You may, or may not, know that I started a new lifestyle choice on the first of January. On advice off my dear friend, Michele Sawyer, I changed the way I eat. Why? The main reason was to combat the terrible joint pains I have been living with these last years. You know, often elderly people complain about their bones? Well, there is a reason for that! These bones bloody well hurt, all the time! After several unsuccessful conversations about this new way of eating, I finally decided I was ready. I have been eating the low GI way for over ten years and have stabilised my weight for most of this time. To take the step to Keto wasn’t too big at all. Actually, it was rather easy!
One of the main Keto ingredients is vegetables, preferable green ones! I have never been fond of veggies, and I HATE green ones the most! My dear friend gave me a Keto for dummies book, well, no, a Keto recipes book. Now all the people who know me, know that I am as interested in cooking as Pirahnas are in bananas! So since the first of January I have cut out sugar, processed food, pastas, bread , rice and all wheat products. After four weeks my joint pains were gone! After six weeks my right knee was back to normal. After ten weeks my left shoulder, which I damaged on the 17 July 2010 and which has given me grief ever since, is back to nearly normal.
Of course I had some setbacks, I ate a kilo of green grapes one day. I experienced excruciating joint pain for over five days! Message received! No more green grapes in excess. The challenge however comes now while travelling. I looked on you tube, Keto while travelling, and the main message was ; FASTING! Yeah, great! Lovely if you are only on the road for a day, however I was on the move for two days and a night! I tried making sensible choices, such as salmon, or fish, chicken and leave the rice, leave the white bread behind. Sitting in the gold lounge of Aviance airlines, I DID eat sandwiches, and had a sweet as well! However, I did NOT go overboard, just a few small bites. I compensated by fasting immediately after. Again this was no big deal, mainly because I slept over 23 hours! And by the time I finally had some breakfast, I was well past my 24 hour fast, and back in Ketosis.
I know a lot of my friends like me to write about the local food. Well, on this trip this is not going to happen! I know that most foods are fried in un- healthy fats, eg. Vegetable oils etc. I have no control over this. Travelling twenty hours on a bus, I DO eat what is given to me! And yes, I had a triple chocolate Magnum at the border! When I get to the Galápagos on Sunday, I will eat a lot of seafood, without the chips, rice or yucca. I had ordered, what I thought was fried eggs, and received a fish platter with yucca and salad. I assumed that yuccas grow above ground, hence It should be fine. As soon as I ate them I realised that they were like sweet or normal potatoes. I just ate a little bit and left the rest. The breakfast platter was huge so I spread it out over two days.
I don’t want to be fanatic about it, but I also don’t want the pains back. Due to the facts that most places were closed on good Friday and Easter Sunday, the intermediate fasting was easy to do!! I do NOT allow myself to go hungry! I wait until my body tells me that it wants to eat. I will allow myself some treats, especially at border crossings, which are boring, never ending and energy sapping. It is all about making choices. Had I only known how easy it is to make the right choices, I would have started much earlier in life! And Yes, I have lost weight, BUT…..it was the weight I put on after I returned from the Old Silk Road. I came home at 69 kilos. Then the weight crept up, slowly, over Christmas, having lots of visitors and, well, making bad choices and not enough movement! The day I left Port Augusta I was back at 69 kilos and my aim is to travel the Keto way as much as possible and increase my walking daily until I am walking again three to four hours daily. I also watch at least three you tube videos about Keto daily, or whenever I have wifi.
To make a summary, I will be eating local food, but it will be very selective!! More beans than seven cups of vegetables! More fish than meat. Less ice cream than on previous trips! More fasting, and more just looking at the sweets, rather than eating them!
After being on the Galápagos for three weeks, I have to declare defeat! There are NO healthy fats! I refuse to pay U$15 for a small bottle of olive oil. There is NO butter, only margarine. And coconut oil is no where to be found. Where ever possible I would buy eggs, boil them up for breakfast. All meals in restaurants are made with the wrong kind of oils. On trips the lunches were made with rice, potato and plantain. ( fried green bananas) only on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal did I find avocados. Nuts were plenty full, albeit very expensive. The eating out I had imagined turned out not to be a good option. The meals were expensive, the vegetables rather limp. And I would have a beer to wash it all away. So I relaxed and enjoyed, ate whenever I could, and tried making good choices. However, I was not able to maintain Keto.
Things I have learned; after three weeks of ” dirty” Keto, my right hand is playing up. I can’t close my fingers. Again they are stiff and painful. My right knee is giving me grief again! Very subtle the changes show themselves. After eating carbohydrates it is much harder to fast. I am hungry much more often. The biggest thing however, my sugar craving has come back! Now after being on the Keto lifestyle for close to five months, I have not had any problems with sugar cravings at all. But after three weeks of not being able to eat the Keto way, they are back with a vengeance.
I did crave fats daily, but after three weeks this craving is gone. I am not sure how to handle this while travelling. I mean I cannot really travel with a packet of butter in my pack. I have decided that if I can find a bottle, plastic, of coconut oil I will buy it. I miss my butter coffee. I have bought avocados, and I do eat a Spanish tortilla in the morning. But anything cooked in restaurants is cooked in unhealthy fats.
It is my last day on the Galápagos, in a minute I will go for a coffee. The daily beers will have to go. It has been hot and very humid. In Quito I will go back on Keto. Mainly because it works, it makes me feel good. And I don’t want to undo all the knowledge I have gained. And most of all, I want to FEEL great, full of energy, full of happiness, in my pain free existence. I have come to the conclusion that sugar is the biggest, hidden poison in our food. The hardest addiction to give up, and the easiest to fall back into. Keto in Quito, thank you Dennis for this quote. Every day is a new day, so today I start again. Fasting first. I will not be fanatic, I will have to adapt, but where ever possible, I will leave the bread and the white rice, which by the way, is the main staple of South American diets. Let’s see how I go. Go Keto, Stay Keto.
¡Provecho por ustedes!
p/s I have had many more meals!! Just forget to photograph them!!