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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Making Your Ketogenic Lifestyle Easier...So You Stick With It!

By now you've realized that eating low carb isn't hard. Unlike other typical diets, you don't feel hungry or deprived (at least after you break the sweets addiction!). You get to eat amazing food that is filling, doesn't leave you crashing an hour or two later needing more...and you've found that you have ENERGY! Yay!
some of the typical traps for most people who try to change their eating are still there...

1) no support/feeling alone
2) cost/access
3) time and effort required to be intentional and make good choices BEFORE you are hungry and rushed
4) no fun! (feeling deprived, not hopeful)
Let's address those "traps".
1) No support/feeling alone...
We have a group! We meet together typically every other week and talk/eat/learn/share. We also get to commiserate on who is going to bring what (low carb) to various functions we all go to. That makes it easier to stick to our choice to be healthy. When you can share your hardships and frustrations, and hear others' achievements and hopes, it keeps us going. It's important to have "community". Things come up, but do try your best to be a part of your "community", not just for your sake, but for your community's sake, as well. (I LOVE this fellowship, BTW!)
 2) Cost/access...
If you're still having to buy junk food and "carbage" for others in your family, yes, it will add up (more reason to get them into healthy eating, too). However, from my experience, if you are buying real, whole food and not the processed junk, the cost will be about equal. Granted, Organic does cost more, as does "grass-fed", but there are ways around it sometimes = farmer's market, gardening, going in with others to buy half or a quarter of a cow. Buying things "in season" is best AND cheapest, even if it's organic. 
So how can it cost about the same, or not much more? When you eat sugars/carbs, you get hungry again soon. You eat more. If you eat cereal, for example, with milk, you will NEED a snack about 9-10am, or multiple coffees, etc. However, if you eat 2-3 eggs and 2-3 slices of bacon, you will not be hungry again till lunch. Hence, you eat less.
If you think, "but pasta/rice is cheap." Yes, it is. It's about 1.25-2.49 for a packet or box. But you could get frozen green beans instead for about the same cost or less (currently .98 at Walmart)...and they don't need sauce, just a little (free) bacon grease to sauté them in. So, you've still got a meat, like most of us have each night, plus green beans instead of your typical starch, then you need another vegetable (maybe green salad? or perhaps cheezy cauliflower?), that you would have typically had in your regular dinner anyways. So, see? You come out about the same, unless you choose steak all the time!
 The cost to be low carb isn't higher. It can actually be LOWER! But, the cost of buying higher quality foods (organic & grass-fed) IS a factor. Familiarize yourself with the list of foods that are "clean" and the ones that are "dirty" and need to be organic if at all possible, and don't waste money where you don't need to. (See here for these lists)
Also, don't forget the cost of medical care! Being sick, unhealthy, diseased, and in general poor health, especially as you age, must be figured in, too. Oh, and the cost of life/health insurance, as well. The more unhealthy you are, the more you insurances cost, typically.
3).  Time and effort required to be intentional and make good choices BEFORE you are hungry and rushed...
This is where most of us mess up. We don't plan.
We come home from work tired, wanting nothing more than to relax...but we have laundry to wash, kids to help, pets that want love and a walk, a sink of dirty dishes, bills to be paid, etc. The last thing we feel like doing is figuring out what to cook, and especially if that means thinking outside of the box we've been living in for decades (the "I'll just make mac'n'cheese and chicken nuggets with carrots & peas" box!). Low carb meals can be easy and quick too. You just have to choose your meals wisely to fit your schedule. And don't be afraid of your slow-cooker! It's your friend in times of need.
So what do you do? Use your handy menu sheet (7day menu, pictured, middle of the page) and print the super cool grocery list (under heading "Shopping Lists & Grocery Lists", near the bottom of the page, simply titled "Groceries") right on the back! (A big thank you to for these wonderful FREE printable resources)
Sit down for 30 minutes (yes, I know it sucks, put on your big girl panties) and make out a menu that fits your week. Choose slow cooker recipes for the days that are going to be the worst/hardest. Plan where you are going to eat out that has low carb options if you think you'll be eating out...and write it in. Look at your local grocer's sale sheet (I always check Rouse's circular) to see what meats and veggies and fruits are on sale, then plan your menu around those items. Buy extras of meat on sale and save more $$. Before you know it, you'll have your whole week planned out and a grocery list ready to go. Shop from this and don't throw it out afterwards. Use it throughout the week to remember what you had planned AND keep it to refer back to later on when you need ideas for other menu plans. If something you made turned out great, mark it with a star so you'll know to repeat it frequently. If something turned out gross, mark it out! And on your menu, as you make it out, be sure to put the recipe source right out beside it (i.e., Jalepeno Popper Chicken - Veritas Blog, Caramel Apple Fudge - Keto CB p. xxx, Low Carb chops, Pint(erest))
Then, when it's "go time" you just look at the menu, go to the listed source, grab your needed items and go!
A little bit of time spent ahead saves not only lots of time later & sanity, but helps you to stick to your healthy lifestyle.
4) No Fun! (feeling deprived, not hopeful!)...
Repeat after me..."I get to eat so many wonderful, tasty, filling things that help me feel great and as a bonus, I will probably lose weight and look more like I'm hoping to!" Do NOT say, "I can't eat that. I don't get to have those."
It's all in the attitude!
There are so many more foods (meats, vegetables, fats, fruit) that help you to be healthy and look and feel better, than there are foods (sweets, starches and processed garbage pretending to be food) that make you sicker, fatter, and feel like crap, tired, and hopeless. Remember that! 
It's not that you are so left out when the folks at the office are all eating's your secret sense of satisfaction that you have taken control of your body and the choices surrounding your health...and you don't want to be a ticking time bomb like them. Keep a non-Splenda Quest Bar on hand for such times if you think you'd benefit from having a better choice available, rather than just not eating.
Think of the FUN you'll have when you chase your kids/grandkids, dance with your man, kayak or paddleboard in the Gulf, hike the forest with friends, go up the steps without being winded, or even run down the beach! Think of how you'll feel when you go shopping for new clothes because you can't fit in your old ones...they're too big!
The first time I went shopping for new clothes when I was within 10 lbs of my final goal weight, I almost cried. I came back to the dressing room with multiple sizes, not sure which size was going to work. After trying on a few larger items that were too big, I put on size 6 skinny jeans. I looked into the mirror and for the first time in YEARS, I liked what I saw. I looked good to me. I didn't see the flaws, wasn't filled with shame, wasn't thinking "I'm so fat". I studied myself in these modern jeans and slowly, quietly cried. I'd done it! I could feel GOOD when I shopped for clothing for the first time in decades.
And while that point will come at different times for different people and may not require you being 10 lbs from goal weight, it will come. And let me tell you, it is FUN!
Goodbye shame! Hello satisfaction!
Start making menus and grocery lists NOW. Be intentional. Nobody else is going to do it for you. Nobody else is responsible for your health. YOU ARE. Watch 30 minutes less TV and make a menu.
Now doesn't that feel good?!?!

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