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.
What if I told you diabetes could be reversed without drugs? What if I told you cholesterol could come down without drugs? Well there are living, breathing examples on the planet where this has happened. And it hasn’t happened at the expense of their general well-being and feelings of being satisfied either. Eschew all thoughts of strict, painful eating regimes where you are relegated to bowls of undressed lettuce leaves and gallons of almond milk (I happen to like lettuce and almond milk, but I like them with my steak and cheese and coffee and butter). These people are adherents to the keto (short for ketogenic) diet and not only have they have lost weight, but they’ve had some pretty awesome changes in other areas of their lives. Serious chronic illnesses have totally disappeared in some instances!
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!
I’m fat. So what? Leave me alone.
Of course I know I’ve gotten bigger.
“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
It has most likely happened to us at some point. During conversation with (usually) an older person you’re exchanging information, answering and asking questions, you explain that you’re so and so’s daughter and that you do X for a living. Two minutes later, you’re hit with the question: So who are your parents? And what do you do? You’re taken aback, you pause, then you respond. This will likely happen another two times or so during the course of the interaction. You catch the eye of someone else across the room. They put their index finger to their head and make air circles and shrug. You nod with understanding, and begin to extricate yourself from the conversation with wan apologies and excuses of needing to speak to someone else. You walk away shaking your head with pity and maybe a little fear, fear that someday you’ll succumb to the inevitable fate of failing memory as you age. Words like senile and Alzheimer’s and dementia swirl around in your mind and you pray that you escape such a fate.
I love food. I had already started to change how I ate but weight loss was slow. I kept hearing about this “Intermittent Fasting” but didn’t pay it much mind. After all, I had given up rice, sugar, flour and all their relatives and now I was expected to go without food on top of all that? Hmmm…. Let me start at the beginning.Continue reading My Jamaican Keto Journey AND Intermittent Fasting: A Weight Loss Success Story!
Carbohydrates are a critical part of how we eat in Jamaica. Talk of giving them up leads to the inevitable: So what will I eat then? What are Jamaican keto foods and do they even exist?
As a Jamaican living right here in Jamaica, I’m very happy to say that you can absolutely eat keto in Jamaica! What follows are some approaches and options that have been working for me on my own keto or low-carb journey.
Since my last blog post where I outed myself formally as being on a Weight-Loss Journey, so many people have messaged me privately to share their own struggles with eating to lose weight. What we ALL have in common is a basic knowledge of what we need to be eating, but a struggle to do the right thing.
“I lack willpower” is the common refrain.
Willpower. What does that word conjure up for you? For me I have visions of stress, deprivation, sacrifice and a noble hero emerging triumphant out of the burning rubble. Sounds like a hell of a lot of drama and definitely not how I want to live my life daily. I had to find a more sustainable, enjoyable way to eat and win.