As a family we decided to start a food journey with Keto. The big question is, why?
We recently made a huge move from sunny Florida to Virginia in the dead of winter (mid-December) and we were all feeling sluggish. Just kind of down about a lot of things. Obviously the down in the dumps, low energy we were experiencing was due in part to actual winter (that is a real thing I hear… low vitamin C, stuck inside, gray days) in addition to the fact that we moved from our home of 18 years and the only home our teenage girls had ever known.
It all added up and was a recipe for – blah!
My girls expressed wanting to make some life changes and I started researching. That’s what I do….lots of research. I started with food and nutrition because I know what we eat and drink has a huge effect on our overall quality of life. Not always fun to think about changing due to our own family’s addiction to sugar, carbs, TV snacking and fancy coffee drinks.
After looking into several options and discussing this with the hubs, I focused on Keto. For a couple weeks I listened to audio books, watched videos, read blog posts and articles about Keto. I learned about what it is exactly and how to implement this type of eating in your life.
I have suffered from an eating disorder in my past and firmly believe ED is something that, even when recovered, sticks with you on some level throughout your life. Now, any type of “diet” is something that makes my stomach turn. I do not like “diets”. I don’t think they help mentally or physically for that matter.
On that note, as I researched a change for my family I focused on nutrition and the mental and emotional effects, not just the body/weight changes that result from a drastic nutritional lifestyle change.
Keto is a radical, nutritional lifestyle change. It is not easy (at first).
In a nutshell: Keto is a low carb, high fat (good fats), moderate protein nutrition plan that trains your body to use fat for fuel rather than relying on sugar and carbs. When I say low carb I mean really low carb – 20g or less of carbs per day!
This is a very small nutshell definition! If you are considering Keto please research first! Check out my sources here.
More on what Keto is, how to implement it and tips for helping yourself in the process to come but now let’s get to the good stuff!
5 positive things that have happened that are not body image/weight related!
1. More energy
Almost immediately, like within the first few days, we all experienced more energy during the day. Rather than feeling like we hit a brick wall in the afternoon and were ready to quit for the day we started making it through our days without the big slump.
This new energy has resulted in other unexpected positive things too, less TV during the day, more creative things happening, more talking, getting outside (the weather is helping with that too!)
2. Sharper mental clarity.
Feeling sharp and having more energy may go hand in hand, either way this is a positive effect, especially as a midlife mom. That cloudy, foggy brain is no match for Keto. My mental clarity/alertness is sharper than it has been in a very long time!
3. Meal planning is fun again!
If you know me, meal planning has always been a chore! I am guilty of complaining about it on my IG stories repeatedly. It is something I dreaded every week and it took me forever.
Starting on this food journey with my family has brought new life to my weekly meal planning.
Finding recipes to try, slow cooker meals, snacks...its never been more fun! I am not sure why. Maybe because we are all working on a common goal? Or knowing everyone will be open to try new things? Whatever the reason, I am so thankful this once dreadful chore is now fun and not as time consuming or energy zapping.
4. Saving money!
Yes, I said saving money! You probably think this food change would cost a lot and at first you may feel that way.
Keto does require purchasing lots of high quality meats and fresh produce however when you have a coffee addiction like my family (I am embarrassed to even say how much money per week we used to spend on Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffee...if you watch my IG stories you may have an idea, seriously, embarrassing) you will save money.
All coffee jokes aside, we are also saving money by not eating out as much, we are no longer purchasing all the pre-packaged snacks and breads we used to buy and we no longer involve food with every outing we have.
It's been eye opening to realize how much of my life revolved around food! I love food, still do, but my relationship with food and daily life is changing in a good way...more on that to come too!
Overall, Keto is saving us money!
5. Family time
This is, by far, my favorite result of our family’s keto journey.
It just happened naturally, we didn’t plan or expect this but we have had the sweetest family time gathering in the kitchen almost every night cooking together. Trying new recipes and foods (some we like, some we don’t). Talking about the day, laughing and planning more things to try in the kitchen.
Momma gets her wine every now and then (yes, a dry red is keto friendly which is perfect for me because I love a dry red!) and I want to press the pause button every time we gather in the kitchen. Taking snap shots in my mind of these sweet moments with my girls and my man.
Keto has brought new life to our kitchen and our family time.
If you are considering Keto please do your research first. I will be posting more about how to make this change as a recovered ED survivor and also how to do this without having to test ketones or purchase any special products. I don't even have a scale in our house!
I would love to answer any questions you have or hear about your Keto or food/nutrition journey individually or as a family. Comment below!