Ringing in the New Year with praise for LCHF Keto

March 4, 2021 By Shannon Hayes Off

People ask about our diet all the time (especially since Doug’s weight loss has been so dramatic, that it is quite obvious to everyone). I don’t like to sound like we’re in some sort of ‘food cult’, and I especially no longer like to talk about it to people who are vegetarians or who are firmly entrenched in low-fat food being healthy. I have done so much research on diet over the past 6 months that it is next to impossible for me to discuss food with high-carb eaters without sounding pretentious and preachy, so I try to avoid discussing it at all.

Doug and I were both vegetarians for years and then we went to low-fat high carb. When Atkins/South Beach got popular in the 90s, I thought it was ridiculous and totally unhealthy and remember sneering at people on it, believing that it was unsustainable and they’d gain all the weight back.

I did a lot of diet research back then on vegetarian and LFHC diets, but did not realize that almost all the research was based on either Ancel Keys or information from sugar, corn and wheat industries. Now that I’ve read about all sorts of diets both past and present and really gotten into understanding research, I still do not think Keto or Atkins are totally long-term lifestyle changes. Both allow a lot of processed foods and are okay with ‘frankenfoods’. Only bacon and eggs every day or living on processed, packaged low-carb foods is not healthy.

We believe in a balanced Keto diet, eating a ton of veggies and get our fats from oils and butter more than high-fat meat. As time has gone on we’ve cut more and more processed food from our diet (Doug went from deli meat on his salad for lunch to grass-fed chicken and liverwurst/head cheese, we make our own mayonnaise, etc).

When we switched to Keto, it was for weight-loss, but the change in our health and energy is so amazing that we simply cannot imagine going back to how we ate before. We attribute a lot of our past health problems to our previous dietary choices and have a hard time listening to friends and family complain about health issues when we’ve seen evidence of so many folks researching health problems and clearing them up with diet changes that include animal fat and cutting out processed/complex carbs.

Since our fourth week of Keto:

  • neither of us has been sick, despite flu and colds in everyone around us
  • Doug has completely stopped having terrible allergies that he has suffered with for years (tied to  meds and unable to step outside or keep the windows open without being miserable – waiting to see if the same holds true for spring)
  • my gum disease which included receding, bleeding gums and loose teeth has reversed
  • both my insomnia and mild depression are gone
  • my nails which have always been brittle and break easily are strong and healthy
  • my rosacea while not gone, is considerably better and no longer flares when I eat spicy food or drink alcohol
  • we both have an amazing amount of energy.. more than we did 20 years ago while in much better physical shape
  • neither of us feel hungry except at meal time



We even switched our 15 year old dog to a diet of meat only, getting rid of his expensive wheat and rice based dog foods. He went from terrible joint problems and sleeping all day to more energy than he’s had in years and jumping up on the couch to lay on top of Doug which he’d been unable to do for almost 2 years.

Another bonus for us is that we feel more in-control of our diet and food choices than ever before, our vitamins are actually coming from real food instead of supplements, and we simply feel good about what we eat. Something we never felt before, even as vegetarians. There’s a few things we miss like cereal and milk, beer, and corn tortillas. But the amount of things we can eat now that we could not before more than makes up for it. At maintenance we’ll be doing 80/20 paleo so we can have a night of Guinness pints or tacos.. something we could not do before without feeling guilty (you can’t be a vegetarian and just have a burger one night). Plus it was next to impossible to get proper nutrients without meat or via ‘frankenfood’. Now we control our diet and choices instead of our diet controlling us. Because of that, we are actually making healthier choices because we want to and we simply feel better eating real food.


We have no diet/weight resolutions, as our LCHF/Keto→semi-Paleo is a life-style change for us, not just a diet. Doug is halfway to his goal already (65+ pounds lost), meaning that sometime this summer at the latest, we’ll be moving into maintenance and getting into Starting Strength.

These last four months have been more beneficial than we possibly could have imagined, and cannot wait to see how we feel after a full year!

We’re very excited about 2012 being our healthiest year ever ! ! !