Best Day Ever

I don't have much to say on the matter. The photos speak for themselves. This was the best day of our lives. I may feel obligated to comment on some of them. :)

I was a nervous wreck, but my girlfriends kept me in check. They helped me get ready. And my god, it took a village.

I was a nervous wreck, but my girlfriends kept me in check. They helped me get ready. And my god, it took a village.

Mike was doing just fine.

Mike was doing just fine.

Again, it takes a village.

Again, it takes a village.

Mike's letter that I literally skimmed and was like "nope." Because I didn't want my makeup to run.

Mike's letter that I literally skimmed and was like "nope." Because I didn't want my makeup to run.

The grandpa and dad first look made it super real, and although I definitely didn't think I would cry the entire day, WATER WORKS. It's time. Note* My dad and I both have the same ugly cry face. This cracks me up.

The grandpa and dad first look made it super real, and although I definitely didn't think I would cry the entire day, WATER WORKS. It's time. Note* My dad and I both have the same ugly cry face. This cracks me up.

It was a beautiful day. May 13th. The forecast called for rain until the day before. Not a drop in site.

It was a beautiful day. May 13th. The forecast called for rain until the day before. Not a drop in site.

Grandma was there.

Grandma was there.

Jason was ready to officiate, Mike was like "okay, this is my last chance to bounce."

Jason was ready to officiate, Mike was like "okay, this is my last chance to bounce."

Our perfect flower girl and mini Joe Bidens (my step-brothers) stole the show.

Our perfect flower girl and mini Joe Bidens (my step-brothers) stole the show.

JK. He didn't want to bounce. This is the first look photo, when I am walking down the isle. It still makes me cry.

JK. He didn't want to bounce. This is the first look photo, when I am walking down the isle. It still makes me cry.

My step-dad Joe read an excerpt from A Farewell to Arms. One of our favorites.

My step-dad Joe read an excerpt from A Farewell to Arms. One of our favorites.

Jason's like "but, are you sure?" and we were like "yeah, sure."

Jason's like "but, are you sure?" and we were like "yeah, sure."

Ring security was called to make it official. Serious business.

Ring security was called to make it official. Serious business.

We did it! With The Pretenders "500 Miles" playing. HIMYM. Forever. I can't tell if Kate is leaning on Kaitlin like "awwww" or if they're making fun of something. Either way, I love it. Chad with the woo face.

We did it! With The Pretenders "500 Miles" playing. HIMYM. Forever. I can't tell if Kate is leaning on Kaitlin like "awwww" or if they're making fun of something. Either way, I love it. Chad with the woo face.

"Hey! Do that pose from Bridesmaids!" Tip: I am often compared to Maya Rudolph when I dance. Very serious face. So, we had to do this.

"Hey! Do that pose from Bridesmaids!" Tip: I am often compared to Maya Rudolph when I dance. Very serious face. So, we had to do this.

My #1 girls. You da real MVPs.

My #1 girls. You da real MVPs.

There's literally not a single photo where every guy is just normal and smiling. This is as good as it gets. And I kind of like it that way. Baha

There's literally not a single photo where every guy is just normal and smiling. This is as good as it gets. And I kind of like it that way. Baha

A few reception details. Mike works for Crosley (the record player company) and we collect vinyl so a record guestbook was a must.

A few reception details. Mike works for Crosley (the record player company) and we collect vinyl so a record guestbook was a must.

Nord's Donuts are a Louisville MUST.

Nord's Donuts are a Louisville MUST.

All of the guys and my step-mom set EVERYTHING up without me. They did a killer job. It was exactly what I wanted.

All of the guys and my step-mom set EVERYTHING up without me. They did a killer job. It was exactly what I wanted.

We literally ran out of liquor. Probably because our bar was so cute and we had the best wedding bartenders IMAGINABLE.

We literally ran out of liquor. Probably because our bar was so cute and we had the best wedding bartenders IMAGINABLE.

We chose Rumpshaker as our entrance music for this reason.

We chose Rumpshaker as our entrance music for this reason.

Okay, we're hungry let us in!

Okay, we're hungry let us in!

My best friend of 25 years, Meg, HATES speaking in front of people, but she made an exception for me. I was crying the whole time.

My best friend of 25 years, Meg, HATES speaking in front of people, but she made an exception for me. I was crying the whole time.

Trey, Mike's cousin and best man, took the time to make fun of him (with love) and everyone loved it.

Trey, Mike's cousin and best man, took the time to make fun of him (with love) and everyone loved it.

Even Mike.

Even Mike.

Everyone we love in one place. Pretty special.

Everyone we love in one place. Pretty special.

Sup 1880's bustle. I'm taller than my dad. And I'm 5'3. Note* Dad is not bowlegged. He just got caught stanky leggin.

Sup 1880's bustle. I'm taller than my dad. And I'm 5'3. Note* Dad is not bowlegged. He just got caught stanky leggin.

Wild horses couldn't drag me away. But, they could drag our friends away. Understandable.

Wild horses couldn't drag me away. But, they could drag our friends away. Understandable.

Let's try serious. Nvm. You look like a raging biotch.

Let's try serious. Nvm. You look like a raging biotch.

Now kith.

Now kith.

Happily ever after. <3

Happily ever after. <3

So, like I said. Far and away the best day ever. These lovely photos, except the very last one, were all done by our wonderful friend Tommy (750fourproductions.com) and I mostly edited them so don't hold that against him. Heh. I HAVE NO PATIENCE. And Mike has been busy.

I wouldn't change a thing. Except maybe more donuts and mac and cheese. :)

Low Carb - A How To Story

So, I'd like to start by saying how flattered I am that people are starting to message me on Instagram asking for advice on how to get started on a low carb/ketosis diet and just the general science behind it. I started typing and re-typing so many times about how I started and why. I thought, what better way to tell you all everything I know than have a blog post about it. That way, I can reference everyone who asks to the post!


I also want to thank everyone that has been following along on the journey thus far. To be honest, I've been stuck at 52 pounds lost for quite some time because I've had weeks in between where I eat what I want due to stress. I've started to meditate and am working on self-care to better get a handle on this. My grandmother passed away last week and needless to say, it has been hard on me. Food is a comfort and will always be to some extent. Finding the balance, though, is key.

IMG_7026.JPG

I'm back at it, stronger than ever, because I know Grandma would be so happy to know I finally met my goal. And my gosh, my wedding is just around the corner! So, without further adieu, here is all of my wisdom to bestow upon you guys!

 

IMG_7308.JPG

Ketosis is the state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. When we eat carbs, and we don't expend energy, carbs store and change to fat. This is why weight loss happens so quickly on ketosis. Our bodies basically have an endless energy source of fat to burn for energy. I'd rather my body burn it's fat stores than it's crappy carb stores any day! Get this fat off of me! It's been proven time and time again that healthy fats are so good for you. Carbs make us tired, they're inflammatory for a lot of people, and following a low fat diet is dangerous because this generally causes people to eat way more carbs than usual. Inflammation is the sole reason people develop several diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer's. The ketosis diet was originally created in the 1920's and it was originally used to treat epileptics. It has also been touted as helping prevent Alzheimer's and helping with the symptoms if it has already been diagnosed. The reason I choose to follow a low carb/keto way of eating is because I have insulin issues due to my polycystic ovarian syndrome. And we all know type 2 diabetes is running rampant in our country. Carbs. And sugar. Those two things are the reason people are being diagnosed left and right with type 2 diabetes. Sugar is said to be as bad for you as CIGARETTES. And simple carbs are basically sugar.

 

Source: www.myketokitchen.com

Source: www.myketokitchen.com

I could go on and on about the science. But, the proof is in the pudding. Let's talk about how I feel, personally, on keto. When I eat the SAD diet (standard American diet, high in carbs), I have cray inflammation. My stomach is bloated, it's tender, and I'm constantly having bathroom issues. Not only that, but I gain weight. I GAIN WEIGHT COUNTING CALORIES. While this works for some people, and more power to you, it doesn't work for me because of my PCOS and because I'm sensitive to carbs. My old "healthy" lunch was a subway sandwich. And after lunch, I didn't feel good. I also felt like I was going to fall asleep at any moment. Lastly, I began having anxiety issues. Little things, like going out to a bar, would make me feel anxious and jittery. This started a couple years ago. It's awful, and so not me. When I follow keto/low carb, I instantly feel mentally more healthy. Brain fog dissipates, my memory improves, my energy improves, and my anxiety weakens. Best of all, my numbers at the doctor's office are so good! My sugars, my A1C, everything. Perfecto. This is all very real, guys. This isn't just some facts I found online. This is my literal experience.

So let's quickly talk about what you can and can't eat. Because that's the number one question I get.

Source: blog.factor75.com

Source: blog.factor75.com

EAT IT ALL:

Meat proteins: chicken, seafood, steak, sausage, bacon, pork chops, pork tenderloin, and eggs

 

Veggies: greens, low glycemic vegetables, cauliflower, spaghetti squash, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms

 

Fruits: low sugar fruits such as berries

 

Fats: grass fed butter or ghee, clean oils such as avocado oil, olive oil and nut oils. Avocados are an amazing source of fats. Clean cheese! CHEESE YALL.

 

Fun stuff: heavy cream, cream cheese, whipped cream, cool whip. Low carb versions of tortillas and ice cream, etc. for a treat. Salads with full fat dressings!

 

Spices spices spices! Salsa salsa salsa! Yummy cream based sauces!

 

TIP: cauliflower is a wonder vegetable that you can use to make mashed fauxtatoes, tots, etc. Also, almond flour, ground pork rings and spices make a hell of a breading on any meats! Low carb tortillas are a great base for pizza. We love having low carb pizzas.

 

STAY AWAY:

Bread, pasta, pastries, etc.

 

Starchy veggies such as potatoes, corn, Lima beans, go easy on carrots.

 

Sugar: this is pretty self explanatory. No sugar. Even fruit that is high in sugar. Only berries are low in sugar. So, stay away from pineapples, apples, bananas, and other high sugar fruits.

 

IMG_7320.JPG

Now, this is a super bare bones list. But, this is a huge start. I'm not going to tell you how many carbs to eat a day as far as grams go, because everyone is different. Some people lose a lot of weight on 50 carbs a day. Some people can only do 20. I recommend starting at 30 net carbs a day and adjusting as needed. Let's spend a second on net carbs. The fun thing about this way of eating is you may see a veggie and the nutrition facts for it and go, oh my god, 8 carbs?! Not worth it. HOWEVER. Make sure you SUBTRACT Dietary Fiber. Same goes for Sugar Alcohols. Both of those nutrients can be subtracted from the total number of carbs. This gives you your NET carbs. 

Most important thing: DRINK A FREAK TON OF WATER. Replenish with electrolytes. And supplement magnesium. These three things will keep you from experiencing keto flu. Because our bodies are so adapted to the shitty American diet, our bodies are not used to your new way of eating and you can feel kinda crappy the first few days. If you supplement, this shouldn't happen as badly. And trust me, after 2 weeks on this "diet", your cravings will be gone and you'll feel basically like Wonder Woman.

 

IMG_7226.JPG

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. I always recommend talking about any extreme dietary changes with your doctor. Perfect example: I was doing hardcore keto and passed out one night after I decided to take a few bites of a pizza. Turns out, the Metformin I'm on for my PCOS insulin issues can lower blood sugar. This diet lowers blood sugar and is why it is recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes. Well, I didn't talk to my doctor about my diet, so my blood sugars were getting dangerously low. SO TELL YOUR DOCTOR. Especially if you're on any medications.


IMG_6824.JPG

Here are a few websites with seemingly infinite sources on keto and low carb. Not only is there more detailed how to's, but also meal plans AND incredible recipes.


www.ruled.me

www.ibreatheimhungry.com

www.ketogasm.com

www.ketodietapp.com

Reddit also has a subreddit for Keto with crazy tips and amazing transformations.


Join me! And good luck guys! I'm always here for questions!


xo

FullSizeRender.jpg

How I've Lost 50 Pounds

Long time no see. I've been busy. Busy trying to shrink. I can't believe I'm even writing this post. Let me give you a SUPERQUICK back story for those of you who are new here. I've always been "chubby." Literally, I've been chubby since 5th grade. I lost a substantial amount of weight in high school doing low-carb and I felt so good about myself. I then got my license and my food choices were no longer what mom made at home, but endless fast food options and late night Denny's trips with friends. I was in love with food. The worst ones. I gained back what I lost and then some (crapload.) I struggle and have always struggled with binge eating. I'm also queen dieter. So, over the last several years, my weight goes up and down and up and down. I put on a lot of weight when my now fiancé and I got serious because that's a thing, right? The happy gain? At the end of January, I started a biggest loser competition at our work gym. I found success with calorie counting, but I will admit it was a very slow process. I lost about 15 pounds from that. I'm working on a compilation of photos and a more hefty "about" section to better serve as a backstory soon. At the end of the post, I've listed some resources I've used and continue to use for recipes, advice and support.

Since then, I've researched and researched and based on the obvious successful history I had with low carb, and my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which is naturally an insulin resistant disorder), I knew low carb was the way to go. But, how do I not get bored? How do I keep myself from binging and ruining everything like I'm suuuuuuuper good at? Maybe I'll try alternating low carb and high carb days?  DING DING DING.

Our wedding is fast approaching in May of 2017 and I don't like to envision myself as the Michelin man in a wedding dress. Add in the fact that I generally want to be healthy, let's just say I'm very motivated.

I've found a great balance. It did take a while. May-July, I basically stalled trying to figure this all out. Also, I had a shitload of cookout foods to dominate, duh. For me, most days of the week I eat around 30 NET carbs a day. Other days, I eat healthy, lower calorie but higher in carbs so I can stay sane and have bread twice a week.

On an average, low carb day, my diet consists of a DEE FREAKING LICIOUS Atkins Mocha Latte Shake for breakfast. Lunches consist of a meat(protein such as baked fish, steak, chicken) and a veggie. Sometimes I order an Unwich from Jimmy John's. I have Starbucks still! I get an Americano with Heavy Cream and Sugar Free Syrup and it tastes like such a treat. For dinner, we eat a lot of low carb crab cakes, fish, steaks, chicken, low-carb chili (heaven), low carb pizzas (GAHHH) and lots of green veggies. And honestly? Almost every night I have a small bit of Breyer's chocolate low-carb ice cream. You gotta do what it takes to stay sane!

On nights where we have a lot going on, and cooking isn't in the cards, I get salads from either Zaxby's or Wendy's. I even eat the dang toast that comes with the Zaxby's salads because oh hey, I'm human.

I also found this INCREDIBLE low carb biscuit recipe so I can indulge in my breakfast sandwich cravings. GUYS. I usually don't do low-carb baked goods because ugh. But these did NOT disappoint. Even Mike dominated them.

And now, the moment everyone wants and that I so terribly dread, I will show you some before and after photos. I've decided to see myself through the rest of this weight loss journey, I have to be completely candid. I want to be as open as I can be with everyone. But honestly? I'm terrified to put myself out there. So be nice to me.

So, while this isn't drastically different, I don't have any photos from the very beginning. All of these before photos are after 15-20 pounds down. I notice the biggest difference in my belly area and my face. Oh, and my engagement ring is falling off and I have to wear ring "snuggies" and even they are getting loose. Also? My new work pants won't stay on.

I'm losing too fast to buy new clothes for every step. So, when you're desperate, binder clips work wonders so you don't flash your entire office. :)

Last but not least, let's address fitness. Let's talk about how much I hate it. LOATHE. Mike runs every day and I constantly tell him how insane he is. It's weird, I love being active. I love hiking, I love being outdoors, I love swimming, but when you tell me to "work out" I'm like nah. So, I got a Fitbit. And I have to say. It has changed my life. I got it and purposefully walked as much as I would on a normal day to see where I was at. I was so sedentary it was unreal. Nowadays? I walk AT LEAST 9,000 steps most days. Some days I go way over the 10,000 recommended steps. On Sundays I basically do nothing. With that being said, I have to start working out soon because I'm starting to be aware of the flab that comes with weight loss. So, if you have been on the fence about a Fitbit, DO IT NOW. It's an AMAZING motivator.

So. Here we are. This is where I am. This is all of the info I can get out at the moment. Please please please comment or write-me if you have any questions or suggestions of what you'd like to see me post more about as far as what I eat, what I've been doing, etc. because I've been there guys. I get it. I've read weight loss blog after weight loss blog and I always want to know more, More, MORE. So, I won't shun you. I'll be there for you. Because I know how important that is. Join me! I'm no where near done. Let's do this!!

I Breathe I'm Hungry has been instrumental with her AMAZING recipes. She also has meal plans!

When I must have a baked good that reminds me of the days when I ate what I wanted (in a bad way), I go to All Day I Dream About Food. She kills it in the low carb baked goods game.

And lastly, Reddit is a great place to read all about keto and low carb eating. It is also a great place to find support from others doing exactly what you are doing.

Easy Fajita Tostadas (GF, Dairy Free)

My people.

So much has happened since we last spoke. So much so that I don't even think I can put it all in one post. The two most important things? Beyonce released Lemonade (I ain't sorry.) <-See what I did there? And it has been officially confirmed I am gluten and lactose intolerant. I'm lactose intolerant. I have no tolerance for lactose and I won't stand for it! Name that show.

It took years of suffering cray inflammation, itchy skin and bloaty-ness to arrive here. Thanks, doctor. NOT.

Two side notes: I haven't been cooking because our new house doesn't have a dishwasher. I didn't think it would affect me. Spoiler. IT DOES. Also, can we all agree Bing is awful? I just used it and my god. Google or die.

On the notes mentioned above, I vow to cook more. I HAVE to cook more. My tummy can not handle it. So, my stomach's pain is your all's gain! I'm back, bitches.

These tostadas are so damn easy. All we're doing here is basically throwing the fajita goodies in a bowl and mixing them around, and then baking them until they're ahhhhhhhhhhhhh delicious and roasty on a sheet pan. I am not sheeting you. 30 minutes. Dinner. Done.

Ready?

Serves 2 (2 tostadas each)

What you will need:

For the tostada shell:

  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil

For the toppings:

  • two large chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 packet organic fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 lime for juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian refried beans
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Daiya Shredded Cheddar

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, veggies, olive oil, lime juice and fajita seasoning until everything is coated. Take a baking sheet, line with foil. Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet. Place in the center of your oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

While the fajitas are baking, heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Pour in half cup of avocado oil. It shouldn't bubble, but it should be hot and steamy. With tongs, carefully lay in one corn tortilla at a time. Let it sit 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. It will harden nicely. Place each one on a plate with a few paper towels to soak up excess oils. Repeat until all your corn tortillas are finished.

Check on those fajitas.

Oh, yes.

Pull those babies out of the oven. We squeezed the rest of the lime juice all over them when we pulled them out. I love lime. Give me all of the lime flavored things.

So, here's how we do it. Take the crispy corn tortilla, spread some refried beans on it. Top it with fajita veggies and chicken. Top that with guacamole. Top that with cilantro. Top that with some Daiya shredded cheddar. Demolish.

Do you. There are no rules. Add some sour cream. Add some salsa. Go crazy. No matter what you do, these will be outrageous. In the best way. We had some leftover fajita veggies and chicken. Guess who is going to have a delicious fajita salad tomorrow? Yeah, me.

Best weeknight meal. And my tummy is happy. So is the fiance. Win win.

Enjoy guys! Have a good weekend. Until next recipe!

 

xo