Progress on Paleo Ketogenic Diet: 6 weeks

I have been on the Paleo Ketogenic Diet as prescribed by Dr. Zsofia Clemens for about 6 full weeks. This has not been difficult. But I don’t experience overwhelming improvement within the first two months. It is somewhat disappointing.

I did have a break out of angular cheilitis that has since settled down. My hair hasn’t really grown at all. (I’m still bald and not seeing any new growth.) Unfortunately, I had a seizure. I’m super disappointed by this. The last time I attempted this diet was two years ago. I had a seizure at about the same point. This time, I was monitoring my blood glucose and it had elevated a bit. It was in the middle of my cycle when my progesterone was decreasing, so apparently ketones don’t tend to prevent hormonal seizures.

I feel blessed to discover that my seizures aren’t really closely related to the food I eat. I have decided that I will continue on with the diet for a few more months. This could be a case of just needing more time to heal. I don’t want to give up too early like I have done in the past with AIP.

I’m into a nice groove with my ketogenic paleo diet. I know what I like to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have adjusted to the amount of food that Dr. Clemens thinks is appropriate. I would love to eat more, but according to my blood work, this is the right amount.

What’s Next?

I’m going to continue on. Overall, I feel great. I felt great when I started, but I feel like if I don’t give this diet at least six months, I won’t see any hair regrowth. 

My seizures are decreasing in intensity. I bounce back much better. It could simply be that the root canals in my mouth are the culprit for the seizure and NOT my diet. 

There is a PEG 400 intestinal permeability test that I will be taking in order to discover if I still have intestinal permeability issues. I don’t think that I do. My digestion seems fine. 

My 5 Week Paleo Ketogenic Diet Update: The Good and the Bad

I started working with Dr. ZSofia Clemens five weeks ago. My lazy ketogenic approach to controlling seizures had stopped working. At 44, I suspected that my hormones were changing and that had some role in my seizure activity. My seizure pattern seemed to follow the hormone fluctuation.

I was a bit skeptical about working with the International Center for Medical and Nutritional Intervention and using the Paleo Ketogenic diet. I knew how restrictive it was going to be. I was going to have to give up my beloved butter! I could handle eliminating milk and cheese, but butter? Nooo….I didn’t want to do it.

But I did.

And it has helped! I have not had a seizure in the past five weeks. Better yet, the weird aura type feelings have been eliminated from my life.

Now, epilepsy was not the only reason that I started this diet. I wanted to reverse my autoimmune condition, alopecia universalis. During my consultation with Dr. Clemens, she told me that the alopecia was very difficult and may not improve. This was NOT what I wanted to hear.

But I knew that I would be happier if I was completely seizure-free and gave it my all. I had done diets on my own before and mostly stuck to them. I cheated, but usually was able to get back on track pretty easily. The cheating is a problem because it does prevent the intestinal permeability from healing.

New Insights I Gained From Paleomedicina

One of the things that I learned as I strictly followed the diet was that it wasn’t just the ketones and reduced carbohydrates that played a role in the seizure prevention. Vitamin D is a major factor in health. Having normal levels of vitamin D also prevent seizures. 

Even though I knew that there was a vitamin D relationship between the progression of alopecia, I had never been able to boost my vitamin D levels high enough with sunshine. I hadn’t been able to eat enough supplements to increase my levels to above baseline. 

In reading Paleomedicina’s article on the true causes of vitamin D deficiency, I started to understand why my efforts at eliminating alopecia and seizures had failed. I had been including things in my diet that blocked the conversion of vitamin D to the active form – namely fructose. 

The Inuit had to survive with little sunlight. Paleomedicina examined a study of Inuit in Greenland which discovered a correlation between fruits, vegetables, bread and milk and lower vitamin D levels. The Inuit who ate more traditional foods of meat and fat retained higher vitamin D levels. 

My goal is to get my vitamin D levels higher in the next 60 days to ensure that my hair grows back and my seizures stop completely. 

The Pros of the Paleo Ketogenic Diet in 5 weeks:

The best thing that has come about because of my paleo ketogenic diet:

  • Disciplined eating pattern
  • Smooth, soft skin
  • Nail ridging from alopecia universalis is improving.
  • Nail bed separation from alopecia universalis on right third finger is reducing.
  • Weight loss (not sure if this is good or not. I’m close to my ideal weight. I lost 4 pounds.)
  • No seizures
  • Great digestion
  • Normal blood work values
  • Great energy levels
  • Cost effective- no need to buy extra food or medicine

The Cons of the first 5 weeks of Paleo Keto:

  • I experienced some acne (3 pimples)
  • I had angular cheilitis (Dr. Clemens thinks this is due to my low vitamin D levels and will normalize.)
  • I had a bout of diarrhea/loose stool (this has been common during my menstrual cycle. I don’t know if it is due to adjusting to the diet.)
  • The first few days, I was hungry as my body adjusted to the 400 grams of fat and meat.
  • You do have to be very careful about measuring your fats and proteins.
  • Eating out and social situations are difficult.

My Recommendation

I would definitely recommend working with Zsofia Clemens and the International Center for Medical and Nutritional Intervention. The benefits that you receive from eating a natural diet and coming off medication are enormous. Not only does my brain seem to function better, but the diet is more cost effective. I am no longer buying and consuming more food than my body needs.

I have discoverd that I love eating the fats and the meats that are on the diet. I look forward to each meal and opportunity to eat. I am highly satiated and don’t need a lot of snacking in between meals. I do sometimes miss social eating, but I don’t think that it is worth having a seizure. 

How the Ketogenic Diet Crushes Your Body’s Excess Inflammation

You may have heard a lot about reducing inflammation with the ketogenic diet. Many people state that the ketogenic diet is anti-inflammatory. But, how does that actually help you?

A keto diet reduces the carbohydrate and sugar intake. When you reduce your sugars, you reduce foods that trigger inflammation. One of the first things that happens when you start a keto diet is your body drops some weight quickly. Your body is releasing the bloating that tends to accompany excess inflammation.

Aside from some quick weight loss, there are plenty of benefits to reducing inflammation.

What is Inflammation?

First, it is important to understand the role of inflammation. It is a natural process the body has to infection and injury. The body’s white blood cells release substances into the body to combat bacteria, viruses and foreign material that is considered a threat to your health.

An excess amount of inflammation can cause muscle pain, joint pain, redness, swelling, stiffness, fatigue, headaches and more. Many diseases are beginning to be associated with excess chronic inflammation. These include Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and autoimmune conditions.

NLRP3 inflammasomes play an integral role in inflammation. These are a group of protein complexes that are created to mediate immune responses to microbial infection. NLRP3 is involved with our innate immunity. This is our first line of defense for protecting ourselves against pathogens. It is suggested that NLRP3 is involved in several autoimmune processes.

The Low-Carb Benefits

The ketogenic diet requires you to cut your carbohydrates below 20 grams of carbohydrate per day. Due to the reduced carbohydrates that are fueling the body, you must increase the fats to meet your caloric needs. This changes the way the body uses energy.

The body responds to a shortage of carbohydrate derived sugars by breaking down fat into ketones. It uses ketones as alternative fuel.

The reduction of excess glucose reduces the inflammation in the body. It has been found that the presence of excess glucose in people with diabetes, for example, is associated with a pro-inflammatory state. This inflammatory state in diabetics often leads to atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty plaques that can block key arteries.

How Ketones Fight Inflammation

As you follow a well-formulated ketogenic diet, your body is in a constant state of ketosis. It is producing the ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). This ketone has been associated with activating genes that improve mitochondrial function and reduce the oxidative stress on the body. The state of ketosis also activates the AMPK pathway (Activated Protein Kinase). This pathway assists in regulating energy and inhibiting the inflammatory Nf-kB pathway.

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are the two main factors in the development of many neurodegenerative and neurological diseases. These include Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy. The presence of ketones has been shown to lower neuroinflammation.

Researchers studied the C-reactive protein (CRP) and the white blood cell count. The CRP was dramatically reduced in the ketogenic diet group compared to the standard diet at the one and two year follow up. The CRP reduction in the ketogenic diet group was comparable to the reduction with the most potent statin drug. Unlike the statin drugs, nutritional ketosis addresses both the CRP and lowering the white blood cell count. It provides a more balanced effect on the components impacting inflammation.

Ketogenic Diet Improves Chronic Pain

Since the ketogenic diet has shown effectiveness in reducing the inflammation in neurological conditions, researchers have studied the ketogenic diet to determine if it can reduce pain. The evidence has been growing that a ketone based metabolism elevates the neuromodulator, adenosine. Adenosine has long been known to be anti-inflammatory.

One aspect of chronic pain is due to excessive neuron excitability. Animal studies have demonstrated that ketones have the ability to inhibit neuron excitability. This is the mechanism that ketogenic diet use to control seizures. It is not surprising that this mechanism can also help with chronic pain by reducing neuron excitability.

Conclusion

Through cutting carbohydrates, increasing ketone levels and controlling the inflammatory pathways, the ketogenic diet is able to fight off excessive chronic inflammation. This creates multiple benefits for the patient including reduced levels of pain, controlling seizures, reduced levels of C-reactive protein and white blood cell counts.

The ketogenic diet naturally reduces inflammation without creating the side effects that accompany most pharmaceutical drugs. If you are suffering from inflammatory conditions, it is worthwhile to check out the ketogenic diet and give it a try.




My 3 Week Paleo Ketogenic Diet Results

I started working with Dr. Clemens and the International Center for Medical and Nutritional Intervention on September 8. They do require you to start with some lab results. I had worked with them a year ago, but gave up a bit too quickly. For this reason, they did not require me to get another baseline of blood work. My numbers were pretty close to normal in almost all categories and my symptoms were rare, but troublesome!

On the first consultation, we reviewed the diet and the reasoning for certain aspects of the diet. Last time, the emphasis on how bad dairy was hadn’t been relayed to me. I kept it in my diet and didn’t see immediate improvement. So, what did I do? I gave up pretty quickly.

This time, I was ready to commit. I had a seizure a week earlier and just didn’t want to go back on medication. I knew that I could obtain seizure freedom with the ketogenic diet because I had in the past, but as I near menopause and my hormones change, I have experienced a few seizures near period.

Blood Testing

Dr. Clemens required a ton of blood tests. I think I missed 2 of the ones that she requested, but I got the most important ones! I ordered Ulta Lab’s Complete Wellness profile with the vitamin D profile and TSH level.

First off, let me put it out there, I am NOT an expert in blood test results. All I know is that the numbers are within the normal reference range!

Cholesterol Levels

There are a few tests that are outside the reference range. The Cholesterol is at 239 and the normal range ends at 200. This is somewhat expected as I was eating A LOT of fat and cholesterol. There are people in the ketogenic community that believe that the ranges for cholesterol are wrong. So, Dr. Clemens was not concerned about the cholesterol numbers

TSH Numbers

My TSH is where I see the most improvement. I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 13. My TSH was always around 5.2. Just above the normal range. I had been doing keto on and off for the last year and a half. In March, my TSH had dropped to 3.97 – just within the normal range. After these 3 weeks on the Paleo Ketogenic diet, my numbers were in the middle of the normal range at 2.80.

I’m thrilled about this. This means that my thyroid is functioning properly. While I never had the typical Hashimoto’s symptoms, it feels great to have my numbers match.

Vitamin D Levels

This was the biggest disappointment, but I’m not sure you can see a huge difference for your vitamin D levels in 3 weeks. What does puzzle me a bit is that I made an effort to get out in the sunshine mid-day most of the time. Before the three weeks started, I had been eating sardines and salmon to get in my vitamin D.

My vitamin D levels are at 29, which is just below the reference range starting at 30. When I tested my levels in December 2018, I was at 28.7. So, this was not a lot of improvement.

My plan is to continue with this diet for another eight weeks and then retest my vitamin D levels. I may get the other levels checked as well, but I’m not too worried about them.

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my 3 week ketogenic diet results. They weren’t earth shattering, but the numbers are slowly but surely moving in the right direction! 

5 Ways the Paleo Ketogenic Diet Treats Seizures

The ketogenic diet has been around since 1920 treating people with epilepsy. Once anti-convulsants were invented, the diet was mostly abandoned unless the drugs didn’t work on the patient. Most doctors and scientific journals will admit that they don’t know why the ketogenic diet works in treating seizures.

The International Center for Medical and Nutritional Intervention has helped me understand a few factors that contribute to the success of the ketogenic diet. They have also pointed out a few factors that make it fail. They are the creators of the Paleo Ketogenic diet and have tweaked the ketogenic diet to improve the success with seizure patients.

1. Increases Vitamin D Levels

When the ketogenic diet is followed with a meat/fat approach, vitamin D levels increase. The vitamin D in animal products is stored in fat. A well-formulated ketogenic diet includes a high amount of animal fat.

In a 2012 study, it was found that the correction of vitamin D levels improves seizure control. Vitamin D levels are commonly low in patients with epilepsy. Not only do seizures reduce vitamin D levels when they occur, but anti-convulsants reduce vitamin D levels. In this study 5 of the 13 patients had a 50% reduction in seizure activity.

In 2019, researchers tested subjects with an average of 5 seizures per month. With a dosing of 5000 IU per day, they were able to reduce seizures to an average of 3 per month at six weeks.

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in stabilizing your brain function. Low levels of vitamin D also put you at a higher risk for more seizures.

2. Stabilizes Blood Glucose

I never had seizures that were directly correlated to eating cake or spiking my insulin with a ton of candy. Initially, it was hard for me to believe that blood glucose had a connection to seizure control. When I started testing my blood sugars, I began to notice patterns in my brain function and my blood glucose levels. When they are higher, I don’t feel quite as good. Not all insulin spikes will result in a seizure, but they do put you at greater risk.

According to Dr. Carl E. Stafstrom, hyperglycemia lowers the seizure threshold. Experimental studies have suggested that extracellular glucose is associated with neuronal hyperexcitability. This indicates that a glucose balance is essential for normal neurotransmission. Studies show that hyperglycemia exacerbates ischemia-induced brain damage while fasting induced hypoglycemia protect against this neurotoxicity.

3. Increase Magnesium Levels

Magnesium has a stabilizing effect on your nervous system. It plays an essential role in nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction. Magnesium functions in a protective role against excessive excitation that leads to neuronal cell death.

In a study of Finnish men, it was determined that a higher dietary intake of magnesium is associated with lower levels of epilepsy.

The Paleo Ketogenic diet provides you with the minerals that your body needs. While beef and pork are not particularly high in magnesium levels, they provide your body with the amount that it needs. There is also no fiber blocking any absorption of the minerals, so you can get the full benefit from the meat.

4. Ketone Levels

Ketones are water-soluble compounds that are produced as byproduct when the body burns fat for energy. When the body is fueled by fats, there is an increase in ketone production. The level of ketones is not always indicative of great seizure control. It does indicate that the brain is using the ketones as fuel and the body is in ketosis.

The role that ketone levels play in seizure control is still unclear, but it does seem to correlate with increased seizure control. In a study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, 82% (42) of the individuals maintained ketone levels between 80–160 mg/dl. Of these participants, 43% (18) were seizure free, 50% (21) had reduced seizures and 7% (3) showed no change in seizure control. This indicates that high ketone levels benefit patients on a ketogenic diet by eliminating or reducing seizures.

5. Reduce Inflammation

The Paleo Ketogenic diet is particularly strict regarding which fats and meats are to be eaten. This is where the Paleo Ketogenic diet stands out from the classical ketogenic diet. It cuts out the inflammatory foods such as dairy, nightshades, and legumes.

The traditional and paleo ketogenic diet reduce the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation that is due to encephalitis, meningitis, or autoimmune disorders has the potential to trigger seizures.

The elimination of dairy from the ketogenic diet protocol may be increasing its overall success. Dairy has been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune diseases. It may also be contributing to intestinal permeability and increased inflammation.

Conclusion

Sticking with the Paleo Ketogenic diet initially can be very difficult. You drastically limit or eliminate some of your favorite foods. For me, giving up butter was very difficult. I wanted to cheat all the time, but Dr. Clemens at the ICMNI helped me to understand that dairy was extremely inflammatory for someone with autoimmune symptoms and it was likely making me susceptible to seizures even if it was only occasionally. It was also probably keeping my alopecia universals around.

The more you understand about the mechanisms and benefits of the Paleo Ketogenic Diet, the easier sticking with it becomes. After almost a month on the diet, I find it very easy to eat the delicious foods. I’m satiated and not craving other foods that are just for fun. It also reduces the time I spend eating and I find that I can spend that time in other pursuits.

 

Hormones and the Keto Diet: How Keto Improves PMS Symptoms

My Experience with Keto and PMS

The hormone fluctuation that comes with menstrual cycles is commonly accepted as a fact of life. Many women just assume that they’ll be miserable for a few days out of the month. For me, I didn’t experience much pain or mood swings with my cycle until I hit my 40’s. In my 40’s my seizures returned but only right before my period. It wasn’t consistent every month, so it took a long time to connect the two. I aslo started experiencing horrific belching. Like, house shaking burps one right after another. It was terrible. My other PMS symptoms were mild diarrhea and slight abdominal discomfort. 

After starting the Paleo Ketogenic diet with the International Center for Medical and Nutritional Intervention a month ago, I was eager to see if my seizures would return. So far, so good!

My PMS symptoms have reduced by about 50%! I still experience some burps, but they are relatively unnoticeable to my friends and family. They are occurring occasionally instead of constantly for an hour. Much improved! 

What Causes PMS

The biggest cause of pre-menstrual symptoms come from hormonal imbalances either estrogen dominance or low progesterone. The research suggests that lifestyle factors will determine the impact of PMS symptoms. These include stress, diet, and exercise. 

Progesterone and estrogen work together for overall hormone balance. Estrogen dominance can cause mood swings, painful periods, breast tenderness, irritability, headaches, memory loss and heavy periods. Low progesterone contributes to cramps, bloating, and sleep disruption.  

How Keto Can Help

Blood Glucose Stabilization

The ketogenic diet stabilizes bloog sugar levels stable. When blood glucose spikes too high, your pancreas releases insulin to remove the excess sugar. When your body releases insulin, it impacts the body’s other hormones. 

As insulin rises, it leads to reduced levels of a protein called sex hormone binding protein (SHBP). This protein binds to the levels of estrogen and testosterone in your body. SHBP keeps the levels of hormone in check. But when your insulin spikes too high, SHBP goes down and increases estrogen dominance. 

Magnesium Levels

The keto diet drastically reduces the amount of sugar that you eat. One issue that sugar consumption creates is a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium plays a crucial role in your health. Low levels of magenesium are assocated with PMS. 

Studies have discovered a correlation between low magnesium and insulin resistance. When insulin resistance increases, there is a loss of magnesium through urine. 

Magnesium is essential in phase II liver detoxification. This is a critical mechanism which removes excess estrogen from your body. When you have low levels of magnesium, you are more prone to estrogen dominance.

Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is tough on the hormones. Researchers have discovered that several PMS symptoms were correlated with C-Reactive Protein levels. This is a marker for inflammation in your liver. 

The PMS symptoms associated with inflammation are cramps, back pain, mood swings, increased appetite and mood swings. 

Inflammation is also associated with insulin resistance. This will have an effect on your hormones and could potentially lead to estrogen dominance in some people. 

Hyperglycemia, or too much blood glucose, causes your immune system to release a number of inflammatory chemicals. These inflammatory compounds can put you at risk for organ damage. 

Inflammation can either increase estrogen or lower it. Low estrogen has been associated with poor cognitive functions and memory. 

An essential enzyme, aromatase, is involved in estrogen production. It helps with the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. When this enzyme works properly, it helps to maintain a steady state of estrogen. However, too much inflammation can over-activate aromatase and lead to excess estrogen production and estrogen dominance. 

Brain Functioning

One common PMS symptom is an inability to concentrate due to mood swings or anxiety. Estrogen dominance can result in brain fog and poor memory. 

When you switch your body’s fuel from glucose to ketones, your brain begins to use ketones for fuel. They are anti-inflammatory. The brain can use them more effectively than glucose.

When people are on a ketogenic diet, they often report better memory, concentration and learning. The ketogenic diet increases the protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is thought to be the cause of improved brain functioning on the ketogenic diet. Improved bioavailability of ketones to the brain is thought to help brain functioning as well. 

Conclusion

You don’t have to live with PMS! These symptoms are occurring because your body is out of balance due to the foods that spike your insulin. 

If you want to reduce or eliminate your PMS, look to your hormones. Estrogen and progesterone are the main culprits. You can have your doctor check these hormones, or implement a high fat low carbohydrate diet on your own. 

A ketogenic (low carb/high fat) diet supports hormone health and reduces symptoms of PMS. The stable blood sugars balance sugar cravings and help improve brain fog. 

One word of warning, the transition period, which is known as keto-adaptation, can temporarily make you feel worse. If you stick with the diet, there are some fantastic benefits! 

Bone Broth and the Keto Diet – The Secret To Success

The ketogenic diet is all the rage now that people have realized that they can lose weight when they cut the carbohydrates. Most people don’t realize that they are overeating and not really in ketosis. Many individuals simply cut the carbs and don’t increase their fat intake. I made that mistake too.

But I wasn’t reaping the full benefits of the ketogenic diet until I started working with Dr. Clemens at the International Center for Medicine and Nutritional Intervention (ICMNI or Paleomedicina). They insisted that I measure every gram of food that I ate and make sure that I was eating the right fat to protein ratios.

Easy, right?

I know how to measure things and categorize them as fat or meat. Not a problem.

And you only get to eat 400 grams of food per day. Wait. What? I had been eating twice that amount! How was I going to survive? This was terrible. I longed to be chewing on an extra burger or steak.

Then I remembered something I had read about bone broth. It provides you with a filling sensation. The blog post was promoting it as a weight loss tool. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, but I needed to feel full. I believed Dr. Clemens who had worked with thousands of patients that her research led her to believe that the human body physiologically only needs 400 grams of food, but this was quite the adjustment.

I asked my nutritionist if I could add bone broth into my diet. She said yes and it could count as part of my water intake.

Thank goodness!

It worked! Not only did I feel 100% satiated, but I started to see some of the health benefits from bone broth. Specifically, my skin was incredibly moisturized without lotion. My nails appeared to be getting stronger and growing a bit faster.

I also discovered that I could add a little extra bacon grease to the broth to increase my fat intake. That helped with my ketone levels and feeling of fullness.

So, what are some other great benefits of bone broth?

Bone Broth Health Benefits

  • Bone broth prevents the keto flu with its essential electrolytes.
  • Collagen and glycine in bone broth help you retain lean muscle mass.
  • Bone broth eases stomach upset as it lines the walls of the gut lining.
  • Collagen is superior to whey, casein and soy protein.
  • Bone broth aids a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Bone broth can elevate your mood.
  • Bone broth contains high levels of glycine, hydroxyproline and proline, and alanine. These are essential building blocks for the body.
  • Weight loss is improved as bone broth changes the ratio of Bacteriodetes to Firmicutes. Firmicutes will imbalance the body’s ability to metabilize calories.
  • The collagen content of bone broth helps to improve dental health.
  • Bone broth has been reported to help improve joint pain due to its l-glutamine, cysteine, glycine and histidine.

Adding Bone Broth to a Ketogenic Diet

When I started out, I added a cup of bone broth to each meal and sipped on it as a snack. For the first few days, this is okay, but keep in mind that bone broth does contain protein and fats that do add up. After a few days, I settled into a routine of having a cup of bone broth for breakfast and one with my dinner. Right now, two cups seems to keep me full until the next time I get to eat.

Since bone broth can be sipped slowly, it can keep me satisfied with a smaller amount of food if I know that I will be eating out and adjusting my food intake accordingly.

For people who are on a traditional ketogenic diet with a few vegetables, you can turn the bone broth into a soup by simply adding some low carbohydrate vegetables.

Low carb Additions for a Soup:

  • shredded cabbage
  • shredded carrots (not a low carb vegetable, but if you shred them and only use a few it can be very tasty and fit your macros)
  • onions
  • spring onions
  • eggs (egg drop soup)
  • meats
  • green beans
  • squash

Drinking Bone Broth Plain:

This sounds quite terrible, but it is the easiest and most convenient way to get the extra nutrition from bone broth. I make a batch every week in my electric pressure cooker and scoop out a cup at a time. It is nice to have on hand and it is a filling substitute for other foods.

Ideally, you want to heat it on the stove, but admittedly I heat it in the microwave half of the time. Let’s face it, we’re all human and take shortcuts sometimes.

Counting Bone Broth In Your Macros

Thankfully, my nutritionist said I didn’t have to worry about counting the broth in my macronutrient ratios. In some ways, I feel like I’m cheating and getting in some extra nutrients. I am doing a VERY STRICT paleo ketogenic version of the diet, so my carbohydrates are pretty much zero anyway. I’m not getting so much extra protein from the broth that it kicks me out of ketosis. (I do measure that now with my keto-mojo!)

If you are adding low carbohydrate veggies to your broth to make a nourishing soup, I would definitely count a few carbohydrates for the soup. The low carb veggies won’t get you up over 20 grams of carbohydrates, but will make the soup feel more like a meal. It will also add some flavor and interest to the soup.

The Key to My Success

I can say without a doubt that bone broth has been the key to helping me stick with the paleo ketogenic diet for the last three weeks. My adjustment to life without dairy would have been much harder had I not had the comfort of a cup of broth at every meal to distract me. Adding in some of the extra fats to my broth also helped me to increase my fat levels and get my ketones up.

While it is a bit early to say whether the bone broth has cured any of my ailments, it does help me to feel great and stick with my VERY STRICT diet.

Testing My Ketones: Keto Mojo Review

I resisted testing my blood glucose and ketones for a long time. I figured that I could use urine strips and skate by on the ketogenic diet without worrying about every little thing. But as I got older and cheated more on my ketogenic diet, I realized I needed help and turned to the Paleomedicina group. They required that I test my blood glucose and ketones. Boy, I am glad I did! I gained so much information from testing. I feel much more confident in my seizure control now and am optimistic about my hair regrowth.

The monitor that I have been using is the Keto-Mojo glucose and ketone monitor. It has been so easy and given me so much information. I can now see how my glucose correlates with any neurological symptoms or brain confusion.

Keto Mojo Review

Name: Keto Mojo
Website: https://keto-mojo.com/
Price: $44.99
Owners: Keto Mojo
Overall Rank: 90 out of 100

Keto Mojo Testing Kit, Product Overview

The Keto-Mojo Bluetooth Ketone and Glucose Blood Testing kit includes 20 test strips, 1 meter, 10 lancets, and 1 lancing device. The glucose monitor and ketone testing strips are Bluetooth enabled in case you want to save the information on your device.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

  • This testing kit comes with everything you need to start monitoring your blood glucose and ketone levels.
  • It is very simple to use.
  • You can connect it to your phone or ipad and save the data onto your device.
  • The lancing device has a really nice, light touch. It is nearly painless.
  • The price is right! It is very affordable and the testing strips are the most inexpensive on the market, which is why my doctor recommended it to me.
  • Scores are easy to read.
  • The tests only take ten seconds.
  • It is awesome that it will test both your ketones and your blood glucose. I was thrilled I didn’t have to buy 2 meters!

The Bad:

  • It can be a bit confusing when you get started. I still haven’t hooked up the bluetooth feature, but I’m not sure I want to.
  • It is not a continuous monitor, so you will need to do multiple tests to get a good idea of where your levels are.

Who is Keto-Mojo Testing Kit For?

This product is ideal for people who are following the ketogenic diet for epilepsy or weight loss. I feel like for someone with diabetes, a continuous glucose monitor is more convenient and gives a better picture of their levels.

 

Keto-Mojo Support

Keto-Mojo has a help center to help you out with learning how to use the meter, what the error codes mean, and what your levels should be. It also provides a section for frequently asked questions.

This is also where you can get information on the warranty that comes with the Keto-Mojo glucose and ketone meter.

 

Keto-Mojo Price

The cost of Keto-Mojo is very reasonable. It is only $44 to get started with the meter, lancing device and 10 testing strips. The price of keto-mojo testing strips is actually pretty reasonable. You can get a pack of glucose testing strips for $17. The ketone testing strips are a bit more. The ketone testing strips are about $1 each. For a pack of 50 testing strips, you will pay $49.

This price is comparable to other testing keto monitors on the market. The strips are an average price.

My Final Opinion of Keto-Mojo

I didn’t do a lot of research on the competitors before buying this product. My doctor recommended it and I just wanted to get started testing right away. It does appear that Keto-Mojo is comparable to the other monitors on the market.

I do appreciate the ability to upload my scores onto my electronic devices even if I choose not to use that feature. I like that the kit came with everything that you need to get started testing your blood glucose and ketones. That is very helpful.

I love the lancing device that comes with the testing kit. At first, I couldn’t get enough blood out for a test because the prick seemed so light. I figured out you need to get the blood flowing and squeeze the finger lightly to encourage flow. (I have seen the older lancing devices that my sister used for her diabetes. This one has a much lighter feel and you don’t watch the needle coming down onto your finger.)

 

Keto-Mojo at a Glance…

Name:Keto-Mojo Testing Kit

Website: keto-mojo.com
Owners: Keto Mojo
Price:$44.99
Overall Rank: 90 out of 100

VERDICT: LEGIT! I definitely recommend the Keto-Mojo monitor. It is so easy to use and you will get so much information about your health as you track your foods and your ketones as well as the glucose level.

My First 3 Weeks on the Paleo Ketogenic Diet Plan

I jumped on board with Paleomedicina’s Paleo Ketogenic Diet plan three weeks ago. It has been rather uneventful in my mind. I haven’t seen hair regrowth at all. Sadly, they didn’t seem to give me much hope that the hair will grow back. In fact, Dr. Clemens did mention she had two other alopecia universalis patients who hadn’t had regrowth after a few months.

My seizures have not returned, so that is great. My seasonal allergies seem to be subsiding a bit. Although, I should mention that a couple sneezes once or twice a day never really bothered me. When I was younger, my eyes would water and it would be awful.

The theory behind the Paleo Ketogenic diet is to fix intestinal permeability. I think my problem may have been in keeping dairy in my diet, but I did NOT want to give up butter. I discovered that bacon could help me overcome some of my butter cravings. Bone broth was great at providing me with plenty of nutrients and satiation. It is also the foundation of the GAPS diet.

It did feel like a bit of a hassle to fill out the ketone, glucose and weight measurements every day and follow up with Paleomedicina’s nutritionist. However, they were able to give me some insight on blood glucose fluctuation and how it can put me at risk of seizures. That was very beneficial.

Pros:

  • Very easy to implement once you adjust to the amount of food intake.
  • Meat and fat is very delicious!
  • Keeps you satiated.
  • Less expensive than buying produce and grains.
  • Eating for survival rather than entertainment.
  • Lost all cravings for junk foods.
  • I look forward to my bacon and burgers.

Cons:

  • Makes social events difficult. (Implementing during COVID is the perfect timing!)
  • Holidays won’t include some of my favorite foods.
  • I still don’t like organ meats, but have been enjoying liverwurst.
  • It can be annoying to measure every gram of food.

Improvements:

  • Blood sugar normalized below 80 in just a few days.
  • Ketones remain above 2.0.
  • Great energy
  • Great sleep
  • Slight improvement in nail ridging (this is a symptom of alopecia universalis, so maybe there is hope!)

Symptoms:

  • Complete hair loss
  • Occasional seizures that occur during menstrual hormonal fluctuation (will take more time to see if these improve)
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Loose stool during PMS

What’s Next?

So, now that I have been on the paleo ketogenic diet plan for 3 weeks, it is time to do some blood work. Specificially, they want to check out my vitamin D levels. Apparently, people with epilepsy and alopecia universalis (really most diseases) tend to be low in vitamin D. I’m hoping to be in the normal range. My last vitamin D test was about 27. Normal starts at 30.

While I didn’t supplement with vitamin D, there is vitamin D in pork lard and some in the meat. I tried to consume a bit more of the pastured pork lard this week to get my levels up. Also, without carbohydrates and fiber it should be easier to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the foods.

I’ll keep you posted on my blood test results! Stay tuned…

My Journey on the Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet Begins!

I have been struggling with staying on the ketogenic diet which has mostly kept my seizure under control without medication. The problem is that I cheat. A LOT. Luckily, cheating once or twice doesn’t trigger a seizure unless it is during the time my hormones fluctuate.

Another reason that I want to implement the paleo-ketogenic diet is because I don’t have ANY hair. I lost my hair to an autoimmune condition called alopecia universalis. Losing your hair as a woman just sucks.

Now, this isn’t my first attempt to cure my illness. I started with the medical community and took prednisone for a while, but there were issues with that. It made me fat and pimply and then the doctor told me I had to take a break from it to get an accurate blood test. Needless to say, my regrowth fell out during that break.

I have tried a variety of diets with no success. I started with the vegan diet, moved on to the AIP diet and the GAPS diet. But it was very difficult to commit to strict dietary guidelines when there is no hair regrowth.

Enter the Paleo Ketogenic Diet

I started hearing about the Paleomedicina group about a year ago. The diet eliminates all grains and dairy in addition to putting the body in a ketogenic state. This is incredibly difficult to start out.

My biggest issue was BUTTER. In my family, butter is a beloved ingredient. My grandfather liked both cold butter and warm butter on his oatmeal. We liked to slather butter on toast and put it on vegetables.

I rationalized that there wasn’t much lactose in butter and I rarely ate dairy. Still, I didn’t have any hair regrowth.

I finally broke down and signed up for a consultation and follow up with the Paleomedicina clinic.

My Consultation with Dr. Clemens

I loved the fact that I could consult with the doctor from my bedroom over Skype. It was very comfortable. She explained to me that the lactose in dairy is one of the worst things for autoimmune conditions.

The doctor was firm, but encouraging. I didn’t like being told that I would have to eat liver and 35 grams of fat for every 100 grams of protein. That sounded quite gross, but I had been eating liver before. I knew that I could do it.

I already knew from looking around on the internet that I would be giving up fruits and vegetables initially as my gut healed.

After the consultation, I felt confident in the mentoring that I was receiving. I felt that with the follow up that I would be able to achieve success.

Getting Started

I bought 4 pounds of ground beef and stocked up on liver and suet at the farmer’s market where they sell local, pastured beef. I fashioned the ground beef into patties and tossed them in the freezer for some easy meals.

The suet has to be cut and measured. I hate the taste of raw suet. I have seen vloggers talking about how wonderful it is to eat straight and I’m convinced that they have lost their minds. I have figured out that if you heat it up a bit and salt it, it becomes more palatable. It almost tastes as good as bacon. ALMOST is the keyword there.

The first few days, I felt very hungry because the amount of food that she recommends is less than I normally eat. However, I added some bone broth into the diet. That seemed to tide me over a bit.

I still don’t want to give up butter, but after 5 days on the diet, I’m feeling more comfortable with it.

Monitoring My Blood

Prior to working with Paleomedicina, I did the ketogenic diet without much measurement. This was definitely a mistake. I justified it because I knew that getting out of ketosis from time to time wouldn’t trigger a seizure. I was also lazy. I didn’t want to prick my finger and measure my blood glucose.

Well, they told me I had to do it. Now, I’m doing it!

The targets for blood glucose are below 80 and for ketones are above 2.0. My first blood glucose measurement was taken after I ate and it was 86. This is actually a “normal” blood glucose. (My sister is a diabetic and I watched her monitor her blood for years!) At 86, my ketones were 1.7. Not bad, but missing the mark.

The second day was much better. I tested before eating and had a glucose of 80 and ketones of 2.1. By the third day, my blood sugar was 73 and the ketones were 3.5. This is where she wanted me to be, but I’m a little concerned. Diabetics are advised not to have blood sugars below 80 due to problems. Maybe if it is just below 80, it will be okay.

We shall see!

I am using the keto-mojo meter because it was recommended to me. Dr. Clemens said the strips were less expensive. The whole kit was around $50, so I felt it wasn’t a huge expense.

Adjusting Side-Effects

The side effects of adjusting to the ketogenic diet were similar to a seizure aura. I can’t really describe it well. I felt “off.” I was paranoid that I would have a seizure. I worried about more things than usual.

This lasted for the first three days. On the third day, I made up a pot of broth and drank that to suppress some of the hunger that I was feeling. I think that it helped to replace some of my electrolytes. When you lower your carbohydrates, you can start to lose water weight quickly and that can cause some issues.

I feel like one side effect may be that I’m experiencing more seasonal allergies, but that could simply be due to the weather.

By the 5th day, the hunger signals have settled down. I’m feeling full after eating and can go many hours before my second meal.

What’s Next?

I get to consult with their nutritionist tomorrow! The Paleomedicina group has added a nutritionist 2 weeks follow up to ensure success with the diet. I’m pretty confident that I can stick with eating burgers and bacon for two weeks. But it is nice to check in with someone and make sure that I’m on track.

Dr. Clemens said that in 3 weeks, I will a complete blood panel. She wants to test my vitamin D, cholesterol, TSH, glucose, magnesium, potassium and a bunch of other things. This will give her an idea whether I have stuck with the diet and whether my levels are normalizing.

The follow will definitely help me to stay on track. Now to see if it helps my hair grow back!