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:
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.
I have been chronicling my own journey on the keto diet over the last 14 months. The keto, short for ketogenic, diet is way of eating that reduced total carbohydrate intake per day to 20g of carbs or less and promotes the consumption of high levels of healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein. How that essentially looks in my own life is that I simply don’t eat sugar, flour, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables, potatoes, ground provisions, beans and fruit. I eat healthy fats such as full fat dairy products, coconut and olive oils, butter, avocados, nuts and animal fats. I eat loads of all green veggies. I’ve curated testimonials of people who’ve successfully controlled diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions by switching to a keto diet too.
People tend to balk at the things that people on the keto diet do NOT eat. “No rice? No potato? I LOVE pasta! How will I manage without bread? I simply cannot give up my fruit!” My response to them is always the same: “And how is that working for you?” Radio silence. It’s plain crazy to want change and keep doing the same things. I also tell them that I choose to focus on what we can and do eat! There’s a whole new, colourful, exciting, delicious world out here in keto-land! One of the things I told myself when I started this keto journey over a year ago is that I’m going to treat this as an adventure and learn to make delicious low-carb dishes that utilize the local ingredients that I grew up with here in Jamaica. I am going to prove to myself and others that the keto diet is possible and sustainable right here in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. I started documenting my journey on Instagram, to showcase my awesome food 🙂 and also as away of holding me accountable. Yup…can’t afford to quit publicly, right? Here’s how I use Jamaican callaloo to make keto dishes that even non-low carbers LOVE!
Most people have no problem adhering to a healthy eating plan during the week. It is the weekend that sees them undoing all the good they did during the week. It’s understandable though. During the week most of us are on a set schedule with very little down time. So we get up, drop kids to school, go to work, work, pick up kids, head home, deal with our other job at home, rinse, repeat. We’re busy and so we eat set meals that we prepare and carry or order and we’re occupied with things other than eating. Did you get that? “We’re occupied with things other than eating.” Boredom and inactivity and the absence of a plan lead to picking around and indulging and getting fat! Now I don’t know about you, but I HATE having my time wasted. I can’t imagine anything worse than making an effort all week, eating salads, exercising portion control, drinking up my water, consuming all the good fats and protein, pretending that carbs don’t even exist for goodness’ sake and then wiping out all that gain over two days. Ugh.
So you’ve seen the weight loss transformations. You’ve read the testimonials about improved overall health and quality of life. You’ve seen pictures of the food. You can’t believe this is real, but so many people can’t be wrong. You want to try it for yourself. You are ready to try keto! You want to start the ketogenic diet but you’re not quite sure where to start. I’ll share what I did and offer some tips to set you up for success once you think you want to go keto. Still not sure what keto is and isn’t? I break down the keto diet here. I address 15 of the toughest questions about keto that I’ve received, questions about fruit and keto, alcohol and keto, eating fat to lose fat and so on.
It’s more about the life you gain than the weight you lose.
I promise not to be preachy. There’s nothing more annoying that someone who’s lost 3 lbs preaching all chirpily about the benefits of weight loss from a lofty place on high. “You can do it! Yes you can!” As if we don’t know when we’ve gained a few…or a lot… I mean WTF!
“Keto” is short for “ketogenic”. The ketogenic diet flips conventional nutritional wisdom on its head and advocates reducing carbohydrate intake to less than 20g carbs per day and promotes consumption of higher than normal levels of GOOD fats and moderate amounts of protein! When you reduce carbs so drastically, your body is forced to burn fat for fuel, instead of the conventional glucose or carbohydrate metabolic pathway. The by-products of burning fats for energy are called “ketones”. Fun fact: the ketogenic diet was first developed in the 1920’s for people living with epilepsy. The keto diet is similar to low-carb diets like Atkins which became popular in the 1980’s. Low-carb diets typically allow for consumption of more than 20g carbs per day, even up to 100g carbs. I’ve been doing the keto diet for over a year now and I couldn’t be happier! I’ve compiled answers to the questions I’m most frequently asked. Continue reading 15 QUESTIONS ABOUT THE KETO DIET ANSWERED
I had changed how I ate to a keto regime and I had been losing weight. I’m part of two low-carb support groups on FB and I kept seeing glowing references to something they did called “IF” and every reference to this “IF” was followed by declarations of “16-8” or “23-1” or “14-10”. Huh? So I googled IF and saw that it stood for “Intermittent Fasting”. Just the inclusion of “fasting” was an immediate turn-off for me. Go without food? Whatever for? And why? And HOW?
CLICK HERE for my podcast to hear me speak more about Intermittent fasting