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In the past episodes, I’ve talked about my decision to adopt a ketogenic diet and have often talked about how it has transformed my life.  The ketogenic diet has transformed many lives and today’s guest is a testament of the benefits of living on a ketogenic lifestyle.

Maria Emmerich is a wellness expert in the areas of nutrition and exercise physiology.  She has authored several books and nutritional guides, including the international bestseller: “The Ketogenic Cookbook”.  Her love for food, rendered her overweight as she was growing up and this did not change even if she was very active in sports.  Maria now shares her passion and knowledge of living healthily through a ketogenic diet by helping others reach their health goals.  She shares her ketogenic lifestyle journey and provides you with tips to get started on the ketogenic diet.

 

On Today’s Episode of the Low Carb Leader:

  • A ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate approach to eating.
  • Your body is not that complex. Even complex carbohydrates and too much protein ends up broken down into simple sugar.
  • Your thoughts and ideas tend to be clearer in a fasted state.
  • Some of the benefits of maintaining a ketogenic diet includes: weight loss, energy boost, brain fog clears, snoring is lessened or stops completely, and blood sugar becomes better.

 

Types of Food to Avoid

  1. Cut down or cut out the sugar. Read the labels and invest some effort to know what is in your food.
  2. Cut the wheat/gluten. Avoid simple carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice.
  3. Avoid harmful vegetable oils. Protect your heart by getting rid of oils that do terrible things to our arteries and heart.
  4. Eat lots of butter not fake butter substitutes
  5. Think twice about what you’re putting on your skin. The beauty products that we put on our skin gets absorbed in our body and may take a toll on your liver and other organs.

 

Maria’s Tips for People Starting a Ketogenic Diet

  • Find a support group or a “keto-buddy” to help, encourage you and keep you accountable.
  • Get a slow cooker. It takes a lot of stress out of your day and it’s very helpful.

Mentioned Links:

Connect with Maria Emmerich:

 

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019 – Ketogenic Cooking with International Best Selling Author Maria Emmerich

 

DAN:

Hello, and welcome to The Low Carb Leader. I am your host, Dan Perryman, and you have joined us for Episode 19. Today we have a great interview with Maria Emmerich who is going to talk about the ketogenic lifestyle and how to cook and how to create amazing food that fits within your keto lifestyle. But first I want to talk a little bit about my fasting results. So I talked about them on the last podcast, and I actually wrote a blog about the results, and I put some of the detail about what glucose and ketone numbers that I did achieve. And that’s on the website, thelowcarbleader.com, under the blog section. So check that out.

 

But I’m about a week out from my fasting results, and I just wanted to share that I’m starting to realize that there is going to be medium- to long-term very positive effects around this fasting. So my values are really good right now, and so I’ll just keep you posted on that because I think fasting and intermittent fasting is so important to your health.

 

Before we get into the interview I do want to encourage you to check out the website. It has been completely reformatted. You can find it at thelowcarbleader.com. I also have a Twitter account @DanielLPerryman and a Facebook account. And these are all linked in on the website. I do want to share that I am doing a Facebook giveaway, and I’m going to give away a couple Maria Emmerich cookbooks. And so all you have to do to be eligible is click “like” on The Low Carb Leader Facebook page, and you are entered to possibly win a cookbook. And I encourage you to like the page because I do put a lot of good postings on there. And check out the Twitter page, too. There’s a lot of good postings.

 

All right, now into the interview. Today we have a special guest, Maria Emmerich. She is a wellness expert in nutrition and exercise physiology. She shares a passion for helping others reach their goals of optimal health. She struggled with her weight throughout childhood and decided enough was enough. She decided to study health and wellness so she could help others stop wasting their time being discouraged with their outward appearance and not feeling their best mentally. Maria understands the connection between food and how it makes us all feel on the inside and out. She’s an international best-selling author of The Ketogenic Cookbook. She also authored eight other books, including several cookbooks and three nutritional guidebooks, including Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism, which includes a foreword by New York Times number one best-selling author of Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis. Her latest book, Keto-Adapted, includes a foreword by Dr. William Davis and excerpts from Dr. David Perlmutter, author of the New York Times bestseller, Grain Brain. Welcome, Maria.

 

MARIA:

Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited.

 

DAN:

And those two books are my favorite. I love Dr. Perlmutter’s books, yeah.

 

MARIA:

Yeah, that’s awesome. And we’re on the same wavelength of getting people, their brains all balanced and getting them healthy.

 

DAN:

Yeah, that’s great. So take us back through your history and how you came to write cookbooks of all things.

 

Maria’s Background

 

MARIA:

Well, I grew up overweight, and I loved food, and I will always love food. I just now make the recipes a little bit differently. But yeah, I was always an athlete, but I was always the big athlete on the team. I decided to go to college to study nutrition and exercise science, and what I learned in college was quite disappointing. It was, you know, the food pyramid, the 7 to 11 grains. And I was doing that. I lived off of like Special K and skim milk, and I was running marathons, and I was gaining weight. I was counting calories, and I was feeling awful. I remember my doctor asked if I wanted to go on an antidepressant. Little did they ask what my diet was or anything like that, or if I was taking vitamin D, if I was trying a probiotic. All these things that we now know we don’t have to go on these strong drugs to fix ourselves. It could be all coming from our food.

 

Well, when I graduated college I just wanted to be a mom, and that was something I really wanted to do. So I was a rock climbing guide for a long time, and my husband actually – we started adopting because I suffer from PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is kind of like a diabetes that affects fertility in women. My husband lost his job, and our adoption was put on hold because with a rock climbing job you don’t have insurance and stuff. I decided to start my nutrition business, and at that time my husband and I were eating ketogenically, and so I helped other people get into the ketogenic-type diet. And it just all kind of fell together. And someone mentioned why don’t you put all of your recipes that you’re writing for clients into a cookbook and you could sell that to help raise money for your adoption? And I recently received that cookbook from my mom. She had one of the last copies that we had left, and it looks like an underground church basement type of a cookbook, and I just couldn’t be more grateful for what has become from that person who inspired me to write a cookbook. It’s all come together to this – I mean it’s just amazing what we’ve been through, the ups and downs. And I know life is – ebbs and flows like waves of the ocean, but it truly couldn’t have been more higher ups and lower lows, and I’m just grateful for people that really get into ketogenic diets and want to try that out with my recipes.

 

DAN:

Back to your education, you got a degree in exercise physiology and nutrition. Is that what you –?

 

MARIA:

Yeah.

DAN:

You know I work in a hospital, and so I encounter a lot of dietitians, and they think – and I’m not saying this in a bad way, but they think very traditionally, the food pyramid, more carbs. I see what we feed them in the hospital, and I’ve been reading a lot about ketogenic diets and cancer and dementia and all that. And we feed them high carb diets as they go through their chemotherapy, which is interesting because there is really no connection with nutrition and mainstream medicine.

 

MARIA:

Yeah, I think a lot of it – I mean our economy would kind of fall apart if we all ate a ketogenic diet because you know, the grains, I think we’re all kind of tied together with what we’re being told, and we just have to be our best advocates and learn from pretty much alternative sources, sadly.

 

DAN:

So did you get any good nuggets out of your education, though, because you went to school for a while?

 

How our Bodies Generate Energy

 

MARIA:

Oh yeah. You know, I love biology and learning about ATP and how we generate energy. I did learn that – I mean a lot of people think that a chicken breast and broccoli is a great ketogenic meal. I think that’s more of a low-carbohydrate meal. We did learn about how you can’t store protein. Anything in excess is going to turn into sugar. So little bits and pieces like that really made me – you know I was a kid in the back that was like why aren’t we learning more about this whole too much protein? We always hear about protein is so good for you and stuff. Well, could it be bad? I was always kind of pondering that.

 

And so just diving deeper into when I work with clients that do have type I or type II diabetes why aren’t they getting better in certain situations and finding out, yeah, they’re probably too high in protein. Maybe even the carbohydrates that they are consuming is a bit too much. We mistakenly subtract fiber because it’s touted as this wonderful thing and how that affects blood sugar. So just keeping on my toes and learning and remembering some of the things that I was taught. But you know, a lot of the – I love the exercise physiology part where we talked about ATP and how we generate energy. Just fascinating how we now know that we can make ATP from even being in the sunlight. But how often are we in the sunlight? We’re in our cars driving to work, and then we’re at an office desk or inside, and we rarely get outside in that sunlight.

 

DAN:

All that stuff is really interesting to me. In the last podcast I talked about this extended fast I just got off for five days. And just a comment about that. I did it to, of course, lower my blood sugar and raise my ketones and get that ratio better. But I’m maybe five, four or five days out of it now. But the lasting effects are pretty amazing. And I’m moderating my protein now because I used to eat too much because it always threw me out of ketosis and I never knew that. But now I know that. My ketones now run, like they’re at four –

MARIA:

Wow.

 

DAN:

– every day, yeah. And so I think the lasting effects of fasting and a ketogenic diet is just not when you’re on it. I think the long-term effects are probably pretty good.

 

MARIA:

I mean the way you feel, it’s really addictive because I did, I mean, like I mentioned earlier my doctor said do you want to go on an antidepressant, and this is when my husband lost his job. But even before that when I was in high school I suffered from extreme low moods. I was on antibiotics for acne. I probably had little to no good gut bacteria, and the way I feel now, I mean I am in my upper 30s, and I feel like a teenager that I never experienced before. I mean the energy I have, the moods, I mean I feel fantastic. It’s really addicting when you do get into fasting and the ketogenic way of eating, for sure.

 

DAN:

Yeah, because I noticed on your website – you know, I get up and I always have bulletproof coffee in the morning. But did I see you make like bulletproof cupcakes or something?

 

MARIA:

Oh, ice cream.

 

DAN:

Ice cream, yeah.

 

MARIA:

Well, the majority of people I work with are trying to lose weight. So I always like it when people chew their food or rather than just drinking their calories just because it does satiate and signals part of the brain that we’re satiated, we’re full. I love to – I love ice cream, and so I made even a dairy-free bulletproof ice cream instead of just sipping your calories, really enjoying a dessert. It’s basically the same thing as that coffee or the bulletproof coffee but just in a more, I believe, a satiating, dessert type of away.

 

DAN:

Yeah, that was cool. That grabbed my attention, for sure. I love bulletproof coffee. I mean it’s like because I eat in a pretty narrow window – it’s not that narrow, but eight hours or seven hours or so. So I drink bulletproof coffee in the morning, and it’s like I’m always talking about it. People are like what are you talking about, adding butter, what are you talking about?

 

MARIA:

Yeah.

 

DAN:

So how do you convince people? When somebody comes to you and they’ve gone through all these different types of diets, you know the standard American diet and they just low-carb and you know what typically people do is they go on a diet and the first thing they start eating is a salad and a chicken breast for lunch, and then later on that day they’re eating a Snickers because they’re starving to death.

 

MARIA:

Oh, right, right. Yeah, that’s so –

 

DAN:

Yeah, so how do you convince people that a ketogenic diet may be good for them or it may be, they may be able to sustain it longer-term?

 

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

 

MARIA:

Oh, for sure. I’ll say that First of all I’m not a big fan of chicken anyway. So I haven’t had chicken nor a salad in maybe a month. That’s just because there are so many awesome ways to enjoy this lifestyle without having to live off of boiled chicken and greens and lettuce. But I first kind of asked them that if they believe that sugar is inflammatory and sugar is the stem of all diseases – and most of the time people say yes, I agree. Sugar is very inflammatory. We all know that we need to stay away from sugar. And then I tell them that even complex carbohydrates, once they enter the bloodstream, they basically become sugar. Our body is not that complex. It breaks down those complex carbohydrates into simple sugar. That’s just their fate. That’s what happens to them. And so they’re like okay, tell me more. And then I tell them about protein. This isn’t a high-protein diet. Your kidneys aren’t going to explode from this diet. This isn’t high-protein. Too much protein is going to turn into sugar also. They are like okay, so what do I eat? And I say it’s that naughty F word, fat.

 

So a ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate approach to eating. Now if you are coming to me to lose weight, we’ll talk about how you can use your fat stores on your body to produce ketones. So if you don’t get your personal macros totally right, don’t start chugging MCT Oil or eating a bunch of fat bombs right before bed just to get your fat percentages right because you will utilize your fat stores for energy. You’ve experienced that when you were fasting. You weren’t eating fat making your ketones go higher. You were utilizing your own body fat. Even a very lean person can use their own body fat for energy, and they will use that for energy. So that’s basically kind of how I start people talking about why the ketogenic diet is so powerful and effective with losing weight or just getting into ketosis.

 

DAN:

Once they get into it they realize that you’re not really hungry a lot. Fat is very satiating, and you can go – you hear the stories of people on ketogenic diets and they’ll say, you know, I forgot to eat or I wasn’t hungry, and I could easily go all day without eating. I am like 5’ 11”, and before my fast I was like 180 and I dropped like 10 pounds. I have to make sure I eat because I don’t want my weight to go down any further. Losing weight is my problem on the ketogenic diet, and I tell people at work and they kind of like, what? And it’s like maintaining my weight is – so I have to force myself to eat. But I don’t think people realize that you’re not really hungry.

 

MARIA:

I wrote about that in one of my books about hangry versus being hungry, and you definitely, you know, you’ll get hungry on a ketogenic diet, but you don’t get hangry. That’s something that I definitely experienced when I was a rock climbing guide. Like lunchtime would come and they’d be like Lookout, Maria is coming because she wants lunch. And you know you get that almost anxious feeling and that hunger is totally different now on a ketogenic diet. You can handle it. It’s there, but it’s not intense, and it’s easy to ignore because I love to work in a fasted state in the morning. I love to write then because that’s when, you know, it’s just that’s when – if you think about all of our great philosophers, Gandhi, Jesus, whatever you believe in, Benjamin Franklin, they all talked about fasting and how they loved to work in a fasted state and how powerful their ideas – their ideas were just so great in a fasted state. So it’s not anything new, that’s for sure.

 

DAN:

I arrange my day so that I need to do the important stuff in the morning when I’m not eating. By far I can think a thousand times clearer than I can later in the day.

 

MARIA:

Absolutely.

 

DAN:

Going to cooking. All right, so as an example I mean I’m just a single guy who I eat the same – luckily I can eat the same food over and over and over and it doesn’t really bother me. But it would be nice to introduce something that tastes better. How do you work with people like me that can’t really cook that well but want some variety in what they make?

 

Ketogenic Cooking

 

MARIA:

Well, I deal with that a lot. I deal with people that are traveling that have very – or college students that have little to no access to a kitchen and things like that. That’s something that I definitely deal with. I have – I’m very busy. I also have a 6 and a 7-year-old that we homeschool. So I am very busy. And I get it. So quick and easy is how I run. So more and more my recipes get easier and quicker. I tell people if you don’t have a slow cooker, get one because what I love to do is I have a great husband who helps clean up dinner, and while he’s cleaning up dinner I prepare dinner for the next night. My mom is a wonderful, wonderful woman, but even at a young age of five coming home from kindergarten in the car I could tell that she was so stressed out. I don’t know what we’re going to have for dinner. And a lot of times it was cereal and milk. And you know, as wonderful as she was I learned from that mistake where I always plan ahead. And one easy thing to do is to fill a slow cooker. I have three slow cookers, and I will do a side dish, a main dish and a dessert. And then when I’m done with work everything is ready when I come home. So that’s just one of the things that I tip people off. And one of my books is a slow cooker book. But you know, it’s such an easy way to make food. And it’s often very – like I don’t want chicken because it’s often dry. But if you make it in the slow cooker it’s nice and soft and wonderful.

 

Talking about my mom a little bit, and you talked about how rich or satiating the food is. My mom, I’ll make my flourless chocolate torte, which is really easy. It’s five ingredients. And I’ll bring that to like Thanksgiving or Christmas. I always bring a dessert because I do love dessert, and I still do. And she’ll be like oh this is so rich. And I’m like hello, have you heard of me before? Like that’s how we eat. And then we don’t have to have snacks every 2 to 3 hours. Like I said, my kids are six and seven. If I had to feed them every two hours it would be kind of exhausting. But they eat three square meals a day, and if they ask for a snack I’m never going to say no, but they’re very satiated on this diet, too, and sometimes they’re like no, not hungry yet. And I’m like okay, let’s listen to that. Listen to our body.

 

DAN:

When you say slow cooker you’re talking about a crockpot, right, something like that?

 

MARIA:

Yep, yep.

 

DAN:

What was your meal last night or the night before, like the last time you did like the three crockpot type of meal?

 

MARIA:

I’m going to make everybody a little jealous, but we’re vacationing in Maui right now, so I don’t have a slow cooker. But we are even on vacation we’re definitely eating keto. And I just made fresh ahi poke, and I did a little video of it too because it was so easy. So we have fresh fish, and you cut it up, and if you don’t know what poke is you cut that up into bite-size pieces. And I have this Primal Kitchen chipotle lime mayo, and add some of that and add some wheat-free tamari sauce to that and some onion and you stir that up, and that’s what my husband actually has for dessert. He doesn’t have a sweet tooth anymore. So he totally gorged on that, but that’s just one of the things we made.

 

But we do grill hamburgers a lot, and I make this protein, or people call it keto bread. And so hamburgers on some keto buns. And we aren’t dairy-sensitive, so we have cheese, and sometimes we have avocado with that. I make homemade ketchup. We do mustard. And again, we love mayo, so we put that on there. So we had hamburgers and poke just last night. But I do make desserts. Here on vacation I make like a whipped cream cheesecake type thing that’s no bake. Like I told you it’s quick and easy. But I love dessert and so do my kids. So we indulge in that. I’m trying to think the last slow cooker thing I made. Oh, the slow cooker crockpot it’s like a chicken, so you put the boneless chicken thighs or breasts, if you prefer, in the slow cooker with your favorite salsa, a block of cream cheese and you turn it on low for about eight hours and then you shred the chicken and you can put that in lettuce wraps if you want to or on like a keto bun for a sandwich. But people love that. Or like a bunch of peppers like fajitas. That’s a really good way to eat it. Shall I go on?

 

DAN:

That sounds good. I was going to say I’m in the middle of Illinois in the winter, and I ran over to a local Kroger and they were out of ahi.

 

MARIA:

Yeah, I know. It’s hard even to get – if you say that you’re going to eat it raw sometimes they won’t sell it to you just because they can’t guarantee what’s going to happen to your stomach. Yeah, that’s just one of the things. Or like picking up a roasted chicken from whole foods, I mean that’s an easy way. And then you can get the primal mayo and make a chicken salad and do that type of stuff. I guess it’s just being inventive, and again, like I just try to make some of my favorite foods from when I was a kid into ketogenic type foods. So just playing in the kitchen. I just love doing that.

 

DAN:

In the last two days you are the second person that has talked about Mark Sisson’s Primal mayonnaise, the chipotle.

 

MARIA:

It is really good, and it’s hard to find sauces that are not using canola oil or these really harmful vegetable oils. So obviously it’s great if you can make your own, but I’m kind of on vacation mode so I don’t want to do that. And when you see that in the store it’s like score, this is awesome. So I’m grateful for him and his food line.

 

DAN:

Yeah, he has a great food line and a great website and blogs and everything, too. So what would be the maybe the top five foods that you would tell people to absolutely avoid?

 

Top Foods to Avoid

 

MARIA:

To absolutely avoid? Well, sugar. I think that’s number one. So step one, if anything, like really cut down or cut out the sugar. And you really have to be a detective. Even if you go to someplace like Trader Joe’s, their mustard has sugar in it. So you really have to – you can’t just trust oh, Trader Joe’s is healthy or something. No, they’re good at marketing. That’s what they are. So look at the labels. I work with some people in Europe that say oh I can’t wait to get back to Europe because all the spaghetti type sauces are so sweet here, and it’s so true. I grew up on Prego, which is filled with sugar. So number one is like read the labels. Cut all the sugar out.

Number two would be to cut the wheat out, the gluten, the simple carbohydrates, the breads, the pastas, the rice, those types of just simple carbohydrates that are going to turn into sugar in your bloodstream really, really fast.

 

Number three would be those harmful vegetable oils just because we know – we’re all so concerned about heart disease. I mean I’m concerned about it. My Grandpa Vince had his first heart attack at 32. That’s ridiculous. But he was told to never eat butter. He was told to only use like those I Can’t believe It’s Not Butter-type spreads. He lived off of popcorn and fake butter and diet soda. So that really calls to my heart. So getting rid of those terrible oils that are doing awful things to our arteries. I also would say on those lines get rid of the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Butter is good. It is wonderful. If you are not allergic to dairy or have a sensitivity to dairy, butter is awesome. So eat lots of it. Get rid of all those fake butter substitutes.

 

And number five, I would say it’s not food-related, but think about what you’re putting on your skin because we’re all so concerned about what we put on our skin – or what we put in our mouth, but we’re using Bath and Body Works lotions and Jergens Natural Glow and that type of stuff, and all of that gets absorbed into your bloodstream just as if you ate it. And it’s causing your liver to get tired and toxic. It’s as simple as just starting to use that coconut oil that you use for your food on your skin, or those terrible sunscreens and those makeups that are really estrogenic. Just number five would definitely be think twice about what you’re putting on your skin because I believe it’s just as important as your food.

 

DAN:

Now on the opposite side, what would be some things that you would want to incorporate? What types of food, maybe what types of product?

 

Beneficial Foods to Add to Your Diet

 

MARIA:

I think that we live off of grass-fed beef. We’re lucky enough to live in Wisconsin where we have a lot of farmers that we can buy directly from. So beef. We love beef. Add beef in. It’s great. Whether you make my protein noodle lasagna or my skillet spaghetti or just a simple hamburger or a steak. Like you said, you’re a simple man. A steak is an easy thing to grill or pan fry. Get a cast-iron skillet. That’s the best way to make a steak. So beef, eggs. I love eggs any way, scrambled. I love hollandaise sauce. I love poached eggs. I love deviled eggs. Deviled eggs are fantastic. So beef, eggs, you know, fish is a great food. I’m not a big fan of fish except for when I’m in Maui. We’re living off of fish here.

 

DAN:

In Hawaii it tastes better, I’m sure.

 

MARIA:

It does taste better. I’m actually an avid fisherman back in Wisconsin. Fresh fish is awesome. I love walleye, and if you pan fry some walleye, that’s awesome. But fish is so good with so many of those healthy fats. Try to add that in.

 

A good quality salt. If you have never had a good quality salt and you’ve been living off of Morton’s salt – if you read Morton’s salt the second ingredient is dextrose, and if you know anything with a word that ends in “ose” is a sugar, they add dextrose to help it to not cake together. But also it tastes chemically because it is a chemical structure. Get real quality sea salt. Get the flaky stuff. That on eggs, there’s nothing better.

 

And my fifth one, gosh, there are so many that I could pick from. Heavy cream. If you’re not sensitive to dairy heavy cream is fantastic, whether it be in your coffee or just whipping it up. We have one of those whipped cream canisters, and my kids just love to eat that plain. And once you lose all of that sugar from your diet, plain, organic cream tastes sweet. It will, believe me.

 

DAN:

For those that really don’t follow a ketogenic diet or are just listening to this for the first time, probably the last 10 minutes have probably thrown them for a loop. You basically said stop doing everything that you’ve been doing and start eating a bunch of fat.

 

MARIA:

It was absolutely everything they told my Grandpa Vince not to eat. Beef, red meat, butter, all of that type of stuff. Salt, stay away from salt, stay away from heavy cream, all of that stuff that we eat every single day. I mentioned that we are on vacation, and you can get a service where they put food in the refrigerator. So we rent a house so we can cook, and they put food in your refrigerator so when you land you have some awesome food. And they actually called us to make sure we really wanted that much butter, that many eggs and that much – they were like are you sure you want like that much butter? And we’re like absolutely. Just put it in there. Thank you.

 

DAN:

Oh that’s funny. So the clients that come to you, what type of benefits do they see? You get them introduced to this diet, you get them on it, so say at a month out or three months out or six months out what type of health benefits do they start seeing?

 

Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet

 

MARIA:

You know, and it doesn’t even have to be that long. I just got a message just before you called that a woman started my 30-day Ketogenic Cleanse book, and her husband who was just on it by default, he after five days is no longer snoring. So just little things like that. It’s fantastic. But weight loss is, like you said, you have a hard time keeping weight on. Weight loss is one of the wonderful benefits. The brain fog that you feel on a high-carbohydrate diet go away. The energy is fantastic. You no longer have that slump at 3:00 in the afternoon. And these are things that happen pretty soon afterwards. Like you mentioned, your blood sugar got better. That is an added benefit. You no longer feel hangry.

 

But even things like brain health when it comes to – I see a lot of depression and anxiety, sadly, in my practice. And sometimes that’s all people want to heal. And when I get someone calling me back saying I finally laughed today, and I haven’t laughed in maybe 10 years.

 

DAN:

Oh wow, yeah.

 

MARIA:

You know, just hearing little things like that really keep me going. And it’s just so awesome. So anywhere from emotional to physical, getting that weight loss off or even athletes. You know, running marathons in my past, there is a wall that they often do in marathons at mile 20, and that’s because when you’re running off of glucose you hit something called the wall where you basically have no energy left. This is why runners carry GU with them or eat a banana on their run. That’s because they’re running off of sugar. And your cells are running low. Your liver is out of them. However, if you are on a ketogenic type diet this is the people that are doing fantastic on ultramarathons that are 50 miles to 100 mile marathons, and that’s because we have instead of just 2000 calories of glucose we have 20,000 calories of fat that we can run off of. That’s where just a benefit for athletes comes from. And you can gain muscle eating ketogenically.

 

But what’s interesting is here in Maui we watch the whales, and they’re actually basically fasting for the whole time they’re here because the water is so clean and clear there’s nothing for them to eat. They come here to mate and have their babies. They swim back up to Alaska to actually feast. So they are fasting well and feasting well.

 

DAN:

I noticed over the last – because I’ve been doing keto correctly now for like three or four weeks, and I have terrible allergies, struggled with them for a long time, but I have not even taken any allergy medicine the entire time.

 

MARIA:

You know, yeah. Keep going.

 

DAN:

Yeah, because the inflammation. So talk a little bit about how bad inflammation is for you.

 

The Harmful Effects of Inflammation

 

MARIA:

Oh my gosh, where do you even begin? Inflammation can show up so many different ways. And we often don’t take steps until it shows up externally. We are a vain society, so we often don’t take steps until maybe we are overweight and uncomfortable in our clothes to change things. But it can show up, like you said, with allergies. When you get rid of those food allergies, those seasonal allergies most likely go away. And also I’m a big fan of different nutrients, such as high doses of magnesium help relax those bronchial tubes for people dealing with asthma. So there’s more pieces to the puzzle. Our food supply and our – we used to get magnesium in our water supply. We just don’t – we’re drinking bottled water. Not a lot of people are drinking well water. We live in the country on a well and we’ve had our water tested and our magnesium supply, or source, is very low. So most people are very deficient in magnesium, and that can cause anywhere from migraines to asthma, even seasonal allergies, things like that. But getting rid of those food triggers, those food allergens like gluten, a lot of times dairy, in sad cases eggs, soy, getting rid of those food triggers a lot of times those seasonal allergies will go away, which is fantastic. It’s just another benefit.

 

DAN:

That’s great. And what’s nice is that like eggs, you can go to the local supermarket now where before you could never get organic or local, and now they have a lot of it. You know, Kerrygold is grass-fed butter, and there is a lot more options now because I buy I think it’s like Laura’s grass- fed steaks in a package. So that’s kind of nice to have.

 

So the next question, this is being in hospitals all the clinical people say the same thing. And as soon as I start talking about ketogenic they immediately say – you know what I’m going to say – you’re going to go into ketoacidosis.

 

MARIA:

– acidosis.

 

DAN:

And they say that immediately. So explain the difference between the lower levels of ketosis, therapeutic levels, and what it actually takes to get to ketoacidosis.

 

Is the Keto Diet Safe?

 

MARIA:

Well, with keto – if you are – if you don’t have type I diabetes – even if you do have type I diabetes, if you manage your bolus-ing and all of that, you’re not going to get into ketoacidosis. I work with a lot of type I’s that eat strictly ketogenically, and they’ve never gotten into that 14+ range of ketosis. Like you said, you were fasting for five days and you got up to 4.5.

 

DAN:

Yeah, the highest I got was like 5.2.

 

MARIA:

Yeah, and that’s only really going to happen if you’re not managing your blood sugar and your medication properly. It’s something that I’ve never encountered with any of my clients and really only discussed with type I diabetics. But if you moderate – if you limit the carbohydrates enough and moderate your protein enough, you will get into ketosis whether you eat copious amounts of fat or not. If you start intermittent fasting – and that’s not – it sounds dramatic, but it’s not. We eat this way all the time. If you just wake up in the morning and don’t consume any food, just calorie-free liquids like water – I’m not a huge fan of coffee, but I’m not going to get into that. But you will be mildly in ketosis, and you’re going to feel awesome that way. Intermittent fasting sounds so dramatic, but it really isn’t.

 

DAN:

You can skip breakfast and you’re intermittent fasting, you know, if you eat lunch –

 

MARIA:

Yeah, you’re not going to waste away. What’s so interesting is when you are a sugar burner and eating carbohydrates like the typical standard American diet, your cells, like I told you, you only have so much glucose to use up, and that’s why it’s recommended to eat every 2 to 3 hours is because your cells need some source of fuel. And if you’re running off of glucose and you’re not consuming fuel you will tap into your muscle stores and often your bone structure. And that’s why a lot of bone loss happens, especially when you’re not eating when you’re sleeping. So over that eight hour period you need some source of fuel. So it’s going to steal from your muscle cells or your bone structure, which is very sad. And this is why ketogenic diet is awesome for anybody dealing with osteopenia or osteoporosis is because your body is not using glucose. It’s using your ketones. So it’s going to go to your fat stores rather than using your bones or your muscles for that energy, which is fantastic.

 

DAN:

I’ve checked out your website. You’ve got a great keto-adapted calculator on there.

 

MARIA:

Thank you.

 

DAN:

We’ll tell you the website, but it breaks it down into whether you work out a lot or a little bit. I think the most revealing part is it’s about the protein because I work with a nutrition coach, and I did a couple physique shows, and I was doing the standard you know every three hours eating protein. I was probably eating 200 g a day or something.

 

MARIA:

Did you wake up to eat, too sometimes?

DAN:

Yeah, you’re kind of always hungry. So now I’m like I’ve gone from that to about 70 g a day of protein, and yeah, so I encourage everybody to check out that calculator because it’s really good.

 

MARIA:

Yeah, you want enough protein to signal mTOR, which is a muscle-building property, but you don’t want too much where it’s going to turn into sugar. So most people are very – if you look at your fingernails and if you notice ridges on them, I had those for years. It took me decades of eating this way to make them go away. That means that you’re really sensitive to carbohydrates if you notice those vertical lines. And that’s where people really have to be cautious of how much protein they’re getting in one sitting.

 

DAN:

That’s great. Well, we’re nearing our end, but what would be a top couple tips that you would give somebody when they’re thinking about this?

 

Tips for Getting Started on a Ketogenic Diet

 

MARIA:

I would say that find a support group online. You don’t have to go to my support groups, but they are out there, and to help you and encourage you. Basically like a keto buddy that helps you try out recipes so you have someone to help keep you accountable. It’s just telling people what your goals are is really important. Another tip I would say get a slow cooker if you’re not a cook. It’s really helpful. It makes life so much easier. It takes a lot of stress out of your day. If you live in a constant state of stress it’s really hard to just not just stay sane, but you know your adrenal system and all of that. So lowering stress. I’m all about that. I don’t like living with stress. Trying to manage everything – life is hard, and getting a slow cooker just makes dinner that much easier. And gosh, there are so many ways I could go with that. But just I guess having someone help you stay accountable and getting an online buddy or a real buddy, a friend to do it with you would really help.

 

DAN:

And vacation in Maui?

 

MARIA:

Well, we’ve come a long way. We would never be able to do this in the past, but working, all I need is a computer so we are working a lot while we’re here, but yeah, that is certainly nice for our stress level to go down. But then you have to homeschool if you want to stay here a while.

 

DAN:

I have that picture up. Your kids are very cute.

 

MARIA:

Thank you.

DAN:

So how do people get a hold of you, or if they want to work with you, or if they want to get your cookbooks? So tell us how to connect with you.

 

Connect with Maria

 

MARIA:

I have a free blog. I’m very compassionate to people that – I mean, I know. We were out of – we had no money. We lost a house. Like it was really tough. I have a free blog with lots of free recipes at mariamindbodyhealth.com, lots of free tips there. The flourless chocolate torte I told you about is on there. I also have a Facebook page at Keto-Adapted, and I have a website Keto-Adapted.com, which is a subscription site that we have weekly meetings. I wanted to replicate something like Weight Watchers where every Sunday evening we get together online and talk about our goals, what we want to accomplish for the week and that type of stuff. Otherwise I am on Instagram to see my food photos @MariaEmmerich.

 

DAN:

That’s great. So we’ll link all of this into the show notes.

 

MARIA:

Oh thanks.

 

DAN:

Yeah that’s awesome. And in all seriousness I’m going to probably go buy two more slow cookers, and I’m definitely ordering your cookbook because I just ate right before this interview, and now I’m actually starving because you talked about all that stuff. I think I could live throughout my day just on bulletproof stuff, ice cream.

 

MARIA:

That’s too funny. Yes, that is so good. Just start experimenting with different foods that way. Different bulletproof desserts.

 

DAN:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well Maria thank you so much for being on the show today. This has been very enjoyable, and I know our listeners are going to get a lot out of this. And I really encourage them to check out your website and everything that you have to offer.

 

MARIA:

Thank you so much.

 

DAN:

Yeah, so thank you so much for being here, and enjoy Hawaii.

MARIA:

Awesome. You have a great day.

 

DAN:

You, too. Thank you.

 

Well thank you for joining us on the show today. That was an awesome interviewer with Maria, and I will definitely have her on the show again. Again, check out thelowcarbleader.com and check out the Facebook and the Twitter pages. Until next week, take care.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Knowles

    As long as there are some recipes that don’t contain cheese or eggs (I can’t stand either)!

  2. Debbie Perry

    I really enjoyed listening to the pod cast. I been doing keto for about a year off and on and have losssed about 45 pd but would like to make it a life style.. Thank you Debbie P.

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