The Personal Stuff: Matt, Diet, Cooper and What I’m Listening To

Well, y’all, I had big plans yesterday. I was going to get some work done on the porch stone facade while the sun was out, and then I had this cute and easy art project planned that I was going to video from start to finish and share that with y’all today.

But none of that happened because Matt had a kidney stone attack yesterday. He was in so much pain, and required constant help and attention, so I had no time for stone facades or art projects. There’s always next week!

Y’all will be happy to know that everything passed just fine, he slept all night, and he feels great this morning. We’re both incredibly relieved. 🙂 When stuff like that happens to most people, it’s bad. When something like that happens to someone with MS who is bed- and wheelchair-bound, it’s miserable, both for him and for me as his caretaker. I’m so thankful that sickness is a rarity in our household. And we learned a very hard lesson about what most likely caused (or rather, exacerbated) his kidney stones, and it has to do with our current diet. So for those of you who said you’re also doing the same diet, be forewarned.

So let me jump right into that.

We’re doing the ketogenic diet, and loving it (for the most part)!

The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now, but we decided to do it not because it’s a fad diet, but because it makes sense to us. Low carb eating has made sense to us for years now, but for two carb/sugar addicts, it can be a challenge to get over the emotional hurdle and get started on low carb.

We’ve done the Atkins diet in the past, generally with great success, but we always seem to fall off the wagon at some point and return to our unhealthy way of eating with lots of sugar, flour, etc. That’s what addicts do.

But the ketogenic diet is not the Atkins diet. While it’s built on the same foundational principle that processed carbs (sugar, flour, etc.) are the enemy, and that healthy fats provide a much more efficient and clean fuel for your body than sugar, the ketogenic diet seems to stress more balance.

With Atkins, it seemed like it was perfectly acceptable to sit down with a plate of bacon and call it a meal. The ketogenic diet stresses a ratio of 75% of calories from healthy fats (no “vegetable” oils, canola, etc.), 20% of calories from protein (preferably staying away from the conventionally-raised kind and sticking with the pasture-raised, grass-fed, free-range kind that you might find at your local farmers market, because yes, they are VERY different animals and your body processes them differently), and 5% of calories from non-processed carbohydrates. And the keto gurus who really know their stuff also stress the HUGE importance of eating loads of fresh veggies in your diet, and you can eat all of the leafy greens and cruciferous veggies you want without worrying about the carbs they contain.

There are so many keto gurus out there, but we try to stick with Eric Berg, who has about 2000 videos on YouTube explaining the diet and just about every single thing you could ever want to know about keto. And he often has interviews with other keto experts on his Facebook page which are very enlightening. But there are other very intelligent and knowledgeable people on the topic, like Thomas DeLauer (also on YouTube) who have helpful and informational videos on the topic.

So Matt and I have been doing the keto diet since June 25, and the last time I weighed (which was about a week ago), I was down 29 pounds. It’s seriously the easiest “diet” (i.e., way of eating) that we’ve done. I have loads of energy, and I don’t always feel the nagging pull of Dairy Queen or Taco Bell tempting me to jump off the wagon. I’m perfectly satisfied (nutritionally, that is) eating the way we’re eating, so those refined carbohydrates seem to have lost their power over me.

We’re also doing intermittent fasting, which is highly stressed by many keto (and even lots of non-keto) experts. Fasting is incredibly healthy for the body and gives it time to rest from having to continually process foods, and to regenerate and heal. So we basically have a two-hour window of eating every day (generally between 12:00 and 2:00), and then we fast the rest of the day. We only eat once a day during that two-hour window.

It’s NOT a starvation diet. We’re getting our full day of calories in that one two-hour window. We do supplement with additional nutrient-dense drinks that I make at home in the BlendTec (made from electrolytes, wheatgrass, nutritional yeast and lots of other nutrient-dense things) during our fasting hours, but according to the experts, as long as you don’t consume anything that’s more than 50 calories during the fasting hours, it won’t interfere with your body’s fasting processes.

But there’s much more info on that topic and so many others on the YouTube channels I suggested above.

So why did Matt get kidney stones? Well, about two weeks ago, I discovered an amazing keto “bread” recipe, and we’ve gone way overboard in indulging on this bread literally every single day with every meal. And one of the main ingredients is almond flour. Unbeknownst to me, almonds are incredibly high in something called oxalates, which contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

I had no idea, but it turns out that Dr. Berg did. He has a video on it. (He literally has a video on just about every single issue or question one could have about keto.) Had I only seen that video two weeks ago, I could have saved Matt a whole lotta pain! But now we know, and we’re cutting out almond flour completely for a while, and then will introduce it back in moderation along with lots of foods containing citrates to balance and counteract.

It’s all about balance. 🙂

Anyway, I’d be happy to answer any questions on that topic, but I’m no keto guru. I do love eating this way, though. I love that I’m losing weight with seemingly no effort, and I love how it makes me feel. And as awful as intermittent fasting sounds (I remember thinking it sounded crazy and very difficult), I love it. We spend less money on food, and I spent way less time in the kitchen every day. More money and more time for other things? Yes, please! And done right, you’ll never get hungry during those fasting hours.

Now About Cooper

Y’all this precious boy has really come a long way since I last posted about him. He used to be afraid of his yard, scared to death of the neighbor’s metal shop building with the loud creaking door, and just very distrusting overall. Plus, there was that whole scary food aggression thing.

But he has made such improvements in the five months he’s been with us! He’s gained a whole lotta weight (he’s probably about 75-80 pounds now), he’s no longer afraid of his yard, and he’s so gentle when I give him food out of my hand.

He’s still got a ways to go. He’s crazy on a leash, he gets very hyper sometimes and just won’t calm down, and he has an obsession with Peeve. He just won’t leave her alone. I mean, he’s getting better, but he still chases her through the house sometimes and annoys her in general. At least he’s not aggressive with her, though. That would be a huge problem.

But let me tell you about the baby squirrel incident.

About two weeks ago, I let Cooper out into his yard, and as I turned to close the door, I heard this sound. It was like a high pitched wheezing/crying sound. I turned to see Cooper with his head down towards the ground, and I thought he was choking on something. I panicked and just about started to Heimlich my dog, when I realized that he was looking at and nudging something on the ground. I moved him out of the way and saw this little guy…

That, my friends, is a newborn squirrel. He was probably about 2.5 to 3 inches long.

I was so scared that Cooper was going to eat him, so I pushed him away, snatched the baby squirrel up and brought him inside. I washed him off a little (he was covered in dirt), put him under a 100-watt lamp for heat, and headed to the grocery store for unflavored Pedialyte to rehydrate him. (I found all of those instructions online. I didn’t just instinctively know what to do. 😀 )

Then I got online and found a local wildlife rescue. I called, but couldn’t get in touch with them, so I finally called someone at a different, non-local location of that same wildlife rescue, and she told me to put him in a box and put him back outside to see if his mom would find him.

I did that. And he died. I was heartbroken and upset. I was seriously in tears over a tiny newborn squirrel.

So the next morning, I got up, let Cooper into his yard, and there was another newborn squirrel in the same place!

I did the same thing. Snatched him up, brought him inside, washed of the dirt, put him in a box with a towel, and gave him Pedialyte. This time I decided to put him back outside, but keep a very close eye on him. And I also brought him back inside every hour or so for a couple more drops of Pedialyte to keep him hydrated.

Well, somewhere along the way, I decided to let Cooper get close. And before I knew it, Cooper had snatched that newborn squirrel out of the box, scooping him up into his mouth, and carried him off. I just knew he was going to eat that squirrel, and I was prepared to be heartbroken again. But what I saw warmed my heart and made me love my big lug of a dog even more.

Cooper took that tiny little squirrel over to shaded area of the yard, put him on the ground, and started nudging and licking the squirrel until the squirrel started crying. It was as if he was trying to revive the little guy. He was so gentle, so concerned, and so caring with this tiny little squirrel. I couldn’t believe it!

And from then on, every time I’d bring the squirrel back outside, Cooper would do the same thing. I was hoping that his crying would alert his mom as to his location, but we left him out there all day, and she never came. Finally late in the afternoon, I got in touch with a local “squirrel expert” and handed the tiny squirrel over to her to be cared for.

But y’all, I was just so proud of my big guy and how sweet he was to that tiny little newborn squirrel. I certainly hadn’t expected it. I had expected that tiny squirrel to be a tasty pre-lunch treat for him, but it wasn’t.

Strangely, the next morning, the same thing happened. I let Cooper out, and right there in the same place was a third newborn squirrel. Sadly, that one was already dead. 🙁 But at least we got one to safety. My guess is that the mother met a tragic end and couldn’t return to her babies.

And finally…

What I’m Listening To

Well, at least this section of today’s post is tangentially related to DIY! 😀 I mentioned yesterday that I listen to podcasts when I work on my projects, and I’m especially into true crime podcasts. (I listen with my earbuds in so I can hear over my tools, and I get so into them sometimes that it’s very easy for people to sneak up on me and scare the heck out of me! 😀 )

Anyway, a couple of people asked me what my favorites are, so let me share with all of you who are needing something new to listen to while you’re working.

First, I listen regularly to three podcasts that aren’t in the true crime genre.

  1. Young House Love Has A Podcast — When John and Sherry first announced that they were starting a podcast, I honestly wasn’t sure how a podcast about DIY and decorating was going to work. Well, it turns out they do it quite well! If you loved their blog when they used to blog regularly, you’ll love their podcast. They’re fun and keep things light and interesting, and I don’t miss an episode.
  2. Revisionist History — This is a podcast hosted by Malcolm Gladwell, and I just love almost every single episode. If you want to sample it, the episode I’ve found the most interesting so far is Season 1, Episode 8 — The Blame Game. And probably my favorite episode was Season 2 Episode 6 — The King Of Tears. And yes, I was in tears at the end. But it’s just so good.
  3. How I Built This – This podcast is hosted by Guy Raz, and each episode is an interview with someone who has built an incredibly successful business. Okay, clearly I don’t know how to “sell” this podcast, because that sounds really boring, but I can assure you, it’s not! It’s encouraging, uplifting, and just overall amazing to hear these stories from people, some of whom were the “least likely to succeed” types, who beat impossible odds, fought against tremendous adversity, and turned ideas into incredibly successful businesses. By far, my absolute favorite episode is the very first one about Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me pump my fist in the air in celebration. But really, almost every single episode is just as good.

Okay, now to my absolute favorite genre of podcasts — TRUE CRIME!

  1. Serial — A list like this wouldn’t be complete with this podcast. It’s kind of the original. The quintessential. If you’re a true crime podcast listener, you’ve already listened to at least the first season this podcast, I’m sure. But if you’re new to this genre and just want to test it out, start here. Season one is amazing. Season two is interesting. Season three is coming at the end of this month.
  2. Truth and Justice — This podcast is hosted by Bob Ruff, a fireman-turned-podcaster and investigator. I think this podcast got started by taking an even deeper look into the Adnan Syed case, which was covered in the first season of Serial. But I didn’t start listening until either season 2 or 3. This is a podcast that covers one case each season, and dives VERY deep into every single aspect of the case. The host only covers cases where he believes there is a likely wrongful conviction, and (spoiler alert) this podcast has been incredibly instrumental in getting at least one wrongfully convicted person out of prison (set to be released this month, I believe), and I think another one might possibly be either released or get a new trial. I’ve lost track, but good things are happening from this podcast.
  3. Up and Vanished –  This is another podcast that takes a deep dive into one case and focuses on that case for an entire season. The first season was so good, and (I believe) was actually instrumental in bringing national attention to a decades-old cold case to reveal the the truth of what happened.
  4. Southern Nightmare – This is another deep look at a single case throughout one season. The first season didn’t cover an unsolved case, but it did go into the Southside Strangler case in Virginia, which was the first time DNA was used to bring a serial killer to justice.
  5. Crimetown – This is one of my absolute favorites, but don’t listen if you can’t take lots of cussing 😀 . The first season was all about organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island, and the listener is taken deep into the world of the mob, with actual interviews with some of these mobsters who lived to tell the tales. I was so drawn in by these stories, and hated for season one to end.

And I think that’s enough to keep y’all entertained for a while. But I’ll share my new favorites every once-in-a-while if y’all are interested in knowing what I’m listening to, which ones I’ve enjoyed, and what I recommend. Podcasts are a great way to stay entertained while working on long, tedious projects.

Have a great weekend, y’all! Hopefully I’ll get a chance this weekend to finish up the porch and work on that art project I mentioned.



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Whaaat! You’re a member of the T&J Army too? Didn’t you just love watching Ed Ates embrace his family this week? I’m still thinking about them. What a blessing. Haven’t listened yet today, saving that for a walk.

    1. Ugh! I MISSED IT!! I couldn’t remember when he was getting released! I’m sure there are plenty of videos online. Going to look now. I’ll be in tears.

      And weird question, but do you miss the old intro song? I miss it so much! The whole, “I’m bringing an army with me…” intro just got me so pumped up. 😀 I want them to bring it back.

    2. Oops I got excited and posted before I read your whole paragraph. Go on the Facebook fan page – Truth and Justice Podcast Fans and it will be easy to find videos. Folks were there in the heat waiting and generously taking video for those of us all over the world. Have some tissues handy.

  2. If you love True crime podcasts you have to listen to True Crime Obsessed. It is amazing! I am a true crime podcast junkie as well. This one is by far my favorite. Enjoy!

    1. Awesome! Looking it up now to subscribe. I listen to so much every day and go through podcasts so quickly that I’m always scrambling to find something new to listen to. I’ll take any and all suggestions!

  3. Yes! You are not the first to say they miss that song! I think it’s still there on prior seasons. Love Malcom Gladwell too. I learn so much from him.

  4. I wanted to make a suggestion to you and Matt about your diet. Consider getting a referral from your physician for a clinical dietitian for a consultation about your diet. One thing to consider: Matt may need a different sort of diet to stay healthy than you do. I know that you like the current diet and eating pattern you have now, and that it allows you a lot more time out of the kitchen than a traditional three meals a day approach, but it would be worth your while, for the sake of your health and that of your husband, to find out what an expert and professional in the field of nutrition thinks would be healthy and optimal for the two of you.

  5. So glad Matt is better. And I love this post because I’m doing the keto diet & IF too! I had found Dr. Jason Fung and your Dr. Berg and have been living on YouTube watching videos and learning about this keto thing…I’ve been doing it about 5 weeks. I’ve lost about 15 lbs. I’m so excited as well, because, I too am a carb-addict. When I saw your Sonic Sweet Teas in some photos of your DIYs I knew we were kindred spirits!!! LOL! But let me tell you for 4 years I’ve suffered with stomach ailments and have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so I had already started cutting out breads and flour, but this only led me to MORE ice cream and Snickers bars…I know, I’m soooo healthy. But I’m so determined to eat better and not become type II diabetic, and this seemed to be the way to do better for me. The IF has led me to much more self-control where the ice cream and Snickers just led me to more and more ice cream and Snickers oh, and chips. these items were my staples for a couple years. Terrible nutrition. But I feel so much better now, and I just want to tell everyone about it, but I’m finding that not a lot of people really believe it or agree with the low carb high fat philosophy. All I can say is I’m losing weight, I’m sleeping great, I feel energetic and I’m NOT obsessed with sweets. So I’m on the right path. Glad to hear you and Matt are as well! Sorry such a long post but just so excited!!!

    1. I am a big fan of Dr. Fung. He’s the one that got me to start OMAD for longevity. I am shocked that I never am hungry anymore. I feel as if I have been released from this carb prison!

      1. I have two friends who are having aa hard time with their MS so I am very curious if the keto diet is helping with your symptoms.

          1. Glad your feet are better. But sorry about your hands. If it is ok I will ask again in the future before recommending they try the diet.

  6. I’m doing both Keto and IF as well. I do the 16/8 IF where I eat either btwn 10a-6p or 11a-7p and then fast for 16hrs. Loving all the energy and the healthy feeling!

  7. Thank you for sharing…A Day in the Life of Kristi. Good info on the Keto. I don’t follow it (yet), but have friends that are on it. I have MS also, but was waiting to talk to my doctor to make sure it is ok for me to do so. I’m glad to hear that Matt is doing well on it. Yay for Cooper! He is obviously putting to use what he has learned from you…love and compassion. Thankful Matt is better. Those darn kidney stones are a Pain…coming and going! 🙂 Have a great day!

  8. You’ll have to give CaseFile a listen as well. Love that podcast and boy is their team great with research and details.
    If you aren’t opposed to intense foul language, My Favorite Murder is one of my favorites. The two female hosts are great and I now look forward to their twice weekly podcast releases.

    I really enjoyed this type of post. Though I thoroughly enjoy your traditional posts, this was a nice break that allowed to us to get to know your family even further.

    Thanks for always being inspiring!

    1. A fellow murderino! I seriously look forward to my commute because of Karen and Georgia! Totally listen to My Favorite Murder, Kristi!!

      1. SSDGM!!! Love My Favorite Murder! I also recently started listening to Criminal since Karen recommended it so strongly… Y’all! IT. IS. SO. GOOD!!!

        1. I was scrolling through to see if someone recommended MFM 🙂 SSDGM!!

          Also, I feel like you would love The Moth. It’s a mix of regular people and famous people telling true stories and SOOOO awesome!

        2. “I’m Pheobe Judge. This is Criminal.” YES!!

          I love that podcast. And I want Phoebe Judge to bring her melodic, smooth-as-silk voice to my house every night and read me bedtime stories. 😀

          1. Yes! Phoebe Judge is the best! I just love that it takes an aspect of true crime or the justice system and investigates it in a way I’ve never heard before! I’m really loving it!

  9. I just moved to TX (Fort Worth area) and in an effort to get to know my new state, I found a TX crime podcast 😂 it’s called all crime, no cattle and they do only Texas crimes. It’s pretty good. Dirty John is a really good serialized one also. One of my absolute favorites is Small Town Murder. If you thought Crimetown has a lot of cussing, this one blows it out of the water 😂 but it’s two standup comedians and they are hilarious- I often laugh out loud listening to them and look like a crazy person!

  10. I really enjoyed this post, Kristi. A glimpse into your “other life” was fun.
    I love Guy Raz’s podcasts as well as Hidden Brain. I also listen to my mystery books on
    my iPad while cleaning, ironing, etc.
    And Cooper! He reminds me of Miss Ruby from “For the Love Of Ruby” blog. She is amazing at nurturing these teeny cleft palate pups that are from mere ounces to 1-2lbs. Her journey with Tiny Tim could be a Hallmark Movie and the end still makes me dissolve into a puddle.
    And congrats on the weight loss. This ( diet ) can be as controversial as one’s politics or religion so no matter the path you choose, I’m happy it works for you and Matt.
    Thanks again for a peek at the day to day side of your life and times.
    Ps..I was going to sing your praises to YHL about your fabulous new porch as they are working on the Duplex’s porch. But they already have the brick stairs in place, and I imagine they have a plan for the porch in mind.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing about the Keto diet. I’ve heard so much about it, but great to hear these details from you. Glad to learn this about almonds as that’s my snack of choice-think I better watch that! So happy Matt is okay.

    1. Our problem was over-indulging on almonds. If we just snacked on them, I would’ve been fine but we made bread with 1.5 cups of ground almond flour which I estimate to be around 6 cups of whole almonds…could bewrong though.

    2. I’m glad to hear Matt is doing much better. And that is sweet about about Cooper and how he was trying to help the squirrel.

      Have you guys tried golden flaxseed meal and coconut flour as alternatives to almond meal?

      The Wholesome Yum Leto food blog has a coconut flour bread that looked yummy.

      I don’t eat keto-style but I have done Trim Healthy Mama (THM) which is like eating low-carb but more so “carb conscious”, but has fun trying THM baking recipes made with coconut and flax meal, which are pretty tasty! Probably keto friendly as they’re sweetened with Stevia, Eryrithritol (trivia) or Xylitol.

  12. It’s funny, you mentioned the Keto diet. I was just telling my husband that I seriously wanted to look into us starting that diet, I asked him to look up any information on it. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. I just don’t know where to begin. Anyway, I’ll look up those couple that you mentioned and maybe that will be the kick start to move it along.
    Thanks for the info. I’m so glad your having success with it. Oh, I’ll definitely stay away from that almond flour. I’ve had a kidney stone and it’s no fun!
    Take care.

  13. I’ve been needing something new to listen to so thank you very much for your suggestions! I’ve never done a 22 hour fast (except for bone broth days) but now you have me interested in it. For us it would have to be at a ‘normal’ dinner hour and hopefully that also works.
    How long did it take before you felt 100%?
    Matt, continue to feel better. I was just looking at a coconut flour bread yesterday that looks yummy. Maybe I can pass that along ?
    Don’t we love our dogs? Right when I’m frustrated with mine they put their heads on my lap and look up at me with all the doggy love they have. ;0)

    1. When doing intermittent fasting, you can choose your window for eating whenever fits your schedule. So dinner time would work. And lots of people choose a much longer window, and do two meals (lunch and dinner). Dr. Berg has a video on how to transition from three meals with snacks to one or two meals with no snacks.

      I’d say it took about a week for me to fully adjust. There’s definitely a transition time, which is to be expected when going from a carb-rich diet to basically no carbs. Your body has to transition to burning sugar for fuel to burning fat, and that process can cause some temporary issues. Some people experience something called “keto flu” and other things, but you just have to remember that it’s temporary, and as soon as you get through it, you’ll start to feel better and have way more energy. I personally didn’t experience anything like keto flu, but I did have a few days of feeling sluggish.

  14. Thank you for the Podcast suggestions. I also like ‘crime’ genre so these will be interesting.

    I’m sorry Matt felt so awful yesterday and hope it doesn’t happen again.

  15. Good to hear about Matt feeling better, I’ve had kidney stones, once it started in the evening and was pretty much done by the time I could get into the doctor the next morning.

    I guess you wouldn’t be using almonds too much, but my fav way to “make” Almond flour is to make almond milk and dehydrate the pulp. My husband and I are probably going to start up some dieting again soon. I want to start Atkins again, but I have a potato problem. I need something to help minimize cravings cravings. I swap sunflower seeds and melted cheese crisps for chips, but I still miss baked potatoes. We’ll look into keto, seems more balanced. Once we made these biscuits to be like red lobster’s. They turned out incredible, kinda a mix of that and Jim-n-Nicks biscuits. Sadly the recipe got lost before I could save it.

    1. Have you ever tried loaded mashed cauliflower in place of your potatoes? I’ve hard people talk about this for at least a couple of years, and I thought they were crazy. I didn’t think there was any way it would taste like loaded mashed potatoes, but I made it last week, and absolutely LOVED IT!

      Here’s the recipe I used:

      I don’t own a microwave, so I cooked my cauliflower on the stove top until it was soft. Then I squeezed out the excess moisture using a nut milk bag before adding the rest of the ingredients. Seriously amazing.

  16. First – glad Matt has recovered from the kidney stone. I understand it’s especially painful for men. Any time diet is drastically changed, you should tune it to what is happening as your body adjusts. Gradual changes are best.
    Second – poor tiny squirrels. And good for you (and Cooper!) for trying your best to save them. Last year I watched a momma raise her babies in a knothole of a tree by our house. The young ones would sometimes come out and play tag around the tree, always staying close to the hole so they could scoot back in fast from dangers. Now they come and raid our bird feeder!!! Stinkers!
    Third – only podcast I’ve listened to is Young House Love. My only gripe about it is Sherry’s annoying giggling laugh, but I love it for it’s content.

    Have a good weekend yourself, and don’t forget to get some down time!

    1. I try to force her to take off every Friday. Today, I really want to watch a movie with her on Netflix or Hulu.

  17. First, Cooper – all the feels – just love him! Second, also a lover of True Crime podcasts. My husband and I have a long commute, so we like to pass the time listening to them. We actually sat in the driveway on a couple occasions because they were so good. Two more good ones:

    1. S-Town – also from This American Life (same as Serial), hosted by Brian Reed.
    2. Dirty John –

    1. Loved both of those! Dirty John was so interesting in the way they presented the story. You know right off that someone was killed, but have to listen to the entire podcast to the end to find out for sure who it was! I loved that.

  18. Thanks for sharing a little more of yourself with us, I feel like I know you better as a “real” person now instead of just a Super Handy Woman, lol.
    I was advised by my doctor to eat a “low carb” diet more than a year ago, so I too have been eating more ketogenic since then. I lost close to 20 pounds right off the bat, then stabilized, and just recently I decided to take another look at what I’m eating and am choosing to cut waaaay back on cheese and the keto ‘breads’ too. I also was recently introduced to Dr. Steven Gundry, who was a heart surgeon for many years but quit to open his own Restorative Medicine clinic when he found a way to help his patients NOT have to have surgery! He uses a “lectin-free” diet from his two best-selling books, “The Plant Paradox” and “The Plant Paradox Cookbook”. I’m down 2 pounds just this week since cutting out nightshades and eating less (but not NO) protein. I too have watched and learned from many videos by Dr. Berg and some of Thomas DeLauer’s. Isn’t it fascinating that so many of us on this blog share these common interests?
    As to Cooper, he is a very special dog. Our dog Delilah WOULD have eaten that squirrel in a heartbeat. She has been following my husband while he bush hogged the field behind our house the past week, grabbing and wolfing down field mice and whatever else jumps out of the way of the tractor. Of course, she is expecting puppies, so I guess she needs that ‘live’ food! She and her mate Samson (don’t laugh) even caught and killed a copperhead snake behind our garden, and though both of them sustained bites to their throats, they are now doing fine and hopefully will be more careful next time. But Delilah is fiercely protective of her human and follows him everywhere. Dogs really are ‘people’ too, aren’t they?
    Thanks for the insight into the ‘real’ Kristi, I always look forward to your posts. And Matt is a real sweetheart; I am so happy that he is feeling better.

    1. Samson and Delilah? 😀 That’s funny.

      I have such a problem giving up nightshades!! I know we really should (or at least Matt should, since people with autoimmune diseases are especially reactive to them), but I just have such a hard time giving up tomatoes and cayenne pepper. I could probably give up all of the others, but those two are staples in my diet!

      1. Our puppy was originally named Samson because he’s a boxer/bull mastiff mix. When he got older and we were given his companion, we had to re-name her Delilah because she was constantly tempting him to go outside the 5-acre yard and play in the road! They have both settled in now and enjoy staying inside except when we go for a walk down the road with them on a leash.
        Anyway, as to giving up tomatoes, Dr. Gundry does say that you can eat them on his Phase 3 by peeling, de-seeding, and then pressure cooking them, which destroys the lectin proteins. Phase 3 would be when you have reached your goal weight, are no longer in pain, or have other good markers such as normal blood pressure and no sign of insulin resistance. It’s the lifelong version, a fine-tuning of the low-carb/ketogenic diet. Just something to consider when/if you’re ready.

        1. Oh, and cayenne pepper is okay because it’s made with the peeled, de-seeded peppers. So is hot sauce, because it’s fermented.

  19. Welcome to the club, Kristi. I don’t actually do hard-core Keto, but do lean toward a low-carb, high-good-fat diet and, like you, I love it. I also do intermittent fasting, but less stringent that yours; mine is 16/8. For me, IF is my magic bullet: it makes me feel so so good and also keeps me slim — not because I ingest fewer calories but because my insulin (the fat-storage hormone) isn’t being spiked all day long by eating small meals throughout the day.

    You projects are all amazing; I stand in awe; now you’ll have even more energy to create beauty in you home, woohoo!

    Best to the animals in your life …. sweetness.

    Thank you for sharing,

  20. Good luck with the diet. My mom is on the same thing and loves it. It has completely helped her issues with being borderline diabetic (only eating once a day her body only has one opportunity to react and do its thing with insulin). She also has issues with gluten but between Dr. Berg and Dr. Perlmutter, she has found a wealth of knowledge to help her. Keep up the good work!

    Glad to hear that you were able to save one of the squirrels. After seeing the one on Instagram, I was so sad. Thanks for being so compassionate (maybe that’s where your dog gets it from). 🙂

  21. Oh goodness, loved this post and getting a behind the scenes personal life peek! Cooper is a beautiful boy 🙂 Would love weekly podcast recommendations, as I also love the true crime genre, but always looking for something new.

  22. I think most dogs have better sense than we do. I have also had kidney stones. I had a 9lb 6oz baby with no pain meds and the stones hurt more. One almost killed me. They told me to stay away from caffeine products and the oxalate was spinach, and almost anything that grew in the ground. I hope Matt keeps feeling okay.

    1. Patty, about this same time of year 5 years ago, I gave myself an nasty kidney stone. I had switched my diet to unsweetened iced black tea, spinach salads and almonds for every meal and snack. I did no research until after I was sporting a stent for two weeks and found I had probably the worst combination of foods to make such a sudden switch. I did lose 10 lbs., but I cannot recommend it. 🙂 My daughter-in-law is suffering from one right now for similar reasons.

      1. Linda I almost died. I did code the next night and I left the hospital with a PIC line. I did stop smoking but I should have done it years ago. I now have lung cancer and not one of those cigarettes were worth it. Tell you DIL to drink a lot of water.

  23. I am sorry for Matt’s discomfort, but glad that he is doing much better!

    FYI: As an individual who has been strict Keto for over 2 years, and also involved in a group whose founder is a Nutritionist, Keto Coach, and has himself been eating Ketogenically for almost 14 (yes, fourteen) years, kidney stones are *not* a result of eating a ketogenic diet. Kidney stones take *years* to develop and would not have been a result of y’aals current way of eating. I can provide excellent, factual and physio, bio, and metabolic science based info regarding the Ketogenic life if you are interested…just email me, or msg me on FB.

    1. Oh, I think Matt’s kidney stone issue was probably a very long time in the making, especially considering the junk we’ve lived on for so long. But I also think there had to be some sort of “final straw” to get the ball (or the stone, in this case) rolling, and considering the sudden introduction and high quantity of almond flour we’ve been eating the last two weeks, which coincided with our sudden aversion to salads and veggies in general, I just feel strongly that that was the last straw for Matt’s body to say, “Enough is enough!” I mean, we’ve been eating a LOT of almond flour every day. Moderation isn’t really our default. 😀 And we also struggle with balance. The last two weeks, you could describe our diet as “dirty keto” or “lazy keto” at best, because while it was low carb, there was nothing balanced about it.

      The reason I think it was the almond flour is because as soon as we introduced that into our diets, we both had reactions to it, but we both tried to ignore them because we loved that bread so much! I started losing energy, started having aches and pains again, started feeling bloated, and my ankles would be swollen at the end of the day. Matt also started having noticeable effects. And that was the only new thing we added to our diets (while at the same time, eating fewer and fewer and eventually almost zero veggies).

      I don’t think almonds are bad. In fact, I think if you’re just eating a handful as a snack, they’re very healthy. But when you consider just how many almonds it takes to make finely ground flour, and then consider how much we were eating every single day, that’s just a ridiculous amount of almonds. And almonds are very high in oxalates. I just think it’s about moderation and balance, and our bodies weren’t liking the quantities we were eating. And I strongly believe the sudden introduction of high quantities was the “final straw” for Matt’s body.

  24. Loved the story about your pup! And, not only is he sensitive, he’s a beautiful animal. Love the photo of him on the floor.

  25. Glad your feeling better Matt!! Thanks Kristi for the heads up about almonds. My husband is subject kidney stones too and has been eating almonds. We’ve already had one trip to the ER, thank you for preventing another. One item the Dr mentioned thats helping is True Lemon. I never heard of it and maybe you have but if not, its lemon powder (comes in packets like sugar) you can sprinkle in your water.

  26. I’m a true crime podcast junkie too Kristi! I like all the ones you mentioned except Revisionist History (I’ll look for that one and try it out), and the first podcast I listened to was S-Town – you should give it a listen. Glad Matt is feeling better.

  27. I know this may not be a possibility for you, but maybe Cooper needs a dog friend. He might need someone to play with to let his energy out and leave your cat alone.

  28. Thanks so much for sharing some of the non-DIYer Kristi with us! I already knew you were pretty special, but now I feel as if I know you better as a person. I’m so glad Matt is feeling better! Those kidney stones are nasty, so I hear! And Cooper is priceless. What a loving, sweet dog he is!!

  29. I’m a kidney stone maker (Two urologists told me that there are people who make kidney stones, and people who don’t. If you are, you are. I dunno. That’s just what they told me). I make calcium ones, thank God. Uric acid stones are scary. I was warned not to ever do anything remotely low carb because the risk to my kidneys was just too much. I also get migraines…and I found out that almonds were a trigger for my migraines, so I cut out almonds several years ago and I get way fewer migraines now! I hope whatever you guys end up doing works with no more stones. I never passed mine despite excruciating pain for years and finally ended up having bilateral lithotripsy. My stones were HUGE! I had a stent in my right ureter for 6 weeks and that was so painful. I also had two natural childbirths…and kidney stones were WAY WORSE…so I can verify that a man CAN experience pain as bad or worse than childbirth! Sorry, Matt! Glad you are okay!

  30. Hi Kristie and Matt–I started the keto diet and IF last week–so far it is going well–the hardest part is watching my DH eat junk constantly in front of me!

    I am intrigued by your mention of a good bread–would you care to share it? I really miss that.

    Glad Matt is better–it is so nice to see him here too!


    1. Jeanne, just google “fathead bread”. You’ll find a plethora of recipes and with its various uses, from a loaf of bread to pizza dough to dinner rolls to cinnamon rolls and so much more. It’s incredibly versatile. But as with most things (other than your leafy green veggies and cruciferous veggies), moderation is key. 😉

        1. You’re welcome! Here’s the specific one we’ve used lately. Don’t get your hopes up, though. Ours came out nothing like a hamburger bun or sandwich bread. It was more like a dense biscuit-type roll that we had hot out of the oven with butter along with our meal. It’s good, as long as you manage your expectations. 🙂 Both the texture and the taste are somthing like a cross between a Bisquick drop biscuit and a cornbread muffin. 😀

  31. Hi Kristi! That’s awesome you’re doing keto! I have been on it a few months too and I mostly love it. 😉 There are times I get lazy and eat the same thing and so needed to try some different things, and that was good. Can I ask what bread recipe you were using? I found one on gnom gnom I like but it doesn’t rise that great…could just be me, but just curious about another one. I’ve tried quite a few but find them very ‘eggy’ tasting and I myself don’t care for that. The gnom gnom recipe IS TASTY! Just wanting something a little bigger. Loved your Cooper story…so sweet.

    1. Oh, don’t get your hopes up for a fluffy loaf of bread. I have yet to find that. 🙁

      I’ve tried several so far just to find something that’s bread-like, and this is my favorite recipe so far:

      Don’t get your hopes up for hamburger buns. Or sandwich bread. 😀 I made the recipe exactly like it says, and mine came out nothing like a hamburger bun or sandwich bread. BUT, it’s still very good. I would say that texture is more like a drop biscuit made from Bisquick (which is a favorite of mine), and the taste is like if you mixed a flour biscuit with a cornbread muffin. It’s somewhere in between those two things. We like (or liked) to eat them as dinner rolls fresh out of the oven with butter.

      But it’s basically the fathead bread recipe. Fathead bread is so versatile. You can find recipes online where people have adapted it for just about everything bread-based, from pizza crusts, to cinnamon rolls, and everything in between.

      1. Okay! Good to know! I had the same result with hamburger buns, and have made fathead dough for pizza which is excellent. I haven’t tried biscuits yet so this will be good. Thank s so much Kristi…keto on!! ❤️

  32. Hi Kristi! Thanks for all the inspiration you offer on your blog! Your house looks amazing and I am in awe of all the things you take on. You make it look so easy!

    I just watched the youtube video from the Dr. Berg link in your post. I am wondering if you use the raw wheat grass juice powder and if that is a good way to begin this diet. Thank you so much!

    1. We do use the raw wheatgrass powder! It’s hard for me to stomach it on its own, so I came up with a drink that we have twice a day (during fasting hours is fine). If you like tart things, you might like this. I call it our SweeTart drink because it reminds me of the candy. For each drink (one serving) I put the following in my blender and pulse just until it’s mixed well. I don’t blend too much because then it gets all foamy in top, and I hate that. 😀

      2 cups of water
      1 scoop of wheatgrass powder
      1 scoop of Dr. Berg’s electrolyte powder
      1 scoop/serving of whole food powder (we use something called Texas Superfoods, and I just open the capsules and pour the powder into the blender and discard the capsules, but you can find all kinds of “whole food” capsules or powder at a health food store or health food section of the grocery store)
      1 teaspoon Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
      juice from one lemon, freshly squeezed (the bottled juice tastes bitter to me, so I like the fresh stuff)
      1/2 serving of nutritional yeast (I use Dr. Berg’s nutritional yeast tablets and grind them up with my mortar and pestle before putting the into the blender so that I don’t have to blend as long, because…foam. 😀 )
      1 packet of zero carb sweetener of choice

      That’s it, twice a day. I pulse in the blender just until it’s mixed well, and pour over ice and swirl it around until it’s super cold. Then enjoy! It’s like drinking a liquid SweeTart. I loved it immediately, but Matt doesn’t like things as tart as I do, so it took him a while to get used to it. But it’s like a twice-a-day treat for me.

  33. Thanks so much for the caution about almonds, Kristi. I’ve been doing keto since last November, and snack on a lot of almonds. If you’re interested in a good snack bar, I just discovered Stoka bars, 4 net carbs, best I’ve tried yet! I ordered thrm on Amazon.

    1. I really think that almonds (just like anything else) are fine in moderation. If you’re just snacking on a handful of almonds, I don’t see a problem. They’re very healthy and nutrient-dense nuts. But if you consider just how many almonds it takes to make finely ground almond flour, and then consider how much it takes to make bread (and that we were eating it every day), that’s where the problem lies. Matt and I have trouble with moderation. 😀 Which explains why we’re in the shape we’re in in the first place. 😀

      But don’t stop enjoying your handful of almonds as a snack! That’s a healthy snack. And I’ll definitely look up those Stoka bars.

      1. Yeah, well, my problem is that it isn’t just a handful now and then. I really do eat a lot of them, and I’ve been wondering if that has caused my fibro symptoms to flare. After reading your post, I did a little research and it could be the problem. I’ve backed off before and the aching went away, so if the same happens this time, I’ll assume that’s the problem.

  34. Just a quick comment on the podcasts and maybe some to check out:

    True Crime: True Crime Garage
    They expolre a case a week (usually)

    The Way I Heard It – Mike Rowe. They are sporadic and are only about 15 minutes. But he have a great voice and the stories are super interesting!

    The Moth – storytelling. People from all walks of life tell stories. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be entertained (or I do 😂)

    I’m not a regular postcast listener, but I do tune into to these when I listen. I also love true crime!!

  35. Matt,
    As a canine lover and dog owner for 50+ years I give this advice, get another dog. I know, I know, Cooper is already a handful BUT, you will be amazed at the change adding another dog can make. My husband of four years was VERY skeptical when we added a stray to our “we only need one dog” household. After three weeks had passed he remarked, “It’s just SO weird, even though they don’t play much, they seem to mellow each other out”. Ask to “borrow” a friend’s dog for a week, or offer to “dog sit”. Even though dogs are incredibly good at becoming a member of the family, I have found they need another of their own kind. It’s worth a try.

  36. Thank you for the podcast list, I’ve listened to all of those, so thought I’d share some of my favorites:

    Sword and Scale
    Court Junkie
    Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom
    In the Dark (loved both season, esp. 2)
    Empire on Blood
    Cover Up
    Framed (currently listening to)
    Dr. Death (currently listening to)

      1. Yea, no kidding about Dr. Death. I thought for sure he was an imposter!!!

        I’m glad I could name a few you haven’t listened to. Hopefully you like them! I’d love for you to do more of these personal updates, maybe once a month, and include any new podcasts you’re currently listening to 😊

  37. Hey, I purchased a few books about the ketogenic diet. I think I have an adequate knowledge base but wanted to make certain I had all the info I needed for my daughter who is a Type 1 diabetic. Anyway, I found this site to be full of valuable MS patients can benefit from a ketogenic diet. If there is significant kidney, GB, or pancreas dz there could be serious issues. here is the link:
    I’m so glad you have Cooper. He is such a beautiful boy and so kind. I could see my lab being sweet to the baby squirrel but my sausage dogs would go nuts.
    I listen to the diy guy and a couple of the crime podcasts. My little boy (he’s a pilot😂) thinks I was a murder in a previous life. Good luck and hope your husband is doing well.
    BTW I have a Cooper too but he’s short and fat.

  38. Hello. So glad things are going well! Has Matt ever read about and/or followed the advice of Dr. Terry Wahls? She is an M.D. who turned her MS around through diet (mainly LOTS of vegies). If he hasn’t, it might be worth a look.

  39. I’ve been away for a couple of days so am commenting on three or four posts in one go now 🙂 First, I’m really glad to hear from you again!! And that you found a solution for the trolling problem. I am very impressed by it and give Matt a special thumbs up – I guess it’ll be not too easy for him either not to let the trolls get to him.
    I love your entrance – it looks fantastic and is sooo beautiful! And when I just thought, hmmm, what is she going to do about that concrete bit underneath – I clicked to the next post and looked at the stones 🙂 I would have thought that wood looked better there, but you resp. the stones convinced me – it certainly gives the whole front a balanced look!
    And about this post I have to add to all those who like getting a peek behind the scenes. It makes you more real to me, and even though I’m thousands of miles away, you do feel like a friend and I love hearing from you and your loved ones. Have a great weekend and do follow Matt’s “advice” to relax and take some time off your work!

  40. Bless Cooper’s heart! How sweet and thoughtful. I would enjoy listening to those podcasts. Thanks for sharing. My favorite series on tv is Cold Justice. I find it fascinating .

  41. I’m starting keto/real food diet this week and was so happy to hear about your great success thus far! That is just more motivation for me! Thanks!

  42. Very cool post, Kristi, thank you. Cheers to you and Cooper for trying to save those newborn squirrels. Sometimes trying is all we can do. It certainly is the least we can do.

  43. I am ‘late’ in commenting about this post….I am so happy to hear about Matt health improving!!! Best news ever. And Coopers improvement as well.
    My greatest interest in this post was about the Keto diet. I have been thinking about trying it to see if it would help with any of my health / digestion issues. My doctors’ can NOT seem to get to the bottom of it. Haha. I have no large intestines…and I do take pain they just continue to blame that..I believe to feel there is another ‘issue’ at hand (and I could afford to lose some weight…lol). My question to you guys….WHERE do I start? The internet…youtube….is SO overwhelming to me….then a ‘rabbit hole”and I am confused and SO overwhelmed…that I GIVE UP. Me and technology does not get along…either… Any suggestions ? I clicked on the link in Kristi’s post for Dr. subscribe and looked around….and was already overwhelmed by the ‘videos’… I mean…what do I look for..? What do I google? I am a ‘newbie’ Sorry for the ‘winded’ post. And THANK YOU for any help or advice you may or can offer.
    Just absolutely LOVE KRISTI and everything she DOES AND STANDS FOR !!!!

  44. My husband and I have been keto for fourteen months and it’s the best thing we ever did for ourselves!! Good for you and Matt!

    We’ve recently been making the best keto yeast bread (we’ve tried them all!) and I wanted to send you the link. It uses very little almond flour. It does have vital wheat gluten which is great for the texture and flavor but not so good for celiacs.

  45. I would love some more info on your version of ‘the ketogenic diet’. I am not familiar with what it is and while I did look up Dr. Berg as you suggested, I was overwhelmed with all the videos he had and could not find any that seemed to get to the basics. I was overwhelmed. Would you mind sharing what your typical meals consist of and how you incorporate fasting in with the diet? I barely eat now in my ever ending attempt to lose weight and yet i don’t lose any weight so the idea of “fasting” to lose weight escapes me, despite it being so trendy now. It’s at the point i do not know what to eat anymore, let alone when. Any advice from someone who has tried this method and been successful would be greatly appreciated, not only by me, both I’m sure others as well. Why is it we are trying SO hard to be healthy and are fatter than we’ve ever been?

    1. Joanne,
      I basically asked the same sort of question. I went to the link as well and was completely ‘overwhelmed’….. I have SO many health issues and weight issues AND eating issues…I hardly eat and basically ‘hate eating’….I want to try the Keto thing too…but do NOT know where to start.. I am not a big sugar eater or carb eater…fasting would be easy for me….BUT what TO eat..exactly; I am at a loss for. So I feel your struggle…..I want to try it for ‘health reasons’ more than anything…Anyways….just thought I would give you my ‘two cents’…haha…

      1. I’m trying to get as much done before Matt makes (or rather, strongly encourages) me to take tomorrow off. 😃 But I’ll have much more time tomorrow to answer your questions and give you some pointers on how and where to start. I totally understand feeling overwhelmed. There’s so much info out there! It’s hard to know where to start!

        1. Hi!

          I too am completely overwhelmed…. I can’t find your answers to the above questions. I would like to know what exactly you eat in a day. I just don’t have time for elaborate recipes, but I really want to try the Keto Diet with IF. I just don’t know where to start.

  46. Love your blog! I’m not handy or a talented decorator, but I know my true crime podcasts! Listen to The Teacher’s Pet. It’s a case out of Australia and it is soooo good, I had withdrawals when I finished it, lol!

  47. Although I’m not doing Keto I changed my diet to high protein recently and was also assaulted by kidney stones. Mine couldn’t pass and surgery was required. My urologist said it was the change in my diet. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t 😞

    1. Yep, that sounds more like Atkins. I never felt great eating high protein. I feel so much better (and feel like I’m getting way more nutrition and balance) with keto. Keto isn’t a high protein diet.

  48. Yay for Cooper. How sweet…and smart for putting the baby squirrel in the shade.
    My dh also has MS and won’t try the Keto. =/
    He’s currently on a medical trial for a new medication. He may be getting the new medicine or he may be getting the placebo. We shall see. I pray for his MS to go into remission, but I can’t care about it more than he does. Keto is not that hard and if it got rid of MS or even made life a little easier, I’d do it in a nano-second.
    Great blog. I’ve had this tab opened on my screen since you’ve posted it and have just now had a moment to respond.

  49. WOW!!! I couldn’t have “checked in” at a better time. Since I ALSO have started on a Keto diet, this title caught my attention first. Thanks for all the links on additional info and sources – I’m definitely going to check out some of those videos!! CONGRATS on the weight loss!!! That’s fantastic!!! And sorry to hear about Matt’s difficulties, but glad to hear he’s on the mend. Didn’t know that John and Sherry had a podcast, so I’ll have to check on that also!! And the true crime podcasts sound interesting as well, sigh!!! I think I might have too much stuff to check out!! The story about Cooper and the squirrel was so sweet, and he looks fantastic!!!! However, I thought it wasn’t unusual for squirrels to have rabies, so I would have been very hesitant to do what you dd. It seems odd that the mother squirrel would abandon 3 babies on 3 successive days.