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By Dr Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG
Before I knew better, I’d put my women patients on a ketogenic diet – a diet that is high in good fats, adequate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates – because I knew it would help them lose weight rapidly, improve energy, and boost memory.
But invariably, they’d complain about feeling miserable and cranky. I knew exactly what they were talking about. I’d felt the same way on a keto diet – I call it going “keto crazy” – so I needed a better solution, and I needed it fast!
I dug into the medical research and found an obscure journal article published in 1924 in the Biochemical Journal. It pointed out that making a ketogenic diet more alkaline could be very beneficial and therapeutic.
Testing for PH
This information gave me an Ah-ha moment. What if I put more “alkaline” foods such as leafy greens into the ketogenic diet? After all, when you stay in ketosis (a fat-burning state)for too long – this especially becomes true for women – your body becomes acidic, creating chronic inflammation that forces your body to hold onto its fat stores. I’ve seen this play out numerous times among female patients.
I became my own guinea pig. I checked my urine repeatedly with strips that measured ketones (signs of fat-burning), and pH (a measure of urine, not blood, acidity and alkalinity in the body). As it turned out, I was persistently acidic, brought on by strict low-carb eating. No wonder I felt irritable.
Results of Adding More Greens Into A Keto Diet For Women
My diet clearly needed a major alkaline boost – so I added greens and other alkaline foods to the diet. That’s when my Keto-Green diet was born. My patients and I quickly started feeling better. We stayed in a fat-burning mode longer, without any unpleasant side effects. Our hormones achieved better balance. We felt more energized. The combination of keto and alkaline eating made all the difference.
So the centrepiece of Keto-Green is eating more green leafy vegetables, which have numerous benefits, from supplying cancer-fighting nutrients to improving gut and brain health to cooling chronic inflammation (which underlies many diseases).
But what if green veggies are your least favourite food? Not to worry! Here are 5 easy ways to sneak greens into your diet.
5 Easy Ways To Sneak Greens Into Your Diet
1. Add frozen greens to your smoothies. I like to buy bags of organic spinach and kale. After getting home from the grocery store, I freeze them. When I’m ready to make a smoothie, I toss a cup of frozen greens into my blender along with some nut milk, a few berries, vegan protein powder, and some almond butter, and I have a delicious, cold, thick smoothie to enjoy. The best part is that frozen greens don’t have much flavor. You don’t know they are there! But you’re amping up your nutrition so easily.
2. Stir them into stews and soups. Chopped greens make a great addition to these dishes. As with smoothies, they do not alter the flavor, but they definitely boost the nutrition.
3. Use greens as sandwich wraps. Who needs bread when you’ve got big leaves of green? I sub in greens as wraps for sandwiches and tacos. Even the healthiest bread, tortillas, and pitas are high in carbs. With Keto-Green, we’re cutting carbs, because, in midlife, our bodies no longer metabolize them as well. Green wraps are the perfect swaps for these high-carb bready foods.
4. Turn greens into homemade pesto. I love pesto sauce, especially over zoodles (spiralized zucchini) and spaghetti squash. You can make pesto with any green. Simply blend the green with some olive oil, pine nuts, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and some nutritional yeast – and voila, you have a delicious pesto.
5. Place chopped greens on cauliflower pizza crust. Who doesn’t love pizza? On Keto-Green, we swap out high-carb pizza crust with cauliflower crust, plus toppings. Make one of the toppings chopped spinach. Yum!
Want more information on how to slip more greens into your diet? Order your copy of Menupause now and start reaping the many benefits of greens. You can also get a taste of some of the recipes in this ebook: Recipes for Menopause.
Dr. Anna Cabeca Bio
Dr. Anna Cabeca, DO, OBGYN, FACOG, is triple-board certified and a fellow of gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. She has special certifications in functional medicine, sexual health, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
For the past 20 years, she’s served 10,000+ women in her private practice— and millions more through her books, online videos and articles.
When her own health took a troubling turn during menopause, she sought out the wisdom of healers around the world. She learned that modern medicine and time-tested natural remedies are not at odds. Working together, they create indisputable results and true well being. Using delicious, healing foods and simple lifestyle changes, Dr Anna reclaimed her health and life.
Fueled by her belief that every woman deserves to be empowered and in control of their health and life, she developed the Keto-Green lifestyle, which has helped thousands of women opt out of menopause misery and experience a joyful transition to the next stage of their lives. With her methods, you, too, can breeze through menopause into your “second spring”, feeling the best you ever have.