Getting FAT – One Week on the Ketogenic Diet

One week ago today I found myself rushing through the grocery store seeking out items I haven’t eaten in years, grabbing ingredients like real, whole fat, butter, high fat organic cheeses, and sour cream.

I made my way up and down the aisles, reading ingredients carefully. Most of the items I picked from the shelves did not pass what I was looking for – being completely carb and sugar-free.

When I say carb and sugar-free, I don’t mean gluten free, filled with artificial sweetener, or even made with natural fruit sugar. For my new diet eliminating the carbs and sugar was serious business – meaning no rice, quinoa, fruits, or honey.

The point of this diet is to put your body into ketosis and you can’t get there if your body has glucose to run on. Please do read more in detail about what happens to your body in this altered metabolic state – it’s fascinating.

One of the main claimed benefits of this diet is that it seems to boost brain health and may be able to repair or prevent certain types of brain disease. Another claim, not yet supported by science, is that the Keto Diet might be helpful to those suffering with IBS.

I found this diet after a life long quest to unravel my own medical mysteries. Doctors throughout my life have not been helpful or interested in getting to the bottoms of some of my more obnoxious health troubles.

My gut, and sometimes my brain, seem to work against me at times. Then there are the little things like acne, headaches, and water retention. Yes, many people have these issues but they add up.

It is important to pay attention to your body, looking for signs things are off balance. We shouldn’t have these issues and now that I’m almost thirty the teenage acne should be over and done.

When it all gets to be too much what do you do? Try something different.

I’m an obsessive reader who loves a good mystery (although I have a hard time with fiction these days). The mystery of my own health has been one that’s frustrated me over the years.

Gut and brain health are complicated and only in recent years are we beginning to truly understand the way these two organs interact with and on one another. As we learn more it does seem like our guts and our brains are connected.

I remember all the drugs. They tried all the prescriptions first then recommended my mom try over the counter medications – antacids, anti-spasm,  muscle relaxers, digestive aids, laxatives, and much more I can’t remember. None of these pills made anything better.

Doctors gave my digestive system clean bill of health (at least physically). No physical explanation – must be anxiety. IBS – end of the line, they’ve given up… It’s the answer doctors give you when they don’t know why your stomach is upside down.

It’s easy to give up on something when you don’t have to live with it or see it every day. The mystery was not something that I could ignore.

As an adult, I found a new doctor, one who was not as obsessed with pushing drugs. When I told her about the “IBS” she suggested trying the FODMAP diet. FODMAP-ing wasn’t for me but the diet did show me that I was better off without gluten and processed foods (the latter of which I already knew).

We all have unique genetics. A one size fits all diet doesn’t seem logical to me, however, there do seem to be a few universal truths.

  • We need to eat less processed foods.
  • We should eat more raw foods.
  • We need to prepare more meals from scratch.
  • We need more organic whole foods.
  • We should worry about what goes into the cows that make our dairy.
  • If we eat meat we SHOULD worry about how the animals are treated and fed.

If you read my previous blog about starting the Ketogenic Diet you may already know that I have an obsession with foods ability to literally kill or cure us. My health is important to me.

Knowing that cutting gluten alone has been helpful, why not go all the way? Why not cut out all the carbs? Cut out the sugar? Sure that actually makes a lot of sense to me and a lot of other people. Sugar is really hard on the brain too.

So far it doesn’t seem that extreme – until I tell you that my goal on this diet is to have 90% of my calories come from fat (8% protein & 2% carbs).

Fat – organic grass fed butter, heavy whipping cream, MCT coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, fatty cheeses, if you like mayo this is the diet for you. Surprisingly a lot of people do the Ketogenic diet for weight loss. You can eat fat to burn fat and lose fat (once you get past all the bad things people have told you about fat your entire life).

Fats are brain foods. As my self-exploration has lead me from gut to brain, being that we’ve thoroughly eliminated a problem in my gut at this point, it is time to switch to a diet that will feed and heal my brain.


So far the food’s actually pretty tasty.


27 thoughts on “Getting FAT – One Week on the Ketogenic Diet

  1. My grandmother knew this. She had a conniption fit when anyone left any fat on their plate. She believed it was good food. That and sucking the marrow out of bones. She lived to be 100, and so did my mom—she ate like a bird, but she ate her fat.

  2. This is really interesting, I’ve not heard of the Ketogenic diet but had a similar journey with Drs and tests and the never ending cycle of being sick and getting no answer! Luckily for me, I finally got a diagnosis about four years ago which included chronic IBS, but also Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth and a wheat allergy. The dietician I was referred to (as there is no medical remedy for SIBO) recommended the FODMAP diet and for me it has been a game changer but I have had to stay on the full exclusion diet which is a pain in the backside! What you say about eating fresh, and knowing our food though is so true, what I am able to eat has shrunk but my awareness has grown so much that I am incredibly healthy now. It’s very refreshing. I hope that you get some luck with the Ketogenic Diet.

    1. I’m glad FODMAP worked for you! I hear it does well for a lot of people with digestive issues. People can be healthy if they find the diet that works for them. Good food is nourishing. 🙂

  3. I’ve also started putting MCT oil into my ASD Boy’s diet, to see if it helps (he’s been on Omega-3’s with D3 for a while). Always trying to keep him off of sugar and I’d like to go after gluten, but he LOVES bread items.

    He’s going on six weeks med free, but it is stressful on me and his teacher, lol.

    Hope this helps you!

  4. Love your title “Get Fat” but of course you won’t with this diet since you eliminate sugars. We tried the ketogenic diet for our son’s seizures under a neurologist and nutritionists supervision and he was hospitalized for “fasting”. It was effective at first, but as with his meds, after “the honeymoon” seizures worsened.

      1. Everyone is different and there has been success for some so I hope I was not discouraging, just sharing our experience. Look forward to reading more about yours.

  5. so i just wanted to say thanks for your blog since as a fellow ENTP female it has given me a feeling of camaraderie. Also, I have been actually exploring Buddhism through physically going to Diamond Way meetings in my area. Hearing someone else did it made it easier on this poor sheeple. I do CrossFit and pretty much everyone there is all about Paleo- have you tried it and what do you think of it? As I see my shrink and try to undo all my conditioning and the binge eating that has at times “punished” me for stepping too far out of the norm and being too bright, I’ve tried that (though aiming for like 70 percent compliance and/or eating what i want on the weekend). I am unscientificfally not measuring myself since that turns on my nasty inner critic MBA brain and the goal is to make a lifestyle I will do forever and let the results take care of themselves (also goals can be counterproductive). So in a nutshell what do you think of Paleo? Have you tried it? Has Keto made you feel sluggish?

    1. Ah, perfectionism is dangerous isn’t it? As for Paleo, not something I have done. As a Buddhist, trying to do as little harm as possible, I am actually a long term vegetarian. The Paleo diet is an interesting concept, and honestly I feel like any whole foods organic diet with lots of raw plants is good. Sugar and carbs seem to be bad for us and worse for others (myself included). I feel like the Paleo diet might be off balanced because there is no fasting and there is a LOT of meat. It talks about it being more natural but not every human would be a skilled hunter and have meat every day. On the other hand Keto is backed by science and approved as a medical treatment for Epilepsy. The goal is to force the body into ketosis— the process of the body burning stored fat. On this plan, you achieve ketosis through fasting, almost eliminating carbohydrates and sugars (including fruit). Then you increase of dietary fat.

      1. I think the misconception about Paleo is that it has to be tons and tons of meat (of course it is, compared to vegetarianism) and people often do intermittent fasting as part of their plan. Paleo is not necessarily super low carb though its recommended to keep carbs until 50g per day if the goal is weight loss. From my personal experience as someone who never even liked meat much and would have preferred beans to be my main protein source, I would definitely say I felt physically better, hungry less frequently, etc, eating meat frequently. However, if your religious beliefs stop you from eating meat, there’s basically no possibility of doing Paleo since dairy is prohibited (although I guess this could be adapted). As far as the ethical side of meat consumption, in an ideal world you’d be eating only free-range grass fed everything that at least had a good life. In any case, if one reduces processed food consumption whatever the plan, I’m sure it’s better than a standard american diet from both an ethical/environmental as well as health perspective. Also if whatever lifestyle helps you avoid diabetes and other health issues and you end up needing less medical care, still a net gain I think from an environmental perspective.
        PS I have just started doing Diamond Way Buddhism and you can’t imagine my relief when the visiting teacher offered me a bite of quiche with meat in it. But I completely respect your beliefs and was reallly on the fence about meat consumption for a while!

        Fun exchange!

        1. Thank you for your additional thoughts! This is very helpful. So I’ve actually found that my body does VERY well with dairy – even so far as to have LESS indigestion when I have more dairy fat. My reasons for doing Keto is because of the focus on brain healthy fats. Some people also find they lose weight on Keto but that is not my goal as really I could stand to put on some weight right now. As for eating meat. I am have always been an Animal Empath. I can read the body language of every animal I meet and know how they are feeling. The older I get the more I feel like all lives are equally valuable. Taking the life of an animal unnecessarily doesn’t work for my personal beliefs. That said, if I ever learn that I DO need to eat meat for my health I will reconsider. Until I find otherwise I do my best to avoid it – but I DO eat eggs and high fat dairy from well treated animals (since I am missing some nutrients otherwise without meat). Congratulations on the new journey with Diamond Way! When I started out I studied many different schools of Buddhism. I found it very helpful to have multiple layers of understanding. I’ve met many Buddhists who eat meat. It’s a personal choice. I know lots of people who do and would never hold it against them. 😉

  6. I’m a little over a month into my version of the Keto diet…the Keto IC diet..which I think you read about on my blog. I still haven’t made it into ketosis. But that’s okay. It can be difficult to get into it when the body is under a lot of stress.

    But keep up the good work! We got this!

      1. It definitely is. My boyfriend has been doing keto for about a year and a half so he is guiding me through it. He emphasizes salt, magnesium and water intake to keep up electrolytes which can help prevent the keto flu.

        And I have enough health issue so it’s hard to tell what might be keto flu and what is just a symptom of my health also. So there’s that lol

          1. Yea that will help for sure. Unfortunately I can’t have cocoa because of my bladder disease…i miss it. My diet is much more limited because of it. But it’s good that you are figuring it out. Do you have someone guiding you or are you just doing this all on your own?

          2. That’s great. keep up the good work! I wouldn’t have ever been able to to do this on my own. If you ever want to talk keto stuff. I’m down for it 🙂

  7. I’ve been doing Keto for 4 months and realized that flour is what’s been messing with my stomach. I’ve always had bad stomach problems but all the drs would say was IBS. I’ve been tested for gluten issues a few times but that came up negative. All I know is that my stomach issues are GONE!!

    1. That is amazing! The doctors said I had IBS too – my entire life DESPITE my protests that there was something else going on (I was most nauseated when I am tired or stressed and food didn’t seem to have much impact). I tried all the drugs for as a child and tried all the diets including FODMAPing. Nothing else has helped as much as Keto has. One thing I have never cut out before is sugar. I suspect that has a big impact too since the stuff is practically poison.

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