Sevi Rutgrink has become so passionate about the ketogenic lifestyle that she has decided to turn it into her profession. As a keto coach, she now offers practical and emotional support to people who are transitioning to or following a ketogenic lifestyle.
When and why did you start with the ketogenic diet?
After falling ill halfway through 2013, I was diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome, IBS, and Raynaud’s syndrome at the end of that year. Conventional treatment was never really an option so I started researching different lifestyles in terms of diet, sleep management, and stress relief. After trying the low FODMAP diet, Paleo, and Primal, all with relative success, I started researching and living a ketogenic lifestyle through healthy whole foods. I have been symptom-free ever since.
Could you tell us more about your profession?
A while ago, I started volunteering as an administrator for the KetoDiet App Facebook group. I absolutely love this job because it gives me such great pleasure to be able to help so many people around the world. Then, I was asked by its owner, Martina Slajerova, to come work as their Challenges community administrator on their website too. This also entails actively helping people to get started with a ketogenic lifestyle and overcome all initial hurdles. This recently led me to start my own keto coaching practice in Utrecht, aiming at Dutch people as well as people abroad.
I help coachees to set up a keto lifestyle based on their own personal statistics and goals. Keto entails a complete switch in the way you think about food, which can be quite overwhelming. Especially the first three months, it helps people to have an active coach who answers all questions, helps tackle any issues they may come across and provides emotional support. After all, I often find that my coachees feel quite alone in their choice of lifestyle.
What are your main benefits of eating keto-based?
My health is the main reason for me to be keto, now and in the future. It has very effectively cured the illnesses I had and as a 46-year-old woman, I am convinced the keto lifestyle will help me handle anything age and life might throw my way. Weight management goes hand in hand with that but that is by no means my main goal.
I also like the feeling of being able to see food for what it is supposed to be: an energy source. In our high-carb society, food has become too much of a stress relief, a comfort, a reward, a way to deal with boredom, and a blind mechanism. Unhealthy food is everywhere and people have lost complete track of what the body actually needs. Our non-stop eating culture is the direct result of a food industry profiting from the way the human body reacts to a high-carb, highly processed foods diet.
What is your advice for keto-beginners?
Read, read, and read some more. Keto entails a lot of self-education. It can be hard to wrap your head around how it works and to let go of the standard high-carb/low-fat food dogmas we have been fed for so long. Reading and going over the basics over and over again really helps. To this day, I still read every chance I get.
The second piece of advice I want to give is to go with the healthy whole foods approach if health is important to you. As with all diets and lifestyles, there are lots of variations. You will see plenty of people adopting a low-carb lifestyle, assuming that if something is low in carbs, it is always okay to eat, even if it is still a chemically processed food item. Please do not go down that road. All processed foods are bad for your health.