Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, & Made Whole with Cristina Curp of The Castaway Kitchen

Podcast Episode #367: Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, & Made Whole with Cristina Curp of The Castaway Kitchen

Diane Sanfilippo Featured, Paleo and Primal, Podcast Episodes 2 Comments

Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, & Made Whole with Cristina Curp of The Castaway KitchenTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane [1:51]
    1. Keto Quickstart book release date
    2. Balanced Bites spices
    3. The Body Awareness Project
  2. Introducing our guest, Cristina Curp [5:36]
  3. Cristina's story [11:26]
  4. Becoming an expert in eating [18:49]
  5. About the book, Made Whole [33:31]
  6. Long-term keto, and keto treats [38:25]
  7. Cooking for non-keto family [43:15]
  8. Men versus women [44:40]
  9. Nutrition deficiency [46:01]
  10. AIP reintroductions [47:00]
  11. AIP and keto while type 1 diabetic [48:09]
  12. Supplements [50:49]
  13. Macros on AIP [55:03]
  14. Exercise on keto [1:00:01]

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Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, & Made Whole with Cristina Curp of The Castaway Kitchen Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, & Made Whole with Cristina Curp of The Castaway Kitchen Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, & Made Whole with Cristina Curp of The Castaway Kitchen Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, & Made Whole with Cristina Curp of The Castaway Kitchen

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 367.

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. My newest book; Keto Quick Start, will release on January 1, 2019. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

I’m the co-creator of the Balanced Bites Master Class with my podcast partner in crime, Liz. And together, we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for more than 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 or Facebook accounts 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: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice wild seafood and organics. America’s leading purveyor of premium, sustainable seafood and grass-fed meats, and a certified B corporation. Now’s the time to grill some sparkling wild seafood and mouthwatering grass-fed meats. Their selection includes wild salmon, fish and shellfish, grass-fed beef and bison. Plus premium pastured chicken and pork. Vital Choice offers fabulous foods for work or outdoor adventures. Luscious, fresh tasting canned salmon, sardines, or tuna. Wild salmon or bison jerky, and more. Be sure to save 15% on one regular order with the promo code BBPODCAST or get $15 off your first Vital Box with the promocode BBVITALBOX from now through the end of the year.

1. News and updates from Diane [1:51]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok; so before I get into my interview today, a couple of updates on Keto Quick Start. You guys; the book is coming! January 1st is the official release date. We will have some really, really fun preorder bonuses. So if you’ve already ordered it, stay tuned. I will definitely announce where and how to get in on that.

Actually, if you go over to now, there’s a little bar at the very top of the website where you can drop your email and I will keep you updated. And I will definitely make sure that we are sharing info on the preorder bonuses. Because I know a ton of you were super excited, and jumped on it already.

I’m really excited for this to get out there! And I’m also super excited to get back on the road and touring. So if you want to take part in a little survey; make sure you're checking out my Instagram account. Visit If you want to just head over to the website and check out the survey that way. But I will definitely link to it a few times.

What else is going on? Balanced Bites spices. You guys; if you have not checked them out yet, definitely go check them out. Some of the favorites I’ve been super digging lately; super garlic is one of them. Ranch and trifecta; those are all part of the new blends that came out just this year. And of course, the bagel blend. Which is an everything bagel blend. All organic. Super high quality. Super delicious. I’ve definitely heard that people are absolutely loving it. Really garlicky, oniony. Just powerful flavor. And I think you're really going to love it on so many different things. Especially sprinkled on eggs in the morning. I love it on fried eggs. Or even on hardboiled or soft-boiled eggs. It’s super delicious.

What is going on in my neck of the woods? I’ve been working out again! Yay! I finally got super inspired. I think I’ve talked about it with Liz a little bit recently; and we’ll talk about it again on an upcoming show. But I’ve just been really excited to be feeling better. My adrenals feel better. I have actually; this is the first place I’m really talking about it. I’ve actually been drinking a little bit of coffee again. And I’ve been having that; not necessarily first thing in the morning, but right after lunch sometimes. And I’m feeling pretty good with it. So I’ve just been listening to my body. Trying not to have it every single day.

And if you are curious about more on adrenal health, definitely check out the Body Awareness Project. I think so many people are getting a lot of real actionable steps. Tons of information about adrenal health from the Body Awareness Project. It’s part 2; remember in part one we talked about skin. In this part, we talk about adrenals. And my module is actually a lot about boundaries, and how we can really protect our stress levels and our adrenals when we create healthy boundaries. And I think you guys are absolutely going to love it. So check it out.

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.

2. Introducing our guest, Cristina Curp [5:36]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so today I have Cristina Curp of the Castaway Kitchen on the show to chat about keto, AIP, her new book, Made Whole, which just released last month. I went to a book signing over in the East Bay here in the Bay area to check it out. And actually, that was the first time I met her. And it was really, really fun to be able to go to someone else’s signing; I love to do that whenever I can. And it’s always fun to hear people questions, and hear other authors. How they field questions, how they answer them.

And I was inspired by that book signing to bring her on the show. Because I really love the grounded and sane approach that Cristina takes. And I was just like; you know what? She’s got to come on the show and talk about the way she approaches things. So I figured we’d bring her on.

Let me give you a little bit of background on Cristina. She is the creative mind behind the Castaway Kitchen, a blog dedicated to delicious food and healing diets. In the last few years, through self-experimentation and dedication, Cristina has healed her body from leaky gut and lost over 60 pounds. Putting her autoimmune disease into remission, too.

Cristina holds a BA in anthropology from Florida International University, and has over 6 years of commercial kitchen experience. Using her restaurant chef skills and love for food, she now creates recipes to help others find health and happiness through keto, paleo, and AIP lifestyles.

You guys, this is totally evident in the recipes in her books. Super creative. Her experience just really shines through. So, welcome, Cristina!

Hey, so welcome Cristina! It’s nice to chat with you today.

Cristina Curp: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m excited because we actually got to meet a few weeks ago at your book tour event.

Cristina Curp: I was thinking the same thing. It’s very rare I get to podcast with someone I’ve met in person.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. That was a fun experience. You know what was really fun, to be in a crowd of folks and I was totally anonymous. But it’s this real food community, and I just actually really got a kick out of it. I honestly do not consider myself famous. I can go anywhere; nobody will recognize me. It’s awesome. I don’t have any problems with that! {laughs} But it was just funny, because even in this community, I think, a lot of us. And we have a lot of nutritionists and NTPs who listen. Get caught up thinking everybody has already heard this message. Or they already know who I am. Or they don’t know who I am, and they don’t care. And none of that’s true. There are so many people to be reaching. And you're reaching a totally different audience than I am, obviously. Which is awesome. I think it’s fantastic.

Cristina Curp: Right. It’s endless. I was just at someone else’s book launch; Coconut and Kettlebells. And same thing; no one knew I was there. And it was nice. And actually, Real Food Dana. Her and I were just hanging out like two regular people getting our book signed, and it was so fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I loved meeting you, and I loved hearing what you had to say. And I really thought that our listeners would love to hear your perspective on all of these different topics. Because you have done a ton of self-experimentation.

But before we get into the meaty part of this interview, I want to do a little ice breaker that we always love to do. And this one is something that you're digging lately. What’s one thing that you're just into right now. It can be a food item, or a recipe you can’t stop making. Or it can be lifestyle focused; anything. What’s one thing you're into?

Cristina Curp: Ok. So right now I’m obsessed with crispy bratwurst. I buy the diamond ranch ones. I always made them stovetop, but lately I’ve been really into just throwing everything in the oven. Two or three sheet pans, and I do power bowls. Because I’ll do different veggies on different sheet pans. And one day, almost because I had no where else to put them, the bratwurst tossed in avocado oil on the top rack. And they roasted with the veggies at 400 for like 35 minutes. And they came out super dark, and crackly skin. And they were so good! And now we can’t stop eating them.

Diane Sanfilippo: That sounds really good. Tell me about the power bowl; I’ve seen you posting this on Instagram. Tell me about it.

Cristina Curp: It’s like my favorite meal template. I think, because I was on survival mode for so long, between my move and the book tour. My meals were just really boring and just basic. So now that I have a little bit more time, I’m like; I need more veggies. I need really filling, nourishing meals.

My power bowls; I do always leafy greens, and then something cooked, like roasted cauliflower or roasted broccoli, or something like that, and a protein. And these bratwursts are my favorite. And then usually extra; like olives, or pickled onions, or sauerkraut, or something like that. And a sauce. I’m really big on chimichurri or creamy sauces.

And then sometimes I like to throw little blueberries in there, just because I love that little hint of sweet. But it’s great because they’re really satisfying meals in the sense that you're hitting all your different tastes. All the different flavors. And so much nutrition that afterwards you feel completed sated. I love those.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. And you were talking about throwing a bunch of different veggies on sheet pans and getting them roasted. I think the power bowl idea; my friend Robyn Youkilis does this rule of five plate. Has a really similar vibe. It’s just a great template for people, because so often we have leftovers, so we have random veggies in the fridge. And people feel like they don’t know how to put that into a meal. And I think that’s perfect.

Because I feel like we all do that naturally, but if we call it something it feels more intentional and it feels better. It’s random. Whatever greens you’ve got, your cooked veg; all that stuff together. I love that. And that’s such an easy way to also get in, like you were saying, sauerkraut. Fermented veggies. People don’t know how to add that to different meals. And I love that. Especially with crispy bratwurst. We’re totally going to do that. I love that.

Cristina Curp: It’s so good! They’re amazing.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m all about the skin being all crispy.

Cristina Curp: Yes!

3. Cristina’s story [11:26]

Diane Sanfilippo: I love it. Alright, so before we get into listener questions, why don’t you share a little bit more about your story? Cristina’s new book, Made Whole, which is gigantic. It’s 432 pages; which that’s a special number to me because {laughs} my first edition of Practical Paleo was that many pages. You guys; that’s a gigantic book. This is not a joke. So many recipes in here.

Tell people a little bit more about your story, and how the book came to be.

Cristina Curp: So I’ve always loved food. Maybe too much. And I’ve been overweight forever; since I was a baby. And I just kind of grew up dealing with a lot of self esteem issues, and health issues. I was sick a lot. But that was just my normal. So many people in my life; that was what we did. We were on crazy diets, and on antibiotics all the time. It was just life.

After I had my son, pregnancy just wrecks everything in your body {laughs}. I really hit that rock bottom, where I had this baby. And I was 29 years old, and I didn’t think I would make it to 40. I was like; how can I start my 30s feeling like death? I don’t have the energy to play with him. I don’t have the energy to work out. I could not stop gaining weight. I was blowing up, despite always being a foodie.

I worked in restaurants. I was a restaurant chef for several years. My mom owns a restaurant, my dad’s a butcher. Grew up cooking from scratch food. But just because it’s homemade, doesn’t mean it’s actually good for you. It’s better than processed food, but sugar and lots and lots of sweets, and all those things.

So I started researching. Oh yeah; the cherry on my sundae is I have hidradenitis suppurativa. Which is an autoimmune condition; it’s a skin condition. It’s really gnarly. You get boils, and they’re in delicate areas. It’s painful. It’s ugly. It’s embarrassing. I think I Googled; because it got really bad after I have Jack. That was part of the problem. Nursing him, I think my hormones were all crazy, and it just started spreading. So I Googled; how to heal hidradenitis suppurativa. And I found this post on Rob Wolf’s website. And it talked about nightshades, and elimination diets, and Tara Grant. She put it in remission, and it just blew my mind.

So I went down the rabbit hole. And I had done paleo before, because I had dabbled with a holistic doctor in kind of helping myself in my 20s with this skin condition, and he prescribed paleo. But back then, in my 20s, I was eating paleo, but I was drinking and smoking and doing things I shouldn’t be. So, I didn’t see the results I was looking for. {laughs} I wonder why?

But this was about 3.5 years ago. And I kind of never came out of that rabbit hole. I just kept digging, and trouble shooting. And for the first time in my life, I felt like myself. Like, I was reaching; I was just scratching the surface of my full potential. I was prescribed Adderall in high school; diagnosed with ADHD. I was always kind of clumsy, and I didn’t have balance. And I had a hard time focusing. And all of a sudden, I could focus. And I had physical abilities. Like; oh, I can do these things? I can climb, and jump, and run, and I have energy, and my skin condition. I got it in remission, which is life changing. Because it’s very painful.

I lived in Hawaii at the time, and not having boils on my inner thighs made it really so much better to go hiking, and go to the beach, and do things with my family, and life my life to the fullest instead of being self-conscious and miserable.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s huge.

Cristina Curp: It is huge. And it all kind of started with food. I did Whole30s, and I did paleo, and I did the autoimmune protocol. And I kind of kept tweaking. Because once you feel a little better, it’s addicting. It’s like; you want to feel all the way better. And I kept chasing that. The optimal health.

And I found my way to keto because I was not doing so well with starches on the autoimmune protocol. Because I kept such a detailed food journal, which is part of the process, that I realized when I had really starchy foods, I’d kind of flare. Or I wouldn’t feel well. Or I’d be fatigued. And then again, back to Rob Wolf’s work. His work and Mark Sisson’s were really important in my learning all of this stuff. I did the 7-day carb test, and found out I was insulin resistant. So that’s when I started dabbling with lower carb.

Diane Sanfilippo: And that was actually not that long ago, then. That was only; what, a year and a half, two years ago when his book came out.

Cristina Curp: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which I think is really interesting for people to hear, that you had gone through already going paleo, and dabbling, and you were already eating AIP, and you didn’t realize that you were insulin resistant until you actually noticed that in your food journal.

And when you're doing AIP, starches are kind of like something to lean on. Because you can’t have tomatoes; they’re everything. Right? So you're kind of pushing back into a lot more carbs, because you're not eating as many of those lower carb veggies, potentially. Although, not everybody would do the same thing, obvious.

Cristina Curp: Right. I was eating a lot of starches. What I realize now, it was obvious in how much I was eating. I was putting away large amounts of food a day, because I was so hungry all the time. And I had this fatigue between meals. So I just thought those were symptoms of the autoimmune stuff. The fatigue. What I didn’t realize, I was riding that roller coaster.

And it was a hard transition; although I had been already paleo and all that. Getting fat adapted; I had a hard time for a while getting the energy right. People are always like; I don’t feel the buzz yet. I’m like; it’s been two weeks. It took me three months, I think, to really get fat adapted. But once I did, it was so liberating. Because for the first time in my life I didn’t have cravings all the time. I was like; what?

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m only laughing because I literally was just editing the My Story chapter of my new book on keto, and your exact words are what I said. I’m telling people, this is not going to help you in two weeks or a month. But about three months in; it’s liberating. That freedom of, you don’t have that feeling all day. That tiredness or, you eat a meal and a minute later you're hungry again. Girl, when you're talking; I’ve always joked that I have the appetite of a 300-pound man.

Cristina Curp: Yes! I would eat one of those giant bowls. Sausage and bacon and kale and sweet potato and eggs with coffee; two hours later, no joke two hours later, handful of almonds. Two hours later; huge salad. Then an hour later, still hungry. And it was just nonstop. It’s funny; my grocery bill went. Down. No lie; we spend less money on food now. Because I’m eating less.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so funny. I said to my husband just the other day; I said, honey, I feel like we’re doing a lot better at eating through what’s in the fridge, because we’re not just overloading it all the time with more stuff. We’re actually eating through all those veggies. We’re not spending as much and filling it up as much, because we’re sated on our food. Anyway. It’s fascinating. So I love when I hear myself in your story, and vice-versa. It’s so interesting.

Cristina Curp: Yeah.

4. Becoming an expert in eating [18:49]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I just want you to back up. Because I think that a lot of listeners feel like they should have it figured out after they eat paleo for a month, or three months, or six months. How long do you think you were eating paleo? And then doing challenges, or whatever it is. Where you were kind of super strict. And then how long were you doing AIP? How long did you kind of dabble with everything that you did?

Cristina Curp: I feel that I thought I had it down at first. It’s funny; I look back now and I think, I was like 4 or 5 months into paleo. I had done two Whole30s, and I thought I knew it all. I’m like; I’ve got this figured out! I’m such a pro! I was hardcore paleo.

And then it stopped working. Because that happens. You do something; you're following all the rules. You're doing it right. And it stops working, and you're like; what now? And that happened to me enough. I got knocked down enough times to realize; you're always learning, and you're always learning about your body. And your body’s needs keep changing. So you kind of have to stay a student of life and of your body all the time. Don’t get comfortable, {laughs} because it’s going to change the minute you do.

So I think that staying open to that, and not being dogmatic about stuff is great. Because the minute you say, “I’m never going to do that,” Is when you start needing it. I shouldn’t talk, because I’m kind of not into the carnivore thing; and watch. That’s going to be karma. The doctor is going to tell me to go carnivore.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, when you said it stopped working for you, what do you mean? Were you still trying to lose a significant amount of weight and you just weren’t? Was it your skin condition? What was happening that you were like; this is obviously not working for me anymore?

Cristina Curp: So it’s happened several times. I think at first with paleo, it was that. I saw some improvement with my inflammatory symptoms, and then they stopped. It stopped working. I started my food habits started sliding again. And that’s when I was like; ok, I need to do the autoimmune protocol. It’s time. I need to stop dancing around this. I kind of have that instinct that nightshades were a problem for me, but I wasn’t fully committed to giving them up.

So when I finally did that; that did help me dramatically. Because I learned for sure that nightshades were a trigger for me. And that nuts weren’t doing me any favors. But then again, same thing. AIP was helping me until it didn’t. Until I realized in my food journal that starches were causing some issues. Like bloating, and the fatigue, and all that.

And then I started gaining weight again. There was a point there, I remember. I know it was in winter. Which is weird, because in Hawaii we don’t really have seasons. So it’s not like it was like; ugh, winter. I’m inside eating more. It was just; I remember feeling or looking swollen again. Because when you have inflammation in your body, it looks like fat sometimes because you literally just puff up.

And again, I’m a self-sabotager. And I think a lot of us are. We tell ourselves we’re doing all the right things, then we’re not. And for me, a big thing was sweets. I would be eating paleo, or eating AIP, and I was strict about it. But I was really making a ton of paleofied sweets all the time. And maple syrup to the face.

So I decided; ok. I need to really buckle down with the sugar/carb situation. And I kind of went Primal Blueprint; that program, first, instead of going full on keto. And I saw some initial quick weight loss, which was fine. But that’s not necessarily keto. Because you're still in the 100-150 grams of carbs. And then around that time, I kind of felt again; I felt like I was stalling. I would have moments where I felt really great, and moments where I felt really low energy. And I felt my body kind of didn’t know where it was going to pull energy from.

That’s when I started to really look into keto. Back then, every time I looked up keto, I’m like; oh my god, it’s all dairy! And I don’t eat dairy! I can’t do this. So I just kept; #lowcarbpaleo.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cristina Curp: But I kept just messing with that, and lowering my macros and my carb intake. It was really hard to give up honey and maple syrup as sweeteners for me. Because coming from the AIP thing, you kind of get that dogma. And as a Whole30er; I’ve done 6 rounds total now, I think. But it kind of gave me this guilt with sweets, when it came to sex with your pants on. So it just was really hard for me to get to that point where I could go keto; and hey, if I wanted a keto cookie, I was going to make it with stevia. And that’s fine, because I just wanted the damn cookie. And I could move on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sometimes being told you can’t have it just makes it that much worse.

Cristina Curp: I agree. And I don’t like being told what to do. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m with you, girl. {laughs}

Cristina Curp: And yeah. It was just this process of tweaking. I always tell people; don’t feel like you're following all the rules and it’s not working, so you're failing. It’s just not working for you. And It’s ok if someone’s program doesn’t work for you. Just keep tweaking; messing with it. And you’ll figure it out.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think along those lines, too. There are certain programs that might be 30 days, or a 21-Day Sugar Detox where; when I write a program like that. It says 21 days. I never intended for someone to think that that should work for them for forever. It’s really just a way to check yourself for a little while. And I think that, unfortunately, it can feed into an unhealthy mindset for some people. For some people it doesn’t and for some people it does. We can’t always control the outcome of creating those types of things. But at the same time, I think to your point, just recognizing, or being self-aware. If you are stuck in that pattern of thinking; if I eat this, its’ good, and I’m good. And it’s healthy, and I’m healthy. And if I want to have a cookie, then I’m a bad person or whatever. And it’s really just not that serious.

Cristina Curp: It’s not.

Diane Sanfilippo: It is sometimes if you're dealing with trying to heal something and you just really need to be more strict for a while. But there are some things. You were talking about keto; and we’ll get into questions on keto, first, I think because it’s literally on fire, this topic. I’m only laughing because when I first ate keto is was almost 10 years ago, and nobody was talking about it, so I didn’t talk about it. Because nobody talked about it. Literally ate keto paleo for at least a year and a half. While I was writing Practical Paleo, I was eating keto.

So anyway. I just think it’s so funny, because I’m like; I can’t believe now this is the topic.

Cristina Curp: Well they put a name to it. And I say that in my book; I think a lot of the paleo veterans or people, they’ve been doing this for a long time. They just didn’t call it that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I called it keto because that’s what my friend who told me about it years ago called it. But I think it just seemed really fringe. I remember back when I would talk to Jimmy Moore about stuff, and I was like; yeah, that’s how I’m eating. Anyway, it’s a whole other topic. But what I was trying to get to; something like keto or AIP, you may not learn everything you need to learn in a very short period of time. Like for the 21-Day Sugar Detox, I’m like; please, do it once. If you want to do it again, fine. But I really want you to learn what you're going to learn in that short period of time.

But with eliminating different foods, and figure out what works for you, you need to be patient. Right? How long did you eat AIP for, before you then started to discover things about keto? You mentioned it took you at least three months on keto to get to the place where you were kind of feeling the benefits.

Cristina Curp: Right. So I did the autoimmune protocol, the elimination phase, for four months. And then slowly reintroduced things, which was another two to three months. So it was a while. And I will say I never completed it, because I haven’t tried to reintroduce everything. Like gluten. That’s on my hard no list. And something you just have the instinct about.

But you have to give it time. 30 days; because so many programs are 30 days, people think that’s enough for a healing protocol. Elimination diets aren’t a reset. This is a whole other process. So the AIP, you need to give it 30 days minimum, but probably more like 3 months. And some people do this even longer, depending on how much healing you have to do.

And then the reintroduction process is even more grueling, and I find more difficult. Because the minute you start reintroducing things, you want all the things! And it makes it hard not to just break and do all the nuts in one day.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re obviously not Moderators. If you guys listening, can’t grasp it. We’re obviously; you're an Abstainer. You do better pretty much having nothing; this is what I’m getting from you. For me, one day, or a window, or a moment, where I’m like; ok, I’m going to have to thing. And then it’s kind of a hard line again where I just don’t have it. And it doesn’t stress me out at all. And I’ll have it, and then not have it. But it’s not a little bit all the time. Because a little bit all the time.

Cristina Curp: Nope; it doesn’t work.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Cristina Curp: I agree. And there are some things I know I can have. Like, there are foods, and I talk about this sometimes with my audience. There are foods that are on my no-fly list. Not because they cause inflammation in my body, but because there’s no way I can moderate them. White rice is one of those foods. I’ve reintroduced it successfully. I can eat it; it won’t make me sick. Do I eat it all the time? Or even remotely any time? No! Because I’m Cuban, are you kidding me? I can’t do a little white rice. It has to be the whole bowl.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I think Cubans and Italians have a lot in common. I think that’s such a great point, because that is the difference when you just know yourself well, and it’s not a medical thing. It’s just a habit thing. It’s like; there are certain foods, if we have them in the house. I love them; but Siete chips, their bag is a one-serving bag for every person. Right? It says 6 I think, or 8. Or some crazy number. But we’re all like; I think that was one serving.

So yeah, I think that’s really important for people to know about themselves. Is it a food you really can’t eat because your body will tell you immediately it’s not feeling good? Or is it something that emotionally kind of messes with you and you can’t really pull yourself away from it? It just impacts your habits.

Cristina Curp: And emotionally triggering foods are, I think, a slippery slope when it comes to paleofying things. If you have an issue; especially at first. I like sweets, so actually when I first transitioned to full on keto, I didn’t do any sweets at all. I kind of did a no-sweetener keto. Because I knew that if I had keto brownies, or keto cookies in the house; forget it. Brownies for lunch!

So that’s not beneficial to me, because I’m going to be lacking in other nutrients. And I think in general; fat bombs. They’re great, they can be delicious snacks. But the satisfying nature of these high-fat snacks then trumps your meal that’s going to have a lot more nutrients for you. So you have to be careful where you're justifying eating sweets for a meal versus actually having food.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so perfect. I’m excited for you to see the new book that I’m writing. It’s exactly that. When I did first go keto almost 10 years ago, none of this stuff existed. There was nobody writing about it. There were bodybuilders, maybe, talking about it. So the idea of a fat bomb wasn’t a thing. And I’ve been eating 100% dark chocolate since that time, because I was like; I want chocolate. I don’t need it to be sweet. And that was the one “treat” I would lean on. I still have four little squares of it right in front of me, now. But I remember, thinking back. I didn’t sweeten anything for a long, long time. A pinch of green stevia powder I might put into a small bowl with tahini, and a little sweetener and some cacao nibs, and I was like; yeah, here’s my treat! {laughs} I was living on the edge.

Cristina Curp: There you go. I think it’s important to hear that from people, though. Because right now, it’s the other way. It’s insane, the recipes that are. There’s this focus on macros over nutrition, and it’s interesting because people. I say through the paleo funnel, so for me it’s no brainer. Duh! Real food first; hello!

But I realize in the keto world that’s not necessarily the case. Because people are coming straight from Standard American Diet to keto, and they’re really focusing on; “Oh, but it doesn’t have carbs.” Or it doesn’t have any net carbs, and that’s a whole other thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think that what’s happening in the community; this is just my observation because I’ve been running parallel to it, I guess. I’m really not in that community, at all. I think it’s very “of the people.” Which is great. People who discovered it, had great experiences, and now are sharing their experiences. And it hasn’t been; understandably, a lot of “nutritionists” would push it aside, or say it’s too extreme. They would never recommend it. So that’s why I was like; I know that’s why your book is serving a need for people with your recipes, because it’s real, whole foods when they are keto. There’re tons of veggies in there.

And that’s why you and I are totally speaking the same language. Because I’m like; you guys, this plate doesn’t look that different than what it used to look like. You remember all the veggies I was eating before? I’m still eating all those veggies. It’s really not that different. It’s just, eliminating those carbs. It’s not also taking away all the green stuff, you know? And I think that’s so important.

I think it’s also really important, if somebody is trying to lose weight; we know that you can lose weight a million different ways. Right? But if you're actually trying to get healthier, too. I’ve seen a lot of people plateauing or stalling because they’re eating inflammatory oils, and they're not eating antioxidant rich foods. Which are what we know are going to keep people healthy. Anyway; it’s a whole other tangent. I’m sure I’ll be ranting more about that as time goes on as this book comes to a close. But we’re going to talk more about your take and answer some questions and talk about the book.

5. About the book, Made Whole [33:31]

Diane Sanfilippo: So really quickly, before we answer some questions. Can you just touch on why types of recipes; because it is a cookbook, right? You talk a little bit about dietary approach and you give a brief overview in the front. But what kind of recipes can people find in here if they’re eating all different ways?

Cristina Curp: Yeah. All the recipes fall into the keto/paleo umbrella. And I will say the only recipes that wouldn’t be qualified as paleo are because of the use of, erythritol and stevia are the only two sweeteners I use in the book. But only the sweet recipes have sweeteners. I don’t use them in savory recipes.

But there’s a lot of multicultural recipes. I grew up; I’m a foodie. I grew up traveling, and eating everything. I think a lot of times people feel like when they’re going to eat this way, it’s going to be boring or the same thing over and over again. So I have a lot of Latin recipes in there. Definitely some Cuban recipes. I don’t know; I have Lebanese recipes, and I have char siu. I really wanted recipes that are delicious for anyone. They’re not delicious for paleo recipes. They’re not delicious for keto recipes. They just taste good.

Like, the alfredo sauce is funny. It’s such a simple recipe; there are like 5 ingredients. But people are losing their minds. They’re like; oh my god! It tastes just like alfredo! And it’s the fish sauce that’s like magic.

But yeah, there are a lot of AIP recipes in there that are also keto. The whole book is dairy, nut, and nightshade free to make it easy for people.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s intense.

Cristina Curp: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: To make a book that’s nightshade free. You go! You go, Glenn Coco! {laughing}

Cristina Curp: Thank you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m flipping through it. And I wouldn’t think anything is missing as I look through it. It’s colorful, my mouth is actually watering and I'm not hungry at all. We just ate.

Cristina Curp: Yeah, thank you. I love food. And I think because I have so many years of culinary experience, I brought that to the table with really creative recipes. But also simple stuff. I didn’t want to scare people. I think sometimes; my followers know me. They’re like; ok. I know it sounds super weird, but I trust Cristina, I know it’s going to work. But I understand the book is going to reach a wider audience. And I wanted to; you have to have, I call them my gateway recipes. The ones that seem so simple that you're going to get people to try them the first time. And then once that works, they’ll graduate to your weirder things. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Tell me what your gateway recipes are.

Cristina Curp: My flourless brownies are a big one. So, on my blog, there’s a version of those, and I almost hate that it’s my popular recipe.

Diane Sanfilippo: Girl, I know. I hear you.

Cristina Curp: It’s not my best recipe. They’re really good.

Diane Sanfilippo: And you're also not really trying to have people eat that so much.

Cristina Curp: Right!

Diane Sanfilippo: But everyone wants a brownie recipe.

Cristina Curp: So for the book, I think my favorite one. I love the toasted coconut salmon. It’s literally ready in 15 minutes. And I love; there’s a cheesy sauce at the front, which is nacho cheese. But it’s made with nutritional yeast and cauliflower that’s so legit. It tastes so good.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so funny. We did the same thing! And I haven’t looked through your recipes yet. So I’ll be interested to see how similar they are. But it is so good to do that.

Cristina Curp: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Great minds.

Cristina Curp: Great minds! Because you can make so many good, yummy, comforting foods with whole food ingredients. So people are like; oh my god, I’m eating nacho cheese! But sike; you're eating cauliflower. {laughs} That’s awesome.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I can’t believe that 10 years ago I wasn’t that creative. It literally was lettuce boats and eggs and bacon and nothing creative in my kitchen. It was just straight up food on the plate. Anyway, I’m just laughing at myself.

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

6. Long-term keto, and keto treats [38:25]

Diane Sanfilippo: So let’s get into some of the questions that people have. So one of these questions; you guys, keep in mind. Cristina, you're going back to school now. To be a nutritional therapy practitioner?

Cristina Curp: I am. Yeah with the Nutritional Therapy Association.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. You guys know them as one of our show sponsors. We love them. So just keep in mind; Cristina is going to share her experience. If you have in-depth questions and all of that, she’s going to school now. And I think at some point she will be taking clients later on. So we’ll just have everybody hit you up, don’t worry.

Cristina Curp: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Let’s get into some of these questions. Life in the Daniel’s House is asking, “Can you do keto long-term? What’s the best way to monitor if you're in ketosis? How do you handle that with everybody making so many keto desserts?”

Cristina Curp: So you can definitely do keto long-term. I feel like I’ve been doing it about 2 years now. And I’m pretty much in ketosis all the time. I dip out of it, because I do carb cycle sometimes. But I haven’t had any negative side effects doing this for the long haul. But I also do really focus on a whole food approach.

I think one of the best things about keto is that you are liberated of cravings. So it makes it more sustainable. And we talked about this a little earlier. If you have that emotional trigger with sweets, then absolutely stay away from them. And really becoming fat adapted will kill those sugar cravings.

And then if you do feel the need; like, maybe it’s something emotional. Or it’s a birthday party, or it’s a holiday. Then that’s the time to make a ketofied treat to share with people. And it’s the more social experience of food. But don’t have those things around as a crutch all the time. I think that keto breads and keto cookies and keto cakes can help people transition at first, maybe. But I know I leaned on some of those things around; I don’t know, I was 6 months in. And I talk about this on my blog, because I’m a self-sabotager. It’s like; great, I’m doing keto, I’m losing weight, I’m feeling awesome. All of a sudden, I’m like spoonfuls of almond butter to the face. And I’m like; whoa, why am I not losing weight all of a sudden?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cristina Curp: And it’s like; oh. Because I’m eating my weight in almond butter. And also, nuts, apparently are inflammatory for me. Which is why they’re not in my cookbook. So I just think you have to know yourself. So absolutely, you can do it long-term. And just stay away; I know it’s hard, because it’s out there. But know that this is a business for a lot of people. And you know what? Keto treats are really good for SEO; search engine optimization. They’re like; I know, on my blog, it’s my most searched recipe. But it’s not my best. I like my teriyaki noodle bowl better.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh, teriyaki noodle bowl. That sounds really good. Yes. Totally with you. And I think what you were saying, too, about the cravings being gone. This happens a lot. With anything, when you eat a certain way and there are foods you just don’t eat for a while, you really do stop craving them. And the longer you're not eating sweets, the less you crave them. And I think you're totally spot on; having that as a holiday; having a way to make something that will keep you on track, or whatever.

What I think is interesting, too; and tell me what you think about this. If you made something that was kind of a paleo treat that had some maple syrup or something in it. You would probably still have that. Even though you're mostly eating keto; you just wouldn’t make that every week. You might have it for someone’s birthday or something like that.

The only difference that I would say, from a clinical perspective, is if someone is type 1 diabetic, or they’re really trying to heal. Dabbling with higher carb days now and then; for a type 1 diabetic who goes keto, a higher carb day is a no-no. You just cannot do that. So really those people do need to lean on that.

But for someone who is just generally eating keto, and that’s their lifestyle; they don’t have to always have that stevia sweetener. They could have something with maple syrup once in a blue moon, and it’s not going to ruin their life.

Cristina Curp: There’s a lot of people who do that. And even in my book, because there are no; even stevia is not autoimmune protocol compliant. So in the book, I do talk about; if you are AIP, and you are gut healing; obviously not diabetic, but if you have other gut healing issues, do that instead. Don’t have the sweets once a week, or even once a month. But when you do have them, do the honey or maple syrup, which aren’t going to affect your gut health. Because unfortunately, these non-caloric sweeteners aren’t the best for your gut. A lot of people experience bloating and other digestive issues.

So yeah, Alli Miller does that too. She does keto for therapeutic things. But if she personally is going to do a sweet, she will just do maple syrup versus a non-caloric sweetener. So absolutely.

7. Cooking for non-keto family [43:15]

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. Ok, let’s see. Does your family also eat keto? Do you make different things? Does your husband eat keto? What’s the situation there?

Cristina Curp: They do not. They eat what I eat, and then they eat starches with it. My husband is active duty Navy, and he’s an endurance cyclist. So he is all the carbs. And I’ve tried to explain to him that he would probably do better with endurance sports; it’s interesting. Because endurance athletes, they can be in ketosis but still eat a lot more carbs than most of us because they’re burning through it.

Justin definitely has metabolic flexibility, which is interesting. He’s like my test subject; my variable to everything I do. Because he doesn’t have any of the issues I have. He has no metabolic damage. He’s never been overweight. He doesn’t have any inflammatory symptoms. So seeing him eat whole foods plus his starches, or eating what I eat. He’s the perfect example of; hey, not all of us have to eat this way. Some people can eat whatever they want, and be the picture of health.

However, you talk to my husband, he will tell you that eating my food, he recovers better from his workouts. So his performance is optimal. But no, I eat vegetables and protein, right? Everyone should eat that stuff. So they eat what I eat, and then rice, or gluten free pasta. Or something like that on the side.

8. Men versus women [44:40]

Diane Sanfilippo: So we have one person who is asking about how things could differ between men and women. Saying that her husband had great success getting into ketosis, and she’s really struggling. And she makes all their meals. But he’s also playing around with intermittent fasting. What have you seen with the difference between men and women doing this?

Cristina Curp: So, in general, men tend to lose weight a lot easier and faster than women. We have so many other factors at play. I think, especially hormonal issues in our bodies just tend to really hold onto those calories and that fat. I feel like it makes it feel safe.

I know, for me, weight loss has not been easy for me. It doesn’t come off fast, ever. So I always tell women; be easy on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, especially a man. And make sure she’s eating enough. Because I think a lot of women, especially with keto, because it’s so satisfying, tend to under eat. The old mentality of the less calories the better, we know now is obviously not. It puts our bodies in this chronic stressful state. And it’s not going to let go of anything.

And stick with it. How long have you been doing it? There are so many questions I could ask. Like what are you actually eating? How long have you been eating it? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you stressed? So many variables.

9. Nutrition deficiency [46:01]

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally. And then a question about nutrient deficiency long-term. What do you see as a possibility there with keto? Do you feel like it’s not really an issue? I think you and I are kind of on the same page with eating tons of veggies, and it’s not about eating just meat and dairy.

Cristina Curp: Right. Don’t eat for macros. I think to make this a sustainable lifestyle, you have to eat varied foods. Because A) you're going to get bored, and two you have to keep your body on its toes. Keep things changing.

Eating with the seasons is a really good way to avoid nutrient deficiency. Eat seasonal produce, because it keeps what you're eating throughout the year hanging. And get fermented foods in. If you can do some organ meat, a little bit goes a long way. Like for me, pate is my favorite vessel. It tastes the best, I feel. Keto is not just meat or eggs and bacon. So it’s just about the way you do it.

10. AIP reintroductions [47:00]

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. So here’s a question from Rebecca. “How do you decide when and what to reintroduce when you're following AIP? I assume the when is when your symptoms are gone, but is there anything else you look for?”

Cristina Curp: So, you don’t have to wait until all your symptoms are gone. I think that’s a mistake a lot of people wait for full remission. And that’s tricky, because had I waited for full remission, I would have been doing strict AIP a lot longer. And it wasn’t a completely puzzle to my health. The autoimmune protocol focuses a lot on gut health. But there are often so many other factors at play.

Like, I had insulin resistance. My liver wasn’t jiving so well. And hormone imbalance; estrogen dominance. I think you need to wait until you see an improvement in symptoms. Like, my flares were less frequent. They were shorter. They were less painful. And that was telling me that I was on the right path. And that’s why it’s so important to keep detailed food journals when you're on an elimination protocol.

And what to introduce first; I guess whatever you think is going to make your life easier. If you think eggs are going to help you the most, try those first. You have to try them eventually.

Diane Sanfilippo: I would definitely try eggs first. {laughs}

Cristina Curp: Me too. I think I did.

11. AIP and keto while type 1 diabetic [48:09]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, then there’s another question about, “How can a person with autoimmune disease,” (This person has type 1 diabetes) “Successfully combine keto and AIP? Or should they?”

Cristina Curp: I don’t think AIP is that; really, it’s like keto, but you just omit seeds, nuts, dairy, and nightshades and eggs. That does sound like a lot. But I don’t eat a lot of those things anyway, so for me it was like; oh, it’s no big deal. Just take out eggs.

But it’s doable. You just really would have to stick to plants and animals. Stick to proteins and stick to green vegetables, and like avocado. Stay away from nightshades, and the seeds and stuff like that. Which, when you think about it, most of those foods are coming in the form of treats and stuff.

Because going AIP; like in my book, there are 100-something AIP/keto recipes. They’re already like that. Because when you're not doing dairy and you're not doing nuts. Nightshades, I know, is hard for a lot of people. But it’s not going to mess with your macros or your blood sugar anymore. Because if you're already keto, you already don’t have those starchy veggies and those sugars in there.

But of course, if you're type 1 diabetic and you're coming from Standard American Diet, you have to wean yourself off carbs. So work with your doctor on that, and make sure that you're on a weaning process. And your doctor is lowering your insulin. Don’t do it on your own.

Diane Sanfilippo: For sure. And I think if somebody; maybe if somebody is eating paleo right now with type 1 diabetes, for example. If you're going to dabble with AIP, you could probably do that first and then handle the reintroductions. And when you move forward, if you want to do keto, at least you know; are eggs a problem for me or not? Are nuts and seeds a problem for me or not? Because I think it would be hard to jump into keto if you were still unsure of how eggs, and nuts, and seeds, for example, were affecting you. Because they’re very keto friendly; especially eggs. So I think finding out.

Cristina Curp: I agree. I think baby steps. You don’t have to do it all at once. It was a whole process. And I’ll do strict AIP keto resets nowadays; but for me, I already did the AIP. And I kind of worked my way through. Like I always say; people, don’t compare my chapter 10 to your chapter 1. I could have never done Standard American Diet to AIP keto. No way in a million years. No way.

Diane Sanfilippo: No.

Cristina Curp: It took me even four months to get the courage up to do the AIP. {laughs}

12. Supplements [50:49]

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} It’s a lot. It’s a lot. Ok, so were you taking or do you take any supplements for eating keto with an autoimmune disease?

Cristina Curp: I’m very bare minimal. With supplements, I definitely think they shouldn’t be too much of a crutch. Because then you don’t know what your body’s baseline is. But I do take magnesium. I take magnesium glycinate regularly. I take it every day. It helps me sleep at night. Magnesium is spark of life, they call it. Use it for all your bodily functions. And our food system is just depleted in it. So I take magnesium and probiotics. Those are my two, always.

I do carry around a digestive enzyme if I’m traveling or might be eating out, because it just helps. Something like ox bile and all those other things. And I did for a while; and I actually talked about this with Alli Miller.

I did take, once I was fat adapted and I started seeing body fat move off relatively quickly, I did take milk thistle and I took calcium d-glucarate because when you're losing body fat, that body fat often has toxins stored in it. You can have detox symptoms. And I think people forget that. When you're actively losing weight; people are like; I got sick again. I had inflammation. Your body has to metabolize all that stuff. So taking liver supporting herbs or detox, things that can help detox. But I wouldn’t take them all the time. I would say every 10 or 20 pounds, maybe do a course of them.

But other than that, no. I’m not a huge supplements. I guess electrolytes, too.

Diane Sanfilippo: Have you been taking them now?

Cristina Curp: I haven’t done them in a while. But I was just telling my husband I think it’s time again. And I can tell because I’m getting pimples on my face. Which, I’ve never ever had. I don’t have acne unless I’m going through a detox symptom or phase. So I think I’m just going to reorder some of those things. But yeah, I do take electrolytes. Because one thing with keto, I realized with fatigue issues, I just didn’t do electrolytes. The salt in water. I totally missed that boat for the first few months. And I was like; oh, no wonder I feel like death.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s funny because I was eating a lot of bacon the first time I ate keto, and I don’t think I ever struggled with electrolytes because I was eating tons of kale, tons of greens, things with potassium, magnesium, and I was eating tons of sodium in bacon. And I was like; I don’t know what everyone is talking about with this electrolyte thing. I guess just depending on the way you build your plate, you may or may not be getting them. Plus, obviously when you don’t eat carbs, your body doesn’t as easily hold onto water. You're not getting that carbohydrate molecule that has lots of water in it.

If you guys are curious about what Cristina was talking about with liver detox support specifically. When your body is long all that extra fat, there are toxins stores in your fat. So it’s really common that when people lose a lot of body fat in a relatively short period of time; not only will your blood work not be great, potentially. That’s not the time to go check your cholesterol, when you're in the process of losing weight. But your liver is kind of working extra hard. So she was talking about milk thistle and calcium d-glucarate.

In the liver, detox support meal plan in Practical Paleo, it’s in the second edition, not the first. But you can read about that and a bunch of other supplements, too. So if you're like; oh, I’m curious about this. I might need this help. I knew people were going to start talking about liver detox more, and I was like; I have a lot to say about it. So that’s all in there if you guys are curious about that. I just want people to have a resource if they are curious.

Cristina Curp: It needs to be out there. I think that’s such a hard thing to manage. And then people go on Amazon, and they’re putting in the search bar things. Knowing what supplements to buy. Supplements are a really great vessel for crap. They put so much stuff in them so you really have to know which brands to trust and how to read the labels. Potato starch is in a ton of supplements. And potato starch is a nightshade, so if you're doing the AIP, you don’t want potato starch in your magnesium. Which, the one at Whole Foods had it, and I was so mad.

13. Macros on AIP [55:03]

Diane Sanfilippo: So interesting. Ok. So, do you think; this one was from Jen in Progress. “Are macros important on AIP? If so, what’s ideal for health and weight loss? What about being scared to reintroduce foods, (she’s got a lot of questions here) and avoiding bloat if it’s still happening. I’m only 4 weeks in,” she said.

Cristina Curp: Ok, four weeks in; hold on girl, you're in for a ride. You're only at the beginning. So that aside, I will say AIP is not for weight loss. I think if you're healing your body; and remember, your body can’t really do two things at the same time. Yes, you will hear the stories; “I went AIP or I did a Whole30 and I lost 50 pounds! Amazing!” yeah. That wasn’t me. It might not be you. Tough luck. We’ve got to just take it one thing at a time.

So if you're healing, you're obviously doing the autoimmune protocol, you want to reverse disease and autoimmune disease or symptoms of; focus on that first. I hope you're keeping a journal. And if you have the bloat, your food journal should be showing the correlation there. A lot of times, that’s when you have to troubleshoot. It could be maybe you have to do low-FODMAP on top of AIP. Or you have small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Or it could be dysbiosis there. So maybe eating some of the starchier foods, or onions, or something could be giving the bloat.

As far as tracking; if you're only doing the autoimmune protocol, don’t track. Are you kidding me? Adding another layer to that is crazy pants. So just stick to staying compliant, and really trying to tune into your body. Some people do experience weight loss. I know people who can’t keep weight on. But that’s obviously sometimes a symptom of their condition, where they can’t keep weight on. So yeah, don’t focus; focus on healing first. Because your body oftentimes; some people lose weight when they’re sick, some people gain weight. I’m the gain weight girl. When anything goes wrong, my body is like; we’re holding down the hatches! Do not let it go!

One thing at a time. And you’ll get there. Even if it’s slow, you’ll get there.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s great advice. And I think driving home the importance of a food journal; if there’s one thing that is the most effective, no matter what way you're eating and which way you're looking for progress. Whether it’s in your health symptoms or even fat loss, the single best tool is a record of what you're doing. Because it will tell you things you will not remember tomorrow. You just won’t. You can’t remember what you ate two days ago. If I’m lucky, I can ask my husband; what did we eat yesterday? It will not go back farther than that. You know what I mean? There’s just no way to really remember.

And I think your experience with actually identifying starchy foods and your symptoms as a result of them I think for this question from Jen, that seems to be the biggest tool. And I think that’s such great advice, too. Focus on the healing. Because that’s the purpose of AIP. If some people are losing weight with it, that’s their story. But it really isn’t the purpose. And I’m 100% with you. When people start to tack too many levels or layers of restriction on top of one another, it just keeps adding stress. And what you were trying to do the whole time was pull the stress in your system down.

Cristina Curp: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: We were trying to get these inflammatory foods out. We were trying to get your blood sugar regulated. But what we end up doing is causing lifestyle stress. That just compounds and does not help anybody. So that’s really good advice.

Cristina Curp: It’s hard, and I do relate to wanting to lose weight. And we’re so trained to think; I have to get skinny to be healthy. And that was my whole life; I chased weight loss. So changing my diet, and working so hard on it. Weight loss not being the primary goal was really foreign to me. And I will say that I self-sabotaged; I messed myself up so many times chasing that weight loss over healing. Where I was like; I’m totally doing this for the healing! But the minute I saw the scale move a few pounds; I’m like; ugh! And I would kind of go crazy. Start restricting, or whatever. And that doesn’t work that way.

You have to know that it’s like there’s layers. It’s like a video game. Once you’ve mastered one level, you can go to the next one. And it’s ok. Give yourself time. Because often times once your body is happy, the weight will kind of come off effortlessly. You're not going to have to be hungry or even try that hard. So just try to fix the other things first, and you’ll find your grove.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like your Mario brothers power up sound.

Cristina Curp: Thank you!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cristina Curp: 80s kids.

Diane Sanfilippo: What you guys couldn’t see earlier was when Cristina was talking about almond butter to the face, and maple syrup to the face, she’s gesturing, like a Homer Simpson style beer chugging gesture. It was pretty funny. Cracking me up.

14. Exercise on keto [1:00:01]

Diane Sanfilippo: OK, we’ll just touch on one more topic around keto, because we had so many questions about keto. You guys are super interested in all of these things. And it’s very encouraging, because I’m like; great. I have all these questions I’m answering with what I’m doing in a new book. So it’s great. But let’s talk about working out. Because I know that you're active. I saw you getting back to your workouts after wrapped up your book tour. Which; get it girl. Because it’s hard. How have you felt with workouts? Eating keto, are there ways that you tweak? What do you do about carbs? Do you adjust that at all? Are you feeling good without carbs? What’s your approach?

Cristina Curp: OK. So I had varied approaches. I’ve tried a few. As you know, I’m the queen of tweaking. And I think everyone needs to find that depending on what their workouts are like. So when I first started keto, I was actually doing spinning, and more Zumba, and definitely more cardio than I am now. And I thought I was going to die. There were definitely a few times I got off that bike and almost passed out. Spinning and keto was not a good combination for me.

I also realized, I’m not a huge fan of cardio. And I then had to be honest with myself, that the only reason I was going to spinning was I thought it’d make me lose weight faster. So I had that little chat with myself, and I was like; let’s not go to spinning anymore. I don’t like it that much. So I stopped going to spinning. I’m not saying cardio is bad; some people, great. They like to run.

I will say that if you do something like really high intensity; you do HIIT workouts, or you do CrossFit. Or you are an endurance cyclist or just high intensity, really endurance stuff, some people do targeted ketogenic diet, where they will eat carbs right before their workouts. Just high carb; starch. Like, you could eat a cup of rice right before your workout. And your body is going to use that glycogen right away. Because remember, glycogen is like kindling. It’s just going to burn right up. So some people do that. I’ve never done that, because I like to workout in the morning. And I just workout after I’ve had my coffee, and that’s it. Because I like doing heavy lifting.

I don’t really time it. I’m not a super organized person. I’m a very broad strokes, and kind of go with the flow kind of gal. So I will say that after a really intense workout session, I always do protein afterwards. Within the following hour or two. And my post workout meal, I don’t usually do too much fat. Because I already had my coffee in the morning, and that had fat. So I’ll do the Epic bars, or I’ll just cook up some sausage or eggs or something.

And then that night with dinner, sometimes I will do a carb up that evening. Because it helps with recovery. And I just feel better the next day. I’ve noticed that if I don’t do the carb up that evening, the next day I’m insatiable. Which sometimes I do; sometimes I skip the carb up, and then I’m insatiable the next day. And then two or three days of being hangry as hell. And then I realize; ok, maybe it’s time for a carb up. And for me a carb up is a bunch of roasted carrots with dinner. Or half a sweet potato or something like that.

And then all of a sudden, the next day I fast, which is so weird. It happens organically. After a carb up, the day after that I tend to fast a lot longer. Or be less hungry. So I feel like I’m listening to my body, and I see how it works. And I’m obviously filling that need, because that insatiable hunger is gone. So something was answered, whatever it was. Maybe the glycogen in my muscles was depleted or something.

But I think you have to figure it out for yourself. So I’m really active, and keto works for me, and being fat adapted. I work out fasted all the time. I do a lot of walking, hiking, and then heavy lifting. I don’t do really high intensity stuff. It’s not my jam. For me, cardio is like kettlebell swings. {laughs} but yeah, you have to play around with it. I know the keto gains folks, they’re super into working out and weight lifting. And they have a very high protein keto approach.

I’m definitely a fan of protein. I do not limit my protein. I’m a big girl. I would say my protein goal is about 120-140 grams a day. I don’t know if I hit that. But I definitely don’t restrict it. I don’t track, just so people know. But I don’t restrict my protein. And I think that’s helped me. So I put on a lot of muscle mass. Which is great. And I know, because a see a lot of definition in my body where it wasn’t there before.

But they have really good information on their website for people who are really into working out. And they do have CrossFit coaches on their team who eat up to 80 grams of carbs a day because they’re doing CrossFit. But you know; you're using those carbs. So you're going to stay in ketosis.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. I love it. I’m actually a fan of the way that they approach things. I didn’t know that I was a fan of the way they approach things until I wrote what I want people to do. And then I was like; oh, they’re saying that. That was just my experience, what you're saying. Not limiting protein. And I’m telling people to focus on protein, because protein is really satiating. People have this idea that fat is satiating, but actually protein is even more satiating.

And if you are somebody who; I think you’ve probably seen this too. You’ve been in one camp, and you're kind of in another now. So there’s two camps of people who approach keto. There’re the people who really want to heal something or lose a really significant amount of weight. And then there’s the people who are interested in tweaking, or finding optimization, or will this help me with this last five or 10 pounds. Which we know the last 5 or 10 pounds is diet range. It’s not about health. That’s about aesthetics and all of that. Maybe even 15. That’s where we’re at.

But for people who, especially, are training, there’s no reason to limit protein. You will not be able to eat that much protein. It just doesn’t happen. Nobody is eating too much protein to the point where it’s then hindering their ability to burn fat for fuel. It just is not happening, practically speaking.

Cristina Curp: Right. But it’s scary because you see a lot of advice that says to lower protein. In keto groups online. “I’m stalling!” The first thing they say is, “Lower your protein. Up the fat.” And I’m like; are you insane? Protein is what heals things in your body. You need protein to repair.

And I know I saw a question on the thing, and I’m going to just answer because people; women with losing their hair. Chronically low protein is one of the reasons women are losing hair on keto. Eat your protein! And eat your veggies. But I think that’s a big one.

I also supplement with collagen. I do collagen and/or gelatin in my diet, daily. And I think that helps. Because so many questions about hair; I have a ton, and I didn’t lose any of it.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, my hair is doing just fine.

Cristina Curp: And I know that a lot of times, big hormonal shifts can obviously cause that. But I think in keto why people get to that point where they’re losing muscle, losing hair, or their skin is really dry. I’m like; you're either chronically undereating, because you end up doing that. If you're eating 1600 calories in fat bombs a day, but you're not eating anything else. You're not eating enough. I get it, they’re really filling. But you're not getting the other things you need, and you're not eating enough. Especially if you're active.

So that combination of not enough protein, and in general, not enough calories is, I think, where a lot of people are running into these problems where; yeah, they’ve lost weight. Or they have energy. But their hair is thinning, or losing muscle mass, or skin is dry. Overall health should be everything. You should be thriving; not surviving.

Diane Sanfilippo: Preach girl! {laughs} I love it. We’re completely on the same page with this. And I think it’s really interesting, too. Because I think it’s interesting to learn about these different nutritional approaches from people who; myself and Cristina have both come to paleo, keto, whatever it is, from totally different places and different needs. But have actually found a lot of the same answers. I’m totally with you on the idea of protein. I’m just like; ok everyone. Let’s not eat the 10% protein diet. Because I really don’t think that’s going be good.

Cristina Curp: Well, and there’s already a restriction of carbs. I think getting to that mentality where everything but fat is the worst is the enemy is a dangerous; it’s a slippery slope, you know. I think that mentality in general; let’s keep restricting! What else can we take out? What else can we take out? For what? For weight loss? That’s just absurd. And you're talking to the queen of; I do AIP keto. I have all the food intolerances. But I’m still eating in a way where it’s not about restriction. It’s about how awesome, and nutrient dense, and delicious, and colorful can I make this food. Not, hey what else can I take out?

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my gosh! 100%! I’m like; what else can I put onto this salad?

Cristina Curp: Exactly.

Diane Sanfilippo: What else can I stuff onto there so that it’s colorful and nutritious. I’m totally with you. I love it. You guys, Cristina’s book, Made Whole, it’s gorgeous, first of all. Which is critically important. {laughs} It needs to be really colorful. I’ve seen my friends, Danielle and Darren and Tony have been cooking from it. They’re in the Dallas Texas area. But I love whenever new books come out; they’re always such big supporters of everyone’s cookbooks. I used to love watching them cook through books. So they’ve been cooking through this, which is awesome.

So it’s available everywhere now. You’ve already been on a book tour, so you're not on a tour at this point, right?

Cristina Curp: No. I’d love to do another one. I love meeting everyone in person and hugging everyone.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s so much fun. Well, if I come to your area when I’m traveling around.

Cristina Curp: I’m there.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ll definitely let you know. Where else can people find you?

Cristina Curp: I’m on Instagram at The Castaway Kitchen. I’m really active on Instagram. I’m always cooking and talking on stories. I have my blog page, which has hundreds of free recipes. And the cool thing is because; I’m very what you see is what you get. So my blog page is literally chronicled my healing journey. So you see, there are not just keto recipes on my blog. I have a ton of AIP recipes that are higher starch. I have paleo. I have Whole30 recipes. And then of course, everything in the last year has been lower in carb. But there are recipes of all sorts on there, which are really good. And fun, creative, they’re tasty.

I dabble on YouTube a little bit. Because I mostly just get on there and talk about ranty things. But we’ll see. I’m excited about doing the training. The Nutritional Therapy Association training, and being able to do more coaching and really connecting with people. But, food will always be my thing. So I share recipes, because that’s my superpower. Making stuff taste good.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love it. That’s awesome. Alright you guys. Don’t forget to go follow Cristina over at the Castaway Kitchen on Instagram for sure.

Cristina Curp: Thank you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thank you so much for joining me.

Cristina Curp: Thanks for having me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thanks so much to my guest this week, Cristina. If you want more information about anything she’s been up to in her work, go to And that’s it for this week. You can find me, Diane, at Join our email lists for free goodies and updates you don’t find anywhere else on our websites or even on the podcast. While you’re over in Apple podcast, in the app, leave us a review. We’ll see you next week.

Comments 2

  1. This episode couldn’t have come at a better time. I felt like I was listening along to everything she said and nodding, “yep, that’s just like me!” I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and am trying to ease into AIP. Nuts and dairy are the first things to go, so her book would be perfect for when I’m ready to dive into cutting nightshades as well.

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