Driven To Keto
There are a few folks out there that can do it, but I'm not one of them, I'm part of the vast majority that "cannot eat just one , and while Frito-lay was happy to remind me of this truth, they were not required to educate me around how potato chips convert into glucose.
Update: I lasted about 4 months on nearly pure Keto and it was working initially to calm my brain down and it did help me to realize that at the core of my additive like craving is sugar in all it forms and it came back to bite me...
I'm writing this post with a Ketone fueled brain to see what happens were I to give this body a break from the endless consumption of carbohydrates. The fact that our species eating habits rapidly changed from hunter gatherer to a plant and harvest "consumer" must be considered against the backdrop of the human body's slow adaptive evolution.
Is it possible that humans have gotten way ahead of ourselves and or that our brains have been hijacked by the plants that have adapted themselves (with our help) to have us doing their bidding?
I ask this because I seem to be ruled by the grains!
I was grazed on a diet rich in refined carbohydrates. From cereal, bread, grilled cheese, tuna melts, and a sugar bowl on the kitchen table that was regularly refilled, to Wednesday spaghetti, elbow macaroni or lasagna these foods were in every meal. My mom also baked cookies and cakes from box and scratch, most dinners had sides of rice, potatoes or stuffing along with corn or green beans. Breakfasts included cereal, toast or pancakes or waffles with as much Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin as was wanted. Saturdays was bagels, hoagies, cheese steak sandwiches, soft pretzels, mac n cheese, calzone, knish, perogies, and on special occasions blintz. Weekday school lunch lunches of bologna, cheese or tuna sandwiches on white bread, chips, a mallow cup or cookies, or tasty cakes or a ding dong or a pair of HoHos or twinkie or the highly coveted snack-pack pudding cup and a fruit drink. All of that with an endless home supply of, chips, cereal, crackers, instant pudding, hot and cold chocolate milk and instant breakfast eaten at any time. It was a high carbohydrate diet and maybe it wasn't what everyone was eating, but it was what I was raised on.
As a child the high consumption of sugars contributed to a diagnosis of "hyperactive "and contributed to symptoms that would be diagnosed as depression and mood swings. One might say "just eat less of those foods".
So here's the deal with just eat less. The body has a set point for everything including blood sugar. As a child I had 'nt any idea about metabolism or homeostasis, I just was on an endless quest for another fix of sugar. The body did not care if it was cookie or a piece of fruit or a bowl of rice, it all converted into glucose. Each time I'd eat more sugar containing food than was actually useful or needed, a new increase set point was created with a demand for an increased intake of foods that would convert into glucose. The new set point is a result of a complex set of biological actions that on the surface feel like what I imagine the cookie monster felt all the time; an endless demand for more cookies. In reality this demand is to satisfy the new set point which is tied to an increased metabolism that is being driven by a fast burning fuel called glucose, the same glucose that my brain is fueled by.
"Just eat less cookies, but now more are needed to meet the new set point, so I'd just have another and the set point again increased. For some people in this cycle of over sugar consumption just the thought of eating less cookies creates stress, that disruptive feeling we call stress is actually bodies way to signal us to make sure we consume more foods that easily convert into glucose.
My life seemed to be ruled by all things sweet. My friend Michael makes an amazing pineapple fruit salad and knows that I will be back for more as soon as he's prepped another bowl. I could eat a full package of dried mango slices as a snack...and want another one about 30 minutes later. Yes if you're thinking I was stuck in a cycle of addiction you'd be correct and were these foods not so readily available, would I be eating them?
It's not 10,000 years ago and I'm neither a decedent of the seal & whale eating Inuit, or the blood & milk drinking Maasai, and after 56 years on the industrialized plant based eating journey I realize that much of my brain power, creativity and resources had been expended in a near constant seeking of another carbohydrate fix. Feeding this body high fat slow burning ketone producing foods which includes getting minimal amounts of naturally occurring carbohydrate from, nuts, and non starchy vegetables has resulted in feeling like my brain is functioning clearer, more focused, able to recall information, and rather than highs and lows of energy, I feel a more consistent and stable.