Achieving the Quality of Life I Deserve Through Keto

I grew up in a health-conscious household. My mother would often expose us kids to a plethora of dishes, whether it be traditional, vegetarian, vegan, etc. But we had those occasional days where we stopped at Wendy’s on the way home from karate practice and dipped our chicken nuggets in a frosty because balance, right?
 
It wasn’t until my youngest sister, Mae, was diagnosed at age 6 with Grade 3 Bilateral Thalamic Anaplastic Astrocytoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer, that my parents were faced with a series of difficult decisions. From that point on, my mother took an aggressive stance against anything processed, sugar-laden, and otherwise toxic to someone battling a disease. We all as a family followed suit in support and from the time I was in middle school until I graduated high school, we had a cleaner diet than most of our peers, and utilized functional care as opposed to traditional medicine where we could. During the numerous tests Mae underwent during her fight, we found out she had both the gene for Celiac and for gluten sensitivity. This meant that all of us had one or the other, so we began excluding all gluten from our diet. Now at the age of 25, I have been diagnosed with Celiac and have a severe sensitivity to casein. Since I had avoided most carbs from the time I was a teenager, transitioning to Keto was not a significant detour from my normal dietary regimen.
 
In April 2017, my brother called to catch up -- he was living in Los Angeles at the time and I was in Scottsdale, AZ. I had started to weightlift regularly, but I wasn’t feeling great. My mental and physical fatigue was plaguing my daily activities. I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr by this point, which periodically sucks all my energy for days, sometimes weeks at a time. I would have short bursts of energy, maybe long enough for a 45-minute workout, followed by a massive crash. Driving home became a battle of will and I was doing anything I could to stay awake. I would roll the windows down, blast music, call a friend, but it reached a point where I was still just fighting to keep my eyes open and I knew I needed help. I was so tired of being tired.
 
My brother off-handedly mentioned he had spent four weeks trying out the “Ketogenic Diet.” While he wasn’t doing it to lose weight, he felt there was a definite increase in mental clarity. Intrigued, I spent the night doing research and listening to a few podcasts. By midnight, I decided it was worth a shot. I spent the next four weeks on a diet of 20 net carbs per day, something I thought would be easy since I wasn’t eating gluten anyway. Wrong. It was still very difficult to hit that number for four weeks, but I was desperate.

I had scheduled a blood test near the end of the four weeks so I could see if there was any empirical evidence that my body was performing any differently. I was feeling better than I had in years -- my energy levels skyrocketed, my athletic performance was ten-fold, and driving home was no longer a dangerous 20-minute battle against my eyelids. My blood tests later confirmed this. I had the best cholesterol levels the doctor had ever seen and my hormones were dialed in (up to this point, I hadn’t had a normal cycle in years), which meant the ovarian cysts that put me in the hospital as a teenager were nowhere to be seen (or felt!). There were no red flags to suggest that Keto wasn’t anything but the best thing I had ever done for myself.
 
My mental clarity and being able to rid myself of the “brain fog” that had haunted me for years was enough to convince me this was the type of fuel my body could thrive on. Aside from feeling my best, I was shredded. I was down to 12% body fat in a matter of months and I was allowed to eat eggs and bacon every day? Sold.

By then, I had amassed a small following on social media surrounding my Keto meal prep and workouts. To this day, I am still surprised that so many people enjoy watching my journey. Plus, I have made some amazing contacts through the Keto community, Ross and Kara included. They reached out to me via social media and we agreed that we had a mutual love for all things fat. Ross and Kara graciously invited me and a friend up to their FBOMB headquarters in Flagstaff, where we spent a Sunday morning chatting over coffee. We also toured the “fat factory” and were sent home with all the FBOMBs we could carry.
 
I cannot adequately express the kindness that Ross and Kara exude; they deserve every success they have, and all the success that’s to come. I am so very grateful that they asked me to be a part of their team. Beyond their kindness, they make a killer, healthy, fat-packed, totable snack that I can take to the office, the gym, the mountains, or any event where I may need an emergency snack!
 
I think Love You Foods is so aptly named because you deserve to feel your absolute best. We all do. Take control of your health so you can love yourself and what you do. You will find so many of the things you struggle with now just fall into place when your body’s systems are in sync. This doesn’t mean you need to be Keto. If it works for you - perfect! If not, keep experimenting! Life is too short to feel miserable simply because of what you are eating. Be good to yourselves.
 
About the author:

Jamison Deane is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast who enjoys building muscle and experimenting in the kitchen. When she isn't working out, she can be found hiking Camelback mountain, scheming up her next ice climbing trip, or planning another road trip to a National Park with her boyfriend, Jake, and their Husky-mix, Sophie. For daily exercise, hiking, and recipe inspiration, Jamison can be found on social media here:
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