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CMT Meal Plan, My Average Week of Eating Keto

CMT Meal Plan Banner

I’ve published a few articles that discuss the benefits of Keto and the importance of nutrients for Charcot Marie Tooth, but I haven’t shared information about my personal CMT meal plan. Here are some of those articles for reference:

None of these articles went into detail about the meals I consume, so I wanted to give an example CMT meal plan for a week of me eating Keto for CMT.

Skip to Meal Plan

Important Note

CMT Meal Plan Caution

My meals were created based on my personal research and experience. Additionally, I have adapted these meals over many months to fit my needs. For example, I have more protein in my diet than a normal Keto diet because I’m weight lifting and trying to build muscle. It is important that you keep in mind your needs and adjust accordingly.

Be sure to consult your doctor and/or nutritionist before making any significant changes in your diet.

CMT Meal Plan Nutrients

Here is a list of important nutrients to include in a CMT meal plan, why they’re important, and what foods are high in each nutrient.

Electrolytes

CMT Meal Plan Electrolytes

Electrolytes, salts, are very important when eating Keto. Our body excretes electrolytes more quickly while burning fat. Consequently, we need to replenish those electrolytes, or we’ll get cramps, muscle spasms, and other painful symptoms.

The recommended daily amounts (RDA) of the three important electrolytes are:

  • Sodium: 3,000 – 5,000 mg
    • Notice this is more than average. This is because we excrete more sodium while in ketosis, so we need more to replenish.
  • Potassium: 4,700 mg
  • Magnesium: 500 mg

Do not skimp on these! It’s harder to get these amounts than one might think. Above all, track your nutrients. Surprisingly, you may not be reaching these levels each day.

Where to get electrolytes

  • No Salt Sodium-Free Salt
    • Great source of potassium. 1 tsp in water is about 80% of the RDA of potassium.
  • Salt (Sodium Chloride)
  • Avocado
    • One avocado has 15% RDA of potassium and 10% RDA of magnesium
  • Magnesium Oxide Supplements

I don’t suggest getting sodium or potassium supplements. Sodium and potassium supplements usually have just a small amount, and these electrolytes are easier to get from food.

Phospholipids and Choline

CMT Meal Plan Fats

Phospholipids and other healthy fats are important for supporting a healthy peripheral nervous system. Furthermore, a high fat diet in combination with exercise has been shown to increase myelin protein expression. In addition, choline is required to process phospholipids, so don’t forget to include choline in your diet.

Healthy Fats

  • Eggs, especially the yolk
  • Organ meat, like liver
  • Fatty Red Meat
    • Ribeye
    • Chuck Steak/Roast
    • New York Strip
    • Sirloin
  • Fatty Fish
    • Tuna
    • Cod
    • Herring
    • Salmon
    • Krill Oil (great for phospholipids)
    • Oysters

Choline

  • Eggs
  • Beet Greens
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Shitake Mushrooms

Vitamins

CMT Meal Plan Vitamins

There isn’t much research about the impact of vitamins on CMT. However, I have found that some vitamins help with my symptoms. For example, vitamin B12 has helped my tremors. In addition, vitamin C and D have helped my energy. You can of course take supplements for these, but here are some foods high in these vitamins:

Vitamin B

  • Fish
    • Sardines
    • Mackerel
    • Salmon
    • Tuna
    • Cod
    • Mussels
  • Pork Chops
  • Asparagus
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Spinach

Vitamin C

  • Lemon Water
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Chili Peppers
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Broccoli

CMT Meal Plan

Now that we’ve covered all the basics, it’s time to go over my average weekly CMT meal plan. My macro targets are 65% fat, 30% protein, and 5% carbs. Notice that I have more protein in my diet than the average ketogenic diet. This is to counteract muscle loss and to help with muscle growth.

Monday

These three meals together hit the perfect macros for me. These also give almost all my micronutrients.

Breakfast

  • 3 Eggs
  • Half an Avocado
  • 2 slices Nitrate Free Bacon
  • 1/4 tsp No Salt
  • Bulletproof Coffee
    • Coffee
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1 tbsp MCT Oil
  • Magnesium Supplement

Lunch

Huge keto cob salad

  • 4 cups lettuce of choice
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 2 oz Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese
  • Half and Avocado
  • 2 slices Nitrate Free Bacon
  • 2 tbsp Organic Avocado Ranch Dressing
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper

Dinner

  • 8 oz Fatty, Wild Caught Salmon
  • 2 oz Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper

Tuesday

This hits my macros and micros pretty close as well, but I skip breakfast. I also exercise this morning. Skipping breakfast gives me a calorie deficit as well as allows me to workout in fasting mode.

Breakfast

Skipped

Lunch

  • Same cob salad as Monday, but with one whole avocado. I love this salad. Sorry for the lack of variety!

Dinner

I usually make double or triple the serving and eat leftovers throughout the week.

  • 8 oz Ribeye Steak
  • 300 g Asparagus
  • 300 g Cauliflower Rice
  • 1/4 tsp No Salt (for veggies)
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Salt (for steak)
  • Fresh Black Pepper (for steak and veggies)
  • Magnesium Supplement

Wednesday

Breakfast

  • Bulletproof Coffee w/ Collagen Protein Powder

Lunch

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 slices Nitrate Free Bacon
  • 1 Whole Avocado
  • 1/4 tsp No Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper
  • Magnesium Supplement

Dinner

  • 8 oz Seasoned, Pan Seared Chicken Breast
  • 300 g Roasted Broccoli
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper

Snacks

  • 2 oz Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Boiled Eggs

Thursday

Thursday would be a near repeat of Tuesday. By and large, I eat pretty much the same thing on the days I workout, and I workout on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Of course, I might switch up the protein at dinner, or add shredded meat to my salad to add variety. Occasionally I will workout more throughout the week, but the aforementioned days are my guaranteed workout days.

Friday

Friday is usually a repeat of whatever I did Monday. I like to keep things simple. If I keep things simple, then I stick to my lifestyle.

Saturday

Saturday is the same as Tuesday and Thursday.

Sunday

If I had a cheat day, this would be it. I still don’t cheat, though. I just indulge a bit more on Sunday, and I might enjoy a keto sweet or two.

Breakfast

  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Chorizo
  • Chopped Peppers
  • Magnesium Supplement

Lunch

I usually skip lunch or have a light snack in favor of having a fancy dinner.

Dinner

I’ll make a fun recipe for dinner. Something like Cabbage Lasagna, Pork Rind Crust Pizza, Keto Chili, Keto Taco Salad, or Cabbage Soup. I might even put a pork shoulder on the smoker! If I make a lasagna, pulled pork, or soup, I can eat that throughout the next week.

Snacks

I’ll have one or two of the following:

Conclusion

If you made it this far, congratulations! I realize this was a very long post, but I thought there needed to be a lot of detail. This is an average week for me. I switch up proteins and vegetables, but I really do try to keep my diet as simple as possible while keeping it fun.

If you have questions about the meals or want more suggestions, please leave a comment!

What do you eat throughout the week? What foods have you found to be helpful with your symptoms? Please comment below, or share this post on social media with your own stories!

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How I Started Exercise with Charcot Marie Tooth

Exercise - Weights

About a week ago I posted an article, “Exercise Routine for Someone with Charcot Marie Tooth,” about my exercise routine. In the article, I mentioned that I started out slow with exercise, but I didn’t really go into much detail. There was some negative feedback from that article. Feedback like, “you’re prescribing a dangerous and potentially deadly lifestyle for people with Charcot Marie Tooth.” My assumption is that the people giving this feedback misunderstood the article. I wasn’t prescribing any sort of lifestyle. Instead, I was merely sharing my success story. I was not advising anyone to suddenly start an intense exercise routine without building up to it.

With that said, I’d like to describe in detail how I started out with exercise. It is my hope that this will show that exercise is not at all unhealthy for people with CMT. In fact, it is necessary for people with CMT to exercise. We must build and maintain our muscle in order to retain strength throughout our life. Otherwise our muscles and peripheral nervous system will waste away.

Read through to the end for Reader Participation. I’d really love to hear feedback and inspirational stories!

My First Exercise

Exercise - Bike

I began trying to be active about two years ago, well before I thought about changing my diet. I started with just bike riding and nothing else. Finally, I got a bike and attached it to a trainer. This turns it into a stationary bike, so I can ride in private. It was tough, I have to admit. I could ride for maybe 20 minutes before my muscles were too fatigued to continue. Instead of losing motivation because of this fatigue, I just kept telling myself that it would improve with exercise. The fatigue had to improve, right?

The fatigue did indeed improve. After about a week of riding each day, I could ride up to 45 minutes each time. That was a huge improvement for just one week! That showed me that even with CMT, I can build muscle and improve my energy. I just had to try, and I had to stop listening to all the discouragement out there.

The Slow and Steady Climb

Exercise - Slow Climb

I didn’t add to my bike riding routine for months, nearly a year. I had tried to be active earlier on in life, and I learned very quickly that I need to take things easy and build up. Having an injury with CMT can set a person back months in exercise. It was only when I was riding my bike up to two or more hours each day that I decided I could add more to my routine.

My Starter Routine

To start out, I lifted very light weights. I wasn’t about to compete with any body builders! To give you an example, here is a list what I did when I started out:

  • Bike for 1 hour
  • Wrist Curls – 10 lb, 2 sets of 8
  • Arm Curls – 10 lb, 2 sets of 8
  • Shoulder Press – 10 lb, 2 sets of 8
  • Chest Press – 15 lb, 2 sets of 8
    • Yes, that’s the equivalent of bench pressing 30 lb. Start out easy!
  • Squats – 2 sets of 8
    • No weights! And easy squats, not real ones. I squat down onto a low weight bench and stand back up in the squat position. Squat down on something as low as a bathtub rim, for example.
  • Calf Raises – 2 sets of 8

This routine might sound intense to sedentary people, but it isn’t. The weights above are light, so light that I figured I wouldn’t see any improvement at all. I had to start somewhere, though. Keep in mind that my “light” may not be your “light”. Start with a weight that is so easy that you don’t even feel like it’s exercise (yet). You’re just getting your muscles used to moving and being active.

Time to Climb

After a couple of weeks of doing this routine, the weights were so light that it felt like I was picking up an empty glass. I could honestly feel that my muscles were adjusting to exercise. It wasn’t as much that they got stronger as it was that they had become used to the movements. My muscles were ready when I told them to lift something, even if that something was light.

This told me it was time to move up in weight. I continued my routine, but I increased the weight by 5 lb, and I also added 2 repetitions to each set. My new routine looked like this:

  • Bike for 1 hour
  • Wrist Curls – 15 lb, 2 sets of 10
  • Arm Curls – 15 lb, 2 sets of 10
  • Shoulder Press – 15 lb, 2 sets of 10
  • Chest Press – 20 lb, 2 sets of 10
  • Squats – 2 sets of 10
  • Calf Raises – 2 sets of 20

As you can see, I also increased my Calf Raises repetitions to 20. They were just getting too easy, so I felt the need to increase. I want to emphasize that I’m listening to my body here. I don’t want to injure myself, but if something is so easy that it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it, it’s time to increase.

Recap of the Climb

Before moving on to current day, I want the time frame of how I built up my routine to be very clear. I started biking two years ago, and it took a year of biking every single day for me to feel comfortable adding strength training to my routine. Others may be different, but that’s how it went for me.

I started with light weights, so light that it wasn’t even exercise. I just wanted to get my muscles adjusted to moving more often. After I added light weight training into my routine, it took me a couple of weeks to feel like I could increase the weight to any significant amount. I increased the weight the smallest amount I could, by 5 pounds. No need to jump up to anything dangerous. I just steadily and slowly increased weight over time. Sometimes it would take me up to a month or longer before I could increase the weight again.

Current Day

Although I detailed my exercise routine in my previous article, it has changed up a little since then. I fast every other day now, and I don’t exercise when I fast.

I’m posting my current routine here as well, just for convenience and to show it has changed a tad.

Everyday

  • Wall Slides, 3 sets of 10
  • Prone Y’s, 3 sets of 10
  • Shoulder Dislocations, 1 set of 20
  • Foam Roller Back Stretch, 2-5 minutes of 30 second intervals

3-5 Days a Week

  • Cardio, 1 hour bike ride
  • Wrist Curls, 3-4 sets of 15
  • Arm Curls, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Bent-over Row, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Shoulder Press, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Dumbbell Butterfly, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Chest Press, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Lat Pullover, 3-4 sets of 15
  • Arm Extension, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Calf Raises, 3-4 sets of 20
  • Squats, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Sit-ups, 3-4 sets of 20

Notice that I still do my back exercises everyday. I moved the cardio to 3-5 days a week, and it’s only for 1 hour now.

Consult Your Doctor

Personally, I don’t believe any of this is dangerous. I believe people convince themselves that an active lifestyle is dangerous in order to excuse themselves from exercising. I say this because I used to do the exact same thing. Doctors and people with CMT told me exercise was dangerous, and I was happy to use it as an excuse to stay lazy, sedentary, and unhealthy. It simply isn’t true, though. Exercise is good for you, plain and simple.

With that said, please be sure to consult your doctor before making any significant changes in your lifestyle. Bear in mind that I have a team of doctors and a very capable nutritionist who monitor my progress.

Audience Participation!

Here comes the fun part! I’d like to hear the reader’s opinion on exercise, negative or positive. Also, I’d like to hear success stories.

Why don’t you exercise? If you do exercise, what convinced you to start? What do you do for exercise? Comment below, or share this article on social media along with your story!

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An Avocado a Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away

Avocado

I recently published an article, “Electrolytes Not Optional for Keto and Charcot Marie Tooth,” that details the importance of electrolytes. Electrolytes are especially important for keto dieters and patients with Charcot Marie Tooth. In the article, I mentioned avocado as a good source of both potassium and magnesium. Just how nutrient dense is an avocado?

Avocado, the Superfood

An average avocado has almost double the amount of potassium as a banana. Furthermore, an avocado provides 10% of the recommended daily amount of magnesium. One avocado can  provide someone with almost half of their daily fiber. It also has plenty of healthy fat, lending itself to the Keto diet.

Fiber

Avocado a Day - Oatmeal

Even while counting net carbs (total carbs minus fiber), I sometimes hear complaints that it is difficult to find fiber within a ketogenic diet. Due to the Standard American Diet, the popular school of thought is that most healthy fiber comes from grains. This is simply untrue. Many vegetables have plenty of fiber in them, including broccoli, spinach, and artichokes. These can’t beat avocados, though.

A single avocado has around 13 g of fiber, or 52% of the recommended amount of daily fiber. That’s quite a lot of healthy, from-food fiber packed into one superfood.

Magnesium

The body uses magnesium in more than 300 biochemical reactions. Considering this, magnesium is fairly underrated. Magnesium helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, regulates the heart beat, and helps bones remain strong. With this in mind, a magnesium imbalance can cause a multitude of health issues.

The average avocado has 10-12% of the daily value for magnesium. That’s a good amount of magnesium.

Potassium

Our body needs potassium to build proteins, build muscle, maintain normal body growth, and control the electrical activity of the heart. These are important functions for the body! As a result, it’s important to get the recommended daily amount of nearly 4,700 mg of potassium.

Potassium is where avocados shine. One whole avocado has around a whopping 1,000 mg of potassium. That’s a lot, but it’s still only about a fourth of the recommended daily amount. Still, that’s quite a bit of potassium for one fruit. Yes, the avocado is a fruit.

Summary

Our bodies need fiber, potassium, and magnesium in order to function normally. Avocados provide these nutrients in abundance. A whole avocado provides 13 g of fiber, 58 mg of magnesium, and 1,000 mg of potassium. That’s 52% of fiber, 10% of magnesium, and about 20-25% of potassium for their recommended daily amounts. This is why I have one whole avocado every single day. The saying really should be changed to, “an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.”

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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Charcot Marie Tooth

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting - Empty Plate

Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to various diets that cycle through defined periods of fasting and non-fasting. Generally, the periods of fasting are 24 hours or less. People usually refer to fasting longer than 24 hours as prolonged fasting.

Examples of Intermittent Fasting

  • Time-restricted Feeding (TRF)
    • 16/8 – Fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8 hour window each day.
    • 12/12 – Fast for 12 hours and eat in a 12 hour window each day.
  • Whole-day Fasting (WDF)
    • WDF – Fasting that involves regular periods of 24 hour fasts. Example: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.
    • Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) – Fasting for 24 hours every other day.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

There has been plenty of research in the last two decades about the benefits of intermittent fasting. In fact, Healthline has an article that lists evidence based benefits of IF with plenty of resources. Moreover, could IF have specific benefits for Charcot Marie Tooth? Researchers in Florida published a study in 2010 that explored the benefits of intermittent fasting in mice with Charcot Marie Tooth type 1A.

The study, “Intermittent fasting alleviates the neuropathic phenotype in a mouse model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease,” kept mice with CMT1A on a five month long IF regimen while monitoring their locomotor performance. The results of the study “indicate that dietary restriction is benificial for peripheral nerve function [..], as it promotes the maintenance of locomotor performance,” researchers concluded in the article. Before we can go into detail about the study, it’s best to understand the Schwann Cell and how it plays a role in CMT.

CMT and the Schwann Cell

The term Schwann cell refers to any of the cells in the peripheral nervous system that produce the myelin sheath around neuronal axons. Consequently, researchers believe the Schwann cell is thought to play a big role in the abnormal expression of the gene PMP22, the cause of CMT1A. Specifically, the altered processing and turnover rate of a mutated protein within Schwann cells. In simple terms, unhealthy Schwann cells produce unhealthy myelin sheaths. With this in mind, the study set out to discover if the biology of Schwann cells in mice with CMT1A could be improved somehow. Could Intermittent Fasting do the trick?

Intermittent Fasting for Healing

The study references a few articles that show how IF can help with neurodegenerative disease and protein degradation. One of the many benefits of IF is that it puts the body into survival mode, making it repair itself and normalize bodily functions. Therefore it makes sense that IF could potentially help normalize the biology of Schwann cells in patients with CMT. The researchers put that exact hypothesis to the test in this study.

Tests

The researchers put mice on a five month long IF regimen. There were four test groups: healthy mice fed normally, healthy mice on an IF regimen, CMT1A mice fed normally, and CMT1A mice on an IF regimen. The mice on an IF regimen were fed every other day, basically the Alternate-day Fasting technique. Over a two year period, the researchers performed this same experimental design three independent times with four to ten age-matched mice in each group. At the end of each trial, they collected the sciatic nerves from each mouse for biochemical and morphological studies. Here is a list of the tests performed:

  • Rotarod test
  • Grip strength test
  • Morphological studies
  • Primary antibodies
  • Biochemical analyses
  • Immunolabeling of nerve sections
  • Statistical analysis

The article itself goes into great detail about all these tests and the results. For the sake of readability, I will be omitting the description of these tests. Please refer to the materials and methods section of the article for more detail.

Results

The results were promising. They showed that IF improves locomotor performance. Intermittent fasting enhanced myelin protein expression, meaning healthier, thicker myelin sheaths. The researchers also discovered that IF reduced the inflammatory aspects of neuropathy.

These results were clear. Intermittent fasting could benefit patients with Charcot Marie Tooth by improving the biology of Schwann cells, producing healthier myelin sheaths and reducing inflammatory aspects of neuropathy.

Conclusion

The benefits of Intermittent Fasting have been studied for decades, centuries even. Additionally, there is now research that shows specific benefits for Charcot Marie Tooth disease.

I have been practicing IF for several months now. I started even before reading this article. Intermittent Fasting seemed like it would inadvertently help with CMT symptoms, but I hadn’t thought that IF might have a direct impact on my disease. I have felt the benefits of IF ever since starting, and now I have solid research that explains why.

It is always a recommended to consult your doctor before altering your diet or exercise routine in any way, especially with a disease like CMT. Please do so before trying IF. That being said, I recommend patients with CMT look into this way of dieting.

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High Fat Diet Can Improve CMT1A, Study Suggests

High Fat Diet - Lab

Charcot Marie Tooth 1A is a gene mutation that causes less myelin production. Myelin coats the ends of nerves and helps with their conduction. Less myelin means less nerve conduction. Furthermore, less nerve conduction means muscle waste and atrophy over time.

The myelin sheath is mostly made of fat lipids, 80% or so actually. Consequently, phospholipids make up most of the myelin sheath. Does this mean a high fat diet, specifically one high in phospholipids, could improve CMT1A?

A new study, “Targeting myelin lipid metabolism as a potential therapeutic strategy in a model of CMT1A neuropathy,” was published in the journal Nature Communications. The study found that increasing the phospholipid intake in rats with CMT1A, a technique the study calls phospholipid therapy, had promising results of overcoming the myelin deficit caused by CMT1A.

The Problem

Researchers in Germany and Egypt studied the alterations in fat metabolism in rats with CMT1A. In over-simplified terms, the researchers found that the rats were producing phospholipids at a low rate, and therefore the composition of the myelin sheath was lacking in phospholipids. The study describes that there is a deficit in phospholipid production.

Among the phospholipids, the metabolism of phosphatidylcholine, a major myelin compound, was severely impaired at the transcriptional level in sciatic nerves of CMT1A rats.

Would it be possible to offset the deficit of phospholipids? Furthermore, would myelin sheath production utilize phospholipids produced outside of their body? The study aimed to find this out.

The Tested Treatment

In Vitro, Injected, Phospholipids

The next step was to test treating this phospholipid deficit. To do so, the researchers injected the rats with fluorescently labeled phosphatidylcholine. Finally, they observed that myelin production utilized the labeled phospholipids. As a result, they discovered the body can utilize phospholipids produced outside the body.

Dietary Supplementation of Phospholipids

After testing phospholipids through injection, the researchers wanted to test if the rats would utilize phospholipids supplemented through diet. The researchers describe how they enriched the experimental diets with phospholipids.

The experimental diets […] were enriched by either 0.3 or 3% soy bean-derived PL composed of 55% phosphatidylcholine and 20% phosphatidylethalonamine in addition to trace amounts of other lipids.

The researchers conducted thorough tests with varying levels of phospholipids. They were able to conclude that supplementation through food worked as well.

Study Conclusion

The study continues to detail different tests the researches conducted in order to discover if phospholipid supplementation was feasible. By the end of all their tests, they finally concluded that dietary lipid supplementation can be helpful.

In conclusion, we have identified perturbed lipid metabolism as a disease mechanism downstream of Pmp22 duplication in CMT1A, and found that dietary lipid supplementation acts as a downstream effector of Schwann cell function, which bypasses the inefficient expression of genes for lipid synthesis in Pmp22 transgenic Schwann cells. This improves myelin biosynthesis and the neuropathic phenotype of a CMT1A rat model, demonstrating that lipid supplementation should be considered as a new therapeutic approach to CMT1A disease.

Keto, a High Fat Diet

Ketosis has improved my life greatly. As a result of ketosis, I feel improved energy, little-to-no nerve pain, better muscle response, increased strength, and a myriad of other benefits. I can only assume that the healthy fats I am consuming are helping to mend my mitochondria as well as helping through the rest of my body. The body uses fat in many vital functions, including myelin sheath production. It only makes sense that providing your body with plenty of healthy fats is a good idea.

I’m feeding my body healthy fats already. However, I think I could improve results by increasing my intake of phospholipids. Due to reading this study, I plan on upping my phospholipid intake in hopes of having even better results with Keto.

Foods High in Phospholipids

  • Egg Yolks
  • Liver
  • Soy lecithin
  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cabbage
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Different Types of Keto and Nutrition Importance for CMT

Different Types of Keto - Nutrition

There are different types of Keto, and a rainbow of types in between for each individual. It’s important that we get all of our daily nutrients, especially for those of us with Charcot Marie Tooth. I have tried a few different types of Keto since I started doing Keto. I plan to detail each that I have tried, my experience with that type, and which I have had the most success with and do now. Please keep in mind that this is my personal experience with these different types of Keto. Each person is different. You should consult your doctor and possibly a fitness and/or nutrition expert before significantly changing your diet in this way.

Different Types of Keto

Standard Keto Diet (SKD)

The SKD is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. Some would also say that the SKD is low-calorie, but this isn’t true. The Keto diet is only calorie restrictive if one is trying to lose weight. The Keto diet can be high-calorie if the person’s goal is to gain weight or muscle mass. The SKD macro profile typically consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.

My experience with the SKD was a good one. After starting with the Ideal Living Program at Avera, and with some guidance from my nutritionist, I slowly migrated over to the SKD. That makes it my first experience with Keto, and therefore how I fell in love with Keto. The SKD is definitely a good place to start! Remember to always do your own research and consult your doctor first, though.

Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD)

When a person follows CKD, they will have certain lengths of time where they consume high-carbs to reset their metabolism. For example, a CK dieter could do a month of Keto followed by a week of a high-carb diet and repeat.

I didn’t much like this type of Keto. Cycle weeks just dragged me down. I would feel great during Keto, and then I would feel tired and weak during the week of high-carb eating. It just didn’t seem worth it to me. CKD didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t miss bread, fruits, desserts, or other carb-heavy foods. With that said, someone else might find the CKD perfect for their lifestyle!

Targeted Keto Diet (TKD)

TKD is when the dieter consumes most of their carbs around workouts. The theory is that the carbs will give you a boost of energy for the workout and prevent your body from using any protein as an energy source, allowing the protein to be used for muscle growth.

TKD was an enjoyable way to do Keto. It allowed me to work in higher carb foods like berries into my diet. I would eat next to zero carbs for the day except for before a workout. Strawberries and blueberries were my favorite. A handful of these an a protein shake before a workout helped fuel me through the cardio and weight lifting.

High-protein Keto Diet

A high-protein Keto diet is exactly what the name implies: a SKD with more protein. An example macro profile for a high-protein keto diet would be 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

The high-protein Keto diet has obvious benefits for those that exercise and patients with Charcot Marie Tooth. With the extra protein, less muscle wasting tends to take place. There is some evidence that excessive protein can be dangerous. Dr. Mercola speaks of about excessive protein, and gives advice. There are studies that warn against excess protein intake, so be careful about how much you consume. With that said, a standard high-protein Keto diet is just fine as long as you keep in mind the maximum amount of protein you’re supposed to intake for your own body.

What Type to Follow?

Well, I’m obviously going to advise that you figure out which is best for you after consulting your doctor and a fitness and/or nutrition expert. Each person has different goals and a different body type. Please keep in mind that any Keto diet is a significant diet change from a Standard American Diet.

For me, a combination of the Targeted Keto Diet and the High-protein Keto Diet works best. I now have an intense exercise routine as well as Charcot Marie Tooth disease. In order to have to energy to workout everyday, I use the TKD method and eat carbs around the time I exercise. My goal is to not only build muscle, but to build muscle. I use the high-protein Keto diet and increase my protein percentage to gain muscle. To summarize, I follow the TKD with a macro profile of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

Micronutrients and CMT

Micronutrients are very important as well, especially electrolytes. I haven’t found a study to backup this claim, so I’m just speaking personally: I’m very sensitive to electrolyte imbalances, and I blame my CMT. If I’m low on potassium and magnesium especially, I start to not feel OK. I have fainted before due to this. Please be sure that you’re getting the proper amount of sodium, potassium, and magnesium each day. It’s a lot more than one might think! I consume a lot of avocados and spinach, as well as using potassium enriched salt in my diet. Avocados and spinach are both great sources of potassium and magnesium.

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Exercise Routine for Someone with Charcot Marie Tooth

Exercise Routine - Weights

I cannot remember a time in my life before now that I had a regular exercise routine. After having over a dozen reconstructive surgeries on my feet during my early teenage years, my daily activity level plummeted. If I wasn’t working at a computer, I was reading articles or watching YouTube videos at one. This meant I was sitting for 90% or more of my day while barely moving. I gained weight, became overly lazy, felt fatigued throughout the day, and generally felt miserable. I had every excuse to be this way, though, right? After all, I had Charcot Marie Tooth and had endured countless surgeries on my feet.

All of that changed about a year ago when something snapped in me, and I decided to take charge of my health. I can’t really pinpoint exactly what it was. Maybe it was a feeling of coming to terms with my own mortality. I didn’t want to live half a life just because of laziness and use my disease as an excuse. I had to at least try, and I had to try longer than a week, longer than a month. It was time that I made a lifestyle change that I would continue throughout my life. It was time I started an exercise routine I could handle. To my surprise, even with Charcot Marie Tooth, I could handle a lot.

Next Steps Fitness Program

A local fitness center here in Sioux Falls, SD offers a program called the Next Steps Fitness Program. It is a medical fitness program that offers specific support for a myriad of ailments, such as: Cancer Fitness, Orthopedic Fitness, Diabetes Fitness, and many more. I cannot be more grateful for the team at the fitness center for getting me up to speed on physical fitness.

I chose the orthopedic fitness track, and a personal trainer worked with me to form a routine I could handle. The trainer taught me that I can do almost all workouts. I just needed help figuring out the form I needed to do while having fused joints in my feet. I learned a lot through the program at the fitness center, and now I have an exercise routine I can perform at home.

Home Exercise Routine

To exercise at home, I went the simple route and bought a very cheap, adjustable weight bench along with a few dumbbells. Everything together cost me less than $100. Once I had all the equipment, it was as simple as trial and error until I figured out a routine that my body could handle. I started out easy. I did half an hour of cardio every single day and about fifteen minutes of weight lifting afterward for 3-5 days out of the week. The weight lifting was simple then:

  • Wrist Curls
  • Arm Curls
  • Arm Extensions
  • Chest Press
  • Shoulder Press
  • Calf Raises
  • Squats

My routine evolved over time. I also started wanting more out of my exercise. I didn’t want to just look good. My goals had changed, and I wanted serious strength, a strong heart, and good posture. That last part was something I never thought I would have due to scoliosis, but I had to try something regardless of my condition.

Exercise for Posture

Straightening my posture has been something I have wanted to do for quite a long time, but I had assumed surgery was necessary. During all my research about exercise, I came to find many people with scoliosis and similar deformities were able to better their posture through routine exercise. Surely it could work for me if it could work for others. This is the exercise routine I perform every single morning to improve my posture:

  • Wall Slides
  • Prone Y’s
  • Shoulder Dislocations
  • Foam Roller Back Stretch

I perform these exercises every single morning as a warm-up before my cardio. My back strength has improved along with my posture, and I’m sure it will continue to improve as I continue these exercises.

Current Exercise Routine

Everyday

  • Wall Slides, 3 sets of 10
  • Prone Y’s, 3 sets of 10
  • Shoulder Dislocations, 1 set of 20
  • Foam Roller Back Stretch, 2-5 minutes of 30 second intervals
  • Cardio, 2-4 hour bike ride

3-5 Days a Week

  • Wrist Curls, 3-4 sets of 15
  • Arm Curls, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Bent-over Row, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Shoulder Press, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Dumbbell Butterfly, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Chest Press, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Lat Pullover, 3-4 sets of 15
  • Arm Extension, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Calf Raises, 3-4 sets of 20
  • Squats, 3-4 sets of 10
  • Sit-ups, 3-4 sets of 20

I do this exercise routine while dealing with Charcot Marie Tooth and Scoliosis. I say this not to brag, but to emphasize that it is possible to improve your health and quality of life even with these ailments. The key is to push through and try longer than just a week. I have spells that last up to a month long where exercise feels dreadful, then suddenly I feel amazing and can exercise no problem for awhile. We all have our ups and downs, and we should allow our body time to adjust before judging whether something is possible or not.

With that said, I was very careful when starting out, and I didn’t increase weight to anything significant until I was comfortable with knowing my body. I highly suggest that anyone trying to exercise while having a disease like CMT consult with their doctor and maybe a fitness and/or nutrition expert first. Start out easy and slow, just as I did. Professional supervision is always a good idea as well, especially at first. Now, go exercise, and be careful!

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Ketosis and Charcot Marie Tooth

Ketosis - Avocado

Ketosis is the metabolic state in which the body burns fat as its primary source of fuel. Fat as a fuel is burned more efficiently by the body than carbs. Fat for Fuel by Dr. Josheph Mercola goes into detail about the benefits of fat and how diet can heal the body’s mitochondria. Does this mean ketosis could have a positive impact on Charcot Marie Tooth? This is the question I posed to myself before starting the ketogenic diet six months ago. I quickly learned that a healthy diet and ketosis do indeed have a positive impact on life with CMT. Ketosis targeted several symptoms of CMT.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a notorious symptom of Charcot Marie Tooth. Patients with CMT report being tired most of the time. I was no exception. Before following a ketogenic diet, I felt tired throughout the entire day, everyday. There were no exceptions, and things like caffeine only worked for a small amount of time before I was tired again. This haunting fatigue finally went away when I entered ketosis, and my energy only improved as my body became fat adapted.

The first day I entered ketosis, there was a noticeable difference in my energy. I woke up and didn’t feel groggy like I normally did. I got to work around the house the moment I woke up instead of dragging my feet. It was as if I was suddenly a morning person. It had to be ketosis. I tested my blood ketone level, and sure enough, I was in ketosis. From that day on, my energy improved as my body adjusted to its new energy source: fat.

Pain

Surprisingly, some of my pain was taken care of. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up by making them think all of my pain was taken care of with ketosis. I can only assume that some of my pain was caused by inflammation throughout my body, because I noticed a significant amount of overall pain had gone away after a few days of being in ketosis. Carbs are known to cause inflammation in the body.

Muscle Weakness

Muscle weakness is common in patients with Charcot Marie Tooth. This feeling of weakness isn’t just normal muscle weakness. It’s a specific feeling where muscles feel much weaker than they should. One day I could feel strong just like I’m a normal person without CMT, then the next my muscles feel half as strong or even worse. From my experience, being in ketosis has made this feeling of weakness scarce. I’m able to feel consistent strength for longer periods of time. Instead of only being able to do five repetitions on my bad days, I’m able to do a full set of 10 repetitions while I’m in ketosis, regardless of a bad or good day.

Muscle Wasting and Atrophy

Due to not feeling weakness as often and being able to exercise much more, I can only assume that my muscle wasting and atrophy have slowed. I’m not trying to write, nor am I implying that ketosis will stop muscle wasting and atrophy, or that ketosis even has a direct impact. I’m merely saying that because ketosis provides better energy and strength, I’m able to exercise more often and for longer lengths of time. I believe this means I will be building and retaining muscle longer than I would have if I hadn’t stayed in ketosis.

Poor Tolerance to Cold Temperatures

In my experience, my poor tolerance to cold temperatures was due to poor circulation. Due to low energy and inactivity, my body had grown accustomed to moving blood at a slow rate. I had a low resting heart rate, around 50 bpm or lower, and I was almost always cold. Having a resting heart rate of 50 bpm isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not really a good sign when you aren’t an athlete.

Once I entered ketosis and became much more active in life, my poor tolerance to cold temperatures went away within a few weeks. My resting heart rate is still around the same, but my heart beats with more strength and moves more blood. My extremities no longer turn into ice blocks in the night. Both my hands and feet stay warm throughout the night. I thank ketosis for the energy it delivers in order to achieve good blood circulation.

Summary

As you can see, ketosis can directly and indirectly target symptoms of Charcot Marie Tooth. Fat burns more efficiently than carbohydrates. It’s also readily available throughout the body, so you have a steady energy source throughout the day. This takes care of fatigue. Without fatigue, I’m able to exercise more and be active throughout the entire day. This address muscle weakness, wasting, and atrophy. Stronger muscles and a stronger heart means better circulation throughout the body. This means ketosis indirectly helps keep me warm in cold temperatures.

I’m quite satisfied with my new lifestyle. I don’t see myself switching from the ketogenic diet in the foreseeable future. There are just too many health benefits for someone like me.

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Keto and an Average Day with Charcot Marie Tooth

CMT Keto Banner

Even a normal, nonactive day can be exhausting for someone with Charcot Marie Tooth. I remember before my active lifestyle, I felt almost lethargic due to the sluggish feeling that comes along with having this disease. I told myself that this was only because of the disease, and I had no control over how I felt. This wasn’t true, obviously. I could improve my mental health and physical energy, but I had a crutch of a disease to blame it on. After discovering Keto, I have been pleasantly surprised by the results and how it has improved my energy, focus, and overall mood. In this post, I’m going to describe how Keto has improved my life.

Morning

Before Keto, I had a very rough time waking up in the morning. I had to set multiple alarms in hopes of getting up before 11 AM. This grogginess was something I chalked up to CMT like I did most everything else. It was the disease that was causing my fatigue and grogginess. At least, that’s what I figured.

When I started Keto, my mornings took a complete turn-around. The longer I was in ketosis, the metabolic state in which the body burns fat as the primary fuel source, the easier I found it to wake up in the morning. My body started producing energy so efficiently that I had to begin riding my bike every morning to avoid triggering my anxiety with the energy. So now that I’m fully keto-adapted, what do my mornings usually look like?

Morning Routine

I wake up around 5 AM everyday, no matter if I have work, if it’s the weekend, or what day it is. The first thing I do is make a Bulletproof Coffee (BPC) with a serving of protein powder. This kick-starts ketosis for me. BPC gives me so much energy that when I first started doing this, it triggered panic attacks. I had to experiment and eventually found the ingredients that work for me: 7 oz water, 1 shot espresso, 1 tbsp grass-fed butter, 1 tsp MCT Oil. I’m happy to report that there haven’t been any panic attacks since correcting my BPC ingredients.

With all this energy flowing through me, I have to get rid of it somehow. Some people might not like all this energy, but I love it. This energy gives me more than a reason to exercise. It almost forces me to exercise. If I don’t, I feel anxious. Every morning I bike for at least two hours, four hours optimally. Again, this is yet another task that helps kick me into ketosis. The caffeine, healthy fat, and exercise all yell at my body to start burning fat immediately, and it does just that. This sets up my day for success. This gives me stable energy all the way until I go to bed.

Breakfast

I finish up biking around 7 AM – 9 AM. All this exercise and fat burning gets me hungry. I used to try to fast throughout the morning, but I found it too difficult when doing this much cardio. I just had to eat afterward. I’ve had a favorite breakfast for months now, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get tired of it. I just fry up uncured (nitrate-free) bacon, fry eggs in the bacon grease, and top the eggs with a whole, sliced avocado. This meal has lots of healthy fats, protein, and the avocado is rich in potassium and magnesium, vital nutrients after a workout. In addition to this meal I take supplements as well.

Supplements

There are a lot of opinionated people out there that will tell you that you shouldn’t need nutrients if you’re eating properly. I agree that in a perfect world we would get all of our vital nutrients from the food we consume, but this isn’t a perfect world. Many of my nutrients come from my food, and I almost always hit my nutrient totals with my food alone, but I take supplements just to be absolutely sure that I meet my totals for every nutrient. I have ended up in the hospital many times due to panic attacks brought on from nutrient imbalances, and I intend not to do that anymore. These are the supplements I take every morning with a reason why:

  • Vitamin D
    • CMT patients tend to be vitamin D deficient, and I’m a nerd. Bad combination.
  • Vitamin B12
    • CMT patients tend to be vitamin B12 deficient, and taking B12 helps with my hand tremors.
  • Fish Oil
    • It’s nearly impossible to get the daily amount of Omega-3 fats unless you’re eating a lot of fish everyday.
  • Magnesium
    • I’ve found it to be the most difficult electrolyte to get my total for the day.

Day

Keto-Improved Responsibilities

By the time my morning is squared away, it is usually 10 AM or so. Don’t worry. I scheduled meetings during my bike ride, so don’t assume I wasn’t working! This is about the time my dog is bothering me to go outside. If my body is willing, I will take him for a two mile walk around the neighborhood to give him his exercise, as well as to give myself a little more. This is a good time to think and quiet my thoughts in preparation for all the typing I will soon be doing. I take him for at least two walks throughout the day, three if he is a lucky dog.

The middle of the day is sneaking up on me when I’m done with Gideon, my dog. It’s usually around 11 AM that I start my serious work. This is when I’m in hyper-focus mode due to ketosis, and I use that focus to build my business, write articles, write conference sessions, code, and anything else I’ve decided to be responsible for. I thought the heightened mental state of ketosis was just some mumbo-jumbo until I started taking advantage of it. No, I didn’t grow a third eye or become one with the universe, but it definitely improved my mental capabilities.

Lunch

I usually have a late lunch. It’s around 2 PM before I start craving more food. I try to keep it light, only around 200 to 300 calories. My reason for this is that I think it forces my body to keep burning body fat instead of relying solely on the food I’ll be giving it. I keep it simple, too. I don’t have time for a complicated recipe in the middle of the day. This means it is either leftovers, more eggs and bacon, or 3-4 oz of lean meat with two cups of vegetables. Who said Keto had to be complicated?

Weight Lifting

I will do weight training depending on the day and before or after lunch depending on how I feel. I try to do weight training at least five days a week, resting on days that I fast and don’t consume any calories. For weights, I use dumbbells and kettlebells to do a full body workout over a one hour period. This post isn’t necessarily about how I train, so I’ll go into further detail in another post.

Dinner

Dinner for me is basically whatever I had for lunch, but a little larger. I use this time to meal prep for the next few days or to empty the fridge of leftovers. I’ll pan sear a few meats, roast some vegetables, enough for a few days, and save the leftovers for the next few lunches and dinners. Sometimes I’ll make something like chili, a roast, a soup, or some other more complex recipe. Again, Keto doesn’t have to be complicated.

Evening

On a normal American diet, I would be dragging my feet and feeling exhausted come evening. Even as soon as 4 PM, I would be ready to lie down when I was stuffing myself full of carbohydrates and relying on them for energy. Now with the Keto diet, I feel fine in the evening. I can continue work, do a little more exercise, take my dog for a walk, all sorts of things that I couldn’t do before. It’s like I have another day within my day now! I feel like what I imagine normal, healthy people feel like, and it’s mostly because of my new diet and exercise routine.

Sleep

After all this talk about energy, one might feel afraid that it would be difficult to go to sleep. It isn’t! I haven’t slept this well in a long time. Instead of needing naps throughout the day, I get good quality sleep every night. Without fail, I start to get tired around 9 PM and feel the need to wind down. I do just that. I usually meditate or read for the last hour that I’m awake. This helps enforce the feeling that it’s time to wind down. By the time 10 PM rolls around, I’m ready to sleep without issue.

There you have it. A peaceful conclusion to a day filled with energy, focus, productivity, and positive mental health. I used to think I would never feel this good, and now I’ve found out that it’s as easy as a healthy diet and daily exercise routine. Even with Charcot Marie Tooth, a person can lead a relatively healthy and normal lifestyle.

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Introduction

Hey

Life with Charcot Marie Tooth

I was born with Charcot Marie Tooth. There is no cure or treatment for CMT. You just “deal” with CMT. The symptoms and side effects of CMT are something I’ve known my entire life, and I don’t know any other way of living. When someone shows pity toward me, I remind them of this as a way to deflect and not have to discuss any issues that come with this disease. However, this disease definitely sucks, and it’s time to talk about it more. The more I researched my disease, the more confusing it got. There are so many different types of the disease and people are affected in so many different ways.

Since starting a new diet and exercise routine in an attempt to improve my quality of life, I’ve decided to open up about my life with CMT. I’ve found this diet has helped me tremendously, and I think others might be able to benefit. It’s important to note that I’m not a doctor, and I’ve had next to zero training when it comes to nutrition, exercise, or the treatment of CMT. However, I do regularly visit my team of doctors that have aided in reshaping my life to improve and in some cases get rid of symptoms I have always attributed to my disease. So what exactly are these symptoms and issues? What is my unique experience with CMT?

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Muscle weakness/atrophy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nerve pain
  • Numbness
  • Scoliosis
  • Arthritis
  • Bone deformation due to unbalanced muscles
  • Surgeries

When I finally listed all my symptoms and issues down, I noticed that almost all of them seemed relatively addressable. I had always used these symptoms as an excuse to not exercise or eat well. I was too tired to exercise, and obviously sugary foods would help (in the extreme short term) with my energy levels. At least, that’s how I had thought for a majority of my life. After staring my symptoms in the face, though, it seemed obvious what I should do. I needed to eat better to improve my mood and energy, and I needed to exercise in order to improve my strength and delay my muscle atrophy. That’s exactly what I started doing, and it’s the best decision I’ve made in my life.

Rebuilding a Life

I started changing up everything in February, 2018. I have always embraced change well, and this was no different. The amount of change I had to do was more than I had intended, but I took it in stride. If I ever felt like wavering off course, I just reminded myself that I was previously headed down a road that would have most likely cut my lifespan in half, and now I had a chance to really change things. In order to improve my health to a level that was optimal, I had to change up most of my life. That’s how unhealthy I was living. I had to change my diet, exercise every single day, and change my entire routine to fit around this new way of life if I wanted to see the dramatic changes I wanted.

I hadn’t really ever thought about how my diet could have such a huge impact on my life, so I started with what made the most sense to me at the time: increase activity and improve my health. I had been told by most doctors that it is nearly impossible for someone with CMT to build muscle. Most online communities will reinforce this idea, so I had used this as a reason to just not exercise. What’s the point if I can’t build muscle? After 27 years of thinking this way, I finally said screw it. I’ll throw all caution to the wind and start exercising with no excuses. I began doing cardio for half an hour and weight training for another half an hour at least 5 days a week. To my surprise, I began to quickly build muscle and my energy greatly improved. I was still pretty tired, but I could definitely feel my energy and strength increasing the more I exercised. After a couple of months, I was hooked, and I exercise nearly every single day now. The only days that I rest are the days that I fast. I wasn’t losing much weight, though, and even though my strength was improving, my self image was not. I still felt unhealthy. I needed something else to improve my life. I needed to lose weight and to feel better. I happened upon a documentary on Netflix that changed how I thought about food and how much it impacts my health.

The Magic Pill is a documentary on Netflix that randomly appeared in my suggestions one day. I glanced over it many times for quite awhile. I assumed it was about some dumb fad, and so I ignored it for the most part. I finally gave it a shot after running out of things to watch. It turned out that the documentary was about ketogenic diets. Turns out the documentary wasn’t selling anything but a way of eating. You don’t have to pay any particular company a dime to follow a ketogenic diet. It’s a lifestyle and not just a diet to lose weight. I learned that it wasn’t just a fad, but a way of eating that we should naturally be following. I decided to give it a shot, and it tremendously improved my life.

The ketogenic diet is simpler than some will have you think. You simply remove all refined and simple carbohydrates, eliminate unhealthy fats, increase healthy fats, and increase the quality of your foods. That last part is something some ketogenic dieters ignore. The quality of food is important in this diet. Ketogenic is pretty much that simple: eat healthy protein and fats, and get any carbohydrates from whole vegetables and fiber. This can be as simple as a pan seared meat with roasted vegetables, a shrimp salad, or eggs, bacon, and avocados. I had no qualms changing over to this diet, and the benefits were almost immediate. Within a week I felt my hunger almost disappear. I never craved foods, I just felt the need to take in nutrients, and that I did. I took in the best nutrients I could find. I felt my energy shoot through the roof. Others might not feel this big of an increase, but as someone that felt nearly lethargic, the increase was quite noticeable. I had to start going for a bike ride every morning when I woke up because I had so much energy that I felt panicky. My muscle spasms, cramps, and weakness started to go away within weeks. The better I ate, the better I felt. What a surprise!

So how did I manage to make all these huge changes? What did I do to get all this done? Well, surprisingly, it really wasn’t that complicated. The diet is very normal. I just had to cut out carbohydrates. I could still eat bacon, steak, roast, all sorts of delicious food. I just kept cooking like I always had, but it was organic meat and vegetables instead of bread, fruit, and processed foods. Easy enough! The toughest part was the exercise, especially at first while I wasn’t on the ketogenic diet. Working up the energy to exercise while living with CMT is difficult. It’s hard for me to describe the muscle fatigue that comes with CMT. While lifting weights, it’s as if you’re moving through quicksand, and sometimes your muscles just shut off intermittently as the nerves stop firing. It’s annoying and an odd feeling while working out. I’ll go into how the diet has helped improve these symptoms in another post in the future, but I don’t feel like this as much while working out anymore, and I believe it’s thanks to the ketogenic diet.

Reason for CMT Keto

The main reason I have started this blog is to help spread awareness of CMT. It is one of the most common muscular dystrophies, yet it’s barely understood or researched compared to most others. I also want to inspire others to try and improve their life with CMT. It doesn’t have to suck that much. In my case, I am able to build muscle. I am able to feel normal and not tired all the time. I am able to exercise regularly. I am able to take control of my life with CMT and improve it with Keto and exercise. I think others can too!