How long have you been following a ketogenic diet? 4 years
What is your favorite keto meal? Ribeye with butter
Why did you start keto?
Being a 21-year breast cancer survivor (of a cancer with a 5-year survival rate), I was left on OxyContin and Dilaudid for the neuropathy pain that was caused by my chemo. I was desperate to find a way to heal my body from the destruction left by my treatments. The cancer didn’t kill me, but the treatments almost did.
Being in the health and wellness industry, a personal trainer, and a medical massage therapist, I was willing to try anything to rebuild the health I had before cancer. I knew enough to know I had to heal the debilitating neuropathy pain to ever hope of getting off of OxyContin and Dilaudid.(Along with many other medications for everything from seizures, indigestion, ADD, anxiety, depression, heart failure, EF critically low and many more). I also knew I had to heal my brain from the addiction of 18 years of prescription narcotics.
This is where I found Dr. Annette Bosworth, an internal medicine doctor who specializes in brain health, healing addictions, and the step-by-step program of the Keto Continuum. This program went against everything I had ever believed in and every medical class ever taken. It was so far off from everything I ever shared with my family, friends, and patients.
But I was at a point in my health that I was going backward faster than I could rebuild my health. I didn’t have much to lose. So I jumped into Dr. Boz’s course and never looked back.
This was over 4 years ago. This program is what I used to reverse my neuropathy, heart disease, and most of the things that ailed my body. This is also what I used to withdraw from 18 years of narcotics. No more OxyContin or Dilaudid needed to walk. Nutritional ketosis is what I have used to rebuild metabolic health and repair my body to the best of my abilities.
This way of life has not only given me my life back but has also saved my life again! Last year, on my way home from KetoCon in Austin, TX, I had a heart attack when boarding the plane to come home. I was blessed to have one of the only cardiologists in Austin St. David’s who understood my keto chemistry. He was able to save my life and repair my heart, and confirmed that my keto chemistry has saved my life again. After weeks in Austin, I came home with the doctor’s orders to return to my nutritional ketosis as normal.
I went back to Austin this year again for KetoCon, this time as a speaker to share my journey. This has been one of the blessings of my life. I was able to be seen by the same cardiologist who performed my surgery, with the same encouragement as last year, then return home and carry on my keto lifestyle.
Since beginning this journey four years ago, life looks quite different. I am able to enjoy and live life again. Being able to make more memories with my friends, my family, and my grandkids is a gift I will forever cherish.
To help me pay it forward. I have also gone back to school and am now a Certified Primal Health Coach, and am honored to be one of Dr. Boz’s Keto Coaches. I now coach and teach the course that gave me my life back.
I spend my days teaching and coaching other survivors on rebuilding metabolic health after cancer or other illnesses. We are continuing to grow our platforms on social media and our new www.journeytoketo.com. We’re teaching them to build this chemistry shift that will last a lifetime and that will heal at the cellular level, along with healing the brain of the addictions to carbs and sugar. We’re teaching them new coping skills other than food and so much more. This has become my mission for the time God has left me here.
Helping others build health is a gift that feeds my soul. Seeing others return to a life they enjoy is an honor I will never take for granted.
What was the hardest part of keto and how did you overcome it?
Learning that fruits and veggies were not helping my healing journey. Taking my glucose and ketone ratio confirmed this for me. I was able to learn exactly how my body reacted to the carbs in fruits and veggies. This was shocking to me at first. Becoming mostly keto/carnivore has helped me with this. Learning to track and monitor my numbers gives me confirmation that my body is in a healing state.
Biggest changes in your day-to-day life?
Being fat-adapted has allowed my family to be OMAD. This chemistry shift is a far cry from eating several small meals a day which used to be our norm. No snacking or stimulating insulin throughout the day is such a change. We love buying less food, but better quality. We are mindful of every bite that goes in our mouths.
We are doing everything in our power to regenerate health at the cellular level. Fasting and eating healthy fats and protein is the win for this survivor.
Best tip for newbies?
Build your chemistry slowly. Make sure to wake those fat-based hormones and get them working BEFORE you advance to the deeper levels of ketosis. This takes time for those with metabolic damage. This is a step that should not be rushed. If you go faster than your body can tolerate, you will most likely crash and have to start again building this chemistry. Slow and steady wins every time.
Healthy fats are required to release the fat that is locked in the cell. Becoming fat-adapted is a chemistry shift, not a dirty diet. There is a step-by-step process to follow to get you through the struggles of the “keto flu” and other issues of getting into ketosis.
Do not be afraid to ask for help to help you decipher what your struggles are. That is what a Certified Coach can help you do. Do not suffer alone. Join a tribe, be with like-minded people to build a new neuro-pathway in the brain. If you don’t have a supportive tribe around you, join our Facebook group Journey to Keto with Tammie Laubacher.
If there is one thing that you could tell yourself when first getting started, what would it be and why?
You have to come into this with an open mind and stay focused. Most of us have decades of unhealthy habits to break. What we all were doing, and being pushed to believe, did not work. If it did, we would not have so many unhealthy people.
Read, listen, and learn. Listen to the success stories and apply this to your life. Jump in and never look back.
Anything you would like to add about your story?
One of the biggest lessons we share in our coaching groups is to remind people of this. The next time you sit down at the table with your loved ones, pause and look up at the loved ones across the table from you. As much as the keto journey has to teach new food habits, break old habits, and rebuild new ones, please remember this: stop concentrating on the food on your plate. Look at the people around you and realize you are building generational health. You are planting seeds for the ones you love.
Food is meant to be nourishment for our bodies, not for every emotion in life we are trying to cope with. I ask myself this question when I start having my pity party over not eating my favorite pizza or pasta: “Would I rather have this pizza or pasta, or would I rather have one more holiday to see my family?”
I actually take each and every decision this seriously. This makes the process easy when you put it in perspective. I want to be here with my family, and pizza and pasta is not going to be what keeps me alive. But a big ole’ ribeye will do amazing things for my health.
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