On February 12, 2018, Dori Barrett began her journey with keto after a handsome man from her past sent a picture and a sweet message. She noticed he was wearing a FitBit. “I was wearing my lunch,” said Barrett, laughing.
When she first met this man, they were in college and it was 1982. At that time, she weighed about 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the 225 pounds (102 kg) she was carrying around in 2018 when his photo and message arrived.
“I had been single for 8 years, working full-time, side-hustling antiques, and laser-focused on getting three teenagers ready for adulthood,” said Barrett. “I could not muster the energy nor enthusiasm to play the dating game so I settled into a lifestyle that revolved around eating.”
So, there she was: a “single, sad, chunky empty-nester” faced with the reality that she could choose either a life wearing oversized shirts and stretchy pants for the rest of her days, or she could take action. Barrett chose the latter.
“It was when I heard my college chum’s sexy voice that I had a sudden realization: I needed, and finally desired, to lose the weight,” she said.
Barrett heard about Dr. Berg from a friend who was quickly losing weight. The friend gave her a quick overview and sent her some links to his videos, which she binge-watched for an entire evening.
“The next morning, I emptied my pantry and fridge of bread, flour, sugar, grains, cereal, chips, candy, cookies (I cried a little, I admit) and went to the store to purchase Dr. Berg- recommended food and supplements,” said Barrett. “I scribbled a quote from him on a scrap of paper and placed it on my bedside table, which was ‘It’s not lose weight to get healthy. It’s get healthy to lose weight’.”
With the thought that this would probably fail just like her previous dieting attempts, Barrett initially kept her decision to try keto a secret from most people in her life. “I did need a few friends and family members in my corner for accountability, though,” she said.
She stuck to Dr. Berg’s advice and kept herself educated and informed. She’s had the same formula since day one: two meals a day (70% fat, 25% protein, 5% carbs) and intermittent fasting 18:6.
“I only drank boozy beverages occasionally and rarely cheated,” she said.
Although Barrett doesn’t consider herself to be a disciplined person, she didn’t find keto to be all that difficult. Still, she mentioned that she could have afforded to exercise more.
“I try to get in 10,000 steps a day and do crazy dancing in my house nightly for cardio and my own amusement,” she said. “I definitely need to incorporate more toning exercises and have to slather on more anti-wrinkle lotions with the looser skin, but it is all worth it to not carry around the weight of two bushels of corn.”
Since embarking on her keto and intermittent fasting journey, Barrett has lost 70 pounds (32 kg), surpassing her original goal weight. Now, she’s working toward her new goal of 140 pounds (64 kg) and she’s only 14 pounds (6 kg) away.
“If it’s true we are what we eat, then it’s also very true we are what we don’t eat. My 70-pound weight loss is testament to this and it goes along with an important lesson I learned from Dr. Berg at the very beginning which is to shift my focus to how cortisol and insulin work in my body,” said Barrett. “By reducing stress, getting better sleep, and eliminating sugar, I achieved better results and my clarity and energy levels have skyrocketed.”
Although reconnecting with an old flame initially prompted Barrett’s decision to lose weight, she recognizes that at the end of the day, you have to want it for yourself.
“The decision to make this dramatic lifestyle change has to be your own. It can rarely be successful if you are doing it because a significant other, mother, brother, or friend tells you to,” she said. “Listen to your own sexy voice. Commit to only yourself and honor the commitment. It’s true my past eating habits included a level of emotional eating. I self-soothed through every sadness and celebrated every opportunity but what I realized in the past 15 months is that all of those sad situations, the lows and highs, all of the feelings are still apparent as well as blissful days and reasons to celebrate. The difference now is my conscious decision (every day) to leave the unhealthy food out of the coping and out of the celebrations. The rewards are sweeter than the sweets.”
“I still have a lot of personal growth, for sure, but living a ketogenic lifestyle and following Dr. Berg has helped to give me a stronger foundation for moving forward,” said Barrett. “Oh, I still manage to spill my food on myself, just more lands on my lap now!”
Favorite Way to Exercise: Walking 10,000 steps a day and “crazy dancing”
Favorite Keto Recipe: “I’ve been making this for my family for over 20 years and I haven’t had to change a thing for it to fit into my eating plan,” said Barrett. “This is my go-to dish, good for any meal. Quick, easy, satisfying and oh so delicious! This is a variation of a San Francisco favorite, from Original Joe’s around the 1920’s.”
4 tbsp grass-fed butter
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
6 cups baby spinach
1 lb grass-fed beef
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and stir until brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about five more minutes.
Add the spinach and stir until the spinach wilts. Transfer the ingredients to another dish.
Cook the ground beef in the skillet, drain and add to the other ingredients.
Heat the skillet over medium heat and melt the last two tablespoons of butter. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the skillet, scrambling until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add all of the cooked ingredients to the eggs, mixing it together and adding the remaining salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese until evenly combined.