Tag Archives: keto

Healthy Keto

Ketogenic diet can be as costly as it is restrictive. However, well worth all its sacrifices. After all, after switching to keto you will notice its so many benefits – such as: your improved health, your well being, your body’s ability to regenerate, its  muscle mass protective properties and loss of stuborn fat. In order to reap all these benefits, you must carefully plan out what you will eat.

I believe that the most important part of this diet goes beyond just eating fat. When you first learn about this diet, you hear of how you can eat ALL THE FAT IN THE WORLD –  bacon, sausages, cheeses, burgers. Even if they are top quality and you are huge fan of those foods, it may get boring after a while. So let me tell you a bit more about how to balance out your HEALTHY keto diet.

Fat sources:

  • saturated fats – animal fats (chicken tighs, bacon, lard, steak), coconut oil ( loaded with MCTs), dairy (not for everyone as it can be inflammatory)
  • monosaturated fats – olive oil, olives, nuts
  • polysaturated fats – omega 3 (supplements), fish, flax oil, chia seeds, avocado, sesame seeds, eggs

It is highly recommended that you supplement with the omega-3’s  because they support so many functions of your body. My personal research shows that krill omega oils are best and purest form of this supplement. Your daily dose should be about 1-2 grams of these fatty acids.

Next thing to pay attention to is where you get your flax oil. Because of its unsaturated fatty acids content, this oil is very sensitive to temperature, light and other aspects that may oxygenate it and ruin its nutritional benefits. Never buy flax seed oil that is kept on a store shelf at the room temperature. Try to buy only refrigerated variety. Because this oil is so unstable, many times, it may be better to resort to flax seeds instead. Note that even the seeds loose their nutritional properties when exposed to high temperatures.

Now, lets talk about eggs. Did you know that hard boiling the eggs converts the rich omega 3’s found in soft yolk into transfats by oxidizing the cholesterol? I bet you didnt know that. Hard boiled eggs are no better than fast food. And yes, you may have them once in a while ( I love deviled eggs, too), but keep it in mind and don’t overdo it 🙂 Another thing to wach out for is the dark film around the yolk when hard boiled. A greenish-gray ring may appear around a hard-cooked egg yolk. It’s caused by a chemical reaction involving sulfur (from the egg white) and iron (from the egg yolk), which naturally react to form ferrous sulfide at the surface of the yolk. It is important to remember that egg yolks should not be exposed to high cooking temperatures for longer than 2-3 minutes  if you want them to remain nutritious and get teh most health benefits out of them.

Protein sources:

  • animal proteins – beef, pork, veal, lamb, paultry, sausages, bacon etc.
  • dairy – cheese

It is best to use meat from known sources. Organic, free range or grass fed, grown with no GMOs are best types of meat. Did you know that Turkey and beef are a great source of the L-carnitine? Now, you do! L-carnitine helps your body to transport and use fats.  Don’t be afraid to reach for the chunks of meat with the most fat – in this diet, it is actually recommended.

I am not a big fan of protein powders. They can be useful sometimes and I do own some, BUT do not make them your primary source. EAT REAL FOOD.

Carbohydrate sources:

  • fiber – broccoli, spinach, etc
  • dark green and low carb veggies – kale, tomatoes, couliflower, etc
  • fruits – berries but never more than 10g a day

Eliminating fruits in your diet is very important, but you may add some berries here and there as an occasional treat.

Consumption of carbs, in general, must be carefully watched – even vegetables. Use apps like MyFitnessPal to keeo an eye on your daily intake. They should even be eliminated until you reach the state of being keto adapted. Carbs can hide in some foods (ex. nuts) so always read labels and check all of your food’s nutritional value. *Even eggs have carbs 🙂

 

 

 

 

Basic Keto Shopping List

If you are new to ketogenic diet, going grocery shopping may be quite confusing. Trust me – it does get easier with time! Anyhow, I wanted to help you create a basic keto shopping list. Here are your options:

Fats:

  • butter
  • ghee
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • lard

Meats & Fish:

  • pork belly
  • bacon
  • salmon
  • tuna
  • ground pork or beef
  • ribs
  • steak (fatty)
  • chicken with skin
  • brisket
  • deli cold cuts
  • sausages
  • dry sausages (exaample: salami)

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • zucchini (faux spagetti or pancakes?)
  • tomatoes
  • cabbage (or sauerkraut)
  • peppers
  • scallion (or onion)
  • garlic
  • mushrooms (try varieties you never had)
  • avocados
  • kale or lettuce
  • olives
  • berries (in small quantities
  • herbs and spices

Dairy & Such:

  • heavy cream
  • sour cream
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • mayo
  • unsweetened non dairy  milk (almond, macadamia, flax)
  • dressings (blue cheese and ceasar are best)

Non starchy substitutes:

  • shirataki noodles or rice
  • coconut or almond flour

Beverages:

  • water (including carbonated and mineral)
  • coffee (varieties of brewed or beans – unsweetened)
  • teas (unsweetened or tea bags)

Snacking:

  • nuts (pili, brasil, pecans and macadamia are best)
  • sugar free jello

 

TIPS:

  • stay away from soybean and canola oils
  • try to not drink diet sodas or use sweetners
  • if you must use a sweetener – go for the PURE monk fruit
  • try to purchase produce where fat has higher content than proteins (it helps balance out the macros)

Having A Hard Time Getting Into Ketosis? 

These are most common reasons why you can’t get into ketosis: 

  1. You are eating too much protein – Eating too much protein on a low carb diet plan will cause the liver to convert the amino acids found in protein into sugar.
  2. You are eating too much unsaturated fat – Unsaturated fat is found in high amounts in nuts, seeds, oily fish, and vegetable oils such as sunflower, soya and olive oil, as well as vegetable oil-based soft spreads. Omega-3 and -6 are unsaturated fats. These can be added once you get keto adapted.
  3. You are eating too many carbs – to become keto adapted you must drastically limit the consumption of carbs. These can easily sneak up on you in a form of even low carb veggies. Again, you can get back to eating these once you get keto adapted. 
  4. Your cortisol level is too high – cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, can be elevated by too intense workouts, late training, lack of sleep, jet lag. You have to make sure you are well rested and relaxed as too much of this hormone creates sugar spikes and keeps you from entering the state of ketosis. 
  5. Your food allergies – sometimes you may not even realize that you are consuming foods that don’t agree with your body. Food allergies may cause stress on your body or inflammation which will cause some problems with getting into the state of ketosis. You may want to stay away from highly refined foods, dairy products, sweeteners or sugar alcohols. 

Do Ketone Urine Sticks Work?

Frequent question if if the ketone unine strips work. The answer is not as simple as yes or no. Its both.

What they tell you is whether your urine contains ketone bodies – that is all. It may happen for various reasons. 1. your body is keto adapting and releases ketones it is not yet using. 2. for whatever reason your body is not using up all keones and releases them with urine 3. you are kicked out of ketosis and your bosy is releasing ketons it cannot use at the moment. What it basically means is that they are not currently used and the excess is being excerted via urine as ‘waste’.

You will releasing a lot more ketones during the adaptation period than once you are adapted (and using ketos to their full potential). It is a great tool in the begining of your keto journey, but later on – not so much.

Once keto-adapted, it is best to invest in the blood ketones meter for most accurate reads.

Becoming A Cancer Warrior

It has been a week since news of my mom’s cancer has been officially communicated to me and my mom. When the doctor announced stage 4, I asked how many stages there were. I never knew anyone with cancer and I had no idea. His answer was 4. That’s when my heart broke. 

When I was a little girl, my mom always told me that she was doing all she could to provide for me and to take best care of me, but to always remember that one day the tables will turn I will be the one taking care of her. Some life lessons always ring in my memory and that is one of them. I never knew the time would come so quickly. 

Mothers are special. We all know that is true. My mom is not only special to me. She is special to so many people for she has a heart of gold. She is the most selfless person I know and in that aspect I will never measure up to her. She always thinks of herself last. Perhaps that is the reason she spent years taking care of my ill father and forgot how important her own health is. She had always been a minimizer – she would never complain about her health or sleepless nights she spent tending to my dad’s special needs. Until he passed … 6 months ago. 

Although we were all grieving, my mom felt the pain of loosing her husband most. Wanting to see her smile again, my family hoped that once her mourning is over, she would finally start putting herself first and ENJOY LIFE once again. I was going to book so many trips for her this summer. My list was so long – Cuba, Norway, Poland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal…. and that was just a beginning… I wanted to put the whole world at her feet BECAUSE SHE DESERVED IT ALL… AND MORE!

The news that was announced to me 7 days ago was the furthest from what I thought I would hear! I cried for few days – hiding my tears from my mom. I didn’t want her to see my suffering because she would worry … about me. 

When I brought her home last Friday, I was happy to have her home, but my chest still felt super tight. Then… on Saturday morning, I woke up with a new found strength. I turned my tears into action! The only way to gain control of my emotions / of the situation was TO DO SOMETHING! 

I have been educating myself about the ketogenic lifestyle for months now. I read and listened to many lectures about not only it being a great way to maintain weight,  BUT ALSO ITS MANY HEALTH BENEFITS! Did you know that ketogenic diet provides inhospitable environment for cancer to grow? Did you know that cancer feeds on sugar to grow? Did you know that following a strict ketogenic diet at maximum 12g of carbs a day has ability to starve it and reverse its growth? Well, it is true! Knowledge is power! And knowing all this gives me strength to fight for my mom’s life! 

Before I end this post… I’m happy to say that my mom is 100% on board with my plan. I have been making all her meals since I brought her home…  AND… I checked her blood ketons 2 days ago and  SHE IS OFFICIALLY IN KETOSIS! My first little victory. One of many I hope!

We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have!