How I Turned A Diet Into A Successful Company How I Turned A Diet Into A Successful Company Photo Courtesy of Fitness Magazine As a woman, being bombarded by media-driven body ideals becomes all too familiar. New rumors, fad diets and false information find their ways into our ears and onto our computer screens every day. That’s why when I heard about the ketogenic diet I was skeptical but instantly curious. Afterall, who would believe you can lose weight eating all the bacon and butter you want? It’s not exactly that simple, but not that far from the truth either! How did the ketogenic diet lead me down the path of becoming a work-from-home, avid traveler and entrepreneur so quickly anyway? A short background on the ketogenic diet is in order. The ketogenic diet was first discovered as a weight loss tool when patients with epilepsy who were following the diet ended up losing weight quite efficiently. The keto diet was tested against the traditionally “healthy” low-fat diet, and it was discovered to be more effective for weight loss 1-6. It involves limiting your carb intake and getting most of your energy through fat and protein. In fact, only about 5 percent of your daily calories would be coming from carbs. The standard American diet (SAD, as it is so appropriately abbreviated) usually consists of about 300 grams of carbs or more per day; the keto diet, only 25-50 grams daily. Keto’s benefits branch beyond those of just weight loss. It’s been shown to reduce risk and reverse Type 2 Diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and more7-13. Losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy, we all know that. Restricting your calories to nearly nothing just to see those numbers on the scale decrease is a dangerous way for women and girls to eat. The keto diet stresses enjoying real food. None of that low-fat, chemically-laden garbage. I’m talking about organic meat (red and white), fish and eggs, full-fat dairy and cheeses, nuts, real, low carb vegetables, etc. and in high quantities! We don’t limit calories; we limit certain types of calories. Photo Courtesy of Live Love Fruit My research and self-experimentation using the ketogenic diet as an aid started in 2014. I saw results almost immediately, not only in my weight but my mood, hair, skin, nails, appetite, cravings, energy, sleep, you name it! The PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) I had been battling with cleared up nicely too. Goodbye, raging hormones! The keto diet got me into the kitchen cooking my own meals more and got my creative juices flowing. Making food wasn’t challenging per se, but to continue enjoying the food I so loved (like chocolate desserts) I had to make some changes and learn to incorporate new ingredients into the mix. I no longer had (or have) any of the following in my kitchen/pantry: pasta, potatoes, bread, cereal, rice and any grains, beans, flour, sugar, honey, candy, basically anything in the dessert category. Before you run for the hills, I can tell you I eat better than ever and made it my business to show people how to do it themselves. There are ways of recreating all your favorite foods, especially desserts, using low carb ingredients and pairing them with keto-friendly foods to help you lose weight and feel all-around healthier and happier. To help people start feeling this way, I started Tasteaholics.com, with my partner, Rami Abramov in 2015 and now find ourselves full-time bloggers and entrepreneurs in the health and diet industry. Tasteaholics has grown to be one of the leading resources for low carb and ketogenic diet information and recipes, and we did it all from our own home and for just a $12 investment. We quit our day jobs a long time ago and never looked back. Food blogs are popular, to say the least. The low carb niche is gaining popularity, and it feels like we got in at a very opportune time. We started from humble beginnings: with a domain name, a simple theme and lots of content to be written. From diet basics to “how-to” guides and recipes, we wrote up anything and everything we knew about the keto diet. After our website was full of information, it was time to start networking and meeting the peers in our industry. We offered recipes for their sites, help with social media shoutouts and even starting creating recipes and videos for a few sites. Slowly, we grew our brand and made keto our day jobs. Today, a typical day in the life of a Tasteaholic starts with lots of correspondence and maintenance. I answer blog comments, emails and social media replies every day – it’s usually my morning warm-up! I move on to working on the several blog posts I have in the works at any time. It’s important for me to be able to take a break from one project and move on to the next, if only for a few minutes. It keeps things fresh and moving! Photo Courtesy of Dr. Mike Diet Beyond imagining and testing new, low carb recipes, I’m also managing the company’s entire social media presence, ebook and physical cookbook productions, and video shooting and editing. All these things, of course, done from home! That’s not to say we have to stay at home. As long as our laptops are fully charged, we can do our jobs from anywhere in the world. And we have! Last year, we lived abroad in 8 different countries in 6 months, working and exploring all at the same time. We got busy in our Airbnb kitchens in-between touring new cities and seeing the world with our own eyes. I’m happy to report our business is still afloat, even though we weren’t “in the office” in 6 months. Tasteaholics is now a successful company pulling in more revenue than I ever would have seen with that Speech Sciences degree of mine laying around somewhere. It seems like an ever-changing environment that’s so fun to keep up with. We’ve got projects in the works in all directions. Cookbooks, both digital and physical, a free Android app that’s soon to be available for iOS, and an Amazon store where we’re starting to sell our own line of low carb products! After years of tolerating a college major I cared nothing about and trudging along in a dead-end job, what I’ve learned from Tasteaholics was that passion stirs everything! Without it, work feels like just that: work. It’s cliche to say, but I never feel like what I do is work, because I enjoy it so much. I found a way to turn my passion for health, cooking and photography into something I can grow and learn from. Tasteaholics can help people begin their journey into wellness and improve their lives and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it. Vicky Ushakova Vicky started Tasteaholics in 2015 to share her unique low carb recipes and ketogenic diet resources. Her business allows her to work from home, travel the world and help people begin their journey to wellness.