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My Thoughts on Diets

Positano, IT

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you’re doing something fun today!  Derek and I are heading to the beach today for a picnic and bike ride :)  It’s Wellness Wednesday which means I’m giving away something amazing (read on)…and talking about a wellness topic that I’m super passionate about:

DIETS and DIETING!

In the last few years I’ve tried soooooo many different diets in an effort to figure out which one would help me look and feel my BEST.  For those of you who don’t know, I’ve suffered from stomach pains, digestion issues, inflammation and food sensitivities for 3+ years.  I’ve visited countless top gastroenterologists, nutritionists, naturopaths, and specialists to try and pinpoint what the heck was causing it all!

One of them told me to take Pepto Bismol for the rest of my life (LIKE WHAT?!). Some told me to go vegan, some told me to go paleo, some told me to take weird shakes and supplements. Basically no one ever had a solution that actually WORKED long term even after a handful of blood tests and endoscopies.  So after lots of frustrating visits and embarrassing bloating, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I have been researching and eliminating/then reintroducing several foods into my diet ever since.

First of all, I don’t really like the word diet.

I associate it with deprivation, restrictions and sad salads.   My diet isn’t even really a “diet” but a lifestyle.  It’s a way of living and eating that I’ve come up with that is 100% unique to me that makes me feel vibrant, sharp, glowing, and energetic.  What are your thoughts on diets?  Do you think our society should change the way we think and talk about diets?  Have you been frustrated with doctors and misdiagnoses as well?  Suffered from food sensitivities and digestion issues? Below are all of the diets I’ve tried – and what I’ve learned or adapted from each.  As a reminder, I am not a doctor and you should consult with your own doctor before making any drastic lifestyle changes!

My Diet

My diet is a lifestyle that is 100% unique and tailored to ME based on years of trial and error.  It is closest to the 80/20 diet.  I eat anti-inflammatory, gluten free, dairy free, low histamine (see #3), organic food 80% of the time and then pretty much whatever I want 20% of the time.  However, some weeks it’s 90% vs 10% depending on how my stomach is feeling. Also,  I never crave/eat stuff like soda, fast food, red meat, pork, and rarely drink alcohol, so the 20% free-for-all is usually stuff like pasta, bread or dessert when I’m out to dinner!

Honestly,  I know my body SO well now so I know that eating tons of gluten and dairy for 3+ days in a row will leave me feeling like crap for a week. But 1 or 2 days of it and I’m fine (especially in Europe where the gluten is different!).  If I have a big photo shoot coming up, I steer clear of dairy, gluten, sugar, and alcohol for at least 2+ days beforehand.  In addition, I don’t count calories and I don’t feel guilty for eating something indulgent.

 I love my body and I truly believe life is all about balance.  

Being overly restrictive leads to binge eating and stress – life is too short for that!  I’d rather enjoy pizza and pasta than obsess over being a size 0.  What I typically eat in a day at home (when I don’t go out to eat); 7AM hot water with lemon, 9AM green juice, 10:30AM (optional if I am hungry) either a homemade gluten free oatmeal energy bar, buckwheat waffle, or sometimes 2 scrambled eggs. 1PM salad with pesto chicken, 3PM handful of popcorn, seaweed or flax seed crackers. 6PM sweet potato with coconut oil and steamed veggies, white rice with wild salmon and veggies. Or kelp noodles with zucchini, pine nuts and pesto.  I do not take any supplements, vitamins or probiotics at the moment.

80/20

I love the 80/20 diet and mentality because it means you pretty much eat healthy food 80% of the time and indulgent food/whatever you want 20% of the time.  I feel like this is a realistic way of thinking about a diet rather than trying to be super strict and perfect 24/7. (Which in the past has made me “cheat” and crave certain foods even more.)

Low Histamine

I recently found out I have a histamine intolerance!  What’s tricky about this – is there’s not really a medical “test” that confirms this. And it’s also not super well known in the medical community.  I did a ton of research on this after I had hunch that I had it and decided to eliminate high histamine/histamine releasing food for 1 month to see how I felt.   After only a few days my bloating went away, brain fog disappeared and I legit felt happier and more like myself. 

Turns out, even though I was eating healthy foods like avocado, dark chocolate, citrus, berries, nuts, green tea, coffee, spinach, and even probiotics (yep I stopped taking them for the time being!). They are all high histamine releasing foods and were making me sick.  The great news is you can heal a histamine intolerance and I do not have to eliminate those foods forever!

Alkaline/Anti-Inflammatory

This type of diet helps protect against certain diseases and regulates blood sugar levels.  It encourages you to eat lots of fiber, fruit, veggies, healthy fats, omega 3 fatty acids. Also, high alkaline food and no processed food/refined sugar.  I try to eat this way 80% of the time!  

Paleo

This diet focuses on natural foods, healthy fat and protein – and eliminates processed food, grains, starchy vegetables, beans, sugar, and sweeteners.   I tried being strict paleo for a while, but it didn’t work for me.  Personally, I don’t feel my best when I eat a high fat/high protein diet and felt too restricted eliminating all of the food I mentioned above. Also,  I thrive when I have a well rounded diet with a little rice, sweet potato, chicken, wild salmon, and of course lots of veggies and seeds.  My sister and her fiancé on the other hand, love the paleo diet and feel their best on it.  

Vegan

In: veggies, fruits, tofu/tempeh, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, natural sweeteners (no honey.)  Out: eggs, dairy, animal protein, animal oils/fats.  I went vegan for a month and since I don’t like soy, quinoa, or legumes I felt like it was too restrictive for me.  I can’t eat a lot of nuts because of my histamine intolerance. And I enjoy chicken/wild caught fish so this particular diet just doesn’t jive with my bod or personal preferences. However everyone is different and if it works for you then that’s great!

Vegetarian

There are a few different types of vegetarian diets. Vegan as I mentioned above, pescatarian, lacto-vegetarian….The simplest definition of it is a diet free of fish and meat.  After watching countless documentaries and reading tons of articles over the years, there’s no doubt in my mind that eating less meat is better for me.  I have definitely cut back on eating meat especially in the last year. And I don’t eat it everyday of the week and certainly not at every meal.  When I do eat meat, it’s organic free-range chicken and wild, fresh caught salmon.  

Keto/Low Carb

The Keto diet is definitely having a moment this year.  You may have watched The Magic Pill documentary (super interesting – go watch it if you haven’t) or read about it online.  Basically you eat 80% fat and little to no carbs.  Your body then goes into ketosis and burns fat for energy.  I have SIBO, which has contributed to my digestion issues and histamine intolerance. So I tried Keto for 6 weeks to heal my gut.  I eliminated all grains, sugar, starchy vegetables, even fruit. Basically, I  ate only non starchy veggies, eggs, chicken, fish, avocado, nuts, and seeds.  

Sadly I actually felt worse eating this way!  My stomach ballooned making me look pregnant (not fun!). My digestion was sluggish and I just felt so inflamed.  I think part of that could have been from eating the avocado and nuts (high histamine foods). However, this just goes to show, that one diet does not fit all and that sometimes you have to do lots of trial and error to see what works for YOU.  Some people’s bodies process carbs really well, while others don’t.  Some people’s bodies process protein and fat really well –  and some don’t!  We are all so different and unique.

Intermittent Fasting

There are a ton of benefits to intermittent fasting from curbing cravings to weight loss to improving autoimmune conditions.  Reminder – before trying it or making drastic changes consult your doctor.  It is not recommended for everyone – and women with hormone sensitivities/issues should be cautious or not do it at all.  I recently started doing a very basic version of intermittent fasting. Where I make sure that my body has at least 12 hours to digest between dinner and breakfast.  

Usually, I aim for 14-16 hours which means that I eat dinner around 6PM and breakfast around 9AM.  Nothing drastic – but this window  allows me to wake up feeling more refreshed, energetic, and I’ve noticed that it’s improved my digestion.  The first thing I have to “break the fast” is a big green juice which I show you how to make in my latest Vlog!  Having a juice or smoothie as your first meal is a great way to wake up your digestive system and set the tone for the day.

Macronutrient

I’ve heard great things from several other bloggers about counting Macros.  They’ve said they’ve lost a ton of weight and never feel deprived.  I personally don’t want to count the grams of carbs, protein and fat in everything I eat throughout the day so this diet wouldn’t work for me, however, if you are disciplined and/or have a weight loss goal in mind then it sounds pretty logical and reasonable!  It seems like the best way to go about it is to meet with a dietitian, or determine your macronutrient ratio which is based on your age, height, weight, activity level and goal.

This week’s giveaway is a box full of Tone It Up goodies; their full nutrition plan book, workout bands, water bottle, protein bar and the cutest tupperware (a $170 value!)  To enter; Subscribe to my Youtube channel, Subscribe to my Newsletter, Follow me on Instagram and like any of my last 3 photos, and leave a comment below telling me “Subscribed and followed!”  Bonus points if you tell me about your dieting experience – pros, cons, fave ones, etc! XO

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LPA dress (similar) // Jill Golden necklace (similar) // Lee Brevard earrings
Charlotte Tilbury highlighter, eyeliner and mascara // MAC ligploss in C-Thru
Giorgio Armani foundation // Bobbi Brown bronzer in Bali Brown
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47 Comments

  • Abbey Hearts says:

    I love this post! with an insight into your life and the same struggles I face daily! Putting on weight due to the same intolerances I also need to find a diet and exercise regime that works for me! Thank you xx

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Ewa Macherowska says:
    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Rach says:

    I definitely think society should change the way they perceive diet. I’m with you and it is more of a lifestyle. I also followed and subscribed :)

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Roses for Fridays | by mia says:

    Great post of info on this subject! 🌷♥️🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Lisa Anger says:

    Hi Kay, Thank you for sharing about your journey regarding you digestion also issues. I had my husband Victor read it, and we both agreed that you have many of the same issues that he has. He has tried everything that you have except for the histamine piece. He will do some more research and make some changes in that area. I wanted to share something else that has helped him. That is drinking alkaline water. We have a system in our house and he has a portable bottle and pitcher that he uses at the gym and when he’s traveling. He also has been following the alkaline diet by the late Dr. Sebi. I highly recommend that you look him up and try sone of the things from his diet. Victor also takes some of the vitamins and drinks the clay in water occasionally. I have been following you for about 4 years now. We live in Virginia now, but are native Southern Californians. Born and raised in Oxnard, CA. Thanks for all that you have shared with us Kst. I appreciate you. God Bless You!

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you so much for sharing – I definitely want to invest in alkaline water – I’ve read SO many benefits! I have also heard great things about Dr. Sebi! <3

      July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Tasfia says:

    This was such a great post and covers such an important topic that almost everyone in our culture is obsessed with -DIET! I totally agree with you, these fad diets are not long-lasting and not necessarily effective. Your diet should be personal and it should be a lifestyle

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Tasfia says:

    Accidentally hit submit on my last comment. But I’m on the same boat. I couldn’t be happier after I stopped doing these fad diets and stick to a healthy lifestyle. Happy 4th! Xo

    Tasfia
    http://www.styleandlatte.com

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • BeingIsabella says:

    I think the 80/20 diet is one that gets forgotten about a lot. That being said, a lot of people follow this way of lifestyle. This is one of the best ways of eating because you create a balance for yourself and never find yourself craving one thing or another, and when you do eat something not so good, you don’t feel bad for doing so. I totally agree with you about the term “diet”. When I think of “diet” I think of loosing weight which is frankly nowhere on my agenda. I much prefer using the term lifestyle because eating better and taking care of your body and health is a way of living. You are taking yourself into your own hands and making good choices. I’m so happy to hear you have found a way of living that works well for you and more important makes you happy! Xx

    http://www.beingisabella.com

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Roberta Higgins says:

    Loved this post and have enjoyed your Wellness series, Kat! I have suffered with major digestive issues the last year and a half and had to cut out gluten and dairy, which has helped significantly. I agree it’s definitely a lifestyle change versus a diet. I always enjoy reading your tips and what has worked for you. Thanks for sharing! Xx

    Roberta // http://www.thehemliner.com

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Shannon says:

    Such a great post. So much information I didn’t know about. I follow a vegan lifestyle and I love it because I can pretty much eat what I want and not worry about it. I know not everyone can eat like this though and I try to eat mostly whole foods and plant based. I like the 80/20 idea too. I think I subconsciously follow this too in the same way you do, because it’s pretty had to stick to any way of eating when you’re out, and it’s always good to treat and enjoy yourself. Thanks for sharing this!

    SHANNON VALLE life + style blog

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Kathryn Chadwick says:

    Entered! I’ve never really followed a formal diet and don’t think I’d be able to! 80/20 is my goal, although I think my real diet is closer to 60/40!

    July 4, 2018 | Reply
  • Effie says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Angelique Wynder says:

    Hi Kat!! Absolutely loved this post. I’ve struggled with dieting for years and found the only thing that works for me 80/20 as well. I love starting the day with a smoothie also, so agree with how it sets the tone for the day. Thanks so much for doing this giveaway! I love tone it up and have been doing their workouts for a few years. 💕

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Amy says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    I currently count macros for my “diet”. I tried Keto before this and it did not work for me. My mom started Keto and has seen great results! As you said, we are all different when it comes to what works for us!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Linda says:

    Subscribed and followed! Thanks for sharing your dieting experience! I’ve tried countless diets when I was younger but what I found worked the most was not limiting myself to certain a foods like you. I’d eat healthy 80% and the 20% I leave for indulging :)

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Stephanie T. says:

    Thank you for this post! It was so informative and well-written. I’ve been Intermittent Fasting for several weeks now and I love it! I’ve lost weight and feel so much better. It’s also helped improve my digestion, just like you! Other than that, I just try to eat tons of fruits, veggies, and whole foods but listen to my body whenever I crave something. In the past, I’ve tried restrictive diets but alllllways ended up feeling deprived – which is not sustainable! I ended up doing so much more damage by depriving myself and later breaking and binging (for example, on an entire package of cookies rather than just having one or two cookies when I was craving it)! I wholeheartedly agree with you in that one should just listen to their own body and rather than “diet,” just make lifestyle changes by incorporating foods that make you feel and look the best. It’s by far the most manageable and sustainable option out there and has finally given me the progress I’ve wanted! I’ve been subscribed and followed, by the way! <3

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Janna says:

    Love this!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Emily A Rabbitt says:

    Subscribed and followed! Would love to win this kit as I have been following Tone It Up for a while and doing their workouts. I want to try intermittent fasting and the 80/20 lifestyle!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Briana says:

    Subscribed and followed!!! Thank you for sharing! The 80/20 diet sounds great! I haven’t tried any of the fad diets but I have looked into trying the Tone IT Up meal plan! I feel like I’m in a rut making the same 5-6 dinner meals for my family. I would love to win and try out some new healthy recipes!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Jina says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Tyna says:

    Subscribed and Followed! 😊😘😍❤️

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Lauren Silka says:

    Subscribed and followed!!! I eat gluten free for celiacs disease. If I eat something “unhealthy” I like to workout extra the next day and have zero guilt!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Tara says:

    Subscribed & followed! :)

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Carmen says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Lianne M Luce says:

    Subscribed and Followed! I also don’t like diets, but I’ve tried being a vegetarian, and mostly use the motto “everything in moderation”. I have green smoothies for breakfast and usually dinner is my biggest meal. The best food regimen I’ve found is having 4-5 mini meals throughout the day to help curb cravings and hunger :)

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Lianne M Luce says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Chermaine Barlis says:

    Subscribed & followed❤️❤️❤️

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Claire V says:

    Thank you for this post! Learned so much about these various diets that I never knew before. I am now also starting off the mornings with drinking hot water with lemon or straight up celery juice and I’m absolutely loving it. I haven’t tried any diets throughout my life but definitely am interested in the 80/20 diet. Thank you so much for sharing!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Sanaa Mironov says:

    Just subscribed to your channel! Already an avid follower of your blog and IG account. I pretty much have the same issues you are describing. I tried all kinds of medication. Nothing helped and since being pregnant things have gotten worse. I find it interesting that before I came to America I ate diary, grains, rice with no problem and now I can’t even eat foods that might have dairy in it

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Samantha says:

    Subscribed and followed! Thanks for sharing. I’m also doing more of an 80/20 diet right now as I prep for my wedding. Need those 20% days for cake tasting LOL

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Tricia Monahan says:

    Love this post Kat! I do low carb and IF, both work great for me. I loved your tips about having juice for the first meal and have also educated other friends / family about high histamine foods. Great reminder about lemon water! Thank you for sharing. 💕💕

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Beth Jamieson says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    July 5, 2018 | Reply
  • Katherine says:

    This is a great post. Ive tried soo many diets to, I tried the Dash diet, I did the intermittent fasting, a little bit of paleo, keto and I follow the guidelines of the tone it up nutrition. I learned that you just have to be realistic and find a way to eat better without leaving out the things you like, it’s all about balance.

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Lexi says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Patricia says:

    Subscribed and followed! Such a terrific post. I like that you point out how one “diet” may not work for one person, and yet make someone else feel great. I was forced to go strict GF after my celiac diagnoses this year – yet still experience issues. The histamine diet is of particular interest as I explore and dial in how to heal and feel better. Thank you Kat! Some really helpful ideas here.

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Vanessa says:

    I love your balanced approach to eating and it is more of a lifestyle tailored to your body’s needs. You don’t follow diet trends but rather incorporate the best of what’s out there for you. It would be great if you could do a post on how you keep fit and toned. Thanks Kat! :)

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Jennifer says:

    Subscribed and followed! I’ve struggled for years with food. I’ve been diagnosed with IBS and I’m sensitive to gluten. It’s definitely hard trying to stay on track especially when there are so many distractions pulling me away from eating healthy (food at work, going out to events, when you partner wants something else). I absolutely love your health series and it’s so inspiring. I now love flackers because of you!

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      I totally hear you with distractions – it can be so hard! And I am sorry about your IBS – juicing has helped me tremendously have you tried doing it first thing in the AM? I am SO glad you love Flackers now :))))) XO

      July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Laura says:

    Your diet is very similar to mine. I have had a dairy intolerance since I was a child and I have always been aware of which foods make me feel good and which ones aren’t worth it. I’m the same in the 80/20 diet where I don’t hesitate to treat myself, but I eat well a good 80% of the time. I’m fortunate that I have a small frame and a high metabolism so I don’t have to stress about my size, but I’m 100% in agreement that pasta and pizza are worth the treat!

    https://sweetshandi.com

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Erica says:

    Subscribed and followed! Great post!

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Lisa says:

    Hey Kat! Great read and I love this topic. I was struggling with many of the same symptoms until I switched doctors and she noticed my thyroid felt enlarged. She ordered blood work to test my thyroid levels and found out I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disease prevalent among women starting around age 25. I really recommend getting tested after reading your symptoms. Instead of taking the recommended thyroid medication, I switched my diet to the Wahls Protocol, an autoimmune lifestyle diet by Dr. Terry Whals, that includes many of the low histamine releasing foods you mentioned. My symptoms disappeared almost entirely within 2 months! I couldn’t believe that my other doctors didn’t pick up on this. I’d love to hear if this helps you. xx

    July 6, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Hi! Oh my goodness thank you so much for sharing! I am so glad you were able to relieve your symptoms!! I am for sure going to look into this test :)

      July 6, 2018 | Reply
  • Weekend Reading. - The Stripe says:

    […] Loved reading Kat’s thoughts on diets. […]

    July 7, 2018 | Reply
  • Roseanne Choi says:

    Subscribed and followed!
    Thanks for the info in this post. As a general rule, I’ve found no matter what diet I follow, that cutting out sugar as often as possible and eating whole foods generally makes me feel best!

    July 8, 2018 | Reply
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