Recently at a christmas party I ran into an old friend who’d lost 13 kilos and looked amazingly vibrant and happy. I asked her what she’d been up to and how she’d lost the weight after decades of struggling.
She said, “My back pain was so bad I had to do something to get my weight down. I decided to try a ketogenic diet, it’s been amazing I haven’t been that hungry and I’ve got loads of energy. My partner’s doing it with me even though he doesn’t have much more weight to lose to support me.”
Note to self: my friend’s secret formula to getting healthier and happier by shifting her 40 kilo excess was ketosis, support from a loving partner and needing to get out of pain. Mmmmm….all the balls had lined up and it was time to treat herself well.
Do you need a secret formula to getting happier and healthier?
Find out if ketosis is a good fit for you.
Ketogenic diets have rocketed into the mainstream in recent years, helping people lose body fat, sharpen mental focus and amplify physical energy; all thanks to tweaking your metabolism.
How does a ketogenic diet work?
Normally, your body is fueled by breaking down carbohydrates into their simplest form, glucose. Glucose is then taken up by cells throughout your body and burned to create energy that keeps all your systems functioning well during the day. Whilst your body can burn all macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) for energy, carbohydrates are the easiest for your body to breakdown and utilise, leading it to preferentially burn them whenever available.
In contrast, a ketogenic diet adapts the body to using fat for energy, by consuming a higher fat, moderate protein and limited carbohydrate diet.
To do this you need to limit the intake of carbohydrates, so your body does not have enough glucose for its metabolic needs. When this occurs (alongside consuming adequate protein), the body sources fats for fuel and converts them into compounds called ketones. It is ketones, instead of glucose, that the body then starts to use as its primary source of energy. This process is known as ketosis.
The ketogenic diet is quite different to a standard western diet, and different variations of the diet do exist. However, as shown in Figure 1 below, it is comprised of a specific balance of macronutrients, generally being:
- 50% of calories from high quality, unprocessed fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, egg yolks, organic meat and coconut;
- 30% of calories from protein, such as fish, tofu/tempeh or organic animal protein; and
- 20% of calories from wholefood, complex carbohydrates such as leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, legumes and low fructose fruit (such as berries).
Figure 1: The balance of macronutrients within a ketogenic diet.
Who can benefit from a ketogenic diet?
- Those wanting to lose weight.
- If you couple your ketogenic diet with being in a calorie deficit, your body will draw on your fat stores for energy, resulting in a reduction in overall body fat.
- Those who struggle to lose weight due to insulin resistance will also benefit from ketogenic eating, as ketones do not require insulin to create energy.
- As a body that has entered ketosis efficiently draws energy from ingested and stored fat, the ketogenic diet can provide a constant and stable source of energy. This offers an advantage over glucose-dependant metabolism, which eventually requires regular glucose intake to sustain intense exercise performance beyond two hours.
- Individuals who prefer eating higher amounts of dietary fat;
- Those who experience digestive issues with high carbohydrate diets; and
- Individuals who respond poorly to low fat dieting.
Who might struggle with a ketogenic diet?
There are people who may not easily adjust to a ketogenic diet due to conditions that limit the absorption of fats, or conversion of fats into energy. This may include individuals who experience:
- Digestive upset when consuming fat containing meals;
- Inborn mitochondrial conditions;
- Recurrent pancreatitis; and
- Gallstones or have had their gall bladder removed.
Is a Ketogenic Diet Right for You?
Whether it’s weight loss or enhanced wellness, it’s worth talking to a naturopath to see if a ketogenic diet will help you reach your health goals. As a bonus, working with a naturopath will also greatly increase your ketogenic success, as they can help identify any barriers to successfully implementing the diet, and create strategies for you to overcome them.
Finally, as with any diet, it’s important to remember that each individual can respond uniquely, and that certain diets will suit some more than others. However, if you feel this diet is right for you, you could soon be joining the many that feel clearer, lighter and more energetic eating keto!
Have a ketosis question? Love to hear from you or book in to get started today.
Naturopath, pharmacist, life coach/ 0438 593523/ firstname.lastname@example.org
*Permission obtained from Metagenics Australia to repurpose graphics and content.
Emma’s opening line as she plopped down was, “I need your help I’m feeling stuck, overwhelmed and depressed and I’m done with feeling this way. I’m on my third different antidepressant and I’m not feeling any better, I’m feeling worse.”
I’d heard this comment expressed in many ways over the years. As a pharmacist I’d dispensed endless boxes of antidepressants and very few of the patients had experienced a miraculous surge of happiness.
Emma sat across from me slumped in her chair, pale, drawn with a deep sadness. Downtrodden, lost and overwhelmingly stuck were words that came to mind. I’d seen that look many times before.
She’d just turned 50 and taken a life stock take, that scared the hell out of her. Marriage limping along, energy 3/10 most days and she’d given up work a few years back because of a shoulder injury that wouldn’t mend and her parents needed constant help to desperately cling onto their independence at home. Her two teen boys were testing boundaries in their quest for freedom as they became young men. She was going from crisis to crisis.
After years of experience, I feel antidepressants may push the reset button if you’re in a crisis, for some people and situations but for others it makes them unable to process their feelings, increases anxiety, crashes their libido and dials up their appetite.
I feel the real answers lie in more than a pill. We’re complex being in our own microcosms. Life is a series of choices and some things we have control over, others we don’t.
Real solutions lie in addressing these microcosms and underlying problems we have control over, which may be low energy, diagnosed thyroid problems, relationships problems, poor boundaries, poor self care, bad diet and lifestyle, low iron or B12…..the list goes on.
Emma was sick of her antidepressant merry-go-round and wanted to see what other options were on offer. She wanted results, something that really worked long term. The emotional pain had become so great she couldn’t stay there any longer. She was on a life decluttering mission.
I identified Emma’s problem areas through thorough case taking, blood and salivary hormone testing, life coaching, reviewing her daily habits and patterns. I crafted a plan unique for Emma and within 2 visits I had a beautiful 50 year old woman with energy, hope, spirit and optimism. She had a plan, momentum, tools, energy and a new perspective on life. Yay
Ever reached a time in your life when the pain was turned to a 9/10 and you asked yourself how did I get here? And at that point realized it was a series of choices you’d chosen over time and doing nothing is a choice as well.
Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to addressing them. I start at the foundations.
Here are 4 antidotes to feeling stuck, overwhelmed and depressed:
The final Secret to Happiness Tip #3 has arrived, Self Love. A word liberally used these days – “you need to love yourself more”, “you can’t love another person until you love yourself first”, “you can tell she doesn’t love herself”, “if you loved yourself better that wouldn’t have happened.”
Self love advice is given freely and copiously by friends, loved ones and well intentioned onlookers to steer us back to a happy, fulfilling life.
Self love is foundational to everything, it influences who you pick as a mate, how you cope with problems, how you look after yourself and the image you project out into the world. Self love is a secret to happiness.
What is self love? Firstly, I’ll tell what it isn’t….a beauty makeover, a new set of clothes, being inspired, falling in love. Sure they’ll make you feel good but you can’t grow your self love from here.
Self love stems from appreciating yourself, which grows from actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Cultivating self love is a dynamic process that feeds off all the actions and events that mature us. You can tell it’s happening when you start accepting who you are warts and all and rarely feel the need to explain away your short-comings. You have compassion for yourself and others, seeing mankind collectively as on an adventurous journey to find personal meaning. When you’re getting close to real self love you’re more centered in your life purpose and values, and each day you intentionally choose to make the effort to live a full and meaningful life.
Here’s my Six Self Love Tips:
1. Own Yourself. Get clear on what you think, feel and want. Clarity allows you to be YOU regardless of the outside circumstances. You know this has happened when you’re stable, centered, grounded and can weather life’s storms in your stride.
2. Act on your needs rather than your want. You love yourself when you turn away from things that feel exciting and fun in the moment that may not be good for you, to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life. Metaphorically, it’s like junk food – it can taste good now but it’s bad for you long term. Automatic behavior patterns can keep you stuck in the past and erode self love until there is nothing left.
3. Practice self care. You love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. Like nourishing yourself daily through healthy activities, like eating good foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, engaging in healthy relationships and interactions.
4. Set boundaries. Self love shows up in setting limits or saying no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.
5. Protect yourself by bringing the right people into your life. Frenemies says it all, it’s the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. Get rid of them, life’s too short.
6. Forgive yourself, accept you’re perfectly imperfect. Cease over punishment for mistakes when learning and growing. Ideally learn the lessons, accept your humanness and turn up the love and compassion dial and in the process master your self love.
Now ideally, pick one or two from the tips above and start cranking up your self love meter. It’s true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. The more self-love for yourself, the better prepared for healthy relating. And you’ll start attracting people and circumstances that support your well-being and being the best YOU.
Wishing you loads of happiness Julie xxx
Lost your spark, feeling exhausted, worn out? Been through a rough patch and can barely peel yourself away from your doona, find yourself saying “I’ve Lost My Passion For Life?”
Reliving mental pictures of the old days, when you had energy, motivation, a sense of humour, optimism? Now there’s cynicism, exhaustion and feeling too tired for life. – “Lost My Passion For Life”
Libido’s crashed, living on caffeine and sugar, endlessly running the kids around and grinding out the hours at work, feeling like a hamster on a wheel.
Find yourself staring in the mirror saying “I need to find my spark again?”
Don’t lose hope your spark is smouldering somewhere deep inside.
And no it’s not because you’re old…it’s because you’ve stopped looking after you. Everything else came first and it’s time for an overhaul.
It’s time to ignite the flame!
Don’t worry your family, friends and work colleagues will thank you for it.
“Find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.” – Oprah
Imagine bounding out of bed as the alarm goes off, you’re jumping out of your skin so exercise’s no problem and you’re ready for anything that comes your way.
I know I lost my spark in my late twenties, working crazy hours, disrespecting my body with crappy foods, little exercise and bad relationships.
I got that ‘hamster wheel feeling’ and knew things had to change because I wasn’t staying there! I had to find my spark again….and I did.
Now I look back I see the patterns, thoughts, actions and mindset that got me there. When you know better you do better.
“Don’t lose the spark that makes you….you” – CJ Peterson
Here’s six steps to finding your spark:
Step One: Clarity Is Central To Finding Your Spark
Take a moment to dream what you’d like your life to look like in five, ten or fiftenteen year’s time.
Make this an everyday practice.
Ahhh…. it feel delicious.
That’s the juice, that’s going to get you there through the ups and downs of life.
Now take stock of where you are now.
What’s three things that need to happen in next three months for you to move closer to your dream life?
Focus and consistency are the footsteps of clarity.
Let’s get walking my friend, to a spark filled life.
Step Two: Energy is Essential To Regaining Your Spark
Second stage of regaining your spark is energy.
Energy is foundational to everything.
It’s not just in your head, it’s in every cell of your body.
Having no energy is like being an inflatable toy that’s sprung a leak.
What’s zapping your energy?
- Low in iron
- making bad food choices
- sleep deprived
- gut problems
- autoimmune disease
- chronic pain
- food intolerances….
If you answered yes to any of the above, you will benefit greatly from seeing a naturopath. I can make a huge difference to unravelling the causes. CLICK HERE to book online to get it sorted.
Step Three: Rituals Are Key To Recreating The Spark In Your Life
Stop living off wishful thinking, life’s too short to hope and pray that the planets will align and you’ll be jumping out of your skin and motivated each day.
So, increase the odds by setting morning and evening rituals.
Soon your rituals will become just what you do and you can change and refine them over time.
Need some help with establishing empowering rituals, come see me. Click here to book online.
Step Four: Decluttering Clears Out What’s Smoothering Your Spark
Yes, time to clear out all the rubbish in your life room by room, person by person, thought by thought, action by action.
Let go of what’s not working and what you’re no longer using.
Gift it, sell it, donate it, bin it, recycle it.
Make space for what does work and what’s coming.
Get the boxes and bags out and go to work.
Set a timer and a “this shit’s got to go” attitude.
You’ll feel lighter and freer for it.
Step Five: Recharging Is Critical To Finding and Maintaining Your Spark
When you’re running low or on empty, every time you give to others you’re giving away a piece of yourself and it hurts.
Think of it like filling up the car with petrol, it’s hard to go anywhere with no fuel.
When you’re overflowing it’s easy.
You cannot give what you don’t have.
Recharge using daily self care. Click here for loads of ideas.
Step Six: Empowerment Is The Glue To Finding And Keeping Your Spark
Self love equals self empowerment.
When you love yourself, you set standards for yourself and boundaries for others.
What does self love look like for you?
For me, it’s about taking care of myself by treating my body, mind and spirit like the gift they are?
I always say, the great leveller in life, “you come in with this body, you go out with this body, when it wears out so do you, so treat it with the respect it deserves.” – Julie Smethurst
If you find yourself thinking – “I have Lost My Passion For Life” You need help to find your spark.
I know it’s still there somewhere because you’re breathing…haha! CLICK HERE to book online to get started to finding your spark today at my Mt Martha office or via skype.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re no longer willing to stay where you are.” – J.P Morgan
Much love Julie xx
(Naturopath, Life Coach, Pharmacist) Feeling Great Health Solutions, Mt Martha
Looking after Yourself Before the Sh*t Hits the Fan. Protect Your Greatest Asset.
Going through, been through or even heading towards a tough time in your life? You know it’s guaranteed. Your greatest asset will always be YOURSELF. Yes, we often miss this one. Looking after Yourself is key!
When the word asset comes to mind, material possessions parade like a slideshow in your head, rarely do you think or treat yourself in this way.
I always say, “your body is the only thing you arrive in and leave with and when it wears out so do you. So, treat it like the gift it is.”
There is no time for disrespecting your greatest asset.
When you’re on track, you’re in a great state so you make great decisions. You’re balanced, centred, full of energy, optimistic, strong and courageous. Sure, there’ll be times of holy sh*t what will I do now, but you’ll be better equipped to deal with them.
How have you been treating your greatest asset lately?
Have you been feeding it crappy fuel and bunny hopping down the road, getting frustrated by it’s bad performance? Think of this next time you put something in your mouth.
For many, including mwah a health crisis can be a turning point in your life. I know mine was.