Friday, November 2, 2018

Low Carb living (Becoming Minimalist)

(Not low-carb. Haha!) 

I have been super cautious about this topic, for a variety of reasons, but I keep getting gently pressed to share my keto, low carb lifestyle journey.  Snapshot- I've been doing the keto lifestyle for over a year now. As I strove to find a more minimalistic way of living, it naturally forced my focus to turn to what I put into my body, as well as what I put on my body and surrounded myself with.  What deeply prompted this specific choice, was my weight, which was out of control with my daddy's illness and the stress I was under, as well as the illness itself, Alzheimer's. I did a ton of research and decided it was right for me. It felt like a thing I could do, against that awful disease and I couldn't love that feeling of power more. I don't do well as a victim.  I am big on reading manuals and digging in for my own knowledge, so I encourage you to do that as well if you think keto could be right for you.  All I can share is my own experience, a year later. It changed my life. 

 I have found it to be the most enjoyable diet-lifestyle ever, and it has been the easiest thing to do on vacations, and through holidays, which is why I've stuck with it.  I so want to be an encouragement, but I don't have time to give all the answers I've gotten after a year of experience, so again, there are tons of great articles and health info you can google search for yourself and decide.  I do use an app and I do track pretty much everything I eat.  It's so easy and no excuse for not staying on track, as it's become a two minute a day habit.  Who doesn't have two minutes to input their food information? I use an app called "keto diet tracker" and is blue with white writing. LOVE. You can save your favorites and it makes daily planning awesome.  I did track ketones in the beginning with a urine strip but after a few weeks it isn't relevant so now I just depend on the app, and the waist of my pants if you know what I mean. I know there are blood monitors out there, and I don't plan on getting one, but you can if you think you need that. 

As for the food choices, again, research for yourself but yes, you get to eat lots of butter, heavy cream and quality cheeses, as well as other quality fats (the key, is choosing quality fats) like olive oil, avocados and such. It's yummy and satisfying- who doesn't enjoy artichoke leaves dipped in garlic butter with dinner? I used the cookbooks by Maria Emmerich and Pinterest and amassed a small, personal cookbook between experiments of my own, and those recipes.  I regularly try and type up keepers and add them to my own cookbook and I really recommend this organized way of recipe keeping if you plan to do this long-term.  I found that the only way to stay on track, was to make sure that we had grab and go things for lunches, and a few treat items always on hand.  It's true, your cravings completely go away.

People also always ask me about my family and if they do keto also. Adrain had a health complication, at the time I began, and this was a recommended treatment for it.  He loved it and he didn't track his food, just more or less ate what I gave him or told him to eat.  He lost all the weight he wanted to lose and I'm super proud of him for sticking with it.  He seems to like it just as much as I do and I never see him veering off, even when we are in a place he could.  My kids are hard. They don't really like anything I cook, just being honest.  They mainly just don't like anything healthy and with veggies, which is generally what dinner is.  As littles they were awesome eaters but I know they would prefer to live on cookies now. I make one dinner for us all, but often add a carb option for them due to sports needs, such as potatoes, rice, pasta or sourdough bread. 

I will say that both Adrain and I watched all the high numbers and levels go down-weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. We do take potassium and magnesium supplements daily because of electrolyte loss that is common with keto, drink tons of water, and we do use quality sea salt on our foods like they recommend.  I never feel deprived and I don't ever have a "cheat day "as every day feels like a legal-cheat with all this yummy food that is making us healthier. I LOVE eating low-carb and plan to do this for life. I love Lily's chocolate bars for that sweet treat sometimes and there are low carb alternatives for everything these days! You cant find potato chips but you also no longer actually crave them so there is that.  On keto, you can't really cheat or you'll kick yourself out of ketosis and then you're about a week getting your body back into it, so you don't want to start this lifestyle if you tend to cheat on the weekends. Either that, you use that as your motivation to NOT cheat on the weekends?  I did have a bit of keto flu when I began but it was two days of being tired and just hydrating with Propel and getting my electrolytes back up.  Minor and temporary downside that wasn't bad at all. 

I hope this post answers the plethora of questions I get asked again and again, (and if I didn't say it here, I've decided that it's personal.)  I wish you all well and know you can do it. You won't regret it!  


  1. My daughter, who is in college, does keto and loves it. I've started and stopped several times, mainly bc of my lack of preparation. I love a good meat and cheese board so that tends to be our go to for a really good snack. Thanks for such great info!

  2. Thank you For sharing. I just started keto and this is encouraging.

  3. Good for you! I'm on the GAPS diet, which is similar to keto in many ways, I don't think I'll ever go back to a regular carb-filled diet. And SO much easier to do gluten-free when you're not worrying about grains! Glad you are seeing such good results from your changes.