“I hate everything and everyone.” – Me, Day 3 (and 4, and 5)
The week started out ROUGH. No amount of reading can prepare you for the things you’ll actually feel. I realize now the warnings of “keto flu” did not do justice to the true feelings. The fatigue, anger, and mild depression that accompanies a sugar withdrawal, in no uncertain terms, SUCKS ASS.
So much ass sucking.
Still, this is a choice, something that I keep reminding myself. It’s also an experiment, but one that will take time to see the full benefit for, so suck it up buttercup, we’re in for the long haul.
“The right thing and the easy thing are never the same.”
– Kami Garcia
I met with a Kaiser dietician on Friday who nearly threw a wrench into this whole thing. As she put it, “I’m not going to dissuade you from this diet, but you’re pretty much doing the opposite of what we would recommend.”
Typically, the recommendation for after-cancer nutrition would be a plant-based diet (read: vegan) with foods that reduce the inflammatory response in the body. Meat and dairy, which can be highly processed, can cause inflammatory responses.
All that being said, she acknowledged where I’m coming from, and my motivation behind trying this. And so, she gave me guidance on what I can do to make this as healthy as possible.
- Eat whole, minimally processed foods.
This seems obvious on face value, but that means ALL food items. Bacon? Yeah, highly processed. Deli meats — um, no. Even cheese and milk all go through some type of processing. The good news is free-range, grass-fed cows produce higher quality meat, milk, and cheese (imagine that) and the inflammatory issues associated with eating these items is reduced (it’s an omega-6/omega-3 ratio thing that I can explain another time).
- Diversify your fats
At first I thought, “All the coconut oil on all the things! Give me pounds of butter!” Turns out, coconut oil (and butter) is super high in saturated fat. So, a mixture of monounsaturated fats is on the docket (ex. olive and peanut oils). Oh yes, and all the avocados I can hope for. (Though, this past week, they all ripened at the same time. #firstworldproblems)
An interesting note, adding coconut oil (I use 1TB in a standard coffee mug) makes your coffee taste SO GOOD. There’s an added element of richness. Pair that with some heavy cream… happy mornings, let me tell you.
A slight rebuttal to the notion of eating a diet that doesn’t have a lot of fat and cholesterol — the science supporting that idea is flawed. So, do with that what you will.
- Speaking of fats, modified keto is the recommendation
Because I lack that fat-busting gall bladder, the dietician recommended against doing the full ketogenic diet (80% fat). GI distress is practically guaranteed, and we already know how much I like not being able to poop.
- As read on Reddit:“You better love water more than Michael Phelps himself if you plan to last longer than a fuckin’ week on Keto.” – BCrosby, 2012
60-80oz of water a day is my goal.
To keep track of how this is affecting my body in other ways (cholesterol, kidney function, hemoglobin, etc.) I’m getting baseline labwork that’s usually part of my regular physical (which I haven’t had for… er… 7 years. Whoops.). I’m also working to not lose any weight.
Ultimately, this is an experiment. While the (definitive) science is still out, I only need this to work for me. My sample size of 1 will be okay if the results are positive.
Week one is in the books. There were lots of lessons learned, and overall, I’m feeling better than I did a week ago.