I am doing a two-week “keto cleanse.”
I know that sounds weird coming from me. Especially because I am all about not overhauling your diet and not overhauling your life. So, then why am I doing this?
(Note: You may agree/disagree with me, think I am crazy, or whatever.. but my journey is my journey and I would never judge you, so please don’t judge me either! This post is entirely my opinion and thoughts).
These past few months, I have noticed that something just feels “off” with me. I have been gaining weight (even though my diet has not really changed). I have been hungry all the time. I tried adding more protein to my meals and being more conscious of eating more fiber too. Neither has helped. My sugar cravings have been high. Also, I been suspecting that my hormones were doing weird things. And that was proven this past week, when for the first time (ever!) I was a full week late in my cycle. For context, the only other two times I have ever been late, I was pregnant (and no I am not pregnant. I did take a test, and then I did eventually get my period).
So, that weirded me out. I am not a doctor (I do see my gyno next month, which I plan on asking about my hormones), and perhaps its just me being sleep deprived (I do have a 1 yr old who does not sleep through the night) which could be messing me up (which is valid). Honestly, I have no idea.
But, the scientist in me (who also teaches nutrition) loves a good experiment. And I love trying new things, especially when it comes to eating. Plus, it helps in my coaching and teaching when I have clients/students come to me with food/diet questions, and I am able to help them from first hand experience. The biggest diet topics right now seem to be keto and intermittent fasting and I get a lot of questions about both. So yes, a big part is just wanting to see what the hype is about! As long as I still get to eat, I’m in!
Hence, why I want to see if my eating habits make any effect on anything. (I love collecting food data on myself!) And lets be real, its way easier to switch up my eating than waiting for my doctor, waiting for tests, and the possibility of being put on meds when it was food all along. And if its not food, then I know that too.
Which is why I picked 2 weeks. It takes about 3 days to “detox” from sugar and about 2 weeks to adjust to a new style of eating. I also do not want it to feel like I am dieting. I want to know there is an end point. Two weeks goes by really fast and in my mind, I feel like I can do that relatively easily and see if there are any changes and how my body responses. If I feel great, perhaps I will keep going and if not, then I will just stop. But really, I just want to play it by ear after the 2 weeks and not put too much pressure on myself and try to have fun with some new recipes. I am actually very excited to see what happens!
I also believe that in order to figure out your best style of eating, its good to experiment with different styles of eating. Or else, how will you know what is working for you or not. For example, I experimented in the past with being a vegan and vegetarian. That experience taught me a ton!! I learned what meals my body loves, I enhanced my recipe collection (which I still use to this day). I learned a lot about the science and ethics around food. All of these lessons helped shape the type of eater I am today which I would not have learned if I did not do that. Even though I do eat meat now, I am more ethically and nutritionally conscious of where my meat/dairy/eggs come from. I love mixing in vegan and vegetarian meals into my routine. That’s also where I learned about chia puddings, nutritional yeast, and green smoothies!!
So, why keto? One, I have been researching keto for a while now (see below for some of my resources and you can totally message me with questions). Researching keto over the years, actually taught me a lot around the biochemistry and science behind eating fat and how importance it is. I read a lot about the biochemistry behind it, how it works, and its clinical applications. And I am very intrigued by it (especially from the science of it)! From a clinical perspective, there is not a lot of (known) cons with it, aside from the question surrounding the unknown long-term aspects and that seems to be mostly because it is a restrictive eating style for many people and not many people (they monitor) stick with it long-term. It has shown to be very beneficial with combating insulin resistance and fixing metabolic parameters, regulating hunger, positive effects on the gut health, decreasing PCOS, regulating women’s hormones and fertility, and weight loss.
As long as you do it properly, aka eating real food with lots of veggies and water, and minimize the processed food (just like any other healthy food strategy out there), it appears to be a good style of eating that could potentially help me.
Two, its not that far off from what I am eating now. I already eat a lot of healthy fat and fully understand how to build meals off of it. I am already eating about 90% real and homecooked food. I already eat quality protein and a lot of fiber. I eat lots of fruits and veggies.
Which is my question too….what is going on!? On paper, I eat all the “right” things. Is it the sugar? Have I reached my limit? Have I been eating too much bread and starches? Do I only think I am doing the right things? Am I just bored? Haha. So, the two things that will change are obviously the sugar and the starches and whether decreasing them has positive effects.
If you have taken my online course: You already know all about what the biochemistry behind starches and sugars are and how similar they are after you eat them and the importance of eating quality fats. You also know that the two main sources of energy are from carbs and fats. So, if you eliminate one, you need to eat more of the other one to compensate. So, if I am decreasing my carbs, I need to up my fats.
There is also a big link between hormonal imbalances, sugar, and insulin resistance. I have been eating a lot of sugar lately and my sweet tooth is a bit crazy as a result. So, a sugar-detox seems to be something I might need. Either way, my eating is off in some way, which is why I am very intrigued by this high fat/low carb eating style.
This is what I want to do for the next two weeks:
- Eliminate sugar, bread and other bread-like/white-flour foods, thus decreasing the amount of sugar in my body. I did buy a bag of monk fruit sweetener for my morning coffee, but I want to be intentional about how many sweet things I eat and try not to go too crazy with the sweeteners either. (It has been observed that too many sweeteners may disrupt gut health).
- Up my fat intake (obviously). I literally love all the fatty foods, so this will be easy, I just need to be more conscious of adding more (in my course, I list out these foods in the booklet!). My meals will be a good mix of fat+protein+fiber. I will try to focus on adding more mono and polyunsaturated fats, and not just eat a lot of bacon. There was a suggestion I read that too much saturated fat and meat-based protein could create imbalances in your gut microbiome.
- I will be upping my veggies, especially leafy greens to enhance the liver detox.
- I will be a taking a probiotic everyday (and eating fermented foods). (This is the one, I take). Changing your diet will change your gut microbiome (with any diet and food change) and there is not a lot of evidence (I saw) if keto does more positive or more negative things to it.
- Drinking a lot of water, with lemon and sea salt to prevent the dreaded “keto-flu”
- Have my meals pre-planned, especially snacks and late night eating ideas (since that is where I see myself having the most trouble). With 2 little boys, I want to make sure everything is easy and accessible and I am not hungry.
- I have no plans on monitoring whether or not I am actually producing ketones. I am just going to do a rough estimate of my macros each day and see how that works. This is really me not wanting to do blood/pee checks on myself everyday 😛
If you notice, I am being very conscious of making sure my overall health (especially gut health) stays positive. I teach a lot about the importance of a healthy gut microbiome, because it is the link to your overall health, metabolism, and keeping inflammation down.
I plan on documenting my journey in the next two weeks via my Instagram (follow me!). There you can see exactly what I am eating everyday and how I am feeling in real time. I will do a final recap post on the blog when I am finished.
Have you tried keto? What was your experience? Did you enjoy it, find it difficult, or just realized that it wasn’t for you? Any success tips? Let me know below!
AND if you want to do your own 2-Week Keto cleanse, I have a free video to show you how to do it healthy and successfully.