What is Keto?

Saturday, March 3, 2018


There are always new fad diets out there. What makes the ketogenic diet any different? This is my story...
This post contains my understanding of the Ketogenic diet, my experiences thus far, and a quick view of what I eat on a weekly basis.
First I want to let you know that while this diet is super powerful I have to use my internal power to stick with it or else I will not lose weight! Over the last 15 months I have lost 100 pounds, 80 pounds of which I lost in the last 9 months. I have also been unable to exercise due to medical issues with my left knee. Nonetheless, I was super determined to lose weight whether or not I was able to exercise. This diet came highly recommended by my endocrinologist. My first thought was to let it slip in one ear and out of the other but her words were you can basically lose weight without exercising or taking weight loss pills and do so at an incredible rate. This is when I became interested!

What is Keto? 

Normal Diet: Whether you are on the low carb diet, the paleo diet, the vegan diet, or the junk food diet (not a real thing) your body is fueled by glucose. On the Ketogenic Diet your body is fueled by Ketones.

Okay Google: What is Glucose:


Okay Google: What is Ketosis?



In order to get your body into ketosis you have to adjust your diet so that you are eating the proper macronutrient (aka Macro) ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Each person will be slightly different. You can purchase keto strips to test the amount of ketones in your blood or urine but I have never done that. At first I couldn't afford to spend the extra for the testing strips and now I pretty much know when my body is in ketosis based on what I have eaten. I used to use the My Fitness Pal app by Underarmor daily, for the first 8 months. Now, because I eat the same things daily I will refer to the app when I have a question about the macro's in a particular food/recipe. Below is a chart representing the daily macro's I strive for.

Kayla's daily macro goal.

Perks of being in ketosis:
Rapid weight loss.
Faster, clearer thinking.
Ability to focus.
Wake up and fall asleep easier.
Feel like I have abundant energy, most days.

The ONLY downside is:
Not eating all the delicious carbohydrate laden foods. Seriously when walking down the bread aisle at the store I can smell the carbs through the plastic. During those first five months, sorry if this is TMI, and on the first two days of my period are the only times that the sight or smell of carbs really bothers me. Usually I have snacks prepped and special deserts that are totally keto friendly. As long as I am prepared I can go to any get together and have friends over who *gasp* eat pizza and cake right in front of me!!

My experience


If any, or all, of this seems overwhelming don't worry. I totally feel you! When I first started with this diet 15 months ago I thought: Oh I'll just focus on eating less than 50 carbs per day. With that I lost some weight, but I also felt super groggy and had a hard managing cravings.

Photo on the left taken just before PCOS diagnosis.
 Photo on the right taken around 80 lbs lost


During that time I also did research into cyclical keto, basically a medically recommended diet where someone will go into ketosis for a few days and then out for a few days. Each case of cyclical was different but I thought: hmm I'll cycle keto on the weekends.

Little did I know that every time I went out of ketosis in order to get back into ketosis I had to go through the keto-flu again. So every Monday when I got back to work and I was back on my diet I felt terrible; Dizzy, fatigued, totally unable to focus, and just out of it. After six months into the diet when I had managed to lose about 20 pounds I felt like I had to really buckle down and stick to it.

Over the last nine months I have lost 80 pounds. I stick to my diet, with one exception which I will explain later, and can totally tell if I am the slightest bit out of ketosis.

Learning when to eat throughout the day, what to eat throughout the day, and which recipes kept me from feeling like I was missing out on something was the only way I was able to kick-start this diet.

The effect of cheating on this diet, for me, is unlike cheating on any other diet. Because the Keto diet helps me to regulate my anxiety cheating means anxiety attacks. On Christmas of 2017 I decided to eat an apple fritter and pizza. Less than an hour later I was slathering on calming essential oils and trying not to go into full force panic attack. It took going through the keto flu for several days to get my anxious feelings under control again.

When my cabinets are stocked with keto friendly options and I use essential oils to help manage cravings I am able to make it through any day that I would rather have a donut than cheese cubes.

My routine


I use my keto snacks, recipes, and essential oils in combination to succeed on this diet.



Essential oils:
Grounding blend: I use this daily, as soon as I wake up on the bottom of my feet and throughout the day when I feel frazzled. The right state of being is super important to help manage cravings.

Citrus blend:
I add one drop of citrus blend to the bottom of a glass or stainless steel canister then fill with water. While I drink a lot of water anyways the citrus blend makes the water taste like an orange-vanilla ice-cream pop and is a great way to kick sweet cravings.

Frankincense:
I apply one drop of this under my tongue each morning for general overall health.

Cellular vitality blend:
I apply this to the small of my back and behind my knees to support cellular repair. I have noticed a huge decrease in muscle/bone pain since I began using this daily. Damaged cells are the most common source of pain.

Soothing rub:
I use this blend on achy muscles. Being unable to exercise leaves my muscles feeling tense. This rub is also helpful for those of you who are able to exercise when you feel the burn! I am excited to be in that group again!




Favorite recipes:
I plan to share some of my favorite recipes on ApotheKayla.

Keto Frappe
Sweets: Keto Frappe, Keto Freezer Fudge, tic-tacs (.5 carbs per tic tac great for strong sweet craving control on the go), whipped cream ice cream (higher in carbs but eaten in moderation its fine).

Keto Freezer Fudge
Snacks: Nights/weekends. Beef snack bites, turkey snack bites, pecans, sunflower seeds, pickles, cheese.

Bacon wrapped chicken
Dinners: Most of my carb intake happens at dinner. Some of my favorites are: Bacon wrapped chicken, stir fry (without the rice), tacos, zoodles with spaghetti sauce and meatballs, breakfast, pork chops and green beans, stuffed peppers (without the rice), carne asada taco salad (wihout the tortilla bowl), and chicken salad.

Again I plan to share some of these recipes on the blog and will add links to the name of the recipe here when I do!

Daily meals: This may not work for everyone but Monday through Friday I eat the exact same things for breakfast, snacks, and lunch. I space out my eating by about three hours to make sure I am never feeling hungry. I have two Jack-link beef sticks for breakfast, then pepper jack cheese cubes for a snack, lunch consists of turkey, cheese, and olive oil mayo rolled/cut into bite sized pieces - without the bread. This combo satisfies my hunger and with it I have only had around 4 carbs by the time I leave work.

For me taking the complication out of the daily meal prep helps me to focus on other things. It makes my grocery list super simple and I always know that what I take in my lunch bag will keep me feeling satisfied. To be completely honest with you all I would totally rather have a mostly plant based diet, however plants have a lot of carbs and my main health priority right now is to loose as much weight as possible.

Closing thoughts:
If you are thinking about starting this diet I say go for it. It is recommended by doctors for several conditions such at PCOS, Epilepsy, and diabetes. I offer keto coaching where we can phone/video chat about setting up your daily routine, shopping list, and finding recipes, and I will be there to help you set goals, message with you on days that you’re feeling a little weak, and cheer you on during days of success!



My goals:
I have another 100 pounds to loose. I am ready to get back to yoga, hiking, bicycle riding, and strength training.

Be well,
Kayla

Instagram @kaylawinter.me

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