NAME: Rachel (hubs is Mark) aka @marino_charlie
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Folsom, CA, USA
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
Hey there! I’m Rachel. I am 42 years young. I am married to my biggest fan and best friend for 12 years. We don’t have any children on purpose. We have been the proud parents of two fur babies for the past 15 years, until the 15yr old crossed the Rainbow Bridge two years ago. That was Marino and Charlie is 8 yrs old (My IG name). In the past two years, Charlie has become the best hiker, kayaker, boater, and all-around outdoor dog because now that we have lost the weight, we enjoy all things outdoors and love dragging him along. We have always loved to travel and regularly take Mexican vacays! I work as a manager for the State of California, and have for 20 Years!
YOUR KETO JOURNEY:
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN KETO?
HOW DID YOU COME TO THE KETO WAY OF EATING?
I had initially started out doing Low-carb (Atkins) because I was familiar with that from decades ago. As a started researching recipes on Pinterest and Instagram, that is where I came across Keto and began researching that way of eating. It was easy to incorporate the fat aspect into my low-carb eating plan.
WHAT KIND OF RESULTS HAVE YOU GOTTEN FROM EATING KETO?
This is crazy to say and even crazier to believe, but I lost 175lbs and the Hubs lost 100lbs in 18 months. It has been life-changing.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY SETBACKS OR CHALLENGES IN YOUR KETO JOURNEY?
One challenge has been having to defend the keto foods to my doctors, family members, coworkers, and social media. There is a misconception regarding good fats and cholesterol. My numbers are fine!!
Other challenges were all in my head. I started at 353lbs. Losing 48lbs in the first two months was exciting, but then I looked in the mirror and I was still overweight, I cried. A lot. While I was exercising, cooking, talking to people, listening to music, like, all the time. I was proud, incredulous, excited, but sad, self-doubting, and afraid, too. Am I going to be able to keep this up? Will it ever be enough? Will I ever eat bread again? Can I live without fruit? Will I gain all this weight back? These were questions I asked myself every day. This journey to lose weight is such a mental one. It’s not just about what you eat, or how much you exercise, it’s about the conversations you have with yourself and what kind of message you are sending. I had to learn to be kind to myself and to focus on how far I had come, and not how far I had left to go.
LET'S TALK ABOUT FOOD!
WHAT ARE A COUPLE OF YOUR GO-TO KETO MEALS?
I like to keep it easy peasy!! My go-to meals are generally always a meat and veggie. Taco Salad and cheese shell tacos are my favorite. I have become a huge fan of cabbage and my hubs cooks up a mean cabbage and chicken stir fry!!. He is also in charge of the cheese crust pizza and it is delish!
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KETO ESSENTIALS YOU ALWAYS HAVE ON YOUR GROCERY LIST?
I pride myself on being a bargain shopper. I shop discount stores and clear the shelves when I see a good deal. The things I am always on the lookout for include BACON, coffee, cheese, butter, ranch dressing, pickles, and all the meats!
WHAT SITES, BLOGS, IG PAGES, FACEBOOK GROUPS, ETC… DO YOU GO TO FOR INFORMATION AND/OR INSPIRATION?
WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE TO A KETO NEWBIE?
1. Make a plan! Know what you are going to eat for the entire day (or the week if you are really ambitious!). Leave nothing to chance! On Sunday-I meal prep. I plan my entire menu for the week-lunches and dinners-and I know exactly what we will eat every day.
2. Drink lots of water! Sometimes we think we are hungry, but we are dehydrated. I have a 22oz glass of water first thing in the morning-before anything else. I drink water all day, and always drink a glass before any meal.
3. Listen to your body! I try to eat only when I am hungry and avoid unnecessary snacking. Ask yourself why are you eating? Are you bored, excited, nervous, frustrated, etc. What could you do instead? Sometimes I get up and do dishes or take a walk around the block. Try not to eat unconsciously.
YOU CAN ONLY EAT 5 KETO APPROVED FOODS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT ARE THEY?
- Sunflower Seeds
- Hot Wings
- Taco Salad
EXERCISE! DO YOU DO IT?!
DO YOU EXERCISE IN ADDITION TO YOUR KETO WOE? IF SO WHAT IS YOUR WORKOUT PLAN AND WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE MOST SUCCESSFUL?
When I first started Keto I did not do any exercise. After losing the first 48 lbs in two months, I started taking walks around my neighborhood. I walked 45 min, 5 times a week. This way of eating gives you so much energy, I found that I got antsy just sitting around like I used to. We joined a gym 1 year into our journey. Our focus was cardio/weights. We still do 25 min cardio and 30 min weight machines three times a week. My feeling is anything is better than sitting on the couch.
DO YOU TAKE ANY SUPPLEMENTS, IF SO WHICH ONES?
WILL YOU SHARE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE KETO RECIPES WITH US?!
I call this “Pasta-less” salad. It’s basically seeded cucumbers, red onion, bell peppers or sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and any vinaigrette dressing. You can add pepperoni, salami, or ham too.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE?
There are many people that track macros and/or calories, and measure and weigh food. I have never done that. I am terrible at that kind of detail and I like a lot of stuff in my salads, so I know I would get frustrated with that program. If you know you are eating on plan, staying consistent, and only eating when you are hungry, you can still have success without all the tracking.
THE SCALE!!! I don’t own one and never have. The body carries up to 8lbs of water in any day. That is a huge fluctuation. I have seen lots of people that weigh every single day and what that number says sets the tone for the whole day. Some will resort to starvation, egg fasts, zero carb dieting, etc, just based on what the scale says. I say don’t torture yourself. Eat consistently on plan, drink water, throw in some exercise and measure your progress through the way your clothes fit or take body measurements. Do not let the number on a scale rule your world. Bottom line—it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 to lose one pound of fat. That doesn’t happen overnight.