I started to tell you all every reason why the Keto diet works, the science behind it that I have learned in my five or so months following it, and what exactly it is and does to and for your body. But then I realized I would be trying to compete with google, and there is no competition there. Google takes the cake.

Then, I thought, yes, that’s it. Google takes the cake, and I do not. People want to know what the Keto experience is like, how they might feel on it, what they might be scared of and what to expect, what my feelings are about turning down the cake, and how I hang in there through those feelings!

Forget the science for a moment, although it will inevitably shine through in the day-to day experiences of a Keto lifestyle.

I wake up every morning wanting cinnamon sugar toast or peanut butter toast or some kind of bread that will comfort me first thing, like my mom used to prepare when I had a lot of anxiety about school and buses in the mornings as a child. She always made either these types of covered toasts, biscuits and floured gravy, or cinnamon rolls with warm white icing, and there’s a forty-year-old child in me that still needs these foods. I crave chocolate milk daily, too, all the way back from when I would go to breakfast diners with my dad when he was in town. Donuts are somewhere in that mix, as they were always good for mornings or nights.

The only part of all these morning cravings that is even remotely on Keto is the peanut butter, but it would have to be unsweetened and all natural. And it cannot go on apples, and carrots are limited. I turn to look at the celery. Okay, celery and unsweetened peanut butter it is.

Keto schmeto.

After I become aware of these cravings in the mornings, I gracefully silence them, and I decide to go sit with other vices instead. Those are for another blog.

I gently remind myself of my goal of finishing losing a total of ninety or so pounds over a five-year period and that I would not like that to take six years, and I am able to focus on my plan for the day. I begin planning and cooking my Keto breakfast usually consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, strawberries, and Two Good vanilla yogurt, a low-carb, high-fat breakfast, and I always feel satiated and soul-replenished afterwards.

And then comes in the lunch challenge and sometimes another curveball hurdle even before lunch. I opened the door with that breakfast, and my brain still knows I am lacking something (the carbs and sugars that so comforted me for years), and it is not done eating! But if I eat before lunch, I’ll be sure to go over on my macros for the day (contrary to popular belief, Keto still limits fats and calories if done right), so I try to hold off.

By lunch there is a fifty/fifty chance I have worked out at my gym doing a Tabata-style CrossFit boot camp of sorts where they should call it Hot CrossFit, and I am ravished. What do we have? Cauliflower rounds that can be used as “sandwich” bread, cauliflower crust to be used as “pizza”, and leftover mashed cauliflower with chicken. Just replace my head with a cauliflower at this point.

Roasted cauliflower, boiled cauliflower, broiled and buttered, cauliflower kabobs, cauliflower t-shirts, cauli……needless to say, Keto has figured out a plethora of cauliflower recipes!


I’ll save the cauliflower for dinner and settle with a beautiful Cobb salad, one of my two go-to lunches on this Keto diet. A taco salad minus the chips is the other. I am so thankful I can eat these two things because I love both, and the fact that I can put nuts, cheese, sour cream, Ranch dressing, avocado or guacamole, and/or olives on them helps my issue with dieting not allowing flavor! Yes! I can eat all these things on Keto! And they are full of flavor!

For the first time in my life of trying a few different diets (but never for long), I don’t feel deprived with every meal! Of course, I would rather the mashed potatoes instead of the mashed cauliflower and the toast instead of the cauliflower rounds, but I can eat Cobbs and taco salads! No other diet calls for high fats like this, that I know of, that allows these types of foods. If you want to know the science behind why this fat is okay, again, go to google, but I am telling you I have lost quite a bit of weight eating cheeses and creams and meats of all kinds.

After my salad and for the rest of the day until bedtime comes is the hard part of the day for me– my coping after I have completed my schedule and am left with this brain of mine to wander! And this is where it can get dirty.

Dirty Keto is for the food addict. I am a food addict. It’s my trap. It’s the perfect escape for an escape-artist like me who will always find the holes.

Make no mistake. The Dirty Keto route will keep you from your goals. What is Dirty Keto? All these Keto products on the market now that advertise layered cakes and donuts and new brands of icing, the homemade Keto cheesecake that I love that my chef of a man makes, all the bars and chocolate snacks. All of them are the same trap for food addicts that Little Debbie put me in years ago, that b—ch! All of these snacks are binge go-to’s. Most of them are for the Keto folk who think that calories and macros do not matter. And as a disclaimer, most of them have large amounts of erythritol in place of sugar, which will have you hiding in the bathroom unsure about what is going on in your body and why it is failing you.

How do I get past Dirty Keto as a food addict? Sometimes I don’t. And the months when I consistently do not keep it clean, I do not lose weight. When I do get past it and only eat these things if I am having a moment when I am about to eat the real thing with real sugar, I feel much better. I try to see these foods as “emergency” snacks, though my brain rationalizes my way out of this frequently in order to have them more often.

I fight these types of coping food cravings daily after meals. I do health coaching for these very sabotaging moments that I, myself, still face every day. I choose not to succumb to them as often as possible because that might mean diving back into my own self-torment, and that, I cannot do. I want to finish this weight loss in five years, not six!

My nightly dinner is almost always five or six ounces of either bunless burgers, sirloin steak, grilled or baked chicken, or pork chops, paired with a vegetable of some sort, and if we’re feeling froggy, another cauliflower side.

Dessert has never stopped in my life. I mean never. When I did the Paleo diet for a couple years to lose the bulk of my weight, I figured out how to make what I called Paleo Bark, a dark chocolate candy filled with nuts and coconut. When I did Weight Watchers, I counted my points up for fudgsicles. When I did a low-fat macro diet, I saved my macros for protein smoothies that tasted like chocolate banana milkshakes. And in this Keto diet, Quest peanut butter cups call my name every single night.

I do not eat them every night, but I hear them singing in my pantry. I suppose they are Dirty Keto, if I am being honest. But damn, just damn. If I have room for them, I have them. If I do not have room for them, sometimes I still have them.

I went to the beach for a week last month while doing this Keto diet and trying to finish losing my ninety pounds. There we were met with barbecue meals, ice cream shop trips, southern fried chicken and biscuits, and snacks of all kinds. I sent my body out of Ketosis, a fear instilled in me since day one of this diet plan. It takes a while, maybe days, to get back into Ketosis after trying to cut out the carbs and sugars again, and my body goes through the withdrawal of that all over again when that happens. I even gained a couple of my pounds back.

This constant cloud of possibility is the most difficult part of Keto. It requires consistency, the concept with which I struggle the most. A Keto diet that is inconsistent could actually lead to weight gain as one might then be consuming large amounts of both fats and carbs, the perfect storm for weight gain. This threat is enough to keep weeks like our beach trip few and far between.

The truth about Keto, and mainly I am addressing food addicts and emotional eaters here, is that it is hard as crap like most other restrictive diets. And all sustainable weight loss requires mental work, Keto being no exception.

However, Keto is the least restrictive of all the ones I have tried and the most sustainable. It does not cure any food addiction nor does it take away emotional cravings. It can curb physical needs for sugar and carbs, as that is the natural process that happens when those are eliminated, but the soul and the brain are much deeper than that and have been feeding off of these carbs and sugars for years. They know better. Therefore, the Keto diet, and any diet for that matter, works most effectively when accompanied with soul and mental work.

The things I miss the most, so not to sugar-coat the Keto diet, pun-intended, are varieties of fruits (I stick to berries), bread, pasta, fried rice from my favorite Hibachi restaurant, the three baskets of tortilla chips we used to consume with a large queso dip at my favorite Mexican restaurant once a week, and cake. I really miss cake!

While all of this has me on some emotional rollercoasters in my healing of my own food addiction, I am able to say that Keto fulfills the most of my needs, as much as any limiting diet could. I have more energy on it. I am less hungry than normal because fats and flavor are filling. I can eat bigger amounts, it seems, than other diets I have done in the past. I do not feel physically deprived of foods often. I do not have to worry about the leanness of foods as much as other diets. It offers a lot of options for homemade recipes if I am willing to put in the time. It works the fastest because of its scientific accuracy in theory and approach, and there are millions of Keto dieters to prove it, myself included.

All the physical challenges of doing Keto get easier over time. Learning to sit with the reasons behind the need to overeat and consume junk is the most difficult part of it and any limiting diet plan. This work gets inevitably tapped into when one does not have the comforting go-to foods anymore. When the cover of food addiction gets lifted, we are forced to see ourselves and our pain. Keto does a good job of exposing these because it cuts out the foods most addicts tend to binge on – sweet and cushiony carbs and sugars.

I may have to do Keto for most of my life, with the exception of special events perhaps, because I will likely always need a sustainable map. I am emotionally addicted to marketed snacks from the eighties, my mom’s baked goods, and Krispy Kreme. My Keto-adjusted body does not tell me I want them; my brain does. But my commitment to this plan to give my pancreas a break, stop the over-releasing of insulin in my body, and lose this weight once and for all and keep it off, is bigger than the story my brain has been reading and writing for most of my life. The commitment is bigger because I made it bigger. That is the only way any diet plan works.

Apart from singing the Keto praises, I would caution Keto dieters not to develop a fear of carbs and sugar, but rather to build healthy boundaries around the kinds and amounts of these they consume. After all, fear is what had us all finding coping mechanisms to begin with. Fear-based dieting is short-lived typically and not effective for overcoming food attachments of any kind.

I may get up and say “Keto Schmeto” grudgingly for years to come in my life, but it may be the very thing that allows me to live all those years more, and for that, I am grateful for this diet plan. It got me out of the rut of my weight loss plateau and made me not hate dieting. We’ll see how far it can take me and what blog I come up with after I lose my last sixteen pounds to goal weight!

(My Keto plan is advised by Jessica Pinkerton of Vitality Fitness in Concord, NC. She is pictured here. Her voice and face stay in the back of my head for my daily food decision-making. You may hear from many people that Keto is too much fat and not healthy. The proof of that not being accurate is in this picture. Jess does a modified version of Keto. I follow the experts these days. People who live it are the experts.)