I was a high-carb eater for the vast 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. I was constantly feeling munchy and I snacked all the time.
If I didn’t eat every two or three hours, my blood sugar would dip and I would feel 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 blog 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.
It started off as a science-based process of learning what type of foods were healthy, and given all of the misconceptions perpetrated by the government and health “experts,” I was vigilant about going back to the actual scientific journal papers to read their findings.
The decision to pursue a low carb lifestyle wasn’t easy — I battled with myself back and forth, wondering if this was something I wanted to devote my effort to. I asked myself why I was adopting a restrictive way of eating when I didn’t have to. However, I do believe that we have one life to live and I would like to live it feeling my best.
The first thing that I did was have long discussions with Mr. Savory Tooth to learn what he knew about nutrition. He’s always been a very rational person with a very science-based approach to everything, and that’s how I first learned about the ketogenic diet and ketosis.
The second thing that happened 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 that 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 journey 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, worry about overeating and gaining weight, or be confused at the myriad of conflicting health articles and recommendations out there. In the past, I would be craving fast food and carbs, indulge those cravings, and then feel horrible and hate myself for it afterwards. It was a cycle that repeated itself every day, and I no longer feel like a slave to my appetite.
It’s 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. Other benefits include better body temperature regulation (I no longer feel cold as often), better digestion (significantly less gas), and less stomach bloating.
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 biscuits, cookies, or cake. 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 blog, 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 blog 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 blog’s focus. Previously, my blog was mainly about easy dinner meals and quick one pot recipes; now, I’m focusing on low carb meals. I aim to create healthy recipes that appeal to everyone, whether you’re following a low carb diet or not.
Since starting this low carb journey, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to other people about it and hear their stories. It’s cemented my opinion about how “healthy” means something different for everyone. For some, it may be about food allergies and sensitivities. For others, they may be dealing with insulin resistance, which can be exacerbated by a variety of factors such as meal timings, stress, and sleep deprivation.
Whatever your reason may be, I hope you try out a lower carb way of life.