It’s Wednesday! Time to focus on your self care… 

…and start figuring out how to stay healthy and energized so you can be the Mom, Wife, and Woman you want to be!

 I told you last week a little about my health journey and promised to give you practical help – so let’s get started!
As I mentioned, I struggled with figuring out how to live with Lupus instead of letting Lupus take over my life. I went for several years drowning in stress, gaining weight, taking more and more medicine that wasn’t doing anything to improve my quality of life. I was just surviving. My kids needed so much more from me and I finally realized , to give that to them I had to get my health under control.
First thing I discovered was that I was missing basic nutrients, I ate vegetables just fine, I love vegetables. I just wasn’t eating enough of them, and I was eating too much “comfort foods”. I tend to be a stress eater – so you can just imagine what my diet looked like. I started with a supplement that I simply added to my water in the morning. After a month of consistently drinking the supplemented water I realized my energy level was so much better. I was no longer in bed most of the day, I was getting things done like I had before I was sick. I was amazed at how much better I felt with just that one change! 
I looked more into the company and why this one supplement was so effective and started learning about this new way of eating called Keto. I was intrigued, but as I read about it I thought – no way can I go without my bread and pasta! After several months though, and realizing just how much weight I had gained and all the benefits of feeling better I could potentially have, I decided to give it a try. Couldn’t hurt to try right?

Here are 5 Proven Benefits to Keto that I learned and experienced for myself.

While Carbs are an important part of the human metabolic process (they are stored in our liver and muscle cells in the form of glycogen), their role is not to be our main source of energy, but to serve as a quick one only.

Once our body gets depleted of glycogen, the liver starts producing organic compounds called ketones. These compounds are formed when our body burns fat for fuel, and that is how the high-in-fat Keto way of eating contributes to effective weight loss. This is where it gets its name – you go into a state of ketosis, where your body is effectively producing these all important ketones.
It is important to note that ketosis is different from ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a result of your body producing too many ketones and is very dangerous. People with type 1 diabetes are most at risk for this. The keto way of eating is not a good fit if you have type 1. However, your body naturally produces ketones and it should. It is highly unlikely that you will go into ketoacidosis simply by eating this way, and if you do it correctly you will see great benefit!
Besides enabling our liver to convert fat into ketones, leading to a lean figure, the keto diet has many other physical and mental health benefits. As I quickly learned, it is more about your health than just your weight. The keto way of eating is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. If you are aiming to lose weight it is a healthy way to do that, then you modify it a bit when you are just maintaining, it is not something you stop doing however. You want to keep the health benefits going.

Benefits of the Keto Way of Eating (WOE):

1. Reduced appetite.

 When your body begins breaking down fats, you typically experience significant appetite reduction. Feeling full for more extended periods can be highly beneficial for weight loss. 
The keto WOE helps in reducing food cravings and urges to binge. Such conditions are the most significant obstacle to successful weight loss and can cause the so-called yo-yo effect. In the absence of these obstructions, it’s more likely that you’ll stick to your desired eating regime.
Our brain, heart, and muscle tissue are more inclined towards burning ketones than glycogen. When ketones are burned, we can conserve blood sugar and function more effectively.

2. Decreased levels of triglycerides (fat found in your blood). 

Production of triglycerides happens when the dietary fat (the fat that we consume through food) and our body fat turns into Free Fatty Acids (FAA). When FAA’s start freely flowing through our body, they get attached to insulin, and this combination forms triglycerides.
High levels of triglycerides are hazardous for our health as they’re known to cause obesity, heart disease, and seizures.
Cutting down on carbohydrates, especially refined sugars, decreases insulin stimulation, resulting in lower levels of fat in the blood. ( Mayo clinic on triglycerides )
The keto WOE limits many types of carbs, including refined sugar, starch, alcohol, and fruit – all of them known to be insulin stimulators.

3. Increased levels of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).

 According to 12 medical studies performed on 1257 patients, carbohydrate-restricted diets, such as the keto diet, offer improvement of cardiovascular health because they increase the levels of HDL in the body. ( British journal of nutrition )
A low carb diet is a more efficient method of increasing the good cholesterol when compared to traditional weight loss diets that are focused on reducing, rather than increasing, the fat intake.
If you are looking to improve the overall health of your heart, increasing your HDL cholesterol levels is a great starting point.

4. Better blood pressure balance. 

Because high-fat diets are often considered as unhealthy by the general public, many people are suspicious about going ketogenic. Even though the keto diet might have some side-effects, negatively affected blood pressure is not part of them.
Lower-fat diets are more often associated with increased prevalence of high blood pressure than the high-fat food regimen. Diets with a higher number of calories coming from quality fatty foods, such as fish, avocado, walnuts, and olive oil, contribute to healthier blood pressure. It is important to note that a true ketogenic meal gets the increased fats from these kinds of foods, not a ton of whatever fat you want – though you don’t have to cut them out completely either. Pure animal fats are a good way to keep yourself full too. You want pure butter though, not margarine. A lot of the problem with store bought foods is that they are full of preservatives that are not good for you and usually have hidden carbs too.

5. Supports the treatment of mental health disorders. 

The keto diet has a lot of applications and benefits for people who have epilepsy, bipolar disorder, seizures, and other mental health conditions. It has been clinically used to treat anxiety and depression. In my case, I have balanced my thyroid levels better than they were with the medicine, I have bouts of depression less often and less severe, I have majorly reduced my brain fog episodes and my energy levels are much more often like what I remember as normal.
For people whose brain health is optimal, the Keto diet is proven to contribute to more focus and clarity.
I used to have to take 11 different prescription medicines a day, and I still didn’t feel any better really. I was still exhausted all the time, constantly having to adjust the medicines and never getting any of them quite right. Now, I only take 3 medicines consistently, and a couple others when needed. I eat right and supplement with all natural plant based drink powders for the extra boost of natural energy, vitamins and minerals.
If you are interested in improving your figure, focus, or health condition by going on a keto diet, it’s wise to consult your dietitian or doctor in choosing a safe and supportive plan suitable for you. I am here to help support you and supply delicious recipes as well as ways to make cooking easier, faster, and easy on your wallet too! Come join the Keto-tuppercook Facebook group for more!

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