Author: Mostly Me + Certain Others

The do’s and don’ts of the extended fast

Just like the latest fashion trends (to kitten-heel or not to kitten-heel) and food hypes (avocado anyone?), particular practices get thrown around among the keto/lchf crowd. While IF (intermittent fasting) and OMAD (one meal per day) are such well known practices I have also noticed that the EF, or extended fast, has been hogging the limelight recently, especially on online forums and in Facebook groups. Extended fasting, i.e. any fast longer than 24 hours, is usually done for autophagy and metabolic healing. Another often cited reason is to free one’s mind of food thoughts and to take advantage of the high energy that may occur while on an EF. I myself, already an 18:6 faster, regularly slip into a 24 or 48 hour fast and I specifically try to do one 90-120 hour fast every 2 months. Please note: I have specific reasons to do such a long fast, namely the aforementioned autophagy AND to help relieve PMS (and obviously I time my prolonged fasts to coincide with that time of the month). Generally speaking, …

To cheat or not to cheat

I am sure you will not be surprised to hear I get this question several times per day: ‘Is it okay if I cheat with non-keto foods every now and then?’, usually followed by ‘..because, life happens, right?’. Life happens yes, but I am pretty sure that piece of bread did not walk into your mouth all by itself, and neither did your co-worker force-feed you that piece of pie: cheating is a choice. YOUR choice to be precise. Cheating implies a conscious decision on your part to eat a certain food or drink a certain beverage knowing it does not comply with your lifestyle. It can be done truly on purpose (the ‘life happens and you only live once’ thinking) or it can be fuelled by stress or emotions. Either way, a cheat meal or a cheat day while on a LCHF or keto lifestyle comes with consequences you may want to avoid, especially if you are dealing with medical issues. So here are the issues that can arise when you cheat: 1 It …

Keto rash

I regularly receive slightly panicked messages from people saying they started keto and within the first two weeks they developed an unsightly rash, often with itching. This has actually happened to me too the first time I tried keto: a rash of slightly raised small pink bumps mainly on my torso with an irritating itch. It is very common indeed, although it does not happen to everyone, and it is quite understandable people get into a panic over it. So lets talk about keto rash. The medical term Keto rash is a rare inflammatory skin disease of unknown origin but some medical experts refer to it as the known skin condition prurigo pigmentosa, although it has not been officially determined it is in fact the same condition. There seems to be a correlation though between ketone production and the development of prurigo pigmentosa hence the belief the two are the same. Generally speaking one can assume all keto rashes are also prurigo pigmentosa, but not all instances of prurigo pigmentosa are associated with ketosis. What …

Keto and menopause

I am a 47 year old woman (oh yes I am) and most likely in peri-menopause. I say ‘most likely’ because so far the symptoms I do have are of the very light variety (mainly a mood swing here and there, some sleep issues and the occasional unexplained itching of the skin) and might as well be attributed to other factors and circumstances. But fact of the matter is (peri-)menopause happens to all women and can be a difficult period for several reasons: fat gain (the dreaded middle-age spread), loss of muscle tone, hot flashes, insomnia and mood swings are all very common and can seriously inhibit your well-being. I am convinced though my adherence to low carb plays, and will play, a large part in trying to make this period in my life more of a smooth sailing as opposed to what is perceived by many as mid-life agony. So let’s talk a little bit about (peri-)menopause itself and how a low carb or keto lifestyle can help alleviate the troubles that come with …

How to get good sleep

Chronic sleep deprivation was one of the first issues I needed to tackle in order to improve my health: I had been maintaining a sleep pattern for many years in concordance with my husband’s restaurant hours while in fact I had to keep to normal working-and parenting hours during the day. This resulted in an average of 5 hours of sleep per night. To say that is less than ideal is an understatement, the fact I had Leaky Gut Syndrome only made matters worse: inflammation, pain and raised cortisol levels caused by that contributed to my insomnia. I therefore implemented a strict bedtime routine (in bed at nine, asleep by ten) and started using melatonin to help get my body back into a rhythm. Today, with the exception of times of extra stress, my sleep is fine. The regularity suits me and I also discovered I am at my most productive in the hours between six and eleven in the morning. While good sleep is essential for everyone, medical issues or not, for people doing …

How about alcohol?

I get a lot of questions about alcohol on a keto lifestyle. Quite a few people worry about this particular issue for two reasons: 1 does alcohol have a negative effect on weight loss while on keto and 2 if the first is the case…can I never ever drink alcohol again then?? Let me start by telling a little bit about my experiences with alcohol BEFORE I started a ketogenic lifestyle. As many of you know,I starting looking for alternative lifestyles in 2013 for health issues, not for weight loss. And one of the very first issues I needed to tackle was my habit of drinking, simply put, way too much alcohol. I had no doubt whatsoever that the amount I consumed on a more or less daily basis was not only detrimental to my health in general (and in all likelihood a major contributor to the condition I was actually in at that time) but also a way of dealing with stress and insecurities. Having a regular drink made me better equipped (or so …

About staying the keto course

I recently got the question ‘Why does it matter so much to stay on track when you do keto? What is the harm of just letting go once in a while? Isn’t life for living, after all?’. Now, I could have launched into a whole explanation of how getting kicked out of ketosis sets you back in a major way as it prevents you from becoming keto adapted, which is the ultimate goal. Instead, I suddenly remembered this piece I wrote a few years back. I too felt at one point life was for living and had at times trouble adjusting to my new lifestyle. I am human too, right? But after slipping just a tad too much and having to deal with the consquences I decided to never think that way again. Here are my thoughts on the subject from way back then: “The other week the cashier at my local supermarket all of a sudden said to me ‘What do you do to stay so skinny? I guess you just don’t eat a …

How to exercise on keto

A very common statement is that exercise is necessary to lose weight. Although exercise is definitely very important for improving general health and fitness, it will not always help you lose more weight. The reason for that is simple: the more you exercise, the more you will eat. And strictly speaking you can lose weight on keto without any exercise at all. The main reason for that is simple too: you will naturally eat less because keto has an appetite-suppressing effect. But here are several reasons why I do recommend moderate exercise: If you are a post-menopausal woman resistance training improves your bone mineral density; exercise may help you boost your immune system (overexercising though will have the opposite effect); diabetes improves because exercise actually increases insulin sensitivity; exercise improves age-related cognitive decline and helps to prevent neuro-degenerative disease; physical activity helps prevent coronary heart disease; exercise may increase life expectancy by decreasing mortality risk factors like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer. General tips Do not exercise just …