It feels really good to be typing again and wanting to be back in a routine! I know that the blog updates and posts have been lacking and its time to get back into the swing of things.
We all have to get back in the proverbial saddle on occasion. 😉
On that note.. I feel as though I should explain a little about the reason for the radio silence.
Unfortunately, in April I found out that I was no longer in remission.
This was the biggest sucker punch I have ever felt. Not only was cancer back that but it was back in my brain. BIG TIME. Really, this was the only place it could go (I’ll talk about that in a later post.) The diagnosis was straight out of a horrible Hallmark Movie. The Radiation Oncologist told us with a stone face less than 6 months of life, and within the month I would likely be unable to fully function-as in coordination, communication, the whole gamut. He gave us zero hope.
Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LC) is a rare complication of cancer in which the disease spreads to the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. LC occurs in approximately 5% of people with cancer and is usually terminal.
Guess who’s passed 6 months?? ME.
And I, along with the fam, friends, God, an amazing team of doctors, am driving this horrible disease into remission.
First we cried. A LOT.
We took control.
Guess what? Doctors can be wrong and just because one guy in a white coat said I had a snowball’s chance in Hell, didn’t mean it was time to give up. We then dove into research mode and decided to go to the most amazing place on earth (not Disney):
So, here I am, six months later and still able to function fully and take care of my little family and myself. I’m also debating on sending that doctor a little note letting him know he was incorrect and I’m still kicking.
I just want him to know that there are options and he should not tell people to give up.
Yes, somedays are harder than others but my treatment is working and it’s worth it! I have now gone thru 2 brain surgeries, multiple rounds of radiation, IV and oral chemo, mastectomy, reconstruction, and various other not so fun cancer related activities.
That’s the thing, all of us have trials and tribulations. We have to realize that everyday we make choices; diet, exercise, getting out of bed, how we treat our neighbor, and especially how we treat ourselves. And most days-even if we fail, we have to pick our selves up and try again.
That is why today I chose to type again-to put myself out here again. To advocate for this way of life and know that I am making choices to better myself and those around me by telling my story. There is no way that I could have made it this far without making choices to put myself out there, lean on those offering support, and find for what works for me.
And yes, I still believe I have been truly blessed.
This time of year, the gyms are packed, and the low-fat aisles at the grocery store are jammed with shopping carts.
My reaction…”If they only knew they were spinning their wheels!” All I can do is sigh.
I know, and you know, they may drop 5 pounds, all the while starving, only to go back and gain 10. It is the endless cycle I was in most of my life. If only I had known then what I know now! I would have been a much happier and content individual. Not to mention, healthy and lean.
I have heard so many times these last two weeks, “Count your calories…” or “Eat more fruits and vegetables” and even, Agh, “Cut down on saturated fat.” Really?!?! Wake up to 2016 all of you morning talk show special guests. We have been in a downward spiral for over 50 years, and it is time to rise up and realize this low fat business was a really, really bad idea! It is okay to correct the bad advice!
I have heard nothing about eating more fat, so I am here to tell you; EAT MORE FAT!
Now…with that, goes cutting down on the sugar – way down. In fact, way way down! The sugar and the carbs have to give, to stop that spike in your blood sugar so you aren’t hungry every two hours. This means eating healthy fats and saying no to sugar and processed foods.
The good part is: you get to eat healthy, satisfying foods that will keep you going for hours and hours with endless energy AND boost your brain power. It is an awesome feeling to gain control of your health so that you never have to struggle with hunger pains and yo-yo dieting ever again!
I was beyond excited to read an article my sweet friend, Tina, sent my way. It is interesting, scientifically based, and best of all, everything we have been preaching for the past two years. I just had to share! Take a moment, read, comment, and share with those you love. And…EAT MORE FAT!
Read David Ludwig’s article here. It is worth the read!
Turmeric is what gives curry is robust yellow color and it is one of the most incredible antioxidants known.
This orange packs a punch and can be a little messy if you spill it on your desk at work..
While going through what I wanted to say about this wonder food I located this article and its just has all the information on Turmeric and Curcumin that I would be doing you a disservice by not simply linking to this top 10 list.
Here’s is a rundown of what the article is all about. If you want to read further into ANY of the following I highly suggest you click on the link above. This article is a bit sciency but I think it’s easy to understand and straightforward.
1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties
2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body
4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases
5. Curcumin Leads to Various Improvements That Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer
7. Curcumin May be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplementation
9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression
10. Curcumin May Help Delay Ageing and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases
I started taking a daily supplement of Turmeric once I was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer thrives on inflammation. Turmeric (the Ketogenic Diet) and Curcumin are inflammation crushers. A great supplement can be found at Costco or through Amazon. But you can also find Turmeric in the spice and seasoning isle at most grocery stores as well.
That being said, I try to consume turmeric fairly regularly in my diet. I actually really like Indian Food and curry dishes. On occasion I will sprinkle either curry powder or straight turmeric on eggs (not too much, I don’t want my 4 year old to notice ;)) as well as add curry seasoning or turmeric to my salad along with black pepper and olive oil. A girlfriend of mine made lunch not too long ago out of chicken, avocado, and a heavy hand of curry powder. It was fantastic. Now I almost to add curry seasoning to my avocados. I have in the past added it to coffee making my BPC super BPC. I have a friend who grew up in a traditional Indian home and she gives her sons warm milk with a dash of turmeric before bed when she is worried about the sickies. She always prefers the natural route, just as many of us do, especially when it comes to people in footed pajamas.
We could all benefit from less inflammation in our lives; especially those dealing with chronic pain, arthritis, and cancer. Adding this spice into your diet, tea, or vitamin box is one of the easiest and most natural ways to feel better.
The reason we started consulting with individuals, families, and groups is because we absolutely love the positive changes we have been able to make in our lives and those around us. Really, we just had to share.
One of the most common questions we get is, “What is the difference between this (Keto) and Atkins?
Many aspects are similar between Keto and the Phase 1 and 2 of Atkins.
Dr. Robert Atkins gained a significant amount of weight after starting his medical practice, and through research, created a diet that was based on the removal of sugar and starch from meals. Atkins believed that starchy carbohydrates were the main culprit of weight gain.
Atkins has four phases:
Phase 1 Induction: Dropping the carbs, increasing the healthy fats, and watching the calendar. Keep carb count between 18 and 22–Basically totally Keto!
Phase 2 Balancing: Add carbs back into your diet in 5 gram increments until weight loss levels slow. For some people, this can mean as high as 70 to 80 grams of carbs per day. (Kinda Keto depending on where you fall)
Phase 3 Pre-Maintenance: Add more carbs back into the diet in 5 to 10 gram increments until you are in your weight happy place.
Phase 4 Life time Maintenance: Transition to a way of eating that you can do forever. Adjust carbs as needed, hormonal changes, age, etc.
Dr. Atkins, in my humble opinion, was brilliant and way ahead of his time. He also did not die of a heart attack or stroke, he died from a Traumatic Brain Injury. He died after slipping on ice at the age of 72.
I also believe he is likely doing summersaults in his grave with all these Atkins boxes, bars, and packaged meals (oh my!) These were not his intention at all! Let’s stay away from pre-packaged please!
The Ketogenic Diet, on the other hand, came to be much earlier, around the 1920’s and was established more for therapeutic reasons, initially for Pediatric Epilepsy. The Ketogenic diet being prescribed to seizure prone children has since declined with the rise of anti-convulsion drugs that have been developed.
The Ketogenic Diet is wonderfully effective for weight loss, but has so many more benefits.
I personally started this diet once I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cindy started after struggling with PCOS and being diagnosed as pre-diabetic. The therapeutic benefits of the Ketogenic Diet can help most people, if they chose to do it for a short amount of time or even decide to become “lifers” like we have.
On Keto, you limit your sugar and carb intake to roughly 20 grams or try to keep it at 5% of your food. 70% of what you eat should be fat, and the remaining 25% protein.
The way I have approached Keto was to consume fat and above the ground veggies. I do not worry too much about the actual macro nutrient counts (grams.)
Keto and the beginning phases of Atkins have the same theme. However, Adkins on face value, does not stress the importance of adding high quality fat and keeping people feeling satisfied.
Cindy and I both also feel very strongly about the quality of our food. While neither of us are perfect, we try to consume and serve our families as little processed food as possible.
The benefits of our new way of life have truly been astounding. I believe we have added years to our lives, become so much more efficient, and all around feel a ton better. Having clearer skin and weight loss were just an amazing bonus.
If you would like to learn more about our way of living, the therapeutic benefits of Ketosis, or just how to quit the sugar addiction please contact us.
Here is another SUPER simple and painless way to improve the health of your family.
Swap out that blue can of chemicals: either the salt, lite salt, or salt free can that has been gracing your dinner table. For one of these two:
Containing all of the 84 elements found in your body, the benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt include: Regulating the water content throughout your body. Promoting healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells. Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
I buy the grinder from Costco for around $4.00.
The richer and more varied the colors in the salt the better!
Add this to everything! Top your eggs, finish your protein and veggies! EVERYTHING.
The also amazing but less easy to find is The Grey Celtic Salt:
Grey salt is a “moist” unrefined sea salt, usually found in the Brittany region of France’s Atlantic coast. Its natural light grey color comes from the minerals absorbed from the clay lining the saltponds. The salt is collected by hand using traditional Celtic methods and wooden tools.
Grey Celtic Salt
These two completely blow away the competition! They will not break the bank and once you switch you will notice the pure real, healthy, and difference of good quality Salt.
We just posted a page for those out there that would like to do more reading (or listening) and research a bit further on their own.
Sample of Erin’s Keto library
There are TONS of books, sites, Podcasts, and articles out there, and we have read or listened to so many of them. Together we have created a list of a few of our favorites and brought that list to our site to share with you. You can purchase these off of our Amazon store – right out of our page (EASY!).
Yes! We have read pretty much everything we can get our hands on regarding the topic of Keto! We have read a ton about Paleo as well (if you have questions on that) and the Paleo resources are much more abundant.
I will also say, from first hand experience, the selection of material at the San Antonio Library has also been very good. And if its not there you can ask online or at any branch they are extremely helpful in locating anything specific. This is a great way to try out cookbooks as well!
We are full of suggestions on this topic! Please just ask if you would like to know where to start depending on your goals we will lead you in the right direction.
For those of you that have seen our library of Keto resources, you know that it is extensive. We read A LOT! Erin and I are very passionate about diet and nutrition so we literally live, eat, and breathe what we preach! While we love our books, there is also a lot of information coming out in the news on a daily basis. In addition to our books, we subscribe to wellness and health magazines, both through snail mail and email, and scour the internet for the latest and greatest information. Gut health and depression has been in the headlines quite often the past few weeks. This is an article from Paleo Plan, an online subscription I follow on occasion:
“Did you hear the good news!? At long last…science is recognizing something that’s been known since antiquity…the interconnectedness between gut health and disease!
Recently researchers have begun to realize how depression and overall brain health are intimately connected to our microbiome (the 3-5 pounds of bacteria living inside our bodies which outnumber our own cells 10:1). Several studies are now linking depression with imbalances in our microbiome. In other words, having too much ‘bad bacteria’ and not enough ‘good bacteria’ in our guts can trigger depression (and a host of other diseases).
While scientists are rejoicing about their ‘discovery’ that the brain is indeed influenced by gut health, this is not breaking news. The father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, proclaimed over 2,000 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut”.
What is more along the lines of breaking news are recent headlines likening yogurt to Prozac for treating depression. Now before you go raid the dairy aisle of your local grocery store, let’s chat about why yogurt is being touted as an antidepressant.
Yogurt is marketed to contain probiotics, which are beneficial ‘good’ bacteria critical for immune function and overall health. These probiotics are also capable of altering our emotional state, and studies have found that supplementation with them can improve mood and act as a mild antidepressant.
There are some problems with most yogurts sold at the market (other than the dairy, sugar and other non-Paleo ingredients they commonly contain). Many commercial yogurt products have been pasteurized at high temperatures after the live bacteria cultures have been added, essentially killing all of the probiotics.
Further, we house hundreds of different species of bacteria in our guts, yet most yogurts (and probiotic pills) contain only a small handful of species. Dysbiosis (an imbalanced gut microbiome) is defined as overgrowth of any one type of bacteria. Unfortunately a ‘good’ bacteria can become ‘bad’ if taken in excess.
While yogurt may not be the best source of probiotics, there are several ways to increase your microbial diversity. Eating dietary fiber from whole, natural foods at every meal feeds the good bacteria in your gut and colon, helping them to naturally populate. Other foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut kefir or yogurt, kombucha, live probiotic drinks, and other fermented/cultured vegetables are packed full of living probiotics. The key is to select a brand that is live or raw, meaning the bacteria haven’t been killed via pasteurization. Better yet, you can make your own raw fermented foods!
Lastly, it’s easy to overconsume any one type of bacteria if you take the same probiotic pills over and over. That’s why I urge my clients to rotate their brand of probiotic supplements and ideally get their probiotics from whole food sources.
Ok, so yogurt is probably not the”new Prozac” as news reports are so eagerly proclaiming, but the message is valid: a happy gut precedes a happy mind! It’s time for us all to quit fearing bacteria, and to embrace the reality that our bodies contain more bacterial cells than human cells…now that’s some food for thought! :)” – Paleo Plan
While we do not recommend yogurt for adults on a Ketogenic diet, I do allow my children to have good quality, unsweetened yogurt from grass-fed cows. It has the quality probiotics as well as the nutrients from grass-fed cows that you can’t get from any other kind of yogurt. This one in particular is also WHOLE milk yogurt that is almost impossible to find in this day of low-fat everything! It is the best I have found and a great treat for the kiddos.
I was listening to this same study on Good Morning America this morning and then came across it online as well, so I wanted to share it and put it in line with the Keto diet. It is written from a Paleo perspective so it does not follow all of our rules exactly, but it does have some good tips about cleaning up your gut! This is where Keto helps a ton! Fat is great for the brain and Keto does a great job cleaning up the gut bacteria even alone. The GMA segment was mainly focusing on carbs causing depression and the great probiotic foods we can use to help it. We all know we need to cut the carbs, but not everyone knows that there are actually healing foods that can repair some of the damage we have caused.
Dr. Perlmutter’s new book entitled, Brain Maker is all about the gut, and the foods you can use to clean it up! In fact, a large part of the article above is taken directly from his book. This is on my bedside table at the moment, and about to move to the kitchen to try the recipes he has included in it as well. Check it out in our Amazon Store!
The gut and the brain are more connected than we ever thought. What you put in your mouth can greatly effect what happens in your brain. Even more, as ketoers, we know that the brain prefers fat as a fuel, and by replacing your carbs for fat you are already helping. Now imagine going a step further to feed it healing foods as well!
How do we cause damage? Many ways, but a BIG one is antibiotics. We try to limit antibiotics as much as possible. While they were created for life-saving measures, they are highly overprescribed and frankly abused this day in age. I only take them and give them to my family if they are absolutely necessary – and by that, I mean a raging ear infection, sinus infection or something we know, without a doubt, an antibiotic can fix. If a virus is a possibility – I pass. Another example; I had a severe allergic reaction to a yellow-jacket sting last week. After two days my foot swelled so badly that I couldn’t get a flip flop on and it was turning colors. I reluctantly went to an emergency clinic when my foot was hot to the touch. The doctor immediately wanted to give me an antibiotic to reduce the CHANCES of infection. I did NOT have an infection, I had a reaction! I verified this and refused the antibiotic. There ARE cases when an antibiotic is needed. Just tell your doctor that if it’s not necessary you don’t want it. So many doctors today are quick to provide a fix because they think that is what YOU want, when in reality, you may just need to wait a couple of days to shake off a virus. If, however, an antibiotic is taken, you need to know that it not only kills the bad bacteria, but also kills the GOOD bacteria your body needs for many functions. I know it sounds crazy, but your body NEEDS bacteria. There is actually a purpose for it. So what to do, if you are sick with a fever and NEED an antibiotic? Take a great quality probiotic TWO hours after taking your antibiotic. While there isn’t exact science, this seems to have the best results in replacing some of the good bacteria you kill with the antibiotic. Here are a couple of probiotics we believe are GREAT ones. I do take these daily and switch them up after I finish a bottle.
These first two need to stay in the refrigerator:
This one below does not need to be refrigerated so it is great for travel:
To sum it up…Take care of your gut and it will take care of you. It kind of goes along with what we have heard for years…”You are what you eat.” It seems now, that this saying is more accurate than we ever imagined!
Take care of you, yours, and your gut! Happy Friday!
We have all been there – you know you’re not sick but your stomach is just… off.
I remember when growing up, the go-to would be 7-Up. Not exactly Keto Friendly.
There are a TON of medicinal remedies, and back before being diagnosed with the Big C, I would have reached for the “pink stuff.” But these days I’m trying to be nicer to my insides and make healthier and more natural choices.
Today has been one of those days, and I have been sipping on Ginger Tea. There are MANY varieties that can be found in the coffee and tea aisle, but it is also incredibly easy to make at home.
What you need for a single serving of super simple Ginger Tea:
1 1⁄2 cups boiling water
1 1⁄2 teaspoons freshly grated or sliced ginger root
Boil your water, add the grated ginger, and let it steep for roughly 10 minutes.
Strain out the ginger, and you are ready to sip!
**This is a starting point – adjust the amount of ginger to your taste.
Ginger is great for you, and while for some it can be an acquired taste, it’s ability to settle a tummy is amazing. I absolutely loved ginger ale, but once I cut out sugar, it had to go.
The source of my recent onset of nausea is related to my radiation treatment. I was told that due to the location of the radiated tumor I would likely experience nausea and vertigo. This is all new territory for me! I was extremely lucky to not experience morning sickness, but I have several friends who are dealing with not just morning but all day sickies. Y’all are troopers!! This is NO FUN! The ginger tea is great for that too though.
I will post more about my treatment in the future. I have completed radiation but have several other balls still in the air about the next steps.
We were chatting the other day about keto (of course) and thought it might be a good idea to post a bit about the “basics.” While we we have been trucking right along with recipes and tips we realize not every one has been with us since the very beginning. So today’s post will be a little refresher about what the Ketogenic Diet is about.
This information is also located on the “What is Keto?” tab.
So what are we talking about?
When Erin was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer, she was immediately given books, journals and studies outlining the tragic effects sugar has on the body. Her father-in-law insisted she remove sugar from her life and start a Ketogenic diet. Upon further research, both Erin and Cindy have come to discover the benefits of a Ketogenic diet for more than just cancer patients. Other than Type I diabetics and alcoholics, the ketogenic diet is good for most people if even just used to power the brain with it’s preferred source of energy…FAT!
Fat is great for our brains and our bodies. Fat was given a really bad name back in the 1950’s, and continued to be beaten out of our diets based on false science until recently. When the fat was removed from our diets, food manufacturers added copious amounts of sugars and fillers to replace the fat that had once given us the natural flavors and textures we all loved in our food. In turn, this made us not only food addicts, but sugar addicts as well! Now, it is time to break the cycle and bring our nation back to the way we were originally designed to eat!
In a Nutshell – KETO explained
A Ketogenic diet is a diet that consists of primarily fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate intake. Many times referred to as Low Carb/High Fat (LCHF). The percentage of Macronutrients varies for each individual depending on insulin resistance and metabolic panel. For instance, Erin can eat quite a bit more protein and carbs without a negative impact on blood ketones. Cindy, on the other hand, has to have a higher fat intake with fewer carbs and protein in order to keep her blood sugar minimized because of her insulin resistance due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). A typical day for most individuals would consist of 72.5% Fat, 22.5% Protein, and 5% Carbohydrates.
Ketosis occurs when your body shifts from burning glucose (sugar and carbohydrates) for fuel and instead burns ketone bodies produced by the consumption of fat. We call this Keto-Adapted.
Ketones are the ideal fuel for the body, unlike glucose, which is damaging, less stable, and shortens your life-span. Ketones are non-glycating, which means they don’t have an aging effect on your body.
The energy producing cells (powerhouse) of our body, the mitochondria, work much better on a Ketogenic diet as they are able to increase energy levels on a stable, long-burning, efficient, and steady supply of Ketones. No drug has been able to mimic the effect of Ketosis because the mitochondria were specifically designed to use fat for energy.
This was the diet of our ancestors years ago, and the way we were designed to live as they were scavengers and hunters. Our brains have evolved to live off of fat. In fact, our brains are primarily composed of fat and prefer such as a fuel.
Babies live on a Ketogenic diet. We were given a gift to provide newborns with the ultimate brain fuel naturally in breast milk. When babies are given breast milk which is primarily fat they are essentially Keto-Adapted and burning ketones for fuel which in turn helps construct and grow their brains.
In a nutshell…Being in Ketosis means your body is burning fat (Yay!). For your brain, it means clarity, less risk for seizures, a better environment for neuronal recovery and repair, plus more energy!
What does a ketogenic diet treat?
Inflammation of many kinds, including joint pain
Individuals with high cholesterol
Individuals seeking greater mental focus
Type 2 Diabetes
Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Stroke and Head Trauma
PCOS and Infertiltiy
Strengths Immune System
Great for Indurance Athletes that want Sustained Energy
Great for Body Builders or Fitness Buffs that want increased definition of their muscles.