The Ketogenic Diet Experiment

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, know that I love to experiment with my diet and workouts. In fact, I actually consider myself to be an ongoing experiment in health.

The Ketogenic Diet Experiment by Tara Perillo
The Ketogenic Diet Experiment

In my latest experiment, I tackled the ketogenic diet, a very low carb (less than 50 grams/day), moderate protein, and high fat diet. The most common ratios for obtaining and maintaining nutritional ketosis is to consume your daily caloric needs with 5% carbs, 20% proteins, and 75% fats. For me, that included 21 grams net carbs (net carbs are total carb grams minus fiber grams), 85 grams protein, and 162 grams fat, with a total daily calorie count of about 1700.

Now, I think it’s only fair to give you a little background on my interest in the ketogenic diet. The first time I heard of it, was at PaleoFX. last year. Fact is, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, gave a speech on the positive negative effects of the ketogenic diet, especially on women. I was actually talking with her about her speech, at dinner the night before. After listening intently to her speech, which included much compelling evidence to some of the dangers to women’s health, I pretty much determined it was something I would never try.

Flash forward almost one whole year later. By this time, I have put my lupus into remission, with help from the AIP diet, as outlined in The Paleo Approach, and a workout program, created by myself. I had also been experimenting with different macro ratios, in order to keep my fitness level progressing. In my research, I came across the ketogenic diet once again. This time, I reached out to the masters in ketogenic, low carb, and high fat diets. Hearing what they had to say, and reading up on their research, I decided to put aside my earlier fears, and give it a go. The ketogenic diet experiment began.

Tools of the ketogenic diet by Tara Perillo
Tools of the ketogenic diet

The first thing I had to do was get together all the items I would need to begin: keto urine strips, a blood ketone/glucose monitor and strips, a macro counting app (I like MyMacros+), a food scale, and lots of fats.

After calculating my proper macros (above), and beginning to follow the recommended ratio, it took me only four days to start producing trace amounts of ketones. I had tons of energy and mental clarity. Within a week, I had lost 2 pounds of fat. I continued to feel this way and lose weight for eight weeks. Then, I hit a brick wall.

Leaning out on the ketogenic diet by Tara Perillo
Leaning out on the ketogenic diet

One of the reasons I began the ketogenic diet was to help with some hormonal and skin issues that were lingering. My first period, while on the ketogenic diet, was completely pain-free. This was something I hadn’t experienced in years. And, I didn’t suffer from the horrible PMS symptoms I usually did. Unfortunately, it didn’t repeat with my second period. I also experienced some relief in my skin rashes, in the beginning six weeks. But then, those came back, even worse than before. All of the energy and mental clarity I had experienced disappeared.

To be completely honest though, I don’t blame the ketogenic diet. I know, after years of experiments and research, it’s just what my body does when I’ve been on any regimen for eight weeks. It’s actually the same way for many of you. Once your body gets used to a particular diet or workout program, it simply stops working at it’s ultimate level. That’s not the time to give up. It’s the time to shake things up a bit.

It was important to the experiment for me to remove some of the variables, to be sure they weren’t affecting my results. I stopped exercising for four days, and followed that with a week of decreased workouts. I also cut out or decreased some of the foods I had reintroduced, such as nightshades and dairy. These changes actually made my symptoms worse, not better. Trust me, I was happy it wasn’t all the cheese I had been eating. So, it was back to the drawing board.

Batch Cooking on the ketogenic diet by Tara Perillo
Batch cooking on the ketogenic diet

What now? The next phase of my experiment has begun. As of this past Sunday, I have increased my carbs to 50 grams a day. I have also increased my protein to 110 grams, and my fats to 174 grams, while I focus on building muscle again. This works out to daily caloric intake of 9% carbs, 20% proteins, and 71% fats. It’s still well within the ketogenic diet range. As of yesterday, I am still producing ketones, even with the new ratios. I will also be doing a carb cycling day each week. On those days, I will increase my carbs to about 100 grams, and lower my fats to about 50 grams. If you increase your fats and carbs by large amounts, at the same time, you will gain fat. One day a week of doing that might not hurt you; but, over time, it will catch up with you.

My workouts will also be changing. I’ll be doing five days of weightlifting split workouts, two days of 20 minute HIIT running sprint workouts, and three days of 30 to 40 minutes dance practice. That may seem like a rigorous schedule; but, I’ve seen that I don’t do well with less exercise. For me, a strenuous workout program keeps my immune system suppressed, which keeps my symptoms to a minimum. However, I do take a week off from weightlifting and HIIT workouts every eight to twelve weeks. That ensures my body can fully recover.

I’ll definitely keep y’all informed as I move through this new phase of the ketogenic diet. Even though we are all different in what works for us, and what doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn something from others’ experiences. I really hate when those trying to hawk their books or whatnot, try to tell you not to try other ways of healing. It’s one thing to make you aware of some of the dangers. It’s quite another to say your way is the only way. You should always experiment with different protocols. Some may help to heal certain symptoms, while others get rid of lingering ones. Finding the combination that works for you is the hard part.

Some great ketogenic diet reading:

 

Keto Tools:

 

 

As always, I wish you good health…..and, good food!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these links, I may receive compensation. Thank you for helping me to keep Paleo Cajun Lady blog running.- Tara Perillo

Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

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Low Carb Ground Beef-Cabbage-Jalapeno Skillet Recipe

Low Carb Ground Beef Cabbage Jalapeño Skillet Recipe by Tara Perillo

Looking for a quick, tasty dish to add to your batch cooking session? This Low Carb Ground Beef Cabbage Jalapeño Skillet is perfect for batch cooking, or just whipping up a quick, healthy meal.

Low Carb Ground Beef Cabbage Jalapeño Skillet Recipe by Tara Perillo
Low Carb Ground Beef Cabbage Jalapeño Skillet

Can’t tolerate dairy? No problem. Just follow the special ingredient switch note to make this dairy-free and paleo. Want it AIP? Follow the substitution note and omit the jalapeños. It will still taste fantastic!

Continue reading “Low Carb Ground Beef-Cabbage-Jalapeno Skillet Recipe”

Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

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The Evolution of Paleo Cajun Lady

The Evolution of Paleo Cajun Lady by Tara Perillo

Just as the cave people have evolved into the people we are today, Paleo Cajun Lady has evolved from the paleo blog I created two years ago. When I debuted this blog, I never imagined I would be writing this post, a little over two years later, having put my lupus into remission, and in the best shape of my life.

Paleo Cajun Lady was created as my living journal, writing about how I was dealing with healing my newly diagnosed Lupus, and creating paleo recipes of my favorite Cajun foods. The name was simply the word “paleo”, put before the name of my grandfather’s shrimp boat, Cajun Lady. I had only started eating paleo, with my first 21 Day Sugar Detox, about two months before starting the blog. I hadn’t even been introduced to The Paleo Approach, the book that changed my life, for the better, yet. I was an excited paleo newbie, ready to share my autoimmune healing journey with the world.

The Evolution of Paleo Cajun Lady by Tara Perillo
Highlights from the last two years of Paleo Cajun Lady.

This blog has seen me through starting the AIP, suffering set backs, the creation of tons of recipes, meeting new friends, going out of my comfort zone, having recipes featured in national magazines, creating my own cookbook, guest posting on several popular blogs, contributing to several interviews, collaborative cookbooks, and the first ever Autoimmune Wellness Bundle, putting my lupus into remission, and rebuilding my body into the stronger version it is today. It’s truly amazing to look back and see all Paleo Cajun Lady has allowed me to do, in these two short years. I am truly grateful to all of you, those who have been with me from the beginning and those who have just come aboard, for helping me to make Paleo Cajun Lady the success it has become. Blessings to you all!

As time moves forward, and I reach certain health goals, Paleo Cajun Lady evolves. When I first came up with the name of my blog, I had no idea I would one day be imprisoned in this dietary choices cage of judgement and scrutiny. Now that I’ve been able to reintroduce more foods into my daily diet, dairy being the most controversial, I’ve found myself having to answer for my personal dietary choices, almost daily. The main problem, I believe, is the name of my blog, Paleo Cajun Lady. And, I do also realize, it’s very confusing to some who are new to my journey. I did consider changing the name; but, it’s such a complicated process. Besides, what am I supposed to do, throw away the last two years of my life? That hardly seems fair, just because I now indulge in some raw milk cheese!

Recipes on Paleo Cajun Lady by Tara Perillo
Then & Now! From the first recipe posted on Paleo Cajun Lady, to what I’m eating now

So, here’s what I’ve decided to do. I’m keeping Paleo Cajun Lady exactly what it was intended to be, MY personal journey to wellness. My posts will evolve with me, as I try new, healthy dietary choices, and reintroduce more healthy foods. For whatever topic you’re here for, simply type a keyword into the search box at the top of this page, and all relevant posts will be there for you. That way, whether you’re here for autoimmune or keto, you’ll easily find what you need.

Now, there will be some changes happening. I will be switching my Instagram, and all future social media accounts, to my real name, Tara Perillo. In the next several months, I will be debuting new websites and unveiling new projects. Because I don’t want to subject myself to persecution by the paleo, vegan, etc. Gestapo, I will be using my actual name. I will be able to post and create recipes freely that way. I will no longer be forced to stay in the paleo box.

Tara Perillo, Paleo Cajun Lady! Healthy & happy!
Tara Perillo, Paleo Cajun Lady, now! Healthy and happy!

I don’t want anyone to misunderstand why I’m making these changes. It’s not that I think paleo is bad, or unhealthy in any way. The AIP is an amazing protocol! I would never have been able to go into remission without it. But, the elimination phase is not meant to last forever. Once you’re healed, you should actually reintroduce foods into your diet. That is exactly what I’ve done. I have people ask me all the time, “Why did you change your diet?”. I didn’t change my diet. All I did was reintroduce foods that my body tolerates. There are still several foods I have not been able to reintroduce, such as black pepper, raw tomatoes, and soy. Currently, I eat a more primal, gluten-free, and ketogenic diet. This fits me well. In fact, I’ve never felt more energetic and healthy. However, I would have never gotten to this point without the AIP and paleo. Until you take all of the possible symptom inducing foods out of your diet, you have no idea which foods are making and keeping you sick. So, that’s a necessity. Plus, the lifestyle changes learned and tweaked through the AIP are key to fully healing autoimmunity. You see, the last two years of my life were spent learning that. And that’s what I’ve shared with you, through Paleo Cajun Lady. That’s why the name is staying. I’ve earned it!

I hope you’ll continue to heal and evolve with me.

As always, I wish you good health…….and, good food!

Smooches,
Tara Perillo

Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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