Ketogenic Diet & Lifestyle Explained Simply!

Ketogenic Diet & Lifestyle Explained Simply!

August 4, 2019 1 By William Morgan


hi my fellow geeks thanks for joining me
for another edition of Med Geek TV the
geekiest place on earth. Today I’m super
excited to interview Andrea Walker
Andrea lives in Seattle with her family
two kiddos and she is a amazing
nutritional and wellness therapist
specializing in ancestral diets
especially the ketogenic diet and the
reason I brought her on well many
reasons but Andrea is really good at
explaining and simplifying some very
complex terminology and complex ideas
such as the ketogenic diet and I know keto
is everywhere and everybody
hears about it all the time, but it’s not
a diet…
she really explains it as a lifestyle
and understanding how to become keto
adapted so she’s brilliant she has these
great programs and she’s helping
hundreds of people and I am so excited
for her to be here her website just so
you know is NourishStrength.com I
highly recommend you checking her out
but for now check out this video
Hi Andrea. I’m so excited for you to
join me today we get to talk about Keto
also called the ketogenic diet is that
it’s short right for the ketogenic diet
yes yes keto is pretty much how it’s
gotten to be known now but the full name
is ketogenic. Awesome! I have so many
questions, but first I wanted to know is how
did you come across the ketogenic diet
you know that is such a good question
and when I think back it was such an
organic progression that I’m not sure
exactly the first exposure but I do know
the first author who I was really
intrigued about what he had to say was
Gary Taubes he’s a science journalist
and he wrote a book called unfortunately
named “Why we get fat and what to do
about it”, but he talks about the insulin
mechanism in that book and that’s what
led me down the path and then the next
thing I remember about keto is dr.
Bonnie Nidro a naturopath in Oregon so I
want to give her credit because she’s
where I did some of my big first
learning. Awesome, and how has it changed
your life? You know I just say that this
is the game changer liberating tool for
so many of us really it is the
liberation of knowing that you it’s not
that you weren’t doing something you
were supposed to be doing to keep
yourself healthy and balanced, it is that you didn’t have the right information so to
me it unlocks the the kind of secrets of
how the body works so that we can
actually captain our boat with the good
information (yeah) I mean there’s so much
science behind it you know I feel like
forever we were taught the food pyramid
which feels like you know fake news or
whatever you want to call it
but I mean it really kind of turned our
bodies into these storing fat storing
sugar…so I wanted to know a little
bit about the science behind it the way
I love the way you teach and I know you
just launched a program which I want to
get into later is that you want to help
people become keto adapted, I feel like a lot of
people they get intimidated by a new
diet and to me this is more of a lifestyle
and understanding how you can get your
body to adapt (yes)
so can you tell us a little bit about
what is keto adapted? you know I think
what’s really exciting about this when
you start to learn about it and really
think about it is we’re not doing
something new here we’re reclaiming our
ancestral metabolic birthright we’re
actually taking it way back it’s like
the oldest tens of thousands of year old
fad diet you’ve ever heard of right
It is getting popular now I think because people are finally coming to that realization of
how the physiology really works so if
you think about it from the standpoint
of an ancestral lens and I think anytime
you get confused about nutrition just
try to think about it from what did our
bodies do for tens of thousands of years
that can kind of give us a little bit of
an idea and we don’t really know I’m not
an anthropologist or archaeologist
nutritional archaeologist but I can tell
you there’s no way we had the amount of
carbohydrate available to us that we do
now right we didn’t have Starbucks on every corner and breakfast was pancakes and
bagels and it just didn’t exist and we
do talk loosely about the advent of
Agriculture about 12,000 years ago
so really fairly recently in in human
history and so from that perspective
just in a nutshell what I like to say is
it’s not perhaps necessarily that we
were meant to be a hundred
Keto all the time but it is perhaps that
we were meant to run better if we are
mostly Keto which is in mostly in a
much lower carbohydrate state and if you
think about that we really are meant to
have kind of two fuel sources we’re
supposed to really be able to run on
carbohydrate yes
but also run on fat and be able to
toggle back and forth and most likely
the fat was the more prevalent fuel
source and so as dr. David Perlmutter
says we’re probably meant to be mostly
in a state of mild ketosis which is a
fat burning state with maybe occasional
forays into burning carbohydrate for for
fuel and so when you think about it that
way we’re not saying that you have to
shift over and do this really restricted
thing forever it’s more that we have to
reclaim this natural birthright of being
able to burn fat for fuel and then
probably hang out here most of the time
with occasional forays into burning
carbohydrate and we can think about that
from the standpoint of you know the
fruit that was available tens of
thousands of years ago was probably a
lot less sweet and much more seasonal
maybe starchy tubers that were a lot
more fibrous maybe some grains that were
collected much more laborious lay so if
you start to kind of go through that and
sort of take out and modern conveniences
of grinding and growing huge amounts of
grains and sugar and all that it becomes
a little more clear and so what you’re
saying if I can get this straight is
that there’s different fuels like so
there’s you know carbohydrates but
there’s also ketones and then though
we’re really a binary system we can burn
carbohydrate which is sugar grain fruit
anything that you can think of that sort
of the higher calorie from the plant
world right so we can burn carbohydrates
or we can burn fat carbohydrates turn
into glucose in the blood so blood sugar
glucose blood glucose fat needs to be
turned into ketones to be used and
that’s where the word ketogenic comes
from right we when we burn ketones were
said to be in ketosis and then we’re
said to be in employing a ketogenic way
of making our fuels
it’s a two… it’s all good systems have
redundancy right so it’s gonna back up
honestly I think the carb is the backup
not the ketones yeah but we’ve reversed
it a bit and we kind of got the stuck
over here because the body is always
going to preferentially burn
carbohydrate if it’s available
it burns hotter and quicker it’s easy it
gives us that little spike right but
when you don’t have as much carb in the
body or no carb at any given time or
maybe you’re going longer periods
between food which was probably a lot
more normal as well back in the day
you’re gonna be over here burning fat
for fuel and that’s fat that’s made into
ketones which are then burned and then
that’s being in a state of ketosis so
ideally we’re toggling back and forth
and that’s metabolic flexibility that
being Keto adapted does it require that
you’re in ketosis 100% of the time no
does it require that you’re in ketosis
most of the time yes that is so
fascinating so from my understanding –
is that babies are keto adapted because
that’s right tons of fat through breast
milk yeah and so the idea – when I
understand about fat burning is that
there’s two different fats right so
there’s a brown fat and the white fat
and being keto adapted you’re actually
moving towards the brown fat which is
the fat that keeps burning is that correct?
yeah that’s more the storage concept so
I don’t get into that as much with when
I’m coaching but yes that is true and in
fact also being in colder temperatures
I remember we saw that concept on a nova
show when I was a kid and my parents I
would go around the house saying turn
down the thermostat and activate your
rat fat cuz I guess rats have more
brown fat be more fat fueled keeping
your temperature a little cooler again
it’s all coming back to you being closer
to kind of the natural state the natural
world right not me so cut off from our
origins of how we lived and were fueled
for the majority of our existence on
this planet yeah and I read a study
where babies you know they’re all chunky
and they look so you know chubby that’s
brown fat and that is you know keeping
them healthy fat it’s the healthy fat
and as we
we get the white fat which is a storage
right
what is lipolysis is that part of that
whole process? yes lipolysis that is
that whole using of that process yeah
it’s the burning of the fat okay that
makes it yeah and so is key the
ketogenic diet right for everyone I mean
can obviously kids could be ketogenic
and that’s healthy right? yeah so what I
think is that it’s healthy for everyone
to be somewhat keto adapted and
absolutely I think the biggest proponent
of kids and keto kids who are healthy
kids that don’t have a specific medical
condition is Maria Emmerich she is a
huge proponent of that and talks about
with her kids all the time and she has
some great writing on that a lot of
parents turn to keto for their kids
because of medical issues, epilepsy, or
autism or all kinds of things like that
but for just yes absolutely it is a
healthy diet for for pretty much
everyone but it is not necessarily
healthy to be completely keto for
everyone it’s gonna depend on where that
balance point is for you and I would say
especially for people who are maybe
suffering from chronic illness or who
have some other condition they might
need to go a little slower into it and
then ease their way into it and I also
think there’s a case to be made again
this is a great support for for why
maybe not 100% keto is there’s a case to
be made that intermittent carbohydrate
consumption which actually seems pretty
normal and sane, with whole food carbohydrate
is a good key factor for the metabolism
and especially for women and keeping
hormones even, so LeAnn Bogle is a big proponent
of talking about that having some
intermittent carbohydrate consumption
which to me seems so normal
once again when you take that intense
ancestral lends to it right the idea
that we’re meant to kind of go back and
forth yeah and I see it a lot in the (um)
you know I see a lot of athletes here in
Boulder….
and a lot of them are just like oh no we
need carbs to be athletes and so the way I
see it cuz I’ve reached ketogenic or
ketones in my urine and that’s the other
thing I want to talk to you about testing… yeah
yeah but I noticed for me it felt like
when I was burning I kind of explained
this to my clients it’s like burning a
candle made out of ghee or something and
that sustained burning versus like the
match or the piece of paper that you
burned that goes really quickly you know
I could run for miles when I was
feeling that optimal you know ketogenic
state which is super interesting…yeah yeah
but going back to how do you test like
how do you test do you recommend testing ketones?
I do and also just on athletes… I was
just talking about this this morning
these are two great books for athletes
and key it’s getting really well-known
right and this woman is a triathlete coach and these are sort of the founding fathers I
think, Bullock and Phinney. This is one of my first favorite books the art and science
of low carbohydrate performance, so good if you’re interested in athletics. I think athletes are
missing out if they’re not keto adapted
they’re missing out on their biggest
bank of up stored energy and there’s
nothing to say that you can’t supplement
with a little carb along the way in a
big event and in fact that’s how I’ve
worked with I have a triathlon or
triathlete client and this is really
what we’ve landed on it has worked
really well is to train at low and
moderate fully keto or even fasted and
then on race day or high intensity
training then you can add in a little
carb for those upper ranges but there’s
plenty of proof now that it is so
beneficial for athletes and much cleaner
and much healthier over the long haul
because who wants to be taking in all
those nasty gels and getting you know
blood sugar problems and things like
that so yes it’s absolutely for athletes
and then I would say the testing part
here’s the deal with that the urine
strips they only measure one type of
ketone they met measure acetyl acetone
which is only produced and dumped, acetyl
acetone in the first part
of Keto adaptation but after about a
week or two they’re just not gonna show
it anymore and you’re gonna be like what
am I doing wrong I thought I was
actually in ketosis? well you are
but it’s not showing it because what we
really want to measure is
beta-hydroxybutyrate
and that is a blood ketone and so we use
actually I just I just had this out
because I always do this in the first
session I show client how to do this
this is the blood keto-meter right here
that we use the precision extra I found
it to be the most accurate and we just
use it’s like a little strip you put it
in there you poke your finger you test
the blood super easy doesn’t even hurt
at all and that’s gonna give you a more
precise number of actually how much
ketone is in your blood how much
beta-hydroxybutyrate now the other thing
I’ve learned in doing this is we do not
want to get too caught up in that and
there’s whole groups of people who say
do not chase the ketones just do the
practice and part of me really agrees
with that because you can get really
hung up on that number you can compare
really it’s more about the practice and
if you want to be precise without
tracking you can track macros and you
can just keep your carbohydrate under a
certain number of grams so there’s whole
groups of people that really adhere to
that philosophy but I like the blood
keto-meter because it is one more data
point and we can see how things are
changing we can see somebody go from a
.2 up to a 1.2 and we
know that their body is produced
producing ketones so it gives us one
piece of information but we don’t want
to give it too much weight yeah and
everyone is so individual I mean this
where medicine obviously is going,
thank goodness, but it’s so
individualized that you might need to
consume a different amount of fat than
your husband per say to get those
ketones and so understanding that in
terms of our individual biology right
and then testing it to know
where to go from there right? Yeah, I think the bigger issue is that you can be in ketosis at .5 and someone
else is at two point two and it’s not
really any different and so people get
hung up on I want it to be higher,
and you the body is gonna make the
ketones it’s gonna make whether the fat
comes from the diet or the body that’s
one of the biggest pieces that’s kind of
the newer work that’s coming out you
don’t necessarily need to have a high
fat diet to be in keep in ketosis what
makes a keto diet keto is not the fat
amount it is a very low carb as soon as
you take carb under that threshold of
about 25 grams or less you’re gonna be
in ketosis one way or the other the body
is going to get those ketones either
from the fat in the diet or the fat in
the body so that’s where it depends
where do you want to get your fat from
right or what are your goals but but
really just to be keto I mean being
fasting is a ketogenic diet fasting is a
state of ketosis so what really
makes Keto, Keto is low carb it doesn’t
really have anything to do with the fat
level the fat level you decide after you
in Keto, depending on what your
goal is. But the number will vary based
on just a lot of factors right where you
are in life what you’ve been doing where
your body is how many metabolically healthy you are all those things and in essence
it’s not helpful to compare it one to
the other because of that biochemical
individuality we just want to look at
the change within that one individual
yeah because my understanding too is
that even you know people think you have
to get a bunch of fat but people do you
know the ketogenic state when you eat
because then it starts to burn the fat
it’s just this distinction that
ketogenic diet is not in and of itself a
weight-loss diet right people think that
it is and know all it is is you’re
coming over here and burning a different
fuel source whether that fuel source
comes from the diet or the body is going
to depend on what you’re taking in right
your body is still only going to use so
much energy in a day right so if you
take in more fat then the body uses then
you’re going to have a surplus if you
take in less fat than the body uses then
the body will make those extra ketones
it needs from body fat so does that make
sense? So you can have
zero fat and you’re still in ketosis
that’s called fasting right if you have
zero if you don’t eat all it’s still
ketosis you’re still burning ketones but
the body is getting all of its energy
from your stored fat whereas if you eat
tons and tons and tons and tons and tons
of fat then you have a surplus and the
body is using it and then I think it
kind of depends on your metabolic health
whether it stores the extra or just
releases it because some people do seem
to be able to eat unlimited fat and just
be fine and still either shed shed
weight or just stay where they are where
others will absolutely gain weight if
they take in too much fat on keto wow
that is so fascinating yeah and so for
your training like you work with people
individually to see how to help them
acquire you know the ketones yeah so we
you know when I say we I work one to one
individually I worked on a lot of this
material with my collaborator dr. Ian
mclogan he’s a naturopath here in
Seattle and we run the groups together
he kind of pops in as and he’s sort of
like the person like we geeked out about
keto together he’s the person that we
bounce ideas off of so he’s got a lot of
great input to put in but you know when
we were originally talking about this
and I was thinking about how to how to
kind of create this instruction pathway
I wanted it to be the most concise most
easily accessible both he and I have
either clients for me, patients for him who
are really busy don’t need a lot of
extra homework how do we get people on
this path as easily as possible and then
layer in other things as we go along
right and so we use a “what to eat list”
it’s very simple we just say you can
have anything off of this list you’re
really not gonna get above 25 to 30
grams of carb a day unless you work
really hard on this list and then along
with that what we’re doing is what
really important to me is I want people
to walk away with a good basic
understanding of why this is working so
that they have that in their toolkit for
a lifetime so I started out with a
really simple framework here’s how we’re
going to get you there
just do this it’s very simple and then
let’s talk about why this works so that
you understand it and so that’s gonna
then inform your decisions from here on
out and then we can layer in you know do
you want to learn about macro tracking
great do you want to learn more about
athletics eh we talked about detox great
how do we let’s talk about intermittent
fasting you know we layer that all in
but I want to start with that real
kernel of simplicity and it’s not rocket
science you know it’s just not but but
there’s so much around it that is
overwhelming for people so start with
the simplest terms and then build it up
later by there and have you noticed with
your clients that some of them
experience what we call the keto flu I
mean what is what is that? yeah for sure
and there’s a few things that we do to
try to make them more comfortable right
you know when I’m working with someone
the first one of the things that we
cover in the first session is tips for
success right how do we stay comfortable
and there are absolutely some things you
can do to ease that you know there’s any
combination of things one is a more
simple on-ramp one is maybe supplemental
ketones one is making sure you’re
getting enough electrolytes and
sodium that’s a big piece so we talked
about all of these things and and figure
out what is the best fit for that person
so that they can enter into this state
with ease and it should be something
that’s that’s easy for I mean I
shouldn’t say easy it should be
something that we can do with ease but
we have built up a lot of obstacles with
that depend on where we’re coming from
so they might have to take it a little
bit slower they might have to support
their body in some other ways but I
don’t really want to ever drop someone
off the cliff as I say you know that’s
it if people are really uncomfortable or
not functional then that’s not number
one not a good experience number two a
stress on the body and number three
they’re not gonna like keep doing it
right so know
that’s amazing and so I’m curious too
about your program
so is it like where people sign up as a
group and then you train them along the
way yeah we’re so excited about the
online program so I’ve been teaching
Keto one-on-one for about two years now
and I’ve developed a program for that
dr. Ian and I did the in-person class a
few times last was it last year I think
last year and then you know I just knew
that this had to go online so that we
could serve more people it would just be
so much easier to make it accessible so
that’s what we’ve done we’ve taken this
material and I’ve put it into an online
format and so you’re going to be getting
the same kind of material the same
information but it’s gonna be in a
format that you can access from anywhere
in the world with whatever schedule you
have so each week modules are released
they have curriculum video PDF handouts
little video from us along with that
we’re going to have the group
interaction and support so we start with
a big kick-off Zoom, we’ll have a
Facebook group or there’s questions and
discussion
we’ll have a Facebook live every week so
we’re going to create that community so
that we have that support of the
community of a group that are all doing
something together which I found is one
of the most powerful ways to support
people through creating a …
transition… transformation I mean I’ve
done this program plus a couple other
types of programs in group before and
there is magic in the group there’s just
magic I’m sure you’ve experienced that
too probably in your work and so I’m
really excited about that I mean I love
my one-to-one work because I can dig in
with somebody and really tailor it to
them but I really am excited to add in
this group option where we can serve
more people serve them wherever they are
and do the same work that we’ve been
doing in terms of supporting people
comfortably and with clear concise
directions a clear pathway to get to
this goal of being having metabolic
flexibility being keto adapted yeah I
have interviewed other wellness warriors
you know like dr. Nasha Winters who is
integrative oncologist and she is a huge
proponent of being Keto adapted and
that helps with cancer you know and I
have her book on my bookshelf, I can pull it out right now……. it just really proves how
amazing this way of eating is and I I
look back historically on how you know
we went into the whole low fat high carb
diet and how it really just messed with
our metabolic health for years yeah
that’s what a lot of physicians were
trained in like that’s good you know and
so when people when they give them
medications and they wouldn’t get better
they’re just like and they say well diet
doesn’t make any difference because
they’re on the high carb you know low
fat diet so and then there’s the fear –
if you talk to your doctor about this I
think Oh ketoacidosis yes pretty
different you know can you tell the
difference between what those two are so
yeah you’re not gonna you don’t need to
worry about ketoacidosis unless you are
a type 1 diabetic or a an insulin
injecting diabetic, multiple times a day
insulin injecting diabetic that is a
very dangerous condition where there is
no insulin present in the body and so
you get an extreme state of both high
blood sugar and high ketones at the same
time most majority of people never need
to worry about that we don’t come
anywhere near that this is that whole
piece where you know being in ketosis is
very natural state for the body but
people are so unfamiliar with that now
and you’re right in the conventional
training it’s kind of got lost but I’m
so encouraged by the those in the
conventional system who are starting to
get this and spread the word and dr.
Nasha is absolutely one of them there’s
also dr. Ted Nieman who’s a family
practice physician here in Seattle area
he’s been speaking about this he’s been
using it in practice for two decades
there’s dr. Mark Hyman who speaks about
it kind of from the side I don’t think I
don’t know if he quite calls it that but
he’s basically talking about
of course dr. Mercola and you know lots
of other people dr. Jason Fong
who’s well known for his intermittent
fasting where he’s a nephrologist in
Canada so it is starting it’s starting
you know it’s starting to and it’s been
anecdotal right it’s been people seeing
dr. Neyman talks about how he was in a
practice early on where just eat once
you had diabetes that was it you were
done it was its downward spiral and he
had one patient who finally came here
came in and said you know and he was
doing great and his numbers were better
and he lost his weight, he was feeling great
he’s like you have to tell me what you
were doing and that was back
in the early days that was Atkins, this
gentleman had found Atkins, which is a form of keto really. I just Atkins the way it was presented
people have had a hard time figuring out
how to integrate that into their life
long term but he was the pioneer in the
mainstream right and so you know once he
realized that he started pulling it into
his practice and then seeing so I think
that it’s starting to change but it
takes every single one of us and I talk
about nutrition rebels and so I am so
encouraged when someone has a
professional platform and they can speak
about it but really every single one of
us who sees that improvement in that
change or who lives that in our own life
we’re all helping to change the paradigm
back to something that is more balanced
and more supporting of health and it’s
always it always flies in the face of
economic interests but you know we’re
not going to go away and I think where a
lot of these diets like the Atkins
dieter or why not was high-end protein
and protein can also cause a lot of
glucose in the blood is that correct? I think Atkins was misinterpreted to be high in protein
I don’t think that was his intention…there’s a bit of a there’s a bit of a protein kerfuffle in the Keto world
right now and there are those folks who
think that the protein needs to be
nudged to the lower side and those folks
that think that it needs to go up and
that there is no issue with that and a
healthy person so you’re gonna find both
camps of that I just tell you I’m
personally more on the side of I think
we probably need most of us a little
more protein than we think we do what I
find when we run macros is that and I
really love what keto gains has done
with their macros just to give them some
credit you know I find that people are
typically not having enough protein and
are having too much fat and when we
tweak it and make those adjustments they
start to do better that’s not the case
for everybody and this is where what I
said before once you once you do the
lowering of carbs enough to get into
ketosis everything beyond that is up to
a choice and it’s a choice of where you
are so dr. Mercola talks about lower
protein for those concerned about
addressing cancer and I think there’s
absolute validity there because you are
looking at a different mechanism you’re
looking at not wanting to pushing the mTOR pathway and not to get too much into
that but there’s a different goal right
but for most people who are looking for
satiety who are looking for bringing
their body more into balance
protein is not nearly the issue that
people think it is from my opinion in my
opinion from what I’ve been reading
coming out from people like dr. Neyman
and Rob wolf and the Keto Gains folks
and some of these other folks who are
really digging into it yeah because
there’s that whole thing when you talked
about satiety is the leptin resistance
right and so having a ketogenic
lifestyle it’s really a lifestyle more
than a diet right yeah then you don’t
become leptin resistance you have
satiety yes you can you can correct that
bring that back into balance at the same
time that you’re bringing insulin
resistance back into balance as well wow
I am so excited for your work I want to
do your course I’m really I’m glad
you’re doing this and so I always have
three questions that I ask my wellness
warriors at the end of an interview and
it’s all about you know tapping into
your superhero power and so you could
have that superhero power what would it
be
Andrea? oh I love that question I just
love it so much well of course we all
want to fly but I’m not going to pick fly…
I want to be able to speak all the
languages like how amazing would that be
if you could speak any language and then
you could communicate with any other
human on the face of the earth I think
that would be incredible that is
gorgeous
I love it and then if you could
transform anything in health whether
it’s global health human health
environmental health what would you want
to transform I picked a really big one
for this I’m gonna look at my note
because I just don’t you know I guess
I’m dreaming big here but my my dream
would be I would want to get big AG food
policy I think that the money interests
have distorted our health as a culture
and potentially worldwide for far too
long and like I said I don’t really know
how you do that I mean I think within
the framework we have maybe you need to
make it more profitable to promote
healthier standards I’m not sure but you
know what I see are things like corn soy
and wheat interests completely
distorting health for most of at least
the United States if not beyond yes and
my undergrad was in sustainable AG and
then into health and yeah I think
there’s the there the rebels right
they’re like trying to create organic living. Yeah…Joel Salitin!… and then my last
question is if you could gift the
listener with any gem to help with their
health and you know besides taking your
course of course..which I hope they do…
what would you gift them today? oh it’s
something really simple and you know I’m
willing to bet most your listeners have
already done this but I would just say
ditch the sugar yeah good it’s so simple
and so hard right everywhere and it
creeps in even me creeps in and it
creeps in right if you’re not looking so
it’s like maybe as addicting as coke I
guess yeah it’s insidious so if you just
ditch the sugar that’s the only thing
did sugar and all the other names for
for sugar out there that would be a huge
step forward for most for most folks
that’s awesome well it’s been such a
pleasure talking with you today thank
you so much Andrea and I look forward to
taking your course and keep up the great
work thank you so much Deborahlise
you’re amazing and I was so honored to
be here today it was fabulous Yay!…okay
I’ll talk to you soon. Bye…