Diet and Fitness – A Simple Start

My daughter requested an email from me detailing what I do so that she could start her own weight loss journey. When I finished writing the email I realized that it was written in the perfect format to share with the world. While I primarily blog poetry I have always intended to use this space for more so I am including the letter here for anyone interested in their own “simple start” into diet and fitness.

Dearest Meaghan,

This keto diet is a lot easier than it seems and is incredibly satisfying. A couple of notes before I give you the details though. I would STRONGLY recommend avoiding cheating for a MINIMUM of three months. I went six months before cheating. Also it’s important to remember that this diet isn’t just about eliminating carbohydrates. It’s about keeping insulin and cortisol in check. I say this because you need to be careful with protein though not as much as with carbohydrates. In other words don’t just make protein shakes and think that is considered keto.

First I’d like to recommend the following resource:
https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/

Now for the details. I eat roughly 4 meals a day and am completely satisfied without the need to eat any additional meals. This was hard at first but only because I was moving out of burning glycogen for fuel and into burning fat for fuel. This adaptation is called “induction” and can feel very much like the flu. You’ll be cranky, you’ll lose IQ points, and everything will generally be foggy. This can be avoided by drinking chicken broth. Make sure it’s not low sodium or low fat. If it’s low sodium then add salt and potassium. If it’s low fat then add butter or coconut oil. Do this and you’ll feel like a million bucks. Also stay on top of drinking water. Buy a nalgene bottle and keep it with you always. I drink a full bottle upon waking, another at first break, another at lunch, another at last break, and last bottle while working out. Easy to get a full gallon of water.

My next suggestion is to keep your meals fatty with clean fats, salty with “Lo-Salt” (a sodium/potassium salt alternative), and green with vegetables. Avoid most fruit, all breads, all grains, and I strongly suggest avoiding dairy because dairy leeches nutrients. I’ll show you how my meals look below and give notes on alternatives.

  • Meal 1: Buttered Coffee
    • 2 TBSP Light-roast coffee
    • 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
    • 1 TBSP Coconut Oil [or MCT oil]
    • 2 TBSP Grass-Fed Butter (unsalted) [Kerrygold silver package]
    • 1 scoop whey protein [NEVER soy]
    • Blend it all together in a blender, nutribullet, or ninja for 30 seconds.

Note: You can use tea if coffee is too acidic for you. I had issues with the acid at first but I haven’t missed a buttered coffee morning in 11 months. If you use tea instead be aware that you may taste the butter more strongly than you do with the coffee.

  • Meal 2: Burger Patty
    • 8 oz Ground Beef [80/20]
    • 1 tsp Lo-Salt
    • Other spices to taste but I use cumin, cayenne, and crushed red pepper

Note: You can do 8 oz of chicken if you really want to but white meat is very low in fat so you’ll have to melt either coconut oil or the grass fed butter on your chicken afterwards. I strongly suggest NOT doing Olive Oil. I was a strong proponent of olive oil until I started realizing the reason I was getting stomach cramps was because of the olive oil. It turns out most olive oil spoils before it even gets to stores.

  • Meal 3: Smoothie (nutribullet)
    • Handful of spinach
    • 1 Avocado
    • 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
    • 1 tsp Lo-Salt
    • 2 TBSP Chia seeds
    • Fill to line with water.
    • Blend in nutribullet or blender for 40 seconds.

Note: You won’t enjoy this if drinking EXACTLY as prescribed. You may try sweetening with Stevia. I found that it tasted weird that way so just left it out. You could try RAW organic honey, but I avoid all carbs and suggest you do too. The one thing that worked really well for taste was adding a pre-workout but that brings the cost of the smoothie up considerably and also will make you VERY hyper.

  • Meal 4: Scrambled Eggs
    • 3 Eggs (Jumbo or XL)
    • Garlic (I personally use between 4 and 6 cloves)
    • 1/2 Red Onion
    • 1/2 Red Pepper
    • 1 TBSP Coconut oil
    • 1 tsp Lo-Salt
    • Other spices to taste but I use cumin, cayenne, and crushed red pepper

Note: I prep all my food for the day during my breakfast routine. If I’m just getting ready for work it takes just under an hour. I mention this because I cook my burger first. I then leave the hamburger grease in the pan for the eggs. I still add the coconut oil as you can’t go wrong on this diet by adding more healthy fat.

This is not a very expensive grocery plan for one person either. I can almost get two weeks of groceries for just around $100. Oil and spices only need to be picked up once a month so that makes groceries easier too. If you’re super hungry a couple hours after meal 4 you can get some celery and eat it with either butter, coconut oil, or organic peanut butter. I did the PB for a while until I realized I was reacting as if allergic.

If you replace the avocado in the smoothie with something then use the avocado somewhere else. I made quacamole and would eat it with my burger. Going to restaurants is awesome because I get to be the guy that says, “I’d like a burger patty please. No bun. And bring out a garden salad with just oil and vinegar.” Feels good to do that for some reason.

A mental tweak: I started realizing that spirituality is more important to me than I even thought. Because I always preach strength of body, mind, and spirit I realized I couldn’t treat my body like garbage and continue to preach that philosophy. Thus my body became the temple through which I practice my spirituality. A good “priest” wants to keep his temple clean. Thus I take pride in keeping my body clean. When I tease coworkers who supposedly eat healthy when they eat junk food they usually respond with how they eat what they want. I respond that I’m eating exactly what I want because I do, in fact, love being on this diet.

As for exercise it’s fairly simple. You’ll do upper body (UBWO) twice a week, lower body (LBWO) twice a week, cardio twice a week, and one day of rest. For your weight days you’ll do 5 exercises. You’ll perform one set of each exercise for 10 reps each without rest as a circuit. You’ll then rest for two minutes and then repeat for a total of 5 circuits.

  • UBWO Example:
    • Incline Bench
    • Lateral Raise
    • Lat Pulldown
    • Cable Bicep Curls
    • Cable Tricep Pushdown
    • Rest 2 minutes.
    • Repeat 4 more times.
  • LBWO Example:
    • Dumbbell Squats
    • Dumbbell Deadlifts
    • Calf Raises
    • Leg Extension
    • Leg Curls
    • Rest 2 minutes.
    • Repeat 4 more times.

Cardio is super easy to remember because you’ll do the equivalent of walking two minutes, jogging two minutes, sprinting one minute and repeating that a total of five times. This can be done with elliptical, treadmill, or rower. I started on elliptical and I suggest the same for you. But any time you feel like switching it up you can do treadmill or rower too.

If you’re actually interested in more than losing weight, and I mean becoming more athletic, then I strongly suggest adopting running starting with the “Couch to 5K” plan whenever you feel ready to do running. For me that meant dropping some weight first, but I’m glad I decided to run as it turns out I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would.

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About ninefolddragon

I am a self-proclaimed writer, spiritualist, and warrior. My primary writings are poetry and essays that evoke elemental visualization and are written in honor of the sacred feminine.
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4 Responses to Diet and Fitness – A Simple Start

  1. memadtwo says:

    Excellent and informative. Thank you. N.

    Like

  2. Thanks for a good post. Very detailed, and it explains why you say what you say (controlling insulin and cortisol). There is enough bro science out there.

    In the past I have tried keto programmes. I have a generally ectomorphic body shape, so excessive fat is not my challenge. However, the keto diet is more about the blood vessels than the spare tyre around the belly.

    I think it important that we move away from the words “Diet” and “Cheat Days”. Diet implies a temporary state of food intake. Your keto way of eating is (and should be?) a permanent way to eat. We want people to change to a better way of eating, forever, not go on a “diet” for a few weeks.

    “Cheating” implies I am doing something I shouldn’t. When body building and strength training we sometimes have weeks when we de-load, to let the body recoup and build more strength and muscle. This is a strategic and important part of the programme. We don’t call it a cheat week.

    I would say we should do the same with days we do not follow a keto programme. Some people refer to it as a “re-feed” or “strategic re-feed”. What do you think?

    Keep up the good work!

    Jo

    PS I love the buttered coffee. It’s my go-to morning drink and has been for a few years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the response and I’m very glad you said what you did about “diet” and “cheat days” because I feel the exact same way. Since the piece was originally written as a letter to my daughter I had to write in a language she could relate to and since she had already used both terms I kept using them.

      I was involved in a “transformation group” on Facebook that kept using those terms and, in reference to cheat days, would talk about how excited they were for it. I noticed I started feeling uneasy around these statements. Deeper exploration led me to realize that it was because the use of cheat days implies every other day is a punishment in a way and something to get through until cheat day.

      My circle of friends use the term “re-feed” as we are using those meals to replenish lost glycogen stores temporarily. They are a part of the lifestyle and keto is not temporary for us. I completely love eating in this way.

      Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Why Run? | Ninefold Evolution

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