I thought when we made the decision to go keto I had a good amount of research and knowledge under my belt. I read a few books and articles, followed a handful of keto peeps on Instagram, and I thought I was good to go.
When I begin something new, I always do my do-diligence; probably even to a fault. I’m sure I have been that annoying girl more than once who won’t shut up about her new miracle way of life. But that’s how it is with me. I’m either in, or I’m out…and if I’m in, I’m all in.
Just like with everything else in life, experience is an incredible way to gain knowledge. In my sincere opinion, it’s the best way.
I want to share a few discoveries I’ve made along to the way in hopes if you’re thinking about trying keto, you have someone who will tell you the truth in black and white. All in.
- Plan. This means be an adult.
***Give me just one second to sound corny***
You only have one shot living in your body. You can have a great experience and coax the best out of it, or you can spend a lifetime sticking on Band-Aid after Band-Aid never acknowledging it’s what you put in that really matters. My grandfather used to often tell me that, in life, you make time for what really matters to you. What could be more important than your health? Without it, you have nothing.
This means….do the research. Have the right foods on hand, and plan for the next day so you can avoid the stress of fumbling an “on the spot food” decision. Take control, take your time and plan it out. After all, you are an adult right?
- Intermittent fasting…yes or no? A Lot of people say it really gives your metabolism a one two punch when you add it to the beginning of a keto lifestyle change. Others say it’s a bad idea to start right away because it’s a lot to ask for physically, but more than that, mentally. Everyone already wants to avoid change. Now put a big change in your diet with food deprivation together at the same time, and you’re asking for trouble. Get on the cranky train; we’re going to Miserable Ville USA. Hahaha.
I think this one comes down to internal fortitude. Are you someone that really likes a challenge….and once you sign up, that’s it? JI and I have been doing intermittent fasting 16/8 since Day 1. The first few days were kind of tough. I had a few hours one day that I definitely took a long train ride, and another day I told my staff to try and not speak to me until after 3pm when I could eat. I was really, really hungry that day. By the second week it became much easier, even unnoticeable. It sounds strange, but I feel like I can feel my body working more like a machine. Everything feels cleaner, more even and efficient. Who knows? Maybe it’s in my head, but I don’t think so. If you can suck it up, add the fasting in right away. I think you’ll be happy you did.
- Hydration. I learned this one the hard way. Everything I read said add salt to your water, add salt to everything you eat. “They” said, “you’ll loose a lot of water and with it goes the electrolytes”….. “you’ve got to get them back in.” I didn’t pay a lot of attention to this until the end of the first week after a very busy few days on my feet, exerting a boatload of energy both at the gym and in the kitchen. I sipped on water like I usually do. When I wasn’t counting carbs or worrying about fat I would drink coconut water on busy days and it kept me very well hydrated and feeling my best. But, no more coconut water, or Gatorade zero…..just water and salt.
Sunday morning arrives. I’m on the brink of a very busy shift. The longest of the the week …brunch through close. Ugh….I felt super dizzy, nauseous, woozy, light headed….you name it. The thought of working in a busy kitchen was unbearable. I know my body pretty well, and I knew I was dehydrated. I sat in my office trying to figure what I could do quickly to patch myself up. I chugged three bottles of water with a good amount of pink salt in them. I also tried a keto approved “hydrating powder” that helped get me though but was not very nice to my tummy for the rest of the day. I’ll stick to the salty water thank you. It saved me. I take it seriously now, and it’s part of my everyday routine. I don’t even mind it. It’s a necessity. Especially considering the fasting.
- Don’t settle on what you find on the Internet or hear from one friend. Do your own research and realize from the jump everyone’s body is different. If you are going to do it right, you need to watch a few videos, read an article or two, pop open a cookbook….and get movin’. You will figure things out more once you begin. The first morning we ate a bunch of eggs and bacon laden with bacon fat. We were disgusted and felt gross. Dumb mistake. Not only did we use up a big chunk of protein, really limiting the remainder of the day, but we also started with a bad taste in our mouths. Don’t believe everything you hear people, it’s not just about fatty meat and heavy cream. You need to get those veggies in there too.
- Know yourself. What do you need to be successful? I need a bite of something sweet after dinner. When I was strictly paleo, I would eat an orange, banana or handful of raspberries. It’s the part of my day I look forward to as I decompress from my packed schedule. I have done without it plenty of times, but it sure makes my mood better if I PLAN a way to put it in. Everyday, the first thing I add to my food-tracking app is 2 Tbsp. of no sugar or salt peanut butter. I now eat it off a spoon every night and savor it till the end. It makes the salty water just a figment of my imagination. If you could care less about peanut butter but love coconut, you could try one of my other new found favorites….coconut butter, or manna as it’s often called. It essentially pureed, whole coconut. It’s toasty, salty, sweet islandy-esk vibe is really up my alley.
Remember there are lots of haters out there with their judgy tudes jumping at the chance to tell you this is the worst idea ever. I’m not a doctor or nutritionist by any means. I am not telling you what to do or what’s best for you. I’m simply sharing my own experiences at the chance you’re interested and hoping it helps in some way.
There is nothing wrong with testing things out to see how you feel. That goes for everything else in life too, btw.
Drown out anyone who tells you differently.