While I was always a health conscious individual, I did not realise I was metabolically unhealthy until my mid 30s. This was the case despite me having suffered from IBS, migraines, general body fatigue, a weak constitution, poor dental health since childhood. Having grown up in a family that had been vegetarian for generations due to socio-cultural reasons, I, like many others in my family believed that eating meat was outside the norm, unhealthy and spiritually impure.
However, in my mid teens to mid-twenties I did occasionally partake in meat, typically when eating out because cooking it at home was forbidden. Such occasions were typically once or twice a week, and generally very lean, white meats were eaten. Moreover, the quantity of meat consumed was tiny. For a period of 10 odd years from my mid 20s to mid 30s, I was vegetarian, having given up even the occasional meat consumption. Throughout my teens and into adulthood I have been fairly active, although I studied hard when I was young and have had a sedentary job. Physical exercise consisted of short hikes a few times per week, running a couple of kilometres 2 or 3 times a week, occasional sports – squash, football, table tennis, swimming etc – and weight training.
In the more recent past, during the time I mentioned I was a strict vegetarian, my activity levels had reduced by about 50 percent, mainly through deletion of weight training from my fitness regimen. At the time, I was quite lean and looked outwardly healthy, therefore I never once got my metabolic parameters checked. After I got married in 2017, my wife who grew up in a similar socio- cultural mileau, impressed with my lean and well-maintained constitution, turned vegetarian too. In the early years of our marriage, our eating out increased and we also started eating a lot of desserts and sweets. However, 60% of our meals were still home-cooked and we made sure to eat organic foods. At the time, we had already started facing what we now know to be metabolic issues, and to counter those, we started reducing our food intake.
My wife started facing issues with her menstrual cycles and had trouble with digestion. Mentally, we were both unhappy with our condition, but couldn’t understand what was wrong because we were convinced that we were following a so called healthy lifestyle and diet. Our lifestyle continued as such through Covid times until 2020 October when my father had a heart attack and subsequent angioplasty. He was also diagnosed with diabetes which had gone undetected. This was a rude shock and reminded us of what my father and his family had gone through when his father died of a sudden cardiac arrest at a young age. That is when I started refocusing on my health, researching nutrition, and in general being more aware.
Around the same time, my wife moved to Portugal to do her master’s degree and with an increasingly carbohydrate laden diet, started facing more and more health issues, so much so that she fell into severe depression and had to take a break from her studies almost soon after. While my father was recovering from his heart surgery and getting back into shape, we got our full blood panel done and found out that I had prediabetes and high triglycerides in addition to inflammatory markers. My wife too had high triglycerides. We were both severely deficient in vitamin D and B12. While we were both concerned, we didn’t know what to do about it. Besides, we were soon to move to Germany in Aug 2021.
After moving, we ate all the amazing breads and desserts we could find and gorged on Italian food. I think we were already at breaking point metabolically speaking and ultimately reached our Nadir in. Dec 2021. My wife was in a state of constant inflammation and depression and was ready to give up on her studies. We were going through a difficult period.
Over the course of two weeks I read hundreds of scientific papers on nutrition and chanced upon the ketogenic diet. Ultimately, on Christmas Eve 2021, we decided to give it a try. Overnight, we cleared our kitchen of all the grains and sugar and went low carb. We started following Eric Berg and Sten Ekberg. In 2 weeks we noticed a huge improvement in our health. We felt recharged and raring to continue into a ketogenic lifestyle.
Over the course of the next 2 months we went on to cut out more and more carbs, and ultimately added fish and eggs in March 2022. Soon, our health started improving even more. Two months thence, we added lamb to our diet and felt us improve even further. As we were adding more meat, we started cutting out indulgences such as chocolate and berries.
Ultimately, we started 2MAD and OMAD and added beef. It took us about 2 weeks to get used to such a high amount of red meat, and even longer for my wife who experienced oxalate dumping. However, only after adding fatty ruminant meat did we realise what satiation feels like. Occasionally, we were having berries. Finally, in Oct 2022, we stopped using artificial sweeteners and went ketovore.
Around the same time we started weight training. Between them and now our strength, vitality and overall mental and physical health has vastly improved. There are periods when due to travel for work or pleasure veer off our ketovore diet and sometimes we eat the occasional sugary treat, but we feel nauseous soon after and come back on track very soon. We realise that we are carb addicts, and we are still working in getting rid of our addiction through long fasts.
There’s an interesting addiction cycle we got caught in, during my wife’s last menstrual cycle, which was significantly delayed, we learned from Dr Mindy Pelz about the higher energy requirements in the latter half of a woman’s cycle. We thought it might be good to supplement with some simple sugars (per Dr Kiltz’s advice) because my wife was not able to eat any more fats. We were able not to overdo it as before but even the 20-30gm of sugars coupled with heavy cream and kefir was making us feel unpleasant. After eating this way it took us a whole month and half to get off the sugar again.
Results are not typical. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.