Ever since entering the natural foods world, back in 2015, I was exposed to the Keto Diet as a result of our blogger relationships with Carolyn Ketchum, Leanne Vogel, Maria Emmerich, and a slew of other bloggers who make fantastic and delicious Keto recipes. And, in 2016 and 2017, I saw more and more customers requesting Swerve samples who were emailing from a Keto Facebook Group or they were just starting the Keto Diet. . .
Well, all this requesting made my mind churn like vanilla ice cream, and I decided I needed to understand this Keto Diet in a personal and in-depth way. So began my Keto journey. Now, did I know what I was getting into? Not really. In 2017, I basically had already adopted a high protein, moderate fat, low-carb diet. . . so the Keto Diet couldn’t be that tough could it? Below are a few things I learned while on, and still on, the Keto Diet.
The Keto Flu is REAL
When I first started the Keto Diet, I experienced some tummy issues that caused uncomfortable runs to the restroom. This occurred only in the first two weeks, which made traveling on planes fun . But, after two weeks, my body adapted and the Keto Flu went bye bye. To help me with the Keto Flu I enjoyed LeAnne Vogels’ Keto Flu Lemonade to add some extra salt and electrolytes into my diet.
I can eat cheese and dairy
I had committed to elimination diets before- no grains, no gluten, no sugar, no alcohol, and no dairy. Through these elimination diets, I've learned cheese can be one of the hardest foods for me to give up. I fortunately do not have lactose issues, and I am grateful cheese is an option on the Keto Diet. Cheese for the win!
I found amazing recipes across the board and the blogosphere
I think Carolyn Ketchum’s and LeAnne Vogel’s entrees like Deep Dish Chicago Pizza and Jambalaya Bake guided me and helped me enjoy my meal choices. Cooking nor eating was a chore, and everything was delicious.
I had to have food awareness
I constantly had to watch my “macros,” my serving sizes (how many ounces is that ribeye?), and what could be snuck into restaurant dishes (is there sugar in that rub? Is there gluten in that sauce?) My life became constant question asking, and I became THAT customer. I tipped well, and always apologized in advance, but it had to happen. I was committed to my Keto journey. After 6 weeks on Keto, I knew what I could or couldn’t eat, or how much I could eat of one food group, therefore I could/can relax when ordering or eating as my journey continues.
I enjoyed desserts and discovered fat bombs
Already an avid Swerve user, I hope so is what you are all thinking, I learned the beauty of the “fat bomb” or what I call “Keto Bite.” Loaded with plant-based fats like coconut oil or cacao butter, and blended with cream cheese (there is that dairy craving again), or unsweetened peanut butter. . . Keto Bites were my pure joy. Those non-Keto dieters who tried these delectable treats would ask in disbelief, “You get to eat this on a diet?” Some of my favorite recipes: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bite, Peppermint Patty Bite, Chocolate Sundae Bite, New York Style Cheesecake Bite.
I eat more green
Over the last three months, I have eaten more Cobb Salads, avocado slices, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spaghetti squash, and asparagus than my tummy has ever digested. I can proudly state, “Hi, I am Ben, and I love green vegetables.” Y’all, my carbs come from vegetables! Protein and healthy fats are great, but don’t forget or fear your green veggies!
Keto works for me
Why is this last statement important? I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist- this is just my journey. Through this journey, I realize the Keto Diet doesn’t work for everyone, and our bodies have different reactions to food. I have enjoyed feeling satiated, my mind has been clearer, my bowel movements healthier, not to mention in a very superficial way, my midsection is tighter and leaner, but this worked for me and my body. I have had friends try Keto, and it wasn’t a good fit. They didn’t enjoy the process, some of the low-carb, transitioning side effects that can occur like headaches, and in the beginning, the militant approach. Some people need a little hit of whole grain bread, bowl of oatmeal, or an extra bite of nightshade. I encourage everyone to try it, because I know I have enjoyed my experience. But, in the end game, we all have to follow our food journey that works best for us and our bodies. Hopefully, getting our Swerve on as we Keto, Paleo, portion control, and/or just enjoy food!
For part two, click here.