I fucked up, y’all.
It’s a weird thing to write about, being wrong, but it’s an elemental part of my process and, as always, I hope that my experience might help someone!
If you’ve been following along on insta, you know I’ve been on a journey with keto for the last few years, and transitioned over to a more plant-based approach this winter.
For the most part, I’ve felt great. I lost some emotional weight I’d gained, had a ton of energy, my skin looked amazing etc. But there’s always been something about it that was hard for me. There were things I missed, and, if I’m being honest, the level of attention that any keto diet requires in the way of tracking and restriction… well, it started to get to me.
I took breaks here and there, trying to give myself the space to enjoy things like fruit and Oatly. In the summer I want an ice cream every now and then. On the rare occasion that I go to the movies, I like popcorn! Normal, fun, summer, human things to want to enjoy. But no-go on keto.
So I tried to pepper the fun things in while sticking to the plan, but I just felt awful. Physically, sure - mostly because I was slowly gaining weight and didn’t feel good in my body. Mentally too, because I’d gotten to a place where I was internally conflicted about my food choices, and when I did give myself permission to eat something off plan, I always beat myself up about it. I was constantly unhappy and torn between what I thought I knew to be true about my nutrition choices and what I intuitively knew that my body wanted - and I was just trying to hang on to something that made sense.
This constant push and pull didn’t do my energetic body any favors. Everything I ate started to make me sick. I got bloated from so much as thinking about food. I was continuously uncomfortable and tormented, and my digestion had gotten so erratic that I was in actual pain most of the time.
Something had to give. 💩
Fortunately, a co-worker came into town this past week, and as we were talking and discussing our relationships (as women) with food, she suggested that I look into a book called Liver Rescue by Anthony William (who you may have heard of as the Medical Medium).
First off - a medium? Eye roll. Second of all - this program goes against everything I’ve learned about food for the last few years. He essentially eschews all fats and animal protein in favor of plants in the name of liver health. I mean, okayyyy, but really?
So I picked up a copy of the book, made a massive Costco run, dusted off my juicer, and started reading.
It made SO. MUCH. SENSE.
In my head, but also in my body. When I read about the symptoms that can come with prolonged high fat / high protein diets, I literally felt the truth of what he was saying. The last seven months of high fat + high caffeine + high stress had devastated my liver’s ability to help me digest my food, and my symptoms were my body begging for relief. Now, I understand that you’re supposed to take breaks from keto, and I know that I had gotten to a place of moralizing my food choices which isn’t healthy. But I’m educated! I’ve done my research! How the f*ck did I get here?
Wellness, like most things, is a game of incrementalism. I made small tweaks to my program over time, and the combination got me into a place that I’m only beginning to come out of, and somewhere I never want to be again. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t pooping. I wasn’t happy. My skin was broken out. I was drinking so much coffee to solve the not pooping that inevitably lead to the not sleeping which I’m 100% sure is why my face broke out…
It was a vicious circle, and the only thing that made sense was to start over.
So, here I am. Off caffeine and eating carbs! WHO EVEN AM I?!?
But it’s Day 3 on the Liver Rescue protocol, and I feel so much better already, I’m shocked at how quickly things are coming around. Since I transitioned to a mostly plant based form of keto this winter, I wasn’t hurting for bacon and cheese, but bringing oats and quinoa and potatoes back in and letting go of cashews and olive oil and avocados has taken some mental renegotiating on my part, but it feels really good to let my body have what it wants, not obsessively count macros, stay off the scale, and let myself heal - physically and emotionally.
Oh, and take really good poops!