The Keto Diet & Recovery After A Stroke

I reviewed my friend Hilary’s book about her “new normal” after surviving a stroke at the relatively young age of 51 three years ago. As you would imagine, Hilary’s life changed in an instant. She had to contend with her altered appearance and independence due to challenges with her mobility. In the last 3 years, Hilary has worked very hard in concert with her doctors and therapists to get to the stage now where she can move largely unassisted and can once again perform basic self-care tasks. In her book, Hilary explained very clearly what strokes are and how they are caused. And I started to think. You see, in the last year and seven months that I have changed my diet to the keto diet, I have discovered a direct link between the food we eat and our health. The keto diet was originally conceived and implemented as part of the treatment protocol for epilepsy, a disease of the brain. My own improved general health while eating the keto way, prompted me to do some digging, and I have discovered links between keto and other diseases and conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, PCOS , high blood pressure and even mental health. So could the keto diet be useful in the road to recovery for survivors of stroke?

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How I Changed 5 Habits in order to Lose Weight on the Keto Diet

I’ve been on the keto diet for over a year and a half now. If I had a dollar for every time someone remarked to me “Wow! You have so much willpower!” I wouldn’t need to sell another low-carb bread or quiche! I don’t think that willpower has been the critical success factor for me on this journey. I have simply created some new habits that have now become my default position, the way I simply live today. I have discovered that so much of what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat, is not driven by our physiology or some biological need to survive. We do these things largely out of habit! That’s how we’ve always eaten. We always eat breakfast! Right? As I coach people in their own weight loss journeys, I’ve become interested in this whole subject of “habit” and “addiction” and change. People can and do change their habits. Sure, it takes some effort, but understanding exactly how habits work can help you target your efforts and make them count. Yes you can!

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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!

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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?

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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