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Testimony of the Day

“I started to gain weight after high school. I got married and had 2 boys. After my second child I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I tried and tried to lose weight. I always blamed it on my thyroid. At 270 pounds I had gastric bypass 16 years ago. 10 years ago I was the first person after having gastric bypass to be able to donate part of my liver to my then 12 year old niece. The trauma from the donation took its toll on my body and I ended up getting fibromyalgia. I slowly started to pack on my weight again. I had gained 50 pounds back from before the donation.     

January 1st 2017 I decided to go keto. The first year I did it all wrong! I lost weight but very slow. I started being honest with myself about being a food addict. I do not “cheat” on this lifestyle. I can NOT just have one small slice of cake at a party. If I do I know that all my cravings for sugar will start all over again. I was feeling very overwhelmed because I knew that keto was a great lifestyle but my weight loss totally stalled and I didn’t know what to do.  I also found out that I’m post Menopausal. So I have Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia and I’m post menopausal! I felt like I was doomed!! 

 Then I heard about Maria Emmerich! Wow everything changed!

 I read your keto book (Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet). I started all the supplements for hypothyroidism. I stopped all the extra fat that I was adding into my diet. I weight melted off and I feel great!! I’m smaller than I’ve ever been. I didn’t know that I could be less than 120 pounds. I never even let myself dream of being this small. I’m never going back!

My husband started your keto just a couple of months ago and he has now lost 30 pounds and feeling great! Thank you Maria for all your knowledge. I’m forever grateful!” Melissa Goleno

Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my NEW Keto Packages!

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When clients first adapt this lifestyle, one of the first side effects is a rapid improvement in insulin sensitivity.  Eating low carb starts to banish insulin resistance and causes insulin levels to fall quickly.  And as insulin falls, the kidneys begin to promptly release fluid.  One common complaint I get from clients when they first adopt this lifestyle is that they are up in the middle of the night urinating more than usual. I explain that this will go away eventually and it is good, but there is some bad news that comes along with it. The good news is that when you release that excess fluid, fat oxidation becomes easier. The bad news is as the extra water goes; it also removes essential sodium and electrolytes.

When sodium levels fall below a certain level, which can happen quite fast, there are some undesired side effects such as headaches, low energy, dizziness and cramping. When you first start your well-formulated low carb lifestyle and you notice if you stand up quickly and get dizzy or feel faint, you are dehydrated!

Just drinking water isn’t going to work like is would with a high carbohydrate diet. You need to add more sodium! You can add more salt to your food, drink bone broth or take sodium tablets. Salt is not the evil nutrient that your doctor warns you about. You’ve got to start thinking differently.  Just like understanding that eating more fat lowers your cholesterol, understanding that a well-formulated low carb diet requires more a lot more sodium.


FUN FACT: A small fast food milk shake has more sodium in it than fast food French fries and you wouldn’t even know it because of all the sugar.

My favorite way for clients to get more sodium is to consume homemade bone broth. This is so easy to make, you can even do it in a slow cooker!  Bone broth not only helps with getting sodium, but you also get a ton of minerals and electrolytes.  Commercial broth will not have these benefits.  It takes a few days to make, but I often make a huge batch in a pot that Craig had to make home brew (this was years ago… yes, we have come a long way in our journey) and I freeze it in small containers, it keeps it forever.

1. Even if you don’t have any side effects like edema or headaches, you will need extra water and sodium. Eliminating all packaged foods eliminates a lot of sodium from your diet.

2. If you get the fierce headaches that some people get when starting on a low-carb diet, add sodium.  And drink extra water.

3. If you really don’t want to make your own bone broth, you can use store bought bouillon, but please watch for MSG and gluten. Not all brands are healthy. Bouillon has a lot of sodium and tastes really good as a hot drink and can eliminate carbohydrate cravings.

4. In addition to drinking broth, I suggest you get some Redmond Real Salt.

Throw out your typical store bought salt and replace it with these. Not all salts are created equal. The photo shows how some even have SUGAR~! Once you start using real quality salts like Redmond Real Salt, you will notice the “chemically” taste the next time you are at a restaurant that used table salt.

Redmond Real salt is harvested from ancient sea beds with high mineral content and contain about 70% of the sodium of regular salt (which has been refined, bleached and processed until it is pretty much pure sodium chloride, often with anti-caking agents added).  The other 30% is other minerals and micronutrients (including iodine) found in mineral-rich seas.  I greatly prefer these salts taste-wise to regular salt, it is well worth the extra bucks.


5. Don’t use these salts sparingly.  These salts have been harvested either from ancient sea beds or made by evaporating sea water with high mineral content and contain about 70% of the sodium of regular salt (which has been refined, bleached and processed until it is pretty much pure sodium chloride, often with anti-caking agents added).  The other 30% is other minerals and micronutrients (including iodine) found in mineral-rich seas.  I greatly prefer these salts taste-wise to regular salt, it is well worth the extra bucks. Do not mistakenly use Morton’s “sea salt” which is devoid of iodine and nutrients.


When I teach Keto in Italy, I notice a commonality wherever I eat in Italy. They don’t use a lot of ingredients, but they use the BEST ingredients to make the food taste extra delicious! Even the salt they use!

Salt may seem like a minor ingredient in your cooking but once you start using a quality salt filled with minerals, you and your dining companions will notice a difference in the flavor of your food. Even though it is a small part of your cooking, salt can take your cooking to the next level! I can immediately taste the difference when someone used table salt, it tastes chemically.

I always use Redmond Real Salt for a few reasons.

Many times salt has anti-caking agents added to it such as dextrose, which is another name for sugar. Even sea salts are often devoid of essential trace minerals. Not to mention, many sea salts are contaminated with micro-plastics. Our oceans are sadly quite contaminated making most sea salt filled with harmful chemicals.

Redmond Salt is found in central Utah, deposited from ancient sea. Redmond salt is not made with any heating processes, no additives or chemicals. The lovely pink color come from over 60 natural occurring pink trace minerals.

Click HERE to order your Redmond Real Salt today!

Use code: Maria15 to save 15% off your order!

You will love it!


You would not want to eat this salad on it’s own, it should be in addition to a high fat meal to make sure you are getting a high fat, moderate protein, low carb ratio or you will be pulled out of ketosis.

Cucumber Salad

Maria Emmerich
Servings 4


  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup small red onion sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 TBS Redmond Real salt
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Natural Sweetener or a drop of stevia glycerite
  • 2 TBS fresh dill or 2 tsp dried
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger grated fine


  • Slice the cucumber and onion wafer-thin.
  • In a colander, toss the cucumber and onion with the salt and let it sit and drain for 20 minutes.
  • Press the liquid out of the vegetables and rinse well with cold water.
  • In a medium bowl combine the vinegar, water and natural sweetener and stir well.
  • Add the cucumber mixture and toss to coat.
  • Stir in the dill and ginger if desired.


Traditional Cucumber Salad = 75 calories, 0g fat, 1.4g protein, 18.9g carbs, 1g fiber
"Healthified" Cucumber Salad = 29 calories, 0g fat, 1.4g protein, 6g carbs, 1g fiber (0% fat, 19% protein, 81% carbs)

If you want to take the planning out of what to eat for Pure Protein and Fat days and get into a well-formulated keto-adapted diet, click HERE to sign up for the Accelerated 30 Day Meal Plans with Exercise, Videos and eBooks.

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Eileen says:

    This article explains everything I have been going thru especially the low insulin, I was always told to eat a carb or drink orange juice when my insulin drops what do you suggest. I am not a diabetic I was diagnosed as hypoglycemic. Thank you Eileen

    • cemmerich says:

      If you are on a keto adapted diet, you shouldn’t get insulin drops. 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Eileen, I think you may mean your blood glucose (sugar) drops. That can cause dizziness and lightheadedness and it is usually it met with the suggestion to eat carbs or drink OJ. I don’t have any alternatives to offer you, but I think your question may have been misunderstood.

    • dew says:

      Eileen, both my mother and paternal grandmother had hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), so they recognized the symptoms in me (back in the 70’s) and taught me the old ways of drinking juice or milk, along with a protein. I suffered the occasional dizzy spell for more almost two decades!

      I started various low carb/paleo/keto many years ago for digestive reasons, and noticed my hypoglycemic symptoms weren’t happening as often.

      But as my digestive issues started getting better, I’d slip and go back to my lifelong carby ways. Each time I slipped, I’d notice I couldn’t go as long without hypoglycemic symptoms until I went LC/Paleo/Keto again.

      I’ve read that some people might take as long as 3 weeks before their metabolic system resets itself, but I noticed mine changing at around 10 days. I probably changed faster than some because I refused to eat when I felt HUNGER, only eating HF/P foods once I noticed light-headed/hand-shaking symptoms (or I got snappy with DH lol). But it was SO cool on day 11 when I was able to go more than 12 waking hours with only water or tea sweetened with stevia!

  • Tiani says:

    I have bought the accelerated 30 day meal plan and will start it next week. Can I choose the meals I like from the 30 day plan and eat those all the time, or are they nutritionally planned out to be eaten in the specified weeks?

    • cemmerich says:

      You can mix and match the meals in that plan as you like. Make sure to read the instructions in the file “30 day package.pdf”. 🙂

  • Susan says:

    This article could have not been more timely for me. I woke up during the night with leg cramps. Now, thanks to you Maria, I have a leg-up (pardon the pun) on how to deal with the problems. Thank you so much!

  • Darlene says:

    Can I sub another vinegar? I’ve never seen coconut vinegar in any stores in my area.

  • Ania says:

    What about Kalas Classic Iodized Sea Salt? Is that on ok option? I never use table salt but I thought any sea salt was definitely a better option. I do use Himalayan (it’s pink) salt as well but I can not find Celtic sea salt.

  • Ania says:

    I was also wondering about the vinegar? Is plain white vinegar not good for you? What other vinegars are good choices other than coconut vinegar?

  • Jeri says:

    Thanks for the article and recipe!! This explains why I have been knocked off my feet my headaches. I will certainly add more salt and water. On a more nerdy note: the recipe says 2 ;arge cucumbers. Please update and add a l for the ;. Thanks!! The document saves as a pdf and I can’t change it when I save it – I am very particular in that way. Sorry.

  • RoxieSchmoxie says:

    What about when you’ve been told to restrict salt in the case of kidney failure? This is all confusing to me– and important– as it’s a matter of preserving or hastening the demise of my kidneys.

  • karen says:

    Would you notice a difference in mineral salts? I have 3 different ones from Costco, Himalayan Pink, Mediterranean Sea Salt Grinder and the Brazilian fine grain pure sea salt. I like the pink one best

  • Leslie J. says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I love cucumber salad!!!

    Also, I’m new to frying up so much bacon. What do you do with the leftover bacon grease? Any uses?


  • Jamie H. says:

    After having seen you mention the TJs Cioppino in another post, I had gone to buy some at my local TJs and one of the ingredients on the list was sugar so I was surprised you had mentioned it as a healthy option. Does the version you but not list sugar as an ingredient?

  • Denise says:


    I am thinking about ordering your meal plan with the videos. The question I have is what format would I receive them in? DVD? The reason I ask is that our desktop computer is on dial up and I would not beable to down load and the smart phone wouldn’t be practical.


    • cemmerich says:

      There are all streamed over the internet to a computer or smartphone. They are on Vimeo and actually work quite well on a smartphone. 🙂

      • Denise says:

        Thanks, Maria.

        So no DVDs available?

        • cemmerich says:

          No. Sorry. I could try burning them all to a DVD and mailing it. When you purchase, just contact me (use contact above) after and let me know you want a DVD. I will get them onto something and get it in the mail to you. 😉

  • Janet Layne says:

    I’ve been making cucumber salad with apple cider vinegar for years but had never used coconut vinegar until today. The taste is amazing!!!!! It has a depth to it that ACV doesn’t have. I also never thought of adding ginger to the salad. This is now one of my favorite salads. Actually the liquid the cucumbers soak in is so good I could just drink it!!

  • Kara says:

    Cucumber salad is one of my husbands favorite low carb sides. However when we make it, we use mustard, vinegar, and oil to make a vinaigrette and improve the fat ratio. Super yummy.

  • Dianne says:

    I use my bacon grease to fry chicken legs. I call them “Greasy Gams” YUMMY!!

  • Brad says:

    I recently ordered a bag of Celtic Sea Salt of of Amazon. I think the brand is “Selina Naturally”. When it arrived I read the small print – “This salt does not supply iodine, a necessary nutrient.” It does say on the back – “Unlike ordinary table salts, Celtic Sea Salt also provides potassium, magnesium, and other important nutrients.” Are not all Celtic Sea Salts created equal? Are there certain brands that actually have iodine in them? Thanks!

  • Lisa says:

    Is there any other major reason for lightheadedness? I’m fairly certain I’m not getting enough sodium so I’m looking to get some sodium tablets but I just wanted to check if anything else could be causing my insane lightheadedness today 🙂

  • Jess says:

    Hi Maria.
    I just purchased some celtic sea salt today, the same brand as on your amazon page and in fine print it states “this salt does not supply iodide, a necessary nutrient’. I went to your amazon page and I clicked the photo of the salt you recommend to make it larger and the label in the picture states the same thing. Is there a celtic sea salt that is fortified with iodide? Or is there another way to get iodide through this diet?

    • cemmerich says:

      Just look for a mineralized sea salt. You can get iodine from other things (like kelp). 🙂

      • Janet t says:

        maria,what foods provide sufficient iodine in our diets and what amount should we have daily in a supplement if we don’t eat those foods? I can’t really find a lot of info on iodine, even on mercola. I would be happy to read any books you could recommend and your thyroid articles on this blog are great also. thank you again for all you do.

  • Jenny C says:

    Hi Maria,
    I was wondering if you have a dill or sweet homemade pickle recipe that you’ve tried?


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