Keeping Keto Simple: The 4 things that guarantee success.

“Don’t eat this!” “Eat more of that!” “The keto-what?” “Carbs are the devil!” “Fats are good!” “But not trans fats!” “But what about my cholesterol?” “Am I in ketosis?” “My macros need adjusting!” “Don’t count calories but count carbs? Say what?”And what the hell is a carb anyway?” “IT’S ALL SO CONFUSING! I GIVE UP!” Are you at that point yet? You’ve tried so many things, yet you’re still fat. Have you resigned yourself to being fat forever? Are you trying to convince yourself that you’re happy? Are you finding work-arounds to exist in this world as a fat person? If this resonates with you then you’re the person I’m talking to.

Don’t give up just yet… This is the Information Age, and so today, our challenge is not accessing information. Our challenge is to be able to sift through the plethora of information out there, triangulate and then decide what is valid from what is sheer quackery. So I get it. The frustration at being able to nail down exactly what to do to lose weight is all too real in the face of all the information out there. One person says “eat more fat to lose weight!” And another person insists that juice cleansing is the way to go. And yet another person says eat a wholly plant based diet. So who is right?

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The Keto Diet & Recovery After A Stroke

I reviewed my friend Hilary’s book about her “new normal” after surviving a stroke at the relatively young age of 51 three years ago. As you would imagine, Hilary’s life changed in an instant. She had to contend with her altered appearance and independence due to challenges with her mobility. In the last 3 years, Hilary has worked very hard in concert with her doctors and therapists to get to the stage now where she can move largely unassisted and can once again perform basic self-care tasks. In her book, Hilary explained very clearly what strokes are and how they are caused. And I started to think. You see, in the last year and seven months that I have changed my diet to the keto diet, I have discovered a direct link between the food we eat and our health. The keto diet was originally conceived and implemented as part of the treatment protocol for epilepsy, a disease of the brain. My own improved general health while eating the keto way, prompted me to do some digging, and I have discovered links between keto and other diseases and conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, PCOS , high blood pressure and even mental health. So could the keto diet be useful in the road to recovery for survivors of stroke?

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“My New Normal: Reflections of a Stroke Survivor” A book review.

We were stunned at work back in late 2015 when we heard that she had had a stroke. What?! Hilary was just 51 and in apparent good health. Heck, I’d seen her that day at work! As the months following that day in November in 2015 changed to years, I’d see a pic or two on her Facebook page. It was evident that her life had changed, literally in an instant. Facial features had changed and mobility was most definitely a challenge. We saw each other once when she visited the office. She was moving around with assistance from a caregiver, but seemed so happy to reconnect with her former colleagues. Then I stopped seeing her on Facebook. I wondered what was happening and thought of her frequently. So imagine my joyful surprise when Hilary reached out to me on Twitter with an invitation to her book launch!

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How I Changed 5 Habits in order to Lose Weight on the Keto Diet

I’ve been on the keto diet for over a year and a half now. If I had a dollar for every time someone remarked to me “Wow! You have so much willpower!” I wouldn’t need to sell another low-carb bread or quiche! I don’t think that willpower has been the critical success factor for me on this journey. I have simply created some new habits that have now become my default position, the way I simply live today. I have discovered that so much of what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat, is not driven by our physiology or some biological need to survive. We do these things largely out of habit! That’s how we’ve always eaten. We always eat breakfast! Right? As I coach people in their own weight loss journeys, I’ve become interested in this whole subject of “habit” and “addiction” and change. People can and do change their habits. Sure, it takes some effort, but understanding exactly how habits work can help you target your efforts and make them count. Yes you can!

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Options for eating keto on-the-go in Jamaica

This world is not (yet) a low-carb world. Think about it…almost everything we regularly eat has a major carbohydrate component, thanks to the misinformation we’ve been fed all our lives about a so-called “balanced diet”. We’ve been schooled to believe that carbs are an essential part of our diet and they’re not. (Heresy? Check out that link and evaluate for yourself!) And as a result, no meal is complete without bread or rice or potatoes or pasta. Additionally, our taste-buds have become accustomed to the taste of sugar hence our penchant for sugary sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce and sweet and sour anything. So for those of us who have been liberated from extra pounds as well as obsessive and dangerous food cravings by removing these carbs from our diet (not magic, just science), navigating our daily lives while trying to remain compliant is made just a little more difficult. I’ve been keto for over a year and a half now, and I’ve managed to remain compliant and consistent with lots of planning and meal prep, but I’ve also identified ways and means of staying low-carb even when I’m forced to eat on the go.

Listen here to hear me in my own voice speak about keto on the go 🙂

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I love sugar! How can I be happy while keto?

One of my sisters asked me a question the other day: “What have you replaced the happiness you got while eating carbs with?” For the past year and half, I’ve been working the keto diet. I’ve lost anywhere between 55 and 60 lbs as at now (nope, I don’t weigh…been there done that and I have no intention of being a slave to the scale ever again!) and I feel good! I thought about Anna’s question to me and replied with a picture of my before and “during” as I like to say, because I’m not yet where I want to be. But her question is one which a lot of people grapple with as they contemplate the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet as a possible response to a weight or health issue. And it is a valid concern. Carbs, sugar in particular, are delicious and many, many people derive actual pleasure from a good slice of cheesecake or a bag of soft chew chocolate cookies!

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Innovation, Customer Service & Business: A Jamaican Story.

I literally stumbled upon a great, new small business right here in Jamaica and then I had the pleasure of sitting down with the owners/operators and chatting with them. I left our conversation shaking my head in wonderment and wishing that we could replicate their spirit across the length and breadth of this island. The Instagram account was what had caught my eye. The pics were mostly befores and afters of shoes of every description. Grungy looking sneakers were transformed into new literal works of art. Leather shoes, both men’s and women’s, were revitalized and good to go all over again. Bridgett sandals that were worn and shabby were reborn into their shiny new, well heeled former selves. I saw shoes that had they been mine, I’d have dumped them, restored so perfectly that I was amazed. And all of this was happening right here in Jamaica! What was being showcased was way beyond basic shoe repair. I had never seen this before

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The Secret to Her Success: Keto is only a part of Tanya’s weight loss story

As I’ve shared my own weight loss journey, people have opened up to me about their own struggles and journeys where weight loss is concerned. One of the common themes is one of consistency. The weight loss efforts start off with great enthusiasm. Meals are prepped, gym memberships are dusted off and salads are consumed with gusto. The first 5 lbs shed is a cause for celebration. Then that 5 lbs becomes 10 in some cases. Then it falls apart. Two months in that 15 lbs is regained and perhaps then some. Do you identify?

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Hey Lady: Struggling with weight gain in middle age? The keto diet may help!

I’ve always struggled with my weight. But in my younger days, I was always able to knock off 5 or 10 lbs with minimal effort. I’d simply cut back and in a week or two, I’d be good again. My last major successful weight loss was after Nicholas was born. I did Atkins, a low-carb diet, and lost weight and felt great. The changes happened pretty quickly too. Then I started allowing a little carb creep, and a taste here and a taste there, became a carby meal here and a carby meal there, and fifteen years later I hated what was staring back in the mirror at me. Photographs of me horrified me. “That could not be me” I reasoned and deleted them. All of them. I simply didn’t like how I looked, and I was beginning to have some minor but potentially serious health issues (sleep apnea, acid reflux, wheezing, etc.)

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Can The Keto Diet Help My Depression?

Low-carb and Invincible!” was my declaration one morning several years ago on Twitter. I was only a few days into cutting carbs from my diet on one of my many, many attempts to lose weight by going low-carb. I remember exactly how I felt. I was in a stressful job at the time, stressful because of the organisational politics and shitty personalities that I had to navigate daily as I tried valiantly to lead my team and deliver. That particular morning, my mind was crystal clear. I was able to focus with lazer-sharp precision. I was more decisive than usual and I was effortlessly channeling my inner and most times hidden “pleasant-yet-firm-and-direct” self. I felt the difference.

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