This is just a space where I will write about the more personal things that I think about or am feeling. Unlike my other blog, Jazzy's Notebook, this isn't something I want to share with the whole world. So why blog about it right? Well, for my entire life I always kept journals. Wrote about my feeling and thoughts and experiences. Then, 2 of the closest people to me, read them, at different points in my life. I do not regret them reading it now. At the time I was so mad I threw all of my journals away. Years of writing gone. So, I turned to blogging. Here it is forever and I can share it or keep it private. Yes, I have random thoughts. I write about books, movies, gardening or whatever else comes to mind on my other blog. If you want light-hearted and easy going, check that one out. Here, I will share my deeper thoughts that are not all pink and easy. I usually keep the deep thoughts inside. I'd like to let them out. So here goes.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Let's talk food: Salt

Salt. Salt gets a bad rep. Well, like everything, it depends on multiple factors. We are always told salt is bad or not to add too much salt on our food. Before keto I did not use salt at all. AT ALL. However, on a ketogenic diet salt is detrimental to your success and health. I don't mean that Diamond Crystal or Morton table salt. Think of those as the equivalent to Wonder bread. All the good things have been removed long before you ever get to use it. I'm talking about real salt, Celtic, Himalayan, pink or grey. Real salt is a true MVP on a keto diet. Without getting too technical here is the essence: with the lack of processed carbohydrates and sugar your body will no longer retain water as on a standard american diet. On keto, you lose electrolytes, sodium and magnesium much faster than when you ate all the junk. Less water retention or bloatedness is great but you must make sure to salt your food and take in electrolytes or a magnesium supplement as needed.  If you are interested in the real scientific logic behind salt you may check out the books below. 

Another cool salt/keto related thing: if you start to get headachy you can add some sea salt to your water and it should get rid of your headache. Personally, I haven't tried it yet because it sounds a bit odd to me. If I get headachy I drop an electrolyte tab into my water and that almost instantly does the trick. Pickle juice is also said to work, but again I have not tested that theory. The few times I have had a headache while keto have been after a long run (5 miles) in the heat (90+ degrees) and did not have enough sodium. 

My favorite is the pink Himalayan sea salt. At Stop and Shop they don't have many varieties. The first time I bought pink himalayan sea salt was at Marshall's for 3.99. If you can find it there or T.J. Max I think it is a bit cheaper than what a regular grocery store will charge. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Let's talk food: Eggs

I should start out by saying I love eggs in general. Fried, scrambled, boiled... I just love them. They are also great if you are following a keto diet and don't have any sensitivities to them. A few weeks ago I was on a kick of fried eggs and smoked Gouda cheese on top. SO. GOOD!  This week I have been on a boiled egg kick. I'm not thrilled about the smell but I can let that go for the yumminess. So quick and easy to cook and toss in my spinach salad. I know this is controversial but some days I eat 5 eggs a day. Eggs are such an easy way to meal plan towards the end of the week when most of my precooked food is gone. 
Almost done with dinner when I got inspired to write about eggs. 

Then I realized I had so many pictures of my beloved eggs and thought I should share most of them. 

Shredded butter chicken, spinach, pepperoni & fried egg
& Gouda.
Avocado, spinach, pepperoni, pernil & eggs & Gouda. 

Avocado, spinach, prosciutto, egg & Gouda. 

Avocado, spinach, bacon, egg & Gouda. 
HMMM... seems like I was on the egg and Gouda kick for quite a while.  I choose to eat moderate amounts of cheese on my keto diet. Some avoid it and I have avoided it for a long time. But it is so yummy and I can enjoy some while keeping to my macros. So if you have not had an egg in some time run to the stove and fry you up an egg (in butter), slap some cheese on it and enjoy. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

First week in keto

Where to start with keto?
What should you eat?
What can I expect?
It can seem very overwhelming at first. All I thought was no more bread, no baked goods. I'm going to die. There are many ways to do the keto diet. It depends on what works for you which will take some time to figure out. Are you going to each cheese? Are you going to eat peanut butter? Are you going to carb up? How does your body react to these things? From my research, no matter which approach you choose, I would suggest making some fat bombs. For me they were a big help for the first 2 weeks while adjusting. Here is one of my favorite recipes for chocolate peanut butter fat bombs from the blog Butter is not a Carb. I didn't add sweetener when I made them and I also used almond butter instead of peanut butter. I stored them in the freezer and ate 1-3 as needed. Normally, one would suffice but for special lady time of the month I have eaten 3 lol. 

Macros. Macros. Macros. All we hear about lately are macros. How to figure out your macros? Check out this keto macro calculator. 

Also, just remember if you are diving right in and getting rid of carbs, sugar, soda and other things be prepared for some resistance from your body. You might be cranky, irritable or you may have a headache. Your body will fight you. For me, personally, I didn't have many issues "detoxing." I have been eating mindful for a long time. Since February I was really monitoring my food. Eating lower carbs, healthy fats. I would still have "cheats" or foods off plan. However, I did not drink coffee, juice, soda, milk, alcohol, eat white carbs, steak and a slew of other things. My issues that lead to weight gain were eating when I was stressed. While stressed there was also no limit on when to stop eating the junk. That in itself is another issue that I had to work through and I'll save that for another post entirely. 

Friday, July 22, 2016


I should just note that I am not a doctor. I'm just a regular person, with regular struggles trying to get in shape, get it together, be elite, live optimal, eat clean, be strong.... you know, all of those things. I'm just sharing what I have tried, learned, what worked and what didn't. People rave when something works for them. I just want to share a real life perspective on my experiences. I've been on this "journey" pretty much for 20 years. Most of which weren't successful.  People that normally give us advice are already fit, in shape and are already badass. I don't know everything or what will work for you. I just know what has and hasn't worked for me. Maybe sharing that will help you find what works for you. Or help you avoid some of the mistakes I made!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Let's talk: Keto books

I am about 7 weeks into my ketogenic life. In that time I have researched the heck out of it. Youtube, books, articles, groups-I've kind of been on keto information overload. I would like to share some things that have really helped me. I wanted to give a friend some tips and realized it is super overwhelming all in one lump sum. So I'll share something new with each post.

If you are interested in what keto is here is the super simple cliff notes version. A ketogenic diet is where you train your body to run on fat instead of sugar/carbs. Why would you want to do this? At first it was about weight loss. I mean, when is it not about that? But quickly that focus changed. I love to run and am planning to run a half marathon in October. What began as weight loss changed to how to optimally train for distance running with minimal need for supplements, fuel or water along the way. With traditional ways of eating (carbs/sugar) you have about 2,000 calories from food at your disposal during workouts. After that you need more. Some runners take gel or bring nuts or something. With a keto way of eating you have 20,000 + stored calories of fat at your disposal. It also helps with any digestion, thyroid, sugar shakes and a whole host of other common ailments. The books I'm recommending can explain this to you WAY better than I can ever hope to. This also may not be for everyone. I have an endomorph body type. My body holds on to carbs for dear life. (no pun intended! LOL) With the absence of carbs now my body has to burn the stored fuel. 

If you are an athlete, train hard, crossfitter than I recommend The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. It goes into great depth about how training and keto work together.

If you want to explore keto without worrying about intense exercise then I recommend The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living

Lastly, The Ketogenic Cookbook will open your ideas for meals that are not boring! I can't wait to try one of the ice cream recipes from this book. One of the authors, Maria Emmerich, has a great Facebook page where she shares recipes and more. 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I figure since I have not been consistent in blogging all year I will do an update post from Jan-now. Be prepared it will probably be a long post. In mid January I reached out to a coach who I trained with while doing crossfit a few years back. She offers online nutrition coaching now and I was tired of feeling horrible about myself. Before I even go into that I will say I am very well educated in nutrition and can give great advice, motivation, meal plans, workouts. I learned about nutrition from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition or google or books-I'm a researcher by nature, if you name it I probably have extensively read up on it. When I reached out to her and started working with her I was expecting something like a miracle. Something I didn't already know. The reality is she told me the same things I knew. She gave me a plan. It was up to me to stick to it and to make the proper choices. When my progress slowed she would change my plan to switch it up. She was a resource but the work was still up to me. That is the most valuable thing I learned from this coaching experience. Seeking a new plan, diet or hot trend isn't the answer. It's dealing with what brought you to the point of personal failure that will bring about change. It is doing what you have to do even when you don't want to do it. It is forgiving yourself and being proud of yourself way before reaching your goal. The grass is greener where you water it, not on the other side. However, with her coaching, she introduced me to a ketogenic diet and a supplement called Keto//OS. Both of which are totally life changing to me. (I'll talk about these in a future post) This was the third revision to my meal plans while being coached by her. The previous two revisions I followed about 80% of the time. Still had cheats, still felt like I was on a diet and just doing what I was told. When she switched it the last time I took an active role. I didn't just do what she said. I researched the WHY. How my body reacts to things. The science behind why she was telling me I could not eat carbs except for greens! No sugar! Was she insane? That was life changing. Not just the meal plan, what was life changing is the fact that I was an active participant. Learning and understanding how my body works and allowed me to realize what works for me. Not just because I was told to eat this. I understand what it's doing to me and how my body works with it. What will motivate you will be different than what motivates me. I never imagined knowing the scientific information would make a difference to me. But it did. I didn't feel like I didn't have control and I'm just meant to be bigger my whole life and should just deal with it. The coaching I paid for would be wonderful for someone who doesn't have a clue where to begin or can't meal prep or count macros. For a few months I questioned why did I even bother paying someone to tell me what I already know.  But that is exactly how I learned that the answer is in me and what I do or what I don't do. You can pay the best nutritionist, trainer, but at the end of the day if you don't do your part and believe in yourself it won't work. And that knowledge, my friends, is priceless. The money I spent with that coaching is worth it for that lesson alone. I'm far from my goal. But you know what? I'm proud of myself. I've worked hard to get where I am and I'll enjoy the ride. If you can't love yourself at 215 lbs how can you love yourself at 188? Every day isn't perfect or happy but it's a day that we are given to experience life, learn, and try again. I'm not putting myself out here for anyone's approval or recognition but if I can help motivate or inspire someone else that is more than what I can ask for. 

215lbs       198lbs        188lbs

Sunday, July 10, 2016

About 6 weeks ago I changed my diet to a ketogenic diet and started taking the keto os supplement. A ketogenic (keto) diet is where you train your body to burn fat instead of sugar. You do not eat sugar or processed carbs. Really your carbs come from greens. I know this sounds crazy. In essence you eat high fat, moderate protein and low carbs. By low I mean 50g a day or less. Most days I'm at 20g or less. I'm not writing this to convince anyone to do this. It is more to monitor my progress and share my experiences. What started out as a diet for weight loss has quickly changed and become a way of eating for overall health. There are so many benefits that are greater than weight loss. But we wont go into all of that now. As with anything there is an adjustment period. For the first month or so my workouts suffered. I was running slower, lifting slower and lighter and just overall not where I was when I was eating junk all the time. Interesting huh! This is a normal part of the transition. Your body will fight you and will not want to run on fat at first. But when it does its a great thing. Today I ran 5 miles and it was awesome. I could have probably run forever if it weren't for the blisters on my toes. I want to start sharing my experiences because I feel one day in the future I will wish I had. Also my blogging which was a passion of mine has just been on the back burner and I'd like to get back to it a bit. Here I am after my run. It rained for 3 miles and then was sunny for the last 2. I don't look particularly happy since I've had a rough couple of days but such is life. Every day isn't perfect and on the days where we feel down or sad or mad its just best to keep on going. One foot in front of the other. You know how you see the meme or quote "you never regret the workout you completed only the ones you don't?" Well that is so true. I can't remember a time in my life where I'd thought to myself, "Geesh, I wish I wouldn't have done that workout."