C A P


Happy Wednesday babies! I know the site isn’t perfect but trust me I’m going insane trying to make it right. I at least have a search bar on the right hand side that Drops down into a ton of articles like recipes etc. On top of that I have all my latest articles on the front page to give you guys something to read while I make new content 🙂

I didn’t think about having to go through and reorganize my categories and all that so it’s just taking longer. Thank you for your patience and likes and comments. They mean the actual world to me.

So here we are the end of May. I have to say my weight loss so far for this month has been lackluster but I feel amazing. My muscle percentage and body fat has gone down. So far I think I have lost like 4 lbs for the month. I think that is nice slow albeit annoying steady progress. I’m not mad! I currently as of today 34.2 lbs away from my goal weight of 140 lbs. current weight so far 173.2 but I honestly don’t care for the scale that much.

I much more enjoy living my life moment by moment. Making good choices cause other good choices to follow. Suddenly it’s a large ball that keeps rolling and growing. When I do have a snack or something “bad” like a piece of pie (I made sweet Georgia peach pie with puff pastry 🥮 the other day) it’s very tiny and I enjoy it and I don’t think about it. I used to beat myself up over small things like that. Since now I have drilled into my mind portion control, that tiny piece of pie isn’t a big deal and isn’t going to ruin my life!! Feels good to finally feel free after years of yo yo dieting. After 18 plus months I have drilled these things into my brain-

Consistency! Show the hell up everyday. If you have chronic pain like I do it’s gonna be tough you may not be able to exercise at first or ever. But if you are serious about losing weight you will restrict your intake. I did that for about 16 months before I could workout. Keep showing up. Keep doing the workouts. Keep to your schedule. Keep drinking the water. Whatever habits work best for you, practice them. I promise you will need them later in your journey!!

Accountability! This has been huge for me. I have shared so much of my journey with you all. The ups the downs. The terrible tummy pictures. So ashamed of who I had become. But I shared. And I shared. And I still share because it’s important to know that you’re worth it and can take control of this too. It’s so much more than weight.

Don’t mind my hair lol.
On my way to my gym.

My last tip is portion control. I have learned you can literally eat pretty much anything you like as long as it for me personally measured weighed and fits in my macros. I do follow low carb, but I don’t put anything off limits in small quantities. This has helped tremendously.

So CAP.

Consistency. Keep doing the good stuff. Accountability. Share your journey with your friends or spouse or the world. Hold yourself to a high standard. Don’t let others down. People are watching you. If this feels like too much pressure, just tell the person what you need from them in case you fall of track! Lastly portion control. Weigh. Measure. Count but don’t obsess.

These three things have helped my journey immensely. I am so excited for June. Looking forward to completing my 100 miles in May challenge. We have still not ordered take out or eaten our since last August (except vacation). Ps that’s another huge tip I’ll do a blog on. Giving up the fast food and restaurants for good! For June I will probably focus on swimming, yoga, rowing, and of course running on my freestrider. Oh also stair-stepping. I really want to not have a flat ass haha 🥰

So yeah here is a gracegothealthy update and some tips. Leave me your best weight loss tips below!

Are you going to have loose skin? Yes, hi thighs. Is my life so much better now compared? Yes.
No excuses guys. Let’s keep going.

I’m back guys!


So…. it’s been a few years!

I’m back and I’m down 158.6 pounds 💪🏼

I Decided to come back because I have completely changed my life and I want to share everything with you.

From my chronic pain. I’m finally ready to open up about that.

My experience with keto, low carb, fasting, and other healthy tips.

My adventures with my #homegym and new #fitness adventures.

My pool! Haha mostly? I want to inspire you all. I’m finally almost to 140 . I’m almost at 175 lbs now from 335. Official goal weight is 140. I will share the ups and downs to get there!

Recipes that I adapt from others and a ton of pictures and ideas to share from my garden with you all 💕

I want to talk to you about products that are helping me with my pain (cbd) has been a lifesaver and all my tips for those chronic pain days plus products that helped or are helping me along my journey and allowing to maintain this lifestyle. I went from. 60 inch waist size 28/30 to now I’m in a size 12/14. Do I have a lower belly? Sure! Is it much better than the alternative yes. I’m working every single day to have self love and care for myself. It truly helps. Don’t be down on yourself, just keep going. We are all competing against ourselves!

I am having my header and design reworked and it should all be new and updated. Would love for you to come along for the ride.

Please follow me on Instagram at gracekeyxo I always fill my stories 🙂

Subscribe to my newsletter if you want an update when I blog. I missed you all terribly!!

Thanks for reading!!

See you soon

GGH

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-

Food Prep for the week!


I made 1 pound of 97% fat free ground turkey with Mrs. Dash no salt garlic flavor. This will be for salads and whatever.8:25prep1

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I also made 97% fat free turkey sausage links for breakfast. The recipe is easy. One pound of ground turkey, a ton of sage, some sea salt, onion powder, chili powder, and pepper. I never measure. Just make sure you put a lot of sage! Ps- links are hard to make and come out lumpy shaped. I will stick to little patties next time 🙂8:25prep3

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I got 2.25 lbs of chicken grilled with the no salt garlic Mrs. Dash. This will be for salads, dinner protein, or a snack. 8:25prep5

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Tons of tri colored peppers for salads and snacks.

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Onions for salads.

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1 batch of cooked freekeh for salads or quick carb. So good!

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For breakfast I made my friend Cathy’s oatmeal muffins. I used oats, banana, zucchini, coconut, cashews, and a few dark chocolate chips. Perfection! The recipe made 12 muffins so that is basically breakfast all week for two people! Going to pair the muffin with a turkey sausage link for the perfect breakfast.

It makes life so much easier prepping. I feel in control and excited to have a week of healthy eats!

 

 

 

Healthy Upgrades for your life! Exercise, Nutrition, and Beauty.


Mid-August is flying towards us, and I’m greeting it with mixed emotions. On one hand, I’m looking forward to the end of hot and sticky days; on the other hand, the end of summer means saying goodbye to kayaking, swimming, and eating nothing but ripe fruit for dinner. As a result, this month becomes this weird, in-between territory, caught somewhere between sandals and new school supplies.

To deal with this, I’ve decided to embark on some mini-upgrades, ways to take advantage of these last hot days while looking forward to autumn. You know, like filling up the last page of a notebook before cracking open a fresh new one (pro tip, y’all—whether you are in school or not, you NEED new pens and planners for fitness/diet tracking…best feeling ever!)

Exercise upgrade:

First up is my exercise routine. The most consistent workout, the one I do all summer, is to go on long hikes with my dogs. I hike so much, in fact, that sometimes I feel like it’s not even a challenge anymore. I had to find a way to make it more of a work-out, so I added hiking poles. Now, I’ll admit they probably look kind of dorky, but no joke: they really work out your abs and arms, turning a leg-centric workout into more of a whole-body challenge. There are a range of fancy-pants poles out there, but the ones I use are under twenty bucks, from Champion, and they do just fine. Make sure to adjust the height of your poles so they hit roughly at armpit level—then grab some water and hit the trail. For an extra burn, throw a kettle bell into a sturdy backpack as you hike with your poles.photo (2)

Nutrition upgrade:

Ok, so green monsters are ubiquitous at this point.  Whether you are just making green juice or doing a whole-foods smoothie, they can get a little snooze-fest. But they are so good for you, and so easy to do, that I wanted to just jazz them up a little. So I scoured my kitchen for different ingredients and hit upon a magic formula:

*Frozen baby kale—this is kind of life changing, people. Still super nutritious, but incredibly easy. Just plop half the bag in your blender as your base.

*Coconut butter—just a tablespoon adds sweet and creamy goodness, plus healthy fats.

*Cacao powder—this stuff makes your smoothie feel decadent, but it’s packed full of antioxidants.

*Green tea—you can use any kind you want, but I’m partial to this Zhena’s Gypsy Tea in Mojito Mint. We all know green tea is a super food, and a quick splash of brewed tea will add antioxidant rich flavor to your smoothie.

*The secret ingredient—fresh mint! I don’t even care what kind of green monster you are making; fresh mint will infuse it with a fresh, sweet flavor and make your drink a zillion times better.photo (1)

Beauty upgrade:

Your skin might be feeling a little weather-beaten right now. I’ve been into finding natural solutions to soothe and revive a sun ravaged complexion. Most of you are probably familiar with the oil-cleansing method—if not, the basic philosophy is to find an oil that works for you, (grape seed, jojoba, coconut, castor) massage it into your skin, let it hang out for a bit, then gently steam your face with hot water and wipe away the oil with a washcloth. It sounds crazy, but for most skin types, oil-cleansing provides a gentle and effective way to cleanse and heal. I’ve been using it for months now, and have really noticed an improvement in my skin. It’s super easy to make your own oil mix and bottle it, but an easy upgrade I’ve been using are the new oil Boosts from Seventh Generation. There is a whole product range, to treat everything from acne to wrinkles, and you can either cleanse with the oil or add a few drops to your facial lotion. They smell delicious, are very pampering, and couldn’t be easier.

Another upgrade that feels super luxurious is a simple honey mask: ideally, you’ll use raw Manuka honey for this, but it is kind of pricey, so you can also just go for regular organic honey. Just wash your face, slather on some honey, and relax for 10 to 30 minutes. After you rinse, your skin will feel clean, soft and smooth.photo

These quick upgrades have been helping me start transitioning from summer to fall. What are you guys doing to say goodbye, summer and hello, autumn?

Amity is a writer and a professor at York college.

How to Eat Healthy and Stay Trim While Traveling.


How to Eat Healthy and Stay Trim While Traveling

a guest post from http://colemill.blogspot.com/

Ever feel stressed about how to stay nutritious and avoid packing on those extra pounds while you’re on vacation? Here is a simple breakdown of tips to help keep you slim and healthy while you’re traveling this year:

When Flying/At the Airport:

Make sure to eat a full meal before you get to the airport! Airports are notorious for serving up loads of fried, unhealthy food and you don’t want to experience urges to load up on greasy calories while you’re there. It would also be advantageous to pack a few snacks for the flight, as well as during any downtime between flights – dried fruit, nuts, and granola are great low-calorie options that keep you full and your waistline slim. Drinking lots of water also keeps you satiated and your stomach full, as well as making your skin glow. Instead of using the escalators to carry your bags around, take the stairs! These simple movements will jumpstart your metabolism and prevent you from feeling tired.

Finding A Healthy Hotel:

Look for hotels that are vegetarian friendly and potentially offer hors d’oeuvres throughout the day – at some nicer hotels, guests who stay on a Club level are offered twenty-four hour access to a lounge area that has fresh, small meals and snacks throughout the day. Snacking on healthy foods throughout the day will prevent you from overly indulging in one meal and loading up on desserts and sugar. If you really want to avoid temptation, refusing the key to the minibar is a good practice of self-discipline and will keep you staying trim. Try scoping out nearby health food stores once you arrive at your destination to stock up on fruit and whole grain snacks. If eating a continental breakfast at the hotel, make sure to gravitate more towards the oatmeal, fruit, and wheat toast – avoid the scrambled cheesy eggs, pastries, and meat, as these items are high in cholesterol and fat and will most definitely make you feel groggy.

 

Finding A Healthy Restaurant:

Many applications and websites are now available for cell phones to identify vegetarian-friendly and healthy restaurants in your surrounding area – this could be a very useful tool when traveling.  I have found in my ventures that reading reviews from other travelers about the areas prior to arrival can make it much easier to maintain a healthy diet. I recently traveled out west and found a great site that listed reviews Las Vegas hotels that led to finding a vegetarian restaurant in the midst of the buffet zone. Try to avoid all you can eat places or restaurants with buffets, as patrons have a tendency to overstuff themselves in these circumstances and healthy food is limited. Make sure to be eating plenty of fresh, leafy greens if at all possible – be on the lookout for salad bars. To avoid stress when arriving at the restaurant, take a look at the menu before leaving your room or call ahead and speak to the manager about what healthy options are offered. Consider eating a light snack ahead of time.

While At The Restaurant:

While eyeing the menu, be on the lookout for words such as “reduced,” “baked,” “grilled,”  “high fiber,” and “steamed.” Vegetarian and vegan options are almost always the healthiest if available. Skip the potatoes and instead double your side of vegetables. Think colorful foods. Happy travels!

No take-out? No problem.


If you follow me on my facebook page you probably know that my husband and I have been take-out free for probably over fifty days now. That means no meals out, no to go coffee or drinks, no carry out food, no fast food. Every single meal that we have eaten has been food that I have made at my house. We didn’t set out to break a world record or anything, but I must say it feels really good to not  have  spent one cent on outside food. What does this mean? Well it means more trips to the grocery store for sure. It also means I know exactly what is going into my body. No trans fat, no extra sodium or fat. I have complete control. Not to mention how much money we have saved! I am not sure when this streak is going to end, but I am more than happy and content eating at my house! Here are a few meals that I wanted to share.

Craving Mexican? Do it yourself! I made taco seasoned ground turkey with red bell peppers for the filling. For the toppings- Lettuce, mexican cheese, tomato, plain chobani for sour cream, peach salsa, cilantro, and onion. Delish!

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Or make a chicken taco salad! Continue reading “No take-out? No problem.”

Looking ahead.


I have a little announcement! I reached my weight loss goal for May! I lost 12 pounds. My goal was 10. I reached it early also! There is still almost a week left in May.

Twelve12s

I also kept track of how many miles I walked each day. My goal was 120. Well as of today I have walked 143 miles. That means I walked the entire length of the Florida Keys and up to Homestead Florida! That is a long walk!! I am super proud of myself. I still have a few days left so who knows what the final total will be!

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I have been using a calendar to track my steps this month. Once I reach my goal I always check it off the calendar. It really helps to see all of my hard work right up there on the fridge. I decided to make a new workout schedule calendar for June.

You should make one with me!

GO here to download and print a workout calendar for free.

http://www.workout-calendar.com/

Here is my schedule for June! 30 day shred, swimming 3 times a week, and trying to hit 10,000 steps a day. It is going to be challenging for me, but I am determined to keep my body healthy and active this summer.

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I would love to see you make a plan for JUNE and STICK to it!! If you make a calendar you should share it on my facebook page!!

Just keep going friends. It’s possible!

Mr. Bento Lunch Jar.


-Note- I am not being paid or given product for this post. Just my opinion!

I am obsessed with all things BENTO. I can’t help it. Cute little trays, boxes, and compartments? I am so down. My amazing husband found this great Bento jar on sale over on amazon last week. http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-SL-JAE14-Bento-Stainless-Silver/dp/B000246GSE/ref=pd_bxgy_k_img_y

It was on sale for 35.00 bucks, so he decided to get one for me.

20130221-112927.jpgComes with this cute carrying case! Plus a 5 year warranty!

20130221-113045.jpgIt’s just the right size.

20130221-113120.jpgOpen it up and you get all of these cute compartments.

This would be perfect for someone trying to live a healthy lifestyle. You can keep things cold or hot. You could easily keep salad dressing in the small tub, salad in the next size up, protein in one, and snack in other. It even comes with a little fork! Think about going out for a hike and having a picnic in the middle of nowhere with this thing. Or for a day out on the boat. Or on a road trip.

 

New found Strength.


resistance-bands

Okay. So I am a cardio queen. I have been for the past three years. I would say the majority of my weight loss has come from basically all cardio. I hate strength training. I always have. I would try to force myself to do it. I would aim for two days a week. I never ever really gave it my all! I did notice from doing the 30 day shred though, that I was getting all of these super cool cuts in my arms, stomach, shoulders, etc. Okay so I need to start strength training. Fine. FINE!

I have found my new best friend. Resistance bands. OH MY GOD I LOVE THEM! I am kicking some strength training ass with these bad boys. I love how you use your own body weight! They are super portable, and sooo fun! I am starting the Jillian Michaels body revolution in March, but until that time I am going to continue to do resistance band strength training three times a week, and a ton of walking and jogging.

So happy I can finally start working on some muscle tone for real!! Go me!

Here are the kick ass bands I scored-

http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Latex-Resistance-Exercise-Bands/dp/B004U4GBQ4/ref=sr_1_14?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1360349194&sr=1-14&keywords=resistance+bands