‘Swimming Upstream’ in the Sports Nutrition World
By Wendy Moore
This past summer I was a participant in the annual Ottawa Easter Seals fundraiser: Bring on the Bay. There were over 800 swimmers who swam on July 13 from the Nepean Sailing Club to the Britannia Yacht Club. There was a 1.5 km swim and a 3 km swim.
It was my first time swimming in this event, and I swam the 3 km distance. I proudly placed 3rd in my age group. A regular Master’s swimmer with the Ottawa swim team, Technosport, I had competed in swim meets, Nationals and Provincials, but not in an open water event like this one.
What was unique for me was that I swam this event in 1:05 without traditional fuelling of carb loading. On the contrary, I had fasted 18 hours and was on a keto/carnivore (minimal carbs) food plan. Two months ago, I competed in the 3-day Canadian National Masters Swimming competition in Montreal and had some of my best swim times for my events. I’m sure that I was the only one on deck of thousands of swimmers fuelling with water and ground beef and not carbs.
Up until 5 years ago, I had been a fully active triathlete and half-marathon runner, and I was a traditional ‘carb loader’ athlete. But a massive blood clot which should have killed me turned my life and my diet upside down.
The night before my clot, I did an easy 10 K run with no swelling symptoms. Only 4 hours before I was to board a flight to Ireland for a 32-show musical tour, a massive blood clot from my ankle up through my abdomen literally brought to my knees. Had I boarded that plane, it likely would have been game over for me. A few angels got their wings that night I’m sure… and I’m eternally grateful. It was a dramatic way to discover that I have a hereditary blood clotting disorder.
Doctors told me that my mobility would be severely limited after that life-changing clot. Never one to give up hope, while I was couch-bound, I did a lot of reading on reducing inflammation (my left leg was almost twice the size of my right). It seemed that minimizing sugar and carbs was a big recommendation. By then I had also gained an extra 20 pounds from being more sedentary (and indulging in carb-loaded foods). This is how my journey into the world of low-carb keto began.
The keto diet and various fasting durations brought me success! Now, 5 years later, I am at my ideal target body weight and my leg inflammation is gone. I am fully active in swimming, cycling, yoga, strength training and even some running.
I’ve decided to retire from major music touring and to focus on my continued passion for living a keto/fasting lifestyle and to helping others achieve success with their goals, weight loss, and major health benefits of living a keto lifestyle. It is my desire to help others write a health success story such as mine.
Wendy is currently the Events Coordinator for IDM (Intensive Dietary Management).