I have been eating the ketogenic diet for quite some time now and had followed it on and off for quite a few years. I thought I had it dialed in, but truly never achieved that level of heightened alertness and ease in my body that I hear so many others are tapped into and that was what I was going for along with healing the autoimmunity, gut, and residual dermatitis I had experienced. We are a little misguided these days with what it actually means to be healthy and so the information out there is a bit overwhelming. However the biofeedback loop that our bodies give us is the best compass to take direction from when it comes to moving on or staying put.
In the years that I have been offering cleansing services as well as cleansing myself, even that modality didn't take me to the edge of healing that I was looking for. So when you get to the point where you feel you've tried everything, maybe you do need some new direction. So I did engage in a radical elimination diet. The plan was to go at least 7 days but to truly allow a full 30 days to see any shifting. I made it 3. It's hardly enough time to mark a difference overall, but it's worthy of taking note of. So here was what I did notice. For the record, what I ate was
- Grass fed beef (mostly chuck roast)
- New Zealand Grass Fed Lamb
- Wild salmon
- Ghee and grass fed butter (kerrygold)
- Beef tallow along with the broth from the the roast
- Bulletproof yerba mate with Brain Octane Fuel.
- extreme satiation. I was not hungry AT ALL. Which allowed me to focus on other things.
- NO BLOATING AT ALL. Which was great too
- Ease of food preparation. I made a crock pot full of grass fed chuck roast, ate wild salmon, and I did try an elk burger, grass fed lamb, and tea. It was almost too easy.
- Even keel mood. I thought that with going higher protein ( I'm used to moderate proteins with keto) that my blood sugar would spike an drop due to gluconeogenesis) that my blood sugar would be all over the place. I also thought that I would be really tired and cranky. Nope....Even Steven.
- No anxiety. SCORE
- Pink Cheeks. It definitely has possibility for a skin care protocol (down the line)
- No food obsession. You just eat and your done.
- eating a bowl full of meat dipped in broth has it's appeal, however, it felt really odd to me. Almost like I was doing something wrong. That is mental for sure. So I'm not sure if that is a con or something I just need to get my head around. But it was A LOT of meat and not something that I necessarily feel comfortable doing in public.
- No bowel movements that were "normal." Of course with the gut issues I have experienced in my life, I'm not exactly sure what normal means anymore. That said, having nothing but meat and rendered fat soaring through your system leaves a low residue impact on the lower bowel. I did have days of looser "flow." But ironically I had no bloating. That said, I feel it's important to have daily eliminations and if you're not, than your detoxification pathways are not clearing themselves. There are a lot of theories on this matter and of course, every expert has their opinion. MINE is that you should have bowel movements daily not only for health, but because it simply is how the body was designed to function. THERE IS AN ADAPTATION PERIOD.....so that needs to be considered as well.
- Extreme thirst....in the middle of the night I would wake up feeling like I had sand paper in my mouth. But only in the middle of the night. There wasn't enough water in the world to quench the 2 am thirst that just came up out of nowhere. I didn't overly salt my food, so I'm thinking that it's an electrolyte imbalance. I'm used to eating more veggies with a higher potassium level. So that was slightly odd.
It wasn't at all that I didn't want to continue on with this WOE (way of eating).... I rather enjoyed to, to be honest. But I found the morning of day 4 that I was having some mild gut cramping. Probably a good thing but mentally that messed me up. I also found that not having regular eliminations was bothersome as well. I could use a course on patience that's for sure. I am not good with structured cleanses or severe restricted ways of eating because I find myself to be a bit more of an intuitive eater and going according to how I feel. Which is exactly how I coach my clients who suffer with chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But the truth is that you never get to the bottom of what's bottoming you out if you don't actually stick it out.
I think that the timing for me was way off. I feel that this is something I will revisit again for sure. But for now, I am going back to my Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting. What I will be doing also is simply eating my veggies at one of my meals vs both. Although I do believe in a high volume of veggies in the diet, those who struggle with IBS, histamine intolerance, food sensitivities, anxiety, gut imbalances in the microbiome, or who simply have a major weight issue that are in need of a full on restrictive way of eating to change the relationship they have with their food and bodies, well, this may be something to consider. Just be mindful of all aspects and do your research.
Listen to those who have been doing it long term and the bennies that they experienced. I heard of this through Mikhaila Peterson who literally healed a multifactoral plethora shit storm of autoimmune conditions following this protocol as did her father Jordan Peterson. I have heard the interviews of many people who have been following this protocol for many years who have lost weight (duh), healed their guts because there aren't any anti-nutrients fighting for space, healed their skin, banished anxiety and depression, and improved their overall health and outlook in life. What could be better???
But do you really need to take it to that extreme? Well, only you can answer that. Again, as with any WOE, I apply the listen to your body approach. Will I try it again. Sure. Yes. Absolutely. Do you/I need to go all in. Maybe not. Maybe trying keto and IF-ing initially to see what it's like to not have starches and sugars in your diet. Maybe eliminating one of your solid meals to reduce the shock to the system and allow the body to heal would be a great place to start. Maybe having only one of your meals be loaded with veggies as to reintroduce these foods again. Like you would an infant. There are multiple ways to come at this and it doesn't have to be all or nothing.
The point is that while you are understanding that there is definitely an adaptation period, you must pay attention to the feedback your body and your mind are offering you. Discomfort is always something that is associated with adaptation, but then again, so is ease.
My intention is to combine the two ways of eating and go from there. Always paying attention. Always honing in on what my body is telling me. And always honoring where I am at in my journey.
Best in health,