What I have Learned from the KETO Diet & New Recipe: Chicken Enchilada Soup

I have been on the KETO diet on and off for over a year now. I have lost all the weight I wanted, gained some back and lost again. I find the diet easy to follow, consisting of high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrates. Sugar and carbohydrates are almost completely eliminated from the diet. The KETO diet has become popular due to it’s quick results for weight loss.

By lowering the intake of carbs, our bodies are induced into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process where we produce ketones, which are formed by the breakdown of fat in the liver. The end goal is to force the body into this metabolic state by eliminating carbohydrates. When this happens, our bodies begin to burn fat (via ketones) as the main energy source.

But what are the risks and side effects? Many doctors would argue that the diet is not safe. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. Ketoacidosis refers to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and is a complication of type 1 diabetes. It’s a life-threatening condition resulting from dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar. This combination makes the blood too acidic, which can change the normal functioning of internal organs like the liver and kidneys.

Another side effect is fatigue, which I experienced many times on this diet. The lack of carbohydrates can cause extreme fatigue and sluggishness.

In addition, I noticed muscle loss.  Of course I wasn’t working out while on this diet, so that probably added to the issue. But this diet makes it easy to lose weight without working out…so why bother 🙂

But so far, the biggest side effect I have experienced from being on this diet is developing a kidney stone! That’s right, a big ol’ effin’ stone!

I have never experienced the symptoms of a kidney stone, until this week. And let me tell you…it sucks big time! The pain was awful, located on my right side towards the back but would radiate to the front as well.

What’s the first thing I do when something like this happens? Google it! Let’s self diagnose the problem…type in the symptoms and ta da! Appendicitis! I guess that’s good news, usually I convince myself I have cancer of some sort.

Off to the ER I go. The CT scan showed a stone making its merrily way through my  kidney to the bladder! Great! This sucker is 2mm in size, in terms of kidney stone rankings, this guy isn’t winning any medals, but he sure is trying his best! Feels like a golf ball sized stone!

Anyway, my point here is to warn of the side effects of the KETO diet. If you are following the diet, make sure to drink plenty of water…8 glasses a day. Large amounts of protein and salt combined with not drinking enough water can cause kidney stones.

Enough of my medical history, let’s back to talking about things fun and pretty 🙂

I’d like to share one of my favorite KETO recipes with you…..Chicken Enchilada Soup!

Here is what you will need.

2 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 stalks diced Celery
1 medium Red Bell Pepper
2 tsp. minced Garlic
4 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Diced Tomatoes
6 oz. Cream Cheese
9 oz. shredded Rotisserie Chicken
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
1/2 medium juiced Lime

IMG_7907Wash the vegetables.

IMG_7911Chop the celery and red pepper.

IMG_7912Heat oil in a pan. Add the celery, red pepper, salt and pepper.

IMG_7913Chop the tomato and prepare your spices.

IMG_7914Once celery is cooked, add tomatoes and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

IMG_7915Add spices to pan, mix together well and let cook a couple minutes.

IMG_7916Pour in the chicken broth and cilantro, bring to a boil.

IMG_7917Reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

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IMG_7919Once simmering is done, add cream cheese and bring to a boil again.

IMG_7920Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.

IMG_7921Shred the cooked chicken and add to the pot, then juice 1/2 lime over the top. Stir everything together.

IMG_7926Serve with an additional sprinkling of cilantro and enjoy!

See you next time my friends, and remember to drink plenty of water!

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