So my boyfriend Gus and I started the month of January off right by diving into the keto diet! I mentioned this is my first blog post along with the reasons why I wanted to try it. Just to recap, I have a long history of hormonal imbalances and I wanted to see if this would help. I have PCOS and I had a pituitary tumor removed back in 2008. Even though I had the tumor removed and I have no signs of regrowth I still have trouble with my hormones. I’ve heard the keto diet is helpful because it packs a one two punch: it reduces inflammation and adds healthy fats into the diet that the body, and most importantly, the brain needs to function properly. So as I believe you have to try it to believe it, so we did.
Macros? Weighing food? No thanks! We didn’t get that crazy. I’m sure if you do the results do come out better but we weren’t about to do all that, especially right from the get go. I will say you have to relearn a lot! I didn’t even think of vegetables as being carbs! Bread, pasta, deserts, sure but corn, potatoes and mushrooms?! Into the research I went. I searched the web along with social media to find out information on keto friendly foods as well as recipes.
I did my meal planning on Saturdays for the week to come. My boyfriend did shopping on Saturdays for the weekend and I went on Mondays for the week. It was surprisingly a lot easier to plan ahead like that. I had never done it before because I thought it seemed more time consuming. I never really cared too much about my diet though. I never spent too much time in the kitchen. Before I moved in with Gus a typical shopping trip consisted of mac and cheese, bananas, because who doesn’t love watching them turn brown, and pizza. Not too much planning needed for that.
The first change was with our morning coffee. We used to use whichever flavor Coffee Mate creamer we were feeling that week which was jam packed full of sugar! A no no on the keto diet! I did some research into “bulletproof coffee.” You take regular black coffee, add grass fed butter and coconut oil. We tried that at first. It was okay but we could sense there was room for improvement. We took out the grass fed butter and added heavy cream. I thought that was a winner but Gus was looking for something a little sweeter. When I got into my research on keto deserts I read that it’s okay to use a small amount of stevia or sweet drops. I was curious as to why this sugar was fine to use but regular cane sugar was exiled and deemed “white devil.” Apparently stevia is okay because unlike other sugars this one doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels. After this find Gus started adding one stevia packet to his coffee.
Another change was what else to drink throughout the day. Typical drinks are loaded with sugar! We primarily stuck to water, hot tea, coffee and Power Aid Zero. While initially researching the keto diet I read that it’s important, especially in the first few weeks, to replace your electrolytes. This can be done by taking a vitamin supplement and/or by drinking a sugar free substitute like Power Aid Zero. I actually did both, my boyfriend just drank the Power Aid Zero.
Breakfast I found was the easiest meal of the day to convert to keto. We ate bacon and eggs for probably two weeks straight. Sometimes I spiced it up by putting salsa on top of my eggs! We did start to crave pancakes though. I found a recipe online for keto pancakes using almond flour. The only flour I could find at the store was coconut, so we tried that. They really didn’t come out too bad! Iwill include the recipe in another blog. A few mornings of that and we were back to eggs. I had never tried egg whites before but now egg whites and cheese is my favorite! You can also have berries on the keto diet: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. I usually have mine in the morning.
Lunch for me was the hardest. I’m a soup and sandwich kind of gal. As there are some keto soups, I really like that sandwich! So for lunch I have on the occasion taken leftovers, I usually do like to save those for dinner though, I’ve done small things like cheese and pepperoni, I’ve also done salads and protein shakes.
Dinner is where I had the most planning to do. I did try a few keto recipes like Jalapeño popper casserole and stuffed peppers, we mainly stuck to good ol’ meat and veggies though. It is true what they say, you will learn to love cauliflower if you didn’t already!
Now for the hardest part. Desert. Along with my love for sandwiches I love me some desert. I’m talking about any kind here I don’t discriminate. I could eat desert after every meal and lick my plate clean. (This could have been the start to my problem.) I never understood people that said, “oh no thank you, I don’t do sweets.” Like, what? Come again? Do you hate all forms of fun as well? I did have to do something though. I had noticed the past few months after eating something sweet I would get a terrible stomachache which never happened before. I began to realize I couldn’t eat desert like I used to. Still every now and then I did want something that was sweet and keto friendly. So far the only keto desert I made from fresh home made scratch was these coconut lime fat bombs. They were pretty yummy! Again I will post the recipe in another blog!
Let’s talk results. I don’t think I really started noticing anything until a week in but then I kept noticing more and more results! The first thing I noticed was my skin. All of my breakouts had cleared up and no new breakouts replaced them! Also after the first week I had realized I wasn’t having anymore stomach issues! I think at two weeks I realized I was no longer having heart burn or acid reflex. I was also having great bowel movements by week two, and not to get into too much detail about that but that whole situation had been off for over a year! I also found a dramatic difference in the hormonal problems I had been having. I will say in the month I got my period twice. That was the only downside. I talked to my chiropractor about it and he said that it was most likely due to a dramatic reduction in inflammation. My boyfriend said one of the things he noticed most of all was an increase in energy. One thing people always ask is, did you loose weight?! Like that is the most important thing. I did loose some weight. I think all in all I lost 6 pounds. Weight loss was never a goal of mine though. I was interested in how the diet would make me FEEL and not how it would make me LOOK. You can loose weight on this diet but I think what makes this diet special and more of a life style change is the way it makes you feel.
I had planned on sticking with the diet and only having one “cheat” meal a week continuing into the month of February but things did not go as planned. I probably had a cheat item every other day including sweets. I notice the stomachaches came back right away after eating too much sugar, I got some breakouts, I have had some, not as many, hormonal issues and my bowel movements have gone to shit – pun intended. If I look at the month as a hole I really didn’t have too many carbs as compared to what I used to eat but I guess that just goes to show how much they really do effect your system! I want to get more strict with it in March. I will have some cheat meals but only a few. I would like another good solid month of keto before going back to see my endocrinologist and getting more blood work done. I’m curious to see if the labs on my hormones will be different. I will check back in after that point!
As always, thanks for reading,