The Ketogenic Experience – 3

Matt has shared his experience so far in this Keto journey and the thought processes that got us here in THIS POST and has now done a follow up with THIS POST. I meant to add mine in sooner but… So today is as good as any.

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*I want to start this post by saying I/we do NOT believe there is one way of eating that is perfect for everyone, nor do we believe that what we are doing is doable by the majority.*

In the beginning (late 90’s, early 00’s)…there was little to no help by community, group, website, blog, cookbook, podcast, whatever for those of us experiencing extreme gastric distress every single day eating the standard American diet. Today there are a million (this might be a slight exaggeration) options via the previously listed methods for disseminating information about nutrition, diet, health issues and options for dealing with anything and everything. Based on my symptoms and some guess work and tons of reading on Matt’s part, we started eliminating things from our diets. The first and hardest thing to cut out was grains. This took numerous attempts, fits and starts and time for food suppliers to come up with alternate and gluten free flours because we definitely still kept at the home made treats. Mostly, we had to stick to home made because, as anyone who has ever picked up a “gluten-free” baked good from a grocery store aisle can attest, the junk that made it onto the store shelves was so dry and tasteless that you seriously questioned whether gluten could simply be misunderstood. Poor gluten. Here, have a cookie. *3 hours later “Somebody cut out my entire digestive track! All of it! Help me!!!” No cookies. No gluten. Fine.

In 2011, we decided to end our relationship with alcohol. Its not you. Its me. Maybe a little of you. It was over. We had tried all of the negotiation methods over the years to no avail. *Only 1 drink per night (except really great days or really horrible days) *Only the expensive, top shelf stuff with no mixers so you know what you’re drinking *Ok, have the top shelf stuff but also have a middle shelf bottle for that occasional really good or bad day *Only drink at home *Only drink drinks one of us makes (you know how other people make them too strong) *Only drink at an event *Only drink when we go out to eat (you know, the cheap way to do it) *only *only *only. Enough. No more. This is so much easier. We had to be this way about grains to make it work also and we feel SO MUCH BETTER FOR IT!

Since 2006, when we started our gym we have been doing quarterly nutrition challenges. Paleo, Paleo/Zone, Zone, Nutrition plus performance challenges, eating to get big. In 2012 we added AdvoCare to our regimen and have pretty much hit the 24 Day Challenge every 3 months since. We hit all three parts the same as we always have – 1. super clean nutrition 2. consistent exercise 3. quality supplements to improve and/or enhance.

So this year we started off with a 24 Day Challenge. Dialed in the nutrition hard after the holidays and a crazy stress filled year. About half way through the challenge, we were reminded again about the Keto option. in 2013 we did a version of Keto but, I think, failed to monitor our protein intake like we should have and were taking in too many grams (which gets converted to glycogen as the body sees fit). Every year that passes has so many more resources for every kind of everything out there and we’re taking advantage. We’ve pulled out our nutrition books, listened to podcasts and read and read and read. We started on Valentine’s Day (which tells you something about our view on ‘holidays’) and haven’t looked back.

For us, Keto hasn’t been much different than what we do on any given challenge. We don’t drink and can’t do grains. We focus on quality, low carb vegetables and low carb berries, high quality fats and lots of water. There is more thought to the kinds of carbs we do eat and we’re at no to low sugar intake. Getting enough fat is the hardest part and its not that hard. We used the macro finder feature on‘s website to figure our starting numbers. We use the My Fitness Pal app to track our macros after having adjusted the ratios to what fits our goals. For the first 1-2 weeks we didn’t track anything. Just trying to work our system and make sure we had options was plenty to deal with. Now, we will track a day about every 3rd or 4th day. We have other things to do with our lives besides be neurotic about food. After our most recent measurement taking, we input our new numbers. I’m not sure on Matt but for me it said I could go up in total calories but keep the total carbs super low. Meh. I feel great, am losing body fat consistently, am never hungry and my performance in workouts is solid. I’m leaving it here.

Mentally, I/we have committed to this for at least 1 year. After years and years of doing challenges every quarter, I’m finding this easier. Instead of “I’m eating this way for the next 3 weeks” we are of the mindset “This is how we eat.” It makes a huge difference. As Matt mentioned, losing weight is on the list of goals here but its not at the top of the list. Like any woman with weight goals, I’d love for that scale to start moving into lower numbers but I’m also aware that a scale doesn’t differentiate between muscle/bone/fat/water/etc. It only measures total gravitational pull. I am also seeing the muscle packing on. I’m finding it a little funny given that I’m 45, female and consuming less than 1800 calories per day and still putting on muscle. Like I said, the total calories aren’t changing as long as results are happening.

What about the daughters? They didn’t have to do it and initially they said they would only do parts of it. That being said, they are used to eating paleo, taking supplements and living as clean as possible so they’ve been on the path with us from day 2. We have no stats on them because they don’t care about weight or body fat percentages. They don’t need to. We gave them all of the data that we re-found as we were researching it again and they made their own decisions. They have their own vehicle and their own money and they leave the house without us plenty but this is how they are choosing to eat and live also. I am grateful they will never have to struggle through illness like I did. I am grateful they will have a different life!


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