Keto & Raising Kids Vegan

Podcast Episode #362: Keto & Raising Kids Vegan

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Keto & Raising Kids VeganTopics

  1. News and updates from Liz [2:11]
    1. Podcast anniversary coming up
    2. Keto book update
    3. The Body Awareness Project
    4. Diane's working out again
    5. Liz had a vacation
    6. Liz playing tennis
  2. Favorite food this weekend [14:22]
  3. The true definition of keto [17:00]
  4. Raising kids vegan [31:17]
  5. What I'm digging lately [40:21]

Balanced Bites Master Class

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Keto & Raising Kids Vegan Keto & Raising Kids Vegan Keto & Raising Kids Vegan

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 362.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and the 21-Day Sugar Detox program and book series. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a lake in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for almost 7 years. We’re here to share our take on modern healthy living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; Liz, I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal.

The NTA’s nutritional therapy practitioner program and fully online nutritional therapy consultant program empower graduates with the education and skills needed to launch a successful, fulfilling career in holistic nutrition. If you're interested in learning about holistic nutrition but don’t necessarily want to become a practitioner, check out their new Foundational Wellness course. To learn more about the NTA’s nutritional therapy programs, resources, and to enroll in their free course, Nutritional Therapy 101, visit

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:11]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so Diane, hi.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hi.

Liz Wolfe: You're sounding especially Delicious Dish-y today.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the delicious dish. It’s a new mike. My first new microphone in almost 7 years of recording this podcast.

Liz Wolfe: Is it laced with Quaaludes?

Diane Sanfilippo: What? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I actually don’t even know what a Quaalude is. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like we should start over, but we’re not going to.

Liz Wolfe: No, no, no.

Diane Sanfilippo: So it’s this floating mike that’s clamped to the side of the desk and has this arm. And now I can take notes without the microphone being in the way. It’s all fancy.

Liz Wolfe: That is very fancy. I have all kinds of distortions going on over here trying to get myself right around this microphone with my headphones and whatnot. It’s a fancy; well, it’s not fancy. But it’s a fancier microphone.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s fancy.

Liz Wolfe: But that might be useful to me.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’ll see. Maybe. 7 years in. We are almost 7 years in. I think august 31st is the technical exact anniversary. So in another week-ish from the airing of this episode. Which is crazy!

Liz Wolfe: That is crazy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Also; fun fact for our listeners, for those who know. That marks the beginning of our friendship.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: We did not know each {laughs} other before the podcast.

Liz Wolfe: So strange.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: And we’re going to see each other in a couple of weeks in Nantucket.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s exciting.

Liz Wolfe: So we can do a little high-five.

Diane Sanfilippo: Charcuterie facial.

Liz Wolfe: Dynamic duo together again type of situation.

Diane Sanfilippo: We should loop Cassy into the charcuterie facial.

Liz Wolfe: She’d be into it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Take a selfie or something. We’ll see.

Diane Sanfilippo: So other updates. Keto book is going full fledged into; I don’t know. Editing. Which is crazy. I can’t believe I sat my butt in a chair as long as I did this summer to get that done. I’ve just been really, really focused on that and kind of cleared the decks with my team on a bunch of other things.

But we’ve been also plugging away, you and I, on the Balanced Bites Master Class. We have folks in session for that. Actually, the day that we’re doing this recording, we have a live call with our participants in the Master Class. Which is always a fun time. Lots of great questions and really fun to engage with people. So that’s a good time for us. What else?

The Body Awareness Project. For those of you who don’t know; we had the first round of Body Awareness Project with Emily Schromm. Liz and I had both participated in that one, and it was centered around skin. This part of the project is actually centered around adrenal health. And I had a really, really great conversation with Emily for the project. I think you guys will absolutely love it. I’ve seen a lot of feedback on it, just in general, from everyone who is going through it now. And just really learning a ton.

We’ve had many episodes of this podcast where we’ve talked about adrenal fatigue, and you can go back and listen to those. But I think if you want to dive deeper on that, which kind of leads me to the next update. But if you want to dive deeper on that, definitely check out the Body Awareness project.

So here’s the other thing that’s new; I’m finally working out again. And I have to say, Liz. This is the most fun thing about doing this podcast for 7 years. Because the cycles that we’ve gone through with one of us working out, and one of us sort of not. And one of us having a baby, and the other one definitely not.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Which one was that?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} But for the last year, I’ve been just trying to; I don’t know. Work on my sleep, work on my stress. Just keep eating well, and have not worked out a ton aside from going to spin for a few months in a row. Which, that was working out. But it really wasn’t the kind of exercise I wanted to be doing. It definitely got my heart rate up, and I felt really good doing that. But it didn’t get my body kind of; I don’t know, feeling strong again. That’s really the bottom line.

But what was happening to me last year, after I wrote my last book. And this is a process I’ve been through many times now. And I have gone through the process, and not basically felt kind of flat lined. And there are times I go through it and I do feel more flat lined. There’s this weird thing that happens. And I know you know how this feels. And I’m sure some of our listeners, too.

Sometimes you're working on a project, and it’s not physically taxing to people from the outside. But because of your emotional investment, it felt like I was running all day while I was writing my last book. The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide. So I just had a lot of anxiety around it. I hadn’t put out a new book in that series in that series in many years. I don’t know; I was just super stressed about it.

And I could not work out while I was writing that book. I just would try to go into the gym, and my adrenals were telling me no. I felt like I had an adrenal “injury”. I could not get my heart rate up and feel happy and positive about it.

And we talk about this a lot. Because it’s important for people to listen to their bodies. And it’s really, really hard to go through the season where you want to do the working out, {laughs}, and your body is just saying, “No. I don’t think so. Not right now.”

So, I’m super happy that it’s summer, and I’m finally feeling better adrenally in terms of how my energy feels overall. So I finally started working out again. And you totally inspired me, watching you workout with a trainer. I was like; that’s what I need to do. I need to have someone that I’m paying, that I show up for, that I’m not going to slack off. But who will listen if I’m like; actually, I need to sit for a second. {laughs} Breathe for a second.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. You’ve got that little bit of Obliger in you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think I’m definitely a workout Obliger.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Workout Obliger.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. But watching your Instagram stories, which I’m like; gold star to you on posting those. Because seriously; I really think that watching you; I was like, I’m jealous. I want to be doing that. {laughs} So it totally got my butt in gear. So thank you for posting that. And to your trainer for videoing whatever it is you're doing over there, all the time. Which is awesome.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, sweet. I’m glad it resonated.

Diane Sanfilippo: It did. Alright Liz. What’s going on over by the lake?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, well. So much stuff. I’ve got to pick one. So we just had a kid-free vacation. We went to San Diego. We were supposed to go to Clearwater Beach, in Florida. But I looked about a week ahead of time at the weather, and it was all thunderstorms. And I was like; I don’t want to be dodging thunderstorms our entire vacation. So yay for Southwest Airlines. We basically just changed our flight, decided to go to San Diego, and got the last Beach Front room at the Beach Terrace Inn in Carlsbad. And it was a blast. It was such a good reconnection time. We had so much fun.

And we also worked in a ton of activity. The first day we did kind of a traditional workout. We did a ton of hiking. And finally on the last day, we just walked. And it was interesting to me, because I’m kind of the more “don’t do anything on vacation” type. And even right before I left, I think maybe it was my trainer or somebody at the gym asked me, “So, do you like to have real active vacations, or you just want to sit on the beach?” I was like, sit on the beach. Give me a margarita. I’m going to do nothing.

And that’s really how I felt. But then, I think I’ve been doing this long enough now. I think I started working out with a trainer maybe in April, one or two days a week. And then shifted to three days a week about three months ago. So I’ve had that sweet spot, I think. Which starts to happen around 3 months, when you’ve really been on full on, three times a week. Something around there, with some extra movement in between.

I’ve also been playing tennis, which I want to talk about. But I feel like I kind of hit that sweet spot, where it’s just kind of part of my day. And I really do feel better. It has nothing to do with; now I can eat more. Well, that’s not entirely true. Because I’m all about the food on vacation. And whatever I can do to make room for more food, I will do. Actually, not whatever I will do. But I will workout, if that means I will feel hungrier sooner. Because I want to eat more food, and not feel so full. I want to eat three meals a day at awesome places. Which is definitely what we did. So there was that benefit to it.

There was also just the benefit of the fact that I’ve started to get to that point where I can tell where I haven’t moved enough in a day. And it’s not about; ugh, I’m beating myself up. I look a certain way, or whatever it is. It’s literally just; I’ve started to feel better. And it’s really, really nice to have spent the time to develop that tool. And to have set the conditions. Which, for me is paying for a trainer and going to this gym and having this person waiting for me three times a week. It’s expensive, but it was high time. And it was really important that I did that.

And I’ve set those conditions, that I’m actually doing it, and I’ve gotten used to it. So it’s been really good. So I did workout on vacation. And it was not a chore.

What else? Oh, I was going to tell everybody how I’ve been playing tennis. Can I do that?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Should we bring tennis racquets to Nantucket? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I think maybe we should.

Diane Sanfilippo: It feels like a Nantucket thing. I’ve never been.

Liz Wolfe: I’ve never been either.

Diane Sanfilippo: Tennis definitely feels appropriate.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: We can probably borrow racquet. I’m definitely not flying with a tennis racquet.

Liz Wolfe: I’m not either. And my tennis racquet is laughable, too. The tennis coach that does the cardio tennis and the tennis lessons and stuff that I’ve been doing was trying to be so diplomatic the other day, talking about what kind of racquet to have. He was like; you might want to get a racquet that’s not so cheap to make, or buy. {laughs} I was like; so I need to get a racquet that’s not so cheap?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} You're like; oh, did you mean one that was this decade? Not from when I was 18? Oh, darn.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Pretty much. Or from when my mom was 18. Yeah, pretty much. And I’ve got my daughter, too, in tiny tennis classes. Just because she has fun!

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s ridiculous.

Liz Wolfe: I know. See, this is what I hesitate to tell people. Technically this lake that I live at is a country club. And it is the least country club of all country clubs. But I have a ton of family history here. My mom came to the beach from the time; I’ll say this like you. From the time she’s two. When they could pay 50 cents to come in here and go to this little beach at this little tiny lake. It’s right up against the train tracks and the water treatment plant. This is not the lap of luxury here.

But it’s technically a country club. And we have a tennis pro, and tennis courts. And I was like; I’m here. I’m going to take advantage of this. It’s a 2-minute drive away. I’m going to take up tennis. Never played it in my life. And I think I’m obsessed with it. It’s so much fun. It’s just fun! It’s a great workout. You get your heart pumping. Everyone that I’ve met is amazing. They’ve been so kind. There’s this beginnings 10-cap tennis league that I’m going to participate in.

And everybody here in the tennis program just wants more people to play tennis and enjoy it. I had somebody volunteer to babysit my daughter so I could play in this tennis league.

Diane Sanfilippo: You're like; yes!

Liz Wolfe: I was like; yes. That’s incredible. I was so grateful. So, I’m not good at it, but I’m enjoying the heck out if. So that’s my new thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: I Love that. We used to live across the street from a park, our last place. And there was a tennis court. Scott and I would go out now and then and play. And now we don’t. Which is kind of a bummer. But maybe we’ll hike up this hill that’s near our place now, and try and take it up again.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: He hears this every week. So, honey, maybe we should try that again soon? Ok. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: You should. I should start taking videos of that, but I don’t really know if I’m close enough to anybody out here enough to be like; hey.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Would you take a video for my Insta Stories?

2. Favorite food this weekend [14:22]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. We should do a fun segment about our favorite meal from the weekend; because why not? Why not talk about what we’re eating? Since this is a healthy living podcast.

Liz Wolfe: Why not? But now I have to remember what I ate. What’s your favorite meal from the weekend?

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, I like how you flipped that right around.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Considering it is currently the weekend, this is easy enough. You can think of just something yesterday, maybe? Ok. My favorite thing this weekend was all about BB Spices. You guys know I put out BB Spices. And I’ve been obsessed with super garlic. I know some people don’t understand why a spice blend that has three kinds of garlic and salt in it would be that amazing. But I promise you it really is. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. I cannot explain it. But it is amazing. So we’ll marinate or dry marinate chicken breast with it. And some olive oil and some lemon juice. And that grilled up is so, so good with roasted cauliflower.

And then we made some ranch dressing with BB Spices ranch and real sour cream. And I think Scott put a splash of coconut milk in it to kind of thin it out. And it’s awesome. If you guys have not made ranch dressing yet with the ranch spice blend, definitely do it. It’s so good.

Ok, what about you?

Liz Wolfe: We did a lot of burgers. So, I’ll just say we had burgers, and salad. We had friends in town and we did a little slumber party. I don’t know. We’ve just been doing a lot of grilling out, burger type stuff. And I guess my favorite part about that was the fact that I didn’t have to do any of it. Because usually on the weekends, when I don’t have Colleen around {laughs} I’m kind of on my own.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Kettle and Fire bone broth and soups. We’ve talked about bone broth before and the many benefits, but to name a few, it’s been shown to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and improve the quality of your skin. While I do like to make my own bone broth, there’s not always time for that. Kettle and Fire is the next best thing. They use organic chicken bones, and a slow simmer time to extract as much protein as possible. Not to mention that they use chicken feet; yay! Which increases the collagen and gelatin. And you can store it directly on your shelf for up to two years. Which is pretty cool, considering they’re a fresh, never frozen broth with no added preservatives or additives. Check them out at and use coupon code BalancedBites for 10% off, plus free shipping when you get six cartons or more. That’s one per customer. It’s 10% off, and free shipping on six cartons or more.

3. The true definition of keto [17:00]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. So today we’re going to answer a couple of questions, the first being on the true definition of keto. That should be juicy. And the second on veganism and babies/children. Which also should be very juicy.

So, first question. This is from Amanda. “I first did keto about 10 years ago or so, before my third child. It was low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie. but they talked about going into ketosis, and I even had the little strips to pee on to make sure I was burning fat. It wasn't that healthy; I consumed a lot of fake-sugar filled foods in order to curb cravings and whatnot.

So nowadays, I don't know if you've seen any of these keto weight loss groups online that are telling people how to do keto. They say; make sure to do nutritional ketosis, and not medical ketosis. They tell you to consume something like half your body weight in protein (or there's a chart that tells you how many grams of protein to consume a day based on your height and weight) and they tell you to consume less fat than protein. and then of course, not to go over like 20 grams of carbs a day. They are big on the protein. But also on supplementing electrolytes. drinking salt water, and these salt tabs, and buying the salt lite because it has potassium and sodium in it. Anything similar to keto flu or brain fog can be cured with supplementing the electrolytes. And if you're complaining about the brain fog, you're doing it wrong.

I tried eating that way at the beginning of the year; lasted about 6 weeks. I felt good at first, but then things just got worse for me. I got sluggish, tired, I would crash at certain parts of the day. I could not make my brain click. I was going to school at the time, and I just couldn't make myself grab the words I was reading, or jump start my brain to answer a question.” (This sounds like me, the three years postpartum.) “I can't explain it any better than that. But any time I would reach out for help, I was told I wasn't eating enough protein, and I needed to supplement with electrolytes. The electrolyte drinks would give me GI upset, and honestly I cannot shove that much protein in my face. Something about eating more than 120 grams of protein a day, and my body rebels. I've always found that eating a higher fat than protein diet helps with satiety and the crash, but if I mentioned that to anyone I'd be chastised for ‘confusing newbies’ and ‘not doing true keto.’ I'd love any thoughts or discussion you have on what really is keto, keto for weight loss, the idea of consuming that much protein, and how to supplement electrolytes, if that's needed on the keto diet.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Hoo.

Liz Wolfe: Oh boy. I’m just going to sit back and rub my fingers together in an evil gesture. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I just want to make sure I’m going to address all of the separate questions she has. I do want to say, of course, I am covering all of this in the new book. So I will, as soon as I can, give you more guys details on when it’s coming out and preorder information, I will. But I want to cover some of this. Because I know a lot of folks are kind of like; I hear you talking about this but we want to hear more.

So, there’s a few things going on here. First and foremost; if you're in a group where you're feeling like people are policing what others are doing, and it’s not this; I don’t know, supportive environment, where the end results or the goal is for just everyone to kind of be as healthy as they can, eating whatever they’re eating. I don’t know that I like the idea of that. And no, I have not kind of ventured into any of those groups.

For those of you who don’t know this part of my story; I actually was eating keto back in 2010 when I started writing practical paleo. I was actually eating keto paleo. And I kind of joked that it was way easier when there weren’t as many of these convenience “keto bars” or convenience foods, or whatever it was.

And frankly, I don’t know if you’ll agree with this Liz. But when paleo was the new thing that a lot of us were into before there were paleo convenience foods, or sauces, or whatever. Yes, it was difficult at first. Because remember when we found that one mayo; I think you found it. Wilderness Family Naturals or something? And literally, it was revolutionary to find mayo that we could buy that wasn’t made from seed oils.

But it was kind of easier to eat this way when there, A) weren’t a million voices telling you what was right and wrong, and B) weren’t a million convenience foods that kind of made it; I don’t know, just seem like you could hack into it versus just eating the food.

Anyway, I’m kind of getting on a tangent here. But I see that happening a lot within the keto community that I am at all privy to. I really try not to dive too deeply into it, because I have my own expertise based on dabbling in it with my own experimentation as well as coaching others on it over the years. And also studying on it. Because I really wanted to dive in more over the last few years. And I think kind of pull things together for the way that I want to present it.

So, first things first. The idea of ketosis, or ketogenic; a lot of people want to call foods keto foods. And the reality is; ketosis is a state of your metabolism. It’s not entirely dependent on the food. Now, of course, there are some foods that might encourage ketosis more than others. Or rather; the exclusion of certain foods will encourage it more than others.

That being said; you could eat a plate of pasta. And Chris Masterjohn has talked about this. You could eat a plate of pasta, and douse it in MCT oil, or chase it with some exogenous ketones, which are a supplement that you could take, and you would have some ketones running through your system and technically “be in ketosis.”

I don’t think that’s what most people who are looking to lose body fat; which is, let’s admit, the primary reason why most people will try different ways of eating will be for that reason. And I think with keto; a secondary reason, which is definitely a big one for me, is just mental clarity and being able to focus better throughout the day and have better energy.

So once you know that you can eat a large variety of foods; including foods with carbs, and add types of fats or exogenous ketones that will promote ketosis, then it becomes; what is the actual goal with this way of eating?

If the goal is to lose body fat, the reason why keto works really well for a lot of people is that you can spontaneously reduce your overall calorie intake without feeling hungry. Without having blood sugar crashes. Without being starving.

So the reality is; we can lose weight a myriad of ways. We know that, right? You can go on a Twinkie diet and lose weight. Does it mean you're getting healthier? Probably not. We know that you can eat low-fat and lose weight. We also know that you can eat keto, or eat for ketosis, and lose weight. But you don’t lose weight on a keto diet simply by changing the macronutrient content of your diet. You actually do also need a calorie deficit, or an energy deficit. And I don’t think that means that people need to be eating 1000 calories a day, or anything crazy like that. But I need for people to know that the reason why keto works so well is that it puts your body in a state where it is optimally looking for fat as fuel.

But what happens when you dump a ton of fat in, is that instead of tapping into stored body fat when you're getting hungry in those times where, for those of you who have heard me talk about this many times. When glucagon is the dominant hormone, and the dominant signaling in the blood stream versus insulin, and you're in a state where your body is trying to look for stored nutrients to pull into your blood stream to keep your blood sugar even and to burn as fuel. And that happens, essentially, when you're exercising. It happens when you get hungry. It happens a bit in response to eating protein.

I don’t think I can get into the whole topic of what protein does in a keto diet on this episode of the podcast. I am covering that more in the book, and I have some references I can give people, perhaps in another episode. Just because we don’t have time for that in today’s episode.

But what I need for people to know is that the reason why keto will work beautifully is that when you are not eating tons of carbs, your satiety level stays much higher after a meal. And the magic actually happens; when you feel that twinge of hunger. And this happens in general with a slightly lower carb diet. It doesn’t have to be keto.

And Liz, when we talk about blood sugar regulation in the Master Class or when we used to teach seminars; we’ve talked about this before too. It’s the feeling of getting hungry but not dipping into hangry. It’s; “I feel hungry.” And for 20-30 minutes, I still feel hungry. And then there’s this little sweet spot where, if you didn’t eat for that 15, 20, 30 minutes, you don’t then progress into this hangry, scary, oh my gosh my blood sugar is dropping place. You actually kind of even out and hit a point where you could go another hour-plus without eating.

And I’m not talking about being starving and not fueling yourself. I’m saying; this is the moment, and this is the time when what’s happening with keto is your body is so primed to be able to burn fat for fuel that now it’s tapping into fat right there in that hour where you're not eating. So this is why a lot of people want to fast in the morning, or they want to have an extended fast. Because you're priming your body to burn fat for fuel. And if you're not putting more fat in, or more calories overall than you need, then that’s what your body is going to look for rather than glucose.

So, rather than getting that starving, hangry feeling; you feel fine, and you could last a little longer, and it’s kind of what I call a magic moment, or a sweet spot of being able to tap into stored body fat. So that you can last a little longer, until your next meal. And it’s really not that much more complicated. This is something that can happen when you eat a slightly lower carb diet. You don’t need to be eating for ketosis in order for this to happen. But it does prime you much better.

And there are other benefits to eating keto. Like I was saying; neurological benefits. Just better focus, energy throughout the day. It’s 3:30 right now; and in the past, I would have felt really tired at this time of day even eating real food. But for me, it definitely helps my energy and mental clarity.

So a couple of other questions she had here. The overall what I was saying about keto for weight loss; I actually, the thing I’ll say about protein is. I want for people to prioritize protein. And that’s not a popular approach. But what I see is people not getting enough satiety from their meals when they’re trying to skimp on protein; then adding tons of fat. And running the risk of really overloading on overall calories for the day. And calories do still matter in this situation. So I’m not talking about micromanaging to the 1-200 calorie range in the course of a day. But it’s really, really easy to overeat calories, to the tune of 5-600.

And I know years ago when we first started talking about paleo; Robb Wolf used to talk about this. Let’s not mainline almond butter. Or have the giant Costco jug of cashews on your desk, for example. Because, yeah, they’re “healthy” or whatever. But if you're pounding fistfuls of that stuff, you are taking in a lot more calories than you really need throughout the day.

So the reason I like for people to focus on protein when it comes to actually building your plate is that protein is the most satiating thing that we can have. And I know people think it’s fat; but I actually would argue that it’s not. Fat topping off the meal, or not avoiding fat is important when you're eating keto. But for most people; if you put together protein, veggies, and a little bit of extra fat in the meal, you're good to go. You don’t need to put half a cup of olive oil. You don’t need to put a huge amount of extra fat on everything. You're just not avoiding fat.

So that’s really the way that I’m approaching it. I’m approaching it as a nutritionist. I’m not approaching it as a biohacker or as a “keto advocate” from point blank. I’m approaching it as; people want to get healthy. They want to be eating real, whole foods. And they want to be avoiding carbs. What’s the best way to build your plate knowing that, and also encourage that we’re in ketosis while we’re doing that? And it does include plenty of green veggies. I’m definitely not encouraging people to triple up the cheese and disregard vegetables. Because I think that’s really where we’re going to run into some problems.

I get into it more in the book, and hopefully that will be helpful for everyone. And hopefully that gives you a little bit of a foundation. And I think this one other question she has about protein kicking you out of ketosis due to gluconeogenesis; meaning we’re actually creating new glucose from that excess protein. It doesn’t happen to the degree that people think.

And I think if you are someone who is overeating protein to a very large degree, and you actually see it happening in practice when you measure your blood sugar or you measure your ketones, and you see it kicking you out of ketosis, then that can be your marker. But by and large, I do not see that happening. And I think a lot of people are just repeating what they’ve heard without actually seeing what’s happening in their own blood. Really, we need to check our blood instead of our urine when it comes to checking for that. But I’ve definitely seen that that is not the case for the most part.

Liz Wolfe: It’s almost like you know something about keto.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} It’s almost like; I’ve been finally synthesizing what I’ve known for years. And I’m like; wait, I need to now tell people this in an organized way.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh boy. Well, hopefully that was enough to kind of get you started and not feel so like you're drowning in these groups. And honestly, my take is; get out of those groups if it does not feel supportive. Just get out of them. {laughs}

Let’s head on to the next question we have here about feeding babies.

4. Raising kids vegan [31:17]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. This one is from Megan. “Can babies/children be raised with a vegan diet and meet all of their nutritional needs? Is there a balance of healthy fats and proteins that can be obtained without animal sources? What advice would you give to new parents who desire to raise their baby vegan? I appreciate your balanced approach to all things nutrition, and look forward to your perspective.”

Well. I feel like to this point I’ve avoided being inundated by trolls of the vegan persuasion. I have been fortunate not to have to deal with people coming in and yelling, “Meat is murder!” And whatnot on my social media. And I’ve seen many of my peers go through that. So I try to lay low on stuff like this. And I’m surprised, given the astronomical success of my book, Eat the Yolks, that I wasn’t an immediate target for vegans. (Just kidding.)

My thoughts on this; at first blush, I wanted to be like, don’t. Don’t raise your baby vegan. And that’s for many reasons. But I also wanted to throw in a couple of things. One of the things that I saw recently was a friend of mine that I follow on social media who swapped her kids to a vegan diet. They’re probably 4, 5, 6, something like that. And they started growing, and one of them had some growth issues and totally overcame that. And I was sitting there thinking; Jeeze. Why?

And pretty quickly in my head what I realized was anytime we see something like this; and I can only imagine that the person asking this question has maybe observed healthy vegan children, or had some kind of good experience with a vegan diet. Either that, or she just hasn’t been listening for very long and maybe hasn’t read my book and isn’t entirely aware of all of these nuances of diet that we like to talk about.

But when we see stuff like that, we’re really tempted to be like; oh wow, a plant-based diet is a really great idea for kids. And what we need to do is do what I try to do in my book, Eat the Yolks, and kind of see what the confounding factors might be.

So in this type of scenario, my first thought is, ok. If you’ve gone pretty much plant based, maybe you’ve also gone gluten free. Maybe you’ve removed a major allergen that their body was really grappling with and expending a lot of energy contending with. And once you removed that; for example, dairy for some people. Maybe once you removed that, their bodies were able to just start focusing on growing, rather than just this constant cycle of repair.

So there are a lot of things that could be going on in a scenario like that. But as a default, no. I would not say; raise your baby or child on a vegan diet. Unless you are ready to really, really know your supplements and the different things that your kid could be missing because of a vegan diet. I talk in my book, Eat the Yolks, about how there are certain nutrients that we can’t make for ourselves that there are these kind of miss in the vegan/vegetarian community that give us this false sense of security that we can get without having to eat animal products.

So, in particular I would say for example, EPA and DHA. Which are animal-based. They are flesh nutrients. We’re often told that we can get those from plants. Like, flax. We can get omega-3 from flax. Well, we actually can’t. The omega-3 present in flax is alpha linolenic acid. In the right circumstances, our bodies can convert that into those end-stage usable omegas that you get from flesh foods like fish.

But there are a multitude of well studied processes that can interfere with our bodies ability to convert that. I think even in a very healthy young woman, the conversion rate from alpha linolenic acid to those end-stage forms is like 24%. And that’s without any genetic polymorphisms. That’s without any digestive issues. There are a ton of things at work there.

B12 is only available from animal products. Even famous vegans advocate B12 supplementation. Vitamin A, as retinol, is not available from plant foods. We can convert some beta carotene in our bodies into retinol, but that’s also unreliable and manipulated by genetic polymorphisms. You can Google SLAMENGHI. Which is a term that Amanda, from the Curious Coconut, taught me. S-L-A-M-E-N-G-H-I. Every single one of those letters represents a factor that interferes with the conversion of beta carotene from plants into vitamin A.

So, I just don’t think it’s a good idea. For many reasons. I think if your child is having trouble thriving, you look at things like food allergies. Environmental stressors. Even going back as far as birth stress and early separation. Things like that. There are many, many things that could be causing this. I seriously doubt that skipping over into a plant-based diet is the solution for most people. So I would certainly say no; and I have colleagues that would be much, much, much more aggressive about that. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think, to your point about the confounding variables or confounding factors. Getting rid of dairy, as you mentioned. Another big one is just not dining out as often. Or fast food being taken off the table. Or just the overall; what we see with adults, similarly to probably what happened with these kids, is that just switching from convenience foods that were maybe animal products involved somewhere, to eating things at home because we know what it is.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that if these kids had gone paleo, for example. I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t have had similar, if not the same or even better, health benefits. Now, of course, there are always times when somebody can have a response to an animal protein. There are some people who can’t eat beef, or can’t eat seafood or eggs, etc. But I really cannot see how the animal foods themselves being removed would be a source of improving health. It just; there’s not any mechanism there by which you are healthier because you're not eating animal foods. It’s really more the processed refined carbs, and sugar, and poor quality oils. Any hydrogenated oils.

I’d be really curious to see; what were the kids eating before, and what are they eating now. And let us compare what does that actually look like, and how often is it something that was picked up and quick versus something made at home.

And then the other point that I want to stress is that nutrient deficiencies take years to develop. So while the short term intervention, like animal foods free or a vegan diet, can be helpful for some health recovery. Similarly to the way an autoimmune protocol might be helpful in the short term. And I’m not saying that an autoimmune protocol will lead to nutrient deficiencies; I’m just saying, something that works in the short term may very well work in the short term, and it may not be the best long-term solution.

And I could say the same thing backing up to keto. Which I’ll cover in the book. For some people; it’s an excellent short term intervention. I’m talking; two to six months. And it may or may not be something that you maintain for life. And you may learn something from it. You may adopt some new habits from it, and see what feels best for you. And then adjust from there into something that’s a lifestyle.

If kids are getting healthier and thriving; great. But I would hesitate for anyone to make their nutrition into a religion where now, this is the way we do it and another way is wrong. I think that’s a really fine line that I don’t want people to be ignoring.

Liz Wolfe: Or, pinning everything on that one transition when there could be other factors that you dealt with at the same time that were actually responsible for the changes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

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5. What I’m digging lately [40:21]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, Diane. Tell us something new you're digging.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh. So I’m digging the Your Brightest Life Journal by Caroline Kelso Zook. Is that how you say her last name? You guys can check it out on my Instagram feed. But she’s at CKelso on Instagram. Her art is just vibrant, and beautiful. And she always loops in some kind of motivational, inspirational statement. I wouldn’t say it’s a quote. It’s just her own little insights. And they kind of always resonate with me. I think she’s going through this creative entrepreneur time in her life. And shares that with all of us.

Your Brightest Life Journal; for those of you who are looking for a way. People always ask me; how do I know what my passion is? Get this journal. Because I feel like I wake up and I have things I want to work on all the time, and I always have different ideas. But I know that for a lot of people, doing a little bit of soul searching. But in a fun, creative, light-hearted way, would be really helpful. And I think this journal could really help.

It’s not a standard journal where it’s just kind of blank pages or lines or what to do today. It’s not that type of journal, or planner. It’s really a self-discovery journal. And very, very fun. So I highly recommend you guys check that out. What about you?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, I guess this isn’t something new I’m digging. It’s something extremely dated that I’m digging.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But my salad shooter. I’ve been really utilizing that lately. And I’m guessing they still sell it, because I was able to get one off of Amazon. But everyone’s like; I didn’t know they still sold that!

Diane Sanfilippo: I feel like I know the jingle. {singing} Salad shooter!

Liz Wolfe: Salad shooter. Maybe I’m thinking of something else.

Diane Sanfilippo: Darn.

Liz Wolfe: I know. I know. That’s my favorite right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to have to go check that out.

Liz Wolfe: Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: Pause, everybody goes to Google the salad shooter now.

Liz Wolfe: We need an affiliate link. It makes very quick work of shredding carrots.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hashtag; not sponsored.

Liz Wolfe: Cheese. Cucumber. Cabbage. Anything that you could possibly want chopped up.

Diane Sanfilippo: Interesting. OK.

Liz Wolfe: Well that’s it for this week, guys. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find Diane at Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. We’ll see you next week.

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