Not the most flattering angle…


So okay. Yeah. I didn’t want to post this but I wanted to share that even problem areas get better. I have always had a problem with my lower belly but through fitness and exercise it is certainly shrinking. Picture on left is from March 23. Picture on right is from May 18. I for sure notice a different in size. I know this is awkward but I just wanted to share. Don’t ever give up on yourself!

Late March on the left , May 18.
Here is a picture I thought I would never post haha. Me in Puerto Vallarta at around 255. Throwback Thursday!

I have been working out every single day to try to complete my one mile a day for May. That as I have mentioned has turned into 100. I’m almost at 60 miles, I hope I can do it. 🙏🏻🙏🏻

With everything going on in the world I just have been trying to stay calm and collected.

Now that’s a ^throwback Thursday!! Highest weight 335! Pre gallbladder surgery. Did I mention I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery because it was functioning at 6 percent? Yeah that happened!

Anyways, still working on getting the site together guys I know it’s hard to navigate right now! Thank you for your patience. Happy almost weekend!

Getting started on a low-carb diet.


I have had a ton of questions concerning the low-carb lifestyle and how to get started. Keep in mind I am not a doctor, and I am not a professional low-carber, but I will share with you what I have learned so far.

Before you start this lifestyle you need to do a few things.

1. You must research ketosis. This is SO important to understanding how and why low carbing works. Here is a great link.

Everything you need to know about Ketosis here. 

2. This is optional, but I strongly suggest buying some ketosis strips to test your ketones level. If you read the above link you will understand what I am talking about. You can buy ketone testing kits at any pharmacy. They cost about 10 dollars for 50 strips. You will not need to test right away, so they are not totally urgent. I waited 5 days after I started before testing.

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3. Now we need to read about the induction phase. The link below will let you know everything to get started. Induction lasts for two weeks or longer depending on how you decide to go about your weight loss. Staying in induction for super long periods of time is not healthy for your kidneys. You must decide when is right for you to move on to the next phase. Read the link below.

Induction

4. Clean out all the grains and carb loaded products you have hiding in your kitchen. Give them to a friend, throw them away, or just put them out of eyesight.

5. Head to the grocery store. Read labels. Look for meat on sale that you can freeze. For cheese, pick blocks of cheese instead of shredded cheese in bags. Block cheese has 0 carbs and shredded cheese usually has 1. When you only have 20 grams a day, these choices add up.  To find out what you can eat, read this.

What you can eat in Phase 1.

Here are a few suggestions from my grocery list-

Eggs, Bacon, Sausage (in a tube not premade), block cheeses, cream cheese, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, chicken breasts, chicken tenderloins, center cut pork loins, ground turkey, ground hamburger, leaner cuts of steak like filet, bacon, canadian bacon, all lettuces, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, cauliflower, whipping cream, shrimp, fish.

6. The morning that you start the low carb plan, WEIGH YOURSELF. I made the mistake of waiting four days so I have no idea how much weight I lost in that time period. If you want to be even more hardcore, do your measurements.

Now you are set. You know how much you weigh. You have your low-carb food. You have your ketosis testing kit. Now you do your job. You eat. You stay under 20 net carbs a day.

Net carbs? Yes those. Basically dietary fiber is not counted towards your final carb count. Example. Say you have a cup of spinach and that has 4 carbs. Well look at the dietary fiber. Pretend that it’s 2 grams. You then take the total carb count (4) and subtract the dietary fiber (2) for your total net carbs. So instead of thinking you ate 4 carbs, in reality you only ate 2. You will get a hang of it. PS- You can also subtract sugar alcohols as well the same way you do with dietary fiber.

Keep track of your carbs in a notebook, on your phone or computer, or use a program like my fitness pal to see how many carbs you are at. Do not go over 20!

It’s really important to get your body into ketosis, so if you are going to do this do it right. Stay away from pasta, donuts, rice, fries, sugar etc. One slip up won’t kill you, but it will throw you off track.

Weigh in as frequently you want. I weigh every few days, but test my ketones levels almost every single day. Find what works for you.

What you can expect- Headaches, upset tummy, weird poops, (sorry there isn’t a really elegant way to type that), and over all yuckyness. HANG IN THERE. This only lasts a few days. Your body will adjust and it will start burning fat in no time.

Tips- There are a ton of low-carb recipes around the web. Start reading. Get ideas. Make a pinterest board of recipes you want to make. Here is mine-

Pinterest Low Carb Board.

If you have a sweet tooth find some sugar free candy that you like for when those cravings hit. I like to make fresh whipped cream on those nights I want something sweet.

For sweeteners I use Truvia or Stevia. I feel like it’s the most natural sugar replacement out there.

Take it easy on the bacon and sausage. Just because we can have these items, doesn’t mean we can eat them at every single meal in unlimited amounts. Moderation! I try to stick to 4 oz of meats three times a day, and no more than 4 oz of cheese a day. Add in your veggies and healthy fats and you will be good to go.

low carb

I have had great success so far. I plan to stay in the induction phase for a few months to come. Good luck on your low carb journey. I hope some of this helps.

Food Ideas-

My Thanksgiving Menu. Low Carb with recipes.


My husband and I are very untraditional people when it comes to celebrating the holidays. We like to do things differently. For the first 8 years of our relationship we didn’t even put up a Christmas tree! It’s no surprise that our Thanksgiving every single year is totally different. Since we have been on our low carb journey we decided to keep with that theme for our big meal on Thursday. Here is my menu.

Roasted whole chicken. I do not feel like making a huge turkey this year since it’s only the two of us. I will roast the chicken with just some garlic, ginger, lemon, onions, and extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage on the skin. 598780_289500597817808_315182398_n

Cauliflower cheesy rice but this time loaded with ranch, bacon pieces, and cheddar cheese.dsc00628

Here is the original recipe-  https://gracegothealthy.com/2013/07/12/cheesy-cauliflower-rice/

Steamed green beans. I love how simple and sweet they taste.

Deviled eggs. I don’t have a recipe for these. I just wing them.

Jalapeno Poppers. I will be following this recipe-

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/stuffed-jalapeno-appetizer-recipe.html

Caprese salad. So simple. Just fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil all layered and stacked topped with extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

The dessert I chose is to honor my husband. He loves peanut butter cups so we are going to have these-

http://dessert.food.com/recipe/low-carb-peanut-butter-cups-120053

 

That’s it! I am excited because we will be able to eat lots of yummy foods and still stay in ketosis land 🙂

Low carb has been working out really well for us so far! Onward.

What are you serving your family for Thanksgiving? Are you bringing a famous dish to a party? Let me know!

 

Healthy-Ish No Bake Cookie Bars. A guest post from Lindz, Losing it.


Hey guys! I’m Lindsay and I blog about my weight loss journey over at Lindz, Losing It.

When Grace asked me to write a guest post for her while she was away on vacay I was super excited—and immediately knew exactly what I wanted to share with you all.

I have a major sweet tooth sometimes—okay, most of the time. And I just so happen to love No Bake Cookies. However, when you’re dieting and trying to lose weight there’s not much room in the picture for those.

So I came up with a no bake cookie bar recipe that is a much healthier version of these sugary calorie stealers. The best part is they leave you feeling satisfied without the guilt and only require 6 ingredients!

cookiebars1

cookiebars2

1. First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need:

1 ½ C Quick Oats

1 ½ Tbsp Cocoa Powder

3 Tbsp Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1/3 C Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp Honey

1/3 C Unsweetened Almond Milk

2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

3. Add in the remaining ingredients: PB, honey, and almond milk.

4. The mixture will be somewhat dry hard to stir. And probably won’t look too appetizing. Just keep mixing and make sure everything is combined evenly throughout. 🙂

cookiebars3

5. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil, then transfer mixture to pan. Even mixture out with your hand.

6. Cut into 8 equal sections, then place in the freezer for 20-25 minutes. Once hardened slightly you’ll be able to get them out of the dish much more easily.

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If you’re counting, yes there is a bar missing in that picture up there. I had to eat one when I was transferring them to the plate. I was starving. 🙂

I store these in a Tupperware container in the fridge. They are best if eaten within 3-4 days, but I’ve stored them for up to a week with decent results.

The best part about these is they’re only 160 calories per bar, so enjoy with abandon. Well, sort of. 🙂

Healthy Guilty Pleasure Recipes. French Fries, Pizza, Mac and Cheese, Nutella oh my!


A guest post by Jen!

Hey guys, I’m back! I’ve put together even more recipes to satisfy your daily cravings except instead these are guilty pleasures turned healthy.  Working at a medical and cosmetic practice is tough! We specialize in breast reconstructive surgery and breast augmentations in Kansas City so we always want to look our best even if I just want to devour an entire cheesecake. Everyone is always wondering how I stay healthy and (somewhat) slim but bring fries and mac and cheese to work! Well here is my secret: tweaking recipes and finding recipes that allow me to have what I want but a better form of it. Then I make a bunch so it’s accessible right at the tip of my fingers and even bring it into work for lunch. So that mac and cheese and delicious French fries can really be yours forever without worrying about chemicals and extra fat that your body just does not need!

fries

FRENCH FRIES! 

–       The healthy way, which is even easier than the non-healthy way!

Ingredients:

  • 5 Large Roasting Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Then Peel and Wash the potatoes to prepare for slicing.
  3. Begin slicing, I like to use a mandolin to get perfect sizes for even baking, if you don’t have one just use your knife and be sure to cut the french fries even in size. Your potatoes will cook best when even, thin and long.
  4. (OPTIONAL) Once sliced, place the potatoes in a bowl and cover with salted water and soak for 30 minutes. I like to soak the potatoes to release some of the starch, it also helps crisp up the fries in the oven.
  5. After the 30 minutes elapsed – it is time we dry the potatoes. This is a crucial because if the potatoes are not completely dry, they will not crisp up as nicely and the moisture will cause them to steam in the oven.
  6. Lay the potatoes on a baking pan, season them with salt and pepper and brush some olive oil on the tops of them. Once in the oven, ensure that you turn them periodically to have even browning. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

mac 

Mac and Cheese

–        Yes, I said mac and cheese! Just a tad healthier, of course.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of pasta, either bow tie, macaroni, etc. Any small noodle works
  • 2 1/2 cups of fat free or 1% milk (plus extra if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of shredded low-fat smoked mozzarella
  • 1 cup of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra smoked mozzarella cheese for topping, plus about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian bread crumbs (or plain bread crumbs with Italian seasoning added)
  • 1 head of broccoli, trimmed, washed, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite size pieces (left over chicken works great in this recipe)
  • about 1/2 cup of roasted red peppers, diced
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large soup pot, bring water to a boil over medium high heat. Add pasta and cook for about 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente (soft, but still has texture to it).
  2. While the pasta is boiling, heat another saucepan and heat a frying pan. In the saucepan at low heat, add milk but do not boil! Once the milk is warm, add butter and cheese and stir until smooth. If the sauce is really thick, add extra milk.
  3. In the frying pan, sauté tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and broccoli in a little bit of olive oil. Add the precooked chicken and allow to warm up.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain and place back into the large soup pot. Add cheese sauce, and chicken veggies. Stir to combine.
  5. Grease a large baking dish with nonstick spray. Pour noodles and cheese into the baking dish.
  6.  In a small bowl, combine the extra mozzarella and parmesan cheeses with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle evenly on top.
  7. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

pizza

Pizza!

–       Mmhmm you can have your mac and cheese and your pizza too!

Ingredients:

  • Cornmeal for sprinkling
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic  
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 whole grain pizza dough or gluten-free pizza dough (trader joe’s has a delicious variety)
  • 20 pitted, oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into small pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups reduced-fat sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Heat grill to medium. Alternately, place a pizza stone on middle oven rack, turn oven to 500°F, and heat stone for 20 minutes (or use a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal; preheat oven but not sheet to 500°F). If grilling or using a stone, generously sprinkle a wooden pizza peel or baking sheet with cornmeal.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and rosemary; sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. On a lightly floured clean surface, roll dough (read instructions on dough package first, some suggest letting the dough sit prior to handling)  to form a 14-inch circle. If grilling pizza, transfer to prepared peel or sheet, then gently lift and slide dough onto grill grates (don’t worry, dough won’t slide through the grates). Dough will immediately stiffen and begin to brown; cook 2 minutes. Turnover and cook until bottom side stiffens but doesn’t brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer crust back to peel or sheet (with the more-cooked side facing up) to add toppings. If baking pizza, slide dough onto heated pizza stone or onto baking sheet and cook 5 minutes. Remove stone or sheet from oven to add toppings.
  4. Scatter onions and olives over pizza. If grilling, slide pizza back onto grill and cook 6 minutes more. If baking, cook pizza 10 minutes more, or until edges are golden.
  5. Next, scatter prosciutto over onions and olives and grill or bake for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer grilled pizza to peel or sheet, or remove pizza from oven. Dab small spoonfuls of sour cream all over pizza, spreading them slightly with the back of a spoon. When sour cream begins to melt, cut pizza into 8 slices and serve.

nutella

Nutella!

–       Who doesn’t love Nutella? Well now you can make your own without all that extra stuff your body seriously does not need.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  •  2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cup, whole Hazelnuts or Filberts Nuts
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 0.3 cup Almond Milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roast your hazelnuts for 10 minutes on a baking sheet in the oven.
  3. Take out and let cool down and rub the nuts together in a towel to remove the skins. Some skins will remain on the hazelnuts, but that’s no problem.
  4. Put the nuts into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. If your food processor/ high speed blender is very good, you may won’t need any milk (but can add for taste)
  5. Fini! Feel free to add more of any ingredients to get that special taste just for you!

Hello, My name is Jen and I am a twenty-something blogger who loves to write about all things women, health, DIY, crafts, my cats and food! I have my own personal blog Little Furry Musings. 

May is donezo.


May was so freaking amazing. 

My total miles walked was 176 at the end of last night.

My total pounds loss was 13.4. 

I blew BOTH of my goals out of the water. 

YEAH.

So today is the first of June and I have committed myself to FINISHING the 30 day shred. Here we go again. Praying for no injuries! I finished Day 1 huffing, puffing, and ready to puke. Word.

Keep it active friends. Summer is here! 🙂

51QlqI3yaOL (1)

KG.


Keep-Going

My latest mantra. KEEP GOING. I have stopped, turned around, crept, and sped down my road of health for years. I have gained and lost probably 200 pounds over the course of my 30 years of life. I have come so close to reaching my goals only to let them crash and burn right in front of my eyes. What if instead we choose to continue. We choose to accept our past. We choose to put one foot in front of the other. We choose to simply “keep going”.

I will let you know. 🙂 Will you keep going? No matter what?

Update!


Hey guys! If you follow me on facebook http://www.facebook.com/Gracegothealthy?ref=tn_tnmn you know I have been nursing a lower back injury. I have basically been in bed for a week! Today was the first day I actually have gotten a few things done, and the pain isn’t driving me crazy. I am hoping that I will be 100% in the next few days. I still want to continue on with my 30 day shred for sure. I also ordered another striiv pedometer to monitor my steps. Not being able to be active has been driving my crazy! Makes you really appreciate when you are healthy and able to exercise. I can’t wait to get back at it.

During the week I have continued to make smart choices and I stuck to healthy eating. Without exercise I managed to lose 2 lbs last week, so yay for small victories.

every-healthy-choice-counts

 

I plan to be back up and running on my blog super soon. Look out for a week of meal prep blog coming soon.

Thanks for supporting me during this injury friends. It means a lot.

Peace and Love!

XO-

Gracenature

Oatmeal Banana Cookies! (2 ingredients).


I totally found this recipe by searching for “recipes to make with old bananas”. Perfect!

http://www.theburlapbag.com/2012/07/2-ingredient-cookies-plus-the-mix-ins-of-your-choice/

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix 2 large ripe bananas + 1 cup of rolled oats together to make a batter.bananaoatmeal1

bananaoatmeal2

That is it!  Shape cookies. Whatever size you like. I made 10 medium sized cookies.

OR you can add in other things. I added 2 tbsp’s of walnuts, and 1 tbsp of cinnamon. Mix well and shape. You could add raisins, chocolate chips, almonds, whatever you want.

bananaoatmeal3All ready for the oven!

Bake at 350 on a GREASED sheet for 15 minutes.

DSC00415

DSC00413

What a great little way to kill a sweet tooth. Oatmeal cookies in the morning? Why not?

Delish. Must make!

Lindsey loses almost half of her weight! From 300 to almost 150. Incredible guest blog with pictures, motivation, and inspiration.


My friend Lindsey Cotter is a superstar. She has lost almost 150 pounds, and has fought SO very hard through lots of struggles to be where she is right now. Four pounds away from her ultimate goal weight!! She is living proof that we can do anything if we really try. Here is her guest blog-

Hello Grace Got Healthy Readers!  Grace has asked me to share a little bit of my story and fitness tips. 

189402_10150120641658610_7940589_nThe start- Almost 300 pound

I can relate in a lot of ways to Grace’s story.  With being over weight and just sort of lost in life…just defeated.   Let me explain.

Continue reading “Lindsey loses almost half of her weight! From 300 to almost 150. Incredible guest blog with pictures, motivation, and inspiration.”