As a freelancer, I just paid the IRS my balance due on my 2017 taxes today and yesterday my first quarter 2018 taxes. I have a huge smile on my face at this quite grand accomplishment. It was a big chunk of money (for me), but that just means I had a good 2017 year and seem to be repeating it this year. I'll be better prepared when I do my 2018 taxes next April. Thank you to all my wonderful authors who I am honored to work with year in and year out.
Another part of my freelancing life involves much time spent seated before my computer. I'm sure you've heard that sitting is the new smoking. But I've also heard that good health is more about the meals than the treadmill. I hope so since I haven't exercised in ... forever. Unless you count weekly forays into my yard (the mowing, the weeding, the tree trimming, etc.). Here in the DFW area of Texas, I can mow ten months out of the year. Love being outside in my yard.
Yet I tend to be a workaholic. Gross understatement here!
ANYWAY, this year my focus has been more about balance. While I still work every day of the calendar year (yes, holidays, weekends, my birthday, etc.) whenever I have projects in my queue, I've always been good about having some downtime afterward. This year I'm eating better with an eye toward hitting those hiking and biking trails in my area. Haven't done the hiking trails yet, but it is spring now, and weather.com has taken out all those rain days in our local forecast. So there's hope I'll get to that too. Can't wait.
In the meantime I've been on a keto lifestyle plan since 12.05.2017. DISCLAIMER: I am no fitness expert. These are my individual findings, as you will surely experience your own. Keep a daily food journal. Maybe you can see patterns that will help you better tailor any plan to your body and your life.
Here are some random thoughts from my experience:
- I've had MONTHS where I was stalled (per the scale) but continued to lose inches (per the measuring tape), so if you are currently there too, don't despair.
- Note: I weigh daily (and try to not get discouraged). I do wish my scale gave me my body fat numbers. Oh, well. I measure monthly.
- With the carb-cycling element in play in some keto diets (and seems to be favored for women with their particular hormone mix), I never feel like I failed at any time to follow the keto "diet." That's a huge plus because I'm not entertaining negative thoughts that could derail my progress. Any success begets more success, right?
- Don't ever get a hysterectomy. I never had a weight problem until about ten years afterward. And the change in hormones doesn't help with losing the pounds. Listen to me here.
- This isn't a diet to me. It's an eating plan. A true lifestyle. One I feel I can easily follow for the rest of my life. And have been for the last four months. Successfully through Christmas, Valentine's Day and now Easter. Wow.
- I started out strict (25 carbs or less daily; I even had one day where I had 0 carbs!). However, I've found I don't need to be that strict every day to still lose weight/inches.
- For me, I seem to lose weight/inches when I stay around 35 to 50/60 carbs a day.
- I was a major sugarholic, have been my whole life, yet I'm getting by with Stevia. Watch out for any Stevia sugar substitutes that may have 0 calories but HAVE CARBS.
- I am not eating fruits, and I am missing them at times. But, with my restricted carb limit, I find I'm spending my carbs on my homemade sweet cream cold brew (recipe coming up in next post) and veggies. I love a basic fajita combo of sauteed bell peppers and onions (added to eggs, chicken, beef), but those have carbs, folks! Even the red bell pepper has more carbs than the green. So sign up to MyFitnessPal.com or check carb counts online for EVERYTHING you eat.
- Same thing goes for checking labels. My local Aldi's (with their own brands) has condiments and sauces that are much lower in carbs than can be found among the selections available at my local box store. It's great because these are Aldi's everyday brands (not their organic line), and they are less expensive to boot.
- As a very general rule, you can have an abundance of green foods (leafy greens for a salad or sauteed, plus green beans) without running up much of a carb count. It's those colorful veggies that have carbs. Watch out for them. Be diligent in counting your carbs.
- I was a major carboholic too, have been my whole life, yet I'm easily controlling them. Never thought I'd say that. It's like the daily addiction has been cured. I do indulge when the craving sinks in deep and nags at me (which is occasionally). Hey, I'm a Deep South gal. Food is my life. Ha!
- Just to clarify, I don't believe in counting calories. Look at anybody on a high-fat diet who is losing (or has lost) weight to confirm that. Immediately I think of Dave Asprey, Bulletproof CEO and guru. Plus there is the whole element of "bad v. good" calories, just like "bad v. good" carbs/fats/proteins. Keep that in mind too.
- I can have pasta, rice, grits, french fries, soft pretzels and the like on this plan. I just must be selective and parse those out. Any of those options are about 40 carbs for 1 cup. But don't go by my rough estimate here. Look it up to confirm. But that's what I have in my head all the time when I'm thinking about what I can eat in one day without going over the 50-carb to 60-carb mark. You'll learn what your favored foods end up being and how to integrate them occasionally into your life too.
- I thought I was a major sugarholic. Yet my cravings/splurges are more related to savory carbs. Surprising.
- And then my mind jumped to ice cream. If you haven't tried Halo Top ice cream, you're in for a treat. One-half cup of the Vanilla Bean flavor is 11 net carbs. You're welcome.
- I find I have better results when I skip breakfast. Almost every single day. I know. I know. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yeah, I've heard that too. But have you seen the more recent findings about how you can eat the same number of calories in one six-hour period instead of one sixteen-hour period and yet lose weight? It's minifasting. Do some online research and decide for yourself. This is the only kind of fasting I seem able to do.
- Now, if I'm hungry when I wake up, I eat. Usually scrambled eggs (cooked in lard/bacon fat/olive oil/butter/noncoconuty-smelling coconut oil) with green onions and cheddar cheese and a fresh chopped tomato slice added at the last minute or fried yellow/purple/white onions on the side (like a hash-brown substitute). Or I'll eat a whole avocado and nothing else. Although I do like my scrambled eggs with avocado too. Yum. The point is, if you can't talk your body out of being hungry by distracting it for the next few minutes to an hour later, feed it! Try to offer it something that is on the better end of the food spectrum, if you can.
- So I normally eat two meals a day. I eat when I'm hungry. I usually push it to when I'm really hungry (like my first meal may be at 2:00 p.m. or later, and my second and last meal may be at 6:00 or 7:00 p.m.). I may eat the same two meals if I made a big roast in my slow cooker. Or I may eat the roast and roasted veggies (onions, bell peppers, carrots, NOT potatoes) for one meal and a big plateful of salad for the other (substituting any croutons for sunflower seeds). I go by what my body wants. Our bodies are pretty smart when we don't interfere with their normal processes.
- I start my day with coffee. While I love a Bulletproof coffee with added Brain Octane Oil and grass-fed butter, sometimes I opt for fresh-brewed hot coffee with cream in the wintertime. I'm known to drink sweet cream cold brew all throughout the year. Sometimes I need lemon water and will go through gallons of it in one week. Other times I want lemonade with Stevia.
- I prefer a dribble or two of heavy whipping cream in my hot coffee, but I thought maybe my keto plateau was due to that (even with an organic cream), so I switched to half-and-half, which I like a lot too. Remember though, the heavy cream has no carbs while the half-and-half has 1 carb per 2 tablespoons. Yet I started losing weight again. Go figure.
- I had a thought earlier this week that I should add more good fats to my meals. Get more Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil. I'll record what happens with that and share it later.
- Today my interest is piqued about BHB (keto salts). I'll let you know if I go that route and what happened for me.
Okay, that's it for now. Feel free to share any words of wisdom with me regarding the keto lifestyle.
Have a good one!