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800 Gram Challenge On Keto – Week 3 (and week 2 review)

800 Gram Challenge On Keto – Week 3 (and week 2 review)

2 weeks down on the 800 Gram Challenge on Keto! I’ll keep this post relatively short for reasons below, but still include my meal plan for week 3 for anyone that might need it. 800 Gram Challenge – Week 3 Summary What is the 800 […]

800 Gram Challenge On Keto – Week 2 (and week 1 review)

800 Gram Challenge On Keto – Week 2 (and week 1 review)

1 week down in the 800 Gram Challenge on Keto – and it was pretty tough! Read below to see what I ate in week 1 of the 800 Gram challenge, what I learnt and my Keto 800 Gram Challenge Meal Plan for Week 2. […]

800 Gram Challenge On Keto – Week 1

800 Gram Challenge On Keto – Week 1

So, you’ve signed up to do the 800 Gram Challenge on Keto but are stuck for recipe ideas or need tips on how to manage? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Below you’ll find what I’ve got planned for the challenge plus any new recipes I […]

Keto Lemon Curd Cake

Keto Lemon Curd Cake

A delicious afternoon treat, this Keto Lemon Curd Cake has a moist cake almond meal base, topped with tangy, rich lemon curd. Serve with a dollop of thickened cream for an indulgent treat! Before you scroll to the recipe, below I’ve tried to answer any […]

Keto Seed Bread

Keto Seed Bread

The ultimate Keto lunch is here in the form of this Keto Seed Bread! Loaded with seeds and nuts, it is very filling, very dense and sooo packed with nutrients. This recipe was one of the favourites from my latest 21 Day Keto Cleanse Challenge […]

The Top Reasons Keto Has Stopped Working For You – or it Wont’ Even Start Working For You

The Top Reasons Keto Has Stopped Working For You – or it Wont’ Even Start Working For You

This is a letter to everyone who has hit a wall with Keto. Grab a cup of tea (hold the milk), this is a long one. If I’ve linked you to this post, it’s because you’ve asked me why Keto has stopped working for you, […]

Day 21 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 21 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

YOU DO IT!! WWOOOHHHOOO well done to you – you’ve made it to day 21. It doesn’t matter if you fell off the wagon, went off plan or made a few mistakes – we all do, and this is life. For 3 weeks you’ve been […]

Day 20 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 20 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Can you believe it, we are on the eve of the last day? If you’re following the complete meal plan, you’ll notice tomorrow’s dinner is a Celebration Meal! This means go out and treat yourself – with Keto foods. It might mean some delicious sashimi, […]

Day 19 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 19 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

It was a bit of a heavy email yesterday wasn’t it? You might have guessed I’m pretty passionate about this, so occasionally have to let loose or I’ll explode! Today I’ll keep it a bit more light-hearted, so hopefully I don’t scare anyone off 🤔 […]

Day 18 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 18 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

If you’re like most people, and almost all women, this isn’t your first attempt at getting healthy or losing weight.  I see a recurring message from many people who want to try Keto – they have diet exhaustion.  We are tired of trying everything – […]

Day 17 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 17 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

As we get closer to the end of the structured challenge, it’s important that we learn a bit about WHY keto works.  This includes understanding why it’s not designed as a short term, quick-fix diet.  For me, I know I need to understand why something […]

Day 16 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 16 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

We are now in the final week of the 21 Day Keto Challenge. Running these challenges have always been really interesting for me, as I watch thousands of people all react so differently to the same information. We all have the same FAQ, the same […]

Day 15 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 15 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Good morning! And welcome to day 15 of the Challenge – you are kicking butt 🙂 As the 21 Day challenge creeps towards the final week, I hope to offer you some tips on how to maintain your new way of eating. Don’t worry if […]

Day 14 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 14 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

You made it, 2 weeks in. Whether you stuck 100% to your plan and commitments, or varied a little bit, you are still here. Reading these emails, knowing you want to make a change. So in that sense, you made it. Today I want to […]

Day 13 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 13 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

As I write this, we are heading into another weekend. At almost the 2 week mark of the Keto Challenge, life often creeps back in and gets in the way. We always start challenges like this full of determination and will choose dates that really […]

Day 12 of the Keto Challenge

Day 12 of the Keto Challenge

Welcome to day 12! We are over the half way mark well and truly now, and only 9 days to go. Just a week and a half. And then we go back to eating hamburgers and chips … NOT Have you been asked yet when […]

Day 11 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 11 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Today we are going to delve into the sometimes confusing world of net carbs and total carbs! This is one of those topics that is pretty important to understand, and once you understand it properly, it stays with you. In a nut shell, carbs are […]

Day 10 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 10 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

As we edge closer to the halfway mark, it’s a good time to think about some of the complimentary health things we can do. Keto on its own is great, but when you team it with other changes like fasting and exercise, you really propel […]

Day 9 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

Day 9 of the 21 Day Keto Challenge

We humans tend to be short term thinkers. Studies have shown that we aren’t good at judging how much time things will take us, and weight loss is certainly one of them. “Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what […]

Day 8 of the 21 Day Keto Cleanse Challenge

Day 8 of the 21 Day Keto Cleanse Challenge

We’ve passed the 1 week mark and hopefully learnt a lot along the way. While of course we are focusing in the Keto diet, I also like to take this chance to review other areas of our life that might be holding us back, physically […]


Latest

Anxiety and Keto

Anxiety and Keto

Anxiety and Keto

Ok, big topic here. It’s going to get pretty personal, which I generally try to avoid. If you don’t like personal or are just here for recipes, head on back to the home page here. An article about anxiety and Keto has been on my ‘to do’ list for a long time now but it felt so overwhelming. Why?

Because of my anxiety.

Because it’s SO personal, and I generally keep my personal struggles very personal. I have been learning though, that the more I share, the more people share with me and we help each other heal.

My anxiety manifests mostly as imposter syndrome, self doubt and a bit of OCD thrown in too. This translates to my brain saying things like…

Who are you to tell people how to eat?

You ate chocolate yesterday, you’re a fraud

Your recipes aren’t even any good, everyone is just being nice. 

Just stick with your day job. 

You’re no good at this. 

You’re no good at anything.

Not even your day job. 

That compliment was fake. 

They will find you out and you will lose everything. 

My Experience with Anxiety and Keto

I didn’t realise I had anxiety until I didn’t have it anymore. It was just always there, this constant fast paced chatter in my head that would sometimes completely overwhelm me until I crashed. I thought it was just life. If you haven’t experienced anxiety (which is different from feeling anxious in an anxious situation), it can be quite hard to explain. I’m not going to try because it’s been done 10000 times over. If you want to understand how it feels to help support someone, here’s some great information from Beyond Blue. 

One thing is for sure though, it can feel really lonely.

Anxiety and keto - connection between anxiety and ketogenic diet is becoming more and more apparent. How does our diet and gut health affect our mental health, Keto and depression? #Keto #ketogenicdiet #ketogenic

 

It’s taken me quite a few years, 4 to be exact, to realise the connection between what I consume and my anxiety levels.

When I talk about consumption, I mean it in a broad sense. For me, it means consuming:

  • Food
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs (legal and otherwise)
  • Social media

It’s been a rocky road, but I’ve now worked out my limits and found my own personal balance between anxiety and Keto. I learn more about the anxiety and diet connection every day though, and it continues to blow my mind how interconnected our bodies are.

Our bodies are all one amazing organism, like an ecosystem, where everything plays into everything else.

My own ‘finding balance’ involved drinking to a firm limit, because alcohol has been my escape from anxiety for a long time (too long).

If I found that sweet spot – just enough wine to quiet my anxious mind but not enough to cause an anxiety attack – I was in a happy place. Boy was that a dangerous line to walk the tight rope on.

Since pulling back on alcohol consumption, I’ve now realised how much what we eat fuels our emotions and thoughts. When I am in ketosis, I have a clarity of mind and focus that I just can’t attain otherwise. I have cut out coffee, because ketosis feels better than 5 lattes to get through the day.

It didn’t matter how much meditation or yoga I did or how many essential oils I used (still recommended!), if I was eating the wrong food it was all pointless. I would lay on my yoga mat and think a million miles an hour if I had a carb loaded lunch.

Anxiety and keto - connection between anxiety and ketogenic diet is becoming more and more apparent. How does our diet and gut health affect our mental health, Keto and depression? #Keto #ketogenicdiet #ketogenic

There’s more and more science and research linking anxiety and keto, and our gut health in general.

Anxiety and Keto – The Science

Ketogenic diets have proven to be invaluable tools in the treatment of stubborn neurological conditions, most notably epilepsy.

They have also shown promise in the management of other brain-based disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, and chronic headaches, as well as in metabolic disorders like obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

A recent review article The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry by researchers at the University of Tasmania in Australia [Bostock et al 2017 Front Psychiatry 20(8)] brings us up to date on all things ketogenic and mental health. [1]

A rat study found that adding ketone supplements to a standard high-carbohydrate diet reduced anxious behavior.

Whilst we aren’t rats, there’s a reason we test on them. I know from a personal perspective, when I am eating a low carb diet, I feel more calm and in control – exactly what someone with anxiety needs.

Anxiety can feel like there are a million scattered thoughts in your brain at any one time, and they are ALL emergencies. Having that calm down through eating keto was pure bliss.

Anxiety and keto - connection between anxiety and ketogenic diet is becoming more and more apparent. How does our diet and gut health affect our mental health, Keto and depression? #Keto #ketogenicdiet #ketogenic

Ketogenic Diets and Depression

A rat study found that a ketogenic diet reduced depressive behaviours.

A mouse study found that feeding pregnant animals a ketogenic diet reduced offspring susceptibility to depressed (and anxious) behaviors. [1]

How Depression is Linked to Anxiety

Depression and anxiety disorders are different, but people with depression often experience symptoms similar to those of an anxiety disorder, such as nervousness, irritability, and problems sleeping and concentrating. But each disorder has its own causes and its own emotional and behavioral symptoms.

Many people who develop depression have a history of an anxiety disorder earlier in life. There is no evidence one disorder causes the other, but there is evidence that many people suffer from both disorders.

My personal experience was that I was running on anxiety for so long (possibly most of my life), that eventually, my body and emotions absolutely crashed into a depressive hole.

I could no longer muster the energy to do anything – even to cook. And that’s kind of my thing. Every day was a struggle, and even the things I have always loved no longer brought me joy.

Keto was my only saviour – when I finally got the basics back in my fridge (for me, a roast chicken, avocado and salad), I could eat strict keto for a few days and finally feel back on track.

Now, I can feel it coming on. I feel the energy disappear from my life and I know I’ve been pushing too hard. Often this is combined with a few days of bad food and too much alcohol – all which affect gut health.

Gut health and anxiety

Given how closely the gut and brain interact, it becomes easier to understand why we feel sick before giving a presentation, or feel physically ill during times of stress.

That doesn’t mean, however, that functional gastrointestinal conditions are imagined or “all in your head.”

Psychology combines with physical factors to cause pain and other bowel symptoms.

Psychosocial factors influence the actual physiology of the gut, as well as symptoms. In other words, stress (or depression or other psychological factors) can affect movement and contractions of the GI tract, make inflammation worse, or perhaps make you more susceptible to infection.

In addition, research suggests that some people with functional GI disorders perceive pain more acutely than other people do because their brains are more responsive to pain signals from the GI tract. Stress can make the existing pain seem even worse.

Based on these observations, you might expect that at least some patients with functional GI conditions might improve with therapy to reduce stress or treat anxiety or depression.

And sure enough, a review of 13 studies showed that patients who tried psychologically based approaches had greater improvement in their digestive symptoms compared with patients who received only conventional medical treatment.

If you’re interested in reading more, I’ve included some articles about the gut and brain connection. They are calling the gut our ‘second brain’ these days – I am starting to wonder if it’s actually our main brain. Time will tell.

 

Anxiety and keto - connection between anxiety and ketogenic diet is becoming more and more apparent. How does our diet and gut health affect our mental health, Keto and depression? #Keto #ketogenicdiet #ketogenic

The way I see it, anxiety and depression are the smoke – we need to find the fire and fight it.

SAVE TO PINTEREST READ LATER – ANXIETY & KETO

Anxiety and keto - connection between anxiety and ketogenic diet is becoming more and more apparent. How does our diet and gut health affect our mental health, Keto and depression? #Keto #ketogenicdiet #ketogenic

This article is dedicated to those who have supported me through the toughest period in my life and have helped me come out the other side. If you feel alone, you aren’t. As soon as you start talking about how are you feeling, you will realise how many people around you are going through, or have been through, their own version of the same thing. It might be your mother, sister, sister in law, brother in law, colleague, friend or stranger. For me, it was all of them. You aren’t alone. 

If this post has caused you any concern at all, please contact the below organisations or reach out to a friend or family member:

Further Reading on the connection between psychiatric disorders, anxiety and keto