Can you believe we are already three weeks into the New Year? If you made any resolutions, how have you done? Hopefully, you’ve followed through with them, or at least made an attempt. History shows, however, that by the end of January, most of us have given up on the majority, if not all, of the resolutions we intended to achieve.
One of my big resolutions was to work on my health: body, mind and spirit. For the body component, I intend to go back to a diet which has worked well for me in the past, and that’s the Keto Diet., This diet is basically a low carb/high healthy fat diet, and has been around for the last hundred years or so. As a Type II diabetic, I’ve seen my blood sugar levels normalize within three or four days when I’m on this diet, and I am grateful for my body’s quick response.
Just before the pandemic began, I met with a nutritionist based out of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center, where I see a specialist every six months. After ten years of dealing with this disease, I wanted to be sure I was working with true experts who have devoted their medical careers to helping people like me thrive despite having this chronic illness. I am very blessed to have such a place nearby. After I shared my diabetes history with him, the nutritionist suggested a modified Keto diet, one where I would keep my intake of carbohydrates to less than 100 per day, or about 30-35 per meal.
I quickly found that I could do that, and as my blood sugars levels came way down, so did my weight. Thanks to the travel limitations placed on us during the pandemic, my usual work trips stopped, which meant that I wasn’t traveling like I normally do. I was able to totally control all the food I was eating, and I was feeling better as each week passed by.
In the past couple of years, I’ve found three books on the Keto Diet especially helpful: Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan, Keto For Life by Mark Sisson, and Keto for Dummies by Rami and Vicky Abrams. Of the three, I especially appreciated Suzanne Ryan’s easy to understand “All About Keto” chapter, which spelled out the rationale for this diet, along with the benefits and also struggles which come from integrating it into your daily life. Mark Sisson’s book emphasizes how the Keto diet can help you live a long and healthy life by targeting “four pillars,” which are: Metabolic Flexibility, Movement and Physical Exercise, Mental Flexibility and Rest and Recovery. His “21 Day Biological Clock Reset” provides daily challenges from each of the four pillars. The Keto Diet for Dummies is just what you would expect from this “… for Dummies” series of self-help books. In addition to providing an easy to understand rationale for the Keto Diet and a step by step plan, it’s chock full of recipes, has a section on healthy fasting and one on the importance of developing an ongoing fitness routine.
I know and realize that the Keto Diet may not be for everyone, but it certainly has been effective with my goal of improving my physical health. I hope you’ll check out one of the books I’ve mentioned and consider giving this diet a try. Of course, there are literally hundreds of books on this this topic, but I found these three especially helpful. NOTE: As with any decision which impacts your health, please consult with your medical care provider before making any changes.
Over the next week or so, I’ll be posting about my 2022 personal goals in the areas of mind and spirit. St. Ignatius of Loyola took a cura personalis (care for the whole person: spirit, body, mind) approach to living and helping others, which I really appreciate and try to live out in my daily living. It fits so nicely with St. Paul’s hopeful message in First Thessalonians, “May the God of peace sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit, soul and body be kept sound and blameless…” (5:23).