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Do you know about the Ketogenic diet? Maybe you already follow it? 

Yes may be thinking ‘not another diet that we’re going on about!  I’m hearing you.  Personally, in my practice, I don’t have people follow any 1 diet, but take the best bits out of many diets and combine these into a personalized diet right for individual needs.

BUT the success of the ketogenic diet is difficult to ignore.

Who Does A Ketogenic Diet Benefit?

Many people have a lot of success on the ketogenic diet (‘keto’ for short) if they have weight issues or suffer from chronic health issues.  The diet is basically the opposite of our western lifestyle ‘carb’ loaded diet.  Anything would have to be better than this… given the rise in obesity and diabetes (which are western diet outcomes.)

Latest research is showing that burning fat for fuel (instead of carbs) – may be the answer to a long list of health concerns.  This new way of burning energy is called ‘ketosis.’

What Is A Ketogenic All About?

When we eat a typical Westernized diet, high in carbs and protein, our energy primarily comes from glucose (sugar) which is known as ‘dirty fuel’ for us.

You see burning glucose severely impairs our body’s ability to burn body fat. This makes sense given a large percentage of us who have weight issue now.

Weight issues are the cause and the effect of insulin and leptin resistance, where our cells lose their ability to effectively respond to insulin. We may also lose our sense of knowing when we’re full, which can easily lead to overeating. This is how diabetes (2) occurs.

Belly fat becomes an issue and this is an unhealthy fat that creates a toxic environment for our organs.

It’s not a wonder we are struggling with weight issues because not only does insulin and leptin resistance make our body ‘hold on’ to fat, it triggers a cascade of inflammatory and cellular damage too. This leads to faster aging and the development of chronic disease.

So to avoid this problem, significant changes in our diet are necessary, and the best way for many, is getting our body to burn fat as its primary fuel instead of sugar.

Delete These Foods To Go ‘Keto’

Basically we need to remove any food that’s unhealthy (and these generally make up the basis of a western diet.)  This means we remove sugars, starches, packaged and processed foods from our diet, because a ketogenic diet focuses on eating real, whole food.  So standard cereals, bread, spreads, carb loaded pasta, rice and noodles, dry biscuits, sweet bisuits… you name it, they ALL have added sugar to get you to want for more of the stuff!

Furthermore, avoid drinking milk because it contains the carbohydrate galactose – drinking just one glass can basically eat up your entire carb allotment for the day. Many other products should be avoided, such as vegetable oils (canola, sunflower) soy products and soft drinks, cordials, ‘healthy juices.’ They may be low on carbohydrates, but they are unhealthy and can wreak havoc on your health, so don’t fall for their tricks.

Add These Foods To Go ‘Keto’

So now that you’ve taken out all the unhealthy food sources, what’s the next step? When it comes to the core of an actual ketogenic diet, remember that you need to consume only a moderate amount of protein, or about one-half gram per pound of lean body mass, each day.  There is a thing as too much protein – and this is a concern when people go hard on a ‘Paleo’ diet.  In addition, carbohydrates must be minimized and high-quality fats increased to serve as your new fuel source.

What Are Examples Of Healthy Fats?

For a basic idea, add in these high quality fats every day: unrefined coconut oil, organic grass fed butter, avocado, ghee (clarified butter) animal omega 3’s e.g. wild caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, raw nuts, grass fed meats, raw cacao butter, organic eggs, tallow, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, cumin seeds, flaxseeds.

What Vegetables?

It’s critical that you eat green leafy vegetables as these have special good chemicals not found in other veg. We are meant to eat vegetables and plenty of them.  Not frozen, not as a garnish and not the same ones every day.  They need to in every meal and the basis of your meal, be fresh (grow them if you can’t get access) in season (more nutrients) and varied (have different colours, mix it up.)

What About Fruits?

Fruits are high in natural sugar.  So although fruit is generally healthy for us, many should be are avoided to reach ketosis.  Fruit also ‘feed’ yeast, and bad bacteria in our gut so go easy on the stuff.  Replace with health fats instead.  Berries are safe to eat in moderate quantities, such as blackberry, blueberry and cranberry, but always combine with a healthy fat e.g. coconut milk in a smoothie.

Beverages?

The most important is ‘filtered alkalized’ water.  Don’t every drink tap water which is loaded with fluoride (chemical.)   Also you can drink organic black coffee (without any sweeteners or milk), which is rich in antioxidants (but if you’re highly stressed or suffer adrenal fatigue coffee is never a good idea.)  It’s a good idea to add a MCT oil to your coffee for added healthy fats.  This is just like a coconut oil but more concentrated and likely to have more benefits (this actually tastes OK!)  Coconut milk/cream is good too, but make sure the ingredients list says just coconut and water. Herbal teas are great too.

So that’s just a little basic snapshot of what a Ketogenic diet may look like for you.  There’s certainly a mountain of information out there on it, so do your own research.  To get you started, I’ve add a simple recipe (below) which takes into account the keto principals.  Try it out and let me know how it goes!

Keto Lamb Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of ground organic lamb
  • 1/3 red onion
  • 1 whole avocado
  • 2 to 4 ounces of sunflower seed sprouts
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. of unrefined organic coconut oil
  • 6 anchovies (packed in salt, not oil as they use ‘bad’ oils)
  • A handful of oregano to your desired flavor (cut finely)
  • 2 to 4 ounces of fennel bulb and/or leaves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary (chopped finely)
  • 100 grams of red pepper
  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 1 green capsicum (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp. of salmon fish roe (optional, contains healthy fats)
  • 2 to 3 ounces of grass-fed pastured butter
  • 3 ounces of fermented vegetables. e.g. sauerkraut or kimchi
  • 4 to 7 shakes of Pink Salt
  • 10 to 20 of shakes ground pepper (depending on your preference)

Method:

  1. Gently heat the coconut oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add onions and ground organic lamb at very low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, cut and mix the remaining ingredients.
  4. After 25 minutes, add the onions to the salad and then mix it well.
  5. Rinse salt off the anchovies and soak them for five minutes.
  6. Split each anchovy into three pieces and add to the salad.
  7. Add the organic lamb to the salad, serve and enjoy!

Please note:  Because we’re all individuals, there are some people who should not be on a ketogenic diet.  See if this applies to you: pregnancy, breast feeding, pancreatic issues, a history of kidney stones, gall bladder removed, children, anorexia, poor health metabolism, some diagnosed metabolic health conditions

Side Effects: Be aware that when your body alters due to ketosis you can feel some temporary side effects while it’s adjusting. These include sugar cravings (see this exercise), fatigue, frequent urination,  bad breath, digestive problems and perhaps a little extra hair loss.  These are not alarming and may not even happen for you.

Sugar Craving Exercise

The more sugar you’ve had in the past, the more you will feel tired for a while. To help with this, you can do this exercise to overcome you sugar cravings.  (click) 

If you’d like more free help with your health – make sure you join us in The Group – Nutrition For Life Community to get your health questions answered and join a lovely group of like minded, supportive people.  See you there! 🙂

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