How to do the Ketogenic IC diet in a healthy way

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.

Thanks, Bronchitis

I woke up recently with a sore throat. And I know what that means… I’m getting sick. Getting sick when you are already sick is the worst.  For me it goes something like this:

  1. sore throat
  2. stuffy nose
  3. post nasal drip
  4. cough
  5. drainage into lungs
  6. bronchitis
  7. lung spasms
  8. misery
  9. bladder pain
  10. more bladder pains
  11. …deathhhh

This has been the pattern my entire life due to the fact that I have chronic bronchitis. I can also get bronchitis from people, but I have never given it to anybody…it’s really jacked up.

When I get bronchitis my medicine bag fills up with… 2-3 inhalers (to be fair I always carry at least 1-2 inhalers with me for my asthma anyways, but when I have bronchitis my doctor might add on a third depending on how bad it is), antibiotics, steroids, cough syrup with codeine (to stop my lungs from spasming and aching), and non-Rx meds as well…like cough drops, Mucinex and ibuprofen. It really is just so much fun. This is an annual thing for me, no less than 1-2 times per year.

Last winter I had bronchitis, and of course, I had a terrible IC flare up when I caught a stomach virus from Aaron’s son, Reid. He had the bug for maybe a day or two and he was fine, but he was five years old at the time and much better off – healthwise. Whereas I was already sick and my health was extremely compromised. I just remember laying in bed unable to move… my bladder was on fire and flaring up, my stomach was hurting so badly because I needed to throw-up and my lungs were spasming and aching too. It was just a huge hot mess. It was an unfortunate experience that I never want to experience again. 

Bronchitis impacts my IC because I have to take so many medications that inevitably one, some or all of them hurt my bladder in some way, shape or form. -Rachel Bob

When a person with chronic illness(es) gets sick on top of their chronic illness it puts their health in dire straights. It’s much harder for us to bounce back to our normal homeostasis due to our compromised immune systems. So a person without a chronic illness might get the same cold as me…miss a day of work or school, sleep 10 hours and wake up feeling better. I miss those days.

I sleep 10 hours and wake up feeling even worse because my body can’t fight off the cold and then my body immediately turns it into bronchitis. Every. Freaking. Time. I can’t remember the last time I got a cold and it was just a cold. Because for me a cold = bronchitis.

Because of my chronic illnesses and my diet, I am very limited on what I can take when I am sick with a cold and/or bronchitis. Cough drops, like Halls, which before I was diagnosed with IC I used to buy by the pound when I had bronchitis….they hurt me now. They have ingredients in them that actually hurt my bladder and make it burn something fierce when I pee…but they effectively stop my coughing. 

While I have been able to find herbal cough drops that help, the issue ends up being that when my bronchitis is at its very worst, herbal cough drops don’t suppress my worst most productive phlegmy cough…only Halls do the job. I have tried so many different things as a chronic bronchitis veteran… So then I have to decide…what’s more important, my bladder or my lungs? I have to pick my poison. And believe you me…I am not the only chronically ill person who has to make these kinds of choices. 

Deciding to treat one illness at the expense of another is just part and parcel of being chronically ill. – Rachel Bob

I have to check the ingredients of everything I put in my body, it’s frustrating. I can’t just buy chicken noodle soup because it has ingredients in it, like onions, pepper and what not, that I can’t eat. Which means I have to make it myself. And while I have become more adept at making my own food from scratch recently due to my Keto IC diet, when you’re sick… you don’t really feel like making food because…you’re sick. Although I am fortunate enough to have my mom and Aaron who are always happy and willing to make me food I can eat.

Being sick when you are already chronically ill is like hitting the jackpot of crap.

Side note…I recently went to see my doctor for my bronchitis.  She looked at me and said you look like you’ve lost weight. she looked at my chart. But you’re the same weight as before…you’re stable. She looked up at me with a semi-quizzical gaze… you look like you’ve lost about 10 pounds. I told her about my new diet (that I cut out carbs and processed foods) and how I was trying to be more alkaline for the sake of my IC. She nodded in understanding. That’s it that. You’re less puffy…not as inflamed then.

I want to take a second to just soak that in. Less puffy. Less inflamed. 10 pounds. 

Prior to going to the doctor, I thought I might have lost some weight, but I don’t weight myself so it’s difficult to gauge if I actually did or did not lose weight. But usually, I can tell by my waistline. I lost about an inch around my waistline…which is a lot. I lost about an inch of inflammation. That’s ridiculous and fascinating. 

It brings up so many questions. Was I that inflamed because of my IC or because of my diet? Or both? Probably both. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is so acidic, so is it any wonder that so many of us have chronic illnesses nowadays. Although prior to the Keto IC diet, I was on the IC diet which was still pretty alkaline…before I was diagnosed with IC…I did eat the SAD and that’s probably what led me to where I am today…along with millions of other people. And the Standard American Diet is pretty sad…I think SAD is the perfect acronym for it. 

But just thinking about it… I look like I lost 10 pounds… when it was all just inflammation, it makes me wonder about all the people who are actively trying to lose weight and could easily lose inches if they just ate a less acidic more alkaline diets. 

Maybe my lungs are inflamed and angry right now…but at least the rest of me isn’t…score! 

 

 

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image-bronchitis is my least favorite dinosaur

Raising awareness for Bronchitis my least favorite dinosaur

#bronchititisdinosaurawareness