Low Carb/Ketogenic Diet Focus: Stress

How much do you love a short week!?  As a self employed person holidays don’t always mean much to me but this time, I have committed to my family that I will take the day off this Friday - let’s hope I can stick to my promise.  Working hard is important but so is finding balance and taking some time to recover.  Having worked consumer shows the last two weekends has left me needing a bit of recovery time and feeling a bit more stressed than usual - a condition that I know will not serve me in any way.  Take a deep breath - this is a longer than usual post but it’s important.

Today’s post is all about stress and how too much of it, left unmanaged can throw the best plan completely off the rails.  I have often seen clients who, on paper are doing pretty much everything right - they are watching what they eat and sticking to their plan, they are exercising but somehow their results are just not there.  Quite often, a few minutes into our meeting it comes to light that they are going through some kind of intense stress, at home, at work, sometimes both…as a result they aren’t sleeping well and they are living in a constant state of stress.  This basically puts the body into “fight or flight’ mode causing an increase in the stress hormone cortisol which in turn also causes an increase in blood sugar (in case you need to flee in a hurry) - exit ketosis, enter spare tire. 

The upside of that blood sugar release is that if you happen to need to get out of the way in a hurry you are in luck, more blood sugar means more energy available for that sprint to safety.  If, on the other hand, your stress is the chronic kind, driven by anxiety, worry, negative self thoughts, ongoing relationship or work issues, illness etc.  then that constant release of cortisol will ultimately lead to a cascade of negative results including belly fat (blood sugar with nowhere to go ends up stored as fat around your middle), negative impacts on your brain (memory issues lead the pack here), impaired immune system, and even breakdown of muscle tissue, oh, and also it will kick you right out of Ketosis if that happens to be where you want to be.  I could go on but you get the picture.

So what is the solution here?  Most of us are not in a position to necessarily leave our stressful jobs, win the lottery to solve our financial woes, heal from chronic illness overnight ….. are we doomed?  Not exactly.  It turns out that how you manage your stress has a lot more to do with your outcome than whether or not you live a stressful life.  The first thing you need to do is acknowledge what it is that is gnawing at you and start to develop a plan - on your own, by buying a self help book, or hiring a professional - for many people just facing the problem and taking action goes a huge way to lowering stress.  Beyond that here are a few other things you can do to actually lower that cortisol during the day - do these things often enough and you will eventually be able to weather the stress with fewer consequences and ultimately be better equipped to make whatever changes need to be made in your life to reduce it in the first place:

  • Box Breathing - find a comfortable seat, close your eyes - inhale for four counts deep into your belly - hold for 4 counts. Exhale for four counts - hold for 4 counts.  Repeat 3-4 times.  Feeling calmer?  This exercise helps to get you out of the short shallow breaths you take when stressed and help to calm your nervous system.  Check out this link for more details: http://www.livestrong.com/article/74944-box-breathing-technique/. Or, a great app for breath exercises is Pranayama - the free version is plenty to get you started.
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing - This one is a bit more obvious to passersby but it is an incredibly effective way to get centred and calm your body and mind. You can do this during the day when you need to get a grip or before bed to get to sleep easier or even before you meditate.  Here is a link to a post detailing exactly how to do it and expands on the benefits a bit further:  http://bit.ly/2o6TisO
  • Meditation - taking up meditation is an incredible way to learn the skill of calming your mind and managing your stress. Not only that but an 8 week study at Harvard showed that people who participated in an 8 week program of daily mindfulness based meditation actually experienced an increase in grey matter in their brain!  Who couldn’t use a bigger brain? Want to know more?  Here’s the link to the study: http://bit.ly/1fMM9Wz
    • You can start to meditate for free by downloading one of these apps onto your phone - try Headspace, Omvana, or Calm as starting points but there are dozens to choose from.
    • If you have some $$ to spend you can also go to the nearest Transcendental Meditation Centre (http://ca.tm.org), find a teacher and get your very own Mantra.
    • MBSR or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is yet another branch of meditation that is increasingly being turned to - kind of like meditation only different. There are centres and teachers all over the country just google it.  In Toronto we have several but a hub is: http://www.mindfulnessstudies.com

So there you have it - manage your stress to feel better, get healthier and get smarter.  What does this have to do with ketones you ask?  Well, remember that one of the many benefits of ketones is that they cross the blood brain barrier and are a preferred source of fuel for the brain.  A better fuelled brain is a more resilient brain and one that can help you function and feel better throughout the day.   One of the many benefits reported by people following a ketogenic diet is how much clearer they feel and how much more energy they have.  We get these same reports from many of the people who use Keto//OS daily, even if they are not on a fully Ketogenic diet - in my business we call this a “biohack” and this is one of the better ones I have found.  So, practice deep breathing or meditation, drink your ketones and become calmer, more focused and efficient.

Keto//OS Fast Facts: What makes KetoMax different than the other formulas?

The short answer is that KetoMax will push you deeper into Ketosis than our two other formulas.  Most people will end up with 1-2 mmol of ketones in their blood vs the nutritional ketosis (0.5-0.9) delivered by 2.1 and 3.0.  How?  KetoMax is formulated with a new patent pending BHB salt that is twice as bioavailable as the BHB used in the 2.1 and 3.0 formulas.  It was designed with the elite athlete in mind and so has very little else in it other than L-Leucine to stimulate muscle growth and L-Taurine an amino acid that supports cardiac function, helps the body to manage stress (!) and supports exercise performance.  I use KetoMax before going to the gym in the mornings to support my workout and recovery and I love it.  I then use either of the 2.1 or 3.0 during the day when I need an extra boost.

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.  Make sure to check my KetoNat Facebook page this Friday - there’s a chance the Easter Bunny might bring us a Keto Treat (I’m truly guessing here but I think the odds are good)

Useful links:

  • To reach me directly, email: lowcarbcanada.ca
  • To order Keto//OS: shopketo.com/ca
  • To get you started on your Keto journey watch the videos at: drinkyoursample.com/ca. The first explains how to use Keto//OS and the second explains how ketones work in your body - both are short and informative.

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!!
          

Instagram:       @nathalieniddam
Facebook:       KetoNat
Website:          NathalieNiddam.com

Toasted Coconut Fat Bombs - Just in time for Easter!


These are truly delicious and should hit the spot when you need something rich and creamy.  You would think they’d be an obscene number of calories but they are only 123 per serving (recipe makes 12) - most of which come from the fat of course. Enjoy!

1.5 Cups Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil softened
1/4 cup grass fed butter softened (you can skip the butter & just use more coconut oil)
2 Tablespoons Lakanto Sweetener
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or Vanilla Bean powder (I used vanilla bean powder)
pinch of sea salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350
Spread coconut flakes on a cookie sheet and bake till golden - watch them carefully as they burn easily.
When golden - place in a high speed blender or food processor and process scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly till you have “toasted coconut butter”…this takes a few minutes. When you are happy with the consistency…I like it a bit crunchy still.
Add the Coconut oil and butter and blend till smooth
Add Vanilla or cinnamon and Lakanto sweetener - blend again till smooth
Pour into an ice cube tray or into candy molds - should give you 12 servings.
Keep Refrigerated - good luck keeping them around!


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