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Why I Quit Keto and What I’m Doing Now

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If you’re reading this post, you probably have no idea that I took a six month break from blogging. Most likely you are here because you found my pancake recipe on Google or my beef enchiladas through Pinterest and ventured over to my homepage, saw this headline, and were curious if I really quit keto. Well, let’s talk about that!

A little backstory

This blog was launched way back in 2017 when I was desperately trying to get healthy after my second child.

This was the time when I found out about the keto diet, long before it was “popular”. As a lifelong yo-yo dieter who drank SlimFasts in middle school, keto sounded like something I could make work long term.

As a Southerner, I found cooking for a ketogenic diet quite difficult. As I attempted to recreate my old favorite recipes into lower carb meals, I decided that maybe other people would want to try them too.

And just like that, Keto in Pearls was born. (The pearls part is a nod to my love of all things classic, traditional, and timeless, like a strand of pearls.)

Not long after starting keto, and losing about 50 pounds, I found out we were expecting our 3rd child. Did you know keto is helpful for fertility? I didn’t but I quickly learned. Ha!

My daughter was born, I maintained my keto diet, kept up with my blog, and even wrote a cookbook! Things were going really well and I loved this job, especially connecting with so many people through social media.

More than the diet, I just loved creating recipes that folks could feel confident feeding their loved ones. Serving one another, in love and through food, was my main goal with this blog. And, it was working.

Lo and behold, in 2019 I found myself pregnant with our fourth child! I told you, keto makes you fertile.

I was pretty stressed, tired, and overwhelmed during this pregnancy and decided counting macros wasn’t serving me well. We also moved during this pregnancy. And oh yeah, the Rona showed up. We all know how that ends. Er, well…time marched on and here we are today.

Labeling, dieting, and blogging

Obviously this blog and its recipes are centered around low carb lifestyles. Many people find it because they’re trying to learn about keto.

For a long time, I genuinely loved helping people learn how to start a keto diet and maintain it. 3 John 1:5 was what I lived by:

“Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you.”

Around late 2018 or early 2019, keto blew up. There were keto products coming out left and right. Dare I say it had a cult following.

Like with most diets, keto became the quick fix for weight loss. Keto became a label and a buzzword instead of a means to healing.

“Oh, you’re keto“.

“You’re eating potatoes and carrots? That’s NOT keto. Ugh!”

“Honey is not good for you!”

I could keep going but I think you get the point.

Food fear and other bad ideologies

In the world of keto, natural God given foods like maple syrup, raw local honey, and vegetables became sinful. I can say this because at one time I thought the same way.

Now don’t misunderstand, I still think refined white sugar, food additives, and processed junk is terrible for us. Nor do I think keto is bad for you.

But a sweet potato with roasted carrots are hardly a recipe for stupendous weight gain and self sabotage.

I watched people I care about fear apples, blueberries, ancient grains, and honey. We were measuring darn broccoli! The absurdity is quite astounding, really.

It became abundantly clear that one food addiction had been traded for another and it’s name was keto. Instead of binging an entire birthday cake, we’ll just label that cake as evil and avoid it all costs, never minding the root cause of the binging of said cake.

None of it made sense to me anymore. Keto became an idol of sorts, for me and many others.

I stepped back from my keto world in summer 2021 to really survey the audience, ruminate on my beliefs, further my knowledge on nutrition, and pray about the direction God wanted me to go.

It became clear, my convictions surrounding nutrition no longer aligned with “keto values” and God was calling me somewhere else closer to Him.

Why did I quit keto?

Suffice it to say, I quit keto. While I still enjoy low carb foods, and making lower carb meals on occasion, my soul focus is not eliminating them from my daily diet any longer.

My focus shifted in a positive direction.

Instead of counting macros, I count the miles my food traveled to get to my home and what kind of footprint that left on the environment.

Instead of counting macros, I count overall number of ingredients.

Instead of counting macros, I count the various colors on our plates.

You see, dieting is not healthy. Restriction out of fear is not healthy. Being thin or skinny does not equate health.

Keto had become an idol of sorts, for me and many others. These are lies our enemy tells us so that we are distracted from Truth.

If not keto, then what?

To make a really long opinion short, whole, God given, natural, clean foods are always going to prevail a carb count.

I have zero plans to eat a strict keto diet. I don’t have high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, PCOS, or any medical condition that would align with needing to eat a keto diet.

For the better part of a year now, I have privately been going back to the basics. Going back to a time forgotten.

I have spent time learning how to shrink my food footprint. In other words, shortening the distance between where my food comes from and how it ends up on my table.

I’ve been learning how to grow my own food and how to support local farmers.

I’ve been unlearning how to cook without carbs. In other words, cooking really nutritious meals without worrying about the net carbs.

It’s been a really fun and eye opening experience. Almost like being color blind and seeing color for the first time except the color is fruits and vegetables.

If not keto, then what?

Going forward, I’m going to be sharing what I learn here. I’ll be sharing recipes that will look different but I’ll be sure to teach you why you shouldn’t be afraid to eat them!

Of course, I could keep cranking out keto recipes even though I am not living that lifestyle but that seems so disingenuous to me and I hold myself to a standard of authenticity.

My goal will be to educate you on our broken food system and how we can fix it at home. I hope I’ll inspire you to want to learn more about real food.

I’ll be sharing glimpses into our life. Did I mention we bought a 5 acre homestead in Tennessee?

Our small piece of Heaven I am affectionally calling “The Hunley Acre Woods”. (We have a Piglet obsessed child)

We left our Cincinnati country club and are bonafide country folk now! We’re getting chickens, a garden, and maybe even a cow!

We also have no idea what we’re doing and learning as we go on a wish and a prayer. Going back to those Laura Ingalls Wilder days but with electricity and WiFi. Its messy but fun!

For now, my blog name will not change. All that technical stuff is complicated and convoluted. There are some plans for new adventures so stay tuned to see what unfolds.

All jokes aside, God willing, at the end of the day, I’ll be a light in a dark place for you. My prayer is that we’ll all learn something that we can share with our family over supper. I pray you’ll join me on this road to self-sufficiency, health, and well being!

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving…” 1 Timothy 4:1-4