So who’s ever heard of keto?
Pretty much everybody, right? Keto refers to nutritional ketosis, which is your body’s use of ketone bodies as an energy source as opposed to glucose. Nutritional ketosis is not to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is a diabetic emergency where ketone levels are dangerously high and blood pH is altered. No healthy person enters ketoacidosis because of a keto diet, FYI.
So why eat a keto diet?
First of all, I’m not here talking about it to convince you it’s for you, I’m simply discussing changes my family is making and why we’re doing that. I’m not saying keto is for everyone! But if you’re interested, our main resource is the Ketogenic Bible. Also, check out this awesome piece of a documentary called Fat Head that discusses the myth that fat is bad. No, seriously, go watch that.
Anyways, here’s my why: that last marathon was terrible. No, I wasn’t trained for it entirely, but part of the issues with the race were GI cramping/pain & fueling trouble. I absolutely LOATHE the reliance on sugars that comes with distance running. For a couple years now, I’ve been super interested in the idea of fat-adapted endurance training. Fat-adapted athletes have to fuel very very infrequently, and that is crazy appealing to me. I’ve been listening to the Fit2Fat2Fit podcast for as long as it has been running, and Drew is a huge keto diet advocate. I’ve loved learning from his experience and the guests that he has on the show. So when I told Marcus a few hours after the marathon that I wanted to try keto, he was pumped. He’s great at dietary shifts and plans, so he’s usually game for whatever I want to do.
Eating keto typically means 70-80% calories from fat, 15-20% calories from protein, & 5-10% calories from carbs. Granted, those numbers vary greatly person-to-person, but that’s a general intake. There are multiple schools of thought for everything nutrition, so again, I’m not here to defend my choices. I’ve been on a long road for figuring out my own body, what DOESN’T work for me, and what makes me feel good, and so far, I feel amazing. Keto is NOT the same as the Atkins diet, and we’ve had fun so far digging into the literature and research. We still have at least a week or two until we’re actually keto-adapted, but I can already attest to the difference in energy levels and sugar cravings and satiety. Here’s the benefits I’ve experienced so far:
Lessened or no desire to snack!– This is a big win for me. I can be super snacky. Marcus used to say I ate like a bird, a nibble here, a nibble there. You know the problem with the whole small, frequent meals thing? Your digestive system WANTS a break. Your blood flow doesn’t want to constantly be diverted to your gut cause it has other places to focus on, too. Intermittent fasting is a breath of fresh air for your gut, and a high fat diet makes intermittent fasting much easier because of the increased satiety and ability to burn fat for fuel.
Balanced energy– ok so I know that almost every diet out there claims it helps you achieve balanced energy, but I have never ever achieved that with a carby diet. I have ridden the carb roller coaster my whole life, always wondering why I already felt hungry when I ate an hour ago or why I felt sleepy after a meal. Food rarely made me feel “fueled up” unless it was a sugar high, and we all know how that ends. Now I can say I don’t feel those highs and lows AT ALL. I mean it! I don’t start yawning out of nowhere or even feel the need for an afternoon nap!
Freedom from sugar– ok, so this is the biggest deal to me. I know lots of people believe in the “everything in moderation” route, and that is just fine. You do you. If that TRULY works for you, then seriously skip over this little rant. But if there’s a part of you who isn’t happy with your body, performance, and/or nutrition, chances are sugar is more of a factor than you think. It’s easy to think you’ve got your sugar-consumption at a moderate level, and be completely floored by how many grams you’re actually taking in. Look at this little snippet: “For a 2,000-calorie diet, 5% would be 25 grams. Limit daily sugar to 6 tsps (25 g) for women, 9 tsps (38 g) for men. Yet, the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) every day. That translates into about 66 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person.” Say WHAT?! Sugar is everywhere, and very few people eat a truly “moderate” amount. The problem with moderation isn’t just that our foods are loaded with it, but also that we expect ourselves to be able to. Have you ever been disgusted with yourself for your sweet tooth? Because I have plenty of times! I don’t know how many times I’ve binged on something sweet, just to tell Marcus I was done with food X, also just to buy it a week later. Yuck! What a damaging cycle that is not only to my body, but also my self-esteem. I often felt completely out of control of those desires. Have you ever met someone who used cocaine “moderately”? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a light cocaine user is out there. And guess what– sugar is MORE addictive than cocaine. It sounds insane, and you may not even believe it, but it is. Do you know why pizza delivery is so appealing? Well, the delivery-style pizzas are not only loaded with taste-enhancing MSG, but also SUGAR. So. Much. Sugar. If a food company wants you to crave their product, all they have to do is add sugar. And yes, food companies want you to crave their food. Your cravings=their dollars.
Alright, I got really really ranty there for a bit, and I apologize if it was a little all over the place, but I am so passionate about the damage food companies are doing to us. My biggest piece of advice there is not to believe a thing you hear from a food company’s marketing. EVER. They do not have your best interest at heart, but making you believe they do gives them their power.
Ok ok enough of that! Eating keto means bread is out, so I was excited to try a recipe I’ve seen a few times. It’s called cloud bread, and I was very very skeptical. I am not the most confident with new things in the kitchen, so I knew this one was a gamble. After a couple days of pondering whether it would even be good, I decided there was only one way to find out.
There’s the recipe that I used, but I halved it. It was a little involved, but it really wasn’t too much work! I used a hand mixer because I don’t have a stand mixer, and it worked fine. The finished product was yummy, and we will definitely make more! I left one uneaten last night to see how the texture is the next day, and I haven’t actually tried it yet. Stay tuned! I buttered a piece, and yes, it is very similar to bread. Marcus gave it his seal of approval, and we are excited to have a way to have something “bready” if we so desire. Give it a shot, and let me know what you think!
Got any questions about keto or our experiences so far? Don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂