Happy 6 months keto-versary to me!
I've been practicing eating a low carb diet for six months now. I've had some struggles and successes (mostly successes) and have had a lot of fun experimenting in the kitchen. I want to share with you some of the ups and downs I've experienced along this journey. I also wanted to say quickly that I have used my research and experimentation to launch a keto service for you! I'm now offering custom 7-day keto meal planning with shopping lists customized to meet your specific health and nutrition goals! I'm also offering keto consultations for those who want to learn about keto and how to get started. Visit my Consultation and Meal Planning page for more information.
Ok, let's get started!
Left: first day of keto, right: 6 months of keto (check out that butt omg!!)
UP: I would have to say my biggest up has been overcoming my sugar addiction and developing the ability to enjoy tasty sweet snacks without consuming crazy amounts of refined sugar and carbs. Like I said before, I've been experimenting with lots of recipes for desserts that are low carb, and have developed a liking for dark chocolate (I actually prefer 90% dark chocolate, call me crazy!). Anyway, these kitchen adventures, dark chocolate, and eating keto-friendly fruits like berries have replaced cookies, cakes, and all the other shit I used to eat, and it shows (my belt is thanking me). I'm reveling in the sense of accomplishment, and after 6 months of self-reflection, fitness, and actual fun, I am ready for whatever the next 6 months throws at me!
DOWN: discovering I am one of those unlucky adults who developed a food allergy suddenly. I am also not sure yet what it is I've been reacting to. Those of you who have followed my blog and social media channels have probably seen me talk about the fact that I wake up every day with puffy eyes, pressure in my head and sinuses, and nasal congestion. I've been working with a nutritionist and a nutritional consultant to try to determine the cause and figure out ways to manage my symptoms. So far, I've determined through an elimination diet that I am allergic to cow-based dairy. Unfortunately, it's not the only thing causing these symptoms as I'm still experiencing these issues. Learning and eliminating dairy has been a game changer, though. I feel even better than I did before, and my symptoms are easing off gradually, which is important.
UP: experimenting in the kitchen. I used to be such a lazy cook, and not a very good one. I would have cereal or toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and then throw down a chunk of meat, and then have either potatoes or rice and a steamed veggie every night for dinner. Every day. Not very exciting, right? Even worse, this monotony caused me to find taste bud titillation through snacking - a lot of snacking. Unhealthy, sugar-laden snacking. Eating keto forced me to experiment in the kitchen, and I've been having so much fun with it! I've been baking with keto-friendly ingredients, cooking different types of meat I've never tried, and making delicious veggie dishes using a whole new array of vegetables. This has led to other side benefits, like having more energy, building muscle mass more easily, and most importantly, pleasing my husband who, up until now, was the kitchen master. ;)
DOWN: Eating super low carb turned me into a cranky bitch for awhile. Once I realized what was happening (after my husband pointed out my moodiness, fair) I started to play around with my carb intake to see if I could find a happier balance (literally). When I started being keto I kept to the recommended 23g of net carbs per day, but I have found that an increase to 30g of carbs per day seems to have helped in keeping me on my lifestyle track, while also improving my mood tremendously. The best lesson I learned from this? Just because I'm keto doesn't mean I'm trapped in macro levels that are set in stone. There is so much flexibility in this way of eating, as long as you keep it to under 50g of carbs per day, which I personally find to be pretty easy to do.
UP: Finishing on an "up," The improvement in my overall physical health. I used to be in the "I could lose ten" category, I always felt kind of bloated, it was a struggle to suck in my gut all the time, I'd get blemishes on the regular, and I had these weird itchy spots on my ankle and my shins that would not go away. Fast forward to cutting out gluten and processed sugar and eating low carb, and all of those issues have completely vanished! I've lost a healthy 10 lbs. that I gained during my 20s, my face is slimmer and skin is clear, no more itchy spots, and for the first time in my life I have purchased and actually worn - out in public, no less - an actual, honest-to-goodness crop top. My weight hasn't changed much as I didn't have a lot to lose before, but I am more toned and don't feel constantly bloated anymore.
Thanks for reading! I hope this mini journal has been helpful for you. If you ever have any questions about keto, or you are looking for support, don't hesitate to get in touch! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Instagram @keto.for.people, or get in touch on my Facebook page at Keto for People. Loves!