2024 Resolution — How Things Are Going (Month Two!)

I don’t have any studio progress to share with you today, so I thought I’d get you caught up on how my month of February went with my New Year’s resolution (i.e., no sugar for a year) and my health goals. Here’s the short version. I successfully made it through month two with no sugar, and I lost another 4.8 pounds for a total of 16.5 pounds.

Now here’s the longer version for those who want more details. 😀 The “no sugar” New Year’s resolution has become very easy. I’m honestly not even tempted to eat sugary treats anymore. I go out to eat with my mom and brother every Sunday after church, and on Sunday a week ago, my brother ordered a strawberry shortcake. Most of last year, we’d order that and all three of us would share it. The restaurant where we go (Longhorn Steakhouse) has THE BEST strawberry shortcake I’ve ever had. But a week ago when he ordered it, and he and my mom shared it, I wasn’t even tempted by it, and I didn’t feel deprived in the least.

So I’ve had no sugar for two months! And for me, that’s a pretty huge deal. (For the details on what I mean by “no sugar”, I explained that here.) I’m still convinced that what has helped me the most is focusing on eating more protein (most Americans, especially women, aren’t eating enough protein as we get older), and eating healthy fats (animal fats, olive oil, avocado oil, but NO SEED OILS!!!) Those two things keep me satiated so that I’m not always thinking about food and craving sweets.

In other health news, I read a book that I highly recommend for everyone to read. It’s called The Salt Fix: What The Experts Got Wrong, And How Eating More Might Save Your Life (affiliate link). The thesis of the book is that most of us aren’t getting enough salt in our diets. I know that sounds shocking considering that we’ve all been conditioned to be afraid of too much salt. There are three things that we’ve been conditioned over the last three or so decades to believe are going to kill us — saturated fats, cholesterol, and salt — when in reality, those three things have been blamed for the damage that sugar, processed carbs, and seed oils are doing to our bodies. The book is fascinating, but let me share with you how I even came to read it.

At the end of January, I started seeing ads on Instagram and Facebook for an electrolyte drink called LMNT. It was a no-sugar-added electrolyte drink, and I’m always looking for a good, low- or no-sugar electrolyte drink for Matt. So I ordered several boxes to try out the flavors. When it came, Matt and I both started drinking it. It is, hands down, THE BEST electrolyte drink I’ve ever tasted in my life. Most electrolyte drinks try to cover up the salty taste by adding so much sweet flavor, which means you’re either getting way too much sugar (like with Gatorade or Liquid IV), or it’s filled with sugar alternatives that have that overpowering fake sweetener taste (like Dr. Berg’s electrolyte drink). Bleh on all of those.

So the LMNT was a bit different. They don’t try to cover up the salty flavor. They just add a hint of fruit flavor and a bit of stevia, but nothing overpowering. So the first sip I took was a bit shocking, so my initial reaction was, “Ugh, I don’t think I like this!” But then after a second, I was like, “Wait. That’s actually really good!” It just wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting that fake, overpowering sweet flavor, so that first salty sip was shocking to me. But after I readjusted my expectations, I realized how much I loved it. And now, it is my favorite drink. I love it more than my precious unsweet tea, and anyone who knows how much tea I drink knows how shocking it is that I could love something more than unsweet iced tea.

Back to my story. We got our first LMNT at the end of January, and I started drinking one (okay, maybe two) a day. First, I noticed that I wasn’t getting hungry as often. That made sense to me because I remember being in keto Facebook groups where people were often doing intermittent and long-term fasting, and when people would complain about being too hungry to continue, the advice was always to put some salt under your tongue because salt keeps hunger and cravings in check. So that made sense to me. The more salt I was drinking, the less hunger I experienced, and the fewer cravings I had, so I wasn’t continually wanting to rummage through the fridge to find snacks throughout the day. In fact, the thought of food was no longer consuming my mind. After lunch, I wouldn’t even give food another thought on most days (with Wednesdays being the exception).

But here’s what really shocked me. On one Wednesday — the day of the week when I go out out to eat with my mom and brother for lunch, and then my church group has our Wednesday night gatherings that start with dinner together — I ate horribly all day. I didn’t have sugar, but I ate every carbohydrate in sight, including several pieces of garlic bread (right up until bedtime!!), some chicken spaghetti, potato salad, white bread. I mean, I was out of control. Now generally on days like that, my weight will be up about two or three pounds the next morning, especially if I’m eating right up until bedtime, which I was on that day. So the next morning, I stepped on the scale expecting just that, but my weight hadn’t changed at all from the morning before (i.e., the morning before my carb fest).

That has NEVER HAPPENED in my entire adult life. I was absolutely astounded, and wondered what the heck was going on. Had I suddenly become one of those lucky people who could eat whatever I wanted to, and never gain another pound? And then it dawned on me. Could it be the salt?! That was the only thing I had recently changed.

And that’s when I remembered hearing about the book The Salt Fix.

I wondered if, perhaps, the answer to my question was in that book, so I immediately bought the audio version and listened that day as I worked. And sure enough! He answered my question, and gave me so much helpful, amazing, and enlightening information that I have become an evangelist for this book and for salt (specifically the amazing tasting LMNT) for the last month. Right in the very introduction of the book, he talks about how salt can help you get control of your weight. Eat salt, lose weight. That’s the very title of a section of the introduction to the book.

I have to admit that with this new information, and with a healthy stock of LMNT in my kitchen, I was not as disciplined with my eating as I should have been during the month of February. In fact, if I’m being completely honest with myself, it’s amazing that I even managed to lose any weight at all in the month of February. In the past, that type of undisciplined manner of approaching food would have resulted in me gaining weight. So the fact that I lost any weight at all during February is quite amazing to me.

So in March, I’m going to do a little experimenting. I’m going to stick with the LMNT and combine that with a way more disciplined approach to healthy eating, and I’m going to be way more committed to my daily exercise. I didn’t do well on that, either, during the month of February. I started off very strong, but once I saw the coyote in our back yard, my commitment to daily walking and determination to stick to an exercise routine took a hit. So I’m excited to see how this month goes. No sugar, way fewer processed carbohydrates, more salt, more disciplined healthy eating, and a commitment to daily exercise. I’ll report back at the end of the month to let y’all know how it goes.

In the meantime, read that book, y’all! And get yourself some LMNT. My absolute favorite is the chocolate or chocolate caramel. Those are my daily treat. It’s like a yummy dessert. I boil water and pour it into my BIG hot chocolate mug, and add one packet of either chocolate or chocolate caramel LMNT. Then I add a few drops of liquid stevia (this is the one I use — affiliate link), and then four tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. It’s sooo good!! I like it more than coffee or hot chocolate. Of course, if you’re not a low carb person, and prefer something more low calorie, you can substitute the heavy whipping cream for your choice of creamer — whatever you would use in your coffee. My favorite of the fruit flavors is citrus, and my second favorite is orange. I drink both of those ice cold, and they are so refreshing and amazing. So read the book, get yourself some LMNT, and I’ll report back in a month. 😀

EDIT: I completely forgot to tell y’all this! I bought myself a cute little outfit for Easter. It’s nothing terribly special, and I’m not quite ready to spend money on cute dresses. I’ll need to lose more weight and feel more confident before I spend money on dresses. But for now, I just wanted a cute pair of pants, a colorful shirt, and some new shoes. So here’s what I bought…

As soon as I saw my favorite brand of pants/demins (Judy Blue) in this pretty pink, I knew I had to have them. The shirt is from one of my favorite online stores called Mod Boutique. The shoes are Madden Girl from Belk. Who knows if the weather will even cooperate. This is Texas, after all. We might be in the middle of a snow storm on March 31st. 😀 If that happens, I’ll need to switch out the shoes and throw on a coat.

But here’s the kicker. I bought the pants and the shirt one size smaller than what I wear right now. 😀 And I’ve already flittered away the month of February with my undisciplined eating and lack of exercise for the last two weeks of the month. So now it’s down to crunch time. I honestly have no idea if I can do it, but if I don’t make it, it won’t be for lack of trying or for lack of discipline during the month of March. So I’ll let y’all know how it goes! If I make it, I may even post a picture of me in my cute little Easter outfit. We’ll see. 🙂



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    1. Because of the way that the oil is extracted, the fat is transformed into an inflammatory version. Silent inflammation is one of the damaging effects a Keto diet aims to curb, so most people on Keto use avocado, coconut, or olive oil. If you’ve ever gone keto for a few weeks (once you get over the keto flu), you feel a real difference in your joints and can tell that the sugar and carbs (and bad oils) have been triggering inflammation.

    2. Yes, even sunflower and grapeseed. All “seed” oil (aka vegetable oils, meaning cottonseed, canola, corn, soy/soybean, safflower, sunflower, peanut, etc.) are highly processed, and highly inflammatory. “The Big Fat Surpise” by Nina Teicholz is one of the best of many books on the subject of seed oils; Gary Taubes is also an excellent author (“Why We Get Fat, and What to Do About It.”). If you can find an interview with Nina T on Youtube, or watch one of her lectures on Youtube, you will learn a ton! Just approach with an open mind because you may have to unlearn what you have been taught.

  1. Congratulations on your weight loss! I’m not sure upping salt intake helps with weight loss but if your doctor approves of it keep doing what works for you.

    1. I totally understand that most people’s knee-jerk reaction is going to be to push back against that information. I HIGHLY recommend reading/listening to that book. I can guarantee you that the two are connected.

    2. I’ll vouch for “The Salt Fix.” I actually improved my blood pressure by adding salt to my diet, something that I did as a result of this book. I used to avoid salt, but now enjoy salt and its many positive health benefits.

  2. Can you tell me what you’ve done diferently, besides no sugar, to lose the weight. Besides walking, what kettle ball exercises do you do.

    1. The only kettlebell exercise I do right now is kettlebell swings. I do 100 a day, always at night before bed. That’s just when I have time. I also do some ab exercises and some free weight arm exercises. I spend no more than 30 minutes doing those things before bed. I’m now starting to break my walking down into three 20-minute sessions per day rather than doing it all at once. I find that doing it that way really helps my sciatic issues that keep wanting to creep back.

      I’m looking into signing up for Ladder, which is an app with instructor-guided workouts, including ones with kettlebells and free weights. I think that will keep me more disciplined and give me the guidance I need to move beyond just kettlebell swings. I found out about it because I happened upon the Instagram account of one of the instructors and I’ve been following her for a couple of months now. She seems very knowledgeable. If I try it, I’ll let y’all know how I like it.

      I also have a good friend who’s a fitness instructor, and she did a series of kettlebell workout videos from her home during 2020. It’s free, so I’ll get the link and post it for y’all.

  3. Hi Kristi–I’ve been taking/drinking LMNT for several months, and what I’ve noticed in myself is a big improvement in my energy levels and joint/muscle aches. I had heard an ad for this product on the Adam Ragusea cooking videos, and he mentioned “muscle aches” as a symptom of not getting enough electrolytes. Hmm, I thought, that sounds like me! I realized that (ironically) I eat very little processed, salty food and also tend to undersalt what I cook, which may be the problem. And I love your idea of drinking the chocolate flavors hot! I may do that when I get to that box. Anyway, your post was very informative and a big encouragement to me. Also, I’m with you on the seed oils–at least canola, which is just pure poison, as far as I’m concerned!

  4. Did you know you can make your own electrolyte drink? WellnessHomemade on IG has a recipe. All those supplement etc. drinks seem so expensive to me, and if it can come from my kitchen instead, all the better.
    I wouldn’t worry about the coyotes they really are more afraid of you! We have coyotes, deer, turkeys etc and walk with two tiny dogs and have never been bothered.

  5. I love dr DeNicolantonio. I’ve read that book, several years ago and still have it. Guess I need to get it out and read it again. He’s great.

  6. Wow! What a rabbit chase. I tried to find only chocolate and the caramel LMNT powders with 0 sugar. I had no success. What am I doing wrong? I want to try them. Thank you.

  7. AWESOME!! So excited for you, everyday is another step closer to our goals. Keep it up, your doing GREAT!!!

  8. You need real salt though, and not the “morton’s iodized” kind. Either pink himalayan, or Redmonds real salt. The grocery store kind has the good stuff taken out and junk added back in .

  9. I’ve added following the “Root Cause Protocol” to my anti-inflammatory diet. It recommends using real foods and minimal supplements (and, as the name implies, a whole protocol) to balance your body’s minerals. The daily Adrenal Cocktail, which supports stressed adrenals (which affects thyroid function and so much more), is made up of Redmonds Real Salt, cream of tartar, and real vitamin C ( NOT a supplement–I use orange juice). It does take a little bit to get used to the salty taste, but like Kristi, I’m finding I just don’t think about food, especially sweets and carbs, anymore. And the weight is falling off. Check it out, if you think it might help you.

  10. Adorable outfit ! I remember an early April Texas snowstorm (2005/2007?) and everyone had pictures of bluebonnets covered in snow, lol. I applaud you for researching and trying different things in your quest for health and wellness. It seems obvious that we each have different body chemistries and need to find what works for us. I just read an article about food allergies with anecdotes from people who can’t tolerate gluten, dairy, and/or nuts here in the US, but have little or no problems with those things in some other countries. It seems like we know that our food processing is not the healthiest for us, and these anecdotes certainly support that.

  11. The salt issue is very interesting. I am a vegetarian and eat healthfully for the most part but have a terrible sweet tooth. I also have an eating disorder which flares in crisis (I stop eating). Many years ago, in my 30s, I went on the only structured diet I’ve ever done when my weight went up to about 160. I’ve weighed every weight from 98 – 160 lbs as an adult altho usually stay around 130 (5’4″). So this was concerning and I did the diet where you weigh once per week at their office and eat their packaged food 2x/day and eat a salad and cheese/crackers for lunch. Nutri-system? I think so.
    Also suffered severe dysmenorrhea and it completely disappeared while eating an ultra-processed little fresh food probably horrid diet foods for several months. Completely. Also had no bloating,no mood swings, no migraines, nada. I’ve always wondered and now I’m strongly suspecting sodium.

  12. Not surprised at all that we were misled regarding salt. We are being poisoned by the food manufacturers in US. It’s shocking what is allowed here and not in other parts of the world. I’ve never believed it was the cause of high blood pressure.

    1. When it comes to high blood pressure, salt was blamed for what sugar has done. Sodium is an essential element for humans; sugar is not an essential element.

  13. Work on getting over your fear of coyotes. We live in Minnesota and we occasionally see them in our back yard. We have pond about 20 feet from out back door so we see all kinds of wild animals. Sometimes the coyotes hang around for a few minutes. One recently sat in front of our living room window and after awhile he pooped and then left! 😂 Yes we all keep our dogs on leashes when a neighbor spots them, but they do move along. In Arizona we used to say that they were here before us. We just try to coexist.

  14. Wonderful and congratulations to you. Try using monk fruit sweetener instead of stevia. I’ve lost over 10 lbs(slowly, but surely) since last summer by eating two meals a day. Whatever works for you is good. I stopped chocolate over 30 years ago and pies, cakes, cookies and donuts in 2020 and I had the same reaction as you…..none!!! It’s been thrilling and when I feel hungry at all, I drink a glass of water. I’m in Colorado, very dry and the water is essential.

  15. Wow I had no idea about seed oils causing inflammation! Thank you for the information Kristi. I have an L4 herniated disk, bursitis, many joint issues from injuries over the years and orthopedic issues from a birth defect corrected at age 5. I have a very high pain tolerance and can usually press on. But lately I’ve had more pain than usual to the point of being out of commission for several weeks at a time and now I’m seriously wondering if the extra pain is linked to my seed oil use while trying to eat “healthier” lately but am I instead making matters worse? I’ll be researching this further for certain.

    1. Angie, almost every single processed food (something that comes in a box or a bag or a bottle and has a bar code) contains seed oil. So, even if you avoid using as a cooking oil, it can still creep into our lives. You will notice that when you cut out seed oils, the way you eat will come naturally to “whole food” (single ingredient) foods and you will be preparing your own food. And your inflammation will come down. The information that is coming in about seed oils is contrary to the established belief that the “better-for-you” fats are the poly-unsaturated seed oils. And I say “belief” because once you begin to learn more, you learn that there never was science to back up the assertion that poly-unsaturated seed oils are good for us. Humans thrived for millenia without seed oils, the advent of which came in the mid-1800’s with cottonseed oil. It is worth the time to investigate and research about seed oils, and be willing to unlearn and relearn. Our health is our greatest resource. Thank you, Kristi, for bringing this part of your life into your blog. Your readers will benefit from the discussion.

      1. Thank you Beverly for your reply! It really does make sense when I think about it. I’m trying to unlearn some bad eating habits. I’ve become better about reading labels and have tried to avoid artificial preservatives and colors but really missed this about seed oils. And you’re so right, in Biblical times Jesus ate olives, fish, grapes, unleavened bread and how did they preserve foods when needed…salt! Thanks again!

  16. Congratulations on your weight loss! I’ve lost 55 lbs in the last 7 months following Bright Line Eating which includes no sugar and no flour. I have zero sugar cravings. I feel so much better! I don’t think I suffer from too little salt because I do salt my food generously but I’m interested in reading The Salt Fix. I’m looking forward to learning the results of your March experiment! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Yay for you. Good work even if you cheated a little. Not cheating will make a difference. I wish I could be better, but I always say, next week, or next month or next year. I am so proud of you, however.
    March will be a good month for you, I’m sure.

  18. That will be adorable on you.

    Great book recommendation. I always remind myself that we’re an electrical organism. Just like a car battery doesn’t function without salty water, neither do we.

    I accidentally discovered electrolytes gave me profound relief from migraines. Happened on to this electrolyte product, Cove, when looking to manage sugar content. Best wishes with your fitness.

  19. Good for you. I tend never to eat out as all restaurants would be using seed oils in their dishes ☹️

  20. Oh my goodness, this was such an encouraging and inspiring post. Thanks for sharing! I, too, know that seed oils are so bad for you, and that salt is not bad. But I’d never heard how salt plays into weight management. I will definitely be checking out the drink and book you recommend. Thanks!

  21. Hi Kristi – thanks for your inspirational post and congratulations!

    I made a purchase of the LMNT through your link but did not see how or if you were credited for my purchase. Can you tell on your end if it was processed correctly for you?

    Thanks for your continued inspiration.


  22. Well done!! and thanks so much for sharing.
    Water and GOOD salt – Himalayan or Celtic are amazing. i’ve always been a big believer in salt, but also started putting 1/4tsp in my 1Litre water bottle twice a day – no more migraines.
    so good to figure out the best way to nurture OUR bodies. To a certain extent, we have to become our own doctors…