow these guidelines you should have little to no food waste at the end of the week meaning you didn't lose any money on food you didn't eat, you reduced your carbon foot print and you will have stayed in your macros all week. 

No Products or Pills, Just Real Food

No Products or Pills, Just Real Food

The best part of a ketogenic diet is that being in ketosis is a natural appetite suppressant and it kicks in after a few weeks, so even though you will be eating reduced calories the combination of my macros will ensure that you will not be hungry - you can look forward to increased energy, mental clarity, improved mood, better sleep, clearer skin all while losing weight and not being hungry.

Mind Your Macros isn't another diet product, or pill or fad, these are the natural benefits that you will see when you remove most of the carbohydrates from your life. When you limit your carbohydrate intake your body switches over from running on glucose (carbs) to running off of fat and this is called nutritional ketosis. When you are in ketosis your body breaks down fat for energy and ketones are a byproduct of that process - ketones don't burn fat for you.  So when someone tries to sell you a bottle of ketones Just Say No, if you are not in nutritional ketosis you will not be burning your own fat for energy.  

Figuring out how to get into ketosis is just the first step, I believe in fueling your body with real food and I discourage replacing high-carb junk food with low-carb junk food. We want to give our body the best food that we can and that's why I take a paleo approach to the ketogenic diet in the sense that I try to eliminate processed foods from my diet and focus on eating real food. If you come from a high carb, processed, junk-food filled diet it could take some getting used to but if you have a goal to change the way you eat and you work towards it you are already succeeding. 

Real food doesn’t HAVE ingredients, real food IS ingredients
— Jamie Oliver

 

 

What Are Electrolytes?

What Are Electrolytes?

 

Electrolytes are Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Chloride, Bicarbonate,  Calcium and Phosphate and despite what you will read on the internet it is not carbohydrate withdrawal that gives you the "keto flu" it is an electrolyte imbalance that makes you feel sick. I will outline why it is important to be mindful of your electrolytes and why they deserve so much attention. 

Our body fluid is mostly composed of water and electrolytes with sodium in the fluid and potassium in the cells this balance becomes the force that allows life giving material to move in and out of the cells, electrolytes are necessary for all cellular functions and this is the root of everything that we are, without any of the four electrolytes all functions in our cells and organs would cease.

When dissolved in water, salt (NaCl) breaks apart into the positively charged sodium (Na+) and the negatively charged chloride (Cl-) and these electrical charges are responsible for creating an electrically-conductive solution and it one half of the electrical pump that maintains the electrolyte solutions which is your body fluids. 

Sodium Chloride

The positively charged sodium ion (cation), when in circulation, is responsible regulating the amount of water in your body, for the electrical signals that are required for the brain, nervous system and muscles for communication. Without the correct amount of sodium, the system breaks down and it can cause cells to malfunction.

Potassium is the cation that is found inside the cells, and is the other half of the electrical pump that keeps the fluid conducive to allow communication between cells and keeps the rest of the electrolytes in balance. that potassium regulates blood pressure, the heart beat and your muscle function. Low sodium levels directly affect your potassium levels because for the body to maintain homeostasis or a balance in the intra and extracellular fluid it will push potassium out of the cells if sodium in low extracellularly to maintain the correct balance. The correct balance between sodium and potassium is important but most adults are potassium deficient because of the abundance of processed food eaten over real food. This electrolyte is naturally found in meat and vegetables and is easily obtained without having to supplement (not recommended unless prescribed by a doctor); low potassium can increase the risk of hypertension, heart disease and stroke (remember Potassium regulates the muscles and your heart is a muscle).

Magnesium might be the most undervalued, life giving mineral on the planet. Magnesium is alone responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions e.g. affects cell energy, fat and protein synthesis, muscle contractions, bone formation and may even have a role in insulin secretion just to name a few. Magnesium helps in nerve and muscle function, stabilizes your blood sugar, improves your immune system and heart rate and its responsible for the synthesis of RNA and DNA and essential to every cell in every living thing on earth.

We all know that calcium is good for your bones and teeth but did you know that it is also necessary for blood clotting, muscle contraction and nerve impulses. If you don’t get enough calcium, then your body takes what it needs from your body and this is what causes osteoporosis.

Phosphate is the second most abundant mineral in your body after calcium and it is crucial to cellular energy function, tissue growth and repair and is a major building block for cell membranes and DNA. Chloride is a negatively charged ion (anion) found both outside the cell and is responsible for maintaining a fluid balance in the body, when you consume salt for your sodium you are getting Chloride as well so no need to monitor this electrolyte separately. The Bicarbonate ion regulates the acidity (pH) in the blood and other fluids in the body and it one of the main reasons our bodies can maintain homeostasis. 

This is just a small overview to show what electrolytes are for and why we care about them it would take too long and it would be easier to count grains of sand on a beach than it would to count the functions that electrolytes control.

On a standard American diet, it is possible to maintain the correct amount electrolytes without much too thought (although most people are magnesium deficient) but when you are in ketosis your body behaves a little differently and needs a little more care towards your electrolytes from you. When you restrict the amount of carbohydrates and put your body into a state of ketosis your kidneys excrete sodium which as you read directly affects the amount of potassium in your cells and this disrupts the electrical pump that keeps the pathway of communication open for your brain, muscles and nerves and your body cannot maintain the correct amount of potassium in the cells if the extracellular sodium is too low. To lose weight and stay healthy on a low carb ketogenic diet you must supplement your sodium intake, eat foods rich in potassium and magnesium and keep an eye on your calcium all of the fundamental functions of your body rely on electrolytes – don’t wait until you have symptoms use preventative care when it comes to your body.   

Is a Low Carbohydrate Diet Right for You?

Is a Low Carbohydrate Diet Right for You?

Is a Low Carbohydrate Diet Right for You? Let’s work backwards:

Before diabetes, heart disease and stroke there are things to look out for, these will be discussed and then we will talk about how to turn them around.

Metabolic syndrome is the name they give to a set of risk factors, if you have metabolic syndrome you are at risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It is estimated that over 100 million people in the United States have Metabolic Syndrome with 3 million new cases each year.

To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome you must have 3 out of the 5 risk factors listed:

·       A large waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity - if you are a man and your waistline is ≥ 35 in. (90 cm.) and if you are a woman and your waistline ≥ to 31 in. (80 cm.).

·       A high triglyceride (TG) level

·       A low HDL cholesterol level or your good cholesterol

·       High blood pressure (BP)

·       High fasting blood glucose (BG)

Insulin resistance has been shown to be the underlying cause of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body cannot use its insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it’s used for energy. Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugar levels, and it’s closely linked to overweight and obesity. Genetics (ethnicity and family history) and older age are other factors that may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome.

When you continue to eat excess carbohydrates or carbs your body can only store so much in your muscles and in your liver as glycogen before your body runs out of room and when that happens your liver turns carbohydrates into fat via a process called carbohydrate induced hepatic de novo lipogenesis. This fat is in the form of triglycerides or it will be turned into Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDL) aka cholesterol, the bad kind. Continually storing carbs as glycogen in your liver can lead to Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), it is associated with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and obesity; in other words all the features of Metabolic syndrome are also associated with NAFLD. Increased rates of  lipogenesis have been found in Low Fat/ High Carbohydrate diets.

Working backward to insulin resistance we find that insulin production cannot keep up with the glucose, from a high carbohydrate meal, being rapidly absorbed from the gut.  Insulin resistance is the primary cause of type 2 diabetes and can be seen years before the actual onset. 

A diet high in carbohydrates is not for everyone, if you have noticed any of these symptom or have been told by your doctor that you are glucose intolerant, insulin resistant, have NAFLD or metabolic syndrome it might be a time to eliminate the likely culprit.

 

TL;DR?

Metabolic Syndrome or any of it's markers: large waist circumference (Men WC ≥ 35”, Woman WC ≥ 31”), high TG/low HDL, high BP, and high BG  and/or Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease <-- Insulin Resistance <-- Glucose Sensitivity <-- Diet high in carbohydrates

How eating a Low Carb, Ketogenic Diet (LCKD) can help you:

On a low carb diet that induces ketosis you force your body to run on fat because you aren’t supplying it with an abundance of carbohydrates any more. This increased fat oxidation turns your body in a fat burning machine while the reduced amount of carbs that you eat allow your body to start to heal because you are no longer forcing your body to produce insulin to combat large amounts of carbohydrates. When in ketosis saturated fat becomes the preferred source of energy and as such it will use the saturated fat in your body, which decreases the amount of saturated fat in the blood. In addition to using fat as fuel you are also no longer eating a surplus volume of carbohydrates so your liver will no longer have to make fat from excess carbohydrates (de novo lipogenesis) most of which, if you remember, ends up as saturated fat in your blood or triglycerides. This is why saturated fat and triglycerides levels go down on a low carb diet. While in ketosis your body simultaneously reduces Triglyceride levels while increasing your HDL or “good” cholesterol. An increase in your good cholesterol is the best way to improve your heart health as it takes excess cholesterol back to the liver. HDL levels are not improved as quickly as the triglycerides are lowered but over a two-year study it showed that HDL levels continued to rise.

A low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet  has been shown to lower blood pressure and is also very effective at lowering blood glucose, so much so that T2D patients on a LCKD have been able to decrease and even stop taking medication – this is obviously while under a doctor’s care and advisement.

While on a LCKD your body is healing from the inside and when you Mind Your Macros you will be following nutritional guidelines so that you will lose weight while your body heals and  if your WC is: Men WC ≥ 35”, Woman WC ≥ 31 then ketosis will be burning off the excess abdominal fat at an increased rate as compared to fat from other parts of your body as it uses your fat stores for energy.

By reducing our carbs and eating a LCKD we are able to lose the large stomach, decrease our triglycerides, increase our good cholesterol (HDL), decrease blood pressure and blood glucose. The studies show that interrelationships between a LCKD and the reverse of metabolic syndrome, NAFLD and T2D are too big to ignore.

TL;DR?

Low Carb, Ketogenic Diet --> decreases the need for insulin --> reduction in blood glucose --> no longer forcing the body to deal with excess carbs by storing them in your liver and turning them into fat (de novo lipogenesis) --> reduction in fatty liver --> reduction in saturated fat and triglycerides in the blood --> increased HDL, the good cholesterol --> and decreasing high blood pressure. Effectively reducing or eliminating most if not all of your metabolic syndrome markers.