"TO EAT IS A NECESSITY, BUT TO EAT INTELLIGENTLY IS AN ART"
Over the past year, my work has led me to a regular writing position with the Chopra Center, which has me knee deep in health research regularly.
Amid my hours reading health journals and medical studies the ketogenic diet (and its many benefits) keeps popping up over and over as an effective healing approach for many of health issues that I’ve been researching.
Have you heard of the KETO diet?
At its core, the ketogenic diet (“keto” for short) is a macronutrient ratio that is high fat, moderate protein, and low carb.
Ketosis is when the body burns fat for energy (instead of sugar).
The ketogenic diet was originally developed in the 1920’s for children with epilepsy and can be –– if done wisely –– very healing for the body on a number of levels.
Inspired by the research, I personally decided to give it a try. to see the impact with some of my own health challenges.
I put a little Boulder Nutrition spin on it, to make it work even better for me.
I coined it 'the KONSCIOUSLY KETO approach'.
The results were pretty astonishing, which is why I'm excited to share my story with you today!
WHY I TRIED THE KETO DIET + WHAT HAPPENED
Each of us has our own bio-individuality. What works for one person, may or may not work for another. We all also come with our own ancestry, genetics, family history and constitutions. What all of this means is truly that we are all unique.
I wanted to share with you my personal experience in eating (and living) the KONSCIOUSLY KETO approach.
WHAT IS THE KONSCIOUSLY KETO APPROACH:
There are many ways and variations of the ketogenic diet. There are also many common misunderstandings out there when looking at navigating such a change on one’s own.
In fact, I have heard many people interpreting the ketogenic diet as one that is very meat focused (similar to the Atkins diet). I ensured that I could eat some plant-based meals and have a heavy plant focus when I gave it a try.
While what works for one person may not work for all people is surely a principle that I stand behind, there are some biochemical universals that I want to address here, so you understand how KONSCIOUSLY KETO works and why.
THE SIX PRINCIPLES OF THE KONSCIOUSLY KETO APPROACH:
Plant focused and alkalizing: Plants are the most alkalizing foods you can eat. Alkalizing your body (how it is supposed to be) ensures that your cells are functioning optimally and that you feel healthy and vital.
Based in ancient nutrition: Eating this way is derived from the hunter-gatherer approach to eating, which is heavily programed in our DNA.
Full of natural Healthy Fats: When we get enough healthy fat, we feel satiated, calm, energized and balanced.
Konscious: Choosing our foods konsciously is, what I consider, an integral aspect of healthy eating and living.
Hydrating: Our bodies need adequate hydration to function. Dehydration is a primary cause of low energy and fatigue. Smart hydration (including electrolytes) makes a big difference.
A mind-body approach: Our lifestyles, our self-care, and how we move through our days is integral to our health — body, mind and soul. I was sure to include some of my favorite mind-body practices daily.
There are a few areas of my health that I have been focussed on lately –– some of which are more elaborate than others.
Here is what happened when I put the KONSCIOUSLY KETO approach into practice:
Many years ago I was diagnosed with severe hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is an extreme sensitivity to sugar that becomes dangerous when blood sugar levels dip extremely low. Hypoglycemia is exacerbated when one eats high glycemic foods, processed sugars, or doesn’t eat enough food altogether.
Managing hypoglycemia was an anomaly for me for many years, especially as a young child. Growing up in the 80’s, I surely ate plenty of refined carbohydrates — hello Cheerios — and sugars (a primary part of our diet at the time) and I was constantly in a blood sugar crisis.
As I got older, I was able to learn to manage this better with the blood sugar knowledge to eat more protein and fat — therefore keeping my blood sugar more stable.
Eating KONSCIOUSLY KETO has made even more of a difference. My blood sugar has been solidly stable, and I feel more balanced and even higher in energy than ever. No blood sugar crashes and none of the symptoms that come with them –– cold sweats, quick drops in energy, migraines, shaky ravenous hunger, fatigue and grumpiness.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome:
Over the past couple of years, I have noticed some morning stiffness in my hands, primarily my right hand. After a visit to the specialist, I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (a condition similar to carpal tunnel but involving three compressed nerves instead of one).
After testing the KONSCIOUSLY KETO approach, I noticed my left hand completely self-resolved and my right hand improved approximately seventy-five percent. This is directly related to inflammation. KONSCIOUSLY KETO is very anti-inflammatory because when the blood sugar is stable, and there is minimal sugar in the body, we automatically go into an anti-inflammatory state. High blood sugar sets off an inflammatory cascade (tracked by markers in the blood) that exacerbates systemic inflammation in the body.
Hashimotos is an autoimmune condition of the thyroid. Almost every woman in my family has the antibody. I wanted to test out the the KONSCIOUSLY KETO approach to see how it would affect my blood work in relationship to my thyroid. The results (also tracked through my blood) were amazing. Although I will always have the antibody, I currently have no symptoms nor any activation of the autoimmune disease.
I found this study that illustrates it well: The study looked at 180 people with Hashimoto’s, over the course of 3 weeks, who were randomized to receive the ketogenic diet vs. a standard low-calorie diet. The 108 ketogenic patients ate the study diet, while 72 patients served as the control group and followed a low-calorie diet without any food restrictions or guidelines. Thyroid antibodies (Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies (TPO antibodies), Thyroglobulin antibodies (TG antibodies) and anti-microsomal antibodies), TSH, free T3, free T4 as well as body weight, mass, and composition was measured before the start of the study and after the study ended 3 weeks later in both the study group and the control group.
After just 2 days the results showed a great improvement.
Thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies dropped by 40%
Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) antibodies dropped by 44%
Anti-microsomal antibodies dropped by 57%!!
This shows a res a notable improvement in symptoms after just 2 days!
Due to my hypoglycemia, for years I have struggled with blood sugar migraines. This is a common side effect of hypoglycemia. When my blood sugar dips too low, I often get blurred vision and some tingling, followed by a migraine. Eating KONSCIOUSLY KETO has helped this condition diminish immensely.
Toning up and feeling strong in our bodies is something most of us want. The eating and movement plan you see here has directly helped me lower my percentage of body fat, build lean muscle and feel better in my body than I have in years. This is not just about the number on the scale. This is more about muscle mass, tone, strength, and energy.
I have never felt better than I do following the KONSCIOUSLY KETO plan. I have begun to make it my regular go-to eating style with some carb-cycling every couple of weeks.
As always, I would love to support you in creating a sustainable and supportive health plan for yourself where you can live your strong, radiant and vital self to the fullest.
Fine tuning our eating is something that is always at our fingertips as we continue to change and transform. Our eating (and our self-care) can match exactly what we are working on in our health and what we want for ourselves for the long term!
P.S. Lastly, I have something very exciting coming to your INBOX in just a couple of days. Be sure to open the next email from me, as I don't want you to miss this!
As promised, here’s a little of the data I have found on many of the ways ketogenic eating may help you too!
If you are anything like me, you like to know the science behind what you are doing with your body and your health. There is a lot of hoopla out there, and just so you know, not all hoopla is scientifically sound. While there is so much well-rounded research on the ketogenic diet, I wanted to be sure to highlight some of the most relevant and revolutionary results for you.
Along with my assistant, Anne Crosby, I went a little research ballistic, and luckily, distilled down some of the most important takeaways from our wide angle lens of research.
Therapeutic use for disease
One study showed a review of ketogenic eating and an overall improvement in weight loss, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
One case study showed how the ketogenic diet and high doses of vitamin D3 intake (10,000 IU/day) led to changes in some biological markers of breast cancer.
This study examined the effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle modifications using low carbohydrate interventions is effective for improving and reversing type 2 diabetes.
Weight Loss Related
One study looked at long-term effects of a ketogenic diet on various physical and biochemical parameters in obese patients. The ketogenic diet acted as a natural therapy for weight reduction in obese patients and there was a significant decrease in the level of triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and glucose, and a significant increase in the level of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) in the patients.
A study done with military personnel on an extended ketogenic diet showed remarkable weight loss and improvements in body composition, including loss of visceral fat, without compromising physical performance adaptations to exercise training.
A study on ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss showed that circulating ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and subjective appetite which typically accompany dietary weight reduction were reduced when participants were in ketosis.
Researchers at UCSF have found that ketogenic diets may lower inflammation in the brain through multiple mechanisms.
MCTs and Ketogenic Eating
This study found that a diet rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) resulted in a greater loss of adipose tissue compared with long chain triglycerides. MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.
One study suggests that a ketogenic diet may have an antidepressant effect.