Q&A on Keto + My Favorite Workout Gear

Thank you so much for all the kind comments on Friday’s posts! Some of you had some questions and I thought I would take a moment to answer them {disclaimer: I am not a doctor or nutritionist or anything like that–this is just my experience with this journey}. Feel free to keep asking questions and I’ll answer them on my Friday weight loss posts I’m doing. ūüôā

Jennifer asked: “Natalie – First of all, you look gorgeous! Congratulations on your success! I’d love to hear more about what you ate while in weight loss mode. Also, how do you know you’re in “keto”?

I think you have to find what works best for you in “weight-loss mode”. For me, I have to limit cheese and nuts. Cheese¬†because it has a tendency to bloat me and nuts because they are a “gateway drug”–I could eat a pound of salted cashews (and don’t forget: while I know¬†this is a diet fueled on fat you DO have to be in a calorie¬†deficit!) Too much¬†broccoli and cauliflower also hurt my tummy. I love salads and my favorite Keto-friendly meal is a giant bed of romaine with steak on top (plus blue cheese crumbles and a little shaved purple onion). I think I could eat it everyday! ¬†This Friday I’ll take more about intermittent fasting and how it was a “game changer” for my weight loss and therefore, I don’t have any breakfast ideas (I did try crust-less quiche “muffins” once that were pretty good though) and honestly, not many lunch ideas (ham, cheese, mayo rollups and pickles were about as fancy as I got).¬†

So, it takes a bit of time to get in “ketosis”…meaning your body is running off of fat for fuel instead of glucose. Please note, ketosis is NOT the same thing as Diabetic Ketoacidosis (yes, they sound similar, but are very different–for more info check out this page). Ketosis takes usually 2-3 days for my body to get into–genetics, gender, activity level, amount of water you drink, calories you consume, etc. all affect when you get into ketosis. How do I get in to ketosis quickly? Well, it’s three parts for me: restrict food {meaning I limit carbs to 20g/day} + I drink LOADS of water {80-100oz/day} + I exercise on an empty stomach. A way to tell if you’re in ketosis is to pee on little sticks {kinda like a pregnancy test} and it will measure the amount of ketones in your urine–the darker the strip turns the more ketones are in your urine (a good thing). These are the ones I have used–there are 100 sticks, they have 4.5 stars (with 2,300 reviews), and they’re like $10.¬†

There is also another way to go: testing your blood. If you have diabetes (or had gestational diabetes like me) testing your blood–pricking your finger *on the side*–is not that big of a deal. I never did this (note: I did periodically check my blood sugar though–especially those first couple of months when I was losing so quickly–and I’m glad I did. My blood sugar was getting too low without carbs and that’s why I got off my Metformin!) so I can’t say personally how I feel about different meters, but I’ve heard good stuff about the Precision models. The test strips do get expensive ($2-$3/each) so a lot of people will go on eBay or use Canadian pharmacies or something. Again, I don’t really know much about this, but if you joined any of the Facebook groups I mentioned in Friday’s post I’m sure you can ask them and you’ll have plenty of people to give their two cents! ūüėČ (Oh! and to get into nutritional ketosis¬†your level of ketones will need to be¬†between .5 and 3 mmol/L.)

Betsy asked: “As a PCOS gal, I’m going to be following this. I’ve also learned by doing genetic testing that I am to avoid all gluten (none of which I’m following at the moment). Did you also do gluten free?”

To me, gluten and carbs go hand-in-guilty-hand. Yeah, you can have a carb that is not gluten (like a tortilla chip), but you can’t have gluten without it being a carb. So I guess my answer would be yes, I did gluten free (note: there may have been trace amounts of gluten, but nothing I can remember!). I feel so much better physically when I lay off “all” carbs and gluten…and Diet Coke. I plan on talking more about adding foods back in and finding out what they do to your body in a couple of weeks {a little “Tips and Tricks” post, I guess you could call it}. It really is amazing how my body feels carb-free after a few days. Zero bloating. And as someone who bloats just thinking about ice cream, much less eating a bowl of noodles, it blew my mind that first week. I’m now in “maintenance-mode” and have been for about two months so I’ve been fooling around (HA!!!) with carbs a bit here and there to see just how much I can handle and what they do to my body and it has been so interesting. I’ve found that any carbs/gluten–even a small amount by the average person’s standards–keeping me from losing weight AT ALL, even when I’ve kept my calories low and exercising. Isn’t that crazy?! It shows me that my body really *does* have a problem with carbs (and perhaps gluten). Over Christmas, for instance, I ate three regular (not crazy!) meals for three days (the 24th, 25th, and 26th). I worked out on the 24th and 26th. Do you know how much weight I gained? SEVEN POUNDS. Now, there is no way I consumed an extra 25,000 calories over those three days. In fact, I’m sure I was under 2,000 calories/day and I exercised. I didn’t drink alcohol, I drank water. All I did differently was eat three meals a day and not watch my carb intake. That seven pounds (that took 10 days to get off) showed me that I majorly bloat with carbs…I just didn’t realize the extent¬†until then.¬†

Now for a fun clothing post. ūüėČ

Eek! Eek! Eek!

Before I get started, Y’ALL, there are some¬†major sales going on right now (and they end tonight at midnight) for Old Navy!

30% off your Old Navy purchase when you use the code ‘YOURS’.

PLUS an *extra* 10% off if you use your Gap card (code ‘EXTRA’).

PLUS PLUS get free shipping {with no minimum!} with the code ‘FREESHIP’.

Or if you’re just on the hunt for gym clothes, guess what? 50% Off All Active at oldnavy.com. Excludes Clearance, Women’s Plus & Maternity. While supplies last. Online and in stores. Restrictions apply. Ends 2/21. I love love love their sports bras and compression leggings! Don’t believe me? Well, how about we do a workout wear/gym clothes/ athleisure post?!

And Gap is having a sale too. 40% off everything and free shipping (no minimum!) with the code ‘PRESDAY’. AND…get an extra 10% off with code ‘BIG’. That’s 50% off–woohoo!

WARNING: These pictures are make-up free, wild hair selfies. And as usual, my faces in them are horrible. {Look away, small children & those faint of heart!} I took them all on the same night after I got home from Zumba and took a shower, but didn’t wash my hair because, well, this meme is the truth (can I get an amen?!) and I didn’t want to post a bunch of post-gym sweaty mess outfit pics…and I actually had all my laundry done {which, uhm, never happens}.

Up until this summer I always wore old, grungy t-shirts and loose-fitting yoga pants to the gym (I worked out 5 or 6 days a week even when I weighed 100 pounds more than I do now–I’ve always loved to exercise. To lose weight it’s all about what I eat. #pcosprobs ). But once I started doing classes (you can read about that here) I grew¬†tired of constantly having to pull up my loose pants during a workout and hated staying clammy/wet in my cotton t-shirts afterwards. At first it felt frivolous buying gym clothes, but considering I wear them like half my day everyday I think they’re worth the investment! ūüėČ

I love tops that have something neat going on. I don’t want them to be tight AND show skin so I usually go¬†with a looser front and a back that shows off my sports bra.

C. got me this jacket for my birthday. The inside pockets have a place for my headphones.

Gap Top.  Gap jacket sold out (so sad!), but similar here. Old Navy Leggings {different pattern}. Old Navy strappy sports bra {different pattern}.

Recognize these leggings? They were on my Valentine’s Day Gift¬†Guide¬†and my mom got them for me. I love them as much as I thought I would! Gap drape-back top. Gap Sports Bra¬†($20!)

Old Navy¬†compression leggings¬†with mesh¬†in black–I know it’s hard to see in the pic, but they’re so cute. {Here they are in ‘winter wine’ (what a fun name!) too}. Gap Top. Gap sports bra.

Gap top.($17!) Gap compression leggings. Under Amour shoes {different color} which I love.

This is my hands-down favoritey fav sports bra for yoga¬†($14.50!!) from Old Navy–no taataas falling out during downward-facing dog with this one!¬†Here it is for the ladies with DDD and bigger busts.

january 31. playground. double doozies. rolls. pink hot chocolate. february 2. yoga_0004_edited-1

GapFit Tie-Back Top. (3 colors are on sale for $15!)¬†Gap T-Back Sports Bra. Gap Leggings. Under Armour shoes. That black band peeking out from under my sports bra? It’s my heart rate monitor, by the way. ūüėČ

And I have to admit something on here. I have a problem. An addiction. I’m totally addicted to this particular sports bra from Gap. I have six of them. ::Hangs head in shame.::

What I’ve got my eye on:

I’m really digging cutouts, straps, and mesh inserts on my leggings right now so I’m crushing pretty hard on these¬†for $15.¬†And I’m really loving the retro color scheme of these leggings. I’ve seriously been looking at them for months!

Note on sizing:¬†I’m wearing a ‘large’ in all the pants and shirts–some of the shirts I could¬†definitely go smaller in some but I like a looser fit. The sports bras are a mix of large and x-large. For size reference: I’m 5’5″, a big 6/little 8 in pants but more like a 12 in tops, and 36D in the bust.


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