A transformational journey into health and feelin' sexy!

Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category


Well, you may be wondering why I haven’t updated lately… unfortunately, my progress has slowed significantly (and subsequently so have my updates). It does happen to a lot of people, regardless of diet plan, and more often happens to women than men. It typically can be attributed to your body adjusting and adapting to your new diet. Fortunately I haven’t really gone up in weight, just kind of hovered. I have also been very busy and distracted lately due to my wedding coming up crazy fast. Only 2 months to go! Ahhh! If you happen to be interested in following my wedding progress, you can visit my wedding blog over at avancouverwedding.wordpress.com.

Anyways, despite the slowed progress and wedding pressure, I’ve stuck on the wagon, and am still keto’ing as usual. I did fall off briefly a couple weeks ago due to an out of town guest visiting, leading to a couple nights of partying and clubbing, which involved a few too many rounds of shots being bought for me and not always knowing exactly how many carbs are in said shots… Ah well, it happens, but I’m back on board now!

img_0445I also bought some ketostix online a few weeks back. For those that don’t know what ketostix are, they’re basically a little strip, producedย  by Bayer, that you pee on and it turns pink or purple if you’re in ketosis (i.e. measures the ketones expelled in your urine). A couple things to note about ketostix;

  1. They can be unreliable. BUT in saying that, they are really only unreliable in one way. Basically, if your body is very keto-adapted, and efficiently using your fat stores for energy, it can use the ketones produced so efficiently that there are none left to be expelled. So you could technically get a false negative, meaning you could be in ketosis but it tells you that you’re not. This is more common for people who have been on keto for a long time (think years).
  2. The colour of pink/purple does not matter in relevance to ketosis. If it’s pink, purple, or any colour in between, you are in ketosis. There is no “a little bit keto” or “very keto” it’s just ketosis, or not ketosis. Many keto newbies get confused on this point because they think if it’s only light pink they aren’t in ketosis enough. In reality, the difference in colour is based solely on how hydrated you are. If you have more water in your system, the ketones will be more diluted, and the strip will be lighter pink. If you’re dehydrated, it will be darker purple.

So the key is remembering, as long as it’s not beige, you’re goodย (and even sometimes it can be beige and you’re still good, just look for other symptoms of ketosis).

So, according to my ketostix I have been solidly keto (aside from that one blip). This has allowed me to test out my upper limits by increasing my carb intake slowly and seeing if I maintain ketosis. I managed to get up to 50g of carbs per day and still maintain ketosis (lucky me!), at which point I decided I’d better not tempt fate and cut myself off there. So I didn’t really find my upper limit, but I did manage to double my daily intake and not lose sleep over it. It kind of makes me feel a little silly over all the anxiety I felt at Thanksgiving due to eating a sliver of pumpkin pie and going up to a whopping 36g for the day ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyways, that’s all for today… keto on!


Weight Loss So Far: 45.6lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 36.2lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $200


Milestone day! Halfway there!

Just a short update for today, I am officially halfway to my goal! I have less to lose now than I’ve already lost! ๐Ÿ™‚


Also, when I began this diet I decided I would take progress pics in my wedding dress after every 20lbs, so I took my second set of pics the other day and the difference was very noticeable! Things like that make me feel like this is all worth it ๐Ÿ™‚ I won’t be posting the progress pictures on here yet as I don’t want my fiance to stumble across them, but eventually I will.

Last little note I’ll mention is that I hit a very small plateau the past week or two, but managed to stumble upon the cure by accident! I managed to catch (another) cold last week, and in an attempt to kick its ass I started drinking a lot of water, and noticed almost immediately that the pounds started dropping off again. So, PSA for anyone reading this… drink lots of water!

Keto on!


Weight Loss So Far: 41.0lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 40.8lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $184

Fat Links!

One of the most common struggles keto’ers run into is flack from the general public. A common saying in the community is “the second rule of keto is don’t talk about keto”. I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but when it comes down to it, the common idea of what is and isn’t a healthy diet is very outdated, being based on “research” (I use this term loosely) conducted 50 years ago. There is even some speculation that the “low-fat movement” that began in the 70’s correlates perfectly to the timelines of the national obesity, diabetes, and heart disease epidemics. Some countries, such as Sweden, have even begun to see the light and have changed their national dietary guidelines to favour low-carb over low-fat.

But for some reason… low-carb/high-fat is still seen as “unhealthy” to most people.

So… here we go. I have poked through some studies and posts on /r/keto, (I’d like to give a special thanks to /u/gogge for posting many of these), and have compiled a list of some of my favourite studies, articles, and general links about the benefits of low-carb and ketosis, and dispelling the myths surrounding this lifestyle. I hope this helps some of you who may have that brother-in-law or second cousin who went to college for nutrition and thinks that low-fat is the only way to go ๐Ÿ™‚


A chart comparing the weight loss comparison between LC and LF in the 23 studies.

23 Studies on Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets
“The majority of studies achieved statistically significant differences in weight loss (always in favor of low-carb).”

A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial.
“Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss.”

Low-carbohydrate diet review: shifting the paradigm.
“It is time to embrace LC diets as a viable option to aid in reversing diabetes mellitus, risk factors for heart disease, and the epidemic of obesity.”

Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
“Individuals assigned to a VLCKD achieve a greater weight loss than those assigned to a LFD in the longterm; hence, a VLCKD may be an alternative tool against obesity.”

What Do 18 Studies Say about Low-Carb Diets?
“subjects…lost more weight during six months on a carbohydrate-restricted diet than on a calorie and fat-restricted diet, with a relative improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels.”

Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors.
“[low-carbohydrate diet] was shown to have favourable effects on body weight and major cardiovascular risk factors; however the effects on long-term health are unknown.”

Beneficial effect of low carbohydrate in low calorie diets on visceral fat reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with obesity
“These results suggest that, when restrict diet was made isocaloric, a low calorie/low carbohydrate diet might be more effective treatment for a reduction of visceral fat, improved insulin sensitivity and increased in HDL-C levels than low calorie/high carbohydrate diet in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“The diet lower in carbohydrate led to greater improvements in glycemic control, and more frequent medication reduction/elimination than the low glycemic index diet. Lifestyle modification using low carbohydrate interventions is effective for improving and reversing type 2 diabetes.”

Long term effects of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level.
“This study shows the beneficial effects of ketogenic diet following its long term administration in obese subjects with a high level of total cholesterol. Moreover, this study demonstrates that low carbohydrate diet is safe to use for a longer period of time in obese subjects with a high total cholesterol level and those with normocholesterolemia.”

Low Carb Diet Research
“The research which highlights the safety, indeed the necessity in some cases, and the efficacy of carbohydrate restriction can no longer be denied or ignored.”

Wikipedia: Medical research related to low-carbohydrate diets
“A 2012 systematic review studying the effects of low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors showed the LCD to be associated with significant decreases in body weight, body mass index, abdominal circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, blood insulin and plasma C-reactive protein, as well as an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and creatinine did not change significantly.”

Is ketosis dangerous?
“You may have heard from your doctor that ketosis is a life-threatening condition. If so, your doctor is confusing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with nutritional ketosis, or keto-adaptation.”

6 Not-So-Accurate Objections to Low-Carb
“Ketogenic Diets Are Dangerous […] Iโ€™ve never heard someone say this who has actually read about low carbohydrate diets on his or her own.”

The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy
“The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down, the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body makes less.”

Effects of eating frequency on metabolic rate (related to intermittent fasting – a common meal schedule for keto’ers)
“After 36 hours of fasting, an increase in metabolic rate is seen (and does not change further when measured at 72 hours).” “Alternate Day Fasting (not eating every other day) does not result in a decrease in metabolic rate after 22 days”

How to Win an Argument With a Nutritionist
“Many dietitians are NOT basing their nutrition advice on the latest science. The general guidelines are completely outdated. They have barely changed in the past few decades, even though nutrition science has advanced greatly.”


“Put down the big mac,” and other reasons why I want to punch people in the face

I can relate to a lot of this post that a fellow /r/keto’er posted on her own blog… well said, sister!

“Put down the big mac,” and other reasons why I want to punch people in the face.

Week from hell? Keto ice cream to the rescue!

Keto Ice Cream

2013-12-11 15.56.28I ordered an ice cream maker last week off amazon and it arrived yesterday! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s only a half-pint maker which is pretty much perfect considering I have the smallest freezer in the world. I didn’t realize when I bought it but it makes soft serve ice cream, which I think is actually better. So I made some keto-friendly ice cream today and it was actually pretty good! A little high in carbs because of all the heavy cream, but at 6.5g per serving I can have a little bit from time to time. I tried vanilla first;

  • 2013-12-11 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

The recipe booklet suggested 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2cup of half&half, I may try that next time as it might turn out a little bit lower in carb, and it might have a bit of a nicer, “lighter” texture. There is also a chocolate ice cream recipe which I’ll have to give a try as well, I opted for vanilla this time because I often find chocolate keto treats to be ultimately disappointing.

Week From Hell…

This past week has been pretty rough… I was sick with a cold all week, on top of that it was shark week, which meant I of course gained about 2 or 3lbs over the week and craved nothing but chocolate… which was only made worse by having an advent calendar chocolate every day… it was like poking the monster with a stick ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I felt like I was back at week 1 of keto where I was all OCD and couldn’t think of anything except chocolate and other carby treats. I even bought a bag of Werther’s Chocolate Caramels and got back into the bad habit of “topping up” my daily carb intake with however many chocolates I could eat and still stay under 20g. It’s a very dangerous, very slippery slope. Fortunately though, I made it through, didn’t cheat, lost the shark week water weight, and today I got back to my rowing. I didn’t do very well at all in terms of time, but for my first time back in a week it’s not so bad… I’ll eventually get back into the swing of things and find my stride.

Christmas Season

So, it’s the holidays… and we all know what that means… evil sugar plums. I have resolved to stay on keto for the entirety of the holiday season. It will be difficult, but I’ve requested that my family refrain from putting anything edible in my stocking. In the coming weeks I’ll be experimenting with various keto-friendly desserts so I might be able to bring a batch of something sweet to nibble on while the rest of the family eats the typical Christmas sugary stuff.

I am a little worried about this coming weekend, my best friend works for one of the largest cable and internet providers in Canada and for the third year in a row, has invited me to come along to the annual Christmas party (lucky me!! :D). The worrisome part is that they spend a lot of money on this thing… including a lot of money on a very impressive dessert buffet… It’s going to take a lot of willpower to restrain myself from digging in as I did previous years, but I think the best strategy will be to avoid even looking at the table. These are a couple pictures from previous years’ dessert selections…

On the positive, I tried on the dress I bought 2 years ago for the Christmas party, and despite the fact that I could barely zip it up back in October 2012 for a cruise I was on (it took spanx and a very long and gruesome battle with the zipper), it now fits perfectly, and comfortably, and zips up with ease.

Anyways, that’s all I have to update for today… keto on!


Weight Loss So Far: 27.2lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 54.6lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $108

Keto Support Group and Egg Drop Soup!

Egg Drop Soup


Om nom nom Egg Drop Soup

So I’ve been pretty well down for the count the last 4 days with a terrible cold (I blame Jason! He had it first!). I asked my fellow ketards what they eat when they have a cold and the main answer I got was “broth”. Bleh. I’ve never been a big fan of broth to begin with, and I did try to add some to my regular diet to get some more sodium but I just couldn’t stomach the taste… But I had to have something to help this cold. So I decided to give egg drop soup a try. Or at least my adapted version of it (I’ve never made it before so I just kind of wing’d it). Essentially I added some chopped green onion and a teaspoon of salt to about 2 cups of chicken broth (I tried a different brand this time, it seems much better!), brought it to a boil, kept it stirring and slowly dropped some egg into it.

The result was… delicious! I’m not a soup person to begin with, but I could see myself making this on a regular basis (if only to help my sodium intake). As an added bonus, when I have some I feel a little better almost instantly ๐Ÿ™‚

Keto Support Group

A week or two ago someone posted on the keto reddit an idea about putting together a Keto Support Group via Skype. I jumped on board, and on Monday at 7pm PST we had our first group “meeting”. There were about 6 of us (one had to leave a bit early as she wasn’t feeling well, and another arrived a bit late), and we figured we’d meet for about an hour… well, about 2 and a half hours later, we were still talking! I think it turned out really well and I really enjoyed talking to other people who can relate to the keto lifestyle. We had a pretty diverse turnout, from keto-newbies of only one or two weeks, to keto-veterans of 1 or 2 years.

Our nextย  meeting is the same time next Monday, and we’re still looking for more people to join! If anyone is interested, feel free to comment below or add me on Skype (username is daerina).

Anyways, my weight loss appears to have stalled briefly the last few days… I’m not entirely sure if it’s due to shark week or if my head really is as heavy as it feels! Either way hopefully by next week I’ll be back on track ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep calm and keto on!


Free Samples are Evil!

I’m going to consider this post to be more of a PSA about the evils of free samples in grocery stores…

I was craving some chinese food, but unfortunately it’s not exactly Jason’s favourite so I decided to put off ordering any until one night when he’s working late… so we wandered over to Safeway to see if anything looked appetizing, and I saw they had ginger beef in the deli. I figured I’d give it a try and asked for a sample, she gave me 3 pieces and I ate them as we walked around picking up our groceries. I stopped for a moment to check the nutrition info on MyFitnessPal, and found that I had just eaten 10g of carbs in those 2 and a half little pieces…

Word to the wise… look it up before you eat it up! Suffice it to say I was a bit more limited on what to have for dinner, so I opted for steak. Nice, carbless, delicious steak.

2013-12-01 11.36.49In other news, Jason bought me an advent calendar for December! He went through the trouble of looking at the carb counts on all of the calendars until he found the one with the fewest carbs per chocolate. It just so happened to be a Lindt calendar (I love Lindt!) at 3g of carbs per chocolate, which I can definitely live with! Today’s chocolate was even chocolate hazelnut, which is my absolute favourite!

Happy Holidays, and keto on!


Weight Loss So Far: 26.0lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 55.8lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $104