If you don’t know me, I’m a mom, trainer, yoga instructor, lover of trees, quiet breezes, and people just as they are. I found the Paleo lifestyle a few years ago through a friend and discovered that eating whole foods (and no gluten, grains, dairy, or alcohol) made me feel amazing. Since then, because of a number of years – like 40 – of disordered eating and a struggle to accept myself as I am, I have experienced the joys of giving my body, mind, and soul what it needed as well as the dismay of falling back into old, not-so-healthy patterns. I love eating and drinking and indulging. I also love exercise and lifting heavy weights and being active. The balance of all of that has kept me pretty healthy – even if there are still things that I want to work on.
I’ve done a few Whole30s in the past, and there’s a tab and the tag cloud that will lead you there, but this time, when a friend asked if I would do another Whole30, I started looking for a little twist. I like to experiment on myself so that I can share my experiences with others and discover new things. I’ve known about “keto/ketosis” for years, but recently I bumped into it several times through multiple channels. When that happens, I tend to listen because I believe it’s probably the universe giving me a little nudge to go check it out. So I decided to do a Whole30 in January with a Ketogenic focus.
Bonus – it aligns with reconnecting with all of you in a new way and looking at our health and wellness from a slightly different perspective.
So what is Keto? Well think Paleo with a little less protein and a little more fat. Here are the key factors that I plan to focus on:
- The Paleo part: Eat meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Don’t eat processed food, grains, dairy, or alcohol. Keto keeps fruits pretty limited – see below for more.
- Healthy fats: Fats store toxins so if I’m increasing my fats, I will watch from where they come. I don’t always purchase the highest quality meat, ie. local, organic, pasture-raised meats. Sometimes I just need protein. If it isn’t from sources that I am comfortable with, it will be leaner choices, which means the fat will come from elsewhere. Good fats include coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, etc. No canola, sunflower, safflower, or other more processed oils high in Omega-6s.
- Protein: While still being more protein-forward than the Standard American Diet, it seems that protein can impact ketosis (the active burning of fat for fuel) so it is something to be watched. I lift weights regularly and, therefore, tend to want more protein for the repair and building of my muscles. This component is interesting to me, so it’s a part of what I’ll be watching, but I have a feeling it won’t really be a limitation.
- Fruits and veggies: I get it. Fruits and veggies have naturally occurring sugars and in order to keep blood sugar levels steady, it’s necessary to limit these. (Steady blood sugar is key for so much goodness and health!) But they are also whole foods that the body processes a little differently and so…hm. It’s not that keto says no to them, but they are quite limited because of the carb limitation. Most keto plans seem to talk about keeping carbs under 20g – especially when working to get into ketosis and for fat loss. Maintenance is a little higher (maybe 50). I can totally get my head around limiting fruit. While I love it, I definitely feel the sugar hit and while our bodies probably benefit from a little bit, we don’t really NEED it. Veggies, on the other hand, I’m a huge proponent of. I love my vegetables – yes, all of them (except okra) – and I think they do wonderful things for our insides and outsides. Here’s the low-down: 2 cups of leafy greens and 1 cup of cooked (preferably green) veggies = 10g of carbs. I generally eat that in a minute, probably at breakfast. It will be an adjustment for me and I’m willing to give it a try, especially with the knowledge that once I’ve reached my own personal goals, I might adjust that up and add in all the veggies that I love.
Those are the basics so that’s all I will say about it now. Starting January 2, I will focus on fats, protein, veggies, nuts, seeds – limiting carbs to around 20g per day. I’m excited to let the sugar dragon have a rest and to get my body humming like it loves.
Feel free to do some experimentation of your own, maybe join me for the ride. I’ll post about what I’m experiencing and will probably feel inspired to share a recipe or two. It’s not too far off from how my body loves to fuel itself and there are potentially huge pay-offs, including weight loss and hormonal balance. Real food. Reduced cravings. Balance around food.
I’m in. Anyone else interested?