What is the Ketogenic Diet?
Have you heard of it before? I hadn’t until about March when one of my favorite podcasters started talking about all of these health findings. She was talking with doctors and experts on the affect our diet was having on our bodies, our brains and our overall health. Something clicked because I needed to know more. I had to know more and I was willing to give it a try.
I was tired of being tired. It was exhausting feeling sick all of the time. I know some of it was working full time, trying to build my brand and having a toddler to take care of, but it just felt more than that. I looked around and was so unhappy about my body, my diet and my activity level. I knew I needed to change. Once I heard about the keto diet, I decided I needed to research it.
Because, though I love Chalene Johnson and trust what she says and her experts, I needed more. I needed my own research. Maybe it’s the financial specialist inside of me, but researching something just makes me feel better before starting. So here are some interesting bits about the ketogenic diet:
disclaimer: I am not a doctor so this is just from my research and my opinions. Before starting any diet, you should talk to your doctor.
Keto is short for ketosis. Normally, your body burns carbs and sugars (known as glucose) for energy; however, in a ketogenic state your body burns fat (ketones) for energy. The ketogenic diet eliminates glucose from the body and causes it to burn its own fat. A benefit can be rapid weight loss, even when consuming enough calories during the day.
I’m not going to lie the rapid weight loss part caught my attention first. Because when you’re overweight and tired of being heavy then that will always stand out. Now once I heard that benefit I kept reading and researching to discover more.
Let’s talk more benefits of the ketogenic diet.
It can help prevent cancer cells and may even kill cancer cells.
It typically does not raise cholesterol and may actually reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors, especially in those who are obese.
It has been used to treat and even help reverse cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s symptoms.
It can be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetics wishing to reverse their condition. When I went to the doctor in early March I was prescribed metformin which is a diabetic medicine. It was a huge eye-opener for me. That’s what started me on this crusade to change my health without medicines.
I had tried so many different diets over the years, they would work at the time, but one slip and it was a downward spiral for me. One of the programs that worked the best for me was Weight Watchers. I joined in college and lost quite a bit of weight in just over a year. I am a huge fan of Weight Watchers and love what their program offers. I even worked as a leader for a few years in college after I lost close to 60 pounds. But now things are a bit different in our house. We’re really working on paying down debt, cutting our spending and sticking with our budget. So an extra monthly expense (even if for health) wasn’t an option.
That’s why I’m so glad I found the keto diet. Because I just made simple changes at home and saw results. Not just weight loss (though I did lose about 15 pounds in the first 4 weeks, which I met with my doctor to make sure all was okay), but my headaches were gone and I could focus so much easier while at work. It was this weird mental clarity that hit me and I liked it. Work became easier, having a million things to juggle because simple and I was sleeping so good at night!
Let’s be honest, it can be scary when you tell someone you eat low carb, high fat foods. I strive to be about 5-10% carbs, 70% fats, and 20-25% protein on most days. Some days are better than others. When I want ice cream or a cupcake at a party then that’s what I’m going to have, it’s no more of this all or nothing mentality. I now know what works for my body and what foods make me feel no so good.
I’ve gotten pretty creative with our dinners and lunches, too. I love simple recipes and especially since it’s Summer I love having J grill most of our food. Now for side dishes you can keep it simple. I created this three-ingredient keto friendly recipe in under 5 minutes.
These Parmesan peas were amazing. You can use fresh or frozen peas, which ever you have on hand. You can even use fresh or bagged Parmesan cheese, too.
- 2-4 cups of frozen or fresh peas
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 T. grass-fed butter (or any butter will work)
- Boil a pot of water on the stove. Once boiling add the peas.
- Fresh peas cook for 3 minutes. Frozen peas cook for 1 minute.
- Drain the water.
- Place cooked peas back into the pot, add butter and cheese.
- Stir until butter and cheese is melted.