Welcome! This is our first blog post! Questions from Ryan, our digital and business intern to Neha, the founder of SwitchGrocery about keto and her health journey.
Ryan: What were the most challenging aspects that you faced at the beginning of your switch to a Keto diet?
Neha: Before my first High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout session with Andrei from New Element Training, he recommended the keto diet to me. I also learned more about the paleo diet. No grains? Seriously? I grew up eating rice and rotis. Billions of people eat grains across the world! It was next to impossible for me to conceivably think about a long term lifestyle without grains. I also did not want to be on any type of fad diets - I was looking for a long term sustainable change. So I think at the beginning for me, it was the mental block I had to get over. Which I did by reading and learning more (a LOT)!
Ryan: Could you give some insight into how long it took before you felt those “healthier” feelings that people associate with diet changes. What were some of these feelings; either positive or negative.
Ryan: What are some of your favourite foods that helped you switch and continue to make this diet a staple for you?
Neha: I generally eat a LOT of WHOLE FOODS. A ton of vegetables. My go to is a smoothie with Philosophie’s Cacao Magic or Green Dream with Nuez Pure Almond nutmilk. I also incorporate flax, chia, coconut flour, almond flour and cacao butter. Cauliflower crust pizzas and cauliflower rice really helped to replace some of my favourite foods. My morning starts with hot water and lime followed by bulletproof coffee (BPC) or bulletproof matcha (BPM).
I’m working around the clock at SwitchGrocery to find more innovative and clean keto and paleo friendly on the go snacks - there is SO much more choice in the US and the UK compared to Canada. We need more foods here!
Ryan: Who/what has kept you inspired over the course of this lifestyle change?
Neha: Instagram. Blogs. Books. Elana’s Pantry was a huge source of inspiration for me for recipes. Family. Support from my friends. A lot of my friends understand now when I invite them over for dinner and they come and enjoy my creative salads! On my birthday this year, I invited a few friends over and instead of takeout I actually made dinner without grains - they loved it.
Also, if you can find someone to do this with (a partner or a friend), I would recommend it. There is a huge keto and paleo community on Reddit and Instagram that will also help keep you accountable.
Ryan: Are there any misconceptions of the paleo or keto diet that you can debunk?
Neha: Yes! This is a big one. The paleo diet is not necessarily followed because of weight loss or personal preference. At least 2 million Canadians are affected by autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, MS and more (I think it could be more but this is the only stat I found so far). Essentially, an autoimmune disease is when your immune system (which is supposed to protect you) attacks healthy cells and tissues. I am not a health care expert by any means but there are many more resources on this topic.
To manage their symptoms, some people follow the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet which is a specialized version of the paleo diet. There needs to be more awareness in Canada about autoimmune diseases. I’ve seen a lot of people get impatient in restaurants when a particular table is asking the server a lot of questions about the food and taking up extra time. Most times, they absolutely need to do this to manage their health.
Ryan: How do you follow Keto?
Neha: Another awesome question. There are plenty of different ways that you can follow keto and I find the community is very open and helpful to all these ways (especially on Reddit and Instagram). I generally follow the diet 80% of the time. I also incorporate a lot of whole foods specifically vegetables. I do not follow the vegan diet but I do manage my meat intake and eat antibiotic free and no hormone added meats. I do not measure or count calories and macros. I also work out atleast once a week but I try for twice a week.
It was different at the beginning when I started. I’ve now been on this lifestyle for almost 2 years and so this is the way I do it now.
Some people follow it 100% of the time, some people can be in ketosis on 50g of net carbs/day, and some people follow the If It Fits Your Macros (“IIFYM”) approach. Some people need to have sugar so they may use artificial sugars once/day to get their fill. At the end of the day, diet and how you eat food is a very personal decision. You know your own self the best and I believe, you can and should decide how you incorporate any diet into your lifestyle.
It’s all about what works for you.
We hope you liked our first blog post. Please comment below or message via Instagram to tell us how you like it. There is a lot of content everywhere on the big world wide web and social media platforms so we really want to try to bring you what you would love to read. Here are some early ideas we are working on.
What would you like to see and how would you like to see it?
Personal interviews with people with type 1, people with type 2 diabetics, people following the keto or paleo diets, people following autoimmune protocol
Interviews with health practitioners
A list of diet friendly restaurants and coffee shops in Canada!
Do you prefer sound files or videos or prefer written blog posts or all of the above mixed up!
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