5 Things to Remember when Starting a Keto Lifestyle

The road to shedding weight is a tough one, no argument there. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  When you combine amazing high quality gut health supplements with a keto style of eating, it is much easier to shed weight and also see a host of other issues improve for the long term.

Our body is thrown into another state called ketosis- the process of using fat for fuel instead of starches- when we change the way we eat, especially when we reduce the intake of a particular nutrient, like carbohydrates. This is why you need to be very much acquainted with the proper way to transition to a keto lifestyle so that you avoid some of the pitfalls.

Before embarking on any low carb/keto lifestyle, here are five considerations to take into consideration.

  • Use of Supplements: Good gut health supplements are a must for every human on the planet. Why?  Soil depletion, lack of nutrients in food due to farming and growing styles, toxins in the environment, prescription meds we take, and more.   Supplements are needed to boost your nutrient levels and avoid damage to the body and to keep the gut balanced and healthy so that it can absorb all of the nutrients possible. Bare minimum should be a quality methylated multi-vitamin, a probiotic with enzymes and anti-fungals that is NOT refrigerated, magnesium, and a prebiotic.  I suggest the line of plant-based gut health supplements from Plexus for best quality and sourcing.  Please be cautious of not so natural ingredients in your supplements.
  • Water intake: Low carb/keto lifestyles are effective because they kick in the fat burning process known as “dietary ketosis” which is a great natural appetite suppressant. When ketones are produced by the body in large amounts, the body needs more water. Lots of water is also important for flushing out the toxins that you are detoxing from using your gut health supplements.mineral-water-lime-ice-mint-158821.jpeg Feel free to add lemon and lime and anything non-caloric or sugary to your water to enhance flavor.  I love mint leaves in mine or mint extract on the go.
  • Constipation: You need to be aware that low carb lifestyles are associated with constipation. This is due to the imbalance in the gut as well as change you will experience when you start eating less carbs. This is why it is critical to be consistent on your magnesium and to add flax seed and good fats to the diet in larger amounts than before. Indulge in high fiber vegetables daily!  We do not eat enough plants in America so fill your plate with green veggies and other non-starchy veggies.  As you add fats and veggies and stay faithful on supplements, this issue should resolve itself.
  • Long-Term Lifestyle Change: When you begin a keto lifestyle, you will notice that you will lose a lot of water weight at first. This is because our high carb and processed food diet that is also high in sugar causes major inflammation and water retention. At some point this weight loss may plateau, or slow down. However, it is critical to not quit because you feel the lifestyle is no longer working. This is the worst thing you can do, because gut health and keto is a lifestyle for long term health as opposed to a quick fix. Stay faithful on your supplements and faithful on your eating plan and things will move!  Be sure to exercise as much as possible.
  • Detox: Low carb/keto lifestyles can be very discomforting, especially during the first 2 weeks. You may experience low energy levels, grumpiness, and a nerve wracking lethargic feeling. It will seem like your body doesn’t function as it used to when you were still allowed to eat pastries and pasta. This is normal, and in the Ketogenic world this is referred to as keto flu. This typically passes in about two weeks as your body adapts to the healthy new balance in your gut and moves into ketosis where the body begins to burn fat for fuel. pexels-photo-941540.jpegTo make detox less harsh, stay VERY faithful on supplements and you may need some extra probiotics. Add a little bit more caffeine- NATURAL like in coffee and tea NOT synthetic as in energy drinks and shots.  Synthetic caffeine is extremely unhealthy.

To sum it all up, always remember that keto lifestyles are easy to embark on if you have your plan right and have done your research. Avoid all starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, flour and sugar. Also ditch the cereals! Stay away from the soda; purge your fridge of them if you still have any, before embarking on your low carb/keto journey.

Be careful not to fall for quick fix scams like fake exogenous ketones, powders that promise to put you into ketosis, diet pills or patches, or supplements with synthetic caffeine.  These are not only a waste of money, but often extremely unsafe and with dangerous ingredients like bitter orange, synephrine, and more.  Getting into ketosis is done naturally through your diet, a healthy gut, or with a healthy gut and the use of MCT oil or coconut oil.

It’s a great idea to plan meals ahead of time and find support from friends.  It may also be a good idea to consult with a nutritionist. My nutrition clients use the best gut health regimen out there and we have a wonderful online support group.  Remember that long term health changes require a real desire to change your life and health, and there are no quick fixes out there.

In Health!

XOXO

Erin

 

Keto ½ Carb Rolls/Biscuits/Sliders

These are so so good!  We made them on our Let’s Get Cooking on Facebook tonight.  You can watch that LIVE at this link: Keto 1/2 Carb Rolls. 

Ingredients:

2oz Cream Cheese

¾ cup Shredded Mozarella

½ cup Shredded Cheddar

1 egg beaten

¼ tsp Garlic Powder

1/3 cup Almond Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

Plastic wrap

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. In a small bowl, add cream cheese and mozzarella. Microwave on high for 20 seconds at a time until melted.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg until beaten. Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl of egg and mix well.  Add in cream cheese and mozzarella mixture into the dough. Dough will be a sticky mess!  Stir in the cheddar cheese.

Spoon dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Dust the top of dough with almond flour. Fold plastic wrap over dough and work carefully and gently into a ball.  Wrap dough in the plastic wrap and put in fridge for 30 minutes.

Take dough out and unwrap and cut into 4 pieces.  Roll each of the four pieces into a ball.  Cut each one in half making 8 total rolls. Sit them cut side down on a well-greased baking sheet or on parchment paper.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown and a crispy bottom.

These can be used as a top and bottom of a slider or biscuit, or alone as a roll.   WE love to make sausage egg biscuits for breakfast out of these.  They also make a great dinner roll with your favorite protein and veggies!

Be prepared for the family to fight over them!

In Health!

Erin

XOXO

 

 

Eating out on a Low Carb or Keto Lifestyle

In a world where most food in restaurants tends to be processed and full of carbs and sugar, trying to eat healthy and still enjoy eating out can be stressful. However, with a little bit of knowledge, it is very easy to adapt food from almost any cuisine at any restaurant to suit a low carb or keto way of eating.

Just remembering three things will keep you on track when you eat out:

  1. Know what you can eat, and what to avoid!
  2. Plan ahead!
  3. Stick to your guns!

Eating low carb means you actually have a lot of flexibility with your food. Knowing which foods to avoid makes it easier to eat out without trying to guess what is acceptable. Great choices to look for when eating out include meats that are not breaded or battered, vegetables, salads, and fish that is not battered. Potatoes are pure starch that turns to sugar and must be off the menu, but why not try extra veggies instead?

Consider eating ‘outside the box’. If you want a juicy burger, go ahead and have it, without the bun. Replace the fries with carrot sticks for low carb eating or a green veggie for keto eating to round out your meal.asparagus-barbecue-bbq-675951 for some melted butter for that steak or chicken or fish.  BUT- make sure it is real butter.  Not whipped spread made from oil and chemicals. Salads offer unlimited options, as almost any meats and vegetables can be thrown in, and many restaurants offer some type of salad on their menu. Steak and mixed vegetables are always a great choice, and tasty, too!

Perhaps the most overlooked key to successfully eating out on a low carb lifestyle is planning ahead. This simple step can save a lot of stress and worry. You already know what you can eat, so the next step is finding out what is on the menu at the place you want to eat at. Go online to view menus ahead of time. You can even call the restaurant and ask questions about food preparation and ingredients. blur-breakfast-chef-262978This way, you will be armed with the info needed to make good food choices. This step eliminates the stress and worry over what you’ll order once you arrive, so you will be able to focus on enjoying your meal! With so many doctors and health professionals realizing that a low carbohydrate lifestyle is the way to go, many restaurants are upping their game with both low carb and in bigger cities keto options on the menu. Look for this trend to continue as the months and years go by and more and more research is available on the health benefits of a low carb lifestyle.

The most important thing you can do when eating out low carb is to stick to it. Many are tempted by the bread basket, teased by the desert tray, and give in to the pressure to be ‘normal’. Maybe you don’t want to seem demanding. Whatever the reason, just remember, you deserve to feel healthy and be happy. If it helps, consider your low carb lifestyle the same as anyone that requires a special diet for a medical condition. There will be some foods you just can’t eat, but don’t be afraid to ask for the ones you can! For most people, once they have been low carb for a longer period of time, the health benefits and the way their bodies feel are so amazing that the temptation to eat the things that make our bodies less functional seems to go away.

Always remember that for optimal health, you need a combination of a healthy diet mostly void of sugar and processed food and starchy food, amazing gut health supplements, as much exercise as you can get in, and a happy mind and soul.

In Health!

XOXO

Erin

Almond Flour Pancakes

Almond Flour Pancakes  Makes 24 small pancakes

 Ingredients

2 cups Almond Flour  

4 Eggs

½ cup water

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp Baking powder

½ tsp salt

3-4 packets of Stevia

Instructions/Preparation

Mix all ingredients into a big bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Spoon silver dollar sized pancakes onto a griddle and cook until golden brown on each side.

Serve with some good grass fed butter and some Choc Zero Maple syrup that is sugar free.

Citrus Butter Garlic Chicken and Asparagus

This is a yummy one skillet meal that we made on our Facebook Live cooking show tonight!  You can see that recipe video here! 

I love this because it is fast and easy and doesnt dirty up ten pots and pans!  You can make this after work in less than 20 minutes!

Here are the ingredients!

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts butterflied if thick.

1 bundle of thin asparagus

1 fresh naval orange

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp grass fed butter

6 cloves of fresh garlic

salt and pepper to taste

 

Break ends off asparagus to desired length.  Cut orange into four quarters.  Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet.  Add the garlic to the skillet and take the knife and pop each clove to release flavor as seen in the video before adding to pan.  Add asparagus to one side of skillet and the 2 chicken breasts to the other.  Tilt pan and baste asparagus as well as the chicken breasts.  Sear each side of the chicken.  Add salt and pepper to chicken and vegetables and squeeze the juice of one quarter of the orange on chicken and one quarter on the asparagus.  Cook chicken until juices run clear turning over every couple of minutes.  Keep basting with the juices in the pan. Be sure not to overcook the chicken as it will dry out and be tough.  Just before plating, squeeze the other two pieces of orange onto the chicken and veggies and serve!

This is a great meal with a nice salad on the side!

Enjoy!

XOXO

Erin and Ben

 

LOW CARB CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

We cooked these yummy enchiladas tonight on our Facebook live that you can watch HERE!

The use of a rotisserie chicken is great in a time crunch, but of course you can always grill or bake or boil your own chicken breasts or thighs and use that!

INGREDIENTS

2tbsp Olive oil
1 precooked Rotisserie chicken
2 teaspoons cumin
1tablespoon garlic powder
1 red onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese
8 La Banderita carb counter tortillas (or Mission low carb )

Enchilada sauce ingredients (far less sugar than store bought)
1 8oz can Great Value tomato sauce (this brand is low sugar)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan on medium heat. Stir periodically and reduce down to desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Debone the chicken and heat in a skillet on medium heat. Stir in the cumin, garlic powder, red onion, and salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the chicken mixture among 8 tortillas. Sprinkle with cheddar and roll them up and place in the baking dish.
Finally cover the top of the enchiladas with sauce and add a topping of cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Use the broiler for the last few minutes to brown the top!

Serve with a nice salad loaded with veggies!

 

ENJOY!

Erin and Ben!

Low Carb Lasagna

Lasagna is known as comfort food.  Unfortunately many comfort foods can be high in carbs.  Chef Ben and myself have a fun twist on traditional lasagna that replaces the pasta sheets with Joseph’s Bakery high fiber low carb lavash bread sheets

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This is a yummy healthy alternative to traditional lasagna that will convert to SUGAR and get stored as fat!

We made this on a Facebook live that you can watch here!  We do a LIVE cooking segment on our Nutrition page each Tuesday night at 8pm CST!

Here are the ingredients:

1 pack of Joseph’s Lavash bread
6 cans Fire roasted diced tomatoes
16oz container Ricotta cheese
3 lbs. Ground beef
8oz container Grated Parmesan
32 oz. shredded Mozzarella
2-3 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 onions
2 tbsp chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

 

Brown the ground meat with the chopped onions and salt and pepper then drain.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste and cook down for 15 minutes.

Spray your 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Layer a thin layer of meat, making sure the liquid is well-drained from the meat mixture or else you will have runny lasagna. Then spoon on Ricotta cheese, then sprinkle parmesan lightly and a very light layer of Mozzarella. Then put strips of lavash as you would regular lasagna pasta strips. Keep layering until dish is full, usually three full layers.  Then add a little more of the meat mixture on top and top with mozzarella and parmesan and you are ready to bake!

Bake for 30 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.  Add a nice green salad and you have a wonderful balanced meal!

Enjoy!

XOXO

Erin and Ben