- Be curious. What areas in your life can you focus on to create change to be a better, calmer, more refreshed person? Whose help do you need? What resources do you need to review? What questions do you need to ask? I create the most personal growth and change, when I explore the above and ask myself the right questions.
- Be selfish. If something is not a Hell Yes! Then, I’m sorry, tell them no.
- Sleep. Seriously. It’s the secret sauce of health, and if you sleep enough, you will eat less, think more clearly and communicate better in the relationships that need you the most. Go to bed.
- Drink less. Have you ever been sober curious as to where and what you would do with the time, energy and money you spend on alcohol? For fun, here is a calculator to play around with. Stay-tune I will flesh this topic out more in the coming weeks.
- Drink more. Water. Hydration is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to optimize your hormone function, insulin and health. Just don’t overdo it before bed.
- Take your vitamins. And not just any vitamins. Make sure the vitamins you choose are 3rd party tested, for example, these ones, and that you are educated on what nutrients you need. As someone with an autoimmune disease, I take targeted supplements for my gut health (probiotic, L-glutamine), magnesium to improve blood sugar control and sleep/stress, B vitamins to fill nutrient gaps, improve mood and cravings and CBD. Do not assume you need what I take. If you need guidance, email me. I’ll help you identify some of your supplement needs.
- Play. Block off time to block out your to-do list and calendar and get out there and play. My love just gifted us stand up paddle boards for our anniversary and that’s easily my happiest place on the planet right now. You don’t need to live by an ocean to enjoy some water. I head to Hoover Dam in Westerville, OH every weekend I can.
- Let go. Let go of the things that are weighing you do, and this may entail forgiving someone and or forgiving yourself.
- Eat well. We don’t need to strive for perfection, but more so, progress. Above all, look at your poop. Pay attention to how food makes you feel, what your bowels look like and make sure you go daily. Notice what foods spike your blood sugar. The foods I am most sensitive to (garbanzo beans, gluten, and sweet potatoes), cause the most insulin resistance and blood sugar swings. I am not alone in the observation either, as it’s supported in the research. Check out Robb Wolf’s book, Wired to Eat, to learn more.
- Ask. Ask questions so you can get the best care. This is asking questions when you are out to eat (omit standard dressings to avoid canola oil, what’s gluten-free, etc), as well as, asking questions in your community from how to parent your best, dose insulin, meal plan and more.
- Spend time with the right peeps. Surround yourself with those who help you be the best version of yourself. Relationships change over our lifetime and some friendships are everlasting and others aren’t. It’s okay that some aren’t.
- Value the lessons in your (blood sugar) mistakes. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping-stones of progress. Appreciate the journey of learning, growing and improving.
- Be grateful. Practice gratitude daily. I do this at night before I fall asleep. Last night I was grateful for insulin, my friends and my type 1 community.
- Be generous. This was a resolution for me in 2019, and indeed a year I’ve been absolutely the most generous with my time, money and talents. The reward can’t be put into words. Be generous, perform random acts of kindness, pay it forward. You won’t regret it.
- Compete. Compete with an earlier version of yourself. In my last 90 day program, I help you with a plan to provide you structure, leading to growth and success. I am excited for you to create some magic. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
REGARDLESS OF AN INJURY OR CELIAC/GLUTEN ALLERGY
I’ve been working with David, then Stacey for the last year and I believe we can all benefit from their health story and ongoing journey. Enjoy!
Hi! I’m Stacey Jones (S), a smiling 40-year-old, with a history of celiac disses (diagnosed in 2015) and bottomless relationship with dieting since my teens. I spend my daytime hours working from home, aka access to the kitchen whenever I want it, for a higher education technology company, and a year ago, I took the leap, I choose me and found I was ready for true change and sought help from a professional, Kelly.
Hello, my name is David Ward (D), I’m 40 years old as well. I spend most of my time during the day as a service delivery manager of an IT company and serve in the Ohio Army National Guard. Growing up I was made to eat everything on my plate. My mother God bless her, cooked like she was feeding a platoon when was just me and my brother. I continued this eating habit into adulthood.
How has your health goal evolved with your work with Kelly?
S: A year before I actually worked with Kelly, I bought supplements from Kelly (I highly recommend doing a detox, while it’s hard, it’s very helpful). After seeing the success David was having working with Kelly, I knew there was something to explore.
My starting goal was to focus on losing belly fat and while it hasn’t necessarily changed, because it’s the most inflammatory place to hold extra weight, I have a more whole-body focus now. I used to just focus on calories and portions, I have broadened my scope much wider. I listen to hunger cues, manipulate my hunger with balanced meals, fasting, etc, exercise, giving myself grace, and work on the negative self-talk I’ve had for years around food.
D: I started with Kelly because I needed help in losing/maintaining my weight to stay within Army standards as I was unable to workout due to a herniated disc in October 2018. I wanted to change my eating habits and needed guidance on how to do it beyond a dieting/deprivation mindset. Now my goal is to maintain the level of wellness and lean body mass I’ve achieved and the healthy habits I learned so far. When I started this journey to a better life, my weight was 230 lbs. at 29 percent body fat, now I’m at 210 lbs. and I’m at 21 percent. Thanks, Kelly!
What is one lesson from Kelly’s work that has had a large impact on your progress and worth sharing with others?
S: Give yourself grace instead of shaming yourself. This was and is HUGE for me.
D: Recognize when I’m full, in the past I would eat so fast that I didn’t give my body time to let me know that I was full. Now I purposely slow down and enjoy my food, and when I’m full I’m done eating.
What is your outlook on your health now compared to the start?
S: I can figure it out if I just don’t quit. In fact, this is almost an affirmation I keep in mind daily. I can lose weight without having to count a single calorie (because we all grow up thinking you HAVE to count calories) and enjoy the process as well.
D: I never thought I would be at the weight I’m at now, I am 50 pounds less than my senior year of high school weight. After years of struggling, I would see improvement but gain the weight back. Now I live a more healthy lifestyle without even trying, having regular monthly meetings with Kelly has kept me accountable. Side note, I still find enjoyment when I go out to eat and want to have alcohol. I have found a balance with Kelly, which are fueling my results.
What is one habit that you’ve adopted that is helping your progress?
S: Intermittent fasting, balancing meals with fat, protein and complex carbs, thinking about insulin response from food and sugar, and having confidence I can continue on this path.
D: Intermediate fasting and initially counting macros, also knowing I’m not starving myself to lose weight. It’s ironic how helpful it is to hydrate properly. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
What advice would you give someone else who wants to lose weight and become healthier?
S: It’s all about making small changes that add up to big changes in the long run. And meeting yourself where you are at.
D: I recommend anyone who is struggling like I was, to take the time and get the help, there’s more to living a healthy lifestyle than going to the gym. Having someone to talk about your health needs and being able to coach you to not only meet your goals but maintain them is essential.
Is there anything better than personal growth? What if you used these last 90 days to ramp up to the best year of your life? Commit to these last 90 days, starting in October, to being UNAPOLOGETIC about making the best choices for your health, energy, happiness, and growth. If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.
I am excited to see what magic can happen, when I shift my focus on small daily actions, to evolve and grow into the best version of myself springboarding myself into 2020!
90 Day Details
- Each week Kelly will provide support and tools in her Sunday morning email. This may often include a weekly challenge (it’ll be fun!)
- Each month has a theme…
- October focuses on Self-Care & Self-Discipline
- November focuses on Detox & Declutter
- December focuses on Nourishment & Movement
- If you blow off the commitment level/goal you set for yourself, decide on a daily donation you are willing to pay to support Kelly towards finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes in her lifetime (JDRF research)
- Be part of the community and share the love on social media using #KSW90Days
- If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.
- Join in even if it’s the middle of the month or the end of the program
- Questions? Email me Kel[email protected]
Why Am I Leading This Program?
- Honestly, I have some room for improvement and I’m truly excited to take the time before 2020 to focus on small daily actions that can help me feel my best, look my best, inside and out, and in the end, grow into the best version of myself.
- I once had an intern tell me I was a lot like a Tiger Mom and at first, I wasn’t sure how to take it. After thinking about it, it makes sense. I have a lot of faith in people, and I can see the potential we can all amount to.
- Organizing a program that focuses on making good, healthy choices, in a season of celebrations, can be viewed as impossible, or it can be spun into a season of focus and structure and accomplishing whatever we put our mind to.
- Now, are you ready to advocate your needs? Are you ready to be unapologetic about making a healthier choice for you? Let’s strive, challenge, change and grow into the best person you are meant to be!
- PS, join at any point. You don’t have to begin on October 1. Come in and join at any time and honor, mentally, where you are. Now, why should you join?
- How you ever felt refreshed by the end of the holiday season?
- Have you ever been upset by holiday weight gain?
- Have you ever wished you saved more money by New Year’s?
- Have you ever been proud of how much or how little alcohol you consumed through the holidays?
- Have you ever felt your strongest by the end of the year?
- Have you ever felt you best by New Year’s?
- Make this year different by having small, realistic, weekly goals, to change how you’d answer the questions above.
- When Do We Start? Starting with September 29th’s Sunday with Kelly Newsletter, you will get the materials you need to begin this journey. Make note, be ready to commit, and know it’s worth doing.
- Each month will have a theme, an accountability checklist and weekly support from Kelly’s Sunday Newsletter.
- You set your own expectations and if you slip up, turn the negative into the positive, and commit to a daily donation to a charity, like JDRF (helping Kelly turn type 1 diabetes into type none in her lifetime).
- Until we begin, focus on small steps to better health and start by solidifying the habit of hydrating daily and performing random acts of good deeds. Hydration is the cheapest, yet, one of the most effective ways to improve your health and paying it forward is one of the easiest ways to improve your mood and happiness. Use this water tracker for the rest of September and get ready for the magic to come with small daily goals in October.
Summer is nearly gone at the advent of school starting next week. I keep thinking of this phrase as I will be sending my oldest off to kindergarten (tear) on Thursday.
“I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.”
Funny, right? But silly stupid true. Where did summer go?
Speaking of time, this week I’m highlighting ways to save time in the kitchen in the morning.
- Make waffles from Birch Blenders mixes in bulk and store them in a Ziplock freezer bag until they are ready to be toasted/eaten. Bonus tip, add a few scoops of collagen peptides to the batter (+ a tbsp of avocado oil) to increase the protein content, satiety and brain-boosting amino acids for learning.
- Banana Pancakes: mash 1 small banana with 2 eggs and make a pancake or 2 in a skillet like you would traditional batter.
- Chia Seed Pudding: mixing 1 part chia seeds with 4 parts liquid. Example: 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup of coconut milk. Add spices and sweetener to your liking. Make multiple of these ahead in mini mason jars.
- Meatballs & Veggies using kale or shaved Brussel sprouts as a base. I often opt for legume noodles for my kids. How do I make this quick + easy? I throw a bag of Beetnik grass-fed meatballs in a slow cooker w/ a jar of sugar-free marinara sauce. I allow this to cook for 6-8 hours.
- Chicken Tacos. While the slow-cooker is out, make some tacos the following night. Add frozen (or fresh) chicken breast or tenderloins to a slow-cooker on high, allow to cook for 6-8 hours with a jar of salsa. My go-to? Salsa verde. We love our chicken tacos w/ a purple cabbage leaf for the “taco shell,” black beans and some sour cream or guac.
- Salmon Burgers + Roasted Veg. If my hubs is home, I’ll have him fire up the grill to make the wild salmon Kirkland burgers (look for any salmon burgers that are made with wild, not farmed, salmon), but if he isn’t, to save time, I bake 4-6 burgers in my toaster oven. Leftovers are a blessing. I also make multiple trays of veg on the weekend, like the pic above, which happens to be 100% from my garden. I use ample amounts of avocado oil, cook at 350F for 30 minutes and douse the vegetables in the Unami spice from Trader Joe’s.
Insulin resistance refers to a condition in which cells in the body no longer respond properly to insulin. This has a huge impact on health because of the role that this anabolic hormone plays in glucose metabolism. With insulin resistance, cells, including those in the liver and body fat, begin to ‘resist’ signals sent by insulin. This means that they stop absorbing glucose from the blood to use it as the main fuel source. As a result, blood sugar levels start to rise, causing a variety of health risks, the best known of which is diabetes. However, failing to manage the condition effectively can do more damage than you realize. Here are some of the major risks of prolonged insulin resistance.
- Type 2 Diabetes
The pancreas which produces insulin, respond to resistance by increasing production of the hormone. With prolonged insulin resistance, the amount of insulin needed to regulate blood sugar levels keeps rising. In time, the pancreas suffers from fatigue and cannot meet the demands for insulin. This leads to the onset of prediabetes and diabetes. Insulin resistance is regarded as a major predictor of type-2 diabetes, with most patients going on to develop the condition within the next 10-20 years.
- High Cholesterol
In many cases, prolonged insulin resistance makes you more likely to develop high cholesterol levels. More specifically, it alters systemic lipid metabolism, resulting in higher than normal levels of plasma triglycerides, while levels of high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol) start to fall. The increase in blood cholesterol levels that is commonly observed with insulin resistance may be caused by increased synthesis of very-low-density lipoprotein in the liver.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Although the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can have various causes, such as a high-fat diet and obesity, insulin resistance is regarded as an important contributor. The condition can increase fat accumulation in the liver by increasing the delivery of free fatty acid and through hyperinsulinemia – increased insulin production. In fact, insulin resistance is observed in almost all cases of fatty liver disease. In some cases, this can even lead to the development of steatohepatitis.
- You develop dark skin patches
Prolonged insulin resistance leads to an increase in insulin production over time and this can cause an accumulation of insulin within skin cells themselves. This manifests in visible skin changes, with darkened patches of skin towards the back of the neck, elbows, knees, groins, knuckles, and armpits. This skin condition is described as acanthosis nigricans. There is no known cure for the condition, but the management of insulin resistance can help to prevent it or reduce the severity of discoloration and darkening.
- Heart Attack & Stroke
When not managed in a timely manner, insulin resistance can significantly raise the risk of heart failure and strokes. Aside from the fact that reduced insulin sensitivity and increased blood sugar damages cells, including blood vessels, insulin resistance also adversely affects lipid levels. All of this encourages the buildup of arterial plaque, restricting or even obstructing blood flow. In time, this damages the heart itself. Not surprisingly, insulin resistance is associated with a 50% higher risk of heart failure and strokes.
- Cancerous Tumors
Cancer is not something that most of us associated with insulin resistance, but research suggests that there may be a connection. Prolonged insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome may increase the risk of various types of cancer, including breast, bladder, colon, pancreatic, and uterine cancers. It is believed that high insulin levels facilitate tumor growth and also impair the body’s natural defense against malignant cells.
- Early Onset Dementia
Although the connection between prolonged insulin resistance and dementia is not clearly understood, studies do suggest that insulin resistance raises the risk. One mechanism is vascular dementia, in which blood vessel damage from insulin resistance leads to reduced blood flow to the brain. Researchers are still investigating the role of insulin resistance in memory function decline and the increased risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Cope with Insulin Resistance
In addition to the risks highlighted above, insulin resistance is also connected to a higher risk of kidney disease, high uric acid levels or gout, and PCOS. Fortunately, effective and early management of insulin resistance can counter these risks. Dietary and lifestyle changes to lose weight and get better sleep can help improve insulin sensitivity significantly. In fact, a study that appeared in the International Journal of Obesity, found that 10% of weight loss through diet and exercise could improve insulin sensitivity by 80%. Similarly, sleep deprivation has also been shown to raise insulin resistance. Findings like these highlight the importance of comprehensive lifestyle changes to tackle insulin resistance.
Hot Seed “Porridge”
- 1/4 cup chia,
- 1/4 cup flax meal,
- 2T cinnamon,
- Sea salt to taste
- (Optional) something crunchy like cocoa nibs
- 3/4 c boiling water
Mix ingredients together vigorously for 2-3 minutes. Top with berries and nuts if you desire.
Cauliflower (Cauli) “Porridge”
- 2 cup cauliflower rice
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 egg
- liquid stevia
- 2 T cinnamon
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 scoops collagen protein powder
Add 2 cups of cauli rice in a saucepan, add in 1 tbsp of coconut oil, a touch of water to help the cauli cook down + spices (cinnamon, sea salt), stir consistently. Add in stevia drops (a few more than a smoothie as it will cut the bitterness out of the cauli) + stir in collagen or protein powder. Stir the above consistently for 4 minutes. Add in an egg and stir for a final 4 minutes. Expect to cook for 8 minutes in total.
Flax Waffles – (vegan option)
For More Inspiration: review this post as well, Breakfast Ideas Beyond Eggs
Breaking the insulin resistance cycle involves a number of things, including reducing simple carbohydrate-rich foods, like grains, juices, processed foods, etc, in our diet. Below are 5 guidelines that will help slash insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control overall. This is useful advice with people who have diabetes, PCOS, metabolic syndrome and for those who just need assistance to lose weight.
- No naked carbs. What? Since carb-rich foods (legumes, fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and sugar) give us quick energy and have the greatest effect on raising blood sugar levels, it is ideal to have a source of protein or fat with this food to buffer the absorption of sugar going into the bloodstream. For example, an apple (carb) with peanut butter is far more favorable than eating an apple alone.
- Reduce snacking and eliminate grazing. Be sure to eat enough at each meal (review plate visual) by cueing into your satiety and hunger levels, so you do not need to eat more than three-four times a day. When we have smaller, more frequent meals, we cause our body to produce more insulin, creating higher circulating levels of insulin. High insulin levels cause insulin resistance. Transition to 3 meals and an optional snack each day.
- Hydrate. Drink 20 ounces of water first thing in morning. I play a game by making myself drink my water before I am allowed to enjoy my coffee. Do what motivates you. Overall, aim to drink half of your weight in ounces every day. For example, if I weigh 200 pounds, I need 100 ounces of water or herbal tea per day. Drinking water is one of the simplest ways to improve your hormone (including insulin) functionality, hunger, and fat-loss.
- Forecast meals. No need to make a formal meal plan, but spend five minutes a week reviewing which meals you will be eating out or at home. Sketch out at least 3 meals (doubling some of the recipes can save you time) and reflect these meals onto a grocery list. This can help you get in front of your health by making healthy food the obvious choice. It can also help reduce food waste. Win-win.
- Eat with the sun. Eating during daylight hours supports our natural body clock, and therefore our hormone functioning. The more in sync we are with our circadian rhythm by eating with the sun, we support hormone balance, improving insulin resistance. Doing this also improves sleep and high-quality sleep is the “secret sauce” for health. Additional motives to eat earlier? Data suggests when we eat past 7 PM we increase our insulin secretion by 50 to 70%. High insulin leads to insulin resistance. If you find yourself eating late, make it a smaller, lighter meal.