We are back with another interview of someone living a the healthy nutritional lifestyle!
In today’s interview I would like to present Nutritional Therapist, Cyrena. She has been following a low carb high fat style lifestyle since Feb 2012 and lost 30 pounds in 3 months and as kept it off ever since.
She found many things that slowed down her progress and what made her feel more optimal.
By following a twist of: low carb, ketogenic, gluten free, LCHF, paleo, and organic she has found many things that have worked and feels good for her.
So we can definitely learn a lot from her journey and how progressive changes using food has helped her.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you so much for having me! I am always thrilled when fellow food and health enthusiasts find me! So thank you! And you too for reading this! I was a school Nurse for 10 years turned Nutritional Therapist. While working for the schools I would teach my students the importance of proper nutrition. And not always the kind the government wants us to think is a one size fits all package. I was always blown away by the bad rap fats would get. Of course I’m speaking specifically of healthy fats but everyone put them both into the same category for so long that the idea of Fat became the fear. I was first introduced to Ketogenic Dieting while working as a School Nurse. One of my students was diagnosed with Epilepsy,(grand mal and absence seizures) we had to feed them only the food mom provided at certain times in order to keep them in ketosis. They benefited so much from the diet, it was incredible to witness. My brother reintroduced me to Ketogenic Diet when trying to lose weight. I told him that he needed to make sure he did it right and that if he was going to, I would too. He ended up losing 100 lbs in 4 months when I lost 30 lbs in 3 months. Needless to say I was sold! I started blogging my journey and wanted to make this lifestyle something easy to do and something that was fool proof. Rich Mind Empty Pocket blew up with activity towards my progress and recipes. I created my Facebook page so people can see the latest and greatest articles I am currently following, and where I get my information from. I posted many recipes on my Instagram account as well. The rest is pretty much history. This became a family ordeal. We all follow this lifestyle and have all reaped the many benefits from it.
What moment or event started your weight loss journey?
My brother began my weight loss journey. He had much more weight to lose and had been heavy his whole life. He was diagnosed with hashimotos and was dedicated to getting his weight off. Boy did he succeed and then some. I decided to hop on board and be supportive and I am glad I did, from that point on I never did look back. It changed my life.
What was your starting weight? What weight are you at now?
When I mention my weight it seems like a lot but we are a tall family. I am 6’1 and my brother is 6’7. My starting weight was at 190 and I teeter between 155-160 now. It is normal to fluctuate during the month specifically as females.
How did you discover the Keto lifestyle and how did the changes you make affected you?
I initially discovered Keto with my student that had epilepsy, I then supported my brother with his journey with weight loss and health with Keto a few years later. The changes I experienced from Keto was incredible results and fast. First I noticed I no longer had my migraines and my skin cleared up (I always had some sort of breakout since puberty), I also had an incredible relief with arthritis in my hip joint, which is now completely gone. The weight coming off was just a bonus to me, the positive effects in my body is what kept me on this journey.
What is your favorite recipe / food?
When I first started this, the idea of no bread scared me. I think it was just the fact that we couldn’t have it, so of course I wanted it more! But strangely now bread is the last thing I crave. It’s like my body now knows real substances to crave over being a sugar burner. Cheese chips was a life saver at first. (you literally take shredded cheese and place a spoonful onto parchment paper, microwave every 30 seconds ~air out the heat inbetween~ until the desired crispiness comes out.) But my favorite fast food now is nitrate free uncured pepperoni topped with organic whole milk mozzarella, just pile it up like a pizza, heat in oven or microwave and eat. That’s zero carbs of pure awesomeness. I love my Italian food! Feel free to check out my recipes on my website too, some of my favorites on there are the cheesecake and sour cream donuts. Don’t be afraid to make any recipe your own.
What important lessons did you learn in regards to what you ate and if you could offer a useful tip or advice to help people with their journey?
Salt. Salt is essential in this journey and so is proper vitamin intake along with guzzling down water like a fish. We need those electrolytes. I highly suggest anyone trying keto to take pink Himalayan sea salt and add ½ tsp to some water first thing in the morning (I call it a salt shot). Chase it with water. And the rest of the day over salt with that pink Himalayan salt too. It really makes or breaks how you feel and how you feel is directly related to your progress. Do not fear this salt. Make sure you are taking a good multivitamin from a good source too. If you find yourself getting muscle/leg cramps you need potassium so eat an avocado that day or just use that pink salt more, you get potassium from it too. I’d also highly suggest planning food ahead of time so there really is no excuses. And if you happen to ooops and slip up don’t beat yourself up, just know it happens! Get back on that horse and ride it to the finish line.
How have you found reading fruits into your diet and what lessons have you learnt?
Fruits can be okay (I say this gently) and only okay if you use them to your advantage. When? Before and/or after a workout only. Other than that the fructose from fruit will just keep adding fat in the areas you want there to be no fat. And we don’t need more fat! I do not advise people eat fruit the first month or so, for me specifically it just opened Pandora’s box so to say….that little bit of fast burning carb made me just want more. I prefer to balance carbs with fiber when I do eat them so they are slow burning. Fruits are a carb and they are heftier in carbs then the amazing veggies we should be consuming more of.
Along the way you discovered the power of protein what lessons did you learn and how did you feel and any advise on how you found was best to increase proteins?
Proteins can be tricky for each individual. We all exude different energy levels so it’s important to know your personal macros. Look them up so you can calculate how much protein you can have on highly active days verses less active days. We all vary in these numbers, but it’s important to pay attention to how much you consume. Log your food so you know. Too much protein if you aren’t building mad muscle will also turn to fat so do your homework for you personally.
If someone wanted to get into the lower carb healthy fats lifestyle what advice would you give them from your personal experience?
I’d say what are you waiting for!?? You never know how good you can feel until you give it your all! Remember you can carb up if you want to go about it that way. Personalize it for you. We are all different but you can customize low carb to YOU and it will make your body perform at top notch level. You will feel better, you will look better and you will wonder why you’ve waited so long to try it. I started with Keto and I then moved towards gluten free, then paleo. It was a process for me, am I perfect? No. Are there days where I eat out and go over my idea of the perfect food intake? Absolutely. The important thing is to understand the science behind why the body performs better being a fat burner. Once you understand why you will stick with it. It’s not a fad, it’s not going to disappear. Low carb and Keto is here to stay. Don’t become overly obsessed in fear but rather listen to your body and believe in how you feel. You can do this, we can do this. Let’s live long fulfilling healthy lives together. To our health! Until next time….get informed.