Back on Keto

Today was an emotional day for me.Ā  My son, Gabe; who had been doing school at home was finally well enough to go back to his elementary school.Ā  I brought him in and helped him carry all of his supplies to his new classroom.Ā  It’s a little school so everyone knew he was coming back.Ā  Teachers stopped to hug him and his class was buzzing with excitement.Ā  Tears threatened to gush out of my eyes.Ā  It is just such a big step.Ā  He’s come so far from the days where he couldn’t even walk because he was in so much pain.

I’ll have much more time to myself now though.Ā  Even though I’m going to miss my little buddy while he’s at school.Ā  I love him like crazy but he is so much like me that we can grate on each other.Ā  Plus, just caregiving in itself can be very tiring.

But anyhoos, I wanted to talk about where I am; diet wise.Ā  In my last blog on diet (a couple blogs ago, I believe) I decided to take a good long break.Ā  I think that is important, for both mental and physical health.Ā  It’s called a “re-feed” or just, uh, “pushing the ‘f-it’ button” for awhile.Ā  Whatever works.Ā  It was great.Ā  I ate a lot of whatever I wanted.Ā  Then the carby-luster wore off and I found myself struggling to squeeze into my pants.Ā  More than that, I missed the brain boost I get from ketones.Ā  When I was burning sugar instead of fat, I noticed a nose dive in my desire to write.Ā  My brain wasn’t firing.Ā  I also found myself (again *sigh*) eating too much freaking sugar and falling into depression.

That’s just how life goes, right?Ā  We are always striving to find balance and that is ok.Ā  I am back on keto and doing pretty good.Ā  I have a much more casual approach this time around.Ā  I think if I decide I can never have a snickers or reeses again I will despair.Ā  I just do one day at a time.Ā  Some times I cheat.Ā  I just reset the next day.Ā  I’m getting back to where I am more comfortable with my weight and feeling more mentally clear.

I hope you all are well and finding joy and balance this Holiday season!

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Still?!

I’ve gotten multiple comments like, “You’reĀ stillĀ doing keto?”Ā  Wow, my friends and family apparently don’t have much faith in my ability to stick things out!Ā  šŸ˜›

Honestly, I am a bit of a bandwagon jumper.Ā  I see something that catches my eye or interest and jump right in.Ā  Only to lose interest and move on to the next thing.Ā  But keto is different for me.Ā  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.Ā  But that wasn’t the end point.Ā  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 andĀ especiallyĀ 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.Ā  No shame in my game because I know that so many others do as well.Ā  For me, a good hunk of it is genetic.Ā  I believe, at the moment, my three most closely related relatives are on anti-depressants and anxiety meds.Ā  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 lifeĀ naturally.Ā Ā Please don’t hear me condemning the use of meds.Ā  This isn’t that.Ā  Some people need them.Ā  Period.Ā  My depression/anxiety is mild enough that I am able to function well with some lifestyle adjustments, or “hacks”.Ā  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.Ā  I’ve always used exercise and a healthy lifestyle to combat that.Ā  I am also a person of faith so I practice that every day as well.Ā  This diet, and the effect of ketones on my brain, has filled in the missing pieces for me.Ā  It’s hard to explain but I feel much more confident, muchĀ lessĀ anxious.Ā  Things that used to bother me horribly I am able to shrug off now.

There is evidence that the brain runs moreĀ efficiently on ketones over glucose.Ā  For one thing, it upregulates mitochondrial biogenesis.Ā  bfb5f95c29a922587cf7bfe1a6dd684ecc7dbe603add9b7ffc7246984dcdfff0Ā Mitochondria are like the tiny power plant powerhouses that we have in every single cell.Ā  They basically power our bodies at the cellular level.Ā  For example: cyanide works because it shuts down our mitochondria.Ā  Without them, we die pretty quick.Ā  Ketones in the brain (or elsewhere) leads to a process where the weaker mitochondria die off and stronger ones replace them.Ā  It’s literally an anti-aging process.Ā  Forget wrinkle cream.Ā  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.Ā  Any time you’re fasting your body is making ketones.Ā  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.Ā  A very low carb diet with provide the same benefits, in a much more sustainable way.Ā  If you’d like more info check outĀ this articleĀ from Mark’s Daily Apple.Ā  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! šŸ˜‰