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Dr. Anna Cabeca blends the benefits of the Ketogenic diet and eating alkaline foods in her new book, Keto-Green 16.
Dr. Cabeca, welcome to 40+ Fitness. Again.
Dr. Cabeca (01:48):
Great to be here with you, Allan.
I'm pretty excited to have you here because you know when, when keto first came out, people started calling it the bacon diet and of course all the people that were on keto were like, yeah, you get to eat bacon, isn't that great. But it's not a bacon diet and your book, Keto Green 16 I think really is a good guideline for how you can eat keto and eat healthy at the same time.
Dr. Cabeca (02:15):
Yes. And the intention was that through my experience going keto and then really struggling and going keto crazy as I like to say, was finding a really healthy way to do it because really getting keto in the healthiest way possible after, during perimenopause and well beyond is essential, is essential for women.
Yeah. And I think that's one of the things that is kind of a differentiator out there is whenever something like this comes up, be paleo or keto or even vegan, we like to batch everybody together and say, this is the diet, this is how you need to eat and keto is very much that way too. It said, okay, you eat this amount of fat, you eat this amount of carbs, you eat this amount of protein, go. And it really didn't give anybody any guidelines on how to get proper nutrition.
Dr. Cabeca (03:04):
Right. Exactly. And one of the things I've done is, create a keto calculator, especially again for women. Women have to do keto differently than men Allan. And it's important to understand that because men have 10 times as much testosterone as women. But looking at our healthy fats and the kind of fats we eat, but always balancing it with high quality protein and lots of fiber from low carbohydrate greens that just, that's a shift. There's so many physiologic and chemical reasons for the shift. But for me it was game changing. And this was, gosh, way back when I was 48 and I was hitting what I like to call my second menopause because I was diagnosed with menopause at age 39. I have not had an easy medical, personal life, but at age 39 diagnosed with early menopause and then reversed it to go on and have a baby at age 41 and then at 48 experiencing these really harsh symptoms of weight gain despite not doing anything different. That weight gain, despite not doing anything different. Man, it is a complaint that patients would come in and tell me about. And until I experienced it myself humbly, I admit this to you, Allan, is that, you know, I was like really sure. How could that be possible? Right? But that happened to me,
right? And I think that's one of the kind of the misnomers out there. I guess myths out there is that, Oh, if you're, if you're gaining weight, you must have obviously be eating more. But the reality is that's not necessarily true in many cases. It just means that some of our key hormones are out of balance and we're not managing those well. But The keto green diet that you have, it can really help us manage these hormones in the book you identify and the 13 key weight loss hormones. And I would love to go back through those cause I think most of them I've talked about at one point or another on the podcast, but it'd be really nice to just kind of have them like wrapped in a bow right here. Could you take just a few minutes to go over what I call it, the weight loss hormones?
Dr. Cabeca (05:08):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think like, you know, we just go over, these hormones work intricately individually and so they're so interconnected. They are so interconnected and we start with cortisol, and so really call it the weight gain hormone versus a weight loss hormone. But it is when we get cortisol and balance that can really help trim us down. But cortisol being our, it's the hormone of precedence right now during our stressful times and our stressful situation that we're in right now. And this is the stress hormone that increases glucose in our body because we need more fuel when we're stressed to survive, thrive, Brian move. And also it is, you know, whether it's a physical stress or mental stress or perceived stress, that inreases, increases cortisol and that will also cause weight gain. Cortisol will affect our thyroid and will affect our decrease our progesterone or neuroprotective hormone.
Dr. Cabeca (06:10):
So we can have more emotional swings during this time, more moodiness. And it can also be when cortisol goes up, oxytocin goes down and that's one of the other hormones. Now oxytocin is one of my favorite hormones. It is the love connection hormone bonding hormone. It's the hormone we experience in abundance with orgasm, with pleasure, with laughter, with play. And it is a powerful alkalinizing, anti-inflammatory and regenerative hormone. We've looked at studies and older population looking at oxytocin on muscle cell growth and increased oxytocin, increases muscle cell regeneration, which we need, especially as we're getting older. So that hormone oxytocin, it's really important to understand. And in my first book, the Hormone Facts, I spent a whole, I spent a lot of time discussing the interrelationship between cortisol and oxytocin. And it's worth mentioning now, Allan, because in this stress time we're often, we're increasing cortisol, which also breaks down willpower.
Dr. Cabeca (07:27):
So if we're experiencing cravings or I've had some clients who have relapsed and we have this discussion was like, look, this is a function of the physiology of what you're experiencing. So let's, you know, right back on, let's create the practices and principles that are going to keep us healthy, sane, and on course during this time. So it, you know, it's really that big, it's really a big deal. And when cortisol goes up, oxytocin goes down. It's kind of like the Seesaw. Cortisol goes up, oxytocin goes down. And so we feel more disconnected, less enthusiasm. And you know, we're really struggling already. Our healthcare providers are really struggling with burnout. And so add on the added stressors, we're experiencing that even more. But when cortisol is up for a longer time period, and this is really important, is that cortisol is up for a long time period an area in our brain are basically is saying, okay, shut down, you're frying me out.
Dr. Cabeca (08:28):
So cortisol goes low and oxytocin goes low at the same time and we get into this dangerous disconnect, this dangerous cortisol. So I went oxytocin, slow burnout. It's the physiology of divorce, it's the physiology of burnout, it's the physiology of trauma and PTSD for a long period of time. And you know, and so it's often what I see very much in my clients who've experienced trauma or PTSD. I see this physiologic condition and oxytocin though as far as when it comes tying it back into weight loss hormone, we know when we fall in love, like we're not hungry, we lose weight, we feel better. That's oxytocin and we want to keep that stronger. And so the next hormone that I talk about in my book is insulin. The more insulin sensitive we become, the more resilient we become. And this is needed now more than ever.
Dr. Cabeca (09:27):
Blue coasts can affect your immune system negatively. Too much sugar in your system. Yeah, and insulin. As we become more insulin resistant, that also negatively affects our immune system, but the more insulin sensitive we become through going Kito, Keto Green and intermittent fasting and extended fasting. That impact that again increases insulin resistance. What I've seen in my clients in that following my new book, the keto green 16 plan I've seen in in just as little as one month a woman at 50 year old woman's hemoglobin A1C go down from 60 to 5.4. 6.0 sorry, 6.0 to 5.4 in just one month, which is huge because if we move a point like a 0.1 if we move that work static, she went down six points in just one month so..
And so she's no longer diabetic.
Dr. Cabeca (10:30):
She is no longer pre-diabetic. This is exactly right. Exactly right and just one month and so what a shift and the lower hemoglobin A1C, the less inflammation in our body, a gold target number for hemoglobin C is 5.0 and again a huge marker of insulin. So in Keto Green 16 we've really come a long way and to creating this in, you know, this increasing insulin sensitivity and the more insulin sensitive we are, the less hungry we are too, the more willpower we have, the less inflammation we have.
And that's because our body's able to pull our own body fat to basically give us the energy to do the things we're doing. We don't necessarily need that sugar for fuel to do it.
Dr. Cabeca (11:15):
Now you also talk about the other sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, can you talk a little bit about those?
Dr. Cabeca (11:25):
Yeah, it's estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. These are really well known as our reproductive hormones, our sex steroids, such as estrogen and testosterone specifically. But these are all involved and these are the hormones that we think about predominantly when we're thinking about reproduction. And as a gynecologist and obstetrician, these are hormones that I spent, and their pathways, I spent years studying. But this is where it kinda, you know, when I think about when it goes back to it, you know, cortisol, insulin and oxytocin are the major hormones and these kind of in under those. And so with all of these hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and DHEA, they all have a role in our metabolism and are, you know, they either they help to build us up, especially testosterone and DHEA, our more androgenic hormones and DHEA being pro- hormone that is needed to make testosterone and estrogen. So, and DHEA is a hormone that is depleted in times of stress, in favor of producing cortisol. So when we need to make cortisol, we're going to make cortisol over DHEA.
Yeah. Because we don't need to reproduce. If we're, if we're running for our lives, then we're not thinking about offspring at that point in time.
Dr. Cabeca (12:45):
Exactly. Our body is conserving our reproductive potential. It's conserving everything to go towards the production of cortisol. And cortisol also will cause the depletion of progesterone because cortisol is made a derived from progesterone. So as we make cortisol, this very important progesterone is one of our mother hormones, not as it only, it's in men and women pro. It's comes from the words pro life essentially pro gestation, pro pregnancy, pro life. And progesterone is a neuroprotective hormone in both men and women. There have been many studies with progesterone in traumatic brain injury. Initial studies were done at my Alma mater, at Emory university in the ICU and the intensive care unit at Emory's, the neuro intensive care unit and looked at giving IV progesterone in clients with traumatic brain injury. And what the preliminary research showed is that when given bioidentical progesterone, patients who had traumatic brain injury fared much better. It's really fascinating on this aspect. This is a little tangent, but you don't mind Allan, do you?
Not at all. Not at all. I'm always out to learn something new.
Dr. Cabeca (14:04):
Well it's so fascinating about this experience with pedestrian is that when they noted that women who were pre-menstrual had and had a traumatic brain injury, fared better than others who were not. So that's where the original research, a very observant clinician, made the observation and that led to the study of progesterone as a resuscitative measure, essentially in traumatic brain injury, both men and women. And from there, there's so much research on progesterone. We are in the infancy. I have no doubt that progesterone will be used and more highly recommended in the perimenopause menopause time period as well as a little bit for men. As we get older, for neuroprotective ability. It also boost our immune system supports TH2 immunity. So I just thought that was a fascinating point about progesterone in the brain.
It is. It is.
Dr. Cabeca (15:06):
And so, so that's, that's pretty much that. And then when I talk about other hormones in the book, it's also the hormones of Thai tea and hunger. So leptin and Ghrelin are two other hormones that I talk about and we can be them resistant. I mean leptin resistant. So just like with insulin, like we never satisfied there in that song. Have you seen the musical Holton?
I'm sorry I haven't, no, I'm not a big, I'm not a big musical guy.
New Speaker (15:38):
Oh my gosh, you've gotta listen to this musical. The music is bull and actually the producer perform for the white house for a bog, you know, and, and it's been, see, so it is, it just spending way, there's a song that I will never be satisfied that that's leptin resistance. That's leptin resistance. So that feeling of never actually like, okay, I've eaten. Why am I hungry again?
Dr. Cabeca (16:05):
I'm never feeling satisfied. And that's kind of where leptin resistance comes in too. And then Ghrelin is our hunger hormone. When we start fasting, we can get really, really hungry and we know we're not going to die, right? We know that we're not going to die. We can go a long time without food. We can really go months without food, not without water. But we can go months without food. And Ghrelin hormone though when you're fasting peaks at day two of your fasting. So just like anything else, when we start doing more of the intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting, note that that is like increasing Ghrelin sensitivity so to speak is a muscle. Like anything else that we're going to exercise, we are going to work to build up to do longer and longer fast. But day two, Ghrelin this hunger hormone is peaking, making us think that we're going to die because we're, we're so hungry.
Dr. Cabeca (16:55):
Just take some deep breaths, drink plenty of water and, do you know that will go away by day three you're like, Oh man, I continue fasting for quite awhile. So that's that Ghrelin hunger hormone. Okay.
And then you also in the book, I think you talked about adiponectin?
Dr. Cabeca (17:14):
Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I left adiponectin now. I love adiponectin. This is really fascinating. I really just began to learn, I think there's so much to learn about adiponectin, but just like our sex hormones, adiponectin decreases as we age. There is an internal clock somewhere that manages adiponectin secretion because I think this is the reason why we gained weight as we're getting older without doing anything different. I mean there's a combination, but adiponectin to play right into this. This has to relate to our metabolism. And the higher adiponectin is the higher our metabolism is. So intermittent fasting can, and getting Keto Green, getting into ketosis in a healthy way can really help improve levels of adiponectin to we're actually increasing our metabolism.
Now, one of the things about the Keto Green 16 is that it's an alkaline style of eating. Can you explain why that's important.
Dr. Cabeca (18:15):
Yes. Well, you know, it goes back to kind of my story. As I turned 48 and I was gaining weight without doing anything different, I knew, and I had been well over 240 pounds in the past. I've lost 80 pounds, kept it off for nearly that decade and just started gaining weight and anyone who's lost a significant amount of weight and starts gaining weight, often you feel like, Oh my gosh, when is this ever gonna stop? Like, I'll be 300 pounds before this weight gain stops because I, nothing I'm doing is causing and I'm not, you know, I'm like, I'm not going through Starbucks. I'm not going through Dunkin donuts. I'm not doing anything different than what I've been doing. And it's very frustrating. It has to do a lot with these hormones. And also again, the stress hormone, the stress hormones as well.
Dr. Cabeca (19:03):
But I went straight keto. I'm like, okay, I've used this for my patients with neurologic symptoms and basically a modified form for my patients on candida protocols and, or who have had chronic yeast infections. And so I just really restrict carbs, increasing fats and protein. And within a few short days, I was feeling very, you know, it's not keto flu. It was really, I call it keto crazy. I was irritable, agitated on edge, and I was a single mom of teenagers. There's no way that I or my daughters could survive me going keto. And I was very interested. I'm a scientist. I was a scientist for the us Navy before I went to medical school, I studied metabolism and I worked in research and metabolism and I was like, well, what is going on here? Really what is going on here? And so I started doing what I asked all my patients to do when I detox them.
Dr. Cabeca (20:00):
And as part of like a principle for like another vital sign is to check urine pH. And as I was checking my urine pH, I was acidic as the pH paper would read. And this is something everyone listening really should do. It tells us so much about our body, how we're nourishing our body and how we're controlling our stress. Cause lo and behold, the more stressed we are, the more acidic our urine pH is. So it's not just about what I, what we eat. But you know, I did not study that. I observed it. So as I was, you know, as I've recognized how acidic I was, I added in all these very low carbohydrate greens based on science for hormone balance. So the dark leafy, the charred, the collard, the kale, the beet cranes, and then the cruciferous vegetables. This is part of my Keto Green, 16. 16 key foods, scientifically studied and shown to help with hormone balance.
Dr. Cabeca (21:00):
And so, you know, the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage and cauliflower. Oh my gosh cauliflower mash. So good. Yes. And so incorporated these in. But I also noted that on the mornings I walked on the beach or did my gratitude journaling and had my prayer time. My urine pH was more alkaline all day. So I recognized quickly like, okay, well what's the connection here? And that's where I found out that cortisol create by increasing hydrogen ion secretion across the renal tubules, it creates an acidic urine pH. So here we can use urine pH as a vital sign for how, we're affecting ourselves basically epigenetically even. So just that concept of how we are interacting with our environment, not just with what we eat, but with how we think about how we're living, how we're perceived, perceiving life, how we're appreciating each other and how that affects our physiology.
Dr. Cabeca (22:06):
So the alkaline piece, I started shifting, getting more of the greens and becoming more alkaline and then pushing into ketosis. And that was like a light bulb moment because I felt so clear that, you know, the keto crazy went completely away. I felt like what I call energized enlightenment. I felt a higher connection to God. I felt just the sense of peace and calm and nothing in my external environment had changed, still had teenagers. Still was a single mom raising kids, solely supporting my family. But my peace and biblically we talk about the peace that surpasses all understanding the peace, which surpasses all understanding. I have a glimpse of that for the first time. And the first time I would say, yeah, basically a decade since I lost my son, I experienced this peace and profoundly so I also got my memory back cause from stress and you know, acidity.
Dr. Cabeca (23:07):
I had brain fog and was thinking I felt like this early signs of dementia and as so many of my patients would come in and say this to me, right. But, like they were experiencing these symptoms. So that's this combination of getting an alkaline urine pH, getting more alkalinizes in your body, using it from the nutritional and lifestyle approach and getting into ketosis, getting into ketosis. Oh my gosh. That combination, energized, enlightenment, clarity. I could never have written a book, let alone two. And you know, I probably, you know, and even run my business. I just want to say exponential from near broke to a very, very purposeful and profitable business.
Yeah. And, and I'll also attest if you're, you know, writing a book is not an easy task in and of itself, but doing that while you're also running a business and doing the kids and everything else and trying to keep it all together that is a huge, huge thing.
Dr. Cabeca (24:12):
Oh, I second that too. And I know you're writing a book right now too. I mean, it is a challenge. Kudos to you. Because for 10 years, for over a decade, I wanted to write a book. I never was able to get a page done. And this state of being and this clarity is just hugely transformative. And which is what we need. And especially for women. That's my area. Women are my area of focus and my priority, sorry Allan and all you men who are listening, but when women are better, you guys are better too. You know that.
True story. True story and I think the other thing that I'd like to mention is the foods that you're talking about, the leafy greens and the cruciferous and you also in the book you talk about some of the fermented foods as well. All of those are feeding your gut, which is a big, huge, I mean, it's a huge part of our immune system. So in addition to the clarity and the other things that are going well for you being in this keto alkaline state, you're also making sure that you're giving your body what it needs to protect us.
Dr. Cabeca (25:19):
Absolutely. Absolutely. It comes down to the micro nutrients over the macro nutrients.
Now this diet, I mean, I again, I look at keto and I say, okay, you can't, I don't like to call keto diet because in effect it's, it's, it's more than that if you, if you want to stay this way. I mean, if you want some short term results, yes you can get it. But in the book you talk about 16 days and I see that as a kind of a bite size start where we're going to really learn some things about our eating and our health and our body. Can you talk about why you said 16 what's, what's the key there to 16 days.
Dr. Cabeca (25:55):
Sweet 16. I love that number. 16 candles. All girls. All girls.
Well girls. Okay. Okay. All girls. Okay. There you go.
Dr. Cabeca (26:07):
All girls, one son. Yeah. And and so the 16 has a lot of, like I was thinking about what number would really characterize this plan the best and how quickly can we get results. Right. And also something that's different. So we don't have like patterns of your 14 day or 21 day, so 16 is different. But also from a numeral logic perspective, it's a time of new beginnings. Really. It's time of like claiming your own strengths. And you know, for me it just resonated in a really way that in 16 days, you know, what's the shortest amount of time? Cause we always hear 21 days to change a habit. But I didn't buy that. So I went to the research and I also played around with all different types of programs and lacks of programs. And in 16 days we can get really tremendous results. And so that's my 16.
Yeah, and, and I completely agree. If you, if you get past two weeks eating keto and at that point you're keto, somewhat fat adapted, your body's starting to use body fat for energy. You're giving your body that the micronutrients that needs to do the style of eating here. Basically, yes, you're going to start seeing the initial results for this. And most people that I've worked with that go into keto and myself, when I go in and out of ketosis, when I go into ketosis, I'm almost guaranteed to lose five pounds the first week. And then by the 16th day I've probably lost anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds if, if I'm really on it and doing what I'm supposed to be doing. So I agree with you. I think you can see some tremendous results in just the 16 days. In the book you get into keto, clean and keto dirty. Could you take just a moment to get into those two concepts?
Dr. Cabeca (28:02):
Well, yes. So when we, as you started this podcast with, you know, the concept of when we think about keto, keto dirty eating bacon, bacon and butter and processed foods and processed cheeses, it certainly will get us into ketosis, but it's not providing our bodies the micronutrients that we need to thrive on. Yes. Can we survive? Sure. But will we thrive, no. And so that's what I call keto, dirty. So there's again, so, so many ways to be keto right? We'll go into ketosis by eating nothing. Right. That's fascinating. We'll go into ketosis by eating nothing but with keto I say Keto Green, keto, dirty versus keto clean, which clean eating healthy food, ideally free range, wild caught, fresh, organic, grown in your backyard. Now I don't know about you, but I'm growing a garden and it is keto. So keto clean is Keto Green and that's the concept of a really balanced, nourishing approach to keto.
Yeah. Now you define those other way. I saw you list them in the book, I think you called them the 16 sexy, slim younger foods. Could you take just a minute to kind of go through those really quickly?
Dr. Cabeca (29:14):
Yes. Yeah. Happy to. So the 16 foods that really can help support our bodies. Definitely the, I'm a fan, it's an omnivore diet, but in Keto Green 16, I also have a 16 day vegan plan. So substituting out my first three foods, which are B for bison, chicken and fish substitute and got out for black beans, white beans and chickpeas in my vegan plan or Tempe or tofu can always be a non-GMO, can always be substituted. So B or bison, chicken, fish are the key protein sources. And for healthy fat we're looking at our oils. So as another ingredient, for example, our olive oils or nuts or seeds, oils are fine, but olive oil in particular has so many great oleic acid is good for our heart. It's good for our flexibility or blood vessels. So I incorporate that in there as well as healthy fats from avocados.
Dr. Cabeca (30:12):
Avocados get a special place in my heart. They're just amazing. They go from making a hearty sandwich to like a key lime pie dessert. I should share my key lime pie avocado recipe. It's really amazing. And so, you know, avocado put into your smoothie just makes it so creamy and delicious is seriously a super food. So, and then nuts and seeds, so nuts specifically that I recommend are Brazil nuts cause they're rich in selenium or pinoli nuts, which are high in fat and fiber. But zero, low, very lowest carbs. And it's just a really delicious nut, and so the certain nuts are available, but also then the cruciferous vegetables and then the dark leafy greens and they each get their own category because I really like the incorporation of a variety of foods. And then we have some citrus lime or lemon as another key ingredient.
Dr. Cabeca (31:12):
And I'm missing, and then of course the alliums for sulfation such, so allium such as onions and garlic and the different groups to understand the reasoning for my composition of my recipes as well as choosing these foods. I wanted to cover every pathway for our body to helpfully detoxify our hormones. And so again, whether we're getting hormones exogenously through like hormones we're taking or Xeno estrogens from, even pesticides, herbicides, plastics, parabens and cosmetics and stuff that we're detoxifying them as safely as possible and efficiently as possible. So the food groups I chose were to help with these detoxification pathways, methylation, sulfation and glucuronidation. So that's the, the bulk of the 16 sexy, slim and younger foods.
And you do, you have recipes in the book, you have a full meal plan. So it's, it's all out there laid out for us. And again, the vegan version as well. So it's not like you have to go through and decide that you're going to eat the beef and the chicken and the fish if you prefer. You approach us from a vegan perspective, which I think is a new relatively new concept when we start talking about keto. Is that they don't seem like they get along, but you can in fact be keto and vegan.
Dr. Cabeca (32:39):
Yeah, you can. And it's, it's really good periodically to lay off the, you know, animal meats, I say at least once or twice a year. I mean, we can all do that, you know, and its just to give your body and a chance to rest and increase the fiber to help with Kalanick health and that can make a big difference too, to do periodic fasting from meat in general.
Well, there you go with that. There you go with that F word again. And I just want to explain why you have another F word in the book. So you do talk about fasting, but you also talk about feasting.
Dr. Cabeca (33:14):
Because we don't just fast or we don't just eat keto. You do have periods of time when you kind of, I guess for lack of a better word, the way we would say it in the bodybuilding or the exercise field is, is that you basically carb load or you actually do bring in more carbs for a period of time. Can you, can you talk about that process?
Dr. Cabeca (33:33):
Yeah, that's essential. It's essential. That's what bodybuilders know, right? The importance of carb loading, but also metabolic flexibility and that's the reason we feast metabolic flexibility. Plus I'm a natural glutton. I love my feasting. I love it.
Now you are a big fan also of measuring, so measuring your glucose, measuring your ketones and as you mentioned earlier, your pH. You talk a little bit about that measurement and how we should go about that, particularly during these 16 days.
Dr. Cabeca (34:05):
Yeah. You know if anyone has access to get the freestyle Libra prescribed by their physician, it should be over the counter, but it's not, it's a continuous monitor that goes in your arm. It's like a patch basically that sticks on your arm. It has a small filament that goes into the tissue and stays there for two weeks. But that's a way to continuously monitor your blood sugar. I wore that, I've worn that basically on and off for the past year, almost continuously for measuring the food and the food choices and the menu combinations and my plan for Keto Green 16. And it's so fascinating to see how, what increases your blood sugar and what doesn't. So in the keto world, you'll often hear, we'll have a cup of coffee while I had, you know, also in where, you know, I knew that coffee was impairing me from weight loss.
Dr. Cabeca (34:58):
It was creating a plateau and I struggled with it. Cause every time I would take my coffee break, I would easily lose three to four pounds in a week. And I was like, how does that make sense? Coffee has no calories. But yes, in some of us it increases and most of us it increases cortisol, which will then increase glucose. So that was by theory. But when I started wearing this patch, Allan, I saw my blood sugar in the morning just drinking a cup of coffee. And even if I was reading or whatever, but just to drinking a cup of coffee, my blood sugar was going up 20 to 30 points, easy in the morning. Isn't that fascinating?
You're right and it's taxing your insulin because now your pancreas has to pump out a bunch of insulin to say, Hey, let's fix this problem. So the brain doesn't freak out because you know, no one wants to get mom mad. So we gotta clean up this mess. And yeah, so you, you're not losing any body fat at that point. And it's actually probably then putting you back into a point where now you're, your blood sugar drops too fast because you didn't actually eat anything. And then now you're wanting to, you know, now you're hungry now, now you're hangry. You're wanting to actually add that sugar. So yeah, I could see that being a big trigger for folks to know. And so measuring your blood glucose, measuring your ketones, measuring your pH will give you kind of the, the general scope of knowing that you're on track with this.
Dr. Cabeca (36:19):
Yeah, it absolutely will, and you know, I'm a big fan of exactly what gets measured, gets managed. And so periodically, you know, weighing and definitely measuring urine pH and ketones to start is essential to discover what's working for you and what's not working for you and personalizing your nutritional and lifestyle plan.
Yeah. And you actually have on your site, I think you have, you sell some strips that you can measure your pH and your ketones all at the same time.
Dr. Cabeca (36:54):
Yeah, I made them, I had them manufactured for me because I didn't like having two separate strips. And what's really unique about these, then I found out because ketones and pH, that's an acid and a base. They were running into each other. So I had to put a blank strip in between, blank pad. So on one strip you can measure both your urine ketones and your urine pH.
Okay, good, good. Now I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
Dr. Cabeca (37:24):
You know, we just talking about test don't guess, and I'm going to tell you that especially now in times of increased stress is really getting control of our mental and personal mental atmosphere by testing, testing, urine, pH. I mean, it's just easy to do. It's so enlightening. So that's number one. And number two is that second part is gaining control of our mental atmosphere. Where we direct our thoughts is where we go physiologically. So shifting that to being the healthiest, most brilliant, sexiest selves we can be is key for resilience and managing cortisol and increasing oxytocin. So that's key. And the third part is regarding a strategy or tactics to get and stay well is it's, you know, so many, but you know, I'm trying to debate between sleep and, and movement. And I would just say movement, movement, flexibility on a regular basis, working out, dancing, exercising, getting up and moving together is so critically important. And especially now as the first couple of weeks of quarantine, I was like, I was, you know, definitely not moving so much. And now I've made it a principal to get on my walking desk treadmill to get outside when I can and to really make sure that in my life and in my children's life, we are moving and moving together.
Cool. Well, Dr. Cabeca, thank you so much for being on the podcast. If someone wanted to learn more about you and your book and all the things that you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?
Dr. Cabeca (39:06):
Ooh, I would love them too. I would love them to, so come to my, DrAnna.com. That's my website. And there's lots of good information plus the book bonuses and information you can get Keto Green 16 anywhere books are sold. But one thing that I do encourage also is creating this healthy community. So join me on my Instagram page and in Facebook where I have my, keto green community and it's just likeminded people working through this together.
Okay. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/433 and I'll be sure to have links there. So Dr. Cabeca, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
Dr. Cabeca (39:48):
I'm honored. Thank you for having me.
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In Real Food Keto, Jimmy and Christine Moore provide an in-depth look at nutrition and how you can get the most out of the ketogenic diet.
Allan (1:47): Christine, Jimmy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
Christine Moore (1:55): Thank you.
Jimmy Moore (1:55): Hey, hey, man. What’s up?
Allan (1:58): Jimmy, you are the guest that I’ve had on the most. For pretty much every book that you’ve written, I’ve had this opportunity to have wonderful conversations with you. I truly appreciate and honor what you’ve done to educate people. And I’m really glad that you’ve now brought on Christine with her education and what she’s doing. This was an excellent book, it’s called Real Food Keto. And I love the title, which we’ll get into in a minute.
Jimmy Moore (2:26): Thank you. When we’re 90, I’m going to be, “This is my 67th book, Allan. We’re going to talk about it today.”
Allan (2:36): I am working on my own book, so I’m doing a lot of reading into how to market a book and all the different things you’re supposed to do. And I’m reading out there, some authors are putting out a book a month, and I’m thinking, “Oh my God.”
Jimmy Moore (2:47): That’s crazy.
Allan (2:49): But they’re managing to make money, because they constantly have this flow. Someone reads their first book and they’re hooked, so now they’re buying every book. Insatiable appetite’s for fiction – it works really, really well. Non-fiction – I think you’ve got to do a little bit more research and work to put out something really, really good.
Jimmy Moore (3:07): Yeah, I think it would be overwhelming as non-fiction. I don’t think the product would be very good if you put out a book a month. I know a lot of stuff. I don’t think I could do a book a month. I thought I was doing well with a book a year, Christine.
Allan (3:22): Having gone through the process now myself, it’s quite… I never really got it when people said when they were done they were just exhausted. But I get it, because it is such a draining experience.
Jimmy Moore (3:33): Allan gets it too.
Christine Moore (3:35): Yeah, I’m sure.
Allan (3:36): I think that’s the cool thing though. This is not a flimsy little pamphlet or manual. You did some really deep research for this book and it goes deep, deep, deep into nutrition, I think further than any other keto book I’ve read has done. It’s very deep, but you explain things in a really cool way. So, it’s deep but good. You know what I mean?
Jimmy Moore (4:01): Yeah, thanks for that. And that was one of the things when Christine was going through the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program – I was like, “Wow, why don’t I know this stuff? This is really relevant information for a keto dieter that’s not out there in the mainstream.” So when I approached my publisher about collaborating on this book with Christine, they were like, “Absolutely.” And now it is our publisher’s favorite keto book, which is saying a lot because they do all the big keto books.
Allan (4:30): They do. I’ve talked to them. I’ve been talking to Victory Belt for quite some time. The books that are coming out in keto are really center and front of the market. So, really enjoy working with them to get wonderful guests like you.
Jimmy Moore (4:47): Thank you.
Christine Moore (4:48): And they do such a good job with the books; they’re beautiful. When we received our author copy of Real Food Keto, we were flipping through it, and just the time that the design team put into the charts and the graphs and everything – it’s so easy to understand and it flows so well. So, great job, Victory Belt design team, for putting together such a good book.
Allan (5:11): It is, all the way across. The content and the quality of the book are, bar none, great. I want to turn the conversation about the book a little bit, because this is something I’ve really been struggling with over the course of the last couple of years as I’ve done these different interviews. I’m approaching 200 interviews, so I think I’m picking up a few things here. It’s the fact that we have to use the term “real food”, because if our grandmothers, our great grandmothers walked into a grocery store today, they wouldn’t even know what it was, they wouldn’t call most of what’s in their food. What is real food and why is it so hard for people to understand what real food is?
Jimmy Moore (5:50): Allan, you and I are blood brothers, because this is the exact reason I wanted this book to get out there, because I was noticing the trend in the keto world was that people weren’t putting an emphasis on real food. It’s disgusting that we have to put a qualifier in front of the word food. They used to just call it food, but we have to qualify it these days because there’s a whole lot of food like disease agents out there, that’s not real food, that we have to call it real food. That was the heart of what we wanted to do. What would you say would be the definition of real food, Chris?
Christine Moore (6:24): Really anything that doesn’t have a label on it that has ingredients on it that you can’t pronounce. I mean things that you grow in your garden. We have 26 backyard chickens that lay us wonderful free-range eggs every day. So, things that aren’t chemically processed, that are natural.
Jimmy Moore (6:47): It doesn’t get realer than that, Allan.
Allan (6:50): But it’s getting harder and harder I think to find real food, because I walk in the grocery store and probably 100 years ago, someone on keto could eat an apple and the amount of sweetness from an apple wouldn’t take them out of ketosis. Today they’re so sweet. They’ve been bred to be something else, so the nutrition’s not there. I think you even said something about an orange – that everybody equates an orange to vitamin C.
Jimmy Moore (7:20): Yeah. And bananas to potassium.
Christine Moore (7:24): Here’s the thing. Back 100 years ago, what was the prevalence of obesity? People weren’t as metabolically damaged as they are today. For a lot of people today, eating an apple will kick them out of ketosis, not only because of its extra sweetness, but just because a lot of us are metabolically damaged through poor diet choices early in life. That’s why when I look at a client, if they can handle a sweet potato here and there, then I will recommend that. Most of those people tend to be athletes or more active, but for the majority of my clients, they can’t have even what would be considered real food. A sweet potato is real food, but not all of us can handle that.
Jimmy Moore (8:11): To your point, you’re right, the food has changed. And because the food has changed, so have our metabolisms. My last book we talked about the prevalence of insulin resistance, and it’s higher than people think it is. Upwards of 70% of the population are walking around with some level of insulin resistance, where their bodies aren’t responding to carbohydrates anymore in the same way, which is why restricting them is the answer.
Allan (8:41): I completely agree. I always encourage folks to just go down to their farmers market. There you’re going to meet the guy who’s raising the chickens when you get the eggs, you’re going to meet the lady who runs the farm where they picked that produce that morning. This is not industrial, fertilizers and all this stuff, and that’s why the tomatoes aren’t as pretty or as firm or able to take things, because they’re just the way tomatoes are supposed to be.
Jimmy Moore (9:10): I love ugly produce.
Christine Moore (9:12): I do too.
Jimmy Moore (9:13): It’s got character. We grew a bunch of different kinds of vegetables in our garden this year. The heirloom tomatoes grow off the charts. They’re amazing.
Allan (9:24): That’s why I think, get to know your food and what real food is, and then start putting more and more of that into your diet, and you’re going to feel better.
Christine Moore (9:34): I agree.
Allan (9:36): I was really interested when we started talking about gallbladder as I got into this stuff. My mother was not feeling well and her health was starting to fail her and I was like, “Mom, I think you should check out this low-carb, high-fat diet.” And she’s like, “They took out my gallbladder so I can’t eat that way.” But you’ve done something, because you’re keto, you’re low-carb, and you don’t have a gallbladder. Let’s talk about the process for how you managed that transition. I know what keto flu is for me, but for you it must have been an entirely different experience.
Christine Moore (10:17): Yeah. I had my gallbladder taken out in 2006. Usually gallbladder problems happen because you do a low-fat diet, you’re not consuming enough fat, so the bile becomes thick, sludgy and there’s no movement of the bile. That’s what causes the stones and the sludge to form in the gallbladder, and that’s what happened with me. So after I had my gallbladder taken out, what I had to do was at first stick with butter, coconut oil, things like that, because they don’t require the bile to break them down. When I see my clients, I tell them that I want to have them have a healthy mix of fats. We need that to have a healthy immune system, and for other reasons. What I tell my clients is 60% monounsaturated fats, 30% saturated fats and 10% polyunsaturated fats. When I had my gallbladder taken out, I had to stick with mostly the butter and coconut oil, which are your saturated fats. But I did include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated in small amounts. Over time my liver learned how much bile to produce, so I could add more and more of those things. Once I graduated from the NTP program, while going through it, I learned the importance of digestive enzymes and even HCl supplementation. So that’s what I do now as well – I take digestive enzymes and bile salts to aid in the digestion of those fats, because it can be difficult. It took me about a year before I was able to get my fat to where I like to have it in my diet.
Jimmy Moore (12:03): And now she eats more than I do.
Allan (12:06): And you had all that detailed in the book, at least as far as saying you knew you needed the stomach acid problem. But you had ulcers, so you had to heal the whole ulcers first. I think a lot of times people get ahead of themselves and they want to solve the problem, but they’ve got to look at the whole underlying structure of what got us here and maybe even the order with which we find those little healthy steps. I really liked that you shared that part of your story. It wasn’t just an “A to B” step. You had to go through a lot of incremental steps to get to a point where you could fix your health.
Jimmy Moore (12:42): And Allan, what happens too often is people start keto and then they experience some of these digestive health problems and they go, “Man, that keto thing sucks”, not realizing they had an underlying issue that needed to be resolved for keto to work well. So, hopefully this book helps clear up some of those misconceptions about keto not working. Maybe keto worked fine; it was just that they didn’t fix their digestion first.
Christine Moore (13:09): One thing that I like to tell my clients too is, when we’re making changes, specifically in the keto diet, often times they will experience these things, but these are reactions that your body’s going to have. It’s perfectly normal for some of these things to happen. You just have to get past those things. Like Jimmy said, a lot of times there are underlying conditions, and most of the time it’s a digestive disorder that needs to be addressed before they can properly absorb and digest these fats that they’re eating.
Allan (13:42): Okay. And like I said, you had all this in the book. It’s really cool I think to use this book as the start of your research, to understand your digestion, understand how you can go about getting into keto if you have issues like this. So, really, really cool. I loved all of that.
Christine Moore (14:00): Thank you.
Allan (14:01): Now, one of the things you had in the book, and as I went through it, I was like, “I want to print this out and post this on my wall” – it was the 17 ways to optimize your diet and lifestyle right now. Would you mind going through those?
Christine Moore (14:15): I’ll go through some, because I think there’s quite a few here. One of them is to eat seasonally. We don’t think about eating our food in season. I’m a big strawberry lover, and those strawberries are not usually available in the wintertime; they naturally grow in warmer time. So, eat your food seasonally. Our bodies were not meant to have certain foods year round. So, that’s a big one. And then we like to tell people to purchase their food from local sources. So, support your local farmers. That will help get the word out about real food and it supports these people that are growing real food. So many micronutrients are in these real whole foods, and we need to be eating more of this to get our bodies to be more healthy, get the nutrients that it needs. Include some raw veggies in your diet. Now, if you have digestive issues, this may be a problem because raw vegetables can be a little bit harder on the digestive system. If you do have digestive issues, then what I suggest you do is cook your vegetables in a slow cooker, so that way it’s not as hard on the digestive system. But once you heal your digestive system, try to incorporate some raw vegetables in your diet.
Jimmy Moore (15:45): By the way, we made this list of 17 things, Allan, because we know some people’s personality is, “I don’t want to get through the whole book before I figure out what I have to do, so give me some things I can start working on now, and then maybe I’ll learn about why I’m doing those things later.”
Christine Moore (16:01): Yep. So, another one, if you have it available in your state like we do – we live in South Carolina, so we’re very fortunate to have access to raw dairy. Raw dairy is much easier on the system. There’s a lot of misinformation about raw dairy out there, saying that you might get sick from it, but in actuality raw dairy is the best for you. I have heard from other people that their blood sugars don’t respond the same way to raw dairy as it does to the dairy that’s been pasteurized.
Jimmy Moore (16:35): Mine was flatline. It’s thicker than heavy whipping cream, raw dairy. It’s pretty amazing. Have you ever had raw dairy?
Allan (16:42): I have, yeah. We’ve gone to the farmers market. Of course they half market it for dogs. I’m like, “Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to give this to the dog. No.”
Christine Moore (16:58): Oh, goodness. You want to hear a few more?
Allan (17:01): Yeah, please.
Christine Moore (17:03): Okay. So, another thing that we like to recommend is, switch from manmade salt to sea salt. This salt that you get with the little girl with the umbrella on the packaging – that isn’t salt. Sorry. Because there’s an iodine deficiency running rampant, that’s why a lot of people get this salt. But what I tell people to do is get the kelp drops that you can put in your water and supplement with iodine that way, or to eat more sea vegetables. We like to use the sea salt instead, especially if you can find the different color ones because each one of those salts has a different preponderance of a certain mineral in it that gives it its color. These sea salts are really rich in micronutrients. Fermented foods is another big thing. For most people probably fermented food seems very intimidating, and that’s why when we teamed up with Maria Emmerich, we wanted her to include a couple of recipes on how to make fermented foods in this book, because it can be really easy and you only need a small amount with each meal to help improve your gut health. If you have gut health issues, I would recommend starting out very slowly, because this can increase some of the symptoms that you have, like bloating and extra gas, things like that. If you know you have digestive issues, then start out slow with these things. These things are not just involving food, so we like to implement exercise into our routine. We have a very good friend, Darryl Edwards, who does the Primal Play movement and he basically teaches you to get outside and play like you did when you were a kid.
Jimmy Moore (18:56): Have you ever interviewed him, Allan?
Allan (18:58): I have not, but he’s now on my list.
Jimmy Moore (19:01): Okay. Let me know how I can help connect you, because he is an amazing guy. Amazing interview.
Christine Moore (19:06): Yes. He doesn’t like the word “exercise”.
Jimmy Moore (19:09): He’s British, so he sounds cool.
Allan (19:14): I actually don’t like the word “exercise” either. I’m a personal trainer. I tell people exercise sounds like when we were kids and we had to get underneath our desks because there was a nuclear attack. “Get under your desks! Nuclear attack!” I’m like, “This is pointless. I’ve seen videos of what this does to buildings, and we’re not going to be safe under our desks.”
Christine Moore (19:34): Right, exactly.
Jimmy Moore (19:36): I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that felt that way.
Allan (19:41): That’s what exercise sounds like to me. Whereas if I say “training”, then at least at that point it has some purpose. You want to keep your strength, your agility, your speed, your endurance, all those different things. That’s the purpose. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I’m 105. I’m going to have to do some training if I want that to happen. To me it’s more purpose-driven training, rather than calling it “exercise” or a “workout”.
Christine Moore (20:10): Right. And the moment that it becomes not fun, then you need to switch things up.
Allan (20:15): Yes, absolutely.
Christine Moore (20:20): I guess one other one would be sleep; making sure you get adequate sleep. We kind of give tips in there – wearing blue blockers and taking melatonin or magnesium to help you sleep. Keep the temperature of your room colder, because that tends to be better for you. As I said, these tips deal more than just with diet. It’s lifestyle things as well.
Allan (20:44): That’s what I really liked about it. This is a book about food, real food, but you went a little bit further and giving someone an overall basis of how to live a more healthy life and deal with your health issues. Before I let you go though, I define “wellness” as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
Christine Moore (21:11): I can let Jimmy give you a couple too, but one of them I think is to take your health back into your own hands. We rely too much on doctors to tell us how to be healthy. Jimmy and I have experienced this in our own lives, where I was having symptoms of thyroid issues, so I went to my doctor and I asked him to run a full panel. He didn’t see the need with a full panel, so Jimmy and I did that on our own and we found out that my reverse T4 was off and my antibodies were elevated. These things wouldn’t have been found out had they just run the typical panel that they do – TSH, T3 and T4. So, one big one for me is taking your health back into your own hands. Do you have one that you think?
Jimmy Moore (22:01): That’s my favorite one, the one you took. I call that being an empowered patient. I think one thing that’s been impressed on me more and more, Allan, in the last few years, watching the way our culture has shifted over to this ugliness, the contentiousness that’s out there, be it in the nutrition world, even politics, wherever you are in your facets of life – people are unkind to each other, and that bleeds over into being unkind to themselves. I’m becoming more and more convinced that this stress that’s coming on from all of that contentiousness is having a negative effect on people’s lives. So, my tip would be to start loving yourself and to start being overly kind to your fellow neighbors. I find that when I do this and I make a conscious effort – and trust me, it is so hard, especially online where people are being really, really ugly towards each other – it’s really hard to take the higher road, but in the end your stress level will come down and you’ll be healthier as a result.
Christine Moore (23:05): And I guess one final one would kind of go along with what you said, Jimmy, is be kind to yourself. Because of this ugliness that is on social media nowadays, people are so quick to say if you’re not eating grass-fed, grass-finished beef, or free-range eggs, or organic this, organic that, then you’re doing keto wrong and you’re a failure. No. We understand, and this is one thing that we stress big time in Real Food Keto – do the best you can in the situation that you’re in. If you cannot afford grass-fed, grass-finished beef – no sweat. Just do best you can and try not to listen to these people online that are being ugly, because they just don’t have a sense of reality. They’re not in the real world. We understand that life happens. Jimmy and I use keto products out there, but we read the label and make sure that they are up to standard, like these DropAnFBomb nut butter packets. It’s great for traveling. And Paleovalley beef sticks; Pili Nuts. They come in a package, but it’s still real food at its core. So, just do your research and be kind to yourself.
Allan (24:21): Excellent. I declared myself a diet agnostic, and what I mean by that is that I’m going to let everybody eat the way they feel like they need to eat, and I’ll tell you my experiences and we’ll have conversations like this, which is wonderful. But the one thing that I’ve noticed from all sides of this battle, that people are throwing all this stuff around, like, “That’s wrong. This is wrong.” Every single one of them comes down to one core fact – just eat real food. It doesn’t matter if you go keto or you decide to go the entire different direction and go completely vegetarian or vegan, or actually combine both of them, which is something that’s happening. Dr. Will Cole wrote his book Ketotarian, and I’ve had him on. And it’s that same thing – just eat real food. What you’ve done here with Real Food Keto is give us this great resource to learn about the food, learn what it’s doing in our bodies, and make better choices and decisions for ourselves. So, thank you so much for that, Christine and Jimmy.
Christine Moore (25:27): Thank you.
Jimmy Moore (25:28): Dude, you are in my head, because I have hammered this message over the past few years, that we have more in common – Paleo, Primal, locavore, vegan, vegetarian, and keto – we all have more in common than we have disagreement. And yet, who argues the most about which diet is better. Meanwhile, all of these sad diet eaters just sit back and go, “Yeah, I’m going to eat my popcorn watching the show, you guys. This is not interesting to me at all.” I think if we coalesced around the real food message and brought people in, it would be so much more attractive. Then we could make people more healthy in the end.
Allan (26:06): Absolutely. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, they wanted to learn more about what you’re doing over there, where would you guys want me to send them?
Christine Moore (26:15): I have a website – RebootingYourNutrition.com. You can send me a message there and I’ll write back to you. And Jimmy has lots of places.
Jimmy Moore (26:26): We have a website for the book – RealFoodKeto.com, where we’re going to update various interviews we’re doing, like this one. And a book tour that we hope to do in early 2019. And of course I’m at LivinLaVidaLowCarb.com, or you could Google Jimmy Moore. The first three pages is all my stuff.
Allan (26:44): They can also go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/351, and I’ll be sure to have all of those links there. Christine, Jimmy, again, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
Christine Moore (26:56): Thank you for having us.
Jimmy Moore (26:58): Thanks, Allan. I’ll see you at the next book.
Allan (27:00): Absolutely.
Now, wasn’t that great? I really enjoy having conversations with Jimmy. He’s extremely knowledgeable, and his wife, Christine, is just off the charts with this stuff, her education with the Nutritional Therapy Association. Really, she knows her stuff. And this is a really, really deep book; really cool book. It is a keto book, but you’ll learn so much about nutrition in this book. It’s like a college class in and of itself. So, really well done book, and I hope you’ll check it out.
If you enjoyed today’s show, would you do me a big favor? Would you become a patron of the show through our Patreon page? Basically works like this: you pledge whatever – $1, $2, $4, whatever. I’ve got other tiers up there where I’m offering little perks. So you get something for being a part of this thing; it’s not just a, “Thank you for your money, see you later” thing. There are some perks to this thing that I really want you to check out. If you’ll go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon, and just pledge what you can – a dollar, a couple of dollars. I put $4 as a base level because that works out to a dollar or less per show. And I hope you do think that the value of this show is there. The money I’m getting off this is not going to make me rich. Obviously, you can see it’s not a huge amount of money anyway. It’s enough money to help me pay the people that help me do this show. I do pay an audio processor a monthly fee, I pay for the transcripts to be done, and that’s on a per hour basis. I pay for hosting of both the media files and the website. I pay for email services and a lot of other things. A lot of what’s built around this is all a part of the funding of this show, and it adds up. It really isn’t as cheap as I thought it was when I was going to get into this. But I love doing it, I’m going to keep doing it, but I really would like to have you as a part of the team to support the show and help it keep getting better and better. Again, that’s 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon. Thank you.
In his book, Ketotarian, Dr. Will Cole gives us a guide on keto for vegetarians and vegans. Many people believe that keto and vegetarians and vegans are two different paradigms, but Dr. Cole shows us that we can have the best of both worlds.
Allan (1:05): Dr. Cole, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
Dr. Cole (1:10): Thanks so much for having me.
Allan (1:11): The book is called Ketotarian: The (Mostly) Plant-Based Plan to Burn Fat, Boost Your Energy, Crush Your Cravings, and Calm Inflammation. And just to start out with, I have to thank you profusely for writing this book. If I see another “bacon, bacon, bacon” conversation about keto, if I had hair I would pull it out. It’s one of those things. Yes, we want high fat, but that doesn’t mean that you just do away with the fact that our body needs the nutrition from the food, and not just the fat. So, I really did appreciate your approach to, one, how you explain the process of this working, and two, you actually put it together for folks with recipes and everything else.
Dr. Cole (2:01): Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. And that’s honestly one of the main reasons why I wrote Ketotarian, was to bring something new to the conversation. Like you said, the “bacon” conversation has been done. We don’t need another conventional ketogenic cookbook or health book out there. So I think something fresh, a plant-based, ketogenic conversation has been started.
Allan (2:26): Yes, and that’s why more and more of my clients are asking about this, like, “I really don’t want to eat a lot of meat and I’m trying to stay more vegetarian or more vegan.” There’s been this conversation that’s swelled up from behind me on this. I eat a lot of plants, but it’s within the realms of knowing my macros and knowing what my body can tolerate. Could you take a few moments to explain what ketotarian actually means and how someone would consider doing something like this?
Dr. Cole (3:00): Sure. Ketotarian is a book that we’re talking about. It’s my plant-based ketogenic book. Half of the book is science and health tips and functional medicine sort of perspective, which is where I come from, and ethos of why we’re doing this. And the heart of wellness that I think has to be at the foundation for sustainable wellness is really having self-respect. Self-care is a form of self-respect, and eating healthy foods and taking care of yourself is a form of self-respect. It’s a different conversation that’s being started for a ketogenic book, but I think seeing patients I realized for someone to sustainably be successful for any way that they’re eating, it has to be coming from a place of self- respect, presence, and loving your body enough to nourish it with good foods. So that’s really the cornerstone of Ketotarian in the first half of the book, plus all the health benefits of ketosis and the health benefits of being plant-based, and all the science and research. It’s heavily referenced, as far as the scientific literature is concerned.
And then the second half of the book is recipes, meal plans, all this practical stuff and pretty pictures. There’s over 81 different vegan, keto, vegetarian-keto and pescatarian-keto, or what I call in the book Ketotarian – another play on words – plant-based, but with wild caught fish and shellfish. So people can eat one way, they can just be vegan-keto, or they can eat a mixture of vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian options. And it’s this 8-week, plant-based keto experience for people to shift their body from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, get the anti-inflammatory benefits of ketosis. That’s what they’re doing in ketotarian. So it’s a play on words. I had somebody point out to me, I kind of created a celebrity couple name out of the title of my book. So, like Brangelina, this is ketotarian. It’s this amalgamation of the best of both worlds of being plant-based and keto.
Allan (5:15): The interesting thing is, I have a lot of keto authors on here, and I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan authors on here. It’s because I don’t want to be prescriptive about what someone’s going to eat. I need them to be comfortable that this fits their lifestyle, this fits them as a person. I’ve even said that to people, that when I talk to someone who’s on the keto side, who’s really successful at it – has gotten rid of their inflammation, is healthy, or I talked to someone on the vegan side who’s healthy, they’re always talking about whole food. They’re not talking about packaged things. Some of them do go a little under the bacon side on the keto, but that all said, I think it created this “us versus them” that really didn’t have to exist.
Dr. Cole (6:02): Absolutely. It’s a very strange thing, but I think tribalism is really deep in America right now on many different levels. And I think that this is just one sort of weird aspect of tribalism where it’s completely unnecessary. The dogmatic sides of both camps is just unnecessary, because we actually have way more in common than we don’t. I think Ketotarian illuminated the fact that there are so many commonalities there. And ketogenic, that way of eating, really can be any modality of eating. It could be pescatarian, it could be vegetarian, it could be vegan, it could be more Mediterranean with the fish too. There are so many ways to do it. And then obviously we have the carnivore diet that’s coming up, which is a form of ketosis, a higher protein ketogenic approach. So you have really all these different forms of ketosis, therefore it doesn’t have to be this “us versus them”. It’s just a way of using food to our advantage, to put our body into this anti-inflammatory, fat-burning state.
Allan (7:12): One of the cool things that you brought up in the book is, this is really about being aware and mindful of the food that you are eating. So this is not just happenstance. Obviously, yes, if you eat a predominantly meat-based diet that’s not lean meats, you’re probably going to go into ketosis at some level. If you’re eating a high fat diet with bacon and all the other stuff that’s coming out of boxes that are marked “keto-friendly”, you’re going to go into ketosis. It takes a little bit more, I think, mindfulness and a more sound approach to food when you’re trying to do it from the vegan or vegetarian aspects. And you had this term you used in here called “ketotarianisms”. Could you take a minute to go through those? I think this really highlights what I’m after here, about how you start getting a lot more mindful about your food, you start focusing more on the quality, and you end up a lot healthier for it.
Dr. Cole (8:10): Yeah. So ketotarianisms are the basic tenants of this way of living and eating. It is basically when you are having a healthy fat, add a green, not-starchy vegetable, and then conversely, when you have a non-starchy vegetable, eat a healthy fat. And then eat when you’re hungry, eat until you’re satiated. These are some of the ketotarianisms that people can live. These are basic principles that really are common sense when you read them, if someone wants to keep it simple. In Ketotarian, I wanted to show all the biohacker, science stuff where people can lean into, or they want to take their wellness to the next level, but I realized there are going to be a lot of people that are reading Ketotarian that are new to this, that feel overwhelmed or, “Where do I start?” I think things like the ketotarianisms or the “keeping it simple” options in the book are really a good segue for people to lean into it and still get the benefits of these healthy, real foods without feeling like they have to go zero to 60 and understand all the science to get started. It’s really not necessary at all.
Allan (9:29): I had a client and he was telling me it’s blueberry season and he can’t help himself every time he goes to the farmer’s market. He wants to eat low carb. And our ancestors, when berries were abundant, they ate the berries. There’s nutrients in the berries that your body needs. Enjoy the berries while they’re in season, because you’re only going to get them for a few more weeks, and you’re not going to have the berries. I think a lot of us get tied up in the “We have to eat this way” or “We have to eat that way.” And there’s so much what I would call “biodiversity” of how each of us handles carbs, our insulin resistance, those types of things. One of the things that you had in the book that is a little different than the guidance I see from a lot of the keto space is that instead of focusing on total carbs, which the 20 grams of total carbs is the earmark out there – you’re going to go into ketosis if that’s what you’re eating. But you focus more on net carbs, which allows us effectively to eat a lot more high fiber vegetables. Could you talk about the net carbs? Having net carbs someone could probably get away with and still get into ketosis or get the benefits of the low carb eating. And then compare and contrast that with total carbs.
Dr. Cole (10:45): Sure. So, total carbs are the sum of all fiber, sugar and sugar alcohols and everything. Net carbs is subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols, if there are sugar alcohols in wherever you’re eating. But basically the fiber, the soluble fiber and the insoluble fiber, we’re subtracting in ketotarian, and many other ketogenic resources you’ll find in books and online too. But Ketotarian definitely does talk about how when we’re working on and focusing on real non-starchy vegetables and real plant foods, that’s when you use net carbs. You do not use net carbs whenever you’re eating junk food and boxed foods and you’re just trying to make yourself feel better by having carbs. At that point it’s not in its whole food form, it’s not in alignment fully with nature, and you can manipulate numbers, I think, for the sake of dieting that isn’t going to produce the same results as if you ate an avocado with tons of fiber, or any other vegetable with lots of fiber when it’s in this whole food form. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re considering net carbs.
So, in the book for all the recipes, I give the net carbs because it is basically subtracting all the fiber. What I allow for, or what I recommend I should say, in Ketotarian, is the first week or so – and sometimes people should do longer than a week – they should do about 25 grams of net carbs throughout the day. So every day their max should be 25 grams of net carbs or less. From there they can find their carbs sweet spot during these eight weeks of being in ketosis from this plant-based approach. Now, the max allowance in ketotarian is 55 grams of net carbs a day. I just wanted something basically average to allow people to have lots of vegetables in, but I know as a functional medicine practitioner that there’s biological variability. I realize that there are some people that will do better with a little bit less, there are some people that can get away with a little bit more. I have some people in ketosis up to 100 grams of net carbs from non-starchy vegetables, because they’re insulin sensitive, they don’t have a lot of inflammation, and they’re fine there. They’re fasting and they can get away with this. But most, I think 55 grams. Why I put it in the book is because it’s the middle of the road for most people to get the benefits here. They can implement it into intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding, and we talk about that in the book. They can still get all these cool benefits while not restricting their plant foods.
Allan (13:33): The great thing about this is, so many of us, when we first start getting into ketosis or thinking about ketosis think we can’t have fruit. A lot of your recipes do actually have fruit in them. So this is an area where we are, because we’re going to go for the high fiber type of fruits. We are going to be able to eat more fruit with this. When I think about the number of how much food you can eat of non-starchy vegetables with that many grams of carbs – that’s pretty substantial. This is going to be the bulk of your food. This is going to be your entree, and not a meat entree. This is going to be your main source of energy and food, less so the proteins that we would normally have in a steak or something like that.
Dr. Cole (14:26): Exactly. It’s plant-centric. I think that people can pick their level of where they want to go with this. I’m not saying everyone has to be a vegan-ketogenic eater, but definitely when we bring the vegetarian options like the eggs or the ghee, or the pescatarian options with the fish or the shellfish – it’s still plant-centric. These are just different food medicines to bring into this clean, keto way of eating.
Allan (14:54): And that’s what I really liked about it – it said, “Here are the nutritional aspects of how you’re going to eat. These are the net carbs you can get.” And then beyond that, it went through and said, “If you want to make it a little easier to do this, then here’s the option for you to do the vegetarian versus the vegan, and here’s an add-on if you want to include some fish or shellfish. It’s going to have these particular benefits.” So, it’s something that somebody can really look at their way of eating and be thinking about, “How do I make this work for me?” It’s not just this fixed go. And your recipes also break that down, where there are some recipes that will have fish, some that will have eggs, and others that are completely vegan.
Dr. Cole (15:36): Yeah. And I think to your point, with your client with the berries, that’s something that I really wanted to have, this grace and lightness to food. We shouldn’t be stressing about and obsessing about our food and making food this arduous, negative thing. I wanted to recalibrate the conversation, especially in the keto world, which I think can be a little bit too obsessive with foods, and shaming, and orthorexic in a way. What I wanted to say is, “Let’s do this for eight weeks. Let’s shift the body into ketosis. Let’s get the benefits of ketosis.” But from there, like you said, seasonal ketotarian is mentioned in the book, because during the summer if you want to have more fruits and more natural carbs into your life, you normally buy seasonal fruits – then do that. Some people love that and enjoy that, but during the colder months they’re more in ketosis naturally and eating more of this primal way of cycling ketosis approach throughout the year. And some people do that cyclic approach throughout the week, where they’re doing two to three days higher carbs, the other days in ketosis. Again, this is all in the context of real foods. This, I think, needs to be talked about more in the ketogenic world, because so many of them are very dogmatic in the sense of, if you leave ketosis, you’re somehow doing your body an injustice, and that’s not the point of the ketogenic diet and it’s basically all or nothing. I don’t think it’s all or nothing. If you really say “all or nothing”, you obviously haven’t talked to patients or clients and seen biological variability, because you’ll be proven wrong all day long, hanging your hat on one way of doing anything when it comes to food.
Allan (17:28): They would have to kick me out of the Keto Club, because I do the seasonal ketosis. And that’s because there are certain times of the year where I know it’s going to be easier for me to maintain the low carb and just get a little bit tighter on things. And then there are going to be times when we’re in football season and we’re going to come up on New Year and things like that, and I’m going to want to have a beer. My brother owns a brewery, so I’m going to want to have a beer here and there. But I pick my times, I pick my battles, and I’ll go out of ketosis for a period of time. It’s something that’s natural to me, it’s something that feels good. And I don’t have any kind of metabolic problems, so it’s very easy for me to shift fuel sources, depending on how I approach food.
Dr. Cole (18:11): That’s great. That’s the goal of this eight weeks – to build that metabolic flexibility. And you’re right, not everybody has that. Some people with insulin resistance or diabetes or inflammatory problems can’t get away with that. But the goal is to build as much metabolic flexibility as your body allows you to.
Allan (18:31): Yeah. That’s the other aspect of it – some of us are going to go right into ketosis, not have a big problem with it. Others are going to suffer a little bit more, or some really are going to struggle to get into ketosis because their metabolism is a little bit racked and needs some repair. In the book, you share some tips for individuals that are struggling to get into ketosis. Would you mind sharing some of those tips?
Dr. Cole (19:00): I’m just thinking off the top of my head what’s in the book, but one is, if you’re eating a certain level of real food, net carbs or eating plant foods – I would try lowering the amount of carbs as your body adjusts. The state of ketosis – this metabolic, fat-burning, anti-inflammatory, brain-fueled state that we’re talking about here – is through carb restriction. So it’s not necessarily eating tons and tons of healthy fats, even though healthy fats can increase ketones too. But it’s really the carb restriction primarily that will do it. And then secondarily, it’s what do you fill in from that carb restriction? So, lowering your carbs more. If you’re higher net carbs, maybe lower it below 25 for a time as your body gets more fat-adapted that way.
Another tip to get in ketosis if you’re not in ketosis, is to help your body out with getting the benefits of ketosis and raising blood ketone levels with exogenous ketones. You can use MCT oil or different exogenous ketones in drinks or supplements, or you can increase the amount of circulating ketones in the body to get the benefits of it – basically get your boost of energy, help with brain function, etcetera. So if someone’s making that, they’re in this sort of metabolic purgatory where they’re not becoming a fat burner overnight. It may be they’re going through insulin resistance or other health problems, whether they’re slow to make that transition. You can kind of help your body along with some exogenous ketones as you’re making that metabolic transition.
And then some maybe lesser known ideas to help your body get into ketosis is to deal with stress levels and look at sleep, because cortisol fluctuations when someone’s in stress – that can impact the blood sugar, blood pressure, and ketone production. And looking at sleep levels, sleep optimization, which is another thing to consider. Those are some things that are maybe less commonly thought of when you’re talking about, “I’m going to go keto and get the benefits of going keto. I’m going to lose weight”, or whatever it is. You have to look at stress levels; these are important.
Another thing to consider is intermittent fasting. If someone’s not intermittent fasting, which will produce increased ketone levels as somebody is intermittent fasting, they should consider that. That’s another way to produce more ketones, get the benefits of ketosis, but it’s also the effect of ketosis. As someone becomes more and more fat-adapted, it’s a natural result of that. You’re just less hungry, your blood sugar’s more stable, you’re less irritable and hangry. So you just randomly will intermittent-fast, not because you’re trying to or you’re thinking about it, but because, “I’m eating when I’m hungry, and if I’m not hungry, I’m not going to eat.” If that involves not eating breakfast or having a lighter meal at a certain part of the day, these variations of intermittent fasting can happen too. So these are some ideas if someone’s having a difficulty, but we have other ones mentioned in the book too.
Allan (22:21): One of my favorites – obviously I’m a personal trainer, so I’m going to like the “movement” one. It’s interesting though – a lot of people will advise people starting into ketosis to actually avoid exercising. And I’ve always had the opposite opinion. While you might not want to exercise at the same intensity, the stress and the cortisol, there is some value to movement and exercise when you’re trying to get into ketosis.
Dr. Cole (22:47): Absolutely. That’s a great one. I think that movement and staying active should be a part of it. It shouldn’t just be food. I think movement is an important part of wellness. Like you said, you may adjust what you’re doing physical activity-wise, but you shouldn’t stop it.
Allan (23:06): Outstanding. Now, if someone wanted to get in touch with you to learn more about the book, where would you like for me to send them?
Dr. Cole (23:15): Everything’s at DrWillCole.com. There are links to the books, but it’s on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and in independent bookstores too. But everything’s there. I’m seeing patients throughout the week, and we have primarily a virtual clinic where we do webcam consultations for people. So they can get a free health evaluation on DrWillCole.com too.
Allan (23:41): Cool. This is episode 340, so you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/340, and I’ll have the links there to Dr. Cole’s site and to the book on Amazon. Dr. Cole, thank you so much for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast.
Dr. Cole (23:59): Thanks so much for having me.
Allan (24:06): If you enjoyed today’s episode, would you please take just one moment and leave us a rating and review on the application that you’re listening to this podcast right now? I’d really appreciate it, and it does help other people find the podcast because it tells the people that are hosting these podcast episodes out there on their apps that you’re interested and they know that other people like you might be interested. So please do that. If you can’t figure out how to do that on your app, you can email me directly and I’ll try to figure it out for you. Or you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review, and that’ll take you to the iTunes where you can launch that and leave a review there. I really appreciate the ratings and reviews. It does help the podcast, it helps me, so thank you very much for that.
Also, I’d really like to continue this conversation a little bit further, so if you haven’t already, why don’t you go ahead and join our Facebook group? You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group, and that’ll take you to our Facebook group where you can request entry. It’s a really cool group of people, like-minded, all in our 40s, all trying to get healthy and fit. I’d really love to have you out there and have you a part of that conversation. So, go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group.
October 5th, here in Pensacola Beach. If you’re anywhere close, you should come down for this. I’m going to be teaching a cooking class on how to cook for Thanksgiving and remain keto. Also, we’re going to have talks from Carl Franklin of 2 Keto Dudes, and myself. It’s going to be a great time to meet other people in the area that are passionate about keto or want to learn more about keto. So, wherever you stand on that spectrum of either being keto and loving it or wanting to know more about keto, this is going to be a great opportunity for you to connect with people and learn a lot more about it. So I’d encourage you to go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest, and that’ll take you to the Eventbrite page. There’s a low fee, $15, to attend. That’s really just to offset some of the cost of food. I really want to help you learn about keto, I really want to make sure I get a good event out there, so I didn’t charge a lot for this. I want to make sure it’s accessible to most folks. If you’re anywhere in the area near Pensacola Beach, I’d encourage you to come down for it. It’s October 5th and it’s going to run from 4:00 until 9:00, and of course, maybe a little later than that. You don’t have to be here for the whole thing. It’s really just about learning about keto, learning how to cook keto, and tasting some of the delicious food, because dinner is included. So, go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest, and that will take you to the signup page for our little Keto Minifest. And again, Carl Franklin will be here, so it’s a great opportunity to meet him in person.
And then finally, I am still working on the book, and I do need your help. I need your help to be a part of the launch team. If you can go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com, you’ll see a little form there where you can sign up to be on the launch team. The launch team is going to get a lot of extra goodies that are not going out with the book. They’re going to get some previews, they’re going to get some bonus materials that you’re not going to get if you wait for the book to come out. I know you want to learn about the book, I know you want to be a part of it, so please go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com. Thank you.
One of the biggest struggles people have with sticking with an eating plan is the effort it takes to cook meals. In her book, Easy Keto Dinners, Carolyn Ketchum gives us some great tips and recipes to make eating ketogenic much easier.
Allan (03:42): Caroline, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
Carolyn (03:45): Thank you. Allan. How are you?
Allan (03:46): I'm doing very, very well. Your book is Easy Keto Dinners. This is going to be really cool because it's hard to be prepared. It's hard to always be cooking and even though we can do certain things like batch cooking, or just keep things very simple, like a steak and Broccoli. Some nights it is a struggle. You've put together a cookbook that makes some of our favorite meals available to us in a fairly easy way. Can you explain the concept of easy for us a little bit?
Carolyn (04:29): Yeah. It's interesting. A lot of people ask, does this mean everything's under 30 minutes and I can make it quickly? Well, yes and no. There are plenty of easy fast recipes in the book and then there are plenty of easy, slow recipes in the book because sometimes if you have a 30 minute meal, that means that you're staying ending. They're chopping and cooking and sorting and doing everything, you know, standing there for 30 minutes actually working. And then there's recipes where it takes you 10 minutes of prep time and you throw everything in a pot or a slow cooker and you walk away and you know, a couple, three or four hours or up to eight hours and then it's done, but you're not actually cooking the whole time. So my concept of easy is just, it's really the minimal prep time and the minimal work and the minimal sort of having to create everything yourself.
Allan (05:17): Yeah. Some of the recipes are so simple and they are very quick. Some of these you'll have done in almost no time. Others, you are going to spend a little time on the prep and then you're setting it free and you can go about your life. You're not right there. It's a good mix of both. Do you mind if we take a step back a little bit and talk about why you're writing keto cookbooks?
Carolyn (05:51): Well, yes. I have not ever had weight to lose. That's lucky me. A lot of people come to keto for weight loss. But I had gestational diabetes at ease with my third child and after she was born it seemed to go away. All my blood tests seem to be saying I was good to go. I kept testing every so often. I started to see the numbers creep back up and I got concerned. I went to my doctor and we agreed that I had prediabetes and needed to do something about it. I did my research. Very few people in the medical world are actually suggesting low carb, although it's becoming more and more common. Thank goodness. I decided after doing some research and having known when I had gestational diabetes how much work it took to keep my blood sugar under control when I was on a standard American diet. I just knew something had to change. So I just started cooking and baking low carb.
Allan (06:58): Even though I eat keto most of the year. That's not something that I really try to push on anybody else because I don't want to be that guy. It's funny. Not Funny. It's actually kind of sad. My sister and I were having a conversation this morning about her having the same issue. She had gestational diabetes and then after her third child, she now has to be very careful. She'll notice her blood sugar going way, way up. I don't think she's as diligent at checking it and managing it and doing those things. At least this week when I'm feeding her, she's gonna be eating low carb
Carolyn (07:40): Good. And maybe she'll see. I think the thing for me and the reason I write cookbooks and write a blog is I've fallen in love with this lifestyle, but it took awhile. When I decided I had to go low carb and gluten-free. I basically sat on my kitchen floor and cried because I'd always been a passionate baker and I thought that was over for me. I've discovered it's not, which is fabulous. I've discovered there are so many wonderful ways to cook and eat and be keto. I think people are very much afraid of it and I understand why. Because I'm going to have to give up all my favorites, but you're not going to have to. You're just going to have to make them in a very different way. And sometimes you do have to change your taste, but it does happen. And then you start to love it. Why would I ever do anything else?
Allan (08:27): My wife was getting into it. She was doing the shopping on Saturday. I took a picture of your cookbook, the ingredients list, and I told her to get these things. One of the recipes I sent her was for the cheesy biscuits that I planned to make for breakfast this morning. When I went up in the pantry, started looking around like, there's no coconut flour. She didn't get it. She thought we had some. No. I said, and you don't get any cheesy biscuits. No cheesy biscuits for you. But I will probably go shopping this afternoon and buy some coconut flour so she can have cheesy biscuits tomorrow.
As you get into these things and you start learning more and more about the kind of recipes and stuff that's out there, you do realize there are adaptations. It's not as convenient as going to the grocery store. And the freezer section and there being a whole keto section. Paleo kind of took off and now there's that. They advertise that they're Paleo dishes and that's wonderful. There aren't that many low carb stuff convenience foods. There are diabetic sections and stuff where they'll have the candies and the other stuff. But now we're using real whole food and prepping it ourselves. This is really cool because you've, you've made it really easy.
Can you give us some tips? For me, it's always been batch cooking. That way you're getting a lot of value out of the amount of time you're investing. I could see taking some of these recipes, adapting them times four, times five and putting those away. Can you kind of give us some of your tips on how to have an efficient and effective kitchen?
Carolyn (10:31): Yeah, I have a lot of tips. One of the things is you say batch cooking and I'm just not good at that. I never have been. I know it's a great way to do things and if I'm making something like Carnitas or pulled pork or that kind of thing, it always ends up being a whole bunch and then we put some in the freezer. That's great. It's just never been my style. Part of the reason is that I like a lot of variety. I don't want to have to eat the same thing within two days of each other. There are not a lot of keto convenience foods out there, but it's growing. But I would say be careful there because a lot of people are calling things keto and they have a lot of junk in them.
Be careful if you purchase some of those things. But one of the things for me is these days grocery stores are making things really easy on us so you don't have to make all your own bone broth. Maybe it's not quite the same. Maybe it's not quite as nutritious. But buying, Pacific Foods bone broth or a Whole Foods brand bone broth is going to save you a lot of time and energy. Things like we were talking about cauliflower rice earlier. The grocery stores are now putting out rice cauliflower, whether it's in the fresh section or the freezer section. I make a lot of my own tomato sauce. But then there are times when I've blown through my stash from the summer. I go to the store and I check the labels to find the lowest carb one that I can.
So one of the things that I did in this book was a resource guide for store-bought options. You don't have to reinvent the wheel and make everything yourself. I think that that saves you a lot of time. Try prepping ahead sometimes if you know you're going to be having a busy week prepping things ahead, like cutting things up or you were saying cauliflower, you do sometimes just sort of sit there in front of the TV and rice your cauliflower. Sure. Why not? That's a great idea. And one of my favorite tips though is rotisserie chicken. Almost every grocery store has a rotisserie chicken section. You grab one and you can make easily two to three meals out of that. Or you can just cook your own chicken ahead and have it shredded and in the freezer and then you pop it into a recipe.
Allan (13:01): When I say batch cooking, it's not always dishes. I'm going to grill, you know, a lot of chicken quarters because I'm out on the grill cooking steak and then I'll grill a bunch of chicken. I'm doubling up on my time. And then another, another thing is if I, if I know I'm going to be making a crockpot meal that day when I get back from the grocery store or the farmer's market, I've got all fresh vegetables and fresh meat and as I'm unpacking, I'm washing, cutting and putting it in a crockpot rather than putting it in the refrigerator. So, by the time I finish unpacking my groceries, I've already got the meal started.
Carolyn (13:56): I think that's fabulous. If you have an instant pot you can do some of that stuff too. That's always fun. I'm getting used to mine and trying to do more recipes with it. When you talk about going to the farmer's market or the grocery store, you have to have a stocked pantry. I mean if your cupboard's bare and you come home from work and there's nothing to make, then even my recipes won't help you. You have to pick a day of the week where you go and you have your list of what I might probably make this week. It can change a little as you go and you have to stock things. Keeping some proteins in your freezer like ground beef and chicken thighs. I'm, I'm a fan of chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts personally. I think they have more flavor. Just having them on hand, and even if you forget to take them out of the freezer, there are ways to quick thaw them. There is a section on that in the book with tips like that to save you some time.
Allan (14:57): Yeah. It's really about having it all stocked. In the future, I will have coconut flour on hand to make those cheesy biscuits. I didn't have it and like you said, if you're missing that one ingredient, then you're now looking for option number two, which is probably the same thing you ate yesterday, that the eggs and bacon or the eggs and sausage. But that's unsatisfying when you want to change things up a little bit. Um, and you said yourself, you, you don't like to eat the same thing, so you like to change things up.
One of the things I like about the Easy Keto Dinners cookbook it has a lot of variety in flavors. Some of them are very interesting flavors and others I know have particular health benefits. Can you talk a little bit about what spices you're using in here, some of the reasons why you're using them, either from a pairing of flavors or a health benefits?
Carolyn (16:03): Well, I have a lovely large spice drawer that I keep pretty much totally stocked at all times. Another question that I get from people is, do these recipes have five ingredients or less? And I'm like, well, maybe if you don't count the spices, because I think, again, people confuse easy with fewer things and if you have a good spice cabinet, you've got tons of things in there to help flavor your foods. I like spicy stuff.
One of my favorite recipes in the book is the one pot jerk chicken and rice because I really love those jerk flavors. I faked it in this one because a real jerk seasoning a has brown sugar. We're not going to do that. It also has scotch bonnet peppers, which are hard to find and at any time of year. So I made it spicy without the Scotch bonnets. It's a dry rub too, whereas a real jerk seasoning mix would be sort of a wet paste. You can fake flavors and get really close to the real thing.
There's tons of health benefits to so many spices. I know turmeric fights inflammation, but you have to eat a lot of it to do that. It's flavor that gives us a sense of safety. So along with the fat from the keto diet, we need flavor for us to be like, wow, now I'm full. I don't need anymore. And I think knowing when we're full is part is one of the benefits of the keto diet. Knowing when we're satiated and stopping.
Allan (17:55): Yeah. And I think that's another thing cooking, is you can be proud. I don't mean this in a bad way, but if you can take pride in the fact that you prepared a really good dish, even if it was easy, the fact that it tastes good and you really are enjoying it, you're probably going to slow down. You're going to make eating a lot more mindful, right? Which is going to make everybody's life better.
Carolyn (18:22): I learned that early in college. I remember being in my dorm and the food was so bad that everybody would eat a meal but they wouldn't feel full or they wouldn't feel satiated and they'd head to the convenience store afterwards and get chips and chocolate bars. I remember doing that too. And feeling like, wow, you know, food needs to have an impact on your taste buds for you to feel satiated.
Allan (18:45): Yeah. You've got things in here like the chicken Parmesan casserole, spicy pork and cabbage stir-fry. So there's, there's variety and you've organized it based on the protein source a throughout the book. Then you have a little guide at the back that's really cool because if you're wanting to manager your prep time, which ones are fast, which ones are slow. It has a food allergy and sensitivity guide as well. It is great to have this little guide where you broke down to make it even easier to know what you're doing.
Carolyn (19:19): I made sure that 50 percent, it's a little more than 50 percent of the book is dairy free or can be made dairy free. And there aren't a lot of recipes with nuts in them. So if you're a nut allergy person then you're good to go with most of these recipes. I think that that's important too because somebody needs to know at a glance whether something's going to have something that they're intolerant to
Allan: (19:44): And you flag those. So it's very easy for us to go through and know which ones would impact us.
Then the other thing is, because a lot of a lot of recipe books don't do this, you actually have the breakdown of the macros. I think is very important for someone when they're first coming on to keto. They're trying to get their fat intake up to a certain level and keep their carbs low. You've put that together in a way where I know this is going to put me in the right macro profile for the day. I'm maintaining my ketosis.
Carolyn (20:24): I think everybody needs that. I calculate them all myself on a program that I have downloaded on my computer. It's a paid program. So it's not like My Fitness Pal. My Fitness Pal has tons of errors because it's user inputted data. But even my paid software will have errors since it pulls from the USDA web database. The problem is they are using averages. My chicken thighs weren't as big as the average chicken thigh. I get a lot of pasture raised chicken. My chicken thighs are not that big because they were not plumped up by all the grains. I had to do some hand calculating, which was exhausting.
Allan (21:11): I built a spreadsheet when I first started going keto. When I would cook a Chili it would be without the beans. I would use about a third, maybe a half of the tomatoes I would have used otherwise to cut back a little bit. And I got a lot more meat in there and when I browned it I put all the fat back in there and even put some more fat in there. And so now based on everything I added, I'm like, I've got the calorie counts and they've got the macros of all of the ingredients. I added them up and divided to make a serving around 500 calories. How many servings does this make? And man, that spreadsheet was like the banking records for GE,
Carolyn (21:55): I kind of find the math a little fun. And sometimes I would go, whoa, that's way too much protein for this recipe. And I would have to dig and do some research and figure out. Because in my database it will also have, you know, five different chicken thighs in there, based on like whether the bone isn't it or whether the skin is still on or whether it was enhanced (the step where they shoot it up making them look plumper and juicier). I had to find the right one that was more like my chicken breasts. I feel obligated to say that all of those are provided as a courtesy. But if somebody is very, very specific, then they should probably be doing their own calculations because as, like I said, things are pulling from averages and it's very hard to do. And if you're very specific and you weigh everything. I know a lot of people when they first start keto, they're weighing everything they eat. Then they should probably try to calculate it a little bit themselves.
Allan (23:06): Yeah. Once you get comfortable with the way that you're preparing your dishes it actually gets easier and easier. The higher the quality of the food, That's again, that's another reason why I'm such a big proponent of cooking for yourself. You know what you're putting in your body and your family's bodies. The food we eat is health. If we're not doing food right, then we're not taking care of ourselves.
Carolyn (23:43): That's why I say to a lot of people, beware the keto products, because there have been several instances recently where companies have been accused of erroneous nutrition labels. They overstate the amount of carbs. And they'll call themselves keto. I would have rather make that cookie myself than have bought your cookie and possibly put myself out of ketosis having done so. Even when the supermarket has the keto section, which they eventually will, because the tide is turning, I feel like you're going to have to read the label and be smart about it.
Allan (24:23): Yeah, absolutely. So the book is Easy Keto Dinners. If someone wanted to learn more about you, get to your blog or learn more about this book or your other books, where would you like for me to send them?
Carolyn (24:35): All Day I Dream About Food is my blog because I really do dream about food all day and I enjoy doing that. I also have a second cookbook, which is my first cookbook and the Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen, which is a more lengthy cookbook that covers everything from breakfast to dessert. It also has sort of my story a little more and how keto works and things like that. That's a great resource and Easy Keto Dinners is almost like a companion guide. You're adding more dinner recipes to your repertoire.
Allan (25:07): Absolutely. This is going to be episode 318. You could go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/318, and I'll have the links there. Carolyn, thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness.
Carolyn (25:20): Thank you. It was wonderful to talk to you.
Allan (25:29): If you're enjoying the 40+ Fitness Podcast, would you please go out to itunes and leave us a rating and review. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/review. That will take you the itunes page and you can leave us a rating and review right there. Thank you.
Miriam Kalamian is a nutrition consultant and ketogenic diet enthusiast whose new book, Keto for Cancer, shows how the ketogenic diet can be used to improve the body’s response to fighting off the disease. Cancer is generally thought of as an older person’s disease.
Though cancer is generally thought of as an older person’s disease, Miriam’s passion for nutrition developed when her four-year-old son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He started with chemotherapy, yet every treatment failed. After learning that a ketogenic diet could slow the growth of brain cancer, Miriam immersed herself in learning and implementing the diet with her son. In three months, his tumor had not only stopped growing, but had actually shrunk.
Miriam discusses the genetic and metabolic aspects of cancer. Plenty of evidence suggests there is a metabolic component to consider beyond genetic causes. Miriam recommends we look at the underlying cause, which is something that has gone wrong at the cellular level. Often this is an accumulation factor, which is why cancer is often seen in older people. Unhealthy eating also promotes inflammation, which creates a perfect environment for cancer and other diseases to progress.
Because the ketogenic diet slows the growth of cancer, Miriam offers three options on how someone can get into ketosis. These include:
Exogenous ketones can be used for therapeutic reasons for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other conditions. They can be beneficial for a pre-workout energy boost and improved mental clarity. However, the real impacts of exogenous products are unknown. Mariam would not recommend using exogenous ketones for weight loss.
Maria Emmerich is a wellness expert and best-selling author of The Ketogenic Cookbook. In her new book, Keto Comfort Foods, she shares comfort food recipes and tips for those following a ketogenic diet.
Maria explains that we are often told that it’s wrong to see food as pleasurable, yet eating nourishing foods should excite us. One way to incorporate a sweet taste in your recipes without using traditional sweeteners is by using Stevia Glycerite. This can be found at any health foods store. Stevia Glycerite is thick like honey and is a great substitute for the sweet flavor that you lack in the keto diet. Best of all, it won’t spike your blood sugar.
Maria also discusses the difference between good fats and bad fats. We are often told that saturated fats are bad, yet they serve an important role in our body, such as making our healthy hormones. Saturated fats are heat-stable and come from nature. The main type of fat to avoid is the trans fats.
Maria also explains how to find good, healthy eggs. She recommends not focusing solely on the color of the egg, as brown eggs are not always better. The term “cage-free” means that the hens are not in cages, but they may be in barns and not ever see the light of day. Consider purchasing locally sourced eggs where you know what the chickens are being fed and how they are being raised.
Maria’s favorite recipes from the book include Bananas Foster for Two, Deconstructed Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza, Pizza Waffles, Chicken Parmesan Mini Meatloaf, and BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich.