As I have mentioned previously about the state of being in mild ketosis during the day, which implies the use of ketones, now might be a good time to further explain what the use of ketones to fuel our energy levels really means, as opposed to being traditional “sugar burners.” First, a couple of quick, simple definitions to help you understand this topic better:

Glucose = A type of sugar, main source of energy for most people

Insulin = A chemical excreted by the pancreas to transport sugar into the body’s tissues

Ketone bodies = A type of energy source produced in the liver as a by-product of fat metabolism

A traditional “sugar burner” is mostly fueled by the glucose provided from any carbs eaten. When we eat, the hormone insulin kicks in to dispose of the nutrients, which are now in the blood, and send them wherever they are needed. If we eat too many carbs (healthy or not), quickly after a spike of energy, we feel tired because (among other things) a lot of insulin has to be produced to dispose of this excess sugar. Ever wonder why you felt like taking a nap after that lunch you had? That’s the spike of insulin talking. If we are “sugar burners,” we have those ups and downs on a regular basis throughout the day.

Now if we start to consume more healthy fats throughout the day and limit our carb intake, we don’t have to deal with all those ups and downs that excess sugar and overproduction of insulin trigger. Isn’t it a nice thing not to feel like taking a nap after lunch, especially when we can’t? Healthy fats keep us more satiated for longer periods of time.

So we have the healthy fats that we consume and we have the ketone bodies, both to fuel our energy levels in a more linear fashion when we become fat-adapted. Eating healthy fats means consuming foods like avocados, olives, nut butters, certain oily fish,  grass-fed butter or ghee, coconut oil, MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oils, extra-virgin olive oil, and avocado oil.

Ketones are a by-product of body fat that is tapped into if we fast or if we limit our carb intake to a bare minimum. If we are keto-adapted, we can use those ketones (we are in ketosis) but, if we are “sugar burners,” those ketones are close to useless. MCT oils are the only oils that also increase ketones in the body, such as the Brain Octane oil I blend in my coffee. MCT oils are processed right away by the liver, so a surge of energy can be felt pretty much immediately, especially if consuming C8 MCT oil. This is another way to increase ketones in the body and reach a state of mild ketosis without literally having to fast.

Being able to utilize ketones as fuel to power ourselves each day is an awesome tool at our disposition to better our lives.

References

“Ketosis Is the Mostest.” Head Strong: the Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks, by Dave Asprey, Harper Collins, 2017, pp. 98-105.

The Primal Blueprint: 21-Day Total Body Transformation, by Mark Sisson, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016.

You can also find me on Instagram

Today, I thought I would talk about how I have been changing my eating habits since April 2014. After reading the book I mentioned in my first blog post, Your Personal Paleo Code, by Chris Kresser, I went ahead and started implementing the Thirty-Day-Reset plan suggested in it. I had a headache for the first three days, but it eventually went away. Weaning ourselves from processed foods we have been eating for decades can trigger this type of reaction at first, but almost right away we can also feel an amount of energy that seems miraculous. I had such a sweet tooth up until that point, but I knew I needed to change that. I started putting coconut oil in my coffee instead of sugar, eating 1-2 eggs with ½ an avocado in the morning, enjoying a green smoothie as a snack, and eating simple whole foods the rest of the day.

In 2016, I discovered the Bulletproof template and started making Bulletproof coffee with grass-fed butter (or ghee) and Brain Octane oil. Drinking this coffee gave me even more energy, and now it is all I need to have in the morning, right after a cup of warm water with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and Celtic sea salt. I stay in mild ketosis* during the day and refeed with healthy carbs, part of a balanced meal, at the end of the day. Whenever I start to miss bread or tortilla chips too much, I go online and purchase some of the many paleo options the site Thrive Market offers. 

Removing the foods we have been eating for decades can seem overwhelming at first, especially when it comes to comfort foods. But by taking it one day at a time and finding new delights in the many different ways we can prepare simple whole foods, it actually makes eating paleo/primal a very feasible option. And not every day has to be perfect. There is the well-known 80/20 rule which gives a 20% margin of not eating 100% primal/paleo. This rule usually doesn’t affect, in most cases, the efforts we’re making to better our health. 

I do not contemplate, even for a minute, going back to eating foods that make me feel sluggish. Having enough energy each day to accomplish whatever we have to do is, in my opinion, the key to finding joy in life, whatever the challenges we have to face may be.

*Ketosis is a state in which our energy levels are fueled by mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cells) using ketones instead of glucose, as explained in Head Strong, by Dave Asprey.

You can also find me on Instagram