One month after my keto breakup, I decided to check in with myself. It has been an incredible month, and I have been amazed by how much I have been able to change in such a short time.
The first days after saying I had quit the ketogenic diet, I was cautious; not really believing I could do it. I was saving my carbs for night time, starting with small servings of rice. I was still scared of more than a bit of sugar, and nervous about when the narcolepsy symptoms would come roaring back to say, “Told you so!” But each day I got a little bit braver.
I added fruit. I didn’t realize how much I had been missing sweet fruit like bananas and oranges. Because I believed I lacked self-control, I didn’t allow myself to touch bananas when I was keto, even though they are my favorite food.
Traveling definitely helped me break down the walls I had put up to protect myself from food. In December, I went to Japan. Who could resist sushi, soba, udon, tempura, and all things matcha? (Well I did the last time I was in Japan in 2016 but I made up for it this time!)
Each day I was in awe of how much my body could actually handle. I went as far as eating Kit-Kats (even in the morning), cream puffs, sweet bean desserts, and matcha cakes, cookies, and ice creams. Nothing was off limits and I quickly forgot the concept of moderation with the excuse, “I’m on vacation! It’s all for the experience.” I kept waiting for the fatal thrum of a gluten-induced migraine, or a sleep attack to drift in on the train. But the fact is, the times I felt fatigue, I deserved it.
I stayed in downtown Tokyo until 12 AM knowing I still had to ride the train an hour to where I was staying. That journey was tough, but I think anyone with or without a chronic illness would have struggled after as much site seeing as I crammed into one day.
The other day I suffered was after staying up the entire night to see the countdown at Shibuya for New Year’s Eve. My flight was at 11 AM on New Year’s Day and I didn’t bother booking a hotel (dummy). I caught a bus to the airport around 3 AM and only dozed a few hours in the airport before the full day of flights back home. I was absolutely miserable and kicking myself in the ass; but not for what I ate, for how I planned the trip.
Now that I am back in my routine at home, there is a lot less sugar on my menu, but I am still incorporating carbs daily. I have been eating sweet potatoes, brown rice, chickpeas, lentils, and tons of fresh fruit along with my usual vegetables. I have not been eating meat. I will not call myself a vegetarian because when I am out and we are sharing food, I have no problems eating a few bites here and there. But I like that I don’t depend on it, and I don’t buy it to have in the house.
There are some things I don’t think I will ever go back to. I can’t imagine drinking a full sugar coke or soda of any kind. I don’t plan to stock my freezer with goodies like ice cream or keep chocolate around. I haven’t bought any bread, although I will eat it when I am out.
Overall being on the ketogenic diet was a great experience for me. Maybe it was a necessary step in preparing me to see what is possible. Now I am ready to discover more about what is possible using my own mind.
If you want to learn more about narcolepsy and my experience, check out my artices: