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Elise Manion

Author of Contemporary Romantic Fiction

Author

authorelisemanion

Author of the King Brothers Novels, published by Windswept, a division of BHC Press.

Keto Me

DISCLAIMER: This article is about me and my own results. I am not a doctor, nor a licensed health-care professional. Eating Keto is a personal preference.

Last spring I changed doctors. If you’ve read my previous posts about my dad, you’ll understand why I switched…. we shared the same primary care physician; you know, the one who said his cough was related to something called The Hundred Day cough, when really it was lung cancer. <insert a sarcastic eyeroll here>

But I digress.

When I established with my new doc, she printed out a lab slip and off I went to get my blood drawn. My results came back with a resting glucose of 107. Anything under 100 is considered normal, and I’d never had high glucose before. Unfortunately, type-2 diabetes runs on my father’s side of the family and I’m of an age when these things begin to show up. To say I freaked is putting it mildly. And so the research began because I was not going down the Metformin road, or any other prescription drug with hideous side effects, like chronic diarrhea. NO. WAY. Don’t believe me? Talk to someone taking that stuff, or you can just listen to all the hideous side effects listed in the commercials.

Image 10-27-18 at 4.51 PMAnd so began the research. I found a ton of sites dedicated to regulating blood sugar with proper diet, exercise, and prescription medicine, but there were also sites talking about disease as being diet related and that most of these “diseases” could be treated just by eating right. Things like cancer, autism, asthma, and diabetes. Then I found a Netflix documentary called The Magic Pill.  It blamed the standard America diet (S.A.D. – how apropos) on the increased amount of dietary diseases over the past century, linking the amount of carbohydrates vs protein vs fats indicated in the pyramid to chronic inflammatory disease. One segment even studied the effects of a ketogenic diet on middle aged people with type-2 diabetes. It was an eye opener. Actually, the whole documentary overflowed with data from not only the United States, but Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Europe, going back over the past century.

Eating Keto means we get our fuel from good, healthy fats instead of refined sugars and grains, i.e. carbohydrates. In my case, I also eliminated all processed foods, and added non-GMO and organic foods. That means that I don’t eat bread, corn chips, potato chips, Cheetos (oh man, this was a hard one because I was eating a small bag everyday at work!), fruits, potatoes and starchy veggies etc. And absolutely no sugar. None. Not even honey. I was motivated because I did not want type-2 diabetes.

I began eating this way at the end of May, so I’m working on 24 weeks now. Since then I’ve dropped almost twenty pounds, my head feels clear, and I haven’t been sick. However, I’ve been craving things like fried rice, or a fully loaded baked potato. Then, again, it’s football season and the need to eat nachos and chicken wings, along with other bar food is right in my face! What I think is strange, though, is that I don’t crave bread. The only time I want a cracker is when I want to put something yummy on it like brie.

These cravings occurred right before my follow-up appointment. My doctor congratulated me on the weight loss, lectured me that while Keto is great for initial weight loss, there’s really no scientific evidence that eating this way can be sustainable. She recommended that I begin adding back into my diet healthy grains and fruits. I immediately bought some grapes! Yay! I also had my blood drawn. Before I get to how I feel adding back some carbs, here are the results from my blood test, which I thought were interesting according to this brief explanation of cholesterol on WebMD.

  • Total Cholesterol: April 143, October 132
  • Triglycerides: April 115, October 53
  • VLDL: April 23, October 11
  • LDL: April 67, October 61
  • HDL: April 53, October 60
  • Fasting Glucose: April 107, October 99
  • A1C: This test wasn’t given in April but my October number is 5.0. The normal range is 4.8 – 5.6 so I’m right where I should be. Thank Goodness!

What blew me away were the Triglycerides! Triglycerides are the amounts of fats traveling in the bloodstream. Keep in mind with a Keto diet, 70-80% of my diet consists of healthy FAT, such as avocados, unrefined coconut oil in my coffee or tea, whole milk, Avocado oil in my salad, or on my keto friendly “sandwiches” which are meat and veggies wrapped in provolone–what a yummy lunch; and healthy seeds and nuts. I want to stress that I didn’t always stick to it. On Sundays during the summer, My Man and I like to go to the movies and there is no way I can watch a movie without popcorn and all that wonderful butter! Even with about four cheat days a month, my numbers are great!

Naturally I wanted to celebrate by … EATING SOME CARBS! I took a small snack of grapes to work, and My Man brought home some Mexican food. As of this writing, my guts are NOT. HAPPY.  I didn’t overdo it on either the grapes or the delicious dinner. Most of my meal consisted of the carne asada, with a few bites of refried beans and rice. We shared it. However, the icky gut feeling began with the grapes! I don’t know what it means, but I do know that I have to be very careful when reintroducing healthy carbs.

For now, my cravings have stopped. I will re-introduce natural carbs, like potatoes and apples at a slow pace, maybe two days a week and see how my guts feel. Otherwise, I’m sticking with Keto. As I progress, I’ll keep you updated.

If you have any insights into Keto, type-2 diabetes, or healthy eating in general, please give me a shout out in the comments.

 

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Bang Your Head

Every year, we–me, The Boy, and his buddy–take an annual trip to Sacramento to attend Aftershock. It started way back in September 2013–in a thousand degree heat! (Okay, it wasn’t that hot but 100 degrees in Sacramento will steal your breath away. Thank GAWD they moved it to October. The weather was perfect!) The Boy and his buddy, who were sophomores in high school at the time, conned me into taking them by myself. My Man had opted to stay home and watch college football, where I desperately wanted to be.  I did not know what I was in for, especially when a tire blew in the middle of the Sierra’s. We limped into Sacramento late Friday night, got the last room available with two queen beds and collapsed. The headliner that year was Avenged Sevenfold, and since then, I’ve been lucky enough to see them three times!

The two-day concert was one of the most exhausting, yet exhilarating experiences I’d ever had. Now, six festivals later, My Man committed to attending both days. Every year, we buy VIP tickets because, frankly, I’m old and I’ve found that crowds can get to me, i.e. I suffer from panic attacks every now and then. With a VIP ticket, I can escape the worst of the moshers, shovers, and uber-friendly concert goers to get my bearings and breathe. This year the headliner was System of a Down, and The Deftones. You can find the entire line-up here. There were record crowds and the venue was expanded to accommodate the sold-out festival. I was able to obtain VIP tickets for Saturday, but not Sunday. Needless to say, by day two, I really wished I had that VIP space to hide in. Luckily, My Man is the best man in the world, and he made sure I had the space I needed when that soul-sucking attack reared its ugly head. Once he fed me, and hydrated me, we joined our son for Alice in Chains. By far, the funnest set of the day! Here’s a picture of three dorks before the show…

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…. We had a BLAST!

I don’t have a clue who’s playing next year, but if you’re in the Sacramento area, or if you just love to bang your head, give it a try. You won’t regret it.

 

Love and Loyalty Await in JOSH’S CHALLENGE by Elise Manion

via Love and Loyalty Await in JOSH’S CHALLENGE by Elise Manion

First Look at the King Brothers novels by Elise Manion

via First Look at the King Brothers novels by Elise Manion

Love to read and review books? Request and read these titles prior to publication.

via Love to read and review books? Request and read these titles prior to publication.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

No, not Christmas Silly! SUMMER!!!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Summer break is when I get the most writing done. Even though my summers lately have been a lot shorter – I’ll explain later – I can still cram a lot of writing into that timeframe by bumping up my daily word count goals. And, wanna know the best part? My office changes from the cute space I set-up for myself last summer, to my back patio under the Big Umbrella, to the front porch when the late afternoon sun drives me into the shade. By changing my surroundings, My Muse is nudged in different ways, making the ideas and characters move in directions that even surprise me.

Speaking of muse-moving inspiration, I haven’t talked about my experience at RT Booklovers Convention earlier this month…

Surprisingly, I was excited about it, which is saying something since I’m really not hip on crowds. Yes, I’ll make myself go to AfterShock every year, but that’s different. There’s lots of booze… (Just kidding… sort of) and the music is another Muse-driver. Anywaaaay, I met some incredible people (Hi Rae! Hi Rebekah!) and hung out with fellow writers from Reno (Hi Lynda! Hi Laurel! Hi Rene!), as well as authors from around the country. I was a bit star struck by some, but the best part of this convention? THE READERS. SO MANY OF YOU! 

E0E42642-5493-4BF3-B669-6C41448B9099We kicked off the Con with an Indie Soiree where independent authors (those either self-publishing or working with an independent press) gathered to mingle with readers from all over the globe. We talked about books, travel, and what you like to read. We gave away raffle tickets for readers to enter to win one of the prizes donated by the authors. It was so amazing to meet everyone and we had a lot of fun.

nhik7cfhsgal4szch6knya.jpgThe downer to the whole thing (why is there always a fricken downer?) happened the next morning when it was announced that after 35 years, this would be the last RT BookLovers con. Talk about a bummer, but I’m so glad I was able to participate in their “fair well” convention.

Which brings me back to inspiration and summer writing. I learned so much, and met so many of you, that the scenes are coming so fast I hardly have time to write them down. My Man and I have two vacations planned this year. Our first will be to Colorado Springs to see The Boy and partake in some of Colorado’s activities, like visiting the Stanley Hotel where The Shining was filmed. I’m sure to get a few hair-raising ideas if I don’t run screaming from the building. Our second vacation will come at the end of July when we visit My Man’s family in the beautiful state of Washington. My MIL is an amazing cook but she has the biggest green thumb I’ve ever seen. Her flower garden is ginormous and I’ll be posting pictures on social media for sure. When we return, it will be the first day of school here, so my summer writing time will be over as I will go back to real-world work. That means I have only a few short weeks to write, write, WRITE before my daily writing time is cut in half!

So HAPPY SUMMER to all of you! I hope it will be as fun as mine (yes, writing is fun!) and I’ll be checking in from time to time on Instagram and SnapChat to see what you all have been up to.

~Elise

Roll With It

pexels-photo-355663.jpegReading through some old notes, I came across a writing prompt from 2014. It asked me to describe a landscape. I love spring so I waxed on (I thought poetically) about the flowers blooming in my front yard…BORING. At the time, I remember thinking I’d been so clever with my word choices. Reading it now makes me want to gag, or laugh, at the crap slung all over that page. Introspectively, though, I think that’s how we grow as writers–looking back on past prose, reading it fresh as others would see it, and working to improve our craft. fashion-legs-notebook-working.jpg

In the four years since I wrote that tripe my personal life has taken on some pretty drastic, and heartbreaking, changes. I won’t go into it here – you only need to look at past entries to know what I’m talking about – but I’ve decided to embrace it all and use those experiences to better hone the craft. Cathartic? Maybe, but isn’t that how we writers deal with life? We pour our hearts and souls into our stories with the intention of entertaining (at least I hope to entertain) our readers, and maybe even to help them through similar situations in their own lives.

laughter-laugh-fun-mom.jpgSo what’s next? This year, my third full length book, Josh’s Challenge: A King Brothers Novel, will be released through BHC Press. It centers around the youngest brother, and a secret crush on his next door neighbor. Oh, there’ll be conflict and stalkers and a lot of smart ass conversation between Josh and his older brothers, which are my favorite scenes to write. If you can’t deal with life’s dramas with humor you might as well just lay down and die… or go hide in a cry closet somewhere. <insert eye roll here!> His girl is intelligent but awkward, and must work through her hangups, and family issues, in order to trust Josh and achieve that HEA that I am so fond of reading and writing.

And in case you missed it, A Sister’s Love, is a short story and prequel to the trilogy, published in the YA anthology, On The Edge Of Tomorrow. You can find it by clicking here.

In the meantime, I’m going to roll with the punches, embrace life’s surprises, and give thanks to the One blessing me everyday.

 

 

 

 

Request BHC Press ARCs on LibraryThing

Every month, BHC Press offers a selection of hand-picked upcoming releases on LibraryThing to readers in exchange for posting a fair and honest book review.

If you love to read, we invite you to select and request a title today!

This month’s selections include

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Request titles at: https://www.librarything.com/er/list

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Barnes & Noble Book Signing with Contemporary Romance Author Elise Manion Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 1PM

Elise_ManionBarnes & Noble will be hosting a book signing for contemporary romance author Elise Manion on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 1PM.

Elise Manion will be signing copies of her popular King Brothers novels, JASON’S PRINCESS and JAROD’S HEART. Fans of contemporary and sweet romance will enjoy this standalone series centering around three brothers in a small town.

Praise for JASON’S PRINCESS
“This is an amazing story that had me laughing and crying the whole way through! It’s a great book for any reader.” — Readers’ Favorite

Praise for JAROD’S HEART
“…I was blown away…a beautiful masterpiece!” —Florals & Dragons

“…a great read for any contemporary romance lover!” —InD’Tale Magazine

JASON’S PRINCESS (978-1-946006-75-2, $12.95, 220 pages) and JAROD’S HEART (978-1-946006-80-6, $12.95, 228 pages) are published by BHC Press/Windswept and both titles are available at fine booksellers everywhere in trade softcover and ebook ($3.99).

Barnes & Noble is located at…

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