Carole Freeman: Hey there. I am Carole Freeman, otherwise known as Keto Carole and I’m the creator of the eight-week Keto bootcamp program. I am here today with awesome Carolina Cartier.
Carolina C: Yes.
Carole Freeman: Who are you? Tell us who you are.
Carolina C: The short version?
Carole Freeman: Yeah.
Carolina C: I’m from the Seattle area and I am now currently a co-founder of Inside Health Institute. Our goal is to provide affordably feasible holistic healthcare for chronic illnesses.
Carole Freeman: That is an awesome mission statement goal.
Carolina C: Yes. We’re starting. We just got an office and we’re starting next month. We have Dr. Bowen who is a naturopathic doctor and this has been her vision. I have an MBA and she approached me and asked to get this going, so …
Carole Freeman: Oh, that’s really-
Carolina C: We’re going to do it.
Carole Freeman: That’s super exciting. So you are a keto success story.
Carolina C: I am.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, I mean, so first of all, I mean some people maybe know you online for your fantastic transformation that you’ve gone through already. Like how much weight have you lost already?
Carolina C: So I am at as of today 91 pounds.
Carole Freeman: Wow.
Carolina C: Since starting keto, and I lost about 40 before that, just from cutting out things like McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza. So just getting up off the couch I lost 40 pounds and then I learned about keto and that’s when things really got going.
Carole Freeman: Wow, wow. Okay, so I’m going to ask you in a minute what it feels like because you’re losing, well, 130 pounds. That has to feel dramatically different. I’ll ask that in a minute. But first I want to know how did you even discover keto? Everybody’s story is unique and different so how did it …
Carolina C: Yeah. I guess it’s somewhat unique in that I was going to Dr. Bowen, the naturopath, and I went to her and said, “I’m just really feeling not well. Like I’m starting to feel angry and I’m so tired and hungry,” which is constantly hungry. And it was just getting worse. I wasn’t really getting better. We discussed some things and then she put in for me to go onto disability. She said, “I’m just going to apply. See if we can get you a couple, like a month even. I just want you take some time off and heal.” I was working in finance. It was long hours. She thought maybe just a vacation or something would help.
We started looking at my labs and she actually thought because I have a history of endocrine disorders, and the most recent one I had was PCOS, which I know is very, very common. I had had that in total for 16 years. I was diagnosed when I was 13 years old.
Carole Freeman: Oh wow.
Carolina C: It’s much more common for women to find out in their 20s when they try to start to conceive, but I was at 13, so I found out. She prescribes HCG which people know as just a weight-loss drug and you eat nothing and then you lose a bunch of weight. But there is a lot of research behind it for helping with the pituitary disorders and other endocrine problems in varying doses, and so it is used therapeutically as well. She prescribed HCG and along with my packet of needles and the things and syringes were the urine keto strips to test my ketones. I asked her, “What are ketones?” She goes, “Oh, that’s going to happen because you’re going to be burning fat,” and that is what started me down the rabbit hole. I said, “Well-
Carole Freeman: I’m still following you.
Carolina C: Yeah, no, I mean there’s always more to learn and always more to read about and find out, and there’s always crazy tips that you find, but I’m pretty well cemented now in keto, but when I went down the rabbit hole of like, “Hey, what are ketones,” and then I started realizing that this could be a permanent way of living, a permanent way to eat. I after that first thing of HCG, the first round, it was 23 days, I felt amazing. I mean I can’t … Just being on that I had, and being on the diet of no sugar, no carb, it goes along with it, I had more energy than I ever had, and I lost I think 30 pounds with that even before I went keto regularly maybe. I can’t even remember now what my highest weight was. It was around 400 or close to it. Then it didn’t … Some does creep back like once you start to eat again.
But anyway, so that’s how I got introduced, and I was really thankful for that. HCG gets a bad rap, but what I learned from that was that the whole point was to get into ketosis, and then I went from there and started listening to all the experts on the ketogenic diet and what that can do, and now I basically am on HCG all the time as far as like. You know I’m always using ketones. I’m always using fats.
Carole Freeman: Well, and one of the big advantages of just following ketogenic diet, a well formulated ketogenic diet is that’s sustainable for your whole life whereas HCG typically they do it in like six week rounds, right?
Carolina C: Right.
Carole Freeman: They say you can’t stay on that long term. Whereas this is actually just as effective, but you can live this way forever.
Carolina C: So you are, you’re taking a growth hormone. The actual diet you’re supposed to follow is only 500 calories. I was really hungry on that. They don’t have you eat any fat. But it’s a whole different formula, but you’re trying to induce ketosis. But I think in a much more difficult way than just eating a bunch, eating bacon and eggs I guess easier, a much easier way to get into ketosis, and like you said, it’s sustainable, you can live it every day and so I just transitioned once I learned that a ketone existed. Then I just kind of went off on my own. She’s been very supportive and now we’re planning to use that at Inside Health Institute for people who need that, which I’m hoping will be many people.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, yeah, oh gosh, yes. Well, okay, so tell us about what the institute is, like what’s it going to be.
Carolina C: Oh yeah. So, if I can remember off the top of my head, I don’t know our pitch, but we basically have a five phase launch. The overall plan again is to provide that holistic healthcare for preventable diseases. Preventable diseases or chronic illnesses are according to the World Health Organization are the number one threat to all people globally. They’ve surpassed infectious disease, especially when you think of heart disease and diabetes, those two alone I mean are taking so many people from us.
We will be using dietary changes as the first-line therapy. Dr. Bowen will be running their lab work, investigating what’s there, seeing what’s safe. She has a couple of different diet protocols. Our first phase that we’re starting with is digestive health, which is really important. A lot of people, if they’re on gluten or something, just eliminating that through any diet can help a lot. We’re going to be offering SIBO testing, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. So if you eat something, or it could be every day or every so often and you have intense abdominal pain or bloating or bathroom issues, there’s a good chance that you have SIBO or some other related illness. It’s digestive health.
Then we have mind, body, wellness with a therapist that we have. Then we’re doing an endocrine version or endocrine/metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune health. Those are kind of five phases and then they’ll all kind of combine over time as we launch them to hopefully address all chronic illnesses that are out there, so as we grow bringing in more practitioners. Dr. Bowen’s a naturopath. We have an acupuncturist as well. We have a therapist. I will be there. I have an FDN, functional diagnostic nutrition, and I’m hoping to apply for a PhD in nutritional science this December.
Carole Freeman: Oh wow.
Carolina C: We’ll see if the university-
Carole Freeman: That will keep you busy.
Carolina C: If UW accepts me then I’ll be doing that.
Carole Freeman: Oh wow.
Carolina C: Yeah, and then we hope to bring in other practitioners, more naturopaths, even MDs who are open minded to dietary changes and just building up the practice until we really are a full-fledged institute and are able to approach chronic illnesses from a state of there’s an imbalance here, let’s try to fix the underlying imbalance instead of prescribing a pill where we might get rid of some of the symptoms, but you’re still not going to feel so great. That’s the overall plan.
Carole Freeman: So part of your model is affordability. Is it going to be insurance based or how does the affordability come in?
Carolina C: We are not. Technically we’re registered as a nonprofit organization and we’re using a fee-for-service model. So how that works is we have an aggressive sliding scale and then those who can’t afford to pay full price, then they pay the normal rate. We do not accept insurance, but we offer the coded bill, which is starting to be the new model in holistic healthcare, just the way insurance works and what they’ll reimburse. So if you pay upfront, then we give you a bill that you send to the insurance. They’ll pay the patient more usually than they would pay the physician. That’s kind of becoming a trend in holistic healthcare.
We don’t accept insurance, but then those who think they would qualify for a discount, which it goes all the way down, just a nominal fee I think of $40 for any service, then they can apply and then it’s a sliding scale based upon income and number of household people and all of that kind of stuff.
Carole Freeman: Oh nice.
Carolina C: Then you can get a new rate. We pay for that by one using a portion of our paying clients funds to help with the charity care or the discounted care, and then we also have donations coming in which help with that. What’s nice with that model is that when we have people who can pay, that helps us pay all the overhead so we’re not using any donations to pay the rent, we’re not using donations for the Wi-Fi. We’re using money that was paid for by patients who still came in.
Carole Freeman: That’s really fantastic because so many, I mean naturopathic care and the model that you have is really important in transforming health, but for a lot of people, if they don’t have insurance or if their insurance doesn’t cover that, then it’s out of reach for them. I remember even myself recovering from my car accident and having that gap where I didn’t have any insurance, I wasn’t working, I didn’t have any money, and there wasn’t a place that I could go that would adjust the fee. It was either like, “Oh pay me $1,700 upfront, but I think I can really help you,” or, “Good luck and just wait till you get insurance.” That’s a beautiful thing that you’re providing.
Carolina C: I went to a place in downtown Seattle to a naturopath and she was fantastic, but my jaw hit the floor when my bill was $320. And that’s just for one appointment.
Carole Freeman: That’s a standard initial-
Carolina C: Exactly and Dr. Bowen’s fees are already well below that, and that we’re going to have the sliding scale as well. So even for those who have funds available and have insurance that they can send the bill to, it’s still a reduced price from there. It’s the idea that let’s see what someone well versed in various nutritional therapies can do, let’s see if there’s some deficiency, can we build that up first before we immediately go to surgery or a pharmaceutical drug if that’s … We want to avoid that long-term situation and get you to healthy so that you’re no longer needing care. They say that a naturopath’s job is to see how many medications they can get you off of so you’re not on those anymore, so that’s the plan.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, and it happens when you address that underlying cause of what’s going on, yeah. Well, I applaud your work and your passion and the partnerships that you’re forming there sound really important. I look forward to hearing more about what happens there. We will link below how people get in touch with you.
Carolina C: Thank you.
Carole Freeman: So are you accepting patient clients yet or …?
Carolina C: We will be. Dr. Bowen, her current practice is Bothell Natural Health. You can contact her through that. We just found a new office and we’re moving in in September, so in a couple of weeks. Or I think we’re moving in two weeks and then we’ll be open September. But we do have, the Inside Health Institute has its website which is insidehealthinstitute.org which you can link to. But currently if you’d like to see Dr. Bowen before we start transitioning, she’s at Bothell Natural Health. She’s always accepting patients. She’s fantastic. I mean she turned everything around for me and-
Carole Freeman: Yeah, that’s wonderful. All right. Well, now I want to go back to this amazing transformation, this weight loss that you’ve had. Did you ever think that you would be a walking inspiration for people out there and like …
Carolina C: No. I am really surprised even. We’re both part of this Facebook group, The Ketogenic Success Facebook group and I kind of did this all on my own. I joined the group I think a couple months ago, maybe four months ago now. It’s amazing to see all those tips and ideas. They have this Transformation Tuesday where people post their before-and-after photos, and I hadn’t done that, and I could find literally one photo of me at 320 pounds, and that was because it was my cousin’s wedding, so there was a photo of me. But I tried and I couldn’t find anything that was even half body, certainly nothing full body, to show how far I had gone.
I took that photo and then I took a new one and I was really surprised, really surprised at what the change looks like. I posted it and I did one just the other day because I hit a new mile, so that’s when I hit 90 pounds down and everyone’s so supportive. They say you’re an inspiration. I am going, “I am? Really?” I mean I was so overweight. I was so unhealthy. Don’t aspire to that. But it’s saying look how far you can turn things around and how far you’ve come, and it’s really good. I wish I’d been part of the group before because that would have helped me get to my goal a bit better. Yeah, I did not expect it but I’m glad I am. I’m glad to be where I am now for sure.
Carole Freeman: Share with us what was your early years like? Where did this … Is everybody in your family a large person or what is your history?
Carolina C: Yeah, well, so it’s just me and my mom. She was very overweight. She was actually an RN, a registered nurse, and she had me later in life when she was 41. She had been very overweight her whole life. I’m six feet tall. My mother is five foot three.
Carole Freeman: Oh wow.
Carolina C: She’s really short. I get my height from my dad. She had just been very overweight her whole life. Then when I was I think 12 she hurt her back on the job and she ended up having surgery, but I think in large part due to her size and her weight she had a really hard time healing. It was an injury to one of the discs and you know how that goes. She’s been overweight her whole life. She did have I think a weight loss surgery at one point, which I don’t know if it went really well. She’s been, she struggled with that forever. A big part of our life was, “Let’s go to Little Caesars,” or, “Let’s go get the pizza and the ice cream,” and it was very much like that, which is common, it’s normal. “Hey, it’s Friday. Let’s go get some pizza.” So everything was around that.
I’m also six feet tall. I stopped growing when I was 12 years old. Go even further back, I had my first medical diagnosis endocrine disorder when I was five years old. I was diagnosed with precocious puberty. We’re learning now that a lot of that has to do with what you’re eating and what’s happening, and that you can be predisposed. But when I was five years old I was four foot seven. They thought I had giantism. It’s like what’s going on. We know now …
Carole Freeman: Five years old at four foot seven, wow.
Carolina C: Yeah, going into kindergarten.
Carole Freeman: I’ve got the pictures of you back then. You look like you’re 12 years old.
Carolina C: It’s crazy. Yeah. I never got to play … I would go to McDonald’s a lot with my mom and I never got to go play in the ball pit because they said I was too-
Carole Freeman: Oh too tall.
Carolina C: Yeah. But I mean I grew and now we know like that was going on in large part to what I was eating and growth hormones and in foods and sugar, that I ate a lot of sugar. Then when I got to 13 that’s when I had the PCOS diagnosis because puberty was supposed to happen but it kind of didn’t. Then at that point I was six feet tall and thank goodness I stopped growing. So they were no longer concerned about giantism, but I reached my peak and then finally stopped. We’re not quite sure how much of it was an endocrine disorder that made me tall and how much of it is that my dad’s six four.
But yeah, so 13 I get that diagnosis and it just went downhill from there, and I just kept gaining and gaining and gaining. I hurt my knee. I think I was 14 when I hurt my knee and I used to play basketball of course and I couldn’t play anymore. I had to have surgery and I was just kind of out and I just started gaining, gaining, gaining. I was speaking with my husband the other day and he said, “Hey, so you, you just hit 230, and now 229. When was the last time you weighed that,” and I go, “Well, the only thing I remember is that when I was 14 I weighed 240.” Sometime in elementary school.
Carole Freeman: Wow.
Carolina C: I don’t know. Yeah, and it’s sad to think. We see that all the time, but even though I was fully grown that I was still overweight. We think of it as just today. I’m not that old, but a decade ago or a little bit more ago, even two decades now it was still happening to me and to other people. Then I had the PCOS diagnosis and I tried, I tried metformin, which is what they put people on. They also put you on birth control pills to try to help force a cycle. Didn’t have anything. I had nothing. I didn’t. I didn’t have a cycle until I was 29 years old.
Carole Freeman: Oh wow, okay.
Carolina C: And that was because I started keto a couple months before that.
Carole Freeman: Oh surprise happened huh?
Carolina C: Yeah. So all of a sudden this lifelong ailment just disappeared, disappeared.
Carole Freeman: Well, and that illustrates it just took a couple of months on keto. So many times the medical community looks at it as well weight loss leads to these health improvements, but anybody who’s gone on keto, me included, within days, within days my symptoms started to subside. It wasn’t the weight loss that caused that. The weight loss is more of a side effect of all these other imbalances.
Carolina C: And I say that all the time when people are wanting to do keto. They’re like, “Hey, you’ve lost weight. I want to do that too.” I’m like, “Well, you know,” I guess we’ll talk about my tips later, but one of the goals is really what is your health goal aside from weight loss because that’s what you’re trying to fix.
Carole Freeman: Yes.
Carolina C: And for me I couldn’t believe how quickly it subsided. I think I started in August of whatever that year that was. My birthday was in October and by December I was having a cycle and I was like, “This is … What is this,” like I had never had one. Other than like one or two that we tried to force with medication, so sorry guys, overshare, but PCOS is so common, that it was just, it’s kind of unbelievable what I went through. I was completely anovulatory, complete amenorrhea my whole life until I was 29.
Carole Freeman: Wow. Wow. Wow. So many people think that PCOS is, it’s not related to diet. I know there’s people I reach out to like, “Hey, you could, you know, you could reverse this very, very quickly,” and, “No, no, you know, I’ve got my things I’m working on and I just, you know, this is something I have.” Hopefully this gives people hope that very quickly this could be something you don’t have to worry about or-
Carolina C: Well at least with that, and the second piece too is where people think, “Oh, it’s got to happen in four months.” My cycle came back and my PCOS symptoms were essentially gone, like you could run blood work and everything was going like it’s supposed to do, all of those hormones doing their thing, except that I still had really severe insulin resistance. I don’t even remember the number but your goal is to be below 10, ideally below five. I was somewhere around 70 for my insulin, blood insulin number. Really, really high.
Carole Freeman: Wow, well that explains a lot.
Carolina C: Really high, and because I was eating all those heart healthy whole grains like I had been told to do. I just a couple … It was around the time I joined Ketogenic Success got my insulin level down to nine. So barely spiked in. Now that’s two years in. While I had dramatic improvements right away, we see people all the time upset that they’re not having an immediate transformation. I had immediate great things going on, but some of it just took longer, and the thing is I was sick for the majority of my life and it’s taking time, and I’m fine with that because it’s going. Some people lose 100 pounds in nine months. It’s taken me two years and I’m still haven’t hit 100, but I’m happy, happy with where I am.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. What you said about having other reasons that you’re focused on long term is what I’ve noticed one of the hallmarks of people that are the most successful on this, both short-term and long-term. I really have people focus on that. It’s like I call it your big why, and why with capital letters. Why are you doing this and having a reason that’s more important than just the weight loss is what’s going to propel you long-term. When people go on a diet and all they care about is losing weight, it’s so easy to then give in to temptation and think like, “Well, I’ll just get back on track tomorrow or next week or next year.” It doesn’t matter because they’re only focused on the weight, which really isn’t what they really want. It’s what society tells them they think they want, but they really want the other stuff. So tapping into all those other health benefits, the changes and how good you’re feeling as you’re going along.
Carolina C: Yeah, there’s that external manifestation of everything that’s going on inside. I do think of excess weight as a symptom, something’s not going right inside, there’s some sort of imbalance you may see on the outside but not always. There are thin people who are unhealthy and there are people who are maybe at what they consider a healthy weight who go keto for all of the benefits. Maybe they need better cognition or maybe they just need more energy in general, or maybe they’re having a skin issue, or any number of reasons that you can benefit. It just takes time for the weight portion for some folks. Pick your goal and go from there.
Carole Freeman: Well like you said too, like the things that people are suffering, whatever your age, has taken decades for that to develop, and to expect in two weeks everything to reverse and you’ve lost all the weight you wanted to lose it’s really unrealistic. You’re putting too much pressure on your body to transform in two weeks. I’m sure that that we’ve talked before, frustration of people like, “My weight, I haven’t lost any weight in two weeks. Like what’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong?”
Carolina C: Yeah, when you try to be helpful, we’re talking about the Facebook group. I’m learning I’m kind of using it too as I’m going to be coaching people later in person, and I’m really curious about what are the struggles that everyone’s hitting, because honestly once you’ve been doing something for a couple years, it’s just habit. I don’t have to think about getting a burger without the bun. I’m not concerned about going out to a restaurant and, “Oh, what am I going to eat,” because there is always some way to modify something.
I try to remember what it’s like when I was starting out and how difficult and frustrating it was and try to coach or help as much as I can in that group just because I’ve been there and I want to help. If I can reduce their struggle a little bit. But yes, we see a lot of people very upset that they don’t have that, one week, two week 50 pound weight loss that they were hoping that would happen. But it’s still a normal process. Once you start researching and you get more knowledge you’ll understand what’s happening and why it takes time.
Carole Freeman: I want to ask another question too about, so losing it sounds like at this point about 130 pounds and then not until you saw your before and after photos did you really even feel that difference, and that is such a common thing that people experience is because the change is gradual, you’re living it and you don’t really see the change because you’re looking at yourself in the mirror every day, and so it look, you feel like the same person. Walk me through a little bit of that, what it felt like to see that difference, and what it really feels like to be you.
Carolina C: Well, you know we’re so hard on ourselves, we really are. Last year I remember poking the belly. I’m like, “Oh look it’s fat,” and squeezing it, “Oh, I need to lose weight,” and just every negative thought instead of all the positive thoughts about all the amazing changes that have happened. As you’re living it day to day you’re thinking I’m never gonna get there. It’s like the goal is to be absolutely perfect and be a cover model. That’s more realistic. The goal is all of the little improvements that I’ve made. People will joke that they go when they go clothes shopping. They’ll buy a bigger size if they don’t try it on because they’re like, “Well, that’s my size. I’m a 3x. That’s my size.” Then you go and you put it on and you’re swimming in it. You’re like, “I didn’t even realize that I shrunk that much.” So really seeing the change and finally having photos and finally liking to be in photos is pretty amazing.
I mean I don’t, I don’t know what to say other than I surprised myself. I think anyone can and it’s just shocking because oftentimes we’ll use that photo and it’ll be that negative shock of I didn’t realize I was so big. Now even though I’m not at my perfect 23% body fat, I’m a little bit above that still, it doesn’t concern me because now my comparison is where I was instead of what I’m supposed to be, whoever decided, whoever are given the power to decide that for me. It’s just, it’s been amazing and exciting and it makes you want to go more. Like you said, I don’t get derailed at a birthday party where I’m like, “Oh, there’s cake. Oh, maybe I should smell it.” That was always my thing, “I’ll smell it. I’ll just get close. Maybe if something gets on my nose, I can lick that.” It doesn’t faze me anymore because now my goal is health. I see something and I know right away is that going to contribute to my goal of health or not and I’m no longer tempted.
Sugar is addictive and I was absolutely there, but over time you start realizing it’s not worth it and then being keto helps because you’re not hangry all the time and you just start to transition to where you can survive any temptation. I would say it’s not even a temptation anymore. Like, come on, just try to tempt me, just try, because you’re not going to do, unless it’s something smothered in butter you’re not going to be able to tempt me. It’s a totally different life.
Carole Freeman: Well and part of that is a symptom of your healing your insulin resistance as well, because when people are still having their body is over releasing insulin, that contributes to hunger and it also contributes to little tiny things causing an increase in cravings. People who are very severely insulin resistant, their body constantly overreacts and creates too much insulin. Even something as little as smelling cake, I teach this to my clients all the time, is watch out. Like for some of them going to Costco for example, even if they eat nothing there, but seeing all the food and smelling it, their body’s still in that mode of overreacting. Your brain, it anticipates. When it smells, it sees, or hears food, it thinks you’re going to eat it and so it starts reacting in your body as if it’s going to and it starts releasing insulin. If your body’s in the habit of always over releasing insulin, then that’s going to make you really, really hungry and it’s going to make it really hard to resist that.
Now as your body is healing and your insulin level’s coming back down to a normal level, that’s part of what has given you what we call willpower back, but it’s more, it’s just your body is coming into alignment and getting healthy again.
Carolina C: Yeah, it’s not that I’m superhuman. It’s that that damage isn’t forcing me or like pushing me toward it anymore. I’d say people ask, “How do you know when you’re fat adapted?” Well for me it was because all of a sudden I just wasn’t hungry. I mean that’s how I take it and that’s how I knew. What really put me, what that did for me is all of a sudden I could do intermittent fasting, which I don’t know if you’ve done a video on that, but it’s basically longer periods of not eating, right?
Carole Freeman: Yeah, yeah.
Carolina C: So you maybe eat for four to six hours during the day and then not the others, or maybe you don’t eat one day out of the whole week or whatever it is. I was all of a sudden able to just not be hungry. It was amazing, like, “Oh god it’s three o’clock and I haven’t eaten and you know what? I’m not hungry.” That I’m pretty positive is when I started intermittent fasting by accident, but easily, I wasn’t forcing anything. That’s when my insulin had a big drop. I’ve read about it more now because a lot of times I learn after the fact. I just kind of go with the flow and see what happens and let the body do its thing.
I learned after the fact that that’s one of the most effective ways to heal insulin resistance. So had I known I might have tried to force it, so I’m kind of glad I just fell into it because this isn’t a diet, you’re not being tortured, you’re not locked in a box where you can’t have anything. I just let it happen. Again, it took me a long time. I know I was in ketosis. I was measuring, but was I truly adapted? I don’t know. I was still hungry a lot of the time until that point.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, well, there’s a lot of evidence, clinical evidence for example. I know Dr. Adam Nally has shared that he has seen repeatedly that when people aren’t eating high enough fat that it doesn’t heal leptin basically, leptin resistance, and so he finds that clinically that people eating enough fat is a really big key to suppressing appetite. I know there’s all this controversy out there. There’s the groups that are like, “No, you don’t eat fat to lose fat.” But in Ketogenic Success like you said that’s the hallmark of that group, is that you do need to eat more fat and that’s what’s going to help your appetite come down too.
Carolina C: At this point after reading enough and simply just enough anecdotal stories you do need to eat fat. You can argue and try to science your way around it, but I always say, I go with what works. Let’s look at empirical evidence. You can try to say, “Well, on paper this is what should happen.” On paper I was told to eat healthy heart, healthy whole grains you know, but in reality they made me sick. In reality, you eat the fat, you feel full, you don’t need as much sugar. Now that I know more about the mechanism of ketosis and how we’re switching over anaerobic respiration and all of those things about how you’re able to use fatty acids, the key if you were to narrow it down to one thing is that you have to deplete your source of glucose or glycogen. You cannot have any. Then once that’s gone, even if you had Brussels sprouts, you’ll have a little bit, but you’ll burn through that glucose really fast, and then now you can use ketones. So it just, it has to happen that way. That’s the mechanism.
Carole Freeman: So I’m wondering too then what are all of the health improvements that you’ve noticed like symptom wise, what’s your list of all the … I imagine it’s a long list, yeah.
Carolina C: Yeah. Well, everything related to PCOS, so all of my hormone labs. In PCOS the most common way, there’s a couple different types they say now, but it’s where you have the OP … You basically have male hormone levels, so your testosterone is really, really high and then your progesterone is low. Then they also call it estrogen dominance because your estrogen is sky-high. That doesn’t work and that process basically prevents ovulation, all this testosterone. Then because you don’t ovulate, you don’t then have a cycle. All of that was gone and I don’t even have to do anything and I’ll … What most girls do at 13 I’m suddenly able to do. So that went away.
The insulin resistance, everything that goes with the hunger, I mean, we say hangry. I was … It was bad. It was bad. I mean I had to eat. There needed to be food in front of me every two hours. I would get to the point and my husband could tell. If I walked in the door and I had that look and I’m like, “Just give me food.” I don’t care if he asked me what I wanted. I would just give him that look. I’m like, “I just need food now.” That’s gone.
Carole Freeman: When did you have the experience, this is what I went through, is like if you knew you’re going to be leaving the house to go do something you thought about, well, I need to bring food with me because I’m going to get hungry, or I need to plan where I’m going to stop along the way multiple times.
Carolina C: If I knew I was going out for lunch I would still bring a snack for before lunch or maybe a snack for after lunch, not because I just had to eat because I wanted it, even though I did, I felt addicted and wanted food. Just because I knew like I wouldn’t even be able to drive home if I didn’t have some food right away. The physiology of that and the biology of that gets a little complicated, but part of it too is that I actually didn’t need it. It was that high insulin making me think that I did. It’s thinking you’re starving.
The thing with insulin too is that the insulin and ketones kind of have this inverse relationship, so when you have insulin resistance, and a lot of people do who start keto, it makes it harder to get your ketones up. That’s part of the reason it might take a little longer, and that’s okay. But that’s because your insulin, your pancreas is healing, your insulin levels are going down, and as that happens keto gets easier and easier. That went away.
But then also just energy and everything related to cognition. I was in my MBA program when I was at around 320 and I felt really bad and it was really hard. I would work a full day with commuting, that was about 10 to 11 hours and then I would go to class at night and that was another four hours from 6:00 to 10:00 at night, and I mean, I felt like I was going to die. I barely, I barely got through. I was starving. I did. I ate before my class, during my class, and after my class, so at 10:00 at night I was eating, which is really you don’t need to be eating that late. I definitely don’t eat that late now, but I couldn’t, I couldn’t even get through. I couldn’t even go to sleep because I was so hungry I thought.
Now I’m taking some classes we spoke about. I’m hoping to apply for a PhD and I’m taking some prerequisite classes. So much easier now. It’s not that the classes themselves, the material is easier. I actually think it’s more difficult for me now, but I’m able to study for hours on end, I’m able to comprehend what I’m reading and committed to memory and just perform so much better.
I was never a big athlete before and I played in junior high basketball. Now I go to Orange Theory fitness, which is kind of like CrossFit but not quite as difficult. It’s like a circuit they put together and I’m doing it. I see myself. You’re not really comparing, but it’s more than I’m keeping up with everybody and I’m not behind. I was the person that we would do a 5k for charity and I was like, “Well, I’ll see you,” like, “I’m going to walk it,” and now it’s not even difficult. It’s only a couple miles you know. The fact that I had to walk and I couldn’t even jog for a portion of it and I couldn’t even speed walk, and it didn’t even occur to me to even try because I’m like, “That’s not me.” Now I just can. So just performance, physical performance, mental performance, hormonal performance, everything is better.
Carole Freeman: How about your skin? You got the soft skin going on?
Carolina C: Yeah, I think it’s pretty soft. I have a little thing going on, but they talk about like detox and things that are happening, and sometimes I have little things pop up and then it goes away though. I’m thinking, “You know, I wonder what that was.” We know as we lose fat we’re losing whatever was in that fat, and with how many years I was so overweight and my very, very high estrogen, very high testosterone, I worry sometimes, like is that coming out and going to mess up my cycle or what’s happening. It hasn’t seemed to, but I know that I’m losing whatever was in there, whatever was stored away. Your body does that as a protective mechanism so it’s not floating around your bloodstream, but then when you lose it, then it’s released. So yes, very soft and supple overall I think.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, amazing list of all those health improvements. There’s probably even more that …
Carolina C: Things you don’t even realize sometimes. Again, my husband, what he said it was funny. I took that short term disability and at the end of it and I had started losing weight with keto and his comment was when someone asked do I seem happier, he goes, “Well, you yell a lot less.” I didn’t think I was just … I blame it on the hangry monster. But I was just on edge. I was just high anxiety and frantic all the time and I didn’t quite notice that change until he said it. He was like, “You’re just, you’re calm. You just seemed happier and calm.”
Carole Freeman: That is something that universally I’ve heard is that people don’t notice in themselves because it’s such a gradual change, or it’s the anxiety, the depression, the irritability, it is a gradual change that people go through and so it’s not as noticeable to them, but universally people will say, “Oh yeah, my husband or wife or my friends.” It happened for me where I was hanging out with some friends after I hadn’t seen them in a few months and doing keto and they’re just like, “You just seem so chilled out and relaxed,” and I was like, “Oh. Yeah, I guess you’re right. I hadn’t even notice the difference.”
Carolina C: The swings, the ups and downs go away and don’t realize how much those were affecting you.
Carole Freeman: Right, yeah, yeah. Fantastic. How about now we just wrap up with … Well, I have one final question I’ll ask you, but before that, do you have some tips for success like your top, I don’t know how many, but some tips that you have like what are your secrets to success, what have you seen in other people that help them be successful?
Carolina C: Yeah, you told me you might ask that and I tried to think in advance and I was worried I’d draw a blank. I have a couple. I would say, and this might be a two-parter. The first is just to prepare. That can mean a couple things. So one preparing in the sense of know what a ketogenic diet is. There are so many free resources out there. There’s websites like the Ketovangelist, ruled.me, Healthful Pursuit, Jimmy Moore, Maria Emmerich I believe, Maria Mind Body. I mean all of these sites that have tons of written blogs, they have tons of videos like this one, like you, you can come and get a coach. There’s also podcasts.
So however it is you like to listen and learn, you can do that. There are also several really good books out there including Keto Clarity or The Obesity Code or 10 others that you can look up, look up best keto books, and you will find a lot. I say that not because I don’t want to answer questions online. That’s not the reason. The reason is that for you to be successful you need to set yourself up for success. At least know what it is. People will ask, “Hey, is honey keto,” because it’s a natural sugar or-
Carole Freeman: What about corn?
Carolina C: Yeah corn is that good. If you had red … Look, there are simple yes-no food lists if you need something that straightforward. You just need to have an idea of what contains either sugar, like honey is a sugar, or bananas, they have fructose and that’s a sugar, so getting, getting prepared from that perspective where you know what the diet is, you at least have a general idea of what’s provided like, “Oh eggs, bacon, and butter, I can have that for breakfast. That’s easy.” Or follow her Instagram and look at every single like gorgeous food photo of you can have and just kind of pick it apart and make that. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but if you spend your time being lost because you haven’t read anything, and I mean watch keto 101 video, just something, to help you prepare versus-
Carole Freeman: Butter makes your pants fall off, another good video.
Carolina C: Yeah, so instead of just, “Hey, my friends, they’re on keto. What is it?” That’s just going to make it I think difficult for you and it’s going to hinder your success and it’s going to slow you down from starting versus spend one, pick one day, Saturday, it’s summer now but pick a day or an hour and just read what you can. I’d say prepare from that perspective.
The other preparation is the mental preparation. It’s a big change. I grew up eating Little Caesars, McDonald’s, Domino’s, and that’s what I’d always eaten. Me cooking even in my 20s was what do I get from a box, a bag, from the frozen section. I would always go to Costco and get all the frozen goodies that were hot pocket style things or this or that. I really, I mean I started pretty much how do I boil water, like you know, so just mentally prepare for what you’re about to do. You can’t eat out. You’re going to find it much easier honestly just to cook your own foods, even if they’re simple foods, but just preparing that you’re going to be making a big change.
So if that means to you that you need a support system, do you need a Facebook group? Do you need your family involved? Or do you just need to go buy those books and read that? Is that how you mentally prepare? Whatever it’s going to take for you to be successful you just have to commit. This isn’t … I would say it’s not a halfway kind of deal because you won’t get the results, you’ll be frustrated, and like every other diet you’ve probably tried you’ll give up because it didn’t work in two weeks and now you’re upset. I would say prepare from those two sides, so just getting the material and the knowledge, and then the second is just your own mental preparation of what you’re about to dive into and do.
Then I would say the other kind of really practical tip is you’re going to want to know your success. Don’t be like me and have one photo from your heaviest weight. There’s a couple of ways you can compare your success. One, get a photo. Two, get measurements because sometimes you don’t see it right away, but then all of a sudden your waist is three inches smaller. Just get the little $1.00 sewing tape measure thing and measure yourself.
Carole Freeman: I recommend a bigger one because for me my hips when I started were bigger than what my Sewalong measure.
Carolina C: Mine was a long one. It was like a six foot one and I’m like … The yellow one. I don’t know, there’s different ones. But yeah, [inaudible 00:41:22] it’s going to check the length on it. Get a tape measure and measure yourself. Then the other one’s get blood work. I highly recommend it. What I would say for blood work in general, cholesterol including a particle size test for your LDL, and you can go look at what that is, but in my opinion and in the opinion of my other doctor, Dr. Bowen and many people, you cannot interpret your LDL cholesterol without a particle size test. Read about that, know about it, so get that.
Also include your insulin levels. People say, “Oh, I know my fasting glucose.” But in my case my fasting glucose was always fine. My insulin was scary high. I would suggest getting that. Also hormone levels, male and female, which wherever you are because men have ideal levels and women have ideal levels, so I would suggest getting those. Again, that’s going to help you be successful because every time you measure, however you’re measuring, whether it’s blood levels or waist or pictures or whatever you’re going to get that boost of, “Hey, look how far I’ve come.” I wish I had done more of that.
I would say I guess my last one is just to start. There’s a quote. I have it as the backdrop on my Facebook page and it says, and I don’t know who said it, but it said, “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.” I love that because it’s true. You can say, “Oh Monday, the diet starts Monday.” Well this isn’t a diet. It’s every day. If you’re going to go out. It’s Friday night. I don’t know when this will get posted, but whatever day you’re watching it, if you’re going out to dinner with friends, let’s make it a keto meal. There’s no reason you can’t start now. It’s not. It’s not like if you don’t go zero to 100 you aren’t going to make it, but you commit and every time that you’re eating you’re trying your best to make it as keto as you can.
I wasn’t perfect from the start. It was a learning curve. When I started a couple years ago some of the books like Obesity Code wasn’t out yet. It’s just a learning process. Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake or if you accidentally get sugar bombed and you didn’t mean to. It happens. Just start and do your best and look at your measurements and look at those successes. Don’t sit there and poke your belly like I did like, “Oh, I still need to lose.” Because you know what? My belly used to be this big and now is this big, so that’s a big deal. I would say that those are the top three.
There can be a lot of more practical tips about exactly what food to make in this and that, but if you’re getting started, I think that that’s what you need to do beforehand and that’s kind of all the preparation. Then from there you just start and you go on Pinterest and you look up recipes, and you join a Facebook group and you see what other people are posting and you just learn and you keto on as they say.
Carole Freeman: That is all so fantastic, like fantastic tips, really good advice, wise words from somebody who’s walked the walk for a very long time. I so appreciate you being here. I know you were a little hesitant because your first video, but I have to say you’ve done a great job. I see more video in your future.
Carolina C: Good, thank you.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. I want to really thank you for being here and sharing your success but inspiring others. I know that that feels a little odd for you right now to think that you’re inspiration, but each person that I have on here to have a chat, somebody else is going to see themselves in that person. Somebody’s going to see this and go, “That’s me. That’s me. There’s hope.” Yeah. “If that happened for her, then that can help me.”
Carolina C: And that’s what I think about my PCOS was so far gone. I mean I literally had zero progesterone for years, zero, couldn’t even be measured, and a couple of months and it turned around. If something that severe can be turned around, if you have PCOS I know that it can be turned around.
Carole Freeman: All right. Well, my final question. If you knew it was your last day on earth what would be your last meal?
Carolina C: Oh it’s so bad, but I don’t know.
Carole Freeman: I stole this from I think it was on a Bulletproof podcast I heard, so I love it though.
Carolina C: I wish I knew. It probably wouldn’t be anything too exciting. The thing … So I love cheese, and some people give up dairy. I haven’t had an issue with it, but I love all things cheese, so it would be very cheese heavy. There’s a dish I haven’t tried, but I really, really want to try called raclette which is like a huge pile of melted cheese. They normally do it over potatoes so I’ll do it over broccoli. It’s just basically, the raclette is a type of cheese and they melt it with this big hot iron thing and then you get this glob of cheese on there. I’m thinking something like that. The thing is I haven’t had, but that and then slow roasted pork shoulder so I’ll have that with you know … But the fat has to be the main event because this is a keto meal. The big thing is the fatty cheese, lots of butter on my broccoli, and then a side of pulled pork shoulder.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, it sounds fantastic.
Carolina C: Made me hungry.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. You know what I love about this question? Is that everybody who’s keto that I ask this question to, like people think of like, “Oh, they’re going to say like some high carby thing or something,” but people know how good they feel. The food tastes so good and is so satisfying. Why would you want to ruin the last day feeling terrible? Yeah.
Carolina C: I don’t think about it. I don’t even think about wanting or things I can’t have because there’s so much you can have. So why would you give up the best-tasting food just to have a little potato?
Carole Freeman: A big giant, giant pile of cheese. Well thanks again. So if people want to get in touch with you, we’re going to link to your institute below. But is there social media, is there a way for them to connect with you?
Carolina C: Sure. Well, there’s the Inside Health Institute page and then there’s the general info at insidehealthinstitute.org, and then, I mean mine it’s easy to figure out and you’d find it. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re all the same. If you want to email me directly or if you just want info, Dr. Bowen will get the one from info, or I can forward things on. So if you’re interested in what we’re doing, or if you’re interested in donating to holistic healthcare, feel free to send me an email. I’m happy to tell you more about what we’re doing. The SIBO testing is going to be kind of the first thing that we’re going to approach, and that’s very, very much treated with dietary changes so we’ll see how it goes. It’s exciting.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, that’s great. All right. Well, thank you so much for being here. That’s all for now. We’ll see you soon. Thanks for watching. Oh hey, if you liked this video, give us a thumbs up and subscribe if you want to see more.