Sunday, 10 December 2017

Yep, I'm Still at it! Keto!

It's been a while since I updated my blog, but who the heck wants to hear me talking about keto week in and week out? Lol.

Well here I am, almost 2 months in, and still going strong!  I'm feeling pretty comfortable with this way of eating, but yes, I am still tracking most of my meals.  I am starting to get a feel for eyeballing my meals, but the time it takes to measure and input into myfitnesspal really isn't that big of a deal to me. I typically do it in the morning with my coffee as I have already planned out my lunch, and on track days, my dinner too. 

The best part is, I am still seeing slow gradual weight loss.  I am down a total of 15lbs to date, and the best part.... my clothes are once again starting to fit again! Woooo!  I am feeling much better about myself, and finding the confidence to wear shirts that maybe fit a little tighter.

I'm still trying to workout, at least in my garage.  I am continuing with my crossfit style workouts and strength training 2-3 days a week.  I did give up running, not forever, but just until I am fully fat adapted.  I was becoming way too frustrated with not being able to run well, and it just wasn't worth it.  I am confident that when I decide to return to running (likely in the new year) my body will be ready to be fueled by fat, and it will be enjoyable again.

I am playing around still with intermittent fasting, and just purchased the book The Complete Guide to Fasting - by Jason Fung, MD and Jimmy Moore.   I have found fasting quite easy lately, I am not hungry more often I am hungry.  I will share my take on fasting when I have read the book and have more information at my fingertips.  (This will be after Christmas, as I will be wrapping the book up for myself as a gift from my animals. LOL)

My newest Keto adventure is exogenous ketones.  I recently made a purchase from Perfect Keto, and I am super excited to see how these exogenous ketones enhance my keto journey - so be prepared for a blog post on that too!

Anyways, just a quick update for now.  Hope to chat in a week or two - providing Christmas doesn't get too crazy!

Keto On!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Week 4 of Keto - My Keto Weight Loss

DISCLAIMER:  This is about my personal journey.  You may or may not think I have weight to lose, but again, this is my journey not yours.  Throughout this journey I have discovered many reasons to continue with Keto that are not weight loss related.  BUT, keto has been a  great way for me to lose weight, and discover a happier healthier me.  I know that the number on the scale does not define me, but again this is my journey, and I am just sharing my experience. I have found this to be a positive path to weight loss for me.

Woop Woop!  Week 4 of Keto in the bag and I think I am getting the hang of this! hahaha!  It is about time, well at least that is what I am thinking.  This week has been a big week for me and I have gotten over a few of the humps I was experiencing.  

Week 4 = I have been doing strict Keto/Classic Keto for 4 weeks.  I did however start "playing around" - (cooking keto) except for weekends in the beginning of September.

Keto and Weight Loss
I started looking into Keto initially for some weight loss. Many people will say "why? you don't need to lose weight?" BUT, I hide it very well.  I always wear baggy shirts that hide the areas I find undesirable. It is not until you see my before any after pictures that you can really see the difference... I'm not sure if I am ready to share the pictures... mostly because I hate the before pictures.

ANYWAYS! Back on topic.  This past year, and especially over the summer I was able to really pack on a few extra lbs.  I was at the heaviest I had ever been in August.  My friends and I tried some clean eating and calorie counting, and it worked, until I fell of the wagon and the pounds slid right back on. 

When I started "playing around" with Keto (in the beginning of September) the lbs started to slowly slide off.  My weight has always fluctuated 2-5lbs, but my low was getting lower, and my highs were soon becoming my previous lows.  Then I hit a plateau... 10 days with no movement on the scale in the right direction.  I was starting to wonder if I was doing things right and started to listen more to my Podcasts, and explore more of my social media groups.  I increased my electrolyte intake, increased my leafy greens, and my world seems to have turned around.

Over the past week I have dropped another 2lbs and reached 53% of my goal!!!! That is a grand total of 11.1lbs since September 4!

The crazy cool thing I have noticed over the past week is that my weight fluctuations are not as big.  That 2-5lbs, is really only 1-2lbs.  The best part of all of this, is I am really not on a "diet."  I am enjoying the food I am eating, and I am not restricting calories at all.

And guess what?!?! my clothes are starting to fit me again, and I am regaining the confidence to wear some of my not so baggy clothes.  My wardrobe options are suddenly expanding! haha

Anyways, that is it for this week.
Keto on!


Sunday, 29 October 2017

Keto - Week 3, and Where I've found Support

So here I am rounding out week 3 of my Keto Journey.  Things are still going pretty well - other than the running bit, although it has improved.  I am still enjoying the food.  I spent my day cooking yesterday so I am prepped for the next few weeks.  Weight loss is slow, but still heading in the right direction.  

What I have discovered on this journey is that I am doing it alone, and I really need someone to talk to and share my experiences with.  I also need to do so much more reading and learning, and its a lot to take on when you are doing it alone!  So I have looked around and found some great tools to help me out.

The Keto Diet the Complete Guide to a High Fat Diet
So this is basically my "bible" for getting started with Keto.  It is available again at Costco, and was relatively inexpensive.  This book looks at Keto from a whole foods-based, paleo friendly perspective.  It takes away the one-size fits all approach to Keto and offers a variety of different pathways so you can customize Keto for your needs. 

The book explains exactly what Keto is and what happens to your body when you switch to a fat fueled diet.  It talks about doing what works for you and what feels good for your body.  It addresses how to survive with tips on grocery shopping and how to manage Keto when you are not at home.  There is also a section on troubleshooting - what if the Keto diet isn't working, what can you do? It provides cooking tips and recipes, as well as meal plans to fit each path of the Keto diet.

The Keto Diet Podcast
So I have switched out the radio in my car, and now I am listening to the Keto Diet Podcast.  I listen to it through my iPhone, but you can also listen online here The Keto Diet Podcast
I love this.  I cannot tell you how much I have learned by listening to Leanne and her guest speakers.  (Yes I can her Leanne, because I feel like we are friends since I listen to her whenever I drive).  The podcast is amazing.  Even if you are not interested in keto, she addresses women's health, and has women talking about women's health.  You do not need to listen to the podcasts in any particular order, just find a topic that has some meaning to your life and give it a listen.

 Facebook - The Keto Diet Private Group
When you buy any of the products, or listen to the podcast, you can sign up to get access to the private Facebook group.   I signed up a few days ago and It has already given me so much support.  As soon as I joined, I posted about my difficulties with training and the responses came flying in.  It was reassuring to know that I am not the only person experiencing the "keto exercise slump," and to hear that everyone has made it out on the other side!  I have been given some tips and tricks to help with my transition to being a fat burning machine.  I have also found that reading other peoples posts and questions answers a lot of my own questions.  Its been awesome for me!  A few other podcasts have been recommended so I am looking forward to further exploring those too!

Well That's it for this week, have a great week :)

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Week 2 of Keto

Here I am.... I survived 2 weeks of Full or Classic Keto, and I have to tell you.... it is not that bad!  I actually like it.  I love the food.  I love how I feel.  I love seeing the pounds slowly fall away!  So what exactly am I doing?!?

My daily keto routine....
Breakfast: rocket fuel latte or bulletproof coffee

Lunch: one of the delicious recipes from The Keto Diet Cookbook  - it is usually a soup, one pot chicken meal, or the early morning jambalaya

Dinner: 3-4 small samples of recipes from The Keto Diet Cookbook  - I really like the variety, but I must admit that it almost always involves chicken wings - and ranch dressing.  I use my avocado oil mayo base then add the seasoning to make ranch (Add a little coconut milk, a pinch of dill, (optional: parsley and chives)  granulated garlic, onion powder, (optional: ground mustard seed, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper) - and blend!)

You will notice that I am not eating breakfast, but don't be alarmed.  That is part of intermittent fasting (and the rules around what you can/cannot eat vary during a fast).  I will fill you in more later.

So I mentioned I liked  how I am feeling... so how is that?
Great!  I have much  more energy for my day to day routines and activities.  I'm not having the 2-3pm crash. Even without breakfast. My mind feels clearer, and when I sit down to get some work done, I can really get it done.

I don't think about my next meal all day long, or when I can eat my snack (most days I don't even bother).  I eat when I am hungry, or when its time to eat with the family.  If I miss a meal, it is not the end of the world, and I don't really struggle with hunger.  The best part is, I don't overeat later in the day when I have missed a meal.

My last post I had talked about how running sucks - well it still does
Running is still a little tricky for me.  My legs are feeling heavy, and my runs are taking a lot of energy!  I've been super frustrated with running, and not really been super motivated to get out an run either.  Only running once a week doesn't help.

Because Keto is making me feel better in everyday life, I do not want to give it up because my running sucks.  I'll just have to change my running to fit my keto diet.  

So what does that mean?  It means I've changed my plan.  I've decided to back off running a bit.  Taking it down to shorter runs until I get comfortable and get my groove back.  I've changed the settings on my watch, so now my focus is to just run. No intervals, no times, no goals, just running. I will push my body to where my body feels it can be pushed on that day.  I have taken all pace goals, and race goals out of the equation.  I just need to run, and get my legs back without any pressure to perform.  The key is to find a positive in every run I do.

So basically.... I am sticking to my Classic Keto lifestyle, at least for another week.  As I continue to learn the ins and outs of Keto, I will take it week by week and make modifications when and where I feel the need to.

Stay tuned, 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

A week of Keto

I have been playing around with Keto since mid-September.  What does playing around mean? I cooked the recipes (from The Keto Diet Cookbook), ate the food during the week, but took the weekends off, had a few eat everything sweet and carby in the house days, and didn't really stress too much about it.  

This week is my first week strict.  Which means I am trying my best to hit those fat ratios, even if it means throwing some coconut oil in my nightly tea - eek that was weird! 

I may have mentioned in my previous post that my goal for the first two weeks of this "experiment" is to follow the classic keto profile - the core of the keto diet and foundation of all fat fueled profiles.  The Classic Keto path is the fastest route to ketosis (without taking supplements), and it is heavily restrictive.  This means my diet is made up of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.  I am encouraged to have a daily dose of the rocket fueled latte, and participate in intermittent fasting (this I will give you more information on in a later blog).  

I chose this profile because I am new to the Keto diet, and it is important to me to get my body into a state of ketosis. I also work out. I run and I lift weights. When you compare which path best suits aerobic and anaerobic exercise, they are not the same. Of all the profiles, the classic keto is the only path that shows benefits for both.

So what does a typical day of eating Keto look like for me?  How about some pictures...

BREAKFAST - Rocket Fuel Latte

LUNCH - Keto Shrimp Chowder

DINNER - Chili stuffed avocado, one pot chicken dinner, early morning jambalaya, and walnut "cheese" Brussels sprouts

If I am hungry I snack on hard boiled eggs smothered in ranch dressing, keto all spice muffins, and occasionally some spoonfuls of nut and seed butter - i can't help myself.  I love the stuff 😉

So the big question is, what benefits am I getting from this diet? Since I started "playing around" with keto I have lost 5lbs.  Yep, 5 lbs eating chicken wings!  LOL. This week I have lost 1.4lbs (which is great for me, during my week of being a woman).  The biggest benefit for me is that I am no longer bloated and uncomfortable.  Even with a fairly strict paleo style diet, I often feel bloated and uncomfortable.  I have also noticed that I am not over eating as much, and I am finding myself thinking much less about food.  I'm sleeping like a baby - although i generally do when I am eating clean.  I still don't know how this diet change is impacting my workout routines, as I am not consistently back into my routines - so I will keep you posted.

Anyways, I think I have babbled enough for today!  

Happy Eating :)


Monday, 9 October 2017

My Introduction to The Keto Diet

So I am embarking on a new nutritional adventure.  The Keto Diet, or Ketogenic Diet.  What is it?  In its most simple terms, it is high fat, low carb, moderate protein approach to eating.  The goal of the diet is to transition your body from burning mostly carbs and some protein, into burning fat.  As you transition to burning fat, your body's preferred and most powerful fuel source, you get the positive side effect of losing a few of your own extra pounds of fat, increased energy, brain power and strength.

Does it work?  I have absolutely no idea, but I am willing to give it a try.... or at least I am now.

When I first heard of the Keto Diet I was really unsure.  I know that fat doesn't make you fat. I know sugar does, but I still could not quite wrap my head around the amount of fat that you needed to include in your diet.  It also seemed like a lot of work.  I mean loads of work.  You have to plan and prep and measure and make sure that all of your macro nutrients fit the Keto ratio, otherwise you will never reach ketosis - the ultimate goal of eating Keto.  All of the resources I looked up online just overwhelmed me, and the thought of giving up sweet potatoes was unimaginable.

Then I came across the most amazing book at Costco (although our store is now sold out. The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel.

I picked the book up out of curiosity. I had written Keto off as something that I couldn't do.  Then I looked at all the recipes. DELICIOUS!  I love recipe books, so I bought the book and took it home to do a little more research. Even if I did not want to do Keto, I still had another fantastic recipe book to add to my collection. (for more information you can check out )

This book was so easy to read, and by the time I had made it through the first section, I realized that I could do a Ketogenic approach to eating.  It doesn't have to be that hard.  The recipes within the book literally set you up for success. Each recipe contains all the nutritional information, and even provides your fat-carb-protein ratios.  All you have to do is cook the recipes and make sure you balance out!

Another thing I really like about her approach is that she realizes that a traditional approach to a ketogenic diet isn't for everyone.  She offers 3 different paths to follow: Classic Keto,  Pumped Keto, and Carb up Options (with 3 to choose from).  If I really wanted to, I could still add some of my beloved sweet potatoes into my daily routines.

After reading, I decided to give it a try.  I also chose the Classic Keto approach to my plan.  That puts me at fat - 75%, protein 20%, and carbs 5%.  

I cooked a bunch of the recipes and stocked my fridge/freezer for a week.  I did take the time to input all my recipes into myfitnesspal, just so i could be sure I was meeting me end goal.  It was way easier than I thought it would be.  My meals we delicious.  I replaced sweet potatoes with chicken wings, and I even lost a few pounds - bonus!  The best part of it, my tummy was happy.  No gas, no bloating, no discomfort.  Even when eating strict Paleo, I still experienced some of those symptoms.

I have stuck to the diet during the week, but weekends I have taken off for one reason or another, girls trip, treat weekend, and this weekend was Thanksgivng.  Today marks day one of my strict "Classic Keto" approach to eating.

I hope to be able to share my journey with you.  Some more information about Keto in "jojo terms" for anyone who is interested in trying.  I also hope to share some of the delicious recipes, and a few recipes I have made up along the way :)

Happy Thanksgiving


Sunday, 8 October 2017

It has been a while.... Too long!

And once again I fell off the wagon.  I continue to want to share my blog, share my recipe successes and flops, my ever changing diet, and what I am doing for exercise in my life, BUT I never make time to do it.  I am not promising that I will be successful, but I sure am going to give it one last try!

What I have realized lately is that a few of the people I share my blog with actually enjoy it.  Some use it as a source for recipes. And of course, some people just outright ignore it - and that is ok too!  It's not everyone's cup of tea to listen to me babble along about my life and what I am enjoying to cook in that moment.

I also realized that my blog also gives me an outlet.  It allows me to share things I am learning, and sometimes I may go a little sideways and vent.  All of this is ok!  It is what it is for each person that reads it, and it is what it is for me on the day I write :)

So a quick update...
My darling little girl is now almost 6 1/2 - crazy to think I started writing when she was just a teeny tiny one!

Not exactly a single mom any more, but not in the way you may think.  hahah. My parents recently moved into my house.  Although I am still financially responsible for my household, it sure helps out that I don't need to stress about before and after school care.  I can work evenings when I need to, and I can give myself a little more time for me.  Its great to have so much help around the house with yard work and things like the dishwasher and the kiddos laundry!

I'm still working as an SLP for the same great place.  I am now also providing in-home supports for families which I absolutely loved.  This summer I did some summer camps for a great organization, and I loved it.  Hopefully more of those in my future too :)

I have also started coaching Track and Field in the past year. Track was always my sport and I loved coaching as a younger person.  I found that getting back into track was not only giving something back to the support that provided my with so many opportunities, it was also giving something back to me - a small piece of myself.

I have recently switched to the Keto Diet, but I will be sure to share all about that in a separate post. 

I'm continuing to pursue my running goals, and crossfit-ish workouts in my garage.

So really... not much has change.  What has changed is that I am excited to be finding some me time in my life, and hopefully I can share some of that here :) 

Take care, and we will chat soon
JoJo :-)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Whole 30 - Day 2 - The Hangover

Day 2....
Wow! I was not expecting this!  No kidding they call this the hangover.  I woke up this morning feeling like I was hit by a truck.  I could not get out of bed.  My legs felt like they weight 1200lbs each, and my head was throbbing!  Crazy. I skipped my morning workout and slept for a bit longer.  I got up to walk the dog, and my legs felt better after that.  The headache however... that lasted a little bit longer.  By mid-morning my head was still throbbing, so I ate a banana.  My hope was that a little natural sugar would kill the headache.  I guzzled some water, and eventually the headache went away.  I have not felt at my best at all today. Please let tomorrow be better!

Day 1 recap:
That was an easy day.  I ate a good breakfast, went for a run, and had a fabulous lunch.  I even managed my run without chewing gum.  I thought that would be the most difficult thing for me!

I spent the rest of my day with some food prep.  I made mayo and ranch dressing... so I have lots of exciting dips.  I also made some egg muffins for breakfast, meatballs and twice baked stuffed buffalo chicken sweet potatoes.  I will share that recipe as soon as I write it up! (absolutely delicious by the way) :)

I went to bed at a reasonable time.  Drank lots of water, and didn't even crave any sweets or treats throughout the day!  I was not expecting to wake up today feeling like ass :-(

Note to self for next time I try the Whole30
DO NOT EAT ALL THE FOOD RIGHT BEFORE THE WHOLE30! Had I eaten my regular meals and not binged on wine, pizza, chocolate, and bread, I think I would have been fine today.

Oh Well, hopefully the hangover does not last over day 2.

Until Tomorrow.....

Egg Muffins

Look at me, already writing another post, are you not super excited?!?!  LOL

I am not a breakfast eater.  I am more of a brunch girl.  I like to start my meals around 10:30am.  During the work week I typically have a banana and a hard boiled egg, or some chopped veggies and a hard boiled egg.  Weekends i like to enjoy a leftover scramble, a Paleo version of an egg mcmuffin (wellr really it is just my version), or i just drink extra coffee.

Now I am doing the Whole 30 I need to start eating breakfast.  I need to eat protein, fat and carbs.  That's a lot of thinking for first thing in the morning.  So how do I, as a person who relies on food prep start incorporating breakfast into my daily routines?  I start with egg muffins.  The most simple, yet delicious breakfast ever! 

Easiest Recipe Ever:

1. Bacon 
2. Eggs
3. Whole30 options: tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, chopped spinach
4. Non-Whole30 options: shredded cheese, feta cheese

1. slightly cook your bacon (I did not do this the first time, so my bacon was not cooked enough)
2. line a muffin tin, or silicone muffin cups with bacon
3. crack an egg and drop it in the muffin cup OR whip an egg and add some fillings and pour it in the muffin cup
4. top with salt/pepper/paprika
5. bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes depending on how cooked you like your eggs :)

Happy egging my friends :)

#whole30 #thisishowicelebrateme     

Sunday, 12 February 2017


Once again it has been a very long time since I posted on the blog, and as before, I really do not have any excuses. I am busy, life is busy, we are all busy.  I am finding that it is time for me to start writing again.  My blog is something I enjoy, and I love being able to share my crazy cooking antics with the world, and share a little bit of me!

So what does 30-40-21.1 mean?  Good question!  That is my journey for the next 13 weeks, and I am hoping to carve some time out of my chaos to share that journey with you.

30 - THE WHOLE30
You got it, I am on another adventure with my food and lifestyle choices.  Life has changed a lot for me over the past few years, and I found myself slipping away from the Paleo Lifestyle that I had chosen for myself.  Eating Paleo made me feel better from the inside out.  Unfortunately I fell so far off the wagon, I have been finding it hard to get back on and stick with it.  The pizza, jalepeno poppers, chips, chocolate and wine just kept calling my name.  I have found that I have become an emotional eater, and it is time to adjust my relationship with food.  It also doesn't help that I gained some extra lbs, my skin is breaking out, I have inconsistent energy levels, and my Psoriasis has returned - to my face!  

Created by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig - "The Whole30 is a short term nutritional reset that was designed to get rid of all those unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, help heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system."  If you would like more information you can check our their website

I have a few friends that will be joining me on this journey starting February 20.  Its intimidating, but I am looking forward to experiencing some non-scale victories.  Yep that's right, it is not a weight loss program, so no weighing yourself through the 30 days!   

10 - The St Albert 10-mile Road Race
I need motivation and a plan to keep myself running and working out, so why not sign up for a few races?  Last year I really wanted to run this race, but my circumstances would just not allow.  This year I am lucky enough to be keeping my mom with me a little longer (she helps care for my daughter) so I can get out and get running!  When it comes to long distance running, I have found that I actually like the 16km distance.  

It is a local race and supports the charity you can ride 2 which provides specialized bikes for children with special needs.  Many of the students that I work with access this program, so what a great way to give back! 

If you are interested in this race you can sign up here St Albert Road Race

40 - Yep its a milestone year!
I will be turning 40 in a few months. I have thought about all the fun ways that I could celebrate my birthday - Vegas, a big party, a girls trip etc., however, none of these ideas fit within my budget.  So I thought to myself, what else can I do to celebrate me?!?!  This is why I picked making some healthy lifestyle changes and setting some goals that I have wanted to achieve for a long time.  It's time to focus on me, and do some things for me this year.

For any of my friends that are reading this post - each race that I have selected for #thisishowicelebrate me has 10km and 5km run and walk options, so everyone can participate.  I am hoping to have brunch afterwards with all those who race with me (regardless of the race they choose)

21.1 - Time to finish what I started 4 years ago!
Its time to finish what I started 4 years ago and make to the finish line of a 1/2 marathon.  
During the 2013 Edmonton Marathon I injured my calf and had to withdraw from the race.  I have wanted to finish what I started some time ago, but once again, circumstances did not allow, or I was just not in the right place to make the commitment.  Things have changed.  I am ready, and I am ready to put in the time and effort to get to the finish line!

The Run Wild 1/2 is another local race that supports another really great cause. Funds raised go to the Zebra Child Protection Centre and The St Albert Seniors Association

if you are interested in this race you can sign up here Run Wild

So there you go... you know know what the string of numbers mean!

Stay tuned...