What was the deciding factor in switching to keto?
Seeing a picture of myself from the holidays that I didn’t like. I was uncomfortable in my own skin at the time and knew I had to do something but was at a loss for inspiration and knowing exactly where to start. I had been following an inspiring keto Instagram account for quite some time, loving all of her meal posts, and when I saw her post about her “New Year/New You” keto challenge I decided then and there that was my sign!
Do you see this as a lifestyle change/long term?
Absolutely and wholeheartedly!! I get asked all the time if this is something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life and I cannot get the word “yes” out of my mouth fast enough! Why would I want to go back to feeling uncomfortable in my skin and clothes when I can feel the exact opposite and eat amazing foods?! The Keto community is amazing and there should be no reason why any recipe can’t be made keto-fied so you never feel like you’re missing out!
How long have you been keto for and what are some of the health and lifestyle benefits you attribute to keto?
I started what I thought was keto back in the summer of 2016. As it turns out that was what they called, “lazy keto”. I initially lost about 10 pounds but it didn’t stay off. I didn’t have any idea how to determine my macros and I didn’t have any clue as to where to look for support. I had been following many different keto food bloggers on Instagram for several months and just sort of mimicked what they ate. I didn’t track fat or calories and for sure didn’t realize what kind of impact overeating protein had. Since finding the support of these challenges, I know how to track my macros, how to tell when my body is in ketosis, and the mental clarity I have throughout the day is beyond what I could have hoped for!
How has keto impacted your exercise routine? Were there changes/adaptations you needed to make?
I have been doing Crossfit since Dec 2013 and have always considered myself strong and athletic. I would usually use a pre-workout drink before and during my workout and then take a protein drink right after. I felt good but didn’t feel great. When I was following the lazy keto way I noticed that I didn’t have the stamina I was used to and looking back on it now I realize why. I wasn’t consuming the fat I needed to sustain my body and I hadn’t turned into a fat-fueled athlete like I am now. In March 2018 I had signed up to participate in the Baker to Vegas Relay race and my portion of the race was going to be 7.5 miles. This would have been the longest I had ever run in my life. I did some research, got help on instagram, and started using fat shots as my fuel. I finished my portion of the race with no issues and ran just as fast as I had in previous years running fewer miles. When I was done I wasn’t shaky, I wasn’t starving, and I definitely didn’t feel as run down as I had in years past when I didn’t fuel my body properly before working out. Since becoming smarter about keto, understanding what being in ketosis can do for my body, my workouts are just as strong, if not stronger, as before. My endurance is awesome (example I just completed the “Murph” WOD on Memorial Day and I cut over 6 minutes off of my time from last year to this year). I’ve never felt stronger than I have since I’ve been on my keto journey.
How do you track your ketone levels? How often do you track? Is this beneficial to your lifestyle?
I track my ketone levels with my Keto-Mojo meter. I absolutely love that I can see how my body reacts to the foods I eat and know at any given time where I am in my fat burning. I will usually test one to two times a day, sometimes more sometimes less. I’ve started testing in the morning right after I wake up to see how the foods from the previous night have affected me. If I do test again that same day I will test prior to lunch just to see where I am and then about an hour after I eat my lunch. I absolutely believe that testing my ketone levels is beneficial to my lifestyle. Knowledge is power and having the knowledge of how my body is functioning is so awesome!
What is the one piece of advice you would share to someone just starting out?
Give it time. Trust the process and your body. We are a nation of people that like instant gratification and results. We are always looking for a quick fix for getting our bodies in shape and losing weight. I’ve talked with many people about keto over the course of my six month journey and they all seem very intrigued but when I tell them how long it’s taken me to lose my 20 pounds, or the foods I don’t eat, or the time I take in meal prepping for success, they quickly decide it’s not in their best interest. I tell everyone, “This is what works for me. It may not work for you in the same way, but find your happy place with food and do what works for you!”