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Kettlebells For Beginners

I’m newer to kettlebells than Lindsay Lohan is to underwear.

So, when I decided I wanted some awesome KB’s and guidance on how to start, I went straight to The Kettlebell Kings. I had seen them all over Instagram and could tell from photos that these KB’s were solid. (I didn’t want to invest in low quality KB’s just to have them die out early.)

The KB’s from Kettlebell Kings were just what I was looking for. There’s no random coating on the outside to scratch off, they look badass, and they feel great when using them.

Kettlebell Kings KB's

The even cooler upside to these nifty bells? They come with a 3 move beginner program, complete with awesome tips and video demonstrations from a real KB badass.  

I started with the first move, kettlebell deadlifts. I’m a huge fan of deadlifting and different variations, so this was right up my alley. I caught on quickly after reading the first blog post and watching the video.

Take home points from move one: keep your back straight, don’t lift too heavy and BREATHE.

You can watch my video here. 

The second move, the kettlebell swing, was way harder for me. Having only done swings with dumbbells before, it was a whole new world for me. Cue Aladdin & Jasmine. 

Take home points from move one: back straight, deadlift position on the bottom of the move, breathe and (the most challenging part for me) let the KB weight come into your hips before you start to hinge at the hips.

I needed a TON of practice on weight placement during this move. Since I had never really been shown proper form before, I just thought you swung with the weight. I was totally wrong.

It’s really important to hinge when the weight comes into your hips because if you start to bend too early, you place a ton of emphasis on the lower back. You want to avoid doing that. Retraining my muscle memory has been tough.

After numerous videos and corrections, I am better, but still need work.

You can watch my video here.

The third and final beginner move is the kettlebell squat press. I watched the videos, got all of my points mentally checked off and headed straight for the bell.

Instantly, I knew I was doing it wrong. Why? Because my forearm hurt like hell from racking the KB. Such a novice.

So on to YouTube I went. There had to be a way to rack the KB without hurting and bruising yourself. Then I found this video on keeping your hand open and using it as more of a hook to rack your weight. Game changer. 

My form got so much better and I wasn’t hurting myself any longer. AWESOME.

Take home points from move one: rack your kettlebell correctly, keep core activated and keep your elbow high to help maintain good form during your squat.

I loved this move! It was so much fun once I was able to do it correctly. Watch my video here.

Overall, I was super happy with my education and progress while completing the Kettlebell Kings beginner program!

Interested in grabbing some kettlebells for yourself? Check out The Kettlebell Kings!!

 

 

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Non-Dairy Fat Sources

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Ghee – This is a relatively new favorite product of mine. I know, I know, you might be saying “but it’s clarified butter, and butter is dairy!” …. Ghee is ultra-clarified butter. What does this mean? To make ghee, you melt and brown butter. Once melted, you skim off and keep the top layer of fat (the whey protein part of the butter) and leave the rest (the casein part & what most people react to). What you’re left with is a product that is lactose and casein free.

ghee

Eggs & Bacon – Pretty much the reason why most people turn to higher fat diets…. BRING ON THE BACON. Just make sure it’s a good quality bacon with no added sugars! Save the bacon fat too…. because everything is better when cooked in bacon fat! (Epic has some great animal fats you can purchase that make using fat to sauté your food in way easier.)

Fatty Cuts of Meat – Chicken thighs, brisket, salmon, higher fat ground meats, sausages, pork belly, rib eye etc. Think really good cuts of meat with lots of marbling and hearty fat layers still on them. If you have a bunch of lower fat meats like turkey or chicken, just add some fat when you cook them! Chicken is awesome cooked in coconut oil and you can always add sauces to your dish as well. (When I had a surplus of turkey bacon, I added Epic beef tallow to the pan and cooked it all together… so crispy and delicious!)

Coconut Oil & MCT Oil – Pretty much the core of every Bullet Proof Coffee, amiright?! I start every morning with at least a tablespoon of MCT oil and end each night with coconut oil. I find it helps to keep me satiated, clear of mind, and feeling great. Coconut oil is great in salad dressings, to sauté meat and to make fat bombs!

Vegetable Oils & Nut Oils – I’m not talking those random fast food joint type frying oils here. What I’m talking about is the really good olive oils, walnut oil, avocado oils, etc. Find some good quality oils and keep your pantry well stocked. These are staples in any diet!

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Avocado – I actually hate avocado. BUT, it is a really good source of healthy fat! In fact, my one year old eats avocado almost daily. Just watch out, because they do have a relatively high carb count on them!

Raw Cacao Butter – These little discs of gold are perfect to add in your morning coffee OR to use in desserts, salad dressings, soups, etc. They give you extra fat without a whole lot of flavor. (They also make a great skin moisturizer!)

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Butter – Here we go again, “but butter is dairy!” I know, I know…. technically it is. BUT, butter also has minimal casein and, unless you’re verrrrrry casein intolerant, you will probably be ok eating it.

Olives – I have always loved olives…. black, green, jalapeno in the middle…. all of them. And they are pretty low carb too!

Coconut Milk – Stick a can in the fridge and watch the top layer of your coconut milk harden up. That’s the good fatty stuff. It makes great dessert mousse and brightens up smoothies as well. Add it to your dinner curry or any other fatty sauces you like. The clear liquid that’s leftover in the can is coconut water, which is chop full of electrolytes! (Try to find brands of coconut milk in the box that don’t contain guar gum. A lot of times, companies will add extra sugar to their milk.)

Pumpkin & Watermelon Seeds – I was shocked when I found Go Raw Watermelon Seeds in my local Sprouts Farmer’s Market. Annnnnd, I was even more shocked when I looked at the nutrition label – awesome fat source, good portion size and super tasty! Pumpkin seeds are also super high in fat with low carb-age. They are all great as snacks, in salads or blended up in smoothies.

seeds

Nuts – Watch out for overconsumption! Most people tend to go ham on the nut butters and nuts (I did!) and it can be stalling your weight loss. Nuts are pretty carby and we often eat way too many in one sitting. Portion out a good amount and enjoy, but don’t overdo it.

Pork Rinds (Chicharrones) – Skip the dollar store bin and head straight to your nearest Mexican grocery store. They make some fresh (& ridiculously delicious) chicharrones! Now, are these bad boys super food? Not really. But, they are a pretty decent option. Paired with some sour cream, salsa or cream cheese, they make the perfect snack! I also love them as croutons for salad.

Bone broth (with fat still in it) & Bone Marrow – Chop full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Some people drink bone broth once a day to soak in all of the benefits! I can’t eat marrow straight up (it’s a texture thing), but, I do like to render the fat and use it for cooking or to add flavor to dishes.

Fatty Sauces/Dressings – Caesar & ranch dressing is keto gold to some folks. And I do like a good caesar salad! But don’t forget about oil based sauces like pesto and mayo!

 

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Hair Growth Secret… Revealed!

Since I posted this photo online:

one year comparison

Everyone has been asking, “OMG, your hair is so long, what is your secret?! I wish my hair grew like that!”

The truth is, for the LONGEST time, my hair was falling out and wouldn’t grow at all. After you give birth, that “luscious hair” you’re suppose to get during pregnancy (I got none of it) actually falls out. I read some where that it’s really dead hair that your follicles hold on to while pregnant, thus giving you the illusion that your hair is thick and shiny (this could be totally off base though).

So, what really helped my hair grow and made my body give up the need to shed like a german shepherd in the summer??

KETO DIET AND COLLAGEN.

When you become fat adapted, your hair grows. Because you are taking in more essential healthy fats, your hair follicles become healthier, your body is more energized and your hair grows.

Have you ever done a really low fat diet and your hair became brittle and dry? It’s because your body was lacking the nutrients it needs.

Aside from eating more fat, I noticed a HUGE difference in my hair once I started supplementing with Neocell Marine Collagen. Within a few days, I noticed my hair was softer, shinier and eventually, I noticed it really starting to grow!

marine-collagen

I use marine collagen because it has a higher amount of glycine in it. This promotes not only a youthful appearance, but also cognitive and digestive health. The extra shine to my hair was just the sprinkles on the cupcake! Collagen also promotes healthy joints and muscles.

I recommend it to all of my family, friends and clients!

Lately, I have been using 1 scoop of Vital Proteins Marine Collagen Peptides in my lemon water every day. It’s a great option if you would rather mix it in instead of swallow pills. It also has a higher amount of protein in it than the Neocell version. Vital Proteins also has to-go packs which are awesome for traveling!

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So there you have it, my secrets to healthier hair: higher intake of healthy fats and collagen! 

 

 

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Baby Skin Care – My Go To Products!

As a mom, it’s pretty heart wrenching to deal with anything that causes distress to your child. Allergies, reflux, skin rashes – it all just plain out sucks.

Rian has had his fair share of problems between the GERD, allergies and his random skin rashes. We’ve had hives, random dryness, cracked and bloody spots/creases and a slew of other horrible skin irritations. In fact, as I write this, Rian has little red dots all behind his ears, onto his neck and on the side of his cheek. (I am thinking it’s from a strawberry sensitivity, but honestly, I have no idea!)

I tried all of the home remedies from breast milk to coconut oil, as well as Earth Mama, Honest Co., Babyganics, Aveeno, Eucerine (and more) for his baths, but nothing worked. Rian’s skin always broke out and stayed consistently dry. Lotions were another long arduous task. I treed everything from the aforementioned brands and more. Once again, nothing worked. Everything in the drug store kept Rian’s skin the same or made it worse.

I think you get the drift in how exhausted I was trying to make Rian feel better. 

Lost without a clue what to do, in came my mom. (Moms know best right?!) She mentioned that one of the girls she followed posted about a brand I had never heard of, Baby Mantra. I figured, what the hell? And ordered some the next day off of Amazon. I got the newborn basic bundle to try. It was the best bang for my buck and allowed me to try 3 of their products. I was really interested in the avocado oil. Avocados are chop full of healthy fats and vitamins… if anything would work, that had to!

BM

So here is my honest, four word testimony from a mom who just wants to share her story: This Stuff Saved Us. 

Rian’s skin has been smooth, relatively bump and dryness free (darn food allergies and trying new things!) since we began using the Newborn set 6 months ago. We did try the 3-in-1 bubble bath a few months back and he had a small reaction to it. I still have it to try again later though.

I cannot stress how much I recommend this company (hello made in the USA!), their products and the quality you receive. Plus, their products are EWG verified, Non GMO, NPA certified and PETA certified too!

Give them a try if you are lost like I once was or share this with someone who might be struggling. Let’s get the word out and help some mom’s who don’t know what else to do!

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Interested in trying some of these products but not quite sure you’re ready to commit? Enter the Baby Mantra Giveaway, where you could win a Baby Shower Gift Pack (a $54.99 value), on Instagram!

20% OFF your order with CODE: “ZX11T” (ends 3/31)

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