Tag Archives for " ketosis "
When Dr. Mary Newport's husband was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, she began looking for answers. Her research brought her to ketosis as a possible nutritional protocol and the results were amazing. On episode 568 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss her book, Clearly Keto.
[00:01:48.790] – Allan
[00:01:49.720] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. How are you today?
[00:01:51.420] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Kind of dealing with a stomach bugs. So I've kind of laid low the last few days and done most of my things from here at Lula's in our apartment. As you can see from the video, I'm in my studio, my fitness studio here at Lula's. And so I'm staying here because I don't want to be more than maybe 10ft away from the bathroom. So just trying to stay hydrated, taking some and things like that. Kind of get myself to a point where I can get through this thing with this little bug, but it's the thing.
[00:02:28.010] – Rachel
Well, I hope you feel better soon.
[00:02:29.770] – Allan
Thank you, but everything's great.
[00:02:31.510] – Rachel
[00:02:32.740] – Allan
How are things with you?
[00:02:34.410] – Rachel
[00:02:35.320] – Rachel
I just wanted to update you and our listeners real quick. I've shared that Mike, my husband Mike, has been battling kidney cancer, and our surgery is slated. It should be in another week or so. And they're going to remove his whole kidney and the nearby lymph nodes and adrenal gland and his pre surgery EKG and blood work. He had one more Cat scan which showed the tumor shrunk, which is great. Everything is looking good. And so I hope to have some good reports in about a week or so. But I wanted to share real quick, too, that we were talking to the oncologist and of course, all surgeries are high risk and it's always scary to go under the knife, but our doctor assured Mike that he was a pretty healthy patient. He's of good weight. His blood pressure is controlled. He is in good shape for surgery. And so it was really nice to hear that reassurance from the doctor that all that we do with our running and our dietary choices and everything has made him healthy enough to be able to manage a pretty big surgery like this coming up. So it was just nice to hear that reassurance.
[00:03:47.410] – Rachel
So if the oncologist feels good, then we feel good. So, good news.
[00:03:52.260] – Allan
Good. So, Mike's fit, trim, ready to go?
[00:03:55.770] – Rachel
[00:03:56.980] – Allan
Big takes scar.
[00:03:57.930] – Rachel
That's right. Yup. So we're very optimistic.
[00:04:02.430] – Allan
That's good to hear. So you're ready to talk to Dr. Newport?
[00:04:06.640] – Rachel
[00:05:08.140] – Allan
Dr. Newport. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:05:11.040] – Dr. Newport
Oh, hi, Allan. Thank you so much for having me on your program.
[00:05:14.170] – Allan
So the book we're going to talk about today is called Clearly Keto: For Healthy Brain Aging and Alzheimer's Prevention. And the one thing I would say is I think cancer scares everybody to some extent, as it should. But the numbers that we see for Alzheimer's cases, and particularly the forward-looking statistics on what that's going to look like in 40 years, 30 years is terrifying.
[00:05:42.850] – Dr. Newport
It is terrifying. I think everybody knows somebody or has a family member that has been dealing with Alzheimer's.
[00:05:50.810] – Allan
Yes. I come from kind of a long life family. So on my father's side, my grandfather lived into his mid 90s. Not well, but he did live yeah, my grandmother lived into her late 80s. But towards the end, I think she was also starting to suffer from some dementia issues. In fact, the last time I saw her, I don't think she recognized me. I think she thought I was my father because just the way she was carrying on and talking and things like that, I think she had confused me. So this is just one of those topics that I'm like, okay, if I can figure this out, I'm going to feel a lot better about getting old, growing old and together. You might not be together.
[00:06:35.190] – Dr. Newport
Right. You might not be together. That's what happened with me and my husband, right?
[00:06:40.690] – Allan
Yeah. Can we talk a bit about Steve's case and what happened there?
[00:06:44.980] – Dr. Newport
Yeah. So you probably mentioned already with my biography that I'm a physician. I practiced newborn intensive care for 30 years, and Steve was an accountant, and it worked out perfectly for our family because he stayed home with our children. He could work from home. He was the original Mr. Mom, and he was a perfectionist. He was in the kayaking. He read novels. But when he was 51, he started having memory issues, and I thought, maybe it's just a midlife crisis. He would miss appointments. He started shuffling around. His accounting work, like quarterly tax return was fairly simple for our practice. It should have taken him 20 minutes, and it would take him several days, and he would shuffle everything around and procrastinate, and it was becoming worrisome. And then he started forgetting if he'd been to the bank, in the post office, and he would misplace mail. And that was bad because it was, you know, checks that people were sending in for payments that he would misplace. So he saw a neuropsychiatrist who evaluated him and said this could be dementia, but more likely it's depression. And Steve was depressed, but retrospectively, most likely he was depressed because he knew he was not functioning well and that's something was wrong.
[00:08:03.480] – Dr. Newport
He was put on an antidepressant. We continued to get worse over the next few years. Driving, getting terrible, couldn't follow a map, was losing his accounting skills. Slowly but surely. They always say, use it or lose it. He was using it. He still lost it. I mean, that's how Alzheimer's is. And he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, early onset Alzheimer's. At this point, when he first started having symptoms, he was 51. He was diagnosed at age 54 already. So that's early onset. Younger than 65 is considered early onset, and it's maybe 1% to 2% of people with Alzheimer's or early onset. So this was, as you were saying, you hope to live out into old age with your partner. And as I'm researching Alzheimer's at the time, I'm finding out the average lifespan is about seven years after diagnosis. And I thought, well, we're not even going to get to retire together. So that was just put a very big damper on our future. And so constantly looking for clinical trials or anything, we were always told by the Alzheimer's Association that we were within five years of a cure. We heard this over and over every year.
[00:09:20.620] – Dr. Newport
We're within five years of a cure, donate the research. But we were always watching for clinical trials, and they were kind of few and far between in our area. We lived north of Tampa and Florida, but he continued to progress. By age 56, he had lost all of his accounting skills. He had worked on the computer all day, every day, and they play on it when he wasn't working on it. Always had to have the fastest computer, but at age 56, he couldn't even figure out how to turn it on or use, much less use a mouse or do any accounting work. He also had to quit driving that same year. It's hard to think after diagnosis, someone with Alzheimer's still driving, but people do until they can, and, I mean, it's a very slow process. There's an awful lot you can do for a long time. A lot of people socially don't realize that you have a problem, and it changes how people look at you once you tell them. So we were not aggressively telling family and friends that he had this diagnosis right away, but at age 57, so about six years into symptoms, he stopped being able to make meals for himself.
[00:10:39.990] – Dr. Newport
He would just not eat when I was working. So our younger daughter, Joanna, ended up moving back in with us, and she would be with him in the daytime when I was working and make sure that he ate and that type of thing. But in 2008, when he was 58, it just felt like he was spiraling downwards, you know, I was pretty much giving up hope that we were going to come across that cure. And we had already, a couple of years before that, switched to a Mediterranean diet, mediterranean style diet. I had read some research that the people who ate the most Mediterranean like diet that had Alzheimer's lived on average, four years longer than people who ate the least Mediterranean like diet. I said, okay, well, maybe this will buy us some time. And that was the first I had even considered that nutrition might have anything to do with Alzheimer's. So then I was keeping my eyes doing, like, wider searches, thinking of nutrition and other factors that we might be able to address that possibly help him. But so when he was 58, this is May of 2008, two clinical trials became available in our area.
[00:11:51.060] – Dr. Newport
And we're like, oh, my gosh, maybe he'll qualify. Like in previous studies, you would be disqualified if you had a history of depression. If you were an early onset Alzheimer's and you knew it, wouldn't you be depressed? Who wouldn't be depressed? But these two did not disqualify you if you'd had depression. These were the first studies that came along in our area that had those criteria. And so he was scheduled for two days in a row to try out to be tested, to get into these clinical trials. Two different centers, two different cities. And the night before, I thought, I'm going to look up these two drugs and look at the risks and the benefits, because we might get a choice. If he qualifies for both studies, we'd have to choose. So I came upon a press release for a medical food that was going to come out in about a year from then. And they had done a pilot study in which nearly half of the people who had taken it had improved memory and cognition after one dose. And this was something you never hear improved with any drugs for Alzheimer's, that it improves memory or cognition.
[00:13:08.070] – Dr. Newport
It might slow the disease down for six months or so. So it didn't say what it was or what it did, how it worked. So I was able to find a patent application, and I read through that, and I learned a whole lot about Alzheimer's as the type of diabetes of the brain, which I think we'll talk about in a few minutes, and that ketones are an alternative fuel for the brain. And that one of the things that happens in Alzheimer's, is that there's decreased glucose uptake into certain areas of the brain. And glucose is a fuel. It's the basic fuel. If we're eating a typical higher carb American diet, we're running off glucose most of the time, and our brain in particular is running off glucose. But if you have a problem getting glucose into cells, the cell can be surrounded by glucose, but it can be starving, because the glucose just literally cannot get into the cell and provide the fuel that the cell needs to produce energy. This energy molecule called ATP. But it was discovered in the 1960s that when you starve or fast, that you use up the glucose that stored in your body fairly quickly within 36 or 48 hours.
[00:14:22.390] – Dr. Newport
And when that runs out, then you start breaking down fat, and you break down some muscle, too, possibly to make glucose. But since we have fat, we can break down fat. And some of that fat is converted to ketones, which are taken up very well by the brain and can provide fuel to the brain. So this was really a neat idea. This is cool. And where the medical food came in, it turned out it was MCT oil, medium chain triglyceride oil. It was a very specific medium chain fatty acid. And what happens they also found this out in the 1960s. When you consume MCT oil, your liver converts part of it to ketones. So it's kind of a neat trick to bypass that problem of glucose uptake in the brain. And I thought, oh, my God, this is brilliant, brilliant idea. And I remembered this thing about ketones and starvation and MCT oil converted to ketones. That kind of refreshed my memory. From medical school, I had heard about this. So in a patent application, I learned that MCT oil is actually extracted from coconut oil, which is the richest natural source of it. And so I thought, okay, I knew MCT Oil.
[00:15:34.620] – Dr. Newport
I thought it might be available in hospitals. I wasn't sure if I could even get it. But I knew I could get coconut oil because I had seen it in health food stores. So at this point I'm reading about all of this and it's about 01:00 A.m.. And he's set up to screen at 09:00 A.m. That same day. And so I didn't have time to do anything about it. We went to the screening. It was in Tampa, Florida. No, actually, I'm sorry. It was in St. Petersburg, Florida. And he did terrible there was a mini mental status exam. He needed to get 16 out of 30 points correct to qualify. They were looking for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. He scored only 14. So he did not get accepted into the trial. And the doctor asked him to draw a clock. And that's a very specific test for Alzheimer's. And I have it here, and I know you're not going to be showing the video on the book, but what he drew, so you can see it a few little random circles and a few numbers, four numbers. It was very disorganized. And the doctor said he's on the verge of severe Alzheimer's.
[00:16:40.710] – Dr. Newport
And I kind of knew it, but that really hit home. And I thought, what do we have to lose? I'm going to go get some coconut oil. And so we bought that on the way home. And then I kind of refreshed my freshman biochemistry with our medium chain fatty acids. And I found a fatty acid composition of coconut oil. And I learned that it was 60% medium chain triglycerides. And I figured out how much coconut oil I would need to give him to equal what he would get with that medical food that wouldn't be out for a year. And so the next day, he was scheduled again for a testing for a different clinical trial, a different location. And we tried, we went over what is the season, what is the day of the week. He couldn't remember any of that on the way there. The testing was about 3 hours. Well, I put a little over two tablespoons is what it added up to, an oatmeal in the morning. He had that for breakfast. And then about 3 hours later, he was tested. And he actually gained four points from the day before, which was really surprising.
[00:17:46.060] – Dr. Newport
And he qualified for the study. And I thought, okay, well, either we just got really lucky or maybe this actually did something, this coconut oil, and I'm going to just keep it going. And so the next day and every day after that, I would give them a little over two tablespoons of coconut oil. But I thought, why would you only use one dose of in the patent application? The peak level of ketones was about 90 minutes after taking the MCT oil, and it was down at 3 hours. So I thought, well, what does your brain do the other 21 hours? Your brain needs fuel 24/7. Even when you're sleeping, your brain is extremely active and uses a lot of calories, a lot of energy. So I just started cooking with it throughout the day. I got, like, every recipe I could get my hands on, and he was getting it basically at every meal from that point on. And just over the next few days, he had several symptoms that improved pretty dramatically. And, I mean, he himself said that the day he started coconut oil, that it was like a light switch came back on in his brain.
[00:18:53.260] – Dr. Newport
And before the coconut oil, he would be very sluggish in the morning, and his gait had become abnormal. He would pick up a seat kind of higher than normal and walk very slow. He couldn't run anymore, even though he looked physically fit. He had tremors. His jaw would tremor when he tried to talk. His hand would tremor when he tried to eat, had trouble finishing sentences he couldn't figure out. Like, he'd go to the drawer to get a spoon, and he come back with a knife over and over and over. He'd do that six times before he finally got the right utensil. And after the coconut oil, he just had more energy. He was more talkative. He started whistling again. He was a great whistler. He was all these great medleys making jokes, and he could get the utensil. And by about the fourth or fifth day, we're like, you know, something has changed. Something has changed for the better. This might actually be working. And so I was, in the meantime, researching everything I could about ketones. And I called Dr. Richard Veech, who was a world renowned ketone expert. Sadly, he passed away in early 2020 at age 84, still working at the NIH.
[00:20:06.700] – Dr. Newport
But he was considered the world expert on ketones. He had been studying them for decades, and he had been working on a ketone ester that could greatly increase ketone levels much more than coconut oil or MCT oil. He sent me all kinds of hypothesis papers that he and others had written. He had some of his associates who had written papers who were interested in ketone research call me. It was really kind of amazing when I told him what happened with Steve. And, well, at two weeks after that clock, so about two weeks after he started the coconut oil, he drew another clock. And this time it had the full round circle. All the numbers were there. They were in the right order. It was really messy. There were a lot of hands of the clock, but it was so much more organized. And Dr. Veech, I faxed in the first and second clocks, and he said, this is unexpected. He thought it would take much, much higher ketone levels for anybody with alzheimer's to improve. And then Steve just kind of progressed after that. I probably should let you get a word in edgewise.
[00:21:14.590] – Allan
No, the interesting thing here, and this is kind of my takeaway, is sometimes we're faced with tragedy, right? And then we have to make a choice and I just appreciate that your choice was to help anyone else that you can by sharing information about Steve and his story. And then again, some of the stuff that's happened since probably would have never happened if you hadn't done what you did and then reached out. So it's just not just, oh, I found something that works for my husband and we're good, that was, okay, I'm going to share this with the people who are doing these studies, with people who know people that are doing these studies. So there's some proposed studies that are actually going to give us good information because it's so hard to get a food study funded.
[00:22:04.780] – Dr. Newport
[00:22:05.890] – Allan
And the people that were going to do it, I'm assuming maybe they got their product released at some level, but they did it because they had a product. They did it because they were going to sell something.
[00:22:16.090] – Dr. Newport
[00:22:16.590] – Allan
And you just did this because you saw it was helping Steve and you're helping people yourself now. So I just want to thank you for that and say that we lost Steve at some point here, but I know that you made his life as good as it possibly could have been, particularly in those last years with this treatment. So I want to take a step back because we've talked about a few things and I've said this a few times on the show, because I've read it, that Alzheimer's is sort of like is sort of like diabetes type three, if we wanted to, some people call it that. But it's basically an issue with the brain getting energy. So with us having difficulty getting energy to the cells in the brain, we call a glucose uptake. Can we talk about a little bit more detail of, okay, what's going on in there? Because I know there's the tau strands and there's the amyloid structures and all those things, but those are the outward symbols of what's going on. The inward chemical stuff is where the real magic is because you just got to find a way to fuel those brain cells.
[00:23:23.680] – Allan
Can you talk about a little bit about how that happens? Because you talked a little bit about ATP, but we really didn't get into I've always known of it as the Krebs cycle, but you use the…
[00:23:34.320] – Dr. Newport
Cycle is another word. Cycle is another yeah. So basically well, I think a lot of people know that insulin is very important. Insulin has to do with getting glucose into cells in the brain. It's somewhat more indirect, it's indirectly involved, but it's still involved in some insulin does cross the blood brain barrier. It used to be thought that insulin was not made in the brain. It didn't cross into the brain. It had nothing to do with the brain. But it turns out it has everything to do with the brain. It actually does cross the blood brain barrier. It's just much lower levels than what are present in our blood. But in Alzheimer's, there's a problem that seems to be related to insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. There are some researchers that have found evidence that insulin is made in the brain. They don't know exactly where in the brain yet, but with Alzheimer's, ten to 20 years before you begin to have symptoms, there's already this problem of glucose uptake in the brain being defective. And part of it is glucose actually getting into the brain itself is depressed, and that seems to be related to insulin in some way.
[00:24:55.180] – Dr. Newport
And then glucose getting into cells, there are glucose transporters. So these are molecules that are kind of openings, I guess, in the cell membrane that allows glucose to enter a cell. And the ones that are involved in glucose getting across the blood brain barrier into the brain and into brain cells are deficient. In Alzheimer's. There's another problem. There's a complex called PDH complex, one that is right at the level of mitochondria, which are factories where ATP is made. We have like anywhere from 100 to 1000 or so of these mitochondria in a cell in which energy is produced, but also, like, thousands of proteins are produced in these mitochondria as well. And the PDH complex is required for glucose to actually be it's converted there's like six steps, and then it has to be converted to pyruvate to enter into that TCA cycle, which is located in the mitochondria. And this complex is deficient as well. And there's a thing called mitochondrial dysfunction. That's one area of study that hasn't gotten as much attention as these plaques and tangles that you mentioned. But basically there seems to be a problem with insulin resistance and insulin deficiency that affects glucose getting into the brain, getting into these mitochondria where ATP is made.
[00:26:28.350] – Dr. Newport
And Dr. Steven Cunnane in Canada has done incredible amount of work. He's at Sherwood University and he and his associates have been studying this very intensively, and they have been using ketone and glucose Pet scans. They've studied over 300 adults of all ages, including many healthy adults, healthy older adults, people with mild cognitive impairment, which precedes Alzheimer's and people with Alzheimer's. And they have found that there is what he calls a brain energy gap. So there's a gap between how much energy the brain needs and how much it actually gets. And this is present even in people who test normal in their 70s, cognitively normal, there's a gap of about seven to 9% between how much energy the brain needs and how much it actually gets. And in people with mild cognitive impairment, that widens to ten or 12%. In people with Alzheimer's at the earliest stages, it's 20%, a 20% gap between how much energy the brain needs and how much it gets. And it just continues to get worse as Alzheimer's progresses. So that's a very interesting finding. And then along with that, he has found that ketones are taken up normally in the same areas of the brain that are affected by Alzheimer's.
[00:27:43.860] – Dr. Newport
And it supports this idea that Dr. Veech had back in the 1990s, that ketones could possibly help someone with Alzheimer's. And he has tested MCT Oil, which is the medical food that I read about in that press release. And he has found that MCTL does contribute to increased fuel uptake and energy production from ketones, and it also improves cognitive performance in people with mild cognitive impairment. He did a six monthly study. They received two tablespoons a day of MCT Oil. After the study, he told me that he felt like three tablespoons a day would have been even better, that they might have gotten even better results. But they did all five cognitive domains that they studied. There were improvements in these people, and the level of ketones they produced from the MCT Oil was sustained throughout the six months. It wasn't that their body adjusted, and they weren't making ketones anywhere they were. They actually were making the same amount as at the beginning of the study. So basically, insulin resistance is a big part of the problem. It's something that happens with aging. But many, many people develop prediabetes and diabetes. By age 75, about three quarters of people have either diabetes or prediabetes.
[00:29:07.320] – Dr. Newport
So it's very prevalent. It doesn't always affect all organs in the body. So somebody might not have type one or type two diabetes, but they can still have diabetes of the brain. So the insulin resistance can affect the brain directly. And this seems to be a really big part of the problem. So it's insulin resistance not allowing glucose into cells, and then the brain needing some kind of fuel to fill in the gap from glucose, and ketones can fill that in. So it's kind of a neat idea. Using ketogenic strategies, so to speak, that will increase ketones could help overcome both of those problems, the insulin resistance and filling in the brain energy gap.
[00:29:54.190] – Sponsor
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[00:31:31.330] – Allan
If someone wanted to address this aging, particularly healthy aging of the brain, marrying ketosis with the Mediterranean diet is sort of your prescription. Can you talk a little bit about why those would be so protective?
[00:31:46.240] – Dr. Newport
Yeah. There have been hundreds of studies of the Mediterranean diet and cognition. I think I found over 500 when I did a search on PubMed. And basically the standard American diet has gone in the junk food route. Ultra processed foods, a lot of fructose, which is very harmful, very inflammatory, and cells in many cells of tissues, just not getting the right nutrients, not getting the right forms of vitamins. And with a Mediterranean diet, a whole food diet, basically a whole food Mediterranean diet, you're eating whole grains, legumes. It emphasizes fish, more so than red meat. It doesn't completely eliminate red meat, necessarily, but just suggest limiting that moderate amount of dairy and full fat dairy. This is not a fat free, low fat diet and emphasizes olive oil, healthy fats like olive oil and monounsaturated fats, which are in olive oil, nuts and seeds are very rich in them. Avocados, a lot of foods like that that you can eat. The interesting thing about dairy fat, while human breast milk has medium chain triglycerides in it, the newborn goes into ketosis. Within hours, a newborn that is strictly breastfed goes into ketosis. They break down their fat, which helps get through the first few days while the milk is trying to come in.
[00:33:18.190] – Dr. Newport
And the breast milk does have medium chain triglycerides. So the newborn, it gets quite a lot of its energy from ketones and ketones. Dr. Cunnane, again, he was studying newborns before he switched and started studying Alzheimer's. They found that fatty acids are broken down into ketones. And ketones are the building blocks for lipids in the brain, and the brain is about 60 or 70% lipids, including cholesterol, and ketones are the building blocks for all of that. So very important in the newborn. So back to the diet anyway. Dairy fat, cow milk, goat milk. It also has medium chain triglycerides in it. And I think these days, even there's been this idea around for several decades, I think about 50 years now, american Heart Association. We should eat a low fat diet, avoid saturated fats. And even now, like USDA, what they prescribed for children, the Women the Wick program, women's, Infants, and Children Feeding program for underprivileged people, it emphasizes lowfat dairy, even for little children that are just coming off breast milk. And breast milk is about 50% fat, and more than half of it is saturated fat. And now we're supposed to eat a low fat, fat free diet.
[00:34:41.490] – Dr. Newport
Even the dairy in a tiny growing child whose brain is actively growing and lipids are accumulating very quickly in this brain. So, you know, basically, you know, the Mediterranean diet is a it emphasizes healthy fats. It's not a low fat diet, but you can get most of the vitamins and other nutrients that you need for healthy brain aging by eating a Mediterranean diet. So I like the idea. And there are so many diets that can be adapted to a keto kind of a diet. So basically, when you do a Mediterranean keto diet, you're using the principles of the Mediterranean diet, but eating more fat and less carbohydrate. So basically eating smaller portions. I still remember the food pyramid from 1992, my god, the base of the period was General Mills of the pyramid. Yeah, it was.
[00:35:43.480] – Allan
It was General Mills.
[00:35:45.100] – Dr. Newport
Six to eleven servings of breads, pasta, cereals, all of that a day. And I mean, at the time I was overjoyed because, you know, I was buying into this low fat, hooked line and sinker. But, you know, I developed a really serious weight problem and I was eating skim milk. I was eating these that I thought were healthy cereals with a lot of fiber and this kind of thing. But it was a real struggle to not keep gaining weight, counting every calorie. And yet the low fat diet, it's a nuisance because you crave it's high carb. If you eat low fat, you're going to make up the calories with carbohydrates. And when you eat so much carbohydrate, it spikes your insulin level. And then when the insulin level comes back down, you get hungry again, and you're constantly craving thinking about your next meal and craving those sweets. And that's kind of where I was at for a lot of years until we switched to a Mediterranean diet. And within about three days, I stopped craving, constantly thinking about what my next meal was going to be and craving sweets. It was really kind of amazing.
[00:36:50.210] – Dr. Newport
But basically, you just tweak. What I tell people is when you look at the starchy foods, bread, rice, pasta, cereals, that type of thing, a lot of people don't want to give that up completely. And I think that's I'm an older person now, so I'll say, okay, older people, you get a little bit fixed and what your diet is like, and it's hard to completely give that up, and you might not have to. So I encourage people to reduce the carbohydrates, but kind of start with cutting portions in half of, like, bread, rice, pasta, and when you're used to that, cut it in half again. So basically eating smaller portions, eating more healthy fats. And for me, coconut oil is a healthy fat. I've studied it quite a lot, and there are a lot of myths out there about coconut oil being artery clogging fat and all of that. It just isn't. So it was made up. It was a competitor with Cisco and other shortenings that look very similar and had a long shelf life. So they kind of put out these myths there that have been perpetuated. But olive oil staying away from certain fats like oils that are reheated over and over.
[00:38:08.920] – Dr. Newport
A lot of fast food restaurants, they'll keep the same oil in their fryers for a week.
[00:38:14.910] – Allan
Yeah, I can testify to that. I work fast food when I was in college, and it's one of those things where there's a standard for how often you're supposed to change it, and that's even too long. But most managers will sit there and say, look, we're spending too much money on oil. So one more day, scrape out and filter it. You get all the stuff out of it and take it for one more day, right?
[00:38:41.510] – Dr. Newport
Yeah. And it's heated to a very hot temperature. You think about throwing French fries in there and how quickly they have to be, or whatever you're frying in it, and it creates a lot of toxic lipids that are very harmful for a long time, until very, very recently, they were loaded with hydrogenated fats, trans fats. And this could have played very well into this Alzheimer's epidemic that we were seeing, these trans fats. Every cell membrane is made up of lipids, and it should be very fluid, the cell membrane. But when you add trans fats and they get into the cell membrane, which they do, makes the cell membrane stiff, and the cell doesn't live as long, it affects what's transported in and out of the cell. So a lot of problems, and fortunately, they've almost been banned from the US. They were kind of phased out between 2013 and 2018, and they're still allowed to have up to a half gram of trans fat per serving. So some manufacturers adjusted their serving size downward so that they can still use some trans fat. And now they're exploring these fats where they remove they still make them hydrogenated fats, but they're removing the trans fats.
[00:39:53.670] – Dr. Newport
So it's still not really a normal fat. And some of these foods that they're experimenting with. So just so many reasons to go with a whole food like Mediterranean style diet, just many vitamins, minerals, other things like choline is a good example. Most people may not have ever heard of choline, but they might have heard of DHA, omega three fatty acids. But the omega three DHA attaches to choline, phosphatol choline. And it's a really important part of the cell membrane of the brain. Choline is also part of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that's involved with learning and memory. It's deficient in Alzheimer's disease. So you wanted to get plenty of choline, and that's something you can get with the Mediterranean diet. It's in certain nuts, it's in animal meats, fish, that type of thing. Eggs are really rich.
[00:40:55.310] – Allan
[00:40:55.310] – Dr. Newport
The yolk of the eggs, right? You don't throw away the yolk in the Mediterranean diet. You eat the yolk. It's just so many good nutrients. And it increases HDL cholesterol. Some people still believe it increases your cholesterol. It increases HDL cholesterol primarily. And eating this type of diet will help overcome insulin resistance if you reduce the carbohydrate in the diet.
[00:41:20.350] – Dr. Newport
And I kind of suggest trying to stay under 60 grams a day, a lot of people might still want some carbohydrates. They might want more than that, maybe limiting to 130 grams a day and then including enough healthy fats in the diet. But under 60 grams, there's a good chance that you will be in ketosis most of the time, stay in ketosis. And then adding coconut and MCT oil can help sustain, like, a constant level of mild ketosis. They call it mild nutritional ketosis. And there are supplements out there, too. Ketone, salsa, ketone ester that Dr. Veech was developing in the 1990s that's been out on the market, really marketed to athletes. But a lot of people with neurological diseases are trying it so that out there, ketone salts are out there, there's other ketone, all kinds of ketone products coming along. We didn't have access to any of that, but I knew about it as these things were being developed. And I think of those kind of supplements as like a way to further boost your ketone levels. It usually will sustain for three or 4 hours, and then it's kind of back to baseline again.
[00:42:29.670] – Dr. Newport
When you take a supplement, I think of using MCT and coconut oil as part of the food to help sustain at least a baseline level of ketosis. And then for people that want to supplement, they'll get a temporary boost in between.
[00:42:45.640] – Allan
Now we call ketosis. When you get your blood ketone level to .5, to basically around 5. And most professionals out there, experts on, say you don't really want to spend too much time above 5. But for someone who feels like they're having some cognitive issues and wants to have family history of this happening around them, and so I just want to be careful, where would you say that they should sort of keep their ketone levels for the most part of the day?
[00:43:17.910] – Dr. Newport
I'd say between .5 and 1, maybe 1.5. A lot of people are having really good success, and people with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease with mild nutritional ketosis. The higher range seems to be most effective for people that are dealing with epilepsy, drugresistant epilepsy, people with cancer. You mentioned cancer at the beginning of this, and there are quite a few studies going on, several dozen studies of using ketogenic diet as an adjunct to standard of care treatment for various types of cancers. It was researched first for glioblastoma, which is severe brain cancer. Most people don't survive more than six months from diagnosis. And it's really kind of amazing how the ketogenic diet seems to be able to slow down the growth of the cancer and even shrink tumors, obliterate how to get rid of metastases when it spreads to other parts of the body. And I have met some people at conferences who have glioblastoma, and they've been on a ketogenic diet for years now and have managed to survive so far. And they do also get other treatments, most people with cancer, but it kind of supports it. It seems to be effective for certain types of cancer and even possibly taking ketone ester.
[00:44:41.310] – Dr. Newport
There are some animal research suggesting that ketone ester could help before getting radiation, for example. And it can help shrink a tumor, make it smaller, which makes it more amenable to surgical removal. If you can get a smaller tumor, like in the brain or whatever it's being studied for breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, many different types of cancer. There are clinical trials going on now. Couldn't even say that a few years ago. But these things are happening now, and the ketone esther, Dr. Veech even though he worked for the NIH, he was competing with thousands of other researchers for research dollars related to Alzheimer's disease, and he could not get funding for a clinical trial for Alzheimer's with his ketone ester. But now, finally, the National Institute of Aging does have a study that's in progress. It's supposed to finish in 2023. And they're studying 150 people. They're looking at all the different blood, spinal fluid, imaging, biomarkers related to cognitive impairments. And it's people that have metabolic syndrome, which is pre-diabetes. And they're studying older people. I think they're between 50 and 70 years old and following them over time and with the ketone ester, and they're taking pretty hefty doses of it.
[00:46:02.380] – Dr. Newport
My husband Steve was actually the first person with Alzheimer's to use the ketone ester in a clinical trial. It was a pilot study of one person. And Dr. Veech picked Steve. I'm a doctor. I can monitor him. He felt very confident, and he literally sent us the this was in 2010, about two years after he started the coconut oil, and he sent us the raw material. It tasted horrible, just horrible. And he told me, figure out what to do with this. And I tried all kinds of flavorings and everything, and Steve shuddered every time he took it, but he took it willingly, had Alzheimer's. He knew all about the ketones ester. He was at a point where he had had some setback, and it turned him around again very quickly, and he was very stable for another 20 months after that. And thanks to Dr. Veech, I felt like we got nearly four extra better quality years than the year before he started the coconut oil. And what happened with Steve was that I had a lady that stayed with him when I went to work. And he hugged and kissed me goodbye, said he loved me.
[00:47:14.290] – Dr. Newport
Five minutes later, she called me and she said he had fallen straight back, had a seizure. It lasted 20 minutes. He stopped breathing. He turned blue by the time I got home. I got there before emergency services got there, and he was still blue. He wasn't breathing very well. He had another seizure on the way to the hospital. And I guess with his brain already so fragile from Alzheimer's, the head injury and the seizure, lack of oxygen, he became completely dependent after that. And he would have a seizure periodically, even though he was on anti-seizure medication and that kind of thing. And he continued to get the ketone ester in coconut oil. He lived another two and a half years. I really didn't dream he would live that much longer. And I think perhaps the ketogenic, these things we were doing helped sustain him. And he remained very healthy weight. A lot of people with Alzheimer's, they become almost emaciated as time goes on. And he ate very well up until a couple of weeks before he passed away. And then he just went unresponsive just fairly suddenly. And then we lost him a couple of weeks later.
[00:48:29.220] – Dr. Newport
So he actually did die from Alzheimer's disease, and many people die with it, but from something else, a lot of elderly people.
[00:48:38.440] – Allan
So Steve was not in a condition where he could really exercise to enhance his program all that well. But for someone who is able to do some exercise, how does that help this process?
[00:48:51.190] – Dr. Newport
Yeah, so exercise is very interesting. The Alzheimer's Association, now, they have speakers listen to their conference every year, and they say that somewhere between 30 or 40% of Alzheimer's may be preventable by modifiable life, by changing your lifestyle. Top being diet, eating a healthier diet. Exercise is the second is number two. Getting enough sleep is another one. Controlling blood pressure, if you have high blood pressure. But exercise, an interesting thing about it is that it stimulates ketone production. That's just one of the benefits that we know about. And if you, like, walk vigorously or elliptical, something like that, for 30 to 40 minutes, it will stimulate ketone production. This was actually discovered around the 1930s, and it was studied very intensively for about 20 or 30 years. There were quite a few studies, and they called it post exercise ketosis. And basically the ketone level would increase kind of into that mild range as we get with the MCT and coconut oil, and it would be sustained for eight or 9 hours, which is quite interesting. So exercise is another strategy. Some people, as much as they try, they can't tolerate coconut and MCT oil. But exercise is a way to stimulate ketones.
[00:50:16.840] – Dr. Newport
Overnight fasting is another great way to do that. And basically, if you fast overnight, you don't eat any solid food. You can still drink clear liquids without, you know, calories about ten to 12 hours after that you deplete the glucose that's stored in the liver and then you start breaking down fat and you start making some ketones. So you'll go into mild ketosis and the longer you extend the fast, the higher the ketone level will become. And some people kind of, some people call it bulletproof coffee, I guess that's one version of it. But you put coconut oil or MCT oil in your coffee or tea in the morning, it's only fat. And it actually increases further increases your ketones. And it will support you can do that while you're on fast and it will just kind of enhance your ketosis at that point. But there are a lot of people now that are doing a twelve to 16 hours overnight fast. They're basically skipping breakfast, maybe having the coconut or institute on their coffee and then having their first meal around twelve or one in the afternoon. They also call it time restricted eating, where you limit your eating to between a six and ten hour window.
[00:51:33.110] – Dr. Newport
For me, I kind of am around a seven or eight hour window. I've been doing this for quite a long time and I used to wake up hungry, want breakfast right away. And you just get used to it. You get used to it. It's a way to kind of keep your brain healthy by providing ketones to your brain.
[00:51:55.120] – Allan
Yeah, I usually have dinner around 07:00 6:30 7 o'clock, but I'm through eating before seven and then I won't eat until somewhere between twelve and two the next day and it's breakfast. I'm still making eggs and doing my thing, but it's just become kind of my normal structure. I want to first get up, I do other things. I don't necessarily eat straight away. I'm not really hungry. And I think that's the other thing. When you really get to a point where you're using ketosis appropriately, those hunger cues are a lot easier to pick up on. And you don't just eat because it's the habit of, oh well, it's breakfast, I just woke up, I have to eat something.
[00:52:33.190] – Dr. Newport
[00:52:33.810] – Allan
It actually gets a little easier when your body's burning fat for energy because I got plenty, right?
[00:52:40.770] – Dr. Newport
Yeah, you and me both.
[00:52:44.960] – Allan
So you wrap this all up. The book is excellent, by the way, and you wrapped it up with plan called the Clearly Keto Whole Food, Mediterranean Style Diet. Love every word of that.
[00:52:57.660] – Dr. Newport
[00:52:58.240] – Allan
I love every word of that. It's a really good, clear, easy thing to do. You also have recipes in the book, so you've pretty much souped to nuts made it to where someone that wants to work on their brain health using ketosis and the Mediterranean diet, it's there. So the book is called Clearly Keto. If someone wanted to learn more about you, Dr. Newport or the book, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:53:24.560] – Dr. Newport
I have a website. It's coconutketones.com. And that's C-O-C-O-N-U-T-K-E-T-O-N-E-S. There's no Y in ketones.com. And you can see links to my books. There's all kinds of information. I've had this website since late 2008 and I've just been slowly accumulating all kinds of information. I have a page of scientific articles. There are many studies now with MCT oil, but mostly smaller to medium studies. Larger studies are in progress. A lot of information, scientific reports about ketone esters and salts and ketones in general. Dr. Cunnane's research is on there. I've written some articles about how to use things like coconut and MCT oil and ketone salt, ketone esters. But basically there's a whole lot of information that people can find there. And my books are available. My publisher is Turner Publishing. The last I looked, they had a pretty good price, pretty comparable or maybe even a little less than Amazon for ordering my book. But Amazon, all the major book sites are carrying the book to pre order right now. And I do have other books before that, three other books that I've written. This one is kind of more back to Alzheimer's again. And it goes beyond I would say the first half of the book is all about ketogenic strategies, mediterranean diet, keto, but there's a whole lot of other things other things to do and other things to avoid that are not necessarily related to ketones.
[00:55:04.900] – Dr. Newport
A lot of certain foods and not overdoing certain supplements that could be harmful. And then the last chapter took me ten months to write. It was the first chapter I wrote, but I thought if I put this first in the book, nobody will ever get to the rest of the book. It's very science-y. It's all about what goes wrong in the Alzheimer's brain, all the different pathologies. So many of them are connected to insulin. Insulin resistance. I was really kind of astounded myself how much of this is related to insulin and lack thereof. Like those plaques and tangles, insulin resistance seems to promote formation of plaques and tangles, but the plaques and tangles themselves seem to promote more insulin resistance. It's like vicious cycles. And it kind of, to me, explains why Alzheimer's is progressive. You have this constant vicious cycles of related to insulin and insulin resistance, and it's just a downhill path from there. Just gets worse and worse over time. So that's for readers who are really interested in the science as well. I think it was a bonus chapter.
[00:56:17.360] – Allan
I geeked out. So, yeah, I enjoyed it. Yeah, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/568 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Newport, thank you for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.
[00:56:30.630] – Dr. Newport
Oh, you are very welcome. And thank you so much for inviting me to be on your program. Again, allan, this has been wonderful. Thank you for this discussion.
[00:56:37.750] – Allan
[00:56:48.260] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:56:49.920] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. This was a really amazing interview. A couple of things just hit me right off the bat. It's quite tragic that her husband was only 51 when he started to experience some Alzheimer dementia symptoms, which kind of hit me hard cause I'm 51, but it was hard to see him progress. And it's so true, you know, like cancer. I think we all have someone in our lives that might be touched with Alzheimer's or dementia, which we are. I've been watching my aunt decline, and it's a tragic disease to watch it unfold, but there is some things that we can do about it, isn't there?
[00:57:29.370] – Allan
Yeah, well, the base point I want to bring up is that she brought that he had early, what they call early onset. Okay. And that's important. That's an important delineation in this because it used to be that you really didn't see a lot of people with Alzheimer's until they were well into their 70s and 80s. And so it was a very uncommon disease to see when we were younger, like 51. And the same thing happened with type two diabetes, okay? So they used to have type one diabetes, which is where your body kind of your beta cells start to die out and then you don't create insulin. So you have to start taking insulin because your pancreas just can't create enough or actually stops creating it at all. And so that's type one diabetes. Type two diabetes used to be called adult onset diabetes, but they stopped calling it that when kids started getting diabetes. Okay? So it is definitely a lifestyle related issue where we're looking at diet and people who are eating excess sugar and excess refined carbs are getting these diseases earlier. Now, I'm not saying that's what Dr. Newport's husband did, but there's definitely a problem with our food and our lifestyles.
[00:58:45.880] – Allan
And a lot of these things are shifting and they're happening earlier and earlier. And it could be just anything. It could have been toxins he was associated with at one point, another outside his control, could have been some things that were within his control. We'll just never really know.
[00:59:02.460] – Rachel
[00:59:02.820] – Allan
But like you said with Mike, if we're doing the things we need to do to take care of ourselves, we're limiting our risk. And that's really all we can do in this whole math of getting older and avoiding disease, is to just do things that lower our risks. And I can tell you a whole food clean diet that's giving you all the nutrients your body needs. Exercising regularly, sleeping well, having great relationships, all the self care stuff, managing stress, all those are really, really important aspects of health. That if you're just doing what you can in each of those areas, you're going to not just feel and perform better. But you're giving your body more resilience to be able to keep these things from happening, or at least happening early. Because that's the other side of it. We don't know. But why is early onset happening? And I haven't really heard any good answers. But obviously, from what you've heard in this episode, by switching to a ketogenic diet, he was able to extend the length and quality of his life, which, again, I'm not going to say this is a scientific study, but there are more studies happening.
[01:00:20.110] – Allan
Because Mary, Dr. Newport shared his story and scientists became very interested in what was going on there. There'd be more studies to say, could this have actually prevented Alzheimer's from ever occurring? So those are some things to think about. It's not that the keto diet is the best diet. Don't get me wrong. Ketosis is a tool.
[01:00:43.140] – Rachel
[01:00:43.720] – Allan
But really, I believe, and we've had some different conversations in the last several months about metabolic flexibility and then again, just avoiding junk.
[01:00:54.330] – Rachel
[01:00:55.140] – Allan
Those two things are really the keys to health care.
[01:00:58.650] – Rachel
Well, like she said, better diet, better exercise, better sleep, it's better. Like, make better choices. Do you have to be perfect 100% of the time? No. I mean, we've got Thanksgiving, Christmas, holidays around the corner. There's time to celebrate, there's time to enjoy your home cooked foods and family traditions, but just make better choices most of the time. And absolutely, there's nothing good with sugar. There's nothing. No nutrients and refined flours. Just do what you can, when you can. It doesn't have to be perfect.
[01:01:33.060] – Allan
[01:01:34.080] – Rachel
Yeah. Great interview.
[01:01:35.910] – Allan
All right, well, thanks. I'll talk to you all next week.
[01:01:38.980] – Rachel
[01:01:39.810] – Allan
[01:01:40.770] – Rachel
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Few people put in the amount of research journalist Gary Taubes does when he's writing a book. In his new book, The Case for Keto, Gary really dives deep into the nutrition science to walk us point-by-point through determining if the ketogenic diet is the right way to eat.
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In her book The Ketogenic Key: Unlock the Secrets to Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Stop Inflammation, and Prevent Disease, Lori Shemek shows us how to use the ketogenic diet for optimal wellness. Most of the health issues we deal with today are caused by poor nutrition choices. With all of the health and fitness information available, it can get really confusing. Lori helps us understand how to make keto an everyday lifestyle that gives us better health.
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Reel paper sells toilet paper made from 100% bamboo, which grows faster, requires less water, creates more oxygen, a.k.a. less greenhouse gases, and doesn't require replanting after harvesting. Yes, sustainable toilet paper is available for you now, conveniently shipped for free to your home. We must begin treating the earth better and you can do it by going to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and get 25% off with the discount code. 40plus.[00:02:55.110] – Allan
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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.
Our guest today has authored many books, including the one we’re going to talk about today, Ketogenic Catastrophe. He found a passion helping others after he cured his own IBS, gum disease and insomnia using the Paleo Diet and ketogenic eating. Really cool guy; I know you’re going to enjoy this interview.
Allan (1:08): Eric, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
Eric (1:12): Thanks for having me on. Great to be here.
Allan (1:14): The title, Ketogenic Catastrophe, I really could take that one of two different ways. One is disaster pants kind of style. What you were going after was, what are some of the mistakes that we make when we’re trying to get into ketosis and why do most people fail doing this? Then the other would be, are people having bad experiences with keto? The truth of the matter is keto is not for everybody, but it is a tremendous tool for weight loss, and what I’ve found, for dietary freedom.
I got into ketosis on accident. For those that aren’t fully familiar with what ketosis is, it’s basically where your body starts learning how to burn fat rather than sugar for energy. And because you’re eating predominantly a higher fat diet and not many carbs, your body just gets more comfortable with that and using ketones as a fueling system. I stumbled on it because I was doing Paleo. My version of Paleo was eating more of the healthy fats, so I was eating a lot of avocado, fish and beef. As a result of filling up on the fat, wasn’t eating a lot of anything else. Most of the vegetables I was eating were wholefood, fibrous vegetables like asparagus, broccoli and spinach. So I wasn’t getting a lot of carbs. And then I noticed that my breath was a little sour, more so than not. And I noticed that my body was burning a lot of body fat all of a sudden. I had plateaued – in Paleo dropped about 15 pounds, and then keto took off about, I’d say 45 pounds in just a few weeks. So I fell into it. I figured out what it was. I’m like, “What’s going on with my body? Why am I suddenly losing all of this fat and why am I smelling this way?” Then I got into it and I was like, “Okay, that’s what that is and that’s why that’s happening.”
It’s become more of a seasonal lifestyle for me now, because I’ve lost most of the weight that I wanted to ever lose. I got my body where I wanted to for what I wanted, and then I’m good. But in the book you’re actually talking about the mistakes that keep people from doing this, and I think that’s really important. I was reading a study, and it was a Harvard doctor that had done this study, and they found that the high fat, low carb diet helped people lose more weight than the people who ate the low fat, high carb diet. But in the end his conclusion was, it’s so hard to eat this high fat diet that we’re just going to keep prescribing the low fat diet. My hands hit my head and I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” But it’s not simple; there are some mistakes people make. And that’s what your book is getting into is, what are those mistakes that most people make that would keep them from being successful with this? And what are the tips and tricks and things that we can do to get past them?
Eric (4:12): Yeah, that’s basically what I’ve covered. I had a lot of stumbling when I first started with this whole keto diet thing. This was basically my attempt to share with whoever wants to read it, all of the mistakes that I went through. I think it was Warren Buffett who said, “You can learn from your own mistakes, but you don’t have to. You can learn from other people’s mistakes.” So, my goal with this whole thing was to just share everything that I personally went through in hopes that it will help others become more enlightened about the whole keto thing and just get through it, because it can be difficult. Like you said, it’s not the easiest thing to start. But what people should definitely take from this whole thing is that after you do it for a while, after you get comfortable with it, it becomes much easier too. You can do it seasonally, like you do as well, where you don’t have to do it all the time. So this was my attempt to really help people feel better in the long run.
Allan (5:14): I think that’s the thing. I don’t have any kind of resistance, insulin resistance, any metabolic problems. So for me, keto is just a way to have clarity, to feel better, to have freedom from food, because I can go a day without eating and I don’t panic because my blood sugar’s going to crash or something. So, keto is very comfortable for me, but I don’t do it all year round because there are periods of time when I want to drink beer and go tailgating and enjoy my life and the things that I’m going to do. I’m going to go to Thanksgiving with my mother, I’m going to go do New Year’s Eve with my wife. So, since I know I’m going to have that period of time, I just plan around it and say, “That’s my time to go off keto. I’m not going to feel as good. I’m going to have as much fun as I can and I’m going to make good selections.” So, I do drink the higher quality beers. But beyond all that, when it’s time to go back into my season of famine, so to speak, I get into it. I think a lot folks think it’s a lifestyle, yes. Once you get into it, then you have to stay in it, and that’s not entirely true for everybody. That’s why I think this book is particularly poignant because if you go in and out of ketosis on a regular basis, you’re going to deal with these things. The first one is what you call the “biggest mistake”, and I agree with you. Do you mind talking about what you think the biggest mistake is that most people will make when they’re trying to get into ketosis?
Eric (6:38): Sure. The biggest mistake by far – it’s very simple – it’s just giving up. If you can imagine training for a marathon, let’s say. You do all this prep work, and you get up to the race day, you’re feeling great. You start the marathon, you get through the first mile, 7th mile, 12th mile. You’re getting through it and all of a sudden you get to mile 25, right before the finish line, and you just give up. That’s what a lot of people do, is they get so close to the finish line, building this metabolic flexibility, this ability to burn fat instead of sugar, and right before they get there they just say, “You know what? I’m done.” To put it back to the marathon runner – it’s not like the marathon runner couldn’t finish. No, he just decided, “Well, I’m just not going to finish the race today.” So many people run into that because it’s difficult to get going in the beginning. It’s difficult because your body needs to produce the enzymes and all the wiring that’s required to burn fat for fuel. There’s an adjustment period, but once you get good at it, it becomes much, much easier, and over the long run obviously works out a lot better.
The biggest mistake that people make is they just can’t sack up and get through the first little part. And to give most people more credit here – a lot of keto diet books and a lot of keto diet advice is not the greatest advice out there. They tell people, “Cut your carbs down to 20 grams of carbs, even if you’re eating buckets of sugar each day, and then just do keto.” And you’re going to run into huge problems if you just make an abrupt switch like that. So, to give credit to everybody that’s tried and failed before – maybe you got some bad advice too. But absolutely the biggest mistake is just not pushing through and getting to the other side, because once you get to the other side, then it becomes much easier, even if you have those cheat days, like you say, go have a couple of beers. Once you get back on the train, it’s not nearly as hard to get going again, if that makes sense.
Allan (8:53): It does. I think the difference and the way I look at it is, when you’re talking about the marathon – the runner knows that there’s only 1.2 miles left to go in this race. They’re at mile 25 and there’s only a 1.2 to complete the race. Unfortunately with ketosis you don’t have that mile marker to tell you that it’s that close. I think that’s where that “quit” comes in. I remember I was in the army and I was going through air assault school. And at the end of air assault school you do this 25-mile run. And you’re carrying your M16 and you’re in boots and you do this 25-mile run. Each of the units has people in there, so my unit was there and they were cheering us all on. I was a front runner. I knew there was one guy in front of me, I just didn’t know how far he was in front of me. So I asked one of the guys, “How far is he ahead of me? Just tell me.” And they said, “Oh, he’s too far. You’re never going to catch him.” And I come around the corner and realize that I’ve got maybe half a mile to go and he’s only a hundred yards ahead of me. But by that time I had shut my mind down to the possibility that I could do this, and therefore I ended up coming in second.
I only say that because it’s probably closer than you think it is. Once you get into this and you’re starting to really have that struggle, look for the things that are going to motivate you to keep going. You talk in the book about measurement, and I do think that’s important. The urine strips are really good when you first get started, because they’re going to allow you to see the ketones are starting to build up in there. And they’re color coded so you can see it happening. Since your body doesn’t know how to use the ketones effectively, you’re peeing them out. Eventually the urine sticks won’t be any good for you because your body’s using those ketones and now you’re going to have to be looking to your blood and your breath to understand if you’re in ketosis. But for the most part you are, and you can feel it and you know it. I agree with you – as people are going, just push to the next step. Just take that next step. Keep at it just a little bit longer and you’ll get there. It’s a dip, and once you get past that dip, you’re going to enjoy what you’ve done.
Eric (11:04): Sure. And you can always test and tweak things all along the way too. You don’t have to stick yourself into a rigid structure. Now, if something’s not working for you, you can always pivot and try something new – maybe increase your exercise a little or decrease your exercise a little if you’re working too hard. You can always play with the different approaches and find out what works for you. But keep pushing forward, absolutely.
Allan (11:31): I think that’s another important thing. You’ve got this as mistake number 8 in the book, and it’s bio individuality. You talked about how the basic advice is 20 grams of carbs, and then they kind of stop there. I know from experience working with clients that if you get down to 20 and you stay at 20, you will get into ketosis, but there are some people that can go as high as maybe even 100 grams of carbs, because they’re athletic and they’re doing things. And there are other people that can get to 50. You’re going to have a carb threshold in there and it’s going to be individual to you. You’re going to have nutritional needs that are based on your environment and everything else. Can you talk a little bit about bio individuality and how you’ve seen it work for or against people who are trying to get into ketosis?
Eric (12:23): Sure. That phrase actually was originally coined by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. They’re the folks that came up with that. Basically at a high level, it just means we’re all different. Some people can eat a vegan diet, and they feel great and it seems to work really well for them. Some people, like myself, feel awful. I’ve tried to do the vegan thing and it doesn’t work for me at all. I had no energy. It just was not something that really worked for me. And we’ve always got to think about where we came from. What has our family’s bloodline been eating for the past 10 generations? That’s going to play a role in how we metabolize things, what we’re used to eating, what our genetics are used to. So, everybody is so different, and this is especially true for the carbohydrate threshold. I’ve talked to people who could not get into ketosis until they got down to that 20 grams of carbohydrate. Now me personally, I was more along the lines of, I could get back into ketosis after eating 80 to 100 grams of carbs for dinner one night, and then the next day around lunchtime be back into a ketogenic state. All the books that I was reading about this, they said, “That’s impossible. It’s going to take you days. You have to do this, you have to do that.” And really, it’s just about finding where you fit, where you feel best and what works for you. And the mistake that people make is having this mindset that everybody’s the same. It’s like this cookie cutter thing, and it’s definitely not true.
Actually there’s a great story. One of my roommates from many years ago, he and I lived together, and this is right around the time when I was trying to clean up my diet and try to lose the weight that I had been gaining. And living with him, I watched him every day just eat fast food. And it was constant drinking sodas, drinking beers all the time and doing whatever he wanted, and he stayed lean. I had no idea. Here I was, even trying to eat healthier at the time, but I was still gaining and gaining and gaining, and I just watched him not gaining a pound. It was very frustrating and really killed a lot of my motivation because it’s like, “Why me? Why can’t I be like him?” At the end of the day, bio individuality means that none of us are going to be the same. Individual results may vary. That phrase is so perfect for many different things in life, but especially people who are trying the ketogenetic diet. You’ve got to really look at yourself and what you’re going through, because everybody’s going to be different. Somebody might lose 30 pounds in a month doing the keto diet and you may sit there and lose a pound and a half. But it could be just because your body is working on fixing other things first, or whatever reason genetically that you’re going to be slower to lose the weight. We have a lot of similarities, but at the base level we have a lot of differences as well.
Allan (15:48): Part of it is genetics, part of it is your hormone mix. I know a lot of people are coming at this metabolically damaged. I was reading another book that actually said the Baby Boomers, which I’m just short of – I’m an X Gen – but 50% of Baby Boomers have some form of metabolic syndrome. I’m just trying to wrap my mind around that.
Eric (16:12): That’s a big number.
Allan (16:13): It’s a huge number. So, we’re approaching this because we want to get healthy. Like you said, your roommate may have had no problem whatsoever. You might run into him today and it may have caught up with him.
Eric (16:29): It did.
Allan (16:32): Okay. It’s not a happy story, but it’s a story. I think the core of this is, there’s that individual that smoked cigarettes from the time they were 14 years old and they’re 104 and they still smoke. And then there’s the individual who got lung cancer in their 40s after smoking only 20 years. So we’re all going to have our own individual path. I think the good thing about knowing that is if you can stop comparing yourself to others and just recognize that what you’re doing is positive for yourself, you’re going to have a lot better mindset going into this whole thing.
Eric (17:08): Yeah, you nailed it right there. The comparison to others is a very difficult thing. It’s something I struggled with tremendously when I first started out on this journey. You definitely want to be sure to remember that what you’re doing is for yourself, and you’re going to be different than everybody else. There are probably people that are going to react the same, but just keep in mind what you’re doing it for.
Allan (17:36): Another big area where mindset comes to play is what you call mistake number 5, “The Social Trap”. I know when I first started this and realized I was eating this way and wanted to keep eating this way, my wife thought I was out of my mind. She was like, “There’s no way.” She’d seen me try other things, and when she saw me try this she said, “I understood the Paleo thing. I do not understand this. I can’t do that.” But she has since turned around. I took her to Ketofest and she met some people and she listened to a few talks. She now knows about keto and for the most part will eat keto most of the time. But that’s not always the case; some people are going to look at you like you’re insane. How do I deal with that going into this? Like you said in the book, I go to order my burger and I say, “Just wrap mine in lettuce. I don’t want the bread.” And you see that look in their eyes.
Eric (18:37): The looks come to you. It can depend on the group of people you’re with as well. Me personally, I had some ruthless friends. We would kind of joke with each other and make fun of each other, but then it can be difficult when you continue to do this thing, you pass up on the beer. I remember sitting at a table at a restaurant and doing the lettuce-wrapped burger and just getting that, “What are you doing? Why are you doing that?” What that elicits in a lot of people, and I know this because it happened to me, is almost a fear to do it. The next time you hang out with everybody, you want to just be like everybody else. You don’t want to be out of the crowd. As humans, we want to be a part of the group. It feels safe. We want to be like everybody else.
So, to have that situation where you’re walking into a wedding or something or you’re going out with your friends and maybe you go to an Italian restaurant and the bread bowl comes around somewhere, and you’re put in that precarious situation where you have to make your decision now. The bread’s coming to you, and you have to make the choice and the people are looking at you. The mistake that people make is falling victim to that social pressure, because it’s, again, going back to being worried about what other people are thinking of you. It’s a very real mistake that most books that are written about the keto diet just kind of glaze over. But it’s such an important piece of this, because we are social creatures, we thrive on being social. I personally love being social. But it was a difficult transition to get over that fear of what other people are thinking of you. It can be one of the most difficult things. It can be actually the one thing that will stop you.
Maybe you have a group of friends, there’s like six of you and everybody’s overweight, let’s just say. All of a sudden you guys are going out to dinner and you start passing on the bread bowl. People are going to look at you funny and they might not even want you to do that, because it’s like, “Hey, where do you think you’re going? We’re all in this together”, that kind of thing. The social aspect of it is such a huge piece. I recommend that people, before they go somewhere like dinner or a party, and you know the temptation is going to be there but you’re not ready to start doing the cheat days yet – visualize it. Walk yourself through the scenario. Imagine yourself passing as the bread bowl comes to you. And then you’re going to have a lot higher chance of success, because you’ve already got the mental rep. You’ve already done it once in your head: “No, thank you”, so it’s going to be easier when game time comes around. The social aspect of it is such a huge piece, especially if you’re an extrovert, you like to go out, you have a lot of friends. People can be judgy. It’s very powerful to know going into this why you’re doing it, the reasons you’re doing it for yourself, and to understand that it’s okay for other people to have opinions. It’s okay for other people to think what you’re doing is crazy. Some people even say it’s dangerous, if you can believe that. So just remember why you’re doing it, and when the time comes and you have that social pressure, to be prepared for it is going to make you more successful.
Allan (22:18): You just hit on something I want to emphasize here – this is your “why”, this is why you’re doing this, and you need to keep that top of mind as you go into this. Yes, the bread bowl comes around and you just pass the bread without taking a piece and someone comments on it. Fairly simple – you can say, “I just got my A1C in and it’s high. I’m prediabetic, and I need to change how I eat.” And when they recognize this is not about you being thinner and more attractive than them, this is actually something you’re doing for your health, it does change the conversation. You can tell them, “I can’t have the simple carbs anymore. I can’t have the beer anymore, because my A1C is too high and I need to get it down. I don’t want to use medication to do that.”
Eric (23:07): Just to touch on one thing that came to my mind – a lot of people, once they’ve done keto and lost weight, want to continue to do it. You can still run into situations where you’re not prediabetic, you don’t need to lose any weight. It becomes easier to say, “I just feel better. I feel better not doing this. I feel better passing on the bread bowl.” Down the road when you don’t have those things to lean on, like, “I need to weight” or “I’m not feeling well. I’m sick for some reason”… There are other aspects of the social trap that can come up, but like you said, keep in the front of your mind why you’re doing it.
Allan (23:56): I call that the “crabs in the bucket”. If you’ve ever seen crabs, none of the crabs can get out of the bucket because the other crabs are pulling the crab down to get on top of it. So the crabs can’t get out of the bucket. Just realize that’s what’s going on. If people keep harassing you about what your choices are, you know what’s working for you. You know why you’re doing this. At that point just stop participating in the food conversation with them, because they’re not looking out for your best interests. I know that’s easier to say than to do, but you have to have this mindset, as I said, going into this to say, “This is what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”
Now, the other thing that I wanted to get into – you mentioned this earlier and this was one you called mistake number 17. So much advice out there tells people, particularly during the adaptation period, to not exercise. And I don’t entirely agree with this. We talk about bio individuality. I think some people can continue to do their workouts. I know I did and didn’t have a problem in the world. Maybe I’m unique, and that’s great. But I believe people can still get the benefits of exercise during that period of time. They don’t have to forgo it. Your thoughts?
Eric (25:08): I think it probably goes back to that bio individuality thing. I was reading Mark Sisson’s book, The Keto Reset Diet, and I was listening to one of his podcasts. He was talking about how he recommends people not exercise during the adaptation period, because for some it can be difficult. If you’ve been consuming a lot of sugar and you’re metabolically damaged, the process of adaptation can be difficult. He recommends that you just rest through it, which there’s validity there. I think everybody needs to take a look and see how they’re feeling. I personally think it’s a huge mistake to not exercise while you’re doing the keto thing, because having personally gone through it, exercise is so much more enjoyable when you’re doing keto. I have more strength and more energy than I know what to do with when I’m in that keto state. That being said, if you’re just looking at this for, “I just need to lose some weight”, you don’t have to exercise. But I think it’s a huge mistake to not add on this component of it to get your blood flowing. Even if it’s the most basic exercise, like power walking or going up and down some stairs, doing some body weight stuff, push-ups, sit-ups, cleaning your house vigorously. We think of exercise as it has to be in a gym, but there are so many different ways to get your heart pumping, get your body moving. It’s just going to only compound the results that you get.
So, you can do the keto thing and not exercise, but again, I think it’s a big mistake to not do that. And when you realize it too, when you actually get into that keto state – you’re burning ketones for energy – you’ll have this incredible outpouring of motivation too. You will want to go exercise, and you’ll have more energy. I know it sounds funny. People think that if they exercise, they’re going to be tired and have less energy, and it’s actually the opposite. You exercise and you will have more energy – kind of that, “You don’t use it, you lose it” thing. Along with that I’ve noticed that the more you exercise, the greater the mental clarity that you’ll get as well. I’m not sure exactly the mechanics behind why, but I’ve noticed that I’ve become much more mentally clear. It’s almost like you’ve been wearing a pair of prescription glasses your whole life that weren’t even supposed to be yours, like they were the wrong prescription. You suddenly take them off and the world just looks clear. Or you get in your car in the morning and the window’s fogged up, and you turn the defroster on. That’s what happens as you keep going through this. And exercise I think is just a tool to accelerate these benefits and really compound them for everybody.
Allan (28:20): I agree with you. I don’t think there’s a reason to forgo exercise, unless you’re metabolically damaged and you know that this could be a problem for you. Then take it easy and don’t stress yourself. But the reality of life is our muscles and our liver hold roughly about 90 minutes to two hours of moderate intensity work. So when folks are running marathons, they bonk it at mile 18 because that’s about the time that the glycogen that’s in their muscles and their liver starts to run out. You have that in your muscles and your liver all the time. That glycogen’s there all the time to fire off for energy. So, doing moderate intensity work, lifting weights, doing bodyweight work, walking, maybe even some jogging – that’s going to use that glycogen. Now, you are still taking in some carbs. We’re not complete carnivores, zero carb here. You are taking in some carbs and your body has the capacity to take some of the protein you eat and some of the fat and actually turn it into glycogen that you can then use to restore what you need for your muscles and your liver. Your body’s going to still do that. I just think what you force your body to do if you do keep your activity at a good steady pace is you actually force the adaptation a little bit faster. That’s my opinion. Again, I don’t have any scientific proof that that’s the case, but I do know when I have clients cut their sugar back and I have them walk in a fasted state, they lose weight faster. That’s happening in their bodies because it’s forcing them to use more of the glucose that they are eating. It’s forcing them to use the glycogen in their muscles, they’ve got to restore that, so that process just starts working for them.
On the mental clarity note, I don’t know if you’ve read the book Spark, but this was an excellent book that talked about exercise and cognitive health. They found that just having the kids do a PE class in the morning before school helps their grades immensely. Their test scores went up, they had more clarity in class, they were more focused in class. So, there is an exercise–neurological connection that you’re going to get clarity from exercising and yes, you’re going to get mental clarity from powering your brain on ketones. So I think there can be a multiplicative effect there if you’re doing both.
Eric (30:47): Yeah, absolutely. That makes perfect sense. That’s very interesting to hear about the kids. I’m just seeing my path and how my mental state has changed over the years now. I think that would be brilliant to make sure that kids did PE before school and didn’t get rice crispy cereal before school.
Allan (31:14): That’d be a lot better.
Eric (31:17): I look back on my upbringing. That’s what I had.
Allan (31:21): It was the standard American diet, what our government was telling us to eat. That goes to this whole thing, that ketogenic diet is not new. It’s been around for a long time, but it’s just starting to get to a point where people are recognizing they can get great health benefits from it, they can get weight loss from it. And the people that are on it become evangelists for it. It’s a growing trend as a way of eating. It’s not that it’s better than being a vegan or a vegetarian or anything else; it’s just a way of eating. It can benefit you, but it’s not for everybody, as I said earlier. I think if you’re wanting to lose some weight or you’re concerned about your metabolic numbers – your A1C is high, you’re prediabetic – there have been some great results using this. And again, most people that get onto it just feel great.
Eric (32:14): Absolutely.
Allan (32:16): The book is called Ketogenic Catastrophe. Eric, if someone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about the book, learn what you’re doing, because you and your wife are doing a lot of great stuff over there – where would you like for me to send them?
Eric (32:29): My wife and I run a blog called AncestralJunkie.com, and that’s where we’ll be posting some articles. We’ve been a bit inactive lately. We have our son now and things have been a bit hectic, but we’re back on AncestralJunkie.com. And then you can find my other books – I’ve written a few others – on Amazon. If you search for Ketogenic Catastrophe, my name will pop up and there’s a couple of other things. If you go to the blog, you can get a free meal plan, a free grocery guide and some other goodies for just visiting. And we have a nice little newsletter that goes out. Today’s Friday, so Friday we send out a weekly newsletter where we’ll give you our top five articles and neat products that helped us or quotes that were motivating us, that kind of stuff. So you can get us at AncestralJunkie.com or on Amazon, is where my other books are located.
Allan (33:27): Okay. This is going to be episode 337, so you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/337 and I’ll be sure to have links to all of those available there. So again, Eric, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
Eric (33:43): Thank you, Allan. I really appreciate you having me on, and thank you so much for what you’re doing for the health community and just the world at large here. You’re really making a difference, so thank you for that.
Allan (33:52) Thank you.
Thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast. I’m really glad you’re here. I hope you enjoyed the conversation we had with Eric. Anyone that’s trying to use the ketogenic lifestyle as a way of eating often finds that they make mistakes, and Eric’s put together a really good book to talk you through how to manage those mistakes. So do check that out – Ketogenic Catastrophe. I have a link to that in the show notes, if you’re interested. And if you enjoyed today’s show, I really would appreciate if you would go to the “Review” section on your app, or go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review, which will take you to the iTunes page. Leave a review for the podcast. I really read each and every one of these reviews. The ratings and reviews help us get noticed out there. So really, really important – please do take the time to give us a review; takes you a few minutes, and it can mean the world to someone finding the podcast and finding health. So, 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review. Thank you for that.
A little bit on a personal note, I’ve kind of indicated over the course of the last few episodes that my wife and I are traveling around looking for potential retirement / downscaled life. It looks like we’re going to settle on Panama. That’s not set in stone at this point and it might not be a permanent move, but we are looking to potentially within the next six months sell our house and move out of the country, which will be a very different lifestyle. It’s a change that I’m doing because it will reduce risk from stress and will keep me kind of a in a lower keel, slow things down. I’m really looking forward to something like that. In looking at my health and fitness, that’s the one area where I can get the most bang for the buck. That’s my big rock. If you get into The Wellness Roadmap book once I get that issued, you’re going to learn a lot about how to identify those big rocks. For me, stress is the next big rock that I need to deal with.
I wanted to mention that I am setting up a mini Ketofest. I know I talked about going to Ketofest in July and doing a talk there. I’m going to do that talk again here at my home in Pensacola Beach, and that’s going to be on October 5th. Right now we’re looking at probably having it between 4:00 and 8:00 PM on October 5th. There will be food provided, there’s a small charge to cover off some of the costs of that food. Carl Franklin from 2 Keto Dudes is coming down here and he’ll also be giving a talk, and you’ll be able to meet him here at the mini Ketofest in Pensacola Beach. So do check that out – you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest. There you’ll find a link to the Eventbrite page. We can only handle a certain number of people. I do have a nice size house, but we still are going to have to limit the number of people that come so everybody can enjoy the food and the talks. So, you do want to go ahead and make sure you get yourself on that list. Go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest.
Now on the book, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it, but it’s gone very, very well so far. I’m getting some blurbs back from folks which basically are just reviews. They’ve seen the book and they felt compelled to help me market the book by writing some really cool, really nice things. And I’m humbled by that. It’s really coming together. The next week I should get the proofs back from the editor and at that point I’ll be able to sit down and batten down and spend some quality time on the book to get that final finish in there. But we’re getting really close to having everything locked down and ready to go, so I’m pretty excited about that. If you want to be a little bit more in the know, get a little bit more detail on how the book is going, you can go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com. You can join the list and become a part of our launch team. That launch team is my go-to group, they’re the folks that I’m going to share the most information about the book. I’ll tell you a little bit about it on the podcast, occasionally I’ll mention it in the groups, but really if you want to be in the know about the book, when it’s coming live, discounts, bonuses, all kinds of stuff that I’m going to be putting out there – you need to join the launch team. So go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com and join the launch team today. Thank you.