So last Sunday a friend said she was going to start doing Keto (a high fat, low carb diet designed to put you into ketoacidosis a state where your body is burning fat instead of carbs for fuel) and I jokingly said I should join her. And then I thought about it. And thought about it. And the next day I actually did start it.
Now I’m not a stranger to this type of diet. When I was in college I worked with a nutritionist and was on a 60g carbs/day diet. In my mid-20s I got very obsessed with nutrition and fitness and was basically working out 2-3 hours a day and surviving on green smoothies, zucchini and eggs. I’ve done some intermittent smoothie/juice cleanses. But the last year especially I’ve been absolutely garbage about eating right, mostly due to my mental state and the world going to hell.
All that said I survived week one and have some observations.
- DO NOT START THIS DIET RANDOMLY. Seriously, plan it and clear out all the temptations. SOMEONE started when she still had Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge including mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and stuffing and had just bought a box of Candy Cane JoeJoes.
- Monitoring your calories is essential to make sure you’re eating enough. According to the calculator my minimum recommended calories was 1600 and I thought ok sure no problem but tbh I’ve been struggling everyday to hit it and I totally understand why the ketoproof coffee (essentially butter and heavy cream in coffee, which I have yet to try).
- People on the boards are really precious about not buying prepackaged stuff. Ignore them. If you want to rice your own cauliflower sure go for it but you can buy a 1lb bag for $1.99 and save yourself a lot of time. Around here head of cauliflower can go from $0.79-1.50/lb so yeah you’re saving some money doing it yourself but if you’re not actually going to do it what’s the point? Don’t let people shame you out of convenience.
- Keto flu is real and starting mid-week probably would have been smarter so the worst happened over the weekend.
- Leafy greens-cucumber-lemon smoothies with unsweetened almond milk and protein powder are delicious. My normal smoothies were greens + berry + frozen pineapple with unsweetened almond milk but fruit is a lot of carbs so I had to find an alternative. And then my blender broke and I have yet to buy a new one bah.
- If you don’t already have a protein shake/powder you like buy individual bottles/packets first. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of stuff you hate. I have found the shakes you don’t like on their own can taste great in coffee so you don’t have to waste the bottle either.
- Cauliflower DOES NOT taste like potatoes no matter how hard people on the boards try to push that narrative. It doesn’t taste bad but I made my batch of cauliflower fritters and they are not hashbrowns. ALSO trust your own instincts because some of those recipes are white as hell and don’t believe in seasoning which is so dumb.
- I hope you like meat, cheese, eggs and nuts because they are the staples of this diet, especially for snacks. I don’t think I’ve eaten this much meat in one week in forever.
- Starting in soup season was brilliant. Mmm sinigang, hot and sour eggdrop soup and broccoli cheddar. No rice or noodles is a blow but not the end of the world.
- Sugar free syrups and homemade whipped cream will make your chia puddings delicious. And chia puddings are a great way to get your am calories.
- Dry sparkling wine is only 1.5g carbs and a proper old fashioned is only 4g but also maybe don’t start when you have plans to go out for a friend’s birthday and only get to try one tiny bite of the pistachio gateau she ordered.
- Start after the first of the month to make sure it’s not your month for a free month of panera bagels if you are part of their rewards program (this is honestly so unfair I love that stupid bagel shaped bread)
- Trader Joes has a whole grain crispbread thing that’s 3g carbs/piece and amazing for avocado toast or an open faced sandwich.
- Chicharones are a great crispy salty potato chip replacement and can also be crushed and used for breading to make chicken nuggets.
- The flours you’ll use for binders, flax and almond most likely, tend to go rancid faster than all purpose flour so either store them in the fridge/freezer or go to the bulk section and only buy what you need for a week or so.
- Snack, snack, snack. Sipping a smoothie or a protein shake, nibbling on some nuts or cheese, drinking all the water, these will help with the carb cravings.
I’m really hoping week 2 will be smoother now that I have more of an idea what I’m doing. I had a dream last night I ate that entire box of JoeJoes tho…