I’ve gotten multiple comments like, “You’re still doing keto?” Wow, my friends and family apparently don’t have much faith in my ability to stick things out! 😛
Honestly, I am a bit of a bandwagon jumper. I see something that catches my eye or interest and jump right in. Only to lose interest and move on to the next thing. But keto is different for me. What started as a plan to lose a few holiday-chocolate-truffle-cookie pounds morphed into so much more.
The pounds melted off quickly, yes. But that wasn’t the end point. Because I’m sure the weight would creep back up if I went back to carbs and sugar… but I’m sticking it out because I genuinely enjoy my keto foods and especially the way I feel on the plan.
This is a lifestyle and one that I plan to maintain.
I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I’ve struggle with depression and anxiety. No shame in my game because I know that so many others do as well. For me, a good hunk of it is genetic. I believe, at the moment, my three most closely related relatives are on anti-depressants and anxiety meds. My grandma still texts me anxiously whenever there is a storm front in my neck of the woods.
I am stubbornly naturally-minded person though and I’m determined to live my happiest, healthiest life naturally. Please don’t hear me condemning the use of meds. This isn’t that. Some people need them. Period. My depression/anxiety is mild enough that I am able to function well with some lifestyle adjustments, or “hacks”. That’s my own conviction but I certainly don’t judge people who use meds as a well-rounded approach to supporting their mental health.
I am a generally happy person but I would get slammed with periods of depression on a regular basis. I’ve always used exercise and a healthy lifestyle to combat that. I am also a person of faith so I practice that every day as well. This diet, and the effect of ketones on my brain, has filled in the missing pieces for me. It’s hard to explain but I feel much more confident, much less anxious. Things that used to bother me horribly I am able to shrug off now.
There is evidence that the brain runs more efficiently on ketones over glucose. For one thing, it upregulates mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondria are like the tiny power plant powerhouses that we have in every single cell. They basically power our bodies at the cellular level. For example: cyanide works because it shuts down our mitochondria. Without them, we die pretty quick. Ketones in the brain (or elsewhere) leads to a process where the weaker mitochondria die off and stronger ones replace them. It’s literally an anti-aging process. Forget wrinkle cream. Put MCT oil in your coffee instead.
That’s why so many people fast and end up feeling better and getting relief from chronic pain and other conditions. Any time you’re fasting your body is making ketones. The ketones cause rapid autophagy- basically a cellular deep cleaning where weak old cells get gobbled up and replaced.
The good news is that you don’t have to fast to get the benefits. A very low carb diet with provide the same benefits, in a much more sustainable way. If you’d like more info check out this article from Mark’s Daily Apple. There is also evidence that ketosis can reverse dementia and other forms of mental decline.
Any plan where copious amounts of cream, cheese, cream cheese is encouraged while your brain gets sharper and your bum gets smaller- is a winner in my book! 😉