Here you are, perched on the brink of your Ketogenic journey. You have done all your research, or maybe this is part of your research, and you’re wondering; “How do I even START this thing…?”
If you love Science, here’s some lovely science, and here is a review of some awesome books that have all kinds of Keto information in them. If you haven’t done it already, you need to sign up for the Ketovangelist email list so you can get an excellent food list to get you started.
Why? Information is power. Like all lifestyle changes, we’ve got to think about food and the way we fuel our body, it’s helpful to know they why behind this lifestyle change as well as which foods are going to give us the best chance of being the boss of our bodies.
The Ketogenic Lifestyle is all about changing the way we think about food and the way it rules our lives, and then sitting food firmly in the corner and saying it can come out when we’re ready and not before.
When you boil it down, there are two basic ways to start your ketogenic lifestyle: (1) You can launch yourself into it cold turkey, deal with the withdrawal and cravings and get them over with – the fast track way.
Or, (2) you can wean your way into it, make a plan and systematically clean yourself out. You will still have to deal with the withdrawal, but it might take a few weeks longer before it kicks in.
Depending on your lifestyle and the number of people you have in your household, it is worth taking the time to decide which one will work best for you and your family.
Let’s talk about what each of these options looks like.
If you decide to take a few weeks, first put carbohydrates into several different groups so you can plan which order you will eliminate them from your diet.
- Grains: these include, all breads, pasta, rice and all forms of cake/biscuits/cookies. Y’all can’t get away with that one…
- Starchy & Root Vegetables: Potatoes, Corn, sweet pumpkins, other below ground vegies and sweet vegies (see the list you signed up for) Including those in cans, frozen and those that look like junk food.
- Fruit: All fruit except those on the list. Including those in cans and frozen.
- Sugars and Concentrated Sugar products: All sweeteners containing sugar including all forms of Sugar (white, brown, powdered/icing etc), honey, maple syrup, molasses, agave, coconut sugar, as well as Cordials, Syrups, Chocolate, Icecreams, sweets/lollies. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
- Fast Food. Including frozen convenience meals.
This can be a helpful way of dealing with the initial settling in phase, particularly if you are also weaning other people onto this lifestyle. If you suddenly get rid of everything, there might be an almighty rumpus in your house. You need to work out how you want to deal with all these people and their collective carbohydrate addiction.
The other option is to go cold turkey.
This means to go through all your food storage areas in one weekend and clean everything out that isn’t Keto compliant.
One suggestion is to do it on the weekend you were due to go shopping anyway, or save up for a while so the weekend you do this you are then ready to go out and fill your cupboard and fridge/freezer with so many Keto compliant foods that no one in your household will think they’re being deprived (least of all you!).
If you combine it with a charity drive, or something similar, it might be easier for other members of the family to ‘let go of perfectly good food’. If it is going to a good cause and then being replaced with something that looks twice as delicious, the impact of a drastic change might be softened!
With a tiny amount of thought, you can set yourself up to win big at this!
A helpful thing to do is to arm yourself with recipes beforehand (also Eat Smarter! Holidays Cookbook) so that you know what you are going to cook, and therefore, what you are going to buy. Then add a few extra things for snacks, for when you get the munchies, like bacon and different kinds of cheese and some fresh things like salad greens for when you need that clean mouth feel.
Also, buy salt. A big container, and a small shaker for in your handbag/purse or car so that it’s always within reach. Lemons to squeeze into salty water will also help with the electrolyte issues without resorting to chemicals in ‘zero’ products, as will pickle juice – just be sure to get the unsweetened kind.
When I began my Ketogenic journey, I cleaned out my cupboards and I did the unthinkable. I examined every label, assessed every product, and if it wasn’t Keto, I THREW IT OUT!
I didn’t even donate it. At the time, it was the safest thing I could do for myself, and the safest thing I could do for other people around me. I didn’t want a lot of people commenting on my lifestyle change, so I didn’t hand products over to family and friends. I chose to challenge my own attitudes by throwing out my most loved comfort foods, right down to the extent of opening unopened packets and tipping them out into the bin, so that they were properly spoiled and I couldn’t fish them out later!
This meant that when it came to making meals, I had Keto options or no options at all. For me, it was the best choice.
What is your best choice? What is going to set you up to win? How can you support yourself while making this first step knowing that you are making the first step into the best possible future for your health?
It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, sometimes the smallest steps forward are the ones that make the most impact in the long run.
You are going to be awesome. Hey, you already are.