Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics: Favorite Recipes, Part IV

Getting your body into ketosis is easy.  You don’t need any special diet supplements or drinks or anything crazy.  You don’t need to pay for classes to learn about keto.  What you need is access to free resources and food.  It’s that simple.  The resources help you learn more about the specifics of what to eat and when.  The food is what you need to get your body into a healthy, fat burning machine.

There are tons of Keto recipes online, in cookbooks and shared among friends.  And yet, it is still so hard to find a great recipe that actually tastes good!  It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is.  If I’ve learned anything about cooking Keto over the past year, it’s that difficult recipes are rarely worth the effort.  Complicated recipes are time consuming, require a lot of (sometimes) usual ingredients, are difficult to follow properly…and, after all of this, the taste doesn’t reflect the efforts and resources.

If you’re looking for a few great recipes, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are a few recipes that my family and I all love, are easy to make, are keto-friendly to help you stay with your macros, and above all, taste great!

FYI: This blog got really long.  So I’m splitting it up by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks & Desserts (here).  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think it’ll be worth it because I have some great recipes and information which include eating out!

Snack Ideas:

Cucumbers w/ Ranch

Cucumbers are amazing!  They’re easy to find at the store, they can be eaten raw with or without the skin (I buy organic and eat the skin), they can be used as something crunchy and even as a cracker replacement.  Am I crazy enough to think a cucumber is a crack?  NO!  But you can use cucumber slices as a vehicle to put other things in your mouth, like tuna salad or dip.

Ranch can be tricky.  You need to monitor the nutritional information and ingredients label to make sure you don’t get something with ridiculous sugar and whatnot.  I’m in love with Bolthouse Farms’ Yogurt Ranch dressing.  It’s 2g carbs per 2 tbsp and it totally worth it.  You can buy this just about everywhere, including Walmart, but it’s in the salad section and cannot be found on the shelf with other dressings and condiments.

1/2 cup of cucumber slices:

  • 7.8 calories
  • 1.6g net carbs
  • 0.1g fat
  • 0.3g protein
  • Lots of vitamins, minerals, sterols
  • 49.5g water

2 tbsp ranch dressing:

  • 45 calories
  • 3g net carbs
  • 3g fat
  • 1g protein

Note: I can eat a cucumber straight.  I love to just cut 1/2 of an Organic English/Hothouse cucumber and munch on it with or without any sauce or dressing to dip it in.  I love it!

Salted, Roasted Almonds, Pecans and Macadamia Nuts

I like to keep an eye out for a good sale on keto-friendly nuts that have high fat, moderate protein and low carb.  Macs (macademia nuts) seem to be the most expensive but have the best macros, so I go crazy when I see them on sale on Amazon or my local market. 

At my home, I like to keep a good stock of roasted, salted almonds, pecans and macadamia nuts to just grab and go.  Sometimes life happens and we need a quick and easy go-to food.  The reason I prefer them salted is because on keto you need to add more salt to your diet and if it’s already salted that is less for me to think about!

We do keep other nuts in the house like walnuts, cashews and peanuts.  But these don’t have such idea macros, so we enjoy them sparingly…or if we want nuts and I’m out of the previously mentioned variety.

Note: I’m not generally a fan of pecans or walnuts on their own.  I usually use them for cooking and baking.  A great idea is to melt some sugar-free chocolate, like Lily’s mentioned below, mixed with some coconut oil and cover the nuts you don’t love on their own.  That is a really tasty, chocolatey treat!  It’s okay to spoil yourself once in a while!

Quest Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips

I’m a crazy huge fan of these Quest Protein products.  I have yet to try the protein powder, but I have tried the chips and cookies.  Well, most of them.  Their newest creation are tortilla chips and they have great crunch and mouth feel.  The flavors are insane.

While my husband and I liked the flavor of the Ranch Tortilla Chips, it has some sugar in it.  So our actual pick is the Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips.  Oh my gosh.  These are both like eating Doritos!!

I haven’t found these at the store, not even the specialty stores.  But you can buy them directly from QuestNutrition.com with 8 single serving bags per box.  It’s a bit pricey at about $2 per bag, but the macros are great (140 calories, 4g net carbs, 4.5g fat and 19g protein), and it’s a wonderful treat on occasion!

Dessert:

Fresh Berries w/ Whipped Cream

Need dessert but want something fresh, simple and satisfying?  This is a favorite in my home and can be customized with crunchy bits of nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes.

Base ingredients include: heavy whipping cream HWC), Swerve or Lakanto, vanilla extract, and fresh berries of choice.

Put very cold HWC in a cold bowl with vanilla extract and sweetener (I prefer Lakanto), and whip until you get stiff peaks.  Put fresh berries in a serving bowl.  Top with your whipped cream…and if you would prefer, add sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, shredded or flaked coconut.

Crap.  This is so good!  It’s high in fat and isn’t too crazy on carbs as you’ll be getting most of the carbs from the fruit.

The macros really vary based upon the ingredients and types of berries you use.  Just put what you’re making for yourself into your digital tracker, like Carb Manager, and it will tell you the macros.

I generally have 1/4 cup of mixed berries, 1/2 cup of whipping cream, a 1 tsp salted sunflower seeds and maybe a sprinkle of hemp hearts.

Lily’s Chocolate Bar or Choc Zero Almond Bark

It’s necessary in my home to always have some low-carb sugar-free chocolate on hand.  I like Lily’s Creamy Milk chocolate bars as they’re easy to get (Sprouts and Whole Foods).  They taste amazing but I get horrible gastrointestinal issues when I eat my 1/2 of a bar.  It’s so sad because I love them so much!  I get this reaction from the erythritol.  My husband, like most people, don’t have any issues at all.  I seem to do fine with the baking chips, but that might be because there aren’t that many.

The ChocZero chocolate is also amazing.  Instead of being sweetened with erythritol, they use mink fruit.  It tastes great and I don’t have any smells farts after.  I have to buy these from Amazon, so it’s not always as easy to get them.  I’ve also dried the milk chocolate and dark chocolate almond bark.  I’m usually a fan of milk chocolate, but hands down, the dark chocolate almond bark is my favorite!  I buy 2 orders every time we are running low (so I get 4 boxes with 6 bars each…24 servings) for about $35.  My only problem with the ChocZero is that is has to be mailed, which some times means the chocolate can melt in transit and resolidifies.  If this happens, just contact Amazon or ChocZero and they’ll gladly refund your money or replace them.  I totally think it’s worth getting a replacement…it’s worth the trouble, trust me!

Both of these bars are great options if you’re looking for low-carb, sugar-free chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  My husband and I both love them a great deal and definitely recommend trying them both.

Quest Protein Cookies

I mentioned the Quest line earlier in this post under snacks.  And let me tell you, I love these cookies.  I don’t have to bake any thing this summer because I can enjoy a peanut butter, chocolate chip or double chocolate chip cookie with little to no effort.

These cookies taste amazing, have decent macros (though high in protein) and will meet your need for a cookie.  It tastes like a real cookie to me.  A real, big cookie with good density and flavor.  My favorite depends upon my mood.  Sometimes it’s either peanut butter or chocolate chip.

I buy these from Amazon or QuestNutrition directly.  You get 12 in a box and it costs about $25 per box.  I try to keep a box or two in the house so we can grab and go.  In addition to these being a great sweet treat, these cookies also make a decent meal replacement if you’re in a pinch.  Obviously it’s better to eat real food, but life happens and that can’t always happen.  Extra tip: don’t leave it in your purse too long or it will get crushed at the bottom and become a crumby mess.  It’ll still taste good but doesn’t feel like a cookie anymore.

There are so many great recipes.  I’ve given you a few ideas and hope you find this helpful.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and meal ideas.  There are more, but I wanted to give you three for each category so I didn’t overwhelm you.  You’ll probably notice that none of it is some crazy bread alternative…that’s on purpose.  Keto Bread isn’t bread, so don’t waste your time.  The only one that has worked for us is the Cheesy Bread/Keto Bagel Loaf.

Be sure to follow this blog to get notifications of blog postings by clicking on the Follow button.

I always recommend having a support group of fellow Keto’ers to help you.  You can even check out my group Beck Does Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  We all share a lot of helpful information, encouraging messages and recipes!

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Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics: Favorite Recipes, Part III

Getting your body into ketosis is easy.  You don’t need any special diet supplements or drinks or anything crazy.  You don’t need to pay for classes to learn about keto.  What you need is access to free resources and food.  It’s that simple.  The resources help you learn more about the specifics of what to eat and when.  The food is what you need to get your body into a healthy, fat burning machine.

There are tons of Keto recipes online, in cookbooks and shared among friends.  And yet, it is still so hard to find a great recipe that actually tastes good!  It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is.  If I’ve learned anything about cooking Keto over the past year, it’s that difficult recipes are rarely worth the effort.  Complicated recipes are time consuming, require a lot of (sometimes) usual ingredients, are difficult to follow properly…and, after all of this, the taste doesn’t reflect the efforts and resources.

If you’re looking for a few great recipes, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are a few recipes that my family and I all love, are easy to make, are keto-friendly to help you stay with your macros, and above all, taste great!

FYI: This blog got really long.  So I’m splitting it up by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (here), and Snacks & Desserts.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think it’ll be worth it because I have some great recipes and information which include eating out!

Dinner:

Bacon-wrapped Pork Chops w/ Riced Cauliflower

My brother, who is a culinary genius, taught me how to make this amazing bacon-wrapped pork shop recipe.  It tastes so good and is actually pretty simple.  I like to pair it with all kinds of veggies or salad, but I’ll focus on riced cauliflower for now.  FYI, the pork chops were eaten way before Keto and it just happens that they fit the lifestyle perfectly 😉

Directions for Pork Chops:

Preheat oven at 400 degrees and put butter in a skillet to allow it to melt while preparing the pork chops.  Stretch the bacon and wrap a piece of bacon around the side of each pork shop, securing with a toothpick or two.  Season one side of the pork chop with Steak Seasoning and the other lightly with dried, crushed rosemary.  Place in the skillet to sear both sides (it usually takes about 5 minutes or so on each side) and then put in the oven to cook until it reaches whatever temperature pork should be to be safe.  I kind of eyeball it but it’s better to use the temperature gauge so you don’t accidentally overcook it.  When it reaches the proper temperature, remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before plating and serving.

Ingredients for Pork Chops:

  • Thick cut, boneless pork chops cut in half to make them slightly thinner
  • Bacon, at least 1 per pork chop
  • Toothpicks 1-2 per pork chop to secure the bacon
  • 2-3 tbpn butter
  • Dried rosemarry
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning

Directions for Riced Cauliflower:

I recently discovered riced cauliflower.  Honestly, I’ve known about it but I just didn’t know what to do with it or how to make it.  My taught me and it’s so delicious and easy.

Put as much cauliflower as you’d like to make into a microwavable bowl.  (Sorry, I haven’t figured out how to make it without the microwave yet.)  Microwave until warm.  I generally start with it as it’s beginning to defrost, so it’s about 5-7 minutes on High, stopping every few minutes to stir and check progress.  

Once the cauliflower is warm, add in the remainder of the ingredients.  I believe this to be a flexible and forgiving recipe, so feel free to have fun and customize your rice.  Nuke it again until it’s all nice and hot, mix it together and serve.  Yes, it’s that easy.

Ingredients for Riced Cauliflower:

  • Riced, frozen cauliflower (I get a huge bag from Costco and use about 1/2 for 4 adults and leftovers)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Dried parsley
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese (I have a baggy from Trader Joe’s that works out really well)
  • Butter

Note: This recipe is very flexible and I’ve been eyeballing the ingredients.  I think I used 1/2 huge bag of riced cauliflower, 1 tbsp dried parsley, a bunch of salt and pepper, 1/4-1/2 cup of cheese and maybe 4 tbsp butter.  Taste your creation and make some adjustments as needed.

Fathead Pizza

After we first started Keto, my husband was dying for pizza.  The man loves pizza.  And, to be honest, I really like pizza too.  It was a little bit into Keto before I discovered Fathead Pizza which is now a family favorite for Keto and non-Keto eaters alike.

The dough is simple and can handle regular pizza ingredients like sauce, cheese and a few toppings.  I discovered a few things to share with you: #1-Keep the dough thicker as it doesn’t hold together well when it’s too thin and may not satisfy your pizza needs, #2-I like mixing herbs and spices into the dough because it’s rather plain.  Our favorite is adding Everything But The Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s or Italian seasoning.

Directions:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put shredded mozzarella, cream cheese and almond flour into a microwavable bowl (I generally use my 4-cup liquid measuring cup from Pyrex)  and give it a mix.  If you’re adding extra seasoning to your dough, this is the time to add it in.  Nothing serious will happen here, you’re just trying to get a little of everything around so it makes it easier later in the process.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and check for meltiness.  You’ll want to microwave it again for 1 minute, stir and check it.  After that, you’ll want to nuke it 30 seconds at a time.

When the cheese is all melted and stirred (it’s not going to be liquid cheese, so don’t cook it that far), you’ll want to mix in an egg and stir, fold, etc. until everything is incorporated.  Trust me, it will get incorporated into a dough.  I don’t know how it all works, but it does.

Once combined, transfer dough to a large sheet of parchment paper and cover with another large sheet of parchment paper.  Use your hands or anything you’d like to smooth out the dough to the desired thickness and size.  It’s usually really hot, so if you’re using your hands like I do, you may want to have a kitchen towel on top of the top parchment paper so you don’t cook your hands too.  Take everything off the top of the dough and transfer your dough with the bottom parchment to your cookie sheet/baking pan.  Poke holes with a fork all over the dough so you don’t get big bubbles.

Put the dough in the oven for 10 minutes.  It should be getting brown and delicious.  At this point, remove the dough, carefully flip this over and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  During this time you’ll want to be cleaning up the kitchen mess and getting pizza ingredients ready to go.

When the pizza dough is done remove it from the oven and place on either your stove or a heat safe counter…no need to burn your counters and wreck them in the name of good food!  Add a little low-carb pasta, pizza, or marinara sauce, top with more mozzarella cheese and other low-carb toppings.  Put the pizza back in the oven on the top rack for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown (that’s my favorite way pizza cheese should be enjoyed).

Remove the pizza from the oven.  It’s really hot and looks like pizza.  Cut into pieces and enjoy.  It does well as leftovers, if there are leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg

Optional ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp sauce of choice…I use Victoria’s Marinara from Costco
  • 2 tsp Everything But The Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • High quality pepperoni
  • Mushroom slices
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Note: This recipe is very forgiving.  There are many postings and recipes online for Fathead dough.  Some say to include baking soda or powder but I’ve found that it isn’t totally necessary.  Enjoy this pizza!!!

Claim Jumper

I love eating out.  And I love a good steak!  Claim Jumper is a restaurant that has really good American Steakhouse food that is carby and delicious.  Did you think I would give up good food just to get healthy?  Heck no.  I just request changes to my order and I rarely have any issues.  In regards to budget, it doesn’t break the bank because one meal is split between 2 adults, so it’s pretty good, especially for eating out and a nice restaurant.  I guess you should know that I’m not a fancy-pants kind of lady.  So, Claim Jumper is about as nice a restaurant as I want to go.

We order a medium-rare porterhouse steak with lightly steamed vegetables (what they have, but it’s usually zucchini and squash), an extra order of the veggies and a salad with ranch dressing.  To be honest, it doesn’t give us much salad each, but it’s no big deal because we have plenty of veggies and steak coming right after.

This meal is so filling and delicious, it’ll make you feel like a King (or a Queen).    Could you make this at home?  Yes.  I have.  But if you’re the one person in your home that cooks, it’s nice to go out and not have to do the cooking and cleaning for the evening.  What a treat!

If you need a date-night idea, this is a good place to go eat.  If you don’t like steak, you’re a monster.  JK!  Claim Jumper actually has some really great options that are keto-friendly with a few modifications.  Ask questions, trade out some foods and watch the sauces…and you’ll be golden!

Note: About date-night.  You might not want to go to the movies after dinner because that buttery popcorn smell is so crazy enticing!  However, it’ll be tolerable because you just ate so well and won’t actually be hungry.

Click here to read Part II (lunch ideas) or Part IV (snack & dessert ideas)!

There are so many great recipes.  I’ve given you a few ideas and hope you find this helpful.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and meal ideas.  There are more, but I wanted to give you three for each category so I didn’t overwhelm you.  You’ll probably notice that none of it is some crazy bread alternative…that’s on purpose.  Keto Bread isn’t bread, so don’t waste your time.  The only one that has worked for us is the Cheesy Bread/Keto Bagel Loaf.

Be sure to follow this blog to get notifications of blog postings by clicking on the Follow button.

I always recommend having a support group of fellow Keto’ers to help you.  You can even check out my group Beck Does Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  We all share a lot of helpful information, encouraging messages and recipes!

Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics: Favorite Recipes, Part II

Getting your body into ketosis is easy.  You don’t need any special diet supplements or drinks or anything crazy.  You don’t need to pay for classes to learn about keto.  What you need is access to free resources and food.  It’s that simple.  The resources help you learn more about the specifics of what to eat and when.  The food is what you need to get your body into a healthy, fat burning machine.

There are tons of Keto recipes online, in cookbooks and shared among friends.  And yet, it is still so hard to find a great recipe that actually tastes good!  It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is.  If I’ve learned anything about cooking Keto over the past year, it’s that difficult recipes are rarely worth the effort.  Complicated recipes are time consuming, require a lot of (sometimes) usual ingredients, are difficult to follow properly…and, after all of this, the taste doesn’t reflect the efforts and resources.

If you’re looking for a few great recipes, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are a few recipes that my family and I all love, are easy to make, are keto-friendly to help you stay with your macros, and above all, taste great!

FYI: This blog got really long.  So I’m splitting it up by Breakfast, Lunch (here), Dinner, and Snacks & Desserts.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think it’ll be worth it because I have some great recipes and information which include eating out!

Lunch:

Leftover Salad

I’m a fan of using what I have as leftovers to make new meals.  I don’t like to waste, but I don’t always like to eat the same meal day after day.  So, the idea is to take leftovers and turn them into something else that’s edible.

For dinners I like to make meat and vegetables which leave me with many leftovers, especially meat.  Salads are forgiving and I have yet to find a meat that doesn’t work in the salad the next day.

Directions:

Put lettuce of choice on  a plate or in a big bowl (I love mixed greens, but any will do).  Then add all ingredients and top with some dressing and something crunchy.  You don’t have to have dressing or something crunchy, but that’s how I like it.  That’s it.  So simple.

Ingredient Suggestions to Make 1 Big Leftover Salad:

  • Lettuce or Mixed greens (3+ cups give or take)
  • 1-2 tbsp shredded cheese of choice
  • 1 tbsp salted, roasted seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower
  • 1 tsp hemp hearts
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 3-4 berries (optional)
  • 4-5 Whisps (optional, but they add more crunch)
  • 1 tbsp homemade bacon bits (optional)
  • Some leftover meat…I’ve tried shredded pork, chicken and beef, and strips of steak
  • 0-2 tbsp low carb dressing ( I like the Chunky Blue Cheese yogurt dressing from Bolthouse Farms and ACV dressing from Bragg’s) 

This Leftover Salad is easy to make, doesn’t take much time and helps you from wasting valuable food.  It tastes great and is healthy.  No one will ever know in your lunch room that your gourmet salad is leftovers put together that morning!

This filling salad is something I eat several times a week.  I also send my husband to work with this meal and he enjoys it with coworkers wondering how this is a “diet” salad with cheese and meat and dressing and crunchy bits.  LOL

Note: Practically everything in this salad is optional.  It’s a very flexible meal and you can add what you have in the house, including cucumbers, celery, a tiny bit of carrots (but they’re high carb, so be careful), pieces of high fat nuts, and even sugar free bbq sauce and ranch to make a bbq salad like they serve at Lucille’s BBQ restaurant.  It’s an easy way to get your veggies in.  I cannot recommend this more.

Chicken Wings (and Bacon) w/ Ranch

There’s a local restaurant called Bravo Burger that has the most delicious chicken wings (sans sauce…too spicy), bacon and ranch dip ever.  To be honest, I think the chicken is keto-friendly, the bacon is marginal because I’m pretty sure it’s cured in sugar, and the amazing ranch has got to have sugar in it because it is way too good. 

Not only is this meal not totally keto-friendly, but it’s somewhat expensive.  We get 1 order of chicken wings (8), 2 orders of bacon (8) and an extra ranch (2) to split between my husband and I.  I discovered dipping that thick, crispy bacon in the ranch…WHOA!  

This has inspired me to create this meal at home for much less.  It really doesn’t even require that much effort either.  Plus, it’s keto-friendly and we can eat way more…and possibly have leftovers for another day.

Directions:

Put all chicken wings into a big bowl and add seasonings to your liking.  Mix with hands or a large, strong spoon to get an even coating on all chicken pieces.  This can be done 30 minutes ahead or longer.  Even allowing an overnight marinade is great!  Bake bacon on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.  Add as many wings to the basket of your preheated air fryer as possible.  You’ll want to cook this for 10 minutes, carefully remove the basket to flip wings around and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until done.

While the bacon and wings are cooking make your own homemade dipping sauce.  I like ranch but blue cheese, another low carb sauce or even plain will work.  I prefer to mix my ranch mix, salt and pepper in with sour cream, then refrigerate as long as possible (at least 20 minutes).

When the bacon is done, take it from the oven and let sit aside on a paper towel to remove some of the bacon grease.  I have zero problem eating bacon grease, but I hate when it drips on me when I’m eating.  Annoying!  Just let it drain off a little and you’ll be good to go.  When the chicken wings are done, remove them from the air fryer and put in a big bowl.  You’ll want to salt them one last time.  Remember, we need extra salt in our keto diets because our body do not retain salt like they once did.  Salt is vital to our survival…so don’t be afraid to salt your food.

Put some wings, bacon and cold ranch on your plate and enjoy!  This also goes well with vegetables, like cucumbers, mini peppers and even raw broccoli.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken wings
  • Bacon
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt (some for the marinade, some for the chicken when it’s done cooking)
  • Cracked pepper
  • Garlic and onion powder (optional, but go light because it’s higher in carbs than you’d think)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cayenne powder or chili powder (optional but adds light heat…or high heat if you’d like)

Note: This recipe for the chicken wings is very forgiving and can take just about any spice you feel like.  I’ve also tried just salt and pepper, and an Italian seasoning version with thyme and rosemary.  In addition to plain bacon, you have to try adding freshly cracked pepper and Herbs de Provence…it is delicious!

Which Wich Sandwich Bowl

My husband has really gotten into this Keto life.  He’s really become quite mindful of what he’s eating and has a great idea about what’s keto-friendly and what he should avoid.  One day he tells me about this new lunch he loves at his old favorite sandwich shop, Which Wich.

This is a pretty good fast food restaurant and it usually isn’t too expensive, plus you can customize your order.  But, did you know that you turn any sandwich into a salad there?  And this is when I was introduced to the Wicked Sandwich Salad with spinach, mushrooms, pickles, cucumbers, double meat and cheese, bacon, avocado, olives and either ranch or mayonnaise.  It’s about $17 each but it’s 2 really good sized meals for me and there’s so much meat, cheese, and other goodies that you really don’t feel like you’re eating a salad.  It’s delicious and I recommend giving it a serious go.

Another great thing about Which Wich is that you can order from a phone app and pick it up at a scheduled time.  That means you don’t have to wait in line to order or wait for them to make it.

Saves time.  Tastes good.  Is filling.  Is a decent price when eaten as two good sized meals.  Check it out the next time you’re looking for a good meal and there is a Which Wich near you.

I have yet to try other sandwich salads here because when I find what I love I don’t really like trying new things unless I frequent the establishment often, which I don’t.  I think I probably go once a month.

What a treat!

Click here to read Part I (breakfast ideas) or Part III (dinner ideas)!

There are so many great recipes.  I’ve given you a few ideas and hope you find this helpful.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and meal ideas.  There are more, but I wanted to give you three for each category so I didn’t overwhelm you.  You’ll probably notice that none of it is some crazy bread alternative…that’s on purpose.  Keto Bread isn’t bread, so don’t waste your time.  The only one that has worked for us is the Cheesy Bread/Keto Bagel Loaf.

Be sure to follow this blog to get notifications of blog postings by clicking on the Follow button.

I always recommend having a support group of fellow Keto’ers to help you.  You can even check out my group Beck Does Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  We all share a lot of helpful information, encouraging messages and recipes!

Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Open Blog, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics 2018

New to Keto?  You’ve come to the right post.
An old Keto pro?  You’ve also come to the right place.

Sometimes we find ourselves getting comfortable and lax with our health.  I know what Keto is and how to follow it.  But that doesn’t mean that after a year I’m still as strict as I used to be.  This blog is dedicated to the basics of Keto success, which you are either learning now or refreshing and reminding yourself of now.

What is Keto?

Your body needs fuel.  It can use either carbohydrates (carbs) or fat for what it needs.  Carbs and excess protein turn into glucose, which is what your body uses as fuel very easily (in most cases).  When your body has glucose to use it stores the fat for later.  When glucose is used up or is unavailable, your body switches to fat for the energy it needs.  The fat is turned into ketones naturally and is then used by your body.  When your body burns ketones for energy, you are now in a state of Ketosis, or Keto for short.  The fat can come from what you consume or what your body has stored, but it will take from the stored fat last, so that is important to keep in mind.

The Keto lifestyle is basically consuming a very small amount of carbs (20 grams or less daily) so that your body is forced to be in ketosis.  In the beginning you have to train your body to make this change and you will see and feel many changes, including rapid weight loss, which is mostly water weight in the beginning.  Keto’ers, or those in ketosis, do not retain water like they did before.  After the initial weight loss and you’re keto-adapted (used to fat for fuel), you will see real changes in fat loss and improved health.

That was a really long way of saying that your body is a machine that runs off of fat…either the fat you feed it or the fat it has stored around your body.  To do this, you should eat 20 grams or less of carbs daily.

There are a few more tidbits, such as foods to avoid and whatnot, like grains and sugar.  But you can learn about that another day.

black and grey casio scientific calculator showing formula
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Macros…What Are They & How Do I Figure Out Mine?

Every body is different.  What my body needs is much different than what your body needs.  A simple calculation of where the calories are coming from is a ratio of 60-75% fat, 15-30% protein and 5% carbs.  I did say simple though, right?  Using apps and macro calculators help a great deal in identifying your specific keto macros.  I particularly like the Keto Calculator on Ruled.me.  It’s easy to use and understand.

Example:

I’m a 38 year old woman who is 5’7″ weighing 266 pounds.  When I calculate using the Keto Calculator on Rules.me to reach my goals, my macros look like this: 1799 calories, 126g fat, 146g protein, and 20g net carbs.

(Carbs are total.  Net carbs are carbs minus fiber.  Some Keto’ers use carbs and some use net carbs.  I use net carbs and am happy.)

Try a macros calculator and see what you come up with for yourself.  This is super important information, so be sure to write it down or add it to your app.

Modifications:

You may find that the ratio is not good for you.  For instance, some body types are better with more protein, while others seem to do well with way more than 75% fat and zero carbs.  You will want to make adjustments based on your own body and how you feel.

You will want to keep carbs low.  Most people do well on 20g carbs daily, but if you’re pregnant or have other needs, perhaps aiming for 50g is better until you are well enough to drop down to 20g.

Intermittent Fasting:

There are a lot of great resources and medical professionals who support Keto as a healthy lifestyle.  One of which is Dr. Eric Berg.  While many of us believe intermittent fasting (IF) are helpful, Dr. Berg is a true believer who strongly believe Keto and IF got together to improve and maximize your health.

Fasting is when you go without eating for a long time and is usually seen as suffering.  IF is a small fast that can be done multiple times during the week and isn’t generally very much of a struggle at all.

When you eat anything your body has an insulin spike (just smaller when on keto) and stops or slows ketosis.  But when you’re IF and in ketosis your body has time to rest and heal…and the more time you have between meals, the longer your body has to heal itself.  The reason its easy with keto is because you don’t get very hungry when you eat a lot of fat…you feel full and satisfied.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone until after they are fully keto-adapted.  And you should start off slowly, gradually increasing the length of each fast.  It doesn’t work well for everyone, but most people do quite well.  And remember, you aren’t starving because your body will consume the stored fat if it needs more.

Usually you will skip breakfast and have coffee, pushing your first meal of the day back a bit.  Then you will eat your second meal and that’s it for the day.  Go to sleep and wake up to do it again.  The most common fast is 18:6 IF, which means you fast for 18 hours and eat during a 6 hour window (1 or 2 meals).  Most of the time during a fast you’ll be sleeping anyway, so you will hardly notice you aren’t eating.

A typical day of IF:

  • 6 A.M. wake up and have a cup of coffee (some say butter is okay, some say it isn’t…I do butter and am very happy)
  • 1 P.M. eat a good lunch
  • 6 P.M. eat a good dinner
  • 9 P.M. go to bed
steak food
Photo by Malidate Van on Pexels.com

Great Keto Meals/Snacks: (I’ll work on updating all of these recipes so you can click on the links to find more information.)

  • Magic coffee
  • Taco salad with nuts and seeds for crunch, your favorite taco meat, shredded cheese
  • Bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs, zucchini and squash, and a side of avocado
  • Crack chicken over steamed broccoli
  • Porterhouse steak, creamed spinach and mashed cauliflower
  • Chicken wings and bacon with ranch
  • Kalua Pig (pulled pork) salad with ACV dressing, nuts, seeds, hemp hearts, cucumbers and fresh bacon crumbles
  • Bacon wrapped pork chops with roasted cauliflower and guacamole
  • Baked salmon with pesto butter over a pile of parmesan and herb cauliflower rice
  • Fathead pizza or cheesy bread
  • Chocolate peanut butter cups (fat bomb)
  • Blueberry cheesecake fat bombs
  • Chocolate chip protein cookies
  • Keto chocolate frosty
  • Blackberries and whipped cream

 

Best Advice:

  • Be kind & forgiving to yourself!
  • Get a Keto-Buddy!  You don’t want to go through this alone.  Having the support of family, friends or even a new Keto Facebook Friend will make all the difference in the world.
  • Salt everything!  You need to keep up your electrolytes and since you’re not retaining water, you lose electrolytes way faster than before.
  • Check labels, ingredients lists and nutritional information on all packages.
  • Stop and figure out why you’re hungry.  Are you upset or bored?  Or are you really hungry?  If you’re hungry too soon…did you eat enough fat?
  • Figure out your macros and keep track of what you’re eating and drinking.
  • Pay attention to how you feel!  There is a reason you feel a certain way.  Are you missing something nutritionally?  Maybe you need to change your diet a little or add a supplement.
  • Track your progress and successes in many ways, not just by the number on the scale.  I wish I took real before photos so I could see the difference (I just thought this would be like everything else I tried and failed.)…and I wish I took measurements too!  It’s also important to do your blood work before starting, so you can see how that improves as well.

Please comment below any questions or suggestions you may have.
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Recipes, Uncategorized

Mom’s Peanut Butter Fat Bomb

Sweet, Delicious and Full of Fat!
“It’s actually more of a frosting than a fat bomb.”

Serving Information:

  • Unknown at this time

Ingredients:

  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T almond or peanut butter
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 4 drops or so of liquid stevia
  • 1 T monk fruit
  • 1 T heavy whipping cream

Tools:

  • Small bowl to mixing
  • 1 fork
  • 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl and mix together until smooth.
  2. Enjoy, you’re done.

Notes:

I’ll update with pictures and nutritional information when I have access to them.  Mom only sent the recipe and I have a feeling this makes 1 serving, hers!

To see the recorded video, click on this link.  My Mom, Cindy, discusses Keto and her love for these PB Fat Bombs!