Review: Dr Chris Masterjohn’s Nutritional Cheat Sheet

I’ve been doing this a while.  I’ve read a ton of books, PDFs, and articles and listened to hours of podcasts but I’ve never seen something as informationally (is that a word?) dense as what Chris Masterjohn’s Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet is.  This is really something impressive.

Have you ever had an issue or perhaps had a friend tell you of a health issue and you know it is most probably a nutritional issue but you can’t remember exactly what it is?  This happens to me all the time when I’m talking to someone and it usually involves me doing some Googling and wondering why this information is spread all over the place and not coalesced in one place.  In this cheat sheet, I finally have everything I have been looking for.

This document walks you through the different tests you should take in order to find out what nutrient deficiencies/surpluses you might have.  It tells you what foods you can eat to increase that particular mineral or vitamin or perhaps a supplement you should take.  It also walks you through how each of these minerals interact with the other nutrients and the issues it can cause.  I’m really just scratching the surface of what’s in this thing.

One of the first issues I looked up was one that is near and dear to my heart, High Blood Pressure.  (Unintentional pun?  Not sure.)  It talks a lot about the importance of Magnesium but I already knew that.  It also mentioned a possible Potassium shortage and I have never heard that talked about despite having read quite a bit on the subject.  So I’ve ordered some Potassium and I’ll let you know what happens in a later post.

If you have any interest in nutritional and believe that most issues we have can be solved with the right diet and possibly a few supplements, then this is something you need to get and read.  You need a cheat sheet for you health and Dr Masterjohn has provided one.  Just click here to get yours!

I Started the Keto Diet and Feel Terrible.  What Do I Do?

As we continue our series of Keto FAQ’s, today’s question is one that comes up from time to time.  I normally get asked it some time in the first month or so of switching over to a ketogenic diet.  It’s not uncommon to feel kind of cruddy in the first few weeks of a ketogenic diet, so what’s happening?

I vividly remember my first few weeks of cutting out sugar from my life because it felt a whole lot like what I always imagined going through drug or alcohol detox feels like.  I would be sitting at my desk trying to work but obsessing about the piece of chocolate cake I knew war in the fridge.  In fact I remember one night, really late at night because I couldn’t sleep, quietly grabbing my car keys and sneaking out of the house to go up to the grocery store and eating a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s before I could go to bed.  Why was I sneaking?  Because I didn’t want to disappoint my wife, who had already lost a substantial amount of weight eating low carb.

Other common complaints are feelings of fatigue, mood swings, cramps, and a general sense of restlessness or “blah” that is sometimes hard to shake.  So what is happening and how do we combat these issues to break through to the other side where this way of eating makes us feel great?  Let’s take them one by one.

Desire to Binge on Sugar

This is the one that really hit me like a truck when I first started so it’s the one I’m going to talk about first.  What is happening here is you are an addict who wants their drug!  I know, I would have bet you a million dollars before this all started that I wasn’t addicted and could easily walk away at any time.  Turns out sugar is ridiculously addictive and you can’t just walk away like it’s nothing after eating it in massive amounts for 40 years.  It is perfectly natural to want to eat it in massive amounts after cutting it out of your life for a few days or weeks.

How to Fix It

There are 2 important things you can do to head some of these issues off before you start.  The first is to have a pantry clean out day before you start and throw away all your foods with sugar and grains that are in the house.  Please take my word for this, if there are snacks and sweets anywhere near you when you are feeling this desire to binge, you will eat it.  These desires are always strongest at night when you are just trying to relax from the day and you won’t have the willpower after working all day to say no.  You might think it is a waste of food to throw stuff away but it really isn’t.  Your health is worth more than a few dollars worth of groceries.  Of course if you want to donate it, donate it but don’t use that as an excuse to push back the day you will start.

The second thing you can do is to have some kind of accountability, whether that be a friend or family member or if you join an accountability group like my 28 Day Challenge group.  You need someone you can talk to when you are feeling like cheating and someone you don’t want to let down.

Feelings of Fatigue

Fatigue is another common complaint when starting the ketogenic diet.  Your body has been running on sugar for as long as you have been alive and now you are cutting off its usual source of energy.  Of course you are going to feel fatigued!  You just don’t have access to that quick source of fuel that comes from always having large stores of sugar everywhere.  (Note: This is sometimes called the Keto Flu)

How to Fix It

The best thing to do is to just stick with it.  If you can imagine a line graph showing the energy your body is burning for fuel with sugar at the top and fat at the bottom, the sugar is falling but the fat isn’t rising yet because it takes a little longer.  There is a point where sugar is low but your body still isn’t really utilizing fat for fuel efficiently yet.  If you are feeling fatigued, you are in that valley and just need to wait until your body get’s used to this new way of living.  You should also up the amount of salt you are eating and you could possibly take exogenous ketones.  I have never taken them because they weren’t available when I first started this journey but they give some people the boost of energy they need to get them to the point where they are making their own ketones. Also, if you are a T2D and taking medicines that affect your blood sugar levels, test you blood sugar levels often to make sure you are not hypoglycemic.

Mood Swings

Are you feeling cranky?  Difficult to get along with?  Snapping at family or co-workers?  Congrats!  You are detoxing!  It is not a fun process for some people and they don’t always react well to this transitional time.

How to Fix It

Stay hydrated, up your salt and bear down.  It might get worse before it gets better but it will absolutely get better.  Over time your blood sugar will stabilize and so will your moods but in the short term, learn to count to ten before speaking in anger and do some deep breathing when you are annoyed.

Cramps

Sometimes you get cramps in your larger muscles.  I would sometimes get them in my legs but I know people who got them in their arms or back.

How to Fix It

This is almost exclusively an electrolyte issue.  You lose a lot of water when starting the ketogenic diet and when it leaves, it takes sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc with it so you will need to replace them.  The best way to do that is to start salting your food with a non-processed salt like Redmond’s Real Salt and don’t be stingy with it.  Salt your food to taste.  You can also take electrolyte supplements but usually the salt is enough to fix any issues.  Be sure you are also drinking a lot of water.

Restlessness

Sometimes it feels like something is missing.  You are so used to having a dessert after dinner or a mid-afternoon snack that when you stop eating those things, you feel a “hole” or a sense of loss.  It can feel oddly like a low-grade mourning which is a weird way to describe it but it’s true.  You feel like you should be eating but you don’t want another piece of steak or a pork chop so you aren’t sure what to do.

How to Fix It

Just eat until satiated, don’t snack just because you are bored and eventually your body will get used to the new reality.  Soon you won’t feel weird just because you aren’t eating, I promise!

If you didn’t notice, the solution to a lot of these issues comes down to the same few things over and over.  Eat until full, don’t eat when not hungry, drink water, eat plenty of salt, and push through to where your body is fat-adapted.  Once you are running on ketones, most  or all of this goes away and you feel great.

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I Started the Keto Diet and Feel Terrible.  What Do I Do?

Keto Chocolate Mint Truffles Recipe!

We whipped these up at Christmas and just now got around to posting the recipe.  They were a big hit! I hope you try it out and enjoy them.

You can see all my recipes here.

Keto Chocolate Mint Truffles Recipe!
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Keto Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
A tasty and quick Keto dessert!
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Cream
  • 8 oz Chocolate
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Sweetener of Choice, or more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Peppermint essence
Instructions
  1. Pour the cream into a small saucepan.
  2. Bring the cream up to a simmer over low heat.
  3. Remove from the heat and quickly add the chocolate, sweetener, butter and peppermint essence.
  4. Stir quickly and gently to melt the chocolate and butter and help the sweetener dissolve.
  5. Taste a tiny amount to check it’s sweet and minty enough to your liking, stirring through more sweetener or peppermint essence if you think it needs it.
  6. Allow to cool then refrigerate for a few hours until thickened and the mixture can easily be rolled into balls.
  7. Once the truffles mixture has thickened, remove from the fridge and roll into balls, using a teaspoon of the mixture per ball.
  8. You could leave the balls as is or dip into cacao, coconut or more melted chocolate.
  9. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

 

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Keto Meat Up in Arlington TX

Keto Meat Up in Arlington TX!

Are you in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas?  We would love to meet you!  We are having a Keto Meat Up on Thursday the 11th at Flying Fish in Arlington TX.  All the info is here and I would love if you would RSVP.  See you there!

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