How the Ketogenic lifestyle changed and improved not only my life but my family’s life. The obstacles we had to overcome switching, and changing our mindset from “fat is the enemy” to “Sugar is the enemy”. My ‘food addiction’, turned ‘food is for fuel’. My story may be very similar to yours, and I am so happy to share it with you!
Hi, y’all, I’m Emily! Most of you know me as @cheezy_e, on the ever-so-popular social media site, Instagram! I am 29 years old, I live in Louisville, Kentucky with my handsome husband and two sweet kiddos! I wanted to hop on and share a little bit of my story with you. My journey to a healthier life began on November 28, 2017. That journey of mine is the Keto journey! Keto, when most people hear that word they think “fad diet” “fat is dangerous” “isn’t your cholesterol through the roof”. I have heard it all before, in fact, I used to think the exact same things! I am here to tell you the awesome benefits this lifestyle has to offer.
I grew up struggling with weight, my entire life. I can remember as early as 8 years old being chubby. I was addicted to food. It was like my drug. Sad? Eat some pizza! Happy? Eat some ice cream! Celebrating? Eat both, and throw in the chips, sodas, and cupcakes while you’re at it! I grew up in a single-parent household. We did not have much, but I feel in a way, my mother showed us her love by cooking for us, or buying us sweet, processed sugary treats. Whatever was cheapest, and would bring a smile to our faces, she got it!
That lifestyle turned into years of binge eating, weight gain, and unhealthy behaviors. I ate all the time, because no matter the circumstance, food never let me down. I didn’t know anything about health and fitness. But finally, at 18 years old, when I entered college, the real world and *gasp* dating world, I knew I had to get my life in order. I did just about every diet you can think of. From low calorie, low fat, high protein, low fat. Every single diet I did, is the exact opposite of how I live my life today. Not just the way I eat, but the way I look at food altogether. How I perceive food, and what it does to and for my body.
The Ketogenic lifestyle has curbed all of my binge tendencies, the way I see food, what I crave, and my body and mental health have drastically improved overall. Before I started this way of life in November of 2017, I had gone for a check-up with my doctor. Who informed me that my cholesterol was through the roof, my LDL was high, and my triglycerides were dangerously high, 221 to be exact. I knew I had to change the way I lived, and one week later, I discovered Keto.
Three months later, when I went back to have my labs drawn again, my triglycerides were reading 74! My doctor honestly could not believe the changes. She said “So… What are you doing?” At this point, I was down 18 pounds, and my triglycerides were at an extremely healthy level. I was praised and told to keep up what I was doing.
What is this feeling? I am losing weight, my labs are looking fantastic, my rings are spinning around my fingers, my pants are getting loose, my cravings have gone away, my sleep is improving, my moods are high, and I am breaking out of this sadness, this anxiety-ridden state I had been in for as long as I can remember. I knew I was on to something here. Maybe fat really isn’t the problem. After all, the cavemen didn’t have cookies in their pantries, and ice cream in their freezer… Why do I?
These new discoveries and feelings were ones I had never had before, and I wanted to see what was next! I am loving waking up every morning. I am loving wearing things I hadn’t dreamed of wearing before. I am loving going to places with my kids, and loving getting dressed up for date night with my husband. Did I mention I actually wear a swimsuit now!? If you would have asked me two years ago if I think I would ever be happy in life, I would have said no. Today, I will tell you I have never been as happy in life as I am right now. That has benefited not only me but my sweet, loving family. My best friends and cheerleaders, they are everything to me and deserve the best version of me.
My husband, Shawn, whom I love and adore, welcomed this way of eating with open arms. We have been married for 3 years, and together for 7 years. All he has ever wanted it those years, was for me to be happy, that is IT! My happiness to him is so important. So when he started seeing me losing weight and feeling great, he couldn’t help but smile and tell me how proud he is of me. Even if he thought putting butter in my coffee every morning was absolutely insane! He supported me, He is my rock and my biggest supporter.
He gets hot meals, something new and fresh daily, and what man doesn’t like a juicy steak, slathered in butter with fresh vegetables as their side? I recreate low carb lasagnas, pizzas, desserts, you name it, I can ketofy it! The kids, on the other hand, my picky eaters, that was a different story for most of the foods. Until I made a ground chicken crust pizza, and they had no idea it wasn’t the real thing! How cool is that? I started ketofying so many things for them, and they couldn’t tell the difference.
Ava is my daughter, who is five years old. Lincoln is 2 and a half. They have adapted pretty well, and for the things they will not budge on, I just buy a healthier, organic version of it. You can’t win them all, right? We LOVE to cook together! It’s some of the most fun we have, and I love making those memories. I have learned that if I include them in meal prep, they are more inclined to try what we will be having for dinner. It’s also a great way to connect and give them the confidence that one day they will be able to make whole, delicious, tasty and healthy meals for her families!
Finding Keto snacks that they would enjoy was one of the hardest things for me. Sure, they would snack on string cheese, nuts, and pepperoni. However, when you are on the go, those things are not very convenient. This brings to my discovery of Shrewd Food Co.! When I saw those protein puffs, in those delicious sounding flavors, I knew I had to try them all! It’s so nice to reach into my pantry and know that no matter what flavor bag comes out, I am going to be satisfied; I love every single flavor!
When my kids hear that bag of tasty puffs open, it’s snack time! Of course, the sweet flavors are my kids’ favorites! But Brickoven Pizza comes in at a close second, they’re just like their momma! We grab a bag for each of us so easily and head out the door. It is our favorite snack in just a pinch. Jam-packed with 14 g of protein, and only two carbs, Shrewd Food Prote!n Puffs make for our favorite snack!
Another thing we absolutely love to do is crush up those savory flavors, and bread our string cheese and chicken with them! Just simply dip in an egg wash, then the puff crumbs, and pop them in the air fryer. This was the only way I was able to break my daughter’s love of store-bought chicken nuggets. We made them together! Dice up a chicken breast and bread them with your favorite flavor of puffs. We do it every week! It is a great feeling knowing you and your family are eating such few, and clean ingredients when we create our own meals. We love Shrewd Food for allowing us to snack, and make dinners with such a healthy product.
I don’t want either my children to go through any of the struggles I went through as a child. My family is my main focus in life, next to my own health. They are my world, and I will do all I can to keep them as healthy and as good as I feel and know I am. I want them to learn that food is for fuel, and it does not need to be made your life, and everything you plan around. It took me 27 years to realize food doesn’t need to be consumed in large amounts. Especially if it’s something you turn to when your emotions are high or low. I want my kids to talk about their feelings, not eat them. I want them to exercise their stress away, not eat it.
If I knew at their age, what I know now, I know I would have been set up for success. My hopes for them are so grand, and I will be here to support them every step of the way. With the right, positive mindset, you can conquer anything! I am so glad to have been able to change my outlook on life when my youngest was just six months old. They deserve a happy, positive, healthy mother. I will continue to be the best role model and example for them. I have the Ketogenic lifestyle to thank for that, and I have companies like Shrewd Food Co. to thank for making convenient, healthy Keto snacks for us to enjoy guilt-free!