My super simple intro to Keto

food, diet, keto

Disclaimer: Always do your research and consult a doctor before starting ANY type of diet. Also, get to know your body so that you are able to quickly identify when something just doesn’t feel right. 

So, let’s start with the basics…In a nutshell, “The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain”. [1]

The key to this way of eating is to pay attention to where exactly these carbs, protein and fats are coming from. There’s a ton of resources on the internet that details which foods are “keto friendly” and which foods to avoid. What’s important to know here is that everyone’s body is different and can react differently to different foods. Do your research and listen to your body. When done properly, effects from this way of eating can be weight loss, low glucose levels, increased energy and focus, decreased appetite and decreased cravings for carbs and sugar. 

My Journey

When I started with Keto. I counted my macros religiously using the Carbmanager app to help. “Macros is the shortened term for macronutrients — the fat, protein, and carbohydrates that make up a food’s composition, and help you create energy. You can find them listed on the nutrition facts panel of most foods, or by using calorie counting apps and calculators.” [2]  I counted the carb, fat and protein content of EVERYTHING I put in my mouth. But here’s the thing, I love food! I mean who doesn’t? Gradually, I found myself slowly slipping from being strict to being more of a lazy keto person. What this means is I stopped tracking and, if I was craving something that didn’t fit my macros, I had it anyway and got right back to keto after. This worked for ME. I was able to lose weight, maintain great energy and just feel good overall. 

Carb face vs low carb face

In the beginning of 2019 when I started my preparations to move abroad, I totally lost track of my eating. I wasn’t cooking as much, which led to eating out and eating whatever, whenever. I was stressed, which led to stress eating. And to be honest, I was more focused on all the things I was doing to prepare to uproot my life and move to a foreign country. I lost focus on my diet. During this time, my body most definitely started to feel the difference. The weight started to come back, and I felt the lack of energy. I decided that once I got settled in my new home in Spain, I would get right back to it, and that’s what I did – after a couple months of enjoying some of the goodness that Barcelona’s food scene has to offer of course!

Spain

At the time that I decided to get back on keto, it was during the COVID 19 lockdown. That actually worked in my favor. Nowhere, except for the supermarkets, was open. It felt like a head start. None of my favorite bakeries could tempt me! What I quickly found was, items that were easily available in the supermarkets in the states, were not so easily found here in Barcelona. Now, keto could be simpler. Meat and vegetables with some fat added in. However, if you are a food lover like me who needs some variety in your life and can handle yourself in the kitchen, then you will tend to go the extra mile sometimes.

I was used to getting almost anything I needed in my local supermarkets or ordering things online from Amazon. This is not the case here in Spain. If, and that is a big if, I am able to find keto products on Amazon, they are super expensive. Keto is not as widespread here in Spain, or Europe even. As a result, there doesn’t seem to be many retailers of keto friendly products. I am still fairly new to Europe so I am pretty sure that with continued research I will find more things that I can incorporate into my keto kitchen. 

For you

I want to dedicate this space on my blog to sharing with you some of my favorite recipes that I have found along the way and even some that I created myself. I would love to introduce you to some of the people that I have been following that have helped me in my process of adapting to this lifestyle, they share recipes, their experiences, and serve as great motivation. I’ll also share with you how doing keto in the U.S. and doing it in Barcelona, Spain has differed for me. 

Are you on the Ketogenic diet or thinking about starting? Drop me a line, I’d love to chat with you.


[1] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101#what-it-is

[2] https://www.bulletproof.com/diet/healthy-eating/what-are-macros/


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2 comments / Add your comment below

    1. Hey Rachel,

      So far I can’t say there have been any downsides of this diet for me. I have been lucky enough not have experienced any side effects that have been reported, like the ‘keto flu’ or bad breath…but I have heard of others experiencing those side effects right in the beginning of their journey, but I have not heard any reports of any other negative experiences.

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