I’m a 74 year old woman who started this lifestyle about 18 months ago after watching a TEDx talk by Dr. Sarah Hallberg on reversing diabetes by breaking the rules. At that time I weighed between 185 and 190 pounds and I’m 5’6″. Although not diagnosed with diabetes, my blood sugars were high and I was likely insulin resistant. I also had some other health issues – arthritis in my foot for which I was taking over 1000 mg of naproxen for pain and irritable bowel syndrome. Since starting my weight has dropped to between 133 and 136.
My arthritis is resolved as has my irritable bowel. Last spring I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease that has my immune system attacking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in my skeletal muscles preventing them from contracting. I had ongoing double vision, trouble keeping my head up, my eyelids open and breathing difficulties.
I could not drive, read watch TV or even walk without an eye patch. The treatment consists of a lot of medication that can cause a number of iatrogenic illness like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis as well as unpleasant side effects.
However, this diet has been great at alleviating the side effects, my blood levels are between 4 and 6 and my blood pressure is between 120/65 and 135/70. I am presently asymptotic and able to drive, walk and work at my hobby woodworking. Prior to starting this diet, my idea of cooking was 4 slices of toast with cheese and I ate out a lot. Now I cook. I even make my own mayonnaise!
I make complete meals, put them in portion containers and freeze them. I usually only eat two meals a day and a couple of times a week only one. I’m just not hungry enough.
1. What tactics did you employ to help you get to your goal? What did you find helped you get to your goals best?
My goal and motivation was not to be dependent on my children as I aged. When I first started, I ate 3 meals a day and while they were low in carbs I didn’t start losing for at least a couple of months. I subscribe to a LCHF educational site called dietdoctor.com and learned that menopausal woman have a harder time and they gave me some advice – intermittent fasting.
I started a 16/8 fast, I skipped breakfast and ate lunch and supper. As time went on, one or two days a week, I found I needed only one meal. I found that most helpful. Recently I learned that eating earlier is better than eating late so now I’ve switched to eating breakfast and lunch and skipping supper. If I decide to eat only one meal, I eat just lunch. I test my blood with keto strips. I weigh myself daily. I make several full sized (4 to 6 serving) meals, portion and freeze them. I find this a very easy lifestyle as the meals are delicious. Fat tastes good!
2. What is the most impactful change you’ve made to your diet and why do you feel it’s been the most important?
I don’t think there’s just one thing that’s most impactful unless it’s the fact that I started cooking again which I hadn’t done in years. I hated making a mess in the kitchen and having to clean it up for just one person. I use to buy a lot of prepared meals – over processed of course and I didn’t read the nutritional labels. I ate out a lot. Now, I skip the inner isles at the grocery store, read labels and ingredients. I weigh myself daily. I know most diet guides tell you not to and I know weight fluctuates, but accounting for that, I find it’s like an early warning system for me. My weight is currently fluctuating between 133 and 136. If it goes higher I just decide to eat one meal.
3. What is the best single piece of advice you can give to someone that is just starting out?
Just keep going. Don’t give up. Get as much info as you can.
4. How do you feel your life is now that you’re at your goal?
Despite the Myasthenia Gravis and the impact of all the medication I need to take, my life is good. This diet is good for your brain as well as the rest of your body. I am much more mentally aware and I feel like I did at 50. I am absolutely sure that the impact of this illness would be much worse without this diet. Some of the side effects of the medication are stomach cramps/upset but I get none of that and I think those warnings are based on someone eating a typical north American diet.
5. What do you consider the biggest change in your day-to-day life?
My ability to walk, work and think.
6. What did you do to find support throughout your journey?
I went to a lot of Keto sites including yours. I found lots of good recipes.
7. What do you currently do to manage your day-to-day diet?
Intermittent fasting, daily weighing.
8. What is your favorite keto recipe from www.ruled.me that’s become a staple?
I have several but my favourite is Fried Queso Fresco.
9. If there is one thing that you could do differently during your journey, what would it be and why?
Craig, I don’t think I would do anything different except I wish I’d started 10 years earlier.