I love sugar! How can I be happy while keto?

One of my sisters asked me a question the other day: “What have you replaced the happiness you got while eating carbs with?” For the past year and half, I’ve been working the keto diet. I’ve lost anywhere between 55 and 60 lbs as at now (nope, I don’t weigh…been there done that and I have no intention of being a slave to the scale ever again!) and I feel good! I thought about Anna’s question to me and replied with a picture of my before and “during” as I like to say, because I’m not yet where I want to be. But her question is one which a lot of people grapple with as they contemplate the pros and cons of the ketogenic diet as a possible response to a weight or health issue. And it is a valid concern. Carbs, sugar in particular, are delicious and many, many people derive actual pleasure from a good slice of cheesecake or a bag of soft chew chocolate cookies!

Continue reading I love sugar! How can I be happy while keto?

The Secret to Her Success: Keto is only a part of Tanya’s weight loss story

As I’ve shared my own weight loss journey, people have opened up to me about their own struggles and journeys where weight loss is concerned. One of the common themes is one of consistency. The weight loss efforts start off with great enthusiasm. Meals are prepped, gym memberships are dusted off and salads are consumed with gusto. The first 5 lbs shed is a cause for celebration. Then that 5 lbs becomes 10 in some cases. Then it falls apart. Two months in that 15 lbs is regained and perhaps then some. Do you identify?

Continue reading The Secret to Her Success: Keto is only a part of Tanya’s weight loss story

Hey Lady: Struggling with weight gain in middle age? The keto diet may help!

I’ve always struggled with my weight. But in my younger days, I was always able to knock off 5 or 10 lbs with minimal effort. I’d simply cut back and in a week or two, I’d be good again. My last major successful weight loss was after Nicholas was born. I did Atkins, a low-carb diet, and lost weight and felt great. The changes happened pretty quickly too. Then I started allowing a little carb creep, and a taste here and a taste there, became a carby meal here and a carby meal there, and fifteen years later I hated what was staring back in the mirror at me. Photographs of me horrified me. “That could not be me” I reasoned and deleted them. All of them. I simply didn’t like how I looked, and I was beginning to have some minor but potentially serious health issues (sleep apnea, acid reflux, wheezing, etc.)

Continue reading Hey Lady: Struggling with weight gain in middle age? The keto diet may help!

Can The Keto Diet Help My Depression?

Low-carb and Invincible!” was my declaration one morning several years ago on Twitter. I was only a few days into cutting carbs from my diet on one of my many, many attempts to lose weight by going low-carb. I remember exactly how I felt. I was in a stressful job at the time, stressful because of the organisational politics and shitty personalities that I had to navigate daily as I tried valiantly to lead my team and deliver. That particular morning, my mind was crystal clear. I was able to focus with lazer-sharp precision. I was more decisive than usual and I was effortlessly channeling my inner and most times hidden “pleasant-yet-firm-and-direct” self. I felt the difference.

Continue reading Can The Keto Diet Help My Depression?

Getting Back on the Keto Track in 4 Easy Steps

The holidays, Easter, Christmas & Thanksgiving, see so many of us straying off plan. If you’re like a lot of people, your healthy lifestyle typically takes a back seat. Between the parties, get-togethers and endless treats that characterize whatever the season is (think cake and bun and cocktails) you know you’ve a gained a few and you probably feel a tad lethargic and plenty guilty. What’s done is done. You now have a chance to pick up where you left off. Here are my suggestions for getting back on track.

Continue reading Getting Back on the Keto Track in 4 Easy Steps

Kids and Keto

My then 14 year old son joined me end August 2017 on my keto journey. He has battled weight issues all his life and over the last 15 months he has transformed his body and his life with keto. Step into my living room and listen in on this conversation where he shares his own perspectives and experience on this way of eating.

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Fact or Fiction: Keto is an expensive diet. Spoiler alert: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE

One of the push backs against the keto diet that I frequently get is that it is too expensive! I understand how that notion can arise, especially when the images of keto food like bacon, broccoli, mushrooms, cheese, beef, heavy cream and so on come to mind. Here’s the thing: even the standard diet comprising the so-called “balanced meal” with carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables and fats can be expensive! It all boils down to what you choose to buy and consume, even on the keto diet. Continue reading Fact or Fiction: Keto is an expensive diet. Spoiler alert: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE

Keto Caribbean Christmas Dinner: YES we can!

Christmas day in the Caribbean is like Thanksgiving day in the USA: it is the biggest eating day on our calendar. It’s a time when families and friends typically come together and feast on extensive menus comprising old and new favourites. It is around this time of year that many people suspend diets and make allowances for what they will eat and drink all the while formulating those New Year resolutions that include promises to eat clean and work out. I will always say to each his own. But I’d also like to offer an alternative to the typical “stuff-my-face-on-everything-then-work-it-off-in-January” holiday eating stance. So what if I told you that you could still totally feast like a Queen (or King) at Christmas AND remain on track, perhaps even losing a pound or two in the process? That’s the beauty of this low-carb way of eating: it is 100% possible and doable!  Continue reading Keto Caribbean Christmas Dinner: YES we can!

Food: Medicine OR Weapon? *it’s complicated*

The subject of food and food choices is one that continues to fascinate.  There are whole TV channels dedicated to food. Culture and food are so closely intertwined and explorations into both have been the basis of some of the most interesting documentaries ever made; think Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Parts Unknown. We need food to fuel our bodies and keep us alive. But food is more than a means to an end. What we eat, why we eat it and the traditions around these choices bring people together, help us to get to know each other, differentiate us and define us.

I have been on the keto diet for over 14 months now. I wanted to lose weight, and I knew that from past experience, the best way for me to lose weight was to drop carbs from my diet. Whenever I went low-carb, the pounds came off AND I felt more “aligned” within myself. I wasn’t sure why or how, but I knew that I was in a better place overall when I eschewed carbs. I started chronicling my own journey on Instagram. I decided to commit to this low-carb way of eating, but in order to make it sustainable, I knew it had to satisfy two conditions:

  1. I must never be hungry
  2. My food had to be delicious and satisfying.

I also figured that going public would be a great way to hold myself accountable. Continue reading Food: Medicine OR Weapon? *it’s complicated*

You don’t have to exercise, but you should. How to (easily) build a habit.

I’ve always done some form of exercise. Even more than 50 lbs ago last year, I used to get up and workout. But the saying “weight loss is 80% fork, 20% work” is certainly true for me. I was getting fatter and fatter even though I was working out. That being said, I knew that I was still doing something good for myself when I did work out. My mental and emotional health benefited. Exercise lifted my mood and cleaned the cobwebs out of my brain. I then changed my diet and went keto. The keto diet changed my life. The weight started coming off. And do you know what else happened? I actually wanted to exercise more. I was able to increase the intensity, frequency and consistency of my workouts. I know that exercise is an absolutely important part of any journey to wellness and living our best life ever. I still have to make that decision every night to get up before dawn the next day. I still have to push myself every workout. Here are my tips for people for whom making exercise a habit doesn’t come easy. Like me. Continue reading You don’t have to exercise, but you should. How to (easily) build a habit.