So what do you eat? Do you have a meal plan? Where do you get your recipes? I get these questions a lot. I wanted to have a place to direct these questions to, especially as Keto is becoming more and more popular and my friends are seeing the now 60 pound transformation of my body thus far! I had never had successful weight loss changing my lifestyle until we began the keto diet. It is the easiest, most fulfilling, delicious, satisfying diet while being backed by decades of scientific research. It’s free (apart from your grocery budget) and doesn’t require a monthly subscription or special shakes or supplements.
A standard Ketogenic Diet is pretty straight forward: a high-fat diet made of approximately 75% fat intake, 20% protein intake and 5% low-carbohydrate intake. These are known as your macros in the keto world. Most keto followers try to keep their carbohydrate consumption limited to 20g of net carbs per day. Because we focus so much on hitting our macros many people are confused about what to eat, what is “ok” and what isn’t keto-friendly. For me, as long as my body is IN ketosis, eating less than 20g of net-carbs a day, then I consider it keto-friendly.
#1: What do you Eat?
Breakfast: Eat Cake
In our household we all eat at different times so Breakfast is a free-for-all during the work week. Typically our toddler will have summer sausage and eggs or a variety of berries and cream. Since I’m not in my keto maintenance phase yet, I only eat low-carb berries about once a week with heavy whipped cream. Once I meet my goal weight I will add in more frequent servings of berries by choice (fruit choices that are lower carb like strawberries, raspberries or blueberries – once per day) Often, if we have leftover cake, this is the breakfast of choice. Cake and coffee and weight loss. It’s pretty perfect actually.
We make high fat, low carb cakes like the Key Lime New York Style Cheesecake. It keeps us full for HOURS. Why does it work? We aren’t talking about your bakery variety, white flour, sugary cakes. When we make a keto cake it is specifically designed to be low carb, high quality fat and contain a moderate amount of protein to keep us full and keep our blood sugar stable so we don’t crash and burn at 11am. Think of it as a preventative measure to set you up for success the rest of the day. If we don’t have cake, we typically do boiled eggs, fried ham, cheese sticks, a hand full of nuts or sliced avocado.
The weekend is different and more relaxed. My favorite thing to make Saturday Morning is a veggie and ham omelet, a tray of bacon or use our Know Better Bread slices to make Low-Carb French Toast.
Lunch: Fast or On the Go
I’m a Working-Stay at home Mom. Which means I’m running a mile a minute all day long. We are OFTEN eating lunch quickly or on the go (read about the crazy Daily Routine here). A typical lunch at home is a Wedge Cobb Salad, quick pan-fried chicken and vegetables from the garden or leftovers from the night before. If we are out of the house there are a few options I’ve found to be the best low carb on-the-go for me: A Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s Lettuce Wrapped Burger, Chick-fil-A grilled chicken bites or an antipasto salad from the deli section while out running errands. We do a lot of our grocery and home shopping at Target and I will occasionally get a tall Flat White (espresso) with coconut milk and heavy cream from Starbucks to tide me over until I can get home to eat later.
Dinner: Home Cooked Keto
This is the time of the day that I spend the most prep on. It’s not only our dinner but it’s usually my husband’s lunch the next day. I tend to make extra and meal prep multiple meals at the same time as making dinner. For example, using 36 eggs at the same time. I’ll be boiling eggs for an Egg Salad but also setting a few boiled eggs aside for my lunch salad the next couple of days. Then, I will prep mini-quiche bites in the muffin tin for breakfast.
Dinner examples: Here is what I have in my kitchen RIGHT NOW for lunch/dinner meals this weekend:
Head of Lettuce, Bleu Cheese, Olives & Steak Tips for a Wedge Salad
Burger Patties for the Grill to go with above salad
Head of Broccoli and Bag of Spinach for above Chicken Recipes
Almond Flour, Eggs, Cheese and Cream Cheese for making Thin Crust Keto Pizza
#2: Do you have a Meal Plan?
I do! But it’s more of a guide. I use a magnetic weekly calendar hanging on my fridge as a meal suggestion calendar. I shop for groceries a week at a time and when I put the groceries away I write down the meals I have shopped for on the calendar.
This way I can chose from those suggestions what to cook based on how much time I have, if the kids can give me time to cook and what is going to expire first. I just erase what I cook as I go.
#3: Where do you get your recipes?
We Make Them Up:
Seriously, half the time I’m in the kitchen I’m trying to write down a new recipe in case it turns out great and I want to make it again. Learning to cook is just as much about technique as learning from your mistakes. I’ve been known to shout out a shopping list on our Echo “Alexa” as I’m making food, to use as reference for what I put in it later on.
For example, last night I planned to make steak but wanted a vegetable side. Asparagus won the prize for being closest to its expiration date. Now, I typically DO make a meal plan but plans are just fancy wishes some nights. The meal I originally planned for the asparagus never happened.You can pretty much coat any vegetable in oil, season it and make a side dish. For this, I used a combination of Olive and Coconut oil to lightly coat the asparagus, Garlic Salt and Pepper to season and cooked it for 15 minutes. Delicious asparagus sticks even my 3 year old liked. These would also be delicious with Parmesan!
For our cakes, Adam has made (no joke) about 100 cheesecakes over the past year he has been on keto. He perfected every part of it by modifying the recipe each time he cooked it to address filling, crust, texture and flavor until it was perfect. If you want a PERFECT low-carb cheesecake, follow the step-by-step video instructions he made here: Florida Key Lime Keto Cheesecake How-To
We Reference Restaurant Menus:
Something I love to do is play the “how can I make this Keto” game. Keto does NOT have to be a bland and boring diet. Though we do enjoy simple foods like a well seasoned chicken breast or roasted vegetables, there’s a plethora of unique and fun dishes you can create. I get a lot of inspiration from restaurant menus. We recently made some delicious keto fried shrimp after visiting our local Bonefish Grill. Substitutions and experimentation are the game when creating new and interesting meals! Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and experiment in your own kitchen.