Life v2.0

On our way home from our Valentine’s Dinner, Sherry and I were talking about how much our lives have changed since doing our first Whole30. Living after Whole30 is like living a life where anything and everything is possible. I see my life in different phases now: childhood, Marines, post-Marines, and post-Whole30. The post-Marines/pre-Whole30 period of my life was marked with difficulty, poor health, and poor fitness. I wasn’t able to do all the fun things I always wanted to do, and I wasn’t able to be as active as I liked to be. I couldn’t plan anything that required a lot of physical agility or stamina, and some things were completely off the list for me due to my excessive weight. Once I lost the weight, everything became a possibility. Once I got fit, everything became a probability.

We have been able to accomplish so much not only in terms of fun and adventures, but even professionally since losing weight and getting fit. Sherry and I have both been able to make progress in our careers since losing weight. I don’t agree with it, but opportunities are greater for those who are average or thin versus obese. I experienced this first-hand, and I can honestly say that things are easier for me now in certain ways professionally. The biggest opportunity I was able to take advantage of was going into the National Guard to resume my military career. This is something that could never have happened when I was obese as I didn’t conform to the height and weight standards, nor could I pass a physical fitness test. Now, I can pass both easily.

I can’t see myself going back to my post-Marines/pre-Whole30 days. I never want to feel like that again. It’s why I’m doing Keto right now: because I am looking to get more weight loss and make some physical gains that Keto seems to be really good at promoting. I’ll go back to Paleo at some point, but for now, I’m hitting Keto hard and I’m also getting back to my running and push-ups. Sherry and I are also doing swing dancing now, and between the lessons and the practice, it’s very physical and demanding. I’m also looking into some other workouts to do on my non-running days. All of these would have been impossible pre-Whole30, but now I’m only limited by time and my motivation, and I have lots and lots of motivation!

Keto Dry Run

IMG_8609Well, we started the Keto diet a few days ago, but I started eating Keto a few days earlier to get ready for it. I started taking some exogenic ketones to help my body get ready, and I felt the positive effects of them early on. I was hoping to be able to transition into ketosis quickly so that I could get as much as I could out of this experiment, and it seemed to have worked quite well; I actually got into mild ketosis on the third day and lost about 4 lbs for the week.

The foods are a bit different, and Sherry and I are having to learn new rules. The biggest change for us: not a lot of fruits, and cheeses are okay. Heck, cheeses play a big part in Keto. This means that there are a whole lot of foods that Sherry and I have been unable to eat that we can now eat again. I’m not sure how this is going to affect my G-I tract, so I’ll be taking things slowly.

Everything from snacks to lunches and dinners need to be re-imagined. Sherry and I have a pizza planned for later this week using a Keto crust made with cheese, cauliflower, and eggs. I’m also making sure I have nuts and Epic bars on-hand in case I need to eat something keto-friendly in the event of a non-keto meal situation (at work, etc).

The biggest part of our work-up toward starting Keto has been the research. Sherry and I have been reading as much as we could to get our heads around the different rules and to ensure we are giving ourselves the greatest chance for success. Like I’ve said in the past, I’m looking to get some good weight loss out of this. Sherry and I haven’t yet decided how long we will be Keto, but I want at least 10-15 lbs out of it. I’m sure she’d be pleased with the same amount.

Seeing Failure as Feedback

In the past, I failed repeatedly whenever I tried to lose weight and get healthy. Regardless of the method, the plan, or the diet, my attempts always ended in failure. Fortunately, I never tried the same bad plan twice and kept trying.

Dr. Andrea Dinardo has a wonderful blog I’ve been following for years, and this post of hers really resonates with me. Embracing failure has allowed me to succeed where I never thought I could. Be willing to see failure as feedback.

Do you know someone who needs free (and without strings) help to lose weight?

paleomarinecomimages_4_original_bueenboc3zkI want to help. Seriously. And there are no strings attached and I don’t ask for any money. I just want to help people get healthy. I’m all about motivation and giving people advice, sharing my journey, and giving tips and tricks I’ve learned on my way from 312 lbs to 160 lbs.

Feel free to message me or email me at ej@paleomarine.com. I will gladly offer advice, answer questions, and share anything that may help.

I’m a science experiment

file-4I kind of chuckled when I thought about it, but I’m literally a walking, talking, and breathing science experiment. I went from fit to fat and back to fit again using science.

Fit to fat: lots and lots of eating without any exercise and without any control at all. This led me to weigh over 312 lbs.

Fat to fit: lost 110 lbs in a year without any exercise, and another 40 lbs the following year. I was successful because I used science: low carb, high fat really works.

As I work on getting back to my lowest weight, I find myself turning to science and experimenting. In going to the Keto diet, I’m also using exogenic ketones to help kick-start the process. I’m monitoring my ketone levels through strips that test my urine, and I am keeping track of the carbs I eat along with the fat and protein. I should make a tri-fold poster board and make a science fair project out of it!

The point of this silly post is that all of this weight loss and health improvement work I’ve been doing is all based on science, but we are all very different. Our bodies have different genetic makeups depending on where our ancestors were from, and different things work in different ways for all of us. That’s why it’s necessary for us to experiment and analyze the data to achieve the most efficacious plan for us. What works for me may or may not work for you: only experimenting and tweaking will get you the best results.

It is this reason that I get irked when someone tells me that a certain food doesn’t  affect my weight when I know first-hand that it does. The same holds true for certain foods that my stomach just isn’t friends with anymore. I’m sure some people can eat all the potatoes and hard cheeses they want, but when I do, I bloat and get digestive issues.

One last point: don’t use the scale as your single source of data. It’s a horrible way to analyze your health. Sure, weight is important, and it’s a good general way to quantify your health with a number, but there are so many things to consider. Track them all, and use your data points to paint a more complete and accurate picture.

Our First Day on Keto

Sherry and I hit the ground running on our first day eating the Keto diet. We began with some Keto pancakes. They are kind of high-carb, all things considered, but not so high as to go over our max carb count for the day, so we did it anyway. Two pancakes and two slices of bacon. The pancakes came from a keto-friendly mix, and it was actually quite delicious! The keto maple syrup was actually pretty darned delicious, too! It is sweetened with monk fruit, and didn’t have any strange after taste.

For lunch, we experimented with a keto pizza that turned out far better than we expected. As a Chicagoan, it really hit the spot for me, and it has been the first time on a LCHF diet that I’ve been able to eat anything that resembles and truly tastes like pizza. It was very filling, too, and I’m certain I’ll have no trouble eating this over the next few weeks while we’re on keto.

For dinner, we had a Hungarian dish I converted to keto: stuffed cabbage rolls with sauerkraut. It’s basically pork and beef with some onion (browned), salt, pepper, marjoram, and some bacon in it stuffed into some cabbage leaves and baked in sauerkraut. It was a favorite of my dad’s and I remember my mom making it for us all the time. I called her for the recipe and I found I was able to make it keto-friendly with very minor modifications. Sherry thought it was delicious and I’m hoping to be able to make it again in the future.

Another Keto Detour

Sherry’s Keto recipes breakdown for the week. These will be the foods we’re eating this week.

Our Daily Bacon

The first time I tried shifting from Paleo to Keto, I tried it while E.J. was deployed with the National Guard so I was on my own.  I struggled with energy levels and stomach aches, and it kind of fizzled out after about 2 weeks.  Though, in that 2 weeks, I did lose a couple of pounds.

This time, E.J. is driving the keto bus, and he’s done a lot more research on strategies and supplements to help make it work better. So, today is day 2, and I’m looking forward to enjoying some cheesy goodness, even if I can’t have my beloved honey and maple syrup sweetened treats…

Here are some of the recipes we’ve got on the menu this week:

Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole – E.J. had a craving for enchiladas verdes, one of his favorite mexican dishes, so I made this casserole which brings all of the…

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