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SALT and ENERGY
Increase Energy On a Low Carb Diet!!!! 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 highcarbohydrate 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. Also thisdiet doesn’t have a lot of liquids in the foods so you will want to drink at least half your body weight in ounces.
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 Celtic Sea Salt. Himalayan Salt will also work. Throw out your typical store bought salt and replace it with these. After a few months of using this salt, if you go to a relative’s house or a restaurant with regular table salt, it will taste “chemically.”
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.
Can you believe in high school I couldn’t do a real push up? I am now 33 and feel the best I ever have!
Testimony of the Day
“Where’s the closest bathroom?” was the first question that would come out of my mouth when we would step foot into a restaurant. From as early as I can remember I have suffered from horrible stomach pains after eating meals. I always laughed off my “digestive issues” until one day after my 2-year-old daughter saw me holding my stomach in the fetal position on the couch after a “fun” night out for dinner. She worriedly asked my husband “What’s wrong with Mommy?” I knew at that point I had to get some answers and so I began the very long road to healing my gut.
I was referred to a gastroentrologist who told me, although my gallbladder was functioning at a healthy rate, it should be removed. I was not keen on having an organ taken out of my body, so instead he told me to stay away from butter and oils. I did just that…and lived on boring salads with low-fat dressing for years. Yes, my stomach pains did go away, but my diet was so boring! Then, slowly but surely, I started to get sick again. First it was pneumonia, then nearly once a month I would get almost flu-ish and end up in bed. My weight started to fluctuate, but the last straw was when I came down with shingles. I knew, at 28, that something bad was going on in my body. My doctor told me not to worry, and shingles were completely normal in a 28-year-old woman. It was just too much “stress” in my life…but I wasn’t stressed!
Then one night (when I couldn’t sleep…due to the steroids they pumped in me to combat the shingles) I was researching my issues and came across celiac disease. My mind raced as every description matched mine. The next day I made a conscious decision to cut out wheat. I was ecstatic! I immediately felt a difference in my energy, moods, etc.
After a month of eating gluten-free, I decided to contact my doctor and get a test to “confirm” my allergy. He reluctantly did the tests and cheerfully called me the next week to tell me I didn’t have celiac…but possibly a gluten “sensitivity”. I was crushed! I thought I had found the answer to all my problems. But, as Maria points out, there is a large percentage of false negatives when tested for celiac.
Fast forward to today. I am ever so grateful to have met Maria! I try to adhere to a ketogenic diet, which means high-fat (butter and oils, gasp!), moderate protein and low-carb foods. I have never enjoyed such a wide array of foods in my entire life! Eating is now fun again! My stomach issues have completely disappeared but what’s more astonishing are the other changes: my clearer thinking, my muscle definition, my energy levels, my skin, my moods. The list goes on and on. I am a group fitness instructor and most days of the week I need to be in the gym all morning strength training and teaching high-intensity cardio. I usually don’t get home until late afternoon and a ketogenic diet allows me to have the energy to do this! I sometimes even need to remind myself to eat!
And my Raynaud’s syndrome completely DISAPPEARED This photograph is evidence of what my husband used to refer to as my “corpse” fingers. For 8 months out of the year I would lose complete feeling in not only all of my fingers, but my toes and nose as well! My husband even bought me a very expensive pair of boots that I would clomp around in…andthat STILL didn’t work. I would spend hours just focusing on trying to get blood back into my fingers, to no avail. Out of the blue one day, after switching to a high-fat diet, I suddenly realized I have not lost any feeling since! It’s crazy!
One other “plus”: I have been addicted to Diet Mountain Dew since college (over 10 years ago). I used to say “If you want to kill me, lock me in a room without Diet Dew”. I woul
d drink SIX cans a day. I was so proud of myself when I cut down to four! After eating this way, I suddenly felt ill whenever I would try to slug a can. So I completely quit my pop addiction cold-turkey. The weird thing is, my body doesn’t need the caffeine! The fats in my diet drive my energy sky-high. Now, if you would have told me I wouldn’t drink pop five years ago, I would have died laughing!
I am forever indebted to Maria…for opening my horizons to the ketogenic diet and freeing me from a life of boring salads!” Kristen
To get the results like Kristen, click here to get started. A year from now you will thank yourself!