30 Day Keto Update - Results and 7 FAQ's!

keto diet 30 day challenge

If you’ve been paying attention to my Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen me mention starting the keto diet and amping up my workouts. I wanted to give you guys some background on why I started, my results after being on the keto diet for 30 days, some frequently asked questions about maintaining the keto lifestyle, and some of my favorite keto recipes that are helping me stay in shape! Get ready for a long post because we are diving in!

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What is the Keto Diet

In short it’s a diet that focuses on fat first, and virtually eliminates carbs from your diet in an effort to get your body to burn fat as it’s primary fuel source. I’m not going to go into all the details of the diet because there are A LOT so I’d encourage you to do research 

 Why I Started the Keto Diet

Even though I’ve always been in relatively good shape and maintain a regular workout schedule, I noticed that my weight had been slowly creeping up over the years. It was a tiny bit at a time, but I noticed it sticking, especially after I started traveling more and getting into a new relationship which meant lots of time indulging! I had been yo-yo dieting, losing weight fast when I wanted to shape up for a trip or through the summer, then packing it back on pretty much as soon as I started eating normal. I did juice cleanses back to back, which have a place in your regimen but are not a sustainable way to maintain weight. At my most extreme I was calorie counting with My Fitness Pal and logging less than 1,000 calories a day! It was tough, ineffective, and I was miserable.

I noticed a lot of friends, acquaintances and coworkers mentioning being on keto and loving the diet and results, so I started observing how they ate and what they thought about keto as a lifestyle. I wish I could say I carefully prepared to start the diet, but I actually dove in and quit carbs cold turkey while on a trip to LA! I instantly noticed how carbs are EVERYWHERE and how intense it would be to really track them. But I also enjoyed being able to eat foods I loved that I had deprived myself of when on my strict, low-fat diets. I ate real bacon, full-fat dairy, a whole avocado a day, and snacked on nuts. While at a Mexican restaurant one night in LA, I didn’t even miss skipping tacos and ate a huge bowl of carnitas and sautéed veggies! Overall even though I wasn’t eating any carbs or sugar, I stopped missing them after a few days and instantly felt happier! 

Have you seen results from the keto diet?

My results have been amazing! On my other diets I would barely lose a pound a week, and often it was water weight. In one month on keto I lost 6 pounds and 3.5% body fat! Yes, I lost that much weight eating bacon, cheese, and burgers! I expect to plateau pretty soon, especially because I’m already pretty close to my goal weight, but I’m so happy with the results. 

fat loss on the keto diet

Did you have any weird side effects from the keto diet?

If you Google keto side effects, you will find a LONG list of side effects, everything from bad breath, keto crotch, fatigue, dehydration and constipation. I did not experience any of these! I changed my supplements which helped keep things balanced, so I take omega 3’s, fiber, and magnesium. I also manage my sodium intake by drinking bone broth or salt water and the only time I got a keto related headache was after cheating aggressively and slamming a piece of birthday cake. Which brings me to the next question!

Can you have cheat days on the keto diet

In short no! If you are in ketosis and cheat, you will immediately be knocked out of that metabolic state. Yes, you can recover and get back in, but for best results you really need to stay consistent. My goal was to go 45 days without cheating, but I only made it 30! I do plan to have a few cheat days around my birthday and a trip in June, but for the most part I plan on making keto a consistent lifestyle choice and permanent way of eating. 

 

Keto Diet What Can You Eat

So what can you eat on keto?

Staples on my grocery list every week are ground turkey, different types of cheeses, deli meat and nuts for snacks, salmon, leafy greens, zucchini or zoodles, eggs and avocado. I intermittent fast 5 days a week so don’t really do breakfast. Generally speaking I’m not a fan of processed foods or carb/sugar substitutes, so I focus on foods that are nutrient rich, satisfying and naturally high in fat and low in carbs. Some of my favorite recipes are Bolognese sauce with zucchini noodles, bacon and cheddar frittatas, roasted salmon with avocado salad, and a big, cheesy, messy lasagna with zucchini cut into planks instead of pasta.  Typically, lunch is a big salad with leafy greens, a whole avocado, some protein, and olive oil, blue cheese or ranch dressing since I love them and they are high in fat but low in sugar. And when I have time I experiment with recipes as long as they don’t call for ingredients that are weird or overly artificial. Last Sunday was classic fried chicken but using almond flour instead of white flour, and keto “ice cream.”


Does the keto diet interfere with your social life?

Keto really hasn’t interfered with my social life at all, but you do need to exercise discipline when dining in a group. It’s tough when sharing apps or small plates, or when you are dying to pick at your friend’s fries! Usually when dining out I’ll look for fish and veggies, steak or a burger with no bun, or something like that. There are usually plenty of options to choose from. Drinking a lot is discouraged on keto, but I’m not giving up everything! My new go to drinks are vodka sodas, tequila and fresh lime juice, or whiskey on the rocks. I also have taken to keeping little packets of stevia on me, so I can add a sprinkle to a drink and make it taste more like a cocktail without adding sugar. 

 

As much as I love this diet, it’s definitely not for everyone and everyone experiences it differently. Make sure you do your research on what the keto life is really like and if it’s for you. And if you have more questions or want to learn more about my keto meals in real time, follow me on Instagram

Keto Diet for Beginners

3 Workouts You Need to Try This Summer!

Yoga on the Beach

Is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to stay in shape every year? IDK if it's my age, being in a relationship, my social life or what, but for some reason I keep gaining and losing the same 5 pounds! In an attempt to diversify my workouts and keep the body snatched, I've been checking out new workout classes in the city every so often to keep my muscles guessing, build strength and stamina, and of course not get bored doing the same workout all the time! Here is my review of some of the new classes I've tried and a few that are on my list to review as a fitness and lifestyle blogger. 

Brrrn

Hands down the coolest workout I've tried this year! The new studio has a series of workout classes that take place in cooler temperatures - 60 degrees, 55 degrees, and 45 degrees. Check out the descriptions of their classes and the Infrared Sauna and take advantage of the BOGO deal they have on site for new students! 

Aerial Hoop

I've been a fan of Body & Pole for years, frequenting their pole and other dance and cross-training fitness classes. I did take a few lyra, or aerial hoop classes and was terribly awkward, but I've been feeling like I might give it another go. It's extremely difficult, and also a challenge because I struggle with motion sickness, but it is on my list for this summer or Fall! 

Y7 Yoga

Hot yoga in the summer is no fun, but come Fall I love the steamy hot workouts. I've heard amazing things about Y7 and their hip-hop inspired yoga classes. And since a new location just opened closer to my office I'll be able to finally fit them into my regular workout flow. 

And since I have been working on getting into my yoga practice again, my partnership with Gaiam came at the perfect time! Gaiam asked me to be one of their Gaiam Gurus, and I am so psyched to be working with them. The clothes are super comfy and stylish and the equipment is both stylish and functional. Check out my picks of the month below! 

Let me know what workouts are your go-tos or new ones you want to try! 

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pin me for later!

4 Vacation Workout Tips You Need to Stay In Shape on the Road!

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As much as I love travel, there is one downside - struggling to stay on your health game! Temptation is everywhere, and between the dining out, sipping cocktails, and all the local goodies you have to sample. It's gotten harder and harder to stay in shape as I've gotten older, so I really have to find ways to stay balanced.

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When I travel for just a long weekend I usually skip the workouts just because you have less time to explore and it's really not a big deal if you only miss a few days in the gym. But on my recent trip to Spain was almost 10 days long, so I knew I needed to get in exercise at least 3 or 4 times on that trip! Here is how I was able to squeeze in my sweat sessions while on a long vacation!

1. Pick a hotel with a gym

A lot of hotels have fitness centers, so when you are starting your search, look for properties that have that as an amenity. Even if it isn't a fancy one with a lot of high-tech equipment, you can still get a quality workout session done. 

2. Use your room if you have to

If you end up at a hotel that doesn't have a gym,  you can still make do with what you've got! Download or print out free workouts that don't require equipment and get to work in your room. Remember, you can do push-ups and squats anywhere! I also usually travel with a pair of resistance bands, and here are some band-only exercises I love!  

3. Make fitness part of your itinerary

Go hiking, take a long walk through town, or check out a local fitness studio. If you prioritize staying in shape while on your journey, you will find a way to make it happen!

4. Don't be afraid to leave your friends

Not everyone will share your priorities or want to spend their time the way you do. If you are traveling in a group and you find yourself being the only one that wants to get a workout in, then go right ahead and do it! If you have group activities planned that you don't want to miss, get up earlier or plan which days will be your workout days and which will be off.  

Let me know if you care more about staying fit even when you are on the go, and how you accomplish that! And if you like my workout look, shop the story below!
 

The Secret Weapon in my Gym Bag

Thank you  Biofreeze  for sponsoring this post.

Thank you Biofreeze for sponsoring this post.

Biofreeze  is also available for purchase in retail. Click  here  to find a store near you

Biofreeze is also available for purchase in retail. Click here to find a store near you

If you follow my blog you know I’m a pretty active person.  Between my full-time job, blog work, gym sessions and social life, my days get long and intense. One thing I don’t mention often, especially not on the blog, is my recurring back pain. I go in and out of physical therapy and have prescription pills for when the pain flare ups get bad. However, when I’m too busy for regular appointments and have no time for the side effects of the pills, I turn to solutions that I can use on the go and don’t leave me drowsy. Enter Biofreeze Professional Pain Reliever

Biofreeze® helps me with pain management so I get back to living life to the fullest. Biofreeze® Professional Pain Reliever products are sold over the counter and provide fast acting pain relief thanks to the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) grade menthol. They are also free of parabens and propylene glycol.

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When I start to get achy I apply the products as needed. The tingly, cooling sensation is similar to the feeling you’d get from applying an ice pack to treat pain, but without the drippy bag, so they are much more convenient for on-the-go. I love the roll on and spray formulas for the easy application, especially in hard to reach places. Plus they are nonsystemic, non-narcotic, and contain no NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), salicylates or addictive substances – here’s to temporary pain relief with no drowsiness or weird side effects! Now let me get back to focusing on crushing my workout goals and excelling when I need to!

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If you are curious about trying Biofreeze® Professional, you can check out this Store Locator to find it in your area. It used to only be available through healthcare professionals, but now you can get it somewhere more convenient to you.  In addition to being available in stores, Biofreeze Professional is available from healthcare professionals, as an optimized, longer-lasting and smoother application product. Biofreeze retail version can be found at your favorite retailer. Biofreeze Professional must be purchased through your hands-on healthcare professional.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own

 

 

 

4 Ways to Crush Your Fitness Goals

Images by Earl Jackson

Images by Earl Jackson

I'm usually on my fitness A-Game hard core from March until May or June. However by the time July and August roll around I start slacking. It could be the fact that barbecue season is in full effect, or I'm spending my days downing rose at a rooftop lounge instead of trying a new fitness class. In any case, the older I get the more any bit of weight starts to stick, so I'm trying to be more attentive to my habits and not let it up. Here are my tips for staying motivated year round, that don't include comparing yourself to celebs or Insta-models! 

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1. Go back to something you love

It's always great to try something new, but returning to a workout routine that you love can shake things up and make you look forward to your sweat sessions. For me, I've always loved yoga but never made it part of my weekly workout schedule, so I'm making more effort to fit it in instead of always trying something new. 

2. Get digital help

If you can't afford a trainer, turn to social communities or training apps to help inspire you. I'm  fan of the #BBG squad on Instagram, and have heard great things about the Nike app and Vi, an artificial intelligence personal trainer. 

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3. Go shopping!

Nothing motivates like a new outfit. So grab some cute new gear or accessories to get you going. My Frends headphones are a must since I can't survive workouts with no music. And these cute cutout leggings were the perfect look to make me want to get more gym time in. 

4. Plan a Trip

The best way to keep you from slacking in the gym when summer winds down is to have a trip on deck, preferably one that will require a bikini. Mine is typically Art Basel, when I venture to Miami in early December, right after Thanksgiving. 

Any tips I missed? Let me know in the comments how you stay on your A-Game!

How to Get Fit the Fashionable Way

January may be the official start of fitness season, but the weeks before Memorial Day mean it's time to kick it into high gear! Even though I work out regularly year round, I still think of this time as the opportunity to reassess my fitness goals and progress since the start of the year  I think I have a workout formula that is working for me so I’ll be sticking to it, just stocking up on cute workout gear to show off the body I’m sculpting!  Here are some of my favorite workouts and what to wear to each of them.

Cycling

I usually loathe cardio but consider it a necessary evil, so try to get it in by cycling. I love the high energy and intensity of the workout. Whether it’s at a trendy studio or your local gym, slip into a moisture wicking tank and cropped leggings and get ready to sweat!

Cross-Training

I have yet to try Crossfit but it’s on my list this year. Until I finally take the plunge, I make it a point to get into a cross-training class at my gym. The workout blends strength training and cardio drills for an intense full body workout. My go to look is capri leggings, colorful sports bra with light, breezy tank layered on top and my classic Nike cross-trainers.

Pole Dancing

There is no better way to work your legs, arms, core, back and glutes, while at the same time building flexibility. I’ve been a regular at Body & Pole for some time, and their classes have help me get amazing results and have more fun in the process than any other workout. Most pole classes require a lot of exposed skin to help you grip the pole, so short shorts and a good sports bra are necessary.

Boxing

Sculpt your arms and core while releasing stress and feeling like a bad ass? Sign me up! It’s no wonder boxing is a favorite workout of some of today’s top stars and supermodels like Gigi Hadid . When I hit the studio, I opt for a sports bra, cropped tank, and boxing shorts, plus wrist wraps for extra protection.

Yoga

Flexibility is my second biggest fitness goal this year. I spend at least 10 minutes stretching after each workout and I do a longer 30-45 minute stretch and foam roll session at home weekly. I am also committing to doing yoga at least once a week to keep all the muscles I’m building long and lean.  I like loose fitting lightweight harem style pants since they are nice and breezy but fit tighter around the ankle so they don’t fly around too much. Pair them with the Nike studio wraps that keep your feet from slipping as you sweat.

What workouts are your favorite? Any ideas I should add to my list?