Samantha Aulick and Alex Lemley used to be surrounded by marshmallows and other confections. They made gourmet versions of the puffy treats, with flavors ranging from birthday cake to salted caramel to crunchy cinnamon, through their business 240Sweet.
But after Aulick was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the Taylorsville couple knew they had to make a change.
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Click here to purchase photos from this gallery“Our mission statement had be to make people happy through food and drink. But we determined that what we were doing with the sugar was not something we could handle and be happy,” Aulick said.
The transformation over the past year has been life-altering. They exercise regularly, riding bikes throughout Bartholomew County as well as kayaking, hiking and other activities. By following a strictly Keto diet — heavy on protein and healthy fats, with next to no carbs — Aulick and Lemley have lost more than 90 pounds. The reversal was so complete that Aulick was able to stop taking insulin and diabetes medication.
“By jumping into this lifestyle, we saw immediate results. And they were pretty dramatic, especially for Sam,” Lemley said.
Their lives have been completely remade through exercise and diet, and to go along with it, they decided to revamp their business model. Instead of making marshmallows, they’ve helped create Keto recipes that are not only healthy, but delicious. Aulick is also documenting her own diabetes journey, from the difficulties to the unique adventures she’s dedicated herself to trying, through a personal blog.
Their intention is to use their experiences to inspire others, giving them one way that they can become more healthy in their lives.
“We got to eat the foods we love. It hasn’t felt like a diet or a sacrifice,” Lemley said. “Food can be a cure. It can be a good thing and a bad thing.”
Inside the home base of what used to be 240Sweet, the last few bags of marshmallows are waiting on shelves for people to buy.
In their place, Aulick and Lemley have put together packages of spices such as Cajun spices, Italian blend and Happy Hearts, a herb mix filled with garlic, basil, thyme, parsley, sage and other ingredients.
Recipes for Keto-friendly appetizers, entrees and desserts were arranged in boxes and ready to guide others hoping to change their lives. They call the new endeavor KetoLuxe.
“We’re still trying to make people happy, but a little bit differently now,” Aulick said.
The Keto, or ketogenic, diet, is a way to force your body to change the type of fuel it burns for energy. Instead of relying on sugars from carbohydrates from grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes, the body starts burning ketone bodies, which the liver produces from stored fat.
In order for the diet to work, people need to all but give up carbohydrates. The body has to reach a state of ketosis to start burning stored fat, and doing so requires eating about 20 to 50 grams of carbs each day, according to Harvard Medical School. For comparison, a medium-sized banana contains about 27 grams of carbs.
Food allowed under the Keto lifestyle are heavy on healthy fats and protein such as beef, pork and bacon.
“It’s resetting your metabolism, a metabolic shift, it’s not really a diet where you can have a little cheat here and there. You’re changing the way your body functions,” Lemley said.
Aulick and Lemley decided to try eating Keto following a personal tragedy.
The couple had suffered a serious automobile accident in 2016 that left Aulick with a broken leg and Lemley with an injured knee. The accident forced Aulick to be on bed rest, and severely limited her mobility.
“It was debilitating,” she said.
Aulick had gained about 50 pounds following the accident, initially because she couldn’t exercise or be active, and later because she never picked it back up. This year, she had surgery to repair her Achilles tendon, an injury lingering from the accident, and her doctors could not figure out why the surgical wounds were not healing.