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Keto Chat Episode 116: How Long Does it Take to Lose Weight on a Keto Diet?

Brandy Wiltermuth, ARNP is a nurse practitioner and certified obesity specialist. I have worked in weight and metabolic disease management for more than 13 years. I am a partner at Three Health Medical Weight Loss Solutions. Our mission is to be the last stop in a person’s weight loss struggle.

I earned my nurse practitioner degree at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2004 and have worked in Hematology, Internal Medicine, Diabetes Management, and Obesity Medicine. I find this field of medicine the “science of hope,” to be very rewarding!

One of my missions is to advocate for the option of LCD for the treatment for diabetes and other metabolic disease. The seriousness of the pandemic of obesity and insulin resistance in the adult population in the US. What we have been doing isn’t working. Another is to challenge the bias and stigma around obesity overweight and the treatment modalities of these conditions.

I will and do prescribe medications both for management of all metabolic diseases as well as for weight management. This is not a popular position in the Keto or Low Carb world sometimes but in reality, we need every tool available.

Transcript:

Carole Freeman:
Hey, welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. I am your host, Carole Freeman, a board certified ketogenic nutrition specialist. I am here today with Brandy Wiltermuth. Let me do a quick little intro, tell you who she is, and then I’ll let her … Well, say hi first.

Brandy W.:
Hi.

Carole Freeman:
Actually, let me just do a little teaser, the topic that we’re going to be talking about today and then I’m going to do her intro. We’re going to talk about her back story, we’re going to give you guys a lot of tips and tricks today, too. Our topic of today is how long does it take to lose weight on keto? I know this is a really burning question for a lot of people, because a lot of the people seem to be losing 100 pounds a day on keto. They wake up overnight, they’re a size two. So a lot of people have different expectations about how long it takes to lose weight on keto.

Carole Freeman:
Our guest today, Brandy Wiltermuth, is a nurse practitioner and a certified obesity specialist. She’s been working in weight and metabolic disease management for more than 13 years and she is a partner at Three Health Medical Weight Loss Solutions, where their mission is to be the last stop in a person’s weight loss struggle. Welcome Brandy!

Brandy W.:
Thanks Carole. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Carole Freeman:
My pleasure.

Brandy W.:
You did a really good job introducing me. I guess something that I’d like to let people know is that I have always been using a low carb approach, and really we used a bunch of different ways to get people into ketosis, even 13 years ago, but we really didn’t call it that. And we didn’t get too obsessed about measuring ketones and that sort of thing. We could just kind of tell when people were having issues with some of the symptoms that they had achieved ketosis.

Brandy W.:
And even though we worked really hard at helping people avoid those symptoms, of course, not everybody takes the recommendations that you give them and they end up calling you and saying, “I’m having these terrible leg cramps and I’m so dizzy!” I’m like, “Congratulations! You are in ketosis.”

Brandy W.:
It’s interesting how that has blown up over the last couple years. But having been involved in it for quite a while, lots of different ways to skin the cat in terms of a low carb diet and getting people into ketosis, and it can be calorie restriction or it can be fasting or it can be what’s called a mimicking fast.

Brandy W.:
And ketogenic diets are really more of a mimicking of a fasting, because it’s suppressing your insulin so low. But you all know that, because you’re following Carole.

Carole Freeman:
Maybe. A lot of people don’t.

Brandy W.:
The best tool that I’ve ever seen for weight loss, and not just because of … usually pretty consistent and aggressive weight loss, but what we see happening in terms of brain chemistry and how the body likes to fight back against weight loss is generally different when there’s a low carb approach. And then also the fact that people generally have disrupted metabolic issues, like insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia, whichever you want to call it.

Brandy W.:
Fortunately, we know biochemistry of humans and how food affects us, and so it’s just logical that we arrive at a carbohydrate restricted diet to help people lose weight, get insulin under control and preserve muscle.

Brandy W.:
So that has been my mission for the last 13 years and helping people do that and also diabetes management, blood pressure, and all the that go along with weight as the symptom of this problem. That means that I’ve seen a lot of people and there’s always this discussion when people start, “How long is this going to take?” And “What should I weigh?” And “How long is it going to take?”

Carole Freeman:
Well, before we get into that, I want to cover your story of how you got involved in doing what you’re doing, because you didn’t come right out of school and specialize in weight management. So you’ve got a really interesting story. Can you share your journey with us?

Brandy W.:
Yeah, sure. Sorry, I skipped that part.

Carole Freeman:
I know, you’re so passionate about educating and helping people you skipped over the …

Brandy W.:
Yeah. So I graduated as nurse practitioner and I was still working in the hospital and seeing these crazy people coming in with uncontrolled diabetes on dialysis and having limbs removed. It was very dramatic.

Brandy W.:
I knew all along this was something that people didn’t have to go through. I mean, they could have avoided some of these things, but at that point, 12, 13, 15 years ago, it was very much accepted that once you get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you were going to have it and that was it. And the medical community went along with that and it was disturbing.

Brandy W.:
I had a full array of experience with that kind of stuff in the hospital and found it pretty unpleasant and thought, “God, there’s got to be a better way,” but I didn’t know what to do. When I graduated, I ended up taking a position in oncology, which is not my favorite thing. I really loved the people that can do it, but it just wasn’t for me and I found myself thinking, “I need to prevent this stuff from happening. That’s what I want to work on.”

Brandy W.:
So, I randomly looked in the paper at the time, that’s how you found a job, and there was … Or Monster, that was the other place that I found this ad-

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, [inaudible 00:06:25].

Brandy W.:
Right. And so there was this ad for nurse practitioner for a preventative health clinic, weight loss, metabolic disease and I thought, “Well this sounds pretty good.” So I answered the ad and I met Dr. Anne Hendricks who’s been in practice now doing specifically obesity medicine for 30 years now. It was 20-ish years when I got there, and it was a crash course in, “This is how we get people to lose weight. These are the tips and tricks and protein needs,” and all the things that you monitor and medications that help people continue to and maintain weight loss.

Brandy W.:
I got a good baseline there, and then I had this silly notion that probably I need to go get the hardcore education. I needed to earn my stripes, and that’s a big thing in the nursing world. I don’t know if it is in the nutrition world, but if you don’t suffer, then you didn’t do it right.

Brandy W.:
So I thought, “Well, I got to go suffer and learn this stuff and really become more confident in what I was doing.” So I ended up taking a position as an internal medicine in an internal medicine practice, and I was the nurse practitioner. Fortunately or unfortunately, the population that I was working with was there was a lot of diabetes.

Brandy W.:
So I was able to bring my experience of weight management and metabolic disease management to this community and got a dietician on board who helped teach the low carb diet to people. And interestingly, when I started, we did do pretty much a … I would assume it’s a moderate carb restriction now. And when I taught her what I wanted her to ask the patients to do, at first she was pretty resistant. And then I actually showed her the grams of things and all of that and she said, “Oh. Well, this is what we do with our gestational-ly diabetic patients.”

Brandy W.:
And I said, “Okay. Well, then we can agree that if it’s safe for a pregnant woman, then it should be pretty safe for anyone, right?” And she goes, “Yeah. That’s right.” So we started doing it and we had some really fantastic results. Eventually, I realized that I didn’t really want to have to deal with all the other stuff, I just wanted to work on weight and metabolic disease management.

Brandy W.:
So I left there and I started working in exclusively weight management, and that was great and I liked it. And I liked the doctor and the clinic and everything, but I started to … I was there for about four years and the longer you’re in a place, you see people come and go. They get really excited, they lose weight and then something happens and they drift away and then they come back. So I had the luxury of seeing these people over a period of time.

Brandy W.:
When they were losing weight and feeling good and all their metabolic markers were getting better, it was really fun and great. Then they would drift away and come back having regained all their weight. And I would ask them, not in an accusatory way but just, “Tell me what happened, because I need to understand how to help you better.” And it was never, “Oh, I just forgot that a low carb or a ketogenic diet was the best way for me to eat. I didn’t lose the knowledge, I didn’t learn something different that was opposing my experience.”

Brandy W.:
It was always an emotional or behavioral or social upheaval that threw them off track and then they were just unable to find their way back onto the plan. And mainly I realized that was because they were using food as a coping mechanism and hadn’t replaced it with something else.

Brandy W.:
I also realized that I was not the person to help them realize what these issues were and to help them overcome them, because I’m not a psychologist or a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist. And even if I would know what to do, I didn’t have the time the way that the appointments were structured. So I could help identify it, but I couldn’t really help people with the actual issues. And that led me to understand that if we were going to do this the right way, I needed a partner in that arena who was going to be able to focus on weight.

Brandy W.:
Because it isn’t as if there aren’t psychotherapists out there, but a lot of them I would refer out to the community, available psychotherapists, and they would not even address the issue of eating, or if they did, maybe they had some experience in eating disorders. But it didn’t work, and it was hard to get people to do it, to seek out care that way. And so-

Carole Freeman:
Well, if I can just interject here, in my experience of just going to therapy myself and in seeking out partners myself for my own work, it’s actually very common that therapists look at food as a good coping mechanism. They recommend that people … Food is thought to be neutral, it doesn’t really impact your health that much, it’s just about calories. And so I-

Brandy W.:
[crosstalk 00:12:08].

Carole Freeman:
… [crosstalk 00:12:08] said this, and then I’ve had other ones that say, “Oh, that’s good. It’s good that you’re using food to cope with your emotions. It’s so much better than drugs or alcohol or gambling,” or the other things. So it’s great that you recognize that and you’ve got a partner that also recognizes that, because that’s really rare.

Brandy W.:
Yeah. And so, I mean, I left that practice because I couldn’t convince the administrator to get somebody on board, and I felt like it was doing a disservice to the patients, because I knew that most of them were going to end up regaining their weight because they hadn’t dealt with their issues. And I just didn’t feel right about that.

Brandy W.:
And so I went to a practice where they did have psychotherapists and it was kind of crazy. It was a surgical practice and I was there as a medical provider and long story short, I found some really great psychotherapists and we left there and started our own practice, which is Three Health.

Carole Freeman:
Wow, that’s great. I want to ask a couple of questions here. These are phrases that practitioners throw out that-

Brandy W.:
Yeah, go for it.

Carole Freeman:
… for the people that are watching have no idea. We say it like it’s just the time of the day. But the phrase, first of all, “nurse practitioner.” What does that mean and how’s it different than a nurse or a doctor?

Brandy W.:
Okay. Nurse practitioners have an advanced degree. Most of them coming out of school now have a doctorate, I do not. I have a master’s degree in nursing and then I’m licensed as a nurse practitioner. So my training was RN, that took me longer than it should’ve, but it’s a four-year degree.

Brandy W.:
And then two-and-a-half year program as a master’s, and that’s where you do all your clinical and [inaudible 00:13:57] mentorship and you’re not at all ready to go out into the world and actually do your job, but you find places that are going to train you and you find your niche, and I’m so lucky I found what I did, even though I didn’t really realize it at the time.

Brandy W.:
So I can prescribe medications, I can diagnose, I can set treatment plans, I can do all those things. And I think the best thing about a nurse practitioner role is that for those many, many years that I worked in medicine and I didn’t have a prescription pad, you learn a lot about how to help people. But now I have the ability to use medicine as well, and it’s a pretty good combination, I think.

Brandy W.:
I think we don’t always jump to medication first, but we can use it if we need to. And that makes us kind of different than the medically trained model of physicians, and even sometimes PA’s come from more of, “This is your problem, this is your medication.” That’s the-

Carole Freeman:
Nice.

Brandy W.:
… basic difference.

Carole Freeman:
Excellent. And then the other one I wanted to have a definition for people listening, watching is “metabolic disease.” What does that mean and what are the …

Brandy W.:
So it’s a broad category, and basically it started when we started talking about something called metabolic syndrome. Now they call it syndrome X. But back when I was in school in 2004, they didn’t really have a name for it. They just said, “Well, obviously people who are overweight have diabetes and they also have blood pressure problems, and they also have hyperlipidemia. They also have all these other problems.”

Brandy W.:
And so over time, they kind of put these things into a constellation and said, “Well, if you have three of these things, then you have metabolic syndrome.” But metabolic just means how your metabolism is affected, and your metabolism is basically energy and how it’s used, how it’s conserved or expended. And it can become dysfunctional. And the core of that for most people is a dysfunctional regulation of insulin in the body, which starts down all of these different paths to cause disruption.

Brandy W.:
When we eat certain foods, it influences how our body is producing or utilizing the energy based on insulin and other hormones, but insulin is kind of the mothership. But there’s other things that can happen. There’s thyroid and other things that metabolism is influenced by that doesn’t have really much to do with insulin. But it’s that constellation of things. Does that clear it up or does it just make it muddier?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, that’s great. No, that’s great. Let us know. As you’re watching this, put a comment below. If you still have questions about what that is, what that means-

Brandy W.:
It’s a vague description-

Carole Freeman:
[crosstalk 00:17:06].

Brandy W.:
Anyway-

Carole Freeman:
Oh, yeah. So next, let’s talk about how long does it take to lose weight on a keto diet? When it’s properly formulated, what do you see as initial in the first few months? And then more longterm, what do you see?

Brandy W.:
Okay. I hate to say this, but it generally depends on a lot of different factors. I can give you averages. But the way that we look at it is more of body fat percentage loss than pounds. Because we’re really concerned and want to focus on maintaining muscle, which helps us maintain that good metabolism, because muscle burns energy and fat doesn’t.

Brandy W.:
So when we see people, especially when people are overweight, they tend to have more muscle than their normal weighted counterpart. So there’s a woman same height, not weight as much, they’re not going to have as much muscle as the person who weighs more. So their needs are going to be different and their weight loss goals are going to be different because of that.

Brandy W.:
Long story short, I would say on average, if people are maintaining muscle and losing only body fat, what I generally see is women tend to have about a five to seven pound loss a month average, but most people will lose more than that in the first couple weeks because of the water weight loss.

Brandy W.:
And so when people say, “Oh, ketogenic diets don’t really work, you’re just losing water weight.” It’s true that you’re losing water weight that you don’t need and that happens up front, but then a continued weight loss tends to be about half of that amount. So if you lose five pounds in a week, the next week if you lose two-and-a-half pounds, we can pretty much bet that that’s coming from body fat, which is an aggressive amount of weight loss for most women.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Well, and I love that you brought that up too, that we need to make sure that … I actively with my clients try to watch my language about the difference of weight loss versus fat loss-

Brandy W.:
Body fat. Yes.

Carole Freeman:
People are so trained, it’s ingrained, they’re married to their scale. They just want to see that number going down no matter what and there can be changes on the scale that don’t have anything to do with fat loss. And so you can’t tell the whole picture. So we want to make sure people want fat loss, they don’t want necessarily weight loss, because you don’t want to lose muscle. You don’t want to lose bone. Those things are very important to hold onto.

Brandy W.:
It will make it much harder to maintain weight loss if your weight loss journey includes a lot of muscle. It’s basically destroying the ability to burn energy. And I feel like that’s what has happened to most people when they come in and say the typical story. They come in and say, “Yeah, I’ve lost weight before. A couple times I did all these protein shakes and they weighed me weekly and I lost 30 pounds pretty quick. And then it just stopped. And no matter what I did, I couldn’t lose anymore weight.”

Brandy W.:
And I usually say, “Well, what was happening there is your body got to a point where it’s like, ‘There’s just nothing else I can give. I can’t lose anymore muscle.'” And of course, there is some body fat loss too, but we do body composition tests every couple of months to make sure that there isn’t an excessive amount of muscle loss.

Brandy W.:
There’s also what’s considered acceptable amount of muscle loss, and usually I arrive at that number by looking at total weight loss divided by four. So for example, if somebody loses 20 pounds in three months, if five pounds comes from lean mass, that’s not great, but it’s acceptable. And some people who are really heavy, that have way more muscle than they probably should, that can be a problem too, because then joints and just the pressure of weight, no matter what it’s from, is also going to cause some problems.

Brandy W.:
So some people, especially bigger guys, can afford a little bit of muscle loss and that is okay. My most concerning is somebody that’s already pretty lean deficient and then they are really aggressively trying to restrict their calories. I see that that person is going to end up having a harder time not only achieving their goal weight based on body fat, but they’re going to get hungry and their body’s going to fight back a lot harder. So-

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, and it’s that counterintuitive that people that are overweight have more muscle, but it makes sense if you think about they’re carrying an extra 50 or 100 pounds, every day, your body’s going to have more muscle to be able just to carry that much weight around and move it around.

Brandy W.:
Right. And it’s not just muscle, because we have skeletal muscle that you can move and make do other things, but we have smooth muscle and cardiac muscle and you can’t really ask that to work harder and burn more energy. It’s just kind of there. But there’s also connective tissues and ligaments and all that kind of stuff. And all of that is lean mass, so we go by lean mass and our body breaks down skeletal muscle.

Brandy W.:
But generally, people are going to achieve a healthier weight by gaining muscle and/or preserving what they have and changing their body fat and decreasing their weight. In a lot of ways, our patients end up being kind of like body builders. It’s kind of crazy to say, but I explain it to my 60-year-old ladies who’ve never done any kind of resistance training before.

Brandy W.:
It’s like, “No, we’re building your body, because you’re going to be at risk for muscle loss as you get older and that’s how people get hurt.” It’s just a big mind shift too that they have to go through, because they came to lose weight and then they find out, “Okay, now I know I have pre-diabetes and I have high cholesterol and I have all these other medical issues related to weight,” but then we see these changes in the body that show up and they show up a lot better in the clothes and how people feel than they do on the scale.

Brandy W.:
The scale is, I always call it an evil liar of all lies, because it cannot tell you what’s going on in your body. And how many times do people come in and say, “I’m not losing weight. I’m so discouraged.” And then their pants are falling off as they’re walking out. You’re like, “Well, something’s happening.” But I think that’s how we have to assess it, is more by body composition, and getting people out of the dieter mentality, which is rampant. It’s rampant, and if that scale isn’t moving, then they’re doing it wrong and they are going to fail, and just another thing that they’ve tried that they can’t do. And we’ve got to start combating that from day one that, “Look, there are other things that we’re going to look at that are more important and that are going to tell you truly what’s happening in your body, apart from just the scale.”

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s great. And having that body composition tool in the office there is probably really powerful, where you can show them and convince them that, “Look, things are moving in the right direction.” Let’s see. There are some common things. There are stalls and plateaus in weight loss that’s a natural part of the process, how do you coach people through that? Because it can be a big part, like you’re saying, where they say, “Well, it’s not working. It’s not working. I might as well just quit.”

Brandy W.:
Right. And the social media aspect is a blessing and a curse at the same time and I’m sure you get this too, because I’ve had patients … I have patients who have lost 60 pounds on a ketogenic diet and they’re doing great and all of their markers look great, and metabolically, they’re so much healthier and happier. And they’re not struggling with addiction of food and sugar. But they compare themselves to these photos and stories on Facebook and Twitter and all this.

Brandy W.:
And then they feel like they’re not making any progress, and it’s just really … Those things can be inspiring and they are inspiring, and I support people promoting themselves and showing these things. But then everyone has to understand it’s their own journey, and everybody’s body’s different and it might take longer. It’s so individualized. There’s no way to predict how exactly things are going to go.

Brandy W.:
I try to be the rah-rah, that’s when my pom-poms come out. Ask anybody that knows me, I was a cheerleader, but the worst cheerleader you have ever met.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s funny.

Brandy W.:
The worst. And everybody agrees. But I’m good at cheerleading this population, because we bring it back to reality and what’s happening in the body and how they feel and their energy, and all these other things that really matter in the big scheme of things.

Brandy W.:
Plateaus are going to happen, and that’s the other thing that I try to educate people up front about before it happens. “I don’t know when, but it will. And that’s going to be a test and we’re going to have to be crafty.” And there are ways to break plateaus that are pretty easy, I think. Number one is I always go back to the protein, always.

Brandy W.:
People come in now, my patients that have been with me for a while, and they don’t even say, “I don’t why I’m not losing weight.” They say, “I know. I haven’t been eating enough protein.” They’re trained now.

Carole Freeman:
And that’s so great, and I’m so glad you said that specific thing, because that’s, unfortunately, it’s a piece of misinformation that’s been like a game of telephone that’s been passed along. I can’t tell you how many people I start to work with and they put on their application, “I’m probably eating too much protein.”

Carole Freeman:
People fear protein in this keto thing. And keto for weight loss is very different than a therapeutic ketogenic diet for epilepsy or brain cancer. So protein is usually not anybody’s … Usually they’re under-eating protein than overeating protein.

Brandy W.:
Right. And it’s happened to me. Well, I’m getting my lunch ready and I’m like, “That’s probably enough.” And then there’s a tiny little voice in my head that says, “Why don’t you check, because you’ve been hungry lately.” And so I check and I’m like, “Oh yeah, that’s half of what I intended to be eating.” I think part of it is the dieter mentality, because we go back to eating less is going to make me lose weight faster. And then we find ourselves hungry and it’s just a natural thing that we do, because we have those tapes playing in our head that if I just eat less, I’ll do better.

Brandy W.:
But I always pound it into my patient’s head that, “You have to eat to lose weight. You have to eat to lose weight.” And they’re like, “I know.” That’s one of the biggest things that happens is people get to the point where they can tolerate more hunger, because they’re not on the blood sugar train anymore. They’re not going from high to low. So they can manage not eating as much. But then their weight loss slows down because it’s not enough to keep their metabolism going the way it should be going. And that’s a pretty consistent one. So, protein.

Brandy W.:
I think the other one that sneaks in is liquid calories, whether it’s in the form of alcohol or the spiced pumpkin latte or god forbid, too much heavy whipping cream in your coffee. It does add up and it does matter, so I go back and look at calories that are just liquid. I think that’s low hanging fruit for most people. And they’ll go, “Yeah, I guess I have done that a little bit more.”

Brandy W.:
And then soda, or diet soda sometimes or artificial sweeteners, a lot of times people don’t recognize that they’re triggered to find more sweet things, even if they don’t really have a sugar issue. But sweet and tasting sweet perpetuates craving for sweet. And it’s so insidious because you think, “Gosh, I’m making a really good choice here.” Diet soda or there’s a million drinks now that you can get without calories.

Brandy W.:
But for some people, and I have never been able to find the common link between people, but probably in 13 years, I’ve seen at least four or five, probably five people who just would not lose weight when they were drinking diet soda. And calorie-wise, it didn’t make any difference. They weren’t eating more calories, it was something about the sweetener itself and possibly its effect on your body thinking that it got sugar. The consistency wasn’t there. Like, “Oh, they were pre-diabetic.” Or they had high insulin, or they were a male in their 50s. It was just so random that I still don’t know what it is.

Brandy W.:
It’s probably some kind of enzyme that they don’t have to break it down. I don’t know. But that happens often, I think. First, it creates more cravings for sweet, and then some people just won’t lose weight period, because they’re having some kind of artificial sweetener and there’s an issue. I don’t really know.

Brandy W.:
Rarely do I have to tell people that they’re not eating enough vegetables, that doesn’t generally happen. People are pretty good at that. I often give people permission not to eat vegetables if they don’t like them and it’s turning into a hassle and they’re doing it because they think they have to be healthy. I just say, “Well, if you like them, eat them. If you don’t, okay. You might end up wanting more later at some point if your taste changes or seasons or whatever.”

Brandy W.:
Sometimes night eating, people get out of bed and eat, and they won’t really come forth with that. It’s really interesting. They’ll answer, they’ll admit to it and talk about it freely when I ask the question, but they won’t offer it sometimes. Like, “This could be a barrier to my weight loss.” And that is more common than you would think, actually. It’s really interesting. And it is an actual eating disorder.

Brandy W.:
But that’s fairly common. It tends to be more with women, and we think sometimes it’s more related to the fact that when women have babies, they’re on a 24-hour clock. So they don’t have bedtime and wake time and morning. It’s just an every two hour cycle. And so they’re up and they don’t have a schedule, so they eat. They’re breastfeeding or whatever, and then they just never go back to sleeping through the night and not eating. That’s fairly-

Carole Freeman:
Wow.

Brandy W.:
… common.

Carole Freeman:
That’s really interesting. I like that theory.

Brandy W.:
Some people do sleepwalk and eat, but they usually know, because their kitchen is destroyed and there’s food all over and they weren’t conscious of it. And that’s a pretty rare thing. Usually I don’t see too many people doing that. But people can eat a whole lot on Ambien and not remember.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, wow. Wow.

Brandy W.:
But, I mean, really, generally if you go back to the basics, there’s something like that. And then I have people who have inflammation, they have arthritis, and no matter what they do, if we don’t get that inflammation under control, they’re not going to lose weight.

Brandy W.:
People who have very poor sleeping habits or who have sleep apnea that’s undiagnosed, that really stresses the body and it just doesn’t want to give up anything. It’s already super fatigued and eating more is the only logical way to get energy. So you ask these people to do carb restriction or even reduce their portions and things like that, and they’re just too … All of those hunger signals are just too ramped up and they can’t do it.

Brandy W.:
But those are kind of rare. I think most of it is mindless and eating more, more often and the carb creep. I think someone at the keto meetup mentioned that, it just starts with one little thing and then before you know it, you’re eating a lot of carbs. It just happens insidiously. So we go back and check that.

Brandy W.:
But I almost think that if you maintain protein, carb creep is a lot less likely to happen, because you’re actually satiated. And if you’re being mindful of your protein, it’s just less likely that those carbs are going to sneak in without you knowing. Being logical about it, you can tell energy-wise and craving-wise when you hit that mark of too many carbohydrates for you personally.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, let’s see. It feels like we covered it pretty good about how long it takes to lose weight. We’ve got a quicker weight change in the beginning for more water weight that’s lost from the liver glycogen and then five to seven pounds of fat average per month. But plateaus are normal. Remember that. Plateaus are normal. It’s not if they’re going to happen, it’s when.

Brandy W.:
When.

Carole Freeman:
I’ve seen this, and human bodies are so fascinating and we’ve got all this science that shows all these things. And then we’ve got real life experience with real people. Not all of it fits with what we know in science. And so, have you seen that where sometimes people hit a plateau where it’s a weight that the body remembers from before, that whatever the weight was at, “Oh yeah, I was at that weight when I was 27 for five years.” Have you seen that?

Brandy W.:
I have. I think that’s more of a self-fulfilling prophecy for a lot of people. I think it’s just because mentally they know that that was a sticking point, or it was a weight that they had been at before. And so they kind of anticipate that it might be a place where they stop.

Brandy W.:
But if people aren’t weighing themselves that often or if they’re only relying on our scale, they’ll blow by it and not even know.

Carole Freeman:
So it sounds like you’re saying it’s more of a psychological or subconscious plateau. I have seen that, actually, where I’ve had clients that have said, “I’m afraid of this weight because something happened [crosstalk 00:37:01]-”

Brandy W.:
Exactly.

Carole Freeman:
“… before.” Or, “I’ve never been lower than that and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Brandy W.:
And the other part of it that’s fairly common is people will admit that, “Well, now that I’ve lost some weight, I’m starting to get attention and I’m not really excited about that.” And so they’re really, honestly debating whether they want to keep losing weight. I think that’s huge, and that’s why we have psychotherapists in our office.

Brandy W.:
I was going to say, the other thing that can help break plateaus is obviously changing the type and amounts of food that you eat at each meal. So I call it the shell game, where you just move things around. And so I make people eat dinner for breakfast and not eat dinner or skip lunch or whatever. We just change the pattern so that the body has a shock again and it can’t anticipate and be efficient, because we’re changing the amount of energy coming in and the timing of it.

Brandy W.:
And I think that’s really common, that people are like, “This is my plan.” And they’re married to it. This is what has been working for the last four months. And then it’s like, “Well, guess what? Your body’s way smarter than that. It knows how to adapt, and it’s been doing this … As humans, we’ve been doing this for a really long time, so you got to do something to shake it up.”

Brandy W.:
The other thing that I see interestingly is when people get really aggressive with their exercise, the weight plateaus even though they can recognize changes in their shape and their size, but that’s when we really have to consider, the scale probably isn’t going to be a very good way of measuring your progress at this point. And that’s unfortunate. You would hope for people that when they get active and they feel good enough to want to do those things that it would just perpetuate their weight loss or push them further.

Brandy W.:
But sometimes it backfires, and I think it might have more to do with the fact that people probably get hungrier, but they don’t respond to it appropriately. So they’re really just not getting enough in. Again, back to the protein, needing to go back to the protein.

Brandy W.:
The other thing that we do is prescribe medications, because people will want to do everything without help. They call it a crutch and they don’t want to use crutches and I say, “Well, if you broke your leg, you’d want them. So, it’s really no different.” But sometimes you don’t know what you are thinking and feeling around food and your appetite, that it is more mental or socially driven or whatever.

Brandy W.:
You don’t know when it’s different, when you’re not using a medication. Or a medication gives you awareness of habits and eating practices and social things and stress responses to things that you can’t know if you’ve never had the opportunity to feel different. And I think that the medications can be extremely helpful pushing people past that, because then they realize, “Yeah, my plan has been working. I’m doing this, I’m following it. It’s really good. But then I’m plateauing and I can’t tell what the difference is between me being physically hungry and wanting to eat because I like steak.”

Brandy W.:
They can’t really decipher it. And so sometimes the medications help us be more clear about its physical hunger, or you’re actually full and/or some other kind of driver to eat. It’s all kind of individual.

Carole Freeman:
Wonderful. I wonder just in closing, do you have an inspiring case study to share? A transformation of somebody you’ve worked with?

Brandy W.:
I’ve got a lot. There’s a guy that I’ve been seeing for a few years now. He came to me at the previous practice. He went there exploring gastric sleeve surgery, and I think he was close to … I think he was 420 when he started, and then he read the book, Always Hungry by David Ludwig, and he and his wife did that and he lost some weight.

Brandy W.:
But then it just stopped, he plateaued and he was on his own. So he went to the clinic and was considering bariatric surgery but really didn’t want to. He told them, “I don’t want to do this.” And so they referred him to the medical program and I saw him. Now he is 220, I think. And he’s off all of his Metformin, Statin, blood pressure, all that stuff. And he’s got a little ways to go, but pure keto.

Brandy W.:
He and his wife, they come in, I’m like, “Give me your keto recipes.” Because they’re constantly exploring and doing new things and they’re just rock stars. They did a whole keto thanksgiving dinner and everyone in the family loved it. It’s pretty great. So we see that kind of thing all the time.

Brandy W.:
But they’re the rock stars, really. The average person is going to get really good weight loss up front. They’re going to slow down and plateau, and the smaller you get, the harder it is. That’s just the truth, too. You’re not going to stay on these five pound, 10 pound a month trajectories of weight loss. But once in a while, you will get someone who’s been doing pretty good low carb keto, they’re stuck, and then we throw something like intermittent fasting at them. And then they start losing weight again in a pretty good manner. But that’s kind of unusual, too.

Carole Freeman:
I thought of one other question I wanted to ask as well.

Brandy W.:
Sure.

Carole Freeman:
Is there such a thing, can people be still overweight but metabolically healthy? Do people always have to get to a very lean body?

Brandy W.:
No, they don’t. And actually, that’s funny, because I was just looking at Twitter and Dr. Ted Naiman had this ideal body weight thing, and I was just like … I read all the comments on why body fat is more important and I’m like, “Yeah! Finally, somebody said it and I didn’t have to.”

Brandy W.:
What we do is we don’t really use BMI. I mean, we look at it because we can calculate it, but in my experience, if you’re looking for health, women do really well if they get to about 32% body fat. And this is a generalization. But the majority of our patients start somewhere around 40 to 50%, so that’s a huge reduction in body fat.

Brandy W.:
The crazy thing is that I like to play this game called If I Worked at the Circus, because when people come in and I calculate what their weight would be if they hit 32% body fat with maintaining their muscle, it’s almost always a weight where they say, “Oh. I weighed that once and I felt great.” And they were overweight on the BMI scale.

Brandy W.:
They’re usually bigger people anyway, just taller, bigger people. And in their heart, they know that that’s a good weight for them. No, you don’t have to be super lean to be metabolically healthy. Men, I try to get them under 25%. But we see really good improvements with even a 3% change in body fat. When people go from an A1C of 6.1 to 5.4 in a three month period and they’ve only lost 3% of their body fat, it’s like, we’ll take it. It’s improving.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, it’s so great. I love the work that you’re doing, and I didn’t mention at the beginning, but you’re in the Seattle area, which is wonderful. And I was so excited to get to meet you recently and discover that you’re right in my backyard and I get to [inaudible 00:45:58].

Carole Freeman:
Because we have so few qualified practitioners, or even practitioners that are keto friendly. To know what you’re doing is such a comprehensive model. It’s so wonderful and I imagine you’ve just got … I mean, it makes sense to me why you gave up the other focus you had and this has been such a passion for you, is because it’s changing lives. It’s improving people’s health and saving lives as well, too.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much for the work you’re doing. I have one final closing question. If we all knew that the meteor was coming at the earth today, today was going to be our final day on this planet, what would be your final meal?

Brandy W.:
Oh, definitely steak with a lot of butter, and I might have a salad. But probably not. Who’s got time for that? I’d definitely have a nice steak, for sure.

Carole Freeman:
Nice. All right. Well-

Brandy W.:
Thanks for having me, Carole. It’s been really fun.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, thank you-

Brandy W.:
And thanks for the keto meetups. I really appreciate being a part of that. It’s really fun.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. We’re going to keep growing those in the Seattle area, and we encourage you, wherever you’re watching this, seek out or start one yourself and just meet and hang out with those other people that are following this way of low carb keto way of living.

Carole Freeman:
We’re going to put your contact info in the show notes there below. Any quick little way that people can follow up or contact you?

Brandy W.:
Sure.

Carole Freeman:
Are you on social media or anything like that? Is there something you want to plug?

Brandy W.:
You can find us at Three Health pretty much across all media. If you Google “Three Health,” T-H-R-E-E Health, we’ll come up. Our website is www.three.health. Not dot com, people get that screwed up all the time. But it’s just dot health.

Carole Freeman:
Nice. Well, thank you so much again for being here. If you all enjoyed this interview, give us a thumbs up. Subscribe and hit the bell if you want to get notified when our next interviews come out. Thank you again for being here, and thank you for all the work that you’re doing in the world.

Brandy W.:
Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Carole. Bye-

Carole Freeman:
We’ll see you soon-

Brandy W.:
… bye.

Carole Freeman:
… come back soon. Bye!

Keto Chat Episode 115: Keto Cooking Kitchen Tips

Kellie Logsdon is the founder and creator of TheKellieKitchen.com, an online food blog specializing in low carb cooking and a ketogenic lifestyle. Kellie develops and shares recipes and her expertise for Low Carb Cooking and Ketogenic Lifestyle through her own journey to health. After years of her own gut issues, yo-yo dieting and ill overall health Kellie went on to earn a Certification in Holistic Health and Nutrition. With trial and error, lots of cooking and intense research Kellie came upon the diet that changed her life forever-The Ketogenic and Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Diet. Kellie finally figured out that weight loss and overall health are best managed with real food and less medicine.

Kellie shares simple strategies to overall health (that no one was talking about when she was growing up) that are found in the kinds of foods we eat AND when we eat them. Kellie learned and perfected Low Carb lifestyle techniques and recipes using whole foods and clean products that brought her to her best health. Kellie is on a tireless journey to create and share amazing Low Carb and Keto friendly foods and tips with you. TheKellieKitchen.com is a place where you will learn to eat real foods that can help you feel better, lose weight, clear your brain and give you more energy.

Links to Kellie’s favorite recipes:
The Diet That Changed My Life: https://thekelliekitchen.com/the-diet-that-changed-my-life/
Fathead Pigs in a Blanket: https://thekelliekitchen.com/fathead-pigs-in-a-blanket/
Low Carb Raspberry Cheesecake Coconut Bars: https://thekelliekitchen.com/low-carb-raspberry-cheesecake-coconut-bars/

Links to Kellie’s social accounts for Keto Food and lifestyle inspiration…
facebook.com/thekelliekitchen
https://www.facebook.com/groups/healthyketointhekelliekitchen/
instagram.com/thekelliekitchen
youtube.com/c/thekelliekitchen

Transcript:

Carole Freeman:
Hey, welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. I am your host, Carole Freeman, certified nutritionist, keto diet specialist. And today, I’m here very excited. We have Kellie of Kellie’s Kitchen. Let’s see. Let me read her bio so you know who she is too. So, Kellie Logsdon is the founder and creator of thekelliekitchen.com, an online food blog specializing in low carb cooking and ketogenic lifestyle. Kellie develops and shares recipes and her expertise for low carb cooking and ketogenic lifestyle through her own journey to health. After years of her own gut issues, yo-yo dieting and ill health, Kellie went on to earn a certification in holistic health and nutrition. With trial and error, lots of cooking and intense research, Kellie came upon the diet that changed her life forever. Welcome, Kellie.

Kellie Logsdon:
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, my pleasure. Well, just to start out with, will you share what is your keto journey? How did you hear about it? I read in your bio here that you had some gut issues and stuff like that, but just tell us a little more about what the journey’s been for you?

Kellie Logsdon:
Sure. So I grew up in the 70s, where the dietary guidelines came out in 1977. And being from a family that was into health and into nutrition, we decided that as a family that we were going to get on board and be as healthy as we possibly could. I was a Division I intercollegiate athlete for the volleyball player for the University of San Diego. I was a junior national paddle tennis champion. So our family was very active and very into health. But when those dietary guidelines came out, every ounce of fat and every ounce of flavor left the house.

Kellie Logsdon:
And so for decades, we were on this journey of a whole grain, low fat, mostly vegetarian sort of diet. But throughout those years, my weight fluctuated a lot. And I never really could get into a mode or a system of anything that felt like it was a lifestyle for me. It was just always a struggle. And I ranged in weight, it was a pretty big spectrum. The lowest end was about 125 and the highest end was about 204. Now, I know that’s a pretty big spectrum there. But I typically sat in the middle there. I currently am 135 pounds, and I’m 5’9″, and once I found keto, I have effortlessly been this way for three years.

Kellie Logsdon:
So for me, it has become a lifestyle. But how I got there is that in my early 30s, I had two small children, a husband, I was living in the northeast, I was a stay at home mom, and I got really sick. I developed diverticulitis, and if those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an infection in your lower sigmoid colon. And it’s not a typical thing for people that are in their early 30s but it was incredibly painful. Luckily, I was able to treat it with antibiotics and figured that I would just sort of be on my way and be healthy again. I went on for the next decade to have diverticulitis seven more times.

Carole Freeman:
Wow.

Kellie Logsdon:
So yeah, just wreaked havoc on my gut flora. My stomach was distended or not for about a decade. And the disconcerting thing is that nobody could really tell me what to eat. While I was going through this, I thought to myself, “Well, I need to go to school because I’m going to figure this thing out.” And I’m going to take the classes and go to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to learn how to take care of myself, because clearly, I wasn’t connecting with what was being taught to me from my doctors’ offices.

Kellie Logsdon:
After I graduated from IIN, I got sick for the seventh time and I said, “This has got to end.” I was still doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing, calories in, calories out, eating all my whole grains, calorie restriction, beating the crap out of myself in the gym, running half marathons and triathlons and spinning and all that sort of stuff. So I went on about three years ago to have about a foot of my colon removed. It was a pretty expensive and extensive and painful surgery. But it didn’t end there. Because after I got out of the hospital, I got an infection, I got another infection, I got C. diff, which I’m not going to go into that but it’s a really awful infection. And I was on eight rounds of antibiotics in about 12 weeks. And again, nobody could tell me what to eat other than continue eating your rainbow jello and mashed potatoes with some sort of a mystery gravy on them and everything I was served in the hospitals four times in 12 weeks.

Kellie Logsdon:
They would serve it to me, and I’m like, “This is healthy?” And late 2016, I came across a book by Dr. Jason Fung and the Obesity Code, it made a lot of sense to me. But the interesting part that I found was that nobody could really tell me what to eat. And then I read this book that’s telling me not to eat anything. For those of you who haven’t read the book, and I highly recommend it, it’s called the Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. It talks a lot about fasting and autophagy and healing yourself from the inside and giving your body the opportunity to self correct and heal itself.

Kellie Logsdon:
If you’re not spending a whole lot of time digesting food, your body’s got to feed on something. So I started with intermittent fasting and I didn’t even really dive into my diet. I was still eating my whole grains. But I was still having chronic urinary tract infections and chronic yeast infections. And I was like, “Okay, from everything that I know, I know that sugar feeds all that stuff. So let’s start looking at like taking the sugar out of my diet.” And Dr. Jason Fung’s books and other books that I sort of dove into at that point, they talked a lot about the ketogenic diet and the low carb diet. And within a month of going on those diets, I knew I was on the track to pure health. So even though when I started this, I wasn’t overweight. I was actually underweight. Even though I started it all of a sudden, now I’m healthy. But now for three years, I have maintained the weight, which for decades plagued me, decades of rollercoaster up and down. So that is kind of how I got started on the ketogenic and intermittent fasting journey. And it’s been a lifesaver and a game changer for me. So I love it.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s so amazing. And I mean, I love hearing everybody’s story, because there’s so many people that have had to go deep into sickness in order to find this way of living and healing. And everybody’s got a different journey and it’s sad that we have to get that sick before we’re so desperate to be able to figure this out. But the good news is because of social media and things like this video that we’re doing right here, allow us to share with so many more people to get the word out that you don’t have to wait until you’re that sick to follow this way of eating. So I’m sorry what you’ve been through. And thank you so much for sharing your story in order to help other people. And so I’m curious, so from there, lead us into how did Kellie’s Kitchen come about.

Kellie Logsdon:
So the Kellie Kitchen started almost right after I started a ketogenic lifestyle. And when I knew that I couldn’t easily go grab a takeout or go grab, and that I was going to have to start cooking for myself, I decided that I was going to try and recreate a lot of things that I used to eat in my daily life. Well, how can I do that now? So one of the messages that I try to impart, and it goes hand in hand with how the Kellie Kitchen started is that when I started, I had little kids, I had babies, I lived in a crappy little tiny apartment in Santa Monica with my angry husband and a box of meat helper.

Carole Freeman:
I mean it’s a funny way of like disguising the real name of it.

Kellie Logsdon:
Yes, so the meat helper, it was my way to get dinner on the table fast. And that was 20 years ago. There was just a lot of trial and error of how am I going to feed my family fast and how am I going to get some nutrition in them, and do it on a budget as well. And so over 20 years, it’s been a lot of trial and error in the kitchen, a lot of garbage can worthy meals that my children and my ex-husband will attest to. But it became a love of cooking, but also taking care of myself.

Kellie Logsdon:
And so three years ago, when I started cooking, I was creating meals at home and I would sort of start thinking about, “Okay, well, if I’m going to take what most restaurants use as a base, whether it’s a potato skin or a bowl of pasta, or like a French roll or bread or whatever it may be, when you take all those things out and you’re left with your protein and your fat and your vegetable, how can we enhance those things?” And so it grew from there and I started posting pictures about it. I started sharing with friends. And my boyfriend at the time was like, “What are we doing in the Kellie Kitchen today?”

Kellie Logsdon:
And so that’s how the Kellie Kitchen got started. I taught myself how to do the website. I built the entire website by myself. I taught myself how to take all the pictures. I have such a passion and drive to be able to share with people that this is just real food. There’s nothing fancy about it. There’s nothing… keto, I think a lot of people here that. I mean, it’s just been my experience, maybe you can tell me differently. It’s been my experience that when people hear keto, they think, “Oh my God, this is super scientific. I’m going to have to really devote a ton of time and calculation to figuring all this out.”

Kellie Logsdon:
And basically, to me, it’s just real food and we’re taking out actually the fake food or taking out the box food, we’re taking out the processed food. But we’ve been in a society where they have made it so easy for us, they’ve made it so easy that you don’t even really have to think about it. You just go into the freezer and pull out your dinner. So that’s how the Kellie Kitchen got started, with my learning how to make all these foods and create these foods, but also trying to share with other people that this is just real food. And we don’t have to rely on packaged, big companies to provide our food for us. And I have two daughters, they’re both teen… well, one’s a teenager, one’s 20, and they’ve always seen me cooking. But I think one of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children, instead of saying, “I hate cooking.”, it’s, “This is how I can take care of myself.”, and it doesn’t have to be that hard. So that’s how it started. And it fuels my flames and I have so much food in my kitchen, in my freezer, in my fridge, that if anybody is driving by and wants to stop by for lunch or dinner, please call me because I’m always looking for people to feed.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, nice. So would you say you love to cook or it’s just grown out of necessity and you enjoy sharing the keto message and cooking with people?

Kellie Logsdon:
That’s a great question. I know I’m probably a little bit in the minority, but I really love cooking. But let me tell you also why, because I can take care of myself. But one of the greatest parts of me cooking is that it’s a family affair. Now, no one else in my family cooks but they all eat whatever I make. If I had to do everything, then it would be my journey and they would just be sort of hopping on. At the beginning of the week, I ask everybody what their schedules are and what they feel like eating for this week. I happen to love grocery shopping. I know that’s kind of a little strange, too but I love grocery shopping. It’s a creative outlet for me to sort of think about what I can create.

Kellie Logsdon:
If nobody’s going to be home that week, I don’t have to do any cooking or planning or whatever. But if they are going to be home, I go and do all the grocery shopping. But guess what, they empty the car, they put it all away. I cook it all. I have another… my boyfriend does all of the dishes. My daughter empties the dishwasher. I never empty the dishwasher. That’s the job I hate to do. But I think the part that it is a family affair and we’re all in this together, if I were just doing it for myself, that would be fine too, because I could cook whatever I wanted to and I could eat leftovers when I wanted to or I could skip a meal if I wanted to. But when you have everybody involved, and everybody says, “Yeah, I feel like eating tacos tonight.”, it’s deflating to me when I was a young mom to bring a meal to the table and you have two kids that are like, “I don’t want to eat that.” And then somebody else in the house is saying, “Yeah, let’s just go out for pizza.” And I’m like, “Oh my God, I’ve got to clean it all up.” I’ve got to, whatever. So a family affair or having some input in that has been really helpful and a driver for me.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s great. Yeah. And I love that we teach our kids in our family how to eat based on what we’re eating. And so many people think that like, “Well, Cheetos are good for me. I got to let my kids have all those kid foods.”

Kellie Logsdon:
Right.

Carole Freeman:
But my opinion is, is that it’s more important for kids to eat really healthy foods, because they’re building the foundation of their health for the rest of their lives. If you were building a house, would you just like to cut corners on the foundation and be like, “Yeah, we’ll just fix it later when we build the rest of the house.”

Kellie Logsdon:
Right, right. And what’s the saying? If you teach it, “If you give them a fish, they’ll eat for a day, if you teach them to fish, they will eat for life.” And so my girls actually, they do pretty well. They’re not fully keto. But they really try and it’s a progression for them as well when I’m not around to cook for them.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, yeah, well, and it’s empowering for the kids to see you doing that, but also just making that choice themselves. When they notice how much better they feel, I find the kids are like, “It tastes good and I feel better when I eat this way.” So they can make that choice for themselves instead of being forced to eat anything. So I forgot to ask you, once you started adopting a keto, low carb way of living, what happened to your health?

Kellie Logsdon:
So pretty much immediately, again, I mentioned that I was a little bit underweight and I wasn’t necessarily sleeping the best. So besides that I actually gained a little bit of weight, which I needed to, which it almost sounds kind of weird to me, because I was a yo-yo dieter, but I gained a little bit of weight. And it was sort of like a good thing for me. I filled out and I felt strong. But the other part of keto and intermittent fasting is that I just had this level of freedom and clarity, in my mind, in my work focus, I just sort of… I always have a skip in my step.

Kellie Logsdon:
My boyfriend and I have this thing about, we really guard our sleep very, very, very closely. And he’s away right now. And I’ve said to him, “Oh, I didn’t sleep very well last night.” And he was like, “When did you turn off your devices or whatever?” And I was like, “Well, I got out of my rhythm.” But when I’m in my rhythm, I mean, I can get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and that just drives my whole day the next day. I think that there’s so many kids and people that part of their… I mean, I think maybe the first level is if they could just get a full night’s sleep, what could happen with this world? What can we create with this world if people just actually slept?

Kellie Logsdon:
So my sleep improved. I actually started taking some collagen so that I could help with the thickness of my hair and my skin and that has really changed. I just add a little scoop of that. It’s nothing special. Just some collagen hydrolysate into my morning coffee. And yeah, it’s just, I’m like a little Energizer Bunny, that I’m just constantly going.

Carole Freeman:
Well, and you mentioned too, so you came from a place of chronic UTIs and yeast infections and the diverticulitis and the chronic infections. What’s happened that ways for you?

Kellie Logsdon:
Oh, they’re all gone.

Carole Freeman:
I know to you it’s like obvious, but we didn’t get to talk about it.

Kellie Logsdon:
Interestingly enough, my last cold, like sore throat cough that lasted for probably four days was in November of 2017. I mean, think about that. I used to get like a huge cold, sinus infections. I haven’t been on antibiotics since 2016. And hat was sort of a regular thing. It was like, “Yeah, just give her a prescription for Amoxicillin or Keflex or whatever. So I haven’t had to be on any medication at all. And I haven’t had a urinary tract infection or a yeast infection. I will say that something that sort of happens, because I’m baking all the time, I don’t eat everything that I bake. But I am sort of eating a lot more carbs. And you sort of get that carb creep when you’re tasting all these things that are keto friendly, but they still have carbs, I do tend to feel like, “Oh, I feel like I might have a little something going on here, I better knock that off.”

Kellie Logsdon:
And I do. I cut it out and kind of reset my back to baseline of how I eat and bring down my carb, or I should say not bring it down, but just get a little tighter on my carb count. Because in general, I’m pretty loose, I’m pretty liberal with my carb counting. I sort of keep it in my head. And when I feel myself sort of slipping or getting off track, I will tighten that thing up and get back to normal. So I haven’t had any urinary tract infections, bladder infections, kidney infections. And I know that there’s a whole community of people that have C. diff, and I won’t go into C. diff too much because it’s sort of a devastating sickness. And there’s not a whole lot, I mean, well, let’s just leave it at that. But the number one fear that I had after having C. diff is that you really can’t go on antibiotics anymore. Because if you do, you’ll have a reoccurring C. diff bout, and it’s incredibly painful, really tough to get rid of.

Kellie Logsdon:
And so, in these three years, being on keto, I haven’t had to go on any antibiotics for anything, for sinus infection or bladder infection or any of those sorts of things. So it sort of has kept me away from having to take antibiotics, which could make me get C. diff again. So it sort of kind of goes all circle. So if I don’t have to do, if I don’t eat this, I don’t have to go on antibiotics, if I don’t go on antibiotics, then I don’t get C. diff. And it’s sort of this circle. And so it’s been three years of, I would say, the best health that I’ve ever been in my life.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s fantastic. Yeah. So it’s not a surprise to me that all the immune stuff gets better. I just had to actually get you to share it because there’s a lot of other people out there struggling with that too. And similar for me, like I don’t get cold and the flu anymore. And I was somebody that several times a year would get just a flu that would knock me out 10 days or whatever. It’s like, no, everyone else around me is getting sick. And they all say this and that and the other and it’s like it just doesn’t even doesn’t even hit.

Kellie Logsdon:
Well, and the immediacy of running to the doctor to get a prescription for an antibiotic, that needs to be changed. Because there’s a lot of things that we get that if we just take care of ourselves and eat better, that we will heal ourselves and we don’t need to immediately pop a pill because it might not even fix the problem. You might even strip your gut even more.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. So how do you measure success now in your health and even in your kitchen?

Kellie Logsdon:
Yes. Well, I would be lying if I said I didn’t weigh myself or that I didn’t check the fit of my clothing. I really check in with myself about my energy levels, how much I’m sleeping. I do loosely track my scale weight, I loosely track how my clothes are feeling. And so on a fitness level and a sort of I guess a vanity level, those are some of the things that I do.

Kellie Logsdon:
Health wise, I check in with how am I feeling if my energy is low, or I’m feeling down or I’m not sleeping well, then I’m in tune with I know how great it feels to feel really good. And when I don’t feel that way, I’m going to do everything I can to get back there. So that’s one thing.

Kellie Logsdon:
Measuring success in the kitchen, well, there’s a couple things. So my boyfriend is very sweet. And anything I feed him, he’s like, “That’s amazing.” One time I made, I just sauteed some zucchini with a little bit of feta and some butter and some garlic. And I went to sprinkle some pepper and the lid fell off the pepper. And so it was a very peppery zucchini dish. He ate the whole thing anyway. I tried to scoop as much pepper out as I possibly could. But he ate the whole thing anyways and he was like, “That was great. It was a little spicy.”, but I love making things that people that are not keto, they eat it. I don’t tell them. And I’m like, and they’re like, “This is amazing. This is delicious.”, whether it’s a dessert, or even when I smoke a rack of barbecue ribs, and then I have a low sugar barbecue sauce. And I have a big party over or I make a big platter of tacos or whatever it may be. People don’t even know, and that to me is like I made something that doesn’t taste like diet food. Because it is just real food.

Kellie Logsdon:
And then once they sort of taste that, they think, “This isn’t so hard. This isn’t so weird. This isn’t so science-y.” And so that’s a huge win for me. And that’s also how I measure success. Yeah, so I mean, I have a lot of friends that want to start keto. And I help, I hold their hand a little bit. And I share with them everything that I possibly can. And so when I have friends that have started the keto journey and they lose weight or they’re feeling better, that’s also a little bit of a win for me. I do think that some of my friends are afraid to tell me that they have gone keto, even though I know that they have. I think they’re a little bit afraid because I am so passionate about the food that at 6 a.m. in the morning, I’m texting them like, “What do you think of, if I were to make buffalo chicken in zucchini boats? Does that sound like something?”, and I’ll send them pictures of popsicles or pictures of a cheesecake or pictures of a casserole and they’re like, “Enough with the food.”

Kellie Logsdon:
I think that some people hold off and don’t tell me that they’re doing keto. But that’s also another win if I can share with friends how to live this way and that it’s not so, so difficult.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s cool, yeah. It’s fun to see those ripples and waves of impact we have on other people in the world.

Kellie Logsdon:
Absolutely.

Carole Freeman:
What are some of the common mistakes that you see or missteps that people do when they’re first starting out?

Kellie Logsdon:
So I mentioned this a little bit before. The carb creep, that’s a real thing. And what I mean when I say the carb creep is that there are carbs and things that you wouldn’t necessarily know that there are carbs in. And just because it’s a keto friendly food doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any carbs in it. Broccoli has carbs in it and cauliflower has carbs in it, and nuts have carbs in it. I had no idea in the beginning, like I just thought, “Oh nuts are friendly.” So my favorite nut is cashews. So I’d have a serving of cashews. And I’d be like, “Oh my gosh, there’s 10 carbs in one serving.”

Kellie Logsdon:
So that was a little bit of a wake up call. And I think that there’s a lot of what happens or the mistake that happens is that they’ll go to a restaurant and they’ll order something and then they won’t realize that it was dipped in flour, or that maybe they added flour to the soup, or that they added some sugar. They think, “Oh, I got the salad with the chicken and with the avocado and with the slivered almonds and with the greens and it was a great keto thing. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.” And I say to them, “What was the dressing that you used?” And they’re like, “Oh, I used a poppy seed vinaigrette.” I was like, “Was it sweet?” They’re like, “Yeah.” I think those hidden carbs, we really need to be diligent about, especially when other people are serving us, because those carbs add up. And so those are the two things that I see the most is the carb creep, thinking that everything is a free food or because it’s keto friendly, and we can eat whatever we want of it. And then the other is the hidden carbs and the hidden sugars.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, a lot of people are surprised to find out that vegetables are not all you can eat on a keto diet because every other diet that we follow is, the vegetables are one thing you can eat so you try to fill up on those so my clients start out and they find out that they actually have to limit their servings of vegetables. That makes their head spin a little bit sometimes.

Kellie Logsdon:
Right, right. Well and for me, I try to sort of say to anybody that I’m talking to is that, “Look, I would rather that you eat, if you’re going to overeat anything, I’d rather that you ovary broccoli than ding dongs or Doritos or whatever it may be, croissants or donuts. I’d rather that you overeat broccoli, but let’s keep it all in check because broccoli still does have carbs.”

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Yeah, well, that’s a good point. Broccolis win over-

Kellie Logsdon:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
So let’s talk about kitchen tips. So what tips do you have for people in their kitchen?

Kellie Logsdon:
So, I like to batch cook. Again, I sort of assess what everyone in my house is doing. If it’s just me, I know how, I can sort of in general know what I’m going to do for the week. One of my favorite things to do is to shop my fridge. I shop my freezer and I shop my fridge and I think to myself, “Okay, what needs to be eaten this week? What do I have on hand?” If I have some New York strip steaks in my freezer, and I think to myself, “I think I want to have like steak tacos this week.” Okay, great. I’ve got the frozen, I use ButcherBox. I don’t know if you have any of that but ButcherBox has been through sort of my savior. I always have ground beef in there. So I shop my fridge and my freezer.

Carole Freeman:
I have never thought about that before, but I love that term. And I usually do that as well. And I never even thought of it being a thing. I love that. Shop your fridge to see what you’ve got in there already as a base for meals. I love that.

Kellie Logsdon:
Absolutely. So I think one of my greatest recipes came from shopping my fridge. I said to my family, “What do you feel like eating this week?”, and obviously pizza’s pretty much on the menu. People love it. But I opened up the fridge and I was like, “Wow, I’ve got Portobello pizzas in here.” Somebody else threw out in the family that they wanted to have something with pesto, and I was like, “Oh, this could be interesting. Let’s make Portobello pesto pizzas in the oven and it has become one of our staples.” And so I kind of ask people what they want to eat. And then I shop my fridge and then I go to the supermarket and I batch cook. So that’s sort of one of my number one tips. Another thing that I do that if you are a mayonnaise eater, I know that there are some non mayonnaise eaters.

Carole Freeman:
My son is a mayonnaise freak. I don’t know where he got it, actually I know where he got it. He got it from my mom, but the kid will literally eat out of the mayonnaise jar like spoonfuls.

Kellie Logsdon:
And I love mayonnaise too, not that much. I love mayonnaise, too, and I’ve also become a huge fan of the Instant Pot . As much cooking as I’ve done, I was a little afraid of it. But I just kept practicing at it and doing some really basic things. When I started the keto journey, I made chicken salad, like a scoop of chicken salad. That has always been one of my go to things. So first, I would just buy the chicken salad already made. Then I was like I was at Costco, and I bought a rotisserie chicken there. They’re huge, they’re $5. They’re filled with a bunch of stuff that you probably should not be eating. I don’t know if they tell you the carb count of any of the fillers on the Costco.

Kellie Logsdon:
But at the time, it fit my budget and it worked well. And I would bring that Costco chicken home and I would make chicken salad that I would put celery and a little bit of scallions and mayonnaise, cracked pepper. And I would keep that in my fridge. And I did the same thing with tuna salad and with egg salad. But the thing about my Instant Pot is that every Sunday or Monday, I go to the store and I get a pallet of hormone free organic rib in skin on chicken breasts. And they typically are less expensive when they’ve got the ribs on and the skin on. And I need those things for the future flavor.

Kellie Logsdon:
And in my Instant Pot, I can make about five pounds of chicken, rotisserie chicken a week. And it only takes about an hour and a half And I don’t even really have to do anything with it. And I take that chicken and I make my chicken salad And I also use it for other things that I’m going to have during the week. And if I don’t use it for other things that I’m going to have in the week, I freeze it so that I can. I can add it to soups. If I keep some fresh not chicken salad with the mayonnaise, I’ll add it to other salads. One of my greatest recipes is chicken enchiladas, which I made this week and I use my keto tortillas.

Kellie Logsdon:
They are labor intensive, but they only have one gram net carb, and they’re made with coconut flour and egg whites. And they’re not egg-y, I promise. But I use that chicken to make my chicken enchiladas. I have a very small kitchen. And I’m pointing that way because it’s right there. I have a very small kitchen, but you don’t need a big kitchen. If you know where everything is in your kitchen, you know how you can grab these things and when my children are emptying the dishwasher, they know to put it back in that area. So it speeds up the process that I always know where this slicer is or I always know where this knife is, or I always know where these spices are. And it just speeds up the process. So I have more tips too, I can keep going. But those are my staples that I use.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, excellent, excellent, too. All right, what else? Let’s talk about there’s a lot of people out there blogging about keto. Who do you look for for inspiration? And how have you weeded out the… what is that phrase about the wheat from the chaff? Is that what it is?

Kellie Logsdon:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
It’s not a keto reference.

Kellie Logsdon:
No, but I completely understand you. There is so much out there. And I don’t want to say that it’s all bad. But there are different levels. And the keto police come out in full force. And they will say, “You can’t eat carrots.”, whatever it may be. And I am a believer that it’s an individual journey, and the people that I listen to are the ones that can really cite the science. And they’re not just sort of talking in generalities. I never want to be seen as the scientific, medical expert advice. But I defer to the medical professionals that are up on all the studies. And I tell you, when I hear anybody that starts talking about how many calories is in that or talking about anything that seems so old school, I just glaze over. And I think to myself, I can’t even.

Kellie Logsdon:
A gal that I grew up, I didn’t grow up with her, but I’ve known her a very long time, she is a registered dietitian, she went to Institute of Integrative Nutrition with me. She is a health coach and a nutritionist. And she’s posting all over every social thing I can see about how horrible intermittent fasting is. And I kind of cringe because I think to myself, “Have you not seen any of the true studies that have come out?” So I try not to get too much into the technicality of it because I think that that should be left to people who can speak more eloquently than I can. I like to fashion myself as if you have bought into this lifestyle, I want to help you create the foods that are going to help you stay in this life.

Kellie Logsdon:
So that’s sort of how I differentiate myself is that I think that diet is kind of like religion and politics. There’s no way I am going to, if you are so far over there that I’m going to bring you in over here, but if you are interested, and if you want to explore this because you agree with this lifestyle, then let me show you how to stay in this lifestyle and how to make it an easy sort of effortless habit throughout your life.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, you’re so wise, I am in the same boat. It’s like if people want to know about keto, I’m here to talk about it. But I’m not out there trying to convince anyone anything different than what they already believe. And then also, I know the people that are naysayers about it are the ones that haven’t tried it themselves. And they also haven’t worked with it in their own clients.

Kellie Logsdon:
Right, right. Well, and how about this one? So somebody said to me, “Oh, I’ve tried keto. It doesn’t work for me.”

Carole Freeman:
Yeah.

Kellie Logsdon:
My favorite question is, number one, “What did you follow? Who were you following and who was giving you the advice?” And number two question, “How long did you do it for?” Because this isn’t a three week quick fix. This is a lifetime, and it is for the long haul. So I asked this to somebody the other day that said, “Keto doesn’t work for me. It causes huge problems. It doesn’t work.” I was like, “So how long did you do it for?” She was like, “Three solid weeks.” I was like, “Oh, and who did you get your information from?” She was like, “Oh, this gal that’s like a yoga instructor down in the south.” And I was like, “What? How is that even real?” So for me, it gives it a bad name because it gives keto and low carb living sort of a bad name because when they’re not really dedicated to it, or they’re not really taking it very seriously and they’re immediately discounting it, it’s disappointing. So I just try to lead by example. And the longer I keep doing this, I see my stuff going like this, and theirs are still going like this.

Carole Freeman:
Well, that’s so true. I mean, I see two groups of people that the keto doesn’t work for. And the one group is what you’re describing is that they just weren’t doing it right. And part of that is that I found working with over 400 people doing this is that it needs to be customized for each person. There’s no one size fits all approach. So most people just don’t know what they don’t know. They’re not doing it correctly, they’re not actually doing it completely. A lot of times you probe them a little bit. And then they say, “Well, I was doing keto-ish.”

Kellie Logsdon:
Keto-ish, right. I can still drink my wine.

Carole Freeman:
The other group though that I find that have a lot of problems with keto, and I think this gets mixed up in where some people out there, they’re so called experts that are saying that keto needs to be different for women, the group of women that I find that that have problems with keto are the ones that are already very low body fat, so there are the eternal health nuts, maybe they’re doing CrossFit, their body fat is already somewhere below 22%. And they’re trying to get that six pack abs look.

Carole Freeman:
And really a woman’s body hormonally works best if it’s between about 22% to 29% body fat. So we’ve got these fitness models that are showing this body type that really isn’t natural for most women’s bodies. And so when they are trying to get their body fat down to 18% or lower, and they do keto, it’s the calorie restriction at that lower body fat that causes problems. It’s not keto itself. And so keto gets blamed for their hormonal problems and thyroid issues and all this other stuff that comes up. That’s the other group. I’ll throw that out there too that that’s the other group that I find of women that have problem with doing keto, but it’s not keto that’s doing it. It’s trying to create something in their body that isn’t naturally a healthy state to be in.

Kellie Logsdon:
Right.

Carole Freeman:
let’s see. Where are you going next? What’s your future plans with keto and Kellie Kitchen?

Kellie Logsdon:
So the Kellie kitchen is, it is growing and it’s catching steam. I think people are a little amused by my antics. I’ve just started a YouTube Live channel on Monday nights. I share kitchen tips in for an hour. I’m in there cooking. And people are asking questions. I drop stuff all the time. It’s pretty funny and I’m pretty silly. So my YouTube channel is growing so that I can show people real time tips and tricks about how to get dinner on the table. The website, thekelliekitchen.com, I’m constantly posting new recipes. I am writing a cookbook. It will be out probably within the next six months. It is a labor of love and a lot of work going into that. But there’s a whole line of cookbooks that are going to be coming after that and I’m just going to continue having fun with and showing people that the keto lifestyle is it’s just real food. And I’m hoping that people can get on board with less processed and more taking care of themselves.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s lovely. That’s great. So you’re doing good work, Kellie. Thanks for being out there in the world.

Kellie Logsdon:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
So anything else, in wrapping this up, anything else that you were hoping I would ask about or you’d like to share?

Kellie Logsdon:
Well, I am so incredibly grateful that we were able to do this and being able to talk to an individual keto coach, but also for me to be in the space as well. The whole idea is that anything that I may have said that could help the people that you help, and anything that you say, I’m hoping that it can help the people that I help because I think that this is a movement of us trying to lessen medication and teach our families how to eat well and be healthy. So I don’t think I have any other questions but I am so grateful that we had this time together. And I have just so much passion for this life and I wish that nobody has to go through the pain that I, and it wasn’t just the physical pain but the decade long of rollercoaster, because that is very painful to go up and down and to not know how to do it and to be feeling like a failure. So I hope to continue on sharing that message that you don’t have to get deathly ill to start to feel better.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s lovely. I have one closing question for you, and everyone who is watching, all of Kellie’s links are going to be in the show notes below, and we’ll put a link in there that you can follow so that when her book gets released, you can grab that too. But my final question for you is the meteor’s coming at us today, the last day on earth, we’re all going to be wiped out. What’s going to be your final meal?

Kellie Logsdon:
Oh my gosh, that is a great question, because I’m vacillating here. I love buffalo chicken stuff. But I made this crispy salmon with creamy… it’s stuffed with a creamy spinach over a bed of zoodles. Oh my God, it was so delicious. Quite frankly, I didn’t think that I was going to be like a salmon person. But that one I really think is, and that recipe is not up on the website yet but I’m going to scramble and get that up on the website this weekend. But yes, my creamy spinach stuffed salmon is probably the last meal that I would have.

Carole Freeman:
Any desserts, beverages to go with that?

Kellie Logsdon:
Oh my gosh, desserts, don’t get me started. So I just made and this recipe is up on the website, a mini Oreo cheesecake bites and they’re in little muffin cups, and they’re actually fairly easy to make. And then I also made a mini lava cake, which is fantastic. I mean, I’ve got so many desserts. My number one dessert right now is it’s a no bake low carb, it’s only three grams net carb, strawberry cheesecake cup. And that one got a lot of attention because anybody can make it and you don’t have to turn the oven on. And that one’s on the website also.

Carole Freeman:
Sweet. I’m going to go look now. Oh Kellie, thank you so much for being here and sharing all of your journey to health and all your tips for success on keto and in the kitchen. If you guys enjoyed this, give us a thumbs up, subscribe, hit the bell down there as well. That’s how you’re going to get notifications of future episodes. So thanks again for being here, Kellie.

Kellie Logsdon:
Thank you. Thank you so much and be well.

 

Keto Chat Episode 114: Low Carb San Diego Success Story Interviews

Low Carb San Diego Success Story Interviews with Carole Freeman.

Transcript:

Carole Freeman:
Well, good morning everyone.

Speaker 1:
Good morning. Good morning. [crosstalk 00:00:26].

Carole Freeman:
Hello. Welcome back.

Speaker 1:
Thank you, I got my coffee.

Carole Freeman:
May name is Carole Freeman and I’m going to start out by sharing my keto success story with you. Then after that, we’ll just have volunteers, people come up and share their success story. We’re here at Low Carb USA 2019, which is the fourth year that this conference has been held.

Carole Freeman:
How many of you are first year attendees? Okay. Second year? Anybody three times?

Speaker 1:
I’ve been to two or three.

Carole Freeman:
Four times?

Speaker 1:
[crosstalk 00:01:00].

Carole Freeman:
All right, cool. We’ve got the full representation. We’ve got freshman, sophomore, juniors, and seniors here today. I found keto the hard way. You’re going to hear a lot of stories today that are inspiring.

Carole Freeman:
Also, if you want to share too, and you don’t feel like, “Oh, my gosh I don’t even have this … I didn’t die,” like some of them people’s stories are going to be. It’s okay, because everybody’s story is unique and it’s going to inspire somebody else.

Carole Freeman:
We were at dinner last night with Tyler from Ketogains. And he was talking about how you affect one person and that affects somebody else. And then it ripples and waves of people that you impact. So sharing your story is really, really powerful because it just is part of what’s contributing to changing the world that we’re in. And the health of this entire planet.

Carole Freeman:
I was trained as a nutritionist. I have six figure in student loans to prove it. I’ve always been passionate about helping people be as healthy as they can, body and mind. So I did my undergrad in nutrition, and then I got a very specialized master’s degree in both nutrition and clinical health psychology.

Carole Freeman:
I was always looking for what’s the answer to help people be at a healthy body weight, but also love themselves and keep it sustainable? I didn’t find that in my training, although I spent probably 20 years studying psychology and all of that. It actually took a very impactful car accident that I was in, in 2014.

Carole Freeman:
I was rear ended by a destructive driver that was going about 35 miles an hour. I ended up disabled and bedridden the better part of a year and a half from a brain injury. Crush injuries to my legs. And all the while I’m getting heavier and heavier, sicker and sicker. And I couldn’t figure out what to do.

Carole Freeman:
The doctors, after 172 different doctors visitors, they just wanted to tell me, “Oh, you’re depressed. You have fibromyalgia. Just get over it. Positive mind thoughts, that’s what you need to do.” So I went back to my own training. And I thought, what do I know about nutrition that could help heal me?

Carole Freeman:
I remember about this much information about a ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy. I reasoned that, well, epilepsy is something that’s not working quite right in the brain. Perhaps that’s some that would help me as well. So I started reading everything I could online. And I became hopeful, but also cautiously optimistic.

Carole Freeman:
Actually, I was pretty pessimistic, because I’d learned in school that there was no way to actually lose weight and keep it off. That it was actually cruel to encourage people to try to lose weight because they were just going to fail. And they were going to gain it back, and then they were just going to hate themselves even more.

Carole Freeman:
So I went into it doubtful that I could stick with it. But I also was so desperate to get out of bed. Within days the symptoms that I had, that had me bedridden were just vanishing. And all the symptoms of the brain injury, even the chronic pain syndrome that I had in my legs, which I’ll mention it because some people …

Carole Freeman:
It’s a rare thing, but some people may identify with it. Is chronic regional pain syndrome I was developing in my legs. This is a chronic, progressive, disabling pain syndrome that happens, and that went into remission. So I finally had the missing piece that I’d been looking for in my practice all these years. To be able to provide people with this delicious, sustainable way of eating, that also helps them be healthy as well.

Carole Freeman:
So that is an abbreviated version of my success story. I’ve been following keto now for a little over four years, May 18th, 2015 is my anniversary. So now, I’d like to invite whoever’s brave enough to come up and share their success story. We’re just going to continue and share our successes. Oh, yeah?

Speaker 1:
How about failure stories?

Carole Freeman:
No, this is a success story session.

Speaker 1:
No. Well, you have ups and downs.

Carole Freeman:
Right. Well, that’s the journey story. So today we’re sharing how you got to keto and the successes you’ve experienced on that. Mike, do you want to come up?

Michael Burdah:
Sure.

Carole Freeman:
Okay. He’s a plant in the audience, so it’s fine. Welcome, Michael Burdah, welcome.

Michael Burdah:
Check, check. It works.

Carole Freeman:
You’re welcome. Where are you here from?

Michael Burdah:
I’m here from Seattle, Washington.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, my gosh. He’s my neighbor, so …

Michael Burdah:
It’s true I could run to Carole’s house in probably about 25 minutes if I needed to.

Carole Freeman:
But we didn’t know each other before keto. We met basically online group.

Michael Burdah:
Yes, that’s correct.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. All right, so share your story.

Michael Burdah:
Sure. I was pretty normal weight growing up. And then all of a sudden I turned 21, where alcohol was legal and available. I had a decent job, so I could go out to bars and restaurants and have really tasty, really carby food anytime I want, because I had plenty of disposable income.

Michael Burdah:
So I all of a sudden saw myself at 230 pounds. I had pretty horrible acid reflux. My lovely wife was pregnant with our daughter Mazzy, and I realized that something needed to change. I’m an engineer by trade. I work at a major phone company that probably everyone here’s heard of, but maybe I shouldn’t say. I don’t know.

Carole Freeman:
It doesn’t matter.

Michael Burdah:
[crosstalk 00:06:52].

Carole Freeman:
We’re not going to say anything bad about them. No trade secrets disclosed today.

Michael Burdah:
So I’m an engineer at T-Mobile at their corporate HQ. I say that us engineers, we’re not lazy, we’re efficient. I was trying to figure out what diet I should go on to lose weight. I realized I could either count to 20 for carbs or count to 2,000 for calories. That was my thought process in 2014.

Michael Burdah:
I’m like, I’m this lazy guy. I don’t want to count to 2,000. I’ll count to 20 instead, so it worked really well. I was basically eating unlimited amounts of protein and fat, and I lost about 40 pounds. I was super happy with how things were going. But then I just completely just stalled out. Completely stalled out.

Michael Burdah:
That lasted about six months or so, and then I started seeing this gentleman named Ted Neiman. I don’t know if anyone in the audience has heard of him. He’s actually my doctor back home. I started seeing him, and I was telling him what I was eating. How much cream I was putting in my coffee and how much cheese I was putting on everything.

Michael Burdah:
He had me back off of the concentrated fats a little bit, focus on protein a little bit more. Around this time I found Ketogains as well. That’s how I broke that six month stall, where I lost another 40 pounds. Leveled out at about 150 or so. Been doing a lot of weight training, so I’ve gained 10 pounds with the same pants size. So that’s wasn’t body fat that was gained. Here I am five and a half years later, and that’s my success story.

Carole Freeman:
Excellent. Any tips you have for people that are struggling?

Michael Burdah:
I’m a big fan of people really watching their electrolyte intake. Because that seems to be just a common problem. Even like when people are like, “I’ve been on the diet for two years, and whatever.” It’s like, “No. Seriously track your electrolytes.” If you track your macros, track that the exact same way. That’s a tip. Yes?

Speaker 1:
How do you track your electrolytes?

Michael Burdah:
I use a app called Cronometer. And then [crosstalk 00:09:27].

Carole Freeman:
They’re here as well.

Michael Burdah:
And they’re here, so just tracking that as well. I find that the less food that I’m eating and the more body fat I’m oxidizing, the more my electrolyte needs go up. The more physical activity I do, the more I need electrolytes. I climbed Mount St. Helen’s recently on saltwater. I literally just drank saltwater up the mountain, and that was awesome.

Carole Freeman:
That reminds me you share a little bit about how your activity levels changed before and after keto?

Michael Burdah:
Yeah. My activity level activity before keto was I was a home brewer of beer. I made a lot of beer. Last time I was actually here in San Diego was actually for the National Home Brewers. I was an awarded winning home brewer. I have medals and awards and everything.

Michael Burdah:
Then a couple of weeks after I started doing low carb, I’d say that my brain told my but to just get up and run. So I started running, and I found some podcast. That was sort of my community. I didn’t have any friends that were doing the diet or anything. So I listened to a lot of podcasts. Eventually, I started lifting weights, which I think is probably a better approach for body composition than cardio. But I still do like doing cardio for fun, hiking, and I’m a soccer player as well.

Speaker 1:
Can I ask another question [crosstalk 00:11:02]. Sorry, [crosstalk 00:11:03].

Michael Burdah:
Yeah, absolutely. No worries.

Speaker 1:
In terms of getting your electrolytes I’m assuming you’re talking about sodium, magnesium, and potassium?

Michael Burdah:
Yep.

Carole Freeman:
I’ll repeat her question, because that’ll pick up on the audio better. She asked if in terms of tracking electrolytes you’re tracking magnesium, sodium, and potassium?

Speaker 1:
And in which way are you taking them? Are you taking them as a pill, as a drink, [inaudible 00:11:27] or something like that?

Carole Freeman:
Then which way are you taking your supplements, or either your electrolytes?

Michael Burdah:
What I like is basically … Yeah, sodium, magnesium, potassium into a cup with water, lemon, Stevia, and ice. That’s just how I do it for taste preferences.

Speaker 1:
What kind of potassium do you use?

Michael Burdah:
I use what’s called [crosstalk 00:11:52].

Carole Freeman:
What kind of potassium do you use?

Michael Burdah:
What kind of potassium do I use? I use what’s called Lite Salt from Morton’s. You can get it at basically any grocery store.

Carole Freeman:
And Mike is the king of efficiency and frugalness. Is that what you’d call it? Or just minimizing expenditures for maximum results?

Michael Burdah:
Right. Yes, that’s true.

Carole Freeman:
He generates all his own electricity at home as well too. Just a fun fact.

Michael Burdah:
Yeah, that’s true too.

Carole Freeman:
Any other questions for Mike?

Speaker 1:
Do you intermittent fast?

Carole Freeman:
Do you intermittent fast?

Michael Burdah:
I do actually, but for me it’s mostly out of just convenience, and as a way of just managing my total food intake. I can guarantee that, because I’ve done it, I’ve gained body fat doing intermittent fasting from just eating too much. So I do intermittent fast, but I would not really consider it a major component.

Michael Burdah:
Yes?

Speaker 1:
Back to your electrolytes, what form do you take the magnesium?

Carole Freeman:
What form of magnesium do you take?

Michael Burdah:
Okay. I have these magnesium citrate pills basically. Then I also have some magnesium powder because I was trying to clone Tyler’s … Tyler’s in the back there. I was trying to clone his electrolyte supplement element, so I bought all the different powders.

Tyler Cartwrite:
[crosstalk 00:13:26] the recipe on the website, so you didn’t have to work real hard [crosstalk 00:13:30].

Michael Burdah:
Right. Yeah, that’s true.

Carole Freeman:
Also then, what symptoms are you monitoring to know whether you’re getting enough electrolytes or not?

Michael Burdah:
If I’m about to pass out doing deadlights, then I know that my electrolytes are not balanced. If I’m hungry a lot of times that’s just a salt thing, not a actual hunger thing. Any sort of headache, some people say brain fog, I don’t know what that means, but that kind of thing as well.

Speaker 1:
Would you put a teaspoon of salt in a 16 ounce glass of water, or is that way too much?

Michael Burdah:
I would start lower. I would start at maybe a quarter teaspoon and work your way up. Because if you do too much sodium at once bad things will happen.

Carole Freeman:
We call it disaster pants here. With my clients I find they can tolerate about a half a teaspoon in one dose. More than that generally, depending on what they need, will cause a problem.

Michael Burdah:
I would say most of the time if someone is constipated it’s probably an electrolyte issue, not a fiber issue.

Carole Freeman:
The five symptoms that I have my clients watch to let them know, especially salt, that they don’t have enough is constipation, lightheadedness or dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue. So if anyone’s suffering any of those on a low carb or keto diet, most likely you’re not intaking enough sodium, specifically. And maybe the other electrolytes as well.

Speaker 1:
That’s interesting because I always thought it was the magnesium that caused the leg cramps. I don’t know, so that’s great [crosstalk 00:15:12].

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, it’s a common one that people think that it’s magnesium and they can’t ever get it resolved. But we get enough salt on board for the most part and most of that resolves. Any other …

Speaker 1:
What about iodine?

Carole Freeman:
Iodine. Actually, I’ll pause this here because we’re going to focus on success stories, instead of specific supplement recommendations and things like that. Just so that we can have time to hear from … There’s a lot of people that want to share. But, we’ll have this room until later too, so thank you, Mike, for sharing your story.

Michael Burdah:
Thank you, Carole.

Speaker 1:
Excellent.

Carole Freeman:
Abby, would you like to come up and share your success story. I love your tee shirt. That’s great.

Abby Ross:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
All right, tell us your name and where you’re from.

Abby Ross:
Hi, I’m Abby Ross from Miami with a little Palo Alto in California. So, where to begin? I’m 68, and I got into macrobiotics … You’re familiar with macrobiotics? It’s vegan, but I was adding fish. I did it for 20 years, and enjoyed fabulous success, wonderful.

Abby Ross:
Then, life happens and the middle age spread and well, you know. I read a Belly Fat and I started getting into that. Somebody said, “It just comes to you,” and it came to me. It was just … I want to use the word brainwashed, but brainwashed not to eat what we eat on this diet.

Abby Ross:
So I started eating this way, and I still felt the same vitality and everything. Because I guess I’m blessed with that. I do marathons and I have a lot of energy, so I was thrilled that I kept the same energy. But not to be hungry was the biggest thing ever. I love to eat.

Abby Ross:
In a million years I never thought I’d forget to eat lunch. I mean it’s just unheard of. Now, you call it intermittent fasting. My first meal of the day is 12:00. That’s just the way it is. I was so brainwashed to have breakfast, brainwashed. Okay, so my first meal is at 12:00.

Abby Ross:
I love going out to lunch, I’m retired now, with friends. So I will arrange it to go out 11:30 or 12:00, and that’s just the way it is because I’m not hungry. So I guess that’s intermittent fasting. Also, and I picked this up from one of these wonderful conferences, I don’t do social eating. Isn’t that a nice sentence, I don’t do social eating. So if we were going to eat and I hadn’t seen you, I’d go for a walk. That’s another thing, because I’m not hungry. Okay, so that was absolutely huge. The vitality and not being hungry and the energy.

Abby Ross:
Now, let’s talk about going out. We travel because we’re retired. We have a lot of bonus points and we go all over. To be able to go anywhere in the world and eat this way is what a bonus. I don’t even have to look at a menu, but I do. I don’t have to tell you about avocados and the way we can eat this way. I just absolutely love it. It’s been phenomenal.

Abby Ross:
The main things are, I’m not hungry. I have the vitality that I want. I had gotten down … At the very beginning when I started this, I’m 5’2, I got down to 99 pounds. It was easy. I’m on Weight Watchers. I’m a lifetime Weight Watcher member. I forgot to mention that.

Abby Ross:
I weigh in every single month of my life. For 49 years I’ve done it, only because I don’t want to gain an extra two pounds, because I love to eat. So that was really interesting that I could keep the same vitality and eat.

Abby Ross:
One more thing, the numbers, my cholesterol is high. My cholesterol I high, and that really freaked me out as much as eating lamb chops. It freaked me out. For a long time I kept asking all the people here, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Especially when I asked the people not from the United States, because they viewed the situation differently, let’s put it that way.

Abby Ross:
So my numbers weren’t climbing, but the ratios were good because of the exercise, I guess. Then I was suggested that I take the [inaudible 00:19:21] Calcium Score. I don’t know if you’re going to go into that? Okay. Because in the marathon community people were keeling over.

Abby Ross:
There’s a wonderful test, and I’m not going to go into it now, but it’s great. And it’s not invasive, which is even greater. That made me feel a lot more confident once I had taken that calcium heart scan test, and had it with the high cholesterol. Because I’m still crazy about that, and my doctor doesn’t either, so we don’t discuss that right there.

Abby Ross:
Okay. One more thing, with the number thing, when weighing myself I have one of the scales with the body percent fat. So I got down to 99, which was way too low. I loved it. I mean I loved it, but then I look back at pictures now, it’s crazy.

Abby Ross:
Now, I’m at 116. I love it. I love going out to eat. I love every single thing about this. I go on all the … I love the group and I love everything. So I don’t know if that answers what you want to know, but yeah.

Carole Freeman:
No, that’s great. I wanted to ask you, I learned last night that your husband does not follow this way of eating.

Abby Ross:
Right, right.

Carole Freeman:
Excuse me. So, that can pose special challenges for people.

Abby Ross:
This is a great one. Just make sure he’s not … No. Okay, so-

Carole Freeman:
And hopefully he doesn’t watch this video either.

Abby Ross:
No, this is great. This is such an important point about your health.

Carole Freeman:
So, two questions for you. One is, how is that dynamic between the two of you? Then, I’d also like you to contrast how easy it is for you to travel and eat what you eat, and then how difficult it is for him to travel and try to find something to eat?

Abby Ross:
Bingo. Okay, so we’re married also five oh years, 50, which that deserves some applause, thank you very much. No. Okay. Sometimes in a marriage one person sort of leads the way and then the other kind of gets into it, in some marriages. Okay, well, that happened in this one, and I got into vegan, macrobiotics.

Abby Ross:
1992, I went to a conference. I was swimming in the pool and I met Dr. Spock, Benjamin Spock, and he had just gotten into it. I was a pallbearer at his funeral. He was a fabulous man, and he got me into macrobiotics.

Abby Ross:
I come home I tell my husband I met Dr. Spock and it changed his life. And cleaned out the cabinets and said, “We’re going to be doing it now this way.” It wasn’t really a good move, but we started eating this way, and my husband, David, loved it.

Abby Ross:
David is still a vegan. I don’t know if he knows exactly why, but he’s still doing it. He just turned 70 and he loves doing it. He went to Cafe Gratitude last night, which is a vegan restaurant and they had a keto bowl. Isn’t that great. It’s the other way around. Because normally you would go and have veg it up.

Abby Ross:
So how do we do it? I found when I got him into macrobiotics, I kept nagging and nagging and nagging, and honest to God, once I did not give a whatever, that’s when he came around. When I really didn’t care. Eat your way. Okay, fine. And then he did.

Abby Ross:
So if he ever adapts this way, which I hope he does, but if it happens, it happens once I let go and did not care. So I go and I can look at the menu and David’s looking for an Impossible Burger or something else. What’s that, a Beyond Burger? Okay, good, but I’m eating a lot of different … We’ve worked it out. It’s not a hot spot.

Abby Ross:
I’m trying to think. It’s not a hot spot at all. He comes to the conferences. When we start talking I can tell he’s uncomfortable and would like to leave. So just now I just said, “Are you going to do your run now?” And he went to do his run because he really doesn’t want to hear about macros or blah, blah, blah. We just work it out.

Abby Ross:
The answer to your question is, once I did not care, and once I just let go and lead by example. Lead by example and that’s it.

Carole Freeman:
That’s wonderful. Does anybody have any questions for Abby?

Abby Ross:
It’s wonderful. Eating out and not being hungry and losing weight.

Speaker 1:
When you’re traveling around the world, and you said you’re not even needing to look at a menu, do you ever ask questions like [crosstalk 00:23:30]?

Abby Ross:
Every single time I do. So when I said I-

Carole Freeman:
Let me just repeat the question because then it’ll pick up on the audio better. [crosstalk 00:23:38]. She’s wondering when you’re traveling around the world, do you ask questions about what’s on the menus?

Abby Ross:
Absolutely. I get so creative. If I see avocado on something, yes, they have avocado. So you get creative with that. By chance last night, I was a guest of somebody and I had dinner with Carole. Carole sat across from me. How many times did you see me ask, “Is there sauce on this?” Or, you just do.

Abby Ross:
Lots of times they don’t know, so I go strong. I start off right from the beginning. I hate to say, something I … whatever condition. I’m allergic is great. Does this have whatever? Because I have to. I don’t want … Oh, so you can have a glass of wine on this? Who knew? I mean I have a glass of wine. Prosecco, I don’t know wines, but one of them has a lot of sugar.

Abby Ross:
So for the first week that I was on this I didn’t know that some of it was sparkling and sugar and wine and whatever. But in answer to your question, I totally always ask questions. I would never get a meatloaf or anything. I don’t know what’s in it. Everything is pure. Even at home I like totally pure clean stuff. Does that answer? Does that answer your question?

Abby Ross:
Yeah. I always ask questions. I get a lot, like if there’s a salad, I’ll want Romaine and I’ll want the cheese. I want olive oil on the side. I don’t get so picky like what kind of olive oil. I’m so happy if they have olive oil. A lot of places don’t. It’s just so easy to travel.

Abby Ross:
On airplanes I always bring my own food. I don’t even trust any of that stuff. Eggs are not eggs. No, even like some of pancake places, the batter, that’s not eggs. First of all, eggs that come in a box, that kind of thing. But even if you had to be in that situation, there are a lot of other things. Cream is not cream, all that stuff. I love this way of eating. I love it.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Abby. Thank you so much for being here.

Abby Ross:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Who would like to share their story next? Yes, the lady in the gray/white sweater. Yes, yes, yes. White sweater, yes. Yes, you.

Cocoa:
[crosstalk 00:25:48]. All right.

Carole Freeman:
Come on down. Give it up for …

Cocoa:
Cocoa [inaudible 00:25:54], but it’s Cocoa.

Carole Freeman:
Cocoa. Coming next to the stage we’ve got Cocoa. Welcome.

Cocoa:
Hi. How are you?

Carole Freeman:
Good. How are you?

Cocoa:
Nervous, but I’ll-

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Tell us your name and where you’re from.

Cocoa:
Okay. My name Sequoro Alameze.

Carole Freeman:
Just a little closer.

Cocoa:
I go by Cocoa, and I’m actually just down the street in Benita so I’m local. And I have you beat. I am a former Weight Watcher’s coach. And I still weigh in as a lifetime member. That’s my story, I’m a former Weight Watcher’s coach.

Cocoa:
The year that I became a coach the program totally changed me. The nine pounds that I was so proud that I had lost in a period of 12 months, I gained it all back plus, plus when the new program came out, which we call Free Style. My hashtag is #freestylesucks. I noticed that what-

Carole Freeman:
This video recording does not reflect the opinions that are expressed here on this interview.

Cocoa:
Sorry about that. Okay, I’ll behave. But what I did notice is that I went to go do my annual and my blood sugar had skyrocketed. They wanted to put me on Metformin. My cholesterol had skyrocketed, and I was following the plan. I’m a meticulous tracker. I was following the plan, and of course, I had gained all my weight back.

Cocoa:
So I had seen a friend post months before that she had lost weight. And her blood levels had regulated and become normal doing keto. So I sent her a message and she bombarded my messenger Facebook with all of these doctors. Because I said, “I only want reputable doctors, MDs.” Because I’m kind of anal that way.

Cocoa:
That’s what I want. I want to see doctors that use this style of eating. It took six weeks to read, listen, check out books. My husband thought I was nuts. Within three months I had lost 21 pounds. My blood sugar had regulated. My cholesterol was still a little elevated. But I ran into Dave Feldman, and oh, my word, that just changed my world.

Cocoa:
Since then, I’m just devoted to this lifestyle. My husband, like Abby’s, kind of just, “I’m not doing this. Don’t talk to me about this. This is not me.” I’m like, “Okay.” Well, since the beginning of the year my husband has lost 35 pounds.

Cocoa:
We go down to New Mexico and he pulls everything out of the tacos. He unwraps his enchiladas and eats the cheese. He takes off the breading off his chile rellenos and eats the chile and eats the cheese. And he’s still not doing keto though. He’s in denial.

Cocoa:
But it’s amazing, my grandchildren are now keto. Because we found gluten to really be impacting their joints and their health. So they are now keto and that’s four of them, including the two-year old. The 10-year old reads all the ingredients and says, “Oh, Nana, no, we can’t have that because it has too much sugar.” We have to find the spaghetti sauce. “Nana, never mind just make your own spaghetti sauce. All of these have too much sugar.”

Cocoa:
They love going to Costco, but they always ask the sample lady, “Well, does it have sugar? Does it have gluten?” These are 10, eight, six year old kids. The interesting story, I digress, but my daughter was shopping with all of them at Costco. The little one, he’s two, he was sitting in the cart, and this man kept running across the isle, he just stopped and said, “How is your child able to sit for all this time?” She goes, “Well, they’re just well behaved.” And the 10-year old responded, “No, Mom, we do have sugar crashes.” Isn’t that insightful for a 10-year old? I thought so.

Cocoa:
So, anyway, just to say, I’ve led a lot of people down the keto road. And I am currently coaching one, two, three, four, five Weight Watcher’s coaches.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, wow.

Cocoa:
And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you, Cocoa, for sharing. That’s wonderful.

Cocoa:
Any questions?

Carole Freeman:
Questions for Cocoa?

Cocoa:
No? Okay, well [crosstalk 00:30:29].

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much. Congratulations on your success.

Cocoa:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Who’s going to come up next to share their story? Yes? Hello, welcome, Greg.

Greg:
I’m Greg, and I’m here with my wife Susan, from New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Carole Freeman:
Okay. So far the farthest away that’s in the group maybe?

Greg:
Yeah, we were torn between going to Ketofest, which was a three hour drive, or coming here, and-

Carole Freeman:
Boy, well, don’t tell them that we won out.

Greg:
Anyway, 23, almost 24 years ago my father … Here I go again. Sorry. I’m choked up and I didn’t get it out. Almost 24 years ago my father died from type II diabetes complications, and it was ugly. My mother nagged me for years, something apparently women are good at.

Greg:
Anyway, I finally went to the doctor’s. The doctor said, “So, why are you here?” And I told him, “My mother’s nagging me about it.” He looked at me, he says, “You don’t have diabetes.” So two days later I get this frantic call from him on my cellphone and he said, “You need to go to the pharmacy immediately, your fasting blood sugar,” sorry, “is over 400.”

Greg:
I thought I’d worked this when I was telling you this story. Anyway, so given what I saw, it’s like this is a frigging death sentence. Anyway, fast forward and I came across this book by Dr. Bernstein, who is on the east coast. I looked at this book, and it was like, “It’s going on the shelf. This guy’s nuts.”

Greg:
I’m a scientific skeptic, or at least I thought I was. So, Gary Taubes comes out with his article and they shredded him. I mean, “This guy is an idiot.” Da-da-da-da-da-da. And some of these people are really respected. I came across the first time in my life …

Greg:
I think it’s relevant to why we’re having such a hard time getting this movement off the ground, is that cognitive dissonance. So I had two things in my mind that were opposite. The one is low fat, carb, and calories in/calories out, yada-yada.

Greg:
Then there’s the history of dieting and what Gary Taubes and Nina Teicholz and other people have done. So I’d become comfortable with this dissonance. So I can hold now, multiple ideas that are opposite and be with the discomfort. Sort of like on a fast, and I get started and I’m uncomfortable but I can look down the road and just be with it.

Greg:
So, anyway, about 58 weeks ago, because I log everything, I’m an engineer, I started doing 100% keto. Where I had dabbled with low carb-ish stuff. And I am down now 60 pounds from my start, and … Darn, I don’t mind getting emotional, it stops me from talking. That’s the problem.

Greg:
I’m down 60 pounds, so I’m at my, quote, fighting weight. And the last things I’m working on are to through autophagi to remove the loose skin around my stomach. My doctor say, who’s big in this community, Dr. Sodikoff, I just switched to him, says it’s a vanity thing. I disagree.

Greg:
Number two, I have a tinnitus, ringing in the ears, and Dr. Bosworth says you can get rid of it through ketosis, lowering inflammation. And autophagy, getting rid of the calcification. Actually, there were three things. Well, that’s good, two’s good. Anyway, so, I’m good to go, and I talk too much.

Carole Freeman:
No. Greg, that was great. Thank you so much. I’m so sorry for your loss. And thank you for being so vulnerable with us and sharing something that’s obviously extremely important and impactful. I shared earlier with everyone, before everyone was here, but we never who we’re going to impact with our story.

Greg:
So, I’m here as an advocate. I am an engineer, totally, and I talk to absolutely everyone about this. My theory is something like the hundredth monkey. That is, we all got to get out there in the trenches and do what we do, however we do it. There’s a lot of people who are out there, like the people that are on the front lines, they literally are, picture World War I. They’re in the trenches and the Germans are gassing them and so on and so forth.

Greg:
It’s like I am in awe by people who have lost hundreds of pounds by the doctors who … darn, are risking their careers. That it’s astonishing. I don’t know that I would do that. I don’t know that I would put it on the line like that, but luckily I don’t.

Greg:
But I predict that within five years we are going to see a flip, such that people are going to deny and ignore that you used to live a very different lifestyle. I think that’s what’s going to happen. My prediction, someday I’d like to see Gay Pride parades go away. Why? Because we don’t need them. It’s just people pride.

Greg:
Similarly, we don’t need these kind of conferences because it’ll become part of our environment, and it’ll become a quaint thing.

Speaker 1:
I have a question. I’ve enjoyed meeting you a little while ago and your wonderful wife. Can you tell about in relationship how that plays out? I’d like to know.

Carole Freeman:
So I’ll just repeat so it gets on that audio better. Can you share how you’re keto lifestyle impacts your relationship with your wife?

Greg:
Yeah. My wife was there from ground zero when I found out, and she saw my father go through that thing. So, it’s been going on for years, and I’ve done lots of dumb things.

Greg:
I remember this cereal I used to eat, Kashi, right? It was like you cook this stuff, and let’s just say there was a lot of biological creations around it. Anyway, it took me years to get behind it.

Greg:
When I started doing fasting for example, she thought I was suffering. And she couldn’t understand why after day three I’m full of energy? So anyway, she cooks a lot, most of the cooking in the house. She’s a fantastic cook. When I come off a fast I come home to this incredible thing.

Greg:
My favorite thing right now is … What are those pork rinds?

Speaker 1:
They’re pork rinds.

Greg:
They’re some high end pork rinds.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, the Epic brand?

Greg:
Yes. And my favorite thing is a bag of those with liver pate that she makes. It’s almost like a sexual experience. It’s that good, and my sex life is pretty good too. Which I … That’s not what? So, no, we talk about all kinds of stuff.

Greg:
One of the things that has improved dramatically is our sex lives. I mean, it’s kind of … Really, I guess this is the only environment you can really talk about it. I am way more whatever. She’s satisfied, let’s just say that, and I’m satisfied.

Greg:
But the thing is, is that she’s an incredible support. We are on the same page. She got certified as a keto coach. I just blab all the time. We’re teaching a night school class for the second time in September. I’m going to come at it differently.

Greg:
The thing I want to start off with, and I think she’d get behind this, is that I’m going to say, “What would I do if I got cancer?” Right? Because that’s not a question people answer, and the answer’s really easy. I would immediately follow standard care. I would get surgery. I would do chemo. I would do radiation.

Greg:
However, I also would have doctors and hospital sign a contract that you will not feed me your crap diet, or you will be sued. Right? In other words, they’re not going to sign it. But the point is our hospitals are designed to keep us sick. And it’s through forcing change that way, I would bet my life on. I’m just saying. Yes, in the-

Speaker 2:
You mentioned the weight loss, but was your diabetes reversed? You started with that-

Greg:
Oh, yeah.

Carole Freeman:
The question is then, you lost weight, but did you reverse your diabetes?

Greg:
Yeah, so that happened first. In the last go around in the last 58 weeks, I lost 30 pounds. I know we all, we shouldn’t look at weight as a thing. But I’m an engineer and I measure everything, so I look at trends over weeks. So you definitely saw the numbers reverse first.

Greg:
Yes?

Speaker 3:
Thank you for sharing your story, and it was very powerful. You mentioned in passing about fasting and the loose skin and autophagy. Have you seen the results from that?

Carole Freeman:
The question is, have you seen results from reduction of the skin from autophagy and fasting?

Greg:
I would say given that I have an almost Speedo-like bathing suit and my wife often comments that I look good, that the answer is yes. And also, because I measure everything, I’m doing the Dr. Ben workout. That’s part of the reason why I’m here. I’ve done all my skin measurements, and definitely the waist has gotten smaller.

Greg:
So, I would guess, given my whatever the … Given my situation, it’s probably going to take another year to a year and a half to achieve the final goal.

Speaker 1:
How long do you fast and how often?

Carole Freeman:
What’s your fasting protocol?

Greg:
Right. Right now, I’m going to switch it up when I come back. But what I do is I fast each Sunday night, and then I eat Wednesday night. Then I eat Thursday night, Friday night, and then I go off the rails on the weekend.

Greg:
What the data show is that I need to change that up a little bit. That is, I think I’m going to do one meal a day, seven days a week with carnivore, and just see how it goes. The numbers don’t lie. I have a continuous glucose monitor on, which I absolutely love.

Greg:
It gives you a calculation of A1C every day, and your average blood sugar. Therefore, it’s a good feedback.

Carole Freeman:
So, when you say you go off the rails on the weekend, you mean you’re still eating keto, just-

Greg:
Yeah, so I’m still eating keto. I tend to keep my carbs down below 20, but my protein will often go through the roof. Then I see the blips in my blood sugar.

Carole Freeman:
So you’ve noticed that you tend to be a little more sensitive to protein then?

Greg:
Yes. That appears to be the case.

Carole Freeman:
What’s the amount of protein on the weekends that you’re eating compared to the week?

Greg:
Well, during the week I’m somewhere around 100, 110 grams a day. The weekend I can go 140 or more, depending, so it’s just interesting.

Carole Freeman:
Yes. All right. Yeah, any other questions for Greg? Yes?

Speaker 4:
If he has a problem with protein, how do you think going carnivore’s going to-

Carole Freeman:
She’s asking about how going carnivore manages-

Greg:
Yeah, that’s a good point. So, just heavy duty on the fat. My favorite these days is pork belly. Pork belly’s definitely balanced that way. So the idea is I come home and I’m just … I have to push the plate away usually. I just can’t eat much of it. So, I’m just going keep more of an eye on the protein, and just amp up on the fat. Which is another thing, I just had a DEXA scan, that’s why I was late for this. What’s interesting, I did it last year on the east coast. My body fat, according to them, has come down by almost 3%, which is interesting. So I’m 18.7 right now. Not bad. So, okay?

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Thank you, Greg, so much for sharing your story. Very inspiring, thank you.

Speaker 2:
Wow. [crosstalk 00:44:19].

Carole Freeman:
This is Greg’s wife that wants to share next. Yes.

Susan:
Susan.

Carole Freeman:
Susan. Come on up, Susan.

Susan:
[inaudible 00:44:28].

Carole Freeman:
My name is Carole Freeman, Susan. I’ll call Tyler, I’ll put you on deck.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Okay. [crosstalk 00:44:37].

Carole Freeman:
Just a warning. Yes, put the weights on the back and start warming up. Susan, welcome.

Susan:
Thank you so much.

Carole Freeman:
Tell us where you’re from.

Susan:
We’re from New Hope, Pennsylvania, a little town between Philadelphia and New York City. This is our first time here. I have a ketogenic coaching credential that I use primarily credentialing to have form around learning. I love to learn. I don’t coach, other than as a volunteer. And I use it to support our advocacy efforts.

Susan:
I have a regular job selling advertising for an association. The head of which used to be the head of the American Diabetes Association. So looking at my everyday life, how can I affect each and every person that we come in contact with, including the potential of the association world.

Susan:
I’ve gone into the HR person of the American Society of Association Executives to get a sense of could a program be brought in there? Like a Virta, or something like that. And boy, you do get a lot of push back. Every time I open my mouth, and I’m just trying to be more responsible for speaking relevantly and accurately, and not just off the cuff.

Susan:
I’ve been married to Greg for, it will be 24 years. Now, I used to be 20 pounds overweight. I was reading my aunt’s Weight Watcher’s book at eight years old.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, God.

Susan:
I have two sisters close in age to me, and they were always lean. Looking back they’ve always ate more protein and fat than me. They’d have a bacon, egg, and a pancake. I’d have a piece of bacon and a stack of pancakes. Like an insatiable, very different personality, an emotional eater. Did all the diets.

Susan:
So when Greg and I got together, because Greg was overweight as a child, we had an interest in how do you deal with this? We did the low fat, high carb for a while. Then did Adkins, felt very sick on that, too much protein. So about two decades, we’ve been doing low carb. But started keto, for me, it was about one year ago. I did it more out of curiosity to help him as a wife, and I got two incredible, unexpected results. I don’t really talk about it, which is why I want to be up here. But I have two conditions that are virtually gone.

Susan:
One is sinusitis. I was scoring a steroid up my nose for about 15 years, back when it wasn’t available over the counter. I would be paranoid to not have that with me at all times. My nose would close. I didn’t like that feeling of not breathing at night. And I have not used a steroid for a year.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, my God.

Susan:
And I can breathe through my nose. Sometimes I get a little stuffy, but I’ll use that Arm & Hammer salt saline in the shower, but not what I had. I don’t know how to explain that to anyone, but you all understand.

Susan:
Inflammation lowering. The second one is actually a more serious condition I have called occipital neuralgia. I might cry a little because, I don’t know if it’s women, but we don’t seem to complain. We kind of tolerate our pain. So I had a little whiplash from a car accident. I have mild arthritis in my neck.

Susan:
The way occipital neuralgia presents itself, based on my neurologist, is as if you’re having an aneurism. There’s something happens that you get pain on one side of the head. It took me a while to get my brain and my neck MRI, so they could see it was not a aneurism.

Susan:
It’s also our modern day, the way we hold our neck with the computer. So my neurologist said he sees four cases of this a day. It’s becoming more common, and when you stress it’s even worse. So, I suffered on and off with debilitating pain from my neck, caused the worse when I got stress situations in my leg.

Susan:
So, anyway, over a year ago I went to the neurologist and he said this is lifestyle related. I wasn’t doing keto. I didn’t even know really what it was, and if it could even help me. No issues, none, other than mild tension, but not the pain. So the inflammation lowering is astounding. And more to come on that.

Susan:
I don’t know what to do with that, other than to share it. And with the hopes that if this can lower my inflammation, who else can this help? How can we help people who are on opioids, for example? I understood did opioids with the kind of pain I got from my neck.

Susan:
I am just feeling pretty good, and enjoying the eating. And doing more strength training, because I have osteopenia. I seriously want to build my lean body mass. I think I’m going to be around for a while based on my other health markers. My grandmother died at 100. I want to do what I can to be strong and to have a clear mind and to help people.

Speaker 1:
Were children involved? Do you have children [crosstalk 00:50:49]?

Carole Freeman:
Do you have children?

Susan:
Four children together.

Speaker 1:
How do you handle food with children?

Susan:
Well, the youngest graduated out of college and we’re really glad to be empty nesters. She’s actually a vegan.

Greg:
Unhealthy.

Susan:
She’s 23 and just eats even bad as a vegan, and just-

Speaker 1:
When they come to your house for meals, how does that play out?

Susan:
On and off, where mostly they tell us to shut up. We are advocates and we talk a lot about it. But you see some tweaking with them. It was my son who told me first about bullet proof coffee and I thought it was the grossest thing. Now, today I’m like, “Do you have two pats of butter?”

Susan:
Our daughter lives in New Zealand and was home visiting. I was cooking bone marrow in the oven, and she woke up from sleeping. She’s a vegan and she like, “What is that smell?”

Susan:
So we have hope, because we think she definitely takes more after dad and genetically is going to face some problems. She already has. She’s got a lot of weight here. Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Any other questions for Susan? Yeah, Cocoa?

Cocoa:
I want to know your workout lady. Those guns are amazing.

Susan:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Question’s about your workout. What’s your routine?

Susan:
Thank you first so much. This is all new to me. I did not have these arms. I do, do Dr. Ben’s Slow Maximum Resistance Training. And I have to thank Greg for getting me up in the morning twice a week and lifting very safely, very heavy weights. Getting my heart rate up.

Greg:
Slowly.

Susan:
Slowly and mindfully, and full body. I think part of this is genes too, because I just … Just not me. I’m trying to step into this, and-

Greg:
[crosstalk 00:52:59] love your guns.

Susan:
But, thank you for my guns.

Cocoa:
Just don’t go across the border because you won’t be able to come back with those guns.

Susan:
Thank you.

Cocoa:
Beautiful. Wow.

Carole Freeman:
All right. Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing your story. [crosstalk 00:53:16] pain relief this is. Because there’s another thing you might hear from other people too. Is how powerful this is for pain relief.

Susan:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much for being here.

Susan:
[crosstalk 00:53:24].

Carole Freeman:
All right. I’m going to ask Tyler Cartwright to come up and share his story. I’m going to check the time here. Okay, we’re about an hour in, that’s good. So, it’s about 10:30 right now, right?

Cocoa:
Yeah.

Carole Freeman:
Okay. All right.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So sure, we’ll go with that.

Carole Freeman:
Welcome Tyler Cartwright, please say your name. I already did that. Where you from?

Tyler Cartwrite:
I live outside of Nashville, Tennessee. [inaudible 00:53:55]. Sorry, my name is Tyler Cartwright. You already did that, so.

Carole Freeman:
I did, yes, yes. Do I need to ask you questions the whole time to tell your story?

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yes, that’s how this goes. Yes.

Carole Freeman:
No. No, because you’re going to talk for quite a while.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Does this actually work? I can’t … There’s no-

Carole Freeman:
You got to hold it closer to your mouth.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Like in my mouth?

Carole Freeman:
Yes. Well, not that far.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Okay.

Carole Freeman:
There, that’s perfect. Tyler, please share your story.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Sure.

Carole Freeman:
Start at the beginning. You where born where? No, I’m just kidding.

Tyler Cartwrite:
I was born in a small town called Princeton, Kentucky. So, about 13 years ago, I weighed a quarter of a ton. I’ve dropped about 300 pounds and I’ve maintained for about the last three and a half years or four years at about 205. Right now, let’s just call this bulking season, and we’ll say it’s about 225 and we’ll move on.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you, that’s it. You’re done. No, I’m just kidding. That’s amazing. That’s great.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yeah, the conference season always takes its toll. So once the conference season’s over it’s back to the gym and back to the chicken breast. And we get back in the gym a little more. So, yeah, I guess that’s it. No.

Tyler Cartwrite:
We actually started a company called Ketogains a few years ago. Trying to help people who were looking to try and … There was a lot of information that was out there around endurance training. Or just couch surfing lifestyles, for lack of a better way to describe it, of people.

Tyler Cartwrite:
But, there were also a lot of people who were like, “Hey, I’d like to lift weights too. But there’s no information on how do this in a way that makes any sense relevant to everything we know about muscle hypertrophy and strength gains and those sorts of things. Where’s the information?”

Tyler Cartwrite:
So, Luis and I started telling everybody, “This is how you do it if you want to do this.” The communities across all social media, about a quarter of a million people now. We did the math and … I was actually talking with one of the doctors outside. It’s interesting, we were tracking about 850 or so of our clients over the last three and a half years that we worked with. They’re almost 90,000 pounds down at this point across the 2,700 or so folks that we’ve worked with over the last four years using that backwards math.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Because I was a telecom engineer and I can do basic math as well. Yeah, we’re somewhere just over a quarter million pounds lost. We would just over about 380,000 inches gone. And across our whole community based on some data and polling that we did, it would be about 1.6 million pounds that people have lost just in the last four years.

Speaker 1:
Wow. Wow.

Carole Freeman:
Amazing, yeah.

Tyler Cartwrite:
By the way, never do upper body and then hold a microphone 45 minutes after you leave the gym. I’m up here like [crosstalk 00:56:46].

Carole Freeman:
Do you need me to hold it for you [crosstalk 00:56:46]?

Tyler Cartwrite:
I need a spotter. I need somebody to stay over here. So, yeah-

Carole Freeman:
Well, you and Luis are going to be doing a breakout session on-

Tyler Cartwrite:
We’ll be back here I think on Friday. We’re talking about sustain change and some of the habits that we actually see between people who make changes. We kind of recidivistically return back to where they were, versus those who seem to make it a lifestyle change. Right? And there are some pretty marked difference.

Carole Freeman:
Wonderful. And you guys are out there busting the myths about a couple of things for sure. Is that you don’t need massive amounts of carbs to grow muscle.

Tyler Cartwrite:
You don’t.

Carole Freeman:
You also don’t need to fear protein.

Tyler Cartwrite:
You really don’t. It’s funny people are like, “Oh, those guys are high protein.” I’m like, “No, I’m high exercise. There’s a difference.” Right? Recommendation, I was talking to somebody who said, “You guys are just high protein.” I said, “The funny thing is, if you do the math on me from [inaudible 00:57:45], and then you look at our recommendations. I am recommending six grams more protein per day.”

Tyler Cartwrite:
The delta is not as big as people like to make it out to be. I think there’s just a perception because I’m a big guy, and Luis looks like he could bench press a Buick, that somehow we’re eating 700 grams of protein a day. As much as I’d like to try, 100% sure I’d just be in a meat comma laying in a parking lot somewhere, and they’d call the ambulance.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yeah, started a company selling packeted electrolytes. So, I’ve joked that I’m like Salty Claus at all these conferences. If you find me you can have a non-alcoholic margarita in three seconds.

Carole Freeman:
You have [inaudible 00:58:27] for Element.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yeah, we are now officially the hydration drink of the United States of America’s Weight Lifting Team. They have actually recognized that what we’ve been saying for 10 to 12 years now, you don’t need carbs to be strong. You may need some carb to recover, but you don’t need carbs to be strong. Those two things are just completely antithetical to one another. We’ve known that for 75 years in the research. But never get between a pro and his science.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, question?

Speaker 1:
I missed the very first part when you said you’re with Keto-

Tyler Cartwrite:
Luis and I actually started a company called Ketogains. It’s actually on my mug, which was totally not intentionally plugged. I just realized that it’s facing everybody. I didn’t mean for that to be a thing.

Carole Freeman:
It’s not on my camera [crosstalk 00:59:14].

Tyler Cartwrite:
No, I’m talking about those folks out there, because, again, I’m shaky and I didn’t want to sit here and try to hold two things.

Speaker 1:
So, are you keto or are you carnivore?

Tyler Cartwrite:
I am keto, although I joke that I’m 94% carnivore most of the time because I’m funny about plant foods. Over the years I’ve realized that it’s not so much that I don’t like plants, or plant-based foods, there’s just a lot of plant-based foods that don’t like me.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Things that cause me to walk around feeling like the stay puff marshmallow man after I eat them for a while. So I tend to be very specific. I eat a lot of berries as a recovery, either pre or post. So I’ll have some strawberries or blueberries or something along those lines.

Tyler Cartwrite:
A lot of spinach salads when I want something bulky. Plus you also get some iron and some iodine and some other fun stuff in that. Honestly, occasionally I’ll sneak in green beans, but legumes and I have a love/hate thing in general. Onions, peppers, that sort of thing, but most of the time it’s turf and turf. That’s range in which I live.

Tyler Cartwrite:
I’m in the middle of arguing with my HOA over whether my stick burning smoker that I want is a mobile chimnea, or whether it’s actually a stick burning smoker. Because they’ll allow one, but not the other. So I tend to be whatever goes in the smoker and can stay there for 12 hours is what I eat. So I would not call me carnivore, but I’m carnivore adjacent.

Speaker 2:
So, as you talk about protein, sorry, how many grams of protein per kilogram of body weight do you recommend?

Tyler Cartwrite:
You’re going to make me to do math [crosstalk 01:00:53].

Speaker 2:
[crosstalk 01:00:56].

Tyler Cartwrite:
Generally speaking I would say that it really depends. The research says that about 0.7 grams per pound of lean body mass. It’s kind of a hard stop if you want to avoid lean mass losses. But that delta then moves, because as we get older we become less sensitive to lucine, which is one of the amino acids in protein.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So as we get older, in order to stay monopenia and muscle loss and osteopenia, we actually do need to eat more protein. I said this because keto is to some degree lean mass bearing. It is not in any way magically antibolic. It does tend to waste less protein in bereft period of time when you’re not eating large amounts of protein.

Tyler Cartwrite:
There is kind of a natural advantage as we age to thinking about moving into a lower carb modality, even if you don’t want to go full scale keto. Because you can get away with probably 15 or 20 grams a day less protein than you would if you were eating more of a standard American or a western diet.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So for the average rank and file person, somewhere between 0.68 and 0.8 grams per pound of lean body mass is going to be ideal. I like anchoring it to lean body mass, because if we use total body mass, then when I was 505 pounds, I would’ve been eating nine pounds of meat a day. That’s just nuts, right?

Tyler Cartwrite:
If somebody was coming in, like my partner Luis was actually anorexic on college and was … I think he told me 64 kilos at his lowest, and he’s 5’9. So I mean he’s not a completely diminutive guy. On those sides of the situation you would actually be under eating protein relative to your actual physiologic needs.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So, lean mass is really the metabolically active part of us. It’s organ tissue, bone tissue, it’s muscle tissue, it’s all of that. That doesn’t do anything. In terms it’s 0.1 calorie per hour per pound of fat or something insanely minuscule. So we don’t need to really consider it with respect to how much protein we should be eating in any given day.

Speaker 2:
How does fasting fit into what you do?

Carole Freeman:
How does fasting fit in?

Tyler Cartwrite:
I tend towards the Virta model. I will recognize that if I was actually chasing maximal strength performance and that sort of thing that the answer would be three to four times a day I would need to eat full stop. I tend to eat one or two times a day, predominantly because I’m just fricking busy.

Tyler Cartwrite:
We run about 800 clients at any point in time and they all deserve what we can do. Right? It’s anytime you do your job. I was a pastor for seven years, and it’s whatever you put your hand to, do it to the best of your abilities. Right?

Tyler Cartwrite:
So, yeah, I mean there’ll be days when I look up, I’m like, “Oh, it’s 9:00 at night and I haven’t had anything to eat. I probably should put food in me.” So I’ve anchored it to where I’ll have something protein based, either liquid or meals before I train. Then, I’ll usually have an actual substantive meal later in the day.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So, it’s not that I’m really intentional and I got the app on my phone or watching a clock or anything. But I just gravitate towards maybe a 16/8 or a 14/10 range. I was sitting here going, “God, I hope I don’t get those numbers wrong.” “You have 26 hour days where you live?”

Tyler Cartwrite:
What do you want back there, Burdah?

Michael Burdah:
You mentioned when you were a quarter of a ton, so 500 pounds-

Tyler Cartwrite:
505 at my heaviest.

Michael Burdah:
505, wow.

Tyler Cartwrite:
And I had to be measured on a grain scale or a loading scale on the back of our doctors office. After I got measured the nurse looked at me, started crying and hugged me.

Michael Burdah:
You might have actually just answered my question, because what I was going to ask, was there a specific moment where you were like, “I might literally be killing myself? Then, B, did that result in a ketogenic diet, or doing a thousand other diets and then eventually you [inaudible 01:04:58] ketogenic diet?

Tyler Cartwrite:
It’s funny, I tell the story and I’ve talked about the nurse hugging me. I’d love to find her, but I have no idea. I didn’t get a name at the time. Good news I haven’t seen that doctor in 14 years because I’m not normally sick. And I’ve got another doctor that actually agrees with what I do, that takes good care of any medications that I need.

Tyler Cartwrite:
It’s funny, she reached over and started crying and hugged me. I was sitting there thinking, “Lady, it’s not like I didn’t know I was fat when I walked in here.” I didn’t have this spontaneous moment where I was like, “All this time I thought I was just like when you’re in the pool and your swimsuit puckers around.” That’s not what happened, right? I knew I was morbidly obese.

Tyler Cartwrite:
But, I tell people all the time, a lot, I was like, “You don’t get to a quarter of a ton because you have a healthy relationship with food.” Right? You’re eating your emotions. You’re eating a lot of things. Then it becomes, I was the Fat Bastard from the Austin Power’s movies. Because, “I’m unhappy and unhappy because I eat.” That’s the worst Scottish impression you’ll ever hear.

Tyler Cartwrite:
It became that, right? I was eating because I was unhappy because you get into the potus of life and everything is going wrong. I’ve dealt with depression and social anxiety my whole life. And there’s always comfort in two extra large all meat pizzas. Ben and Jerry never let me down once.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Then you get to a point where you have to eat, because I would literally fall asleep driving to work. To the point where my boss basically said, “You can just stay at home because you’re not safe to drive.” I would sleep 18 to 20 hours a day. And had to figure out ways to shoehorn nine or 10 hours worth of work every day into three or four hours. So I became hyper efficient as an engineer and a spreadsheet ninja so I guess that’s a plus.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Everybody wants the Biggest Loser moment where … There’s a really crass version of this that I tell sometimes when I’ve had a glass of vodka, but I won’t do that version. But, everybody wants to find out, “Oh, I’ve been hiding this horrible secret or this thing that I don’t want the rest of the world to know.”

Tyler Cartwrite:
“Now, that I’m out and sharing it and everything, now, I can deal with all of this stuff.” And it’s never that. Nobody got a quarter of a ton because they had one thing wrong. It was the cascade of things that were defective and broken.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Then when you get that weight … I mean, my wife was desperately wanting a child, we physically didn’t fit together. Sorry for being direct, but after we talked about sex life, I feel like I can jump that shark a little bit and come back. Those are things and those are the moments that you realize what a failure you are. So, I’ll try and boil this down to the three minute version because it’s a long story. But, my mother wrote me a letter. Yeah, this is the Tyler cries portion. My mother is 5’2, and about 135 pounds soaking wet. I once called her a magic B word when I was 17 years old. She grabbed me …

Tyler Cartwrite:
Now, you need to understand I was an 1800 pound free lift guy at 17 years old. I was full of muscle, piss and vinegar. And I called her a word that you should never call a woman or a mother. And I’m pretty sure people get uncomfortable even when you call a female dog this.

Tyler Cartwrite:
She snatched me by the ear, all 6’0 230 pounds of 6% body fat me, and drug me around the room slapping me in the face. And yelling, “I don’t need to wait till your father gets home, we’re going to take care of this right now.” All I could say was, “Yes, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. Yes, ma’am,” over and over and over.

Tyler Cartwrite:
That’s the kind of personality that we’re talking about in my mother. She is an old school country girl from Kentucky. She wrote me a letter that said, “Tyler, moms aren’t supposed to bury their sons.” It was pretty emotionally gut wrenching. But I put on my 17 year old hat and decided I was just going to be angry at her and screw her and the world, and everybody else.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So, not long after that I was actually at Leone’s in Landing, Kentucky, and hunt pretty regularly. I was up there and I got up at 3:00 to get ready to go out into the woods for deer season’s opening day. My dad wasn’t in the bed, because we tend to share a king size. And we do the man thing where you face opposite directions so it’s not weird. And he wasn’t in the bed.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So I got up and saw him sitting … He’s a heart attack survivor with a fake knee, so you assume bad things unfortunately when you wake up and somebody’s not there. So I’m checking the other side of the bed. I get up and I go in the living room and he’s sitting there and he’s crying.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Now, to tell the story, I once buried a treble hook, if any of you have ever fished, it’s the little hook with three hooks on it, into his back when I was six years old. I mean down to the shank. We went to the marina where they sterilized a box knife with kerosene. Which I’m not even sure is a thing, but it seemed like a thing, because we had watched Rambo.

Tyler Cartwrite:
And had them to cut the flesh off around the barbs, and yank this thing out with a big chunk of his back. And he did not make a noise. My dad played football at the University of Kentucky and watched several of his teammates die because of stupid drills done in ridiculous conditions that would be completely illegal now.

Tyler Cartwrite:
This is the kind of guy I’m talking about. My dad was in tears. He said, “I want you to know something.” He said, “I stayed up all night last night listening to my son’s last breath every 90 seconds.” He said, “You’re going to die.”

Tyler Cartwrite:
He said, “I’m never going to bring it up again, but I owe it to you to say this.” He said, “You only breathe every 90 seconds when you sleep. And when you do breathe you gasp for air like a drowning man fighting to stay above the water.” He said, “I have no idea how you’re not dead yet, but you’re making your way there.”

Tyler Cartwrite:
Came back, I had bought an F-150. The seat didn’t work, the seatbelt didn’t work. I was too big. But I bought the F-150 because its seat went far enough back that I could clear the steering without it being a huge issue.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So I went to the dealership to get seatbelt extenders. And the lady who was at the parts counter, it was young girl, was like a size negative four. I don’t know if that’s an actual size, but I think that her waist was actually inverted.

Tyler Cartwrite:
God bless her, there’s the thing in engineering or in life called Hanlon’s Razor. This is never ascribed in malice, that which was adequately explained by incompetence. I had to tell her three times what the thing was. Now, I want you to understand there was a 85 year old man in the room, who was about as big around as my left arm.

Tyler Cartwrite:
There was a young Indian lady, and then there was me at 500 pounds. So she proceeds to come back into a parts counter smaller than this room. And instead of saying, “Sir, your parts are ready.” She gets over the PA system and announces, by the way not only to the parts counter, but to the entire property, “The gentleman with the seatbelt extenders, your parts are ready. Come to the parts counter and pick them up,” while looking at me.

Tyler Cartwrite:
I just wanted to look at her and say, “Are there any other bearded fat guys here that would need this? Is this a thing?” So I took them and I left. And I did what I always do, I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant called the Lazy Donkey. It doesn’t exist anymore sadly.

Tyler Cartwrite:
You know you eat some place too often when the restaurant has a table for you. And I mean it’s your table. And it’s also the only table you fit at in the entire restaurant, which is why it’s your table. I got there and they actually moved a family. They literally just made them get up and move. Like I was the fattest mafia Don that ever existed.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So I sat down and they didn’t even take my order, because they knew what I got. It was two chicken chimichangas, double rice, large bowl of cheese dip and all the chips you can bring. And bring me two Cokes because you can’t keep up with me. And they did.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Right as the food came out I remember leaning back to get out of the way, because they kept screaming, “Hot plate,” like they do at every Mexican restaurant. So yeah, I felt the chair crack. I then went kind of black when I hit the floor. And when I woke up maybe two or three seconds later I was coated from mid nipple to mid knee in cheese dip and rice.

Tyler Cartwrite:
So I got up and threw $20 on the counter and literally ran to the truck. I drove out to a spill way dam, which is not far from my house. There’s a little eddy where the water is still and people have little picnics and stuff. And the kids can swim out in the water and play. And I just had a moment.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Like, Tyler’s going to break down and cry, everything is weepy. I just realized I was failing as a husband and as a son, and as an employee, and as a human being, and as a pastor. And as all of these other things.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Meanwhile, halfway there I had realized that my pants were too tight. My size 64 elastic waisted pants were too tight. I had to unbutton them because you swell throughout the day when you’re that large. So I’m sitting there and I have this moment of realization that I am bawling to the point that my eyes are swollen. My face is red.

Tyler Cartwrite:
The window is cracked because it is pretty warm. I have my pants unbuttoned with what looks like dried cheese, if you know what just happened to me, all over my lap. And I’m watching children in bathing suits swimming in water across the way, and crying like Baby Huey.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Like, if these people call the police, I’m going to federal prison. There is no way I’m ever going to be able to explain what just happened. It was one of those things. I’m a big reader of philosophy and existential stuff and stoicism and that sort of thing.

Tyler Cartwrite:
And it was one of those moment where I just said, “Hey, I wonder now that I’ve stared at the abyss and I’m basically dead, can I come back. And if I can come back, how far can I come back?” So, like the science nerd that I am, it looks just kind of like the science experiment, right? I became my own control group to see how far I can come back.

Tyler Cartwrite:
I tried every stupid thing under the sun. Every fasting hack, every keto hack, everything along the way. And there’s a reason it took me 11 or 12 years to really get to a point of this is where I’m at. Because I did a lot of stupid stuff, because there weren’t really a lot of resources out there.

Tyler Cartwrite:
These kinds of conferences didn’t exist. The closest thing you had was an occasional podcast with somebody or something along those lines. An occasional forum somewhere that was kind of vested to the Adkin’s movement from the early 90s or whatever, and there was just that. So you picked up Ronald McDonald’s the Ketogenic Diet book on the internet in PDF form and read that monster.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Then I was actually going through school at the time so I had access to scientific libraries. So I grabbed every single reference study that he cited in that book and began to read through the reference material. I read through all the Finney stuff and the Bullock stuff.

Tyler Cartwrite:
A number of the older studies that were being cited even in the Finney papers. So 13 plus years later, 1.6-ish million pounds later this is where we are.

Speaker 1:
Awesome.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Can you beat box by the way?

Carole Freeman:
Can I beat box? No.

Tyler Cartwrite:
[crosstalk 01:17:20]. What’s that? I’m sure she is. It’s all good.

Carole Freeman:
Amazing. Thank you.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
That’s as good as I can do.

Tyler Cartwrite:
You sound like an old Model T trying to start, but somebody didn’t crank the engine well enough.

Carole Freeman:
Chitty-chitty bang-bang.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yeah, okay, nice.

Speaker 1:
What’s your website?

Tyler Cartwrite:
It’s just www.ketogains.com.

Carole Freeman:
Ketogains.com with an S, not a Z.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
As cool as that would be.

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yeah. Apparently we don’t live in the 90s, so Xtreme without the E.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you so much for sharing. That’s amazing. Again, a breakout session Friday, tomorrow at noon, [crosstalk 01:17:54].

Tyler Cartwrite:
Yeah, you’ll have to either skip your lunch or bring your lunch if you’re going to hang out here. It’s 12:45 I think.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah. Thank you so much, Tyler.

Speaker 1:
Wow.

Carole Freeman:
Right.

Speaker 1:
[crosstalk 01:18:04]. This is fabulous.

Carole Freeman:
Yeah, who’s up next? Come on up. Yeah. Abby, can I ask you, would you get me a glass of water?

Abby Ross:
Yeah, sure.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, thank you so much.

Abby Ross:
What would you like in it?

Carole Freeman:
Well, salt would be great, but I don’t know if you’ve got that handy?

Abby Ross:
[crosstalk 01:18:21].

Carole Freeman:
Kim, come on up. Let’s hear your story. Kim, where are you from?

Kim:
Phoenix, Arizona.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, wonderful.

Kim:
But, we have a boat and we’re so blessed. And a boat in San Diego.

Carole Freeman:
Nice. I love … that’s my favorite color, your shirt.

Kim:
And we get to stay on it for the summer. It’s really [inaudible 01:18:33] have this beautiful weather. I grew up not having really any health issues, except when I was young I had [inaudible 01:18:40] all the time. But then got married and had kids and felt great.

Kim:
I did … not vegan. I tried vegan, but it didn’t work. I did, I would say high carb, low fat. I swore that that’s what’s going to keep me going. Then I hit menopause and I’m 63. I was like, “Oh, my God, this is not working.” I gained a lot of weight. Put on weight for the last 12 years.

Kim:
In ’09, I was in a really bad car accident and broke a vertebrae. Fractured both wrist, my hand. I had to have multiple surgeries. The weight just, oh my gosh, it started climbing. Menopause and that accident, and just struggled and struggled.

Kim:
Well, I went to a doctor a year ago, somebody recommended. And Adam now, I don’t know if any of you are familiar with him, he is in Phoenix, and he recommended I do the keto. Well, when I first heard it I thought, no. I’ve been my whole life doing low fat. How can you … High fat just kind of scared me.

Kim:
So the last year I’ve played with it, and I would try a little bit. I actually became low carb last year. It’s funny, when I heard Low Carb USA I thought, “Oh, it’s just going to be low carb. I know all about Adkins.” I didn’t know that so many people would be doing high fat, moderate protein, high fat. I was shocked.

Kim:
So, I thought this validates what my doctor said. All these people, I hear all these success stories so I really wanted to get on the program and stick with it. Unfortunately, I didn’t. Christmas come and I got off track. Then after Christmas we went to Hawaii for two weeks.

Kim:
My daughter was with us and she … unfortunately, I let her dietary influence … I didn’t stick to the low carb. I started right after Christmas, I should say keto, and I was on it till we went to Hawaii in January. Once we went to Hawaii I ate. I swear it’s hard to eat. I don’t know. I thought it was hard to eat low carb in Hawaii. Or at least that was my opinion then. Now I could go back and do it.

Kim:
But I ate every carb there was known to man in Hawaii. Everybody served rice, and it was just like, oh, my gosh. So I felt really crappy. I came back and I was like, “I’m going to start on my keto journey again.” And I didn’t.

Kim:
Then eight weeks ago, on a Sunday, we were at friends house and she does low carb too, and I didn’t even know she went to my doctor, or keto. I told her, “I don’t want the baked potato.” We had steak and asparagus. I said, “I’m just going to stick with the steak and asparagus.” She said, “That’s great. That’s great. I’m glad you’re doing that.”

Kim:
The next day we went to Costco, I thought well, I’m going to go to Costco and stock up. I’ll probably watch those videos about Costco holds on keto. So I’m might go stock up at Costco. We were walking in the middle of Costco and my legs from my waist down went numb.

Kim:
I couldn’t walk. My husband had to help me get to the food court, or the food area, and then he helped me get out to the car. Went to urgent care the next day. They diagnosed me with diabetic noropethy. I thought there’s just no way. A year ago my blood sugar was really good.

Kim:
I went to Dr. O’Nally the next day and he was really great. He didn’t lecture me on … And I’m using a cane. As soon as we got home my husband found my grandma’s cane I had, had for 10 years. That was the only way I could walk.

Kim:
So eight weeks ago, I was walking with a cane. I had started keto the day before. And I thought well, if anything I’m doing, keto might help. And here I am walking without a cane. It’s taken eight weeks for my numbness, and I’m totally numb still from my ankles down my feet. I can’t feel anything on my feet.

Kim:
I’m grateful I can walk. But I had chronic low back pain since ’09, because I fractured a vertebrae. One of my doctors, I went to a neurologist, she said, “Well, you could have inflammation from that vertebrae and it could be causing your numbness.”

Kim:
It scared the crap out of me. I had an anxiety attack like no other, thinking, oh my God, am I going to be this way? They want to rule out MS, an auto immune disorder. And that all came out fine. She thinks it’s my vertebrae that I fractured causing neurological issues.

Kim:
So anyway, I believe, and Dr. O’Nally was really, and he goes, “Well, it’s not life threatening. You’re okay. You’re not having a stoke.” So I watched myself get better over eight weeks and and I’m walking, not normal, but as good as I expected. And the pain in my back in eight weeks has diminished so much.

Kim:
I’m so grateful. I think this experience, why do we have to get where we have something life changing like that to realize okay I need to do this for life? The bonus, I’ve dropped 20 pounds in eight weeks.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, that’s fantastic. I’m so glad you’re here, because you’re going to feel … This is your tribe, and you’re going to feel so much more resolve and motivation to keep going with what you’re doing. Everybody goes to these conferences and you’re hugging at the end of this. You’re family.

Carole Freeman:
Other people have been to other types of conferences reflect on how you don’t experience that at a photography conference. But here you’re going to feel so much more motivation and excited to keep going. So congrats on all your success and thank you so much for sharing your story.

Kim:
Thank you.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you. I’m just going to show the camera really quickly because people are going to wonder what I just took. It actually it’s a pill bottle or what does it say on there? Pill bottle. But it’s actually little chunks of Himalayan pink salt. Somebody gave me in the audience, which is wonderful.

Kim:
[crosstalk 01:24:22].

Carole Freeman:
Oh, it’s a Redmonds. Okay, awesome my favorite kind. Thank you so much. I’m sitting here. It’s actually pretty warm and I feel myself sweating and feeling thirsty. But just downed a little water and that salt was perfect. So thank you so much. Let me check the time here. It’s about 11:00 isn’t it? Is that about right?

Michael Burdah:
Yes.

Carole Freeman:
Let’s do maybe one or two more stories. Yeah, come on up. [inaudible 01:24:50] going to do opening ceremonies I think at 11:30. Is that right?

Abby Ross:
Yes. Yes.

Carole Freeman:
We’ll go another 15 minutes or so. Thank you so much. Peggy, where are you from?

Peggy:
Hi I’m from Anaheim, California. I don’t have a great story. I’m an old lady. Me and Abby are almost the same. I’m 67 and I’ve been married almost 50 years. My husband doesn’t do keto. I started keto in June, a year ago, and I consider myself a PA. I’m practicing at it. I don’t get the whole macros. I mean I do my best, but I have lost 100 pounds.

Carole Freeman:
Oh, my gosh. I don’t have a fantastic story.

Peggy:
But, I started in January a year ago, and my goal was to lower my blood pressure, because I do have high blood pressure. I don’t like doctors. I don’t go to doctors. If there’s any in here I’m sorry, nothing personal.

Peggy:
So it was probably, well, almost six months of me trying to lose weight, lower my blood pressure. So I cut out salt. I cut out all fats. I was eating oatmeal with nonfat milk with chicken breast broiled or boiled. Broccoli with nothing on it, no salt, no butter, no nothing.

Peggy:
So my sexual experience came when I started keto and I could put cream in my coffee and butter on my broccoli. That’s when I just thought the world was wonderful. Since then that’s just kind of what I do. I change it up when I go for a little while, and then that doesn’t seem to working anymore. Then I either add more fat or take away fat or add more protein. That’s my story.

Carole Freeman:
Well, that’s wonderful. Congrats on your success. Any questions you have? Abby?

Abby Ross:
Okay. So new relationship and everybody eats their own thing, and you’re cooking. How do you handle it?

Carole Freeman:
How does your different foods styles from your husband?

Peggy:
I just cook for him the way he eats and I cook for me the way I eat. And it’s okay. I mean I just made my grandson a triple decker chocolate cake for his eighth grade graduation. Because I can’t force them to do what I’m doing.

Abby Ross:
Do you find yourself when you’re with friends or other people that you’re on a soap box and you talk about it? Or how do you handle that? Because you’re a fabulous role model.

Peggy:
I talk about it a little bit to them. They all are waiting for me to drop dead with a heart attack because of all that fat I’m eating and my bacon. They’re starting to come around now that I’ve been doing it a year and I haven’t dropped dead yet. They’re starting to ask more questions but it’s been kind of slow.

Abby Ross:
Do you eat out a lot?

Peggy:
No, I don’t. But even when I was heavy I didn’t eat out a lot. I’m a homebody.

Greg:
So your opening is I don’t have a story. To use the term here, you just dropped an F bomb on us. It’s like, what do you mean? It’s an incredible story. For example, how did your biomarkers change?

Carole Freeman:
How did your biomarkers change? She doesn’t have a doctor.

Greg:
I don’t go to doctors so I don’t know.

Carole Freeman:
How about your blood pressure.

Peggy:
I do take my … My blood pressure is coming down. It’s not probably where a doctor would like it to be but it’s where lower than it is. And I don’t take any medication anymore for it. I quit when … I know that’s bad and everybody’s going to say that’s bad.

Greg:
Can I ask another question?

Carole Freeman:
Sure, Greg.

Greg:
I spend a lot of time trying to educate my doctor. I go in with 10 pages of stuff. “This is what I’m doing, and here’s the supporting paper to support it.” I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I just question why you don’t find somebody. We have one of the greatest doctors in the community in this town.

Peggy:
I don’t live in this town though.

Greg:
You’re a lot closer than I am. I’m just saying I have a doctor now who he’s keto-

Peggy:
And I will look for a keto doctor soon. This is all new to me. I still feel like I’m learning. I learn every day. Not to start any rumors. I sleep with Gary Taubes in my ear. I’m constantly listening, learning and reading. And trying to figure this all out. But I feel great I have more energy than I’ve ever had.

Peggy:
I was born without hip sockets. I had my first hip replacement when I was nine years old. I have stainless steel screws holding my kneecaps on, because they can fall off randomly. So my disdain for doctors comes from a lot of experience with them I guess.

Speaker 1:
Exercise?

Peggy:
You know what? I’m going to do that, I haven’t yet. I’m trying to walk a little more, but because of my hips I-

Speaker 1:
But the 100 pounds was not with exercise?

Peggy:
It was not with exercise. No. Not with exercise. I’m going to talk to hopefully Ben while I’m here this weekend. And see what he can do to point me in the right direction on-

Speaker 1:
Thank you so much.

Carole Freeman:
I think Greg is seeing a missed opportunity. He sees it as you can help change doctors in this world by sharing your [crosstalk 01:31:04] experiences.

Peggy:
I realize that now, but just like I said, every time I go to a doctor they want to slice and dice something.

Greg:
So in a different world, I do [inaudible 01:31:17]. One of the greatest things about being American that I’ve learned from this class. One thing we’re supposed to do is be useful to other Americans in the world. The story you have is incredible. And it isn’t even about you. It’s about us. We need you out there. Come out from the shadows.

Peggy:
[crosstalk 01:31:47].

Carole Freeman:
This is the great thing Greg is that, not only this room of people, but this is going to go out on YouTube and my 6000 subscribers will see it. But also it’s going to get shared out, shared out, and shared out. So she’s going [crosstalk 01:32:04] to be affecting much more people than just sharing with her doctor.

Greg:
I hope I don’t seem critical.

Peggy:
Oh no, no. Not at all.

Greg:
[crosstalk 01:32:11]. You are a diamond and not in the rough.

Peggy:
Again, it’s my past experience with doctors which has lended me to … And my husband too, my husband had a heart attack, gosh, almost 20 years ago. And he is just on a litany of medications. There’s a list that’s as long as my arm. And he refuses to change his diet. He still smokes. He quit smoking, and now he’s onto vaping which I guess is the thing to do. [crosstalk 01:32:53].

Peggy:
He eats Fritos and nacho cheese every night almost. It’s just crazy. And yet, he thinks if he takes his magic pill he’s going to live forever. I love him dearly, we’ve been married almost 50 years.

Speaker 2:
[inaudible 01:33:13].

Peggy:
They just keep thinking if they can take a pill for it. And I’m the opposite, I don’t want to take any pills for things.

Speaker 1:
Thank you so much.

Carole Freeman:
Thank you, Peggy, for your help.

Keto Chat Episode 112: How to Start Keto the Easy Way

Amy Berger, MS, CNS, is a U.S. Air Force veteran and Certified Nutrition Specialist who specializes in using low-carbohydrate and ketogenic nutrition to help people reclaim their vitality through eating delicious foods, and showing them that getting and staying well doesn’t require starvation, deprivation, or living at the gym. Her motto is, “Real people need real food!” She blogs at www.tuitnutrition.com, where she writes about a wide range of health and nutrition-related topics, such as insulin, metabolism, weight loss, thyroid function, and more. She is the author of The Alzheimer’s Antidote: Using a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease, Memory Loss, and Cognitive Decline.

Transcript:

Carole:                  Everyone, welcome to another episode. Today we’re going to be talking about how to start keto the easy way with Amy Berger, so stay tuned. Hey, welcome everyone to another episode of keto chat. Today I’ve got special guest, Amy Berger. Amy, welcome.

Amy:                     Hey, Carole, how’s it going?

Carole:                  Great. Loving the gray weather, you’re favorite.

Amy:                     My favorite, yes, nobody else’s.

Carole:                  Hey, tell everybody for those people living under a rock that don’t know who you are can you give a little intro?

Amy:                     Sure. I, like you, am a keto and low-carb friendly nutritionist. I’m probably best known for writing though. I write a blog at my website which is TuitNutrition.com, and I’m the author of a book about Alzheimer’s disease, which they now call Type 3 diabetes. My book is called “The Alzheimer’s Antidote.” It’s about using a ketogenic diet as a nutritional strategy. I’m not allowed to use the word treatment because we’re not doctors. A nutritional intervention for Alzheimer’s, and totally just rocked my world recently you know Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple listed my blog as I think one of the top keto blogs or whatever he called it. I was like, what?

Carole:                  Yay.

Amy:                     I’ve been following Mark Sisson for I don’t know how many years, 10 years, 15 years, and never saw that coming. I mean, here I am reading his blog 10 years ago, and now he’s reading mine. Anyway, I don’t know what more people want to know. I mean, the 30 second version of how I got into low-carb is that I used to be heavier. I didn’t have any major health problems that I know of because I was still relatively young. I found low-carb the Atkins diet when I was in my late 20s and I didn’t really have any health issues, but I was overweight. I was overweight despite running two marathons, and doing tons of exercise, and eating what I thought was a good diet all those healthy whole grains with my light margarine, and my skim milk on my cereal. No matter how hard I worked, and no matter what I did I couldn’t lose weight until I tried low-carb. Now it’s probably like you, or like most of us who get into this the more I learn and the more I research about the way this diet works, and how it works at this point weight loss is the least impressive thing this does in my opinion. It’s like, hey, you could get off your Type 2 diabetes meds. You could get off your blood pressure meds. You get off your antacids, all this stuff. Oh, and you might also lose a couple of pounds along the way.

Carole:                  Yeah, fantastic. Congrats on getting your blog mentioned on Mark Sisson’s blog. Your approach is just extremely thorough, extremely wordy, but also very approachable and very practical for everyone, so that’s why you have such a following.

Amy:                     Mark Sisson even said he only wrote a little snippet about my blog, but he said, “Her posts are really long, but worth reading.” I think I am known for really long posts, but I try to make them funny and fun to read, and for people that don’t want to read I started a YouTube channel recently so they can just watch videos instead.

Carole:                  Excellent. Yeah, I mean, you’re an excellent researcher, and you pick apart myths, and all that kind of stuff. Good work.

Amy:                     Thank you.

Carole:                  Today it’s really common that people are struggling with how to figure how to do keto because there’s a lot of complicated approaches out there so we’re here to talk about how to start keto the easy way. How do you want to start off this? I know you’ve got a lot to say about this.

Amy:                     I have a lot I have too much to say. I would start off by saying that I don’t envy the people that are new to this now because when I was new to this circa 1999, 2000-ish there was one Internet forum. Facebook did not exist. Reddit did not exist. Instagram, Twitter did not exist when I was new to this. There was two or three books. There was the Atkins book. There was “Protein Power,” and there was maybe one or two other low-carb type books. There was a lot less information at that time, but because there was less information there was less misinformation. There was less nonsense garbage that you had to sift through. There was just here’s how to do it. Here’s what to eat, here’s what not to eat, go do it. There wasn’t 800 different people with their own opinions on it.

Amy:                     I think it’s great that low-carb and keto have become so popular, but because they’re so popular there’s so much stuff. There’s an avalanche of information out there. I got to tell you if I was new now I probably wouldn’t start it at all because I’d just feel like that’s too much. I can’t even figure this out forget it. I’m not even going to try, or I would probably be like half the people that write to me and probably write to you also, help, oh, my God. I don’t know what I’m doing, or I’ve been doing keto for six months I’m not getting results. I don’t even know where I would start. It’s insane what’s going on now.

Amy:                     The way to start keto easy is to stop eating sugar and starch, period. That is literally the most important, most effective thing you can do. That’s what’s going to get you the majority of the results. Everything else might matter, it might not, it might be relevant to you personally, it might not be, but the place to start is basically an Atkins style induction, or a keto first phase whatever you want to call it. Very, very little sugar and starch in your diet. You don’t have to weigh stuff. You don’t have to test your blood. You don’t have to wear a ring to track your sleep. Just eat foods that are really low in carbs.

Carole:                  Yes, yeah, and more of a Ted Naiman style. Dr. Ted Naiman approach is steak and eggs and vegetables. It’s an easier way of just thinking about categories of foods. Eat real meat. Eat veggies that grow above the ground. That is the easiest way to get started. I’m thinking about all the different things that make it complicated, right? We can dive into all the different reasons why it’s so complicated, or why people are making it complicated, but sticking with simple real foods is the first step.

Amy:                     Yeah, but I do think it also matters why somebody is doing keto, right? Because depending on why you’re eating this way, and what you’re trying to accomplish it might matter how you get started. If somebody is doing this just to lose body fat that’s one thing. If somebody is doing it as a therapy for epilepsy that’s different. If somebody is using it for migraines, or some other health issue it could be a little different. I think the main place to start is still that basic real food that you actually have to cook that doesn’t come in a packet. Well, that’s almost getting too far a field because there are some packaged foods that are totally fine, but cooking most of your own meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, non-starchy vegetables that’s the place to start. Honestly, some people won’t even need anymore than that. That’s going to get some people pretty much where they want to go. Other people are going to have to fiddle with things.

Carole:                  Yeah, good point. We didn’t clarify how to get started for keto for different reasons, you’re right. If somebody’s got a therapeutic application for I would say Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, brain cancer they’re probably going to need that complicated approach where they’re going to want to work with a trained specialist that works in those areas, but even for them starting out by just cutting out sugars and refined starches is going to go a really long way at helping their body be a lot healthier.

Amy:                     Yeah, that’s still where you’re going to start anyway.

Carole:                  Another reason it gets really complicated is that there is this pervasive myth out there that you’ve got to follow certain percentages of macronutrients. Macronutrients are carbs, fats and proteins for people that don’t know. There’s probably 50 or 100 different macro calculators out there. I’ve got my own viewpoint on why this myth came out that you’ve got to follow these percentages, but that is one of the biggest reasons why people are so confused is they think a keto diet has to do with percentages.

Amy:                     Yes. I wish this macro thing would just die. I just wish it would die. I think I did a video and I even called it there’s no such thing as keto macros. These macros, these percentages and ratios came from the origins of the ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy. Some of those kids really needed a freakishly high amount of fat compared to total combined protein and carb. They call it a three to one, or four to one ratio meaning three or four times as much fat to combined protein and carbs. Some people did not have remission of seizures until they got there. Some people don’t even have to do keto for epilepsy. They can do gluten-free, casein-free. They can do modified Atkins.

Amy:                     The point is these ratios really don’t matter when you’re using this for weight loss, when you’re using it for diabetes, when you’re using it for gout, or cardiovascular disease, or any other reason that people use this. It just gets people into trouble, and the beauty like I said when I was new the beauty of this is that there was only one thing you had to watch out for and that was total carbohydrate that you were putting into your mouth. As long as your carbs were really, really low there was no limit on protein. There was no limit on fat, but there was no limit on fat with the understanding that people weren’t going out of their way to load extra fat onto their food. You could eat a fatty steak. You could eat a fatty pork chop. You could eat cheese, and put cream in your coffee, but we weren’t just drinking liquid fat all the time. We weren’t loading fat up to make some kind of magical ratio or percentage.

Amy:                     The protein Atkins induction I keep saying Atkins because somewhere along the way the Atkins diet got this weird bad reputation even though it’s arguably the simplest and most effective way to do this for any type of metabolic issue, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, obesity, that stuff. The Atkins induction phase which is the strictest, but the most effective and easiest way to do this except for straight up fasting just not eating, period, was unlimited in protein. You could eat as much because it’s zero carb, right? As many eggs as you wanted. As much fish, chicken, beef, pork, whatever, but, again, I think Dr. Atkins probably wrote that just like with the fat with the understanding that you’re going to stop eating when you’re full. Unless you’re Shawn Baker you’re not going to eat six pounds of rib eye steak. It was unlimited with the sense that you’re a normal human that’s not going to intentionally eat 12,000 calories a day for no reason.

Carole:                  Yeah, yeah. Let’s go back to that percentage thing again because people right now their head is a little spinning like what? This isn’t I don’t have 70% fat or 90% fat?

Amy:                     Yeah. Thanks for reminding me because the main point that we can get across is what makes the ketogenic diet work is the absence of carbohydrate not the presence of tons and tons of fat. I write about Atkins all the time. I talk about it all the time. What switches you over from having a carb based metabolism and being a sugar burner to being a fat burner is the missing carbohydrate. When you’re not eating a lot of carbohydrate your body finds an alternate fuel, and the alternate fuel it uses is fat. Here’s the deal. If this diet worked by ratios and percentages you could eat 10 bagels, and as long as you put enough butter and cream cheese on them to make it 70% fat, or to make that ratio line up with whatever your stupid macro calculator told you, you would be in ketosis, you’d be losing weight, you’d be burning fat. We all know that’s not how it works because it’s not the presence of the butter and cream cheese that puts you into a ketogenic state it’s the absence of the bagels. You know what I mean?

Carole:                  Yes.

Amy:                     Truly, people need to understand that you don’t have to add fat to make your food more ketogenic. Nails on a chalkboard. What you have to do is keep the carbs really, really low. Some people have to keep them lower than others. Some people have to stay at 20 to 30 grams total per day. Some can eat 100 grams and still lose weight. That’s an individual thing. These ratios have just got to go. It’s probably one of the most common things I hear from people, and probably you too. They write to me I’m doing keto. Why isn’t it working? I’m eating 80% fat. I’m like, stop right there. You just answered your own question.

Carole:                  Well, yeah, and they say, well, I’m not losing weight so I’m pretty sure it’s ’cause I’m eating too much protein, and I’m having trouble getting enough fat in. This is the most pervasive paradigm that’s out there is that you got to keep protein low, and you got to keep the fat up, and you got to drink certain brand names of high-fat coffee, and that’s what’s going to help you lose weight.

Amy:                     Yeah. Well, hopefully, you can’t hear there’s a car. Okay, it just stopped. There was a car alarm going off outside my apartment.

Carole:                  That was the subliminal red flag.

Amy:                     Don’t be afraid of protein. Yeah, that’s a huge thing. People have become afraid of protein, so when they’re hungry instead of eating an extra hard boiled egg, or another piece of chicken or fish they’ll have a fat bomb, or oil, or something when they would have been better off eating the solid piece of protein. I don’t know if you want to get into that now with the protein thing, but people are afraid of protein because they’ve heard two different things, right? One, too much protein turns into sugar, or too much protein will kick you out of ketosis. That is a misunderstanding of the biochemistry and the physiology that is behind those processes. Amino acids from protein can be converted into glucose they can, but that doesn’t happen just because you eat a huge chicken breast, or just because you eat two steaks. It happens when it needs to happen.

Amy:                     The thing is triglycerides three pieces of fat, three fatty acids tied to this molecule of glycerol, which is how our bodies store fat, or how fat comes in food when you break that apart to burn it the glycerol portion that’s left over can be converted to glucose. Two glycerol’s can make a glucose, but you don’t hear anybody worried about that when they’re drinking a 500 calorie fatty coffee. You don’t hear anyone say, well, too much glycerol turns into sugar because it doesn’t. It turns into glucose when the body needs to make glucose. I know we’re so terrified of glucose and keto, but glucose is not the problem. Too much glucose all the time is the problem. The body needs glucose. We might not necessarily need it for energy all the time, but we actually need it. There are structural molecules in the body that contain glucose. There are certain cells in the body that can’t burn fat or ketones. They have to burn glucose.

Amy:                     Glucose by itself is not bad. Just like insulin by itself is not bad. Water is great. Oxygen is great. You can also die from too much of those. It’s just a misunderstanding that has gotten out of control. This is something that wasn’t a part of low-carb when I was new. Nobody was afraid of protein, but not to muddy the waters too much there are some people who seem to be really sensitive to protein. I can’t tell you who they are. Sometimes, it’s people that are very, very severely Type 2 diabetic, and when they’re new to this they might be better off having moderate protein higher fat and as they get healthier gradually shift those ratios. That’s something to remember, too. People get so scared to change something. If something was working for six months, well, now it stopped working. Well, don’t keep doing that. If you’ve lost 50 pounds, or you’re off six medications you’re literally not the same person you were, so maybe you do need to change your diet a little bit at that point.

Carole:                  Yeah, yeah. Dr. Ben Bikman was it last year that spoke at Low Carb Denver about that research showed exactly what you were saying that most people in the context of a low-carb ketogenic diet don’t have to worry about protein at all, however, people with some forms of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, or advanced even severe diabetes. There isn’t such a thing, or I mean there’s not a diagnosis of that, but they tend to be a little more sensitive to protein. However, they don’t need to eat a low-protein diet.

Amy:                     There’s two issues come up there. One is people might be afraid of protein, or think it turns into sugar because people with Type 1 diabetes do need to account for protein when they dose their insulin because the protein affects insulin, it affects blood glucose, but not because the protein you just consumed 30 minutes later has turned into sugar. It takes longer than that to even digest. The glucose is coming from your own liver in response to protein the liver will actually send out some glucose. It’s supposed to do that. Healthy bodies do that. Type 1 diabetes bodies do that. In Type 1 diabetes they don’t have the insulin to counteract that little bit of glucose that normal bit of glucose that’s supposed to be there. Someone like you or I, Ben Bikman is exactly right. Eating higher protein in the context of a low-carb diet is really different than eating more protein in the context of a higher carb diet.

Amy:                     Then the other thing you were saying some people might be better off with the more moderate protein diet, but they don’t have to go low. If you follow Ted Naiman we might have to explain to people the protein leverage hypothesis, but I think most people at least in the U.S. anyway are consuming too little protein, so what we consider a high-protein diet is probably actually a normal protein diet. You know what I mean? Well, maybe not like you and me, but most people in general, especially, women are not eating anywhere near enough protein so they could increase significantly, and I still wouldn’t call that a high-protein diet. I would call that now we’re adequate. Now we’re just getting enough.

Carole:                  Yes, yeah. There’s a lot of [inaudible 00:20:26] a lot of nutrients. Most protein dense foods actually are the most nutrient-dense foods despite what we’ve been told about fruits and vegetables being high in protein also have the most nutrients in them.

Amy:                     Yeah, if you think of a piece of red meat, or even pork is very high in B vitamins and minerals, seafood, especially. I think Ted is right on the money. There’s a guy out of New Zealand a friend of mine named Jamie Scott who also talks about protein leverage a lot as well. I think they’re right on the money. We’re actually so accustomed to low-protein diets that when we increase protein we think it’s high, but it’s not. That’s more normal. Just like with carb we’re not on low-carb diets. We’re on normal carb diets. Everyone else is on this freakishly high, insanely high-carb diet, right?

Carole:                  Yes, yes, that’s so true, right, because we’ve been told for 50 years that fat is bad, meat causes cancer, so the only thing that’s left to eat is carbs. We’ve gone through 40 years of having a pure carb breakfast, and a mild amount of protein at lunch, and then a mild amount of protein at dinner as well, so that puts us under a protein allotment because we’re only eating protein at two meals a day, and no protein for snacks.

Amy:                     Right.

Carole:                  I’m coming up with the list as we’re talking here about some tips about how to start keto the easy way. One of the things we said already is real food. Keep it simple, real food, meat and veg, okay? Keeping carbs as low as possible. No sugar or starch cut that all out. I’m going to add another one that I think is really important is don’t drink your calories. Don’t drink high-fat beverages. Don’t drink your calories. This goes along with that myth we were talking about how percentages don’t matter. People fall into this thing of I can’t get enough fat in my mouth so I better drink all these high-fat beverages.

Amy:                     Even though I have so much fat on my behind.

Carole:                  Yeah.

Amy:                     I mean, not to be rude or anything, but I hear this all the time. The literal word for word phrase that I hear so many times is I’m having a hard time hitting my fat macro. I’m like why are you trying to hit a fat macro? So when people come to me so often my first question is if it’s just their initial email and I have no idea who they are, or what they’re trying to do. What are you trying to accomplish? Why are you interested in keto? Then my other question because most of the people who come to me are already doing it. They’re already eating this way, but they’re not getting the results they want. I rarely get people that are new, but once in a while I do. So when I get someone that’s already been doing it, and they’re not happy with how things are going then my next question is where are you getting information from? Where have you gotten your guidance from? Did you read a book? Do you watch somebody’s YouTube, whatever? So it’s interesting to see where people get this stuff from.

Amy:                     I will say in terms of starting simply I would say that there may come a time when somebody does need to keep track of food because it’s very possible that they’re eating a lot more fat than they realize, or less protein than they realize whatever it is. There is a time and a place for keeping track, but I think when somebody’s brand new for the first three weeks or so just keep the carbs really, really low. Get your body adjusted. Make the transition. Don’t worry about the weight loss. Don’t worry about anything else. Worry about getting used to eating this way. Worry about getting used to figuring out what the heck you’re going to have for lunch when you can’t have your sandwiches anymore, and you can’t have your pasta, and you can’t have your wraps and your burritos. Figure that out. Get used to this. Stock your fridge. Stock your freezer. Make a crap ton of food in advance. Cook a ton in advance because when stuff is ready to go then when you’re hungry you can grab a hard boiled egg, or you can slice off a cold piece of steak. Get used to eating stuff cold. You’re not a two-year-old. You don’t need everything to be hot. It’s okay to eat cold leftovers I do it all the time. Grab something right out of the fridge. If we want to make this as easy as possible you have to prepare your environment so that it’s as easy as possible. When people are new that is not the time to worry about, okay, we’ll have this many grams of this, and this many grams of that, and only eat twice a day. When you’re brand new is not the time to worry about anything except keeping your carbs low.

Carole:                  Yes, I love that. Prepare that’s one of my things I always recommend to start out with is that the easier it is to just grab stuff out of your fridge the more successful you’re going to be which means go so far as to buy pre-sliced cheese, pre-sliced meat, hard boiled eggs that are already hard boiled. Stock your fridge with all those foods so that it’s so easy to just grab something. Truthfully, if you’re eating those foods you don’t need to worry about grams of protein, fats, or anything like that. All of those things are already perfect keto foods by themselves.

Amy:                     Exactly, it works itself out.

Carole:                  We’ve talked about don’t fear protein, all right. When in doubt go for protein. Any of those protein foods that we just talked about are perfect. I’ll also add another one. Go ahead.

Amy:                     I was just going to say if somebody has the money to buy all organic and grass-fed, and fancy-schmancy food do it. If you don’t it’s totally fine to go to the regular store, and get your regular beef. You can do lunch meat is okay. Just don’t get honey baked ham or brown sugar turkey. Get roast beef, get pastrami, get something that really is very, very low sugar, but that stuff is fine. If that’s going to make it easier for you. Again, what makes this diet work is the lack of carbs not the organic, not the free range, not the Fairtrade. I’ve worked on small farms. I am 100% in favor of that stuff. That stuff is really, really expensive. I can’t afford that stuff half the time. Nobody should feel guilty or feel ashamed, or feel like this diet isn’t going to work for them if they’re just going to literally Walmart and getting a tube of ground beef, getting celery, whatever. When we say about these protein foods it’s okay to buy regular salami from a store, pepperoni, cheese, it’s all good.

Carole:                  Absolutely. Oh, I love that you brought up that point, too, because so many people get stuck on, well, I can’t afford all this it’s too expensive.

Amy:                     I can’t afford it either.

Carole:                  The keto version, the high-fat versions of most cuts of meat at the grocery store are the ones that are usually on sale and they’re the cheapest. You can get chicken drumsticks and thighs with the skin on for 99 cents a pound a lot of the time. 90% of the health benefits of eating this way come from just keeping carbs low. If some day you want to go for investing in the organic versions of that you might get a 2% or 5% more health benefit, but you’re going to get 90% of the health benefits just getting the carbs and sugar out of your diet.

Amy:                     Exactly. Let’s maybe if we can just for a second talk about why because you and I have been harping on that point. The reason keto does what it does whether it means getting body fat off, bringing your blood sugar down, bringing the insulin down, lowering your blood pressure, clearing up your skin, getting rid of the joint pain, PCOS, restoring fertility most of that comes because you’re not eating carbs your blood sugar is much lower, and it’s not just lower it’s steady. It’s not doing this up and down all day. Your insulin is a lot lower. It’s also not going crazy up and down all day. We have these small little blips like we’re supposed to just a little bit, but that is what’s responsible for the majority of the health of fats of this diet. It comes from lowering the blood sugar and insulin, so you just want to eat with keeping in mind what’s this going to do to my blood sugar? What’s it going to do to my insulin? Then you have your answer as to what you should eat.

Carole:                  Yeah, and so many people get stuck on, well, we’ve been told for so long to eat lots of fruits and vegetables get the antioxidants from them, but it turns out our body has a fantastic, very powerful antioxidant system that when we’re keeping carbs low, and insulin is at a healthy normal level our body’s antioxidant system is way more powerful than any supplements, or any fruits or vegetables that we could eat.

Amy:                     Yeah, I mean, if people watching or listening know Dr. Georgia Ede. Her website is Diagnosis:Diet.com. You’ve probably met her. I’ve met her a couple of times. She’s great. She writes about this all the time that these fruits and vegetables are not necessarily deserving of the health halo that we give them. If you’re not sensitive to some of the compounds in the plants they’re fine, right? People have been doing Atkins since the ’70s eating spinach, eating broccoli, and they’re doing great, but there are some people that seem to be sensitive to certain things that are in plants who do better on a low-plant diet, or almost no plants, but this antioxidant thing we take it for granted how could vegetables and fruits not be good for us? They’re so colorful. Eat a wide variety of colors. They’re purple, they’re red. They have anthocyanins, they have sulforaphane, they have betacarotene. They have all these compounds that give them those colors. Produce is beautiful, it is, it’s gorgeous to look at, but oddly enough I think a lot of the antioxidants that are in those plants are used for the plant. It’s not for the human.

Amy:                     I don’t know that it survives the digestive process. After all that acid, after all that alkaline do we actually absorb those things intact, and they have the same effect in the body as we would expect them to. I don’t think they do like you say. The most powerful antioxidant in the human body are produced in the human body. Actually, some of them they’re amino acids, they’re peptides like glutathione, but I do think certain compounds can have what I would call a pharmacological effect. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Linus Pauling from back, I think, it was the ’50s the megadoses of Vitamin C, and it was a medicine, but you’re not going to get that effect from drinking a glass of orange juice. That’s an infusion of mega, mega doses of Vitamin C. It can do the same thing with other compounds, or what happens in a petri dish of cultured mouse cells that you add concentrated broccoli seed extract to for the sulforaphane is not necessarily what happens to you or me when we eat a bowl of broccoli.

Amy:                     Again, I’m not saying plants are bad for you. There’s some keto nutritionists would argue that. Eat plants if you want to. The bottom line is there’s almost nothing that you can get from plants that you can’t get from animals. I think vegetables can be a perfectly wonderful part of this way of eating, but if you go a day or two, or a week or two, and all you’re eating is meat and cheese that’s probably okay too. You’re not going to get scurvy in two weeks of not eating bell peppers, or some low-carb food that has Vitamin C in it.

Carole:                  Yeah. Excellent.

Amy:                     How many minds do you think we’re blowing with this? I don’t know maybe people that watch the videos might already know this stuff, but we’re saying everything I thought is wrong.

Carole:                  Yeah, I probably say that every day a couple times is probably 90% of the information we were told the last 50 years about nutrition is just backwards and wrong.

Amy:                     You know what the thing is though just so the people watching don’t feel left out I feel this way too. Every time I learn something new it’s like, oh. Being in the low-carb, keto world you and I are already like, okay, I already know most of what we were taught was garbage, but even now what we’re learning from the carnivore movement, or learning from Georgia Ede, or learning from Ted with protein or whatever, it’s going even beyond what we knew. I’m going to lose all my clients now, but sometimes I’m like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing anymore because I learn something new every day.

Carole:                  No, and even the times I’ve been doing this personally almost four years. In the beginning I was like, well, don’t get too much protein. Now I never told people it turned into sugar, but I talked about the insulin response and it was listening to Dr. Bikman’s presentation where I was like, oh, my gosh, okay, we don’t need to worry about protein like we thought we did even though we can explain all the mechanisms of how it interferes with ketosis and things like that. In the context of low-carb diet a lot of these biochemical processes that we learned in school don’t follow the same pathways that we learned there are differences. Along the lines of something else that we were led astray of is salt. That’s another one that I’m going to include. How to start keto the easy way is make sure you’re getting adequate salt when you start out and all the time.

Amy:                     We’re touching all the third rails in this video. It’s funny you should say this because actually I already recorded a video on salt. I’m probably going to publish it tonight or tomorrow.

Carole:                  Okay. We’ll link to it here.

Amy:                     Yeah, thanks. When you say adequate salt it’s like the protein thing. Adequate salt on a ketogenic diet is a lot more salt than most people are used to, and especially more than most people think is safe like, oh, all that salt can’t possibly be good. Most people are not sodium sensitive with blood pressure meaning they could eat a lot of salt, a lot of sodium, and their blood pressure doesn’t move. There are some people. There’s a small subset of people who do have higher blood pressure from salt, so if you know you’re one of those people watch out for too much salt, but on keto you really do need a lot more salt than usual, so there’s really no harm in using it because keto changes the way the kidneys hold onto minerals in sodium, potassium, magnesium, not just the sodium. I want to plug. We’ll plug for James DiNicolantonio’s book. He’s this researcher that wrote a book called “The Salt Fix.”

Amy:                     Oh, she probably has it. You’re going for it. It is brilliant. I highly recommend this book. Your mind will be blown because you can eat so much more salt that you thought. I think it’s probably just like the protein insulin thing so much of the research that has led to some of the guidelines that we have was done in people eating diets with 50% to 60% carbohydrate, and it might not apply to somebody eating 10% carb, or even 15% or 20% carb because it is so much lower let alone 5% or 0% carb. The information what does salt do in a person who’s already hyperinsulinemic and hyperglycemic versus in somebody who isn’t. I think that’s why we keep learning so many new things. So much of what we think we know is based on people eating a lot of carbohydrate and it just might not hold for people who aren’t.

Carole:                  Yeah. I start with what Volek and Phinney recommended in “The Art and Science of Low Carb Living” starting with the minimum of an extra teaspoon of salt per day. My clients will say, “In addition to what’s in your food?” Actually, you’ve got to measure it out because a lot of people are like, oh, I salt my food plenty. I get plenty of salt, and you’re lucky to get in two grams total if you’re doing that too. Again, it doesn’t matter you don’t need to buy fancy salt. Any kind of salt is fine for this. You don’t need special [inaudible 00:36:44] Sherpa collected salt, or anything like that.

Amy:                     No. Thank you for saying that because I make that exact point in my video. What you need is the sodium, and you can get sodium from any salt. If you like fancy smoked Himalayan gray, whatever, Celtic, use it, but what you need is the sodium, and that’s in any salt that you will find.

Carole:                  Yeah, yeah, great.

Amy:                     Yeah, it’s just, man, the salt thing.

Carole:                  Yeah, yeah. I think is it Phinney that was talking about how the populations that are getting six grams per day are associated with the best health outcomes, too, which is triple the current recommendation in the United States that we need to stay under.

Amy:                     Yeah, it’s a little crazy, and if I remember right I don’t mean to confuse the issue here, or make it more complicated, but I think that’s grams of sodium, not even grams of salt.

Carole:                  Right, right, right.

Amy:                     So you pick a salt that’s half, it’s sodium chloride it’s only half sodium. It’s half chloride. We need the chloride, too, but we need the sodium more. You think, wow, that’s a lot of sodium. Yeah, it’s even more salt because the salt is only half so it’s a shit ton, pardon my language, of salt.

Carole:                  Yes.

Amy:                     I think I just made Carole’s YouTube channel adult only. Now we have to put the language warning.

Carole:                  Oh, great.

Amy:                     No, I think it was just the one little word we’re fine.

Carole:                  Yeah, okay, so lots of salt. Don’t be afraid of salt. I’ll just add in, too, if you try to do too much salt in one time your body is very good at regulating that. You’ll get rid of it very quickly if you do too much of one dose, so spread that out throughout the day. Don’t try to do one teaspoon all at one time, or you’ll just have a good time in the bathroom the rest of the day. Let’s see, another one I recommend to get the best results to start keto the easiest way is going to be to avoid nuts and seeds to start with. That’s because most people overeat them. Nuts and seeds in nature are really, really hard to get to. They’re very nutrient-dense and nuts and seeds are actually pretty high in carbohydrates as well. A handful of nuts and seeds might be your entire day’s worth of carbohydrates for some people, too. I recommend staying away from them in the very beginning because most people have a really hard time with moderating their intake of those.

Amy:                     I can agree with that. I don’t normally tell people that, but I’m clear they are so easy to overdo. If you really truly can limit yourself to that one ounce serving than have it, but if you think you’re having an ounce and you’re having half the bag not that I know anything about that personally. Yeah, they’re a very easy trigger food. They’re extremely concentrated sources of fat because they’re just very high in fat, and they do, the carbs can add up, especially, if you’re doing something like cashews much higher in carbs. Macadamia nuts are very, very, very low in carbs. Pecans and walnuts are okay, but they’re super, super high in fat, which is fine for keto, but it’s just easy to overdo, so I think that’s probably not bad advice to avoid nuts and seeds at first.

Carole:                  That’s one place to look if you’re struggling and not losing weight on keto is maybe try cutting the nuts and seeds out.

Amy:                     Yeah.

Carole:                  Let’s see, so just a recap. We’ve got a list of about eight things here. Eight rules to follow to start off with keto.

Amy:                     I feel bad because starting keto is supposed to be easy. If eight things make it easy, one thing to make it easy keep your carbs really, really, really low.

Carole:                  Okay. There we go if you come out one thing. For us as nutritionists it’s really easy to understand what has carbs in it. For some people they are clueless about that, so that may mean you need to just track your food. You need to look things up to figure out what has carbohydrates in it because a lot of people are really surprised. I met a former, or not former, a friend of mine that said something about like, well, bagels those are protein foods, right? Because they come in that Starbucks protein box so bagels are a protein source. We take it for granted that we know what has carbs in it, so for some people if you don’t know what carbohydrates are and even for some people that think they do know it might be necessary to look things up and track that just to make sure you are keeping it low, so that’s the simplest thing keep the carbohydrates low.

Amy:                     Yeah, and really stick to the protein and fat food. Like I said the Atkins induction was unlimited, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs because you don’t have to count carbs when you know you’re eating foods that are zero carbohydrate. It’s not necessarily a plug for the carnivore diet, but it’s a plug for making the vast majority of your food intake foods that are zero carb because then you don’t have to count.

Carole:                  Yeah. Okay, we’re boiling this down to the simplest things possible. Eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, and cheese.

Amy:                     Cheese, but, unfortunate, cheese is very similar to nuts it’s very easy to overdo. I think for somebody that wants something fatty and yummy I think cheese is a better choice than nuts because it tends to have more protein at least it has. It’s still higher in fact than it is in protein, but it has more protein than nuts do. If you’re going to eat that much fat at least get some protein along for the ride.

Carole:                  Right, right. Yeah, and if people are just eating cheese they get satiated. If you’re just eating a block of cheese maybe one day you’re going to overeat it, but then the next day you’ll be like I’m ready for something different.

Amy:                     Yeah, I’m over the cheese because it is easy to overdo, but you probably wouldn’t do that every day.

Carole:                  Yeah, yeah. All right, well, okay, so we boiled it down to the simplest, the very easiest way to get started on keto is just real simple food. I think people one of the other reasons it gets complicated, though, is a lot of times we’re used to convenience foods, packaged, boxed, protein bars, diet drinks, and things like that, so people they think that’s what a diet is so then they’re looking for the equivalent of that the keto version of that. I think that’s part of where people make it too complicated.

Amy:                     Yeah. There are packaged foods that are fine, but you have to be a label detective. You have to read the label because it’s going to say low-carb or sugar free, or keto, and it’s like, oh, this thing is actually loaded with carbs. You shouldn’t be afraid to buy a package of salami, but read the label. Read the label more so for the numbers the total grams of carbs per serving. Look at the ingredients, too. See if there’s sugar, see if there’s corn syrup, but there’s a lot of things that actually contain sugar or cornstarch, or something like that, but the total carbs are still really, really low. For example, most bacon is cured with sugar or brown sugar, but the amount remaining in the final product is negligible, or it’s one gram per two or three slices of bacon.

Amy:                     If sugar is in the ingredient it’s not necessarily off limits. It’s really about the total amount of carbs. I think another way to keep this simple Dr. Eric Westman is all about total carbs. If anyone comes to him … If people don’t know who that is Dr. Westman is one of the most famous low-carb doctors. He learned from Dr. Atkins. He’s been doing this longer than almost anybody whose still around. When anyone struggles to lose weight in his clinic he’s always like, go back to 20 grams total carbs, not net because net then you start eating all those bars and shakes and packaged products where it’s maybe 25 grams of total carbs, but only two or three net so people are like, oh, it’s only two or three carbs. Some people are more sensitive than others to the fillers and the sugar alcohols, and stuff.

Amy:                     If somebody is struggling that’s definitely one place to go is go to total carbs if you were doing net. If you’re brand new you might as well not even bother with net just go by the total. That makes it easier because you don’t have to figure out the fiber, you don’t have to figure out sugar alcohols, just look at the total. You almost have to stick to real food that way because there’s not going to be any maltitol in it. There’s not going to be any corn fiber in it. You know what I mean? It’s just going to be cucumbers or steak, or whatever.

Carole:                  Right. Total carbs under 20 grams there we go.

Amy:                     That’s supper, supper strict. Most people can probably lose weight at 30 or 40 if we’re doing total. 40 grams net carbs is a lot of carbs. 40 total is still pretty low, but if somebody’s already there, and the weight isn’t budging then you got to really tighten things up.

Carole:                  Well, if we’re just talking about the easiest way, I mean, the lower your carb intake the faster you’re going to get to ketosis, so it’s not going to hurt anyone to go 20 total, and you’re going to cover 90% of the population to get into ketosis.

Amy:                     That’s actually why Dr. Westman starts everybody out at 20 total because he knows just about everybody is going to begin ketosis at 20 grams total or less. They won’t have to count anything. They won’t have to measure their ketones. They won’t have to do anything. He gives them a list of foods. If it’s not on the list you are not allowed to eat it, period. If you stick to the list and stick to the amounts he knows you’re going to be in ketosis. I think he does it for that exact reason because it’s the easiest. It’s going to work for everybody. Once somebody’s been doing that for a while they can play around. Hey, maybe they can do okay at 40 or 50, but maybe they can’t, but he knows everybody is going to be successful right out of the gate at 20 or less.

Carole:                  Yeah, that’s what I have my clients do as well, it’s easier.

Amy:                     To be honest I wasn’t because I wanted to be like, well, see what you can get away with, and it’s not working. I have to be real now and tell people, listen, you can’t play around. Sorry, you do it or you don’t.

Carole:                  Yeah, well, okay. I think we figured it out the easiest way keep your carbs low. Eat real food. Avoid net carbs that’s going to avoid those foods that really are going to be not really truly keto anyways. Anything else that you want to add to this? Here’s one. I have two more ideas that people always get confused about, too. What about water? Shouldn’t I be drinking a gallon of water a day?

Amy:                     I did a video recently on water. I said this radical crazy thing. Drink when you are thirsty. What? It’s okay. I really don’t agree with what’s often said where if you’re thirsty it’s too late. If you’re thirsty that means you’re dehydrated. No, I think thirst is your body’s signal that it’s time for some water. We never say that with hunger. If you’re hungry you’re already starving it’s too late.

Carole:                  I love that you said that. I so agree. I say the same thing, too. Well, yeah, if you’re hungry it’s too late. You should eat before you get hungry because you don’t want to get hungry.

Amy:                     Eat all the time so that you never get hungry. I see these people walking around literally carrying a gallon jug of water. If you think we’re very into ancestral stuff and what happened in human evolution and this keto movement. Do you think that Grok or Mr. Caveman was walking around with his water bottle? No, they got water where they could when they could. I think there is a small kernel of truth for the fact that some people will eat when they’re actually thirsty, so they might be eating mistaking hunger for thirst, or thirst for hunger, whatever. I do think, honestly, sometimes I get lazy about water, and I feel better physically, mentally I feel better when I’m hydrated, but I don’t guzzle water all day long. I honestly think you should just drink when you’re thirsty.

Amy:                     Drinking more water is not going to make you lose weight faster. That’s a total myth. I mean, how many of us tried that for 20 years and it didn’t work, but I think Amber O’Hearn who’s well-known in the carnivore movement said something really interesting on a podcast the other … Well, not the other day. I listened the other day it’s an older show, but she brought up a really interesting point, and that was that she thinks some of the increased need for sodium on keto is because so many are drinking more water basically flushing it all out. People shouldn’t skimp on water. Don’t be afraid to drink water, but there’s no need to just guzzle water for the sake of guzzling water. It doesn’t make keto work any better or any faster. You might actually do yourself harm by diluting all those minerals.

Carole:                  Yeah. When I went through my nutrition training it became very obvious, oh, well, humans need water, but the water that’s in food counts toward our water need.

Amy:                     Yes, thank you.

Carole:                  Most food is 80% water. I think that’s part of why when we’re thirsty a lot of people eat because the body knows there’s water in food, and that will meet our water need.

Amy:                     That’s a really good point. I mean, it’s especially true of things like look at cucumbers, or celery, or lettuce it’s 98% water.

Carole:                  Yeah. Well, even cooked chicken breast has water in it. I don’t know I’m going to blame it on personal trainers sometime that didn’t take a nutrition class that then because the water needs this much water that means you have to drink that much pure water. I still want to figure out somewhere along the line somebody thought more is better so a gallon of water. There’s still people out there that their goal is to drink a gallon of water a day, and it’s not even healthy.

Amy:                     Yeah, it’s too much, but there’s a fine line because I think there probably are some people that are dehydrated, and they don’t feel well. I know on keto we were talking about salt, I think, the salt and water balance is even more important if you’re working out whether you’re an endurance athlete or you’re a body builder or something and you sweat a lot you probably do need more water, but you need a lot more salt, too, to replace what you lose.

Carole:                  Absolutely. In “The Salt Fix” book, Dr. DiNicolantonio actually has some recommendations about how to dose salt for working out and even so specific as what temperature you’re in. Also, yeah, I’m glad you mentioned the athletes and things like that because especially it seems for body builders or somebody whose lifting weights they have an exponentially higher amount of sodium that they need. It’s probably likely because of the muscle contraction and the building of all that requires a lot more sodium. My son has recently started getting into body building and he finds he needs about six to eight grams, or maybe even 10 grams of sodium a day to not feel lightheaded and dizzy. Another friend of mine, Mike Berta, who does the Ketogains bootcamps he said he found that when he was doing those actively he needed 10 grams of sodium per day to feel normal and healthy.

Amy:                     Wow.

Carole:                  Yeah.

Amy:                     I think Dave Feldman eats about that much and he’s not a body builder. I think he just says that’s where he feels best. Yeah, that’s a lot of salt. I think just so people are aware some stuff that could happen if you’re not getting enough sodium on keto, or you’re getting too much water in relation to the sodium you’re getting is headaches, fatigue, just feeling sluggish, feeling blah. If you are an exerciser or you work out losing power and strength not having the same oomph that you normally have at the gym, but headaches, dizziness, and lightheadedness are the biggies if you’re not getting enough salt or sodium.

Carole:                  And constipation and muscle cramping I’ll add, too. Those are common ones as well that are symptoms of not enough sodium.

Amy:                     I think that’s magnesium, too, the muscle cramps, but sodium will do that as well.

Carole:                  Yeah. Anything else? I was going to add as well, too, people wonder about how much exercise do I need to lose weight? Should I be exercising? Then it’s interesting, too, there’s some local diet programs that say they’re a ketogenic diet, but then they tell people that they can’t exercise because that burns muscle somehow, and I’m like where did they get this information that they tell people that they’re not allowed to exercise because they’re going to lose all their muscle mass if they exercise on a low-calorie keto diet?

Amy:                     If you look at the Ketogains stuff, yeah, they’re losing a lot of muscle aren’t they? And for people that don’t know Ketogains we are being sarcastic. Those guys are like they’re building muscle like crazy. Exercise is such a contentious issue. Personally, coming from an exercise background and I’m not a body builder, I’m not a professional athlete, I’m just someone who worked out a ton because I thought it would help me lose weight. Exercise does not make you lose weight, and I learned the hard way, the very, very hard long way. I mean, I wish it did because look at all that wasted time. I think it’s really important for health. I think it’s important for mobility and for strength. For me, it’s a mental health tool more than anything. I feel better. I tend to lean toward depression and melancholy, and all this bad stuff, and I feel better not just acutely I feel better when I’m actually exercising, but in general all throughout the day when I’m exercising regularly I feel better emotionally and mentally.

Amy:                     The fact is you do not have to have exercise to lose body fat. If you want to build muscle, so you can lose body fat, but you’re not going to have a six pack. If you don’t have a six pack you have to develop those muscles if you want to be toned the phrase that all the women use. If you want those womanly shapely like if you want Michelle Obama arms you have to have the muscle so you can lose weight, but if you lose the fat and there’s no muscle there you’re just going to be a smaller version of what you look like now. You have to build the muscle if you want muscle to be revealed when the fat comes away.

Amy:                     I think it’s important to build those muscles, but I know some of the keto doctors who have patients in wheelchairs, who have patients that can’t exercise that are disabled, or they’re paraplegic or something and keto still works for them so exercise is not essential. I know that’s crazy. Believe me I hate even hearing myself say that. I want it to be essential because I have even more of an incentive to do it, but the fact is it’s not. I mean, the diet I couldn’t put a percentage on it, but it’s probably 90% diet. I think exercise does seem to be really helpful for insulin sensitivity for giving glucose somewhere to go. The more muscle you build the higher your carb tolerance is going to be for the most part, right? Because the muscle is just going to be able to deal with it.

Amy:                     The sad fact is, or maybe it’s a happy fact for some people you don’t actually have to exercise to lose weight. That’s great news because if anyone watching us is let’s say you’re 400 pounds or 500 pounds it’s not really a great idea for you to go running. Lose a bunch of weight first. Get some of the strain of your joints. Maybe you could do water aerobics, you could walk. I’m not saying don’t become active, but there’s some movements that are not really going to be that wise for you to do until you’ve gotten some weight off. The larger you are like the heavier your starting weight the more quickly and easily the weight comes off. There’s a Dr. Tro Kalayjian whose lost over 150 pounds on keto. He started out all he was doing was slow walking on the treadmill probably barely burning anything. There’s a lot of people who start out morbidly obese who don’t add exercise in until they’ve already lost a substantial amount of weight. Again, I’m not telling people not to exercise, but that is not what makes this way of eating work.

Carole:                  I couldn’t agree more. I tell people that exercise has plenty of health benefits, but it’s not part of the equation that’s necessary for weight loss.

Amy:                     Yeah.

Carole:                  Yeah. Well, I think this is great. I hope that people really learn a lot from this. I hope that a lot of people have some smoke coming out their ears, and their head is spinning a little bit like what do you mean? Shaking up the paradigm. I mean, there was a lot of great that came out of my education, but I think one of the most valuable things I learned was to always stay open. Stay learning there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know. We’ve got a lot of great researchers out there that they’re continuing to learn and dive into all this information. Yeah, anything else that you think we missed or want to add?

Amy:                     Not really, but just to tell people don’t be afraid to try something different whatever that means. Increasing protein, decreasing protein, trying this other type of food, doing this other thing. You don’t need anyone’s permission, right? How many times do you see online can I do so and so? Is it okay if I eat? I don’t know, try it. You’re a grown adult. You don’t have to ask me for permission. You don’t have to get a signed contract from somebody. I don’t want to say anything dangerous here, but there’s very little that you can do to your body with food or a change in your sleep or your exercise that’s going to kill you over the course of three weeks. You could try something, hey, I want to try eating that, or I want to try cutting that out, or sleeping this. Do it. You’ll know if it’s working or not. We’re not dealing with medication. We’re not dealing with surgery. There’s not a whole lot that you can do to yourself that is going to cause irreparable harm in the short term. Does that make sense?

Carole:                  Yeah, I think so. I also think, though, that people get overwhelmed with all the possible things that they could change especially if they’re in Facebook groups where they say here’s where I am at, and then they get 100 different replies about what they should change. I would just recommend pick one thing. Try that one thing for a week. Stick with it for a while then that will be enough time to let you know if that’s helping or not. If you do one thing for one meal, and you change the next meal you do this that’s going to be really hard to figure out whether that’s working or not. Yeah, there’s a lot of things you could change. Pick one thing try it for a week see what happens.

Amy:                     Yeah. I got to say I’m terrible at that I’m the worse. Dave Feldman would kill me. I’m the worst scientist because I never change one thing I change six things and it’s like, well, great, now what? Then if I feel better it’s working I have to keep doing all of that because I don’t know which thing was responsible for it. Oh, God.

Carole:                  Well, and if all else fails get some help reach out to one of us if you need some high-level support.

Amy:                     Set you straight, yeah.

Carole:                  How to start keto the easy way. Cut out the carbs. Eat real food, meat, fish, poultry, some cheese. That’s what we came up with, right?

Amy:                     Yes. Some cheese if you like it. If you don’t like it you don’t have to eat cheese.

Carole:                  Oh, yes.

Amy:                     Send it to me send your extra cheese to me I’ll eat it.

Carole:                  Oh, yeah, the final point is that there is no magic keto food. There is no food that you have to eat that’s keto that if you don’t like it, right? Every day there’s somebody that’s like I don’t baking can I still do keto? I don’t like dairy can I still do keto?

Amy:                     I don’t like avocados.

Carole:                  Yeah, okay, that’s another one.

Amy:                     I don’t like avocado. I don’t eat them. You don’t have to use MCT oil. You don’t have to use coconut oil. You don’t have to make anything with almond flour it’s not required.

Carole:                  Yeah. Keto is about what you’re not eating not what you are eating.

Amy:                     100%, yes.

Carole:                  All right. Okay. Hopefully, you guys learned a lot. Hopefully, you have a lot of questions as well so comment below with your aha, your takeaway from this, or more questions for us. If you enjoyed us, too, give us a thumbs up, and subscribe. Hit the subscribe button, and then if you want to get notified of new episodes hit the bell as well because that’s going to give you the notification for that. Amy, thank you so much for being here. We’re going to link Amy’s stuff down there. We’ve got a couple of videos we mentioned as well so we’ll put all those in the comments below. Thank you for being here.

Amy:                     Yeah, no problem, and I’ll see you in Salt Lake City. I don’t know if this is going to be published before or after that, but Carole and I are both speaking. I don’t know if it’s called low-carb or Keto Salt Lake.

Carole:                  It’s Keto Salt Lake.

Amy:                     Yeah.

Carole:                  Yeah, yeah, we’ll try to get this out before then, and this will live on forever on the air web, so check out the latest keto conferences coming up. Yeah, thank you everyone for watching. It’s been so much fun. Thanks, Amy, for being here.

Amy:                     Yeah, yeah, see you soon.

Carole:                  Bye.

Amy:                     Bye.

Keto Chat Episode 111: 5 Ways to Heal Your Gut on Keto

Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a contagious passion for food as medicine and developing clinical protocols and virtual programs using nutrients and food as the foundation of treatment. Her Food-As-Medicine philosophy is supported by up-to-date scientific research for a functional approach to healing the body. Ali is a renowned expert in the ketogenic diet with over a decade of clinical results using a unique whole foods approach to a high fat low carb protocol. Ali’s message has influenced millions through media with television segments, features in O!, Women’s Health, and Prevention Magazine, her award winning podcast, Naturally Nourished and within the medical community. Ali’s expertise can be accessed through her website: www.alimillerRD.com offering her blog, podcasts, virtual learning, and access to her practice Naturally Nourished.

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