Is the Keto Community Exclusionary?

christie 56When I was a kid, 10 year olds didn’t get type 2 diabetes, so I wasn’t tested. I weighed nearly 200 lbs, I had yeast infections (I didn’t know that at the time, I just knew I itched), and I kept getting yelled at for not washing my neck (acanthosis nigricans). In junior high school, I developed a spot under my ponytail (another yeast infection)that eventually left me with a bald spot that is still there to this day, although the spot is long gone.

At one point in my single digits, I was put on a diet by Dr. Werthammer (not his fault, he was awesome. And still practicing!). That diet was AMAZING, at least to a sugar – addicted kid. It had a list of “free” foods. Lots of low-fat, high sugar options like angel food cake, pretzels, animal crackers, even gummy bears. I was in heaven. But I didn’t lose any weight. And I wasn’t diagnosed with type 2 diabetes until I was 25, and my years of sugar had already done irreparable damage to my eyesight.

A few years ago. a show came out called, “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”. It was filmed across the river from my hometown, in Huntington, WV. Huntington was chosen because it had just been named the unhealthiest city in America. They are poor, they are unhealthy, and they are obese. I’d guess that if you looked at the health stats for the city of Huntington, you’d find that a shocking percent have diabetes, hypertension, and a number of other metabolic disorders. I haven’t lived in the Huntington area for more than 20 years, but I carry the lingering effects of my childhood.

My ex-husband was from the poor part of Baltimore, MD. He grew up eating cold ravioli from the can because they often didn’t have electricity. He ate whatevers he could get from the corner store – often snack cakes and Mountain Dew and chips. He continued that into adulthood. I often saw him put away and entire package of Oreo cookies in one sitting. He once told me, when he was in the hospital, that the sandwich and fruit and veggie they gave him for lunch wasn’t a full meal. He had sleep apnea. When we divorced, he weighed more than 350lbs.

Keto could be a miracle to the unhealthy and underprivileged. Unfortunately, most of the resources available come from a place of blind privilege. Keto personalities preach expensive supplements, grassfed this and organic that. And if you can’t spend $10 or $15 dollars a pound on grass fed ground beef and $4 a dozen for organic eggs, you’re dirty keto. You’re below, you’re sub keto, you’re not as good at keto. You’re not part of the club, and that’s if you even look into it enough to learn that it’s possible without investing in your local Whole Foods. That’s all great if you can afford it, but we’re excluding a very vulnerable part of the population. They need accessible tools and we – as a community – have a responsibility to make keto available to everyone. Stop preaching health from a place of privilege. Stop called it dirty keto – it’s ALL keto and it ALL counts.

It’s ok to keto however it works for you.

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New Beginnings

Today is the first day of 2019, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably considering a few firsts, yourself.

My name is Christie and I am a type 2 diabetic.  I first discovered the Keto lifestyle just 6 short months ago.  It started with a Tedx Talk at Purdue University by Dr Sarah Hallberg.  I’ll link it below.  Dr. Hallberg is board certified in both obesity medicine and internal medicine and is the Medical Director of the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program at IU Health Arnett – a program she created.  She knows her stuff.  She probably knows more than your local GP.  And that is why I listened to her.

Science and education is important, ya’ll.

So I watched her Tedx Talk and I told my life penguin, Paul, that I wanted to try this low carb, high fat thing for just 2 weeks and I explained why.  He came on board and we committed to 2 weeks of no carbs starting June 26, 2018.

Everyone tells you to clean out your kitchen before you start.  We didn’t.  We sort of needed that security blanket, at first, knowing that if it didn’t pan out, we could easily transition back to our old ways.  You know, the ones that weren’t working.  It felt safer this way.

I was immediately able to stop taking insulin.  After the 2 week trial, we DID clean out our kitchen.  Paul lost somewhere around 50 pounds over the next 4 months. I lost around 16 (being metabolically deranged takes some time to correct).

In October, we decided to take a trip back to our hometown.  We also decided that it would be ok to go off keto for the trip, to eat some of the delicious food that we grew up with (the only thing to do in Huntington, WV is eat.)  That was a giant mistake of epic proportions.  We struggled to get back on track, but only the carbohydrate flood gates open, we couldn’t shove them closed again.  We also have a small business, mostly making Christmas ornaments, so October started the busiest time of the year for us.

Epic fail.

I decided that after Christmas, I would firmly recommit the way I committed back in June.  I also decided that I would start a blog and a Facebook group and page to help keep me on track, while hopefully helping others.

I may occasionally recommend items that work for me, but I will NEVER try to sell you something.  If you want to support my attempts to share information, click one of the ads that you see on this blog.  It costs nothing, but it’ll send a penny or two my way.

My next post will be a lot of background on me, because it’s important to know who you’re trusting.  After that, I’ll start with the most basic of basics: reading a nutrition label and what – exactly – are those macro things.

This was a lot words and no pictures.  I’ll do better next time.  🙂

Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s Tedx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da1vvigy5tQ