I see so many people making keto complicated and it doesn’t have to be that way. I thought I’d write about some of the ways I make it easier for myself. This is week 6 of keto for me. I’ve lost 9.5 pounds so far and best of all I feel great.
Since I work full time I take about an hour out of my weekend and do food prep. One hour of food prep saves me much more than that throughout my work week. This weekend I prepped bacon, baked cheese, hard boiled eggs and cut up veggies.
To make the bacon I lay out as many strips as I can fit on a baking sheet. I bake it at 400 for 11-14 minutes (for thick bacon). It doesn’t splatter and the pieces come out nice and flat and not all curled up. For the baked cheese I cut up sliced cheese. This week I used Tillamook pre-sliced cheddar. I cut each slice into 4 squares and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. I baked it at 400 for about 6 or 7 minutes. I sprinkled them with Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. So yummy! I usually eat these plain but you could also use them to dip into guacamole or something similar. I peeled and cut up some carrots (I limit these because of carb count), celery (for filling with almond butter or cheese) and radishes.
On waking: I start my day with a cup (or two) of fatty coffee. I use 1 cup of coffee, 1 teaspoon grass-fed butter, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil. I put this in the blender so the oils blend in and don’t float on top. It gets nice and frothy like a fancy coffee house drink. It’s delicious and keeps me satisfied until mid-morning.
I usually take 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 pieces of bacon to work. This is where the food prep really pays off. If I am eating at home I will also saute some greens (kale or spinach) in butter.
Actually, you don’t really need breakfast. Since my body is burning fat for fuel now I can go longer periods of time without needing to eat. I am doing intermittent fasting. We all fast at night when we sleep. Extending that fast until later in the day has all sorts of benefits. I do what’s called a fat fast meaning I have some fat in the morning in my coffee but no other food. I eased into this gradually I started by keeping my feeding times down to 8 hours (fasting for 16 hours). So I was eating for the first time at 10 a.m. and stopping eating by 6 p.m. This past week I worked on lengthening the fasting window to 11 or 12. I actually went until 1:30 one day when I was busy at work.
I usually bring 3 ounces of meat for my lunch. Most often it will be whatever leftovers we had from the night before. Otherwise I will bring a hamburger patty (I prep these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for just this purpose). Another option is to prep some chicken salad or tuna salad and divide it up into daily servings. I also bring veggies or a green salad. For fat I will usually bring an avocado that I enjoy with just salt and pepper.
many days I’m not hungry in between meals so I don’t need a snack. If I do need something there are lots of choices: pickles, cheese, almond butter or other nut butters, veggie sticks, bacon, etc.
My family is not eating keto so dinner is more variable. The easiest is when we have meat and veggies. (i.e. steak and asparagus, pork chops and greens or other combinations). I will add some sort of healthy fat to that like grass-fed butter, avocado, or coconut oil. If they are having something that is not on my eating plan I will modify. For example if they are having spaghetti I will have some meat sauce over zucchini noodles. If they have burgers I will eat mine without the bun. There’s always a way to modify. If all else fails I’ll scramble up some eggs with cheese.
What about breakfast being the most important meal of the day?
Well, I used to think this too. I taught it to others for years. I thought that my body would go into starvation mode and I would do more harm than good. The funny thing is I believed that this was true while carrying around 35,000 extra calories stored right on my own body. Now I am allowing my body to burn those extra calories for fuel. And the result of that is that I’m losing weight and I feel great doing it. I’m enjoying delicious food along the way.
Keep it simple!
Eating this way doesn’t have to be hard. I track my foods as an opportunity to learn. I find that I naturally eat way less calories by eating this way and I’m not hungry. It’s very refreshing!