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Archive for the ‘value’ Tag

Can You Afford Not To Keto   Leave a comment

When you start a diet, any diet, and begin making progress you’ll generate a bit of interest in what you’re doing to lose the weight.  I’m always happy to discuss the ketogenic lifestyle with the people who ask, and what benefits I think it can have in their life as well.  After discussing the basics I get two frequent responses.  One response I get, the other I don’t.

The first response is “I don’t know if I can give up the things I like to follow the keto diet as you just explained it.”  That I totally get.  It’s a total rework of your diet.  And most of the foods you love the most are probably not going to make the cut.  It isn’t like the glucose based diets where you can slowly wean yourself off of them.  You have to give them all up right when you go keto.  You might find keto friendly alternatives to help you along but the reality is as tasty as some of them are, most are just not the same thing as you’re giving up.  Again, I totally understand that response.

The one I don’t get is “I don’t know if I can afford to go on the keto diet.”  That one makes no sense to me.  One of the bonus effects of the keto diet, at least for me, has been the cost savings.  Let me break them down for you.

The first is the cost of food.  The higher fat meats are generally the cheaper cuts of meat.  The vegetables you buy can be pricey if you get it pre-cut or frozen, but on the whole the cost of the vegetables is much cheaper than the cost of sides at a fast food place.

Oh, and while we’re on fast food, the money you save cutting that out of your budget is amazing.  I’ll occasionally go to McDonald’s and get a couple of sausage and egg McMuffins no muffin and a black coffee, but for the most part I cook for myself at home.  Keto is done most easily when you cook for yourself which means lower price per meal.  Now if you have the budget and want to get grass-fed beef and cage free eggs that’s awesome, and yes it will cost more than the regular fare.  But you can keto with regular beef and regular eggs and you’ll still be better off than you were eating the glucose based diet you were on.  And even going with the grass fed foods you’ll still be ahead of the game compared to buying tons of processed foods like chips and pre-made dinners.

Second, there’s nothing else to buy.  There are keto friendly supplements and prepackaged foods, but none of them are required to be successful on keto.  Having said that I will make one caveat.  In the beginning it does make transitioning to keto easier if you buy some exogenous ketones to fuel yourself with when you start out.  The key here is that it makes it easier.  It isn’t necessary.  Supplementing with electrolytes is also helpful and can make you feel better but if you’re eating a well-rounded keto friendly diet it isn’t necessary.  I do know that this can be true of many diets.  But it seems especially true of the keto diet.

Finally, and this is the biggest cost saver, when you switch to a ketogenic lifestyle your body becomes very agreeable to fasting.  Fasting becomes a cinch when you’ve fully keto adapted.  And that’s the biggest cost savings of all.  Fasting requires $0.00 to do.  Even if you cook for yourself and have your per meal cost down to say $10 per a day, you’re still saving $40 a month if you fast one day a week.  If you fast two you just doubled your bank account gains.  And I can easily do 48 hours of fasting now that I’ve been living the ketogenic lifestyle for over a year.  Of course the more you spend per meal the bigger the savings this becomes.

So from a “I’m not ready to make the transition” perspective I totally understand the hesitancy to go keto.  But from the “I can’t afford to go keto” perspective, I just scratch my head.  I think it’s actually cheaper to eat keto, especially figuring in fasting periods.  And that doesn’t even begin to cover the cost savings from being overall healthier and happier.  Or the cheaper clothing for me now that I don’t shop at the big and tall store.  So from that perspective can you really afford not to live the ketogenic lifestyle?  I’m thinking the savings speak for themselves.  Hope you’re having a great day today.  Peace.

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Thank You All So Much   Leave a comment

This one will be short but sweet.  Yesterday I crossed a milestone with my blog here on WordPress.  I now have over 100 followers.  I enjoy putting posts up on here but there really wouldn’t be much of a point if it wasn’t for all of you following me and reading (and sometimes watching) them.  I am eternally grateful for your support and truly hope that what I am sharing with you is helping you to be the best versions of yourselves.  Have a great day today.  Peace.

The Five People You Associate With Most   Leave a comment

It’s a concept that has been around for quite some time.  You’re the sum of the five people you hang around with the most.  It isn’t an exact science.  You aren’t the literal sum of those people.  If you showed me five people I couldn’t calculate specifically what the man, or woman, hanging out with them would be like.  But overall it is a true concept.

If you hang around with people who think “this is it, this is all that I ever will be” what are the chances that you’ll be a person with goals and ambitions?  Not very high.  Even if you started out without that limiting belief, how long would it take, being reminded daily by your five that “this is it”, before you just came to accept it as true?

If your five just likes sitting around all day and watching movies on the tv, or perhaps playing Xbox or Playstation, what do you think your waistline is likely to measure in at?  Do you think that if you suggested that you should all go out for a walk that would go over really well?  I’m guessing you wouldn’t have many takers.  So instead you just sit there with them and do as they do.

If your five likes to hang out after work at a local diner for grub and smokes, are you going to wear a mask and eat a salad?  Unlikely, since we associate with the group we hang with.  I used to do this.  I didn’t smoke myself, but sitting at a booth when everyone else does made that more of a semantic than a fact.  And I certainly wasn’t eating healthy, and it showed.

Whoever your five are, and however they behave, we all have an inherent desire to fit in.  So when the five does something unhealthy, we do it with them.  When the five engages in negativity, we get negative too.  If the five assumes the worst in every situation, we don’t boldly stand up and say “Not me, not today.  I’m thinking positive!”  No, we acquiesce to the group mindset and start planning for the worst.

So the five we hang out with are vitally important to our life and well-being.  Who are your five?

Are they your coworkers?  We spend 40 hours a week with these people, not counting thinking about work on the way in and decompressing from work on the way home.  Are your coworkers happy?  Do they look at the future brightly?  Or do they go on about how work sucks?  Do they spend the 40 hours wishing they didn’t work there?  Do they gossip about other workers behind their backs?

Are they friends?  Would they spend all day staring at a wall if they could?  Do they assume the worst in others?  Do they sit around all day engaging in frivolous tasks?  Or do they go out for hikes?  Do they spend time looking for ways to make life better?  Do they find the best in others because they’re always looking for the best?

Are they your family?  Have they told you that your family is at a certain station in life and that’s just how it is for you, too?  When you tell them your plans do they offer criticisms and limiting beliefs?  Or do they help you find a way to make your plans happen?  When you tell them of your long-term goals do they gleefully dream big with you, or remind you that you need to be realistic?  And by realistic they mean keep your aim low so as not to disappoint yourself.

Here’s the thing.  It doesn’t matter who your five is.  And it doesn’t matter why those five are the way they are.  The commonality in everything I mentioned above is you.  No matter who those five are, you are chosing to associate with them.  Are those five building you up or knocking you down?  Do they nurture, or neutralize?  Are they your cheerleaders?  Or are they the millstone tied around your neck?

When it comes to coworkers, friends, and family you have the ultimate decision of who you spend your time with.  You have to decide what’s most important.  You have to decide who is most important.  If the people in your life right now are not there to help you become the best version of yourself, is that their fault, or yours?  If you work in a negative environment then you need to decide.  Which is more important, happiness or your paycheck?  I’d rather earn less and smile more.  If your friends are sedentary or have negative attitudes, the blame lies in your choice to be with them instead of people who will lift you up and make you whole.

Even when it comes to the big one, family, you still have to decide.  I’m not saying it’ll be easy, or fun, but it’s necessary.  If your family has bought into the notion that life is drudgery, and you have to accept your meager status, you have to choose to leave or stay.  That’s on you.  I’m not saying never see your family again, just make sure that you spend the majority of your time with a new five that makes you better, healthier, and happier.  Who knows, maybe when you do go back and spend time with the fam and they see what you’ve become some of them might jump the ship to the happy boat, too.

The key is to remember that you aren’t being selfish taking care of yourself.  Refusing to spend time with negative old friends or family who bring you down isn’t self-centered, it’s self-preserving.  It all goes back to the concept of you can’t fill a cup from an empty pitcher.  Chosing who you associate with wisely is about putting yourself first, which isn’t a bad thing no matter how many times you’ve been told it is.  When you make yourself whole first you’re a better person for everyone whose life you’ll touch because you’ll be touching those lives in a positive way.  And that’s not a good thing, that’s a great thing.

So spend some time considering who your five are and start making choices.  If they aren’t the five that’s best for you start thinking about who your ideal five would be and get to looking for people who fill that bill.  It’s good for you, it’s good for them, and eventually that’ll make things good for everyone.  All because you didn’t just choose, you chose wisely.  Have a great week.  Peace.

Quick Thank You   Leave a comment

So I’ve been tracking how my YouTube channel has been doing in terms of views and minutes watched.  I have a little spreadsheet I made just for that purpose.  And this morning when I entered the numbers I saw that I had reached a happy milestone.  I’ve gotten over 500 views.

I started my YouTube channel last October.  It’s just barely over 4 months old so that’s about 125 views a month.  I’m very happy with that number.  Some channels may be growing way faster than that, but I also know that a lot of channels get started and never make it to 500 views.  So it’s a good first big hurdle to have gotten over.

At the beginning of the year I decided to recommit to a full year of producing content for the channel at a minimum of 1 vlog per week.  Now I’ve decided it’ll be 2 per week as I’ve started doing my weekly update in video form.  If I manage to get a review video in at least every other week that would mean over 100 more videos to go before I make the final decision about the channel.

But honestly I think I’ve already decided.  Every week the channel starts growing a little faster.  The number of subscribers keeps slowly increasing.  And at a certain point I’m guessing things will start increasing faster and faster and I’ll reach more and more people.  In the end though, come December 31st if I still have one subscriber following me I think I’ll keep going because as long as I’m helping someone it just feels good to do.

I really hope that I’m reaching a lot more than 1 person of course, but even 1 will be enough.  There’s 10 more months and some change to go and I look forward to spending it sharing with you guys who’ve made this journey worthwhile for me.  I thank you for your support in watching my videos and following this blog.  In a little over a month this blog will hit one year since I restarted it and I’ll do a thank you post and recap at that time.

To end this one I’ll thank you again real quick.  If you have any suggestions or comments about the YouTube channel or this one, feel free to leave them here or there.  I hope you’re having a great day.  I know I did starting it out with that great news.  I look forward to seeing you soon.  Peace.

Quick Thought   Leave a comment

When we see our friend after they’ve been to the salon for a new haircut we will often take a moment to compliment them on their new look.  When someone we know gets a new car we’ll show all sorts of interest in it and tell them what a great purchase they’ve made.  If we haven’t seen an acquaintance for a while and they appear to be more fit than when we saw them last time we’ll ask them if they’ve lost some weight or if they’ve been working out.

When it comes to the people we see regularly we take time to compliment them and build them up.  We even do this with people we don’t see very often but are acquainted with.  Sadly, the one person we don’t generally pay this courtesy to is ourselves.

Why don’t we do this for the man (or woman) in the mirror?  What’s so wrong about taking a moment to compliment ourselves on how nice our hair looks today?  If we got something new at a great price, why can’t we be proud of ourselves about it?  When we’ve been on point about our diet and exercise and the results are showing, is there anything wrong with taking notice and patting ourselves on the back?

We’ve been told since we were children that the answer is yes.  It’s bad.  It’s vain.  It’s self-serving and therefore wrong.  But is it really?  Like everything its a matter of moderation.  If you’re spending all day looking in the mirror admiring yourself, of course that’s not good.  But a quick “looking good” in the morning when you’re looking good is just showing confidence.  That’s a good thing.  Being proud of yourself for making a wise purchase isn’t egotistical, it’s prudent.  We should want to be shrewd in our business deals.  Letting yourself know that you’re pleased with the success you’ve had isn’t self serving, it’s reinforcing good behaviour.  Behaviour you should want to continue with.

So next time you see yourself in the mirror go ahead and be happy.  You’re a good person and you deserve it.  Smile and remind yourself you have a right to be happy.  Be proud of yourself like you would be for a good friend who was succeeding.  It isn’t wrong to be proud of yourself.  It should only be worrisome if you can’t.  Have a great day.  Peace.

Be Of Service By Listening   Leave a comment

I’ve mentioned before about the importance of being of service to others.  I think it’s one of the requirements of getting something out of life.  Kind of like karma if you will.  How can you expect good things to come into your life if you haven’t increased your worthiness via good deeds of your own?

I mentioned a few ways that cost absolutely nothing in which you could be of service.  Holding a door open for someone, or just giving them a smile when they look like they could use a little happiness.  There are many other ways that are of no cost to you as well.  If your neighbor is sick or elderly mowing their lawn for them (or shoveling snow this time of year for some) is a free way to help that is sure to go over well.  Perhaps you’re good with managing your money, but know a friend who struggles in that area.  Why not sit down with them and help them to better understand how to budget and save?

By far though the best no cost way of being of service to others is just to listen.  I went to Starbucks yesterday morning and there was an elderly gentleman there sitting by himself, drinking his coffee.  I sat down in the comfy chair beside his to enjoy my Iced Coffee and read more of my book.  He politely said hi, and I smiled and said hi back.  I opened my iPad Kindle app and was about to read when he asked me about my thoughts on the current government shutdown.

I’m sure he had noticed the iPad.  It was clear what my plan was.  But he asked anyway.  Why?  He wanted to interact with someone.  I could have politely dodged and went back to reading.  I could have been direct and said I came to read and not to talk.  But it was clear the older gentleman was desiring a conversation.  So I chose to be of service to him instead.

My book isn’t going anywhere.  I’ve bought it and it’ll be waiting on the app for later.  He had a need right now.  And it was clear when I replied that he was happy I wanted to talk, too.  We chatted for about 20 minutes and then he noticed his ride had arrived.  He politely thanked me for the conversation and left.  After he parted I went back to my book.

Now for you it might not be the older gentleman at the coffee shop.  It might be a coworker on break.  Or a person on the bus.  The lady in the grocery line behind you.

Then again it might be more.  Maybe a friend or family member has had a bad day.  Or maybe it’s a bad week, or month, or life.  Be of service by listening.  Sometimes people just need to vent.  They want to be heard by a sympathetic ear.  Often we want to help further by giving our take on the subject.  Or advice on how we think the situation could be made better.  I’d encourage you to be of more service to them by listening, and only listening.  If they ask for your advice or guidance by all means give it.  But if they don’t just listen.

Active listening is even better.  Even if you already know that you heard them correctly repeat back what they’ve said to insure you’ve heard correctly.  It lets them know you’re listening.  If there’s a long pause ask them how they feel about the situation.  If you need to speak, keep it brief, and preferably in the form of a question.  That lets them know you’re interested in hearing more, and also that the conversation is about them.  That is being of service.

So in the next few days look for ways to be of service by listening.  It’s easy for you, costs you nothing, and you might find yourself rewarded right away.  I had a pleasant conversation  with the older gentleman who smiled as he walked away.  He was happy.  And that made me happy.  Karma in action.  Have a great day.

Ready Made Keto   Leave a comment

Ok, so I’m not really that great a cook.  I usually do easy stuff like Brussels sprouts with bacon on top in the oven, or really easy like salami with cream cheese.  I know how to cook eggs and can make simple keto stir fries.  Sometimes though you just want a tasty meal that doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part.  So I’m putting together a list of ready-made keto meals.

The first on the list is Sated (www.sated.com).   Sated is a meal replacement drink that’s designed around the macros of the ketogenic diet.  It comes in two varieties, Sucralose sweetened, and naturally sweetened using Ethyritol, stevia, and monk fruit.  The sucralose variety comes in chocolate and vanilla flavor.  The naturally sweetened is available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.  All the flavors taste good and are easy to mix.  When I ordered for the first time they had a starter kit that included a Blender Bottle with it, but that option doesn’t appear available anymore.  I’m guessing any shaker bottle that can hold 20 oz will do.  To mix you include one scoop of oil and one scoop of powder with 12 oz of water and then shake away.  If you buy using one time purchase the box will cost you $90, which may seem like a lot until you consider that it’s 30 servings of a 400 calorie keto meal.  So $3 for each meal is actually quite reasonable.  However, you can shave $18 off the price by opting for the monthly subscription.  The customer service is top-notch (I had a bottle of oil with a broken seal so a bunch leaked out, four days later I was holding a new bottle at no extra cost and I didn’t even have to ship back the old bottle) and they will soon be offering ready-made drink cartons.  On a side note if you order Vanilla it’s easy to add flavoring like cinnamon or pumpkin spice to mix it up a bit.

My second option is also a meal replacement shake.  This one is made by American Metabolix (https://americanmetabolix.com).  They offer a variety of keto friendly products but their Keto Meal keto shakes are the ones I’m talking about today.  Same as Sated, the shake’s macros are aimed at the ketogenic diet ratios.  The available flavors right now are Vanilla Cake and Chocolate.  They just demoed two new flavors for pre-order, Blueberry Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cookie, but they are currently out of stock and I don’t know for sure they will be available again.  I’ve only tried the Vanilla Cake, although I did order the Blueberry Cheesecake.  The Vanilla Cake is good, but I do like the Sated Vanilla better.  You get 40 servings per tub of Keto Meal but the servings are only 210 calories, half of a Sated serving.  The cost per tub is $79.99, but if you subscribe monthly you get a discount (10% off).  Where Keto Meal has it over Sated is it’s easier to mix.  With Sated you have to add the oil, which is an extra step.  And if you get clumsy, a very messy step.  With Keto Meal it’s just the powder.  This makes it quicker to make, plus you can take it with you by putting a scoop of powder in a Ziploc bag.  You can’t do that with the Sated. Also, I think that the Keto Meal mixes better.

The third option is the priciest, but you’re getting actual meals out of it.  And it has the greatest variety.  It’s called KetoFridge (https://www.ketofridge.com).  This one is a meal prep service.  They offer a weekly rotating menu of keto approved foods to choose from.  The minimum order is $69, which is easy to get to quickly.  Some meals, like the keto pizzas they offer, will give you enough for two portions, but most are designed around a single serving.  They’re easy to reheat in the microwave or oven and taste oh so delicious.  I’ve not had anything yet from them I didn’t like.  My favorite dinner is the pepperoni pizza.   My overall favorite though are their blueberry scones.  The weekly selection is rather large so I won’t be able to list it all, you’ll have to go to the website to check it out yourself.  Plus, as the menu does rotate anything I mention here could be gone later.  They do also carry pre-made drinks and desserts from Leopard Spotted Hippo.  They are tasty, but not cheap.  I usually order a few items once a month as a treat for myself.  The catch is that you have to eat most of it up within a week of receiving it so only order it if you’re planning on using it the following week.  They do not offer a subscription service and they don’t usually offer a discount.  But still a good company to deal with.

That’s it for this list.  Although there are just 3 overall options listed, between the three you’re looking at a lot of meals that won’t require much of any cooking skills on your part.  If you do decide to try them please leave a comment letting me know what you think of them.  This wraps up today’s post and I hope you’re having a great day.