If you’ve been following me online for any amount of time, you know I have a (healthy) obsession with food. The paleo diet was the first real diet I ever tried, and it was my first attempt at getting my ulcerative colitis and acid reflux issues under control. And if you know my story, you know it worked. We’re talking within two weeks, ALL of my terrible symptoms were hardly there anymore, and within six months, I was able to wean myself off of all the medications I was on because I felt my body was strong enough to fight this disease on its own.
The thing about diets, though, is they’re not one-size-fits-all. And they can quickly cause fatigue if you’re not creative enough with it. Additionally, our bodies are constantly changing, and we need to adapt to those changes by feeding it the right foods.
Throughout the years, I’ve stayed mostly on the paleo diet, but began working in more vegan meals, avoided most nightshades and high FODMAP foods, and made other tweaks along the way. I’ve also done a lot of research around metabolic typing, or our body’s preference for fuel, whether that be protein, fat or carbs.
It was my studies in metabolic typing that really began my curiosity into the keto diet.
There are many ways to determine your metabolic type, from tests you can pay for to simply listening to and journaling about your body’s response to different fuel sources. I started to notice that I wasn’t as satisfied or full from proteins as I thought I would be. Afterall, we grow up to believe protein is the most filling part of our diets, right? And I saw my blood sugar levels quickly get out of whack and sugar cravings come on when I had more carbs in my diet. And I have to avoid sugar and most carbs anyways because of my history with candida and SIBO.
These were all pretty clear signs that proteins and carbs may not be the best main source of fuel for me. (Note: they may be for you, so please listen to your own body before you make a big change like going keto).
Fat, however, was something I craved and did really well with. I couldn’t wait to have an avocado as a snack or to cook with coconut oil or add nitrite-free bacon to a salad. This lingering desire for more fat convinced me to finally try the keto diet.
I also don’t get nearly as many digestive issues when I eat fats. Carbs often cause bloating, gas, and pain for me, and proteins leave me feeling “heavy” and often constipate me. For awhile, I actually dreaded eating them because the aftermath was no fun for me.
So, for the next 30 days, I will be going all-in on the ketogenic diet.
In its simplest form, the keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet. Fat becomes the main macronutrient in your diet (between 65-80% of your food intake), with reduced protein levels and even smaller carbohydrate levels. Following this diet, your body naturally switches into a state of nutritional ketosis, where it goes from burning glucose as energy to burning fat as energy. The end goal is for your body to become a fat-burning machine, with ketone bodies derived from fatty acids as your fuel. When you burn fat, you can lose weight, which is one big perk of keto, but there are many more benefits of it, too. For the sake of this post, I’m focusing mostly on the digestive benefits.
A digestive health specialist, everything I do, research, and write about is in relation to gut health. Not only did I want to try keto to see how my own body would respond to its preferred source of fuel, but for the many gut health benefits it offers as well.
Especially for those of us with compromised digestive function, it’s crucial to avoid certain foods and load up on others, which is where a diet like keto can be really helpful and healing.
The keto diet…
The main gut health superfoods included in keto are:
Here’s a sample of what I’ve been making so far on the keto diet:
Put simply, it’s delicious!
I’m excited to see how my body begins to transform and continues to heal while on this diet. So much so that I will be sharing week-by-week how it’s going so you can follow along and decide if going keto is right for you, too. Be sure to also follow me on Instagram during this journey as well since I will be mosting many recipes, tips, and more on a daily basis.
Kristin Thomas is a health coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner specialized in helping women with hormone, digestion, and autoimmune health concerns. Having gone through these health challenges herself, she now helps clients find their own path to complete wellness through practical and natural diet and lifestyle changes.
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