We began our Keto diet during COVID-19, while at home and not serving in our chiropractic practice. This worked out well for us because at first it took more time than we were used to in the kitchen. This had a lot to do with trying and learning new recipes. Also, initially we were tracking our carbohydrate, fat and protein intake using an app called Carb Manage, which took more time. Additionally, we found that we were actually eating more vegetables instead of fruits, grains and legumes. It took more time to prepare the veggies and cook more animal protein, more often (as opposed to preparing multiple servings of vegetarian dishes in bulk that we would typically freeze and later re-heat). It was and still is a very enjoyable change to our dietary patterns… it’s good to switch things up sometimes!
We also needed to find ways to ingest more calories through fat and would often have a ‘fat bomb’ to increase our caloric intake. Check out our favorite in our blog here: Chocolate Almond-Butter Fat Bomb. We’ve also added medium chained triglyceride oil (MCT oil, or ‘brain food’) to our diet. We’re still learning about the different types of fat and which ones feel better and are healthier than others and bulletproof.com has been a great resource for that.
Very soon into our Keto diet, we began to experience a shift in our energetic state. We didn’t feel the usual dip after meals and weren’t as hungry leading up to meals. One time we even forgot to eat lunch (which for me is unheard of!). We also noticed a significant shift in mental clarity. We were more sharp, more able to focus, more creative and had more mental stamina. We now feel that this increase in mental clarity was more likely the result of adding MCT oil to our diet, rather than the just effects of being in ketosis.
Generally, we found that our bodies adapted fairly well to being in ketosis. One of the challenges many people experience is known as a ‘Keto flu’. When the body shifts to using ketones for energy and the glycogen (energy) supply that is stored in the muscles and the liver is depleted, there can be a number of symptoms that result. We did find that we were very thirsty and generally had a bit lower physical energy for the first week. I also experienced some muscle cramping, a symptom that never did resolve for me while in ketosis, while Rob did not.
Once our bodies had adapted more fully to the diet, we found our levels of physical energy improved to beyond where they started prior to the diet. We found that our physical and mental energy levels were very stable throughout the day and also that we had more energy at the end of the day. A great change for me was that I was sleeping better. In particular, I was falling asleep faster. Another change that was significant for both of us was that we found our perspectives to be more clear and an ‘edge’ or irritability that was sometimes present had virtually disappeared. At a time when we might have been struggling and fearful because of the changes in our life and chiropractic practice (due to COVID-19), we found ourselves feeling more inner harmony as individuals and also within our relationship. We believe that this was in part due to the changes in our diet.
We had intended to do this ‘Keto cleanse’ for 2 weeks, however we felt so good we just kept going! It turned into 10 weeks of being on a Keto diet, with the exception of only 2 days for social convenience.