Today it’s been 1 week since I started seriously my keto diet. Before that, I was just playing around with some recipes to decided whether or not I could live on “no carbs” life and I mean… peanut butter, eggs, cheese, avocado and cream? Yes, I think I can live with that! You see, as I was telling a friend of mine yesterday, to me, you have to focus on what you CAN eat and not on what you are missing. I mean, if you really can’t live without pizza and pasta, probably keto won’t be for you, but there is plenty of choice and adaptation to this diet and so far it is being easy to keep up with it. here it goes some of my bullet learnings and confessions about this week.
What did I miss
- Bananas! Every weekend I make a treat (you know, to increase that homely and special feeling). Last weekend I somehow remembered banana bread, but on keto, you shouldn’t have bananas. I found a keto recipe using banana extract, but I just prefer the real thing so I forgot my original ideas and baked cinnamon bread instead (it was not great, I must say).
- Bread. I mean… I am a Portuguese raised in Spain. Bread is a big part of me and I thought I didn’t like it as much until I couldn’t have it at all. I planned to make keto bread at the weekend but one of the ingredients was not delivered on time (bad weather, guys. Loads of snow. Did you see my IG?? it was great!) and I couldn’t. I will try next weekend.
How did I fell
- Less sleepy and much quicker. This was the reason why I joined the keto movement in the first place. I am not trying to lose weight, I had been feeling sleepy and bloated after meals. I didn’t like the feeling like you eat and you “feel your digestion” for 3 hours after that. I want to eat healthily and be ready to go, I wanna feel sharp and on the ball as much as possible, and I did!
- Dizzy. On day 3 I felt dizzy especially when standing up or moving my head rapidly. It turned out I was not drinking enough water (I am really bad on the water departments, so on keto, it was even worse). You are also advised to supplement magnesium because of the mineral’s balance and retention. It’s sorted now, it only lasts a couple of days and I have been fine since then. Oh! and no signs of keto flu so far. I was dreading that part so fingers crossed!
Downsides of a keto diet
- Kitchen time. When you start this keto journey you realise that basically everything you can find on the supermarket shelf contains sugar. It is horrifying really… why is that? There is no need! Anyway, because of that, you have to cook everything yourself and I mean, treats and snacks included. When before you would grab a pack of biscuits and tomato sauce, hummus or crackers now you have to make it yourself and that takes time. I enjoy the process, it’s being fun and challenging, but if you hate everything involving cooking I think you will struggle a bit.
- Cost. All the substitutes, nut base flours, fats and so on are considerably more expensive than their fellow wheat-based products and I am not even considering the fancy pre-made broths and collagen powders, MCT oils and all Keto-things. It is also true that, because I just started, I had to buy everything in one go and it feels a bit heavier in your pocket. One way or another, I don’t mind spending more money if I know I am investing in better health and quality of life.
What I am enjoying the most.
- Appart from the amazing benefit of mental clarity, my breakfasts! I always loved the breakfast ritual. I wake up quite early which means feeling hungry very often until I get to lunch time. Keto breakfast are so nutritious the I eat at 7 am and I am usually not hungry until 10-11 am. It’s a boost of morning energy!
- Keto soups. I have always envied my mum vegetables soups. She doesn’t have any recipes, she makes them as she goes and I could never replicate them. Keto soups are fat based, filling and comforting and I rock them! I can wait for my mum’s soups for when I go home.
One personal concern: I am not sure if I am having enough fat. I use fat in every meal but I don’t feel that fatty flavour or feeling so… I am not sure. This is something you need to be careful when you start keto because if you cut on cars and don’t have enough fat, your body will start burning protein, And we don’t want that! I will maybe follow one or two days strictly keto meal planning to have a better judgment.
Some friends were asking me what books to follow if they were curious about it. I have been reading a lot, from different places. I always research and confirm the sources fo what I read (scientist background, what can I do), but I don’t have a “keto bible” (so far). I do pick what it resonates with me and I do have 2 cookbooks that helped me get started. Keto recipes are very easy but the carbs restriction makes it difficult to achieve and replace if you don’t know where to start. My books are by Martina Slajerova and she has a huge selection of keto cookbooks. I am ordering Suzanne Ryan book as well because I like the design, she has an incredibly personal story through keto and I am curious about her keto approach. Saying that… you really don’t need a cookbook if you don’t want to. There are plenty of online recipes, you simply type “keto whatever” on Google and you will have at least 10 options showing up!
I will keep you updated.