Interview with Dr. Katie Li-Broussard, a Registered Acupuncturist, on her experience going keto for the first time.We’re chatting about her experience on my Fat Fueled Program, the positive changes she’s seen since going keto, signs of hormonal imbalance, and more.
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
SHOW NOTES + LINKS
- Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app
- Get the Fat Fueled program
- Check out Katie’s natural skincare line
- Get more from Katie
- Benefits of becoming fat fueled (09:24)
- Overcoming hurdles when going keto (22:27)
- Keto for fertility (42:00)
PARTNERS OF THE KETO DIET PODCAST
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TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE
Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to Episode Number 2 of the Keto Diet podcast.
Hey, I’m Leanne from healthfulpursuit.com, and this is The Keto Diet podcast where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of a traditional ketogenic diet to uncover the life you crave. What’s keto? Keto is a low-carb high-fat diet where we’re switching from a sugar burning state to becoming fat burning machines. The Keto Diet has helped me with fertility, has ended my constant weight struggles, blood sugar irregularities, imbalance moods, and so much more. I wanted to share this magic with you, using a realistic approach to this powerful diet. No restrictions, new ways of looking at things, and positive support awaits. Let’s get this party started.
Hey, guys. Happy Sunday. Really excited for you guys to be listening to this episode. Thank you so much for jumping on board to this updated version of the podcast. We had a ton of people listening last week, so this is awesome. Super thrilled to be sharing all of this information with you. As promised, I am going to be sharing awesome things every week. This week, I discovered a little something to do with my personal practice. As some of you know, I started meditating pretty well every day a couple of months ago. Probably like four months now, I think, and before that, I would always start off my day like, “I am strong,” or “I am powerful,” and it would be my mantra for the day, but I was reading a bunch of stuff over the last little bit. Every time I say, “I am,” it’s like there’s this voice in the back of my head that says, “Well, not actually. That’s not really true.”
I changed the conversation to be, “May I be,” instead of, “I am.” If you’re a mantra sort of person, and you love having a mantra every day just to keep yourself focused on what’s important and what you want to create during the day, I love the “May I be,” statements so much more than, “I am,” and you may find that you do too. For today, and for the whole week, I put together a focus of what my mantra is going to be for the week so that I can stay in that for the week. This week, it is, “May I be focused.” Imagine that because there’s so many things going on, and I mean books and business and life and things. Focused for me is to stay on one task at a time, to be the best at that task as I can at that moment. Then when I’ve done that task, I move on to the next.
This can be really hard for women because we can literally juggle 4,000 things at once. When we just focus on one thing, we’re so much better at that one thing, and we don’t get stressed. This week, it’s “May I be focused.” Love it, loving it, and maybe you will too. What we’re covering in this episode are the following items: The benefits of being Fat Fueled, overcoming hurdles when going keto, keto for fertility, and so much more. The show notes for today’s episode can be found at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e2. Let’s hear from one of our awesome partners before we get started.
The Keto Diet podcast is sponsored by Daily Yoga, an app that delivers 50 high-definition, online yoga classes so that you can namaste in the comfort of your own home, in a hotel room, or anywhere, really, with the option of professionally scheduled programs to reach your goals, whether they be overcoming insomnia, changing body composition, or calming anxiety. The multi-lingual classes, as well as various meditation courses distinguish daily yoga in the app space. After your workout, you’re presented with stats of your workout, time worked, intensity, calorie burn, and so much more. Download the app by going to dailyyoga.com/keto. Access through the show notes or type it in manually to your browser and use the coupon code “keto”, all in lowercase, no spaces, to unlock all of the programs and courses at once for free for seven days. Again, that’s dailyyoga.com/keto, and use the coupon code, “keto” all lowercase, no spaces to unlock all of the programs.
Leanne Vogel: I have no things to share with you. Nothing much going on, just trucking along, but if you have an idea for a podcast episode or if you want to submit praise over and above the review that you can post over by accessing healthfulpursuit.com/review, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’m going to read a review, actually, that was submitted a couple of days ago from O-town mom. Love it. “I had to send yet another review, Leanne. You must be an old soul because even though you are very young, you are able to connect and show so much empathy for your listeners. Your knowledge base is incredible, and your experience only helps you in everything that you do because you don’t ever act all high and mighty, been there done that. You show a deep compassion and every listener and this, my dear, is what sets you apart from most others who do what you do. Just keep at it. I wish you all the best and truly believe you will just keep climbing.”
Thanks so much O-town Mom. I love your name. That’s so great. If you want to submit a review, you can do so by going to healthfulpursuit.com/review. If you’re listening to the show and you haven’t submitted a review yet, it would be awesome if you did because that just helps other people find the information that I’m sharing. The more reviews I have, the more people that will find me, and the more people that will find me, the more people that might be encouraged to be keto and feel better, and that’s exactly what we’re talking about with today’s guest.
We are chatting with Dr. Katie Li-Broussard, who is a registered acupuncturist and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine. Her practice focuses on women’s health, including hormones, fertility, and internal medicine. She’s also the owner, creator, and chef of the beautifully hand-crafted line of luxury organic skincare, organic rituals. I have her entire line, and it’s amazing. I met her a couple of months ago, and we talk about it in the interview where she was behind the desk at my chiropractor’s office and chatting about paleo and how frustrated she was with having to create all the meals, and I slipped her my card, and said, “Hey, you might want to check out my website. You talked about hormones and anxiety and stuff. Keto might be a really good place for you.”
She checked it out, and she bought the keto bundle, and she’s been following it for 10 weeks, and I continue to see her like every two weeks because I go to the chiropractor, I see her. She practices acupuncture at the same clinic, and every time I see her, she looks better and better. She’s so bright and full of energy, and I can’t even describe the change that she has undergone in these last couple of months. I wanted to have her on the podcast to chat about her experience on going keto and how she found it, and tools and tips and how she really got over the hurdles that come initially when you go keto. She’s coming from a dairy-free, gluten-free place when she switched over to keto, so she has some really good ideas about how to make this switch and putting yourself as top priority. We also get into some of the acupuncture stuff because I’m not going to not ask an acupuncturist on the show about acupuncture and hormones and things.
I picked her brain about fertility because her practice primarily focuses on fertility and how she interweaves keto in her practice. Signs of hormone imbalance do to with the tongue and what to look for and testing. It’s a really, really awesome episode whether you are new to keto, and you’re not quite sure about what to expect, or you’re a seasoned veteran and you want to maybe get some inspiration to keep eating this way. Perhaps you’re finding things a little bit challenging or there’s a little hiccup somewhere, and you’re like, “Should I be doing this, or should I not?”
So many things that Katie said, even to me were just like, “Oh my goodness, gracious. Thank you so much for reminding me why I do this because I know sometimes, I feel it too. Sometimes I forget why I started eating this way.” Katie did such a brilliant job at describing exactly and reminding me why I do this every day, and why I love fat, and why I’m doing this for my body. I’m really excited for this episode for you all. We’re going to cut on over to the interview, and I hope you love it. Hey, Katie. Oh my gosh. I’m so excited to have you here today.
Katie Li-Broussard: Oh, good morning Leanne. How are you doing?
Leanne Vogel: I’m doing really good. We had some technical issues, which, I mean Skype, but we’re ready to totally rock this interview, and this is our first interview on the Keto Diet podcast, so no pressure.
Katie Li-Broussard: Oh my goodness, so exciting.
Leanne Vogel: I know.
Katie Li-Broussard: Yeah, this is a lot of pressure. Well, congratulations on your new podcast. This is fantastic.
Leanne Vogel: Thank you, thank you. Yeah, really excited to chat about all things keto and keto life. We were chatting about it earlier, I think like last week, about the strategy behind it, and you got really excited so …
Katie Li-Broussard: I know, so exciting.
Leanne Vogel: That’s nice to hear. For those people that don’t know you, you’re a wonderful being, and I’m so excited to share you with the world. Can you give us a little bit of an introduction to who you are and how you found keto?
Katie Li-Broussard: Oh my goodness. This is a long-winded story. Let me try and make it short.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, deal.
Katie Li-Broussard: Okay, so I’ve been an acupuncturist for quite a while now. I’ve been in private practice for over ten years. I’m a mom of two, a beautiful daughter, who is 11, and I had my little guy just a couple years ago, so I’ve got a big gap. I also have a skincare company, as you know, so I’m a super busy mom and just all over the map all the time. When it comes to the keto stuff, it’s very interesting. I’m one of those women that I don’t think I fair very well after I have babies. I’m not one of those women that can have a lot of babies and feel that I’m good afterwards. I think after my son, my husband and I, he came as a little bit of a surprise, but after I had him, I think stress was super high, being in the field of work that I do. You can’t just take a year off and pretend nothing happened and go back to work after a year. I carried on, I was back at work when he was five weeks old. My skincare company, that’s just pretty much me and my husband.
That carried on right away, business as usual. I think I found myself really, really struggling about a year and a half post-partum. I found myself in a huge, hot mess ready to erupt. Stress was high. I wasn’t sleeping. My little guy doesn’t like to sleep. I was eating terribly, and I knew things needed to change. The anxiety was so freaking bad that I could barely leave the house on good days. I decided to make a big change, and I decided that in clinic, I see a lot of hormonal issues and I thought, “You know what? Now’s a good time to really focus in on a diet plan that can work for most people.” Actually, that’s when I met you.
I’d been researching lots of different ways to come up with a diet plan that looks at blood sugar, that helps to regulate hormones, that just in general, makes you feel good, and a very focused plan so that you don’t have to worry about the things that you can’t eat. You’re solely focusing on the things that you can eat. I started looking at lots of Paleo stuff, lots of AIP stuff, and I was really liking it, but when I put it all together, I just don’t know enough about food, and that’s when I saw you at the clinic, and I was like, “Oh my gosh.” You asked what we were doing behind the counter there, and I was like, “I’m trying to piece together all these recipes, and I don’t know.
I don’t have time to come up with weekly meal plans for everybody that is under my care.” I’m thinking how the heck am I going to do that? So you slid me your card, and I watched your video, and then here I am, 10 weeks later. I bought your book, Fat Fueled, which has changed my life, in all honesty. My husband is full keto now too. We just are a big Fat Fueled family now, really. I think as soon as I began, I think, oh gosh. I didn’t know what to expect. I have been in ketosis. Shamefully, I have done a little bit of dieting in the past, especially after I had my daughter. I was very familiar with what ketosis was, but I wasn’t familiar with high-fat, low-carb ketosis. I tell you, I don’t think I can ever go back.
Leanne Vogel: Once you go fat, you can’t go back.
Katie Li-Broussard: Truly. Seriously. I don’t even think … I look at food and I look at what people are eating, and then I look at if you’re grocery shopping, I look at my cart, and I’m just so proud. We didn’t have to do a lot of changes. I haven’t eaten gluten in, gosh, about six or seven years now, I think. We don’t do a lot of dairy, so it wasn’t a huge change, but it’s that, after reading Fat Fueled, you gave the information that was needed to make this a real practice, right. It’s a lifestyle. This isn’t a crash diet. This isn’t, “I’m going to do it for six weeks, or lose X amount of pounds, and then carry on.” No, this is … I can’t imagine eating any other way. The feeling that I have being in this state is absolutely unreal. The energy is good. It’s just such an even burning energy from morning to night.
When it came to making changes, it wasn’t huge and drastic. At the beginning, I took a few of your recipes in Fat Fueled, just so I could get a good idea of what was going on. Day one was fantastic. It was perfect. I started out with the Rocket Fuel latte. Then I think I made your no-potato potato salad. I ate a lot of olives because I just didn’t know, really, if I was getting enough fat. This is totally new to me eating this amount of fat, so I tried to pick and choose everything that was so super fatty because I don’t think you can go wrong.
By day three, I had absolutely no anxiety. That was the most freeing feeling. To go back to day two, I think all of the glucose had dumped, and I was dying for sugar. I didn’t think I ate that much sugar. You hear this all the time from people, “Well, I don’t eat very much wheat, or I don’t eat very much sugar.” You do. I think you really truly do. You don’t realize how the body’s feeling until you dump all of your stores and you don’t reintroduce it. The body goes, “Hello, you need sugar,” so I made some fat bombs and oh my gosh.
I think it was probably the most delicious thing I had ever eaten at that time, right, because you have no sugar in the body, so it’s like, “Come on. Give me something.” By Day three when I woke up, I had no panic, no feeling of panic, and everything was all of a sudden, at piece. This was the most freeing feeling for me. I thought, “Oh my gosh.” I was doing myself such a disservice by eating what I was eating, and it wasn’t even that bad. It’s just that it was not the right fuel for me. I think about a week into it, the energy was unreal. I am busy from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed, and then all through the night with my little guy. I was accomplishing things in one day that would normally take me a good three or four days: cleaning the house from top to bottom, doing all of the laundry, getting myself to work, bathing, cooking, you name it, I was doing it.
I thought, “Oh my gosh. I’m like the energizer bunny. Just go, go, go, go.” I sat down with my mom and I was chatting with her and I said, “You know, it has been eight days.” Eight days in, I did not realize how much energy I was expending battling blood sugars. It was such a chronic battle for me, I hadn’t binged ate in eight days, which is huge because a lot of times, I work evenings. I’ve come home, and it was finally five minutes to myself, and I would eat everything I could. I would eat dinner. I would start working. I’d get my second wind, and I’d start working till all hours of the night. I was just killing my adrenals. I’m sure cortisol levels were right through the roof too, and you wake up so tired.
About eight weeks in, I was like, “No, I think this is the way I want to be.” I thought, “Okay, well, we’ll give it a go, and we’ll see how it goes for the first month.” By eleven days in, my husband looked at me and was like, “I need to do this too. Look at you.” Every day, I woke up, I had not pain in my body. I thought it was just sleep deprivation to be honest, just simply not sleeping well. I’d get up in the middle of the night to go tend to my little guy, and oh my gosh. I felt like I was a 90-year-old lady. All of that had gone.
I can get up in the middle of the night. There’s no pain anywhere. No aches. My knees don’t hurt. It was just fantastic. Not only that. I’d wake up every day and my body had changed. I was still carrying quite a bit of weight, which is not necessarily the primary goal of why I did this. I did it more for brain function. My brain just was not functioning to the capacity that I needed it to function, but I have to say, I think I’m 10 weeks in, and I think I’ve honestly lost like 35 pounds.
Leanne Vogel: Wow, which is a huge change coming from a place of, it sounded like feeling very alone in the initial, before finding keto, just frustrated and not even knowing the potential of what was out there. Like, “I deal with pain because I’m sleep deprived,” and not even know how big of an impact the food that you were eating, although you were eating gluten-free, and it sounds like dairy-free, it just wasn’t enough for your body.
Katie Li-Broussard: It wasn’t enough. Absolutely. No, I definitely needed huge changes. I was spiralling down a road that I did not want to visit. How’s that? When you have a lot of responsibility, you don’t have time to be tired. You don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself, and I found myself feeling sorry for myself all the time. It was just awful. It was a real eye-opener when I changed, and how much I was actually struggling. I look back, and I know I’m only a couple months and a bit in, but I look back and I’m like, “I never want to go back to that place of sheer exhaustion.” Now, I get up, I do my thing all day, and then I have to go to bed at like 10: 00. There’s no staying up late because my day was so full. The body needs to repair itself, right. I have been so busy throughout the day, that you don’t get that second wind. The body actually needs to simply relax and chill out, turn off.
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You mentioned something about not having the time to do much of anything. You’re go, go, go. How did you put yourself as a first priority? That’s a huge challenge, I know, for moms. I’m not a mom and my coach always has to say like, “Hey, Leanne. You’re not putting yourself as a first priority. You need to do that.” I’m sure you had to overcome some hurdles. When I gave you my card and I was like, “You might want to check this out,” I knew you were on the path to figuring things out, but was there an aha moment or something that sparked in you where you’re like, “Okay, this has got to change, and these are the steps or motivation that’s going to push me through this awkward stage of change?”
Katie Li-Broussard: Absolutely. I think I’m familiar with the ketogenic diet in a very different perspective. The first time I heard about it, I was in University, I’d watched a presentation by a professor who was working on a very specific neurotransmitter in epilepsy. That was the first time I had heard the term ketogenic diet. Essentially what they were doing to the animals, I know this sounds really bad, but my undergrad was in neuroscience.
I was one of the first students that went through the Canadian center for behavior neuroscience in university, and I found it very fascinating. Their type of ketogenic diet for the animals was essentially water fasting and this kind of thing, but the changes that were seen in the brain and the condition were unreal. Now, does that have anything to do with human food, or how we live on an everyday basis? Absolutely not, but when you passed me your card, and I think I watched, I have to think about this. Which video did I watch first? I think it was on your website.
It would have been Reasons to go Keto, and it just, the floodgates opened, and I was like, “Oh my gosh. This woman has brought this information into a setting that you can actually bring into your home.” I was like, “I can do this. There’s no bars. There’s no injections. This is real food and really good food.” I’m going to go off on a side tangent here, but I remember sitting down with my husband, once again when he decided that he was going to do this. I said, “I don’t think, in all honesty I have ever eaten this many nutrients in such a short period in my whole entire life.”
Fat is where it’s at, and I know this with skincare, right. To nourish the skin, you don’t need all these fancy fillers. What you need is the real deal, the concentrated oils, the unrefined, cold-pressed goodness for the skin, and here I am. I’m like, “Bring it on. I’m going to eat all of this, the nutrients.” I feel like after watching that video and the first day that I did it, I just kept thinking, “This is so cool. I know the effects that it has on the brain. I’m going to do this myself,” and it was so empowering just from the information that you’ve allowed all of us to share.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, that’s really exciting and such a cool approach too, in that all it took was for you just like, “I know this, and I can to do this.” Really, I know that with and I have done many a diet and trickled in a lot of different things and stuff. With those, it’s always a battle, and it’s always a fight to go the next day, and you actually are really miserable but know from my personal experience, it’s almost like you feel like a rebel when you’re adding … Even last night, I put a bunch of duck fat in a pan, and there was this moment of … Still to this day, after two and a half years, maybe Leanne? That’s too much fat. Like, “Oh, yeah. No. This is good. No, this is good,” and you feel like a rebel putting all that duck fat in a pan. You’re like, haha. It’s so fulfilling and it makes you feel good right away. The motivation is easy.
Katie Li-Broussard: I know there was something that you had said the day you had passed me the card, I had said, “Well, what’s keto?” You’re like, “Keto. It’s kind of one step up from paleo. Instead of reaching for a sweet potato, you would grab a spoon of nut butter or something.” I thought, “What the heck. Really?”
Leanne Vogel: Who is this woman?
Katie Li-Broussard: No, I just thought, really. Then the other day, here I am, and I kid you not, you can feel yourself … I’m starting to really decipher whether or not I need or really understand my body when it needs some more salt water, or if I actually need to feed it something. The other day, I just got a little bit low, nothing like a glucose crash by no means, but you just feel like the energy’s starting to waver. Here I was, I feed my dog coconut oil, and I was like, “I’m just going to take a scoop of that.” Oh my gosh. Within like two minutes, I was back in the race. There was no lag time.
I was like, “This is what she means.” It’s just unreal. There’s no ups and downs, and I think for a lot of people, my patients included, you can see it in people, whether or not you’re at the grocery store or out walking, you can see the ups and downs that people have with blood sugar. If you only could understand that when you turn your body into fueling primarily on fat, the reaction that you have is just so steady and so clean. The fuel is just so clean. There’s no huge, drastic, extreme, really high energy to really low energy. You’re just sailing right through the middle, and I love it.
Leanne Vogel: I love that analogy of just sailing because that’s really what it feels like. You’re just sailing through. For somebody in your practice as a doctor of acupuncture, I’m sure you meet a lot of clients in your practice. Like you said, you hustle all day. Every time I see you, you’re up and about and taking in a new client. I’m sure you meet with women and men who you know the keto diet would be good for. How do you approach that now that? Now that you’re keto and you know the effects and you meet a client and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. You’re struggling with this. If you could, just try keto.” How do you go about that and are there objections and hurdles that you have to jump through as a practitioner?
Katie Li-Broussard: Without a doubt. I think even before I was keto, the topic of diet is usually a very sensitive one for most people unless they’re absolutely desperate for change. When you come in for a visit, whether it’s hormonal issues, fertility, pain, what have you and you come in and I’ll take your pulse and I’ll take a look at your tongue, probably take a look at your ears, your hands, talk through what’s been going on and that kind of thing and whether or not I feel a lot of inflammation or just huge hormonal imbalances.
It can be very well seen and very, very clear to me what’s going on. Lots of times, I always, always recommend getting rid of the foods that cause a lot of inflammation. The biggest ones, you’ve got sugar, wheat and dairy. They kind of look at me and they just get that glazed over look, like “Huh, I’m not so sure that I’m really game for that,” Acupuncture’s great. It’s definitely very, very powerful medicine, and it can definitely deal with a lot of things. I always really like to give a lot of education to my patients.
Whether or not you take the information and put it to good use is totally up to you, but I feel as a practitioner when you come to see somebody like me, you’re obviously looking for something. I’ll always give you the information. I’m not so much of a – when it comes to, “Did you eliminate those things?” The people that do eliminate it, we have great conversations in subsequent visits, but I think a lot of people get lost. The second you take away even just those three items, they feel very sad.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, because it’s so tied to emotion.
Katie Li-Broussard: Absolutely. It always kills me. Let’s say you take your dog or your cat to the vet and let’s say they’ve got a rash or they’ve got upset stomach or what have you and the vet says, “You know what? You’ve got to get rid of all the fillers in the food. Go get a better food and let’s see how it goes.” Right, so you pop into your car and where do you go? What’s the first stop you make? The pet food store to get new food, right? Just gone.
You don’t need corn in your food. Gone. We can pick one, right. You go home and you’d be on your way. It’s not like that for us humans. I think we are. We’re so emotionally tied to our food, and I think a lot of people don’t actually realize that what we eat has an impact on our whole body. What we eat also affects our mood. What we eat can affect those anxiety levels. What we eat can be used to energize the body, but it can also be used to depress the body in some ways as well.
That’s another reason why I absolutely love this approach, the keto approach, to eating. The first time I’ve actually listened to medical practitioners. I’ve listened to lots of videos, and I’ve read lots of various studies on this. It’s actually the first time that I’ve seen the western medical world look at the body as a whole. Looking at yes, you eat this and then the sequence of events affects more than one system of the body.
It’s such a beautiful thing because it’s so true. When you clean you your diet, whether or not you’re paleo or you’ve gone and you’ve eliminated all the things that have come up on a food sensitivity test with a natural path, you start feeling better. That’s when you see the power of food. When you are constantly bombarded by foods that are causing inflammation or causing digestive upset or causing headaches or allergies or things like this, you never know. You can’t feel what the body’s actually feeling like when you’re bombarded by so many things that you shouldn’t be eating.
Leanne Vogel: That’s really interesting. I’d never actually thought about keto as a whole … I know I approach keto as a holistic approach and that’s really been my thing, but it’s really the first time that a diet our culture is looked at as a holistic approach completely, from what your brain does and what your emotions are doing, and what your body is doing and your blood sugar. There are so many pieces to it, whereas, yeah. Interesting. Mind blown on that one for sure. You mentioned in your practice that there are certain signs that you look for, for hormone imbalance, and I’d love to just pick your brain on that because I know a lot of women listening specifically, we’ve spoken about thyroid tongue in the past and what that looks like. Are there certain signs that you look for that maybe point to your adrenal dysfunction, or thyroid irregularities?
Katie Li-Broussard: Absolutely. Everybody’s so very different, and some signs on the tongue can be very different on a whole variety of people. That’s what I love about Chinese medicine is it takes you as the individual and puts the whole picture together. You and Amber were talking about the scalloped edges and this kind of thing. This is definitely related to the spleen, which has a huge function in digestive function of the whole body. The tongue is a true reflection of everything that’s going on inside. You can see the energetics of the heart, of the kidneys. The kidneys are really, really important in Chinese medicine. This is the root of the chi that we’ve been born with.
You can definitely see that on the areas of the back of the tongue. The tongue coating says a lot too. There’s so much about the tongue that, I’m not sure if we have enough time to really cover everything, but you definitely can see without a doubt. If you come to see an acupuncturist, an experienced one, you can see whether or not there’s adrenal fatigue. These are more terms that you use in natural pathic medicine, but you can definitely see them on the tongue and equate them to Chinese medicine.
The front of the tongue, if it’s nice and red and maybe it’s kind of pointed, that definitely can indicate that the heart is having a hard time in terms of the relationship to all of the organs. Most people have some liver issues that are going on. That can be seen. I usually like to take the pulse for that one. That gives me a better idea of what’s going on. When hormones are not in balance, there’s a whole slew of symptoms. I think every woman knows when they’re hormonal, but you can definitely see the impact that it has on the tongue and the pulse for sure. I don’t know if that answered your question.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, totally. I know that my tongue changes from day to day, and it’s really interesting to monitor it. I know, like I’ve spoken about this before. If my tongue has those serrated edges on the side, or it feels too big for my mouth, I know that I need to slow down. That’s a good indication that my thyroid is like, “Leanne, stop.”
Katie Li-Broussard: Absolutely. It’s also a good time to come see your acupuncturist. No, it does. The tongue changes. The tongue coating especially changes a lot. I was very fortunate early on in my career. I worked with a very renowned acupuncturist that dealt with complex case and cancer. I was very fortunate to see a lot of people. I learned so much. It was such an invaluable experience. I worked with him for three years, and so you can only imagine how many people I was able to assist him with, and to see the tongue when it’s actually sick. When somebody’s very, very ill or they’ve undergone radiation or chemotherapy, to actually see significant changes on the tongue and what that looks like.
Most of us, I think, have pretty regular normal-ish looking tongues, but it’s always nice to know what the tongue looks like when the body is really struggling and battling a serious disease. No, the tongue changes. The tongue coating changes often. When you get sick, lots of times the tongue coating will get quite thick. If you happen to have an infection and you end up on antibiotics, you can see how much that just destroys the tongue coating. That’s a really good indication that you have to work on building the floor back up in the gut. The tongue definitely changes, and it’s good that you are in tune with that because that also is something that I find with keto in general.
When people are very in tune with what they’re eating, they’re also very in tune with their body. That’s another reason why I absolutely love this. I can make small changes to the diet and all of a sudden you feel the difference within a day. Maybe sometimes longer for some people, but I know for myself, if I don’t eat enough fat, the next day, that’s all I need to eat. I don’t, but you can feel the things that … You can actually feel when something’s going on. When something was absolutely delicious, and not just flavorful delicious, but delicious for the body, that’s all you want to eat for a little bit. I know my husband, we bought some steak the other day, and I was like, “Oh, my gosh. I think I just need to eat this for a few meals.” That’s what I did.
Leanne Vogel: Yes, totally. I go through those phases too, where it’s like, “That felt really good. I feel really good. I’m just going to have the same thing for lunch.”
Katie Li-Broussard: Absolutely, and there’s no shame. It so good, but it feels so good. That’s so important. When you do, when you are really in tune with your body, it is such a … It’s your acupuncturist’s dream come true when you can talk with somebody that actually feels what’s going on. I can tell a lot of things, but what’s most important is how my patient feels. What are the things that they’re doing? I can guide you and bring you to that point where you can start feeling your body and understanding what’s going on, and then we can have really good conversations. That’s always a goal of mine is to really teach yourself about yourself and how to trust yourself.
Essentially when it all boils down, the only person that knows yourself the best is you. I think that this type of eating style really allows you, it empowers you. It empowers you to understand yourself and to actually feel what you’re doing.
Leanne Vogel: Yes. A hundred times yes. I totally agree with you.
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As a woman who’s practicing keto and also an acupuncturist, I know that we’ve had this conversation offline, but do you feel like there is information missing in the keto space for women? If yes, what do you feel is missing, and what would you like to see in the space for women on keto?
Katie Li-Broussard: My goodness, that’s a loaded question. I think you’ve done such an incredible job of laying this out and talking about hormones and talking about things and talking about it in a way that people can relate to it. I think in general a lot of women, first off, have a lot of hormonal issues. I think we see this truly exemplified by fertility issues. I do see a lot of these type of conditions in the clinic. It’s challenging. You go to the doctor, your medical practitioner, and let’s say they say to you, ” You’ve got PCOS. Here’s a little bit of medication” and then you’re just left on your own. You don’t understand what’s going on, or perhaps you have your blood taken and your thyroid function is okay by their standards. I’m thinking that the thyroid testing that we do if you have two legs and a heartbeat, I think that everybody falls into that category.
Whatever, it is what it is. I think people are getting smarter about their health and really embracing holistic medicine to understand themselves a little bit more. It doesn’t take brain science to know that you just don’t feel well. When you do go to the doctor and you find that everything’s normal, it’s like you go home quite deflated, I think. You wish there was at least something there so that it’s not just in your head. Hormonal issues are a huge one, and I think you’ve done an incredible job at really opening up the can of worms and encouraging women to learn about themselves. If you need to go see a natural path or an acupuncturist or somebody that works in functional medicine, somebody to actually be able to look at those results and perceive them in a different way.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, totally. It sounds like, I know that I struggle with that as well. When I had amenorrhea for eight years, all the doctors were like, “Well, do you want to get pregnant?” I was like, “No.” They’re like, “What’s the problem?” Are you kidding me right now? It can be so frustrating because like you said, you know something is wrong and it’s so deflating when you go to these doctors. There are doctors out there that are fabulous and I managed to find a couple, but it can be really frustrating as somebody who knows that there’s something wrong, and then a doctor’s always saying, “You’re fine, you’re fine,” to the point where you’re like, “Okay, I’m a busy lady. I have other things to do. If the doctor says I’m fine, I’m fine,” but then you continue to deal with issues.
It sounds like having that support and understanding within the keto space is helpful as well as hormone support and information. Do you have, as somebody who’s newer in the keto space, are there certain resources that you love in addition to mine? Are there certain books that you read that were helpful or videos that you watched and you remember some people that were pretty awesome?
Katie Li-Broussard: In terms of hormones?
Leanne Vogel: Hormones, keto, anything you got?
Katie Li-Broussard: No. I think you’re the shining star on that one.
Leanne Vogel: Oh, geez. Thanks.
Katie Li-Broussard: No, really. I am very fascinated. I think I’ve mentioned this before to you. It really fascinates me, the brain and fueling on ketones. I’ve seen a lot of videos. I think I just watched one not too long ago by, oh gosh, you probably know him too, Tom Seyfried. Yes, oh my gosh. Watching his video, I think that was the best entertainment this cookie has come by for a long time. I know it’s so geeky, but I couldn’t help myself.
It was just so fascinating, the studies that he has focused on when it comes to specific brain tumors and the ketogenic diet. It was just using big words, and I was just loving life. My husband looks at me, and he was like, “What are you watching?” I was like, “I’m geeking out to brain science,” so sexy, I know. When it comes to hormonal issues, I really truly think that you’ve given women, or empowered them to look a little bit deeper. It’s not just about what the blood work says. It’s not just about whether or not you’re having fertility issues. It’s not just about that. It’s so much more.
I know a few of my patients right now, I’ve introduced this diet to, and like I said, Leanne. I see a lot of PCOS in clinic. I don’t know if it’s necessarily just increased testing or we’re starting to really see the effects of infertility. I don’t really know why this is starting to become such a huge issue amongst women. Either way, acupuncture is fantastic to deal with it, but diet is 85% of it. You need to go home and you need to make some serious changes.
We need to regulate that insulin level. We need to address why the body’s not responding to certain hormones in the body to have you start ovulating, to have you start menstruating regularly. I think it’s so important. Women’s health is definitely, or I should say the menstrual cycle is really truly a reflection of women’s health in Chinese medicine. It can shed so much insight as to what’s going on in the body, and in your case when you weren’t having a period. That’s a big problem. It’s not a deathly problem. It’s not a terminal problem, but it’s an indication that the body’s not functioning properly.
If your body fat was really, really low and you were training for the Olympic teams or what have you, maybe you might see not getting a period just because the body’s under a different type of stress, but if you’re just going on your way, normally, moderate exercise, and eating good and what have you, it’s a really good indication of menstrual cycle isn’t regular that there’s something else going on in your body. I think that you’ve done an incredible job to even shed light that there is help out there that women can seek and get the answers that they need, or get a good idea of what’s going on so that they can help themselves.
Leanne Vogel: Totally, and I think in my case, I definitely not training for the Olympics, but I was working out too much, I wasn’t eating enough. I was obsessing about food, I wasn’t keto. It was multiple things. I restricted my food, which was a huge, huge problem, and I agree with you that the change … For me, my body fat percentage was too low for my body, even though when you looked at me, you’d be like, “Oh, yeah. That’s a healthy girl. She looks great,” but I actually had to gain weight in order to get it back, my menstruation. I’m sure you’d see that.
Katie Li-Broussard: I see that a lot too. Some women come in that they’ve been trying to get pregnant for a really long time, and it’s like, “You know what? You need to eat a little bit.”
Leanne Vogel: More, more, eat more.
Katie Li-Broussard: It’s okay. The reverse is the same too. When insulin levels are really high, and blood sugars aren’t balanced, and there’s some tendency of PCOS kind of symptoms sneaking in there and you haven’t been diagnosed with it, even if you just simply regulate blood sugars, the body often times will start ovulating. Menstruation starts coming regularly and you’re not bleeding for days on end or no period for 40 or 60 days.
Leanne Vogel: Oodles of pain and all the stuff that you deal with. It should be pretty even. Do you have other tips, like in the keto space for fertility for women? We talked about eating enough, regulating your insulin. Is there anything else that is just like, “You need to do this because it would help immensely for fertility?”
Katie Li-Broussard: You know, I always say see an acupuncturist for fertility, for sure. I think if you’ve got your diet down, which I’m sure a lot of your listeners are obviously in that space or in that frame of mind, acupuncture is beautiful to optimize ovulatory function to build that lining up nice and thick so that if conception does occur, there’s a really nice place for implantation and to strengthen the body as a whole, reduce stress. There are lots of ways to calm that nervous system so that if things start happening and pregnancy happens, the body’s in a good place going into it. If you have digestive issues, your acupuncturist needs to work on those. If fertility is your goal, then we have to take away any burden that’s going on elsewhere so that the body can focus on getting pregnant.
I think too a lot of women, especially these days, are fighting the clock, and that’s a hard one. There’s a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of stress, and now, with the options of seeking out fertility protocols at the fertility clinic, it’s opened up a can of worms for a lot of women that not only are you trying to have a baby, or you’ve been trying for many, many years, now you’re starting to make huge financial investments into trying to conceive. There’s so much stress and so much pressure that seeing an acupuncturist for some good quality acupuncture to calm that nervous system down is a blessing. It’s very welcomed. It’s another person on your team that is there to support you through whatever.
Whether or not you’re naturally trying or you’re going through fertility treatments at the fertility center, it’s just one more person on your team that’s there to give you different perspectives, that’s there to help your body undergo all of these fertility treatments because they’re not easy. I know what my hormones feel like on a regular basis. Mine are pretty okay, especially now that I’m keto, but after I had my son, oh my gosh. You want to talk about the power of hormones. Post-partum hormones I think are just a rude awakening to how powerful hormones can be.
When you go through fertility treatments, you’re getting a lot of hormonal treatment, or hormonal injections. You can be taking all sorts of different drugs to alter the hormone system. I think a lot of women find that they start struggling, especially if it’s not the first round, but the second or third rounds of various hormonal treatment. They have a lot of side effects that affect not just the physical being, but the emotional well being too.
Leanne Vogel: That’s so fascinating. Well, wow. We shared so much information. I feel like if people are concerned or a little bit scared about going keto, your experience on keto just 100% bang on. That’s what I hear all the time, and you shared it so beautifully. Making yourself a priority and everything to do with fertility. This was great. This was so great. I am so happy that you came on the show and shared your brilliance with everyone. Where can people find you if they want to learn more about you and your amazing organic skincare collection? I love it. Seriously, we were talking about it before the call. The lip stuff that you make is smooth and good and it soaks in and it’s not chalky and it’s not pasty. It’s just perfect, and it’s still on my lips, but it’s just smooth and nice.
Katie Li-Broussard: I’m so glad you liked it. It something that I’ve been doing for a while. I’ve been doing this since about 2006, so I think it’s 10 years now I’ve had this company. It started off really small. I used to mix things up for my patients because I saw a lot of … A lot of times people come in and they’ve got skin conditions. The skin, of course again is a good reflection of what’s going on inside, but lots of times you need something topical. You need something that’s full of nutrients, that hasn’t been refined, that doesn’t have a lot of chemical fillers in it and that kind of thing. Born was this line of skincare. We’ve been doing this for quite a while.
We have a beautiful face line, a body line, and it does very well. We’re online. It’s organicrituals.com. You can find us online. You can also find us at a lot of the nutter stores in Alberta, a few of the wellness clinics in town here, and in Calgary carry it as well. I also do a little bit of private labeling for a laser studio that absolutely adores our line. Even though she has very, very fancy products and what have you, she still when it comes to healing the skin will always turn to a more natural product just because you can see such dramatic results in a very little amount of time. Again, it’s like food. You can heal the body with a lot of fat very quickly. I think a lot faster, many times, than a synthetic drug or some kind of chemical compound.
Leanne Vogel: Yes, totally. Something that you said, like, “I’ve been putting fat in my products for years. Why didn’t I think about this for my body?”
Katie Li-Broussard: I know. On my gosh, it’s so true. I was thinking as I was watching your videos for the first time, I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh. I’ve met my match. It’s a match made in heaven. It’s a lady that loves fat as much as I do.”
Leanne Vogel: Totally. Oh, that’s so great. Definitely check out Organic Rituals. I put on the body lotion today, and it’s just perfect. It’s bang on. You totally crushed it. I’m so excited to have you as the first guest on the podcast, and we’ll include everything in the show notes for today’s episode, which you can find at healthfulpursuit.com/podcast/e2 and we will see you guys next week.
That does it for another episode of the keto diet podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching healthful pursuit, where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things, and check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides, and other cool things over at healthfulpursuit.com/shop, and I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.