Back To Ketovore
I didn’t make this decision lightly.
On February 22nd, 2021, after a lot of research and internal debate, I decided to adopt a fully low-fat, plant-based diet. I made the decision for several reasons, not the least of which was to lose weight. Over the course of Covid I had put on 20 additional pounds. This was on top of the pre-existing 30 or so I needed to lose in order to arrive at my goal weight.
But even more than the excess weight, I was worried about my blood pressure. I had purchased a digital cuff online and was frightened by the numbers I was seeing when monitoring myself. I prefer to be my own physician, so I hadn’t gone to a doctor, and overall, I was mostly healthy and fit. At least fit enough to get around and do all the things I needed to do. I was taking no medications, other than the occasional OTC antihistamine I took to help with insomnia and nighttime anxiety I experienced on a fairly regular basis. A lot of that, though, was directly related to the worry I was having over monitoring my blood pressure numbers. It was a dog chasing its own tail kind of thing.
I’d had some skin conditions for years…dry and flakey skin on my shins. Cracks in the heels of both feet. But other than that, I was fairly healthy.
But I Wanted To Do Better
I was shooting for optimal health and longevity, not just getting by and feeling satisfied with patting myself on the back for staying out of the hospital, doctors’ office, and off prescription drugs.
Prior to going low-fat, plant-based I was mainly eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), though I ate ‘whole foods’ most of the time, and tracked my macros using MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. I weighed (almost) everything using a digital scale, but I wasn’t having much success in losing weight. And I have to admit, I would eat pizza, burgers, and fries occasionally. So, that factored into the situation. When I learned about the concept of Calorie Density it made a lot of sense.
And I Did Lose Weight
Initially, I lost weight, and I’ve managed to keep it off. I currently weigh about 35 pounds less than my all-time high in 2016. And about 25 of that has come off in the last year and a half.
I love the food and don’t really miss eating animal products.
After more than a year on the diet, I was shocked when I went to the dentist and they took my blood pressure, and I discovered that it was worse than it had been just a couple of months earlier!
In addition to that, I made the following list of ailments and conditions that were new or worsened since going plant-based:
1. Seriously increased cracking sound in my knees and ankles…just walking on a flat surface. I don’t even have to squat down to hear them, as I used to.
2. Muscle Loss – Most noticeably in my upper body. I feel much weaker.
3. Extremely Thin and Weak Fingernails.
4. Thinner Hair – significantly.
5. Still high blood pressure after almost a year and a half.
6. Continually crusty nasal passages and sniffing.
7. Older-looking facial and neck skin.
8. *More Translucent Teeth. Pinpoint dark spots on teeth tops.
9. Bloating and gastrointestinal distress.
10. General Body Skin Dryness – cracking on heels, callouses on bottoms of feet, tiny skin bumps…like ingrown hairs, increase in moles, and little red spots showing up in random places.
So, resumed watching YouTube videos by Drs. Shawn Baker, Ken Berry, and others. And I decided I had given the plant-based lifestyle a long enough trial run. It was time to reintroduce animal products to my diet. Even for just a while to see if it made a difference in my overall health and wellness.
Improvements I Noticed Almost Right Away
1. My teeth and skin got better almost immediately after adopting a Ketovore way of eating.
2. The skin on the bottoms of my feet is noticeably improved. And I was shocked by how quickly my translucent upper front teeth returned to their former opaque whiteness.
3. My stomach is much flatter and concave when I’m lying down – no more bloating and upper stomach distress, which is incredible!
4. I’m losing weight again! YAY!
5. I don’t know about the blood pressure. I’ve discovered that I really psych myself out when monitoring that stuff. So, I’m just going with how I feel. I do know that my resting heart rate is consistently between 68-72 bpm, for whatever that’s worth. I’m never out of breath climbing the three flights of stairs to our apartment, ow when I’m out walking. I always have good energy. Though I do need to improve my muscle strength. I bought these Resistance Loop Exercise Bands on Amazon and I’m already loving using them!
I Tried Carnivore, But I Think Ketovore Is More My Jam
I just seem to feel better when I’m including a small amount of low-carb veg in my diet. So, I’m leaning more toward Ketovore, for the time being. What does that mean? It means you eat MOSTLY animal foods, but you add a little veg as a condiment. Foods I’ll add include:
Salad Greens & Cabbage
Cucumbers & Dill Pickles
*Also, I’m skipping dairy products for now. That might change. But I’ve been slightly lactose intolerant in the past, and I think it deters my weight loss.
The same is true of nuts.
For me, diet is about optimal health and longevity. I think that’s different for each person, and even then, our individual needs change over time based on various changing factors such as; internal and external environment, hormones, stress levels, supplements we might be taking or possible nutrient deficiencies, health conditions and/or illness, quality of sleep, our DNA, weight gain or loss, and other factors. I expect to tweak my own diet time and time again over the years in order to meet my own nutritional, physical, mental, and emotional needs.
I expect you will, too.