weight loss

Mediterranean Diet

Recently I talked about wanting to try the Mediterranean Diet.

I’ve been doing keto on and off since February. It worked really well in the beginning. I lost about 10-12 pounds or so in the first few months and I honestly felt really good! I cleared up my psoriasis, I had energy and felt pretty good. I definitely felt better and more satisfied than when I tried low-carb diets in the past.

What I didn’t like about keto? It takes a LOT of tracking. It’s hard to stay under 25 grams of carbs for the day. It takes a lot of mental energy and planning to stay on track with your macros and meal planning. It was also a little triggering. I found that I started to look at certain foods as being “Bad Foods” and then feeling anxiety or guilt if I ate them. I don’t think that’s a healthy way to look at any food. I can see that someone with a history of anxiety or eating disorders could get very obsessive on a diet like keto.

I started reading about the Mediterranean Diet and it sounded really good. It wasn’t new to me. There are a lot of benefits to this diet. It’s helpful for heart health, controlling blood sugar, it might protect against cancer and depression. Supposedly it’s good for your brain, too.

It’s fairly simple to follow, which is also a plus. It looks to me like you can basically eat MOST things in moderation, unlike keto that is very restrictive.

Avoid these Foods

  • Sugar (soda, candy, etc)
  • Refined grains (white breads and pasta)
  • Trans Fats and Refined Oils (margarine, soybean oil, canola oil, etc)
  • Processed meats (sausages, hot dogs, etc)
  • Highly processed foods (anything that is “low fat” or “diet)

Foods to Eat

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and eggs
  • Whole grains (brown rice, rye, barley, whole wheat, corn, buckwheat)
  • Dairy
  • Herbs and spices
  • Healthy fats (EEVO, olives, avocado, avocado oil)

Looking at these food pyramids, I don’t know that I am 100% on board with it. One of my takeaways from doing keto is that I DO agree, that limiting carbs is a good thing. It just is. Maybe you don’t need to do extreme low carb, but maybe just cutting out bread and pasta and getting your carbs from vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruit and beans. (So basically a variation of Slow Carb).

The good news is that this diet is basically ME. I love all of those things. I love Greek food. I love hummus and plain Greek yogurt. I eat a lot of seafood. So basically I need to limit red meat, cut out sugar and it’s not a huge change from what I used to do before keto!

So I recently spent a few hours perusing websites for recipes and meal plans and created my own meal plan for three weeks. I found some REALLY delicious-sounding recipes I was excited to try.

I am still going to try and limit my carbs (bread and pasta). Maybe the pasta dishes are just once a week. I definitely won’t be eating pasta daily!

Back in the Saddle Again

I started this post about a month ago and then life got nuts. So I am trying again. LOL

I took a month off from doing the keto diet. I honestly just COULD NOT deal with it while we in the middle of buying a house/moving, etc. It was so overwhelming I couldn’t mentally handle it.

Keto is a lot of work. I mean, once you get a handle on it and have a rotation of meals and snacks, you don’t really have to think about it TOO much but you still have to track everything and check everything to make sure your macros are correct and you are eating the correct amount of fat and low carb counts. So it takes a lot of mental energy. And I just couldn’t do it while I was doing everything else.

So I took a break. For about a month. (Honestly, back in the day when I lost 100+ pounds originally and just counted my calories, that was A LOT easier, you could eat whatever you wanted and just counted your calories, didn’t take a lot of mental energy or thought.) I ate whatever I want, not much different but I did eat carbs. And I enjoyed the hell outta ’em!

And my pants were tight.

So here I go again. I am back doing it and I won’t be taking a break (as far as I plan right now). We are going to Hawaii for my birthday and I’d love to lose some weight before our trip! That is my goal. I have 5 months! Let’s do this.

I recently found this Kombucha that is lower in carbs and sugar:

It’s about half of what a normal kombucha is. Awesome! So still not ideal but a treat once in awhile.

So at the end of July, I got back on the keto diet. I didn’t weigh myself but I knew I was back up. I’ve since weighed and I estimate that I’d gained about 4-6 pounds eating all the carbs. Maybe it was bloat? Who knows. But after a month or so back at it, my pants aren’t tight anymore. I will be weighing myself in a week to see if I’ve made some progress.

I definitely feel better when I do keto, even though it’s harder than just counting calories. Not eating a lot of sugar and carbs makes my body feel better. So even if I eventually go back to doing some kind of modified diet, it will be limiting the carbs and sugar.

This week I went to a naturopath doctor. I’ve been curious about it for awhile but didn’t want to spend the money. I know a lot of people that have had great experiences and even though I have no major complaints about my health care/doctor, I do feel dismissed about a lot of issues. For a few years now, I’ve felt really tired and worn down. I feel dismissed when I talk to my doctor about it. She says “Well, you’re almost 40” or “you have a toddler” or “you have a history of depression and anxiety”–none of which is A DIAGNOSIS. And I always leave feeling unheard, angry and lost. Blood tests are always in the “normal” range. Thyroid seems “fine.”

The good thing about a naturopath was that I felt HEARD. The appointment was over an hour (not 10 minutes or less like my doctor) and she listened to my history and complaints. She had some ideas and did a bunch of blood work (most was covered by my insurance thankfully because if it wasn’t I would not have afforded the visit! Naturalistic medicine is pricey!). I’ll have results in two weeks and a follow-up.

She said she was concerned about my insulin levels. And she said that some of my symptoms pointed to PCOS. So we will see what the tests show. I’m not 100% on board with the naturopathic way yet. We will see. But I’m willing to give it a TRY. I just want some answers, I want to try some things and see if anything works.

In the meantime, I am continuing keto. I will be re-evaluating some of my medications to see if they are necessary still (like my acne meds) and I think I might try going off some of them to see how I feel. (And see if I lose some weight as a result.)