For 11 months I have been experimenting with ketogenic versions of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
11 months: 10 of them ketogenic.
Last April I started the Wahls Paleo Plus. I tweaked it to be compliant with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
I loved being ketogenic~.
I did that for 3½ months & then experimented with a super low-carb ketogenic version of the AIP for 3½ months. I wanted to find out how low I could get my carbohydrate levels, and what that would do to me.
In between those two protocols, I did a regular AIP for a month, to remember what running on glucose feels like.
Both times it took me 40 days to get keto-adapted.
Since December, I’ve been experimenting with my third ketogenic protocol, the Bulletproof Diet. It’s naturally compliant with the AIP except in one respect: Bulletproof Coffee is a core part of the protocol, so I’m including low-toxin coffee & grass-fed butter in my diet, neither of which are AIP.
Wahls Paleo Plus
Dr Terry Walhs: Up from the Chair ~photo by KC McGinnis
The WahlsPaleo+ was developed for nutrient density to promote cellular health, particularly brain health, as it was designed to reverse multiple sclerosis.
It includes coconut oil at every meal to maintain ketosis at higher carbohydrate levels, as it relies heavily on the nutrients available in vegetables. For more information I highly recommend The Wahls Protocol (2014).
I read this book when it came out last Spring & immediately decided to try the WahlsPaleo+. Not just for my own health, but also as a way to address my concerns about paleo economics & nutritional ethics.
I integrated fat as my primary food group & found ways to include liver and heart in my diet on a regular basis.
Dr Wahls is formulaic about carbohydrates: both quantities and types of vegetables. I tracked my food & found that I had better energy & clarity on the days I followed her vegetable recommendations strictly: if I included colourful, sulfur-rich and dark green leafy vegetables, not just every day but in each of my two meals.
By May, I started living in a state of ‘flow’ much of the time, & having regular peak experiences. By July, it became apparent that eating this way might have enormous potential for my career.
Through experimentation, I found my way to a semi-ketogenic version of the Wahlspaleo+ (which I was pleased to later find as a component of the Bulletproof Diet).
Super Low-Carb Ketogenic Experiment
Reading Keto Clarity
Going in, I knew that a super low-carb ketogenic diet was rumored to cause hormonal imbalances, disrupted sleep and weight gain.
Particularly in women.
And especially in women over 40.
But after reading Jimmy Moore’s Keto-Clarity, which advocates a super low-carb ketogenic diet, and even goes so far as to say that achieving ketosis through the use of MCT oil might be ‘cheating’, I decided to try it for myself.
I wanted to find out what happened to my performance and energy levels when I reduced carbohydrates substantially. I ate carbs in high fat foods like avocados, olives & coconut, as well as small servings of sauerkraut, cucumber, and greens. I kept the MCT oil in.
I can totally surviove on a super low carb diet, but I don’t thrive. As predicted, a super low-carb ketogenic diet seems to cause hormonal imbalances, disrupted sleep and weight gain~.
- I pulled off the most auspicious & intense season of my career ever while on this variation, but without the superhuman benefits I experienced on the WahlsPaleo+;
- I was also experimenting with reduced exercise; &
- 66.6% of my children had fairly significant crises that added substantially to my stress.
I learned (again) that I’m optimized when I eat more carbohydrates.
Reading The Bulletproof Diet
The Bulletproof Diet book was released last December.
I switched before I’d even finished reading it.
It’s a semi-ketogenic protocol that, like the WahlsPaleo+, is aligned with the AIP. But with some important variations.
The following are the changes I’ve made in going bulletproof:
- Getting strict about a 6-hour eating window, which means getting back in the habit of bringing food to work (which I loved being emancipated from). In the Fall I was eating 2 meals a day, with a long overnight fast but I wasn’t strict about the window, except on weekends. On weekdays I’d eat just before I left for work & as soon as I got home. When I could, I’d arrange to work from home in the morning or late afternoon to shorten the window, but that wasn’t always possible.
- Increasing vegetables (I was eating minimal vegetables on my super low-carb diet).
- Putting starches (root vegetables) back in. At present I’m eating starches thrice a week or so, but I’ll tinker with that until I find the perfect level.
- I’m moving berry fudge from my midday to my evening meal. Likewise, keeping starches in my evening meal.
- Removing mushrooms, which I am rather fond of.
- Instituting Bulletproof Coffee daily. As mentioned, coffee is not part of the AIP: I was off coffee entirely when I went Bulletproof. Previously, I’d just fast between my 2 meals, but Bulletproof Coffee is a third (the first) meal on the bulletproof protocol.
Something I want to do regularly but haven’t been religious about yet (because I’ve felt that I’ve needed adrenal recovery time after my super low carb protocol):
I won’t consider my 3½ months on the Bulletproof Diet to have officially started until I start protein fasting on a regular basis.
What do I love about being in ketosis?
Here’s 10 things.