Success Story: Maya's Keto Journey
Whether you’ve been keto’ing for one month or ten years, we bet you’ve heard of — and fangirled over — Maya at Wholesome Yum. A MAJOR inspiration, resource, and advocate in the keto space, Maya’s blog is packed with science-based keto resources and scrumptious 10-ingredient-or-less recipes. And now (cue drumroll), you can experience the recipes in a new way with Maya’s COOKBOOK! Packed with 100 recipes (80 recipes are brand new!), The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook is a staple to add to your kitchen ASAP.
Read on for Maya’s Success Story!
As a low-carb veteran, Maya advocates — and knows — that Keto is healthy, sustainable, and fun!
When people first hear about the Keto lifestyle, a common objection is that it's unsustainable or boring, or unhealthy in the long term. As someone who has been eating low carb for over a decade (10+ years, but who’s counting?), I promise you this couldn't be further from the truth. You don't have to give up your favorite foods — you just eat healthier low-carb versions of them and find new ways to prepare foods you think you might not like (especially vegetables). When you realize that the fundamentals of a keto lifestyle are low-carb vegetables, healthy fats, eggs, and unprocessed meats, it doesn't seem so unhealthy or unsustainable anymore. And unlike fad diets that drastically limit the foods you eat or leave you starving, a keto lifestyle actually reduces your hunger and leaves you satisfied.
Maya’s only keto-related wish is that she’d come across this way of eating sooner
I wish I’d known years ago how much of a role food plays in our health and well being. Don’t get me wrong, I believe Western medicine is incredible and necessary, but we spend so much time in reactive mode instead of preventative. I wish I had known sooner how much better my life would be eating this way.
Once she tried keto, though, Maya was sold by how the food made her feel
I started because the research about why keto supports health looked promising, and I stuck with it because of how it made me feel. It was easier to follow than other diets. I’ve tried most of them, and with my history of disordered eating, I was no longer looking for a “diet,” but a healthier way of eating that I could stick to for life. The fact that keto improved a myriad of issues I wasn’t even expecting was incredible.
Keto not only improved May’s physical health, but it’s also played a major role in nourishing Maya’s mental wellbeing.
Many people associate keto with weight loss, and it's amazing for that, but there are other surprising benefits. My teens and early twenties were peppered with anxiety, depression, and even an eating disorder, and even then, no one thought to ask what I was actually eating (only how much). I was not nourishing my body, and it mattered. When I switched to eating low carb, although I did lose some weight, the biggest surprise was the mental improvements. So many seemingly unrelated aspects of my wellbeing got better, including my productivity, memory, mental clarity, and focus, and any unexplained sadness and anxiety virtually disappeared. Today, I credit a huge part of my emotional stability and happiness to low carb eating, and I'm at a healthy weight, with low blood pressure and stable blood sugar, despite a family history of obesity, diabetes, and other related issues.
Maya’s transition to keto and “improving how and what I ate was a gradual progression.” She continues,
It began with changing my negative thinking around food and replacing packaged foods with whole foods, followed by cutting sugar and wheat flour, letting go of my misguided fear of fat, and finally transitioning to a keto lifestyle. The last transition to eating fully low carb had the most dramatic benefit, but I experienced positive changes every step of the way.
Her best advice for getting started?
Keep it simple. For each meal, choose a protein (like chicken, beef, fish, eggs, etc.) and choose a low carb vegetable (like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, bell peppers, etc.) Then add plenty of fat to cook or top your meal (like olive oil, avocado, mayo, etc.) Avoid sugar, wheat, rice, potatoes, starchy veggies, and most fruit except berries. You can definitely get more granular by counting your exact macros (fats, proteins, and carbs), but I believe it's easier to get started by focusing on the fundamentals on your plate. My new cookbook is full of basics like this that have the right balance of macros built-in, and it also has comfort food favorites like keto pizza and pasta replacements, making the transition to eating keto so much easier. If you want more details on what to watch for or want to count your macros, I have a guide for how to start keto in my cookbook (as well as different details on my website), and a macro calculator at: https://www.wholesomeyum.com/macro-calculator
Maya still follows these tried-and-true fundamentals today!
A lot has changed since my teen and early college days of TV dinners and frozen pizza . . . sort of . . . now I make my own freezer meals and keto pizzas. ;) I’m super busy with work and family, so my eating habits rely heavily on meal planning. Breakfast is often Keto coffee for me, but if I’m up later on weekends, I love eggs and almond flour pancakes with my kids. I like to keep a balance of meal prep, quick meals, and leftovers for lunch, and simple, easy dinners. This is what inspired me to create my own keto meal plans, where I use the same principles to make keto easier for others with busy lifestyles. These plans also give you flexibility to pick your own snacks — I often choose mine from my KetoKrate! You can try the plans for free at: https://www.wholesomeyum.com/low-carb-keto-meal-plan
Speaking of KetoKrate, Maya is a big fan of her subscription!
Getting a KetoKrate feels like it’s the holidays or my birthday . . . every month! I love getting a surprise box of snacks, knowing that they’ll support my low carb lifestyle and I don’t have to worry about what’s in them. It makes my life so much easier to have a big portion of my snacks (and my family’s!) covered each month. Plus, I love that I get to try something new all the time without a big commitment. My favorites are various beef sticks and flavored nut mixes. Both types of products are notorious for containing sugar from most sources, and it’s awesome to get ones that I know will be keto friendly in my KetoKrate.
For Maya, keto has gone beyond the food she consumes:
In 2015, I started WholesomeYum.com as a way to track low-carb recipes I was creating for myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that in just a few years, it would become my full-time job and a go-to keto resource for millions of people. Today, my goal is to make the keto lifestyle approachable, and easier to understand and follow, for as many people as possible.
Over at KetoKrate, we’re firm believers that Maya is 1000% meeting her goal. What drives her to meet her goal?
My keto community. Every comment, every message, every email means so much to me and motivates me to create more resources to help others. Whether you are just embarking on your keto journey or a long-time keto follower, YOU are the reason I do this. I still pinch myself when I see that millions of you are visiting Wholesome Yum each month and am so, so grateful that I get to share keto with the world.
Maya is thrilled to continue sharing Keto with the world:
I’m so excited and grateful to be able to share my new Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook (get it here!) and to continue to offer keto recipes and support on my website and online communities. Plus, keep an eye out for clean, keto-friendly Wholesome Yum food products coming in the next few months. Hopefully you’ll see some of them in a future KetoKrate!
Maya’s approach to keto is so inspiring AND easy to implement. We recommend that you dive into Wholesome Yum goodness ASAP! You can find Maya at WholesomeYum.com, on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Check out her Meal Plans, and of course, The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook — aka. the perfect gift to give your keto bestie and to add to your holiday wish list.
If you want to share your success and inspire others, shoot us an email at Kayla@KetoKrate.com