Ketosis Is A Physiological State… Not A Plate Of Cheese… My Journey So Far With Ketosis And Plant-Based Living
It’s no secret I am fascinated by ketosis, I mean I’m fascinated by anything nutrition and health really but for now let’s discuss ketosis.
How did I get into this kind of eating in the first place? As much as it pains me to say this, it was reading Bulletproof by Dave Asprey. Since I am obsessed with nutrition and learning as much as possible, I pretty much read every book that comes out, whether or not I agree with it, I like to hear other peoples opinions as I really believe you can never learn too much. Many of the books I read I don’t take anything from, some I take on everything and some I take bits and bobs depending on what suits me or what resonates with me.
Bulletproof was once of those books I was expecting to turn my nose up at, I thought Dave Asprey was too radical and annoying (somewhat true) and most of all as a sustainability frother myself, from the little I knew about ketosis and bulletproof I was like…
“ Those diets are SO BAD for the environment, it’s WAY too much meat, you can’t eat meat at EVERY MEAL, the planet can’t sustain it!!!”
So I read the book… Actually first I listened to the audiobook and liked it so much I went and bought the hard copy. From there I became pretty obsessed with bulletproof coffee and ketosis – but I still didn’t go full bulletproof (I don’t like being told what to do).
I have always followed a paleo style diet, really watching my starch intake as I’ve always known I can’t handle huge amounts of carbs – I stopped eating bread, rice and pasta when I was about 14 and haven’t eaten them since.
Despite the fact that I’ve always been paleo-ish, I was still getting large amounts of carbohydrates from fruit (I wouldn’t go a day without 3+ serves of fruit, apples, bananas you name it). Even when I went through a vegan phase, I STILL wasn’t having most traditional grains, instead getting by on lots of root veggies, quinoa, buckwheat and oats.
Back to bulletproof, I slowly started incorporating some of these philosophies into my diet. At the time I called it modified bulletproof diet because I wasn’t following it to a T. Anyone that knows me knows that I hate following the norm and doing what everyone else does so no matter what, I will ALWAYS put my own spin on things, diet included. In actual fact I think everyone should do this as no two people are the same and everyone has different likes and schedules – never feel like you’ve failed because you aren’t following something to an absolute T – it’s much better to take bits and bobs and develop a pattern that works for you.
This meant incorporating some more plant-based, and choosing animal products VERY carefully – I fully believe that if you can’t afford good quality animal products you shouldn’t be eating them…. Period. Grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised, wild caught etc.
I have always been firm in this belief, so it was never an issue of suddenly consuming packets and packets of shit quality mince — yuck… in fact seeing this kind of meat in the supermarket (in which I rarely go to now) literally gives me anxiety and makes me sad.
The words KETO are often associated with a big pile of meat and cheese – and I actually hate using the word keto on my social platforms as I would hate to be associated with this kind of diet. I don’t look at keto as a diet… This is important:
KETOSIS IS A PHYSIOLOGICAL STATE…. NOT A PLATE OF CHEESE
Ketosis as a physiological state, where the body is using ketones to make energy instead of glucose… it’s not a diet and in fact there is multiple different ways you can get into ketosis, and eating a plate of low quality non-organic cheese is probably the worst one I can think of. All the vegans that keep arguing against the keto diet… like… if a vegan doesn’t eat for a week they will be in ketosis so… again its a physiological state, not a diet.
I actually consider myself plant-based because the bulk of my diet is plants… Every meal I have a big bowl of green veggies (I focus first on the lower carbohydrate options – green ones basically), often I’ll add in some of the higher carbohydrate veggies – tomatoes, capsicums, carrots, eggplant… Then I add a small amount of protein (2 eggs, 1 small can of fish, small amount of chicken or beef, some hemp protein or even just bone broth which is actually super high in protein so there’s no need to add in any other kind) then of course I add a bunch of fat – oils, ghee, coconut, nuts and seeds, avocado, occasionally some organic cheese.
This kind of eating paired with intermittent fasting and daily exercise – I’ve found it really easy to get into or maintain ketosis. That said yes my meals will definitely knock me down a little as they are higher in carbs than a typical keto meal (from all the veggies – I like ALOT of veggies) but this is fine! After a few hours or the next day I’m back in deep ketosis – it’s fine to fall in and out and vary within the keto spectrum. This is why I don’t advise people to measure their ketones, it’s unnecessary and I genuinely think it puts you at risk of eating disorders or obsessive eating.
I started measuring my ketones this year on occasion because I wanted to see how my veggie centric diet was affecting it. But tbh it’s not necessary, you know if your in ketosis and you know if it works for you or not. If you’re hating your life it’s probably not for you… If you feel like you have insane amounts of energy and mental performance when in ketosis than your body, like mine, thrives off it.
Today for example… I had a bulletproof coffee this morning after a quick workout. I had my first meal at 12:30pm… It was a big VEGAN salad (woah), mainly green veggies including spinach, zucchini and rocket but it also had a good amount of carrot, beetroot and tomato. I didn’t measure my ketones after it but I assume this will have knocked me out of ketosis. It also had a heap of tahini, flax and hemp seeds and a good glug of olive oil.
My point is… this meal will knock me out of ketosis yes due to the glucose in the beetroot, carrot and tomato… So my body will prioritise burning that for energy… and then when its all used up it will start producing ketones again, and I will likely be in some spectrum of ketosis tomorrow morning if I keep it low carb for the rest of the day. See? Simple, stress free and plant-based! PS. This is a gross over implication of glucose metabolism and storage but of the purposes of this blog post, you get the picture.
I always say eating well and looking after your health should make you less stressed not more. And if I have to be concerned about eating half a carrot in my lunch and then obsessively measure my ketones and get down when it reads that I am out of ketosis… Honestly no thank you I will eat my organic carrot and enjoy it… If it was in season of course.
I’d love to know your thoughts! Feel free to comment below or get the convo going over on the gram!