AUGUST 4, 2020 NUTRITION/ KETOGENIC
What Is Ketogenic Diet?
Ketogenic Diet, simply put, is a dietary approach that is high in fat, moderate protein and carbohydrates makes the smallest portion, circa 50-100g a day depending on your daily activity level, the high fat approach will take our body to achieve a ketogenic state which is to produce ketones and use our own body fat as energy, and to spare glycogen store in both muscles and liver.
The Benefits One of the major benefits of High Fat Low Carbs (HFLC) approach is stabilising blood sugar, which in turn, helps reverse many medical issues that found difficult to manage (without medication), i.e. Diabetes, Hypertension, Chronic Fatigue Syndromes, Candida, IBS, Alzheimer’s, and just to name a few. By keeping carbohydrate to a baseline level, it stops the yo-yo effect of insulin, the constant spike and drop of insulin is a direct biochemical reaction to convert blood sugar (glucose), especially after eating, into glycogen for storage and vice versa for energy when needed, our liver and muscles are the two storage of glycogen, together they have a combined capacity of roughly 500g glycogen which is equivalent to 2,000kcal to be converted for energy; excess glycogen would then be converted into fat for storage, usually in the abdominal and hips area People on conventional high carbohydrate diet and lead a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to carry fat in aforementioned areas. Therefore, it is unless we run a marathon a day at a high threshold, >85% HRM, which would burn about 2,400kcal of both glucose and fat, there really is NO NEED to overload carbohydrates on a daily basis, especially for the general public who spend at least 8 hours at their desk. Another benefit of HFLC Ketogenic approach is to re-teach our body to utilise our own body fat and ketones as primary fuel, which are both in abundance. Once we stop relying on glucose (blood sugar) for energy, our body begins to work more efficiently with a constant level of high energy.
Adaption The adaptation period can take from 6 to 12 weeks. During adaptation period, there WOULD be discomforts because your body is getting rid of LOTS of toxins. You might experience extreme hunger and extreme emotions, fatigue, stomach discomfort, rash, brain fog, headache, light-headedness, nausea, etc., but please hang in there, these symptoms should go away in 4-6 weeks and you will start to feel like a Million-Dollar, unless you have other unidentified health issues. I will share some tips below so that you can get some relief and comfort! Mark Sisson has also written a full-on article on Ketogenic Diet, I strongly recommend a read up before you jump into the diet.
CLARIFICATION - KETOGENIC DIET IS NOT A MEAT DIET If I had a dollar for every time I am told that people cannot do Ketogenic diet because there is too much meat, I would’ve been a multi-billionaire ten times! The general public, especially in Hong Kong (where I am from) like to think that Ketogenic diet requires a lot of meat. The truth is you can be a vegetarian Keto, because it is more about the amount of FAT you include in your diet. Fat, essentially means high-quality olive oil, butter, ghee, avocado, nuts and seeds, MCT oil, coconut oil and its products, eggs and dairy*. Sample Keto-Vegetarian (KE-VO) menu,
2-3 eggs any style, avocado and sautéed spinach in butter or ghee
Coffee or tea with heavy cream
Or a simple Bulletproof Coffee
Grilled assorted vegetable - peppers, zucchini, eggplants, etc., options to spread butter all over them or stuff with feta cheese or macadamia cheese, or
Grilled tempeh salad with sesame and tahini
Mushroom, celery and cashew stir-fry with cauliflower rice
The challenge of being a Ke-Vo is getting enough protein.
Why is Joey so passionate about Keto?
Joey has overcome many health issues, such as chronic fatigue, PMS, leaky gut and sugar addiction, simply by changing how she ate, this has also helped her establish a good relationship with food. She believes that eating to nourish is the pillar to vibrant health, pure energy and happiness, therefore she would take every opportunity to share her expertise, especially with women, and to guide them to eat to glow. Eat to nourish, food is one of the many gifts from Mother Earth for us.
TIPS TO THRIVE DURING ADAPTATION My own experience with Keto/ Carb-flu was rather astonishing, there was at least four weeks of brain fog, insatiable hunger, grumpiness, headache, rash, bloating and stomachache until one day, MAGIC HAPPENED! The constant hunger pang stopped and I was able to digest fats again.
Therefore, my thriving tips are:
Eat more fats or protein when you are hungry, supplement with HCL or digestive enzymes if you are switching from a low fat diet. I use Designs For Health Digestzymes for the high quality. Be mindful that your body is re-conditioning to digest fat, so be patient during the transition.
Bone broth is your best friend, it helps balance the electrolytes and it is loaded with collagen protein, there is 9-10g/ cup. There are many recipes if you are into cooking, or Kettle & Fire Beef bone broth and Roza’s Gourmet Chicken Bone Broth are both my favourite.
Be careful with sweeteners and alternative protein bars. Sweeteners has the chemical stimulus reaction as table sugar, which could still lead to sugar cravings and surge of insulin. Avocado, eggs, nuts or nut butter helped me curb the carb craving, my sugar addiction waned after 4 weeks of zero sugar. Have you tried Barney’s powdered almond butter? It’s still my favourite thing to ‘munch’ on…
Rest and relax, especially in the first two weeks of transition. Do some mild exercise but no HIIT, please. HIIT uses glucose as primary energy, while you are in transition phase, your blood sugar would be low, your performance will drop initially but once you are fat/ ketones-adapted, you will performance better than pre-Ketogenic.
Get a support group together, the journey will be more pleasant to share with the like-minded!
Elana’s Pantry - Elana has more than Keto to offer, check out her baking recipes as most of them are gluten-free and paleo-friendly!
Wellness Mama - I love Katie’s take on Keto, she not only write recipes, but also gives a full explanation about Ketogenic diet and its benefits on her blog.
Mark Sisson - Everyone knows about Mark’s Big Ass Salad, check out his easy-to-make Keto recipes as well as the articles about health, immunity and sports performance.