My patients know that I do not advocate diets. While I believe that what we put in our body is a huge part of our healing I do not feel that restricting calories or food groups is a healthy approach long term.
I am a huge fan of using an Elimination Diet as a food sensitivity test and keeping out inflammatory foods while gut healing but long term I always hope for my patient to be able to eat healthy versions of everything.
However, conference after integrative conference I started to learn more about the ketogenic diet and it’s impact on cancer, seizures, metabolic syndrome and much more. It is used primarily in medicine to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children.
I found myself prescribing the diet – mostly to my patients healing from cancer and some of my pediatric patients with seizures and brain tumors. As much as I can I always try what I recommend to my patients and so this is how my KETO journey began.
I told myself I would do it for a month before my birthday and here is how it went:
To Prepare, I read lots of good blogs, spoke to my friend Maria Viall (nutritionist) our health coach Heidi in the clinic and used the book Keto for Cancer because that is what we had in the clinic .
Going into this diet I had no symptoms or health concerns. I was exercising almost daily with some days more achy in Yoga than I wish and making mostly good decisions of what I put in my body. I could be accused of having a sweet tooth and have allowed my self more sweets recently 🙂
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. So that means NO sugar and NO grains. Most fruit are out of the questions (hardest part) and even some vegetables have too many net carbohydrates.
What can you eat?
Protein – Vegetables and Good FATS. The hardest part was getting enough good fats in during the day.
I used a KETO app on my phone to tract my macros.
The first week was not fun. This week is referred to as” keto flu” where your body transitions from using glucose for energy to using fat for energy, It felt like the week before my period emotionally. I found myself cranky and mostly angry that I was putting myself on a diet where most fruit were not allowed.
I also found it very hard to get enough fat in without going over on my protein.
Something happened after the first week – I started to feel amazing. Remember – I never felt bad. Yet, somehow this was different.
I had really amazing energy and did not feel very hungry most of the day and lost most of my cravings for sweets. The biggest change that I saw was my daily yoga practice I have had for over 10 years became better than it has ever been. I did not feel sore, my body was more flexible.
I have never struggled with acne however, I always had a little bumps on the side of my face that were always there and would flare up through my cycle and little bumps on my chest. For the first time in years these completely went away.
Over the 2nd to 3rd week I gained back a few pounds after losing 4lb. I started using the Tracy Anderson Method a few weeks back and attribute the weight gain to gaining muscle. My body has never felt so lean and even though my overall weight loss was 3lb my clothes fit me completely differently.
I used the Mojo keto meter to monitor if I was in fact in ketosis. I highly recommend this meter-
My keto results ranged from 0.5 to 4 but mostly around 1. For the first time in my life I was able to drink enough water because I craved it and celebrated every time I had a bowel movement because it can be quite constipating in the beginning.
My Birthday Came and went and to my surprise I feel so good I am still on it.
I may just do it for another 2 months. Why another 2 months? To make changes on a metabolic level one should to the keto diet for 3 months.The keto diet is known to activate AMPK–an important nutrient sensor found in every cell that increases production of mitochondria. Ketones are also a cleaner-burning fuel than carbs. My friend and amazing holistic nutritionist Maria Viall recommends cycling in and out of keto even up to 2x per week. This is referred to as carb loading.
The Ketogenic diet is not for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, malnourished or underweight or have a history of kidney stones or gallbladder stones. Always talk with your health practitioner before considering this type of diet.
The biggest question I have it – do I feel this great because my body is using fat for fuel or just because I eliminated grains from my diet? Only way to know is to add fruit back in my life and stay off the grain for a bit and see….
What do you eat when you feel your best?