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You probably know, by now, that I follow a Ketogenic or Keto diet and I intermittent fast. On December 26, 2017, I committed to this way of eating and this health journey.
Little did I know just what blessings and benefits this whole healthy lifestyle change would bring.
My reasons why I decided to start eating this way was first, to lose weight and second, to heal the inflammation I had in my body.
By eating a diet low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats and having moderate protein, your body gets into a state of ketosis. This is when your body begins to burn its stored fat as fuel and that burning is 24-7.
Plus, due to low carb and no sugar intake your insulin level drops. When insulin levels become very low, the burning of the fat you have stored on your body increases significantly!
The lower insulin levels make it easier for your body to access your fat and use it as fuel. This is exactly what you want to happen if your goal is to lose weight.
There are other, less mentioned benefits, such as decreased hunger and energy that is remarkable. It will also significantly reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Because it is a sustained energy without the energy up and downs of sugars and carbs, you also get mental clarity and better focus! These are both major benefits for a busy mom like me!
Truth is, that I really did not know the compelling research and true power behind following this type of diet until I did some of my own investigating and experienced it for myself.
What I eat
Some people think that the Keto Diet is all butter & bacon, but that just isn’t true. I do enjoy butter and bacon, but there is so much more to it. Healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, & olive oil are part of my daily diet.
I also like to eat a variety of different fish and meats. Ground beef, ham, chicken (with the skin) and sardines are all part of my regular diet.
Low carb vegetables – the ones grown above ground also make up some of my diet. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, spring mix, lettuce, asparagus & cucumber make up most of the vegetables I eat. I also will add in some mushroom, onion, and tomatoes, but those are higher in carbs so I limit them.
The only dairy on Keto is a hard cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, butter, cream cheese, and maybe a very little full-fat plain Greek yogurt.
I make sure that most of my diet is healthy fat and protein. With minimal carbohydrates only coming from the vegetables and occasional nuts I eat.
Also, paying attention to make sure I get plenty of healthy spices and a lot of collagen. I get my collagen mainly from the homemade bone broth I make. Collagen is so good for your skin, hair, joints and, gut health. It really is a ‘fountain of youth‘ in a cup!
I also get plenty of collagen from the eggs I eat and from the sardines!
Water is also a biggie. Drinking it throughout the day ensures that I stay hydrated. I also make sure that Himalayan salt is added to it. When on a diet low in processed foods you will have to add salt to your diet.
Why I still follow a Keto diet
The benefits I have obtained through this way of eating are too dramatic to not mention or to continue to reap. I certainly did lose the weight I had been trying to for years!
But, I also was able to heal my plantar fasciitis, and clear up the brown discoloration or sunspots I had on my face and chest. I no longer have back pain or hear my joints snapping in the morning.
I have fewer wrinkles, mostly due to the increased collagen (thank you bone broth) I consume. I have a ton of energy and increased focus! Plus, I never get sick! I was sick just one-time last year with a virus.
It has been over two years since I started eating this way and I feel better and younger than I ever have. Certainly better than I did 2 years ago before starting. No more naps for me!
We have children and grandchildren that we love and I want to be able to enjoy, I mean really enjoy them, for many years to come! These are some of my biggest reasons for being committed to my health.
Our youngest seven children
Aren’t they adorable?!
Of course, exercise and intermittent fasting are also a big part of my lifestyle. That is what really has brought my health, spiritually, mentally and physically to a whole new level.
My Biggest Obstacle
The hardest thing for me about following this way of eating is that usually, I am the only one following this way of eating. I’m like a keto island in the middle of a carb ocean. Sometimes it is hard explaining that I eat this way and why. But, that hasn’t stopped me. I can live with it, especially because it is for my health.
Do I ever ‘cheat’?
This is a question I get asked a lot! The truth is that for the first year I was very strict! I wanted results and I thought of it like marriage. If you cheat, it doesn’t work. And that is simply the truth!
Now, I will say life does happen. Like yesterday was my birthday and I had pie and ice cream. Do I do that every day? No! I wouldn’t be where I am today if I did.
And I don’t call it cheating. I can choose to eat anything I want to. It is always up to me. But, I know that to feel wonderful and keep my health moving in a positive direction I follow this way of eating 99.9% of the time.
A special occasion is just that ~ a ‘special‘ occasion.
A weekend happens every week, so it is a not special occasion. A birthday or Christmas are special occasions, they happen once a year. That is the way I look at it.
Eat, Fast, Move, Repeat
God has given us such a gift in our bodies and its ability to grow, maintain and heal itself. We just have to give it the right fuel, give it rest from fuel, and treat it in a way that will enable it to do what it was created to do.
As Lent draws near, my fasting will again take on a whole new dimension. Fasting should be a normal part of our lives. Lent gives us a deeper reason to embrace it!
Following the Keto diet and fasting has brought me to a whole new way of being! I look to the future with hope in my body’s ability to carry me there.
This may all sound very easy, but it took time and like I said it has been two years since I started. I am definitely more comfortable and confident now than I was then.
So, if you want to begin this way of eating, be patient and give yourself time to adjust. And take each day as it comes. If you mess up, the beauty of this way of eating is you can always recommit tomorrow!