Written by Mande Rimel
As long as I can remember, I’ve dealt with reactive hypoglycemia but didn’t know what it was until about 10 years ago. When I eat carbs, my blood sugar spikes and my body floods with too much insulin. Then the insulin takes too much sugar from my blood and leaves me feeling lethargic for hours. I’ve searched, my entire adult life, for a balance of nutrition that works for my body.
I’ve tried many different diets/nutrition plans. In my early 20’s I wanted to lose weight and literally starved my body of necessary nutrition. I gave veganism a try (for seven years!). In my mid-thirties I decided to compete in bodybuilding, so I started counting macros and tried several different meal plans from several coaches. Every one of these nutrition plans left me starving, cranky and craving carbs!
I’ve always eaten fairly healthy but I’m a true carb addict! Carbs are like a drug to me. Pizza has always been my favorite food and peanut butter M&M’s are my kryptonite. I could NOT just have a few, it was the entire bag or until I was too sick to eat the rest. Anyone relate?
I truly thought that I could out-exercise my bad eating habits. But the weight always crept back up and I’d have to change things up in the kitchen again. It was an exhausting roller coaster ride, both emotionally and physically. Obesity runs in my family and my mother passed away at age 58 due to her unhealthy lifestyle.
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I decided to try Keto to help with his Type 2 Diabetes. I was willing to do anything to help him stabilize his blood sugar. When we started, we both dropped fat quickly and maintained our muscle mass! That totally debunked everything I was ever taught about needing carbs to build muscle. We learned that once we took out the carbs, our bodies started to use fat as fuel more efficiently.
We took a Disney trip with our kids in the summer of 2019 and totally fell off our Keto plan. When we got home we just couldn’t seem to get back off the carbs. My husband was still in the mindset that his body had to have carbs to build muscle and he kept finding articles that reinforced exactly that. He now admits that it was mostly because he wasn’t ready to give carbs up.
In June 2020 we decided to give Keto another try. Within the first week I was already feeling better and less bloated. I had forgotten how good I felt when we tried Keto in 2019! My blood sugar wasn’t crashing every time I ate and I could get so much more done throughout the day. Because I was feeling so good, I decided to completely divorce carbs! A few times my husband asked me when we were going to have a “cheat meal.” I kept telling him that I just couldn’t. I knew it would only take one bite and I’d be a hooked on carbs again.
I started searching for Keto dessert recipes (because…sweets!). In my research, I came across the holy grail of all Keto recipe sites, Gnom-Gnom.com. There is a recipe for just about anything and every one we’ve tried has turned out amazing! I was able to make keto brownies that made my heart skip a beat! Then cookies, banana bread, pumpkin bread, carrot cake, pizza and even pasta!! For us, this has been the key to maintaining a Keto lifestyle.
After a month of ditching the carbs, my husband has maintained normal ranges for his blood sugar levels and (under his doctor’s orders) he stopped his diabetic medication! He’s lost a total of 20 pounds so far while maintaining his muscle mass. I’ve lost 10 pounds and put on some muscle! But the most important thing for me is that I feel so free. I’m more alert and energetic without the carb fog. I’m so happy knowing that my husband is living his best and healthiest life, with me, because we have finally found something that works for us both.
DISCLAMIER: A Keto diet may not be for everyone. This site and its authors do not claim to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any nutrition-related disease or health condition. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional before changing your diet or medications or beginning any exercise routine.
As a Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor at American Family Fitness, Williamsburg, Mandee’s favorite class to teach is POWER because it’s meticulously programmed to train not only your muscles to be stronger but your entire body to move better. Mandee’s favorite things to do are weight training and learning about nutrition specifically on how our bodies use the food we eat and how food causes different hormonal reactions in our bodies.