After having read about the keto diet (see my blog on what is the keto diet), I have decided to try it myself. I want to see what happens if I radically reduce my carbohydrate intake. Since I eat vegan 90% of the time, I expect that it will be really difficult to do so and eat meat, fish and butter. I also like fruit and sweets and potatoes and I also like my glass of champagne on the weekend. But I’m thinking that one can do anything for two weeks. Here you can read about my experience.
I have printed out the 2 week free keto diet menu plan from www.dietdoctor.com. Since I eat mostly vegan (at home especially, when going out it is not always an option), I would have liked to go with the vegetarian option at least, but I don’t like cheese at all, so that option kind of doesn’t work.
I start the day actually with skipping breakfast. Not that I don’t like eggs, I do (I’m only eating them rarely though usually – as I said before, I mostly follow a vegan diet), but I have never liked eating breakfast. I’m just not hungry when I get up, and I remember as a child not eating breakfast either while everyone else was having bread, yogurt, muesli or the like. Of course, not being a breakfast person makes me feel bad because every nutritionist and doctor seems to recommend having a big breakfast. I feel guilty since I am being made to believe I am depriving my body. However, since the whole intermittent fasting concept has made its appearance I feel more comfortable now. After all, I’m just listening to my body what it wants. And it just does not want anything in its stomach first thing in the morning!
So I decide to have a couple of fried eggs with lots of olive oil for lunch instead. Since on this diet you cook 2 serves for every dinner, so 1 serve can be lunch the following day, I figure that would make a perfect start into ketosis diet day 1. Together with the eggs I eat some walnuts and that actually keeps me full until dinner. It is hard though to stay away from all the snacking temptations. One of the things I do out of habit is picking at the kids’ leftovers in the lunchboxes. I guess that is related to how I grew up, no food was ever wasted in my family. We always had to finish our plates and food was never thrown out. So suddenly I have to stop myself from eating half of my daughter’s sandwich and a couple of breadsticks from my son’s lunchbox.
I still have my coffee in the morning, but now I put full cream in it instead of skimmed milk. I actually like the flavour, it’s richer and it’s more like the “café crème” (coffee with cream) that we drink in my country (well, we used to anyway, before we got all fancy and started drinking lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos which is more milk than coffee).
For dinner the recipe is for a cabbage and beef mince stir fry. It actually tastes really nice, but it is also very different from what I’m used to. Not necessarily because of the beef mince (which I almost never eat), but because of all the butter in it! I can definitely tell though that all that fat in my meals makes me full for longer.
I am skipping breakfast again. Having watched a few videos of Dr. Berg (see www.drberg.com) where he explains how you combine the ketosis diet with intermittent fasting for optimum results, I definitely feel less guilty.
I’m having the leftovers from the previous night and add a couple of fried eggs for my lunch. Since the aim is not to go low on calories, but to eat until you are full, and not to snack in between meals, I figure this would be a good idea.
I have to precook dinner as I’m going to Muay Thai training in the evening. And I can’t train with a full stomach so I decide to eat after training. I feel a bit light headed during the session, but I also did a spinning class in the morning, so I guess my body has used up pretty much most of its glycogen by now. After training I eat the chicken thighs with broccoli and leek. Again, lots of butter on it and it tastes really good.
I do my trx class in the morning and I feel really light headed, slightly dizzy. Interestingly, I don’t feel hungry. My blood sugar must be really low. Maybe I shouldn’t be training, but I’m such a creature of habit and I need exercise to feel good. I just go easy and give myself more rest. I also have a little lie-down afterwards before I have my lunch, which is the same as last night. I also eat some walnuts to make sure I do not get hungry until dinner.
I still have to stop myself from eating my kids’ leftovers. My son wants me to take a bite from his hummus sandwich and I’m almost biting into it before I remember that 1) I can’t have anything between meals and 2) I can’t have any bread (the hummus actually would be ok).
Dinner is amazing, my favourite so far. A tuna salad with celery and shallots in rich and creamy mayonnaise. And a huge green salad with cherry tomatoes and 2 fried eggs (they are supposed to be boiled to eat with the salad, but I just wanted to make it quick so I fried them).
I go to spinning although I feel slightly sore in my quads thanks to the trx session the previous day. When I get home I need to have a nap, I’m absolutely exhausted! I eat my super yummy tuna salad leftovers for lunch and also have a cup of stock. To drink one or two cups of stock is recommended at this stage as the body may get low on salt.
Still, I feel exhausted the whole day and actually cancel my Muay Thai training in the evening. It is apparently normal to feel tired for a couple of days at this stage of glucose depletion and a lot of sleep is recommended. For dinner I make salmon in a Thai curry coconut cream sauce with cauliflower and salad and it’s absolutely delicious! Afterwards I am having a handful of walnuts and I feel very full.
After the school run I do my trx class and afterwards a few glutes and abs exercises. I don’t feel like a spring chicken, but definitely more energetic than yesterday! I don’t have a nap today, but I spend a lot of time in front of my computer researching for my blog. For lunch I have another serve of the Thai salmon curry and I drink 2 cups of stock today to keep salt up since I seem to wee quite a bit. I am using this wonderful organic, yeast free vegetable stock and it’s really tasty!
I have some handymen in the house all afternoon that are fixing my leaking sink in the kitchen and some cupboard doors. As a result, I don’t get to prep dinner and when they’re gone, I’m too lazy to cook up tonight’s meal. Instead I improvise and make myself a couple of fried eggs, an avocado, two chicken thighs and a big green salad. As usual I finish off with a handful of walnuts and I feel 100% satisfied. I think I’m getting used to this and don’t crave any carbohydrates. Although the thought of a piece of chocolate is still appealing….
I wake up refreshed and energized. Still, I decide to have a rest day from exercise. The last thing I want to do is overtrain and pump out cortisol (the stress hormon) which causes muscle and bone loss among other things. I have my cup of coffee, but no breakfast.
Lunch is really late today as I was out and about. I just want to make something quick, so I am blending 125g of kale with a bit of water and lemon juice and I drink that while I make a couple of fried eggs. I love the eggs, they are just so quick to make! I also have a cup of stock and some walnuts as usual and I feel full already.
For dinner I make a chicken fajita dish as per the meal plan. It’s quickly made and very delicious with capsicum, avocado, cherry tomatoes and romaine lettuce. I have a generous amount of sour cream with that since I’m not having any cheese. It’s very yum and filling. It must be all that fat that I’m eating, I feel much quicker full and satisfied than I usually do. The only problem is the large baguette that is lying on the dinner table which I had bought for my husband and kids. I would really love to have some, but I’m staying strong. I don’t think I really have any cravings, but since these temptations are in my house I can’t really avoid them. I’m really ok though not to snack. Of course I have to stop myself to have a bite of my son’s croissant or a handful of my daughter’s popcorn. But I have the feeling this is more out of habit than actual need (or appetite).
I definitely feel less tired today. Maybe the worst of this keto flu is over?
It’s the weekend! I decide to have another rest day exercise-wise and spend some time with my kids. My son has a basketball game and he does really well. For the first time on this diet I’m adding some protein powder to my kale smoothie. It just tastes that much better! It’s only a quarter of the usual serving size, but it definitely helps with the taste! I also finish off the chicken fajita. I feel really stuffed!
For dinner I make the delicious tuna salad again with celery, shallots and mayonnaise. I give my husband some to try and he likes it too. This recipe, together with a couple of others, is definitely worth keeping. I also have a couple of boiled eggs and I make Brussel sprouts (they’re so delicious when baked in the oven with some olive oil and garlic herb salt) although they’re not on the menu, but I love them! I also eat a huge salad of greens and some cherry tomatoes. I really feel like I’ve never eaten this much before. It doesn’t feel like a “diet” at all. And the intermittent fasting (since I’m skipping breakfast) is really easy since all that fat I’m consuming keeps me full for so long!
So much for week 1 – please come back next week and see how I’m doing in week 2!