Once You Go Keto, You Won’t Want to Go Back
by Sarah & Ashley Armstrong
I’m sure we’ve all heard this buzz word flying around, especially recently as a few of the Kardashian sisters have picked it up as their latest ‘quick fat loss’ regimen *eyeroll* …
Maybe you’ve considered trying Keto, you tried Keto but didn’t like it, or maybe you’ve been completely turned off from the start because you can’t fathom giving up your precious carbs…
We’re going to be real – we were the latter.
Give up my sweet potatoes and oatmeal?
Even after basically drowning in all the research out there regarding the health and performance benefits of going Keto… we weren’t sold on the idea of it.
Until… we realized that if we actually were after optimizing our health and performance (what we kept telling everyone) …we probably shouldn’t pass up on all that Keto has to offer.
We’re here to talk about why we finally switched to Keto, and to promise you (yes, PROMISE) that you will NOT miss your precious carbs once transitioning to Keto!
Why We Switched to Keto: The Key to Health & Performance Optimization
We made the switch to Keto in order to truly optimize our health and mental and physical performance.
When you think about our evolution, at no point were cavemen reaching for their Sara Lee loafs of bread and making marshmallow sweet potato pie casseroles.
Reality is, most of mankind evolved eating fattier cuts of meat [whatever they could get their hands on] & the leafy greens, nuts, and seeds that were available to them depending on their geographical location. So, mostly fats and protein.
When it came to fruit, fruit was a LUXURY – something they’d come across only occasionally, and something that we, too, can absolutely enjoy occasionally, but is not an essential part of a ‘healthy diet’ [contrary to popular belief].
Tangent aside, our biology as humans is built to thrive on fats.
A few health benefits associated with the Ketogenic diet that we were most intrigued by include improved insulin resistance, improved cognition, and reduced deuterium levels.
Less discussed is deuterium, which you can read more about here on our blog post if interested (it’s real interesting stuff, peeps!)
But most relevant to society is insulin resistance. In short, insulin is a hormone that determines whether you burn or store the food you eat.
Over consuming refined carbs (breads, grain, pasta) alcohol, and sweets means your pancreas has to produce more insulin to process all of the sugar. Your body’s response of becoming resistant to this insulin is intuitive — whenever there is an excessive amount of a given stimulus, an organism becomes resistant to that stimulus. It is similar to developing a resistance to a drug after taking it for a long period of time.
This can lead to a whole host of health problems down the road, but most noticeable from the start is the difficulty one can experience losing weight, and the brain fog, fatigue, and overall drowsiness one will experience throughout the day as they’re constantly relying on more and more carbs for energy.
Keto eliminates this, and is a healthy way to reverse one’s insulin resistance. Further, Keto combats the debilitating brain fog and fatigue as one’s body begins to produce Ketones, which can help to improve one’s cognition, overall energy levels, and performance.
3 Reasons Keto Will Make You Forget About Carbs
First off, there’s no such thing. Just because you go Keto does not mean that you can never touch any of those foods again. There’s always room for balance.
Ok, as we mentioned, our initial hesitation with Keto was fueled by our taste buds. It’s not easy to think about a world with no bread, no oatmeal, no high sugary ice cream…
Second, we assure you, once you DO go Keto, you will never want to touch those food items again.
1. The benefits you will experience are too good
Simply put, if you stick with Keto long enough to experience the cognition and performance benefits, you will not want to go back to eating carbs.
It is different operating on Ketones. From our experience, no longer relying on carbs for energy has eliminated the dreaded midday crashes we’d go through where we either required some sort of quick carbs, an energy drink, or a nap to carry on.
I don’t know about you, but we don’t like being reliant on any sort of stimulant or feeling like 2 heavy potato sacks by 3pm.
Here’s the thing: unless you’ve practiced intermittent fasting for some time and your body is relatively good at switching from using glucose to ketones, you may have a hard time initially transitioning to Keto.
So, if you are someone who tried Keto but didn’t like it, perhaps it is because you experienced the Keto flu as your body was weaning off of relying on carbs and making the transition to using fats.
It is NOT easy to start a new style of eating and feel like crap, but the mental clarity and enhanced energy you will eventually experience on Keto makes the transition worth it. Once you reach that point, one will have developed a whole new appreciation for the power of fats and will not look at carbs quite the same.
2. Your taste buds will adapt
HONEST opinion – asking for a friend… which is better:
1. PB2 vs. 2. All natural creamy peanut butter?
1. Turkey bacon vs. 2. Bacon?
1. 99% lean ground turkey vs. 2. A juicy Ribeye steak?
1. Arctic Zero vs. 2. Gelato?
If ANY of your answers were (1), were you really being honest?
Before Keto, we tried convincing ourselves that we liked low fat, tasteless ice cream for the sake of eating low fat and fitting in more carb macros.
The result? A lot of bland food. A lot of carbs, sure, but what’s the fun in oatmeal without a dollop of almond butter? Or an omelet without a few eggs and a side of avocado?
Fat is where the FLAVOR is at! Do you ACTUALLY crave plain oatmeal or bread, or the oatmeal toppings and the crispy, buttery taste of the breadstick?
When we started to eat Keto and implement a whole lot more of full fat, nutritious foods, we began to realize how much we were previously depriving ourselves from enjoying fat, and how superior the taste of things are when you don’t strip the fat out.
Once we experienced how satisfying it is to actually eat healthy fats, our cravings for carbs diminished.
To further exemplify this, we even tried incorporating a day of high carbs into our Keto diet (which is totally possible in the form of ‘cyclic Keto’ – a method useful for enhancing athletic performance where you cycle in days of high carb, low fat occasionally), but we actually couldn’t get ourselves to finish our carb macros due to the unfortunate lack of flavor and satiety.
Have you ever tried eating an entire bowl of plain cream of rice?
We missed our fats, and we have not done another day of high carb since that experience.
If you give it some time, we’re confident your taste buds can and will make the switch, too.
3. Keto doesn’t mean boring
And this is absolutely key for those of us with a sweet tooth – Keto does NOT have to be boring, and it does NOT mean ‘no sweets’!
There are SO many amazing Keto-friendly products on the market to spice up your plate, and even more so, there’s a Keto-friendly recipe for every single one of your favorite dishes.
Don’t believe us?
Google “Keto (insert dish name)”
All it takes is getting a little creative in the kitchen and using a bit of all natural sweetener [like stevia or monk fruit] to kick those sweet cravings to the curb.
Luckily, True Nutrition has been MAJOR KEY for all of our Keto baking! First off, their ‘TrueFlavor™ ’ flavoring is sweetened with STEVIA and contains no unnecessary additives or ingredients (we’re all about being as natural as possible over here)…
Second, the flavors are bomb. You want to make some sort of cinnamon roll flavored Keto cloud bread? Use the cinnamon roll egg white protein powder– Problem solved.
Missing ice cream? Try the classic ‘protein ice cream’ using their egg white protein powder (which gets 100x more thick and fluffy than other protein powders, we promise!)
Here is how we make our protein ice cream – note: the addition of pumpkin is totally optional, but it won’t work quite as well if you do not use egg white protein powder!!!
Anything baked good related? We love using their grass-fed beef hydrolyzed collagen. The texture in cookies and brownies is perfect – it is similar how brown sugar really adds to a recipe.
True Nutrition has made eliminating OUR reliance on carbs, and our switch to the Keto diet, 10x easier by providing clutch products for us to get creative in the kitchen with.
As mentioned, our favorites are egg white protein and the grass-fed beef hydrolyzed collagen, but anything with no sugar and very few carbs will work and will help you stick to your Keto diet too. (Yes, even in those times where all you can think about is stuffing your face into a giant cheesecake!)
…Guess what? There’s definitely a Keto recipe for that! We got you!
By: Sarah & Ashley Armstrong
YOUTUBE: strong.sistas (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpofOL75STGMvUUlD5em7g)
By education, Ashley is an engineer, currently pursuing her PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois, but on the side, she’s (still) an extreme science nerd who is extremely passionate about learning how the human body functions and how we can optimize it (AKA, biohacking). Sarah is an integrative nutritionist, recreation specialist, & certified personal trainer who is all about taking a holistic approach to health, and is admittedly a little obsessed with all things mushrooms.