Why people in our team choose the Keto Diet
Updated: Mar 18
The Keto Diet: is Not Just for Annoying People
I make fun of the keto diet. It's easy to do, you know? It's easy to make fun of fad diets, and fad diet the keto diet seems to be. Any restrictive diet seems to come and go with the tides of which celebrities set beauty standards. When the pendulum swings back from chiseled muscles and fatless faces, we'll see more Gary Cooper and voluptuous Marilyn Monroe types. When that happens the "how to be healthy" advice will less favor the fatless, muscle-bound aesthetic. We'll seek different advice for getting the "ideal" body, whatever that means.
All diets feel like fad diets. That's my view, anyway.
That being said...
Now, look, I need to get two things out of the way before I try to talk about healthy eating.
The first thing I need to talk about is that I have always thought of food as part of life's pleasure. Life's too short to spend it worrying. I do believe that it's important to eat well and keep myself healthy.
I lean a further in the living to eat direction and away from the idea of eating to live. If I have the choice between anything labeled "lite" or "lo-insert-anything-here" or "anything-free" or--heaven forbid--anything labeled "diet" I'll shy from it. I'll lean toward its equivalent product that's more full of, you know, flavor and life and everything good about food. I eat a lot of butter. I drink rich red wine. I love chocolate. I won't say no to chocolate eclairs.
I like food that's nice. That's my basic view of that.
Along with that I do need to say that I was raised with a keen sense that it's better to eat better food. I'm generally willing to spend more if it means I'm getting something nicer. So there's that too. In our house, we thought that health started at the dinner table. Most health issues could be addressed by dietary choices. I mean, not all of them, but a lot of them. Like, if you'd been lethargic for days, mom would incorporate more greens into dinner for a few weeks. We'd do that kind of thing.
I need to get one other thing straight before going on. I get a lot of my healthy living advice from Keith Richards. Some people might fault me for this decision. I don't know why, though. I mean, he's lasted this long, so he must have figured out something. That's my view of that.
This is all my preamble for this statement: I ought to eat my hat. Only I won't, because that wouldn't be very keto. I ought to, though, because what with one thing and another I am accidentally keto.
I'll get to some science to defend this story in a second. Here's the story first.
See, I went through a period where I was dealing with a common affliction. It visits most of us, I think. You might have heard of it: it was called having a day job. To anyone worried about their long term health, I don't recommend it. It was one of the toughest stressors I've ever had to deal with. Didn't feel good.
It wrecked my digestion for a while. In part because of the stress. Also partly because of the feeding opportunities most easy for people holding down desks for a living tend to be on the starchy side. I mean, it wasn't rare for breakfast to be two croissants and a cup of coffee. That felt like a pretty good meal for me in the morning. All I had to anticipate for the day was being a not even glorified paperweight for eight hours.
I wasn't getting fat. I don't tend to gain weight. But I was always uncomfortable, and I never had good energy. At the same time I wasn't good at coping with things. That doesn't even get into the part where I woke up with heart burn every morning. It never went away throughout the day. That was, as my girlfriend described it, not how things are supposed to be.
It felt miserable.
I wanted to improve my life.
So I asked myself: what would Keith Richards do?
That's not an ironic question. In his autobiography Keith Richards talks about bodily awareness. Being aware of your own body is a skill not easily tested, I think. Anyone can claim to have good bodily awareness. Whether they do or not anyone can claim that bodily awareness is important for your overall health. The difference between Keef and the rest of us is that he spent his entire life abusing his system. He abused it with this and that, or so the legend goes....Then he consistently and against all common sense didn't die.
That, in my view, makes him singularly qualified. As a guru on the subject of the importance of body awareness as a factor of health and longevity, he's singularly qualified. There are better ways to live than the way Keith Richards lived, probably. You've got to be amazed at his ability to carry on like that. I think his advice in the area of self care is worth listening to.
What Keith said was that he knew his body.
He described how he hit his record. He described his longest amount of time without sleep. It was a period he spent in the studio writing songs and staying up while everyone else came and went in shifts. He says that he did it by keeping his system balanced with cocaine and heroin. Which, hot tip, you shouldn't do.
What you should do, I think, is the part that he described as listening to his body. He maintained a balance in his system by feeding himself some uppers when he was starting to drop. Then he'd pop some downers when he was getting to high.
He kept a close eye on his own metabolism and responding to the needs of his body.
That part sounded like good advice.
I took a little while and paid close attention to how my body responded to what I was eating. I experimented with cutting things out, with adding things, with changing my source of things.
Eventually, after experimenting thoroughly, I cracked the code.
I reworked my diet completely, and after I did I felt better. I had better energy, I coped with stress better, and my digestion became stable. I almost never get heartburn anymore. I never looked up suggestions for dieting. I went off of what I knew about food and biology and how my body responded to what I took in.
This all matters because, eventually, I landed on the keto diet, more or less. Not exactly, but close.
That was really interesting. I didn't know what the keto diet was, really. Not until about a week ago when I started reading for this blog. I figured it was just another one of these slightly odd diets. I figured it was like the carnivore diet or something. Something that sounded good, sort of, but didn't actually have a lot of good science that went into it.
Not so much, it turns out. I never wanted to "diet." Sure, I like to feel healthy. Might be more accurate to say I like my health to stay out of the way of my life. I like to eat, and I like to enjoy what I eat, and I like to look more or less okay. I like to stay in shape. But it isn't important to me. I never sought a diet that was anything prescriptive or fashionable. I just wanted to eat and feel pretty okay.
Editor's Note: Oliver Shiny is our Viking Hipster from Denver Colorado and not the only Keto fan in our team!
Somehow that meant, accidentally, going keto. Not sure where that leaves me. Keto is the diet for feeling good, as it turns out. That's the truth.
But you don't have to take my word for it. I can tell you all kinds of cunningly phrased anecdotes. I could talk all day about my experiences. I could use them to support a high fat, moderately high protein, low carb diet, with a nearly obscene amount of fruits and vegetables. I could convince you with personal rhetoric. Which, like some fad diets, would be the intellectual equivalent of being full of saccharine and non-fat milk: it wouldn't satisfy.
In the end, health and life is one big science experiment. Our bodies are subject to chemistry and chemical imbalances. Claims about bodies ought to be backed up by the expertise of somebody who went to school for biology or chemistry or, like, medicine.
Fortunately, there are experts in this area who've done a bunch of research into going keto. I came to eating basically a keto diet like a scientist. For a lab rat I used myself and ran organized experiments to judge the best diet to keep myself healthy. I am not a medical professional, though, and doing a long science experiment on yourself isn't the best approach for everyone.
Fortunately, there's at least one medical doctor who knows this stuff. She's done her own, legitimate research into sticking to the keto diet and doing it right. Everyone should do their own research into the medical and lifestyle approach to keto. Reading her stuff's not a bad place to start. Because the keto diet isn't just for annoying people. It's also for people who want to feel better.
In the next few articles we will share recipes, best practice and everything to keto-proof your house and your pretty pantry. For now, let us know if you wish to join our Not-so-secret #SuperfoodSociety and join our Wellness Quest to potentially win our monthly sweeps for MCT Oil Powder, Goji Berries, Maca Powder OR Subscriptions to Gaia.com or Sweat.com
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