UK Low Carb Podcast

Did you know that as well as making delicious sweet keto and low carb treats we also have our very own podcast - UK Low Carb. Here you can read all our transcripts from the show as well as be able to find links to listen for yourself. It comes out every Friday and a shorter version is available every Tuesday during the lockdown period. 


Give your body love, gratitude and good nutrition with Nikola Howard l Ep. #001

Basma  00:00

This episode of UK low carb podcast is sponsored by Deliciously Guilt Free, enjoy the show.

Nikola  00:07

when and literally gave a friend a hug and said hold me I'm crying. I have no clue why but I just need to cry. And it was a very very tumultuous time and the only way I knew how to calm myself down was with sugar and potatoes.


Dan Greef  00:26

Hello and welcome to UK low carb. I'm your host Dan Greef on this podcast is made for and by the low carb community. Each week I'll be joined by fellow carbers who want to live a happier and healthier life. This podcast is sponsored by my business Deliciously Guilt Free, the UK based low carb and keto bakery with UK wide delivery. Just go to to get your low carb treats and use a discount code podcast for 20 percent off your order. Hello and welcome to Episode One of UK low carb. Now, when I first planned this podcast, it was in January 2020. And at that time, I saw many people talking about new New Year's resolutions. They talked about, you know, things they wanted to achieve in 2020. People talked about a new decade, it seemed like a positive new beginning. And now it's March when I'm recording this. And already, it seems like the world has changed so much. So let me just explain the original idea of the podcast, which is what I'm going to still push on with, and I think it has lots of value for many of you listening today is that I am making a podcast which is for and by the low carb community in the UK, but also around the world. And my intention was that people can come on to the show, they have an opportunity to share their story to co-host an episode with me, and to also talk about issues that maybe other people might raise lots of questions, that sort of thing. I've recorded most of the episodes over February and March. And then over the last few weeks, it's the world has changed. And I think we're all coming to terms of that change. And it's going to take us a long time to work through this period of our lives. But I think it will be a period that we look back on in many different ways. And as Coronavirus, COVID-19 becomes more of a reality for all of us, then I think we probably need more than ever, a podcast we need more than ever, people coming together in communities and sharing stories and being there for each other, and getting to know one another and reaching out because in all honesty, we could be alone at this time, but I think it could also be one of those moments that defines the very best of all of us. Now this first episode was with Nicola Howard. Nikola Howard, of course, if you don't know, I'll tell you under low carb in the UK, Facebook Group, which is a fantastic place to go for really warm community support. And that's what I loved about that group when I first got into low carb, and I'll talk much more about that over these different episodes, I really found that that was a great place for me to go to get kind of guidance to find out about low carb and keto, to see what other people were cooking about their transformation stories, all that sort of thing. So I thought, Nicola, how does a person to get on the first episode and wow I was not disappointed at all, when she came on to talk about her own health transformation by eating this way of life, she talked about sugar addiction, and the thing with Nicole I love, she doesn't just tell you a story. She's got so much knowledge behind it and so much science as well. I was blown back and if I'm honest, I couldn't put all of it into one show. So I'm sure we'll get her on in the future again. She also knew a lot about how our bodies work and how our body finds the best nutrition that it needs. And it will find the right food that it needs for its body. If you just let you know, just be honest with your body when it needs, that's kind of her message. She also had a great message I think of acceptance and gratitude and how it is we should really live our lives and how it is which have this relationship with food and a really positive way. I thought it was so inspiring. She's so informative. She's such a lovely lady. So I don't want to take much more of your time. I'm going to hand over now to my interview while I'm talking to Nicola Howard.  I'm now joined by Nicola Howard, who you may know from her website and Facebook group, low carb in the UK. She's a published author and an award winning lifestyle coach, and he's here to share her story and some tips and advice. Welcome Nicola to UK low carb.


Nikola  04:43

Fantastic thank you for having me so much.


Dan Greef  04:46

No, you're very welcome. You're actually on the very first episode. So we can look back when we hit like Episode 1000. And remember this moment fondly?


Nikola  04:55



Dan Greef  04:58

Exactly. Exactly. When when low Car becomes the most common way of eating and the whole of the UK, hopefully. So this show, of course, is about finding out personal stories. And I really want to find out your story how you came into eating low carb, a bit about, of course, your experience of eating low carb now and advice. But in the first place, how did you hear about low carb and you know, how did you first start following this way of life?


Nikola  05:22

In 1999, I was at work and feeling fat and feeling whatever and feeling painful. And a colleague gave me a copy of Dr. Atkins new diet revolution, chap called Tim who I'm eternally grateful to. I can't even remember why the conversation came up. Someone asked me this the other day, and I don't even know why. But I do know that when you gave me the book, I read the book and to my very logical scientific brain, it made 100% sense. So I started doing it.


Dan Greef  05:54

So don't mind me asking what you did before then. So what was your food like before you read that book?


Nikola  06:00

point I'd given up. I was fed up with being hungry all the time. Having basically hypoglycemic reactions, I believe because I have polycystic ovaries. I know that if I wasn't low carb, I would almost certainly be diabetic by now. And I know that I used to get reactive hyperglycemia a lot when I was 14, 15 16, 17. I was a fat I was a fat teenager at school, and I had I was bullied and the whole thing you get when you're a teen, and I said to my mum, we need to do something about this and she took me off to Weight Watchers, right okay.


Dan Greef  06:37

And very normal response, I suppose many people not to their children.


Nikola  06:41

Absolutely. I asked her please help me so that was the way we knew how to get the help. And at that point, the weight watchers programme is actually a very low fat, low carb and high protein programme. It was called exchanges. But at that point, I saw fruit as my saviour and I basically saved myself For my three fruit potions for the day, so when I got really hungry, I just eat some fruit. Now, of course, I know that that is just throwing fuel on the fire of hunger. But right back then that was how I treated it. And so but that of course is to say led to me just feeling hangry all the time. And reactive hypoglycemia peaks, troughs, chronically tired all the time, I just didn't have any energy and when you're 20, and you're going out and partying and doing what you do when you're 20, it just really wasn't good. So I basically just gave up by about 22. And all of the good work had been on done and I thought this for the gamer soldiers and just ate food, got fat, and it was just where I was. And it was that sort of 1999 I'd hit sort of I was 28 for most of 1999 and my hips were aching, my knees were aching. I had 52 inch hips. I weighed around about nine Stone, it was all just a bit here. I really, really need to do something about this. I really don't want to do Weight Watchers again. And I suspect it was those sorts of conversations with with in the office with Tim. That led him to give me a book.


Dan Greef  08:17

Oh, I see. Okay, so he was a good friend to who recommended this as a way to help you. Yeah. And do you stay in touch with him now?


Nikola  08:23

He's on my Facebook and I think I say hello every now and then. But he's not a close friend.


Dan Greef  08:30

Isn't amazing, I find I can relate to your story very much. Because I think in a way I've always found that I punished myself over food, thinking that in some way, food was there and I had a choice to eat or not. And if I got fat is because I chose to eat too much of the stuff. And he and he was eating too much wrong food. And if I was maybe you know losing weight, that's because my discipline and I found that that was a judgement on me because then meant that I was failing personally because I was eating food and was putting On when bizarrely, I knew other people who are not putting weight on eating probably the same or worse food, which is even harder. And I kind of relate to your fruit story I was, I remember I was probably in sick form or maybe in year 11. And I decided to try and lose weight then by only eating some tangerines and sort of apples for lunch. And trying to kind of starve myself on that which bizarrely, I now know, because I do this myself. Now, if I had actually decided to not eat anything, I'd appear a lot less hungry than eating that small amount of kind of fibre and sugar. And how many people are suffering, still thinking that it's somehow their faults, they have to eat those things. So I can certainly relate to that. So in that case, you've kind of gone from that personal change to setting up low carb in the UK. I imagine that you, you know you've probably had a big plan or is it kind of flourished into what you expected? And can you tell us a bit about that?


Nikola  09:52

Okay, so effectively, it's a 20 year journey because I very, very quickly what One of the things about this lovely scientific brain I've got is that chapter five of the Dr. Atkins new diet revolution talks about the subtracting fibre thing. Okay? And they didn't edit it at all for the UK market. So I wandered into Holland and Barrett I picked up a packet of scan, Bran looked at the label and gone hang on that's minus four carbohydrate. That can't be right. And then I discovered I then went on that wall Okay, what is going on here discovered that we do labelling in a completely different way to states and me being me thought with I thought this there must be other people that also are thinking this. Let's start our website. Because I'm a tech person I've been in my previous job before becoming what I am now has been in technology the last 30 days of life. has been doing desktop support websites, servers, that whole stuff. So I set up a website. And then I did a mailing list on Yahoo. And that through that was when I started sort of creating a community of people. I tried to do a low carb bakery business for about six months failed utterly abysmally, because I had too much personal debt


Dan Greef  11:19

I can realate to how hard that can be


Nikola  11:22

life sort of wombled on, but I didn't really have any aims for it at that point. And then in 2003, I was hit with a completely unrelated to anything, medical issue. I went through various bits and pieces and got diagnosed with a case of endometriosis. Right, they decided to put me on a drug that causes mini menopause, of course, my everything screeched to a halt. And the hormonal change literally sent me utterly crazy, completely up the wall and at that point, because I didn't know How to calm myself down and I was literally bursting into tears like no reasons. I actually went and literally gave a friend a hug and said, Hold me, I'm crying. I have no clue why but I just need to cry. And it was a very, very tumultuous time. And the only way I knew how to calm myself down was with sugar and potatoes.


Dan Greef  12:23

Okay, so almost like using that as met as a medicine, right


Nikola  12:27

self medicating with sugar to get myself through the day. Because otherwise I'd be crying at my desk all time. And it was just I couldn't live like that. And of course, that then balanced out what was going on in terms of my emotions, but of course, they made me feel more tired, my dry skin came back, lethargy, aches and pains. And like in that first month, I gained two stone, and then I gained another stone over the next two months and sort of I I'd got to sort of 16 ish stone at the point of where I started the medications. And then I was back up to 19. Again, right? Wow, very, very instant.


Dan Greef  13:09

So does that mean then that you kind of had to learn how your body works? Because it sounds like you are always discovering the actual biological process of how your body functions, which is something I can relate to. When you don't when you do go low carb and you suddenly find, you know, I don't know, see believe it's about weight loss. I think about health, I think, Rita health is it is a key weight loss is the side effect that maybe you can see from being healthier. I certainly find the first thing I noticed as low carb was energy levels, which you talked about emotional difference. And I kind of think that Yeah, maybe my optimism has gone up. My energy has gone up. I don't know which one came first. But I think the more energetic helps to be more optimistic, and maybe more optimistic makes you more energetic. I don't know. But I certainly found I'm eating less, but I'm actually using richer food. And yeah, I'm eating less frequently and I'm also feeling better for it, which is an interesting That shouldn't be the case, from what you're told when you're growing up, you should have three standard meals that should be balanced, whatever balance means. This is how it's done. And then what I seem to eat now, which is mostly carnivores seems to be some people to be completely crazy. Okay, so the last question I have for you before we go into something a little bit different. We're just about your food if you don't mind sharing, what do you normally eat in a typical day?


Nikola  14:22

Um, well, okay, so I'm going to caveat this with I've been doing this for a very long time now.


Dan Greef  14:28

Okay, yeah. Yeah, totally personal as well to you. So it could be something that you have changed over time and we've shown you change in the future as well we under understand that.


Nikola  14:36

So right now I am a carnival and I'm Carnival 99% of the time. I'm not perfect because quite frankly, I miss the crunch of vegetables quite a large amount. So if I fancy a salad I have a salad. But generally speaking, I have two meals a day and a bowl of yoghurt at some point so I will have for breakfast will either be a chop Phillips Three scrambled eggs with butter or a goat cheese omelette. That's normally about midday. Some days it's a bit earlier some days it's a lot later. And then at some point I'll have a bowl of yoghurt. And then I will generally then have a second meal of some form of meat which will be slow cooked beef. Bit of lamb Phillips not pork very often because I find pork leaves me quite flat. And I don't even shake it because it makes me feel sick. I found that out with going carnivore.


Dan Greef  15:35

Just outside Is that something you felt? Did you know about that before you went Carnival or is it when you become Carnival? You felt more it's had an impact on you.


Nikola  15:43

I recognised that eating chicken makes me feel nauseous. And I knew there was at some point I was eating like the pre roasted chickens. I would I would have one of those for lunch at work. I'm not one This is like we're talking what, 10 years ago or so, I would have half a half a chicken, head of lettuce and a pot of coleslaw as a lunch, you chop it all up, you mix it all together. And it's like everybody says it's fantastic. And it's like the simplest thing ever to do. Right? Okay, but I would eat that and towards the end of the meal, I would start to feel very, very, very nauseous. And I put it down to the stuff that they put in the chicken. And I switched to prawns, because at that point, I had quite a large amount of money available than I do right now. And the nausea went away with affecting the same amount of protein, but just in a different format. So I sort of didn't really think about that at that point. But when I when when Carnival, I made myself a chicken. After I'd had a lot of beef and a lot of lamb, and I thought oh yeah, I've got a chicken in the freezer. I'll just get that out. I'll do that. And then I cook that up and within 10 mouthfuls of me eating that chicken. was just starting to feel nauseous


Dan Greef  17:02

wow so you had your answer so it's definitely the chicken that was a problem well yeah,


Nikola  17:06

and that I know that was like a raw chicken that I bought and whatever so now if I am eating chicken I tried to just eat the meat I try not to eat skin and that seems to help but I don't eat chicken that much because I also have ethical problems with the way they slaughter it.


Dan Greef  17:21

Oh okay yeah


Nikola  17:23

I don't like the one in six miss the thing properly and yeah, no, I'm just I try not to eat chicken.


Dan Greef  17:29

Yes, pretty cool, isn't it? Yeah. What about the rest of your food in the day then what sort of other things would you eat so not pork? Not so much chicken I guess that means you're more lamb and beef than if you're


Nikola  17:39

Lamb and beef. Beef if I can get it game, some some organ meat so I'm quite into heart and Tom and liver love liver. Not so much kidneys. Because I whatever I do, I cannot make them not taste to pee. sub i might go back and have another basket I've seen a few recipes where I might see spoken to me used to soak them in milk and that didn't help I've seen someone soak them in vinegar so I might try that on my work. But definitely I'm all I love the organ meats I'm sorry


Dan Greef  18:11

cheap as well as now I mean the thing about being Congo so I'm pretty carnivore and this morning I had ox liver. I think it as Do you get it for about 90 pence for a big packet, which could be about three days. It's incredible. Yeah, lamb heart they do there as well. Again, around a pound or something. And it's incredibly rich and nutritious in vitamins for you. And it's delicious as well. I mean, I'm not I'm not a kidney fan at all, like like yourself, but I do find those other types of organ meats are just yeah, delicious. I think it's a mindset sometimes, isn't it? And, you know, my mom did raise me eating liver but then I haven't eaten it for decades and then suddenly the thought of eating is a bit weird at first, and then it's fine after that. Just don't go to the heart.


Nikola  18:55

I do adventures in car livery posts occasionally in my group where I'll photos The thing before I cook it so that the tongue or the heart or the beat, or the liberal or whatever, and the amount of people that go oh my god, no. Yeah. Used to be so much that people are so squeamish over something that is so nutritionist, nutrition filled


Dan Greef  19:16

with we're just we've chained ourselves, haven't we? We've basically, you know, conditioned ourselves to not eat it. And now it's become weird. Whereas Actually, we can easily do the other way around and start eating it and realising It's okay. Which again, I guess goes back to your point about science, you know, science, we think we're very logical and rational. And if you're in a rational way said about eating maybe hearts was for you know, is it between b 12? Is that the one that it's written? As a rational sort of being you might say, Yes, okay. And then the emotional side can sometimes kick in and make us feel like we shouldn't at all.


Nikola  19:48

Well, it's like, I want to try cricket flour at some point. Oh, wow.


Dan Greef  19:52

I don't even get that from us. I guess I might,


Nikola  19:56

why is it something that bugs are awesome if you can, oh, crunchy, crispy. dot and so but then I said look at it. No, it's six quid for a bag and inbox. Yes, yeah, well and it's not but I know rationally, it tastes a bit nutty and it's very, very high quality protein


Dan Greef  20:15

and you just set it on unique prawns which aren't a million miles away look looks wise but for some reason, so he leaves on land compared to see and it certainly is a problem. Yeah, you know what, this is our first episode I don't want to put people off completely. So I was gonna I was gonna ask then so but the last part of any episode, I want all of my guests to be a co host with me, rather than just being a guest. And the idea in the future is that people can write in my email is Dan at UK low with any questions points or whatever. And I decided as this is the first episode, of course, we don't have any points or comments written in by anyone has yet no listeners that I'd go on to your group. And one of the points raised on there recently and I won't mention who the person is. Because they haven't consented to being on the show. And I just read at that point, and it's something that I learned about two years ago from your group, I've learned a lot from your group. And it's about only double cream, as it said, non dairy. And it's this is a common name, right? They said, I was wondering whether anyone has experienced only double cream in their coffee. I just tried it is actually nice. I was really surprised. Is it suitable for low carb. Now, when I first saw only on the shelf, I assumed that it was a low carb product. And I guess one of the things that I've learned the last few years is to really start looking at what food I was eating and to look up what was inside the food. So can you tell me about kind of foods that maybe just to be aware of and what the problem normally is and what the problem is maybe other foods we might not be aware of? probably less low carb or not as good for us as we might think.


Nikola  21:49

Yeah, so the thing about Emily is it's not that it isn't a low carbohydrate product, it is okay. If the issue with elderly in specific is that it's more vegetable oil. And vegetable oil is an immune suppressant. And it's inflammatory.


Dan Greef  22:07

Those six based as opposed as that problem,


Nikola  22:09

so so. So in terms of its its vegetable oil badness, it is highly non optimal, in my view of the world in the scale. And into in terms of it as a product, it's fake food. And so therefore, using proper double cream that comes out of a cow is far more optimal for the body because it actually has nutrients in it. It has this means it has minerals. And it's about the same carbohydrate count. So why would you unless you have an ethical problem with dairy or a problem, the casein lactose or whey proteins, why would you not use dairy?


Dan Greef  22:52

Right okay, so effectively, you're making things more difficult by eating a manufactured product product when Mother Nature has produced something for you. Which is better for you anyway?


Nikola  23:01



Dan Greef  23:02

And it's not a kind of summit the whole food industry. That's, that's how many foods are right? I mean, it seems like we have foods which we've been eating for hundreds of thousands of years, and then the last hundred and it really is only the last hundred years or so. Probably even less than that. You talked about ancel keys earlier on there. Suddenly, we've gone towards this process of changing the macros and what we thought was healthy. Three words. Now what do you think about this? And those three words are? is sugar addictive? What else?


Nikola  23:33



Dan Greef  23:34

Right. And is that something you've ever come across like yourself personally, or?



Yeah, yeah.


Nikola  23:42

I can't not eat a whole tub of ice cream. Right? You put a tub of ice cream in front of me not not that I would choose to eat that now. But when when I was eating it, I would have to eat the whole thing. And I've never had that with you don't get that with fat and protein. Yeah, you just don't get I've got to eat the whole steak got to eat all the eggs. I've got to eat all of the pork scratchings. You eat all the pork scratches because they're covered in salt and wheat, which really annoys me. It's free so easily. Yeah. In wheat Rusk, and it's that that actually hits the bliss point and you come on because you've got salt, sugar and fat mixed together. Right. But in terms of that, that pint of ice cream that tub of Haagen dazs, which is what was my favourite preludes and cream, it would be popped up but you can't stop now.


Dan Greef  24:41

It's what about then, but just you know, because addiction also, I guess means you don't have it for a period of time and you start craving it. Is that something you've come across as well? Or is it something that you think you can just keep out of your life forever, but you can't ever open the ice cream tub, because that'd be failure. It would then go badly wrong


Nikola  24:59

cravings Are to to fault so you have the physical cravings which go very quickly once you remove the substance that causes a craving from your life. There are also potentially cravings caused physically by a nutritional deficiency. I can't remember which one sugar is but there's a whole bunch of if you are craving x you probably need why.



Oh, okay.


Nikola  25:21

So like if you if you eat ice chips you need something in between be in it. Right Stuff like that. I think


Dan Greef  25:29

my investments pregnant now and you know what foods he made was craving at the time. I If I'd known that I could have then worked out exactly maybe what the victim was you needed amazing.


Nikola  25:39

There's a fantastic book by unfortunate now as a print by Michael Douglas hunt called no more cravings, which details all of these things. It's fantastic. Well,


Dan Greef  25:47

okay. So I think we generally think of ourselves as being very rational and that somehow our mind can control everything in life. And I guess a lot of the times when we fall down is because that's not the case. And I've suffered I'm sorry that I'm a rational person about my body and I can control what I want and then I find my body is actually controlling me and you know, my body will tell me what it needs. Is that something that you you've come across the food at all?


Nikola  26:12

Oh massively so massively so as much as we get cravings, which are physical because of the sugars act of itself, we get cravings because the body has known from past experience that that substance has whatever it needs in it. So So for me, just before my period I find myself wanting to go and find some chocolate dark chocolate 85% naturally, because chocolate is a really good source of magnesium. Right and which is very strange for someone that is Carnival I I have been Carnival since January 2019. I've not been perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But generally speaking about three or four days before I come on, I find myself heading off to buy some chocolates and I've only manage to actually catch myself once in the last six months and go, Oh, hang on a minute. Let's get some magnesium in me and do that normally itself. Stop, stop, stop, stop. Oh, yo. Very, very weird. I think that the body craves a thing that it knows we'll give you something else. But we rationally think well, that's chocolate that that is bad, even though I don't assess food is good or bad anymore. And therefore people would then stop being guilty beating themselves up and all that stuff. Whereas for me, I see that as well. My body's asked for something so I've just given it to it, maybe not in the best vehicle, but I've done so.


Dan Greef  27:40

Okay, so next question, then. This is another one that came up on your group, which I think is a really good one. Something I need to know the answer for. Does anyone know the best nuts for a low carb diet? Also do they give you energy?


Nikola  27:53

Personally, I'm always going to pick macadamia nuts for that. Okay? Because they are the highest fat nut With the lowest amount of carbohydrate, they do give you energy because they are a nicely mono unsaturated fat generally speaking, which liberates itself in the body nicely. The mitochondria love them. But you've also got the considerations. Having done a lot of research around why plants are toxic. There's a lot of sort of lectins oxalates and other stuff in nuts that maybe make them not an optimal choice. They're sort of, I call it suboptimal, there's somewhere in the middle there where they've got some carbohydrate, some badness or some things that are not good for the health, but they've also got a lot of nutrition, a lot of nutrient density, and they're low carbohydrate. So I park things like nuts and seeds, sort of on that borderline over Yeah, you should enjoy them, but don't do too much.


Dan Greef  28:53

So the last thing I just want to ask you Nicola is some words of wisdom, something that you would like to share with anyone who's listening thing to this now. And it makes me reflect on this week.


Nikola  29:03

Sure. Well, I personally believe that if as a society, we ditch out sugar, ditch out wheat and ditch out vegetable oils, we would all be healthier as a society. Everything else beyond that is gravy as far as I'm concerned. But also being able to remove our obsession with our relationship to gravity. Being able to just go by how this wonderful, amazing body that we've been given, everybody has been given such an amazing vehicle to experience life in just being able to think about giving it love and gratitude, good nutrition, and some movement and and just appreciating the fact that we are not accidental. We got we we are here we are all here for a reason I believe. As a spirit, we've been given a body to experience something and to give something to the planet. So just by feeding ourselves better nutrition, we are better placed to do what we need to do. It's as simple as that.


Dan Greef  30:09

Great FMS. Lovely, thank you so much for those words. And thank you for the interview today. I feel really privileged because it's almost like I've had my own personal coaching session with you, which is such a privilege and an honour. And secondly, there's a bit of stardom here, because when I first looked into low carb when investment had my wife had gestational diabetes, and we first looked into all of this, one of the natural places that we found very quickly was your Facebook group. And I find myself regularly reading through and yeah, I feel like I've got to know us from a distance. So to have this time together, it's been a real privilege for me. So thank you so much for coming to agreeing to talk to me today.


Nikola  30:47

You are more than welcome. And if anyone else also wants to come and join the conversation, I am low carb in the UK across all social medias and the Facebook group.



Right. Okay.


Nikola  30:59

So you Low Carb in UK onward.


Dan Greef  31:02

Low Carb in the UK one word Fantastic. Thank you so much Nicola. And yeah, thank you for coming today.


Nikola  31:08

You're more than welcome. Thank you so much.



Okay, bye now.


Nikola  31:11



Dan Greef  31:15

Thank you for listening to this episode of UK low carb. We hope you enjoyed it. It would mean the world to me personally if you'd rate this podcast and leave your review. It really helps us spread the word about the low carb way of life. And I promise I'll read the best reviews on the show. Finally, please spread the word. Tell a friend tell all your friends get them to listen to the show. And if you want to come and co host a show an email me Dan at UK low carb calm. Follow us on Instagram at UK low carb pod and why not join the Facebook group UK low carb until next time, bye for now.


How to follow a Keto and Vegan way of eating - Vegan & Keto with Gia @makeshiftmermaid l Ep. #002 

Basma  00:00

This episode of UK low carb podcast is sponsored by Deliciously Guilt Free, enjoy the show.


Gia  00:07

They come across quite defensive of their diet because the thing is like, we are all an open community. I know there are parts of every single diet that are going to be very rigid and, and sort of not open to change. But obviously like it doesn't really work that way in the real world. You have to be open to conversation. Yeah.


Dan Greef  00:33

Hello and welcome to UK low carb. I'm your host Dan Greef on this podcast is made for and by the low carb community. Each week I'll be joined by fellow carbers who want to live a happier and healthier life. This podcast is sponsored by my business Deliciously Guilt Free, the UK based low carb and keto bakery with UK wide delivery. Just go to to get your low carb treats and use a discount code podcast for 20 percent off your order. Welcome to Episode Two of UK low carb. This episode is with it's a bit different Actually, it's with somebody who I know personally, as well as I've got to know through kind of the low carb community. So  Gia is somebody who lives fairly locally to us. We first got to know her through Instagram by a year ago in 2019. And she's somebody who have just found to be a very lovely person. You know, when you're starting something else, so maybe have a project, you're starting a podcast, for instance, and you contact your mates and you say, right, I'm doing this podcast. It's a bit scary. This is the idea I have. What do you think? Would you like to come on? So Gia said, Yep, no problem. I've got I've got a microphone. I've done some podcast recording already in the States. I can come on here the day I'm free. Let's go for it. Which was amazing. So very appreciative. to her, and the reason she's on is not just because she's my friend, she's actually somebody who is really interesting for a very particular reason. And that's because she follows a low carb and a vegan diet for health reasons. And she's somebody who I think it kind of detoxifies the argument that has happened by some people on both sides of the divide. So as you know, the last few years has been a debate. I say that kindly, in some cases, quite a nasty attack by people on both sides to say that both diets are appalling, low carb that is and veganism and I think Gia brings a kind of an honesty that actually for her both work and the way she manages that, and I thought was really fascinating. Doesn't mean it's necessarily right for me, but I think it has real value for her obviously. And we can learn a lot from her as well. And I certainly learned a lot and in fact, she did recommend a type of soy pasta which I've tried, which is absolutely delicious. So I thank her for that. Now This This podcast is obviously your show. So if you want to get involved if you want to become a co host yourself, then after the show, if you're interested then please please get in contact. My email is, and also on Instagram, which is UK local pod on Facebook. I've got a Facebook group for low carb, so UK low carb. So please get in touch and if you want to share maybe your story or if you just want to write him some comments then you will be more than welcome to do so as well. I'm not going to keep waffling on for much longer because you want to get straight into what she's got to tell you so I hand it over to Gia. Next I'm joined by Gia Gia is both vegan and keto. She's helped co host a podcast in the United States called healthy Gamer Girl with Liz McDowell and she can be found on Instagram @makeshiftmermaid. Hello Gia, welcome to the show.


Gia  03:57

Good to have you here. Yeah


Dan Greef  04:00

Yeah, now, I've known you now probably for a year or so. You're very influential in the in the keto, low carb community in Britain. And we've kind of been to different a few different events and things together. And so it's been good to get to know you. So when I, when I started this podcast, I thought, well, there's there's no one better, especially when it comes to veganism and keto, to yourself. So thank you for coming on today. So just wanted to find out a bit more about your story. And you know, what brought you to low carb in the first place. What was it that introduced you to this concept of eating?


Gia  04:32

I think it was been. There's so many people that have had such a long history with sort of yo yo dieting, and I was one of those for a long time. And it ended up being to a point where I was dancing like four or five hours a day, eating like 500 calories, and then obviously, but not losing weight, because at that point, the body's starting to just kind of slow down your metabolism. He's ended up just being extorted. So offsets stopped out by probably about the age of 18. And kind of just by bad habits work, and uni stress, it all kind of just built up into a point where I just wasn't eating, like healthy at all, and figured out that a lot of foods actually don't agree with me. So yeah, so when you start eliminating those, you start to realise how good you feel doing that. Now, how did you


Dan Greef  05:34

go about that then? Because I know some people like to exclude everything and then reintroduce or did you try to exclude a few things at a time?


Gia  05:41

No, it was. I just started out by doing like, you know, January Oh, yeah. And you know, just still eating completely unhealthy even eating vegan was my information was still you know, kind of going down for me and wasn't feeling as sick all the time, or tired so I stuck with that for a lot a little while but obviously when Oreos are still like, still completely an issue so then started looking at a couple of blogs online about vegan and keto. And then I just started like, rolling from there.


Dan Greef  06:26

Okay, so, so you started doing vegan and when you said vegan with Oreos and stuff, I can see how most people go down that route. I mean, chips are vegan, and they


Gia  06:35

So yeah,


Dan Greef  06:36

but then how did you move from veganism and keto? Because that's the thing, the thing I'd find challenging? Um,


Gia  06:43

yeah, it was. It was more that I figured out that I was eating literally all the bad parts of my previous diet. But see, that's just lacking the meat in the dairy. And you start you know that like, you're gonna end up having a b 12 deficiency. And anything else iron deficiency so I wasn't you know, I wasn't really experiment with anything like tofu


Dan Greef  07:09

so you basically cut out meat and fish and hand over the bad elements and what how did that affect you them before you went towards keto?


Gia  07:16

And so my skin got a lot better. Right and because I started having issues with acne like I've never had that in my life


Dan Greef  07:25

also how to just give it up the meats in the fish and stuff yeah better even though eating just the bad stuff. I would say


Gia  07:31

it was more the dairy the day


Dan Greef  07:33



Gia  07:34

Yeah, I don't think the meat fish really have a correlation with acne but dairy overtly dairy. Yeah. And so yeah, so just start from there. And obviously, we start wanting to eat a bit cleaner. They start researching more and more and yeah,


Dan Greef  07:52

okay. So when did you then became keto? Tell me what sort of foods were you eating then that were vegan and keto


Gia  07:58

and something like that? flaxseed, lots of that. Lots of tofu, lots of other meat substitutes, because a lot of them are, and really low carb, which is good. And also a tonne of vegetables. I've never eaten so many vegetables in my life. And Bubba has questions here, but


Dan Greef  08:17

Well, I won't ask you this. All I'll do is reflect on myself. If I have a lot of vegetables, I have side effects, shall we? So I don't want to go into details because listeners don't want to hear about that. But yeah, are you okay? Do you have any?


Gia  08:33

I mean, I've cut down the amount of it, it was more to like to fill me up and to kind of transition periods because you obviously do get a lot of hunger and cravings. And, and, yeah, but I was also doing one meal a day. So that plus the amount of vegetables was


Dan Greef  08:53

my largest food, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. And so because there's a lot of research now saying about, you know, well, I'm I think everyone agrees excess fibre is definitely not good for you, but some research saying that you know, fibre itself you know, you got to be careful how much you have because it can cause problems. Which I guess means you'd like to say tofu and stuff is probably the better option, right? So definitely can fill up on that about nuts. Do you eat a lot of nuts? I do. I love sachets love almonds. So they're kind of my go twos. Walnuts like in a dish, but I can't see them on their own. So yeah, they just get weird wallets, don't they? Yeah, you mean you gotta cook with them? You can't just have it. Okay, so in that case, you then on Instagram become really, really successful. I'd how many followers do you have now on Instagram?


Gia  09:41

Okay, it's something like 17 ish, like 17 K. And also Yeah, when you say Yes, sir.


Dan Greef  09:50

It's like talking to wealthy people who don't even mention that the O's at the end. They're like, Oh, she's about six or six pounds. Six grand. Oh, right. Yeah. Okay, cool. So Okay, fair enough. So if you You 17 K, as you say, and tell me about that then because there must be I would imagine quite a big vegan community.


Gia  10:08

Yeah. Well, I think it's a mixture because I have sort of all three demographics following me. I've got the people who are following vegan and just vegan who just was a bit cleaner. You have the vegan Ankita community and you have a lot of the keto community who also want to just look for like, things with no dairy because I know that the no dairy keto movement is kind of like skyrocketed recently.


Dan Greef  10:33

Yeah, I've heard a lot of people talking about dairy. Yeah. And they say that for weight loss and all sorts of really beneficial. I personally isn't sounds such a lame thing to say I'm personally a massive cheese fan. And I mean, okay, maybe I could give it up. But I found


Basma  10:50



Dan Greef  10:51

I'm sure I could. I'm not a vegan. So what excuse Do I have, but I just find you know, like, when I become when I went into keto, I decided to Make it the most enjoyable it could be and part of that I thought right eat the foods you love so I'm a big meat fan so I've pretty much gone carnivore and then I thought also I adore cheese so I eat a lot of cheese and I used to be a massive fan of mayonnaise but I am a massive fan of mayonnaise there are some hunter and gatherer incredible brand of the market but I would say like the other mayonnaise brands are kind of full of nasty oils and things so


Gia  11:25

yeah, I kind


Dan Greef  11:26

of found cheeses my equivalent lighter mayonnaise so putting a bit of cheddar on everything just worked well for me, but I guess I could move away from it so in terms of You said you had benefits from giving up dairies


Gia  11:37

yeah finding Yeah, I think because I personally I do think that also dairies got the most inflammatory markers. So if you're if you're doing like grass fed beef or and come You know, benefits chicken, then you're going to have that's going to be a better quality of me that's fine is is mostly protein or fat. There's nothing else could have in it that dairy just, I mean, I'll say what it's given to cards to bump them up to help them grow like homemade


Dan Greef  12:09

yankers. Yeah. So of course it's going to be Yeah, you're right. So, about cheese then is a vegan equivalent that you know of, that I could eat, particularly a blue cheese or massive Stilton fan. I mean, obviously, not me. I'm asking for a friend.


Gia  12:26

There are a tonne on the market. And I haven't tried all of them because I'll say like, depends on I don't really like coconut based cheeses because I think they always have that strange aftertaste of cold rice. Yeah,


Dan Greef  12:39

that's a bit of a mixed message to your brain, isn't it? Actually coconut and cheese at the same time your brain says


Gia  12:46

Oh, yeah, yeah. But the some of the slices that I'll use because like a burger without cheese is just, you know, well, saturated just isn't it? Yeah. All right. Yeah. So we'll just do like the follow your heart. Like the smoke gadar or the I'm sure they do like a mozzarella or something that's always such a winner. Like past debates and stuff. Oh, what's that? Sorry, but black? No, it's like the slow being passive and do it as a like a pass to bake. Oh, cheese on the top. Right. So that's pretty low carbon. So, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, nice one. Okay,


Dan Greef  13:24

so can you tell us that in a day, you know, roughly what sort of meals would you be eating? I mean, that sounds like the black pastor is a feature. Oh, yeah.


Gia  13:33

I love that. Yeah. Yeah, it's Yeah, cuz it's like black soybean pasta and just, you know, it's the closest thing that's so low carb. So I've been like that with any sort of pasta sauce for lunch but starting the day with coffee or a bulletproof coffee cans how I'm going to eat for the rest of the day. And what do you burn? I suppose you'd have coconut oil in the sun. This is really good. keto creamer from TK Maxx. They've been unsweetened which is it's all powdered MCT oil or powdered coconut oil as well. And it's really good so use that or I just put it and all the ingredients that I would normally use Blender like MCT and a little bit of sweetener.


Dan Greef  14:17

Okay, and what other sort of meals might you have throughout the day? And


Gia  14:22

obviously the past one all good like tofu stir fry, and we get a lot of Mexican food at home as well so like lovely is in the marinated like tofu cubes for tacos and stuff is always well sound idea.


Dan Greef  14:38

That's Yeah, that's delicious. I love Mexican food you love to like Indian food.


Gia  14:42

Oh, yeah. Oh, wow.


Dan Greef  14:45

So I love Panini again cheese. What's wrong? achieve beans as it turns out. Okay, yeah, say lovely. We've got really good curry houses here in Cambridge. I do find that good for veganism as well.


Gia  15:00

I mean, obviously you have to check with a lot of them and some things you can't really avoid. And, you know, you don't know what they cooking with the kitchen and they're not always so informed themselves. You know, the ones that are on the phones, obviously they're in front of house. So,


Dan Greef  15:17

yes, yeah. Be careful, haven't you Really? Yeah,


Gia  15:19

yeah. But as long as I'm getting the, at least the vegetarian one and it doesn't contain eggs, then, you know, I'm happy. Okay.


Dan Greef  15:29

So, one thing I find really interesting about your story is that you've been working with Liz McDowell. You have co hosted the healthy Gamer Girl podcast with her. What's her handle on Instagram?


Gia  15:43

It's meat free keto meat free keto.


Dan Greef  15:46

Yeah. So Liz McDowell is meat free keto. How did you meet her? And can you tell me about the work you've you've kind of done a project you worked on together,


Gia  15:56

and so Mahathir Instagram. I'm not allowed As a fan, because as soon as we start researching her website comes up and kind of went from there. So I messaged him on Instagram, and then we ended up actually doing the podcast. And so it's her podcast, and we've done a couple of episodes. Were just sort of talking about being keto and kind of our past with emotional eating and all that. And then we kind of decided that we were gonna do some more episodes in the future together. And we actually ended up meeting in November when I went over for votes. Oh, yeah, so


Dan Greef  16:41

I saw your pictures at the time so whereabouts in America she then Boston Boston as well what a place to go to amazing. And so I guess she's found the same thing has she that the vegan and keto community is quite big now. Is it? Is it growing strongly in America?


Gia  16:56

Yeah, I think honestly, a lot of my followers are from them. correcting vegan keto is really hit its stride in the K. So this is the thing.


Dan Greef  17:06

I mean, I want to share a story. I was in an interesting situation recently, whereby I just posted a picture of a steak being cooked on my Facebook wall. The lady who was a lady who will remain nameless commented, oh, you're not gonna become vegan now. Now I've never said I was going to become vegan but I did ask her about health and veganism before so I think she thought I was going to become a vegan. Then the weirdest thing happened whereby she would posted my comments saying no, I'm not going to become vegan because I tried to cut back on my carbs. And the best way to do that for me is to eat meat. And she then posted that in a vegan group on Facebook, which she didn't realise I'm actually in that group. So it was the most strange situation where I could see all these people aren't telling her what to say back to me. And then about an hour later, she would copy and paste those responses. onto my wall again. And I thought to myself, Oh my word This is really like, weird. I know where should get the comments from. And I'm now going to have to somehow, you know, deal with this. So, I tried to dm her to say no, you know, let's, let's talk in dm maybe, and then she send me all this stuff she's getting from the group. The group then was becoming really angry with me. Yeah, I didn't understand veganism, low carbs or fat. But what I find interesting is we weren't having a conversation about science and about fact, it seemed more like a tribal thing. And I was gonna ask you, how do you find that because I find sometimes veganism, they look at people like me who do like carb as being a bit crazy, because they maybe they judge it as being an ethical diet in whatever way and I don't judge their diet in any way. I just I'm interested in learning about everyone's diapers. Yeah. So do you ever come across that kind of conflict with people? Oh, yeah. What on earth is low carbon vegan, they don't mix or you know, absolutely. sighs maybe.


Gia  19:02

I mean, yeah, it just, it'll start off with an Instagram comment. And, and to be quite honest, I'll just immediately delete that. And I've got Phil sort of thing for me, people who are looking for people to keep either people who are vegan, and they don't understand low carb, and they come across quite defensive of their diet, because the thing is, like, we are all an open community, I know that there are parts of every single diet that are going to be very rigid and, and sort of not open to change. But obviously, like it doesn't really work that way in the real world. You have to be open to conversation. Yeah.


Dan Greef  19:46

And but I don't understand why people would have an issue with your diet if you I mean, okay, I can understand why people might have an issue with my diet if they're vegan because they could say, animal cruel to the environment and I completely understand and relate to those things. I I have issues with both those issues about the environment and also animal cruelty and, and how to reduce animal cruelty and reduce damage to the environment as much as possible. But considering that you're doing veganism and low carb, you think they'd say, oh, okay, that's interesting. I want to learn more. I wonder why they get so defensive. It's a funny reaction to have when you say,


Gia  20:20

yeah, I think it's as soon as you cut out a food group, and I know there's a lot of vegans who follow a like zero fat one. Apparently, that doesn't count as, like cutting out a food group. And that's interesting, isn't it? Yeah,


Dan Greef  20:39

your body needs essential fats. So that is an actual food group that they need. But anyway, okay.


Gia  20:44

Yeah, but that's like a societal thing that's happened due to the influx of low fat products onto the market. Anyway, like the 70s, the 80s. unhealthy to me. It is it truly is. And I'll say that they don't quite understand that there is another way to live where you can actually have fats and have like, as much avocado as you want. And, you know, that kind of thing. But um, yeah, as I said, it's about the kind of the food groups and they're sort of always I can is that it's only just sort of the same advice. See? Yeah, it's like, obviously, you know that lowering the carbs does reduce your cravings in the end, for sure.


Dan Greef  21:32

Yeah, certainly does. I mean, yeah. Well, I try to come up to a point you said earlier on and and it does relate to what you just said there about cravings as well. If food was literally just a fuel source, I think it'd be easy to work out, wouldn't it? But we find that food affects our health in so many ways. You know, the wrong foods can affect us in ways that are really bad for our health. But equally, we can sometimes depend on food, for emotional reasons, and for lots of different things. So You know, I'm pretty tired all the time because I've got a young child at home who doesn't sleep much knows you know him. But yeah, I find that I tend to get more hungry. But also, I'm the sort of person who, when I'm happy, I'm more hungry, where some people are more hungry when they're sad. It's, you know, I wonder if you could share your experiences of that. Yeah.


Gia  22:19

And I mean, I don't know about your family, but my family, it's any family event, any family like death, anything is a, you know, an event tweet, it's an event to get together. And yeah, you know, your life's kind of built around that. So if food was just a fuel source, then as you said, it would be very easy to figure out very easy to cut back. But if you are a foodie, which I think both of us are,


Dan Greef  22:50

definitely Well, I am. Yeah,


Gia  22:52

yeah. Yeah. I mean, I love experimentation. I know you do. Yeah. And so it's very hard to kind of break away from that. Because at the end of the day, I think it should be enjoyable. And it's tough to find a balance of how bats can also fit into a healthy lifestyle.


Dan Greef  23:11

I mean, I suppose as well, I don't know if you're the same, but I find it's a celebration at the end of the day. Like, this is like a little party in the kitchen. Let's look up something lovely to eat. And yeah, enjoy it, and it brings you a lot, well brings me a lot of pleasure to eat. And I've never been one of those people who find when they're sad, they have to kind of medicate with food. I know, I know that some people do and, and I think that's a very sad thing. And I hope they help for that. Because I can see how it happens completely. You know, you may be wanting to eat something to make yourself feel better. And it's kind of a natural way that you might think that but then I guess, quite damaging long term, of course to your health.


Gia  23:47

Yeah. And obviously, like positive reinforcement of that is that you feel better once you reset. Yeah, we'll keep Yeah, keep going. Yeah.


Dan Greef  23:56

Okay, J now we're about to come to the end of our conversation today. day and I'd love to know what words of wisdom do you have for somebody who's either starting keto, maybe they're looking at veganism and keto, or perhaps they've had a bit of a trip up, and they need a bit of advice and a bit of help.


Gia  24:14

Honestly, I was like, the best advice that I can give is to not make it difficult for yourself at all. You want to be able to sustain it, at least until you've kind of gone into ketosis, and it's going to be easier From then on, but stick to meals that you know, and carb counts that, you know, and then obviously, stick within your calorie range, then, as long as you can, like, kind of keep that routine going.


Dan Greef  24:42

Excellent. So it's about the pattern that you're setting. Yeah,


Gia  24:44

yeah, great. It's like, you know, fatigue of, was it decision fatigue? You don't know how to use Yeah, yeah. No, so, um, we make a lot of decisions during the day. If you then have to think another 20 decisions about your food intake, well, there's increasing your


Dan Greef  25:06

fatigue. Yeah, nice. Excellent. Okay, now, we've had some an email Woo, which has come through after the first episode, and I've shared it with you. Would you mind reading that out to me, please?


Gia  25:21

Did. I'm new to keto and have enjoyed the diet so far, but I really miss bread. Do you have any recipes that you recommend to either make keto bread, or that replaces carbee foods? Carol?


Dan Greef  25:34

Well, thank you, Carol. Yes, very good question. Because when I started this, I miss bread as well. I'm the sort of person who used to have bread with every meal, or no, it's not true. I used to have a meal with every bit of bread. That's probably the best way of saying it. It just seemed to me like the natural way to sort of mop up gravy sources, whatever. Everything tastes better than bread. And this is confession time when I was in sick for most even half Korean sandwiches quite regularly for lunchtime. I mean how my my poor body was coping with that. Well, it clearly didn't cope with that at the time. Now about bread I personally moved away from it eventually. So I did used to eat a lot of the low carbs zone, its carbs and low low carb, which anything is it is low carb bread and that's pretty delicious. Actually, it's nice toast with a bit of butter on the only thing is I found you got to be careful you don't start eating to the extent where you just basically having a whole piece of bread, but over you know, like six or seven slices of low carb bread, so you got to be careful on that front. But in terms of recipes, I always my go to place is sugar free Londoner. So if you go to sugar free Katrin is the lady who runs that she'll be coming on this podcast soon actually. And she's got some bread recipes. So just looking at her website. Now. She's got low carb keto keto zucchini bread, courgettes, if you're British And we've got keto naan bread. And I haven't tried these recipes personally because like I said, I've moved away from bread now, but actually I recommend looking at her website because you'll find a lot of carb kind of equivalence probably on there that you might find interesting. She does some nice sweet things as well. So definitely recommend a word but what about yourself Gia? What do you what do you say to?


Gia  27:21

Yeah, I mean I really struggled with the sweet stuff like that was because every kind of like evening it would be you know, chocolate or something else sweet. And so to try and move away from that was quite difficult, but some of you about the bright eight cards a month for quite a while. And also the live life one. I don't know if you've tried that. Oh, no,


Dan Greef  27:43

I tried that. No,


Gia  27:44

no, no on the Cardo Okay, everything on a card. Oh, great. You got me back into bed again. Okay, so they're good friends. Oh, yeah, yeah, um, but there's a lot of recipes for like cookies and cakes as well like mug cakes. They're quite easy today. Yeah,


Dan Greef  28:04

they're very quick to knock on a Yeah, just


Gia  28:06

quickly in the microwave


Dan Greef  28:08

and almond flour and coconut flour. I mean, we use in the business almond flour, but majority of the time but do you ever use coconut flour in your baking?


Gia  28:18

I do. I find it's more difficult to use.


Dan Greef  28:21

Yeah, it's funny, isn't it? Yeah, it's just I got the little


Gia  28:26

Yeah, and a lot of them brands very different and how it reacts whereas like you know how ground almonds are going to react in baking. I


Dan Greef  28:34

know you mean it's kind of a bit of a staple. You know what you're dealing with with almond flour. So maybe start with almond flour cowl and then from there try other things. I guess the only thing is you don't want to have that coconut flavour like you're saying but other foods. That wouldn't be so good. No. So where can we find you? In that case? Where are we going to find you? online but we're gonna find her on Instagram. Can you tell us your handles please?


Gia  28:58

Yeah, and so on. cram on apmex you've learned that's the foods and kind of Instagram and at JM macaroni is just like my kind of personal one. I'll just post and you have a blog as well though I do. Yeah. Yeah. What's the name of your blog then? Yeah. So so make sure mermaids in just type that in Excellent. And


Dan Greef  29:23

Jeff, you can be part of the Facebook group that we're setting up for this podcast as well. And there's been a long engagement you there they can. Yeah. So thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing your stories. And I hope you don't get inundated with vegan and local questions. But if anyone is interested, she is probably the person I would definitely he is the expert on this. I thank you so much.


Gia  29:42

All right. Thank you.


Dan Greef  29:47

Thank you for listening to this episode of UK low carb. We hope you enjoyed it. It would mean the world to me personally if you'd rate this podcast and leave your review. It really helps us spread the word about the low carb web. Life and I promise I'll read the best reviews on the show. Finally, please spread the word. Tell a friend tell all your friends, get them to listen to the show. And if you want to come and co host a show, and email me Dan at UK low follow us on Instagram at UK low carb pod and why not join the Facebook group, UK low carb. Until next time, bye for now.


Don't be afraid...we will make it! With BIG B - @bigb_keto l Ep. #003

Basma  00:00


This episode of UK low carb podcast is sponsored by Deliciously Guilt Free, enjoy the show.

Big B Keto  00:07

Maybe point 2% of my followers know my real name really has been my name has been the the topic of discussion ever since I was big sexy and now Big B


Dan Greef  00:20

Well let's let's let's keep the mystique then I like the mistake let's look because I want you to be happy with this. So let's say this is Big B_Keto used to be known as Big sexy, which to be honest, no offence, but I prefer that name. I thought when you're a big sex there's a hell of a character to have I thought you know, who is this guy? I don't know but I watch his videos when he's live. We're recording let's get started. Because I'm getting distracted. I want to just chat to you as a mate rather than do this now. 


Dan Greef 

Hello and welcome to UK low carb. I'm your host Dan Greef on this podcast is made for and by the low carb community. Each week I'll be joined by fellow carbers who want to live a happier and healthier life. This podcast is sponsored by my business Deliciously Guilt Free, the UK based low carb and keto bakery with UK wide delivery. Just go to to get your low carb treats and use a discount code podcast for 20 percent off your order.


Dan Greef 

So welcome to Episode Three. And what a treat you've got today. I have been talking to a guy in the States in California. Yes, I know you're thinking but Dan, this is UK low carb, surely talking to British people. But actually, that was never my intention. I always want to talk to people around the world. And in particular, this guy and you'll find out very soon why? Because Big B he used to be known as Big sexy. That's his Instagram name. I won't say his real name. It gets touchy about that. But I will just say that he is somebody who I've followed for a few years now and is a really, really warm person. He talked about many issues. I find it Really interesting actually just trying to find out a bit more about the Latino culture and about Mexican food and he talked about what it was like going into low carb and the foods that he missed a little bit but then how he must overcome that and what he needs to do to maintain his way of eating really fascinating guy great episode and really funny as well and I hope you enjoy it. I just want to say if you're listening to this and you're thinking to yourself, I'd like to come on the show and share your your main story, your story, then please get in touch my email is, Instagram, @UKlowcarbpod and on Facebook is UK low carb. I've set up a Facebook group, so please get in touch. You can also send in your comments. So maybe you've got some comments about veganism, which we discussed in Episode Two, and your views about low carb and veganism or perhaps you want to talk about some other issues that have been raised or perhaps you want to share a transformation story, whatever it is, this is your show. So please get in touch? The more that you give, the more this show will thrive. The more we hear from you the better. So I won't waffle on for too much longer. I'm going to get straight now to Big B. And maybe by the end of episode, we might work out his name as well.   Right next I'm joined by... well he's known by several different names is known as Big sexy to some. That's why his Instagram account used to be called, is now known on Instagram as Big B underscore keto. So people called him Big B. He has told me his name, which I know, is a bit of a controversy, and it's something that many people would like to know. But I have promised him that I won't use it right Brian? Oh, whoops. That's not his name! Now, the introduction to this guy, what can I say? I'm talking to big sex. I'll call you big sexy. He is a ketoer in California. I've never met you in person, but I feel like I know you. Because over the last two years, he has been incredibly open and honest, he's been very human, very warm, very human in the way that he's interacted with people. And I think that's really common as well. So I thought I can't just talk to the UK community, I need to talk to some people in the states as well. The first person and the only person so far spoken to is him. So welcome. Big sexy to the podcast.

Big B Keto  04:20

Thank you very much, Dan. I appreciate it. Glad to be here. And yeah, definitely a big sexy moniker is still there. It's still lingering for sure.


Dan Greef  04:31

I just want to say your view looks amazing. I know this is on the podcast. For those who can see the video clip. You've got an incredible view behind you. Anything is if you then scratch your chest, your body disappears as well. So for now, yeah, that's the worry. Good scripts green screen. I like it. So thank you. On the show. Today, we're just going to talk about your story. And I would like to sort of Firstly, start off with your childhood. We talked about this a little bit, didn't we when we were you To mount a podcast and what we can talk about, and you've got a very interesting kind of backstory so you tell me about your childhood experiences and you know your culture The where you come from.


Big B Keto  05:10

Yeah, absolutely. So I am. Well, as far as I knew, I was I was always Hispanic, but just recently, I did a quick, but a 23 and me to find my ancestry and I'm about 40%, Spaniard, European and then about 35% Native American so I'm doing some more. Yeah, I'm doing a lot more investigation onto that side, you know, the Native American because I would have never known


Dan Greef  05:45

That's incredible thoughs tests, isn't it if you do want to find your international you're walking UN. You're not just American.


Big B Keto  05:53

Exactly. I mean, I think you put it spot on, you know, I'm a walking UN I've got a little bit of every scene. It's, uh, it's been really cool the last couple days to kind of learn a little bit more.


Dan Greef  06:05

So the the Native American link would be really cool. As opposed as you can probably find out which tribe you might have ancestry from which culture? I mean, I'd love to learn about that personally. If you can come back on the future and tell us more about that. That'd be amazing.


Big B Keto  06:19

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I think it would be a, I think that would be a lot of fun, not just for me, but, you know, for anybody else out there that has thought about doing something of that sort. I think it I think it's definitely worth it.


Dan Greef  06:32

Okay, so what about your Hispanic background then? So you're raised in the Hispanic culture, is that right?


Big B Keto  06:38

Yes, I was. I was raised in the Hispanic culture. You know, I was born and raised in California. I have grown up with a single trial. I'm a single trial. My mother's a single mother. Um, she she did everything, you know, to the best of her ability. You weren't you late nights providing for me and making sure that I grew up in a very stable and loving warm house. Um, I have pretty much mainly almost all of my family in Mexico. But being a being in the Hispanic culture, I mean, you get to have friends of the family who you look at and refer to as uncles. And so those are just my cousins. I mean, it's it's so big. And I think one of the biggest, funny things about it is when you see pictures online, and it's like, you know, a group of 40 5060 Hispanics at a party, and then somebody's like, Oh, yeah, just a few of them came. That's pretty much how generally it is.


Dan Greef  07:43

Really. Wow.


Big B Keto  07:44

I mean, it's, it's a big thing.


Dan Greef  07:47

So it's like a Big Fat Greek Wedding, but in this case Hispanic.


Big B Keto  07:50

Hispanic? Yes, absolutely.


Dan Greef  07:53

So what about food then because, you know, I when I when I think about the Hispanic culture, I'm thinking about some beautiful, wonderful food. And I know I've got Spanish friends who have wonderful food in Spain there's incredible food in Mexico. What's the food like that you're going out with?


Big B Keto  08:08

Oh man, I mean as as typical and as normal as this is going to sound there was always some sort of beans being made. Whether there were Pinto or my personal favourite black beans. Okay, I I don't know what it is about those but I just have always been a fanatic about black beans.


Dan Greef  08:30

That must be like when you do keto then I guess



Oh, man, you know I see all the soy the soy and all that and I'm just like, You know what? I just not really feeling it. But um, but no food wise growing up. I mean, we we ate everything that you could think of, you know, and of course, all of it was cards. There was always tea has been been made with breakfast or lunch or there's some sort of bread when I would go to Mexico and visit family. You know, after dinner, you know 910 o'clock at night, you'd have your cup of milk with a pastry or something, you know? Well, that helped me sleep. Yes. Oh, absolutely.


Dan Greef  09:15

Your blood sugar is crushing the insulin, I'm sure Yeah, exactly.



Oh, yeah. No, you, you were just going down a path that you know.


Dan Greef  09:23

So in that case, you said that you kind of grew up around carbs. What was your kind of preference of food? You prefer more savoury? Or more sweet? And what was your relationship around food?



You know, my relationship with food was you know, I grew up eating everything. You know, I never I never said Oh, I didn't like that. But my relationship with food was never more of. I'm not feeling too good. I want this kind of food. It was more of a I like food, so I'm going to eat it. I was never my mother. She never was really a sweet person. And I think That transferred over to me because I'm not so much of asleep I'm much more savoury Yeah, I like I like things that would have a little bit more kick, you know, spice, a little bit more seasoning stuff of that nature that had more of the bright colours. Um there's a dish called boyan tomahto which is a chicken in a red tomato sauce. Right and I mean you could make that as mild as he wanted or you could put you know, however many Serrano's or jalapenos, whatever kind of hot chilli you want, and blend it in. And it would just taste amazing. So I can imagine while love Oh, love I think Yeah, I for me, there's got to be some sort of spice to it in order for me to enjoy it. That doesn't go to say that I don't eat, you know, a piece of chocolate here and there but if I had my choice, I'd rather have have, you know the crispy tortilla with some refried beans on it or something of that nature.


Dan Greef  11:06

So in that case, when you started keto, you were really kind of changing from your cultural tradition of eating a lot of carbs. That must be quite quite difficult for you,



you know what, it was more of a it was more of a mental strength than an actual you know, just change. I remember I started with my ex girlfriend, she was the one that got me into keto. Right. And I've I, you know, when she started talking to me about it, it was kind of like, Okay, well, I've done clean eating, I've done portion control. I've done other sorts of things. And I've lost some weight, but it's always never been something that it was while this is really worth it.


Dan Greef  12:00

Did you ever find that you might be lost the way and then it might come back quickly? Or is it just that you lost it? And then you stayed losing? I mean, what pre keto? What was your weight? Like? Was it yo yoing a little bit?



I was yo yoing I was definitely



I was doing a lot of



chicken and rice, you know, feminine rice, pork and rice. I mean it was and then some veggie so is a good mixture of all food groups. And I was going to the gym and I was losing I was losing weight. But it I never had that mentality to continue. It was always good for a couple weeks and then I kind of like oh, it's a cheat day. I have some food and then it would just continue on.


Dan Greef  12:50

Yeah, I've never known a cheat day for me been 24 hours unfortunately. Yeah, no, I'm the body goes Oh, here we go. We can now eat this. Again. I've been missing this. Let Go for



That's exactly and then it just kind of gets back in your head. Okay, we're back to this now. We're good. Yeah. Um, but it was it was definitely kind of a more of a body shop than a culture shock because I would still be able to eat some of the foods that I grew up with just you had to tweak it a little bit. But okay. And I always watched my mother cook. I was always in the kitchen with her, seen what she was doing. And that first day that we started, we emptied out our fridge in our pantry and we went to the store and bought about $400 worth of keto food.


Dan Greef  13:48

You know what I love the fact you say that because I've always said to my wife Esma when I start keto, do it properly. They feel like you're denying yourself but rather embrace ketose spend your money fill up your fridge so that actually you've got lots of keto options. So you feel like you're actually it's a celebration for me, I'm a big meat eater anyway, so I suddenly feel like buy a nice cut of meat by some roast, you know, some beef to roast or some lamb, really go to town and a lovely meal with a lovely creamy sauce and really enjoy it because that way you think this isn't all just not diet, it's just a different way of eating, which I'm enjoying.



Exactly. And that was always one of my things that I learned, you know, along the way, it's not so much restricting yourself for going like you said on a diet, it's just you're going to change the way you eat. You know, you might not eat this anymore, but you can have a little bit more of that. And it just it helped because like you said, we went out we spent $400 but we got all this really good food that we would normally eat. But now we were eating it a different way. We weren't adding anything more to it. From that moment on. It was like nothing I had ever seen. Before weight dropping wise,


Dan Greef  15:02

I've seen your transformation photos because you've shared them over the last two years. And it is incredible, isn't it? I mean, you seem like you lost so much weight and you seem much happier and healthier. And I remember some of the things you shared were really personal about, you know, this this change in your life and what it meant to you.



Oh, yeah, no, I mean, I just very recently, I was comfortable enough to actually show a full picture without a shirt. And, you know, bearing pretty much it's something that I would have never done.


Dan Greef  15:36

And can I just say, That's why and I saw that picture on your Instagram feed. And I thought, Wow, that was amazing. And I thought, why is he not on the show already? Well, to be fair, I was only recorded I think, one interview by then but I decided right, we've got to get you on because that was so incredibly well, it's not brave, but you made yourself potentially vulnerable. And I think when people do that, actually, they have strength. Because you own it, then don't you? You're saying I'm, I'm in control of this. I'm going to show you something about myself. I'm going to be in control of showing it to you, and nobody can hurt you. All they can do is have admiration, I think. And that's what I saw from that picture. So well done to you.



Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, no, it was definitely a struggle. You know, it I, I can tell you in full honesty that I, I kept going back and forth for a couple days before I finally just said, You know what, go for it. Put it out there. You know, one of the things that I've talked to some people about and I've had some people come to me and I've gotten to some people, there are still some people out there that are in the shadows that don't really come out a lot. They'll see your stories, you'll notice who they are, you know, they're on their way on whatever kind of journey health journey right but they might not have that inner strength. He had to kind of full fledged, give it there. All right. So sometimes We have to be the ones to be a voice for other people. And and vice


Dan Greef  17:04

versa. For I love that. That's the thing. I want this podcast to be us all as a community around the world saying, look, we're on the same boat, you may have had different reasons for coming to this decision we may be some of us might be type two diabetic, some of us might be trying to deal with our weight or health issues and other ways. But actually, you know what, we're not alone. And I think if anything, that's what I feel from Instagram. That's what I feel from your account, and hopefully this podcast and do the same, and make people realise that we can talk about these things openly. There's no shame it's only about strength and support. And I want to check when you say you put that picture up of you just the other day with your top off. What was the reaction what sort of messages Did you get back from people?



Nothing but positivity.



I'm it



and it's, it was hard to, to see and realise that people I had never met before in my life people that I haven't met, people that I don't really talk to on a regular basis are congratulating me are being so appreciative and supportive. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and who I am now in what I was before and what I am becoming


Big B Keto 18:25

right you know,



it's, it's it's that sort of family that you get when you all are on the same page, like I said, whether it's keto, low carb, carnivore, you know, a vegan, whatever it is, whatever your choices, we're all on that same boat of getting healthier.


Dan Greef  18:48

I feel like we all feel as well. I don't speak for everybody, but I certainly feel for me, I feel more like I'm eating the way that my body wants the and that's amazing too. When you feel like your body's doing what it's supposed to do. And you can See success and that the nice thing is as well, you know, you're in a further stage in the journey than somebody starting, but they can think, Oh, hang on a minute, maybe I've got a similar issue, maybe I want to try to do something my way to my health, and they can see how you've done so in before them, and that's inspiring, you can't get more inspiring than a success story.



Exactly. And that was and that's, you know, also true for me because I know that there's quite a few out a hell of a lot of people out there much farther than me and I look at them for inspiration I look for them for motivation, so I mean, it all comes full circle.


Dan Greef  19:37

So what about exercise now that what does he do the exercise routine? Do you go to the gym fairly regularly or walk or run or whatever?



So Lately, I've been doing a lot of walking. Um, I've been doing a lot of kind of like evening walks when when the sun goes down, my work schedule has been a little up and down. So I normally would go to the gym after work, you know, during the week, so five days a week. And I have a very close friend of mine who is pretty much my brother since elementary school. And he's been extremely instrumental in in training me getting me into the gym and just helping me achieve what I want.


Dan Greef  20:24

I think it's so important, isn't it? Oh, absolutely.



each other's backs. He's been, you know, in shape in the gym for, you know, 567 years so he knows what he's doing. So having that kind of, of support, like you said, that mentality of someone who knows what they're doing knows your limitations right now, but still pushes you is beyond you know, there's no no repaint someone for that.


Dan Greef  20:51

Yeah, perfect. Okay, so, in that case, two questions really well, the first one is, what are your goals? Now? Maybe moving forwards, where do you want to go in the next well the rest of your life or in your goals in terms of health.



The goals in terms of health is, Well, I can tell you that I've achieved one of my goals already. And that was brilliant. I, I was diagnosed pre diabetic, borderline diabetic, about three years ago. And just very recently, I was officially cleared, no longer. Fantastic.



So, yes,


Dan Greef  21:34

that's brilliant.



That alone was like, the biggest cherry on top for me, you know, I was no longer in danger of doing that. So that alone helped me and pushed me to continue what I was doing,


Dan Greef  21:50

pop my ignorance for a second, but I suddenly realised if you're type two diabetic in the States, that's a very different situation than we have in this country where you know, you Healthcare here is completely free. So, if I was diabetic and I needed insulin, then it'd be provided by the National Health Service. And my wife's a doctor, and she's an oncologist. And she said, she found out once about the cost of treatments and chemotherapy, and you'd be shocked by how expensive it is. But I guess even America, if you have a disease or chronic disease like that, would you have to pay for it yourself? Or I guess your insurance company would help with that in some way with



your insurance company would help depending on on severity, I believe, but there would still be some cost that you would have to cover as well.


Dan Greef  22:38

Wow. So that could be not only a diagnosis which you carry throughout your life, but also a bill you've got to carry for your life regardless of exactly how much money you earn or anything. That's something you'd have to pay out.



Exactly. And and I definitely I don't get into into the whole politics thing, but I think that the sicker you are, the more Learning how to make. So when you start getting better and taking care of yourself, that's when people start losing money. Yes,


Dan Greef  23:09

yeah. Sad. Isn't it really sad. And the next thing I was gonna ask you about was, what are your words of wisdom to somebody who's either starting keto and low carb? Or maybe there's somebody who's had a few issues with it, or they, you know, stumble a little bit, what are your words of wisdom? What's the thing that you're gonna teach them to help them get through this?



I have a couple answers to this question. One is, you know, we're all given the same 24 hours in a day. Whatever we choose to do within those 24 hours is going to be what separates us from everybody else. Whether you're starting out whether you've been on it for a year, two years a week, this is not just a quick fix. This is a lifestyle. This is this is a complete, give it your all you You want to make sure that at the end of the day, you're happy. Nobody, nobody can take that away from you. Nobody can take your happiness away from you except you. And don't be afraid. All the all the scary things will always be scary, but it doesn't matter. We're our own light in the darkness, we will we will make it. We just got to keep going.


Dan Greef  24:22

I love that mindset is everything, isn't it? I think Yeah, I feel like you're gonna fail in some way, then you might you're more likely to I believe that. I think if you have a positive mindset, or you have the idea, you're pushing for it. And I notice this in my own life, with my business with my jobs in the past with my family. If I change my mindset, which is what I'm in control of, then you see the future is so much different to what it could have been because I feel like I put everything into it, and good things happen.



Yeah, absolutely. You gotta, you got to have that strong mindset. You got to know that there are going to there's going to be days where you're going to fail. And that's normal. But you get yourself back up and you continue on.


Dan Greef  25:06

Good. I love that Big B love it. So we've had some correspondence we're going to move now to people can write into to the show, ask questions, share comments. We haven't had any reviews yet, but I'm sure it will do very soon. Someone's written this comment here. They I'll just paraphrase it because quite a long email. Effectively, they lost quite a bit of weight over the last few months, and they felt really good about it all. Unfortunately, they seem to have stalled now for the last six, seven weeks. They haven't changed in any way what they've been doing. They are intermittent fasting, and they're fairly strict on their keto, but they're a bit confused as to why they've had this stall. Is there any advice that asking that we could give or experiences we could share about if we saw in our weight loss, what we think we should do or what we think we should advise them to do. So about that question then what do you think about that? What do you think about this question about stalling and, and weight loss not continuing as expected?



Well, you know, like anything, at least in my, in my experience, as we're losing weight as we're, as our body are starting is starting to, to get accustomed to what we're doing. Like anything else, once you get into a routine, it becomes almost like a monotone kind of thing is just repeating. So maybe if you are working out change your workouts, um, I know some people that I follow will do a Carbo load, you know, they'll take a day will they'll consume, you know, more carbs than usual just to kind of get their body back into gear. Um, and also, I know this is kind of a hard thing for for Quite a few people but cutting out certain things, whether it's a dairy product, even sweeteners, you know, sugar free sweeteners with you drink coffee in the morning, you know, just finding little things to cut or adding more protein. If, if you're, you know, working out a lot, add some more protein. Yeah, things like that will help but make sure that you're switching things up because once your body gets accustomed to it, and you'll, you'll begin to stall on the weight loss will slow down immensely.


Dan Greef  27:37

So this is I agree with that. And I think that for too long, there have been certain slimming agencies which have kind of described the body as if it's some sort of mechanical machine, you know, or a robot, but most like you put in this many calories, you'll get this much result and of course, that's been proven to be completely rubbish because the body as you said, Does adapt. It does change, it adapts to that situation. If you Twin treadmill, you've never done it before, your body will be all over the place find it very hard to cope, you do that everyday for a month, by the end of the month, your body will adapt to that. So you find it doing it. And I think in the same way you're saying there about weight loss, your body isn't a machine, it sometimes has to regulate itself. But the thing I think is most important is that the body is able to make itself healthier. And even if you're not losing weight, and you might be doing keto and low carb to lose weight. But even if you're not losing weight, I still believe your body is becoming healthy. Maybe it's repairing itself. The weight loss for me is always really beneficial side effect is not necessarily the main thing you're going for. It's not the primary goal, I don't think but of course over years, if you keep up the routines if you keep at it day in day out, all those little times every bite you take every exercise you have, over time the pattern will be the overall I think you will have lost weight. It's just you might not see it this week. You might see it next Next week, you might see it this month, you might see it next year, you don't know. But I'd say keep going. Because ultimately it's about being healthy. And if you can have a healthy relationship with food as well, then I think you're winning. And I would rather be healthy, have more weight, but knowing eventually I'll probably lose it as well.



That's right. Absolutely. And one other thing is take measurements of your body.


Dan Greef  29:20

That's a very good point. Yes, weight is not the best way to measure health is it could be soils,



it could be size, um, you know it



Yeah, measuring your your biceps, your your, your stomach, your size, you know, just doing simple measurements, you'll see where you're losing and I can guarantee you, the scale might still say that you weigh the same, but your body will not your body


Dan Greef  29:49

do not lie, right? The amount of times I've done this Well, I don't weigh myself now. I used to about six months ago is last time I weighed myself and I remember clearly thinking to myself I've not lost any weight whatsoever. I've gone down two notches on my belt, but I've not lost any weight, what's happened and it's just the way your body reconfigures itself about weighing yourself as a very arbitrary way of trying to measure weight loss really. It's more about health your body and how your shape changes. I love that. Absolutely love it. Exactly. Well, Bob, it's been Oh, I've done it again. I've given away the name.



My goodness. I don't know if I'm ever gonna come back now.


Dan Greef  30:29

You guys are like a bob to me. You look way cooler than that. Okay, yeah. I think I'm gonna be names. That's all I can think of Brad, you look more like a Brad.



I like it.


Dan Greef  30:40

Most of your competition, I guess the name but actually, I don't know you might allow that. No, I just want to say though, thank you. Big B underscore Quito, that is your username on Instagram. there any other platforms always build and get in touch with Instagram the best way?



Instagram is honestly the best way. I'm on that much more than anything else. I mean, if you ever have any questions, comments, you know, or do you just need to, you know, say anything that is the best way to get ahold of me.


Dan Greef  31:11

So you all at Big B underscore, underscore, sorry, Quito, brilliant, go check him out. And he did a lot of live posts and stuff. You do a lot of stories. Every Wednesday for me is to get your message come up. So it's Hump Day. That got me then I did a video back on cycling on a run over Taurus in Cambridge.



Yes, I was very proud of you. I am very proud that you manage to not only run over a couple people and I saw it looked like you were going over speed bumps. What I could help. I could hear the little whimpers as you're running them over but you held the phone and camera so steady. I was just incredibly proud.


Dan Greef  31:52

I'm a technically just about a millennial, you know, so I thought I've got to live up to my generation here. I've got to make that's what it



was a little


Dan Greef  32:00

Exactly, so yeah, so follow him on Instagram. You've got to thank you today for coming and talking to us. I really appreciate you give it your time. But I think you've said so many really wise things there. That would be good to reflect on. And I don't think it will be your last time on this show. Maybe you'll have a different view behind you each time we can try and guess the American landmark. That'd be quite



good. There we go.


Dan Greef  32:24

Yeah, that's the Sydney Harbour behind you, I believe. Is that right?



Yes, yes.


Dan Greef  32:32

If you see on YouTube, you'll first see the background. Anyway, thank you so much, Bob. been great talking to you big sexy, and I will speak to you soon.



Sounds like great plan. Thank you, Dan. I appreciate it.


Dan Greef  32:45

Thank you for listening to this episode of UK low carb. We hope you enjoyed it. It would mean the world to me personally if you'd rate this podcast and leave your review. It really helps us spread the word about the low carb way of life and I promise Are we the best reviews on the show? Finally, please spread the word. Tell a friend tell all your friends. Get them to listen to this show. If you want to come and co host a show, and email me Dan at UK low carb calm follow us on Instagram at UK low carb pod and why not join the Facebook group, UK low carb. Until next time, bye for now.



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