Ali says he and his family ‘all feel so much better’ since going keto
For Ali and members of his family, eating a keto diet was the answer to improving their health.“We all feel so much better,” he says.
The interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
When did you first hear about keto?
It all started back in January of 2018, when my youngest daughter, Alma, began to have seizures. This occurred three months after we moved from Sweden to Spain to start my new career as a real estate agent in Costa del Sol, Spain.
To seek medical help for Alma, my wife and two daughters had to return to Sweden. It took nearly four months for the doctors to determine that Alma was suffering from glucose transporter type 1 deficiency syndrome (GLUT1 deficiency syndrome), which happens when the body doesn’t effectively supply carbs to her brain. As a result, she experienced seizures.
The doctors told us that there were only two ways to treat GLUT1 deficiency syndrome. Either, we had to treat Alma’s condition via medication — or we could put her on a ketogenic diet.
And so, in May of 2018, Alma started eating keto. To be honest, we didn’t think much about this dietary change — other than how sad I felt that she could no longer enjoy yummy foods, such as ice cream, cookies, and candy, like other children.
What caused you to start following a keto diet?
Time went by and Alma got used to her new diet. But by April of 2019, my wife began to experience medical issues of her own.
Her back was constantly hurting her — and after paying the doctors a visit, they advised her to take it easy and to come in for an MRI. Two days post-MRI, she was called back into the emergency room because her sixth vertebra was severely affected by cancer.
They then diagnosed her with plasmacytoma, a plasma cell tumor growth in the bones, or soft tissue. This turned my world upside down. I was so desperate that all I could think was, ‘How can I fix this situation?’
When my wife received her diagnosis, I began to think back on when Alma first started eating keto. Back then, I did a lot of reading on the diet, including how some science suggests eating this way could potentially help to treat cancer.I studied the diet day and night — and before long, I thought my wife should give it a try.
That was also right around the time that I found Diet Doctor, which quickly became my sanctuary. When I felt I had gathered all the necessary information, I said to my wife, “Let’s change our lives.”
One year later, in a miraculous turn of events, my wife’s cancer is under control — and we all feel so much better eating this way.
What has been the most rewarding thing about living low carb?
A lot of things. My daughter is developing beautifully and she doesn’t need to take a lot of medication to treat her seizures.
My wife has no inflammation in her body, and she is handling her cancer treatment amazingly because of the nutritious food that she’s eating.
Last but not least, since I cut out carbs on June 22, 2019, I no longer have high blood pressure, IBS, mood swings, snoring, or poor self-esteem.
What are your top three tips for someone just starting out eating keto?First, should you decide to start changing your life, always do it for yourself. Not for your spouse, children, family, or doctors. Do it for yourself.
If you don’t, you’ll always have an excuse to quit. It’s not easy to do a radical life change, especially when it comes to diet.
Second, try to make things simple in the beginning. Find easy recipes that are fun to cook and eat. Don’t think about whether you’re eating “dirty” or “clean” keto. Take one step at a time. As a project manager, I have learned the agile approach is the right approach. If you make things too hard, it’s easy to fall off the wagon.
Last but not least, don’t look at your weight. It’s your inside – not your outside – that matters. There is a quote that I love, which goes ‘It’s not lose weight to get healthy, it’s get healthy to lose weight.’
Before, when I started any diet or lifestyle change, I always looked at the scale. If I didn’t lose enough weight, I would feel discouraged and start eating unhealthily again. Listen to your body instead of focusing on the scale.
Where to find Ali
He’s started an Instagram account that promotes his healthy way of living. “I want to inform everyone about this fantastic journey,” Ali says.
Congrats on the success of your whole family Ali! I really appreciate your tips of making changes for yourself, and I especially love your quote that focuses on health first, weight second. You are an inspiration!
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