A third-generation dentist from a small farm town in northern Ohio, Kathryn Sneed has always dreamed big. At just 36 years old, she is the CEO of four successful businesses: Sneed Dental Arts in Collierville, Sneed Medispa & Wellness in East Memphis, Tuscan Ridge Equestrian and Event Facility in Eads, and Sneed Properties FL in Florida. She’s also a mom of three and a certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer who works out six days a week.
Although Kathryn has always been an active, healthy woman, she had a brush with cancer in 2018. After experiencing irregular bleeding for 10 weeks and noticing a raised area on her right hip that was painful to touch, she made an appointment with her OB-GYN, who discovered a potentially cancerous and sizable ovarian cyst.
While further testing her bloodwork, her doctor suggested following up with an oncology surgeon, who recommended that she undergo a total hysterectomy. “I was TERRIFIED,” Kathryn says. However, the bloodwork came back as non-diagnostic, and she was determined to find an alternative option to surgery and the many complications of cancer treatment.
Her research on ovarian cysts led her to the correlation between their growth and inflammation. She also learned about the parallel between estrogen, sugar, inflammation, and ovarian cysts. “At that time, I made the decision to immediately change my diet and decrease the inflammatory response caused by sugar and starch in my body,” Kathryn explains. “Knowing that starch breaks down to sugar, which causes inflammation, I was determined to cut out all starches, breads, pastas, etc.”
In addition to her sugar- and starch-free diet, Kathryn started drinking a daily exogenous Ketone supplement to help her body reach a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which fat provides most of the fuel for the body, and occurs when there is limited access to glucose (the preferred fuel source for most cells in the body). After changing her diet, the bleeding ceased and the cyst completely went away.
Kathryn also credits the diet with better sleep, improved mood, enhanced skin appearance, and overall improvement of her health and fitness. While some might view her diet as restrictive, she doesn’t even consider it a diet. “I don’t count calories or look at labels or get on a scale; I just make choices one meal at a time to avoid starches and only eat things that are good for my body,” Kathryn says. “I wouldn’t trade this energy and physique for my old way of eating any day.”
In addition to following a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet, Kathryn practices intermittent fasting. She typically follows the 16/8 model, which means she eats during an eight-hour period with a 16-hour fast in between. Although this eating pattern does not work for everyone, its benefits include reducing inflammation and hypertension.
Working out also plays a huge role in Kathryn’s healthy lifestyle. “I lift weights, do HIIT workouts, run about 3.5 miles a week, and ride my horses a few times a week.” Her kids are often working out with her. “I want to teach them to make fitness a part of their daily routine so that they will stick with it when they are adults.”
As a businesswoman and mother, Kathryn needs all the energy she can get in order to balance her many responsibilities. Sticking to her health and fitness routine is a crucial aspect of staying on track. “Dentistry, especially surgery, is very physical and requires a great deal of upper body strength,” she explains. “Running multiple businesses as well as running the household is emotionally and psychologically demanding. Exercising daily and eating right provide me the platform for being my best self in all other aspects of my life.”
By Lucy Harrison. Photos by Tindall Stephens.