Hi All, long time no talk. How many times have I started a post that way? Let’s put it this way… A LOT! I have not had much to say on the ol’ blog so I haven’t written much. But I have gotten tons of requests for this one so here it is.
For three years I have practiced and followed for the most part 21 day fix portions. Very rarely to I venture off of that path. It helps me to maintain and to lose when I am super hard core with it. The nice part is it is NOT a diet. It is just an easy guide to what your body needs based on your wants without calorie counting.
But life happens and I get stressed, sad, mad or whatever and my carb intake slowly sneaks up or I convince myself I need an extra whatever. Then sometimes my old habits of wanting a pepsi or pop to cure comes back. I have found a way to combat that.
Keto has just been something that has really clicked for me. But I don’t do complicated and keto is sometimes complicated. It is essentially tracking macros but I don’t have time for that. So I have tried to simplify it for myself. Just be sure if you are doing it to experiment with it and what helps for you.
To get myself into ketosis I go straight basic and use about 5 things.
- Nitrate Free bacon…basically find the cleanest bacon around and be prepared to spend money here but your body will thank you and it is NOT forever. I go through 4-5 packages of bacon that first week. Check to be sure no additional sugars and that it is zero carbs. Some brands like to sneak in extra sugars.
- Sausage…Again the cleanest but here in my town things are limited so Bob Evans it is. No extra sweeteners. Check to be sure it is zero carbs. You can do links or patties or heck even both. I have and do.
- Hamburger meat…I purchase mine from a butcher shop and get 80% lean. I make taco meat, hamburgers and fry it in butter. Yes butter.
- Eggs. Hard boiled. Fried in butter. Over easy with lots of butter. Scrambled in butter.
- Can you guess the last one? Butter. Get the absolute best kind you can find. The European ones are seriously good. But just don’t buy junk butter and check the carb content. You want zero carbs. That means zero additional sugars.
I also will some times add in avocados, pork rinds, salads and cheese sticks (check for zero carb versions). I use a variety of dressings and vegetables like broccoli and green beans and butter them. Who doesn’t love butter on veggies? And you will need to be generous with salt the first week because it helps combat keto flu/carb flu as you transition into ketosis. You up that salt with things like pickles and olives…again just check that carb content.
So for breakfast I usually will eat 1 sausage patty. 4 pieces of bacon and 2 eggs at around 8. Then I eat around 12:40-1 I will eat my hamburger meat fixed over a salad or just eat the meat itself with a side of a green veggie. Be careful of veggies that are higher carbs like potatoes (sweet/white). Corn. Then I eat 6ish and I usually am pretty strict again about fats and eat a fish protein or hamburger with lots of butter and garlic and veggie and salad. I am usually a little more adventurous after I am in ketosis.
Oh and this is worst part of keto…NO FRUIT. Now some can eat berries and be fine. I am not one of them. I eat them and BOOM I am knocked out of ketosis. So I steer clear altogether. Yes it sucks!
The first week I try and stay as basic as I can. If I feel hungry yes I will eat pork rinds. But I am not a fan. But they are zero carb and give you that snacky feeling that is sometimes hard in the first week.
Now to check to see if you are in keto you can purchase urine strips. Or do blood or there are breath meters. I find urine strips are easy and cheap. But they are the least accurate. I did purchase a keto blood meter. I use it occasionally…mostly to check I am in ketosis (so once I test positive on blood for ketones) I am done. The strips for my meter cost 30$ for 10 off Amazon.
The best way to know you are going into ketosis is you get this filmy gross feeling in your mouth. Your breath isn’t the best. It is acetone in your breath. Hence the breath meter. I don’t have one. I also get the jitters in the AM for a day or so. Once those two things pass I am good and I know I am in ketosis.
Then I vary my diet a bit more using websites, podcasts and cookbooks like:
- Keto Connect
- The Keto Diet
- Wicked Good Keto
- Keto for Women (Shawn Mynar)
- The Keto Diet Podcast (Leanne Vogel)
- Sometimes can find recipes through Trim Healthy Mama
I will tell you though be extremely careful of adding too much variety. You need to see what feels good for your body and keeps you in ketosis. Start with one or two basic recipes and make a lot so that you can get through a few meals with little thought.
Add in snacks like meat sticks and pepperoni (always watching that carb content). You want to aim for 20 carbs or less a day. My body reacts to carbs so much so I really shoot for 10 or less especially in the first month.
The go to bible for me is Keto Connect. Use the calculator on this website to help you calculate how much fat you need. You will find you will have a lot. For me, I know I struggle to meet my fat I need daily. So I have to watch my protein intake daily.
I am lactose intolerant and cannot get a lot of my fat from cheeses and heavy cream like a lot of the recipes suggest and I don’t do complicated, so I eat the fattiest meats I can and drink bulletproof coffee. I sometimes will make fat bombs but again I don’t do complicated and I am not a huge fan of stevia sugars (I get migraines). So I recognize that and just do the best I can.
My bulletproof coffee I do when I need more fats is one tablespoon of butter melted and 1 cup of coffee blended and I add cinnamon to the top because straight cinnamon is really good for you. You can add heavy cream but I watch my dairy close. The blending makes it especially frothy. It will leave a buttery film on your mouth and you know you did good.
Once you are well into ketosis you can really use the carb math trick. Look at amount of carbs and then the fiber and you can subtract fiber from carbs and get net carbs. Need more explanation. Be careful with this because bars like Atkins do this…and they work but it is easy to get yourself into trouble with this.
I basically use it to treat myself occasionally like once or twice a week with half a cup of Halo Top Ice Cream or a low carb bar. You can easily knock yourself out of ketosis with this.
And how do you know you’ve had too many carbs and you don’t test your urine, blood or breath? I wake up with a “hangover” type of headache. It is bad. It is basically carb flu. Drink lots of water and up your sodium intake for the day, eat lots of fats and very strict with a low carb intake (like I will go down to zero or 5) and usually you will be back in ketosis within a day.
Finally, the benefits are your energy. I just have more pep in my step, my brain fog lifts and I not nearly as hungry and I can fast intermittently. I have gone 16 hours without eating and had no issues what so ever.
This for me isn’t a forever diet. I am not as good at working out during keto and that is SO important to me. I lose stamina. So if I do it it is to get myself back on track and I add in 2 servings of carbs later. Or I use it till I get my weight back where I want it and then again add in my 2 servings of carbs (my recommended daily allotment).
You can do it though and workout. I just hate complicated so I haven’t ever taken the science that far. I hope to make do that this summer when there is more time.
I just know I love it.
Need more info find me on the socials @ mommyrhetoric because you can see my journey there on instagram.