Lose the Carbs! Leave the Love

My Mindset for Sustained Dietary Change

Multi-generation family walk post meal… where the real magic happens.

So the biggest thing about growing up Italian has got to be the food! Our house was always full of aromas that could draw you in off the street, roasted garlic, a pot of tomatoe sauce, pizza made from scratch… ahhh I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about it. If you visited my Nonna’s house you would be inundated from the time you entered until the time you walked rolled out (yeah you’d barely be able to walk let’s be honest), you were being offered something delicious even before you swallowed what was last put on offer, and heaven help you if you refused even the smallest morcel!

What’s interesting is I feel something lost is coming back as our family grows a new generation of young ones… the meal itself isn’t where the magic happened… it was the time spent together leading up to and after the meal, that in the hustle and bustle of daily life had maybe changed the way we looked at how we spent time together. Kids seem to get it… they eat, and are done quickly… then want to frolic and play. That’s where the gold is! Not the pounds of pasta being dished out.

Really though, How is it possible to just Ditch the Carbs?

So I have to ask you point blank, what’s the difference, really, between eating keto vs standard diet? When low carb, you can still eat all of what I call the good stuff – the sausage, meatballs, prosciutto, steaks, salt cod, lobster, veggies smothered in olive oil. All I need to do to become Keto-adapted and run on fat is to pass on is the bread, pasta and pizza.

Is that really so hard? After having sustained these habits for years, I can say that the change is easy. What’s more, I am not hungry a few hours later due to my blood sugar crashing from the insulin response against those carbs. I recognized this, and I “make the call” to lose the carbs, and have stuck with it… for good and bad.

The Good:

  • Even energy levels
  • Less hunger
  • Fewer cravings
  • Effortless weight loss back to a healthy BMI (which I had not been since high school)
  • More … so much more.

The Tough:

  • Enduring mild scorn of my family for rejecting their prized dishes
  • Having to repeatedly answer questions about why I’m not eating the bread.
  • I didn’t know “_____” had carbs in it!

With the results I’ve seen, Losing the Carbs and Going Keto is a no-brainer. It just requires some change management and influencing skills!

– Me. Writing to You, right now.

Keto is Simple, it Takes Commitment and Family Support

Nonna’s garden this past fall, more memories away from food.

To be clear, my weight loss has not been physically difficult to maintain , even when indulging to bursting. The challenges have come from navigating the work, friends, and family gatherings where food just always seems to be so central. Getting asked “Hey why are you not eating this cake?” is a routine thing… but wait a minute, why the hell is eating cake such a routine thing?! Sure, on special occasions, I’ll swap out some basics for sweeteners like this…  and flours like this – but do we as a species really need something sweet with every meal, multiple times per day? I don’t think we evolved that way. And returning my appetite to normal – ie: sugar cravings disappearing – is one of many benefits I’ve seen when making the switch to Keto.

Now removed from the ups and downs of the blood sugar rollercoaster, I am able to reflect that I had been acting as a child with no adult around to tell me “no you shouldn’t have that”. Do we really allow ourselves get away with more than we would allow a toddler? Habits have formed that need to be broken, and this requires discipline, accountability, and celebration of what we have vs what we have not. I believe people struggling to lose weight need a little ‘shake’ and a reality check, and then can carry on with the new direction near effortlessly. It’s executing the change that’s most painful at the beginning… and so many fail before they even begin.

Leave the Love – It’s about Family and Traditions, not Carbs

Subbing Zucchini for Pasta noodles, somebody doesn’t mind (or doesn’t know better :))

What I am pleasantly surprised to have found through this transformation is the whole point in sharing a meal. It’s the love that goes in to and around the kitchen… no matter the chemical composition of a dish’s ingredients. It’s the preparation, the ritual, and gathering together that makes the magic – so I’m really very sorry Nonna… but I’ll have to continue skipping the pasta, and yes even the cannoli you made, and yes even though you made them special for me. But I’m still showing up at the table, and isn’t that what is most important?

You know… the best part here is Nonna’s recently updated her meatball recipe to remove the breadcrumbs… and now I can partake once again. What’s more – nobody seemed to miss those carbs judging by the empty pot as I cleared the table. Maybe the tide is turning… fingers crossed!