How do you do the Keto IC diet? I get asked this question frequently…even when I wasn’t posting regularly on my blog. So let’s start with this for those who don’t know what is the Keto IC diet?
The Keto IC diet is two diets together: Keto or Ketogenic and IC or Interstitial Cystitis. I’m sure everyone and their mother knows by now the popularity of the keto diet for weight loss, but what about for health purposes? And maybe that includes weight loss, but not always. The IC diets is about maintaining an alkaline diet as best as possible without triggering a flare up in your bladder or the rest of your body.
This IC Master list is generally what have worked off of to help me with my IC diet, eventually you will learn what works for you. The more in a flare up you are the more you should not eat acidic foods, like tomatoes, alcohol, onions and other foods/drinks like that. Once you are healing you can start testing what foods you can add into your diet.
The Keto diet is at its core cutting out carbs and refined sugar..yep bye bye breads, pasta and chocolate. Read up about what you should eat on Keto online, it can be challenging. And fair warning some people who have IC do not do well on it. The reason I finally committed to the Keto IC diet was because of the bacteria in my bladder. I have candida glabrata growing in my bladder. Candida glabrata is a rare type of yeast infection that can be very challenging to get rid of. I have been through three rounds of treatment. One was a anti-fungal medication I took orally. And the last two were compounded meds that a compounding pharmacy had to make for me for self-catheterization. When I tell you this is not fun… believe me.
What seems to keep the Candida glabrata from becoming overgrown is the keto diet, which makes sense because sugar feeds bacteria…yeast is very much a bacteria. After the first round of self-catheterization meds I made the mistake of eating carbs again because I felt good and it ruined my treatment. Healing takes time and I need to be more careful.
So now on to the business of what to eat on a Keto IC diet…because it seems SO LIMITING! And yea it can feel that way often. Don’t get me wrong I miss eating the foods I love but I don’t miss the pain I felt and self-catheterization.
Here’s foods that I like to eat regularly…This is not a comprehensive list at all.. This is just off the top of my head. And I think I will another post about this next week to fill in the blanks on what I missed here.
–Eggs: I love to eat eggs. Hard boiled, over easy, scrambled, omelets. Eggs are so versatile, they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner or even a quick snack if you want.
–Fish: Salmon is my personal favorite, but I also enjoy tilapia. Really almost any fish is great for Keto IC, but not fishsticks because they are fried. One thing to keep in mind though is how you prep your fish. Be mindful that you are IC friendly with your preparations.
-Nuts: I always keep cashews on hand for a snack. They are high in protein which is important for Keto and IC friendly. (*people with nut allergies should be aware of that this would not be appropriate for them)
-Cheese: Who doesn’t love cheese? But careful about the kind of cheese because certain kinds of cheeses can possibly irritate and flare up your IC. Please refer to the IC Food list for this. Cheese is great for anything… good to use for a snack or in an omelet or make a pizza from scratch. There’s a million options for cheese.
-Meat: If you are careful about the meat you choose because of your IC… not spicy, processed or cured. Meat is a great choice of course and really a mainstay of a Keto diet. You can make all kinds of stuff…. Bunless cheeseburgers (or make lettuce wraps), tacos with low carb quesadilla wraps, chicken salad (with appropriate IC modifications).
-Desert: This would be no list of mine if I didn’t include desert… let’s start with ice cream. There’s two low carb brands of ice cream that are amazing. Halo and Rebel. 100% delicious and they have a ton of flavors, low carb. There’s a brand of no sugar chocolate called Lilly’s, which you can now find at most grocery stores..Harris Teeter, Mom’s, Giant and more. Lilly’s has amazing sweet snacks. Milk chocolate bars and chocolate covered popcorn that will blow your mind. If you can eat chocolate, try it. Sometimes people with IC can’t eat chocolate at all… at first I couldn’t but later on as I started healing I was able to eat some and then more later on. I eat a lot of vanilla and caramel deserts even still when my bladder isn’t at it’s best.
Here’s what I might eat on a given day.
-Breakfast: Eggs or Two Good Yogurt- this Greek yogurt only has 2 grams of sugar per cup and it’s freaking delicious and as of late it’s being sold in more and more grocery stores.
-Lunch: Chicken Salad or something else that is left over…read that as easy to make. If not I will just have a snack like cashews and/or cheese.
-Dinner: Salmon or chicken with a green vegetable like broccoli or asparagus.
The Keto IC diet is challenging on an easy day, I have been doing this on and off for years now. I’m going to just lay it out for you. There are days when I just want to eat Chinese food or order pizza and cry about how I hate my diet. Sometimes I let myself have a cheat day. I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect. This diet is exhausting but my health is more important to me than not.
I think meal prep and knowing what you need BEFORE you go to the store is hugely important. Especially if you are just starting out on this journey of a diet.
You might feel like this is the blandest most boring diet ever.. and maybe it is (…because it is) but it is certainly better than having a bladder that is on fire with crushed glass inside trying to get out… or whatever your version of that is.
I know how hard it is and I can only hope that this gave you some ideas. I really encourage you to research research research. Research Keto and then look at the IC food list and see what needs to be changed. Sometimes it is just trial and error. Also you can always message me if you have a question because I am here for it.
I wish you well on this journey, friend.