Holy cow, it’s been a month and you all are probably like – HELLO, are you still updating the blog?
Well, clearly if you are here – you know the answer is YES!
Things got slightly derailed when we left for Phoenix at the tail end of week 14. Full intentions to post up once back, and then I caught the COLD of ALL COLDS (no joke, it was a doozy) and one week became two, which now we are three deep.
But there is NO better time than the present to catch up on all the magic of pregnancy and progress since my last check in because one month changes A LOT! I got a bit lax on my tracking, but I’m finding it less stressful as I move away from adherence to acceptance, meaning more self-love and tuning into my needs vs. rigid tracking.
From my belly growth to the second trimester shift, food, events, workouts, and more – stay tuned for a jam packed post to get you up to date before I head into (gasp) week 18!
I left you at the Superbowl devouring all the yummy Instant Pot eats, and teased a bit about the BEETs heart BEATING!
That’s where we will cap this off, on February 4th – with the help of our newly acquired at-home fetal Doppler – we heard the baby’s heartbeat in bed first thing in the morning. It topped at about 150bpm and it was a moment where I truly felt connected unlike I had in the past. Without much of a bump (other than from all the food I was consuming), this moment solidified our little bundle of joy that much more.
I kicked off my 5 Day Keto Fix program for another 15 eager participants to learn about how to harness ketones through nutrition, through KETO//OS and by implementing more of a regiment of movement and quality sleep. Day 1 and the testimonials were already pouring in. Looking back at my Facebook feed, I must have made about 6 posts between Monday & Tuesday, clearly in a good mood and enjoying the connections.
I managed to get in 40 minute workout consisting of a run and a lift session, obliterating 252 calories. Solid effort, and enjoyed a hearty day of leftovers from Superbowl, gut-enriching beet and ginger slaw with breakfast, a lighter salad in between meals and drumstick plus fat bomb kicker at the end of the night.
Tuesday (which seems to be a common trend as it goes for days of the week) was filled to the brim with business activity that I needed to take some DT and rest the body as inflammation and ache from the workout told me to slow down.
A mélange of olives, avocado, seared steak strips, tomatoes, cabbage, sauerkraut and sesame oil was the highlight in terms of food for the evening, and cuddles with our older pup, Cali (Bears) was the overall winning moment. Yes, I’m a simple girl. Give me connection with a dog and I’m content.
Wednesday – we launched our week 14 officially and this little nugget turned into a BEET. Then, I felt slightly cannibalistic as I had been shamelessly devouring BEETS for the week prior. The motherly instincts made me question my cravings, but alas, it was better than an ice cream craving (I still get those, who am I kidding?)
I had an overwhelming experience today when a package arrived at my front door from Pruvit.
Anticipating ketones of some sort, I was pleasantly surprised and quite speechless when I uncovered it was a care package from our CEO, Brian Underwood, with multiple items from a harmony necklace the baby can hear to a Lavish massage bar for my skin and notes to leave the baby as it develops. The care and thought that went into these items is what floors me everytime I remember how embracing and compassionate the Pruvit community truly is.
Traditional breakfast, lettuce egg wraps for lunch, cheesy fried steak, a raspberry crumble and the Salted caramel broth turned into a whipped dessert – food was on point!
Okay – BIG accomplishment on Thursday this week. I put on makeup before 9am. Sounds silly, but small feats like this make me smile. And why would I do such a thing?
I had a breakfast date with my lovely friends at Broadways. Ah, I cheated. But it was GLORIOUS. Homefries…I never used to crave these babies but I could smell them wafting from the kitchen and knew they were mine.
Following this, I spent some self care time food shopping (because that’s why I enjoy the most), one-piece bathing suit shopping for the impending Phoenix trip.
Enjoyed my favourite keto focaccia bread with Superfood nut & seed butter and did another outfit change (GASP) to attend one of the best dinners I’ve had in a while for my gf’s birthday, a restaurant downtown called CITIZEN.
I was able to stay fairly keto – crispy Brussel sprouts with a crème sauce, pork belly and a decaf latte. I will let the pictures speak do it justice.
Friday Funday – I CRUSHED my legs workout, with KETO//OS Key Limeade and KETO//KREME in my lone coffee in the AM. I have been wanting to get back into my lifting regiment and I tackled this workout with a combination of compound lifts and 30 minutes of cardio dance. And post-fuel workout is simply but satiating with bacon, egg, fried cabbage and sauerkraut.
As day fell to night, Fady and I shifted gears (literally) to hit the road to help one of my besties move back to Brockville. We did the easy route out which was We enjoyed some time together, got her settled, and got in a second workout lifting boxes upstairs!
The weekend – spent all day Saturday with clients, delivering packets of ketones from the east to west end and came home to spend the evening with Fady who cooked me a delicious keto dinner. Not much to share other than downtime date night was exactly what this busy couple needed.
Sunday – I was feeling BRUNCH! So I used our leftover focaccia to make a keto French toast, decided to fashion my first homemade belly belt (talk about an old tank top hacked to fit over my jeans), worked towards finalizing plans with clients before our trip and did some meal prep for the coming days.
Monday and two minus two days until liftoff to Phoenix. Everything at that time was about getting prepared to leave without having to do much work while away, other than the conference and Pruvit related activities.
I destroyed a legs day thanks to coffee with KETO//KREME, a keto meal a few hours prior to workout, Decaf Key Limeade, 30/30 of lifting and HIIT, stretching and hydration and a post workout meal. My last one in before the big trip.
As we live in Ottawa, our winters can be ruthless. We found out that 30 cm of snow was going to be dumped in ONE DAY which just so happened to coincide with our flight schedules. Needless to say, they preemptively cancelled our 6am flight on Wednesday, and opted to push us back with layover in Philly about 7 hours.
Rather be safe than sorry, so we used that extra time for Fady to get a haircut, do a little CAD to USD exchange (bah, the rates were horrendous) and made it to the airport with time to spare. A little Mcdonalds custom breakfast rev up, all cheese crispy bites and ketones – ready to rock it!
Upon my return home, on the same day, I had booked myself in for a 3-part keto workshop series at the Natural Food Pantry on how to Eat, Educate and Empower your way into the Ketogenic Lifestyle. Seminars are nothing new, but the participants were going to get the absolutely utmost information that was relevant and new, so I took a few hours out of our longest flight to skim through several of my keto books, including Dr. Jacob Wilson and Dr. Ryan Lowery’s Ketogenic Bible, to reference important facts and research to shed light on the benefits and ways to incorporate the lifestyle.
Layover in Philly was quick, had enough time to snag a Cobb Salad from Smashburger and we landed in Phoenix just before 8pm (MT time). I somehow forgot that there was going to be a time difference, but the next few days would surely remind me.
We arrived to our hotel fairly late, settled into our room and went exploring. We found out there was a COC (Circle of Champions) meeting in progress, and despite our tired eyes and ravenous hunger, we immersed ourselves into our community and culture for a few hours before heading out to Glendale to snag a late night bite.
It just so happened that a KISS concert was finishing up as we devoured our burgers, and the array of concert goers was a sight to see for our first evening in Arizona. Long day, but Valentine’s Day was just ahead and that meant our official babymoon time was about to begin.
The Marriott that we stayed in offered an all you can eat buffet breakfast which Fady and I indulged in every single morning. Having been used to fasting, I typically would be satisfied with my KETO//KREME and not eating until after noon, but my baby said otherwise.
We decided to stock up on breakfast eats, including massive omelettes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage (for Fady), cottage cheese, nuts, fruit, peanut butter, yogurt, and whatever other keto eats awaited and simply have snacks midday and a dinner at night. I’d say each morning I would likely have about 1,200 calories to kick it off, but it definitely me fueled for the adventures and the liveliness that would ensue.
Valentine’s Day started off a little rainy, a little chilly – but nothing compared to the snow and negative temperatures at home. We were determined to make the most of it, so we took to the outlet mall nearby, the large restaurant strip, and just walked and enjoyed being together.
I had the not-so bright idea when I saw the Cold Stone Creamery, to have a massive hodge podge of NON-KETO ice cream. My justification? Vacation and Valentine’s Day – of course. The baby cravings probably had something to do with it as well. But it happened, and I moved on from it. I did enjoy every decadent bite, and I vowed to do my fair share of EPIK dancing to shed some of the glycogen later on.
Remember I said that it was cold? Well, it was however that didn’t stop us from hitting up the indoor and the outdoor pool and hottub. The locals thought we were bananas, but it was heated and that was good enough for me.
We swam, Fady sat and relaxed in the hot tub while I did some quick in-and-outs to not raise my internal body temperature too high, and we found out the event was going to start up THAT NIGHT!
I cannot speak for other companies, but I’m fairly confident that until you’ve been to a Pruvit event, you don’t quite know what you are missing! I didn’t want to have serious FOMO so we switched our dinner plans to have quick wings and salad and then joined everyone in the main room for kick-off.
It did NOT disappoint. Between flashy dancers, Brian Underwoods intro and a special surprise new product launch, it was an EPIK (I’ll be using this adjective frequently, bare with me) start to the next 3-4 days.
ALL THE WAY UP!
The launch of KETO//UP was the highlight. Each of the event go-ers was handed a big black box with instructions NOT to open it. Simultaneously, we took them out, raised the shiny black and neon green slim cans to the ceiling with our flashlights serving as a spotlight from our phones and snapped photos of these revolutionary lifestyle drinks
Game-Changer. For anyone who ever opted to consume an energy drink, you understand that it comes with some inherent risks. They are not clean fuel, have additives and chemicals to give you the instant reaction that you crave and can be addictive, if not dangerous, if consumed frequently.
KETO//UP is about optimizing, not temporarily giving you a boost. It is the first FREE CELL ketone product, meaning not bonded to any salts, so that the uptake of BHB ketones is immediate, and the accompanying additives are all meant to work synergistically with your body and your lifestyle.
We were able to learn about some of those additional ingredients from the formulators, and as a science brain, I soaked it all up. And then, taste testing time!
Green Apple. Wow. I’m not kidding when I say the light carbonation, the combo of sweet/sour without having to purse your lips and the smooth and quick response from even half a can proved to me that this would be something that everyone could and would enjoy from a flavor and formula standpoint. Fady and I split one can, and decided to take the other home for our promoters to taste test so they could experience what we had!
Next surprise – MITO//PLEX?
Mito-what? Upgraded electrolytes that were 4 years in the making, specifically formulated to bridge the gaps that ketosis can leave at times in terms of electrolyte depletion. Again, the science baffled me but the best part was these packets were inexpensive, tasteless and can be used multiple times per day to upgrade your current keto state to a BETTER one with a balance of minerals that were clean and created to work FOR you.
We heard some real-life stories from Pruvers, new and established, and their experience with the product and the business thus far and called it a (late) night.
The next few days were a blur – in the best way possible! Starting most morning around 9am after our buffet breakfast, we had the opportunity to sit in on the COC pre-game meetings as I have achieved the rank of Champion. I love these meetings because we hear from top leaders and our CEO and are able to directly impact or give feedback on a high level to all aspects of the event and experience.
And we like to party. Not get drunk and wild type of party (in fact, we don’t consume any alcohol during the events). A DANCE PARTY!
Every single time we start or break the event, we build up the energy in the room with a 20-40 minute full out dance party. In your seats, in the aisles, on the stage – wherever the music calls you! I am usually the first on the stage at EVERY event I attend, but with the little one in my belly and the crowd that forms, I didn’t risk it this time. A tad disappointed but I still shook my booty standing on my chair with Fady next to me to make sure I didn’t fall.
The EPIK event is about acknowledging and celebrating all Pruvers, especially the high achievers. I am blessed and honoured to be on a team of passionate and family-driven people who are all heart and still manage to build big businesses without compromising integrity.
Raj, my direct mentor from Toronto, took home a Rising Legend award (amongst many others) and my rockstar powerhouse couple with four young daughter, KETO//MOM & KETO//DAD themselves, won Pruvers of the Year. I couldn’t keep a dry eye hearing them talk with authenticity about how their dreams turned into reality when they uncovered their why with this conversation and helping others.
The food was fantastic. We had trekked on V-Day to Target to get snacks that were healthy and satisfying, and dinners were easy in the hotel to stick to keto or at a nearby establishment.
Between the awards and the dance party, we also had the chance to hear from and learn from top doctors, researches, authors, scientists and motivators on the power of ketones and their clinical applications. These events are not meant for us to capture every nugget of information to regurgitate to the public, it’s for validation that what we share has real implications on so many fronts. It deepens my belief in industry, in company and even in self.
The Saturday night was ALL about the GALA! EPIK 2017 was our first major event, and since then, we have some to LOVE the Gala themes. This year it was 1920’s style and I opted for a flapper dress with embellishments, while Fady chose a dapper look with a hat to match. Dashing – I would even go as far as saying.
The food was ALL keto, from appetizers through dessert, and they even used NAT Celebration (which tastes like apple/pear or champagne) in fancy champagne bottles to enjoy with KETO//KREME and coffee at the end of the night.
Andy Grammer was the performer and he put on an energetic performance. I forgot how many of his songs I knew and I loved singing along and feeding into the energy.
The final day of events was all about business building called the PLAYBOOK. It was meant to give tangible tools and breakout sessions from top leaders on how to add value to customers, how to host keto life parties and my favourite and most valuable, social media advanced strategies!
As the event closed out, we had one final day together to get back to our babymoon and actually venture outside to see some of Arizona. We had been in AZ before back in Sept 2017 when we hiked the Grand Canyon, but this was a different area so why not take advantage of the + temperatures and the landscape.
We packed ketones and snacks and went for a two hour mountain hike to a peak that overlooked Glendale and into Phoenix. The weather was perfect for hiking as I noticed the elevation was slightly hindering my cardiovascular system which I wasn’t used to typically. It was the perfect way to end the week of adventure, and take our red eye back overnight to Philly and then to Ottawa (and reality).
We landed at home on the Tuesday at around 12:45pm, and I had just enough time to make it home to change into my presentation attire and make it back out to Natural Food Pantry in Barrhaven for my workshop series!
I was battling a cold, time change and acclimatizing but as soon as I stepped in front of those 15 eager participants – I was ON. I love what I do, and nothing would deter my hunger to teach and impart what I know and have learned to those willing to listen and take it in.
Got a last minute keto pizza at the store and we had a late dinner back at home before I completely melted into bed and a restful sleep!
Wednesday through Sunday of this week were rough. Migraines, the flu, no energy and trying to get back into the rhythm of everyday life was not going according to plan. I took the downtime my body was screaming for, but I negated some of my exercise and I didn’t diligently track my food. Hey – it’s life – and the baby came first!
I did manage to do my first official workout on the 21st which was, you may have guessed it, a dance HIIT routine. Pair that with clean eating and I suddenly started to feel more akin to my regular self. Exercise truly does release endorphins and this proved to be the case after the lull I was experiencing.
It was this week as well that I started to notice varicose veins. Ah! I never knew what they were all about until my breasts and my stomach started to show the tell-tale thick blue lines and the throbbing on-again, off-again pains that came with them. I broke out more of my lotion and kept my growing breasts supported as much as possible so the bloodflow wouldn’t cause too much of a disruption of life.
The food through this week featured keto seed crackers for snacks, back to my smoothies and ketones, seared salmon for my Omegas, a ton of cruciferous veggies both raw and cooked for variety, and on Friday evening – we opted for a keto pizza party!
Our lovely friend and her three girls live nearby and we brought all the fixing for keto pizza and made them onsite for a fun dinner party and hangout, paired with keto desserts by Carb Smart Express.
This was our first chance to unwind a bit before the weekend as I had events booked on Saturday and it was relaxing to just chat with other adults about anything non-work related.
Saturday – Theo’s Day. Theodore Koch is a toddler who has been afflicted by a rare condition that only a dozen people in the entire world have even had diagnosed. His symptoms involve violent seizures, many allergic reactions to food and environment, and potential degeneration of cognition and function. Since birth, his parents have sought out remedies and have been monitored by four major hospitals worldwide with specialists in many fields.
The event was to raise funds for a service dog who would be able to help detect the onset of his seizures and potentially warn parents and caregivers of an impending occurrence. The problem is that service dogs can only be funded if the handler is 6 years or older, otherwise government will not pay for this. It cost over $30,000 JUST for training in the US and not including travel times and certification, so we were present on site to help out.
Not only that, it’s due to Theo having been switched to the ketogenic lifestyle and using exogenous ketones that he was able to live a more stable life. He now has standing orders to stay on strict keto and the ketones help him stay in the levels he needs to thrive. His mother, Shanon, thanked me for introducing her to the lifestyle and the ketones but I have to say it’s her follow through and diligence that is helping her son survive. We wish them all the luck in the world!
I snagged a ton of keto items from Carb Smart Express who were also representing on site that day for quick and easy cheesy bagels, snacks and crackers.
Sunday was major downtime as this cold took it’s final punch and I needed to rest fully for baby’s sake and for my own. I had to cancel important meetings but this took priority so I could heal for the week ahead. Smart choice in the end.
Fady and I made hearty dinner, Keto Sesame Ginger Stir Fry, he sat with me and we enjoyed the Oscars together and hit the hay ready for week 16 into 17!
My round 3 of the 5 Day Keto Fix was supposed to start on Monday but due to my illness and a few people joining later, we opted to kickstart on Wednesday.
Monday was spent driving around the city for deliveries and just being outside was refreshing again. Delicious salad from The Grounds Café, a much needed nail appointment with my girl, Chelsea, and lots of happy new ketone customers made this cold feel like a thing of the past.
To make the night that much better, I made a date with my lovely cousin who also has seen tremendous success with keto, to do keto shopping and cooking together and catch up. Over the course of several hours, we did what Castonguay’s do best – talk, talk, and then eat.
Thai Curry Soup, Eggroll in a Bowl and our version of a Keto Beavertail were beyond expectations. I probably consumed twice my caloric intake but with keto foods, you don’t feel that guilty. It was worth the conversation, the company and the collaborative cooking (like my alliterations?).
Tuesday – aka week 2 of my 3 part keto workshop. This one was all about EMPOWERMENT. We started with Educate which were the building blocks of ketosis, optimal foods and so forth – and now it was time to EMPOWER the participants with hacks to continue their success. From biohacking with ketones, to optimal sleep and fitness – it was ready to amplify not only ketogenic lifestyle, but their overall health and vitality.
Fady was a gem and made my pizza for when I returned home late.
Wednesday, officially week 17 started up and man, the bump was a poppin! And yes, cravings kicked back in.
I made a keto focaccia egg salad sandwich with all the fixings and it’s one my go-to’s from now on. Eggs are literally my favourite protein source and there are so many ways to make them that I never get bored (have you seen my EGG FAST post from last year? Check it out!)
I did a leg workout and snagged more maternity jeans from Old Navy (who knew they had maternity clothes). I am loving the full panel because they will expand as I do!
I returned back to NFP on the Wednesday evening to meet with our local Ottawa Pruvit team to go through ALL the learning and new products, plus taste testing our KETO//UP together! I enjoyed a sesame shiritaki noodle bowl with bone broth, beef and sprouts on-site and a keto lemon tart. If you have never been to their café, you are missing out!
Thursday was more focaccia and more dancing. I’m predictable, but I love my routine! And I was finally feeling up to par to have consistent workouts from here on out!
Energy was back up enough to fit in another 2 workouts of lifting into the weekend, and we joined a crew for a bowling evening and pool playing on for a friend’s birthday which was a nice change of pace.
Konjac noodle spaghetti, keto pancake brunch with blueberry compote, lots of meal prep and keto stuffed chicken rounded out the rest of the week for food!
Fady and I finished out weekend by watching both Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born and heading into week 18 to round out the last projects and new ventures to come.
PHEW – that was a lot of catch up! And I have to say that trying to recount everything, in the moment, and how I felt, was difficult.
So, I’m shaking it up AGAIN! I have started to record small snippets of videos as of March 6th, and will use those to combine together to create my recaps with more ease AND more genuine retelling of my thoughts/feelings/food and more on a day by day replay.
Appreciate all of your patience and for tuning in to see how the progress is going. We are beyond thrilled that we can soon mark the halfway point in this pregnancy AND find out the sex of the baby in time for my 32nd birthday (March 15th). Week 19 will be incredible!