I often get asked what this ketogenic diet has done for me. What benefits have I had? Why should somebody give up those delicious carbs and starchy foods? Are the benefits really worth the sacrifice?
In this post I’ll explain my journey so far. In short, in my opinion, the answer is yes – it’s definitely worth it! Let me tell you why…
Transitioning to a ketogenic diet can be quite daunting!
Not only are you changing the way you eat, but the nature of this diet requires a long-term commitment. You cannot do it half-way, you cannot mix and match it with something else. Specially not if you’re doing it for healing purposes. You have to be all in for at least a few months.
The ketogenic way of eating literally goes against everything that we have been taught for decades. So why choose this diet if it contradicts what is being pushed as healthy in mainstream health education?
Firstly, and most importantly, there are the thousands of testimonies of people who have not only lost weight, but healed from all sorts of illnesses thanks to this way of eating. The proof is in the keto pudding!
Secondly, there’s no product to buy – so no corporate gains to be made by promoting the ketogenic way of life, just consciously making good choices, and of course there is also a lot of science to back this up, but I’m not going into any scientific explanations here – Google can help you with that.
If you’ve googled and chatted to ketonians online or in person, done your research and been convinced this is something you want to do, then this post is for you. My hope is that this post will help you to make this transition to keto as straightforward as possible.
In this series, I aim to provide a simplified step-by-step guide to getting started on the ketogenic diet. My goal is to help those with chronic illness to make the transition easily since many, like me, will suffer from brain fog which makes cognitive function and learning new things quite difficult at times.
The good news is that the ketogenic way of eating will improve cognitive function and it will all become easier.
In February I started a ketogenic diet in order to help manage the symptoms of ME/CFS. This decision was based on Dr. Sarah Myhill’s recommendations in her latest book “Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalitis”.
Switching to keto is a huge commitment, you cannot do it half way. It is a very strict way of life and won’t work if you’re not committed to putting in the effort. You are essentially teaching your body to use fat for fuel instead of carbs and sugar. It’s quite restrictive and cheating isn’t an option as it can get you out of the ketogenic state.
Below I’ll outline my keto journey this far and then get to the problem at hand: whether or not I personally should continue on this journey and why I am struggling with it after 2 months.
Your advice and recommendations would be so appreciated!
One of the first things I learned when I started a low carb diet 2 years ago, was that preparation is key.
Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” and this is so true when it comes to changing your diet because you are literally changing your way of life. Everything needs to change. From the way you shop to the way you socialise, and it’s not only about what you cook, but also about the way you cook.
I see many people starting this new ketogenic way of life, struggling to meet their macros or stay within the limits of their nutritional goals. They could all benefit from menu planning. It makes such a huge difference and really makes life easier.
I used to take part in Meal Plan Mondays many years ago when I first opened Nemo’s Kitchen, back when I ate an extremely unhealthy diet and ignored my food intolerance. Nemo’s Kitchen has been resurrected, now in a much more health conscious format!
I have been on the paleo-ketogenic diet for exactly 8 weeks now. As many of you know, I am using this diet as a way to help manage the symptoms of my severe ME/CFS (read more about my CFS here). Things are going well and I have seen some improvements in a few areas already.
People who switch to the low carb, high fat way of life often see great results in weight management and general health, so I am pleased that I also saw such improvements despite my chronic condition. I have less general pain, the heaviness that made moving very difficult and painful has lifted quite a bit, I feel lighter with more mental clarity, I don’t suffer from the munchies anymore, and when I brush my teeth, I no longer get heart palpitations and breathlessness!
This past week has been rather frustrating, though, I started itching all over my body!
I had been itching previously too, but put it down to the fact that I wasn’t showering very frequently due to my CFS.
With the paleo-ketogenic diet I have actually improved my condition slightly and have been able to shower every 3-4 days rather than only once a week. This is when I realised that the itching wasn’t related to the showers. I’d itch more in the evenings, even on days I’d already had a shower. Very strange!
Since starting Dr Myhill’s recommended diet, I have had quite a few requests for a basic meal plan. Many people find it hard to navigate through all the information that is out there, specially us spoonies with brain fog! I have had a while to work through the relative chapters in the book and have been on this journey for 6 weeks now. I am starting to feel the benefits!
This is the very first meal plan outline I gave my mum after I got Dr Myhill’s book. It helped her to wrap her head around this new way of eating and build my meals in a way that was not too daunting for her. I hope you will find it helpful too!
I’m happy to report that there have been some welcome improvements after a month on this LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) diet! As discussed in a previous post, I started this journey into a Paleo-ketogenic lifestyle in February 2017 in an attempt to help improve my current condition. I have quite severe ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) which has left me bedridden about 98% of the time.
Things were looking quite bleak a few weeks ago, I was getting progressively worse, and then out of the blue on day 33, I felt like somebody had flipped a switch and I suddenly could participate in life again!
As some of you might know, I have recently started reading Dr. Sarah Myhill’s book, Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalitis. It’s a huge book, with over 400 pages, and includes so much detail about how the body works and what she believes is happening to sufferers of ME/CFS. I’m so excited about this!