Ketogenic (high-fat, low carb) diets are buzzing in the health, food and fitness world.

Gone are the days of eating six-small meals per day, egg-whites-only, plain chicken and broccoli.  Bring on the Macadamia nuts, bacon, cheddar, butter, full-fat milk, eggs, steak and coconut!

Whether your goal is to lose weight, shred body fat, balance hormones and blood sugar, enhance athletic performance, or regulate appetite, Keto is seemingly the “Windex” of all diets (it does it all).

However, if you have “gut issues,” an autoimmune disease, or follow a gut-healing, AIP-diet, then “going Ketogenic” can prove to be tricky.

While Keto welcomes an abundance of “real” foods (like nuts and nutbutters, eggs, butter, cheese, full-fat dairy, steak, bacon and pork), most “gut healing” and anti-inflammatory diets urge you to stay away from these things (nuts, eggs, dairy, nutbutter, hard-to-digest-meats)—as they often cause gas, gut-irritation, bloating, constipation and inflammation in the gut-healing and autoimmune patient.

So should YOU “go Keto” if you have gut issues or follow an AIP (autoimmune diet) protocol—(Especially if everyone is talking about how great it is)?!

The Answer: It’s complicated.

Let’s talk about: the logistics, pros and cons of Ketogenic and AIP diets, and ONE thing you should do to determine the right healing nutritional approach for you….

KETOGENIC 101

Ketogenic: What It is.

The Ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat approach to eating, wherein approximately 60 to 80-percent of a person’s daily intake comes from fat, moderate protein (about 20-percent), and minimal amounts (anywhere from 5 to 20-percent) of daily intake comes from carbs.
Keto AIP

Eating Keto involves rewiring the way your body, brain and metabolism operates—Retraining it to stop relying on glucose, sugar and carbs as its primary fuel sources, and turn into a fat-burning machine.  By upping fat intake, limiting carb intake and managing stress levels (i.e. exercising—but not overdoing it, sleeping, etc.), your body increases fat oxidation, and breaks down fats into ketones to be used as the primary energy source.

Ketones act like carbs—or glucose—for your body.

It’s a common misconception that the brain and body needs lots of carbs for energy.

Your brain and body actually need glucose. Thankfully, ketones have the ability to act just like glucose, and have the ability to mimic the role that potatoes, breads or pastas (i.e. sugar) once played in your bod.

This is called getting your body into a state of “ketosis”—a fat adapted and fat-fueled body.  In ketosis, insulin, or blood sugar, levels drop and to remain more balanced throughout the day, and your body no longer rides an energy, hunger or brain clarity roller coaster.

(Goodbye 10 a.m. I-need-coffee-now-fixes, 3 pm afternoon energy crashes, hangry carb cravings, and the need for post-dinner dessert treat fixes).

As long as you’re eating enough fat and fuel, you can stay in ketosis the vast majority of the time.

Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic diet include:

Proteins

  • Fatty Fish
  • Fatty Cuts of Meat (Beef, Chicken, Bison)
  • Organ Meats
  • Eggs
  • Bacon & Sausage

Low-Sugar Veggies

“Vegetables that are high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates:”

  • Leafy greens (Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach, lettuce, chard, chives, endive, radicchio, etc.)
  • Some cruciferous vegetables like kale (dark leaf), kohlrabi, radishes
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumber
  • Summer Squash (zucchini, spaghetti squash)
  • Bamboo
  • Fermented Vegetables

Healthy Fats:

  • Butter & ghee
  • Coconut Oil, Coconut Butter, Cocoa Butter
  • Cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Olive
  • Avocado
  • Nuts, nut butter and nut oils
  • Peanuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Fatty Cuts of Meat
  • Tallow
  • MCT Oil
  • Pesto

Dairy

  • Greek yogurt
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese

Extras

  • Sweeteners  (Stevia, Swerve, Erythritol, etc.)
  • Thickeners: arrowroot powder, xanthan gum
  • Sugar-free tomato products (puree, passata, ketchup)
  • Cocoa and carob powder, extra dark chocolate (more than 70-100%)
  • Dry Red Wine
  • Some soy (in products “ok:)

Foods to Eliminate on a Ketogenic diet include:

Traditional Ketogenic diets say to limit (or eliminate) your intake of:

  • Carbohydrate Counts (starchy, fruits, and fibrous veggies combined), in general (typically no more than 20 to 50 grams are recommended for most people)
  • This includes tomato, eggplant, and peppers.
  • Root Vegetables.Sweet potatoes, onion, parsnip, garlic, mushrooms, and squash.
  • Especially bananas, watermelon, melon, citrus, pears, apples, peaches, apricots.
  • Peas & Beans (except some do eat peanuts, a legume)
  • Sugar
  • Grains

Ketogenic: Pros.

The “secret sauce” of a ketogenic diet is “getting into ketosis” (again getting into a fat-adapted state), with “healthy” side effects including:

In addition, proponents report feeling less hungry and more balanced—overall—in their energy for the day.

Talk about win, win, win, win, win….etc., right?

Ketogenic Diet: Cons

Like any nutritional approach, there is not a one-size-fits-all-approach and for as just as many “good things” about a Keto diet, some common cons include:

  • Turning food into identity (feeling and emotions of “righteousness” by being able to eat restrictedly and “perfectly”)
  • Hormone imbalance (particularly in women who are otherwise fairly healthy to begin with)
  • Disordered eating habits (overthinking food, feelings of guilt around food or thoughts about food, obsessive macro counting)
  • Unaddressed (unhealed) gut health (Especially if the liver/gallbladder was already under-functioning and having difficulty with digesting fats; OR you have a “gut issue”—and you’re unable to eat cheese, nuts, eggs or red meats freely; In addition, too many ketones can actually FEED gut bacteria and “worsen” bacterial overgrowth 1  , 2 ) .
  • Undereating (feeling full and losing your appetite)
  • Cortisol imbalances (from not eating enough)
  • Stalled weight loss or unwanted weight gain. (Often due to hormone or thyroid imbalances, or overconsumption of overall caloric load)
  • Restriction from social outings or ability to “feel free”
  • Low in fiber and color (the powerhouse of nutrients from different fruits and vegetables)
  • Food quality is not always emphasized (enter: processed shakes, bars and conventional meats or dairy for some)

AIP 101

AIP: What it is.

The Autoimmune Protocol is an anti-inflammatory diet that helps heal the immune system and restore the gut (leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth) for both those with autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation. It eliminates the most commonly known “gut irritating” foods connected to food intolerances, allergies, leaky gut and bacterial overgrowth—typically for a certain amount of time (30 to 60 days), followed by an experimentation or reintroduction of some of the foods.

Food to Eat on an AIP diet:

Proteins

  • Organic, pastured meats, poultry and wild-caught fish

Veggies & Fruits

  • As much variety as much possible
  • Colorful vegetables and fruits
  • Cruciferous vegetables

Healthy Fats:

  • Coconut Oil, Coconut Butter, Cocoa Butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Olive
  • Avocado
  • Fatty fish
  • Fatty Cuts of Meat
  • Tallow
  • Lard
  • MCT Oil

Other:

  • Pure Maple Syrup

Food to Avoid on an AIP diet:

Proteins

  • Conventional meats
  • Dairy
  • Eggs

Veggies & Fruits

  • Nightshade Vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, egg plant)
  • Fructose (more than 20 grams/day)

Healthy Fats:

  • Nuts and seeds

Other:

  • Nightshade Spices
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Cocoa and chocolate
  • Emulsifiers  / Thickeners
  • Alcohol
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Soy

AIP: Pros.

AIP is an anti-inflammatory or “gut healing” protocol that works for a vast majority of people who, otherwise have been told by their doctors that they will always struggle with their autoimmune condition, or that there is “no cure” for the condition.

In addition, individuals with chronic “gut issues” (IBS, SIBO, bloating, constipation, etc.) have found the AIP diet helpful in diminishing and reversing their condition—giving the gut a break for some time from foods that are otherwise more difficult to digest.

While research is limited in clinical trials, a few early studies also confirms this: (1 , 2 ).

AIP: Cons

AIP—like Keto—is “restrictive” for many folks (especially when first starting out).

Most people “going AIP” often are coming from a dietary approach where they were eating many of the foods on the “elimination list” (tomatoes, grains, artificial sweeteners, eggs, nuts)

In addition, some other “cons” include (some similar to Keto):

  • Turning food into identity (feeling and emotions of “righteousness” by being able to eat restrictedly and “perfectly”)
  • Disordered eating habits (overthinking food, feelings of guilt around food that is “not AIP” or thoughts about food, tendency to binge even on healthy things or restrict).
  • Obsessing over food quality.
  • Fearing food (and how it makes you feel).
  • Undereating (From restrictive diet)
  • Cortisol imbalances (From not eating enough)
  • Unwanted weight loss or unwanted weight gain. (Often due to still not addressing the underlying gut issue or hormone imbalance—if there is one
  • Restriction from social outings or ability to “feel free”

HOW TO DECIDE: ONE THING YOU SHOULD DO

While both Ketogenic diets and AIP diets can be healing or beneficial diets for those who follow them, no one diet is perfect.

The BIGGEST trap I see most people run into is feeling stuck between a rock and a hard placeb (especially if they want to integrate both) is feeling uber restricted around what they “can” and “can’t” have. 

Generally, many people feel pretty great following one or the other (at least for some time).

However, when you couple an AIP diet or “gut issues” WITH a Ketogenic diet, things become even more restrictive (in your mind):

  • You feel guilty for eating carbs—even squash, beets and sweet potatoes
  • You feel awful (physically) eating nuts, dairy and eggs
  • You get brain fog if you DO eat starchy carbs or fruit
  • Or you become fearful of foods off either plan or obsessed with eating perfectly

So what should you do?! (Especially if you do actually FEEL better (physically) on Keto and/or AIP…but you’re going a bit crazy in your head?)

Enter: Gut Love Keto Reset—My unique spin on the beneficial aspects of an AIP and Ketogenic nutrition approach, without the labels.A guideline for customizing an eating approach that works for your body.

Bring on the gut healing, boosted energy and metabolism, food FREEDOM, and no more counting (macros or calories) necessary!

Gut Love Keto Reset

A Gut Love Keto Reset is the “sustainable” version of eating “AIP” (gut healing) and Keto (higher-fat) without being attached to rules or labels.

Many people go on a Keto or AIP diet and face the Cons of each primarily because they become fixated with rules—instead of being in touch with their body.

The resolution? Instead of focusing on rules, all my “ Gut Love Keto Reset” encourages you to do is ASK YOURSELF this ONE question—

“How am I nourishing myself (physically and mentally) with what feels good for MY body?”

Instead of thinking: “What CAN’T I eat?” “What CAN’T I have?” OR, “What SHOULD I have?”

You think: What CAN I have and HOW CAN I nourish myself?!

(i.e.” Least Restrictive Mindset!”).

“Being nourished” involves “eating in abundance” REAL foods our bodies were meant to thrive upon—(based on what your digestive system can handle), and continually experimenting and trusting your body to let you know.

“Being Nourished” also means not eating by any set of rules—but customizing the “rules” to your body.

For instance, for some on an AIP based diet, perhaps cheese and beans do make you feel awful, but you find black pepper, fermented yogurt and scrambled egg yolks are actually ok on your system!

Or, for those on a “Keto” based approach, you realize all the artificial sweeteners (stevia, erythritol) actually don’t make you feel great—digestively—but you’re able to handle a little bit of modified Keto with a sweet potato at night.

In addition: Being nourished means eating intuitively.

Not eating the SAME things every day like a checklist. Variety. Color. Some days more. Some days less.

In other words: Hacking the diet to fit your body—rather than hacking your body to fit the diet.

Yes, BOTH Keto and AIP are wonderful, healing dietary guidelines—BUT you are NOT a cookie cutter.

Likewise, instead of identifying yourself and your food choices with ONE WAY or the highway (i.e. making yourself feel guilty if you “go off plan”), ask your body:

How can I nourish you? (And what feels good)?

7 Day Gut Healing AIP + KETO Meal Plan

Ok now for the fun stuff! What to eat if you align with both an AIP (gut healing) and ketogenic (higher-fat) philosophy—while NOT restricting yourself and eating enough?!

Keto AIP

Yes, it CAN be done.

Hoever, I challenge you to put labels aside—and instead approach AIP-Keto this way:

A higher fat, anti-inflammatory nutritional approach to an abundance of real, nutrient-dense colorful foods.

Here’s what a modified  Gut Love Keto Reset (AIP + Keto) meal plan could look like with mini-“experiments” here and thereto customize your own Keto-AIP inspired approach for yourself.

Sunday

Meal 1

  • Sausage Patties
  • Greens in Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Avocado

Meal 2

  • Chicken Salad with 2 tbsp. Avocado Oil Mayo
  • Pastured Bacon slice, diced
  • Greens
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Meal 3

  • 6-8 oz. Wild-caught Herb-Crusted salmon
  • Roasted Asparagus with Olive Oil
  • Cauliflower Mash with Butter
  • Snack (optional)
  • 100 % Dark Chocolate Square (AIP experiment)

Monday

Meal 1

  • Salmon (Leftovers)
  • 1/2 Avocado or Small Handful Macadamia Nuts
  • Greens in Coconut Oil

Meal 2

  • Turkey “Unwich” (Stuffed Lettuce Wrap) with Sprouts, Mustard, Paleo Ranch
  • Side Crispy Zucchini & Yellow Squash “Chips” in Olive Oil

Meal 3

  • Pulled Pork
  • Apple-Cider Vinegar Cole Slaw
  • Roasted Rainbow Carrot Fries + Homemade Paleo Aioli
  • Snack (optional)
  • Goat’s Milk Kefir

Tuesday

Meal 1

  • Fasting to Lunch

Meal 2

  • Shredded Pork
  • Mixed Greens
  • Paleo Ranch
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Roasted Carrots or Yellow Squash in Coconut Oil

Meal 3

  • Roasted Chicken (skin on)
  • Leftover Cauliflower Mash with Butter
  • Garlic-Lemon Asparagus with Avocado Oil
  • Snack (optional)
  • Smoothie: Beef Isolate + Cacao + Coconut Milk or Almond Milk

Wednesday

Meal 1

  • Leftover Chicken
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Asparagus

Meal 2

  • Roasted Chicken
  • Paleo Mayo
  • Coconut Flour Tortilla
  • Sauerkraut
  • Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Meal 3

  • Grass-fed Ground Beef Taco Meat
  • Guacamole
  • Coconut Yogurt Dollop (sour cream)
  • Mixed Greens
  • Optional: Pan-Fried Plantains or Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Thursday

Meal 1

  • Keto Smoothie (Coconut Milk + Protein Powder or Collagen + 1/2 Avocado + Greens + Cinnamon + Organic Cocoa Powder)

Meal 2

  • Leftover Taco Meat
  • Collard Green Wraps
  • Guacamole
  • Roasted Broccoli Spears in Coconut Oil

Meal 3

  • Bone Broth
  • Shredded Chicken Thighs and Breast
  • Kale & Leftover Carrots
  • Cornbread Muffin (AIP or Keto-Coconut Flour or Almond Flour) with Grass-fed Butter

Snack

  • Handful Macadamia Nuts or Coconut Butter Packet

Friday

Meal 1

  • Leftover Soup
  • 1/2 Avocado

Meal 2

  • Leftover Cornbread Muffin
  • Ham & Turkey Rollups
  • Celery with Paleo Ranch

Meal 3

  • “Cheesy” (Paleo Mayo + Nutritional Yeast) Zucchini Noodle “Pasta” with Grass-Fed Bison
  • Mixed Green Salad with Oil & Vinegar

Snack

  • Coconut Yogurt

Saturday

Meal 1

  • 2-3 Eggs (or Pastured Egg Yolks) in ghee
  • Spinach, Mushrooms & Asparagus
  • Nitrate-free, Uncured Bacon

Meal 2

  • Mixed Greens
  • Wild-Caught Tuna
  • Olives
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Olive Oil & Vinegar

Meal 3

  • Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Sausage + Greens + Broccoli + Olives Goat Cheese
  • Salad with Paleo Cesar

 

BONUS RECIPE:
CHOCOLATE COCONUT FAT BOMBS

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut butter (softened, but not melted)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • 2 scoops collagen peptides
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil or grass-fed ghee (soft)
  • 1-2 tbsp. carob powder (or unsweetened organic cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional; not necessary)
  • 1 tbsp. filtered water (if coconut butter is too firm)

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a blender or food processor (soften coconut butter if you need to in microwave safe bowl for 15-20 seconds). Roll into 8 to 10 golf-sized balls, and line plate with parchment player. Place in fridge to allow to “set.” Store in glassware container.

CONTACT DR. LAURYN