Most people come to keto because they have significant health or weight challenges. “If something is not broken, why would you try to fix it?” Grace asks rhetorically and begins describing her personal health history.
Grace first started struggling with her weight when she was just nine years old. In addition, she suffered from depression, anxiety and insomnia for as long as she could remember.
After high school she changed her eating habits, started exercising, and consequently lost 100 pounds (45 kg). But in spite of adhering religiously to healthy eating, she continued struggling to keep about 30 of these pounds off (14 kg).
Unfortunately, her health began drastically deteriorating even more in 2017. Her psychiatric problems worsened significantly, and she also added debilitating chronic fatigue, plummeting blood pressure when standing up, horrible chronic pain and dermatitis to the list of symptoms.
She consulted dozens of specialists, but to no avail. In fact, most suggested that her problems were all in her head. She tested for mono and lyme, but both came back negative. Other doctors hypothesized that her symptoms might be caused by allergies that presented in unconventional ways, but they didn’t investigate it further.
Discovering the keto diet
Grace had heard about a keto diet for weight loss and decided to try it. In hindsight she realizes that she didn’t apply it appropriately at first, especially considering that she was restricting fat and calories.
She experienced some benefits, primarily psychologically. But it wasn’t until she began reading about the medical advantages of ketosis that she broke up with her dieting mentality and decided to use it as a healing protocol.
Grace has experimented with different foods during her keto journey, and she posts daily updates about her observations on her Instagram page @graceislivinglife. The first thing to go was naturally gluten, and within short she noticed a great difference for her headaches and mental health. She also tried the Whole 30 protocol for a while, but couldn’t stick to it since the more liberal amount of carbs stimulated her hunger excessively.
Towards the end of this summer she started a carnivore diet, but incorporates some 85% Lindt chocolate. Her chronic fatigue has vanished since starting carnivore. “I have as much energy as I had when I was a kid, and it’s sustained!”
A typical day of living keto
Nowadays Grace fasts daily, and starts her day with a glass of water with salt. She then eats either one large or two medium-sized meals later in the day.
She often enjoys steak with grass-fed butter, or burger patties with bacon and egg yolks. She also eats chicken or seafood every once in a while. As an evening snack she has a piece of dark chocolate.
Grace is also active, and takes daily walks and does weight training at home. Although she thinks that engaging in some form of movement is important, she also stresses the importance of listening to your body. Being sedentary can be damaging to health, but so can pushing yourself too hard.
Top tips for people starting keto
Here are Grace’s top tips for people who are starting a keto diet:
- Do your research. This will help you avoid common mistakes, like eating too little fat or salt. There is an abundance of doctors and other health influencers out there to learn from.
- Get enough sleep and salt. Sleep is crucial for health, but increasing salt intake is also important, especially when just starting a low-carb diet.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself to experiment and make mistakes. It’s only through trial and error that you can learn what’s working and what’s not.
- Listen to your body. Many people coming to keto have a history of dieting, so this is a great opportunity to heal yourself from that dysfunctional way of thinking.
More with Grace
Grace’s Instagram: @graceislivinglife
Thanks for sharing your journey Grace. Your example is a perfect one of how we need to “break up” with the dieting mentality. Low carb isn’t a temporary diet. It is a life long journey. Your story shows that wonderfully. Keep up the great work!
/ Dr. Bret Scher, MD
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