6 Months Keto Update: Maintainance, Set-Backs, Progress and More!

Keto Update 3 Month Progress
3 Month Keto Update and Results
Surviving the Keto Diet

My 6 Month Keto-Versary is just around the corner! I’ve been meaning to update you guys on how the diet is working for me and managing it long-term for awhile, and 6 months is the perfect milestone! I can say for sure that I’m passed the point of thinking of keto as a fad diet and more now consider it a lifestyle. I’m no longer trying to lose weight, and am happy with my results. But overall I feel like the diet works amazingly for me, let’s me eat most of the types of foods I want, and allows me the flexibility to have long-term success. Here are a few things that have changed for me after staying on keto for 6 months!

I Adjusted My Macros

I use My Fitness Pal to track macros and when I first started my goal was 20-25 grams of carbs a day. That led to the quick weight loss I experienced in the first few weeks. Since my goal has shifted to keeping my weight stable, I increased my carb intake to around 30-35 grams on average. My carbs still mostly come from vegetables and berries, but I will occasionally have a glass of wine, or a few bites of a dessert that would normally be completely off limits. Which brings me to my next point . . .

I Cheat on Keto A Lot More

When I first started I was pretty hard core and dedicated to seeing results. Now that I no longer care about losing weight, I’m more liberal about having occasional cheats. Full on cheat days are still pretty rare, but I would guess I go over my carb goal on average once a week. I say guess because I don’t necessaily count macros on things I just have a few bites of, but I am guilty of picking at a few of my boyfriend’s fries or eating something saucy which is usually a no no because sauces tend to be high in sugar. I have also fallen off the wagon HARD a few times, indulging in carb-binges that I loved in the moment but regretted the next day. After maintaining a low-carb and basically no sugar diet for so long, overindulging can shock your body and leave you feeling sick, crampy, and withdrawn as you digest. I’m not saying the occasional bowl of pasta or plate of French toast isn’t worth it, but keep in mind how you will feel after!

I Stopped Weighing Myself

I haven’t set foot on a scale since April! Instead of worrying about my weight, I think more about inches I’m losing or gaining. My workouts have shifted to be almost exclusively strength focused, with special emphasis on core conditioning because I have ALWAYS wanted better abs. My workout mix typically includes a HIIT class, Ballet Barre, hot yoga and boxing or Krav Maga. I also started doing 10 minutes of ab work 4 to 5 times a week. I’ve been doing that regularly for about a month, following YouTube videos from Chloe Ting and MadFit and I love my results! I lost an inch on my waist after about 3 weeks of dedicated ab workouts, but gained back half an inch after a carb binge in San Diego last weekend! So yes, I learned that my progress can very quickly unravel and I may need to be more disciplined as I try to get more sculpted!

Intermittent Fasting Suddenly Got Really Hard

When I started keto I also regularly practiced Intermittent Fasting, usually eating between the hours of 12-8. I rarely got hungry before noon, and was sometimes easily able to go as late as 1:30 without even noticing. The only time I would eat past 8 is when socal obligations required me to, and usually when that happened I could easily start eating later in the day since I wouldn’t be hungry. But something happened after my move to LA! Maybe it was the sudden change in my normal schedule or adjusting to my new lifestyle, but for some reason keeping my fasting schedule has become such a challenge. I always think it’s more important to listen to your body than it is to follow arbitrary timing, so when my body tells me it’s time to eat I listen. However I have noticed that I start feeling ravenous around 10-10:30am, which is way earlier than I used to eat when I first started keto. I’m not sure what if any difference it’s making so I’m just keeping an eye on it and listening to my body.

I’m Taking More Supplements

When I first started, the only supplements I added to my routine was magnesium. I typically take a multi-vitamin, Omega 3, Collagen and Biotin anyway, so magnesium was just to make sure my electrolytes stayed balanced. However because of my increased carb intake and more frequent cheating, I figure adding in more keto focused supplements could help me stay on track. They can be expensive, so I will let you know if they are worth it in my next update, because right now it’s too early to say. But when I first started the keto diet I didn’t take any of the most commonly used supplements, like MCT Oil and ketone bases. My results were great, but your body does plateau, so I’m switching things up a bit to make sure it keeps working for me!

I Still Don’t Like Keto Desserts

I’ve found a few keto recipes that work for me, like zucchini lasagna, almond flour pancakes and cauliflower rice stir fry. However the dessert recipes are always disappointing! The textures and taste are just never good enough to really be satisfying. When I’m craving sweets, I’m more likely to just eat a bowl of berries and cream or a piece of Lily’s Chocolate. That usually comes in around 7 to 10 grams of carbs and is way more worth it than a cardboardy keto cupcake with 4 grams of carbs!

Let me know any burning questions about keto in the comments or on Instagram! And shop my look and some of my keto faves below!

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Keto Diet Long Term Tips

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

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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. 

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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

6 Ways to Practice Self-Care During the Holidays

Cozy At Home Holiday Season

Is anyone else starting to feel the holiday stress? I’ve had a CRAZY couple of weeks between travel, my day job, wrapping up holiday campaigns, securing new business for Q1, and my social life, which these days includes catching up with friends and prepping to host this Christmas. I have a post planned for managing it all without losing it, so look out for that next month, because I’m seriously trying to figure it out! November and December are pretty much the time where we are all going out more, spending more, eating more (and usually less healthy stuff) and sleeping less.

My friends always say I am pretty good about taking care of myself, and being selfish when need be, so I’m trying to remind myself of how I do that. Self-care is pretty buzzy these days, but it’s crucial to stay balanced and centered. When it feels like the world is pulling you a hundred different directions, you need to find time to take care of yourself. I’m not sure about “having it all” but here are a few ways I practice self-care during the holiday season.

Self Care Guide

 

Stay on top of your daily routine

We all have little things we do to start and end our day, but when schedules get crazy it’s hard to let that fall to the wayside. But don’t! When you get out of your flow that only makes things more intense, and it’s harder to get back into it once you’ve been off for awhile. 

 

Know when to say no

Yes there are holiday parties every night, or friends or loved ones who want to catch up for dinner, or trips you could go, etc. It’s hard to RSVP no, but sometimes you just have to take care of yourself. Sleep in instead of going to brunch, catch a workout you love instead of a boozy night out, or just lay around in your coziest PJs as long as you need to. I have had days where getting out of bed was physically not an option, so I cancelled my day and took the time needed to rest. The next day I was infinitely better, and ready to get back on track. When you need to hit pause, just do it! Your loved ones will understand. 

 

Don’t give into FOMO

Millennials are plagued by FOMO! However I’ve realized that when you need to skip social plans to take care of yourself or prioritize your to-do list, the fear of missing out can easily fade away. Just remember that you chose to be exactly where you are for reasons that were important to you. Plus, if you were out doing whatever it was that’s in the back of your mind you’d be having FOMO about missing your couch! 

 

Take time for your health

Sometimes self-care means laying at home, taking a hot bath or indulging in some of your favorite comfort foods and a glass (or half-a bottle) of wine. Other times it means putting in work to get reenergized and ready to take on the challenges. One of the main ways I stay sane is my regular workouts. I get in at least 3, but usually 4 or 5 a week! No matter how busy I am or how gross the weather is, because I know that workout time is an investment in myself, my health, and my body. Of course there are days where dragging myself to the gym is the last thing I want to do, but when I get there I never regret it. But if I skip a workout I always have regret the next day. So whether it’s fitness, meditation, or just some gentle stretching while YouTube is on in the background, find something that will be your thing and make time for it on a regular basis. 

 

Respect your budget 

November and December are also times where there is increased pressure to spend, on shopping, gifts, and socializing. By October I pretty much know how much I’m going to spend between holiday shopping, stuff for myself, entertaining costs, and socializing. Then I FIRMLY stick to those numbers, and am never shy about saying I need to prioritize my budget when saying no to things. Keeping up with the Joneses needs to be a thing of the past and anyone in your life who cares about you would not pressure you to spend frivolously.  There should be absolutely no stigma about living within your means!

 

Protect Your Sleep

I can’t stress this enough! Protect your sleep as vigorously as you may need to, It is paramount to your overall health and well-being. I always make an effort to be in bed unwinding about 30 minutes before I need to actually be falling asleep. That means the alarm is set, phone silenced, and I’m reading a good book and finishing my nightcap (usually a bourbon neat – I’m not a tea person). If you can’t stand the thought of fully silencing your phone, at least dim your screen and turn on the blue-light fliter, which is easier on the eyes before you go to bed. 

 

Let me know how you guys practice self-care through the craziness this time of year!

How to Crush Your Period with the DivaCup!

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PeriodConfidence #TryTheDivaCup #CollectiveBias

Interested in trying DivaCup? Hover over the photo to click through to Walmart.com and buy them!
Here’s a fact: women have periods. Shocking, I know! It’s a part of our lives that a lot of us don’t talk about, but it’s about time we change that. They are an annoying, messy, inconvenient facet of our lives, but every so often, something comes around with the promise of making that part of our lives so much easier. Enter,The Diva Cup! The DivaCup is a healthy alternative to pads and tampons with none of the chemicals, surfactants, adhesives, and additives they use in tampons and pads. It’s eco-friendly since there is no waste and saves you money since you can reuse the cup for a year.
Diva Cup How to Insert Guide
The DivaCup is a reusable, bell-shaped silicone menstrual cup that is suitable for girls and women of all ages. It gives you 12 hours of leak-free protection, so you don’t have to worry about constant changing like you do with tampons and pads. Even though menstrual cups seem super trendy now, they have actually existed since the 1930s when women were searching for an alternative to the choices of the time. The DivaCup is available in two sizes, Model 1 (Recommended for women under the age of 30 who have never delivered vaginally or by caesarean section) and Model 2 (Recommended for women age 30 and over/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by caesarean section). Both are made from the same 100 percent healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability and are free of chemicals, plastic, BPA, latex and dyes. 
Diva Cup Walgreens Shopping

Check out my tutorial for getting started with The DivaCup!

1. Review the User Guide before you get started! 

2. Get over any squeamishness about your body. This product requires you to get all up in your lady parts! Insertion can be a bit tricky and may take a few tries before you get it in right so be prepared.  

3. Fold the cup per the instructions, push it up and give it a spin. This proved to be more complicated than it sounds, so be prepared to give it a few tries before you get it in right. Getting it in was kind of a struggle and even after pushing it up and giving it a spin per the directions, I could still very much feel it, which made me think it was not in place correctly. 

4. Don't use any lubricants to try to ease the process. I used to use a diaphragm years ago, before starting hormonal birth control, so I figured a touch of lube might help ease the insertion, as it does with the diaphragm. However that was a disaster because I COULD NOT keep a grip on the cup! Don't repeat my mistake! 

5. If you get it in successfully, you can wear it up to 12 hours before removing it. Since my attempt was a bust I decided to wash it off, let it dry, and give the lady bits a break until the next day. 

Its recommended to wash your DivaCup with the DivaWash, a botanically-based, pH balanced all natural cleanser specifically designed to protect the silicone material of The DivaCup.
Diva Cup Sale Walgreens
The next day I was up and at it again! this time my period was pretty much over so I can’t really comment on how it works on a heavier day of my cycle, but I will update this post in about a month with more details! The best thing about the DivaCup team is the customer service. They are a resource of a ton of information about the product and process of using it, and are available at support@divacup.com, 1-866-44-3482 or via their social media networks. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your questions! They are trained professionals here to help. So get yourself some #PeriodConfidence and #TryTheDivaCup! I got mine at Walgreens, but check out their store locator to find it near you! And make sure to check out the User Guide and to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any questions with regards to your overall vaginal or gynecological health.
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Battle of the Cleanses! Blueprint vs Jus by Julie

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Well it was only 3 days, but I felt like I was on this juice cleanse forever! I decided to try one to jump start my weight loss before an upcoming vacation and shed some of the weight I put on from one too many end of summer BBQs. Instead of doing a traditional review, I decided to answer some FAQ's about juice cleansing and compare 2 different versions. I did Blueprint a little over a year ago and loved it, but decided to give Jus by Julie a go. Check out my thoughts on each and which one is the winner in my book!

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What was the process like?

Pretty streamlined! It took awhile to decide which cleanse option was best for me, and for both companies I picked the option that had a promo code or free shipping, because that can get pricey because of the weight. The Jus by Julie promo was supposed to include a pack of 12 Booster Shots that I was excited to try, but those did not arrive with my order and I'm still waiting for the replacement from customer service. So those won't be included in the cleanse, but they are not a requirement for the 3-day program. I also recommend you do a prep day or 2 before starting the cleanse, and a "ease out" day or 2 when it ends. Clean up your diet, give up the meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and anything processed to get your body ready, and transition out of it when the cleanse is over. 

How did they taste?

I loved all the Blueprint Juices! I did the OG Cleanse and each juice was fresh, tasty and the order you drank them in flowed together nicely. On the Jus by Julie cleanse, I was pretty disappointed by a lot of the flavors. A lot of them included chia seeds which I never tried and now I know I hate. Plus they are more smoothies than juice, so are thicker but more pulpy than creamy, which wasn't pleasant. 

How hungry did you get? 

Not very! Of course I missed solid food and socializing over a meal, but I was never actually hungry. Blueprint definitely kept me satiated, and I expected the Jus by Julie juices to be heartier, because they are a thicker, smoothie style and have more fiber. However I was noticeably hungrier, but that was probably because there were a couple of juices I didn't finish just because of the taste/texture.

How were your results?

At the end of my 3 day Blueprint cleanse I lost 4 pounds. At the end of Jus by Julie, 4.8 pounds. Some reviews of both programs mentioned feeling extra refreshed/energized, having clearer skin and other effects of cleansing, but I didn't really notice much change other than the weight. I do maintain a pretty healthy lifestyle overall, so that is probably why I didn't notice a huge overall impact. 

So which one is the winner? 

Even though I lost more weight on Jus by Julie, and it was the more affordable option, I still give the winning vote to Blueprint! Jus by Julie lost major points from me because of the taste and texture. Some people may love the thicker smoothie formulas, but that was a negative for me. I really only liked the Sweet Spin and Spicy Lemonade and found Spicy Pomegranate and Choco-Nana tolerable.  The others I tried ranged from meh (Chia Berry, Matcha Chia & Raw Green Protein) to vile (X-treme Greens & PB & Jus). I was also a little disappointed with the customer service because my booster shots were missing, and I was told it would take a week for them to be delivered. However I've emailed them twice to confirm that they have shipped or get updated timing and I have not gotten a reply. UPDATE: I did receive the booster shots today, a week after the cleanse. Customer service took a while to respond but they did send the replacements. 

On Blueprint there was not single juice I did not enjoy.  They have some new flavors that were not in my cleanse last year, but I have tried all of the individually except the new Blueberry Cashew Boom and love them all.

So there you have it! If you are thinking about trying a cleanse and have more questions let me know in the comments! 

How I Build my Best Days with Nature Made Gummies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadeGummies #CollectiveBias

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My morning and evening routine set me up for success and productivity. Every day starts with a healthy breakfast, usually homemade, while I get myself ready to get out the door. One of my morning essentials is my Nature Made® Multi for Her plus Omega-3s Adult Gummies

Nature Made® Multi for Her plus Omega-3s Adult Gummies are a great-tasting, convenient way for women to receive the daily nutritional support of a multivitamin, plus 60 mg of heart-healthy EPA and DHA omega-3s from fish oil, per serving.† They are chock full of a combo of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D3, and E, as well as key B vitamins (folic acid, biotin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12), and chromium and zinc. This powerful combo supports healthy bones and teeth, cellular energy production, healthy eye function, and helps support the immune system and provide much-needed antioxidants. With all these benefits it’s hard not to love them! Nothing beats being able to get all this nutritional value in a tasty chewable gummy instead of swallowing a dozen dry pills every day.

That morning dose is a VIP first step in my morning routine! After that I’m good to power through a morning of meetings, presentation prep, or early photo shoot. My day winds down with dinner, sometimes a nightcap, and either a good book or a bit of TV.

To really support my sleep, I take Nature Made® Melatonin Adult Gummies. They are a great-tasting, easy way to help your body reset its sleep/wake cycle†.
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After a full night’s sleep I’m ready to gear up and start over! If you are looking for a new supplement that can help you energize or reset when you need to, Nature Made Adult Gummies are a gummy you can trust. Nature Made® gives you the assurance that you’re getting the nutrients you seek from your gummies and they test their gummies for purity and potency so you get the added assurance that it has the nutrients you're seeking. If you are thinking about trying them, head over to your local Walmart to grab a bottle!

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What are your tips for building your best days?

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.