Keto Chat Episode 136: The 20 Must Haves to Overcome Food Addiction


Interviewee Bio:

Joan Ifland, PhD, MBA

Dr. Ifland has been creating breakthroughs in recovery from food addiction from 1999 with her first popular book to 2018 when her textbook, Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery was released by CRC Press.
She founded the online Addiction Reset Community (ARC) in 2016, www.foodaddictionreset.com. The Facebook group, ‘Food Addiction Education’ (2014) and www.foodaddictionresources.com (2014) provide free support. Reset Week is the first online live video program for withdrawal (2018). ARC Manager Training is a program training future Addiction Reset Community leaders (2020).
Dr. Ifland is the lead author of the first scholarly description of processed food addiction and definition of addictive foods.
Dr. Ifland earned her PhD in addictive nutrition at Union Institute and University (2010); her MBA at Stanford Business School (1978) and her BA in Economics and Political Science at Oberlin College (1974). She currently resides in Seattle.


Carole Freeman:

Hello, hello. Hey. I’m going to be here. Joan’s going to be showing up here shortly. I apologize. I sent her the wrong link a few minutes ago, and so I just sent her the right link. So, hopefully she gets that in time and isn’t waiting in the other room. Welcome, welcome, everyone to our 20 must-haves for recovery from processed food addiction. Again, just hanging out here, entertaining you all as we wait for our guest. Again, that’s my fault. I sent her the wrong link. So, let me know if you’re here. I wish I had the Jeopardy music here to play for you all here. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right. So, again, we’re hanging out, just waiting. There she is. She’s coming! She’s coming! Hi, Joan. I’m so sorry. Can you hear me okay, Joan?

Joan Ifland:

Hi there!

Carole Freeman:

Hello. I’m so sorry. My primary assistant quit a couple weeks ago and-

Joan Ifland:

No worries.

Carole Freeman:

… I sent you the wrong link, because there was … Yeah. Anyway. So, I’m so glad you’re here! Yay. Welcome.

Joan Ifland:

Yay! I’m so glad to see you.

Carole Freeman:

How are you?

Joan Ifland:

I miss our dinners so much.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Yes. Oh, hopefully by next year we’ll be able to get back together again and see each other at conferences and things like that.

Joan Ifland:

But you’re not in Seattle anymore.

Carole Freeman:

Nope. Moved to Phoenix nine months ago. Had to get some sun and some heat. Probably next year I think is when the conferences may be resuming. I’ll see you at those things. Plus, my son’s still up in Seattle, so I’ll be back up in Seattle several times a year.

Joan Ifland:

Oh, good. Okay. Well, let us know when you’re coming.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. For sure, yeah. Well, at the end of August for sure. That’ll be the next time. That’s five months away though.

Joan Ifland:

All right.

Carole Freeman:

Well, today you have for us the 20 must-haves for recovery from processed food addiction.

Joan Ifland:


Carole Freeman:

Very excited to talk about this. Just to start with, Joan, will you give … So, we may have some people popping in live, but also this will be … It’s going to be a recording that our members can watch at a later time as well. So, we may or may not have actual live questions here. And then also it’s going to be eventually an interview that’s going to be up on my YouTube channel for the public eventually.

Joan Ifland:

Great. Great.

Carole Freeman:

So, just so you have some context who’s going to be watching this here. So, just to start-

Joan Ifland:

Do you …

Carole Freeman:

Oh, go ahead.

Joan Ifland:

Do you want to use slides or do you me to just speak?

Carole Freeman:

Oh, if you can do slides, yeah. If you’ve got that …

Joan Ifland:

Let me just double-check here on the …

Carole Freeman:

Does it allow you to do that or …

Joan Ifland:

Let me just double-check that I’ve got the right ones. I might not have the right ones.

Carole Freeman:

I don’t know if only I can or if it’s going to let you share them on this.

Joan Ifland:

Oh, I might have to send them to you? Okay. That’s all right. Let me just find them first.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. And I might have somebody watching … Kristen, if you’re there, I got your message here that you were looking for it. I think you found it. So, Kristen, if you’re there, if you comment I’ll get an email notification, because there are several different places people can be watching. So, Kristen, if you comment, let us know you’re there. I will get an email notification, so I’ll keep an eye on my emails. If you have any questions for Joan, please go ahead and type your comments or questions below where you’re watching it there. And when you’re ready, Joan, I would just love to start with just sharing a little bit of your background and your training and just to give some people context of why you’re an expert of what you do.

Joan Ifland:

Okay. All right. I do have slides, and I can send you the link to the slides or you can tell me that I can share them.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, I don’t know that I can let you do that, but if you send the email I can be your technical … What is that, the audio visual, the AV tech for you.

Joan Ifland:

Okay. Okay. So, I am going over to email. I’m going to hit the return. And here’s the link to the slides. All right. It is sent.

Carole Freeman:

Let’s refresh and see if we can … It might take a minute through the internet land.

Joan Ifland:

Yes, it’s a big file. It’s a lot of slides.

Carole Freeman:

There it is. There it is. Excellent. And is your bio in here or …

Joan Ifland:

No, no. If you want to introduce me, I can send you a bio, or I could just-

Carole Freeman:

Well, let’s just have you … Yeah, we’re already live, so let’s just have you share your background with us, please.

Joan Ifland:

Super. Hi, everybody I am Dr. Joan Ifland. My PhD is in addictive nutrition, of all things. There are only two of us in the world. I just really started out in this field at conception. I mean, I’m the daughter of two people who were using processed foods among alcohol and nicotine and caffeine. I was born addicted. We know that cells are replicating in an addictive fashion. So, from the moment of conception, I started struggling with food. I had cravings as a child, really intense cravings, which research shows us children have more intense cravings than adults actually.

Joan Ifland:

I didn’t really develop a weight problem until I had my two children. I was 31 and 32 when I had those two kids. And then I started yo-yo dieting and getting sick and sicker and sicker. I had a really prestigious degree. I have an undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Oberlin College, and I have an MBA from Stanford. And I worked in the corporate world for five years before I had my kids, and I was too sick to go back to work. I was constantly sneezing, constant sinus infections, running eyes, red eyes, just disgusting. And I was yo-yo dieting.

Joan Ifland:

So, because of the back to back pregnancies and just eating too much and not exactly the right things, I developed a more severe food addiction. I can trace food addiction by the diagnostic criteria for adults to my childhood. I was severely addicted as a small child. I had the symptoms. I had the signs. But it really accelerated through my pregnancies.

Joan Ifland:

I was also suffering from a rotten personality. I was raging and angry and irritable and critical. I was not nice to be around, and I didn’t want to be. So, I was doing therapy, and I did a women’s group, and I did a 12-step group, and none of it was helping. I would just erupt into these rages and then be just so ashamed of myself afterwards. I couldn’t help it. It would just come from my feet and out my mouth before I could stop it. Well, finally somebody in one of the support groups asked me if I might consider joining a group called Food Addicts in Recovery, and I said, “Why?” I was kind of at a thin phase. And she said she could hear the sugar running my behavior. She could hear the sugar running the rage.

Joan Ifland:

So, I tried it, and the miracle really started January 1st, 1996. I made my first clean meals. I was sure it wouldn’t work, because there’s way too much food there. But by Thursday, I knew that something huge was happening. Cravings stopped. I didn’t know I had cravings, because I’d never not had them. The fatigue stopped. The brain fog stopped. And then I’d lost two pounds by the end of the week, eating all of this food, not being hungry. I was just like, “What? That doesn’t happen.” The allergies started clearing up, and the lifelong sinus infection cleared up. And then in the third week, I realized I hadn’t yelled at anybody in three weeks. And that was the moment in which I really started on this career.

Joan Ifland:

I wrote a book about it. It took me three years to write a book about how do you do a clean food plan in this culture. And then I tried getting on TV, and that worked, and the book did well. I just kept thinking, the only problem is people don’t know about this. So, that was my first major mistake. It’s not what is required to get off of processed foods. And then a TV producer wouldn’t let me come on their big, national talk show, because I didn’t have a degree in my field. So, I went back. I went back to Union Institute, which is a school for new fields, and earned my PhD in three years and came out and said, “Okay. Well, now I’m going to write articles and teach the teachers,” and that didn’t work.

Joan Ifland:

I didn’t fully know what it meant to have a severe addiction. You cannot teach a severe addict, a severely addicted person. You can’t teach them out of an addiction. But I kept trying. I started a prepared meal company. It was just like saying to somebody, a severe alcoholic, “Look, I’m going to tell you about water, and I’m going to make sure you have plenty of water. And it’s really wonderful water, and you’re going to full so much better after you start using water in place of the alcohol.” That was how naïve that approach is. You can’t just give somebody who has these really severe brain alterations information or availability. It’s not enough.

Carole Freeman:

I love that analogy. That’s so funny.

Joan Ifland:

Then my dad died in 2014, and CRC Press came along. And they said, “Would you write the textbook for us?” And I knew I needed to go back to Cincinnati where I grew up to make sure that my stepmom got through, the end of her life was okay. And it just coincided with this textbook. And my dad left me enough money that I could support myself, and I spent the next three years writing the textbook. This is 240,000 words. It’s got 2,000 citations, which means it’s really built from the research.

Joan Ifland:

Well, in the course of writing the textbook came two major, major breakthroughs. One is we’re typically severely addicted. The American Psychiatric Association publishes addiction diagnostic criteria and there are 11 of them, and if you’re experiencing six or more, you have a severe case. I wrote a chapter on each one of those 11 criteria so people could see how the addiction appeared in overeating. I got to the end of chapter six … Chapter one, well, everybody’s got that. Chapter two, everybody’s got that. Chapter three, chapter four, chapter five, chapter six. Oh my goodness. This is a severe addiction. The other thing that came out of the textbook … And that explained why nothing I had done to that point had worked. I needed a reliable method to get people off these addictive substances, the sugars and flours and dairy, et cetera, and stay off them for a lifetime, because you don’t want to put them back. They’re toxic.

Joan Ifland:

Then the other really big epiphany is that people are typically deeply traumatized when they come into this. If they were heavy as children, they could have been rejected by their parents. If they were using as children, they never developed any life skills, because they would just reach for the food. If they were in relationships, 30% of obese people are being physically abused. The health system unknowingly abuses them. Surgery for an addiction? What? I don’t think so. Pharmaceuticals that leave you with heart disease? No. And residential stays that are quite traumatic because they’re digging around in your past without cleaning up your food? No. So, we’ve really endured a lot of trauma, plus the bullying, typical bullying and traumatizing that goes on around people with a particular body shape, and that was the other big piece.

Joan Ifland:

So, three years ago, and just as soon as I turned in the manuscript, I started developing teaching materials, and a daily phone call was not enough. This is a severe addiction. It means you either go for residential treatment for two years, and we have hundreds of millions of people who are addicted. That is not going to happen. The next level of treatment is intensive outpatient where you go to the hospital five days a week from 9:00 to 4:00, and we don’t have the facilities for that either. Plus, a lot of the worst cases are immobile. Their addiction has eroded their bones and joints, and they’re in wheelchairs, or it’s given them such deep depression that they really can’t leave their house. Or their body shape attracts traumatizing bullying and stigmatization and they just don’t want to leave their house anymore.

Joan Ifland:

So, what we did figure out is that we could bring recovery to them in their homes via Zoom. And my first Zoom meeting in December of 2017, I just thought, “Oh, this is it.” And then we had our first week-long program on Zoom the first week of January 2017. And for the first time in 22 years, everybody was eating clean by the end of the first day. And they were as shocked as I was. “I’ve been trying to get a clean day in for 20 years. Today I did it.” Which led to all the knowledge and discovery of mirror neurons, conformance drive, social circle adaptation, and that’s what we captured. That’s how the food industry got us addicted in the first place, and that’s what we have turned around to use for our own good, is this conformance drive. Yeah. So, here I am.

Carole Freeman:

[inaudible 00:17:17]

Joan Ifland:

We are three years into the ARC, the Addiction Reset Community. We counted up last year. We made 20 innovations in how the ARC works. We’re still adding, growing, strengthening. And now, after 25 years, I have a reliable method.

Carole Freeman:

That’s great. I love it.

Joan Ifland:

That’s exciting.

Carole Freeman:

You knew that there was a problem and then you’ve worked to come up with a solution. So, I love it.

Joan Ifland:

25 years later.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. It takes time. Yeah. I can see we’ve got three people watching. I can’t see who you are until you comment though. So, go ahead and give us a little comment. Let us know you’re here. This was meant to be interactive for the people that are here live. Give us a comment, let us know you’re here. Any questions you’ve got for Joan, go ahead and just comment as we go along too. So, Joan, are you ready to switch over to the slides now?

Joan Ifland:

Sure. Sure.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. You’ll have to let me know when you’re ready to … Let’s see. I think I can do … Let’s see. We’ll do that. Oops, sorry. There we go. I think we’ll do it that way. How’s that?

Joan Ifland:


Carole Freeman:

Because I think if we go this, I don’t know how it looks on your side, because then I can’t see anything. So, anyways. Hopefully that’s okay just going it that way. So, let me know when you’re ready for the next slide.

Joan Ifland:

Okay. So, today we’re going to talk about what does it take to get off of these very, very addictive substances. What does it take to recover from a severe addiction? This is severe, because it starts in early childhood. No other addiction has ever started in early childhood. And it involves a lot of different substances. Sugars and flour and gluten and dairy and excessive salt and processed fats and caffeine and food additives are all addictive, very addictive. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine. So, this is a severe addiction, and this is why nobody recovers from overeating. They lose the weight, and then they gain it back. And they lose it, and then they gain it back. And it gets worse and worse over time.

Joan Ifland:

Well, it’s because, if that happened to you, it’s because you needed a different program. And these are the must-haves. I call them the must-haves that need to be present in your program. And we’re just going to whip through them so we have plenty of time for questions, and you will see why. Why do you have to have this in your program? All right, Carole. Let’s do this.

Carole Freeman:

All right. And we’ve got Rita has commented that she’s watching. So, welcome, Rita. Glad you’re here.

Joan Ifland:

Thank you, Rita. So, if you have the right support, you can have success. If you’ve never had success at controlling your weight, controlling your eating, being at peace with your food, it’s because you’ve been in the wrong program. Programs are generally incomplete and inadequate. So, we’re going to go through what constitutes a complete program.

Carole Freeman:

Is that a cue for next of …

Joan Ifland:


Carole Freeman:


Joan Ifland:

I’ll give you a next.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. Okay. I’ll go back.

Joan Ifland:

Okay. Next.

Carole Freeman:

I’m not going to read your mind.

Joan Ifland:


Carole Freeman:

Oh, okay.

Joan Ifland:

Okay. All right. So, we divided these into five categories. You have to have knowledge of the research. You have to have knowledge and experience with meal management, with lapse management, with meeting stress. A lot of support group meetings are stressful, which is actually triggering the addiction. And you have to have the right leadership and resources. Next. So, when I talk about knowledge of research, I mean it’s got to be the basis of the guidance that’s given. It’s got to include information about how Big Tobacco came into processed foods. It’s got to include how conformance drive works, and then it’s got to be for a lifetime. Next.

Joan Ifland:

If your support is based on research, then you are getting advice that’s going to work. The problem with a lot of problems is they are based on one individual’s experience, and the probability that that one individual’s experience is going to be a match for what you need is zero. You need the studies that show a big population tended in this direction, so when I give you advice based on that study, it is much more likely to work. I mean, my personal experience is not going to be a match for what you need. So, then you’re more likely to actually use the experience and use the advice, because you come to see that it starts to work. So, you’re more motivated to make changes. Yeah. Next.

Joan Ifland:

And this piece, your program has got to recognize the role of Big Tobacco, the role of corporations in deliberately creating the addiction. Otherwise, you don’t know how to defend against that. They use very specific techniques, and you need very specific skills in order to counteract and defend against those techniques. Plus, they caused this. We have the evidence in documents that they submitted in their court proceedings. They deliberately went after creating addiction in children. So, if you don’t have this piece, you’re going to blame yourself, and then you’re going to be looking in the wrong direction. If you blame yourself, you’re going to be looking at childhood issues and just therapy and things like that. This is a straight-up very bad addiction, and it needs very specific addiction-related actions. And if you continue to blame yourself, you’re not going to take those actions. This is essential, the role of Big Tobacco be recognized in your program. Next.

Joan Ifland:

And conformance drive engagement. We know from the research that the teaching, the learning, the memory part of the brain is not working in an addiction. So, you’ve got to go to a different system in the brain, which is conformance drive engagement. You have a really strong conformance drive from seven million years of human evolution, when, if you were conforming to a small group of people, 7 to 12 people, you would live, because you would find food, find shelter. Your children would be protected, and predators would be fought off. If you didn’t have conformance drive and you were not sticking with your troop, if you were wandering off, well, giant hyenas were waiting for you for lunch, and you would not live long enough to send on your genes.

Joan Ifland:

So, because the addiction is really occupying the brain, you have to rely on this very powerful, primitive, survival instinct, which is I am going to do what I see people doing. And that means that you have to have enough frequency of meetings through the day, 365 days a year, to actually identify with that troop. Okay. And it’s very hard to maintain any progress you’re making if everybody you see is eating processed foods. Your conformance drive is then going to pull you in the wrong direction. All right. Next.

Joan Ifland:

The program has to be for a lifetime because of that … Conformance drive is a double-edged sword. If you’re around healthy people, it’s your saving grace. But if you’re around unhealthy people, it will kill you. So, you need to be around healthy people for a lifetime, which means your program has got to be affordable, it’s got to be easily accessed, and it’s just got to become kind of just gently woven into the fabric of your life so that it becomes normal. All right. Next.

Joan Ifland:

Now meal management, this is not easy. And if you’re in a program that expects you somehow, by magic or a miracle, to have meal management skills on day one, like you’re not allowed to talk until your meals are somebody else’s weird idea of perfect, then you’re in the wrong program. So, what you need is very slow skill management, development. You need to be free of judgment. You need to definitely be around people who are not judging what you’re eating. You need to not be required to eat specific foods, and you need to have a broad vision of your victories. So, let’s run through those. Next.

Joan Ifland:

You need lots of times to organize your food. And this is very traumatic to be giving up such a long list of foods. It might take a couple years before you are really comfortable giving up the next food, giving up the next food, giving up the next food. And if you’re under pressure to do that and somebody is telling you that you have to do that or you’re a bad person or you’re not a member of the in crowd or you can’t speak before you have done this list, you’re in the wrong program. They’re judging you.

Joan Ifland:

And we have been so traumatized by diets. If we’re pressured to do something like this too quickly, you will trigger the trauma of dieting. The trauma of dieting is you don’t have enough food, and you’re waking up the food-seeking part of your brain, which is going to protect you from dying of starvation. So, you need lots of slow time to get your food organized. It’s a must-have. If you’re being pressured to do things too quickly or you’re being judged because you haven’t done things, you’re in the wrong program, and the program is hurting you. All right. Next.

Joan Ifland:

If you’re in a program that doesn’t let you talk or ostracizes you or keeps you on the periphery because of something that you have eaten, that program is stressing you out and it’s actually making the addiction worse. So, people lapse. And if you’re in a program that understands that and lifts you up, you’re okay. You can keep building and keep making progress. But if you’re in a program that says, “Oh, you’re a failure,” that’s not true. Lapsing is normal. We’ve got that in the research. And it’s something called gaslighting. They’re trying to get you to believe something that’s not true, and of course that then translates into “I’m a failure, I hate myself, I quit,” when you need to be there in the very long haul. Yep. Okay, Carole.

Carole Freeman:

Can I ask a question here? How do you balance lapses are normal but also you shouldn’t lapse?

Joan Ifland:


Carole Freeman:

How do you [inaudible 00:29:25]

Joan Ifland:

Yes. This is a super excellent question. You take the judgment out of the equation entirely, and you go straight from lapse to pain. So, lapses hurt. You have a headache, and your stomach hurts, and you’re tired and you’re crabby. Everything gets inflamed, and your joints hurt and your feet hurt. Lapses hurt. But when you are focused on somebody else who’s judging you for it, you have the additional pain of the shame, and then you want to go into isolation, then you want to hide, then you want to quit the program, anything so that you don’t have to face the pain.

Joan Ifland:

But if you come in and you have lapsed and you get compassion for it, that just makes you compassionate towards yourself. And what I say when people come in and they’ve lapsed, I say, “This is really hard. What you’re doing is really hard.” But we’re going to come to a slide about cuing, and usually when people have lapsed, they already know what happened. They already know that they were exposed to too much stimulation of stress, relationship, food, whatever, and it ignited. It set on fire the addicted brain cells. So, we just say, “I’m sorry that happened. I know this is painful. You might not feel well for four days, but we will be there with you.” That makes you not want to lapse again. Okay? This is painful.

Joan Ifland:

And then you can get the corrective associative cuing. So, you look at the food and you feel the pain. You look at the food, you feel the pain. You look at the food, you feel the pain. After a while, you develop something called natural aversion. But if you look at the food and you feel shame, you’re going to try to eat to alleviate the pain of the shame. So, you’ve got a triangle. You’ve got a detour there that is keeping you in the lapse. Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

Love it. And this is along the lines of … That’s actually a hypnotic process in the brain, is if you associate that addictive food substance with the pain, that will actually be what makes you averse to it, which is what you said, whereas if you … So, this is where people always get stuck, right? Because they turn to food for comfort, and then they feel bad about what they eat, and then they want to eat more of that.

Joan Ifland:

Yes. Yes.

Carole Freeman:

Okay. [inaudible 00:31:59]

Joan Ifland:

The shame will keep you in the lapse.

Carole Freeman:


Joan Ifland:

The shame will keep you in the lapse, but if you associate it with “oh my gosh, my feet are going to hurt like heck,” then you will avoid. Then you’ll get out of it. This is actually one of the most powerful recovery tools out there, this index card, because you could put the name of the tempting food on one side, and you can put all the different kinds of pain on the other side. And then you can use it like a vocabulary card. When I see this food, I want to think about the pain in my joints, or I want to think about the headache, or I want to think about screaming at my kids, all of which are painful consequences of a lapse. This is Pavlovian conditioning of brain cells, the same technique you would use to learn a foreign language.

Carole Freeman:

Are you guys getting this? I love this. Okay. Everyone watching this, your foods that you struggle with, this is so powerful. This post-it note, an index card, whatever you’ve got. The foods that you feel the most like you’re missing out on or that call your name the most, write them on a card and then write all the pain on the other side. Ugh, I love this. It’s so great.

Joan Ifland:

Associative cuing.

Carole Freeman:


Joan Ifland:

Yep. All right. Let’s do another one. This is so good, Carole.

Carole Freeman:

I think this is the one … You haven’t talked about this one yet.

Joan Ifland:

Nope. This is you’re not what you’ve eaten. If you’ve had a lapse, you’re still a wonderful person. Yeah. And this is so important. This just makes me crazy when I hear about programs that require people to eat food that they’re allergic to or that they just don’t like. If you are in that program, move on. Those people don’t understand what’s going on with you. Yeah. It’s just astonishing. Yeah. All right. Let’s do another one.

Joan Ifland:

Then all kinds of victories are celebrated. This is something else that is so short-sighted. There are plenty of groups out there that only celebrate abstinence and body shape. Well, there are 141 diseases associated with processed foods, according to Nancy Appleton who actually keeps track of this. She’s got a study, 141 studies linking processed foods to various degrees. So, I know from 25 years of experience that body shape and abstinence are not enough of a motivation to keep you from picking up something. It’s just not.

Joan Ifland:

But if you know it’s cancer and diabetes, amputations, kidney failure, blindness, stroke, paralysis; if you know that it’s irritability and depression and anxiety and chemically-induced shame; if you know it’s Alzheimer’s, if you’re headed towards dementia, which processed foods contribute to; if you know that your attention deficit and your learning disorder and your inability to make decisions and your memory loss and your poor impulse control are all chemically driven by processed foods; if you know your joint pain and your fatigue and your brain fog are all related to processed foods; and you have it firmly associated in your head, gosh, you’re not going to pick it up.

Carole Freeman:

We’re getting there.

Joan Ifland:

Your motivation is just so much greater.

Carole Freeman:

We’re getting a big “yes!” I think this is from Kristen. So, yeah!

Joan Ifland:

Yeah. All right. What’s next? Lapse prevention and rebound. This is so crucial. I don’t know of any other program, maybe Carole’s got this going on, that treats lapses accurately, appropriately. They all think lapsing is a failure. It is not a failure. So, you have to be in a program that has correct expectations. You have to be in a program that’s going to teach you cue management, because cues are the reason we lapse. And you have to just stop, stop, stop. The skill of not blaming yourself has to be taught. All right, Carole. Let’s look at this.

Carole Freeman:

I’ve already got two pages of notes already, so good.

Joan Ifland:

But you will keep the slides. Keep the slides.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, okay.

Joan Ifland:

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Your program must recognize that it takes years for lapses to stop. We have a tremendous researcher at Harvard whose name is John F. Kelly. This has been his life work, to show what is the reasonable course of recovery from an addiction five years for drug and alcohol addiction, for the drug or alcohol addicted person to stop lapsing. Five years. And ours is much, much more deeply embedded, because it starts in childhood. It’s so many different substances. It’s so heavily triggered by the processed food industry. Our social circles are all eating it. Blah, blah, blah. So, you might never stop lapsing. And these substances are hidden in food. You go to a restaurant, they make claims about the food, they’re not accurate. You walk out of there, your joints hurt and you know that they lied about what’s in the food or they just don’t know. And that’s a lapse. It’s not an intentional lapse, but your program needs to train you on how to recover from that. We live in a treacherous culture.

Joan Ifland:

So, if you’re in a program where you’re going to get traumatized over a lapse … There are programs that fire people if they have a lapse. That is 180 degrees the wrong direction. You need tremendous compassion, reassurance, and encouragement. Now, a lapse is not the end of the world. Just think of it like a skinned knee. Yeah, it hurts like heck. But now you know where you tripped to get your skinned knee, and you’re going to be just a little bit more careful the next time you walk that path. You know where that tree root is now. You’re not going to trip over it, and you’re not going to skin your knee again because of that training, training, training, training in how to do a lapse compassionately.

Joan Ifland:

I am sorry that happened. It really hurts. I’m sorry you have this addiction. You didn’t ask for it. I’m sorry nobody controls the tobacco industry all dressed up like processed foods. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. But you’re smarter now. In our program, there are no failures. You either learn or you win. And learning is a win. So, you win-win all the time. You’re stronger. You’re smarter. You’re more experienced. You’re more motivated. You’re clearer about what happened. That person needs a tremendous amount of encouragement to pop out of the lapse and keep building. That’s the way to handle a lapse. If your program doesn’t handle a lapse, if you have to take a new chip and get in front of the room and confess and sit in the back of the room for 90 days, you can’t talk, if you’re being punished and humiliated for lapses, your program is traumatizing you. All right. Next.

Joan Ifland:

Training in cue management. This just tears me up inside. These programs, which are humiliating people over lapsing, but they’re not teaching them how to avoid the lapse in the first place. Lapses are cued. Lapses are stimulated. You have these highly sensitized, addicted brain cells in your reward system. That’s all that’s wrong. And the food industry is incredibly good at provoking them, stimulating them until they release enough neurochemicals to control your behavior and then, like a robot or a zombie, you’re walking over to get something while your frontal lobe is screaming, “No, no, no!” No, no, no is not strong enough to overcome addicted brain cells. So, you’ve got to back it up and teach people how to avoid this stimulation.

Carole Freeman:

I’ll just insert here, this is a problem we’ve got right now in the keto world, because the food manufacturers are starting to make all these keto treat foods. And they’re using the same techniques that got you hooked on all your former carby, non-keto foods that you used to eat and with the fantasy of like, “Well, but can I just have a bar or a shake, a snack food?” These things again, because they’re keto. But as I’ve worked through with a lot of you, it can cue the exact same cravings and food obsession and overeating. SlimFast coming out with their keto dessert things is not because they’re trying to do you any favors; they’re trying to get you to buy their products and overeat.

Joan Ifland:

Yeah. Yeah. These are very deeply embedded memories of using these addictive foods. If you’re eating something that’s keto formulated but it looks like a candy, for example, your brain is going to react to it like it’s candy.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. I had one of my clients early on. So, one of my rules for people to start out is stop looking at pictures of food and food videos.

Joan Ifland:

Yes! Thank you! That’s cue management. Yep.

Carole Freeman:

Yes. Yes. So, she was still following certain people on Instagram and saw some picture of a … I try to avoid specific names of food. A keto version recipe for a carby food, like a pseudo carby food. Right?

Joan Ifland:

A facsimile.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Basically she didn’t even recognize the pattern of what had happened. She just told me, “I don’t know what happened. I was in the grocery store craving this carby good, and I feel really good, because I found a frozen version of this that was a keto version,” even though it really wasn’t. It wasn’t really on program. Right? So, we traced it back. I was like, “So, where did you start to crave this food? Were you looking at photos of this?”

Joan Ifland:

It’s so hard.

Carole Freeman:

And she says, “Oh my gosh. I was looking at Instagram photos, and somebody posted a recipe of this type of food.” And your brain can’t tell the difference. It looks like the regular carby version. Your brain doesn’t go, “Oh, wait. That’s the keto version. It’s definitely different than the former one.”

Joan Ifland:

No. No.

Carole Freeman:

You can’t tell the difference.

Joan Ifland:

Carole, that was brilliant. That was brilliant. Yes. We recommend, and people will do it, now they want to do it, just get out of all those food groups.

Carole Freeman:

Yes. Yes. Unfollow-

Joan Ifland:

Stop looking at pictures of food. Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

I used to love to watch cooking shows, and to this day I can’t, because-

Joan Ifland:

No. No.

Carole Freeman:

… as soon as I start to watch it, I start to get really hungry. And it’s just like, “Nope, it’s just easier not to get in a place of craving than it is to try to resist the craving.”

Joan Ifland:

You don’t want any kind of excitement.

Carole Freeman:


Joan Ifland:

No excitement. No excitement. No. That’s deadly. Yeah. All right. The release from self-blame is crucial. Remember our very first must-have is it must be based in research. Research shows us exactly what the brain does when it’s been addicted by these corporations. And when it’s been stimulated, it pulls the blood flow away from the frontal lobe where your breaking system is, where your rational thought is. Those brain cells stop firing, and the only brain cells that are firing are either your stress brain cells or your addicted brain cells or your food-seeking brain cells, because they’ve been activated by dieting and not enough food.

Joan Ifland:

So, when your brain is in that condition, you don’t have control. The control is up here in this little teeny tiny 2% of the brain frontal lobe. And yet, everybody teaches us “oh, well, you should have control, you should have willpower. Just push away from the table.” That is totally ridiculous in an addicted brain. You need years of training to keep those addicted brain cells calm, keep the stress brain cells calm, keep your frontal lobe really, really active, and keep those food-seeking brain cells calm. That takes a lot of brain conditioning. And until you have that, there’s no way you can stop lapsing. Yeah. All right. So, no more self-blame, okay?

Carole Freeman:

Yes. Grace. Give yourself grace.

Joan Ifland:

Indeed. All right. The meetings have to be very specifically structured, according to research. They have to be online. They have to be very frequent. They have to cover the weekends. You have to be able to reach somebody between meetings, and you have to be able to talk in the meetings, no matter what. And you need to be able to control when you go to the meetings. Okay.

Joan Ifland:

So, why do the meetings have to be online? It’s because you need to get to them frequently. Your conformance drive will just latch onto whatever’s most frequent. It will latch onto the people it sees the most. That is just how conformance drive works. If it only sees people in your household who eat processed foods all the time or people at work who eat processed foods or eating disordered actors and actresses on TV, stressful programming, then it is not going to let you give up the processed foods. Your conformance drive controls everything. I know that sounds over the top, but it is true.

Joan Ifland:

So, if you are in a meeting a lot of the day or you’re listening to programming from your tribe, then your conformance drive will helplessly switch over. It’s got radar going on all the time. Who’s here? Who’s here? Who’s here? What are they doing? Should we copy them? Nope, they’re not in our tribe. You’ve got to get them to the point where “should we copy them? Yes. We see them all the time. They’re our tribe. They’re our social circle. They’re out community, and we need to fit in if we are going to live.” You cannot do that in the physical world, but the amazing thing is you can do it in the virtual world.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. So, for those of you crew members here, play the recordings of the meetings. Have them going in the background. Like you’ve said, use the power of … What the food manufacturers do is put those commercials so that they’re constantly programming us. You all have the power to have your own commercials for your keto group. Have those playing in the background or listen to them frequently.

Joan Ifland:

Yes. That is how you do it. That is exactly how you do it. And, Carole, you probably have presenters whom you like. You can play those presenter interviews. If you have people that are on your page, play their interviews. Just constant reinforcement. This is messaging, messaging, messaging. Yep. All right. Let’s go on.

Joan Ifland:

The meetings have to happen frequently through the day, because stress is a major trigger. If you can get into a meeting and talk through the stressful event, it takes the power out of it. It’s amazing. The mechanics is you’re replacing a dopamine deficit with an oxytocin rush. So, oxytocin is released in community. And when you have oxytocin running through your system, you don’t need the dopamine and the serotonin from the processed foods. It will take away the power of a stressful event to get you to lapse.

Joan Ifland:

So, they’ve got to happen like … Our meetings happen every couple of hours. But like Carole says, you can play a recording of a meeting. Only the frontal lobe in the brain understands screens. The other 98% of the brain just thinks, if it’s seeing a person, the person is there. Screens are unbelievably effective, which is why you really have to carefully manage what you’re exposing your brain to on a screen. Yeah. Okay. Next.

Joan Ifland:

So, weekends and holidays. It’s got to be 365 days a year, but if you’ve got an archive of meetings, of course you can access that archive of recorded meetings on weekends and holidays. The cuing changes on weekends and holidays. The routines and the cue response routines that you’ve set up through the week typically fall apart on the weekends and holidays. So, you need reinforcement 365 days a year. Okay.

Joan Ifland:

And make sure that there’s somebody kind of on-call between meetings. We’re using private messenger groups for this function. We’re putting 7 to 12 members in a private messenger group with a trained person so that I can get into a private messenger group. And we’re organizing those by time zones. So, somebody’s likely to be awake.

Carole Freeman:

So, you all have your personal peer mentor that you can reach out to at any time, and also some of you are in pods. For us, they’re optional, but similar thing, either text or messenger-based that’s led by one of our peer mentors as well. So, you all have those two options for immediate outreach.

Joan Ifland:

Brilliant. Brilliant. Carole, I am so glad you are doing that. You can save yourself from a painful lapse if you can just get in a pod. Somebody’s awake in there. Or you have a private Facebook group is another place to go. “I can’t believe this. My husband just told me that blah, blah, blah,” something awful. And five people come back and say, “Oh, I’m so sorry that happened. But we believe in you. We see you. We see how wonderful you are. Do you remember the other day you did this thing and it was so cool?” Just pull them out of their stress brain and back into the security of the recovery brain through stimulation, through reminders.

Joan Ifland:

Brain management is very cool once you get the hang of it. Just make sure that you have safe stimulation. You have a recording or you have a private messenger group that you can always stimulate the recovery part of the brain back into action, back into releasing the most neurochemicals in the brain, back into control. And with modern technology, it’s really doable. All right, Carole. Next.

Joan Ifland:

This is something that just makes me crazy, when in a lot of groups if you lapse, you can’t speak for 90 days.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, wow. I didn’t know that.

Joan Ifland:

Yeah. Some of the-

Carole Freeman:

Ooh, that’s …

Joan Ifland:


Carole Freeman:

Wouldn’t that just encourage lying then? Right? Wouldn’t that just-

Joan Ifland:

Totally. Totally. Totally. You can’t speak in a meeting. You could speak to people outside of the meeting, but you can’t speak up in a meeting. So, you don’t have access to that group support and that group encouragement and the group compassion, which is incredibly powerful. So, a must-have is you must be able to speak, no matter what the heck you’ve eaten. It just makes me crazy. All right. What else do we have?

Joan Ifland:

The time commitment. Once you tell somebody they have to do something, it immediately creates a stress response, which activates the addiction. We have a big rule. There are things that we don’t talk about in our meetings. We don’t talk about religion, sex, politics, medications, medical procedures, body shape, or specific foods, because we don’t want to trigger anybody and we don’t want to divide the community. But other than that, you don’t have to do anything. You can come to a meeting and not talk. You can come to a meeting and talk. You can come to a meeting and turn off your camera or turn on your camera. You can come to a conference call and you mute your microphone.

Joan Ifland:

The individual member has to have control over the pace and depth of engagement, because that’s just cruel to say, “You have to.” “You have to call these three people today.” Well, what if they’ve been traumatized and they’re isolating because they’ve been traumatized? Forcing somebody to talk to another person could make them quit and justifiably so. I’m not ready to do that. Don’t ever do anything until you’re ready. The little voice in the back of your head, your head says, “I think I’d like to try that.” That keeps you calm, and that keeps the stress at bay. The stress activates lapsing. So, you’ve got to be in a group that gives you control over how you interface with the group.

Joan Ifland:

All right, Carole. Let’s see if we have another one. Oh, we have a bunch. Okay. Let me go through these pretty quick. Let’s just whip these, Carole, because I’d like to give people time for questions.

Carole Freeman:


Joan Ifland:

Go ahead. Leadership and resources. The leader has to be trained. They have to be trained in the research. They have to be trained in the very particular language of compassion, because that is what’s going to lift you up time and again as the addiction trips you up. All right. Next.

Joan Ifland:

And the leaders have to be focused on your strengths. They have to be talking all the time about your strengths. “Oh my goodness, your resilience is terrific. Oh my goodness, you are so strong.” And keep the milestones in mind. “Two weeks ago you wouldn’t have been able to walk through that, but today you walked straight through it and you came out without lapsing.” Just constant focus on the strengths. There are programs that focus on the defects. It’s just like, that is not the part of your brain you want to be in. You will fix those defects naturally by building your strengths. You don’t need to build a whole part of your brain that’s just constantly thinking about defects. No. So, that’s that one. Go ahead.

Joan Ifland:

The environments have to be stress-free. So, we don’t talk about stressful topics. We have plenty of other stuff to talk about. And you cannot be with somebody who ever judges you. This is a horrible disease. It’s very hard to work out of it. It takes years. It takes tremendous skill-building. And somebody who thinks that you ought to be further along than where you are, that person is hurting you. They’re abusing you. So, it’s got to be stress-free, your environment. If you go to your meetings and you feel stressed when you come out, that meeting is hurting you. All right. Next.

Joan Ifland:

Oh, yes, and goal-setting. Goal-setting is automatically stressing. It’s stressful. As soon as somebody sets a goal, they start panicking about whether they’re going to meet it or whether they’re going to fail. So, we don’t do any goal-setting. We don’t have any schedules. We don’t have any agendas. We do a lot of education, but we also give people a lot of opportunity to vision, and that is a completely different idea. We do a lot of exercises to retrain the brain to think positively, and often at the end of the various exercises there will be a question of “this is the person I want to be, or this is the person I became.” And your brain will accept that. “Oh, that’s what kind of person we are? Okay. Well, we’ll start acting that way.” That’s easy. It’s beautiful. It’s fun. It’s strengthening. It’s uplifting. That’s not goal-setting but visioning. Yeah. Yeah. All right. What’s next?

Joan Ifland:

Cognitive restoration. So, remember we were talking about how the addicted brain cells pull the blood supply away from the frontal lobe? That means those brain cells have to deliberately be stimulated to start working really strongly, not just start working again, but work strongly enough to counteract the addicted brain cells, so where we’re encouraging attention, learning, decision-making, memory, and impulse control. And there are very specific things that your program should be doing to help you with that. I think that’s it. Is that it?

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. There’s your …

Joan Ifland:

Yep. There’s my closing slide.

Carole Freeman:

Your final there. Oh, that was wonderful.

Joan Ifland:

Thank you.

Carole Freeman:

It makes me so excited. The first time I met you a couple of years ago I think in Florida was where we met. The work that I’m doing is all just pieced together myself. Kind of like you, it was like, I know there’s a problem. I’ve studied as much as I possibly can and pulled the best of everything I’ve ever studied about, the way the brain works for cravings and appetite and behavior change and mashed it all together in a program. So, meeting you and hearing you speak, and every time I hear you present information, I’m like, “Oh, that’s why what I’m doing is working,” or “That’s why we find that people get better results with that.” So, it’s so validating, but it’s also so exciting to know that there are other people out there helping with this really serious problem. We still have most of the population that denies that this is even-

Joan Ifland:

Even exists.

Carole Freeman:

… an issue. So, thank you so much for-

Joan Ifland:

Yeah. Carole, I have to tell you that I talk to a lot of people and I talk to a lot of practitioners. You are one of the few practitioners who listens and implements. So, I really appreciate you a lot.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. So, those of you watching, we’ve got a few people watching, if you’ve got questions for Joan, go ahead and type them in now. I’ve got an eye on my email, and I’ve got the comment section here. So, go ahead and type those in now. We’ll get some questions.

Carole Freeman:

While we’re waiting for some questions to possibly pop in here, can you talk a little bit more about the mirror neurons? Because that was something that was a really big light bulb moment for me, because I’d found that, as part of my program, I’ve got course material they go through, but then we’ve got these live, in-person Zoom meetings. And I’d always found that people that came to those meetings, they had the best results. I thought it was because they just had a lot of buy-in, they were engaged in the process. But once I heard you talk about mirror neurons, I was like, “Ah, no, actually is essential that they come on and see other people.” The phrase that was new for me today was the conformance drive engagement. That’s a new phrase too as well. That’s along those lines. So, can you talk a little bit about what are mirror neurons, why it’s important that see other people that have the habits we want?

Joan Ifland:

I’m just going to tell this story again, because I think, if you get this story, you will get control of your food. Humans kind of appeared on the earth, the earliest humans I think, seven million years ago. And those humans survived to procreate and pass on their genes by getting into small groups, 7 to 12 people. The anthropologists think it was 7 to 12 people. And twice a year, those small groups would gather as a nation, because they can see there are places where there were more than 7 to 12 people. So, why did those people live? Why did they grow up enough to actually procreate, create children who created children?

Joan Ifland:

It’s because they conformed, because their instincts, their conformance drive in those very early primitive brains were strong enough to say just to watch the other people in that small group and do what they were doing. If they were going to look for food, you didn’t hesitate. You got up, you went and looked for food with them. If they were looking for shelter, you’d absolutely followed along. You looked for trees or caves or burrows, and you were totally dedicated to looking for shelter. If there were children in the tribe, everybody protected those children. You protected those children too. If there was a predator in the neighborhood, you’d band together. Everybody fought off the predator. Those people lived.

Joan Ifland:

So, the people who did not have that conformance drive to really stick with that group, those people who wandered off, well, there were plenty of wild animals who ate humans as just another animal, and you would die. You would die. Actually at the Museum of American History in New York, one of their displays is of a human standing under a tree, and on this edge of the display is a giant hyena coming. And the description is we know that giant hyenas hate humans, because we’ve been in the caves of these prehistoric animals, and there are human bones in their bone piles.

Joan Ifland:

So, this is the A, number one, driving force in a human brain today, because this is the single survival instinct that let people survive, if you just did what your tribe was doing. There was somebody in that tribe who knew where the food was. You followed that person. There was somebody in the tribe who remembered from the last time a year ago that they were here that there’s a cave over there. You would follow that person. You wouldn’t go off on your own ever. And that conformance drive is still very much alive and well and functioning today, and it’s how the food industry got us addicted in the first place. You would drive past the fast food place, and there would be a line of cars, and your car would just naturally follow those cars. Or you would see people eating this on television, and you would be driven to eat it too.

Joan Ifland:

Also eating disorders. You see people on television who are too thin, which all TV producers, all media producers require thin actors and actresses. And you would either think, “Oh, there’s a famine coming. I better to look for food,” or you would think, “Oh, all of those people are doing extremely stupid things with their food, so we better do extremely stupid things with our food.” It’s either your conformance drive or a fear of famine. People think, “Oh, if I just don’t watch the commercials on TV, I’ll be okay.” No. All the people that you’re watching are eating disordered, and then we see their stories. So, you just want to stop watching TV and start listening to Carole’s meeting tapes. It’s a huge shift.

Carole Freeman:

It happens for men too, right? I mean, I’m primarily working with women and mostly women are going to be watching this, but that reminds me of back in grad school I did a group project presentation about how the media has influenced men’s body perception as well. Because back in the ’50s and ’60s, the men in the movies or on TV, they didn’t have six-packs. A six-pack abs in men is actually not a natural state.

Joan Ifland:


Carole Freeman:

But you’ve got every man now that has this ideal that like, well, I’m never going to be good enough until I can have six-pack abs.

Joan Ifland:

It’s just so destructive, so destructive.

Carole Freeman:

And even women, that’s a completely unnatural state for most women. I mean, there are some body types that maybe that is normal for them-

Joan Ifland:

It’s pretty rare.

Carole Freeman:

… but for all the rest of us women it’s not a natural state to have your abs showing.

Joan Ifland:

No. No. And the body is not comfortable being thin.

Carole Freeman:


Joan Ifland:

Yeah. It’s actually very, very anxiety-inducing to be thin, because for those seven million years, famine was the leading cause of death. Famine was the leading cause of death. So, your food-seeking function in your tribe was crucial for survival. Yeah. I mean, I know this is science, and some people just don’t believe in science. They have alternative understandings of how and why we got here. But according to science, every one of our predecessors was really good at finding food, especially at times of famine. So, they have really strong food-seeking brains, and they have really strong conformance drives.

Carole Freeman:

All right. Rita had to go for another meeting. She’s not here. I don’t see any other questions popping up here. So, we’ll go ahead and wrap this up. I thank you so much for all your time and sharing all this information.

Joan Ifland:

Thank you.

Carole Freeman:

It’s so important. Do you have any last words or anything else you were hoping I would ask about?

Joan Ifland:

Yeah. Just my closing thought is self-kindness is the pathway to control over food. The kindness of your group will determine everything.

Carole Freeman:

That’s wonderful. Love it.

Joan Ifland:

All right.

Carole Freeman:

Thank you again, Dr. Joan Ifland. Thank you for being here, and thank you for the work that you’re doing.

Joan Ifland:

Thanks for having me here. I’m so glad I got to see you. Take care.

Carole Freeman:

Thanks everyone for watching. We’ll see you all next time.

Joan Ifland:

Yay. Bye-bye.

Carole Freeman:



Are You There, Keto? It’s Me, Sugar Addiction.

For years, Lori battled what she described as an “obsession with food,” including an all-consuming sugar addiction.

(Of all the challenges I see in my work this one’s a biggie. It’s so common, so powerful, and it’s one of THE primary pitfalls that knock people off the keto wagon, over and over again.)

She was terrified of turning into her mother—aren’t we all?—who struggled with obesity and a myriad of other health issues.

“I had a few friends who were doing keto and seemed to be getting results. One of them recommended a book for me to try, but the farthest I got with it was giving up sugar and flour.”

After a few unsuccessful attempts at a self-guided keto plan, Lori found a super-restrictive diet and tried to force herself into submission: Overeaters Anonymous.

“Honestly, that only made things worse. There were so many strict rules and regulations around what NOT to do, that you end up obsessing about food nonstop.”

On the surface, Lori’s primary goal was weight-related; she wanted to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, like we all do.

“I literally hated myself when the scale would tip 170.”

But there was something deeper at work than just the numbers on a scale.

Lori wanted to be free of her constant obsession with food, and she needed relief from those intense sugar cravings. She was also concerned with her focus and overall brain function, and eager to prevent things like Alzheimer’s Disease, which ran in her family.

But even more than that, she wanted to love herself. She wanted her self-esteem back.

As the primary chef and meal provider for her non-keto family, she found it impossible to maintain the keto lifestyle. She kept starting and stopping, and after a few years of this, she finally decided it was time to enlist some help.

Spoiler alert: it was me! 😉

After two months on the program, Lori had lost 20 pounds, and 8 inches off her waist (which is pretty remarkable, considering she’s only 5’3”).

But—as so often happens with the keto diet—she also noticed improvements in areas she never expected…

Her gums were no longer inflamed and/or bleeding. Her rosacea went away completely. Her arthritis pain improved significantly, as did her sleep; and her gas, bloating, and stomach cramps went away for good.

She even stopped having hot flashes!

And as for her sugar addiction?


This is one of my favorite things to help people overcome, and here’s why:

A lot of popular keto approaches try to recreate your favorite high-carb foods with “keto friendly” versions, so you don’t feel deprived or left out.  

It’s a nice sentiment, but that approach actually keeps you addicted. It’s like putting a band-aid on the craving, instead of getting RID of it altogether.

When you “satisfy” a craving with something that tastes sweet (even if it’s technically keto-approved), you reinforce the craving.  

That’s why my program is designed to get rid of cravings, not just postpone them, nor invite them to come back again the next day. I taught Lori what triggers cravings, so that they never happen in the first place.

And THAT’S how you untangle yourself from a lifelong sugar addiction.

“I am THRILLED. If I could go back in time and tell myself, ‘Pay this woman this money, and you’ll love yourself and be really happy!’ I totally would—but I also know, I wouldn’t have believed in myself enough to follow my own advice.”

—Lori D.

High five, Lori! 🙌

Do you have a story (or a question) about food obsession and/or sugar addiction? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Big hugs,


Keto Chat Episode 109: SIBO & Weight Loss Success after Menopause

My journey to Keto and Carole began after many years of low carb, low fat, and liquid diets. All with some modicum of success; albeit only temporary.

After a year of stress and five rounds of antibiotics, I developed a digestive disorder called SIBO; small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The treatment options include a no sugar and low carb diet along with herbal supplements. I was successful to a point but still suffered. I had heard about Keto and logically it made sense. Very low carb, intermittent fasting, and eating more fat were all ways to eradicate the bacteria. I was smart enough to know however, that if I wanted to change my life and make the transition to eating the Keto way, I needed professional help. I found Carole and loved the program, embracing the simplicity and my new way of eating. I have had great success. My stomach is flat after 2 years of misery.

Most people gage their success by the number on the scale, and while I have had success with the scale, it is really the smalls ways my body has improved that are more important to my success. I feel an inner joy and peace and happiness that I haven’t felt in a long time. My strength, stamina and balance have improved as well. I have more energy to enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest; a place I love exploring with my husband.


Hey everyone I’m so excited to be here today with Robin and sharing her secrets to success. Keto Robin, welcome, welcome Robin.

Thank you it’s very nice to be with you this afternoon and I’m looking forward to our conversation.

Yeah, wonderful. So share with people watching like what are you, introduce yourself please.

My name is Robin. I live in the southern part of Washington. I’m 63-years-old. I’m married. I have a husband. I have one daughter whose 29, lives in Denver. And I have been struggling with my weight my whole life. I mean the first diet my mom ever put me on I was 8-years-old. And ever since I’ve done liquid protein, the shakes, the Atkins … I’ve done it all.

[inaudible 00:01:18] but they were always short lived. Nothing ever felt permanent. So I developed a digestive disorder and logically, I thought well, to cure this digestive disorder I need to eat no sugar and low carb because the bacteria doesn’t like it. I did that and I needed to go farther and I found your Carole. It’s like one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Find you and embrace the keto way of eating. I will never change. It’s been a miracle for me. I wish … If I could shout from a mountaintop to all those [inaudible 00:02:06] suffering women and people out there.

There is a cure. There is way to combat it. Just come and join the keto community. Do that I would because it’s been a life changing experience for me.

Wonderful. I’m so excited that we found each other. That you found me too. So kind of paint a picture. So you’ve had fantastic results and that’s part of why you’re here is to help inspire others. Tell me, kind of paint a picture, what were your big struggles before because you were dabbling in keto low carb before we started working together. What were the lingering problems and symptoms. Like I call it the “why” list. Like why was this important for you to solve it.

My energy level was very low. I didn’t have any stamina. I couldn’t get the last 20 pounds off. I think I suffered from a little bit of depression. My [cebo 00:03:10] never really went away. I would have periodic bouts with it. A lot of abdominal discomfort and I just wasn’t getting to the place that I knew I could get physically, mentally I wanted to have mental clarity, be able to focus, have the inner feeling of peace and joy inside. I just wanted to feel better and that and yes, I wanted to try to get into a size 10 and I lowered my body fat content and all which now, believe it or not, I’m getting into some size eights, which I’ve even surpassed myself, which is really amazing.

But that’s basically what led me, what I was suffering from is the feeling of general malaise and just not feeling myself.

Okay and those are kind of the symptoms, the things that were uncomfortable in your life that you wanted to resolve. What were your big obstacles in just doing this all on your own? What was standing in your way? What was it that … I think I …

What was standing in my way was a framework of how to do this. There is so much information out on the internet. [inaudible 00:04:42], opinions, what to eat, how to eat, how much to eat. [inaudible 00:04:48] I mean it’s all so confusing. Logically that if I wanted to create a framework for myself for better health and wellness, I needed to find someone to help me and that’s what led me to you and that’s why I really believe that if you want to be successful at this program you need to find someone, like you Carole to help because you set the framework, the guidelines, the diet in the beginning.

It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s quick. You just follow it. You get on track. You start feeling better. It just is a natural progression to better health and wellness. You just can’t do it on your own. You get frustrated. You hear too many opinions. It’s confusing. Your friends and your family are poo pooing it. They don’t want you to do it. So I know I needed to backbone and the framework from your program.

And you’ve followed the structure of my program to a “T” and you put in the hard work and you’ve gotten fantastic results. So over several months of working together what are the results that you’ve experienced?

Well, I’ve lost about 25 pound and I’ve been on the program since August of 2018. I don’t know if I mentioned that. I’ve lost about 25 pounds. I have lost a total of 16 and 3/4 inches all over my body. I mean it’s amazing. I [inaudible 00:06:25] my body fat content from 28% done to 26%. Besides those numbers I feel so happy inside. I feel joyful and peaceful inside and I’m sleeping better. I just I feel like I did in my 40s. I think it’s given me 20 years.

That’s amazing. That’s awesome.

I really feel 20 years younger.

And what are some of the surprise improvements. Everyone has a list of things they hope would happen. You said that things far exceeded what you expected. What were some of the surprises you got?

My stamina. I used to live in Colorado and you deal with the altitude in Colorado and we go back and visit our daughter and new son-in-law periodically. I went in for Labor Day and I was just getting into the program and I was going through a transitional phase and I was wiped out. I had no … I mean it was a struggle for me to be at 10,000 feet, 9,000-10,000 feet. And after Thanksgiving, what an incredible transformation. I mean I hadn’t even been on it that long but my stamina, my energy, my hiking. I just … I was just like a different person. It was as good as night and day.

And I continued that in my workouts. I have a trainer that I work with three times a week and my strength, my balance, my ability to perform the moves that she asked me to do. Which she’s ramping up the workout because I can do it now. Which I love the challenge. So that to me … one of my goals was to improve the way my body moved through space. Which I know that sounds kind of weird but when you always had … at one point I was over 53% body fat. So that dictates how your body moves through space. Now, I love … I feel my body moving through space. I love the way it moves. My posture. My balance. My strength. My stamina. Everything has been improved tremendously.

I didn’t realize what a dramatic change it would be.

That’s wonderful and Robin I talk to a lot of ladies that are concerned about, well, I don’t think keto will work for me because I’m post menopause and so I haven’t had a challenge with anyone yet regardless of their age. But you’re a great example of that. So did you have those doubts coming into this. The well, I’m postmenopausal and everybody says it’s really hard to lose weight.

You know that is such a good point Carole because oh, you just 63-years-old. You’re middle aged. You can’t move like you were supposed to. You can’t move like you used to. You just give it up. And my motto is, I want to be able to say, “I’ve fallen and I can get up.” Not that I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. I want to say, “I can get up.” And so for me I felt like I was stuck with my weight loss. I had no idea that doing this program that at 63, I could lose 20+ pounds in such a short period of time and enjoy the food and feel amazing.

And it has been amazing. I mean my daughter is trying to do it. She’s 29 and I’ve had better results than she has. And she’s 29-years-old. I mean come on. I encourage all you ladies out there if you’re post menopausal. Just jump in and do it. You’re going to feel amazing.

Wonderful. So what are some of the things, the keys to your success and us working together. Of the … You mentioned the framework of what I bring to my clients but there’s a lot of different components of it. So what are the parts that you feel like were really essential for your success?

I think in the beginning don’t think about it. Just follow the simple menu plans that you provide. Keeping it simple. Keeping it quick. And really the hardest thing for a lot of people is listening to your body. When you’re hungry. It’s okay not to eat. We’ve been raised with three meals a day. I did one program in Denver where I had to eat six times a day. I mean this is such a change, but you just follow the simple recipes in the beginning. That is part of the framework for your overall success because then you’ve got the basics down. Then you can expand on it later on down the road.

You can change things up. Alter things a little bit. Expand your food but just following, just giving it up in the beginning and following the plan. Let Carole do the thinking for you and you’ll have success.

Wonderful. Well anything else that you want to share? You were hoping I would ask about?

Just … I think I’ve pretty much said it all. Just have such a zest for life and when I [inaudible 00:12:21] works. I just really do want to shout it from the mountain top and I just encourage. I think my hormones were better. I had a hysterectomy in 1997. So I’ve been on hormones for many years and I truly believe this has helped smooth everything out. I had all my blood work done recently. My cholesterol, my HDL, LDL are all great. My hormones are great.

I mean I’m [inaudible 00:12:50] my protein is low. All those things that measure our aging process are all really good. So I’m … this is permanent for me. This isn’t a diet. This is a way of living for me and I really encourage everyone to embrace it because it really will change your life.

Wonderful. Robin, I can’t thank you enough for being here and sharing your story and being so open. You’re going to be a huge inspiration for so many people out there too and excited to have you joining our team. Robin’s had such great success she gets to be a mentor and coach to others as well. So excited to have you. Welcome Robin. And again, thank you so much for being here and sharing your story.

Thank you Carole. Thank you for being out there for us. For being a guiding light for a transformational process. I really appreciate all the work you’ve put into it and all the help you’ve given me and I look forward to paying it forward with people in the future.

Wonderful, well thank you so much. Thank you everyone for watching. And until next time we’ll see you later. Bye.

Keto Chat Episode 105: Keto Strength for Women

Get a Free 7-day Fast & Easy Keto Meal Plan: https://ketocarole.com/free-7-day-meal-plan/

Brenda has been a yo-yo dieter her entire adult life…until now. In 2009, she reached out for help at her highest known weight of 407 pounds. In the spring of 2010, she had weight loss surgery, which took her to maintaining at ~290 pounds after the honeymoon period of weight loss her surgeon described had ended.

During the winter of 2016, Brenda nearly passed out in the store. Her doctor ordered several tests, including one which resulted in her being identified as prediabetic. At that time, her doctor suggested considering a Paleo diet, an anti-inflammatory diet, or an Atkins diet. She began researching and found the Ketogains-style approach to the ketogenic diet, which is basically a blend of the other three.

She began her ketogenic portion of her journey in the spring of 2016. After six months on the diet, she was no longer prediabetic. Brenda’s passion for strength training is a direct result of her experience in Ketogains bootcamps. She’d never lifted prior to enrolling in one and was extremely intimidated and overwhelmed her first day in the gym, BUT she went back and has kept going. She has participated in back-to-back camps, first as a client and now as a coach. She is certified by the National Council on Strength and Fitness as a personal trainer and as a sports nutrition specialist.

Brenda has degrees in mathematics, computer science, and educational administration. She works full time as an instructional coach. She has a passion for educating and empowering people find the courage within to risk trying something new and push beyond their comfort zones to achieve levels they didn’t know were within reach.


· Certified Personal Trainer – National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF)

· Sport Nutrition Specialist – National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF)

· Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics & Computer Science – Central College

· www.ketogains.com
· www.ketogainsbootcamps.com
· https://www.facebook.com/groups/ketogains
· https://www.facebook.com/groups/ketogenicdieters


Welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. I am your host, I’m Carole Freeman, certified nutritionist, and registered hypnotherapist. I’m here today, and really, really excited to bring you the story, the person, the very inspirational Brenda Richards. Welcome, Brenda.

Thank you.

Let me just give a little background, or share some of your credentials, and we’re gonna dive into your story. It’s really phenomenal story. Brenda, she’s a certified personal trainer, she is a sports nutrition specialist, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Computer Science, and she has a Masters of Education in Educational Administration. She’s also, you may or may not know, she is a bootcamp coach for Keto Gains. Welcome, Brenda. I’m so glad you’re here.

Thank you so much.

Just as a quick intro, just share a little bit about yourself. Who are you?

My full-time job I work as an instructional coach, which means I teach teachers. Then I also work as a Keto Gains coach in the boot camps, at the novice, beginner and intermediate levels. I’m a transplant from Iowa living in Arizona, and working in California every day, commuting just short distance away from Mexico, every single day. That’s pretty much me in a little nutshell.

Oh wow. Okay, so you get to enjoy pretty warm weather mostly year round then, huh?

Yes. Yeah.

If you’re familiar with what Rob Wolf says, like living at that latitude in the planet is very healthy for you. Getting frequent sun exposure.

Yeah, I’m in the sunniest city in the United States.

Oh, wow. Okay. You get 400 days of sunshine a year.

Go vitamin D.

Excellent. Well Brenda, let’s get into your story. How did you … Actually, I want to go even back before your keto story, is that how did you get into the career that you’re in?

As far as an instructional coach, I had been a teacher for 24 years. Actually, me becoming an instructional coach is the result of feeling empowered in so many areas of my life as a result of taking control of my diet through keto. I don’t know that I would have done that if I hadn’t changed the way I ate because taking control of that one area somewhat empowered me to take control of so many other areas of my life, relationships, my job, just so many other things.

That’s really cool. It all fits together. All right, well take us back then, back to when you were not so healthy, just before you started to make some changes. Or actually, let’s go back even further. Let’s talk about your journey of battling your weight. How long was that going on? What’s your story like?

My entire adult life I have a been a yo-yo dieter. Just like so many other people where you diet, you diet down, and then you gain back plus some. Did that from the time I was in college. Found myself in a very dark spot in 2008, 2009 and a friend of mine convinced me to start looking into bariatric surgery. When I considered that, I started going to support group locally for bariatric surgery, all different kinds, lap band, RNY, [inaudible 00:04:01] switch, everything out there. Vertical sleeve and ended up … well, I didn’t even have a doctor at that point every time I went to the doctor, well every time I went to the local clinic, they would say you know you need to lose weight. I knew that. That’s probably the reason I never had a regular doctor because I didn’t want him to tell me that every single time I went in. When I decided to have or pursue bariatric surgery, I found a local doctor who was pro bariatric surgery. My highest known weight going in there was 407. I say my highest known weight because for about the six weeks before I went in to see him, I did low carb just generally and I know I dropped weight.

I would venture to say I was 425, 435, something like that at my highest weight. That’s not on record anywhere because I didn’t have a home scale that would weigh me. That was in 2009. Six months later I had Roux-En-Y surgery at right around 400 pounds. My surgeon at that time straight up told me that I would have a honeymoon period where I could lose weight. For me, that existed for 14 months. The first four months were complete hell. I basically starved the first four months. Two weeks after I had weight loss surgery, I had what they call a stricture, which means the bottom of my punch closed to the point I could not drink water, I couldn’t take vitamins. Even liquid vitamins would not go down and then let alone food. They went back in and opened up my pouch so that food would pass. For the first four months, virtually everything I ate came back up. I lost weight for a total of 14 months and then plateaued at right around 260.

Then gained back weight over five years to 290 ish give or take. Then in January 2016 I went into the store and nearly passed out. That resulted in tons of blood work. With the blood work, I found I was pre diabetic. My doctor told me, Brenda you either need to do a paleo diet, an anti inflammatory diet, or the Atkins diet. I went home and I hopped online and started searching for those. This is a one time that Facebook ads were good because some of the websites or some of the Facebook pages that were coming up involve the ketogenic diet. I hopped on a few of those and I started seeing some that scared me. Then some that made sense. Luckily I found one that made sense and talked about fat as connected to your goal. Emphasis on protein and what not. In April 2016, I started the ketogenic diet at 291 pounds.

The story that you shared about getting the surgery, losing a bunch of weight but then starting to gain it back, I think people have this fantasy that they’re gonna do the surgery and then all of the troubles are in the past and it’s just the beginning. So many of the ladies that I’ve worked with have the same thing where they have a past history of some kind of weight loss surgery and that’s the thing they don’t tell you is that, if you don’t actually make some bigger changes, it’s just gonna come back.

It’s interesting because a dietician in my surgeons office basically described the ketogenic for me post weight loss surgery and said, you want to eat lots of protein, not so many carbs and eat so-so for fat. They never gave me any numbers. I had no target. After several years, old habits started to come back into play. It started taking me back up. Even at 291 pounds it’s interesting because my surgeon considers me a success story at 291 pounds, which I don’t know.

You know what’s really interesting is when I was in school, what they taught us, we had one teacher that taught the weight loss elective class. She said that most weight loss surgeries, they only last two years. That by two years, most of the people have gained all the weight back that they’ve lost. We were all like, what? Then why would people go through the risk of that and the expense? Why would doctors want to have that done? She said that the two years improved health that they get from that was worth the risk. That that’s the way that the doctors and clinicians looked at that too. I was like, wow. At that time I didn’t think that there was any way that anyone could ever lose weight and keep it off.

I was at such a desperate place in my life that when I went to see that doctor about weight loss surgery, looking back now I realized that basically I was committing suicide every single day by the food I was eating and choosing to eat because I was at that unhappy of a place in my life. Even knowing some of the side effects that I could incur, it was worth the risk for me at that point because I was so incredibly desperate and in such a dark place.

Brenda, I know that is so true. With everybody that I’ve talked to, society often looks judgmentally on people, especially women that have had weight loss surgery. They’re just like, oh you just took the easy way out. I totally disagree because I know that for somebody like you and everyone else that’s got to that point, they’ve tried everything. Everything else has failed them. It’s not because it’s a lack of trying. It’s that’s how important it is and how miserable you’re feeling that you’re just willing to go to those lengths. I just want to put that out there to the world and whoever is listening to this that it’s not a short cut. It’s a sign of how important this was and how hard you were working to solve this problem.

Even now nine and a half, it’s nine years later. Something like that. There are still side effects that I have to deal with. I meet my macros for keto gains just like everybody else. That means that sometimes food gets stuck and I’m miserable. When I go into see the doctor, I have to give eight vials of blood because there are so many malabsorption issues with a Roux-En-Y surgery. All kinds of things. There are still side effects and it’s not easy even now.

Thank you for being willing to share so much with everyone. How did you go from … talk about the keto approach you found first. How long were you stick with that? A lot of people try to figure out for a while and they can’t quite figure out what’s working. Did you find a way that worked for a while and then you got stuck again? Or tell us about that part of the journey.

I started an approach to keto very much like keto gains. In fact, Tyler and Louise were admins on the page where I started. They aren’t anymore, but that’s okay. The science was the same. The principles focusing on protein in order to maintain lean body mass was the same. Using fat as an adjustable lever was the same. I was fortunate, I say this by the grace of God I ended up there because there are a lot of pages out there where I will encounter women coming from some of these pages, eating 200 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein and it breaks me heart because I’m more in the lean body mass. I say it’s by the grace of God I ended up there. When I looked at the success on that page versus some of the other pages and then I also looked at what the suggestions were when people encountered a stall, it just made sense to me because I knew I had fat … pardon me for a second. I knew I had fat on my ass to burn so there was no need to put fat in my glass. That made sense. I stuck with that.

You got very consistent results.

Right. In the beginning. I started boot camp about six months into the diet.

Tell us people who don’t know what the boot camp is. What is the keto gains boot camp?

I describe it as a life changing, strength training, and nutrition program. We seek to empower people, to find the strength within themselves to train and to take control of their diet. Sometimes we have people that come in and they have started one aspect it, perhaps they’ve started the diet or they’re strength training, but they’ve never started the diet. Or every so often we’ll have some people come in that are brand new to both. That’s okay. We welcome them and we take them where they are and help them find strength within themselves to explore and push harder then they have.

When you started, did you have any experience in weight training?

Not at all. The only thing I had ever done with a weight is I had picked up those cutesy little one pound and three pound weights that women walk with at the park and that’s all I’d ever done. My first day in the gym I took the boot camp work out and opened it up on my phone, tried to play videos, they would not play. I sat there in the weight training area overwhelmed, intimidated. I went home that first day. I sat on my floor and I had good, good, good, good cry. I was like, okay Brenda this is your shot. You need to change things and do things differently. You need to figure out a way to make this work. That night I went through and I emailed myself the links to every single video, went back to the gym the next day and I could play the videos. I just kept going back. At first it was unnatural and uncomfortable. Then it became my home. Then it became my oasis and my therapy room and all that. A lot changed because when I started, coping would’ve been reaching for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

Now coping is saying, okay I already went to the gym this morning but I found out this really bad news so I’m gonna go back there tonight because there’s a lot of healing that can happen at the bar bell.

Wow. Do you go back to yourself ten years ago? What would that person hearing what you just said say to that?

She wouldn’t know who I am. There’s so much that has changed that even becoming a personal trainer when is tarted boot camp, that wasn’t even on my radar. It wasn’t something that I ever considered. I had to fill out a questionnaire for something recently. The descriptor I used for myself was athlete. Who the hell are you? Who are you? You used to have issues walking up flights of stairs? Now you’re calling yourself an athlete?

Amazing. What were your motivators in the beginning when you started keto? What was on your list of things of why this is important to keep going?

When I started a diet, my greatest goal was you know the phrase YOLO? So many people use that for unhealthy choices. My thought was, I’ve only got one shot at this and I want to do more than exist with my life. I want to be able to live and I do not want to be immobile at 60. I don’t want to be popping pills to survive. I want to have the ability to experience life and be free to do anything I want to do. I have lived so much of my life restricted by my weight that I wanted to be able to do anything. When I started, I actually reached out to my best friend who had been with me all along the way during my journey and asked him, if I hit my goal weight, which my goal weight was a number that my surgeon told me I would never reach. That was my goal weight to prove her wrong. I reached out to him and I said, if I hit this goal weight, will you go skydiving with me? Because I thought of the most weight restricted activity I could come up with.

Jumping out of a plane attached to somebody else was right up there. That’s what I did two months after I hit my goal weight.

Wow. How long ago was that?

I hit my goal in July 2017. That was September 2017.

That’s awesome. That’s probably also something you have ten years to be like, no way.

Yeah. There’s no way I would’ve because at 407 pounds, that’s certain death when you jump out of a plane.

That was what was inspiring you in the beginning. What along the way kept you motivated when things got really hard?

Several things. One is just the fact I felt better. One of my boot campers just mentioned something recently and it was something I used to say to myself along the way. You didn’t come this far just to come this far. That just came to light again just recently. It’s just a reminder that it’s like a life long journey basically. I wanted better health and I don’t want to go back to the misery I experienced at 407 pounds. Not being able to walk up a flight of stairs, not being able to fly, not being able to always go into a restaurant and being guaranteed you’ll fit in a restaurant booth. Walking by children and having them snicker and laugh and point. That’s a miserable way to live. I constantly hold onto those reminders. Not because I want to live in the past, but it’s a good reminder of where I came from.

Staying away from what the pain was in the past can be really propellant to keep us going on this path. You mentioned walking by kids and them making fun of you. Would you mind being so vulnerable as sharing a story that pops into your mind about something that was maybe one of the most … I don’t know. I feel bad asking for you to share something really painful, but is there something in your past where it stands out where it’s like, that was something I never, ever want to experience again?

I think the first time I had to ask for an airplane extender was one of the most mortifying moments of my life. It caused me to research and find online that I could buy an airplane extender so I would never have to ask for one again. I actually have one still in my house. God, I felt so bad for the people that were sitting in my row honestly. At that point, I bought the airplane extender but it wasn’t that much after that, that I decided I wasn’t gonna fly again. I would drive two thousand miles to see my parents because it was less painful than trying to get on an airplane.

Let’s contrast that with one of your proudest moments or interactions or experiences you’ve had now.

I think one of the most surreal moments for me is meeting people from keto gains that I don’t know at say, Low Carb USA or we did a coaches meet up in Tampa and having people look at me like a celebrity. It’s surreal because I look at me and I’m like, Brenda you’re just doing the diet. You lift weights and that’s pretty much it. That’s surreal for me. Then to hear stories of people who tell me about the difference I’ve made in their lives and they’re usually strangers. What an incredible blessing it is to be able to share my story in such a way that it inspires people to believe that they can do it. I think those are some of the biggest things for me that I never set out for that. I never set out to do anything. I just wanted to be able to walk up a flight of stairs. Simple things.

Who were some of your biggest inspirations?

This is not a weight loss inspiration but it’s my dad. I lost my dad two days before my first intermediate boot camp. About two weeks before that, one of the last times he was ever truly present, he told me he was proud of me. When I was a little kid, one of the things that he would tell me and tell my sister is you can’t say can’t. Basically it wasn’t allowed in our house. He said, if you say can’t, you’ve already determined the outcome. I lost that somewhere along the way. I held fast to that mentality all through high school. Somewhere along the way I would demand that of my students, demand that of others, try to inspire people or others, but for me, I became held hostage to myself and held hostage to my body and I couldn’t be successful with that. I think in terms of inspiration now, I look at what my dad tried to instill in me as a child and brought back out in me as an adult. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to. It might take awhile.

It might be the result of tiny, little changes over time. If I have a goal, I can make that happen. I would say he’s my greatest inspiration. Now my mom because I’m having her do a version of this diet as well. She’s not straight out keto, but she’s low carb. She’s racking it. She’s lost 75 pounds since May I think.

Oh, wow. Wow. That was gonna be my next question then is what has been the experience of your closest friends and family? What ripples of health impact have you had on others?

I probably have about three dozen real life friends and family doing this. My cousin just recently finished a boot camp with us. Another cousin did a boot camp with us this summer. I’ve had a friend do a boot camp. Beyond that, I’ve got, like I said, probably about three dozen real life friends and family doing the diet or a version of the diet as a result.

Wow. Then you said too just countless people you run into random places.

Yeah. I’ve met up with some people locally just like at Starbucks and helped them get started on it, figure out what their macros are, figure out typical foods to eat. That’s just huge. Having somebody be able to point you in the direction that if you hop on keto gains or you hop on some of the other sensible keto pages, you’ll see tons of success, transformation Tuesdays, facelift Fridays, flex Fridays. Those stories, they’re unreal. They’re fantastic. Every one of those photos comes with a story.

Take us along the journey that as you started getting into the keto gains boot camps, transforming yourself even more there. You mentioned early on that, that also then started having influence in your career. How did that all come about?

As I became aware of strength within me that I did not know exist, I think Tyler and Louise provided a blueprint for me. This is what I tell my campers. We provide the road map, but the campers still have to do the work. They provided the blueprint for me. I was able to discover strength that empowered me in a whole bunch of other areas. I broke off some toxic relationships. I had some fat friends and I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. We were fat buddies. We would eat together and we would buy ice cream together. Any time we gathered, it was centered around food. Often to the point of excess. When I started losing weight, they were often, I don’t know if it was threatened or jealous, but not supportive. That’s for sure.

I cut off some of those relationships. I’ve had some friends and family that would mock me. Here, would you like some of this? That’s right, you can’t have that. Then it became a standing joke in their mind. That’s hurtful because you want the people closest to you, to be supportive of you. When you become the punchline, that’s not gonna help you get to your goal. I put some relationships on hold to the point that well, until they could finally start supporting me again … not that it’s anybody’s job to do my work. I want encouragement in me doing it, not people actively trying to sabotage you either. Once I started discovering that strength, I was able to put in an application for a job that I would have never done before. Push myself out of my comfort zone that way. I started doing certifications.

I don’t know how long it was into the boot camp process. I went on as an intern first and Tyler and Louise encouraged me to get certified and started coaching with them and it’s been great.

Complete transformation inside out. We can talk to then about health changes because you said the doctor gave you the news that you’re pre diabetic. What’s on your list of actually health type things that have improved as well?

I had high blood pressure until I had weight loss surgery. Two weeks after weight loss surgery, I was taken off all high blood pressure meds. That happens a lot with any weight loss. Those of you watching this, don’t change your medication without talking to your doctors. I was taken off all high blood pressure medicine right then. When I started the keto diet, I was pre diabetic. Exactly six months and one day after starting the diet, because I had heard the stories of waiting six months. Exactly six months and one day after starting the diet, I had an A1C test that put me dead center of normal and had no other issues. I was anemic. That was a result of weight loss surgery. They told me I would have to take iron for the rest of my life. A year I think it was into doing the diet, my iron came back high actually and my doctor took me off all of iron medication. Now I’m back on it, but it’s gonna be an ongoing thing I think. That’s why I get eight vials of blood every six months. It’s just something that I monitor a lot because of the weight loss surgery, the malabsorption. Other than that, clean bill of health.

Nice. Excellent. Congratulations. Good work.

Thank you. Thank you.

What’s on your future plans? What do you see for yourself? It sounds like the doors have opened to a lot of possibilities in your life that you never even dreamed of before. What do you see for yourself in the future?

In terms of lifting, I just want to keep pushing myself. I have no desire to compete or anything like that. My ongoing mantra is stronger every day. When I say stronger every day, that’s not necessarily building muscle. That’s building myself within and trying to just push myself outside of my comfort zone in baby steps constantly because those baby steps are what add up to great change. I think that’s a huge thing. People want to change, but they want to change over night. I don’t know that, that’s sustainable. Build able daily habits are what make sustainable change and what makes great change. I’m just gonna push myself further in terms of lifting. I’m not sure. My dad always said that education is one of the few things in life that can’t be taken from you. I keep looking for different things and may pursue additional education there.

You reminded of a myth we need to talk about to dispel. A couple things. Weight lifting for women. Aren’t we gonna turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger? What do you say when people ask about, I don’t want to get all bulky?

I say, well I just told a camper this earlier this week. Strong is sexy, first of all. We don’t have the same makeup as a man. Unless you’re doing and adding extra to the work out with bonus enhancers and what not, you’re not gonna be looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You’re talking about illegal injections, right?


Minus lifting more weights.

In terms of bulking up, it’s just not gonna happen for women unless you add outside influences, add drugs and what not.

What about the myth of when women say, I don’t want to build muscle, I just want to get toned?

Toned is reducing the body fat so that you expose the muscles. You want to build muscle and reduce body fat at the same time to tone, which it doesn’t exist. That’s what’s happening there. You’re reducing body fat, increasing muscle. Body re composition at its finest.

What are some other of the myths that you find yourself dispelling on a daily basis about either keto and/or weight training, especially for women?

I referenced one earlier with the if I’ve got fat on my ass to burn, I don’t want to put fat in my glass. It saddens me when I go out into the keto world and people are stuck. The come back is, you need to eat more fat. You need to eat more fat. We’re talking about a 275 pound woman. How does that make sense? You’ve got your fuel on your thighs, your hips, your gut. You don’t need to be eating sticks of butter. One of the things that kills me is people say, I’m gonna go on this kind of fast or that kind of fast or this kind of fast. Give me key things. First of all, a fast is not eating gobs of butter or butter in hamburger or whatever. Fast would imply that you don’t eat. Where people redefine these words, it makes me crazy. That’s one of them. Other myths.

The starvation. Starvation idea that you’re not eating enough calories, that’s why you’re not losing weight and what not. That gets to me. There’s some great, great dispelling articles out there. I would encourage you to look up some of them. Not you, but the viewer. There are tons of things out there that talk about that. The 1200 calorie myth for women, every women should eat 1200 calories, and if you’re not, you’re not healthy. I think that’s insane. You eat what you need to create the deficit you need in order to make your body do what you need it to do. If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s no reason that you need to be eating 2000 calories. The standard American diet says. You need to create the deficit. The keto gains calculator is a great tool out there for people. I know there’s other good ones as well. Being a keto gains coach, I’m gonna go, yay keto gains. Find what you need to make it work for you. Create the deficit you need.

What about the idea that women need more carbs than men?

My body doesn’t need carbs. Let me jump into one associated with that. Just listen to your body. I listen to my body to 407 pounds. I don’t need to listen to my body. My body says, my body still says Brenda you need a tub of popcorn. My body is a lying bitch. You do not need to listen to your body in the broad sense. If you’re in pain and injured and what not, yes. Listen to your body and go see your doctor. In terms of what to eat, I don’t buy into that.

Heres another you’re gonna love too is that, it’s probably not working because I’m eating too much protein.

It saddens me so much. Like I mentioned earlier, we have women that we’ll encounter that are eating 180, 200 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein. It just breaks my heart because it’s not rocket science. Your muscles are made of protein, your body can’t create protein. You have to provide the building block to sustain or build muscle. If it’s not there, it’s not gonna happen. When you cut back on that protein and your muscles can’t maintain themselves, there is muscles lost obviously.

Why do we need muscles though? I’m just gonna play the fool.

I don’t want to be … well TIFO. No. TOFI. Fat inside, thin outside. There we go. Something like that.

We’re a pile of bones that can’t move itself.

I think of a blob. I don’t want to be that.

What are your top tips of somebody who … it’s pretty common that people go in fits and starts. They’ll try it, they fall off for any number of a thousand reasons. What are your tips for somebody that keeps struggling with they can’t stick with it?

My thing is that I tell people all the time, control the 24 hours in front of you. Just that. It is overwhelming to start the diet and have gobs of weight to lose and to be looking at that big picture. When I started the ketogenic diet, I was 291 pounds. To look at the big picture, that’s too much. It’s too overwhelming. It’s too great of a distance. When I realized all I needed to do was control the 24 hours in front of me and that would result in change over time, that was liberating and set me free to limit the aspect that I looked at. Sometimes it was white knuckling it, controlling the next meal or controlling the next bite. If I have encountered people who have jumped off the wagon rather than falling off the wagon, I encourage them to start with the next bite, the next meal, and pick themselves up.

I want to talk about that fall of the wagon, jump off the wagon. Fall off the wagon makes you a victim of a diet. Jumping off the wagon reminds you that you are in control of your choices. Once you own those choices, that empowers you to take control. If you fall of the diet and use that verbiage with yourself, you are giving control to other people and you are in control of your own destiny, your own choices and your own outcome as a result. That’s a phrase that I really jump on and preach on, as you can hear. Then I constantly encourage campers and others in the keto world to make choices today that are in line with the goals that they have for tomorrow and to constantly be intentional in those choices that they make. As I’ve said multiple times in the interview already, great change is a result of daily often monotonous little choices. They add up over time.

Speaking of monotonous. A lot of times people will get to a point where they say, I’m just bored with the food. Then what if people ask that of you? Don’t you get bored of that? What do you say to that?

Let’s see. For the last 800 and some days, 95% of my lunches have been the same because they’re in line with my goals. My work lunches, let me specify that. I will also say that nobody has to have plates of sadness. I look at some of these people who complain about, oh my gosh, it’s so boring, it’s so boring. Then I look at what’s on their plate and it’s boiled chicken and it’s dry broccoli.

Plates of sadness. That’s hilarious. I love that.

There’s no reason for that. I’m a big proponent of franks. Let me do a little commercial for franks hot sauce. I swear I have that stuff going through my veins. Franks I do a lot of guacamole salsa, fresh salsas. As a weight loss surgery person, I have to have sauce with almost everything I eat or it gets stuck. You go into these hot sauce stores, that’s my refrigerator. I’ve got six or seven different hot sauces. Spices, I am a spice junky. I buy all kinds of stuff from Ross and Marshalls and stuff that isn’t in the regular grocery store. Your food doesn’t have to taste bad. You are not a martyr. That’s what I tell people.

I always tell them, I do the mental experiment with them. It’s like okay your brain is telling you you’re bored with the food. What is it that your brain says will make it exciting? They go, oh carbs. I think of it as it’s often not that they’re bored of the food, it’s just that they’re not getting that same dopamine kick from the sugar rush that they were used to before. Hello to your new normal of fueling your body.

Let me introduce you to jalapeno bacon. From the Gods.

That’s exciting. Brenda, was there anything else that you were hoping to share or hoping I would ask about?

I would just say to anybody watching this, if you haven’t started the diet yet, make today your day number one. My only regret in starting the diet is that I lurked for two months before I did. I would be two months further along had I started when I first came on. You have the ability to do this. You can do hard things. You are stronger than you know. If you look at your life, not matter what has been in the background, you are an overcomer. You have survived 100% of the days. You can survive this. You can survive cutting cake, and cookies, and chips out of your diet. That being healthy as a result of the food you choose is so much better than gorging yourself and being miserable. I would encourage you to take the risk to begin. I think that’s one of the hardest things. Remind yourself of why you’re doing it. What you are trying to accomplish and achieve whether it is weight loss or increased health or energy or mental clarity. All these different things that often are associated with the ketogenic diet.

Remind yourself of why you began. Put it in a place that’s prominent. Revisit it. Have a plan in place so that when you find yourself in uncomfortable situations, you know what you’re going to do before it happens.

Wonderful. Lovely. You have imparted so much wisdom and such great information and tips and knowledge with us. I just really, really appreciate you sharing all of this and your journey with us and being such an inspiration for everyone. I just have one final closing question for you. The meteor is coming at us today, we’re all gonna be wiped out, planet is gonna be over with. What are you gonna pick as your final meal?

Filet minion wrapped in bacon.

Nice. With no added butter? No, I’m just kidding.

No. I’ll be having butter. Not with camp compliant, but boot camp won’t exist tomorrow so I will have butter on top.

That sounds delicious. I’m gonna be joining you.

Sounds good.

Brenda, thank you again so much for being here. We’re gonna link down below to how you get in touch with her. If you’d like to work with her in a boot camp or other wise, we’ll put your links down there below. Anything like people follow you on social media? Do you have anything?

I’m on Instagram at empowered by keto. That’s my Instagram handle. Then I’m on keto gains and I’m ketogenic dieters as well. Those are two big keto pages. I am a keto gains coach through and through. We are doing sign ups starting November 16th for our upcoming boot camp. It’s a holiday boot camp, which is a fun one because everybody is put together. It’s a big boot camp, four weeks long trying to keep people on track during the holidays.

That’s for 2018 for those of you that are watching this in the future. Check it out. We’ll have all the links below. If you guys enjoy this interview, give us a thumbs up. Subscribe and then also hit that little bell next to the subscribe, which will actually give you the notifications of new videos coming out. We’ve got great new interviews coming up. Brenda, thank you again for being here. I really appreciate you sharing your story.

Thanks so much Carole.

Hey, everyone. Bye for now. We’ll see you next time.

Keto Chat Episode 107: Real Food Keto


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Jimmy Moore catapulted onto the health scene in 2004 after a phenomenal 180-pound weight loss enabled him to come off prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. He is the energetic personality behind the uber-popular blog Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb and the host of the longest-running and top-ranked iTunes health podcast, The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show, as well as Low-Carb Conversations and Keto Talk. He has interviewed well over 1,000 of the world’s top health experts and has dedicated his life to helping people get the best information possible about nutrition so they can make the right decisions for their health. He’s the international bestselling author of The Ketogenic Cookbook, Keto Clarity, and Cholesterol Clarity. Learn more about Jimmy and his work at www.livinlavidalowcarb.com.

Christine Moore is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who specializes in real food–based low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic nutrition. She helps clients around the globe via Skype through her Rebooting Your Nutrition business (www.rebootingyournutrition.com) and is passionate about customizing the diet to the individual. Christine and her husband, international bestselling keto author, podcaster, and speaker Jimmy Moore, are the cohosts of The Nutritional Pearls Podcast (,www.nutritionalpearlspodcast.com). She works diligently to get to the underlying issues in digestion, gut health, and blood sugar and insulin levels to optimize health nutritionally in the most natural way possible. Christine and Jimmy reside in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with their four cats and fifteen backyard chickens.


Welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. I am your host, Carole Freeman, certified nutritionist and keto diet implementation person. I am so excited. I am here today with the world renowned Jimmy Moore and Christine Moore. World renowned. Yeah, and oh my gosh, this is the first time I’ve gotten to do a video interview. I’ve been bugging Jimmy for a video interview for a long time and so he’s excited enough about this new book collaboration with Christine that he’s finally willing to do it.

So let me just … If you don’t know who he is, let me just read this bio. You should know. So Jimmy Moore catapulted onto the health scene in 2004 after a phenomenal 180 pound weight loss enabled him to come off prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. He is the energetic personality behind the uber popular blog Living La Vida Low-Carb and the host of the longest running … Yes, you heard that right, the longest running top ranked iTunes health podcast, the Living La Vida Low-Carb Show as well as Low Carb Conversations and Keto Talk. He’s interviewed well over a thousand of the world’s top health experts and has dedicated his life to helping people get the best information possible about nutrition so they can make the right decisions for their health. He’s an international best selling author of “The Ketogenic Cookbook,” “Keto Clarity,” and “Cholesterol Clarity.” You can read more about him … Well, we’ll put some links in the show notes here about how to get in touch.

And then Christine is here as well. She is a nutritional therapy practitioner who specializes in real food based low-carb, high-fat ketogenic nutrition. She helps clients around the globe via Skype through her Rebooting Your Nutrition business and is passion about customizing the diet to the individual.

Christine and her husband, internationally best selling author … Oh we heard about him already. They both have a podcast together too, so Nutritional Pearls Podcast. She works diligently to get to the underlying issues of digestion, gut health, and blood sugar and insulin levels to optimize health nutritionally in the most natural way possible. Christine and Jimmy, they’re actually joining us from Spartanburg, South Carolina today. And outside the studio, you’ve got your four cats and 15 backyard chickens. Is it still 15?

Six now.

Six? Oh no.

Twenty six.

Oh 26. Okay. Hey, well, welcome. Welcome you guys. You guys are here to talk about your brand new book. So yeah, real food keto applying nutritional therapy to your low-carb, high-fat diet. So tell us how did that come to be?

Yeah, so Christine went through this program last year and you were telling us before you came on the air that you kind of went through a little bit of the principles with Gray Graham in the early days before you went to Ram in the early days before you went to Bastyr. Well, if you choose not to go the natural medicine route, this is a really good program and what was funny was they offered me a scholarship to go through the program, the MTA did, and I’m like, really? I have five books and five podcasts a week, I just didn’t have time, but I said, “How about this? I wonder if my wife would be interested?” So I said, “Christine, do you wanna go back to school?” And it had been years since she’d been in school. And so … oh, hello kitty. So many years since she’d been in school, but she was like, “Well, I’ve always been wanting to go and get more education. Why not do it in the nutritional realm?”

So when she went through this whole program, at the end of it I was like, “Wow. There’s so much really good knowledge in this program that nobody’s talking about and keto.” So I pitched my publisher and I said, “Hey, I’ve got this idea. Let’s mix the best concepts of nutritional therapy with the best concepts of keto and see if we can make a book out of it.” So that’s how “Real Food Keto” was born.

That is fantastic. What was the process like as husband and wife writing a book together?

Oh, let me tell you, it was interesting at times.

She’s still speaking to me, so that’s awesome.

My job in the beginning was just to brain dump. I didn’t need to worry about anything else, just get all the information in there and Jimmy would come behind me, and as you know, he’s good at making things understandable for just about anybody to understand. He went in behind me, he focused more on the beginning and he wrote about the ketogenic diet principles and he covered that sort of stuff and I handled more of the nutritional therapy principles. But when it came time for him to come behind me, he sat down at my computer and started going through it, doing really good, and then when it came to the nutritional therapy principles-

Part three.

Part three, yeah. He’s like, “Whoa. Okay.”

I was like, “Come here.”

Can you come explain this?

What the heck is a prostaglandin one? I’m not getting it. Help me understand and so …

It was like in and out, in and out, in and out of the room.

Well, at one point she just plopped her butt down right next to me on the floor and said, “All right. I know you’re gonna ask me in about three minutes another question, so I’ll be here when you need me.”

Yeah, but it was an interesting process because I knew how to explain it in my head, but I had to make sure that I was explaining it to him so he could understand it. So even I had to look up some stuff, some terms that maybe I didn’t get in going through the program. It was very interesting. It was very aggravating at times I guess, but it was fun.

Aggravatingly fun.

That’s a bonding marriage exercise then right.


[inaudible 00:06:16], yes.

Yeah. For people that aren’t familiar with nutritional therapy, tell us … what’s it bringing to the space that we’ve been missing? How is it different than just following a keto diet?

When you hear about a ketogenic diet, this is where it gets kind of confusing too because people’s definition of ketogenic is so many different things, but at the base of it ketogenic is low-carb, moderate protein, high fat. You hear a lot about that but you don’t hear a lot about these other principles that we cover in part three, like vitamins and minerals. You don’t hear a lot about digestion and how that works. You don’t hear about detoxification. You don’t hear about the endocrine system and other things. We talk a little bit about the immune system in there. You can eat the most perfect diet but if these other things are not in order, you’re still gonna struggle with weight and health.

And Carole, one thing that drew me to this book, other than getting to write one with my wife, that was way cool, was it’s been on my heart and mind for years that there’s so many people eating keto that don’t add the real food aspect. Even some of the doctor … one of our speakers on the low-carb cruise and you were with us, and some of those doctors would say, “Oh, don’t worry about the food quality, it’s all about keeping the carbs down. If they do that, everybody will get into ketosis and everybody’s happy,” and I’m going, “That’s an incomplete story that you’re giving there.” I think if we tell people it’s all about macronutrients, we don’t eat macronutrients, we eat food. Don’t you want them to fuel their bodies with the best possible fuel, and that would be real food.

I didn’t see it as being an emphasis in the community enough, which was my impetus for wanting to marry these two seemingly perfect combinations of real food and keto into one book.

Nice. So Christine, I’m curious, after you went through the training, did anything change for you as far as what you were eating or supplementation or anything like that?

Yeah, it did. I pretty much ate the same thing. I definitely then understood the importance of staying away from diuretics, carbonated beverages because the carbonation, those diet sodas and even carbonated water, has phosphoric acid in it which interferes with stomach acid production and your body’s ability to absorb calcium, so I cut drastically back on the diet sodas.

She loved her Diet Dr. Pepper and I don’t think you’ve had one in a long time now.

Yeah, I’ve had a little bit today just because since my shoulder surgery I haven’t slept well, so I’m really dragging. But, so I needed a little bit of caffeine. That was one thing-

See you choked up Carole on that one.

I know, right? Cutting back on the diet sodas and even carbonated water. I started supplementation. I realized going through the program we practiced on each other going through the program, the functional evaluation where we looked at HCL production, and so if you press on a certain spot, if it’s really tender then it’s probably an indication that you’re not producing enough stomach acid so for me that was one of my hot spots. Two things that are needed for stomach acid production are B6 and zinc, and so I knew, because I was getting sick often, zinc is also good for the immune system, so I started supplementing with zinc and then just to make sure that I have a good multivitamin that includes methylated folate because I have the MTHFR gene mutation from-

What’d you call me?

From both sides of the family so I have to take a methylated folate, because my body can’t convert folic acid into folate. I really learned that it basically all starts with digestion, and if you are in a sympathetic state, meaning a stressful state, then even smelling food, digestion starts in the brain. If that is stressed from the beginning, everything else is going to get messed up. So absolutely supplements, I learned that. I learned the importance of proper digestion, so I take these measures. I make sure that I sit down and am chewing my food, not doing any other activity so that will give my stomach the best chance to digest the foods properly.

And you do digestive enzymes and things that you didn’t take before with the beta … whatever it’s called.

Beta TCP, or I do beta plus. It’s a combination of supplements that are good for digestion, beet root and other things. I also learned that warm lemon water, if you drink that with your meal that’s good because that aids in the bile flow as well.

Otherwise her hair goes “Ah.”

Oh that was perfect. We’re recording this on Halloween actually so that was perfect.


Oh man. That’s giving me flashbacks. Do you guys remember years ago where it was like the stare at this thing and try to tell the difference between the images and it was like a scary … Oh, I was afraid to open it and look at any photos after that forever.


Yeah, the first time that happened to me, oh my goodness. I nearly pooped in my pants.

Crapped your pants.


It happens.

I don’t trust people sending me anything. Like, “Yes, that’s a pretty picture. I don’t want to look at it.” Anyway. Okay, so what kind of changes have you seen for people that you’ve been working with and yourself? What health improvements and other things are people noticing when they apply these principles?

It’s tough because a lot of times people come to me and they think they’re doing things right and sometimes they are very hesitant to implement the things that I-

Tell her about the one client.

I have one particular client, bless her heart. She’s had some major health challenges and she did a low-fat diet for a long time and that was just ingrained in her so much so one of the first things I suggested that she do, I looked at her food journal, I said, “You need to be eating more calories.” She was only consuming maybe 800 to 1000 calories a day, if that. I said, “You need to add more calories. I know that it goes against everything that you were taught, but you need to do it.” Still, she has a problem with it. She just … it’s something that she still struggles with, but there was one person … actually a couple people in particular that came to me with poop problems and one of them was my dad.


Part of digestion, Jimmy. We’ve got to talk about it.

It is. One of them had diarrhea, chronic diarrhea, and I made suggestions for her to try and she came to me a couple months later and said, “Wow. Thank you. You fixed my chronic diarrhea issue.” Then my dad, this was so funny. You know you have a good relationship with your dad when you can talk to him about his poop.

I ain’t talking to your dad about poop.

He had been having some issues with diarrhea, well, actually, he wouldn’t go but like every three days and then when he went it was like he couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough because he would have the diarrhea. So I suggested for him to go on a probiotic. So he does that for about a month and he calls me up one day, he goes, “I just need to ask you is it normal to go to the bathroom every day?” I’m like, “Well, are you having diarrhea?” He goes, “No, I’m not having diarrhea. I’m just going every day. Is that normal?” I’m like, “Yes. That’s normal.” Just changes like that really make me feel good that I could help people fix some of their gut problems.

Wonderful. That’s fantastic. So, I got an advanced copy of the book here and it’s four parts. The beginning is like the intro, so what’s the point? Why real food keto. Part two is the macros, so diving into the basics of a well-formulated ketogenic diet. Then part three is what you were talking about, the applying nutritional therapy, so that’s the part that’s all these things that we were just talking about, things people need to worry about. Then, of course we’ve got part four where you include some recipes. What do you want to say about the content of the book? What are your favorite parts?

We thought it was important to lay the basis for what we’re talking about here and who we’re trying to talk to. I mentioned earlier there is a lot of controversy within keto, should it be just about the macronutrients or should it be based on food quality and so we’re trying to reach the real food community as well and not just the keto community. So there’s a lot of people that eat real food and they think that’s their life saver and that that’s really all they have to do. They can have all the real foods they want and there’s no ramifications in their health from doing that.

A lot of people do have really good results doing that, but some people need keto, especially those with the insulin resistance and it’s a lot of us that have insulin resistance. So we’re trying to get them to pay attention to keto, we’re trying to get the keto people to pay attention to real food, and then you’ve got a whole segment of the population that doesn’t give a crap about either one of those things and so we’re trying to reach all of those.Then NTPs and other people like yourself who are trying to help people understand their health a little bit better, we’ve given them a resource that they can use with their patients and clients so that they can optimize their health.

We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this to make it unique enough, because I know what happens when a new keto book comes out. I interview a lot of people, Carole, and I’m like, “Ugh. Another keto book, really? How many of these do we need?” But I think we’ve struck the right balance of giving enough new information that people hadn’t heard.

Yep, and I would have to say just because of the information, my favorite aspect is part three, the nutritional therapy principles, because you don’t hear a lot about that, and so many people are still struggling with their weight and they have no idea why. They’re doing exactly what they read to do and yet they’re still struggling and no one’s really … I mean, you can find some of this information on various websites, but you have to go from website to website to find it. We wanted a resource where they could find it all in one book and we hope that we’ve done that with “Real Food Keto.”

So the goal then it sounds like is to help the average person be able to implement these principles to just optimize their health and weight loss and ketogenic diet and/or their real food diet.

Yeah, they definitely need to … if they’re struggling with something, they definitely need to seek out somebody that can help them, because some of these things, they may not necessarily know that that’s why they’re struggling, so a functional medicine doctor or a nutritional therapy practitioner or consultant, somebody, a naturopathy, they could help their client determine where they’re struggling and I think for me … I think in my opinion it all starts with digestion and blood sugar regulation. Those are the first two things that I look at. If their digestion is off, they’re not gonna be able to absorb nutrients properly. If their blood sugar is off, if they’re having these swings, their endocrine system is gonna be off. So we have what’s called the foundations and then the consequences. We get the foundations in order, the consequences will come in line most often.

Excellent. Awesome. Anything different, unique, and special? You’ve got recipes in the book from Maria Emmerich, our beloved, oh my gosh. That lady turns out … I can’t believe what a powerhouse she is with her recipes that she can come up with.

She came up with the 50 recipes for our book in about a week.

Well, actually there were two from me, but …

Well 48 recipes.

Forty eight.

In about a week, she had basically cranked those out. I’m like, “I barely have turned on the stove in a week, much less cranked out 48 recipes.” She did an amazing job and we gave her very specific guidelines. Okay, this is about real food so we’re trying to stick to real whole foods as much as possible, get people interested in how to make bone broth, how to make a very low sugar kombucha because gut health is such a big emphasis in the book, so we wanted fermented foods. She is just an amazing resource for people and we were very honored to have her a part of the book.

Excellent. You kind of hinted there a little bit about … I was gonna ask what’s different about the recipes in this book versus some of the other recipes? You’ve got some fermented foods and things like that?

Yeah, absolutely. That’s the real main difference because all of Maria’s recipes-

Have real food.

Yeah, have real food, so the main difference is the bone broth and the fermented foods because gut health is a very important thing. We’re still learning so much about that. It’s so brand new. Then the bone broth, when Weston A. Price visited the traditional cultures, he found that all of them ate [inaudible 00:20:25], all of them included bone broth in their diet, all of them included salt, fermented foods and things like this so we felt that absolutely necessary to get a few recipes that included the bone broth and the fermented foods in there. It’s just so important.

Nice. Well, I’m excited to try some. Just kind of wrapping up, was there anything else that you were hoping I would ask about? Anything else that you want to share about this book or anything else?

Well, Christine and I actually read the audio book version of this and so I’m in my podcast recording studio and I was like, “Hey, I read all my books.” Hint, hint, hint. She’s like, “What? You need me to read?” I was like, “Yeah, yeah, I think it would be kind of cool,” especially the introduction, Carole. Read that one slowly. Christine shares her health story and if it doesn’t grip people right away, you have no heartbeat because she’s been through hell and back, literally, in her health which has made her so passionate now to talk about a lot of these things. But we read the audio book together and she thought, “Oh, well that sounds easy.” Was it easy?

No. It’s not easy. There were some times I was trying to read something and I kept messing over it just saying a word over and over. I’m like, “I can’t talk. Man. This is hard.”

I had to [crosstalk 00:21:47]. It’s a lot harder reading words on the page without sounding like Mr. Roboto.

Yeah, because the brain automatically … if you’re reading a sentence, your brain will kind of change words up or add something in there or take something away that’s not really there, and so nope. I would do something like that. He would stop me.


Say it again.

I would go, “Nope.” What’s funny is you have to change the tone of your voice a little bit, so on “Keto Clarity,” moment of clarity quote, Dr. David [inaudible 00:22:18],” so you’d have to kind of get into a little bit of a voice. She got there at the end, but it was just … it was fun watching her after I’ve done, what, five audio books. Trying to bust through it.

Nice. Cool. Yeah, it’s a challenge and it’s a new skill set you’ve got now. Well, what’s to come next? Are you starting to write the next one already or are you gonna …

No, I don’t know if another one’s gonna be in me, but the moment you say that you’ll probably end up writing another one.


We’re working with our publisher on a book tour. Usually book stores don’t do book tours in November and December, so it’s probably going to be in the new year sometime. We’re hoping to get that finalized. I know Jimmy’s got several new book projects.

Oh I have four coming in the next year and a half after this one, so, yeah. Then we do our show, Nutritional Pearls Podcast, so we try to talk about a lot of these concepts. If you want to get a flavor for some of what we write about in “Real Food Keto,” go listen to the Nutritional Pearls Podcast. It’s on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Yeah, so we talk about a lot of these in great detail if you want to nerd out a little bit more on it.

Excellent. Nice. All right, so I just have one final closing question. The meteor’s coming at us today, we’re all gonna be wiped out on the planet. What’s gonna be your final meal?

Oh that’s a good question.

Each of you.

If I’m gonna die today, my final meal?


Oh my. Not low-carb, I’ll tell you that.

Okay. I love when people are actually honest and say something like that.

Mine, probably yeah, not low-carb. It would be chocolate molten cake.

Okay. Like a giant … the flaming ball is coming at us and you’re having a flaming lava cake.


Every bit of it. I guess a big plate of pasta. I don’t know. We’re dying, it doesn’t matter, I suppose, what ketone levels are when it hits.

Right. Maybe just be numb when it hits, that’s fine. Yeah. Well thank you. Congratulations you guys on your book and thank you so much for being here. We’re gonna have all the links down below. “Real Food Keto” available wherever you get books, online, bookstores, all that stuff. What’s the actual release date?

The release date is November 6th, but we just found out it’s gonna be in all US Costco stores the week of Black Friday, so how cool is that?

Oh wow. So November 6, 2018, look for it in Costco and also wherever you get books. Thank you guys again for being here. This has been wonderful and best wishes with the launch of this book and everything else you guys have going on.

Thank you.

Thanks so much.

Thank you guys for watching. If you’ve enjoyed this, give us a thumbs up. Also, hit subscribe if you want to see more and then hit that little bell thing as well if you want to get notifications of your subscription. That’s all for now. We’ll see you next time. Bye.

Keto Chat Episode 95: Optimizing Your Keto Diet

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Marty is an engineer who developed an interest in nutrition to better manage his wife’s Type 1 diabetes.

He runs the blog OptimisingNutrition.com and has recently launched NutrientOptimiser.com to automate his approach to nutrition which revolves around optimising nutrient density, insulin load and satiety to suit an individual’s situation and goals.


Welcome everyone to Keto and beyond. My name is Carole Freeman, I’m here with Andre as well and we’ve got Marty Kendall.

You can call me Keto tutor.

Keto tutor, yes. Andre is known as Keto tutor online. Today, our special guest is Marty Kendall, way down in Australia. He is the amazing author, data gatherer at Optimising Nutrition, a fantastic blog. So welcome, welcome Marty.

Thank you Carole, thanks so much for having us on and good to meet you Andre.

Good to meet you too.

Marty, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an engineer by day and I suppose I stumbled into the world of nutrition. My wife is a type one diabetic, and just an ongoing experience of trying to live an optimized life with diabetes. Just seeing her day to day fluctuations and how much food mattered to her, and how it affected her energy levels and her mood and her quality of life. So that’s been an ongoing journey of trying to learn how to improve that and optimize it. About three years ago, I stumbled across the food insulin index data, which was a bit unorganized. I downloaded it and played with it, and reorganized it to really optimize insulin dosing for people with diabetes. So if you’re injecting insulin, we found that it’s not just carbohydrates but also protein has an impact on insulin and the short terminals of fiber has a negative impact on insulin.

So for those people, the food insulin index helps us to prioritize foods that have a lower insulin response over the short term, and also help stabilize blood sugars. So that’s really handy, it’s basically ketogenic in a formula. So that was where I started out. I started sharing that and then stumbled into a whole bunch of other things. I continue to share and learn and blog, and it’s been a really fantastic journey. I made a lot of amazing friends like yourselves and yeah, it’s really, really fascinating and really, really important just because people really struggle. I try to bring a quantitative engineering precision to nutrition to help fine tune, and eek out those challenges for a lot of people finding their nutritional journey.

Excellent, excellent. So insulin, when you said the insulin index is really fascinating. Like you said it’s the key to this whole Keto thing that our people are [inaudible 00:03:03] right? So can you explain a little bit more about why insulin is so important on a ketogenic diet, and in general for weight loss which is what a lot of our listeners are interested in.

It’s a fascinating controversial topic and have been through the challenges, and through the learning process with a lot of people in this ketogenic journey. As I said, what we found is that if you’re injecting insulin and if your pancreas is producing insulin, it produces more for carbohydrates, but half as much for protein and fiber which is indigestible, doesn’t really have an impact. So we subtract that and fat in the short term doesn’t have an impact but in the longer term, it still seems to have some impact whether it’s as much as carbohydrates, not sure but over the longer term, it still has some impact. So then I suppose what we’ve realized more recently is the energy balance still matters to a degree, but the people who have blood sugars that are fluctuating, and on a rollercoaster bringing that insulin load of your diet down.

We can quantitatively analyze that in your food, bringing that insulin load down and help stabilize blood sugars in your insulin. So your cravings are improved so you can then be less addicted to food, and less compulsively eating because of those blood sugar swings. So that’s really handy but I suppose then we realized that to drive it to the other end, if you’re just drinking refined fat which we’ll probably talk about later, it doesn’t provide a lot of satiety, doesn’t provide a lot of nutrients. So there’s a balance point there finding a diet that stabilizes your blood sugars, and insulin doesn’t require you to inject too much insulin, but also provides enough protein and micronutrients, vitamins and minerals to provide satiety.

Man, you’re full of information and I want to unpack more of what you said there because I think right now my head’s a little spinning, and I know everything you just said [inaudible 00:05:08]. The listeners were going like, “Oh my gosh, what at all did he just say? I don’t even know.” So maybe if we just dive into maybe some practical application of what you’re [inaudible 00:05:18]. So what have you found as far as types of foods that people should be eating that are going to provide the most satiety for one? So help people feel full and control their appetite.

Yeah. I suppose initially if you’re managing diabetes, a lot of those people who become really inflamed in a base, and get high blood sugars are doing that because they’re eating a lot of foods that are a combination of not just carbohydrates but carbohydrates and fat. A lot of food system has really, the food manufacturers have worked out that processed starch, corns and corn starch and potato starch and all those sorts of things smashed together with cheap Crisco and seed oils. Soybean oils are really cheap and cost effective, so that’s basically what is in the middle of our supermarket, and the McDonald’s and that’s what our food system consists of. So that’s what people are thinking a lot of the time are really at base because that combination is basically a doughnut, or a cake, and it’s really easy to overeat.

So at that point, those foods just drive over eating and make it very easy to eat, and don’t provide you a lot of satiation, or protein, or nutrients really. So at that point it’s really good to go, “Well, let’s not fear the fat, let’s bit more dairy, bit more cheese, bit more butter in my coffee,” whatever will help you switch and transition from a really processed carbohydrate diets, to a more satiating, more nutrient dense diet. Then I suppose more recently, I’ve been digging into the whole concept of satiety of once you get to that point. If you’ve stalled, if you want to continue your journey, how do you continue to optimize with I suppose numerically being an engineer. How do you continue that fine tuning? What we’ve found is that foods with more protein tend to make you more satiated, or tend to make you feel more full with less calories.

Foods with more fiber tend to fill you up in the short term, while foods that have got a lot of process starch and carbohydrates tend to not fill you up as much, and also refined oils don’t tend to fill you up as much. So I suppose at that point, a lot of people reach a point where they go like, “I’ve plateaued, where do I go from here? Do I just keep on, keep calm and keto on and put more butter in my coffee and be more ketogenic and drive my ketones higher.” That doesn’t work well for everybody and for some people they need to start pulling out that added fat, so that the fat can come off their body. I know that’s controversial, but that’s I suppose my conviction after looking at it a lot and seeing a lot of debate and discussion online. So yeah.

Sounds like you’re saying get adequate protein for satiety, have some fiber and that gives you that both short term and long term satiety there. Then don’t over do it on the fats if you have weight loss as a goal, is what you found?

Yeah, definitely.

Okay, [inaudible 00:08:41] there’s the answer.

It comes down to just eating real food that’s not too processed, and was recently attached to the ground as animal or a plant in some way. Those things that are just packaged and bar coded and have a long list of nutrients, and artificial flavors, they’re probably not going to be good for you, and probably not going to contain the micronutrients you need either.

Yeah. So let’s define that because when people, a lot of people are familiar on keto with macros, which are carbs, fats, and proteins, but these micronutrients, what does that mean?

Yeah, micronutrients is the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids which is your yeah. So generally in our diet what I found is that we tend to find it easy to get adequate protein, because without chasing too much most people are getting adequate. If they continue to chase the harder to find micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals and Omega threes, they tend to get even more protein potentially but that just comes along for the ride without having to chase it. So I suppose with my system, a segue hacker we quantify nutrition. There’s so much argument and confusion, and so much vested interest in bias, and commercial bias, and people are defending the studies that the university did 30 years ago, and they’re still basically as covering to try and cover up.

It just seems that there’s so much confusion out there. So I said, “Well, let’s try to isolate the food to harder foods that have more of the micronutrients that we find harder to find.” So you can, like you’ve talked about before, you can track your food in chronometer and those sort of apps to look at, hey which vitamins and minerals am I not getting enough of? A lot of the time people on keto are not getting enough potassium or magnesium, because they’re taking all carbs out of their diet and they’re contained in green veggies. So we can then identify the foods that contain more of those nutrients and prioritize those at the front of the line, and add more of those to our diet. So that’s part of the optimizing nutrition angle of what I’m trying to do.

Why should we care about micronutrients?

Well I think you’ve probably heard of the protein leverage hypothesis, but what I’ve seen more and more digging into micronutrients is the protein, and vitamins and minerals that intimately linked together that whenever there’s protein, there’s vitamins and minerals and vice versa. So I think a body craves those harder to find nutrients, so we continue to eat, we continue to consume more energy until we get those nutrients. So if we’re having very nutrient poor highly processed food, a body will just go, “Well I need more potassium, I need more magnesium.” While we can’t quantify it perfectly, a body just continues to pursue energy in food until we get that, to feel okay to drive our fundamental biochemistry level, and mitochondria to produce the energy we need to feel okay.

So we just built for survival and our appetite will always win out even if we try to track our food and limit it. Eventually our bodies are just going to go, “Screw you, I need more food. I need more nutrients to do what I need to do.” So it’s not just about the calories, it’s about those vitamins and minerals that you really need to thrive.

No, that’s really interesting that that’s the research of you’re finding, because I know when I was in school, that was one of the theories of why people overate when they ate a highly processed diet was that they just weren’t getting enough of those nutrients. We do actually have those nutrients sensors within it. So one of the reasons we want to focus on optimizing the nutrients in your diet is so we don’t overeat.


Then also it optimizes our health as well, because we need all those vitamins and minerals for a lot of different processes. All the processes in our body.

Yeah, totally and what we’ve found with the nutrient optimize is that people who have tried to say, “Well, let’s try to maximize the nutrition, the micronutrients in my diet.” They always come back and say well, “I’m tracking and it’s interesting and then I’m looking at how many calories I’m eating. I’m not needing as many calories to feel satiate, to feel full and I didn’t need as much energy.” I’m really surprised and that’s a common thing people find, and it’s not fun tracking your calories and try to limit it to a certain number and rah-rah. If you put that micronutrient density first, then you tend to not overeat is what we’re finding again and again with people.

You mentioned the diabetes of your wife, right? Was it a type one diabetes or?

Yeah, she’s a type one diabetic and we just recently got a closed loop pancreas system. So my day is watching the insulin in her artificial pancreas turn on and off and moderate. So I’ve got a really interesting insight into insulin and how the body regulates insulin, and what foods affect insulin.

So for those people who listen to this and they have type one diabetes, what would you recommend first, for example, three steps to do.

Wow. For type one, I suppose stabilizing blood sugars is a really big deal which is also a matter of stabilizing insulin. If you eat high carbohydrate processed foods, you have to inject a lot of insulin and then the insulin in your blood sugars go up, and then you inject a lot of insulin, and then you have to come down and you’re never sure where they’re going to land. Even the best technology of the artificial pancreas can’t manage that, can’t match a high carbohydrate diet with the insulin dosing. So it’s really a matter of small inputs requires small actions and [inaudible 00:15:11] also the law of small numbers that if you’re not having a really high carbohydrate diet, you don’t need to have massive doses of insulin all at once. That will leave you on that blood sugar rollercoaster, which is what really makes you feel crappy and makes you … When she’s got a really low blood sugar, she needs to eat to get out of that.

I suppose to some extent, it’s the same in people living without type one diabetes, but those blood sugar rollercoaster there’s crashes, there’s highs and lows constantly drive appetite. So just balancing that but I suppose what a lot of people have found is don’t avoid protein, because protein is satiating. People who tend to avoid protein and just end up living on fat bombs and cream in the light can drive insulin resistance, and get to the point where they need more and more insulin on a daily basis, which yeah, type ones are really fascinating laboratory experiment to actually quantify insulin to see how much insulin people need. So there’s a balance point there of getting enough quality nutrition with enough protein, enough greens leafy veggies to get your micronutrients in. Yeah, she doesn’t do a lot of potato starch, because she knows that those blood sugar swings just aren’t worth it.

What her typical day looks like?

A typical day of diet, she’ll wake up and have a … I’ll make her a coffee with some cream in it, with some Stevia as sweeteners. So she finds that milk will raise her blood sugars too much. She ends up eating a lot of nuts which are high fat, and give her a reasonable of nutrition and energy but the energy dense. For dinner, we’ll often have a steak and veggies with broccoli and spinach, and beans and those sorts of things. That works pretty well. Interestingly, fish seems to give a more stable blood sugar response compared to beef, so we tried a little bit more fish and enjoy the salmon and those fatty cuts of meat. I’ve been getting into the eating kangaroo in Australia and which is really, I talked to Carole before about high protein.

High protein, lower fat foods which is good if you’re trying to potentially cut some weight, and gain some muscle but for her, we watched the blood sugars rise and need insulin and it behaves nearly similar to carbohydrate just because it’s such a low fat protein which is really fascinating. So yeah, as I said, it’s an interesting journey to watch moment to moment, blood sugars every five minutes and try to manage those swings.

You have one of the best lamb in the world coming from Australia.

What’s that? Lamb, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s great lamb, we enjoy lamb in New Zealand. Lamb, yeah. It’s very nutrient dense, it’s often just happy lambs on green pastures and that’s what [inaudible 00:18:18].

I found it really fascinating what you said about that for her, seafood and fish cause better blood sugar stability than beef. Do you have any insights into why that is? Is it the mineral acids profile or?

I’ve tried to look at it and I think there’s a difference in the different amino acid profiles. I forget a lot of stuff in my head now, I dug into it a couple of years ago but yeah, there’s different amino acids. Some of them are more ketogenic, and some are more glucogenic. Most of them can either become glucose or ketones depending on what is required at the time but yes, the beef tends to have more glucogenic aminos than the fish. It also tends to be more fatty, the salmon and the cuts of meat are nice and fatty and they give it fairly stable blood sugar. So if you watch her blood sugar overnight, we might have dinner at 6:00 and then her blood sugars might pick around 12:00. Then the insulin chases it back down till about 4:00 AM, then by 6:00 AM when she wakes up, her blood sugar is stable and ready to start the day. So they’d serve an ideal night.

Do you have a sense then if, is there a one perfect diet for everybody or are there [inaudible 00:19:42] in what works for people?

Awesome question. No, well I suppose that’s part of my journey is trying to, I was a massive low carb advocate, but then for myself chasing down a whole lot of unlimited fat, and trying to chase high ketones didn’t work for me because it just added more body fat. For my wife who’s trying to stabilize blood sugars and she doesn’t struggle with weight as much, she can prioritize the fat and not worry about added fat and that’s really advantageous for her. I suppose that’s part of my system is trying to say well some people need therapeutic ketosis for management of epilepsy, so they weren’t really high ketones. Some people who are trying to lose body fat, stimulate call it a ketogenic diet, but it’s totally different approach. So I’ve been trying to optimize the different parameters of nutrient density, insulin load, and satiety for all those different categories of people.

Yeah, it’s been working really well and building that instant nutrient optimize it to help guide people through that journey, because there’s just so much confusion. Lots of people’s say well something worked for me, so it should work for you and I think there is one absolute perfect diet and become religious about it. Really the amount of body fat you’ve got, the amount of activity you do, the amount of muscle mass you’ve got, how much activity, what you lift and all those sort of things play into how much you actually need. So it’s interesting to track. We track blood sugars, body fat and weight and say well, it’s dialing your macros to find those, we call it smart macros. To find the macronutrients that will stabilize your blood sugar, and make sure you maintain your lean body mass.

While if you want to lose body weight, you can macro on the calories to dial that in as well, but generally just prioritizing nutrient dense whole foods is a high priority that will oftentimes manage, help you manage the rest of those things.

What are-

Balance as you mentioned, right?

Sorry, what was that?

Balance as you mentioned from the very beginning.

Yeah, yeah, and balancing it at a micronutrient level which I think is fascinating. I hope a lot of people find that interesting and want to chase that. So once you look after getting enough of those micronutrients of meeting your daily requirements, then a lot of the other things work out.


So I’m wondering what are some of the hidden gem keto friendly foods, like powerhouses that have a lot of micronutrients in them that you just recommend. Maybe the top five foods that people should consider adding into their diet to optimize their nutrients.

Yeah. I suppose fatty fish that you’ve found to be quite good if you’re on a ketogenic diet, and trying to transition from a really highly processed diet. A lot of people don’t love fish, but then the fatty steak, anything seafood, the Mussels, oysters are going to be amazing. A lot of people don’t like organ meats, but the muscles and liver and those sort of things really help optimize your micronutrients. Any green leafy vegetables, we eat a lot of spinach and broccoli and bok choy, and those sorts of things which will help bring in the vitamins and minerals without giving a lot of carbohydrates. So for most people, they don’t need to worry too much about the carbohydrates from that. There’s plenty of fiber which basically cancels out the carbohydrates.

So you mentioned a few times fiber cancels out for satiety, but are there some types of fiber though that just aren’t really fiber?

Yeah, yeah. A lot of people with the processed packaged products, we’ll put in early two grams of net carbs. If you look at all the ingredients, the fill of fibers, which don’t really, aren’t real fiber. They’re not the fiber that comes with the green veggies, it’s inulin fiber and all the different things that are put in there to fill it up. Interestingly, type one seemed to need to dose insulin for those fibers that are on the label, but the fibers that come with those, don’t worry about the fiber in lettuce and spinach and bok choy and those sorts of things that I don’t think you need to worry about that.

So basically real food fiber is actually fiber, and processed food “fiber”, I’ll put it in quotes, is basically starch.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’d count that if you’re accounting total carbs and net carbs. There’s an ongoing debate there, but my position is you would count the added fiber but the real fiber that comes with whole food you wouldn’t count that, especially because if you take a total carbs approach to eliminate all fiber from all you minimize the green veggies and therefore, minimize all your important micronutrients.

Yeah. So you have kids?

Yeah, yeah. 12 and 13, they eat a lot and so that’s a fascinating insight into nutrition and what growing kids want.

How is balance in a family with kids?

Yeah, yeah, they eat with us and they know what good food is. My 12 year old son is in the kitchen at the moment cooking, he’s got a bunch of mints that he’s trying to cook up and be healthy. At the same time, it’s fascinating to watch particularly the son who’s just a growing little pre-pubescent machine at the moment. If he has the opportunity to see sausage rolls or donuts, he goes into this feeding frenzy and it’s just amazing. Even myself with all the knowledge, if you’re exposed to those processed foods that have combination of fat and carbohydrates together, like donuts, and cakes, and sausage rolls, we just can’t turn off. We just want more, but at home we tend to eat fairly well and we all eat similar things.

I’ll probably [inaudible 00:26:30] for the higher protein because I go to the gym fairly regularly, and want to recover from that. The kids are more, they’ll eat some potatoes and those sort of things because it’s cheap. To be honest nutrient dense, higher protein, lower prestos diet is not always the cheapest, but it’s worth it. It’s a good investment because we see when the kids eat crappy colored processed food, they just turn into different people. Yeah, it’s sad to watch say okay, it’s worth the investment in the kids.

Yeah, yeah. My son, my oldest child is 13 years old and he’s athlete too, and I’m trying to educate him and he see my world, the ketogenic lifestyle and et cetera and it’s influence him. Many people asking me this question, “Andre, how about your kids?” I had a really good experiment with them few years ago when we started in the family approaching with fitting kids as we do as I do. I had a really interesting result. So it was three years ago, I have right now six years old daughter, nine years old daughter and 13 years old son. So about three years ago, the two of them were going to the school. So I put them on really strict ketogenic diet even without feeding them breakfast. So we’re going to the school eating first meal of the day, probably three hours later without having any issues.

We didn’t feel really hungry when they’re waking up. So three weeks later, I got a call from a teacher of my son and saying, “What do you do with your son?” “What do you mean?” He’s listening, you know what he see like he’s very different. My wife was laughing, so he’s very active person. I would say hyperactive and yeah, he stabilized, he started listening. Since that time, his performance in sport in school changed completely.

So much better?

Yeah, of course as you mentioned, when he see donuts or something else, it’s so addictive. It has to do with many things in our brain. We regret this, but he understand his process in his body right now, what’s going on. He actually understand when to eat properly in a way.

Yeah, totally. Yeah, it’s interesting. We can hack the satiety index for people who are growing or athletes who need more food, by understanding what helps us to eat less and more. We can say let’s add in your case, more healthy fats from whole fat food. No need to fear the high fat food and we can increase that to help them grow and give them plenty of protein.

Totally, yeah. Cool.

I love both of your examples too, because so many times women follow a keto diet for weight loss and they think it’s a diet that is not safe for kids to follow. You’re both giving examples of how, it shows how healthy it is for them to eat lower carb and more nutrient dense foods. It’s very safe.

Totally. My kids are not suffering a grain deficiency and it seems that whenever we, my daughter experiences major gut issues when she gets a big exposure to gluten, and as said my son, he just goes hyper when is anything processed or food colors. His brain like Andre’s doesn’t think as well. So it’s amazing to see, it’s worth the investment for us. So yeah, there’s definitely no grain deficiency and definitely improvements, and benefits in giving them whole food, real food, healthy food.

What do you think about the idea, some people say, “Well, I don’t want to deprive my kids of all those sugary carby foods, it’s their childhood. Let them be kids.”?

Yeah, wow. Andre, what do you think?

Well, I have one answer. I grew up in a society where we didn’t have that much of processed foods. I would say we didn’t have at all processed food to be honest with you. I’m originally from East Europe and all we had this four seasons, we didn’t eat fruits during the winter. We had like around three months when no fruits available. [inaudible 00:31:37]. All we ate was meat and fermented food, which is big part of my culture where I’m originally from. This is completely different topic to discuss. So I strongly believe what you give to kids today, it’s like building a house. If you give them a good strong foundation which is actually from the day one where they were, even when they not born yet, it’s also important with mother eating.

So this foundation is what we’re talking about right now. I think if you want to give your kids good childhood, you want to give them a good health with foundation you’re feeding them. On sometime, I do strongly believe you want to give them all tools to survive in the society. One of them is educating them. I believe you can [inaudible 00:32:40] the stone with the water when you’re consciously expressing yourself with the proper knowledge, proper information, trying to find a way for them to understand why. So this is my understanding.

Yeah, totally. Kids will come across junk food, but then they eat it and you go, “Well, how do you feel now?” They say not really good and they see why now, and they’re not tempted as much when we go down the lolly aisle of the supermarket. They just go, “Dad, I live with you guys and we understand, we get it.” So yeah.

I love both of that. I feel the same way, Andrea, that kids deserve a solid foundation. They’re building their bodies that they have to live with the rest of their lives, and so I feel like it’s even more important to give them high quality, nutrient dense foods and letting them choose what makes them feel good. Empowering them, well how do you feel after you eat that? They don’t like to feel bad, right? So they’ll make different choices based on that, just because kids are smart. So they want to feel good, they can tell the difference in the way they feel.


Yeah, definitely. Well, another aspect of this is modern adult people, or let’s say family people. Looks like majority of modern society don’t want to feel uncomfortable, and they are looking for more convenient way to live life and one of them is cooking. People tend to make decision, I’d rather go and spend time with my kids being in a fast food restaurant not cooking. They’re making all the time these excuses. This what I’ve found by having conversation with different families, and they ending up having different situation with kids. Of course one of them will be health issues. So when we come back to this question, I think it’s very important to educate parents also. Why it’s important to cook. Sometimes even just cooking fresh food without even ketogenic approach to be honest, people can change their life and then slightly move to the different aspects.

Yeah, totally agree.

Yeah. So I like this question to have keto orientated families. When it comes to meal frequency, Carole mentioned that you have some interesting data.

Yeah. We stumbled across a batch of data from 500,000 people, sorry 500,000 days for about 10,000 people who had recorded for more than two months in my fitness pal. My partner programming the Nutrient Optimiser sent it to me, and did a lot of number crunching and flicked it to me. We were analyzing it, trying to answer those obvious questions that a lot of people argue about what macros work for most people to help them eat less or eat more, and how many meals a day, and which meals. It’s really interesting data and I suppose what we’ve found is that two meals a day, if you’re trying to eat less seems to work well. One meal a day is good but not as good as two meals a day.

I think what happens there is that it’s when you have that one meal a day, you just tend to reward yourself, and it’s hard to limit and potentially you may overeat at that one meal a day, but you can quite reasonably get in two meals a day of a solid amount of protein without having to make it really refined energy dense food, because at that point when you’re really hungry, you just reach … I’ll reach for the peanut butter and the cream and I’m just like I’ve deprived myself for the day. I’m just going to keep on eating because I’ve been so good. For me, I found too that that approach didn’t work but I think if you’re having a couple of robust solid meals a day, that works well and tends to be eating earlier in the day seems to work better. That I think recent study from [inaudible 00:37:29] found that most people eat their required calories for maintenance by about 6:30 in the evening, but most people continue to eat as long as they’re awake.

It’s those calories eaten at night that tend to be easy to, you’ll reach for the bag of chips or the comfort food in front of Netflix. If you start the day with a robust higher protein meal, you’re more likely to not be ravenously hungry later in the day, and store that fat later in the day. I think a lot of people find it more convenient if they’re not trying to lose weight to eat later in the day with the family, and I admit a tad but it seems from the studies in my data analysis from The My Fitness Pal limitations they may have that earlier breakfast and lunch ideally. We don’t live in a perfect world but that seems to be the optimal approach I think. To be honest, it’s hard to do that.

It’s hard to not have that family meal or have a smaller final family meal, and get up in the morning and prepare something that’s got a solid amount of protein and energy to start the day, but I think that seems to be the way that tends to be more satiating, and it help our bodies to crave less food overall.

How about training in the morning? In a fasted mode? To have the meal after the training.

Yeah, that’s the protein eating after the … That’s what I tend to do because I don’t wake up feeling really hungry. So I go to the gym at 5:00 and have some protein after that. I think if you’re trying to restrict overall on a Luis from Ketogains advocates, like a protein coffee or something to start the day before you go training so that by the time you finished your training, the amino acids are available to help build your muscle when you need the repair. So it takes some time to digest and by the time you need that repair at the end of your workout, the amino acids are there. So for me, I’m not quite that finely tuned. I tend to have just naturally through habit, maybe more food at night so I’m starving hungry in the morning. I think if I was trying to restrict overall, maybe prioritizing your food around the workouts like you’re inferring is a really good idea.


What about beverages?

Beverages? I like coffee.

I guess I need a question about that. I’m wondering in your research and data analysis, what pitfalls do you see are common with the beverages, especially the ones that are the most popular on a keto diet. Sometimes people think they need like this high fat coffee, hight fat tea and things like that to be on a ketogenic diet. What insights do you have in your analysis of nutrients related to that?

I suppose personally, I’m not really afraid of artificially sweetened beverages for people that deal with them. Okay, I think you mentioned before that it’s best to get rid of them completely initially, as you learn to sense the real taste of real food. It’s a good thing to go okay, I can taste food, I can taste the nutrients and you’re more attracted to real whole foods. If you get rid of the artificial sweeteners, you get a better chance of letting your taste buds do what they’re meant to which is related to nutrition. A lot of people do well if they start out with a high fat bulletproof coffee introduction to keto. I think that can be helpful to transition them off a really high processed food diet. If once the blood sugar stabilize, once the insulin levels stabilized, once they hunger normalizes, then I think continuing down that path of going, okay, I’ve plateaued, I’m going to have more bulletproof coffee because that’s what drives my ketones up, and that’s what I think leads me to fat loss, doesn’t work for a lot of people, didn’t work for me.

I got to a point where I went, “Gees.” Looked in the mirror, I’m gaining weight. I’m going to know something about nutrition, but maybe if I have more bulletproof coffee, I’ll drive my ketones up and lose fat. It just didn’t work for me and I know it’s not worked for a lot of people, and I suppose I’ve had a fair bit of frustration and maybe anger about that. So I’ve put that into analysis and looking at what optimum ketone levels are, which I suppose people who are really healthy and especially who have been doing a low carb ketogenic diet, maybe athletes, tend to have lower blood sugars, lower ketones, lower triglycerides overall. So a healthy metabolism is one that doesn’t need a lot of fuel floating in the system. It can access the fat as required, and you don’t need really high ketones just like you don’t need high blood sugars all the time.

So if you’re stalled, probably adding more fat is a bad strategy. Maybe looking at ways you can reduce the added fat, so you can find ways to let the fat come from your belly and where you want it to come off is a good thing while keeping enough protein to feed your lean muscle mass, and maintain that lean muscle mass is a great idea. At least in my experience and my research, I know there’s plenty of the incidents full of conflicting ideas about that but that’s what my data has driven me to.

Yeah. It looks like what you’re saying has to do with insulin control where again, coming back to the topic we started. You want to control your insulin with every time you eat something, and the best strategy would be yeah, everything is very individually for every person in the nutrition sense, but overall general rule, we want to know how to control the insulin because this is what caused probably the problem to many people.

Yeah, definitely. Lowering your carbohydrates and having adequate protein, it’s really hard to eat too much protein I think, and having not fearing fat is a really good strategy to stabilize your overall insulin. In the end, insulin is somewhat proportional to your overall energy intake. So if fat does drive up insulin, if you’ve heard of the personal fat threshold, Roy Taylor in the UK did some fascinating research. Looking at the personal fat threshold is you get to a point where your body fat stores are full, and that’s different for different people. Some people can be quite lean but still be diabetic to the point that the fat overflows, and they get too much energy in their blood in the form of high blood glucose, and high ketones, and high triglycerides and at that point, you’ve exceeded your personal fat threshold and you’re diabetic.

Some people can store a whole lot more energy in their fat stores before they become fully blown diabetic, but you have to get to the point of reducing your overall energy intake so your fat stores aren’t over full, and the excess energy flows into your bloodstream which is diabetes and metabolic syndrome. So I think controlling insulin is really fascinating, but I think maybe controlling satiety and overall finding a way that helps you to control overall energy intake is even more important, and maybe even more upstream than focusing on blood glucose or insulin. I think satiety maybe even a higher priority and that’s why I’m a little bit amped about it at the moment.

I love that you brought up that personal fat threshold theory hypothesis, because it’s the opposite of what a lot of people are looking at. So I know it’s a little controversial or maybe a lot where most people say, “Well, insulin is too high, that’s what’s making me fat.” Whereas the personal fat threshold says that you’re too fat, that’s why your insulin is too high. [inaudible 00:46:18], it brings down your insulin. So can you speak to that a little bit?

Yeah. I suppose I was enchanted being married to a type one diabetic, I thought that if we could just eat more fat and less carbohydrates that’d be less insulin and I’d lose weight like a type one diabetic. If you don’t have insulin basically, all your body fat stores flow out into your bloodstream and you see those kids that have uncontrolled in the 20s and they become, they lose all their fat, they lose all their muscle and they die which is really awful. When they inject insulin, they quickly hold onto it and gain it back. So really insulin is like holding a net. It’s like a net that holds your fat stores on it. It’s like a control of the break of your liver that lets the energy from your fat stores flow into your bloodstream, but at the same time, we’re not all type one diabetics.

In a type one diabetic, you’re going to overdose insulin, and that rollercoaster experience really means you end up having too much insulin. The fact that you can’t control the carbohydrate insulin dose means that most, a lot of type one diabetics on a high carbohydrate diet end up overdosing, and end up gaining weight due to the excess insulin. In our body, a pancreas doesn’t, I don’t think produces more insulin that needs to hold back the energy you are consuming. I think that’s a fundamental difference that you need to, a lot of people need to keep in mind is that your pancreas won’t inject more insulin than you need to hold back the energy that’s coming in from your diet. So the fundamental primary thing, is to find a way that you’re not eating more energy than you need, that will drive you insulin high, that will leave you obese and with that excess energy flowing into bloodstream.

So yeah, it’s just a different way to look at it, but I think we need to differentiate between type one diabetics who are injecting insulin, and people who are producing enough insulin to hold back the energy coming from their diet.

Very interesting. Yeah, so maybe we can talk a little bit more about the practical applications for this conversation. How you suggest people to practically apply it.

Yeah. If you want it to break it down to just the macronutrients perspective, not getting adequate protein. I think most people tend to get adequate protein, just the appetite drives them to get adequate protein, getting foods to contain enough fiber which is basically just eating whole foods, not being afraid of vegetables. I think steering away from processed carbohydrates which is just easy to eat, especially when they’re combined with excess fat. Keep in mind like if you’re diabetic, you need to stabilize the blood sugars. Having more fat will definitely help stabilize your blood sugars and transition you away from a high carbohydrate processed diet. Once you get to that point of stabilized on a low carbohydrate diet, look at whether you maybe need to increase your protein and fiber, but decrease your added fat, refined fat to maybe let some body fat come from your body fat stores.

That’s from a macronutrient point of view, but if you want to look at it from a micronutrient point of view, just the Nutrient Optimiser is a tool we’ve developed to analyze your diet, and look at which foods you need to eat more of to get the potassium, and vitamin B, and Magnesium, and selenium, and whatever you’re currently missing from your diet. So generally if you focus on those foods, you tend to have improved satiety, adequate protein, plenty of fiber and all those things that tend to work out as I mentioned before. Then we add the overlay of insulin loads. So if you do have diabetes to some degree, we prioritize stabilizing your blood sugars with a lower insulin load diet.

Great. Anything else you wanted to ask Andre? Did we miss anything?

It’s been a bit of a brain dump, but-

Yeah, yeah but is there anything else-

[crosstalk 00:51:13].

Yeah, the only thing that-

[inaudible 00:51:16].

Yeah. I think if people who listening we touched slightly type one diabetes, what would you say for type two diabetes?

It’s a similar process of initially using a lower insulin load diet to stabilize your blood sugars. Then once you get to that point, you can then focus on that high nutrient density and decide if you need to lose weight. A lot of type twos do need to lose weight because having over full fat stores, and exceeding it personal fat threshold is very fundamental to diabetes basically. I think the cause of diabetes is having fat stores that are over full to the point that the excess energy flows into your bloodstream. So at that point, find a way to optimize your diet and refine your diet, generally eating health foods that are minimally processed to help you work within your personal fat threshold. Basically, find a way to eat a little bit less energy that’ll help stabilize your blood sugars.

I suppose that’s why I’m so motivated hanging around people like Ted Naiman and Luis and Robb Wolf and getting my head around all that. Realizing that the metabolic health is so important to how I think, and how I feel, and how I look in my long term and short term quality of life. So I’m really passionate about it, and I’m trying to put it into actual load time by I do a lot of thinking and writing about it, but putting it into action is a whole different thing. I’m trying my best and it’s a really fun journey and I think it’s really, really, really important and not just to a personal health as a community, but also our economic health and wealth. The current climate is just, food environment is just driving spiraling medical costs that are going to bankrupt us in the very short term. We can’t keep up with the spiraling obesity crisis that is very, very, very expensive in the medical system.

We can’t continue to afford to pay for people being captivated by the modern food environment that just leaves them powerless to not overeat. Like we talked about our kids, when you throw donuts in front of them, there’s a very primal urge to chow them down and they have no off switch. So I’m trying to find that off switch, or empower people with knowledge to find that off switch to enable them to eat a little bit less and control the hunger, and give them the nutrients to thrive and be empowered by food.

Yeah, totally. Another thing I’m always saying, we discussing about food, about hormone gaze, but I’m always saying move your body also. It’s so important. People are like, “Gym, I need to go to the gym. I need time.” I’m saying you know what, actually you don’t need to go to the gym. We pretty much have everything we need in our house. You just need to do a few simple things like just start implementing working every single day. Lifting, carrying, pushing, this is what we need to do in order to have a balance. We don’t need to do this very often, and also moving our bodies crucial competence into the balance game as we mentioned.

Yeah, totally. It’s once you lose your muscle mass as you get older, it’s the muscle that burns the fat and the sugar that keeps your blood sugar stable. So many people get to 70 and they’re weak, and they’re frail and they fall over and break their hip and never get up again. It’s very sad and that’s just how people tend to perish in their older age, and to invest in high level of muscle mass and manage that as a priority now is really an investment in your long term retirement fund of having a good level of muscle mass, so you can age well and live a long high quality life.

Yeah, totally. Awesome.

Lovely. Well, I think we’re ready to wrap this up, aren’t we fellows?

It’s been fun.

Yeah. Thank you so much for all your information, and all your wisdom and tips. We’ve got a lot of these engineering minds that are moving into this nutritional space, and you guys bring us new perspective and approaches to old nutrition information too. So my final question here for you is going to be, this is your final day on earth. The meteors coming at us all, we’re all going to be wiped out. What are you going to pick as your final meal?

Wow. I was going to say the donuts I’ve been holding off on, I don’t know. Just enjoy your food at that point, to do whatever you love. I do just enjoy salmon and steak and actually enjoy spinach. That makes me feel really good and I love that. So I do enjoy eating this way, and spinach mashes, salmon steak. I love it so yeah.

A big [inaudible 00:57:03] it sounds like.

I actually lost my taste for donuts.

Yeah, yeah, that’s funny because you may try it and you’re like, “That’s not even good.”

Yeah, [inaudible 00:57:15].

So where people can find your journey and read more? What is the URL of your blog?

Yeah, I’m optimisingnutrition.com, which Carole will tell you is the British spelling with an S but if you google optimizing nutrition, there’s a blog where a chronicle of my learnings over the last two or three years, a lot of words. Then there’s Nutrient Optimiser which I’ve tried to distill all those learnings into a program, where you can get some suggest meals and suggested foods. It takes you through how you can build new habits. A lot of us have this knowledge, but how do we build new habits to actually stick, starting from the fundamentals and moving from basically buy snack at a bio hacker along that journey from simple to more complex if you need it. Then there’s a Facebook group, Marty Kendall’s Nutrient Optimiser and also Optimising Nutrition is another Facebook group with about 8,000 people that are really smart and I’ve learned a lot from. So that’s where we share all the controversial new research and chat about that. So yeah, but I’d love you to check it out Nutrient Optimiser and check out the free report.

Awesome. Thank you.

Thank you so much for being here, Marty. Thank you for taking the time so early in your day. You probably have to get off to work now, don’t you?

Saturday I’ll be here, we’re ahead of you guys.

A whole day ahead, all right.

One day ahead.

You’ll never catch up.

Well, thank you again for being here. Everyone, thanks for watching/listening.

Thank you guys.

Thank you so much.

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