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Keto Life!

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Wait, what the hell even is Keto?

“The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.” –Healthline

So yeah yeah, I’ve said it before but Imma say it again – I don’t do diets. At least, I thought I didn’t do diets. I’ve always thought they were pointless. Like cool, starve yourself, eat like a rabbit & don’t enjoy life; b u t then I stopped being such a stubborn jackass (Shrek pun anyone? I watch it three times a day, okay?!) and realized wait a second, what if one of these diets can actually change the way I feel? Less bloat? More energy? Better sleep? (LOL on that one, I’m a mom with anxiety) BUT maybe all these people who give different diets a try aren’t actually crazy, maybe they are just exploring food & what works for them. Guess what? This is true. These people are doing the damn thing – with food & their body at least. After one week on the Keto diet? I learned SO much about my body. I’m actually even going to… wait for it…. stick to it! I’m thinking about taking a step down from trying to achieve ketosis but the low carb life is DEF the life for me. I am beginning week three of the keto-ish life (I did slightly cheat last weekend… around midnight… Saturday night.. with iHOP… after a wedding..and then again this weekend at a birthday party… with ice cream cake)  I’M NOT PERFECT BY ANY MEANS. And I know, I know, I’m only cheating myself. LOL dramatic much? Eh.

The Food

I could bore you and break down every meal I’ve eaten since beginning my journey – but I won’t. Instead, here is what I liked & didn’t like about keto. I really enjoyed the breakfast part. Being a stay at home mom has its perks like making scrambled eggs, bacon & sausage every day for brekky. One night my hubs made me Keto pancakes for the week & let me tell you, they weren’t the best tasting cakes I’ve ever had (no knock at Nick) but with a little tweaking and less fake sugar I think we can master them. That is the thing about keto & why I really am choosing not to go full blown ketosis. The. Fake. Sugar. I do n o t like it. I gave them all a try but for me, my sweet tooth is real & the fake sugar thing is just not gonna work. BUT then there are the real ingredients that are a major part of Keto, like BUTTER. Do you know how good it feels to cook in butter again?! For years I’ve been told (by the news/health mags/humans) that butter is bad so fat so gross ewh no butter but that is not the case if you are doing keto (or know how to live)! Cook that spinach in buttaaa & throw in some garlic. It’s 5 am & now my mouth is watering for a veggie side. Change happens quickly if you let it! Okay, I know, I should take my own advice in other areas in my life.  Back on track – once I got past the fact that I was going to have to push my sweet tooth aside (so damn hard), I’ve been focusing on snacks. I greatly enjoy munching on spicy pumpkin seeds, veggies, pepperoni, cheese & nuts. Soon enough I started to realize how much I was missing fruit though. Didn’t help that my MIL brought peaches, strawberries and watermelon home for us from her travels… all this fresh, homegrown produce has been very tempting. So I have a bite here or there but not handfuls. Then I force-feed it to my son, hubs, nieces, nephews + friends – they don’t complain…  This is another reason why I’m not going to be able to do keto forever – I miss my g’damn fruit – especially right now when it seems like everything is in season (and not for much longer). But I will try and stick it out as long as I can because I WANT TO!

Recipes I already love

Pancakes that are a cross between French Toast & Pancakes. Yes, that is a thing! I grew up on french toast with cottage cheese – people think it’s weird but my grandparents always said it was a Polish thing? So this is an ultimate keto breakfast, add some bacon or sausage & you are doin’ the damn thing! Also, a great meal to have for dinner if you’re into brekky food as much as me.

Coconut Macaroons the perfect little snack or dessert, just throw a berry on top! You can even get wild & melt some Deep Dark Blackout on top! Yes, it is indeed keto friendly. With this recipe though – I cut the sugar in half. Again, the fake sugar thing ain’t my fave.

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese I’ve never cooked with cauliflower before (crazy or nah?) and all I can say is THIS SIDE IS DANK, keto or not. It’s hard to have even the slightest bit of portion control when you’ve got this as a side. Plus, you can throw some broccoli in there for some extra flava.

The Body

I’ve struggled with gut health my entire life. As a child I saw a specialist weekly. The doctors told me that I had a backward muscle in my abdomen but I never really believed them… always felt that it was something more simple than that. Finally, after I had my son, I took matters into my own hands & really tried to figure out what was wrong with my gut. Turns out, it wasn’t anything 60 oz of water a day & staying away from dairy couldn’t fix. In the first couple days of keto I kind of forgot about that… and went way too damn hard on the cheese b u t my brain turned on soon enough & was like yo girl what you doin’!? So I took a step back from the cheese, drank hella water + reevaluated. I am still shocked with how less bloated I have felt in the past weeks.

Then there is the energy! I was fighting a cold all week (two weeks ago, when this blog post was supposed to go up) but that didn’t stop me from being productive. Like, I didn’t feel the need to nap every time Bryce did. I still had energy. Even around 2 pm. And 4 pm. Guess that is just normal when your carb intake isn’t 300 grams a day (honestly, I don’t even think I’m being dramatic with that number).  I am still wrapping my head around the differences I have seen SO quickly (like losing 4 lbs in 8 days) & not fighting exhaustion every day is simply wonderful. And to think that most of that was just coming from an unbalanced diet is still kind of crazy to me (and awesome).

The Mind

Once I got going into this lifestyle change, I began thinking deeper about food – I legit stopped being naive & have been watching hella documentaries on food. The one that opened my eyes the most was The Magic Pill. Like, I cried & not because I couldn’t eat a doughnut but because a low carb/high fat diet changed the way a 5 year old girl with autism lives. The lifestyle change bettered her way of life at warp speed and it just shows that experimenting with food is in fact for everyone & we m u s t to listen to our bodies. *exits preacher Kate*

I have learned so much on this short journey & I am so excited to keep it up. The best advice I’ve received on my keto journey was from the food & fitness Goddess herself, my dear friend, Jenny Walker – she shared with me the motto she lives by: “Just don’t eat like an ass”. The girl speaks the damn truth!

If you have any low card or keto recipes you think I need in my life, please send them my way! I hope you’ll enjoy going on this journey with me.

xo,

kate

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in Fitness, Food

Territory Foods Review

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territory-foods-review

Kate and I have been stepping up our fitness and health game in the last couple months. And we are happy to report, we are seeing progress and feeling GOOD! We’ve been working out everyday and eating healthy. However, there is one thing I cannot for the life of me do and really dislike, and that is: meal planning. This is where Territory Foods comes into the picture.

I work from home three times a week and go into the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays; and on days I go into the office, I almost ALWAYS forget or neglect to pack a lunch. So when I saw that one of my favorite Baltimore foodie bloggers posted an Instagram story about Territory Foods, I thought to myself that this just might be a solution!

A little background on Territory Foods:

Territory Foods is a healthy meal delivery service that focuses on providing prepared meals with locally sourced ingredients. Meals are prepared by local chefs with a variety of culinary backgrounds. Currently, Territory Foods is serving four regional areas in the United States : San Francisco, Southern California, Dallas/Fort Worth, and the DMV. Territory Foods offers TWELVE dietary templates from Whole30 to Paleo to Vegetarian to New and Expecting Moms – whatever your dietary preference, Territory Foods has likely got ya covered!

They offer three meal sizes and meal types:

Boost $9.95/meal, Standard $12.95/meal, and XL $15.95/meal; and
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Meals can be delivered to your home for $7.95, or you can pick up at a designated location for free.

My order:

I opted for lunch and dinner meals, as I usually have breakfast covered with my favorite protein smoothie and coffee. During my first week, I ordered six meals – a lot, but I was able to snag a credit – so I went a little crazy. Because Territory Foods allows you to edit your plan – I opted for three meals during my second and third week, and changed my dietary plan from Paleo to Whole30.

My thoughts:

I know $12 a meal sounds like a lot. But I’ve factored in the reality that my office only offers vending machines, and that purchasing lunch at a nearby restaurant is equivalent or more cost-wise. I figured indulging on a healthy, ready prepped meal is well worth it. As I mentioned, I dislike meal planning – the whole prepping and cooking is fine with me, but I cannot eat the same meals everyday for an entire week. I get sick of it and food ends up going to waste – money wasted. One of the reasons I really enjoy Territory Foods meals is the variety in types of meals offered – I’ve had Ethiopian, Mediterranean, and Asian within the last couple weeks. And the options change each week! You can also put your meals on pause, if you simply aren’t into the meals offered or will be heading out of town.

Overall, the meals have been delicious. There was only one meal where I took one bite and had to force myself to finish because it simply was not good. One of the features of the website allows customers to rate each meal, and I’ll be doing so accordingly.

I also felt that the Standard meal size was just perfect for someone my size. Standard meal sizes range from 400-650 calories per meal. Even after a workout, and I’m feeling completely famished – I feel fully satiated after eating one of these meals.

Final thoughts:

Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and making healthy meals; but with my busy work schedule, and shockingly active social life, Territory Foods has been a lifesaver. I would definitely recommend Territory Foods – if you’re busy or just crave a variety in meals, Territory Foods is a great option.

If you’ve been jonesing to give this a try – it’s your lucky day – I have a $25 credit for ya! I would love to hear your thoughts if you  end up trying it. I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do. Love this, but need a little motivation to workout? Read our blog post on How to Commit and Stay Motivated to Working Out.

xo,
Kim
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Okay, so we made it through the first week of 2018 – so far, so good, right!? And like the rest of world, I’ve jumped on the “New Year, Better Me” bandwagon. A lot of our resolutions have to do with health, fitness, and overall wellbeing – all of which are attainable through better lifestyle choices. And for the last couple years, I’ve tried to stick to making working out and eating healthy a routine in my life. With that, I wanted to share with you a few tips that have helped me commit and stay motivated to working out.

  1. Set realistic goals
    When I initially started working out (again), I thought to myself, “I could totally make it to class 5x a week.” Uh, no – this didn’t happen. The truth was that I was basically sedentary when I decided to take control of my fitness routine, and what I really needed to do is evaluate my fitness level at the time, and set realistic goals. So after a week or two of not achieving the 5x a week goal, I decided for the next couple months I would make it a goal to get to class 2-3x a week and reevaluate. I did – and now I’ve doubled the appearances I make to the barre studio. Start with a small goal and build on it.
  2. Know thyself – group classes vs lone wolf
    Okay – this is actually important. I quickly found out that going to the gym and fending for myself was really counterproductive and not for me. I had no idea what I was doing with the machines or even had a proper routine and, as a result, it was really discouraging. I quickly found out that I’m very much a group class kinda gal through and through. This revelation was not a shock to anyone that knows me as I’m very much an extrovert. With that, my next thought on group classes will not come as a surprise to you: being surrounded by like-minded people help with my pursuing and achieving my goals. Plus there is an added bonus of forming friendships. This bring me to the next tip…
  3. Find your tribe
    The women I go to barre with motivate the hell out of me – we are all at different fitness levels, yet, we all inspire each other to work harder during class. It’s amazing. The best part of establishing relationships with the people I go to class with, is that we hold each other accountable. My barre babes and I ensure that we see each other at least 3x a week. It’s really hard to cancel class when you know your favorite people will be in class; but also, having someone to make funny faces with or make comments about how a certain move may kill us  makes class even better.
  4. Stick to a schedule
    This helps establish a routine. Whether scheduling gym time in your calendar or signing up for class beforehand, committing to a designated time will make you accountable and are likely less to cancel. Also, why wouldn’t schedule an extra hour of “me time” in your daily schedule?
  5. Location, location, location!
    I know what you’re thinking, “what the heck are you talking about, Kim?” Pick a gym or fitness studio that is either walkable or a less than 20 minute drive from your home. Anything further than that will only give you opportunities to make excuses. Don’t set yourself up for failure from the get-go.
  6. Sign a contract
    I don’t know about you, but if I’m paying for it, I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth. You don’t have to sign up for a whole year, but consider a three month contract (baby steps). This is ample time for you to establish a routine and actually see changes in your body (and mind – endorphins make you happy, people)!
  7. Treat yourself
    When I first started, I made mini goals; and when I reached that goal, I would treat myself. This would come in the form of a date night at my favorite restaurant or even a cute workout outfit. Honestly, I go for the latter more than anything else, because I noticed that a cute outfit makes me feel a little more confident. Cute outfits are just so motivating and empowering! If you feel strong and confident, that will definitely translate in your workout – making your workouts just as strong and confident. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from my favorite brands: Alo Yoga Moto Leggings (I own two pairs of these leggings – I’m OBSESSED!), Beyond Yoga Soft Spacedye Leggings (the SOFTEST leggings you will ever own in your life), and Zella Pace Tank.
  8. Take photos
    Okay, so you’re thinking this is cringe worthy, Kim. I get it. However, documenting how much your body changes within the first 12 weeks will seriously change your mindset. You’ll notice how your hard work is now translated into toned arms/legs and a flatter stomach. While it’s difficult to not compare yourself to others (stop doing this), these photos will allow you to compare yourself to yourself! Whenever you’re in a rut, you can reflect on these photos and see how far you’ve come.
  9. Focus on intangibles
    I just mentioned the physical changes you can see with the naked eye – but I found that the intangibles really motivated me to stick with my fitness routine. Working out really does rewire your brain. Admittedly, prior to establishing a workout routine, I felt blue – like all the time. It’s so crazy how just working out 3x a week really made me into a happier person. A couple other things I’ve noticed: I’m less tired when I wake up and my stress has reduced immensely. I know I said this before, but endorphins really do make you happy!
  10. Find healthy recipes you enjoy eating and making
    So part of committing to a fitness routine is also committing to a balanced, healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong, I indulge – maybe more than I should from time to time. But eating healthy was (and still is) the most difficult part for me. My initial thought for healthy foods meant, I’d be eating like a rabbit for the rest of my life – but that really isn’t the case. I’ve found a number of easy and delicious meals online that I currently keep on rotation. My favorite and go-to sites: A Cozy KitchenSkinnytasteTwo Peas and their Pod, and Honeysuckle Catering.

I hope you enjoyed these tips –

I would love to hear how you commit and stay motivated in your health and fitness journey!

xo,
Kim
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