Episode #6-Keto Quick Start

Welcome friends! Today we are interviewing Diane Sanfilippo about her new book Keto Quick Start. She is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and is The New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle.

Jessica: We have a lot of questions today but our first question we like to ask guest is how are you grounding yourself? How are you taking care of your mental health?

Diane: Good question, I wish I was thinking about it a little longer! I think the biggest thing I do for my own mental health, and it is definitely easier for some people/tougher for others, it’s definitely easier for me as a non-mom, but for most people creating boundaries is probably the biggest thing that we can all do. In whatever way we need to, it is going to look different for everyone, you know? But I think for me, creating boundaries is what I do to keep my mindset rooted, because any time I falter on…So I have a lot of things going on, a lot of businesses, a lot of projects but I still always have a focus on what I want to be doing all the time and where I want to take things and if I let other people’s priorities take over what I am doing then that pushes my boundaries, right? And it also uproots me and keeps me away from being grounded. So I think that is probably the biggest thing and making sure that I say “no” to things. It’s really difficult! I’m sure as you guys know as business owners, as health coaches, and as people who are, you know, we like to help other people. It’s really hard to set boundaries and say no. The older I get, I’m 40 now, the more I know what it is that I want. And also the people who are close to me who I consider friends who might ask something of me, or maybe even people who aren’t as close to me, but if somebody asks something of me and I say no I don’t need to be worried that it means they don’t like me, it just means no to that thing! It doesn’t mean no I reject you as a person worthy of anything, it just means I can’t do this thing or I don’t want to do it. Anyway, I think that’s probably it.

Shelby: So what we share on our podcast is a little bit about our own health journey, can you talk to us a little bit about your health journey and what specifically inspired you to write this book?

Diane: Sure! So most people know me for writing Practical Paleo because that was my first book and the reason I ended up writing it was…Well let’s rewind way way back to probably about 2005. Yikes, that’s a really really long time ago! I became really interested in health and wellness and nutrition. I was living here in San Francisco and one of the first things that kind of sparked me, and it’s a little corny and funny but it’s true. I was watching an episode of the Oprah Show, as I did. And maybe it wasn’t 2005 my math could be fuzzy. I’m getting too old to remember. But Dr. Oz was on so, I’ll pause for whatever people want to think about that. But he was talking about how the anti-oxidants in blueberries can help to prevent cancer. Something as simple as that. And you know this was the early days in my introduction to the power of how what we choose to eat and what effect that has on our body. For my whole life before that I really only knew that my family was pretty riddled with cancer. I had some relatives die from lung cancer from smoking and I knew that was a pretty direct correlation. That was something that I actually never smoked a cigarette in my life because I saw the results of that. So as soon as I heard there was something we could have control as far as preventing cancer, it was like a lightning bolt for me of “Holy cow! We have some control!” I know we are not absolutely in control of every factor, but that was just huge for me. So I took that really seriously and I started to take an interest in nutrition and health. So fast forward a couple of years and I was interested in trying crossfit and not long after that there was a nutrition seminar. Robb Wolf was teaching it and it was a paleo solution seminar and I had actually enrolled in nutrition school so I had started nutrition school and then I went and learned about paleo! And this really made sense to me! I had this feeling in my gut, in my head, that we should be eating like our ancestors. I just thought we should be eating like our great great grandparents, so if my great great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it! So I had that thought and then I thought he is talking about ALL of our ancestors, way way back. So the idea of paleo made sense to me, the idea of controlling our blood sugar. I had always dealt with cravings, and spikes and crashes. You know I would be the girl that not only could I not go to Target without a granola bar in my purse, I always joke about that, but how many of us have been there?! Like if I am leaving the house for more than an hour I better have a snack in my purse.

Jessica: Oh I’m there! Yeah

Diane: I’m not there now, but I used to not leave the house without a snack. And that granola bar was basically pure sugar. I used to wait for a table at a restaurant with friends and if the wait was an hour they would say “Somebody better get Diane a snack”. That’s how bad the sugar spikes and crashes would be! So this idea that we could have better control of our blood sugar and we would feel a lot better really resonated with me. I’m skipping over a lot of details but that’s little bit, I got my nutrition certification, I was learning about Paleo, I was teaching about Paleo nutrition in crossfit gyms across the country. People really wanted to know the why’s and the how’s and the what. Robb Wolf taught a lot of the why and a bit of the how, the science, and then a little bit of practical application and then Sarah Fragoso wrote the first Paleo cookbook ever. It was called Everyday Paleo. I remember I got a copy of that and I was like I could do this! I know a lot of people have imposter syndrome, like “Who am I to do this” and I was like I could do this. I just knew that I had been teaching about paleo, I had been cooking my whole life, I previously had a meal business (which we can talk about at some point) but I had been cooking my whole life. I was like I think I have a good eye for taking photos, I think I could do something like this. I already had an eBook I would give out to my nutrition folks. It was called the Practical Paleo Nutrition Guide that I would hand out. It was a 30-40 page eBook. So I remember sending it to the publisher like “Hey, I think I could turn this into a book”. I had a vision for it, exactly what Practical Paleo ended up being. So I had a transition of really learning, and getting into paleo and probably about a year or 2 into eating Paleo I learned about Keto from a personal trainer friend of mine and I was eating Keto Paleo when I wrote Practical Paleo it was just that not a lot of people were talking about Keto, so I didn’t really talk about it. It’s so funny because I finished writing practical paleo and I looked back and thought “I don’t really have a lot of carbs in here, I should probably add some more carbs!” So there are a couple sweet potato recipes that weren’t really cooked with the other food.

Jessica: That were added as a side?

Diane: Yeah, so I added things like grilled pineapple and butternut squash just to go back and add a bunch of carbs aside from the treat recipes. So I was eating keto and it was really effective for me and the couple of things that were super life changing for me about eating very low carb was that that lack of appetite control that I used to have, that angry “I’m going to freak out if I don’t eat something” feeling, by reducing carb intake and focusing on switching over to burning fat for fuel and eating a lot more fat in my diet, the way that that feels is SO different. For me it was so eye opening and life changing that for me Keto has been a tool that I have used on and off, initially for about a year and a half and then since then a few months at a time. I don’t just eat keto since 10 years ago when I first started doing it, I change things up a try different things. Anyway that’s a bit of the journey. Even if I have times where I eat more carbs I know that I feel my best and my mental and clarity is better and sharper when I eat less carbs. Luckily I kept logs when I started doing it, I have been doing Keto for a long time! So I finally decided to share my knowledge and expertise about it in this book!

[12:30] Shelby: That is awesome. The keto diet actually originated as they were trying to find a cure for epilepsy and other diseases like that.

Diane: Mhmm

Shelby: Do you notice that the mental clarity is better, are there cognitive benefits you notice when you are eating less carbs?

Diane: I definitely find that when I am eating more carbs it tends to be in slightly more rebellious periods of time, I don’t want to pay attention to it. But I always come back to it because it feels better for me! I feel sharper and more energetic, more like me. And for people with an autoimmune disease when they are eating better or cutting out grains, people say “don’t you miss carbs” and yes I do, and I try to work those in so it’s not so rigid but you don’t miss something as much when you feel better without it! It’s like saying don’t you miss an abusive boyfriend. I know that sounds extreme but it’s kind of true!! Yeah there are good moments, that cookie tastes good in the moment, but you don’t look back with fondness. You don’t miss the negativity and how you feel when you eat something like that.

Jessica: Yeah I think if you can associate how you feel when you eat something helps too

[14:34] Shelby: Ok this is kind of a personal question, my husband is an abstainer. Either he goes full out eating healthy all the time or he’s not. He’s eating all the carbs, all the sugar, all the junk. So how do you personally keep yourself motivated to eat healthy?

Diane: I consider myself an abstainer. My baseline is different than his . But as an abstainer it means I do better eating it or not eating it. I don’t do well with moderation. That doesn’t mean that anytime I eat something that could be a little triggering, I can’t actually moderate it, it just means 80-90% of the time it’s just better if it’s not even in front of me. Because I’m not the person who has one bite of it every day. Because then it would become 2 bites then 4 bites then 4 pieces a day. For me the baseline is different. We don’t have gluten in the house, we don’t have junk, we don’t have foods that are poor quality, but there could be something in the house that’s not going to contribute to my goals! So it sound like he is more of a rebel?

Shelby: Yes! Sometimes he is just like I want to do what I want to do!

Diane: Yeah, I’m like that all the time! But that is a totally other topic so if people are wanting to dig into more podcast on the Balanced Bites Podcast, Gretchen Rubin and I talk about healthy habits and different people’s tendencies, and how you handle expectations. And for me, other people’s expectations don’t work. I have to identify myself as a healthy eater and athlete so when what I’m doing doesn’t align with who I feel like I am, then I change my habits. You can’t get others to change what they are doing but you can talk to them differently about the person they are, that’s what we respond to. So I would recommend her book for anyone that is curious about that.

Jessica: That makes sense.

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Shelby: We had a question from one of our listeners about hyperthyroidism and the keto diet, and then Jess I think you had some questions too about hormones in general.

Jessica: Would you recommend someone with hyperthyroidism to follow a keto diet?

Diane: This is a pretty tricky question, as I would say in most health conditions. I’m actually going to flip in the book because I have a bunch of information in the book Keto Quick Start about Keto and women’s health, Keto and hormones, just Keto for women in general because my audience is largely female. The question for hyperthyroidism comes up a lot because for some people eating keto can have a negative effect on your metabolism. I think that is more likely to happen when someone is either under eating calories, or undereating protein. With my approach to protein intake you are going to be eating a lot more protein than a lot of other people. A lot of people struggle with hyperthyroidism because of excess gluten and soy and sugar. I’m going to kick all that stuff out of your diet when you go Keto. I’m going to give you nutrient dense foods, healthy fats, and a good amount of protein. I think a good majority of people with hyperthyroidism are going to feel better on a Keto diet, but that doesn’t mean everyone will. I want people to know that I can’t control what other people are advising. So just because you are eating Keto and it’s not working for you with hyperthyroidism, I can’t take responsibility that you might be following someone else’s version of Keto and I’m saying it’s probably fine for someone with hyperthyroidism to eat keto but I need to know what is on your plate. If you follow what I am recommending for 3 months and you’re not doing better, and especially if you are doing worse, then it’s not for you. Everyone’s physiology doesn’t react the same. The way our body handles food does vary from person to person. You need someone that understands the underlying biochemistry.

Shelby: I love how you incorporate real food and especially vegetables into your keto meals, because a lot of plans that I have seen it’s like “where are the veggies? There are none here!” The micro nutrients are missing.

[23:08] Diane: I honestly don’t know what other people are recommending because I looked through Leanne Vogel’s book back when it came out, enough to interview her for my podcast and I knew that she has a really balanced approach. So if anyone is looking for someone else that has a nutritional background I would recommend her. And I knew that she had different ways of approaching it for people. But other than that I didn’t look at what other people were recommending for Keto because I didn’t want to be swayed by what other people were saying for when I was writing my book. But I know for a fact that eating great leafy, green crunchy vegetables like broccoli or asparagus, cabbage and eggplant and peppers, that is not the stuff that gets your glucose levels in your bloodstream high enough to kick you out of ketosis. Does that mean that somebody couldn’t eat tons of vegetable to the point they’re not going to be in ketosis? It does mean that but most people don’t eat that many vegetables to begin with. So if I’m giving you normal portions of vegetables that are going to add nutrient density, the vitamins and minerals, and you know get them on a fiber cure diet, then you are going to be eating a well-balanced meal and it happens to be keto! A lot of what is in my book is going to look really similar to what is in Practical Paleo, it’s just a little more focused on the protein dishes. There is no keto pizza crust, that’s not what I eat!

[25:38] Jessica: I appreciate the approach you do in your book that keto is about regulating blood sugar rather than losing weight.

Diane: Yes I actually posted a blog about the myth of keto as a way to lose body fat. The way that we lost body fat is by tapping into what is stored. We aren’t going to tap into that as long as we are giving our bodies as much energy as it needs every day. It’s not as simple as calories in, calories out. You need to get to a place where glucagon is released which will help your body burn the body fat. When we are sleeping glucagon kicks in and taps into our fat stores. The first 10 days of transition from low fat to higher fat are uncomfortable. You experience hunger differently, you don’t go as scary hungry when your body is able to use what is stored. Another way to tap into using fat is exercise. When your heart rate is at 65-75% of it’s max is when we utilize fat stores.

[30:40] Jessica: For those athletes who follow a high carb diet, do you see issues with their performance and energy levels?

Diane: It’s less of an issue and more of a permission. Somebody who is at that level, like doing crossfit multiple times a week can eat more carbs and get back into a fat burning state more easily. If you weren’t really paying attention to your diet most people would balance out to 50% fat, 20% protein, and 30% carbs. If you are an athlete you can eat Keto most of the time and have some carbs before and after your workout. Your body might not be in ketosis during that time but you will probably get back into it pretty quick after. Being in ketosis is not the end all for health benefits. If people want mental clarity, burn body fat, and not feel hangry and deprived, it’s a really great tool. But for an athlete it’s not necessary to be in ketosis 100% of the time. It’s okay to have some storage of carbohydrates for high intensity activity. Do what works for you. The range for what you can eat and still be in ketosis is extremely personal.

[35:15] Jessica: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I like in your book how you talk about the short term and long-term lifestyle because a lot of people think it can’t be realistic.

Diane: If someone is type one or type two diabetic, dabbling with Keto is actually not the best idea. They should either be Keto or not. The really confusing thing that people hear is ketosis vs ketoacidosis, which isn’t the same. Ketoacidosis is when a diabetic will have both high glucose and high ketones. A normal functioning adult who has a functioning pancreas would not ever have that happen. In a human with a body capable of making insulin, it won’t happen. It’s a non-issue for non-diabetics. And if you are type one diabetic eating low carb, and maybe not being in ketosis it might be a better safer idea long term. After about 3-4 weeks of eating Keto, you can say one day a week I can eat whatever. But that is relative, it doesn’t mean you can just eat whatever like fast-food and junk because we just don’t eat that. But it does mean if we really wanted a grain free cookie you could save it for that day. The delayed pleasure really does help because it takes the power away from the food but it doesn’t take out the pleasure.

[39:00] Jessica: Would you recommend for someone with type 1 diabetes to track if they are in Ketosis?

Diane: I think it would be a really good idea. But I think people with diabetes are tracking their blood sugar very very closely. So it’s just another test strip if you are already testing blood.

[39:49] Jessica: Before we wrap up, what is your favorite recipe in this book?

Diane: So, ok. People always want to ask that question!

Jessica: I know I am dying to make your matcha chia oatmeal, your sloppy joe chili because it’s winter, and I love eggplant so your Spice Stuffed Eggplant, and your meatloaf! I want to make everything

Diane: So this is the sixth book I have published, one of them I co-authored. But this book has some of my favorites and have a lot of what we have been cooking this past year. I used a lot of the Balanced Bites spices in there. I have a recipe for ribs and they are SO easy and SO good. I really love the chicken salad collard wraps and the hidden veggie ranch burgers, umami steak salad, I mean honestly these recipes are all some of my favorites and things that I cook all the time.

Jessica: Yeah they all sound great

Shelby: This morning I made the Chorizo Tacos and they were so good, my kids were all asking for more.

Diane: Oh yay!

Shelby: Thank you so much for coming on our podcast. Before we wrap up can you tell us some of the cities you will be visiting on your book tour? I believe you are coming to Kansas City and I’m very hopeful that I will get to come see you there!

[42:00] Diane: Yes, I will be kicking off on January 3rd, and most of these are going to be January/February but I do have one in March also. Jess you know why I’ll be in Phoenix in March! I’ll be there for a Beauty Counter Conference. But I will be in San Francisco, Orange County, Huntington Beach, Dallas, Las Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Washington DC, Charlotte North Carolina, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Denver, and Phoenix. So all over the place!

Shelby: If people want to keep up with you on social media where can they find you?

Diane: You can find me @dianesanfilippo or online at dianesanfilippo.com or balancedbites.com for more food stuff, or on Facebook, Diane Sanfilippo. My book will be available at Amazon, Target, Costco, Barnes and Noble, everywhere books are sold! I would absolutely love for people to grab a copy and tell me what you think! Even if you’re not sure about eating Keto you probably know somebody who’s curious about it so this will be a great resource for everyone to eat more healthy foods. One of my favorite chapters in the book is Choosing Healthy Fats and I think anyone curious about eating Keto will find it really really valuable.

Jessica: Thank you! Now for an exciting announcement! We are going to do our very first giveaway! There are 2 ways to enter

  1. If you mention this podcast on social media now until January 6th and tag Rooted Mind Podcast
  2. Leave a rating on whatever platform you listen to the podcast

If you do both you will be entered twice! The winner will receive a copy of Diane’s Keto Quick Start book

Thank you all again for tuning in to our podcast! We truly appreciate it. If you ever have questions or topics you would like us to cover you can email us at question@rootedmindpodcast.com

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