Over the past few weeks my keto journey has been hit or miss. I’m trying to stick to it as much as I can during the week but allow myself to have limited carbs on the weekend. Some of it is because of what I had previously discussed – having a social life – but much of it is actually because I am realizing one does not have to be drastic or extreme with this lifestyle while still gaining benefits.
Remember what I said, though, I’m relatively healthy and therefore I have some wiggle room. At least I hope I’m relatively healthy. I believe I am; I feel pretty good. As I said before, if I were diagnosed with something serious like Type 2 Diabetes or, God forbid, cancer I would go extreme. I am not there, however, therefore I don’t feel going extreme is necessary and I really want to chronicle this journey from an “average person” perspective. I’m not insanely healthy but I’m fairly healthy. I do not eat fast food except for the occasional Blake’s Lotaburger, rarely drink sodas and when I do can only manage a few ounces, really do not care for sweets so that has always been limited. I opt for whole foods and although I do like to eat out I try to choose healthy options. I exercise regularly and although I do have that last “vanity 10 lbs” I am in pretty good shape, particularly for my age. I am not extreme, I enjoy certain things in moderation but I also aim to be healthy.
I will say that people are unique and therefore how my body is reacting to what I am doing is not necessary going to be the same as anyone else. In fact, the type of diet any individual person should be on is going to vary although it does seem that a lower versus higher carb diet is much better on every front. Regardless of the “type” of diet or lifestyle a person wishes to try we must keep in mind some concrete truths: 1. Sugar is bad and should be consumed on a very limited basis; 2. Processed foods are bad and should not be consumed at all but if you must, again, it should be very limited; 3. If you choose to allow carbs into your diet they should come from vegetables and “ancient” grains, including things like quinoa and amaranth.
I have done a great deal of research into all of these things and, let me tell you; it’s kind of like the “flat earth” conspiracy theory floating around. I’ve heard everything. There are people now claiming vegetables are not good for you. My indoctrinated mind is screaming, ‘you’re a fool!’ but if you listen to the arguments you almost can understand what these people are saying. For example, one argument is that vegetables have no defense mechanism but through the compounds from which they are composed and therefore all vegetables have some “bad” aspect to them to protect the vegetable from being eaten. Like, we are all just trying to survive so we need to have some built in mechanisms to not be eaten. Kind of makes sense, no? But, good lord, really? Anyway, please do not stop eating vegetables because I’m telling you some people actually believe this. I’m not sure it’s a rabbit hole I wish to venture into or do any real research on at this point. Perhaps, as with so many things we’re discovering now, everything we were told about vegetables is backwards but I’ll wait until there’s concrete evidence on that.
In the meantime I honestly believe the time is now to really tap into our own intuition on how to direct our lives, including what our bodies truly need to consume to be healthy. Think about it. We’ve been told so many things – fat is bad, eat low fat only to now be told, “WRONG! eat more fat”; eat less salt because it’s bad for you but now I’m hearing, “WRONG, we need it in much greater quantities than is recommended” (a blog post for another day but a very serious issue); and the biggie that high cholesterol is bad, take cholesterol lowering drugs to be healthy but now study after study is showing this is absolutely wrong. Not only is this wrong it is placing us in grave danger.
Who or what are we to believe? The studies are now showing that cancer is not genetically triggered and it is our diet that dictates whether the cancer spreads or not. The establishment has been using the same barbaric treatments for nearly half a century (radiation and chemotherapy) and even centuries (surgery). Shouldn’t we be progressing in the single most important aspect of life, which is health? Of course there are some developments happening as we speak but it’s really difficult to get the powers that be to want to change. It’s difficult to admit when we’re wrong. All of these doctors have so much clout with people they’re regularly viewed as gods. Could you imagine them eating crow? It takes a very well rounded person to be able to say “I was wrong” but for an entire establishment to come out and say they were wrong? What would that do to profits or even just the general public’s trust in it?
My point is that we don’t know what else is going to start coming out as backwards in this world (umm, vaccines, anyone?). We can’t rely on what we are told…by anyone, including me. I’m going to share as much of the research I conduct as I can but I might come back later and say, well that was wrong. I was wrong. In fact I am already having to do that, but it’s okay, because if we’re not growing then we’re not living. In the meantime what you, dear reader, must understand is that, at the end of the day, we have only ourselves to trust and we must take responsibility for our choices regardless of what others try to tell us. Where I’m headed with this is that our bodies know what we need and what is not good for us. Unfortunately in this frenetic, fast-paced world, we are not taking time to pay attention and listen to our bodies.
Pain is a message your body is sending to you not so you can mask it so you can get on with your life but to pay attention and find out what’s going on and what you need to change. But how do we do this? First we must understand the concept of energy. It is through energy that our body communicates these messages to our cells and to our minds. It is through energy that our bodies direct us toward decisions that could make or break us. Look at the animals as your guide. Nobody “tells” them what they need to do or eat for health or survival yet they are healthy and they regularly live the entirety of their known life spans. What tells cows they need to eat grass to survive and be healthy? What tells birds to forage for worms and where they can get them after a good rain? Nobody sent them to school and said they had to buy whole grain crackers to be healthy.
It is their intuition that directs them. Guess what, we humans have much higher levels of consciousness and therefore much more capable of following our intuition. So why don’t we use it ourselves? I find this topic to be so important that I wrote an e-book on it, which is very close to being released. In my view it is more important than ever to learn how to tap into our own intuition not just during times of heightened emotions (butterflies in the stomach when falling in love, sweaty palms when nervous about speaking, etc.) but to help direct us to make the right decisions, however big or small. So stay tuned for the e-book and please consider purchasing it.
Back to this whole concept of “eating fat to get thin”, one thing that still blows my mind is that I’m either losing weight or maintaining my weight no matter how much fat I’m eating as long as there are no carbs involved. I really do not count calories. The first two weeks, or maybe even first week, I started this lifestyle I dropped around 6 lbs. For me this is a lot because on me even 5 lbs is visible and my clothes fit much snugger with every 5 lbs I gain. I would like to drop another 7 to 10 but I don’t have a huge incentive otherwise I know I could have already done it. But what gets me is that I am no longer fluctuating at the higher weight as it had been for years, I am now fluctuating at the lower weight and even when I have those “cheat” days where I eat (or drink) a few more carbs my weight is still stable.
When I’m serious about going keto for a few days at a time I always, without a doubt, lose a couple more pounds. The issue right now for me is diversifying my meals, especially my “breakfast” meal. I love eggs and we eat eggs mostly everyday. It is recommended to eat even four eggs per day. Sometimes I’ll have three. The problem is that I’m running out of ways to prepare them and what to pair them with.
I need to say a quick word on eggs. Eggs may quite possibly be the most perfect food because you are essentially eating the entire animal and all the nutrients that develop into a fully-grown, healthy chicken. The healthiest, most nutrient dense part of the egg is the yolk so you always want to eat the yolk. The white has the most protein. Also, the yolk has digestive enzymes required to fully digest the white therefore you want to either eat more yolk or at least always eat the yolk with the white.
Here’s the other thing though, which is what I struggle with, when the yolk is cooked with the white – meaning mixed and cooked together as in scrambled eggs or an omelet – some of the nutrients oxidize leaving it much less healthy for you. The other thing is the healthiest way to eat the egg is raw and the more it is cooked the less healthy it becomes. Most people don’t want to eat raw eggs, however I can tolerate them in smoothies – something I haven’t made in a long time, but they do like the yolk raw, and that is actually the part of the egg that is healthiest, as I said. I actually like soft-boiled eggs better than hard-boiled eggs and of course eggs over easy rather than hard but there’s only so much you can take of eating eggs this way. Sometimes an omelet is really nice, which I have made several times. So, the egg struggle is real…at least in my world.
Then there’s what to pair it with? I didn’t think it was possible but we actually got tired of avocado. I have some but we haven’t eaten any in quite a while. I don’t want to eat bacon everyday mainly because I haven’t quite gotten past the vilification of this tasty meat but also because of the naturally occurring nitrites, which really are not good for us. Besides, I think I would get tired of bacon if I ate it everyday also, imagine that! So, if anyone has suggestions on what to pair breakfast with – besides sautéed kale, mushrooms, etc., which is something I will do occasionally – please do share.
As far as dinner goes I’ve found a little more diversification; however, much of it requires much greater planning than I am accustomed to. Most things don’t take too long to prepare but some recipes call for ingredients that I just do not have on hand. I’m finally getting into the habit of keeping certain things at all times like cream cheese and almond flour. Speaking of which, I came across the “fathead” pizza, which looked awesome so I made it. Oh dear, it’s the best pizza I’ve ever had. I think I could eat this once a week and be happy (and I’m not even big on pizza!). It is also super easy to make.
Finally, although I really do not eat sweets very often and generally could do without I came across a recipe for these mini cinnamon cheesecakes so I decided to make them and try them out. When we are invited over to friends’ homes for dinner they always have dessert. I rarely do because we rarely eat dessert. But I decided I’d like to find a staple or at least a dessert that I could eat and not feel guilty while serving it to my guests. Well, I have found it! OMG, it is soooo good. I had to modify the frosting because I couldn’t find the confectioners sugar substitute; it didn’t look so pretty but it still tasted good. Oh, and before I say goodbye, I will want to do more research on these sugar substitutes. They’re “all natural” but I can’t believe how much like sugar xylitol looks and tastes so I’m not fully convinced it doesn’t act the same way in the body. After all, sugar comes from natural sources too. I won’t rain on anybody’s parade just yet. Just try this dessert anyway, completely guilt-free (for now 😉 ). You’ll love it!
Below are pics of both the pizza and the dessert as well as links on how to make them. Enjoy!