One month after my keto breakup, I decided to check in with myself. It has been an incredible month. I have been amazed by how much I have been able to change in such a short time. I was anxious and excited to discover what life after keto had to offer.
The first days after saying I had quit the ketogenic diet, I was cautious; not 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.
Conquering my fear of fruit
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.
Since I live in Myanmar right now, there are a lot of fruits that I don’t have much experience from back home. I have been enjoying guavas, dragon fruit, pomelos, jackfruit, and even some things I don’t know the names of since I don’t need to look up their carb content to fit in my macros! Life after keto doesn’t involve any tracking or counting, although I do think I eat fewer carbs than before.
Traveling 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 there in 2016, but I made up for it this time!)
Each day I was in awe of how much my body could 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. I quickly tossed out the concept of moderation with the excuse, “I’m on vacation! It’s all for the experience.” Also I wanted to experience what life after keto would really be like if I ditched it for good. I kept waiting for the fatal thrum of a gluten-induced migraine, or a sleep attack to appear. But the fact is, the times I felt fatigued, I deserved it.
Poorly planned travel
As a person with narcolepsy, I know that I need time to rest when I travel. I have lots of travel hacks I use to make the most of my trip. Usually, I try to stay near the tourist area so that I can pop back to the room for a refreshing nap and then go back out for the evening. In Tokyo, we were staying at a friend’s place, so that wasn’t an option.
I stayed in downtown Tokyo until midnight, knowing I still had to ride the train an hour before I would reach my bed. That journey was tough, but I think anyone with or without a chronic illness would have felt tired after as much site seeing as I crammed into one day. Energy is a limited resource, after all.
The other day I suffered was New Year’s Day. After staying up the entire night to see the countdown at Shibuya for New Year’s Eve, I was not my best. 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 at the airport before the full day of flights back home. I was miserable and kicking myself in the ass; but not for what I ate, for how I planned the trip. Enjoying life after keto shouldn’t mean tossing all common sense aside! (This thinking is completely contrary to my New Year’s Resolution, so I need to work on that….)
Back to healthy eating after keto
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.
While I am enjoying life after keto, 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. Nor do I plan to stock my freezer with goodies like ice cream or keep chocolate around.
I never thought it would be so easy to get over my keto breakup! 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 mind.
If you want to learn more about narcolepsy and my experience, check out my articles:
Scared of the Dark: The Narcolepsy Symptoms that Nobody Talks About
Research and Reality in My Life With Narcolepsy
If you are looking for new ways to treat your narcolepsy, you may find something in one of these posts:
5 Things You Can Do NOW to Manage Narcolepsy
2 thoughts on “Life After Keto – Eating Everything in Japan”
So awesome to hear that your body is tolerating, and sounds like maybe embracing?? this big change! I think I’m similar to you in trying to explore how much I can help and support myself through the lens of my mind/brain/thinking (whatever you want to call it). Just recently I’ve started to become more interested in the nuance and science behind cognition and emotion, and I’m wondering what a better understanding might do for me. I look forward to hearing where all this takes you!
Wow, Lizzy I thought I replied to this but just realized it was still pending! So sorry for the delay! I appreciate your support so much! I am taking some classes online and doing some coaching to help me understand myself and my emotions more. It’s incredible how much my emotions affect my narcolepsy symptoms. It is just hard to measure or “prove” what is the cause and what is the effect, so I just keep testing it out. I look forward to reading more about your journey too!