When asked to describe herself, Kaitee responded
"Tough question. I could tell you about my career, and how as an Advocacy Content Manager for an international sports association, I encourage national and global policymakers to buy into the importance of exercise. Like, sure, exercise is essential for weight loss, but did you know the CDC says being more physically active can help prevent 5 of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S.?
But, then, of course, a person is more than their career. In fact, despite working for a sports association, I've actually struggled with my weight my whole life. But I decided not to let that stop me from swimming the relay leg of triathlon with two of my coworkers, literally days before my 30th birthday. We even placed 3rd in the female relay category at the 2019 Boston Triathalon.
Kaitee with her tri-relay team
I love science fiction, spending time with my husband and two bunnies, and of course, sharing low carb and keto-friendly recipes with people like me through my website The Keto Show and YouTube channel. People who have struggled with their weight or just want simple and easy recipes they can add to their dinner rotations that go beyond grilled chicken and broccoli."
Kaitee is one of those people who tried everything, from CICO (calories in, calories out) to WW (Weight Watchers). Nothing seemed to work for her. She shared, “This may be too intimate—then again that's pretty on-brand for me—but my breaking point came back in 2013. I was shaving my legs in the shower, got dizzy, and had to sit down. Shaving my legs was just too much effort.”
Kaitee with her husband in 2012
I had a pretty bad breakdown. My boyfriend—now husband—did his best to try and make me feel better, but he'd been on the leaner side his whole life. He tried, but he just couldn't relate. Though, in typical engineer fashion, he wanted to fix the problem, so he did what any engineer would do. Look at the data and research.
He knew what hadn't worked for me, so he looked for alternatives. He came across Keto on Reddit, and I remember being more than skeptical when he told me he thought we should try it. I had grown up hearing fat makes you fat, and now here he was telling me that I needed to eat more fat.
Yeah, okay. No. Not going to happen.
Then he said let's just try it for a week. Worst case scenario I gain a couple of pounds, and we go back to the drawing boards. Best case scenario it works.
So I had nothing to lose. Well, in the first week I lost six pounds, and four the next week. That was more than I had lost in the last year following CICO or WW. I've been living a low carb keto lifestyle ever since."
When I started Keto, I was over 250 lbs. I'm 5'3", that's a lot of weight for a short girl. I've since lost over 75 pounds and am proud to say I no longer get winded shaving.
It's about more than weight though. I have ADHD, and keto/low carb helps me manage my symptoms. If I have a setback or a weekend where I allow myself more carbs than usual, my husband and coworkers can tell. I can tell. The low carb keto lifestyle has been a lifesaver.
The Setbacks and Challenges of her Keto journey
There have been times when I just wanted to eat the cake at a party or the chips at a Mexican restaurant, or it was just too much effort to make a low carb substitute, so I made the "real" thing. I, of course, paid for this later. I'm not just talking about the pounds I put back on—which I did—but I always felt awful after and to top it off my ADHD would always be really bad the next few days.
Kaitee with her husband and grandma in 2012
Setbacks aside, I would say I had three main challenges in the beginning. Some of these I still face.
- Perception. People hear "Keto" or "low carb," and suddenly they think they know everything about you. I eat more vegetables now than I did my entire life growing up. However, I can't tell you how many people still think I only eat meat and butter. It's become a running joke amongst my friends. They'll mention my "pack a day problem." Referring to a time someone found out I was Keto and proceeded to tell me how eating a pack of bacon a day was going to kill me. I don't know where she got that information, but no matter what I said, she kept saying it.
- Variety. It's easy to fall into the grilled chicken + veg, repeat, schedule. Eat enough of that without spicing it up, and it's enough to make even Tarzan cry. Repeat after me. Low carb and Keto does not have to be boring. You can have delicious foods from many different cultures with a variety of flavors and methods of cooking while low carb and Keto. My average week consists of many Filipino and Mexican dishes. All low carb and Keto. All amazing.
- Mindset. If you look at it as "I can't have that" or beat yourself every time you have a setback, then you're going to have a bad time and be miserable. Your human. You're on your journey. Be kind to yourself. Think "I don't want that" or "that's not worth it" instead.
Kaitee's favorite go-to Keto meals
Common Mistakes of People while on Keto
Too many people let others tell them what Keto has to be. They get wrapped up in rules and end up beating themselves up over it if they slip. Everyone's body is different. General guidelines are great and can be useful, especially in the beginning, but don't get bogged down by Keto gatekeepers. If you can work a little stevia or an orange or—gasp—a banana into your macros, and you still get into ketosis, then great! You're still low carb high fat. You're still Keto.
If you just miss the mouthfeel of bread and you make low carb bread, don't let anyone tell you you're doing Keto wrong. Again, if it works for you, it works for you. You live your life. You choose your own adventure.
A lot of products will say "low carb" or "Keto" but then still be high in sugar in some sneaky ways. So, if you're not making your own food, just be sure to really read the label. Even if a product says on the front of the package "zero grams of sugar"—looking at you tic-tacs—or low carb, it can still be bad for your keto goals. Keto teaches you a lot about reading nutrition labels.
CICO is still important. Yes, you need to track macros, but if you're eating 2,500 calories a day—and not burning some of that—then you will not see the results you want.
And on that ... everyone loses weight or puts on muscle at different rates. Don't get discouraged if you're not losing as fast as someone else or if you don't find Keto as easy as everyone told you it would be. There's an adjustment period. Be patient. Be consistent.
Top 3 tips to a Keto newbie
- Track everything. As tedious and annoying as this sounds, it's helpful, especially in the beginning when you're still trying to gauge how many calories things really are. One gram of fat is 9 calories, and 1 gram of protein or carbs is 4 calories. The calories add up fast with Keto.
- Plan your meals. It's a lot harder to have a setback if you've already planned your Keto menu for the next five days.
- Coconut flour absorbs more moisture than almond flour. A tablespoon of coconut flour IS NOT equal to a tablespoon of almond flour. I ruined many a recipe before I figured that out.
The Keto Show