These are the stories that keep me sharing this way of life. It might not be for everyone, but knowing the incredible transformations that occur when you decide to honor yourself and your life, you can't help but share! Stephanie, and her husband Rich are testaments to taking a leap of faith. Although many of us have to get to a cross-roads before making a change, Stephanie and Rich are living, happy proof that you can correct even the most dire chronic illnesses to regain your health and life back. Here's is their interview.
What inspired you to go Keto?
I was inspired to start this lifestyle change, along with my husband, to improve our health.
It was becoming ever clear that I was going down a very slippery slope with my health, as I had been diagnosed at age 42 as a person with type II diabetes.
I had been handling it with diet and exercise and attending nutrition classes at a local hospital. Initially, when I was diagnosed, I exercised a lot and started to do yoga. I felt incredible, but after about a year I was back to my previous habits because I was a one-person operation.
My family was active and did not have any of the health concerns that I did with diabetes. I felt deprived and alone. I must also say that I am not a craver of sweets. I am a meat, potato and bread addict. I love to cook, and I enjoy new savory items that I can share with groups or socially. Counting points on Weight Watcher frustrated me because I was still hungry. I struggled with the fact that in addition to being diabetic I was very uncomfortable about how I looked and my lack of energy.
When did you decide to try Keto?
Early in December 2016, while my youngest daughter was involved in cheerleading, we found ourselves thrust into a national competition attending a trip to ESPN in Orlando and going with the team to Disney World. I had a terrible sinus infection and cold that had been plaguing me since the beginning of September. I even traveled with a nebulizer machine that I had to do several times a day to be able to breathe. I had been through many phases of treatments and still could not shake it.
I am not a medical professional, but I believe that my healing was delayed due to how my body was battling sugar in my system.
I was a very typical diabetic. I was told that my A1C was over 8.8, where a normal A1C is 5.7. You get your A1C tested once every season, four times a year and I struggled with a high A1C for almost 2 years because of the steroids that I was forced to take to battle this silly common cold that developed into sinus infection then walking pneumonia. I eventually did kick my cold, but it continued to be a struggle to "fix" my terrible A1C.
I collaborated with my doctor who knew I was struggling with my weight and diabetes regulation. I was told that my next plan of attack was to go to injections in succession to the taking Metformin. I did not want to begin giving myself injections. I quite honestly was afraid and felt too young!
This all was happening while my husband found himself battling a different problem. He was increasingly finding himself battling kidney stones. He even found that it was increasing in occurrence and sizes of the stones. This was becoming such a problem that we found ourselves after surgeries and treatments that he was in jeopardy of losing one of his functioning kidneys.
The diet that I had researched through hours of hospital nutrition and diabetes classes was building kidney stones in my husband's system.
I was feeding him foods that were good for me and building kidney stones in him. His stones were made of oxalates. They are found in such things as spinach, nuts and a lot of other "healthy" foods that are suggested in diabetic diets. This was very upsetting for us both. As we rounded out the holiday season, we realized that we were quite heavy and now battling reflux from all that we overindulged in.
I went to my doctor almost in tears and as a last-ditch effort recommended a program that his wife had just started. It is called New Direction in the Bucks County area, and I see a doctor who monitors me in my efforts to follow a Ketogenic diet plan.
Initially, I started with the prepackaged shakes they offered to get into ketosis, and it was considered VLCHF. Now I am preparing my meals and more of an LCHF diet.
I have to admit; it is not a complicated plan for someone like myself who is not much of a sweets eater. I prefer to be FULL, and that is not hard with protein and fat to feel satiated. As my loss has slowed and I have become a bit relaxed in my monitoring my macros I have been investigating intermittent fasting.
How much weight have you both lost?
I have lost seventy pounds, and my husband has lost over a hundred. However, more importantly, I have brought my A1C down to a 5.3 and dropped several of my medications. I have been able to do more low impact physical activities, and my energy level is so much better.
How long have you been doing Keto?
We have been doing this program for a year and seven months. I feel better than I have ever in my life, and I hope to become more strict with intermittent fasting and drop thirty more pounds.
Can you give anyone advice who's thinking about going Keto?
Advice, hmmm. I would suggest drinking chicken broth when you are feeling the effects of the keto flu; it helped me immensely. I suggest you find a lot of go-to items to make at home, and things that you consider whenever you feel like outside events have nothing to offer you.
We don't worry about not eating a roll. Often we order for success by asking for a second vegetable to replace a potato, fries or rice. We love to enjoy seafood more, zoodles, more vegetables and often are taking home portions because they are so filling. Think outside the box; it can be done!
Have the servers put the sauce or the dressing on the side.
Parties always serve cheese.
Bring along a protein bar...and on special occasions drink vodka and water with lemon.
You are a cheaper and skinnier date!
I want to grow old with my husband and kids; this is the first time I feel like it is doable because I have not failed or felt like a failure. I have not suffered from this way of eating, and often I feel indulgent. Look around at menu choices, people everywhere are providing more and more of what it takes to do this plan and those who are not are sluggish and tired.