I’ve typed this first line over and over for the last 18 minutes and I’ve decided there’s actually no nice way to say it, so… I have Cancer.
This is not brand new information. I’ve actually already been documenting my journey online via my YouTube channel. I’ve been doing video diaries and have gone through two rounds of chemotherapy so far. If you want to check that out you can see it here.
If you haven’t seen the diaries yet, here’s a brief background:
I have Breast Cancer.
It spread to the lymph nodes.
I was diagnosed in December 2017.
It’s been there for about a year.
I am doing Chemotherapy right now.
I will have a Mastectomy and Radiation Therapy after, followed by Anti Hormone Therapy.
Even though I’m doing diaries, there are ‘gaps’. The bits that happen in between, the bits that happened before my diagnosis and the times where I get really pissed off….all that special stuff So I’m probably going to fill the gaps in here on the blog from time to time.
This post is going to be all about what to expect when you start eating Low Carb.
If you haven’t already read the first parts, introducing you to the concept of Low Carb eating – you can find them HERE (part 1) and HERE (part 2)
I recommend going cold turkey with the carbs – pretty much ZERO carbs. So everything you read here is referring to a very strict low carb / ketogenic diet. It is entirely up to you what you want to do but this is what I do because it gets quick results and you feel great!
I said before that the first couple of weeks are the hardest. A lot of people quit during this time because (a) their bodies have not yet become ‘keto-adapted’, so they are not yet burning fat instead of glucose and haven’t seen a result yet OR (b) they can’t manage the initial side effects!
When you stop eating carbs, particularly if you have been eating a lot of them you will probably experience some side effects. Not everyone has all of these symptoms, so don’t be scared but it is important to understand why they happen and how to minimize them to make the first couple of weeks easier for you.
1. Frequent Urination
I actually like this one, because it is telling me that I am doing something right! This happens because your body is using up stored glucose in your muscles and liver, which produces excess water! It doesn’t last long!
After about Day 4 – you can use Ketostix. They are about €10 or less for a box of 50 and you pick them up in the pharmacy (sometimes in the Diabetics section). You test your urine for ketone levels with these (without giving you another science lesson, these are a product of the fat burning process!). Look, it doesn’t work for everyone but it did for me. I like to use them at the start because it’s the one result you can see immediately. If the stick is turning pink or even purple there are ketones in the urine and you are doing it right!
2. Feeling Tired and Dizzy (Keto Flu)
When you start doing all that extra urinating you’ll start to lose minerals. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you feel tired, you’ll get headaches and you may even have muscle cramps. (I never felt dizzy or light headed but some people do!)
Don’t worry though, you can counteract the mineral losses by increasing your intake of salt (use a bouillon cube or make salty broth and sip on it throughout the day!)… and eating foods which are high in potassium. (Dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and avocados.)
For a headache, half a teaspoon of salt in a small glass of water often does the trick for me in about 20 mins!
When I feel tired, I remind myself to have some more fat – Heavy Cream in Coffee is delicious and gives me the energy boost I need!
3. Constipation or Diarrhea
This is just down to a change in your diet. Constipation can happen because of the mineral loss, dehydration or perhaps too much dairy. Try more water and cutting down on dairy intake.
Diarrhea can happen too and is usually because you aren’t eating enough fat. Make sure not to shy away from the fat! Replace the carbs you cut with fat – heavy cream in coffee, fatty cuts of meat, avocados etc!
4. Bad Breath
I have READ that your breath smells bad but I actually don’t know what the smell is because I obviously haven’t smelled it off myself! It’s supposedly fruity and a bit like nail polish remover. I do notice my saliva feels/tastes different during ketosis – a bit more acidic like a tangy sweet.
There are other side effects but I’m only speaking from experience. If you have a symptom do a google search, I’m sure you’ll find you aren’t alone!
Top 5 Tips to make it through the first 2 weeks:
Take measurements and a before photo. Measure all your problem areas – belly, mid section, waists, hips, thighs, arms etc. Take a before photo in your underwear so you can see everything! You will be able to take more measurements a week or so later and hopefully see results. This is the BEST way to see your progress! It will be a couple of months before you’re glad you took that photo!
Drink Salty Broth: Combat those headaches and the ‘flu’ symptoms by getting that salt back into your body!
Eat Plenty of Fat: When you feel an energy slump, or a sugar/carb craving – you have not had enough fat! Make sure that you are including it in your breakfast and lunch. If you need to snack between meals DO IT! Embrace the fat – Cheese, Avocados, Cured Meat, Olives, Seeds.
Forget about calories and macros: Stop counting calories, the only thing you need to care about now is LOW CARBS. Eat when you are hungry – listen to your body! Trust the Keto way!
Use Ketostix: Use the urine strips to see the ketones in your urine! This is a brilliant way to let yourself know that you are doing the right thing in the early days!
If you manage to get yourself through the first two weeks you will be keto-adapted! You should find you are better able to focus and you have more energy. You’re eating habits and appetite will probably have changed too and you will be well under way to losing those few pounds!
The first thing I will say here is that everybody is different and every BODY is different so we all have different results. I will also say, that the number on the scale DOES NOT matter. That’s not to say I don’t weight myself, I do… but you will never see me telling anybody that number or my dress size (because it actually doesn’t matter to anybody else). Also, if you weight train you are building muscle which weighs more than fat, so you could even gain weight but still be slimming down, y’know? So note: When I talk about weight loss, I’m talking about fat loss (belly, bum, chins, arms etc!)
I mainly judge weight gain and weight loss on a feeling, as in a physical feeling. This could be – jeans too tight or leggings rolling down over your belly or bum…. It could be that your arms feel heavy or uncomfortable against your body… it could be in the tub or when moisturising and you run your hands down your leg and physically feel bigger….or smaller. The same happens when you work out… you can use your hands and actually FEEL the muscles in your bum or your arms strengthening.
HOW IT WORKS:
Basically, you will avoid sugar and starchy carbohydrates (bread, rice, noodles, pasta and starchy veg). Doing this stabilizes your blood sugar and causes the levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin to drop. Your body will begin to burn fat for energy rather than relying on carbohydrates (it will use the fats you eat and the fats you have stored in your body) and you will feel more satisfied after eating! This process in your body is called Ketosis.
A great analogy for what insulin does to you is this one from Amy Berger:
“Insulin is like a prison guard, who helps lock triglycerides into fat cells, and then stands there in order to make sure they never get back out. “
She talks about being at a restaurant and the warm crusty bread arrives before the meal and everyone scoffs it and asks for more. They say to her ‘go on, have some’. She knows that eating it is going to release that insulin, she says she can feel the ‘prison guard’ locking the fat away in her arms so she won’t even have one bite.
The main message you need to get is that as long as insulin levels are high in your body, it will be extremely difficult to lose fat. Remember, no matter what you decide to do – if you’re looking to lose fat it’s less about your exercise and more about what you are eating!
WHAT TO DO:
There are many variations. Some people will eat a certain amount of carbs in a day and are happy with a slower weight loss. For me, that’s not the way that I do it so that’s not what I will be talking about on my blog. I do really, really Low Carb and High Fat (LCHF). The way I do it gets results and gets them quickly. To be honest, I also think it’s too much effort counting net carbs when I’m perfectly happy to *pretty much* eat none! Weight loss in the way that I am talking about is relatively effortless. The first two weeks are the toughest!! (We’ll talk about that later)
I’m going to quote the Diet Doctor again here, because it is basically just this:
I recently attended a Flormar Makeup Masterclass hosted by the lovely Mark Rogers. (If you’re not following him already, you need to – he’s hilarious and AMAZING at what he does.) Anyway, I can’t tell you how happy I was leaving the event – I actually picked up some genuinely valuable makeup tips and the products which he showcased were incredible! So… (and this is very unlike me as I spend a lot of time researching before I purchase ANYTHING) I pretty much bought them all – and not a shred of buyers remorse!
Here’s some important information: Firstly, Flormar work really hard to deliver really excellent products that we REALLY want at a low price point per unit – making the products super accessible to everyone without compromising the quality! Secondly, Mark will not endorse a product which he doesn’t believe in (and we knew this because he straight up told us the Flormar products he DIDN’T love and used other brands during his tutorial which he was also recommending to us!)
With that said, lets take a look at these amazing products I picked up!
Illuminating Primer €9.95 (Dupe for Smashbox Photo Finish €34)
Wow! Just wow!
First off, here’s the back story: I gave up on Primer. I had tried and tested so many different ones and every single one was disastrous! A list the length of my arm – oily, greasy, makeup slipping, rash, spots….you name it. So, I stopped trying. But THE MINUTE I saw this product applied on the model (Ellen), I knew I had to have it.
Illuminating sounds scary when you have oily skin or at the very least an oily T-zone. That is not what this product does – it is a brightening product. THEN, the fab part – this contains an ingredient which soaks up the excess oils in your skin and does this an action throughout the day – whaaatttt??! I’m in love!
Result: You end up with airbrushed, glowing skin and makeup that stays in place all day!
Perfect Coverage Foundation €10.95 (Dupe for Estee Lauder’s Double Wear €40)
The number one selling foundation in the world is Double Wear, no shock there. Why? Because it’s full coverage. Why do other brands not do the same? Because it’s really expensive to produce. But listen, Flormar have you covered!
The Perfect Coverage Foundation is a buildable makeup with a gorgeous finish. It isn’t cakey the way that some of the fuller coverage drugstore brands can be and it isn’t drying on the skin either. And…..it’s long wearing so forget touching that sh*t up!
Result: A confident you from morning til night! Win!
Face and Body Bronzing Powder (€9.95)
Here’s another little back story – similar to the last – bronzer and I have a bad history. Contouring? Forget it! BUT I was shown a fab technique and a beautiful product and sure, I was a convert!
This product smells so lovely – it smells like holidays, as Mark put it! It is HUGE too, it’s a 33g pan – so you get a major bang for your buck! Not to mention that your brush will fit in there and pick up product evenly (for once). This blends beautifully and doesn’t leave you with, what I can only describe as ‘those muddy looking marks on your face.’
Result: Beautiful contouring and all over bronzing
LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST!!
Precious Curl Mascara
Wow. I had three mascaras on the go before this event. All of them a version of Maybelline’s Great Lash…because that was my fave. Well…I am 99% certain I have a new fave.
You can actually curl your eyelashes with this Precious Curl Mascara due to it’s custom-design brush and a formula similar to the semi-permanent lash curling done in salons! A brush is super important in a mascara and this one is perfection. You end up with perfectly formed, voluminous lashes and no clumping. Beautiful. Oh and zero fall out and it removes with no hassle at the end of the day! If you take one thing from this review, PURCHASE THIS, I’m telling you now!!
A few weeks ago I mentioned my issue with Hard Water and the effect it has been having on my hair. Since then, I swear it’s all I’ve been seeing everywhere I turn – how bad Hard Water is for your hair! (Side note, same issue with my clothes washing but I’ve sorted that with Soda Crystals!)
Here’s a quick rundown: hard water contains a bunch of minerals and it’s not good for your hair. You always hear people talking about ‘too much calcium’ in their water but there’s actually SO much more – Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Lead etc. The effects are many and varying – from dull and frizzy, to slimy and lank, even turning blonde hair green! For me it basically feels like no amount of treatments or conditioners are going to save my dull and dry hair (I don’t even mean my bleached ends, it’s on the roots too!)
So I’ve done some research and put together a list of tips and tricks to help tackle hair issues caused by Hard Water – now I just have to follow them!
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
The amount of people who seem to live by this stuff! It seems like it can be used for just about anything. I’ve tried it for my hair and I actually noticed a difference! What I do is use a measuring cup in the shower. I shake in about 3-4 tablespoons of the vinegar and fill the rest up with water. After shampooing I pour the solution all over my scalp then massage it in. Rinse it out a few minutes later. Then apply your regular conditioner, and rinse with the same solution again.
Club Soda Rinse
Hard Water doesn’t always fully rinse shampoo and conditioner out of your hair, that’s how you can end up with hair that feels like it has product build up even though you’ve just washed it! Club Soda acts as a clarifying treatment for the hair – a rinse with Club Soda after shampooing and conditioning with leave you with perfectly soft and clean hair. And according to Dr. Oz, frizz free hair too (Jayz, take me about 30 bottles to rinse my hair)
This one is a stretch too far for me but look, if you’re desperate this one has reportedly worked for others. The low mineral quantities in bottled water make it perfect for washing hair. I mean the whole effort of this one is just too much for me though!
If your hard water is leaving mineral deposits in your hair (Blonde Hair turning green, hair feeling full of build up) then you need to be using a clarifying shampoo. If you can’t stretch to a salon brand just be sure to look for a shampoo that specifically says ‘Clarifying’ on it as I find nothing else will do!
Some highly recommended salon brands I’ve come across are the AlfaParf Purifying Shampoo and the Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two
So there you have it, those are the tips I’ve put together for anyone experiencing hair problems from hard water!
I recently attended an event with Viviscal and Brown Sugar showcasing the Autumn/Winter hair trends for 2017. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love hair so this was SO good to see. Hair is such a great accessory – styling your hair can really put a whole look together. Think about when you come out of the hair salon and you’re swooshing your hair around like you’re a million dollars singing ‘nails done, hair done, errthing done…’ y’know? The wonderful thing is, it doesn’t matter what hair type you are – there is something fab you can do with yours!
I’m going to begin with my favourite looks. I think I gravitate to these looks because I have a hair type that I know I can work with to recreate similar looks to these!
1. Raise the Volume (Inspo from the Chanel runway)
I love, love, LOVE this look. This version is so wearable, it’s the modern beehive. Add a head band or a touch of embellishment to some serious volume. The guys at Brown Sugar recreated this look by prepping the hair with Viviscal Shampoo and Conditioner (which btw achieves thicker looking hair after just one use), then backcombed the style section by section and topped with a thin headband. This is by far my favourite look and is totally achievable!
2. The Natural Side Parting (Seen at: Lanvin, Hermès, Louis Vuitton)
I found this to be absolutely stunning. I immediately thought of my sister with this look as she as has naturally wavy hair but without the tufts of cray that I do around the sides of my face. This look is achieved using the Viviscal Shampoo and Conditioner then tong or GHD some soft waves into the hair and use the Viviscal Elixir to smooth flyaways and split ends.
I think I love this so much because I’ve just been loving loose curls myself lately. (Anything to convince myself I’m on trend!) Spring/Summer was all about tight curls but picture this with your big scarf and wool coat! This look was achieved using the Gorgeous Growth package and curling wand.
4. The Regal Pony
Okay, serious hair envy here. I do not have the type of hair needed to achieve this look but it’s one that I see year after year that is just so beautiful. This is another super wearable look which I think draws me to it. Brown Sugar achieved this using the super light weight Viviscal Shampoo and Conditioner and tamed flyaways with the Viviscal Elixir.
Sorry, there’s no close up of this one! To achieve this look, a craaazy amount of the Viviscal Elixir is used. The wet look concept was seen on the S/S 17 runways where hair was perfectly straight and lacquered. We’re set to see new heights (pun, hehe) with this trend this season, with more relaxed ends and added height.
6. Acid Hair (Seen on: Gucci, Versace, Jimmy Scott)
I wish I had the balls to do this at my age! I’ve a pink pigment Lee Stafford sent me that’s been in my wardrobe for a year – I just can’t do it! This Acid Hair trend is insane right now, from bright yellow to electric blue – when it comes to colour – anything goes! For this look though, the guys prepped and sleeked the hair using Viviscal and then used some clip in pink extensions – they really did the job!
7. Braids (Seen at: Balmain, Andrew GN, Saint Laurent)
The Tribal look is big this season but this is a little more tame than some of the dreadlocks we saw on a few of the runways! Braids are fab, but I’m shocking at them – cannot braid to save my life. Just as well though because I look like a complete twat when I wear them! This look was completed and perfected with the help of the Viviscal Elixir helping to tame the little flyaways around the braids.
Lastly, crimping is back! This is a look I like to see (especially when it is done as gorgeously as this) but I wouldn’t like to see on myself, y’know! (Picture the Lion King) If you have straight and fine hair this is a look for you! Stunningly achieved here by prepping the hair using the Viviscal Range.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did writing it. I’m currently trying the Viviscal range myself and I’ve even been trialing some of these looks too! I may or may not be brave enough to show you those but I will certainly be updating you on my Viviscal journey!
Thanks for reading! X
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