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.