This week I made the ballsy decision to try out the keto diet. Did I know what I was doing going into it? Yes and no. I want to share my experience with keto with you in a fun light-hearted way.
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Sharing my experience with keto
I wanted to share my experience with keto in a more light hearted way. The good the bad and the ugly with a few ‘eff’ bombs and some temper tantrums thrown in. You know, like real people :p
So starting the keto diet for me was full of surprises and frustrations. In all honesty, I’m a pretty impatient person and I want results and answers now. Don’t make me have to look or work for them.
I had some answers but was left on my own to search for the rest. Bleh. This girl ain’t got no time for that! Just tell me what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat it, and when not to eat. That’s all. You know, do everything for me short of actually spoon feeding me.
Anyway no one was signing up for that job so I had to figure it out myself. And off we went. Me, myself and I.
This is a real count of my experience with the keto diet first week in. It’s not all pretty, I’ve included as many reliable sources as I could and am literally writing this off the cuff-meaning, it’s kind of a no bullshit, no fluffy stuff article, albeit somewhat educational (somewhat).
If you are thinking about starting the keto diet but aren’t too sure if it’s right for you, my experience with keto might put some things in perspective for you or at the very least give you a wee bit of information on some do’s and don’ts and what to expect.
So how do you start the keto diet?
Do some research. I swear to God. It’s not just about ‘eating fewer carbs, no sugar, drop that pizza, bye-bye french fry and for the love of everything holy, when can I have a snack’? Nooooooooo there’s so much more to it than that. Who knew?
Clearly not this girl.
We all have that one friend who knows way too much stuff about everything so naturally, I reached out to him. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Dude I’m getting fat and need to get rid of this ridiculous pouch belly I got going on.
So off I went. Watching Youtube videos to understand the keto diet and convincing myself that I could surely do this. Ooph. I’ll be honest. I was really hoping smart friend would create a keto meal plan for Iva. There I said it.
So how do you start the keto diet? Learn about it, see if it’s right for you and spend an hour convincing yourself that you can give up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pasta for the rest of your life.
You have to know what you can and can’t eat and decide if you can do it. Many people can’t handle the ‘can’t eat’ part (like me who’s starting to act like a 5 yr old child having a temper tantrum).
I need to change my life, like yesterday
Before I dive deeper into me starting the keto diet and how it’s turned me into the Spawn of Satan, er I mean, a happy healthy lady, you need to know a few things first.
I’m a 50 something-year-old woman who woke up one Saturday (like just last week) and declared I need to change my life, like right friggin’ now. So I did.
I made some big bold choices. I quit smoking, started exercising again, and started the keto diet, all within 24 hours of each other. So ya, call me crazy. I took everything on all at once.
Am I setting myself up for failure? I’m of the mindset that there is no such thing as failure. You tried something, it didn’t work, move on to the next thing OR keep on trying this thing until you finally nail it.
As far as the quit smoking thing, well this is attempt #24,593. I lost count really. I’ve been smoke free for as long as 3 years at one time. Can I do it for real this time? Who knows. I take this quit one day at a time.
However, the keto diet I’m taking a little more seriously. Now you also need to know I’m not a heavy gal at all. But I’m getting older, eating way too much shitty food and it’s starting to settle in places that are less than flattering.
I sit comfortably at 126 lbs and I’m about 131 right now so I really only need to lose roughly 5 lbs. I got this (she says while crying over the fact that she can’t have Nutella on white sliced bread anymore).
I feel like you needed to know a wee bit more about me, who I am and my main goal for starting a keto diet. Let’s move on.
What can you eat on a keto diet?
I already knew that I had to give up sugar and I was kinda ok with that (not) but then I struggled a wee bit with other things. Like no bread, no cookies, no donuts, no french fries. I’m Italian. I grew up on bread, pasta, and lots of treats. God help me.
I’ve also been really blessed with the metabolism of a squirrel on acid so I’ve always been able to eat when I want, what I want. Period. But then I hit 50 and all that went downhill fast, and here we are.
So what can you eat on keto? Well, you can toss a leaf of lettuce on your plate, throw some crumbled bacon on it, garnish it with ice cubes, and your good to go.
Ok I’m kidding.
You can actually eat quite a few really yummy things on keto. Yes a keto diet is a low carb diet but you have to keep in mind, most carbs are garbage anyway. Why do you want to put garbage in your belly (because I love bread, pizza, donuts, and french fries, bitch)?
So here’s a list of all the yummy things you can eat on the keto diet.
I took this infographic from the site lowcarbalpha.com. When I was looking for a chart, this one was the clearest and super easy to understand. They also had lots of great info on how to start a keto diet and everything you need to know.
I’m gonna tell you right now, in case you haven’t noticed, there are more blogs on the keto diet than there are stars in the skies.
It’s a tad overwhelming, to be honest. Because I am just starting my keto diet journey, it’s easy for me to fall into information overload, so I’m keeping my reliable resources to two or three. You should do that too.
By the way, don’t include me as a reliable source (you’ll be doomed!).
Also please bear in mind, this is my experience with keto. I’m not trying to convince you to start it or talk you out of it. You do you, babe.
What can’t you eat on the keto diet?
Everything you love.
Ok so obviously no shitty carbs-pizza, pasta, french fries, sugar, pastries, you know, all the ones we love. But I was surprised to see many of my favourite fruits and vegetables on the ‘oh no don’t you dare eat these’ list.
We have to think carbs right, and low carb. The keto diet is high fat low carb. I was sad (ok truth be told I was kinda freaking out) that I could no longer eat fruits like bananas and apples, and veggies like carrots and potatoes (bye french fries I love youuuu).
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things you can’t eat on the keto diet. Who knew?
Here’s a list of the things you can’t eat on the keto diet
I Googled and found this infographic from perfectshapes.co on all the foods you need to avoid while on the keto diet. I cried big tears reading this list…
So I had a problem with lists 1, 5, 2, 7, 3, 6 and 4 but I’ll get through this.
I’m realizing that I need to completely overhaul my life. No more smoking, back to exercising, and now no more yummy, I mean, bad carbs. It’s gonna be harder than I originally thought.
But there’s an awesome quote that keeps flashing through my mind:
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re rightHenry Ford
So I already know I can. It’s up to me to just freaking do it and quit whining about it.
My meal plan for the first week on a keto diet
I have to start by saying that one video I watched by Thomas DeLauer said no snacking. Dafuk? Are you on crack or something? We can’t be friends anymore Thomas sorry.
Ya this wasn’t gonna fly with me.
So I did some more digging and discovered that snacks are perfectly acceptable as long as you watch the fat content (in your face Thomas you big meanie). I mean it’s kinda pointless to start a keto diet with full intent to lose weight but then you just keep shoving high-fat foods in your mouth every time you’re hungry.
It don’t work like that. Sorry. I now know that I can have snacks but to be sensible about it is all (so no cookies and chips, right?). Drink more water. It will fill you up. Ok not like a chocolate glazed donut would (excuse me while I wipe the drool off the keyboard) but it’s way healthier for you.
FYI Thomas really is a good and reliable source and he’s kinda easy on the eyes. Here is the link to his site.
So I normally have bacon and eggs every morning anyway so this was easy for me. Some mornings I also have black beans with my breakfast but this is a no go now so I’ve replaced those with an avocado (which I eat right out of the shell while bacon is cooking) and a tomato sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt (which is all I ever use anyway).
So far this breakfast works for me but we’ll see how things go by the end of week 2. I also always have coffee first thing in the morning but I’ve eliminated the sugar and now use coconut milk in it. Yum 🙂
I keep a small container of mixed nuts on my desk and I will only open it if I actually start getting hungry and it’s not quite lunchtime or dinnertime.
I usually have a salad with either bacon/avocado/hard-boiled egg, some cheese, tomatoes and half a carrot (yes carrots are on the ‘oh no you don’t’ list but I did do some research and they are relatively ok provided you aren’t trying to keep to under 20 carbs a day).
Greek yogurt with pumpkin seeds and strawberries. Yum. I really want to look into making fat bombs. Delish.com has some tasty recipes I need to try out.
Dinner is big.
I really just love food so much. So it’s some meat (pork chops, steak, chicken or a piece of fish), a nice side of mashed cauliflower, some spinach or some other green veggie side. I think tonight I’m gonna make beef stirfry with broccoli, mushrooms, and some leftover mashed cauliflower I have in the fridge.
I also really love cooking and being creative with food. It doesn’t always turn out that great but I haven’t poisoned anyone yet so we’re good!
My night time snack is a teeny bit of nuts again or maybe a few spoonfuls of yogurt or something small just to get something in my tummy and I’ll tell you why.
I go to bed around 10:30/11:00 pm and I’m usually up by 7:30 am.
I journal and meditate (and catch up on social media) until 8:55 am then I’m off to go exercise for half hour. After that, it’s shower and breakfast time. So, I’m normally eating my first meal of the day by 10 ish a.m.
Well…day 3 of the keto diet, that didn’t work out so well.
I got the keto flu
Yup by day 3 it hit.
I was kinda expecting it but not really sure what to expect either while my body adjusts to this new eating thing (and I’m positive I heard my body yelling at me last night for a chocolate bar and some chips).
So according to Dr. Berg, in a nutshell (’cause nuts are healthy you know) you simply get ‘sick’. Watch this short video by Dr. Berg explaining the keto flu and how to overcome it.
I was light-headed and my friggin nose wouldn’t stop running. In all honesty, I just didn’t feel good and knew this was gonna happen to me. I’ll get through it like a champ (or like a big sucky whiney baby).
I’m still in the experimental mode so we’ll see how things go during week 2 (and yes, I’ll write about it). I also have to get way more creative with my food and also learn a bit more about how to properly portion out fats/proteins/carbs and stuff.
I also have to learn how to eat/when to eat and that kind of stuff too. My experience with keto has me learning so much about food and my body. I’ll be honest, it’s a real eye opener.
Can you have treats on a keto diet?
Yasssssssssssssssss!!! You most certainly can have treats. Epic yummy fucking treats!! Oh hallelujah.
Here’s another great link from Dr. Berg ( I promise he isn’t paying me to talk about him so much) with lots of super cool recipes and desserts too!!! Yessssssssss!!
Though you most certainly can’t have sugar you can have sugar subtitutes like Stevia and Erythritol. Both are recommended and are perfectly ok! Yay!!
According to Healthline.com here are 6 of the best sugar substitutes for anyone on a keto diet:
- monk fruit sweetener (huh?), and
- yacon syrup
I’ll be honest, I was really sad to see you can’t use honey (oh honey how I love you) or agave. Both are so yummy and honey has so many other health benefits. Ah well. Stevia it is.
Summary of my experience with keto
I’ll be honest. Being hungry makes me uncomfortable and cranky.
One night in bed I realized how poor and homeless people must feel every night and my heart broke. I was ashamed of myself for being such a whiney cry baby during my experience with keto this week.
Anyway, it’s not at all what I expected, though this is only week 1 and the week isn’t quite over yet, I still have to figure out how to manage my meals and eating so that I’m not hungry all the damn time. That part was most annoying for me.
That and the runny nose bullshit. It’s so bad I almost felt like a coke addict (yes I know how that feels). I’m going to stick with the keto diet as best I can and for as long as I possibly can but I gotta tell ya, there’s gonna come a day when I want a piece of effin chocolate cake or a huge plate of french fries so bad that I won’t resist.
And I’ll pay the price for a day I’m sure.
Overall, my experience with keto, despite the icky things about it, went ok. I know that the health benefits will soon present themselves and I just need to be patient and stick to it. And I will.
I’m going to spend some time doing more research on it because I feel like I still have so much to learn and I went into it relatively blindly and in haste (kinda like I do most things in my life..haha).
Are you experimenting with the keto diet? Let me know down below how it’s working out for you. I’d love to hear more thoughts on this diet.
xo iva ox