Dot’s 30-Day Keto Reset Challenge

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It’s time to get back on track. Since mid-May, everything’s been on hold. That’s when Mom broke her hip and I got busy helping her get back on her feet. Those familiar with my blog know how easy it is for me to put everything else ahead of my own health, and that’s exactly what happened.

I was so focused on helping my mom that I never thought about how difficult it would be on me. While dealing with hospitalizations, doctor appointments, home modifications, managing finances (ours and hers), to the more personal tasks like cooking, dressing, bathing, managing meds … well, I ended up putting my own health (and life) on the back burner.

Thankfully, mom is much better now. Her hip is healing. She regularly does her exercises and goes to PT. She’s gained about 5 pounds (10 more to go!). Overall, I’d say she’s getting stronger.

That means it’s a perfect opportunity to re-focus my energies on Me. Ah, but what a crawl back it’s gonna be…

I haven’t taken care of myself these last few months. I’m frequently sluggish, not sleeping at night, and too quick to anger. My hot flashes rage unpredictably. Every little thing stresses me out. And you may have seen, I’m packing on the pounds again.

That said, I still cook healthy low carb meals. But I’m also cooking meals for my mother. Since 2012, what I cook, both me and my husband eat. But low carb eating isn’t necessarily the best thing for my mother. She’s way too thin and her doctor ordered that she gain weight – fast. That means that foods I stopped buying more than 6 years ago are back in my pantry and fridge. And let me tell you: when you’re a stress eater, that’s not a good thing.

To deal with all this, I’ve decided to do a complete reset – nutrition, mental and physical.

To succeed, I’ve come up 7 rules I’ll need to follow.

1. No Snacking!
I snack when I’m bored or stressed. Since mid-May, I’ve become a major snacker. It doesn’t matter if I’m hungry or not. Initially, my go-to snacks were nuts and cheese – both keto friendly foods. But other things started creeping in, like my mom’s potato chips, popcorn, ice cream. That stops today.

2. Counting Total Carbs
I’m sticking to 20g of carbs, or less, per day. And when I say 20g I mean total carbs, not net carbs. What’s the difference? Net carbs is total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols. A lot of low carbers count net carbs, and that’s just fine. But for me, I really need a swift kick in the you-know-what.

Truth is, since the end of May, I’ve essentially been carb cycling, but not in a good way. Some days I’d be more moderate, eating about 50g of carbs. Other days I’d eat +200g of carbs. Yikes!

Clearly, I need to go strict and enforce some serious discipline. Also, this change will be permanent, or at least until I hit my goal weight.

Recently, I heard a podcast with Dr. Eric Westman, one of the top low carb doctors and researchers around. He had the best definition of the difference between total carb and net carb counting:

“Total carbs is prescription strength. Net carbs is over the counter medicine.”

Nuff said!

3. Eat 1 or 2 Meals A Day.
Intermittent fasting helps, not just with weight loss, but with mental clarity and concentration, increased energy, sleep, lower blood sugar levels, and of course fat burning. Basically my eating window will be from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm (lunch and dinner). Which means 18 hours of fasting. Perfect!

4. Test My Blood Ketones Daily.
If I’m doing a keto reset, then I’ll have to know whether I’m in ketosis. I’m not expecting to be in ketosis overnight. It’s going to take awhile since I need to get all of the carb-loaded junk I’ve been eating out of my system.

I have 2 ways to test: urine strips, and a ketone/blood glucose meter. The urine strips are good, but not as reliable as the meter. Nonetheless, it isn’t as painful as pricking my finger. And it allows me to test more than once a day.

For more accuracy I’ll use my Keto Mojo. This requires blood samples from pricking my finger. I’ll do this in the morning before any coffee or water.

5. No Alcohol.
This was a goal I’d set for myself at the beginning of the year … and I failed miserably. The truth is, I really like wine. But I’ve been relying on it too much as a way to help me de-stress or wind-down from a busy day. I really can use a break, and so can my liver.

6. Take My Measurements (& Weigh Myself).
I need to know where I’m at. ‘Nuff said.

7. Daily Stretching & Flexibility Moves
This is a big one! In June, I put work with my trainer on hold. Unfortunately I didn’t have another stress-relieving outlet, thanks to my chronic calf injury.

I’m not allowed to go for walks, hikes, or train for a 10k. I can’t even do yoga because of the risk of rupturing my Achilles tendon. Standing and walking for more than 15 minutes can be downright painful. If I sit for too long, my ankle becomes stiff and painful.

My two main calf muscles are knotted up in a big tight ball and are pulling on my Achilles tendon, as well as causing plantar fasciitis in my foot.

Per my physical therapist, all I need to do is:

  • Calf stretches, at least 3 times a day
  • Ice my Achilles tendon and wrap a heat pad around my calf when inflamed
  • Wear a Strasburg sock at night while I sleep

The stretches won’t stop after 30 days. I’m using this reset to create a habit. I’m scheduling time to stretch 30 minutes a day, 3 times a day. I need to get it into my head that yes, I do have 90 minutes to spare a day. This is just too important. Not being able to walk around isn’t healthy when you’re 50.

Keto Challenge Updates
I plan to post regular updates on this blog about how my reset is going: my challenges, successes, and failures.

Today, I’m working on my first week’s menu, and I’ll post that tomorrow along with the starting data (measurements, weight, ketone levels, etc.).

I’m really excited about this. I know I’ll be successful because I’ve done it before.

19 thoughts on “Dot’s 30-Day Keto Reset Challenge

  1. Pingback: Keto Reset Day 1: Dot By The Numbers | Dot2Trot

  2. Valerie

    I’m pleased to say this is all very timely for me also.
    Best wishes to you, Dot, and to those who have commented.
    Looking forward to this!

  3. Pam in Michigan

    I am with you as well! I reached my goal weight last October and have gained back 10 lbs, sounds small to some but for me it’s a big deal. I loved fitting into smaller clothes 14-16 down to 6, but now some are too tight in the waist and I hate it! Didn’t help my family kept saying I looked way to skinny either. I think that was jealousy on their part( all are overweight) I am doing this for me! I also have a 31 year old daughter who has Rett Syndrome and it total 24/7 care and such a sweet EArth Angel! Tomorrow is her birthday! 31 years young ( I am 61) WE ALL HAVE GOT THIS now LETS DO IT!

  4. Verdi Lowe

    Thanks Dot..Hark at you now…and your appreciative growing community of like minded folk. It’s brilliant and warming to read these comments.
    I’ve been trying Full Carnivore..for a while and so far pleased with results.
    Simple, all meats and offal, fishes and crustaceans, proper cheeses and eggs, all natural fats, tallow, goose, duck, beef..
    That’s it.
    Helps de-stress your major organs which do not have to cope with antagonist antagonists like fruits and vegetables and all carbohydrates.
    Cheaper, simpler, worth a try too for a few weeks ?
    YouTube Amber O’Hearn, Zero Carb, Joe Rogan with Professor Jordan Peterson on Carnivore diet..thousands more.
    Don’t get down folks..Carnivore cured Amber and Dr. Peterson’s daughter Mikhaia of horrendous Autoimmune Chronic Arthritis, and more.
    Inspiring folks changed my life.
    Cheers Dot..Best to you and yours and your Mum too. X Jim from England

  5. Mae

    Good for you getting back to Keto life! I have a few things to reset myself so I will be following as you blog etc! I as well been snacking all be it keto its still something I dont need I’m not even hungry just bored husband works 4 nights a week so old habits come floating back in!

  6. Blessings to you Dot, wonderful news to hear that each ‘moment’ is a step moving forward to your choices. I support you and pray that you ‘release’ what does not own you. Hugs, Marilyn

  7. Katherine Garner

    I really need this too. I’ve worked so hard in the past year, but now I seem to be going backwards (I cried when I tried on some pants that were fitting me and now are too tight) and I really haven’t lost that much weight or inches. I’m trying a water fast for 3 days because my sugars went back up too. I will be following you to gain some encouragement. Thanks for letting us follow your story.

  8. Dale

    How well does this lifestyle work for a diabetic? I need to lose some of my weight so that I can be healthier but it is difficult when you are hungry all the time. If I eat 3 meals a day plus 2 snack I can prevent the hypoglycemic episodes but going without the food I get very hypoglycemic. I am not able to exercise at this point because of being overweight and I am very stiff…not flexible at all. I need a very low impact exercise to start off with.

    • Fredna

      Keto is recommended for a diabetic, that’s how I was introduced to it. You won’t be hungry all the time, or maybe not at all on the ketogenic way of eating (and it is a way of eating, not a diet). Dale, I don’t know how to tell you, except honestly. If you think you are hungry all the time, then you aren’t eating the right kinds of food, and if you are eating foods recommended by a “diabetic nutritionist” you are eating wrong. Feeling hungry all the time is a mental emotion, not a physical one. I fast 18 hrs – at least – per day. I rarely ever snack, and I rarely feel that I’m hungry. I am 71 yrs old, and overweight. I was losing inches and weight on keto, got off of it and gained some back. Now, I am back on it and intend to stay that way. I feel really good. You CAN do it, IF you want to. Your post, frankly, is full of negatives, and until you start thinking positives, you are going to stay where you are. I will be happy to support and help you.

  9. Sandra Gilbert

    I want to share with you my cure for hot flashes. Wild yam root. My daughter had me start this 2 a day, I haven’t had a hot flash since. I would like to start a restart with you as I lost 60lbs.and then want on vacation and I,m struggle to get back on it.God bless Sandy

  10. Barbara

    Our 14 year old grandson had a seizure last September; the pediatric neurologist gave my daughter the choice of putting him on drugs OR the ketogenic diet. She’s an RN and decided to try the diet. It’s working. The one time they didn’t stick to it, he had another seizure… he’s been seizure free since January!
    Maybe you need to think of Dot being at that same crossroads… no choices… just sticking with all your convictions… it’s that important!

  11. Catherine

    Thank you so much for sharing! Your open honesty was just what I needed to hear as well. I started the Keto lifestyle in June, but I let myself come second this past month. My children began school in August, my husband has had some health issues and we also care for his parents who are both in poor health, which means that I go to no fewer than eight doctor appointments a month and very few of those are for me. Also, I’ve never actually counted my carbs. I simply eliminated sugars, breads, snacks and pastas. But as far as tracking my daily carb intake, not so much. I tried an app once, logged into to it the first day, didn’t feel like it was the easy fit I’d been told it would be and never actually logged in again. Time for me to look into the available tools and commit to tracking those carbs. Thank you!!! I’m looking forward to your upcoming blogs. You got this!!!

  12. Kimberly Hamm

    Hi Dot. I am Kim and I was told about you by a friend. I have been watching all of your videos and now reading your blog. I am the caretaker for my husband. He is 57 and a diabled veteran with Hereditary Motory Sensory Neurapathy. He is practically bed ridden. They are coming tomorrow with a hospital bed for him to make life a little easier. I totally understand the stress. I will do this 30 day challenge with you and look forward to reading each of your days. Hugs from Kim in Virginia

  13. DeAnna Williams

    Thanks Dot for your great information. I appreciate you sharing your real life stresses and how you deal with the reality of tough times. I’m ready for a reset too and am thankful you are sharing yours to help me get going again.

  14. DeAnna Williams

    Thanks Dot for sharing your tough times and how you are going to work on the troubles. We can relate and learn from your stresses of being a real human being and be inspired by your determination and knowledge of what works and the pitfalls to watch out for. I’m looking forward to resetting also.

    • Mary Jo

      I’m looking forward to just getting started. Does water or coffee break a fast if you aren’t going to eat for a couple of hours after getting up.

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