Back again with more Low Carb Sandiego Interviews! This time I got to talk to Chris, Jesus and Kim. Make sure to stay til the end to hear what Kim has to say!
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Carole: Well, welcome everyone to this episode of Keto Chat. I am Carole Freeman, your host, and I’m excited here to be sharing some Keto success stories with you today, or low-carb, I’m assuming. We’re here at Low Carb USA – San Diego 2017, and I’m a certified nutritionist, I am the founder of the Fast Track to Keto Success Program and I’ve got some amazing success stories to share with you. So, introduce yourself. Who are you? Where are you from?
Jesus: My name is Jesus Aranda. I’m originally from Spain. Moved to the United States at 27, and I live in San Antonio.
Carole: Okay. So you flew … How long did it take you to get here?
Jesus: This morning, around four hours.
Carole: Okay, alright.
Jesus: We’re going backwards, because we’re going to Houston and then we have to come back.
Carole: Somebody has traveled over 24 hours to get here, so you’re not the winner, but we’re glad to have you here.
Jesus: Thank you.
Chris: My name’s Chris. I live here locally, in San Diego. So I just had, what, a 20 minute trolley ride.
Carole: Okay. You might be one of the closest there. Nice. You could have maybe walked. It would have taken a while, but …
Chris: It would have taken a while. I thought about it, but then I thought, ‘Trolley’s much sooner. Much quicker.’
Carole: We’re glad to have you here. So, is this your first time at …
Chris: This is my second time here at Low Carb USA. I attended last year. I saw it, kind of, pop up in Facebook, and decided ‘Well, let’s go learn more and more about the Keto and low-carb way of eating from some of the experts in the field.’ And then got to know Pam and Doug, which helped put this on, and they asked me to … If I was coming back. I’ve been helping out at one of the Pruvit booth, which is exogenous Ketones, and then, on Sunday, I’ll be sharing a little bit … A lot more about my story.
Chris: And kind of everything that I went through to get from where I was, roughly, what nine, ten years ago, to where I am now, because it’s … You’ll hear a little bit later, but it’s a brand new person.
Carole: Yeah, thanks. And I’m gonna jump in on this one, as well, and share a little bit of my story as well. Pam and Doug asked that I at least get that out there for all of you to hear as well, too, so … Normally I’m the interviewee on these interviews, but I’m gonna throw in myself as well, my story too. So share with us how … Have you been to a Low Carb event before?
Jesus: No, this is my first time.
Carole: Okay. I was like you. I saw it on Facebook as well, and I though, ‘Oh, this looks like an event that’s been going on for years.’, but, it turns out, last year was the first one, so … Well, so how did you discover low-carb, Ketogenic eating, and what’s been your story?
Jesus: Well, my story is, I was born with diabetes type one, so I was one of those babies that would have to have injections every, probably, starting first month, second month of life, every week, and … Huge baby. I was almost 12, 13 pound baby.
Jesus: So, I was born with diabetes and I struggle all my life with diabetes, even though I never … I’m the son of a physician, a pediatrician, so I struggled with my diabetes all these years, and I never had good control, but I never had any complications. So I was living in between hyperglycemias and hypoglycemias, right. And I always describe my diabetes as ‘ominous’, because I know hypoglycemia is very debilitating, but then the hyperglycemia, and the consequences and complications of diabetes can be more debilitating. I mean, I’ve lost friends with no legs, and amputations, and had to visit them in dialysis centers, right. So I always projected myself as ‘One day it will be me’, right?
So, when six months ago, I discovered there were friend, who is here today, about Ketogenic diets, and the diabetics can actually live with zero carbs, is being from ominous to liberating. So, not only I lost weight, but I drop my insulin from 68 units a day and the struggle to, probably now, 32. A1C from 8.3 to 5.4, in between 5.4 and 5.9. And, you know, the sad part is, I went to med school. I’m a doctor, and I was never told. And it’s been a discovery. It’s like brand new life, like Chris was saying.
Carole: Well, and your dad was a doctor as well, right?
Carole: And so, the way you were managing before was what most type ones are told, right? Just eat whatever you want, just cover it with insulin, right? Is that …
Jesus: I was a different diabetic. I had a rule: Never put more than three units when you balance for your meal, meaning, don’t eat more than 30 carbs per meal. But still … Yes, I was told to eat a lot of carbs, or as many carbs as you can have, or you’re willing to eat, because you have your pump, and then you can just plug. And then, I always felt myself chasing my sugars. So, sugar goes up, then I check my phone, because it’s on my phone, because I have a sensor, and it says, ‘Oh, he’s 150. Let’s chase it with insulin.’ But it’s always chasing it, it’s always the anxiety of having to chase sugars. I was never told. I never read in any books throughout school that I could live without carbs. So it’s been like I said, liberating.
Carole: Yeah, yeah.
Carole: Nice, nice. Tell us more about that freedom. What does that mean?
Jesus: Well, ‘freedom’ means that I think I ate, like, two days ago and I don’t have to eat, and my sugar doesn’t go down, and I check my Ketones and their pretty high, but Ketones protect you from hypoglycemia. Sugars are flat. I don’t have to eat before I go play tennis. I just can play tennis. Play for two, three hours and, you know, watch that my sugar doesn’t go to 20; I don’t want to have a seizure. But, it’s liberating in the sense that, all I need is, actually, water and salt. Potassium right, you don’t want to cramp. So, in the information coming in from Dr. Fung and Dr. Phinney is assertive, and it makes you realize … Why was I not given that information before? And what I was sharing with you before: I think doctors are there to treat you. To treat us, not to cure us.
So, six months ago, when I was still, ‘Yes, you’re diabetic type one, but now you’re developing type two diabetic, because you’ve been resistant to your own insulin is because of age. And it means, for so many years, you becoming now resistant to your own insulin, so here is … just start Invokana study, or start with Metformin. It was like, ‘Wow, we’re getting worse, right?’ I don’t have any complications, not yet, but it is getting worse. So that’s what …
Carole: Liberation and freedom.
Jesus: It’s the liberation. It’s freedom a disease that was looming, and now is something that I can actually control.
Carole: Yeah. Nice. Great. Well, thanks for sharing that.
So Chris, tell us how did you find Keto? What’s your success so far?
Chris: I first found Keto, actually, in 2015. After I lost a lot of weight, and then, like most people, you know, it came right back on.
Carole: What extreme diet did you follow to lose some weight in the past?
Chris: Oh, I’ve followed … Can we do brand names on here?
Chris: Let’s see: NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, I tried the ‘As seen on TV’ pills, I also tried just diet and exercise. I listened to what the personal trainer was saying, ‘Oh, you need to have this many carbs, this many calories’, and I felt that I’d have to work out two to three hours a day just to lose that one to two pounds. The first time around, I lost quite a bit of weight. I got down to about 240, and I thought, “This is awesome”, and started doing Ironman Triathlons, and after my first Ironman, I was probably eating 600 to 700 grams of carbohydrates a day.
Chris: Once you stop all that training, that exercise, that … You just don’t stop your eating, so all that weight came right back up. I was easily over 300 pounds, and I’m like, ‘There’s gotta be a better way to do this.’, and through some of my nutrition classes, I saw something about low-carb Ketogenic, and I’d heard it all along.
Carole: So nutrition classes. What are you … Where were you studying?
Chris: I studied at, what, IIN, I took several classes here at Mesa College, and slowly starting to get my certifi … Actual Certified Nutritionist. I’m a licensed Primary Sports Nutritionist, now, but as I looked into that, just, kind of those light bulbs started to go off of like, ‘Hey. Maybe there’s some merit in this.’ And so I went from my carbohydrate meal, the standard American diet, to now this low-carb Ketogenic stuff, and I watched, probably, 80 to 90 pounds drop off in about eight to nine weeks, which …
Carole: Eight to nine weeks?
Chris: Yeah, eight to nine weeks. Now, granted, at the time …
Carole: Wow. Okay, you’re gonna make everybody think that they’re doing something wrong, but this is rare.
Chris: Yeah, now, at the time, I was training for my second Ironman, too. So I was creating these huge calorie deficits, but what I noticed is that, I didn’t have to go out and eat all these carbohydrates. When I’d get done with like a three, four hour bike ride, I didn’t want to go eat an entire box of doughnuts or an entire box of pizza, like I really wanted to before. So I was getting done with these long training exercises, watching some of the other people I was training with go, ‘Gosh, I’m so hungry’, or ‘I’m so tired’, and it was almost a lot of complaints. And here I am like, ‘I can do this another day’, like on and on and on.
So that was kind of like that ‘Hey this lifestyle is for me.’ It works, I feel great, I don’t feel that gunky feeling that I would feel during training, when I wake up just kind of groggy, or after … I feel it now, after having, like, one muffin or a bagel to where it’s like, ‘God, I feel like crap.’ So, I’ve been doing that Keto stuff for about two years now.
Carole: Okay. Did you notice, then, recovery as well? After your training, that everybody else would take an ice bath, and you just want to go jogging again.
Chris: Yeah, and my wife, she couldn’t believe it when I did my Ironman in Wisconsin last year. The following day, she’s like, ‘Well, aren’t you, like, tired? Aren’t you sore? Do you want to rest?’ I’m like, ‘No. I actually feel like I could go do another one.’ And for most athletes that’s just like, ‘You’re nuts,’ or ‘You didn’t race hard enough.’ And at that race I did … It was around 13 hours, and I had the best race of my life; including getting hit on the bike. So I was … That was just more reassurance that … Hey, if I can do this and be able to do this, then endurance world has it all wrong.
And I see that even with, like, during the day I like to call myself a cubicle jockey. I sit … I’m in IT for the most part. So I sit down all day, and knowing, like, energy system use, I’m like, ‘Why are we telling all these people that are at work all day “Start your day off with an oatmeal”, when all you’re going to do is sit. And it’s really turned me into a Keto advocate of, ‘Hey, if unless you’re doing activity that calls for carbohydrates, then everybody should be low-carb Ketogenic. That your life’s just going to improve.’ It’s a lot of battling the culture, and the big, bad government.
Carole: Yeah, yeah. Well, and you lost a significant amount of weight; is it over the last couple years or …
Chris: Yeah. Over the last … It was a 10 year journey from start to finish. A lot of ups and lots of downs. Recently, I’ve been able to keep off over 150 pounds, just from Ketogenic low-carb.
Carole: Wow. Wow. So you’re a big loser.
Carole: In the best sense of the phrase.
Chris: Yep. The grand total from start to finish, it has been over 200 pounds.
Carole: Wow. Well, congratulations.
So, contrast what it’s like following Ketogenic diet for keeping the weight off compared to all the other diets that you tried. Like, how do you feel now? I mean, you’ve explained it a little bit about how much more energy you have and things like that, but what else is different.
Chris: It’s a night and day difference. Being Keto, it’s extremely easy, because, granted I have a huge sweet-tooth, so beating the sweet-tooth is like an inner struggle. But at the same time, I love bacon, I like eggs, I love meat. I grew up in the Midwest and the hardest thing was taking out, like, potatoes, and half my family being Filipino, was rice, but I just indulge in all the other stuff. Like, people that are cutting off the fat from their, like prime rib, I’m like, ‘I’ll take that’, and I love butter.
So, being able to switch from always chasing the carbohydrates and keeping that blood sugar high, to now it being low and stable, it’s … I’m like the Energizer Bunny. And it’s nice that I don’t have the stress of … You know, maybe life happens, and I don’t have time for breakfast. Before, I’d be like, ‘No, I’ve got to get my meals’, and ‘I’ve got to get this’ … Or I’d go eat convenience food, because it’s better than not eating, when, you know what, the exact opposite is true. You can survive, once you switch over to being that fat-burner, I’ve gone like three to five days of fasting, just to see if I could do it. But after that second day it’s like, ‘You know what? Unless I’m doing training, I don’t have to worry about it so damn much.’
So now that … Taking all that stress away, it helps with weight loss, I feel better, I’m not panicking, and all that. The hormones that come into play, like, all those small pieces start to fall in line, and life’s just so much better.
Carole: I’m here right now with Kim Howardton, and she’s going to share her Keto success story. So, you’re from California? Oh, and we’re recording this, by the way, at Low Carb – San Diego 2017. So, we’re Facebook friends.
Kim: We are. Yes.
Carole: We knew each other. We’re like, ‘I know you from somewhere.’
Kim: ‘I know you.’ Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Carole: So, how did … You know, tell us your story. How did you find Keto? What’s happened for you?
Kim: So, I have been Keto over a year. I came to Keto because, you know, I spent my life being overweight, right. I’d been, from about the time I was eight, I had, what I now know, is out of control insulin problems. And I developed PCOS by the time I was in my early teens, and nobody ever said ‘boo’ about insulin to me at any point in my childhood.
But, I was that chubby kid. I had the experience, a lot, as I was coming into puberty … Really early, I started puberty around nine … But, I had the big belly. And, you know, was that kid who got asked if they were, like, a teen pregnancy all the time, and I was, like, nine, you know. But it was this weird, you know, ‘Why is my belly so …?’ And now I’m like, ‘Insulin.’
But, I ended up losing a little weight here and there, but pretty much being heavy my entire teens, through college, and into my adulthood. And, you know, I tried approaches, and none of them ever really stuck.
Carole: Just like everybody. Yes.
Kim: Yeah, yes. Like, that the story you hear over and over again. And it just didn’t stick. And I, at some point in my late twenties, was like, ‘I’m just going to love me,’ you know. I’m going to learn to love me, and I went on a mission to gain self-confidence, you know, and I did. I did. I loved myself. I just didn’t love being fat, right? Like, I had confidence, I had dates, I had everything I wanted, except, you know, not having to go to the plus-size store. And it was frustrating, but I accepted it.
And then I started to get to the place where my forties were approaching. And I suddenly realized, it wasn’t really just an aesthetics issue; that my health was starting to fail in various ways. Like … No, not like I’m going to die next week, but I’m going to die sooner than I want to. And I said, ‘ Okay, no. It’s one thing to be the chubby girl, and not being able to shop at the cute store, it’s another thing to have your foot cut off because you have diabetes.’
Carole: Did you have family members that were going down that path? Is that what …
Kim: You know, I honestly didn’t; not in my family. We tend to, apparently, have fairly good pancreases in my family.
Kim: Fight the good fight. But I was pre-diabetic, and I was 39. And I was like, ‘This is not going to go …’ You don’t really turn it around without turning your life around, and I was like, ‘I never want to cross that threshold. Ever.’ And I wasn’t okay with it. I just decided ‘No’. I just drew a line in the sand, and I said, ‘I’m going to do something about this.’ And I had read Gary Taubes’ book “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, and I knew that low-carb made sense to me, but I hadn’t yet heard about Keto, and that was the difference for me.
Low-carb, I think, is an awesome direction, but I think some of us … I was a food addict, I was a carbohydrate addict. And for me, until I really got my carbs down, really down … Like, if I let my carbs even float up to 40 grams, I am back on the Carb Train. I am off, and running to Starbucks. And if I keep my carbs under 20 grams, they don’t bother me. They do not call my name, they aren’t, like, singing the sirens’ song of carbs. It’s not happening, and it’s astonishing to me that a lifelong, debilitating inability to not be pulled in that direction, is just gone. I like, have my three-year-old niece on my lap eating an ice cream, and I don’t care. I only care that I have ice cream on my pants, but I don’t want any. It’s just not a thing. And I cannot explain to people the freedom that brings.
Carole: Yeah. That is one of the things that, you know … I was trained as a Nutritionist and psychology, as well, and I came out of school with, basically, what you did: to love yourself. That was the approach that I believed to be true, and was trying to espouse myself was that diets didn’t work. And so, why put people through that torture. And so, what I discovered, though, is exactly what you’re saying is, it’s actually freedom, because you’re not constantly hungry, and craving, and obsessed about food, and just constantly in food-seeking mode. It’s freedom. First time.
Kim: So I hosted an evening once with these women who were into intuitive eating, and they were explaining intuitive eating and I thought …
Carole: That’s exactly what I used … Mindfulness and intuitive eating.
Kim: I though, “Intuitive eating. That sounds so amazing.” Then I was like, ‘I’ll try it. That sounds really good’, and I tried it, and they were like, ‘What does your inner voice say?’ And I said, “My inner voice said she wants a cookie.” And they were like, ‘Okay, have a cookie.’ And I was like, “No. She wants all the cookies.” And I just couldn’t do it, and I felt broken. I felt like something was broken in my brain. And then I went Keto, and it was like, ‘Ding.’ It was like, ‘I get it now.’ I can now here my body. I can hear the hunger signals. I can hear ‘I might want broccoli.’ I can hear those things now, because it’s just like I’m not living in this room full of static anymore.
Carole: The other thing that people, I’ve heard over, and over again is, especially when you’ve done Keto consistently for enough time, is that it makes you aware of when you’ve done something that triggers the cravings, and you still have choice.
Carole: It’s a little harder, but you still can go, ‘Okay. I’ve got cravings now, but it’s no longer, like, a unconscious, like, thing where you’re …
Kim: Right. Like, you know … I mean … Do I ever get the feeling like I would like something? Yes. Like, I’m human, right? But usually, I have to be in its presence. Like, you know, I was driving down here from San Francisco the other day, and I needed lunch, and I went into an In-N-Out Burger, because I was going to get a lettuce wrapped burger, and …
Carole: The Protein Style
Kim: Yep, the Protein Style … And the smell of fries kind of hit me, and I was like, ‘Oh.’ But I wasn’t going to order them. There was a moment, there was an instant where I was like, ‘Oh, that smells good’, and the next thought was, ‘Yeah, okay. Whatever.’ And then I realized, I haven’t had french fries, like tradition french fries, in multiple months … In 15, 18 months, something around there … Since I started Keto, and I don’t want to make that choice. I don’t feel like I have to decide to eat those. They’re not really food to me, and it’s not a problem, whereas, I don’t think, before I went Keto, I went a week without eating french fries. I don’t think I went a week.
Speaker 5: [inaudible 00:23:50] somebody I ask a question.
Carole: Oh, we’re …
Kim: We’re doing an interview.
Carole: We’re doing a little video, but we can help.
Kim: We are happy to answer your questions. That’s okay.
Carole: It’s going to get edited, so …
Kim: It just … It is just a life changer. So much. And so, I decided, you know, after … Because I was a life coach for many years, and I decided, ‘This is not something I can keep to myself.’ I cannot let people suffer the way that, like, I was suffering. And so, I just have pretty much devoted my business, my life to giving people relief from the torture that I used to live in, and I know so many people live in.
Carole: Yeah, yeah. It’s a gift of freedom, and that’s why I’m here doing interviews with people like you; so we can spread some more hope, because, each one of these, somebody different is going to be touched. Like, Somebody’s going to hear your story and be, like, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s me. I want that freedom.’
So, if people want more info from you, or to follow your social media, your website, how can they [crosstalk 00:24:56]
Kim: Yeah. My social media, I am on Twitter and Instagram and all that good stuff as theKetonist, and my coaching program is under Ketosuperstart.com. Because, I get people started, you know. Get it going. Because, once you get it going, it’s like ‘woo’, smooth sailing. But before you start, it’s scary. And people have all sorts of myths, and I like to say, ‘Let’s not worry. Let’s just get you going. Get started.’
Carole: They’re worried about later, with the rest of that [crosstalk 00:25:33].
Kim: Details later, start now.
Carole: Nice. Well, thank you for sharing your story with me and everyone else.
Kim: You’re welcome. Thank you for the interview. I appreciate it. And you guys can’t see, but she has really cool shoes on.
Carole: You do, too. We should do a shoe …
Kim: A little shoe shot, yeah. Okay. You can do that when you’re Keto: you can lift your foot up in the air, yeah.
Carole: I was never flexible before, you’re right.
Kim: I could never do that.
Carole: I can’t put it behind my head, though. That’s for … Still not … No.
Kim: There are some yoga people who can do that.
Carole: Well, thanks for watching, and we’ll see you all later. Bye