Friday, June 10, 2016

What I eat on the Ketogenic diet

If I'm asked anything more than what is and how to get started on the Ketogenic diet, it's,

"What do you eat?"

Well... let me start from the beginning.

I think when anyone goes low carb, they begin by eating a lot of eggs. And bacon. And cheese. These three things were staples when I first started. If all else failed, bacon and eggs for the win.

Eggs are so versatile. You can boil, fry, scramble, make them into an omelette. But soon, I got sick of eggs. Now I eat them on occasion.

I eat all meats. I don't particularly care for beef, but since going keto I have started to enjoy a burgers without the bun. I have also discovered that chicken drumsticks and thighs WITH the skin are yummy when baked or fried and the skin is crispy. And I eat LOTS of chicken wings. Chicken wings drenched in ranch or blue cheese are my a favorite. And now I can eat this with NO GUILT AT ALL. It's part of my plan!

I have never been a HUGE veggie eater, but keto has actually introduced me to some veggies I'd never had before. Like Brussels sprouts. I eat LOTS of cauliflower because it's WAY more versatile than I'd ever imagined (think twice baked cauliflower, mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, cauliflower breadsticks or pizza crust). I love roasted broccoli. I still eat salads on occasion, only with delicious FULL FAT dressing (blue cheese and ranch... the real stuff in the salad section... only has 1 carb per serving most times).

The only dairy I really eat is cheese and sour cream and heavy cream. Milk is high in carbs, and I don't drink milk anyway (gross). Some people on keto like cottage cheese. I was going to try it, although I've always thought it LOOKED to disgusting to eat. But when I checked the label it looked high in carbs so I gleefully skipped it. Someone I follow on Instagram says the Daisy brand is lowest in carbs, though.

Ok, lets talk about FAT. Ketogenic is high in dietary fat. If you're not willing to increase your fat, this is not the diet for you. But hear me out... fat is satisfying. It keeps you full, and it makes you happy while you are eliminating carbs. I use lots of coconut oil. Lots. I fry my foods in it. I also put it in my coffee (more on that shortly). If you don't like the taste of coconuts, get the refined kind. It's tasteless. I use both. I also use TONS of butter. REAL butter, not margarine.

If you are still using margarine... please stop. It's a chemical shit storm. It's fake and full of harmful fats. Just pay a little extra for the real stuff.

Once you add in cheese, leave the skin on your chicken, and add a few eggs here an there, getting a high percentage of good fat isn't hard. If you like avocados, eat those, too. (I do not like them). Don't be afraid. Your body will respond well to fat if you're cutting the carbs.

The most important part of the ketogenic way of eating, besides high fat and very low carbs, is to EAT. REAL. FOOD.

Skip the Quest bars and protein shakes. Skip the Adkins crap with all the sugar alcohols. If it's labeled, "low-carb" just skip it. Some people still love to eat this stuff, and can lose weight while doing so. But it's not all that good for you. And aren't we doing this for overall health, not just weight loss? Yes, I still have sugar free pancake syrup and some sugar-free coffee syrup on occasion. And Coke Zero is still my favorite. But I've cut WAY down on this stuff.

Eat real food.

I also want to add that eating out on keto is super easy. Only ONCE in six months have I ever NOT been able to find something to eat at a restaurant. And that is when we went to a Caribbean restaurant on Valentine's Day and they refused to make me anything without rice or plantains. I sipped a diet soda and refused to go off my plan!

Usually when eating out I'll have wings or a burger with no bun, add bacon and cheese! Lots of fast food chains offer lettuce wrapped burgers, or burgers in a bowl. Salads are a good option without all that extra stuff. Cobb salads or ceasar salads are usually compliant. The important thing when eating out is to ASK for what you want. Restaurants usually are very accommodating. They will happily bring you a side salad instead of fries.

But be always mindful that sugar is hidden in EVERYTHING. Since being keto, I've found hidden sugar in so many products, even those labeled with zero carbs! For example, the heavy whipped cream in the can. I was enjoying this on sugar-free jello in the beginning (I've since ditched the SF Jell-0 because the sweetener in it triggers cravings). It said zero carbs on the can, but the second ingredient was sugar! WTH? Um, no. So, my advice is to look at the ingredients, not just the nutrition label.

It is also my advice to you to count TOTAL carbs for everything except for vegetables. For vegetables, net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) is okay. People in my keto group mostly agree that they lose better when following this rule of thumb. See, there really isn't a 'real' thing as net carbs. In my opinion, the manufacturers made that crap up to market stuff 'low-carb'. But again, every one is different. Some can subtract fiber and sugar alcohols and still lose weight counting net carbs. My body doesn't.

Things to avoid:
All grains.
All fruit.
All legumes.
All starchy vegetables.
All sugar.

Some people on the ketogenic diet do eat berries. I have had strawberries on occasion and been ok. But fruit is frowned upon for the most part.

I'm gonna wrap this post up with another disclaimer... I'm not a keto expert. My knowledge comes from being on this way of eating for almost 6 months. I've researched. I've used trial and error. I've Googled. Spent hours on Pinterest looking for recipes. My purpose for providing this information is to help spread the word. This diet just might be what someone needs to FINALLY get off the diet roller-coaster. This is a way of eating... something that does not have an end date for me. I've found a food template that I can do for the rest of my life and be happy. I hope this will be that for you, too.

If you think you want a full-fledged keto coach, please visit and check out the monthly coaching programs. I've followed Brian, Mary, and Katrina from the beginning. They know what they are doing. 

(and for the blog trolls that talk shit about me on GOMI, I have not been paid or asked to endorse this service)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet, also known as keto, very low carb, or LCHF (low carb, high fat), is where you force your body to produce ketones in the liver to be used as energy. On a high carbohydrate diet, your body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy, so if available, your body will choose it over any other energy source. Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your blood by taking it around your body. Since the glucose is used by your body as it's primary energy source, your fat is not needed and stored instead.

By using lowering your intake of carbs (preferably to under 20 grams), the body is put in ketosis. Ketosis is a natural process where the body produces ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver. The end goal of a ketogenic diet is to force your body into the metabolic state known as ketosis. You don't have to starve to get here, but you do have to be VERY low carb. But if you take away the carbs and increase your fat, your body will burn ketones as the main energy source.

I guess the next question I always get is... What do I eat?

Ideally, your macronutrient ratios should be around 5% carbs, 20-25% protein, and 70-75% dietary fat. This is really what works for you. Some are successful with 80-85% fat. Some eat up to 10% carbs. Some advocate for higher protein. But the graphic below, in my opinion, is the sweet spot.

Your carbs should mostly come from vegetables, nuts, and dairy. DO NOT eat wheat (breads, pasta, cereals), starch (potatoes, beans, legumes) or fruit (berries are ok on occasion). Dark and leafy greens are best choice. Fatty cuts of meat are great (leave the skin on the chicken!). Put grass-fed butter on meat and veggies. In the beginning if you need a snack, eat cheese or almonds. But the longer you are keto, the less you need to snack. You're simply not hungry as often as you used to be. The high fat curbs your appetite and keeps you so satisfied.

Now, some get very caught up in macros and tracking. There are some sites that will provide calorie calculators ( has a great one) and some people track religiously. I did at first. But with keto, you really don't HAVE to track calories or macros. Many people who have been super successful do not. But in the beginning, I think it's helpful until you have a grasp on WHAT to eat and how much. Overeating is overeating. You want to get to a point where you are eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you are full. Eventually, calories won't matter. Your metabolism will be burning strong despite low calories (more info on that another day).

Just eat lots of GOOD fat. Keep your protein moderate. And stay under 20 g of carbs. You'll be good.

There is endless diet dogma and misconceptions about being keto or very low carb. Don't listen to the negativity or bad information. Even from doctors. They are studies that were published 30+ years ago that show high amounts of fat and low carbs are good. It's high fat and high carbs that are bad for your body. And the low fat/high carb recommendations are just bad information that has led us into an obesity epidemic. Don't believe the hype. Educate yourself on this lifestyle and you might even teach your doctor a thing or two. If you have Type 1 diabetes or pre-existing kidney problems, DO get in touch with your doctor before starting keto because in these cases it may put a strain on your kidneys. But don't worry about high cholesterol or heart disease... keto (and any high fat, low carb diet) has been well known and documented to help improve these conditions.

Benefits of a Keto Diet

  • Cholesterol. A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
  • Weight Loss. As your body is burning fat as the main source of energy, you will essentially be using your fat stores as an energy source while in a fasting state.
  • Blood Sugar. Many studies show the decrease of LDL cholesterol over time and have shown to eliminate ailments such as type 2 diabetes.
  • Energy. By giving your body a better and more reliable energy source, you will feel more energized during the day. Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
  • Hunger. Fat is naturally more satisfying and ends up leaving us in a satiated (“full”) state for longer.
  • Acne. Recent studies have shown a drop in acne lesions and skin inflammation over 12 weeks.
When you first begin a keto diet, get ready for the dreaded "keto flu". Your body is used to using carbs as energy, so when you take them away your body is unhappy at first. But as you get adjusted to a ketogenic state, your body will use up all the glucose and transition into burning ketones. This makes you generally feel like crap for a few days. Get ready for headaches, brain fog, and flu-like symptoms. Many say that increasing sodium helps to replenish electrolytes and makes it better. But it will go away in a few days regardless. Just ride it out.

Another wonderful thing about the ketogenic diet is that once that keto flu and initial week of feeling like crap is over, you feel GREAT. Your cravings lessen each week, you suddenly get all this energy, and the aches and pains go away (due to reduction in inflammation). And the stomach fat/bloat goes first, so your pants are loose and you almost instantly feel the inches going away. It's been my experience that your body changes are way more dramatic than the numbers on the scale. You really have two ways to measure your success. I used to weigh almost daily, but now I could care less what the scale says. I feel fabulous.

On my next post, I will tell you all about the specific foods I eat on the keto diet.

*** Most of the information from this post was taken from, which is an EXCELLENT source for beginners. And as mentioned earlier, it has a keto calculator on there if you need an idea of exact calories and macronutrients. The other information is MY OPINION and advice based on what I have learned. I am not a doctor or nutritionist or an expert.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Ketogenic Diet

Over the past several weeks I have had countless people email, text, or message me on social media asking if I can help them or give them information about the diet that I'm on. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that since the end of January I have been following a ketogenic diet plan. It's really not a diet... more like a way of eating. High fat (70-80%). Moderate protein (20-25%). Very low carb. And by very low carb, I mean that I typically eat less than 20 total carbs daily.

This is where I lose most people.

"How in the world can you eat less than 20 carbs!" (it's easy)
"Don't you eat fruit and vegetables?" (veggies, no fruit)
"I can't live without my carbs." (in that case, continue to eat them)
"Doesn't all that fat make you fat?" (absolutely not)

I have to admit, I started out in January with the same "diet" mindset that most of America had and just REALLY wanted to lose weight. I was back up to 316.4 lbs. My feet, knees and back HURT EVERY DAY. I was sad. I was out of breath. I had no energy. I was miserable in my skin. I had to do something. But after 3 weeks of trying to lower carbs and make good choices, I was struggling. The food addiction was still so real. So I just knew... the carbs had to go. Completely.

So on January 30 I just made the jump. I was going to try Keto one last time. But this time I REALLY did my research. I got into a great support group on Facebook (Ketogenic Success). I read. I read, And I read some more. I counted my macros and made sure to stay in the prescribed ranges. And guess what? I started losing. Steadily. Pretty much every week for the first 90 or so days.

But even more important is that I STOPPED dieting.

Somewhere along the line eating this way stopped being a diet. It didn't feel like restriction. I lost the desire to cheat. I was full, satisfied, and happy. Finally... peace with food! And the pain was gone. My feet, back, and knees were no longer painful. My energy is through the roof. My mental clarity is back.

Oh, and as of May 25, 2016 in officially down 50 lbs.

It's amazing.

So, in the keto community, there is a thing called "ketovangelizing". It's where we've learned this totally new "way" of eating, and we feel the need to share it with anyone that is also on a diet struggle. Especially if it involves Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes (because this diet makes it practically vanish). I have been ketovangelizing to many, and so many around me (both in person and online) are now trying this way of eating.

And guess what? THEY ARE LOSING WEIGHT. I had a co-worker just tell me last week she has lost 21 lbs in a MONTH. People who try it love it.

I've decided to start blogging about this lifestyle. Giving some basic information about this way of eating to hopefully help get someone started if they want to.

This isn't about products. This isn't about spending a ton of money on groceries or impossible ingredients (you'll actually save money). No gimmicks. Just real food.

And peace with food. Recovery from food addiction. Freedom from calorie counting or obsessing about macros.

It's truly a lifestyle. And I love it.

So over the next few days I'm going to give some information on the ketogenic diet. I am also going to share a little about what I've learned about the lies that have been fed to us (excuse the pun) by the diet industry that have made us fat and unsuccessful at diets. I might also touch on intermittent fasting (something new that I'm learning about that goes along with the keto way of eating). If you're interested, please read. You may learn something new. If you are unable or unwilling to CONSIDER there might be another way, or that fat is not the enemy, please keep scrolling through the inter-web.

Knowledge is power. Sharing is caring.