Insulin and the Weight Loss Connection

In December of last year I was diagnosed on the low end of prediabetes. It was a wake up call for me that it was now or never on losing weight and getting control of my health. At 40 years old and 80 pounds overweight, I was eating your typical American diet of high carbohydrates and low fat, thinking that was a “healthy” diet. I knew that I should eat less sugar and had heard that eating less carbs was better for diabetes, but I wanted to know why. Why was it so “hard” for me to lose weight and why did I struggle with intense food cravings? So I started to research and dig deeper into the world of insulin and how it affects the body. Google soon gave me this information…

Insulin is secreted in response to a type of carbohydrate called glucose … Insulin tells muscle, organs and even fat cells to take up the glucose and use it for fuel. It also tells fat cells to store fat for later use. As long as insulin levels remain high, fat cells retain fat, and the other cells preferentially burn glucose (and not fat) for energy

Basically when you eat carbohydrates, they spike blood sugar (glucose). A high level of blood glucose, often due to excessive carbohydrate intake, causes insulin secretion. The insulin in turn then delivers the glucose in your body to cells which it uses for energy. This process is what becomes broken in diabetes as the insulin in your body either isn’t used properly or you are not producing enough. My prediabetic state meant my body wasn’t using this energy source well. I was constantly bloated, my feet hurt and I had nerve pain. And the weight? I just kept gaining.


To lose excess body fat, according to this view, carbohydrates must be restricted and replaced, ideally with fat, which does not stimulate insulin secretion.

This research lead me to try the Keto Diet, which has helped me shed almost 30 pounds so far. I truly believe that fat does not make you fat. Carbohydrates (and processed food and inflammatory fats and lack of sleep and exercise) makes you fat. If your goal is to shed body fat and you struggle with carbs like I did, the recipe is quite simple – limit carbohydrate intake and make healthy fats your preferred source of energy.

Want to learn more? I highly recommend Mark Sisson’s book, The Keto Reset Diet. I also love listening to the podcast The Natural State, by Anthony Gustin. The more you know the more empowered you will be to improve your own health!

This is for my mom

My health and wellness journey started with losing my mom.

I lost her to a massive heart attack in July 2015 after years of health struggles including diabetes and stroke. She was only 63 years old.

I was at work when I got a phone call from my sister that mom was in the hospital. I called and was able to talk to her. She was very drugged but seemed optimistic that she would be OK. When we hung up I truly believed that she would be.

She died around midnight that same day. I remember getting the phone call from one of the nurses saying they were trying to resuscitate her. It didn’t work. Immediately my heart started racing, and I had a panic attack. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was only 36 years old and had just lost my remaining parent. I sat there in my bedroom in shock, and grief, and pure anguish. The kind that waves over and over you again as though its a brand new feeling. I hated that I was living states away and couldn’t be there to say goodbye. I hated that she was gone. As I sat there on the floor of my bedroom I let it all pour out of me. The realization that my life was forever changed slowly becoming more real.

The thing is I hated that my own health was putting me on the same path as hers. At the time I was very overweight, with a 1 year old son and stressed and overworked. Exhausted all the time and constantly battling some cold or bug my son was bringing home from daycare. I knew I had to do something. The next few months I slowly started making changes, the biggest one replacing toxic products in my home with natural ones. My son and I finally stopped getting sick all the time and I was finally sleeping again. But it would be years before I successfully started to lose the weight.

In January this year I started the Keto diet. I have lost 27 pounds so far. I still have a ways to go but it is amazing how much better I feel. I am working out again too, building muscles and feeling the strongest I have in years.

This journey I am on will be lifelong. But it is happening! And I am dealing with my trauma along the way. Never give up hope guys. Whoever is out there if you need someone to talk to I am here. Please reach out. And start your own journey. Own your story. Change your future. Just start.

Schwinn IC4 Review

When the Coronavirus Quarantine first starting happening in March Brian and I quickly realized we needed to order some sort of exercise equipment for the house since our gym was closed. I didn’t want to regress in the weight loss I had worked so hard far. We both like to spin so decided a bike would be a good fit for us. But which one? So many choices and huge price differences between them. We knew we wanted a bike with magnetic resistance but our budget was $800, not $2000. So Peloton was out of the question. A few quick searches after that lead us to the Schwinn IC4.

It checked all the boxes for us with magnetic resistance, LCD display console, dual pedals and Bluetooth connectivity. So we pulled the plug and bought it. So far we are loving it! The magnetic resistance is so smooth and we can get the cadence to connect on our peloton app so we can see it right there on the screen while working out. It truly has the feel of a more expensive bike. It comes with 3 pounds weights and I actually like where they are stored in the front of you rather than the back of the bike. Less awkward when reaching for them in the middle of your ride.

Which by the way, I highly recommend the Peloton app. Love the instructors, the sheer number of on-demand workouts and the quality of music it offers. I personally don’t mind having to use my own tablet, and the Schwinn’s built in media holder has worked great for me.

If you are in the market for a spin bike and want some of the features of the more expensive bikes without the price tag I definitely recommend the Schwinn IC4. And the weight loss? I am 26 pounds down and this bike has definitely helped with that!

Keto Diet Progress

In January I decided it was now or never with losing weight. I was tired of being tired. I hated that my feet hurt constantly. The prediabetic diagnosis scared me. I was and am determined to change the course of my health.

But how? I always believed what I learned growing up. That fat was bad, that you need to eat “good” carbs and low fat. That all you have to do is count calories. And lord I tried! I have tried so many diets over the years. So the fact that the keto diet is working for me after so many others have failed still is amazing me.

In January I read the book The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson. I started listening to popular keto podcasts and started unlearning everything I had ever been taught to eat! Seriously eye opening.

Like I never knew that the body doesn’t need carbs. Your body can actually produce its own glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis. And that your body can run on two types of fuel. Carbohydrates or Fat. I decided that for 40 years I was not doing too well as a carbo so why not try fat?

And here I am. 25 pounds lighter and still going. You know what frustrates me though? That I had to do all this research to “unlearn” all the nutritional guidance I had ever been given. When my doctor told me I was prediabetic in the fall all she told me was to “eat less” and maybe try to eat less carbs. That’s it. No clear guidance. No maybe you should try to be a fat burner instead of a carb burner. No you have to overhaul your relationship with food. Just a “let’s just see what happens” attitude. Ugh.

I guess I just wish the medical community would research nutrition more. It is obvious with the current obesity epidemic in this country that we don’t have it right. And it is not just junk foods fault. Let’s start with the fact that the government subsidizes farming to help with the food supply. That’s great right? Sure. All those wheat, corn and soy plants make people grow. And grow we have. In all the wrong places!

I am not saying everyone should be keto. There is no one size fits all diet. I personally think nutrition probably has more to do with your genetics and current health than anything else. And for me, as a person with family diabetic and obesity history, getting rid of the sugar and carbs is the answer.

I used to think there was something wrong me. Why was dieting so “hard?” I seriously struggled with near constant hunger. I “had” to eat every few hours else I would feel like I would pass out. I was always looking for that next snack or meal. With keto I finally have control over my appetite. I get hungry yes but it doesn’t have that frantic yo yo feel to it. It probably is what “normal” is and I just never had it.

It has been quite the journey these past few months as you can see. I encourage you to research the diet for yourself if interested. Now more than ever our health needs to be protected. Feed your immune system don’t suppress it!

Essential Oils for Weight Loss

I am getting ready to start this essential oil weight loss trio and thought I would share it with you all.

I still haven’t lost most of the weight I gained from my pregnancy with Bryce. So I have recently made a lot of lifestyle changes. I have joined a gym, I am making better snack/lunch choices and I am trying not to snack after dinner. All of these changes have definitely made me feel better, and my clothes fit a tad more comfortably, but I have only lost about 5 lbs. in the last few months (since making those changes), and I still have a lot to loose to be truly healthy.
When I heard about this weight loss trio and all of the amazing things it has done for people, I knew I had to give it a shot! Not only are these oils just great for you for so many different reasons, but if I can use them to help loose a few pounds too…why the heck not!?

I will definitely update you all on my progress on this post, once I really get going with it!

How it works for weight loss: 
Lemon oil is great for detox and energy, peppermint oil curbs those snacky appetites, and grapefruit oil gives your metabolism a great boost! Plus, coconut oil (used as a carrier oil to fill the capsules), is also known to be great for weight loss.  In fact, all of the oils listed here have MANY other benefits for you!

Want to join in the fun with me!? Here is how:

Oils needed:

  • Young Living Lemon essential oil
  • Young Living Grapefruit essential oil
  • Young Living Peppermint essential oil

(It is HIGHLY suggested that you do not ingest any other brand of oil. Most are not made to be taken internally, but YL’s high quality pure essential oils are safe).

Other supplies:

  • Empty vegetable capsules, size 00 (or size 0 if you are wimpy with taking big pills like me)
  • Carrier oil (grape seed oil, coconut oil, or Olive Oil)
  • Glass dropper

Now its time to fill your capsules! Hold the larger end of the capsule and put 2-4 drops each of your essential oils listed above. A lot of people suggest easing your self into it, especially if you don’t already consume oils, since your body sometimes needs a bit of time to adjust to all of the oily goodness. After you have added each of the oils, using your glass dropper, fill the capsule the rest of the way with your carrier oil. Then, attach the smaller half of the capsule on top of the smaller (now filled) half. If holding the capsule and doing all of this is a little tricky for you, I hear that setting it into a bowl of rice, or a hair brush (between the bristles) can be really helpful with this step.

I will probably start with one capsule a day, and when I feel like it and/or need a bit more of a boost, move on to one in the morning and one in the evening.

How to order oils needed (if you don’t already have them):

I can only speak to the effectiveness of Young Living Essential Oils. That is what I choose for my family, so that is what I recommend for anyone else to use! Lemon and Peppermint essential oils both come in the premium starter kit, which I talk about in detail here. It is a killer deal with 11 bottles of oil, a diffuser, and some other great samples, and purchasing this kit also gives you a wholesale discount, which means you can order anything else for a 24% discount. The grapefruit oil is not in the kit, but once you are a member you can purchase for the member price, which is $16.75 plus tax and shipping.