I was a high-carb eater for the majority of my life — I grew up eating rice, bread, and other highly refined carbs. I also loved anything sweet, including sugary fruit drinks, cinnamon rolls, and white chocolate.
If I didn’t eat every two or three hours, I would start feeling shaky and sweaty. Nobody commented on my unhealthy diet or encouraged me to eat healthier because I have always been thin; people assumed that I was healthy because I was skinny.
It wasn’t until after I started this website that I began to question what I was eating and how it was affecting my body. It was a slow and gradual process, and there weren’t any health issues that prompted it; I wasn’t pre-diabetic, I didn’t have any food allergies, and I wasn’t overweight.
I started with a science-based process to figure out what type of foods were healthy. Given all of the misconceptions perpetrated by the government and health “experts,” I was vigilant about going back to actual scientific journal papers to read their findings.
The decision to pursue a low carb lifestyle wasn’t easy — I wasn’t sure if this was something I wanted to devote a lot of effort to. I asked myself why I was adopting a restrictive way of eating when I didn’t have to. Ultimately, I decided that a low carb lifestyle would allow me to live the best life I could, and that was important enough to me.
The first thing I did was have long discussions with Mr. Savory Tooth to learn what he knew about nutrition, and that’s how I heard about the ketogenic diet and ketosis.
The second thing was reading The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. I found the book to be mind-blowing, and I was so excited about the things I was learning that I would take long notes while reading the book. Every evening, I would use my notes to talk to Mr. Savory Tooth about what I read, and we would dissect everything together and come to our own conclusions based on the scientific findings presented in the book.
This led me to my current low carb lifestyle. Mr. Savory Tooth and I decided to jump head first into a strict keto diet by consuming less than 20 g of net carbs per day. The transition wasn’t seamless — my body wasn’t adapted to primarily burn fat and I felt fatigued and sluggish for the first week. What really helped was making sure that I was drinking enough water and watching my electrolytes (magnesium, sodium, and potassium intake). After the initial 2 weeks, I was back to normal.
I feel great knowing that I am eating healthy and treating my body well. I no longer have to wonder about what’s good or bad for my body, or be confused at the myriad of conflicting health articles and recommendations out there. It’s also great knowing that I have control over my dietary choices, and the knowledge of why I’m doing this (i.e., the science backing up this diet). Another benefit that I hadn’t even considered before was dental health. I have soft teeth and they’ve been plagued by tooth decay all of my life. I have had countless dental fillings and crowns over the years. It’s good to know that by reducing carbs, I’m no longer feeding the bacteria in my mouth that causes tooth decay. I’ve also noticed other benefits like clearer vision, mental clarity, fewer headaches, better digestion (significantly less gas), less stomach bloating, no longer “hangry” all the time, and no sugar crashes.
Like many others, I thought that a keto diet would be very restrictive in terms of what I could make and eat. I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case. There are so many delicious foods that are low in carbs, and it’s easy to convert most high carb recipes to low carb versions. You can probably find a homemade recipe for nearly any high carb craving that you have, whether it be bagels, cookies, or cheesecake bars. If you don’t feel like making something yourself, you can easily buy low carb products online including snacks, sweets, and baking mixes.
Going keto has fueled my creativity on the site, and Mr. Savory Tooth and I have been having fun creating low carb versions of our favorite foods. One thing that I’ve been doing more of now is baking; now that I no longer bake with wheat flour, it almost feels like I’m learning how to bake all over again.
This site has always been an extension of myself and what I actually eat at home. After I transitioned into a low carb lifestyle, it made sense to change my site’s focus. Previously, my recipes were mainly about easy dinner meals and quick one pot recipes; now, I focus on low carb meals. I aim to create healthy recipes that appeal to everyone, whether they’re following a low carb diet or not.
It’s been 3 years of doing keto and I’ve learned a lot during this time. At this point, I can’t imagine not doing some variation of a low carb diet because I feel awful if I try to eat a high-carb standard American diet. I am mentally and physically at my best when I avoid carbs.
Here are some things that have been helpful for me:
- having an accountability partner that’s following the diet with me — that would be Mr. Savory Tooth
- selecting social events that aren’t food-centric
- being less emotionally food-driven by changing my mental outlook on food
- gaining awareness of when my body is signaling fullness or hunger
- reducing sweet foods, even if they use sugar replacements — they aren’t as satiating as savory foods so I’m more likely to overeat, and may produce a cephalic insulin response, plus I enjoy resetting my palate so I can taste the natural sweetness of foods
- reducing snacks or any addicting foods, even if they’re low carb
- intermittent fasting