I tried Keto and I liked it. For those of you who know me, know that I have been off and on many different diets before I started with raw foods in 2012. Focusing on raw foods was the first eating practice that nearly completely eradicated my (past experience of) chronic digestive problems. Fast forward July 2018, I am packing to go to a cruise to the Bahamas and later to Las Vegas. I noticed that there were so many items I couldn’t take because I couldn’t fit into them any longer. I had clearly grown, not to worry though I always love and appreciate myself. I really love my brand new 50-year-old curves. My curves allow for me to feel sexy in a new way.
On the other hand, I knew that my straying from my 80% raw regimen had fed into my old time addiction to sugar. As a wellness coach, I was not just eating ice cream and pastries, I know better than that. My regular habit of dry red wine, popcorn cooked in coconut oil, and kale wrapped in spinach flour tortillas had awoken the monster of my candida as well as contributed to my growth spirt. I decided when I got back from Vegas, I would try a Keto diet for 10 days in order to slay my sugar dragon. It went well and I did 14 days instead.
The keto diet is characterized by eating 75% healthy fat, 22% clean protein and 3% carbs primarily from whole foods. It’s a way of transitioning the body from burning carbs for energy to burning fat for energy. This phenomenon is called ketosis and is healthy, not to be confused with ketoacidosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes when your body can’t produce enough insulin. Healthy people can easily move into a keto diet. People in the Standard American Diet world can just up their fat with organic dairy and healthy oil, minimize their meat, eliminating carbs and instantly reap the benefits of producing ketones and burning fat. But what is a raw foodie and vegan focused woman to do? Let go.
I found the food selection challenging as I don’t regularly eat meat and I have really tried to eliminate dairy over the years. I am not going to lie to you, I tremendously upped my dairy to reach that 75% fat goal. I started eating eggs and cheese again. I had coffee with heavy cream in it too. I am not sure but a smoked chicken wing or two may have accidently fell down my throat during that two-week period as well. Due to an exercise related injury, I chose to eliminate my 4 day a week ritual of hip hop and Zumba during that same period of time. I increased my practice of yoga instead as a low impact alternative.
The results: Because I do not regularly weight myself, I can not say with exact confidence that I lost 10 pounds in 14 days. I do know I lost significant inches that allowed me back into my favorite jeans that I did not take on my vacations this summer. I had noticed a pouch in the the front of my belly that had developed over the last year and it completely disappeared. As I suspected, it was inflammation. The sugar in my diet, although I considered minimal, was causing chronic inflammation that was calmed on a keto diet. Due to the high amounts of fats, my weight loss did not give me that wizen and drawn look, I experience when I loose weight on raw foods. Most of my digestive and bowel habits were good. I do admit to a little constipation, although that is one lingering symptom even raw foods didn’t completely eliminate.
In summary, I am very excited about combining the practices of a plant based life with the principles of keto. After reading, Fat for Fuel by Dr. Joseph Mercola, I gained a deeper understand of the perils of burning sugar as fuel. My keto experience helped me to release wine, flour tortillas, popcorn and other “healthy” cheat foods that were full of hidden sugars. I still ate lots of raw greens and veggies as well as steamed non-starchy vegetables. After the induction period, I gained energy, loss inches, burned fat without high impact exercise and felt really satiated. My metabolism had clearly stalled after years of raw and vegan foods and keto revved it up again. For the last year and a half, I have been practicing intermittent fasting and keto helped me go longer without eating due to the high caloric intake of the keto foods. I am still working on reducing dairy on my plant based version of keto, but I am convinced that most whole food regimens that eliminate sugar have a potential to allow the body to heal and do what it do with joy.