Throughout January of 2017, Mark & I became interested in the ketogenic way of eating. We did some research & decided we wanted to try it. If you are interested in trying it, I highly recommend doing some reading & research. I will reference aspects of the ketogenic way of eating in this blog, but none of my posts are advice or recommendations- so you should research on your own to learn & understand the fundamentals before thinking about changing your own lifestyle.
A disclaimer for this post: It’s important to mention that while I talk about a lot of things I didn’t like about the beginning of our lifestyle change in this post- I wouldn’t change a thing. But I’m a keep-it-real girl! I’m not going to paint it as puppies & princesses, because it SUCKED! So, while you’re reading about all the stuff I hated about making the transition, remember- this story has a happy ending!
We jumped in with an intensive 28-day ketogenic induction plan on February 1. Looking back from today’s perspective, I would not have done what we did again. Mark may not feel the same, so I won’t put words in his mouth.
For me: Yes, it seriously re-booted my system. Yes, I lost weight. Yes, I broke bad habits. Yes, I learned I am capable of surviving a SERIOUS lifestyle change. But I feel that, for me, it didn’t have to be quite as difficult or expensive as it ended up being. I don’t regret doing what we did, but if I could change the past, I would have researched MORE & developed a plan of my own! (This is why I keep harping on how important it is to research.)
Here are a few of the reasons I would have done it differently:
- The program we followed had us eating a lot of unfamiliar foods. I found many of the recipes unpalatable, which made a difficult transition even more difficult.
- Many of the recipes on the plan required expensive, difficult-to-find ingredients. I had to order them online & have them shipped, adding to the expense. Many of them still sit, barely touched, in my cabinets. Anyone need a bottle of Yacon Syrup? Or a tub of butter flavored coconut oil? Didn’t think so…
- The plan was dairy free, which added to each of the aforementioned challenges, and caused EXTREME frustration with some of the recipes on the plan. Dairy substitutes just do not perform like real dairy in recipes.
- The plan was extremely calorie reduced. Knowing what I know now, my body doesn’t need a severe calorie deficit to lose weight if I am eating the correct foods. I don’t doubt that I would have gone through the horrible carb withdrawal that most everyone goes through when removing carbs from their diet, but I think it might not have been quite so horrible if I’d been consuming a few more calories.
Because for me, the only thing that makes horrible things better is laughing at them, I will share some excerpts from the daily log I kept during our ketogenic induction, or as I like to fondly refer to it: 28 Days in Hell. I am trying to choose excerpts with as little swearing as possible.
Prep Day: “I prepped as much of the food as possible, which involved cooking about 4 pounds of bacon. My house smells like a bacon factory, and I do not like it. No amount of diffused essential oils will dissipate the smell.”
Day 1: “Coconut milk & almond milk just don’t make a nice creamy cup of coffee. I confess I have a little addiction to Almond Joy creamer. It’s full of sugar and chemicals, and I love it so.”
Day 2: “Breakfast was supposed to be poached eggs with a dairy free Hollandaise sauce. I made the Hollandaise sauce yesterday, and basically wasted about $52.00 worth of obscure ingredients. It is curdled into chunks and has a ½ inch thick oil slick on top of it. I consider it inedible.”
Day 3: “If Keto Flu is a horrible headache and a weird kind of fuzziness in the head, then I have it.”
Day 4: “The word of the day is definitely HEADACHE!!”
Day 6: “I’m starting to think I know what people feel like on Survivor (aka the best show ever). My stomach is definitely trying to digest itself. If I stand up too quickly, I get lightheaded.”
Day 7: “Still feel like hell. Horrible. Can’t concentrate, headache, dizzy… I can feel my heartbeat in my eyeballs.”
Day 8: “I am down 8 pounds from where I started. I’m still incredibly bitter about this whole diet, and I intend to complain like a little %$#& for the duration.”
Day 10: “My rings are fitting looser, and so are my jeans.”
Day 11: “This headache just comes and goes, but I feel so much better than last week.”
Day 15: “Down 10 pounds total from the start.”
Day 17: “Valentines Day. I tried making a ketogenic brownie as a treat for Mark + I. While I will admit it wasn’t as bad as some ketogenic recipes, it was still pretty unpleasant and I couldn’t bear much more than a few bites of it. The kids got Valentines chocolates and I almost clawed them out of their hands.”
Day 18: “13 pounds lost so far.”
On day 22, I had to take a trip to the doctor because I fell getting out of bed. I was pretty sure that, in fact, I was now dying due to this ordeal. To my relief, I learned that I was suffering from vertigo related to allergies causing my ears to back up with fluid- and not actually dying. Experiencing the vertigo left me not up to keeping my detailed log of grievances though- I had to focus on keeping upright!
We did stay on plan for the full 28 days, and then added dairy back into our diets. Stop back next week to learn how we modified things in March!
Enjoy a few photos grabbed from my social media during 28 Days in Hell.