Saturday, September 8, 2018

Keto: Just Say No

The noun form of the word "diet" has two meanings:
  1. 1.
    the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
  2. 2.
    a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.

More often that not, when we hear the term we often are referring to the latter of the two. Over the years on my health living journey, I have researched or even tried various "diets" (definition #2). The one diet that really got me second guessing all of the information from the internet and what "they" say.  (Who are the elusive "they" anyhow?) After a lot of research and prompting from friends, I tried keto before my wedding last year. After a stint of hardcore keto (bullet proof coffee, sub 20 g of carbs a day, moderate protein, high fat, and even going so far as to log my vitamins) and peeing on a lot of keto sticks, I stepped on the scale. 

Within 1 month I had gained 5 lb. Aside from the weight gain, through out the month of keto I physically felt terrible. My reflux had returned, after it had subsided in 2012 after I nixed gluten from my diet (definition #1 :) ). I didn't feel healthy. You know that feeling when you eat something really greasy and that grease might as well be seeping out of your pores? Yeah, that's how I constantly felt. That's the best way to describe it!

I then decided to step back and evaluate popular fad diets. Aside from my experience with keto, I firmly believe keto is a fad diet with major long term health ramifications. How can aiming to eat 150g of fat a day be healthy? How can one think that eating blueberries will make them fat?

God created foods such as apples, blueberries, sweet potatoes, chicken, etc all for our nourishment as human beings. We often times act as though our brains know more than our bodies - our bodies that were designed so intricately to function in ways that our brains still can't even begin to understand. So, how arrogant or foolish are we to think that our bodies don't know anything and we need to trick them?

Your body was designed to take in food for sustenance and to function properly. As you step away from "diets" (definition #2), you should start to listen to the needs, signals, hunger, etc from your body. It will tell you when you need to eat and what you need to eat. Now, if your mouth is wanting twinkies every meal, then that is not nourishment. You can choose wise foods, while not following unhealthy diets. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Last night I made an awesome casserole! Mexican food is always a fan favorite in our home, so I chose one of many Pinterest recipes. This one was from Family Fresh Meals. I made a couple of changes to it to suit our family. It was a huge hit, and leftovers for lunch were great!

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole


  • 18 6-inch corn tortillas (gluten free)
  • 1 packet Frontera, Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 4 cups Mexican blend cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Place 6 tortillas in the bottom of a buttered baking dish - allow them to overlap some

  3. Top with 1/3 the packet of enchilada sauce evenly over tortillas
  4. Top with 1/2 chicken, 2 TB of onion, 1 cup of cheese
  5. Repeat steps 1-4
  6. For the final layer, add 6 more tortillas, the rest of the sauce, chicken, and onions. Top with one more cup of cheese.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

7 Tips for Living Fit on a Budget

Often times we think of being healthy and fit requires a lot of time and money - especially times a money we don't have. This can also often be completely untrue! Here are 10 ways to get/stay healthy without living beyond your means!

7. Budget: This should be like numbers 1-10, honestly. Budgeting can be an ugly curse word that strikes fear in the hearts of many. Actually, making and keeping a budget is freeing! (But, that is all for another post.) When you are making your monthly budget, make sure you incorporate your gym fees, the cost of your supplements, or healthy foods. If you make your budget and stick to it, then that will be an extra bit of accountability - both financially and in your health. 

6. Gym memberships: There are so many ways you can slash costs for gym memberships. Some gyms have different levels of memberships. Ask yourself, are you really using the gym for the amount you are paying for? Also, maybe you live in an apartment that has a free gym. Bingo! Also, some health insurances offer discounts at certain gyms. 

5. Free apps: I am currently loving the NTC (Nike Training Club) app. The app is free and it has free workout plans. You can customize your plan to your equipment, current fitness levels, goals, time you have to work out, etc. There is such a wide variety of workouts that you won't get bored! Also, did I mention it's free?

4. Meal planning: Meal planning is something you hear about a lot to stay on budget, but it can often seem like a daunting task. My family has started using a service called eMeals. The cost of the service is nominal, and each week that send us a list of meals. I can even have the grocery list I need sent straight to ClickList. You can choose meal plans depending on your goals or tastes - they even have paleo and gluten-free plans! It's a win-win on so many levels!

3. Grocery services: This is sort of piggybacking on #7.  A lot of stores like Walmart and Kroger offer grocery services. Personally, I am a fan of Kroger's ClickList. You can reduce the risk of impulse buying, and you can see your order total. Since you can see your order total, it can keep you on budget. 

2. Coupons: Coupons can often get a bad rap, but they are really a money-saver. I have often left the grocery story saving over $40 just with coupons. 

1. Prioritize: A lot of living a healthy lifestyle is about prioritizing. I don't see my supplements as "in addition" to my grocery budget, but as a part of my budget. I make protein shakes for lunches and/or breakfasts. It may seem to some like protein powders, like Arbonne are expensive. But, Arbonne for example, comes down to about $2.50 a shake. $2.50 for a meal packed with delicious, filling protein is a no-brainer!