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How to NOT Pack Light

How to (NOT) Pack Light

My Handsome Husband and I recently went to Washington DC without kids! We hadn’t had a trip with just the two of us since 2009, when we came home pregnant with Denton (baby #4). Don’t worry, we didn’t bring home any special surprises this time!

Kevin was representing Scott County in a Farm Bureau of Iowa in a lobbying trip, and was allowed to bring a guest. I’m so glad he chose me! Farm Bureau paid for his expenses and some of mine, so that made the trip even better. Even though they would have been paying for one checked bag, I swore to myself that I would be able to pack for the six day trip with only our carry-ons and one personal item each.

I couldn’t do it.

The morning of Packing Day, Kevin took the middlest (and the most in-the-way) of the kids with him on an outing, so I could concentrate on packing. I had a list. I had been watching “How to Pack for a Week in a Carry On” YouTube videos all week. I knew which outfits I was packing for him to wear to the Capitol, for his talks with our senators and representatives and with officials from the EPA and the Canadian Embassy. I had ordered packing cubes. I had checked out a fully loaded Kindle from the library so I didn’t have to pack any heavy books. I was ready.

The first 10 minutes went well, until I realized half of the Handsome Husband’s shirts had a serious ring around the collar issue and I had to do laundry. After that, I couldn’t settle down and get to work. I couldn’t figure out where to begin again. I felt like I was spinning in circles. I was Marco Poloing with a dear friend and told her jokingly that I needed her to come over and help me. Miracle of Miracles, she did! What a blessing to have a tribe who supports you in tangible ways.

She helped me stay on task, and get completely finished packing. This was key, because I almost always leave something to the last minute, but we were leaving at 4 am the morning of the beginning of daylight savings time, so I couldn’t do that this time!

Thanks to her steadfastness, I finally got packed, but it wasn’t light. I went awry, and if you want to NOT pack lightly too, here’s what to do.

Pack for the Gym

I packed gym shoes and clothes. I didn’t realize I would be walking an average of six miles a day, and not only wouldn’t NEED to work out, but wouldn’t want to work out.

Pack Extra Shoes

I decided I needed to bring my slippers. I didn’t. I also thought I wanted cute boots for the plane ride. I not only didn’t need cute boots, I mistakenly kept them on our first day of touring, which amounted to almost eight miles of walking and multiple blisters. Never choose cute over comfort.

Bring Work Along

I thought I would tour around DC the mornings that Kevin had his meetings, and then head back to the hotel and write, possibly read. That didn’t happen. Not only did I not open my computer or decorate my planner one time, I couldn’t restrain myself from over stimulation of all the wonderful history and museums which DC has to offer. I basically flew my laptop from Iowa to DC and back again, just so it could get out of the house.

Miscount

I packed a different shirt and tie for every day Kevin had meetings, and then some. I accidentally counted to four wrong, and packed too many shirts. Additionally, I realized too late, since he was meeting with different people every day, he could have worn the same outfit (or only had one alternate button down) every day with a different undershirt and been just fine.

Pack Too Many Toiletries

Since I was going to be attending a few of the meetings and going out to dinner, and I had read online that DC was a dressy city, I thought I would need all of my make up (well, a lot of it). My curling wand. Different jewelry.

I did change jewelry, and I did curl my hair, and I did look fabulous, but it would have been fine if I hadn’t.

It’s true. I’m extra. I have a hard time packing light.

We’re going to Seattle in a few weeks for four days. Maybe I’ll be able to go pack for that trip with only a carry-on. But even if I don’t, it will be ok.

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One Shirt; Three Ways

I got this yummy shirt in my last Stitch Fix . It’s extremely soft and exactly the right colors for fall. I hope you too enjoy seeing different ideas on how to style different articles of clothing, adding versatility to your closet. I kept the same pair of skinny jeans on in each photo, so you can see how easy it is to get different looks with different accessories.

Plaid scarf Styling tip- use a small clip to hold the bottoms of your scarf together because you know you’re too busy to keep readjusting the dang thing all day.

Black flats

Alternatively, black booties or knee high boots would add another dimension to this outfit.

Denim shirt

Nude flats

A statement necklace would add another layer to this, as well as leaving the scarf on. Brown booties or knee high brown boots would look great too!

Tan moto jacket

Tan booties

Keeping the scarf on or adding a statement necklace would bump this outfit up too. Higher boots would be an easy way to add interest.

What’s your favorite way to accessorize?

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I have ADHD.

I have ADHD

It’s been almost a year since my ADHD diagnosis.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on ADHD. I try to read a couple of articles a day on the topic to learn more about myself, the functionality of my brain, and a couple of my children. In fact, I was reading an article the other day that I didn’t relate to at all. As I was sharing this with my therapist, I chuckled, “Maybe I don’t actually have ADHD.”

Looking at me warmly and seriously, she dimpled and rebutted, “No. You definitely do.”

It’s been an interesting journey, being diagnosed in my 40s. I used to be one of those people who erroneously believed ADHD was one of those catch all diagnoses used to medicate little boys who shouldn’t be sitting still all day long in a classroom anyway. I still do think that it’s overdiagnosed and overmedicated, but studies back up my belief that ADHD veritably is a real thing. I’m learning to accept that my brain really does work differently than the other 96% of the population.

Unquestionably, being diagnosed with ADHD has given me a lot of freedom, and the ability to give myself more grace. I used to wonder why I couldn’t seem to get my act together or manage life in a way that other people seemed to be able to, or why this way of working appeared impossible for me, when it came so easily to others. I used to berate myself for these perceived lacks. Now I can say to myself, “My brain doesn’t work that way, but I can think of ways to succeed in the ways my brain does work.”

It helps me understand why I approach life the way I do.

Knowing I have ADHD lets me accept how I am, to know that I might do it differently, and to feel positive that my way works too.

It’s harder, because we don’t live in a world that is designed for my way of thinking, but I now can realize that, and accommodate myself.

I can look at all the gifts that come with having ADHD, and be thankful that I know now why I function the way I do.

This is part of a series Jessica is writing for October, ADHD Awareness Month. What questions would you like to have her answer?

photo by Giraffe Photography

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September Books and Reviews

Fall weather makes me want to read! There’s nothing like snuggling up under a puppy on a drizzly, cool day with an excellent book. As this past month was mostly all a steamer though, but I still managed to sweat and a read a few excellent (and a couple rather mediocre) book.

Thank you to the amazing Instagram community for allowing me to share their photos. Follow these reading ladies! (And me, FarmFreshJessica, if you don’t already!)

The Alice Network–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– Seriously, meet your next favorite book. Raw. emotion, humor, love, betrayal, passion, pain, beauty-this book has everything. Historically accurate and based on real people, some of whom are quoted word for word, and beautifully narrated from two diametrically opposes perspectives, you won’t be able to put it down.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore–⭐️⭐️–Normally, I don’t even finish books that I like so little, but this was an audio book, so I could read while doing laundry, and I wanted to knock off my prompt for the 2018 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, “A book which takes place in a library or bookstore.” Suffice it to say, the premise had potential, but it was boring and pat, and I didn’t even understand what was going on half the time. The setting wasn’t developed and the characters even less so. Find a different book to fulfill that prompt, please.

The Good Daughter–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– An intense book from page one, it just keeps getting deeper. Filled with emotional drama and family trauma, this story isn’t as much psychological thriller as I thought it was, but more a mystery to be solved. The twists and turns are brutal and heartbreaking. You truly feel for even the minor characters in the story, which is a sign of an excellent tale. I was repulsed by the repeated graphic descriptions of the horror Sam and Charlie underwent, but I can see how it was necessary to help you really empathize with what they’d overcome. A fierce novel-one I had to stay up late to finish.

It’s All Under Control–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– This book speaks right to my heart. I was flabbergasted to find the author knows me! As in, she wrote this for herself and for women in general, but it was as if she knows me personally and sees my struggle. She brought tears to my eyes several times with her poignant encouragement. She offered real ideas and solutions and understands how hard this sense of control is to let go of. She never once seemed condescending, but always loving. Highly recommend.

The Giver–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– The Giver fascinated me. I was plopped down in the middle of a world for which I have no understanding or concept for. I am able to make judgements based on my experience and memories, as it were, but the characters in The Giver don’t have that capacity. Jonas eventually does and he realizes that with that knowledge comes understanding and with understanding wisdom and action. I recommend you read this book for you and with your kids. Lots of good conversations to be had and introspection to be done.

Kabul Beauty School–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve read several books similar in nature which were badly written and not at all interesting, even though the story SHOULD have been a winner. Kabul Beauty School is nothing like that. Debbie can tell a story that helps you visualize it and feel what she felt. She helps you understand, as much as any western person could, what these women in Afghanistan are tied to. It’s hard for us to comprehend at all.

She shares her mistakes and is very real with the reader, and at the same time feels proud of what she has helped accomplish. This book is a vital read for all of us in the West to take to heart.

George Muller–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️– We read this as a family and LOVED it! Just enough detail to get an excellent idea of this incredible man, but not too much that it didn’t hold the children’s interest. We love learning of all of God’s miracles and pray for George’s faith ourselves!

1984–⭐️⭐️⭐️– Fascinating. Disturbing. Thought provoking. Even haunting. I took quite a while to read this book because my brain just didn’t want to go back inside that world. I didn’t want to give it four stars as I didn’t really like it enjoy it but I think it almost deserves five. That this book was written 70 years ago and is still completely relevant today is awful. I would not want my kids to read Orwell’s “future” but I feel they should. Obviously, I’m conflicted about 1984.

Revolutionary Road–⭐️⭐️⭐️(⭐️)– Truly the writing deserves five stars. As for my personal taste in books though, I can only dole out three. It was a grim and morose tale of two people who thought very highly of themselves and found out they really didn’t have what it took to live their lives unselfishly and freely. They were stuck in so many constraints, in the past, and in doubt of their meaning here on earth. It was beautifully written and aroused compassion and curiosity for them. I want to see how they depict it in the movie.

In a personal tidbit, I was interested especially because it was written a year before my in-laws got married and the ideals and modes of society would have been their life song too. It helped me see how their mentality and upbringing and time affected their thinking, and thereby my husband’s.

I can see why this is considered an American classic, it just wasn’t for me. Finding out the ending makes me doubt I can stomach the movie, although I’ve heard it’s superb.

Behind Closed Doors–⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ — What a page turner!!
The writing seemed a little trite at times but I could easily overlook it because the concept was so strong. Suffice it to say it was completely believable even as it was out of the realm of every day understanding. I loved the idea of telling the story in the present and the past and bringing the past ever closer to the current present. I LOVED the ending. It literally gave me goosebumps.

What was the best book you read last month?

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Stitch Fix- An Honest Review

My Stitch Fix Referral page

Kut From The Kloth – Boylen Flap Pocket Button Down Shirt

First, I just love this plaid top. It’s not flannel, it’s a light enough weight I would wear it on a warm day. One of the great details is the pearlized snaps. It’s more fitted than a lot of my other clothes, which I’m starting to feel more comfortable in. Versatility means it can be worn with the sleeves rolled up or down.

PINK CLOVER – Stephany Elbow Patch Detail Knit Top

Oddly enough, I had been hoping to get something with elbow patches. I have velvet tunic with them and I just love that detail. This shirt is quite soft. It’s perfect for an autumn picnic or football game, or more realistically, schlepping kids to and from activities and lessons in the rain.

Edyson – Hampton Skinny Corduroy

The pants I’m wearing in all these photos are an incredibly soft corduroy. I was pleasantly surprised that they were a perfect fit, maybe even a tad in the large side, but I’m too old for anything to be uncomfortably tight. I never would have chosen a corduroy for myself, so I’m pleased to branch out and love these now!

MIX BY 41 HAWTHORN – Corinna Brushed Dolman Knit Top

The burgundy stripes in this dolman top are the perfect color for autumn. Additionally, this top goes with many items in my closet already, but it is my first dolman sleeved top. The fabric is delightfully comfortable. This shirt could easily be worn out to dinner or running errands.

MIX BY 41 HAWTHORN – Barona Brushed Knit Open Cardigan

This charcoal cardigan goes with practically everything in my closet. It’s really soft and the perfect length. The light weight fabric will make it a go to choice for layering when I don’t need to be too warm.

This is my third Fix, and honestly I wasn’t going to order again after my second. Even though I love the clothes, I have a really hard time with the price point.

Normally I shop at second hand stores or discount retailers, so there is a lot of sticker shock involved with Stitch fix. However, Stitch Fix sent me an email a while ago letting me know that I had a referral award that was about to expire. That, combined with the discount you receive when you keep all five items, essentially gave me two of these pieces for free.

My Stitch Fix Referral page

If you try a Fix through my referral page, you and I BOTH get a bonus!

Which is your favorite item?

boots: my own from Zulily

Pup bum: my mini schnauzer

Three year old: self styled

Photos: by my 10 year old. He did an amazing job!

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A Different Kind of October Bucket List

I know you’ve seen the October Bucket Lists floating around Pinterest, rife with bonfires and bobbing for apples, corn mazes and hayrides. Of course you want to do those traditional fall activities!

This post isn’t about that though.

We have an amazing calendar for celebrating every ordinary day that we have had so much fun with this year, and I just had to share it with you! Our one is similar to these.


I thought it would be interesting, but I didn’t realize the kids would just be obsessed with knowing what “day” it is all the time. It’s been a huge hit!

For this year, here are some ideas you can do in October to throw some easy celebratory fun into your life:

October 3-Butterfly and Hummingbird Day.    If you’re local to the Quad Cities, both the Family Museum and the Quad City Botanical Gardens have butterfly areas you can check out on the third.

October 4- Taco Day.   Seriously. Do you need directions for this one?

October 5-World Smile Day. Besides just smiling at all the people you meet today, and pretending you’re happy, you could take it one step further and take balloons to a retirement center, or a puppy to a playground, or buy some gift cards at the grocery store and then hand them to the people in line behind you.

October 8- World Octopus Day.  If you can’t get your hands on a live octopus, you could go to a Chinese buffet and admire the tiny edible ones. Watch some incredible sea videos. Did you know that octopus suction cups on their tentacles can stick to everything except octopus skin? Isn’t God incredible to have thought of even not letting the octopus get tangled up and stuck on itself?istock photo octopus Autumn bucket list fun days october

October 12–Old Farmer’s Day. I have been getting a lot of mileage out of this one by telling my Handsome Husband this day is all for him.

October 13–International Skeptics Day. I know you don’t believe me, but it really is.

October 15–I Love Lucy Day. Great day for binge watching one of the most intelligent ground breakers in television.

October 17–Wear Something Gaudy Day. Make it mandatory for the entire office. They’ll love you.

michael scott the office gaudy turban fall bucket list autumn fun days

October 18–Chocolate Cupcake Day

This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe. It’s from Taste of Home. I’ve been loyal to this recipe since before I had kids. Also. It has coffee.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs (we sell farm fresh eggs , Hint Hint)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1-1/3 cups sour cream

FROSTING

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 6 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee and sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour into greased and floured lined cupcake tins. Bake 15-20ish minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in the chocolate, coffee and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Cut each cupcake in half horizontally. Spread between layers and over top  of fairy  cakes. Cover and refrigerate until serving

If you’re not up for making your own chocolate cupcakes from scratch, make your child do it. Failing that, buy a mix- I recommend Ghiradelli.

Still lacking time for that endeavor? Go to a cupcake store. Here a few of my local favorites: Oh So Sweet  in Davenport, Eastern Iowa Baking Company, in Eldridge and Old Towne Bakery. in Moline.

(Also, America? Can we please start calling these fairy cakes?) 

October 20 —International Sloth Day--I have a trip to pet sloths in Costa Rica on my lifetime bucket list, but I know I won’t be able to go this month, unfortunately. I vote we not adult that day and be sloths instead. It’s mandatory.

October 24–Bologna Day–How easy will it be to have fun with this? Make a bologna sandwich. Learn the Oscar Meyer song. Use bologna to demonstrate the parts of a cell.

October 26–Howl at the Moon Day–the full moon is the 24th, so it will still be nice and gorgeous by then.

October 29 —National Cat Day— I have some sweet kitties you can pet, but the kittens and cats at the Humane Societies and pet stores always need some love. Make it a priority to go and snuggle a cat today!

Which idea are you actually going to write in your planner and make happen?

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Bacon Done Right

That moment when you’re in your room reading, and you start smelling bacon cooking, and wonder why in the heck you smell bacon, (not that you’re complaining ), and suddenly you remember you put bacon in the oven, and you can now eat some perfect crispy deliciousness, is a welcome moment indeed!

Cooking perfect bacon could not be easier. I use my Pampered Chef stoneware and since I’ve had it for ages, is well seasoned and the residue scrapes right off. You could also use a regular baking pan covered in foil for easy cleanup.

I bake mine at 350 for about 15 minutes but you go right ahead and bake yours crispier if you’re crazy like that.

I do an entire pound at once, because I’m Keto and 6 kids live here.

Full disclosure: I straightened that towel. I also browned two pounds of ground beef because I was going to make spaghetti for lunch, but then I needed a nap. My husband hung that duct tape on that nail above my oven weeks ago. I haven’t gotten around to finding a sign or something for that spot.

What do you have hanging above your oven? How do you eat your bacon?

Under control book find rest

GIVEAWAY and Guest Post: Get the True Rest Your Soul Needs

by Jennifer Dukes Lee

I know how this noisy world can get in the way of me hearing God’s still, small voice. So, in the past few years, I’ve been intentional about quieting the outer noise in my life.

Trying to rest as I read “It’s All Under Control” and keep the chiddlers corralled at the park

My biggest challenge is silencing the inner chatter.

 

I know the value of resting in Jesus, but it’s like my brain won’t stop moving in fifteen different directions. Corralling my thoughts is like herding a nursery full of fork-toting toddlers who just learned how to walk and are weeble-wobbling their way toward electrical outlets on opposite sides of the room.

 

Take, for instance, one of the places where I go to escape the noise: my bathtub. I’ll toss a bath bomb in the water and sink into the warmth. There’s no TV. No iPhone. Yet even here, my mind is running on high gear. I often receive some of my best writing inspiration in the bathtub, which is why my friend Cheri gave me a set of child’s bathtub crayons. (Yes, part of my latest book,

 was written on the walls of my tub.) So while it might look like I am resting, I’m actually still working.

 

God is reminding me that my brain needs rest as much as my body does. I loosen my mind by simply dwelling with him: “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4).

If I have a lot of noise around me—even in the form of the silent iPhone scroll—I can’t hear God.

 

My friend Lindsay Sterchi, mom of twin toddlers, learned the hard way what happens when she doesn’t get the rest she needs. She told me, “Without rest, I’m not very fun to be around— just ask my kids and husband. I get irritable way too quickly. I lose perspective on the bigger picture of life, and the little things seem bigger than they really are. I get in this fog where I’m going through the motions of life but not really living intentionally.”

 

The answer for her: finding rest in small pockets of time each day. “Rest means that when the kids nap, or after they’ve gone to bed, I’m not going to zone out on TV or scroll through social media, which might seem restful but ends up being draining.” Instead, she does something that feels life-giving—without feeling guilty. Her escapes: reading a book, journaling, or simply being still, alone with God and her thoughts.

 

Maybe your escape is Netflix, and if that’s the case, you do you. But make sure it gives you life instead of draining your energy.

It’s All Under Control here at the splash pad (until the 8 year old careens into a stone wall at full speed)

No matter what: make rest a priority. It’s vital.

 

Resting in God serves two purposes: First, rest allows you to intentionally connect with God. God wants to meet with you, not simply to give you the day’s marching orders. He wants to be with you because he likes you.

 

Second, rest calms the noise around you so you can hear God’s clear direction.

 

Here are a few ideas to incorporate more rest into your life.

Instead of scrolling, go strolling. Everybody has time for rest. How can I be so sure? Because that’s the time we use to check social media. Put down your iPhone for the fifteen minutes you would’ve spent on Instagram and take a walk instead.

 

Don’t let your “yes” encroach on your rest. If you say yes to something new, evaluate everything else on your list to see what might have to go. Refuse to put rest on the altar of sacrifice.

 

Let your work assignments flow from soul realignments. If “everybody is looking for us,” our souls and agendas need realignment so we can hear clear directions from God.

 

Protect the freed-up time you have already created. God prunes all of us, but achievers try to immediately fill those pruned spaces. Protect the space that God created for you. Downtime is okay; in fact, it will make you more productive in the work you were designed to do.

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, and an author. She loves queso and singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus. Now, He’s her CEO. Jennifer’s newest book, It’s All Under Control, and a companion Bible study, are releasing today! This is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic.

Adapted from It’s All under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible by Jennifer Dukes Lee, releasing this fall from Tyndale House Publishers.

This post contains affiliate links 🙂

Farm Fresh Jessica here —>I’m so excited to be a part of a huge giveaway to celebrate the release of It’s All Under Control! Jennifer and her publisher, Tyndale, are giving away 50 copies of the book in celebration of its release! Enter below to win. Giveaway ends September 30. Winners will be notified by Tyndale House Publishers. Email subscribers can click here to enter.  Let me know if you win!

It’s All Under Control 50 Book Giveaway

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A Keto Journey

Six pregnancies. Nursing for at least a dozen years. Middle age. Life.

It can all play havoc on your body and your health.

I’ve experimented with several different eating styles and exercise programs over the years. From Weight Watchers to Yoli to juicing to the Whole 30, I’ve done them all. I’ve gotten back into pre-pregnancy pants sizes every time. Then last year, my beloved mother-in-law suddenly died. Between that shock and loss and grief, combined with cleaning out and selling her house, depression, a rocky relationship, and homeschooling my sixlets and just life in general, I put on more stress weight than I was comfortable with.

Instagram led me to the Keto lifestyle and I read the book, aptly names Keto. Unless you’re super interested in the science, don’t bother. I was motivated to just get started however, and I did.

The first month I was super dedicated to 20 carbs a day. I was definitely in ketosis, not hungry, feeling good. Then “vacation” (quotes intentional) happened and some home disasters and it’s been hard to be strict again. I happened to be wearing the same outfit yesterday as the day I took my starting pictures, and I was curious if there’s been any change.

I’m pleased that there has been and am motivated to buckle down again.

Keto has been easier to stick to than other plans because it’s not a lot of work. I’m not hungry or constantly thinking about food. Technically, I can eat anything I want as long as I keep it under 20 carbs a day and try to have high fat. I find I HAVE to drink a good amount of water to feel good, which is good for me. I stick to real food and Stevia. I don’t bake much now that I’m Keto, but I do feast my eyes on instagram accounts who do! 😁

I downloaded an app called Carb Manager that really helps me, because of COURSE I think I’m eating fewer carbs than I really am. If I enter my food right after I eat it, I can really tell where I am and what I should eat next. I stay on plan much better when I do that.

It’s not complicated. Juicing took hours and was really expensive. Yoli was confusing (protein day? not protein day? how much on each day?! I don’t even know!) and was really expensive. The weight watching was ridiculous with their promotion of low fat everything and points and who has time to go to meetings anyway? (Disclaimer: that was 9 years ago; they’ve probably updated to more real food.) The Whole 30 was too stringent and rule oriented for my brain and personality.

Lots of people are doing Keto these days and it’s easy to find information and recipes on Pinterest or wherever. A couple of my favorite resources are Bacon and Butter and the cookbooks by Maria Emmerich.

I don’t have a specific goal, other than to feel good and confident, and be able to zip my regular pants.

Have you tried Keto? What do you think?