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Overcoming Health Issues and Surgery Living a Clean, Low Carb Lifestyle with Gigi Ashworth: 3

In this episode, I am sharing the incredible conversation about clean keto that I had with The Salmon Queen, otherwise known as Gigi Ashworth.

Gigi does not hold back with us. From professional snowboarding to getting her master’s degree in nutrition to her abundant social media platforms and YouTube channel, Gigi’s message remains the same. Helping people while entertaining them at the same time is what she truly loves to do. From her early years of disordered eating, autoimmune diseases, surgeries and learning about the ketogenic diet we get a true behind-the-scenes look at who and what Gigi is all about.

Tune in today to learn about “The Gigi Approach” and how The Salmon Queen got her name and book. Learn more about stress, digestion, fitness, her go-to workouts, the difference between dirty keto, lazy keto and clean keto, and why we need to be eating more quality ingredients from the store. All this, and so much more on today’s show!

Did you love today’s show? Let me know by leaving me a review for the show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you are listening from today! If you leave a review on Apple Podcasts and follow the instructions here, you’ll have a chance to win a $200 Amazon gift card that we’re giving away on November 17, 2021.

Watch the interview on YouTube


Show Notes:
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Cheryl McColgan:  Welcome. So Gigi, I've read your bio obviously, but can you just share with people in your own words, how you came to this way of eating and some of a little bit of your past? I think you have some really interesting, things that you have done leading up to some health issues that you had, where you had to change the way that you ate.

Gigi Ashworth: Uh, do you have like 15 hours? I don't think people wanna listen that long, but anyway. So when I was around 14 years old, I actually was at a boarding school for snowboarding. I used to competitively snowboard back in the day. Whoa. And now I'm like, oh, don't get me here in the mountains beause it's too cold! Anyways, so when I was doing that, I was exerting a lot of energy, and I started to really focus on how I was feeling and I wasn't feeling good. It's really funny how when you start to do a lot of physical activity, you take note of how your body feels, even at the young age of 14. I thought, there's something off, there's something not right here.

How Gigi Discovered the Keto Diet

I did physical activity before I was on the track team and all that kind of stuff. But I guess I just didn't really care, pay attention or I was like to you into wanting be popular. So when I was in boarding school, I was complaining to my mom about it, who actually has been doing the keto diet for the last 30 years or so. Yeah. She's been doing it for a long time as a doctor and she always wanted to be a nutritionist, but her father was like, no, you're gonna be an OBGYN. So that's what she wound up doing. Anyways, I was complaining to my mom and she sent me book that didn't have a book jacket or anything on it. And she was like, hey, just read this book. And she took notes of things that I should really focus on in the margins of the book.

And what I found, what I realized now, is it was a book about the ketogenic diet. It basically said to ditch the sugar, to not even eat many nuts, even though the keto diet's like, hey, you can eat nuts, but even eating nuts can affect your energy levels and that sort of thing. If you eat too many and if you're on a weight loss journey and you're doing the ketogenic diet, eating too many nuts, ain't gonna help. So anyway, I took a lot of notes from that book and I took it to heart and I started to feel better. That's what led me to a high protein, high-fat diet.

Finding the Right Version of Keto for Your Goals

So eventually I moved back home and then I also was diagnosed with a lot of food allergies and intolerances during that time period, as well as celiac disease and ulcerative colitis and IBS and blah, blah, blah. I found out because during the same time of not feeling well, my mom and I thought it would be a good idea to get some tests and stuff like that. So I started eliminating foods that aggravate things for celiac disease sufferers and that really helped me. When I was sort of eliminating food groups and all that kind of stuff, I did go to some extremes. I was anorexic for a little while. So that screwed me up a little bit. 

I think what it comes down to and how I've kept this lifestyle sustainable for me is I have found alternatives. I wouldn't consider myself keto because I incorporate sweet potatoes and I'll do certain things that aren't necessarily “keto-approved,” but they're paleo or whatever. So I call my diet if you will, like the Gigi approach, because I truly believe that everyone needs to educate themselves on multiple different types of eating regimes and then be their own guinea pig to determine what works for them and what doesn't.

Clean Keto and Meat to the Rescue

I know a girl, she's one of my best friends and she was vegan for the longest time. And then she was diagnosed with sjogren's disease, which is another autoimmune disease. And basically, it was telling her she couldn't eat vegan anymore. One day I'm like, girl, you just have to eat chicken and you have to eat other animal proteins and you have to see how that makes you feel. I understand that you may love the environment and animals and all that kind of stuff, but for your health, you may need to do this. She did. And now she does eats animal proteins because she can't eat the vegan lifestyle anymore because it's too grain-heavy and stuff like that. Grains just don't work for her.

That being said, I have my master's in nutrition, thanks to the fact that I've been so passionate and interested in how food affects the body. So when people come to me asking for advice, or they want me to coach them through nutrition, I always tell them that they need to write down their food. We look at what they're eating and then we can determine the best approach to healthy swaps or what works for them and what doesn't, because I'm not necessarily gonna tell them, “hey, you gotta cut out that” right?

If that right is what's giving them energy, I'm gonna simply tell 'em. Obviously, I'm gonna tell them sugar is just not okay for everybody. That's just a universally agreed and processed things are not great either.  If you're not eating so many packaged foods and you're eating a lot of things from the edges of the grocery store I think that is beneficial to one's health. How I've made this sustain for me is I'm I have a very, very strong willpower. I don't ever want sweets. I don't care. I have salt tooths. I could literally eat the exact same thing every single day of my life. And I do. I mean, a lot of people like variety, so I'm just kind of weird in that respect.

I literally could subsist on salmon, sweet potatoes and spinach every single day of my life. It works for me and it's safe and I know I can digest easily and it won't necessarily cause any sort of issues. However, the food industry here in the United States is really messed up and. Sometimes I will eat sweet potatoes and spinach and feel totally fine. And then a couple days later I'll eat the exact same thing. I'll feel terrible which to me is weird. Anyways, in my opinion, what that means is there's something funky going on with whatever chemicals they're putting on the spinach I'm eating or the sweet potato or whatever. So that creeps me out a little, but overall I make it work for me and I try to help others give them advice as too, when they want it. Right? Never be forced to do anything they don't wanna do, but if they want advice, I mean I'll give it.

Cheryl McColgan: You're very good about that and you're very generous about your time with all that stuff. There are so many things that you said there that we align so well which is probably one of the reasons I've enjoyed following your account for so long. Last night I was doing a live cook-along and, and we were talking about a cheesesteak in a bowl that I did.  So it had some onions and peppers and I said, some people will try to tell you, oh, that's too many onions and peppers, like for being strict keto or whatever. Meanwhile, nobody ever got fat from eating vegetables. Right?

Gigi Ashworth: Thank you! Yeah. I feel like, I mean, I've been doing this diet for a good 17 years and I don't count macros or anything like that. Plus I think numbers drive me crazy. It just reminds me of when I was anorexic, I always weigh myself and I'm like, you are not defined by numbers. So for me, I don't really count macros. If I'm gonna have peppers and onions, I'm gonna have peppers and onions. Like I, I got Mexican food the other day and yeah, it was filled with peppers and onions and girl wolfed those down. Yeah. 

What's the Right Amount of Carbs on Keto?

Cheryl McColgan: I can just about guarantee you since you've been doing this lifestyle for so long and you're extremely active…and we can talk a little bit about some of your workout stuff too… but I would almost guarantee you were a hundred percent still in ketosis after that meal. I mean, people have this weird idea of what they think the keto diet is or that it's super restrictive.

And in some ways it is if you're truly trying to be in ketosis. For example, like for your autoimmune disorders or people that are treating other things like depression or anxiety, maybe you need to be a little more on the strict side to get those more therapeutic levels. But for most people, and especially for people that are trying to manage diabetes, or they just wanna lose some weight or whatever, if they wanna make this sustainable, weighing some peppers and onions every time you eat is just absolutely ridiculous. So I'm glad that you brought that point up because you have been doing it for quite a long time. I'm going on five years now. I mean, there's plenty of things that I would probably never eat again, but there's also some things that are like, hey, if I just have a random craving and I don't have any digestive issues like you do, thankfully, I'll have whatever it is I'm I'm gonna have. That's what makes it easy to do long term.

Gigi Ashworth: Yes. That's the attitude and approach I take too. I think, hey, there's some brussels sprouts over there. I'm going to eat those. They may be a little higher in carbs. They're brussel sprouts and they're delicious. So that's gonna happen. It's not something I'm necessarily gonna eat every single day. Cause well, if you know brussels sprouts and my digestion that's not always a good idea! I do love my husband a little bit, but, as you said, if you're craving it and you want it and, it's still categorized as “healthy” then why not? 

Cheryl McColgan: Agree. So to back to your workout stuff. You are pretty intense with your workouts. And I think one time you told me, like, I'm just gonna pretend I'm in a figure competition even though I'm, I'm not. S how did you get, I mean, obviously you've been very active with sports and stuff through your whole life and working out now is just sort of an extension of that. Or do you have some goals around improving something? For example, you mentioned that you might have had osteopenia or osteoporosis before through eating tons of salmon bones and through doing this weight-bearing activity, have you seen any improvements in that situation? Is that maybe one of the reasons you do that? I don't know your answers here yet. I'm just the one asking the questions.

Active Lifestyle in Addition to Low Carb

Gigi Ashworth: You're, you're sort of dead on that. It's just more of an extension to my active lifestyle. I was raised in a family who's very active. They're all very active. Every single morning they all either go hiking or do something in a gym for two hours every day. And that's what I do as well. I'm the type of person that likes to work out indoors. I don't know. I like to have a time limit on things and I like to see visuals. I've always hated going hiking with my parents because they just like to keep on walking. And I'm like, when are we stopping? Like, oh, at that like tree over there. Yeah. Which one anyways? Uh, they love hiking. They go every day, my sister works out every day, my brother too. So it's, it's really just, it's how I was raised.

Activity is extremely important. And on top of that, I physically feel so much better when I'm working out.  It's like my morning cup of excuse me, 10 cups of coffee because it gives me lots of energy and it makes me feel better and lighter on my feet and focused and calm. Like I praise myself for being very relaxed and cool, calm and collected and not really stressing out or sweating the small stuff. I truly believe it's because I work out every single day. Now, obviously, I don't necessarily recommend people work out two hours a day every day like I do. I'm just crazy, but that's what works for me. And again, as I said, be your own guinea pig. If a 10-minute walk outside is what makes you feel light on your feet and ready to go, then that's amazing.

But if you need that two hours of extreme, strenuous exercise where you're sweating bullets, like I usually do every morning, then yeah, go for it. As long as it doesn't impact your health negatively, I say there's absolutely nothing wrong with working out as long as you want. I am a very active person. I wear this ring actually it's called an oura ring and it counts my steps. It actually tracks sleep and my readiness and all this kind of stuff. So it actually makes it a little more fun because I'm always kinda like trying to beat myself from the day before. I don't know, people care about step count, whatever, but usually, they're recommending around 10 to 12,000 steps a day. On average people get maybe like three to five which is kind of sad, but, at the same time, everyone has an office job. So they're just kind of sitting at their desk all day, which by the way, when I'm working on my computer I stand, because it helps your back or at least mine. I get around 18 to 20,000 steps a day because I just can't stop moving.

Cheryl McColgan: I'm actually kinda surprised that you don't have a treadmill desk.

Gigi Ashworth: Oh, I wanted one. I do have a desk downstairs in the exercise room, but my treadmill is not underneath it. 

Large Intestine Surgery and Clean Keto Nutrition

Cheryl McColgan: Something I did wanna go back to that you kind of glossed over a little bit and you don't have to go into super detail…but, as far as your Crohn's and colitis, all the autoimmune stuff, you did end up having to have surgery at one point. So does that continue to impact your health now? Or is, are things more stabilized? I know you had to go to that one extreme because you weren't feeling well.

Gigi Ashworth: I had the surgery when I was 21. So this was after I was diagnosed with colitis and IBS and all sort and all that kinda stuff. I was feeling pretty good. I even remember I was in college and I was walking home from my advisor meeting or whatever, and I was like, sweet. I have like two more classes to take before I graduate. I called my mom and I was super pumped. And then I remember that night I had lamb and eggplant and like, I can't look at lamb or eggplant ever again, because that was my last meal before this situation occurred. And you don't know is when your large intestine has an obstruction, it twists into a knot and it cannot untie.

So they have to go in and do surgery. I mean, they actually did give the suggestion of, hey we can untwist it, but we can't guarantee that this won't happen to you again in a week. And I'm like, ah, we're not gonna come back here in a week. No. So they can take out the large intestine. That's what they did. Initially, there were a lot of complications and problems for me. Like I had to adjust and they recommended I use Miralax and then I'm the type of person who's totally all or nothing. So I went to the extreme and used so much Miralax. I literally had eight scoops every day. l was addicted because your body gets used to that one scoop. You're like, okay, I gotta do two. Now I gotta do three.

Now I gotta do four. And I was putting it in like a smoothie to make like a nice, big, delicious ice creamy consistency type thing. It was actually really delicious, but it really messed me up. That stuff is toxic. I actually wrote a blog post and YouTube video about it. And if I didn't meet my husband, I probably would still be using it now. It probably would've caused 50 million more problems. But, Miralax, obviously it's a laxative and it basically would like lock me in my apartment. After 6:00 pm, like I did not have a social life after 6:00 pm because I'm like, okay, I'm gonna take miralax and I'm gonna be like on the toilet all night. When I met my husband, being locked in your apartment after 6:00 pm ain't gonna fly when you're like trying to go out and get to know someone.

So it really helped me step back from it. Then there was one night where he and I were not hanging out. He was in some sort of acting class and I took Miralax and it just didn't work. And I was on the floor in so much pain, basically experiencing the exact same pain that I experienced with my large intestine issue, to the point that I called him and I have a very high pain tolerance. I don't like to bother anybody when I'm suffering or anything like that. But I called him in his acting class and I said, you have to come get me and we have to go to the hospital. After that evening, I totally stopped Miralax. I said, I can't do this anymore. I'm killing myself… for someone who advocates, such a healthy lifestyle now I'm killing myself in this other way.

And that's not healthy, obviously. So I stopped it completely. Then I let my body adjust and train itself to eliminate if you will, it took some time but you gotta just deal with it. You have to keep on believing that your body can regulate itself because it can. Just like everyone says, oh God, I need to detox liver. No, you don't. Because your liver detoxes itself as long as you live a healthy lifestyle. So that took a little while, but when I first met my husband, I literally said to him, “hey, FYI, I have so many digestive issues and if you can't handle that, you should not talk to me right now. We should never see each other. We should just stop this right now,” but he kept talking.

So here we are. So clearly he could hand handle it. I feel like anyone who suffers from these types of issues and they're in the dating world, you have to own them. You have to be almost proud of them in a way and just be very open about it. Realize some people aren't gonna be able to handle it and that's fine. Those people don't need to be in your life. But you need to be open, as I said because otherwise, you're gonna cause more stress on yourself and stress is really not good for your digestion either.

Cheryl McColgan: I think it's so great that you are so open and share about this on social media is because I'm sure you're helping countless people that have had some digestive issues or had a problem but maybe didn't even know what was going on with them. It's so fortunate for you that your mom was not only a doctor but that she had already been eating keto and put two and two together that that could actually help your autoimmune diseases. There are still plenty of doctors out there today that know nothing about this. And yet we are out here without medical degrees, but we're trying to spread the good word about how having proper nutrition can really not only help you lose weight, which is what a lot of people are focused on but really be able to function optimally with proper nutrition.

And that's kind of where I am.  I initially came to keto because I was at a time in my life where I was super stressed out and not sleeping with all these things and realized like something's gotta change. And Iwas lucky enough to stumble upon some information that led me down the path of going low carb and then finally keto. It was never a doctor or anything like that. It was something that I found on the internet or on social media. So the fact that you share that so openly I think is really a service to us all.

Gigi Ashworth: It's funny that you say that because when I got my master's in nutrition, they were teaching the old-school approach. They were teaching that the food pyramid and all that kind of stuff. I got in a lot of fights with my professor and I was like, this is not correct, but in order to pass it, you kind of just have to go with the flow. It just makes me so crazy anyone who has their nutrition degree or whatever, I look at it a little wary because they're teaching such old information. There's been so much more recent research that's been published and in the last ten years that still isn't used in schools because these schools are being funded by say the grain council or whatever. Right? So they just feel that they need to bow down to those who are paying for their whatever.

And it makes me really sad that there are online courses for ket0 education too where you could be a keto educator or whatever it is. And they're kind of scammy too, because you read the people who are selling these courses and they don't have any sort of nutrition background. I understand that a lot of people learn through experience and stuff, but I don't know. It's very hard to get good information these days because people aren't properly educated, but at the same time, like where should they be properly educated for? Because everybody has a different and the only places that can actually give you legitimate information are nutrition periodicals and journals that have done controlled studies and stuff like that. But even then when articles are published on Yahoo news or CNN or whatever, they don't know how to read the reseearch in journals. Right?

So they're literally only reading the headline and the headline may come off weird. But if you dig into the meat and potatoes of the whole thing, it's totally different from what the title of the article is. And they just confuse everybody. Yeah. So that was probably very confusing for everyone to listen to. So it's just, I think my overall thing is you really have to read between lines, but you cannot trust everything you read. You cannot.

Cheryl McColgan: That is one of my pet peeves that you mentioned. I also went to graduate school, but for psychology. Part of that is going through research design, you go through how you're writing up things to submit as part of your master's degree or, or PhD. Eventually, you have to write and submit to journals and you're right. Yahoo news…they'll write this headline. Then I'll dig into it. I'll read the study, I'll go to PubMed or I'll go to the source tofind it.  I'll actually read the study and I'm like, they didn't even, this is not even what it said! People read the headline and they say, “oh, keto isthe worst diet.” Or then it'll be eggs are bad for you, no eggs are good for you.

I mean, it's, it's always something like that. And the people to your point, like there, there are some very good journalists that do write in the nutrition space. For example, Gary Taubes, Nina Teicholz, that have done these huge exposès that turn into these books that have been so influential in our little community. But, in general, most journalists, they don't know how to read a study and they just look at one line or hey make it say what the kind of norm is…like saturated that is still being villainized.

Gigi Ashworth: Fake headlines too, because they want clicks. 

Cheryl McColgan: Right totally clickbait. Yeah. Well, since we both have websites, we can appreciate that.

So speaking of that, you do have a website called Gigi eat celebrities. I'm just curious if you can tell people more about it. There are a lot of recipes and cool videos on there, but if you could maybe tell people why you decided to start at that site and then how it got a little bit more food-focused over time.

Gigi Ashworth: Yeah. Okay. So gigi eats celebrities is a play on words. I first started this website a long time ago was when I first moved to LA and I was making fun of diet and fitness celebrities. So eats is a play on words for like making fun of celebrities. Back when I moved to LA these spa diets of like the cabbage soup diet or the egg white diet or whatever it was that these celebrities were doing was like everywhere. It was literally splashed on all these magazine headlines. And I just thought they were stupid things. So I wanted to debunk these myths of what helps you lose weight. So I made these little spunky videos and they were all produced nicely and filmed and blah, blah, blah.

Anyways, I shot those videos. I think we had like 12 episodes and the whole reason why I started making YouTube videos and I started my blog was because I wanted to be in entertainment and I was told by all of my contacts in the field that I needed an online presence. So people could Google my name and be like, okay, that's what Gigi is all about. So that's how I started doing all my videos. And then it got me these journalist jobs where I was an online reporter and I went to a whole bunch of movie junkets and premiers. That was my old life.When I was doing it, I really realized I do not give a care about celebrities. I mean, and they don't care, especially the celebrities up today, which are like winners, a Big Brother and a Bachelor and like that. And I'm like, the only reason why you are on those shows is because you want your Instagram following to grow and you want to get a big paycheck afterward by breaking up with this person, getting the fans to appreciate you and your story.

And then you can get some sort of TV hosting job. I know it because I was on the Bachelor and the sole reason why I went on the Bachelor was because I was like, cool. Maybe, maybe that'll get me a hosting job afterward. After two episodes, I quit because I was like this, I can't do this. So anyway, back to my blog. I realized I didn't really like celebrities and people were starting to be interested in who the face behind the blog was, AKA who I was.

So then I started doing this spinoff where I was just talking about low-carb keto products. Because back then keto was even really a thing. This was like eight years ago. I would show these funky products that people didn't really know. And then I started to talk more about me and my lifestyle and my complications and people really attached to that versus the celebrity lifestyle.

I'm just more relatable. That's the word I'll use. I have conversations with every single person that comes to my blog or my Instagram page or YouTube or whatever. Cause I love to talk obviously. So I literally talked to everybody and I think that people appreciate that because and I get these comments a lot. They're like, o”h my God, thank you so much for messaging me back!” And I'm like, this is weird, I appreciate that comment. But at the same time, I'm like, who would ignore you if it's like a simple question? I just don't understand people who would do that. So again, people thought I was more relatable. So then I just opened up, let it out and let everybody know literally everything about me. I really don't even think I have, well, I do have a couple of secrets, but I am revealing them this week. But aside from that, like once I reveal those secrets, like you know everything.

Cheryl McColgan: Well, you're probably gonna say no, but I've gotta try this because this won't publish for at least three weeks. Is there any chance you wanna give more of a hint, knowing that it won't be out there until you've already announced it? Or do you wanna just keep it super, super on the down low.

Gigi Ashworth: I'm gonna publish in a week or two or whatever, I'm pregnant.

Cheryl McColgan: Gigi Congratulations! I promise it's on lockdown. This will not go anywhere until you have.

Gigi Ashworth: Cause I can't keep it secret anymore. Cause I can't do Instagram right now. Cause I hate food. Like I hate salmon right now, which is really sad.

Cheryl McColgan: I was wondering about your last few meals, like I'm like, what is she doing? I'm thinking, I have never seen you eat this many things that are not salmon.

Gigi Ashworth: I know, I've gotten so many messages from people being like, where's the salmon, what not? Are you sick? And my response is always, oh, I'm just doing an experiment. I don't know what else to say, but I literally cannot look salmon or I mean I, or I can't, I can't cook it or something. Because I didn't buy it from whole foods, like pre-made with no skin on it. Cause skin is creeping me out right now too. Which again for me to say that is crazy but I just can't.  It's like literally me saying that word makes me wanna dry heave right now. So I haven't been feeling good at all. So I've been hiding from my Instagram stories. But as I just said, I'm such an open book that me not telling the news is killing me inside. Cause even though I'm super like early like I'm only seven and a half weeks pregnant and usually you're supposed to tell people around 12 or whatever I said to myself, okay. Once I go to the OBGYN, I see the heartbeat, I see the baby, whatever. Then I'll tell.

So I went yesterday, saw the baby, so out heartbeat and I'm like, okay, we're gonna do this because I want everybody who follows me to come on this journey with me as long as I, as long as we can. So seven and a half weeks pregnant. Cool. We got a lot more weeks to go guys. So that's for sure. So I even thought about doing a pregnancy journal on TikTok and stuff like that. I'll probably start doing that tomorrow. I actually created some videos, some Instagram stories when I was super sick on the couch. I'll just post these when I actually announce it because I want people to see the reel.

So often people cover-up on social media that I'm not about that. I'm known for being open and honest and a real person. So that's why I want, I wanna talk about this like now. Right? So that's one of my secrets and the other ones I have a book and all this kind of stuff, but I'm gonna write that book. It's I don't know if I'm gonna self-publish it, but I'm gonna find publishers and stuff. I don't have a publisher with it right now. But it is salmon, a salmon book that's salmon and there's like six salmon and where you can get them and then there's gonna recipes and it's also gonna be a little on the raunchy side, because salmon is like sex in your mouth.

When I'm not pregnant, salmon is delicious and hot , but I have zero motivation to write that book right now because I just do not feel good. So that is why we had to reschedule this conversation because I was literally on the couch dying.

Cheryl McColgan: Aw, I'm so sorry.

Well glad you're feeling better today! Any final things that we didn't talk about? I think you did such a wonderful job on our conversation about how to make keto sustainable. Any other final, tips or tricks or questions that you just keep hearing from people over and over again about eating this way that you can just shed some extra wisdom on?

Clean Keto vs Dirty Keto

Well, I think that really quick, I just could, we could sum it up with clean keto and why we think that's really important. With the ketogenic diet there's like dirty, lazy keto, and then there's clean keto. And a lot of people do this dirty, lazy keto because they are just transitioning into this lifestyle and they're they miss their fast food and all this crap. So they're like, ooh, let me just take the bun off of this and I'll be good to go. But the problem with that is you're missing the nutrients that the keto diet can provide to you.

So if you're ditching that bun well from a fast-food restaurant, it's probably not gonna be any vegetables on there, give you any sort of items minerals. And that meat from that restaurant probably injected with so many hormones, it's disgusting. And that cheese is probably not actually cheese and it's just, it's lazy. And you're showcasing how uneducated people are in the keto space. I'm not saying to not do this at all…if you need that once a week or once a month, okay. But your diet should really consist of quality ingredients. Like you've gotta go to the grocery store, you've gotta get that free-range meat, that chicken, those eggs, the fish. And, I personally recommend if you're gonna have dairy, grass fed and finished butter and cream and stuff like that. Then, of course, you need to have some vegetables in there. I mean those vitamins need and minerals, otherwise, you need a supplement with a multivitamin. You wanna do carnivore, go for it, ifhat's what your body feels good with. Go for it.

Path to Clean Keto: Read the Labels

But you do need a multivitamin and you really just need to pay attention to labels. You need to not rely on these packaged goodies that literally everyone on Instagram always posts, oh, this candy, oh, this big food and I ‘m sorry. Those things are not gonna help. If you are on a keto diet, the weight loss. I totally agree. Yeah. You're gonna be hungry after you eat that little muffin and you're gonna wanna eat more and more and more. And at the same time, like almond flour and coconut flour, they're very calorically dense. At the end of the day, calories in versus calorie though, yes, the type of calorie makes a difference and something like that. But if you're trying to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you ingest. And so eating keto breads and keto pasta and keto baked goods all the time, every day, because just they're keto, ain't gonna help!

Cheryl McColgan: Yeah. That's similar to what I say when I talk to people about it. I mean, I think those kinds of foods do help people transition when they're still not sure if they can give up sweets totally or whatever…but eventually, I try to get to people to think of it from less of a weight loss perspective, because that will ha happen if you really start fueling your body with quality food and you'll start to get in touch with your hunger signals again and you'll start feeling what it's like to feel satisfied. And when you don't have all this garbage food, that's, they've engineered basically to mess with your brain because they put the right amount of fat, salt and carbs together to make something so irresistible that people can't quite literally stop eating it because it's affecting your brain.

So I think sometimes in the beginning, people might need those to transition. But I'm with you, I'm just really focused on eating as clean as possible. And yes, sometimes it might be a little pricier here or there, but you're preventing yourself from major health problems and stuff. So I think you've gotta try to figure out a way for people to afford eating better quality food while at the same time, not totally overblowing their budget. That is one thing I hear a lot is like, oh, keto can be so expensive. I'm like, well only if you're buying all that crap up in a box maybe so, but if you're just buying real food, not so much.

Clean Keto, Packaged Products Not Necessary

Gigi Ashworth: Those processed goodies are the most expensive thing that you buy. It's $7 for a little cookie sometimes or something I'm like seriously? Like $8 for a package. Are you kidding? No, no, no. Right. You buy uh, a steak for $8 a pound or whatever. And that will fill you up for an entire day.

Cheryl McColgan: Yes. So agreed. I think people stay away from that because it's much easier to just say, oh, like you said, oh, just take the bun off. So go to fast food. And again, I think in the beginning, hey, that's, that's an adjustment. That's something that people can do. But I think eventually if you really want to get in control of your health, get optimal body composition, have your brain feel good you need to eat some real food, not all this processed stuff. And you actually have this topic coming up at the Keto Diet Summit, don't you, talk there about clean keto?

Gigi Ashworth: Yes. At the keto diet summit, I'm talking about clean keto, keto cleaning up keto and I basically just and give people tips and tricks on how to morph their lifestyle into a clean keto approach. How to do it with significant others who don't wanna eat that way. Or if you're working a nine to five job and you don't have the luxury of having a kitchen next door or something like that. So I give a lot of advice on how to make this lifestyle work.

Cheryl McColgan: Yeah. Awesome. And even though that summit will have already happened once this goes live, I'll still make sure we have the links to all that so people can find you and still enjoy that talk and get all extra good tips that we didn't cover today. Perfect. All right. Well, thanks again, Gigi. I appreciate it so much. And, congrats on the new little brother or sister for Falkor it's so exciting. I feel a little bad that I asked you that question, cause I know you weren't quite ready, but I promise it's in the vault.

Gigi Ashworth: Only until tomorrow so we're good. 

Cheryl McColgan: Good. Okay. Awesome. Even I can keep my mouth shut down.

Gigi Ashworth: I know it's been very hard for me.

Cheryl McColgan: I'm sure. Well, thank you again for sharing that as well,  I appreciate it.