Two years ago after a particularly painful breakup I went on a classic ‘change my life’ new me – self-denial health kick. I became vegan. I started following a strict Ketogenic way of eating. Gave up sugar and alcohol.
Which let me tell you was incredibly difficult, time consuming and miserable. Unless you have endless money and time to dedicate towards your food and prep time then I would not recommend. One or the other. Not both. Sufficient to say my vegan Keto experiment did not last. The vegan lasted approximately fifty days, the Keto lasted longer. While I do still believe that Ketogenic eating is a valid way to live your life. For those of you who may not have heard of the Ketogenic way of eating it involves switching from burning glucose to burning fats. Essentially cutting out carbs and upping your fat intake. Like anything in the nutrition world it is controversial. In my opinion the fact that no one nutrition path works for everyone, in other words every one is different means that the nutrition community is by very definition full of contradictions. The first thing you will notice if you start reading about nutrition is various specialists telling you a million different ways of eating- all convinced that their way is the only way. For this reason when I say I believe Ketogenic is a valid way to live your life I am not recommending it to anyone else. I am referring only to my own experiences with it. I found it increased my daily energy, my stamina and endurance while working out and helped to sort out my sleeping pattern.
However there are drawbacks. It is expensive. You tend to eat more when you aren’t eating carbs. Unless you eat meat it is difficult to eat out. It can be harmful to your health unless you are well educated about nutrition, are getting everything your body needs and you are doing it for the right reasons. lastly it can be difficult to maintain. Especially if you, like me – love food. Going Keto did change my approach to the way I eat, I really started to noticed how certain foods effected my energy levels, what made me feel good and what made me need to curl up into a ball and take a nap. Now when I talk about nutrition and eating I cannot underline enough that I am speaking only from my own encounters with what makes me feel good and what makes me feel bad. I am not a specialist, if you want to learn more and experiment for yourself it is vital you do your own research and understand that because something works for me or someone else does not mean it is right for everyone. It is a personal journey; you have to find out what works well for you and if you are considering a drastic change then consult a health specialist you trust.
Cutting out previous daily staples such as pasta, bread, potatoes and rice made me a lot more creative with my recipes, I started eating more vegetables and became less lazy with cooking. I realised that I didn’t miss these foods from my life on a day to day basis and I felt a lot less lethargic after eating. I no longer stick to a strict Ketogenic way of eating, I love home baking, cocktails, making desserts and eating fruit. I do occasionally eat some carb heavy foods. I really enjoy them and set time aside for a nap afterwards if need be. However I don’t miss having them every day and I am at a point in my life now where I enjoy food more than ever before. So overall I’m glad I decided to try something new because even though it didn’t stick it did lead to a new way of eating that makes me happy.
For me the most important part of my own health is not feeling restricted, being able to really enjoy what I am eating and feeling good afterwards. To be completely honest I have had issues with food and bulimia since my early teens. Now to be in a position where I have found a way of eating which makes me feel healthy and isn’t restrictive or dangerous in the ways my eating habits have been in the past; and to find a way of eating which has encouraged and sparked a love of cooking and nutrition is amazing.
Healthy eating habits have been an incredibly important battle for me throughout my early twenties. Now to finally feel like I am getting there is such a personal achievement that I feel it is important to shout about it from the tree tops. Most importantly to be in a position in which I can really enjoy food makes me feel like I have finally started to heal and move into a new chapter of my life. One in which I am starting to respect and love my body through what I put into it.