The Path To Improved Nutrition: Ketosis
I’m heading down the path to improved nutrition.
My husband has been doing the “keto” diet for several weeks, and has found success. One of my peers at work is also doing it. Finally, I decided that I’d try it again. And why not? Since March of this year, my weight has been consistent, despite a 70 pound loss in the year leading up to now. But, recently, my eating habits have been less intentional and as a result, I haven’t seen results. Alas, time for a new beginning.
Wait, What is Keto?
Put as simply as I can, keto is a high-fat, low-carb, no-sugar diet. When our bodies aren’t running on sugar as a fuel source, they are able to switch to an alternate natural fuel source called “ketones”. Ketones consume fat, and so they can be sustained through either consumed fats or existing body fat. To get into a state where your body is going to use ketones as it’s main fuel source, you have to deprive the body of sugar and carbs (remember, carbs turn into glucose/sugar in the body). To achieve ketosis, you need to portion and track your daily food intake according to these approximate ratios: high fat (roughly 65-75% daily intake), moderate protein (15-30% daily intake), and low carbs, under 20-30 grams/day (5-10% daily intake). The correct ratios can differ from person to person, but the suggested path is to track everything that enters your body, otherwise called your “macros”. Most people on keto can recite their ratio of fat:protein:carbs. So yeah, basically, keto entails no more bread/rice/tortilla, some math, and you have permission to eat the yummy fats like oils, dairy, meet fat, and eggs. It’s bizarre… but it is delicious. More importantly, it is changing lives and allowing people to reclaim their lives through significant weight loss and a new lease on life.
I never studied the sciences in college, so take this with a grain of salt, but I never heard about ketones in a classroom setting throughout my education. Or, if I did, the concept… uh, didn’t register. Do you remember learning about ketones in school? Anyway, it’s so cool to learn more about what our bodies are capable of. In fact, I’m finding a sense of awe learning about how both ketosis and cannabinoids interact with our bodies, it’s so interesting!
There is a ton of content about the keto diet on the internet. So, if you’d like a more in-depth look, please feel free to search around! Although I haven’t spent much time there myself, there’s apparently a ton of value in the Reddit page for keto diet. I also follow a lot of keto coaches on Instagram and Youtube and their content is very helpful! And free!
A Great Keto Resource: Suzanne Ryan’s Simply Keto
As soon as I decided to do keto again, I thought, “I need to find that woman who made keto Youtube videos and was so relatable”. At the begging of 2015 (actually the same time period in which I made my vision board), I had done keto for about 3 months. I pretty much half-assed the diet, participated sporadically, and let other “priorities” get in my way. But, during that time, I had come across one woman’s Youtube videos that I enjoyed. I found her videos and approach inspiring, and not nauseating in the way that most weight loss mantras can be. Luckily, after a few minutes of searching, I was able to find the blog/writer I was searching for; the author is named Suzanne Ryan and her blog is called Keto Karma. Within minutes of finding her blog again, I purchased her new book, “Simply Keto”, on Amazon.
In her book, Suzanne talks about her own struggles with weight loss throughout her life, and how this consistently impacted her inner self-talk and perception of what she was worth. On this note, in particular, I can relate - growing up as a plus-size kid, teen, college-age, or professional woman is not easy. For those of you that have lived through it, you know that in our culture, to be chubby is to be “less”. Over time, how others see you can start to impact how you see yourself. Suzanne’s story is so relatable because she doesn’t gloss over the emotional component of losing weight, saying, “the key to lasting weight loss is twofold: you must find a diet that is healthy and livable, [and] you must take the time to work on the emotional components that trigger overeating and/or poor food choices”. I wholeheartedly agree, and while I don’t have it all figured out, I’m determined to dive deeper to start to unravel my own personal, emotional... stuff! I’m confident that cannabis will help play a part in this soul searching to uncover what my “triggers” really are.
Recently, I went to my sister in law’s house, and was so pleased to find a copy Simply Keto at her house. My sister in law is one of my keto accountability buddies and I’m glad that we’ll both be able to learn from Suzanne’s message together. Plus, the book is so pretty, it’s no wonder we both have it display in our kitchens! Also, it’s clear that the two of us aren’t alone in finding solace in the contents - the book is filled with many personal testimonials of people who have found success through following Suzanne’s journey. One contributor to the testimonials, Brené Brown, who has her own inspirational blog about living wholeheartedly and expressing vulnerability), sums it up well, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy - the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light”.
Amen! So, what this means is this: no matter your starting point, if you can stomach diving deep into your psyche to realize why you let you hold yourself back, then you can address these issues head-on in order to uncover your true potential. It’s vague, it’s nebulous, but it’s impactful. If you are like me and gung-ho on embarking on this self-discovery journey, might I suggest using cannabis as your guide. For me, when cannabis has altered my consciousness, I’m truly able to get to the root of my problems and come up with realistic solutions without all the self-judgement and disappointment in myself that I would normally feel. It’s important to protect yourself when you dive deep, because some of what you discover may uncover painful past experiences, or have you thinking about a toxic past relationship, or that job that made you feel miserable… but keep searching, because what’s on the other side is worth it.
The recipes in Simply Keto are simply delectable - and easy to cook!
The first day that I received the book, I created a breakfast inspired by her recipes for Simple Hollandaise (pg. 76) and Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus (pg. 144). Breakfast was filling, and fun to make. I can’t wait to try a few more of her recipes.
What’s great is that you can also access more free recipes on the Keto Karma blog, under Recipes. She has a recipe for cream cheese pancakes that sounds like something I’ll be making in the near future!
Let me know what you think - keto can be somewhat difficult to understand and there can be a lot of conflicting information on the internet. What has your experience been?