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Guy gone keto with Thom King

Our guest today is the founder and CEO of Steviva Brands – one of the largest importers, manufacturers and distributors of natural sweeteners. He is a self-described biohacker, and he’s made his life work trying to figure out ways to get people off of sugar. Today we’re going to talk about his book, Guy Gone Keto, and his journey from finding himself a busy executive who was not taking care of himself to being as healthy as he can be. I know you’re going to enjoy this conversation, so with no further ado, here’s Thom King.

Allan (1:15):  Thom, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Thom King (1:21): Thanks, Allan. I appreciate you having me on your show. It’s truly an honor. So thank you.

Allan (1:28): So, the book today we’re going to talk about is Guy Gone Keto, and I really enjoyed the book from the perspective of your story and how it really did in a sense parallel mine, although I think you fast-tracked a lot better than I did in getting from the decision point to actually making things happen. Mine took nearly eight years; yours took slightly over a year. But we both were sitting in what I would call a very miserable state and we were frustrated with that, and we made a decision that we were going to change that. I happened to be in Puerto Vallarta when I did mine; you happened to be in Las Vegas. Would you mind sharing your story about that and how that frustration then led to your change?

Thom King (2:19): It was definitely frustration, but I think that the biggest part was just being disappointed in myself and feeling like I had poor integrity. I run a food ingredient company and we cater to ketogenic products and sports nutrition, and I was exceptionally unhealthy. My blood pressure was 199 over 99 and I was 35 pounds heavier than I am now. I was drinking a bottle of wine every night and eating bread and cookies and all sorts of garbage. I think I bottomed out when I was in Las Vegas. I was there for a trade show. I went to dinner with a client and way overate, had a couple of glasses of wine, came back to the room. The room that I stayed in smelt like stale booze and regret. And I found myself waking up the next morning, not feeling really great and looking in the mirror and seeing really how fat I was and how disgusted I was with myself. And at that point, I think that the pain of being out of integrity and the pain of my sloth and overweightness exceeded the pleasure that I was deriving from drinking too much wine and eating too many sweets and carbohydrates. So at that point I just told myself, “This is the end. I’m going to be making a major shift in my lifestyle.” That’s when I got on board with leading a ketogenic lifestyle from that point forward.

Allan (4:10): Okay. And I like the way that you approach that. It’s a unique way to approach it, where you’re talking about the pain of failure is greater than the value you’re getting from the activities you’re doing. I’ll be honest with everyone here – when I go to a tailgate, I drink the beer and I hang out. I typically try to get a higher quality beer, but I drink the beer nonetheless and know that I’m not going to feel so great. But the social interaction in those events – I actually do feel they are valuable enough to me at this point in my life that I don’t want to forego those. So I go through what I call my “feasting period”, where I back away from keto a little bit. I’m really interested in your thought patterns around using pain as a leverage tool to get something going, to basically make you change something in your life.

Thom King (5:11): For me, pain is the great teacher. I don’t avoid pain. I probably seek it out more than I avoid it. I think that human beings are driven by two things. I think they’re driven by the avoidance of pain and they are driven by seeking pleasure. If you’re seeking pleasure and the pleasure that you’re seeking is drinking too much, eating too much, whatever habit you’ve got – if you’re able to really attach pain to that, like when you take a look at, “Is eating this donut going to be painful or is it going to be enjoyable?” It’ll be enjoyable for that first few minutes, but if you really are mindful and present in what you’re doing, you can take a good look at what eating the donut really means. It’s going to raise your blood sugar level, it’s going to contribute to metabolic disease. It’s also going to lead to lower self-esteem, because are you going to really feel good about yourself after you eat the donut? If you start associating so much pain with something that you’re deriving pleasure from, once the pain exceeds the pleasure, you’ll be able to break that habit.

Allan (6:41): I liked your example of a donut, because I don’t have the same draw to a donut, and I know the reward is not worth the pain. For me the time with family and friends, and the socializing aspects of all of it, and not being that guy that’s not having the beer – to me is a little different. But I get that, particularly if you’re in a bad state and if you’re looking to improve yourself. It’s a very stoic kind of approach to thinking about how to solve that problem.

Thom King (7:12): Yeah, and I do derive a lot of that from stoicism. One of my daily practices is to read from The Daily Stoic, and I do leverage that quite a bit. So, being able to find answers in pain and in situations that are challenging – that’s part of my routine.

Allan (7:39): I have a copy of that book sitting on my desk right here, along with your book. Now, in the book Guy Gone Keto, you have your first steps. I really liked your approach to this. I really liked how you lay this out, that these are the things that need to be going through your mind, this is what you need to be doing to get this whole process going. In the case of the book, we’re talking about getting ourselves into ketosis, but I think this really applies to anytime you want to address a health or fitness issue.

Thom King (8:14): Definitely. Anything that you do want to achieve – it’s being able to set the goal. I think it is creating the intention and really being able to outline the outcome you’re looking for. And then on top of that, using a lot of data collection so you can see where you started and where you’re going. If you can see progress and you’re starting to see yourself getting closer to the outcome that you’re looking for, those are the best first steps that you can take.

Allan (8:52): There was another thing you had in here that I liked, and this is really something that’s hard for people to wrap their minds around when they want to lose weight. They want that 35 pounds or 55 pounds gone tomorrow. And I can say from my start to finish of when I really got committed and started doing the right things, it started with the Paleo, found myself naturally in ketosis, started reading on what ketosis is and then really bear down on that. But this was not something that just happened in a day or a week, or even a month. It took me nearly 11 months to really drop that kind of weight. So it was a slow progression – a few plateaus, but just a slow progression. I like how in the book you explain to us why going slow is important.

Thom King (9:43): I think that if people are looking to lose weight fast, that’s more of a diet situation. I also think that’s pretty unhealthy, because I think that if you adopt a diet, you’re going to get yo-yo weight. So you’re going to be on the diet, you’re going to lose the weight, then you’re going to go off the diet, you’re going to gain the weight back, and maybe a little bit more. So that’s the big difference. There’s a difference between diet and adopting a particular lifestyle. I think that if you adopt the particular lifestyle, it becomes more about the process than the outcome. You can definitely define the outcome – say, “I want to lose 35 pounds”, but the process is what you do every day to get there. And I would say don’t be in a hurry, don’t lose the weight too fast. Lose it a pound at a time, because if you lose a whole bunch of weight really fast, you’re going to be dealing with other issues like loose, saggy skin, and also it’s very taxing on your liver. So take your time and immerse yourself in the process, and then naturally the outcome will manifest itself.

Allan (11:06): Cool. Now, I do want to get into a little bit of discussion about ketosis. One of the things that you also had in your first steps was to avoid the high glycemic foods, because those are definitely not going to allow us to be in ketosis, but they’re also the items that are going to spike our blood sugar and get us to a point where we’re not able to lose weight or keep ourselves from potentially gaining weight.

Thom King (11:38): The shift from getting into ketosis is your body actually shifting from burning glucose as a form of energy to burning fat as a source of energy. So the ketogenic lifestyle or ketogenic diet basically is 70% fat, 20% proteins, and 10% vegetables. And these vegetables are going to be green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Basically if it grows underground, meaning a potato or a carrot or something like that, those are going to tend to be more on the high-glycemic end. So you’ve got this pretty big option of food that you can eat.

Allan (12:26): Yeah. When we start talking about these types of macros, it’s easy to think that you’re in that macro range, but if you’re really not paying attention to what you’re eating, you can easily slide one way or the other and not get the benefits that you’re after. This leads me to the next area I want to talk about, which is journaling. I’ve had clients that were on the calls or with me and they’re saying, “Allan, I just don’t understand it. I’m eating really, really well and I don’t understand why I’m not losing the weight. I’m doing the exercises, I’m eating well. Everything is going great.” I’m like, “Get yourself a notebook and start a journal.”

Thom King (13:12): 100%. That’s the data collection part of your journey. Definitely go out, buy yourself a journal and start doing data collection. Do data collection on how much you weigh, what your ketones are, what your blood sugar level is. This is a process, and the more data collection you do and the more you journal, the more you’re going to find the areas where you can make improvements. If you’re writing down everything that you ate in a day and you think, “I’m eating 2,000 calories a day. I’m probably burning 2,200 calories a day, so I’m at a 200-calorie deficit” – that might not be true at all, because particularly when you’re eating keto, a lot of the stuff that you’re eating is going to be high fat, and when it’s high fat, it means it’s high calories. So, you might have some almonds in the palm of your hand – it might be 5 to 10 almonds – you’re looking at about 200 calories there. So when you start writing these things down and understanding where the holes are, you can really plug the dike.

Allan (14:24): One almond is basically 16 calories, so if you’re off by one almond, that could be potentially 10 pounds of weight gain in a year. It’s not that you have to be exact, because calories are not really ever exact, or their estimates anyway, but you go three weeks and track what you’ve eaten, the volumes you’ve eaten, and you really pay attention to those numbers – you’re going to get to a point where you understand 2,000 calories is maybe a little too much, or maybe you need 2,500 because you’re losing weight a little too fast. So, taking the time to write those things down, and even to go further than just the data collection is, how do you feel when you wake up? What’s your energy level throughout the day? Do you find yourself needing to take a nap at 2:00 in the afternoon? How much coffee are you drinking now? Are you getting your electrolytes? Are you getting enough salt and enough water? There’s so much that a journal will allow you to collect and understand about yourself, to include your mood and your stress. I press it on with my clients all the time, that I do think a journal is a great tool for anyone that’s looking to make a change or at least understand why they are where they are.

Thom King (15:39): Absolutely. I don’t just use my journal for tracking macros and my behavior, but I also use my journal to set the stage for my day. I do write down what are the things that I’m most grateful for today, and what am I going to do today to make this day great and excellent? And then I just end it with an affirmation of, “With every breath I take in, I attract and create abundance and health and wellness in my life. And with each exhale I lovingly release any and all self-limiting beliefs that no longer serve me.” Combining that with breathing exercises, I found that journaling is something that I must do every day.

Allan (16:32): Yes, and I’m doing it. I wish I were better at doing it all the time, but that’s one of those practices that I really struggle with. But when I’m doing it, I feel so much better organized, I feel so much more complete and like I have everything together with my relationships, my food, my sleep, with all of it. So I do think it’s a great practice to understand what’s going on, to have a path forward and to be always affecting change. So if you’re someone that’s in the continuous improvement model with your life, a journal is a must have.

Thom King (17:14): Absolutely. It’s a daily event for me.

Allan (17:19): We talked a little bit about calories, and for a lot of folks, they’ll say, “They’re telling me I’ve got to cut the sugars and I’ve got to cut calories.” But as we call it down in the South – they love their Coke, which down here “Coke” just means any soda. So you come down here and you want to order a soft drink, you just ask for a Coke, and then they’ll ask you what flavor. You have to repeat yourself and say, “Coke, just a regular Coke.” And you’ll wonder why you had to repeat yourself – because “Coke” is just our word for soda, or a soft drink, or pop or whatever you want to call it. So they’ll say, “That’s one of the easy cuts. Immediately I’m going to give up my pop, my soda, my Coke, and I’m going to move over to this diet soda, because the diet soda has zero calories. So it’s the perfect drink because it tastes almost like the regular thing. And once I get used to it it’ll be fine. And it has no calories.” So they go into this mindset of, “This is the diet drink. This is what I need.” And they’ll say “diet” or “light” – “This is what I need to drink.” Can you tell us why that’s not necessarily the best path to health?

Thom King (18:30): I do a lot of experiments on myself. I would consider myself a bit of a biohacker. So, I was drinking a lot of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, thinking that it’s going to help me maintain good blood sugar levels, it’ll keep me in ketosis. But what I found is that if I was drinking diet soda at night, when I wake up the next morning, my blood sugar level would be elevated, and I was having a hard time getting myself into deep nutritional ketosis. So, I just conducted a little bit of an experiment and I also talked to a couple of PhDs about what’s potentially going on with diet soda. I’ve tested blood sugar before, blood sugar after, same with ketones. And I found that diet soda that contains aspartame or sucralose, which is Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi – that those will actually elevate my blood sugar levels and they will slightly decrease the amount of ketone bodies. And when I talked to a couple of doctors about it, what came up for them is that your body doesn’t recognize these manmade chemicals. It recognizes that it’s sweet, but it doesn’t recognize them because we don’t have the receptors for them. With Stevia or monk fruit, with natural high intensity sweeteners, our body recognizes it because we’ve got the receptors to recognize it, so it says, “This is Stevia, or this is monk fruit. This tastes sweet, but it’s not impacting blood sugar levels at all. This is how we’ll metabolize it.” But with aspartame and sucralose, your brain doesn’t recognize it. We don’t have receptors for it, which means that your body is basically going to function like you just had sugar, and the only benefit that you could get from chemically-sweetened soft drinks is the calorie abatement, but you’re still going to get a rise in your blood sugar level and you’re still going to get your ketone levels to drop, because your body doesn’t know what it is.

Allan (20:46): So, even though it’s not sugar and even though it’s zero calorie, it’s doing a sugar-like thing to you. Or maybe not exactly like sugar, but it’s changing your metabolism by causing your insulin and sugar responses to kind of go out of whack.

Thom King (21:05): Absolutely. And I’ve done this experiment several times. Occasionally, I’ll indulge myself with a Diet Coke – I love Diet Coke – but I do so with the knowledge that it is going to probably take me out of ketosis and it is probably going to raise my blood sugar levels a little bit. The fact that it doesn’t have any calories is a plus, but when you’re leading a ketogenic lifestyle, the goal is to keep yourself above, say, 0.6 to 1.5 millimoles of ketone bodies. So, there’s going to be a cost to it. But there are plenty of good replacements out there, like Zevia. Zevia is a soft drink that’s made with Stevia and it’s actually really good. If I’m going to indulge with a diet soft drink, I will certainly go with something that’s naturally sweetened over something that’s artificially sweetened.

Allan (22:09): When I moved away from Diet Coke, I was definitely an addict. Getting away from it was painful. So it’s not easy, but I did replace that with the green teas and coffee and things like that. There are now some products that are Stevia-based that are really good, if you want to continue the Cola route. There’s also tea and coffee, or good old water.

Thom King (22:37): When you’re on a ketogenic diet, drinking plenty of water is really important. You want to keep your body definitely hydrated, so your kidneys aren’t working overtime.

Allan (22:50): That is a big, big thing that a lot of folks struggle with ketosis. They get what they think is hunger, and the reality of it is either they’re not getting enough water or they’re not getting enough electrolytes. Once they figure that out for themselves, they’re so much better off and they have so much more energy.

Thom King (23:10): Absolutely, and that is key. I do keep little packets of electrolytes, and I have an app on my phone that reminds me to drink water every hour.

Allan (23:20): And then there is your journal, so full circle.

Thom King (23:24): It’s true. I hold myself accountable.

Allan (23:27): Good deal. Thom, if someone wanted to get to know you, get to know more about Guy Gone Keto and all the other things you’re doing, because you’ve got a lot going on – where would you like for me to send them?

Thom King (23:43): You can find me on any and all socials under Guy Gone Keto. You could also find me personally on all of the socials, and that’s Thom King PDX, as in Portland. My personal website is ThomKing.com. And my company is Steviva Brands, and you can go to Steviva.com. Yeah, any of the socials, and feel free to reach out, direct message me. I’m available to answer anybody’s questions.

Allan (24:25): I will have all of those links and all those social media outputs available in the show notes. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/328 and find all of those links there. Thom, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Thom King (24:41): Allan, it was an absolute pleasure. It was an honor to be on your podcast.

Allan (24:47): Thank you.

I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Thom. I know I did. The similarities in some of our storylines and the things that we went through were very, very interesting. And it’s also interesting that both of us found keto as a way to address our issues. It turns out July for me is becoming this month of book editing. It’s not fun; I don’t really enjoy the process of doing the editing of something that I wrote or said. And as I go through it, it’s a struggle, but I’m seeing the book come to life and that’s really, really exciting. I’m calling the book The Wellness Roadmap. I’m going to start putting together a page for that real soon. It’ll probably be at WellnessRoadmap.net. If you go out there right now, you probably won’t find too much, but I am putting that together and it’s just really exciting to see a book come together. We’re working through cover art and we’re talking about layout, and we’re, of course, dealing with pages and pages of text.

But it got me to thinking, there are certain things that are true in life. If you want something, it’s not always a direct path. You can’t necessarily be a better human, can’t do the things you always want to do just by doing them. I like playing volleyball, but I know that I’m not going to be as good a volleyball player if I don’t put in the time to do other things – some of the things that we don’t like, like sweating or lifting weights or when the weather doesn’t let us get outside, doing our runs on a treadmill. There are going to be those times when there are things that we don’t enjoy, that we should still do to improve our health.

One of the caveats out there, “What’s the best exercise?”, and the answer that’s typically given is, “The one you’ll do.” I completely, wholeheartedly agree with that. When we were looking at cover art, there was one with the couple being relatively athletic on the page, I said that people might not like that. They might not like that you have to do workouts to get the things you want. And you don’t “have to”, but if you want optimal health, if you want true wellness, then sometimes you are going to probably have to do a few things that you don’t enjoy. I want you to think about those things from the perspective of why you’re trying to get where you’re trying to get, and it does make those things just a little more tolerable. So, do the things you don’t want to do when it’s getting you to a place where you want to be – that’s the short story of all that. So, I’m going to be spending a lot of time editing a book, even though it’s not the funnest thing for me. I am very excited about what it’s going to do when I’m done.

Also, this week I’m getting on a plane to New London, Connecticut. Actually flying into Boston, and I think it’s about a 2.5-hour drive from there. Then I’m going to go to New London, Connecticut – 20th to the 22nd I’ll be there. If you’re in the area, you can email me at allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com, and I’ll be glad to catch a coffee or a drink with you. Let’s have a good time, let’s get to know each other. I really like talking to people that have heard the podcast and get your advice on some things that I can do better as a podcaster and as a coach.

And I’ll talk about coaching. I mentioned this last week – I’m looking for clients, I want to help you do this. If you’re looking for a coach, you think you might get some value from a coach – let’s talk about it. I know a lot of this is you go online, you see a forum, you see a page. I’m not a pressure salesman. I’m not going to say, “Do this or else.” I see a lot of that. I see a lot of, “Lose 20 pounds in three weeks and…” And that’s great – you can lose 20 pounds in three weeks. It’s completely possible. It’s not healthy and it’s not going to make you well. It’s going to make you thinner, but it’s not necessarily going to make you well.

I, as a coach, try to empower my clients. I try to teach my clients and I help my clients, and as a result they get well. And that’s what I want for you. So if you’re on the fence, you think this is something that might be good for you, you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com – I’ve got some information there. I can tell you about all the programs I have if you want to know. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Talk, and that’s going to take you to a calendar link, where you can actually book a 15-minute block of time and we can just talk. We can talk through whatever issues you’re dealing with, whatever your health concerns are, whatever your fitness goals are. We can talk through what they are and make a decision if coaching is right for you. It’s not right for everybody, but I can tell you having someone there to keep you accountable, someone there coaching you, teaching you, empowering you to take your fitness journey, your health journey, your wellness journey to the next level – I think there’s a lot of value there that you might be missing out on. So I’d encourage you to go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Talk and learn more today. Thank you. Next time on the 40+ Fitness podcast, we meet Dr. Joel Kahn and discuss his book, The Plant-Based Solution. Until then, have a happy and healthy week.


Another episode you may enjoy

Easy keto with Carolyn Ketchum


Easy keto with Carolyn Ketchum

One of the biggest struggles people have with sticking with an eating plan is the effort it takes to cook meals.  In her book, Easy Keto Dinners, Carolyn Ketchum gives us some great tips and recipes to make eating ketogenic much easier.

Allan (03:42): Caroline, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Carolyn (03:45): Thank you. Allan. How are you?

Allan (03:46): I'm doing very, very well. Your book is Easy Keto Dinners. This is going to be really cool because it's hard to be prepared. It's hard to always be cooking and even though we can do certain things like batch cooking, or just keep things very simple, like a steak and Broccoli. Some nights it is a struggle.  You've put together a cookbook that makes some of our favorite meals available to us in a fairly easy way.  Can you explain the concept of easy for us a little bit?

Carolyn (04:29): Yeah. It's interesting. A lot of people ask, does this mean everything's under 30 minutes and I can make it quickly? Well, yes and no. There are plenty of easy fast recipes in the book and then there are plenty of easy, slow recipes in the book because sometimes if you have a 30 minute meal, that means that you're staying ending. They're chopping and cooking and sorting and doing everything, you know, standing there for 30 minutes actually working. And then there's recipes where it takes you 10 minutes of prep time and you throw everything in a pot or a slow cooker and you walk away and you know, a couple, three or four hours or up to eight hours and then it's done, but you're not actually cooking the whole time. So my concept of easy is just, it's really the minimal prep time and the minimal work and the minimal sort of having to create everything yourself.

Allan (05:17): Yeah. Some of the recipes are so simple and they are very quick. Some of these you'll have done in almost no time. Others, you are going to spend a little time on the prep and then you're setting it free and you can go about your life. You're not right there. It's a good mix of both. Do you mind if we take a step back a little bit and talk about why you're writing keto cookbooks?

Carolyn (05:51): Well, yes. I have not ever had weight to lose. That's lucky me. A lot of people come to keto for weight loss. But I had gestational diabetes at ease with my third child and after she was born it seemed to go away. All my blood tests seem to be saying I was good to go. I kept testing every so often. I started to see the numbers creep back up and I got concerned. I went to my doctor and we agreed that I had prediabetes and needed to do something about it. I did my research. Very few people in the medical world are actually suggesting low carb, although it's becoming more and more common. Thank goodness.  I decided after doing some research and having known when I had gestational diabetes how much work it took to keep my blood sugar under control when I was on a standard American diet. I just knew something had to change. So I just started cooking and baking low carb.

Allan (06:58): Even though I eat keto most of the year. That's not something that I really try to push on anybody else because I don't want to be that guy. It's funny. Not Funny. It's actually kind of sad. My sister and I were having a conversation this morning about her having the same issue. She had gestational diabetes and then after her third child, she now has to be very careful. She'll notice her blood sugar going way, way up. I don't think she's as diligent at checking it and managing it and doing those things.  At least this week when I'm feeding her, she's gonna be eating low carb

Carolyn (07:40): Good. And maybe she'll see. I think the thing for me and the reason I write cookbooks and write a blog is I've fallen in love with this lifestyle, but it took awhile. When I decided I had to go low carb and gluten-free. I basically sat on my kitchen floor and cried because I'd always been a passionate baker and I thought that was over for me. I've discovered it's not, which is fabulous. I've discovered there are so many wonderful ways to cook and eat and be keto. I think people are very much afraid of it and I understand why. Because I'm going to have to give up all my favorites, but you're not going to have to. You're just going to have to make them in a very different way. And sometimes you do have to change your taste, but it does happen. And then you start to love it. Why would I ever do anything else?

Allan (08:27): My wife was getting into it. She was doing the shopping on Saturday. I took a picture of your cookbook, the ingredients list, and I told her to get these things. One of the recipes I sent her was for the cheesy biscuits that I planned to make for breakfast this morning. When I went up in the pantry, started looking around like, there's no coconut flour.  She didn't get it. She thought we had some.  No.  I said, and you don't get any cheesy biscuits. No cheesy biscuits for you. But I will probably go shopping this afternoon and buy some coconut flour so she can have cheesy biscuits tomorrow.

As you get into these things and you start learning more and more about the kind of recipes and stuff that's out there, you do realize there are adaptations. It's not as convenient as going to the grocery store. And the freezer section and there being a whole keto section. Paleo kind of took off and now there's that. They advertise that they're Paleo dishes and that's wonderful. There aren't that many low carb stuff convenience foods. There are diabetic sections and stuff where they'll have the candies and the other stuff. But now we're using real whole food and prepping it ourselves. This is really cool because you've, you've made it really easy.

Can you give us some tips? For me, it's always been batch cooking. That way you're getting a lot of value out of the amount of time you're investing. I could see taking some of these recipes, adapting them times four, times five and putting those away. Can you kind of give us some of your tips on how to have an efficient and effective kitchen?

Carolyn (10:31): Yeah, I have a lot of tips. One of the things is you say batch cooking and I'm just not good at that. I never have been. I know it's a great way to do things and if I'm making something like Carnitas or pulled pork or that kind of thing, it always ends up being a whole bunch and then we put some in the freezer. That's great. It's just never been my style. Part of the reason is that I like a lot of variety. I don't want to have to eat the same thing within two days of each other. There are not a lot of keto convenience foods out there, but it's growing. But I would say be careful there because a lot of people are calling things keto and they have a lot of junk in them.

Be careful if you purchase some of those things. But one of the things for me is these days grocery stores are making things really easy on us so you don't have to make all your own bone broth. Maybe it's not quite the same. Maybe it's not quite as nutritious. But buying, Pacific Foods bone broth or a Whole Foods brand bone broth is going to save you a lot of time and energy. Things like we were talking about cauliflower rice earlier. The grocery stores are now putting out rice cauliflower, whether it's in the fresh section or the freezer section. I make a lot of my own tomato sauce. But then there are times when I've blown through my stash from the summer.  I go to the store and I check the labels to find the lowest carb one that I can.

So one of the things that I did in this book was a resource guide for store-bought options. You don't have to reinvent the wheel and make everything yourself. I think that that saves you a lot of time. Try prepping ahead sometimes if you know you're going to be having a busy week prepping things ahead, like cutting things up or you were saying cauliflower, you do sometimes just sort of sit there in front of the TV and rice your cauliflower. Sure. Why not? That's a great idea. And one of my favorite tips though is rotisserie chicken. Almost every grocery store has a rotisserie chicken section. You grab one and you can make easily two to three meals out of that. Or you can just cook your own chicken ahead and have it shredded and in the freezer and then you pop it into a recipe.

Allan (13:01): When I say batch cooking, it's not always dishes. I'm going to grill, you know, a lot of chicken quarters because I'm out on the grill cooking steak and then I'll grill a bunch of chicken. I'm doubling up on my time. And then another, another thing is if I, if I know I'm going to be making a crockpot meal that day when I get back from the grocery store or the farmer's market, I've got all fresh vegetables and fresh meat and as I'm unpacking, I'm washing, cutting and putting it in a crockpot rather than putting it in the refrigerator. So, by the time I finish unpacking my groceries, I've already got the meal started.

Carolyn (13:56): I think that's fabulous. If you have an instant pot you can do some of that stuff too. That's always fun. I'm getting used to mine and trying to do more recipes with it. When you talk about going to the farmer's market or the grocery store, you have to have a stocked pantry. I mean if your cupboard's bare and you come home from work and there's nothing to make, then even my recipes won't help you. You have to pick a day of the week where you go and you have your list of what I might probably make this week. It can change a little as you go and you have to stock things. Keeping some proteins in your freezer like ground beef and chicken thighs. I'm, I'm a fan of chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts personally. I think they have more flavor.  Just having them on hand, and even if you forget to take them out of the freezer, there are ways to quick thaw them.  There is a section on that in the book with tips like that to save you some time.

Allan (14:57): Yeah. It's really about having it all stocked.  In the future,  I will have coconut flour on hand to make those cheesy biscuits. I didn't have it and like you said, if you're missing that one ingredient, then you're now looking for option number two, which is probably the same thing you ate yesterday, that the eggs and bacon or the eggs and sausage. But that's unsatisfying when you want to change things up a little bit. Um, and you said yourself, you, you don't like to eat the same thing, so you like to change things up.

One of the things I like about the Easy Keto Dinners cookbook it has a lot of variety in flavors. Some of them are very interesting flavors and others I know have particular health benefits. Can you talk a little bit about what spices you're using in here, some of the reasons why you're using them, either from a pairing of flavors or a health benefits?

Carolyn (16:03): Well, I have a lovely large spice drawer that I keep pretty much totally stocked at all times. Another question that I get from people is, do these recipes have five ingredients or less? And I'm like, well, maybe if you don't count the spices, because I think, again, people confuse easy with fewer things and if you have a good spice cabinet, you've got tons of things in there to help flavor your foods. I like spicy stuff.

One of my favorite recipes in the book is the one pot jerk chicken and rice because I really love those jerk flavors. I faked it in this one because a real jerk seasoning a has brown sugar. We're not going to do that. It also has scotch bonnet peppers, which are hard to find and at any time of year. So I made it spicy without the Scotch bonnets. It's a dry rub too, whereas a real jerk seasoning mix would be sort of a wet paste. You can fake flavors and get really close to the real thing.

There's tons of health benefits to so many spices. I know turmeric fights inflammation, but you have to eat a lot of it to do that. It's flavor that gives us a sense of safety. So along with the fat from the keto diet, we need flavor for us to be like, wow, now I'm full. I don't need anymore. And I think knowing when we're full is part is one of the benefits of the keto diet.  Knowing when we're satiated and stopping.

Allan (17:55): Yeah. And I think that's another thing cooking, is you can be proud. I don't mean this in a bad way, but if you can take pride in the fact that you prepared a really good dish, even if it was easy, the fact that it tastes good and you really are enjoying it, you're probably going to slow down. You're going to make eating a lot more mindful, right? Which is going to make everybody's life better.

Carolyn (18:22): I learned that early in college. I remember being in my dorm and the food was so bad that everybody would eat a meal but they wouldn't feel full or they wouldn't feel satiated and they'd head to the convenience store afterwards and get chips and chocolate bars. I remember doing that too. And feeling like, wow, you know, food needs to have an impact on your taste buds for you to feel satiated.

Allan (18:45): Yeah.  You've got things in here like the chicken Parmesan casserole, spicy pork and cabbage stir-fry. So there's, there's variety and you've organized it based on the protein source a throughout the book.  Then you have a little guide at the back that's really cool because if you're wanting to manager your prep time, which ones are fast, which ones are slow.  It has a food allergy and sensitivity guide as well. It is great to have this little guide where you broke down to make it even easier to know what you're doing.

Carolyn (19:19): I made sure that 50 percent, it's a little more than 50 percent of the book is dairy free or can be made dairy free. And there aren't a lot of recipes with nuts in them. So if you're a nut allergy person then you're good to go with most of these recipes. I think that that's important too because somebody needs to know at a glance whether something's going to have something that they're intolerant to

Allan: (19:44): And you flag those. So it's very easy for us to go through and know which ones would impact us.

Then the other thing is, because a lot of a lot of recipe books don't do this, you actually have the breakdown of the macros. I think is very important for someone when they're first coming on to keto. They're trying to get their fat intake up to a certain level and keep their carbs low. You've put that together in a way where I know this is going to put me in the right macro profile for the day. I'm maintaining my ketosis.

Carolyn (20:24): I think everybody needs that. I calculate them all myself on a program that I have downloaded on my computer. It's a paid program. So it's not like My Fitness Pal.  My Fitness Pal has tons of errors because it's user inputted data.  But even my paid software will have errors since it pulls from the USDA web database.  The problem is they are using averages. My chicken thighs weren't as big as the average chicken thigh. I get a lot of pasture raised chicken. My chicken thighs are not that big because they were not plumped up by all the grains. I had to do some hand calculating, which was exhausting.

Allan (21:11): I built a spreadsheet when I first started going keto.  When I would cook a Chili it would be without the beans. I would use about a third, maybe a half of the tomatoes I would have used otherwise to cut back a little bit. And I got a lot more meat in there and when I browned it I put all the fat back in there and even put some more fat in there. And so now based on everything I added, I'm like, I've got the calorie counts and they've got the macros of all of the ingredients.  I added them up and divided to make a serving around 500 calories.  How many servings does this make? And man, that spreadsheet was like the banking records for GE,

Carolyn (21:55): I kind of find the math a little fun. And sometimes I would go, whoa, that's way too much protein for this recipe. And I would have to dig and do some research and figure out. Because in my database it will also have, you know, five different chicken thighs in there, based on like whether the bone isn't it or whether the skin is still on or whether it was enhanced (the step where they shoot it up making them look plumper and juicier). I had to find the right one that was more like my chicken breasts. I feel obligated to say that all of those are provided as a courtesy. But if somebody is very, very specific, then they should probably be doing their own calculations because as, like I said, things are pulling from averages and it's very hard to do. And if you're very specific and you weigh everything. I know a lot of people when they first start keto, they're weighing everything they eat. Then they should probably try to calculate it a little bit themselves.

Allan (23:06): Yeah. Once you get comfortable with the way that you're preparing your dishes it actually gets easier and easier. The higher the quality of the food, That's again, that's another reason why I'm such a big proponent of cooking for yourself.  You know what you're putting in your body and your family's bodies.  The food we eat is health. If we're not doing food right, then we're not taking care of ourselves.

Carolyn (23:43): That's why I say to a lot of people, beware the keto products, because there have been several instances recently where companies have been accused of erroneous nutrition labels.  They overstate the amount of carbs.  And they'll call themselves keto.  I would have rather make that cookie myself than have bought your cookie and possibly put myself out of ketosis having done so. Even when the supermarket has the keto section, which they eventually will, because the tide is turning, I feel like you're going to have to read the label and be smart about it.

Allan (24:23): Yeah, absolutely. So the book is Easy Keto Dinners. If someone wanted to learn more about you, get to your blog or learn more about this book or your other books, where would you like for me to send them?

Carolyn (24:35): All Day I Dream About Food is my blog because I really do dream about food all day and I enjoy doing that. I also have a second cookbook, which is my first cookbook and the Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen, which is a more lengthy cookbook that covers everything from breakfast to dessert.  It also has sort of my story a little more and how keto works and things like that. That's a great resource and Easy Keto Dinners is almost like a companion guide. You're adding more dinner recipes to your repertoire.

Allan (25:07): Absolutely. This is going to be episode 318. You could go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/318, and I'll have the links there. Carolyn, thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

Carolyn (25:20): Thank you. It was wonderful to talk to you.

Allan (25:29): If you're enjoying the 40+ Fitness Podcast, would you please go out to itunes and leave us a rating and review. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/review. That will take you the itunes page and you can leave us a rating and review right there. Thank you.


Another episode you may enjoy

Keto comfort foods with Maria Emmerich

April 30, 2018

Keto Cure with Dr. Adam Nally

Dr Adam Nally, aka Doc Muscles, collaborated with Jimmy Moore and Maria Emmerich to write the book KetoCure – A Low-Carb, High-Fat Dietary Solution to Heal Your Body & Optimize Your Health. This book takes Dr Nally's 18 years of medical experience and nearly 14 years living a keto lifestyle and presents a way for you to take control of your healthy using ketosis.

Sponsor:  This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil.  They are offering you a $39 bottle of their high quality, fresh-pressed olive oil for only $1.   Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/oliveoil to learn more.

Allan (06:53): Dr. Nally, welcome to 40+ fitness.

Dr Adam Nally (06:56): Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

Allan (06:58): They call you Doc Muscles and you have a story. I think they should call you the Keto Cowboy because a lot of your pictures are you with your horse and living out there in Arizona and all that. And it's like, yeah, I think of you more as the Keto Cowboy than Doc Muscles. But you kind of have both of them going on. Could you take just a moment and talk about the story of how you became Doc Muscles?

Dr Adam Nally (07:23): Well, you know, it's kind of funny. In medical school, the one way I blew off steam was lifting weights and so I was in the gym. They had a gym that was part of our medical school that we could go and use anytime we want it to and so I found myself in the gym lifting weights. It's a lot because that was just what I enjoy doing. The one on one day I was in there with a couple of friends and the trainer you turned to me and said, hey, if you keep doing it will be the doctor of muscles. And so one of my buddies who would rather golf then lift weights, he said, “We'll just call your Doc Muscles.” And so it was a stupid, little off-the-cuff comment.

A few days later we actually had to pick a Twitter name and that was right as Twitter had been released and we were communicating via social media. I couldn't think of a handle, so I just used Doc Muscles and that's the handle that I've had for Twitter and Facebook. It really wasn't intentional. Other than that, that's where it came from. I've always enjoyed weightlifting and always enjoyed the process of gaining muscle, being fit and my fitness has waxed and waned through that through the years as you go through schooling and training and various things, but I've always gone back to the fact that that weightlifting has been one of the big things I've enjoyed.

For me, weightlifting is cathartic. Plus now over being over 40 and understanding sarcopenia, now it's not just fun. It's actually important. It's critical. There's nothing to blow off stress better than just throwing around weights. Well, I have to say riding my horses is the other one that I enjoy. It's actually quite enjoyable and we're finding that weights play a huge role in insulin resistance, which I'm sure we'll talk about later. And it helps with testosterone.

Allan: I read this a study not too long ago by a Harvard scientist. They went through their hypothesis and they did their study and they basically found that the low-carb high-fat diet performed better than the standard way that they want you to lose weight (complex carbs and low fat). They acknowledged the low-carb high-fat diet but concluded that's too hard to comply with, so you should do it our way. He's not wrong to an extent. When you first try to get into Ketosis, it can be quite difficult and challenging once you're there. It's well worth the effort, but it's that kind of that first several days, where they use the term Keto flu. I prefer to call it carb withdraws as your body learns how to do different fueling systems. Can you talk a little bit about that keto-adaptation and then some of the hacks that you have that will help us get through that process a little bit more effectively?

Dr Adam Nally (10:30): That's a perfect question. You know, it's interesting. I've been doing a keto lifestyle for about 13 1/2, almost 14 years. In the first five or six years, it was more low-carb. What we realized though is that to be in Ketosis, you have to be very, very low carb. And that means in many cases is it's less than 20 grams a day of carbohydrate. And that's where a lot of the other researchers who I think were probably raised on bread and pasta, will say that's too hard and nobody can give up bread and pasta.

Allan (11:07): You find that when you think about eliminating that from your diet, it can be some challenge. But when you actually feel as good as you feel when you achieve a ketogenic state and you start to see a dramatic improvement in all of the inflammation and the other things that occur. You feel fantastic. You don't want to go back. When you do cheat and you go out of Ketosis, you feel so bad. You'll ask, “why did I ever live this way?” It is a very sustainable lifestyle.

If you look at the standard American diet, the average plate on the American eats and probably other countries as well, 85 percent of what's on there is starch of some sort of some form of starch or carbohydrate or sugar and that, so our body gets used to those fuel types and amazingly the epigenetics forms around eating a certain way. Our genetics are designed to help us eat. We downregulate fat absorbing receptors in the gut and also in every cell in the body. They're called mct receptors and we downregulate those well when we start eating more fat and we shift to a keto diet, where we're decreasing the carbohydrate or increase in fat. Our bodies don't usually have as many receptors is that needs to absorb that fuel. So number one, you're not gonna absorb the fat as fast and so it takes a little time to get the fuel in. Number two, it takes weeks and sometimes a couple of months to upregulate enough for those receptors both at the gut and also in the cells to absorb that fat into the system and have it available as fuel.

And third, there is a conversion process in the liver that takes a little time in helping your body adapt to being able to convert the ketones even faster and that can take a little time, too. So there's this transition period of a couple of weeks to some people, a couple months where you may feel a little more fatigued. You may not have the energy or sustainability, but if you're an athlete, a lot of athletes will say, well, I felt more tired during this first two months period of time. I couldn't hit my race pace that I normally hit or I couldn't lift as hard as I thought it was lifting. And that's just because there's a problem with fuel as you're shifting over. So that's actually pretty normal.

A lot of the keto flu symptoms or that people get are not related to the adaptation period. They're actually related to dehydration or an inadequate salt intake or something. I haven't done a number of patients that come in and they just are afraid to eat 70 percent fat. There was tremendous fear and so instead of eating red meat or pork, they cut their carbs out and they keep eating chicken and they limit the fat. I have a few of them are still using that I Can't Believe It's Not Butter stuff or whatever that is. We want you to add the fat back in. So sometimes it's just you're not eating enough fat to bring your percentages up to 70 or 80 percent. It may that you're not taking in enough salt and that will be sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Then, as you mentioned, there's often a period of time where there is carb withdrawal. I have some patients that are so carb addicted, they'll actually get migraine headaches that kick in over that first week because of that carb addiction is so powerful. The fructose is converted to an aldehyde form in the liver that acts similarly to the morphine and actually stimulates a similar receptor in the brain that morphine does causing this, “Woah. I love that” kind of a feeling. And you have withdrawal from that. So those are the pieces that fall into that Keto flu or that adaptation period. You get fatigue and feeling groggy and lack of energy we often refer to as Keto flu, the adaptation period, depending on what, how and what your body's used to may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.

Allan (14:36): Now it's funny, the folks that sit there and say, you can't live without pasta or bread. They haven't met Maria Emmerich who is one of the coauthors on here and has a lot of recipes in the book. I made her actually did her braised duck with lemon thyme. I substituted with chicken and man, you know, that that's worth the price of the book right there. Just that recipe. She's so, she's so awesome. Jimmy Moore was also a coauthor on the book and he puts a lot of flavor on this from the perspective of someone who's really, really struggled. He's learned a lot over the years. He does his podcasts and so he's kind of one of the preeminent experts, along with yourself, on ketosis.

One of the things Jimmy really deals with, it's really kind of a huge, huge struggle for him, is insulin resistance. As we look at what is happening, and you even say it in the book several times, one of the core elements of the lifestyle diseases we get is our insulin levels. But if you are insulin resistance, using ketosis as a therapy is going to help you improve your health. Can you talk a little bit about insulin resistance and how ketosis can help us reverse some of those problems?

Dr Adam Nally (16:03): I've been in medical practice about 18 years in total, including residency and training. And the interesting thing I saw was these patterns that started arising in the first few years of my practice. People that would come in and they would have a little bit of weight gain, their blood pressure would start to creep up a little bit, their cholesterol starts to rise, and then they'd have gout or they'd have a kidney stone. Some of them have a little bit of neuropathy that occurs and they wouldn't be all at one time. They would have one of these or they'd have a couple of these things arise. And then I would notice their fasting blood sugar was just slightly high, and then a few years down the road and we'd all have a sudden see that they gained a little more weight, their blood pressure is creeping up and we were adding a few more blood pressure pills, an extra statin, and drug here and there. Women were coming in to see me saying, I am gaining weight, my periods are irregular, I'm having trouble getting pregnant, or various things like that.

So there were these patterns that kept occurring over and over and over again. And if you look back in the literature, these things didn't really show up in the early 1900s and late 1800s. They weren't there, but they started in the early 40s and 50s and 60s and then became predominant through the 70s and 80s. As you're looking at these patterns, you see these things repetitively over and over as you go through door number one and door number two in my office. It got to be quite fascinating. So in trying to understand me, I was struggling the same thing. If you meet my clan, many of the Nally's are 300 – 400 pounds. My father was almost 400 pounds when he died. If you look at his labs and my labs, they're almost identical in the early thirties and I was really worried that my father progressed to type 2 diabetes and was eventually on 150 units of insulin, 32 pills and dialysis. He ended up having a heart attack. I was looking down the same road. That bothered me and it bothered me that I was seeing it and I was doing what I was taught to do in school.

Yet it wasn't changing and my patients were doing what I was asking them to do, but it wasn't changing and we kept adding pills every year. That was very bothersome. What I started to notice was his insulin level. I would check it periodically. It would creep up and I started noticing that his insulin load was higher and higher. One of the things that I was trying to identify as is there another marker that we can use to catch diabetes earlier. One of the things I saw was triglyceride levels jump. We know that insulin directly stimulates triglycerides. If your triglycerides start to rise, what that basically says this, your insulin load was high in the last 24 hours, and so I started looking at patterns of insulin. What we found and what I've found in the literature is that 10 to 15, sometimes 20 years before you ever become a type 2 diabetic, your insulin levels will start to be high and those high insulin levels will create one of six patterns:

  1. Weight gain,
  2. high cholesterol,
  3. Elevated blood pressure,
  4. Infertility issues in women,
  5. Polycystic ovarian disease, and
  6. Thyroid changes.

All of these are patterns of the way the body's handling this excessive insulin load.

We know that from the perspective of weight gain, there are over 32 hormones that drive weight gain itself, but insulin seems to be the master hormone. So if your insulin's off, it throws the rest of these hormones out of whack and your body may use different patterns to try to accommodate that. With a high insulin load and based on your genetics, insulin resistance starts to identify itself.

Insulin resistance is a problem with many of the, what I call diseases of civilization. So high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, Gout, and kidney stones. These are all diseases that we didn't see much of before the 1900s. And all of a sudden we do. I started noticing is that about 85 percent of the people that walk through my doors had high insulin levels 10 to 15 years before we ever diagnosed them as diabetics. They were overproducing insulin in response to the sugar, the starch they eat.

If you give me a piece of bread, theoretically I should produce a slight sort of insulin for that piece of bread. But if you check my insulin when I eat that piece of bread, I'll produce 10 times the insulin in response to that bread. And that insulin acts like a worn away key. It doesn't quite get the cell open very effectively. So the body produces more of it. You have now 10 times the insulin floating around your body doing the job that one key was supposed to do.  Those 10 keys also stimulate other processes in the body that shouldn't have been stimulated by that one piece of bread.

Allan (20:30): I really enjoyed that metaphor that you had in the book where you talked about a worn key and how much additional effort it has to go on to actually open the lock. You're turning that key and if it were the way it was supposed to be, one key goes in and just does it, but our body doesn't react that way if we have this propensity to have more insulin in our system.

Insulin is not a bad thing.  You even say that in a book. It's actually a good thing because it's there to protect our brain by keeping our blood sugar levels at the level they're supposed to be, but we're just a little out of whack if we're going to get these surges of blood sugar and whatnot.

So the standard American diet (SAD) way of eating a is literally going to continue to take you down that sick path. I appreciate that you, you mentioned a lot of those diseases PCOS, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, all those different things. I want to talk about a couple of them that are going to really hit home.

This was the first time I'd ever really seen anyone tie hypertension to this whole situation and how ketosis could help hypertension. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Dr Adam Nally (21:44): Well, it shocked me. I started applying the low-carb keto lifestyle and I noticed it helped me with my weight. So I said, well, let's try this with my patients and see what happens. We started measuring blood values and monitoring people's biometrics and seeing how they're doing. The amazing thing that I saw was that when people actually lowered their carbs got into ketosis within about two weeks, their blood pressure normalized. One of my patients was on three blood pressure medicines. All of a sudden he called me up and said, hey, I'm dizzy, I'm light-headed, what's going on? And so when we check their blood pressure and his medicines were actually too strong and we had the start are backing them off.

That puzzled me initially.  But the literature says, if you lose weight, you're going to see a drop in blood pressure. For every 10 pounds of weight you gain, your blood pressure goes up five points and vice versa,  It is the standard you're taught in school. But that was, I was seeing much more than that. I was seeing more dramatic drops in blood pressure and it didn't make sense. We started looking into the research that's there and we realized that this high insulin level actually stimulates the body to retain salt of sodium, potassium, and even magnesium. And so your body will hang onto these salts and water follows salt wherever it goes.

Water is kind of a boyfriend for salt. Salt goes here, the water follows.  Insulin is stimulating the kidneys to retain sodium and potassium salts. The blood pressure stays higher and it seemed like the more people followed high-carb low-fat diet their blood pressure crept up. And when I switched it around and we put them on a keto diet, their blood pressure would fall.  That correlated really well with the drop in their insulin loads. And the drop in their overall inflammatory markers. When we put a person in the ketogenic state, before they've lost even five pounds, I'll see 10 points in blood pressure drop, which didn't correlate with what you're taught in school.

So I thought this has to be hormonal. And so as you start looking, and that's what we talked about in the book, is there's a number of, of physiologic functions that insulin stimulates. When you have excess insulin present, you're going to see a dramatic rise in blood pressure. And when we returned that insulin level back to its baseline (normal) level, all of a sudden the pressure normalizes and it does so quite rapidly. It was an eye-opening process I was not expecting to see.

Allan: (24:04): Yeah, when I was first starting this journey and it's one of the things I did, I went to the doctor and he's like, you're prehypertensive. I asked what does that mean? He told me that I almost had high blood pressure. You're right on that line. So when you lose the weight, your blood pressure will go down. And my blood pressure did drop with the weight loss.  But ketosis is basically doing it faster.

I think that's a good thing to note is a, whenever you're going to change the way you eat, the way you move, the things you're doing, it's worth having a conversation with your doctor beforehand so they understand what you're about to do and at least can monitor your medications and things like that so you're not doing something that could potentially wreck yourself even though you're doing the right thing. You have to be aware that you know, if you start feeling a certain way, you need to talk to your doctor because you're actually improving your health, but your medication doesn't know that's what your intention is. So it's going to do what it's supposed to do and you want to. You want to make sure that you're working with your physician to do this.

Dr Adam Nally (25:08): Absolutely. I had a lady that called me up one day and just mad as a wet hen. She was upset that her husband got hospitalized because of the keto diet. And I said, well, who's your husband? She goes, well, he's not your patient. I said, well, did I put him on the Diet? She says, no, I did, but he's on four blood pressure medicines and he almost passed out and so she was really upset that her husband had to go to the hospital because he was so lightheaded. He had almost passed out.  His blood pressure dropped suddenly and he was overmedicated. So we talked to his doctor.

Allan (25:38): Talk to your doctor, please. They may not understand that the keto diet. They may not even agree with the keto lifestyle. Have the conversation with your doctor. You should share that information with your doctor and make good health decisions because the doctor is there to help you. They shouldn't be the decision maker. You should be the decision maker and the doctors there to facilitate you getting healthy, but if you have something you really believe is going to work, have that conversation, be armed, this book is a great way to arm yourself because you can just basically say, look, here's what I'm seeing, here's what I'm thinking.

Tell your doctor you want to give this a try and you need them to work with you and make this happen. And, and, and most doctors, once you kinda put it out there that way, they're like, okay, fine. If you have some problems with your blood pressure, give the of the office a call and we'll talk about lowering your medication or whatever. Don't put yourself in the hospital just trying something, work with your doc.

Now one that was very interesting and I knew there was a kind of a link and it's kind of almost a threeway linked – insulin, cortisol, and testosterone. There's this internal battle happening in your body that if any one of those things gets out of sync, they kind of mess with the other ones and I always knew that existed from the things that I've read, but you put it out there really, really clearly. Working on your insulin levels using the keto diet, you can actually improve your testosterone levels.

Can you talk a little bit about that?

Dr Adam Nally(27:18): Oh, absolutely. This is another shocker. You're applying these principles. All of a sudden people are getting better and you say, I didn't do anything to fix that. The patient didn't change anything. What happened?  Testosterone is a real complex hormone and the way it's produced and the way it responds. What we find is that because of a number of influences of this high insulin load the fat cells produce hormones. Our fat cells produce a plethora of hormones, at least eight of them specifically influencing the way blood sugars are handled and the way insulin responds.  They also affect the way the brain handles testosterone.  When you see this rise in insulin, what ends up occurring as you see changes in the way Leptin and some other hormones like kisspeptin and how those affect the pituitary gland, and then again go into effect the testicular production of testosterone.

It's very sensitive system. Minor things can influence it, and there's this dramatic effect.  About a third of men that come to my practice who are insulin resistant, will start to see their testosterone's drop.  I'm gaining weight. I have no energy. My Libido's gone and I just don't feel like I used to feel. They'll start to see a breast size enlargements and their wife is coming and going and doc, I gotta buy him a Bra. It gets to be a challenge and for many, it's very embarrassing.

The big challenge is that there's not a lot of great treatment for this other than giving testosterone and giving testosterone has some significant side effects. Just giving the testosterone itself didn't fix the problem. So as we started applying keto lifestyles and we started naturally lowering the big insulin response by just removing the starches and the sugars out of the Diet and giving people back fat that what that does is it allows number one, the insulin level to drop. And number two, when you're giving people back real fat that now the body can create testosterone from the fat.   Testosterone is a form of, a derivative of cholesterol, which is a platform of the fat.

And as your body now has the adequate fat present to make adequate testosterone. We this improvement in the overall function. So I'd see guys testosterone's jumped 150 points back up to normal just by making a dietary change within a couple months. And it was dramatic.  We're getting a better response with just this dietary change than I was with given them topical testosterone creams and things of that nature. So I'm very effective in a very brief way. The book actually goes into a lot more of the detail of how that works from a physiological level. But it was another one of those shockers for me to keep seeing this repetitively over and over again. Guys, testosterone's are getting better.

Allan (30:11): Yeah. I interviewed vegan on one of my episodes when I first started.  He had a good argument for the vegan lifestyle and how it works and people are healthy. And I'm like, I don't know that I could go completely Vegan, but I'm going to go pescatarian.  I'm going to eat fish because I live on the Gulf coast. I had a blood test. My lipids always run really high, which I'm not very concerned with because my, my HDL relative to my triglycerides are awesome. In fact, sometimes my HDL is higher than my triglycerides by a good bit.

I gave it a go and my LDL did drop a little. It didn't drop what I would call significant, but my HDL plummeted, my testosterone plummeted, I gained weight. I found this is unbelievable. I'm eating the way skinny people eat and I'm getting fat. It made no sense to me whatsoever except for the fact that get satiated because I wasn't eating enough fat. And so here I am eating some nuts but a lot of fruit and vegetables and fish.  But even though fish has a good fat, it's still generally lean.

I actually gained weight being a pescatarian. It's not what my body needed, so I eat a keto diet, but I eat it on a seasonal basis.  I think that makes it a little bit more sustainable for me because, well my brother is a brewmaster and I love beer and I occasionally enjoy a couple glasses of wine a and things like that and those will sometimes bring me out of Ketosis. I enjoy tailgating. I'm in the southeast, you know, I love football. Are you an Arizona or Arizona state fan? Before I go too far.

Dr Adam Nally (32:31): Oh, I, you know, I'm gonna I'm gonna upset somebody. If I tell you that I actually met my father-in-law, went to ASU. I've got another brother-in-law that went to U of A. So I kind of have to play the fan.  I didn't go to either. I actually went to Grand Canyon University. So I'm a Lopey. I see from that perspective there, but it depends on which family member room with his team on really for at the time. So yeah. when they're playing each other, I watch from home.

Allan (33:05): So during that season I just want to be able to go and kind of enjoy myself and I realized I'm not going to feel my best. I'm not going to operate and maintain my best, but you know, I'm basically going to take that time to enjoy my life. And then when it's over, then I'm going to go into my winter where now I've got to go and get back into ketosis. The way you know, my ancestors very likely spent a large portion of their life being from northern Europe.

Getting into the keto lifestyle is not hard if you have that determination to get there in the first place, but I see so many people wanting to hold on to some semblance of the way they used to eat and they typically do this through artificial and some natural sweeteners.

Can't I use the zero calorie sweeteners? And if I am going to use one, which one would be the best one for me to consider using? I'm not a scientist, I don't know all the science around all of it. I know that there's a lot of ill effects for quite a few of them and there are new ones popping up every day and it's just too much to keep up with. I feel that just eating whole food is the way.  At some point you're going to find that a carrot is actually probably too sweet for you when you actually try to just eat a carrot because your body's telling you there's a lot of sugar in this. A strawberry tastes delicious.

We used to put sugar on blackberries and I have no idea why I used to do that because now I eat them without. But I can't have more than three or four of these because they're just so sweet. You do change your palate. But that said, there just are some people who feel they need that bridge or something, that sweetener thing and to get them to the next level. Can you talk a little bit about these, some of the artificial and the natural sweeteners, and what is the right one for us to consider if we were going to do one?

Dr Adam Nally (35:16): Okay. I practice from a perspective of people. People have to live their lives. You know, you still have life. You're still going to show up at Aunt Matilda's house and she's going to want you to eat a cookie.  If you don't eat that cookie, she's gonna be really upset. You may be offended at Matilda for the rest of your life and then she writes you out of the will. Or she dies the next day and you just feel horrible, but you know, you never ate a cookie and she just was going to hit you for eternity. We have to understand that people h

January 1, 2018

Keto with Maria and Craig Emmerich

The 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, and weightlifters get lower rates on their life insurance. Go to healthiq.com/40plus to support the show and see if you qualify.

Maria and Craig Emmerich are the authors of a new book entitled Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet. As a guide to getting into ketosis for health, the book discusses the science behind how keto works and clarifies a lot of misinformation surrounding the ketogenic diet.

With ketosis, there are serious reasons to avoid alcohol. Maria and Craig explain that alcohol cannot be stored and must be burned off first before any other fuels. Therefore, any other fats and carbs consumed at that time go straight into storage. Alcohol also interferes with one’s hormones, specifically reducing testosterone.

Maria and Craig discuss the fat flux, where the body uses fat cells as a sort of gas tank to fuel the body. When one keeps his carb level low enough, the body is primarily burning fat for fuel and maintaining protein. The fat component, where fat is going in and out of fat cells, then becomes the one variable. Ideally, you will want more fat cells coming out than going in if you aim to lose weight and reduce diabetes. To achieve this, you must moderate your fat intake to where you are burning more fat, instead of simply chasing a ketone number. Exercise is also great for building healthy mitochondria which give you energy and burn fat.

There are three stages to becoming keto adapted. Mental clarity and reduced hunger occurs within the second phase, or four to six weeks into ketosis. This is when the body starts making more mitochondria to burn more fat for fuel. One’s energy level will also soar in this stage. In the third stage or after six months to a year in ketosis, one may still see metabolic improvements.

To connect with Maria and Craig Emmerich or for more information about Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet, visit http://www.mariamindbodyhealth.com and http://www.keto-adapted.com.

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October 30, 2017

Keto for cancer with Miriam Kalamian

Miriam Kalamian is a nutrition consultant and ketogenic diet enthusiast whose new book, Keto for Cancer, shows how the ketogenic diet can be used to improve the body’s response to fighting off the disease. Cancer is generally thought of as an older person’s disease.

Though cancer is generally thought of as an older person’s disease, Miriam’s passion for nutrition developed when her four-year-old son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He started with chemotherapy, yet every treatment failed. After learning that a ketogenic diet could slow the growth of brain cancer, Miriam immersed herself in learning and implementing the diet with her son. In three months, his tumor had not only stopped growing, but had actually shrunk.

Miriam discusses the genetic and metabolic aspects of cancer. Plenty of evidence suggests there is a metabolic component to consider beyond genetic causes. Miriam recommends we look at the underlying cause, which is something that has gone wrong at the cellular level. Often this is an accumulation factor, which is why cancer is often seen in older people. Unhealthy eating also promotes inflammation, which creates a perfect environment for cancer and other diseases to progress.

Because the ketogenic diet slows the growth of cancer, Miriam offers three options on how someone can get into ketosis. These include:

  1. Begin by fasting. While fasting, get your plan in place so you can maintain the advantages of the fast.
  2. Learn everything they need, get what they need, and dive in with a rigorous ketogenic plan.
  3. Remove sugar and carbohydrates and add fats at each meal. Then remove all carbohydrates.

Exogenous ketones can be used for therapeutic reasons for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other conditions. They can be beneficial for a pre-workout energy boost and improved mental clarity. However, the real impacts of exogenous products are unknown. Mariam would not recommend using exogenous ketones for weight loss.

To connect with Miriam Kalamian or to learn more about Keto for Cancer, visit http://www.dietarytherapies.com


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The metabolic approach to cancer with Dr. Nasha Winters and Jess Higgins Kelley

October 12, 2017

Ketone therapy with Dr. Bruce Fife

Dr. Bruce Fife is a nutritionist, physician, and author of the book, Ketone Therapy. In this book, Dr. Fife discusses the ketogenic concept, which involves consuming a high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet, and its many benefits.

One of the key benefits of a ketogenic diet includes the production of anti-aging results. Ketones are an alternative source of fuel in place of glucose. This is like putting a clean fuel into your car. As a result, the body is healthier. A ketogenic diet can also reduce chronic inflammation, allowing measures of one’s health to improve dramatically.

Ketosis can also protect and restore vision problems. Research shows that major degenerative eye diseases are associated with high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. If blood sugar levels can be controlled through the ketogenic diet, you can help prevent or reduce your risk of experiencing these diseases.

Dr. Fife also discusses why ketosis is a great way to approach weight loss. Constant hunger can make a diet seem very difficult. One of the great things about a ketogenic diet is that once your body adapts and starts producing ketones, your hunger is greatly reduced.

Many use keto cycling as the way to find the balance for their own health. Though you can be on a ketogenic diet forever, you do not need to be. In fact, keto cycling may even be a better approach than doing a straight ketogenic diet. The type of cycles depends on your individual needs. Intermittent fasting is another popular approach to ketosis. The simplest application of this might be to fast and eat during restricted times each day. This reduces blood sugar levels and the amount of calories consumed.

To connect with Dr. Bruce Fife or for more information about Ketone Therapy, visit http://www.piccadillybooks.com.

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The metabolic approach to cancer with Dr. Nasha Winters and Jess Higgins Kelley

Note: The audio at the beginning of the interview had a bit of feedback.  It improves shortly into the program.

50% of people will deal with cancer in their lifetime. This informative and groundbreaking new book written by physician Dr. Nasha Winters and nutritionist Jess Higgins Kelley entitled The Metabolic Approach to Cancer gives readers the tools to manage their own healthcare.

In order for a cell to become cancerous, there are 10 security systems that a cell has to breach. This is referred to as the 10 hallmarks of cancer, which are listed below:

  1. Sustained proliferation
  2. Insensitivity to anti-growth signals
  3. Evade apoptosis
  4. Limitless replicative potential
  5. Angiogenesis sustained
  6. Metastasis
  7. Able to reprogram energy metabolism
  8. Avoid immune destruction
  9. Able to promote inflammation
  10. Genome instability and mutation

The philosophy described in the book, the Terrain Ten, details a whole body approach versus just one target or a single treatment approach. This is a complement to western medicine and provides another way to look at the cancer process—one with more of an emphasis on prevention and achieving optimal health.

Ketosis is also discussed, as it may be a good approach if you feel you have a high risk of cancer. The ketogenic diet addresses at least six of the 10 hallmarks of cancer. It also impacts the Terrain Ten in each area and works well as a preventative approach.

The wide range in food quality is also an important factor, as the food we eat is critical when it comes to our health. The authors explain that we need to look at the type of meat we are eating and the kinds of fats being used. Cooking at high temperatures also creates a small problem, as the process can create carcinogens. Lowering the heat, marinating the meat, and using herbs, spices, and seasonings are recommended.

For more information about The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, visit http://optimalterrainconsulting.com/the-book/ or check out the Metabolic Approach to Cancer Facebook page. For more information about assessing your Terrain Ten or to contact Dr. Nasha Winters, visit www.optimalterrainconsulting.com or visit the Optimal Terrain Consulting Facebook page. To contact Jess Higgins Kelley, visit http://www.remissionnutrition.com or visit the Remission Nutrition Facebook page.


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An antidote for alzheimer's with Amy Berger