Your hair can be an indicator of your health…

We are, quite literally, a direct reflection of what we eat. Our skin, hair, and nails can all give us signs of a nutrient deficiency simply by the way our hair, skin, or nails look. If you don’t know me personally I’m a full time hair stylist and I love to help my clients achieve their healthiest hair. Yes, quality product and care with hair is important, but nutrition is even more so. You want your hair to grow faster, stronger, and healthier? That’s nutrition. 

Your hair is made up of the second fastest growing cells in your body, (Second to the cells in your GI tract) and your scalp has 100,000+ hairs growing at any given time. This takes energy from your body to keep this process supported properly. Energy=food, quality food like a variety of veggies, fruits, meats, and complex carbs! Yes dear that means your low carb diet is killing  your hair LITERALLY. Even though your hair is made up of the second fastest growing cells, it’s NOT considered a vital organ compared to the rest of your body. Because of this your body sends nutrients to your hair……LAST! Due to this reason nutrient deficiencies are usually shown through hair loss and/or can look and feel dry, brittle, or oily. 

Most people have been lead to believe that a healthy diet only consists of veggies, fruits, and protein sources. What most do not know is that your hair thrives off these and more. It NEEDS complex carbohydrates like oats, barley, whole wheat toast, rice, potatoes, etc. It doesn’t need one or the other, it needs a well balanced diet to thrive and (again) literally shine. Your hair also needs to be supported by healthy fats, but not to be confused with over processed fats. Too much fast food, deep fried foods, trans fats, etc. can lead to an over oily scalp and hair. Another macro-nutrient our body needs to produce strong hair is protein, which is the very building block of what our hair is made out of- keratin. Keratin is made out of amino acids and amino acids come from protein sources like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and nuts. Making sure your supporting your body with enough protein is essential to overall health and the health of your hair. 

If you want healthy growing hair take a look at your diet. Is it balanced? Start adding more nutrient dense foods like colorful veggies and fruits, along with a variety of meats and complex carbohydrates. Remember your hair gets nutrients last, so if your not eating enough nutrient dense foods there will be nothing left for your hair to take from. One salad a day ain’t gonna do it sister. 

So many people tell me “I take biotin” and that’s great it will support your hair growth, but it’s only one small piece of the bigger picture. My suggestion is to try this:

Include 1-2 cups of veggies with every meal, include veggies in snacks too! Add some complex carbohydrates into your meals and if you’ve been eating low carb for so long that this scares you, start small.  ANY progress IS progress. Been cooking with no fats? Start adding a little in, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, etc are all great sources of fat and will help your hair grow! Lastly, a variety of meats including different amino acid profiles that will aid in the strength of your hair! In my experience many people struggle getting enough meat or protein in their diet, if this is you find a quality supplement, my favorite is EarthFed Muscle which has simple whole ingredients! (You can find it online and on Instagram)

Have a question? Reach out don’t hesitate to ask via instagram @christina_curt.killeen or on FB!

Xoxo

CK

Food Timing Doesn’t Matter…..

**Picture isn’t my own- A sweet Pea Chief**

The timing of when food is eaten doesn’t matter. Sure you may have had success on a “scientifically proven nutrient timing” diet, but the truth is that if that diet was different from what you were doing before the diet, your body is going to change. THAT is the science. Along with- Ever wonder why a diet worked once and then when you went to do it again it didn’t work “as well’ or didn’t work at all? There can be many factors in this but a major one that I recently wrote about is the diet exit. If a diet exit isn’t done properly and, then furthermore ALSO eating in a surplus to help your body’s hormones bounce back, as well as, prevent your body from going into famine. 

Obviously everything is going to depend on your personal goals, but let’s say your goal is to lose weight and be leaner. Well this is where I’d ask “what do you mean by leaner?” Leaner could mean more muscle which guess what, that means building muscle which will most of the time translate to a bigger number or no change at all on the scale. More muscle on your body will burn more fat on your body, but in order to do that you need to eat more. Which for most people is the opposite of what they think when starting to “diet”. This is what a generalized food program doesn’t explain thoroughly enough. It also doesn’t program to YOUR specific needs or genetics for that matter. What works for one person WILL NOT work for most! Like I stated above, they don’t explain WHEN you should eat in surplus outside of the little diet window it’s focused on right now. This template or app you’ve been following doesn’t know your long term goal, so it can’t properly set up a healthy strategy for you and your end game. When you have big goals your nutrition shouldn’t be short term or on a plan that’s executed for only 12 weeks. 

TIming- This only matters if you are an elite athlete qualifying for the Crossfit games or olympics. But, lets say your goal is to get there one day, working towards that goal should be done with a coach just like you may have a coach for your physical goals. For the general population, and yes you local competitors too, it does. not. matter. What does matter is that you are eating ENOUGH food to fuel your workouts and reach your goals. If you do Crossfit and want to be competitive, aesthetics or body composition can’t be your goal. A lean body or ideal body you want could be a by-product of the work as a potential competitor, but eating to perform should always be the number one goal. Now with that said the mentality should not a free for all when it comes to eating, to perform well you’ll need quality whole foods in your diet and very limited processed foods along with limited alcohol use. 

Goal- Look good feel good.

Like I mentioned above, nutrient timing aka food timing doesn’t matter, but if I was working with someone in this goal I would suggest some tips for helping the body recover from exercise. Eat carbs after your workout especially after a Crossfit, HIIT, Spin, or other high intensity form of exercise. When you do high intensity exercise you deplete your body of its glycogen stores, and need to replace them so the body can properly recover, heal, and grow muscle. Depending on personal goals I may also suggest a drink during exercise, or a specific meal with macro requirements. I don’t even want to give an example here because everyone is different. A suggestion for one client won’t work for all and that’s kinda my whole point in this post.  There is unlimited info out on the internet that is targeted for “general population” what they don’t know is your history, or your workout routine and lifestyle. They don’t know your a mom of 3 kids who runs after them all day long and still breastfeeding. They don’t know that you work at a desk all day and are only active when in the gym, or your a construction worker who moves all day and can’t make it to the gym for more than 20 mins. Get a nutrition coach who puts the time in to learn YOUR story and builds a nutrition program for YOU. Those plans then are tweaked and changed throughout your journey based on YOUR progress as YOU progress. 

Xoxo

CK

Prepping for the week…

Recently I’ve been sharing in my stories how to make some really simple meals and how to change it up throughout the week. I have mentioned how I make big batches of food, but haven’t gone into detail on that in a while so I figured I’d share how I make it easier for us to eat well during the week. Every week I sit down and kinda make a plan for the following week, and I say “kinda” because I’ve been doing this for so long some things I do literally every week simply because neither one of us has gotten sick of it yet. This system works for us and allows us not to get bored throughout the week with food, but also fits into our fridge too. We have one of those french door refrigerators and I hate it. The Fridge side is so freakin small and if we tried to premake meals in all those containers some other people do…. Well it just doesn’t work for us or the size of our fridge. 

Each week I pick out 3 different veggie, carbohydrate, and protein sources that I will prepare. Once cooked, I put them in their own bigger containers and then we eat from that all week. This allows us to mix and match or simply just make a decision in the moment versus something that was packed days ago. Here’s how a typical week goes for us-

Big ole bag of broccoli florets & asparagus from costco, I also grab a big container of spinach at costco that I’ll use for salads or add to smoothies to get more greens in! Those are my 3 veg choices for the week. I stick to simple seasonings when it comes to bulk cooking so that anything can be paired together. So the broccoli is sprayed with olive oil lightly and then I use himalayan pink salt before roasting in the oven. At 350 degrees the broccoli cooks for approx 30-45 mins depending on how crispy you like it, and for us the crispier the better! For the asparagus i season exactly the same way but this cooks for approx 30 mins at 350 degrees. Hot tip I also line my pans with aluminum for easy clean up. Moving on to the meats!!

We get the majority of our meat from Butcher Box and choose the custom box so that I know exactly what is coming. Chicken breast is a staple along with thighs, steaks, ground turkey, and bacon. Every week I cook some form of chicken but I’m going to share the easiest here. Shredded chicken is super simple and super versatile for so many dishes! I cook up 3 pounds of breast in my instant pot, which if you don’t already know can cook FROZEN breasts in 25 mins. THe thing is amazing period, anyway I fill the pot with water to cover the breasts and then cook. That’s. It. No seasoning no nothing. I do it this way to allow us the freedom to make it taste different throughout the week. Tim loves hot sauce but I don’t, so this makes it so much more possible from us BOTH to eat from the same bulk cook. I add different dressings, sauces, or make them into a fun taco surprise bowl to add variety to our meals. Shredded chicken for the win!!! Ground turkey is another meat I’ll make and I’ll make 1 pound plain to have a similar concept of adding variety and then usually I make the other pound BBQ, we LOVE our BBQ!!!

For carbohydrate sources I make a boat load of rice for Tim, he loves his rice. I am not as much of a fan of it myself so I use other options like fruit, potatoes, rice cakes, or popcorn. I find snacks like jerky, chips, popcorn, etc at either Costco, Aldi, or Thrive Market to add to our weekly food and to simply have options. I keep wholesome foods that help nourish our bodies while also keeping us feeling our best. “Meal Prepping” doesn’t have to be hard and I honestly think it gets over complicated. I find foods at Costco that take some of the prep work out on busier weeks, and also have specific days I make dinner in the moment so that I can be creative too. This balance works for us only after much trial and error. Check out my stories and highlights for additional inspiration on quick meals and different finds that make prepping and grocery shopping easy again!!

Xoxo

CK

Transitioning out of a diet, that’s a thing?

Image is not my own- found at Vox.com

There are so many diets out there: Keto, Atkins, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, Low Carb, Juicing, Shakes, Macro counting, RP, and so many more. They all in fact work IF your in a calorie deficit. Energy in vs energy out, there has to be more going out than going in in order to have weight loss occur. Are some of the diets better than others? Sure, and depending on who you talk to the opinion will be different every time. Most of these aren’t sustainable in the long term but that’s why they are called diets right? They are meant to be temporary. 

Unfortunately NONE of these advertise that they will help you transition back to a sustainable lifestyle. What happens when most people stop dieting? They go back to eating what they ate before or they binge, and then gain the weight back plus some. What most don’t know is that there in fact IS a way to transition off a diet. Under the guidance of a nutritional coach a dieter would be gradually taken out of a calorie deficit they were in for weight loss. This process would be done over several weeks while collecting data to ensure goals are met, and previous weight loss is not regained during this process. What is also super important is how our hormones bounce back. By going through a guided transition our body slowly rebounds allowing for the body to readjust from the stress of dieting. If this process isn’t done correctly we will throw our hormones outta wack and that is a whole other topic to dive into! Chronic dieters are most at risk for hormone concerns along with other health issues.

Chronic dieters will keep lowering calories or continuously live in a state of “diet”, and at some point “dieting” no longer works at all for them OR they start having other health concerns due to being severely malnourished. For example if a dieter is living in a calorie deficit at 1200 calories and stops seeing progress they will opt to lower calories to 1000 calories so on and so on. By continuously over dieting health concerns arise like hormone imbalances, lost menstrual cycles, infertility (for both male and female), no sex drive, weakened heart (too low blood pressure), hair loss, fatigue, hypoglycaemia(low blood sugar),depression, obsessivness, body dismorphia, and so many more. Once already a chronic dieter, my strong opinion would be to consult a Registered Dietician (RD). They have the medical background to support and help someone who is considered a chronic dieter. I have several friends I can refer out too if its ever needed!!

For non- chronic dieters

Transitioning off a diet may not only happen once for some people. Dieting aka eating in a calorie deficit really should only happen 1 or 2 times a year for approx 12 weeks in duration each time. The rest of the year dieters should be eating in a maintenance state, which is eating to maintain previous weight lost or current weight. So lets say Susan wants to lose 50lbs, realistically Susan could go through 2 to 4 diet deficits. In order for her to do this safely and sustainable. Her coach would guide her through her first calorie deficit for 12 weeks followed by weeks to a few months of transitioning into a calorie surplus aka maintenance phase. Once she lives there for a while, her coach will then start the process all over again until her weight goal is achieved. By her following a plan guided by a coach she is maintaining a healthy balance of macro & micro-nutrients, while also keeping her hormones and overall health balanced. In the long term she is MORE likely to keep the 50 lbs off. Her quality of life while dieting is also more likely to be sustainable which in my opinion is the most important part. 

Anyone can diet, not many people want to be in for the LONG HALL that would be sustainable for life and then not “diet” at all. Susan now has created a balanced lifestyle while still enjoying life. 

Living sustainably should always be the end game goal in my opinion. Speaking of end game there should always, in fact, be some form of exactly that – an end game PLAN. Whether that be with a certified coach or with an RD. Who is best suited for you will depend on your goals and your current health state as well. Your coach or RD should be extremely thorough and explain a plan of action before starting any nutritional plan. Ask alot of questions and never fall victim to a diet gimmick that has no plan for an exit.

Xoxo

CK

Paleo Blueberry Scones

I follow several different food bloggers and grab inspiration from their recipes often! I like to try new things with new ingredients and then learn from it. I learned how to cook this way, make a recipe exactly how it’s written, learn why certain ingredients go together, then go rogue and try my own. I failed alot but from those failures I learned a whole lot about what can and can not be combined. I also learned that some ingredients can’t be substituted when trying to make an old recipe into a healthier version. I don’t try to change everything into a “healthier” version anymore, but I do like to put my own spin on everything I find OR simply grab the inspiration for a dish and do my own thing. 

Cassy Joy or “fedandfit” is a food blogger I’ve been following for a long time. She has written cookbooks and her blog recipes are mostly pretty simple with items your most likely to be familiar with. She is more Paleo based, which helps when I know I want limited ingredients. These blueberries scones are her recipe EXACTLY! I’ve never even attempted to make a scone before and I wasn’t going to even attempt it without trying a perfected recipe first. These came out amazing!!! Her recipe was spot on, simple, with simple ingredients. I’ll definitely be experimenting in the future with different fruit and flavors!! This recipe was so easy I whipped it up in 10 mins, cooked for 30, and cooled for 10. That easy. Follow her on instagram @fedandfit and pinterest to find more of her amazing recipes!!!

Paleo Blueberry Scones

Ingredients:

1 ½ C Cashews (ground finely in Vitamix or food processor)

¼ C Arrowroot powder

Pinch of salt

1 Tsp Baking soda

1 C Blueberries

¼ C Coconut oil (not melted)

3 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tsp Vanilla Ext

1 Egg

Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a round cake pan with parchment paper. Ground cashews and add to a bowl. Whisk together remaining DRY ingredients and stir in blueberries. In another bowl whisk WET ingredients (unmelted coconut oil goes with wet). Add WET ingredients to the DRY ingredients using a silicone spatula (can not use whisk here). Incorporate until fully combined and then pour into parchment lined pan. Spread out as evenly as possible. Put in oven for 30 mins. Cool for 10 mins. Makes approx 8 scones. Enjoy!

Tag me & Cassy  on instagram if you try it!! @christina_curt.killeen @fedandfit

Xoxo

CK

Am I Thirsty or Hungry?

“Is it true that if I feel hungry, I should drink water first because I’m actually thirsty?” A friend asked me and my answer was…….. That depends. For someone who has become disconnected from their body’s natural cues of hunger and thirst then yes, this may be a tactic that could be very helpful with relearning the difference between hunger and thirst. For example- someone who doesn’t drink enough water could be told to drink water before grabbing food, because their body will send any cue that will get the response it wants. If said person drinks water and is then no longer hungry most likely they were indeed thirsty. In another scenario, lets use the name Susan, Susan’s goals are to lose weight. A tactic from her nutrition coach could be drink water first, check in with yourself, am I still hungry? No- wait to eat, yes- eat. In order to lose weight Susan must be in a calorie deficit, so naturally she will be more hungry at times. Drinking water when hungry can help the empty feeling in the stomach that can be uncomfortable for some people. This isn’t a tactic I would use for long as we want to listen to our body’s cues vs ignoring them, which ignoring them starts the cycle of becoming disconnected from our body’s natural cues that I previously mentioned.  

If you think you’ve become disconnected to your body’s natural cues that tell you whether your hungry or thirsty, try checking in with yourself. There is no harm in that, but if you are using it as a means to “fill” yourself that is only going to further disconnect you from your body. Your body wants homeostasis, which is it’s “happy place”, it’s well fed and not starving here. If you track your water intake and are feeling hungry, then your freaking hungry and you should eat. Worried about overeating? Check in with yourself about halfway through your meal, still hungry? Eat more. Not hungry or just full enough? Stop and save the rest for later. Don’t just fill your belly up with water and ignore your hunger. It really is that simple, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.  

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Want a quick meal idea? Read below!


Grilled Turkey burger- Costco (Brand- Columbia) found in freezer section

Topped with guac, Sir Kensington’s special sauce, relish, and goat cheese

Roasted Asparagus- made ahead with olive oil and salt, roasted at 350 for 30 mins or until crispy

Plantain chips

Kombucha in a wine glass #classy – Babba’s brew is my favorite and it’s brewed locally to me!!

Tried one of my recipes? Tag me in your creations!!!

Follow me on Instagram for more food inspiration! @Christina_curt.killeen

xoxo

CK

Why I wanted to become a Certified Nutritionist

My health and fitness journey started probably like anyone else’s. I wanted to learn to eat healthier, burn calories, and be “fit”. What I didn’t know early on was that “fit” looks different on everyone and health is a whole lot more complicated than I gave it credit for. Calories in calories out right? Not quite. Eventually I ended up becoming obsessed about calorie counting and would punish myself through exercise for what I ate. “Gotta burn off those Oreos” or “I’m going out tonight I gotta EARN it” The older me now is sad for how much I didn’t know and the downward spiral I took with obsessing over numbers. I feel like in high school we should have a REAL life 101. My parents tried to teach us the best they could about real life shit, but most came from failing, dusting ourselves off and trying again. I’m a firm believer that everything happens the way it’s meant to, and I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for those failures, however, it probably would have been helpful to at least have an idea of a direction to go in. 

Anyway, after years of pounding away time on the elliptical and crunching away trying to obtain abs, I was introduced to Crossfit. And Crossfit was ALOT different than just pounding away on the good old cardio machine. I’ll never forget the first time I was handed a barbell, by the way it was a mens bar which is 45lbs and I couldn’t lift it. Like ok at the time I never thought about being “strong” I just wanted to be “toned” at least it’s what I thought I wanted. But I was so malnourished and never did any form of weight training that 45lbs I couldn’t do a thing with. To put things into perspective I was eating around 1100 calories a day MAYBE and that’s ONLY if I did my hour of cardio to earn it. I’m cringing even as I write this. That day inspired me and I wanted more. I looked to other obviously strong women for guidance and started doing my own research about nutrition. I soon had to face a hard fact that in order to get strong I had to eat more, which terrified me. I pushed through and jumped right up on that Paleo bandwagon. Ok, so Paleo taught me about whole foods and where they come from, as well as, what’s IN them. It taught me more about processed foods and the effects of consuming too much on the body. Paleo was also super restrictive and caused me to binge on weekends or for my “cheat meal” which wasn’t really a meal as it was a whole day. I started focusing more on just simply eating “clean”, which now that I have more knowledge on the topic I’m trying to get away from labeling any food as “bad” or “good” and I’ll get better as my blog progresses. My body weight changed over the years depending on what my focus was. At one point I had switched my focus from Crossfit to Olympic Weightlifting but never changed how I ate. Let me first point out that I probably never actually ate enough to support Crossfit, so when I had less cardio intensity and never changed my food habits of course I gained weight. In hindsight I do think this was a good thing for me and my hormones that I royalty F*ed up while eating at such a deficit early on. Throughout all this time I continued to try to learn as much as I could, again it was ever evolving and opinions were at every corner. 

I’ve always loved to cook and experiment with new ingredients. I follow many food bloggers and grab inspiration from them often. But there is so much out there on the internet and most are very confusing, or recipes that take a million ingredients! Preparing meals for yourself or your family shouldn’t be hard, or require a shit load of ingredients you can barely pronounce. Our health shouldn’t be complicated either and I want to help simplify it. We have too much life to live and I want to help you live it.  I struggled alot throughout my journey and if I’m being completely honest, I still do on some days. It was a long journey and I wish I had hired a nutritionist or coach to help guide me through it all.

xoxo

CK

My First Blog Post

Enlightened Nutrition…

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, and figured I’d give a little insight on why I’ve choose the name. When coming up with a name the only thing I knew I wanted was to include my name in some way, but I mostly wanted something with meaning and that I felt passionate about. A friend of mine shared with me the Unalome symbol – symbol for the journey to enlightenment. It reminds us that our path isn’t always straight, perfect, or even in the right direction at times. It also reminds us that our paths to awakening are filled with some missteps and lessons to learn. This resonated so deeply with me and could be applied to many areas of my life! Mostly I thought of my own health journey, which is still a journey. With so many influences in our fast paced life, it can be so hard to know what is “right” for us individually. No journey is perfect, but every journey has progress. I have a slogan for my athletes -“Progress NOT perfection” or “Progress IS progress”, both can be used with our health as well. I don’t believe in perfection so I never expect it, but progress no matter how big or small is and always will be progress. And so Enlightened Nutrition by CK was born. Stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

This is me…

Hi! I’m Christina Killeen, but my friends call me “C” or Chris. I love food, fitness, my dog Jax, and oh yes my husband Tim. We are recently married and still in that wedded bliss living our best married life! I love making new simple recipes, and sharing them to Instagram. I work out and Coach (Olympic Weightlifting) at Chester Springs Crossfit gym, I also recently started to really enjoy Spin and working out in our garage! I haven’t competed in a while but when I do or did, I was a part of Garage Strength Weightlifting. More recently I’ve focused on my love for food, wellness, and health. I am a Certified Nutritionist and am just launching my new business focused on helping others achieve their goals, while also sharing simple healthy meals through my blog and Instagram. I’m also a hairstylist for 15+ years and have always known there is a relationship between nutrition and healthy strong hair. I’m hoping to bridge the gap of health and beauty, since true beauty, quite literally, does come from within. (Stay tuned on a blog post on that!)

Why did I start this blog?

Believe it or not I actually tried blogging before, but it didn’t last long due to some insecurities over comments. I’m glad to say I’ve worked past that and am more of a IDGAF if someone has something mean to say. Forewarning I have a colorful vocabulary at times, sorry not sorry, this is me. I LOVE being apart of someone else’s journey or if I can help or inspire ONE person, that is what I live for! It’s the most indescribable feeling. I mean how cool is it to be a part of someone else’s success? Nothing comes close to that feeling. I started out just sharing my own food journey, how I simplified meal prepping, recipes, sharing a good find at the grocery store, and pretty food pictures to Instagram. As I learned more about health, fitness, and nutrition I share more. I recently realized I am kinda blogging via Instagram, so I figured what the hell and created this blog.

xoxo

CK