I began studying health, wellness and nutrition some years ago because I felt really crappy all of the time. I was thinking about food every second of the day (because I was always starving and worried about my weight), limiting my calories, had really bad brain fog, didn't sleep well and wasn't seeing great results in the gym. Not to mention, food made me feel really anxious because I wasn't sure what was really good for me. My entire concept of food health revolved around calories in food and nothing else.
Jump forward a couple of years to where I am now. I sleep like a baby, which is single handedly the best side effect I've experienced since changing my diet. I'm being totally honest here when I say that I used to be a TERRIBLE sleeper. I'm talking like 2-3 hours a night max. Now, I'm out like a light right away and don't wake up for 8-9 hours. Not only has my sleep improved but my anxiety around food is pretty nonexistent. I eat when I'm hungry, I stop when I'm full and I don't beat myself up after a splurge.
So, I'm going to nerd out on you for a second here and explain in more depth how I was able to radically change my sleeping habits, ease my anxiety, improve my workouts and just feel better in general. It's all a result of a little something called ketones.
Glucose vs. fat for fuel
Ketones are what your body produces when it breaks down fat for fuel rather than glucose. Nearly all Americans run on glucose for energy every day. Why? Because most of us eat a diet that is very rich in sugars and carbohydrates which all break down into glucose in our body. The issue with running on glucose instead of fat/ketones is that it takes your energy levels through peaks and valleys throughout the day. Think 3PM slump and those 10PM cravings for cookies and ice cream.
On the other hand, when you shift from running off of glucose to running off of fats, your body, and more precisely your brain, learns to make fat its main energy source. So your body in turn actually learns to burn either its own body fat or the fat in your food for its energy production. This is called nutritional ketosis.
Nutritional ketosis occurs when the body burns fat for energy. With an absence of glucose, the liver converts dietary fatty acids into ketone bodies to be used by the brain for energy. Ketones are pretty amazing little acids. They have been shown to play a critical role in the prevention and treatment of cancer (1), alzheimers (2) and epilepsy, as well as aid significantly in weight loss, appetite suppression, brain fog, sleep and overall mental performance (3). These little buggers are what's up!
So, how do you dip into nutritional ketosis and create more ketones? A ketogenic protocol calls for eliminating all glucose (grains, sugars, processed foods and starchy vegetables) from your diet and replacing them with healthy fats, non-starchy veggies and high quality protein. Think grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, kale, avocados, cruciferous vegetables, grass fed meat and pasture-raised eggs. All of these foods are incredibly healing and wonderful for your body because they take you from burning glucose as fuel to burning fat for fuel; i.e. more ketones!
Now, I don't know about you, but sleeping better, feeling more awake and aware, seeing better results from my workouts and easing anxiety around food are the results I want to experience for the rest of my life. For that reason, I focus on a nutritional ketosis type protocol more than 90% of the time. I also got really tired of counting calories, feeling shitty and worrying about food; it's so exhausting! Instead, I focus on whole, healthy foods and place a special emphasis on healthy fats. Boom, I feel amazing!
Now, eating a diet heavy in whole foods, healthy fats and proteins can be difficult to sustain all of the time. I'm a big red wine, margarita and chocolate fan, with the occasional deep dish Zachary's Pizza, all of which don't necessarily fall into the ketogenic lifestyle. But, you know what, I want to live my life, and what is life without our favorite delights?! So, as a result, sometimes I'll add ketones to my diet so that I can still experience the wonderful effects of these little guys, without having to focus so intensely on my diet. Exogenous ketones (meaning they don't come from your body but from an outside source, in this case salt) are an incredible supplement! As my reader's know, I'm actually not a really big supplement fan because I'd like us to get all of our nutrients from food itself. Food isn't as nutrient dense as it once was, however, so getting every single nutrient you need from food alone can be quite a challenge these days. For that reason, I supplement my diet with a few essentials; one being exogenous ketones.
This is the ketone supplement that I use to get those incredible little ketones into my body and bloodstream. KETO//OS has recently become my new obsession. It helps give me incredible mental focus, has improved my sleep, anxiety, workout intensity, and most importantly, has revolutionized my energy levels. Again, I do not believe in slapping a bandaid over a health issue so that is not what this supplement is for. A diet full of rich, whole foods with an emphasis on healthy fats is the best thing that you can do for your body and brain. 90% of my diet is based in this and it has really changed my entire life. But, I cannot resist telling you about this product. When I put more ketones into my system, my energy and focus are noticeably sustained and optimized. KETO//OS especially helps when I know I've got a long day of work ahead of me, when I really need to focus and/or if I'm going to indulge in a little extra wine or PIZZA :)
So, I'd just like to leave you with this single thing. Healthy fats are incredible for your body. Healthy fats lead to more ketone production in your body which has profound effects on your overall health. Try adding some healthy fats to your meals this week. Start by cooking with more coconut oil, grass fed butter or ghee add avocado to everything and nosh on some almonds or macadamia nuts as a snack. If you feel like taking your performance to the next level than adding exogenous ketone to your day might be perfect for you! Check out more info HERE!
If you've been adding more healthy fats to your diet I'd love to hear how you're feeling! Do you notice that you have more energy? How has your sleep been? Do you feel more satiated? Have you tried supplementing with ketones? Leave your comments here!