Women In Low Carb Series: Temple Stewart
In our "Women In Low Carb" series, we meet dedicated and inspiring women who have transformed their lives and that of others through low-carb and ketogenic lifestyles. One such remarkable woman is Temple Stewart, a dedicated dietitian who shares her journey into the world of metabolic health and the profound impact it has had on her life, her career, and her mission to empower others.
Her journey into the world of metabolic health and low-carb living was born out of necessity, much like many others. Temple initially discovered the profound impact of nutrition on her soccer performance, but the path to her transformation was marked by a series of health challenges. Temple says “I realized that I needed to take control of my health, or it would take control of me.”
She vividly describes her struggles, saying, "I was 60 lbs overweight, had no period, had cystic acne, struggled mentally with anxiety and mood swings, had a moon face, was puffy from inflammation, and couldn't lose weight no matter what I did." At the time, she was a Clinical Dietitian, and her growing disillusionment with conventional methods for treating type II diabetes drove her to embark on a journey of self-discovery through extensive research and on a path to metabolic wellness.
Her switch to a low-carb lifestyle was a life-changing moment. It not only enabled her to overcome metabolic dysfunction but also played a vital role in her ability to conceive naturally, shed over 60 pounds, and revolutionize her approach to patient care. Her life would never be the same. Temple's dedication to this transformative journey shines through her nearly six-year commitment to the low-carb lifestyle. She started with a simple approach, focusing on meat and non-starchy vegetables, while avoiding processed "keto" foods. Reflecting on her early days, she explains, "In the beginning, I did too much dairy, which was a big lesson learned." Now, Temple follows a dairy-free, low-carb diet.
Temple’s adaptability and keen self-awareness are notable. She fine-tunes her carbohydrate intake with the help of continuous glucose monitoring and lab assessments. Predominantly following a low-carb or ketogenic diet about 85% of the time, she places a strong emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods, which she refers to as her "Modified Mediterranean Diet."
In the initial stages, strict adherence was vital given her health circumstances, as she recalls, "I was overweight, my insulin level was over 10, my A1C was creeping up, and my PCOS was raging." As Temple made progress, losing weight and building muscle, she discovered greater flexibility while maintaining her health goals, reinforcing her belief that nutrition is a highly individualized journey where "everyone starts somewhere."
Addressing the challenges faced while dining out or in social settings, Temple highlights the numerous low-carb options and alternatives that make this lifestyle entirely manageable. She's also quick to praise the healing capabilities of low carb, applauding its remarkable effectiveness, rapid results, and the increasing availability of low-carb choices at restaurants and elsewhere.
Temple's career has experienced a remarkable positive shift. Formerly teaching conventional “nutrition recommendations”, she witnessed limited success in helping patients. However, embracing the low-carb lifestyle transformed her perspective, empowering her to start her own practice, delve into social media, and create a platform to assist countless individuals. She views the criticism that often comes with adopting a low-carb or keto lifestyle, particularly from fellow dietitians, as opportunities to stimulate critical thinking within her profession. She passionately advocates for her peers “to stop just accepting whatever they learned that’s outdated or biased in school, and THINK about what is best for their patients”.
To newcomers, Temple's advice is simple but powerful: "Find what works for you." In a world with an abundance of low-carb and keto methods, she underscores the importance of experimentation, self-tracking, and discovering what makes you feel your best, encouraging everyone to forget the comparisons and focus on their personal goals.
She also shares a valuable hack - having an early dinner, which significantly improved her sleep schedule and overall well-being. She emphasizes the importance of having dinner prepared as soon as her kids come home from school, typically around 4:30 PM, ensuring that the family enjoys their meal together at an early hour, a practice that has had a positive impact on her life.
Temple attributes much of her success to the unwavering support of her husband, Ross, who encouraged her to pursue her passion and leave her clinical job. His constant guidance and support has been invaluable “and I’m so grateful for him”.
Her proudest achievement? Raising her daughters. “There is no more outstanding accomplishment.”
With a mission to educate, inspire, and empower, Temple's journey has only just begun. She remains committed to helping others discover the transformative potential of metabolic health and low-carb living. Stay tuned for more empowering stories in our "Women In Low Carb" series.
Constant Learning: Temple’s Reading List
Her reading list includes influential titles by thought leaders in the field, such as Dr. Ben Bikman's "Why We Get Sick", Dr. Jason Fung's "The Obesity Code”, Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories", Dr. Robert Lustig's "Metabolical", and Cynthia Thurlow, NP's "Intermittent Fasting Transformation".