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

 

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

 

Breakfast Egg Muffins

These are a favorite at my house ad we made them on a Facebook live for our Tuesday Let’s Get Cookin’ segment on my nutrition page.  You can watch the LIVE here!

Sausage Egg Muffins

Ingredients

You need a 6 hole muffin tin

6 eggs

Shredded cheddar

1/4 lb of Smoked sausage cut into medallions

Salt and pepper to taste (You can also use shredded chicken, shrimp, or any protein that you like)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray.  Cover bottom of each section with a layer of sausage (5 medallions).  Then sprinkle shredded cheddar on the sausage. Then crack one egg into each tin section.  Add salt and pepper to taste on the top and then bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the yolks are at your desired consistency.  Runnier yolks 12-15 minutes and harder yolks would be 17-20 minutes.

You can always add veggies to this recipe as desired!

 

Veggie Egg Muffins

Ingredients

You need a 6 hole Muffin tin

6 eggs

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped Greek olives

1/4 cup chopped bell peppers

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray tin with nonstick spray.  Cover bottom with a layer of vegetables. ( Feel free to add as many different veggies as you want on the bottom such as tomatoes, mushrooms or spinach) Sprinkle feta in a layer on top of veggies. Crack one egg into each tin. Season top with salt and pepper to taste and then bake for 12 to 15 minutes until desired yolk consistency. Again bake closer to 20 minutes for firmer yolks.

 

Enjoy!

XOXO

Erin

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Minute Lazy Cream Cheese Stuffed Sweet Peppers

I love those mini sweet peppers.  I eat them raw and use on salads and also use as dippers for hummus.  I also LOVE a recipe my husband used to make where he made this amazing cream cheese mixture and stuffed the mini peppers.

Well, one day I wanted some but did not have the energy to do much.  It was a bad FTS day.  SO, I invented my fast easy version.  There are TWO ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mini Sweet peppers and Chive and onion cream cheese. 27707427_10155220962315983_1222440828_o They take about ten minutes to prep, hence the title!  (they bake for 20 minutes though) That is IT! I buy whatever brand of cream cheese is on sale.  Usually Great Value. (yes I am a bargain shopper)  These peppers are always less than 3.00 a bag at Wal Mart.  First pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the tops off the peppers.  27707347_10155220962290983_1344846533_o variety has very few seeds so they are very east to work with! Then just slice them down the middle and scrape out any remaining seeds and lay them out of a cookie sheet that you have sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Like this27653052_10155220962425983_294361161_o

 

 

 

 

 

Now just open the cream cheese and get a knife and spread it into the peppers.

27708312_10155220962445983_2140318050_o

 

Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes until  the peppers are soft! Let them cool and serve!  SO CRAZY EASY and yummy!

27651285_10155220983155983_2096746794_o

 

In Health!

XOXO

Erin

 

Low Carb Stuffed Bell Peppers

We made these delicious gems on our weekly cooking Facebook LIVE called “Let’s Get Cookin!” You can feed six people for literally less than $10!!!  This is a great blend of protein and fiber and veggies for a perfect meal.  We usually serve this with a nice salad!

Here are the ingredients!

6 Bell peppers
1 pound ground turkey
1 package frozen cauliflower rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon Tony’s Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Slice the tops from the peppers and remove the insides including the seeds.

Place the peppers in a baking dish you have sprayed with cooking spray.

Brown the ground turkey in a skillet adding Tony’s, salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to season well since we are using turkey.

In a bowl combine the cooked turkey, (do not drain) cauliflower rice, onion, garlic and Parmesan cheese.

Divide mixture equally among the six peppers. Sprinkle additional Parmesan on top if desired!27652882_10155214985910983_1470771764_o

Place the baking dish in the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes. Check for internal temperature of 165 degrees. Add time if necessary for softer peppers

ENJOY!!!

In Health!

XOXO

Erin and Chef Ben

Do You Eat Enough Plants?

We all grew up with parents and teachers advocating that we should be eating fruit and vegetables 5 times a day. However, in this world of processed boxed foods, we see the term fruit or vegetable more often than not slapped on an item that really shouldn’t be considered a fruit or vegetable serving. Many of us are consuming extremely boxed and processed versions of real food that they are considering to be fruits or veggies.  In adulthood, and in the midst of a crazy busy life, we often forget that which we learned as a child. Few people doubt that fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and nutrients, but does that mean that we are eating enough of them?

Consensus differs amongst academics regarding specific quantities, but the most up to date recommendations on this subject would advocate that an adult eat five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. That might sound like a lot, but when you break it down it really shouldn’t be considered all that much. In fact, it should be a basic standard. The bottom line is that we need to eat more plants. This is actually a hashtag I use a lot on Instagram on my nutritionist account.   God gave us fruits and vegetables for a reason.  Their colors are not just to look pretty- they represent different nutrients we need to keep our bodies strong. #eatmoreplants

When considering breakfast, many people will stick to that which they know. This often involves toast, cereal or even nothing more than a cup of coffee. Whether breakfast is or is not the most important meal of the day may be debatable, but there is no doubt that a good breakfast sets your body up for the day ahead. Very few people consider vegetables and low sugar fruits like berries  for their breakfast, when they should be stapes instead of the starchy and sugary choices. Switching a bowl of cereal (that turns to pure sugar once consumed) for a veggie omelette and a bowl of berries could make a huge difference in your overall health and in how you feel the rest of the day.  This type of breakfast will help keep you full and keep your blood sugar level for the rest of the day.  A breakfast of carbs and sugar sets you up for a day of tired and cranky and more hungry.

Lunch is a great time to load up on vegetables. Again, all too often people repeat the same mistake that they make at breakfast time. Deli made sandwiches and rolls may taste nice, but they are packed full of carbs and calories, which turn to sugar, and are often severely lacking in proper servings of vegetables. Swapping the sandwich for a homemade salad can be the perfect way to work on an imbalance you may have in your diet. Vegetables also make for ideal snacks. Ditch the packet of popcorn, the cookies or the fizzy drink you have to keep you going between lunch and dinner and swap it for raw veggies and hummus or apples and peanut butter. Always look for ways to take out carbs and sugar and processed items and replace with plants.

These are all small changes you can make to your diet, but these small changes can do wonders for your health, and your waistline. Vegetables should be at the core of our daily dietary intake, and yet they are all too often forgotten about for their more attractive carb-cousins. Ask yourself this; are you eating 5 servings of veg and 2 of low-sugar fruit every day? If not, make today the day all of that changes!

In Health!

XOXO

Erin