Salad Harder Than Me Bro! A Look at My Keto-Based Diet

keto post


So yesterday, I started a whole thing about how I’ve been eating low carb keto for the last month, and whoa! is there a lot of different information out there when you google ‘ketogenic diet’. Bacon, burgers, meat-head muscle bound lifters, all sorts of crazy pants things that could really confuse people. Especially when I say things like I’m trying to stay under 50g of net carbs a day.


Yeah, I realized that just throwing that number out there is frightening and a tad irresponsible because it doesn’t explain the difference between macros and dietary fiber not counting as carbs, blah, blah, blah. Details.

As someone with food issues in the past, I am always hyper aware of ways of eating that are really just perpetuating a disorder in disguise. To me, and this is only my opinion, when you restrict entire food groups or make anything ‘bad’ you’re just being disordered unless you have a genuine sensitivity to things. As a kid, I was tested for food allergies and it showed sensitivity to ERRYYYTHANG from oats to corn. My scratch test looked like I had been attacked by a tiger with a steak strapped to my wrists. My mom was of the general opinion that it was all hocus pocus and I just continued to eat a normal American diet, but in looking back and doing research on clean eating starting last summer, I determined that I really did have a biological sensitivity to these foods. After all, I did develop a life threatening tomato allergy at the age of 33 after a lifetime of pasta eating in an Italian household.

This is the part where I could go on and on forever about the food supply and how awful it is, but I’ve already written about that, and that’s kind of delving into ‘personal belief system’ territory, and that’s for you to determine for yourself. I can tell you that the times in my life where I was my healthiest physically, emotionally, and mentally were when I did not eat refined carbohydrates. These were the times I was on the Atkins diet and when I was vegan. So obviously my body responds very well to a protein/plant based diet.

The turning point for me recently was when I took soccer pictures with my son. Now I had stuck to eating clean, but because I was also going through a major life change, I had turned to comfort foods (like copious amounts of egg white delights and wine) and when the pictures came back, I looked bloated, pale, and not very well. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked. A life of sugar and carbs had not done me any favors. Something had to change.

I was also inspired by another health blogger who had ‘gone totes hard’ for 8 weeks and when it was all said and done, nothing about her body composition had changed, but then you saw other women that had done an 8 week challenge looking amazing, so I wondered to myself what I could get done in 8 weeks. I didn’t want to look like the ghost pale younger sister of Jabba the Hut anymore, that’s for damn sure.

So armed with what I just described, I started doing real research. Not just cutting diet plans and training regimens out of magazines, but looking at me as a whole person. I’m tall, larger build, muscular, a volume eater, crazy busy, and not about to pump chemical shakes and meal bars into my body. I talked to my running coach, bounced some ideas off the nutritionist at the gym, kept on researching and came up with my plan. A ketogenic inspired way of eating, where I would limit my net carbohydrate intake in order to stay in ketosis. Ketosis is keeping your body in a glucose depleted state in order for your body to burn fat as fuel.

Now this is where the confusion comes in because we’ve heard this before with the Atkins diet and we were all lining up in the McDonald’s drive thru ordering double quarter pounders with cheese, hold the bun. Bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Slather errrythang in mayo!

But the idea is to eat clean and be gentle to your body. That’s where ‘macros‘ come in… a lot of time you’ll see bodybuilders call this the ‘clean bulking’ diet or other names like that. Simply put, it’s eating a diet specific to certain ratios. I know, I told you there would be no math, so this website completely breaks it down for you. You enter a ton of information including measurements and activity levels, then it gives you this rad graph and tells you what ratios you should eat. For example this is what it tells me to eat:

*Generated by [Keto Calculator]( 7.4*

* 2127 kcal Goal, a 15% deficit. (1736 min, 2502 max)
* 50g Carbohydrates
* 100g Protein (70g min, 116g max)
* 170g Fat (127g min, 211g max)


Let me tell you…I’m a hungry girl, it is nearly impossible for me to make the 1736 minimum calories I need to eat. I eat like a damn horse all day, and barely squeak out 1800 calories.

Like yesterday…here’s what I ate:


2 egg omelette with 1 slice yogurt cheese


1/4 cup mixed nuts


3 thick slices turkey, 3 slices colby jack cheese, hard boiled egg, 1/4 cup almonds


Quest Bar (kills the chocolate craving)


2c salad greens, 4oz top sirloin steak, 1/2 avocado, 1 slice fresh queso crumbled, 2 tbs fresh Caesar dressing

And of course, I drank mineral water, Zevia, and Iced Tea sweetened with organic Stevia throughout the day. You HAVE to stay hydrated on this plan or you’ll fry your kidneys; especially if you’re really active. Also keep in mind that fiber doesn’t count when you’re counting carbs, even though they will be listed as a carbohydrate on a food label. Fiber is free! Fiber is good! Ya gotta poop, yo! Fat is also good too, so don’t worry about that so much. Your body is going to need it to burn.

So far? I took my 3 week progress shots today (which I’ll post when my 8 weeks are up) and my mind was BLOWN by the change in my body. Leaner, more sculpted, ain’t nothing giggling, and I must be cuter because dudes are hitting on me like, whoa. There was also a study released today that people on Gluten Free diets don’t have ‘brain fog’ and other day to day mental junk going on. So there’s that. You’re not specifically going gluten free on this diet, but you’re not getting much gluten, so by proxy you should get that benefit too, right?

If you decide to try this plan, read your labels. There are sneaky things in food. Take Zevia and Vitamin Water Zero for example, no calories, but 4g of net carbs. Same goes for condiments. Try to make your own or buy the freshest possible because sugar loves to hide in sauces, dressing and condiments. A great app to track your carb intake is the ‘Carb Master’. Super easy to just plug in what you’re eating, and it keeps track of everything for you.

In closing, just wanted to put out there that I’m not a dietician or giving medical advice in any way, but this is what is currently working for me and I wanted to share that with everyone and maybe clear up some misconceptions about what a keto diet is, and how it varies from your average Atkins diet. As always, if you have pre-existing health conditions, you need to check in with your doctor first, and not everyone can handle an eating plan like this.

So in 5 more weeks, I’ll post all of the pictures I’ve been taking so you can see what 8 weeks of dedicating yourself to fitness and eating right can do. Until then, I’m gonna finish this water and keep on keepin’ on.


Race Recap: 2014 Steamboat Classic

steamboat start

Oops I did it again…

I ran that stinkin’ Steamboat Classic again. The great thing about being a runner is that you get this thing called ‘amnesia’ and you forget that last year you ran the 15k distance of this race, saw Baby Jesus, begged a frat boy to spray you with a hose, and pretty much came a hair away from a DNF. Never again! I yelled shaking my fist to the sky. But I then remembered that the Steamboat Classic also has a 4 mile and a 4k race. I can stage a comeback and possibly not die over 4 miles, right?

Or maybe even win.


steamboat winner 1

And no, I’m never running that ‘Worlds Toughest 15k’ again as long as I live. That’s just crazy talk. When I watched the 15k runners head off into the park to go climb up endless mountains, I was like, “So long suckas!” and continued on the much better ‘World’s Fastest 4 Miler’.

Oh and I won (did I mention that already?). Not overall, don’t be silly, but I won my division, and after 7 months away from racing, that felt really rad.

So let’s talk about it.

Once again the packet pick up was at the River Plex, and it still went with old fashioned shoe-chip timing, and I think there were issues with the timing system this year. They seemed to have worked out the kinks, but at first the results were bananas. Like, how could a person I beat pretty solidly have a pace time just .02 slower? So it was nitpicky things like that. No big whoop, but not something you see very much anymore.

Check in was easy peasy, not much of an expo, and I was in and out of there in 5 minutes. Everyone is super friendly and it’s just a fun atmosphere. It really is a ‘runner’s race’.

Now let’s get down to business.

Race Day again was super easy to navigate. The start had moved to Main and Adams, which wasn’t a big deal. There seemed to be a LOT more people racing this year. Unlike last year when it was 2349° with 115% humidity, the weather was cool and dry in the mid 50’s at the start of the race. So idea conditions all around. I was so nervous. Like freak out, banana pants nervous. So I had to head to the porta potties before the race.

Last year I wrote about the biggest problem with this race was the porta potty situation. There just simply weren’t enough. Same goes for this year, too. I don’t know if it’s a city ordinance or what, but they need more potties. It was ridiculous. I wound up sneaking in to the Capital Building and heading up to the bathrooms on the 4th floor, but as I waited in line, the flushers started to fail from the overuse. I’m a jerk, but I’m not, “Drop a nervous deuce in a toilet that doesn’t flush” jerk, so I ran back downstairs and headed to the now empty porta potties as the announcer called 5 minutes to the gun.

Just like last year. My warmup will be sprinting to the start corral.

I made it with about 45 seconds to spare, probably with toilet paper hanging off my shoe, and lined up in the 9 minute corral. I knew I had a chance at a divisional placement, but I hadn’t run with a watch for a month, on a new training plan and diet, and a total headcase, so I thought it would be best to play it conservative for the first mile and see how it went.

Looking back, I think I went through the same thing last year. There is a lot of newbie traffic in this race. Tons of little kids, dogs, strollers, first timers, etc. So the start corrals are a bit of a waste because it seemed like all of the 9 minuters were really running 12’s. And that’s fine! Just glad to see people out there running, but for future reference, I need to remember to line up in the 8’s for a good start. Did a lot of bobbing and weaving, and it mentally frustrated me.

First mile: 9:18

I actually raised my eyebrow at that because since I’ve been running on pure effort lately and not time, I wasn’t even pushing myself for that split.

Mile 2 was still congested because we were running with the 15ks and didn’t split off until the turnaround which was still jammed with people, narrow and slow, now I was being a jerk and silently cursing people out in my mind who were just trotting along like this was some kind of shakeout run. WE’RE RACING, PEOPLE!

Dude Gif

Second mile: 9:08

I still wasn’t feeling like I was putting out that much effort yet. I usually really struggle in the first 3 miles of any race, especially in miles one and two because I’m slow to warm up. Could this be all of that dreaded speed training and weightlifting paying off? Not mindfucking myself daily with the watch and running based on feel alone? Wow. Maybe there really is a method to my evil coach’s madness after all.

Now as we headed back into town, the crowd was gone and I opened up the ol’ engine. I half expected the ‘Worlds Fastest 4 Miler’ to be completely downhill, but in reality, it’s almost identical to the ‘Shamrock Shuffle 8K’ course in that it’s really flat. Little hiccup elevation changes, but nothing memorable. It was a complete straight shot from mile 2 to mile 3 and I just sat back and kicked.

Third mile: 8:53

Wow. In my entire life I have never run a negative split race. Ever. Not even in my younger days. I am usually all over the place. This is pure insanity. I’m actually doing this right and I don’t feel like dying yet! Holy crap!

Now I was excited, and I kicked even harder. This was better than SF 10 miler last year and I was probably in the best shape of my life for that race.

I wanted to break 36 for this race. Missed it by 16 seconds.

Fourth Mile: 8:42

I crossed the finish line pissed that I missed my goal by exactly those 18 seconds I wasted weaving through traffic. Then I stopped myself and I was like, “You just ran a negative split race after 7 months off, pretty damn fast too. SHUT UP.”  Then after I cleared that madness out of my brain, I was like, wait a minute…I might have a divisional placement here.


So I did what every champion does…shotgunned a couple of beers before 8am, ate some of the food they had out and chilled with my homies til the placements were posted. The Steamboat Classic has one of the best post races out there. Band, food, endless beer, fun, it’s the best.

Finally, they start posting the time sheets, and I ran up there to see how I did, expecting maybe to eek out a 3rd. Maybe.

My name was at the top. I freaking won.

Maybe it was the beer before 9am, but for whatever reason I started crying. I know it was only a divisional win, but for whatever reason it meant a lot to me. Every race is special and an accomplishment, but I think because I got serious and listened to a coach for a change, putting trust into a training plan and surrendering my need to control everything, the win was symbolic of that.

So there’s that. I’m going to sit down with good ol’ Patches tonight and come up with another goal race and training plan…something that’s going to keep me on my path to the 1:45 goal at the Chicago Half and defending my Oak Brook Half title this September. But I can’t stress enough how much having a plan that works for you is everything. I’m not just talking about cutting out a magazine training plan and trying to follow it, but looking at who you are as a person. For me, my large muscular frame was treated as an asset and not a reason why I could never be fast. I can’t eat pasta, bread, and the like and do endless miles, I’m not built for it. Just changing that mindset helped a lot, but it wasn’t easy. I had to trust, put my watch in the drawer for a month, and give up control, admitting to myself that I really don’t know everything. Track workouts, a cyclical ketogenic diet, and weight training made all the difference, and actually made me a better runner than I had been when I had to take a break last year. Truth to the fact that if you surrender your own head noise, have some faith and trust in those who want to help you, things can only get better.


**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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You Don’t Have To Eat Sad Food To Eat Clean Food!

food post

Oscar the Grouch is apropo of nothing. He just works.

The term “clean eating” is getting a lot of use lately. Which is great! I think a lot of the issues in American health today have to do with our garbage food supply. I’ve been working with the National Restaurant Association’s #KidsLiveWell campaign over the last week, and it’s nice to see that they are taking the initiative of expanding the average child’s palate beyond corn dogs and chicken fingers. I happen to be one of those dirty hippies who believes a lot of the additives in our food are the cause of the increase in certain childhood disorders, like autism. Here’s a pretty eye opening article on the effects of certain dyes found in many popular foods.

While “clean eating” has many definitions for many people, mine is pretty simple. I like my food to have as little processing as possible, no GMO’s, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars and HFCS, and no factory farmed dairy or animal protein. That shit will kill you quick. I began eating clean last July, and sang of its benefits for the better part of six months over on JSJ! No super vegan-paleo-glutenfree-nastyshake-ickypoo just good food. You can still get yer meat and taters, bro.


Food Post 2

A couple of healthy living bloggers I love to hate just seriously died upon viewing this picture. The carbs alone killed them. Sorry not sorry.

But that’s the thing! You have to eat, yo. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you have to give your body the food it needs. Any ‘guru’ out there telling you they’re running a bajillion miles and taking a psychotic amount of spin classes then eating egg whites with a pound of red pepper flakes is A.) Totally lying and hitting that drive thru HARD when they leave the gym B.) deep in a disorder you do not want to emulate because it will kill the average peasant C.) Probably has really stinky farts.

Exhibit A…a post on Instagram that is indicative of oh…the majority of what ‘Healthy Living Bloggers’ post…


This is a spaghetti squash frittata with coconut sautéed mushrooms; topped with mashed avocado and strawberry slices.

This is sad food, people! Don’t let the happy red strawberries fool you! This dish is practically weeping it’s so sad. Like, who is getting joy from eating this? Who puts “Eat more mashed avocado that isn’t guacamole” on their bucket list? Close your eyes and imagine what these flavors as described must taste like. Are you gagging yet? It’s like a baby food medley that hasn’t hit the food processor yet.

Now I get it…people have actual reasons for eating weird stuff. There are certain disorders and health conditions that benefit from a restrictive diet. I was a vegan for a very long time. I totally get it. But why the sad food combinations? Let’s compare two cereals.


This is a happy, clean cereal. It would be vegan without the honey, but you get it. It looks like oatmeal. Oatmeal with the delicious awesomeness of coconut milk.


This is another blogger’s food post. Yes, this is a sad cereal and representative of something Kina horked up this morning. What is it you ask? Oatmeal soaked in something called InBru. Coffee made out of rice hulls. This is SAD CEREAL, PEOPLE.

I’m not trying to be a brutal hater, but I just think more people would eat a cleaner, healthier diet if they weren’t shown that this is the way to go. You can pretty much adapt any recipe you want to suit your needs without it looking like the charred remains of what food used to look like, or dog vomit. You’re living a healthier lifestyle to LIVE life, right? SO LIVE LIFE and eat happy, clean food.

So there’s that. My .02 on the whole thing. Whatever.

Just an FYI, I’m going to be posting my daily workouts again over on Instacrack because I don’t have time to bloggy blog every. single. workout. everyday, and besides that supes boring. I’m training for a race in Atlanta (The Possum Run 10K) on June 21st, while I’m down there visiting my prison wife, Kristi. I’ll probably write more about that tomorrow, because I’m following this awesome 4 week 10K training plan you might want to give a whirl for yourself. It’s been going SO WELL, I’m eyeballing other races in July and August. Methinks my mojo has been restored! Or it’s temporary insanity caused by Hi-Ball energy water. Who knows.

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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