Keto: Quick Meal Solutions

Good Morning!!

We all get busy, we lose track of time, we take on too much, it happens. That’s why its important to have a plan. If you don’t then that’s when you go looking for something quick and easy. And probably loaded with carbs, which for those of us trying to keep it keto is really bad. Also tends to be hard to resist.

Its true we don’t always have the time to cook up something super tasty and healthy that hits all the right macros. There are options, you just have to be prepared with a few groceries. The best way is meal prep but let’s be honest none of us are on our game all the time. Have no fear I’m here to help. As a mother of two that are under five years old, I run out of time…All the time. And while meal prep is a life saver, or a body saver I should say, there are still days that I don’t have something ready or I’m sick of what I have.

I suppose the place to start is breakfast.

While any of the options I’m giving today could be used and for any meal, I’m still going to break it up. For organization purposes. Alright the obvious one for breakfast is eggs. It’s almost never that I don’t have eggs on hand. Scrambled in butter is probably the most straight forward. This is easily enhanced by throwing in some cheese or veggies or both!

Another favorite of mine is a egg roll-up. Its like making an omelet only you roll it up and you can eat it with your hands. What goes into the roll entirely depends on what I have on hand. Sometimes it’s just cheese sometimes its cheese bacon and spinach. But the possibilities are endless. Most importantly its quick simple and always tasty.IMG_20180523_090819182

Moving on to lunch.

One of my favorite lunches even when I have meal prepped is a snack plate. One of my go-to plates consist of a sweet Italian sausage link, 2 oz. of cheese, 1oz mixed nuts or almonds. If I don’t have sausage sometimes I’ll go for some salami, or ham or whatever I have on hand. Sometime I will sub out the nuts for some veggies, broccoli or asparagus are usually what I have. Other times I’ll have 2tbs Peanut Butter and 2 stalks of celery, with any combo of other things.

If I have some kind of left overs from the night before I will sometimes have that. Or if I have chicken made I’ll sometimes have a salad, with blue cheese dressing and bacon if I have any made. Of course you could add more if you like other things like tomatoes or onions just make sure to check on carb amounts. That’s why I tend to keep it super simple, less carbs to worry about.

That leaves us with dinner.

Dinner is tricky because a lot of people think of dinner as a bigger more complicated meal. It can be depending on what you have on hand but if you’re not prepped your options can be kind of limited. And if you are pressed for time dressing up one of the lunch or breakfast options would definitely be best. Those are the days I usually go for a salad. If I have a little more time then I will make a turkey burger, I usually keep some in the freezer just in case. With a turkey burger I keep it really simple, most of the time I just put a serving of mayo on top and find a veggie for the side. Super simple, also great for meal prep, just saying.

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Spinach salad with chicken, pastrami and blue cheese dressing.

Well there you have it my quick list of quick and easy meals. All very easy to make and to me at least super tasty. Just be aware that you need to make sure you are tracking so you can find the right combo to hit your macros. Also I HIGHLY recommend a kitchen scale it makes everything much more accurate, so the food your logging will give you your actual macros not just what you think you’re eating.

Simple enough? What are some of your favorite quick keto meals? Please let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow my blog. Fridays post will be about my meal planning binder! Live Crazed all and See you later!

 

Keto: Getting Started

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Hey All!!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am very quick to talk about Keto and how much I love it. While I’ve only been Keto for a bit over a month but I’m sure that it’s for life. My body is definitely on board for this lifestyle. And I can’t help but want to share it with everyone, in the hopes that it can help them the way it helped me.

It’s important to throw out there that while Keto has worked for me it doesn’t mean that its perfect for everybody, every person is different and everyone’s body works in their own ways. There are many reasons to at least try keto, help with weight-loss, a clearer mind, more energy, and delicious food. In case you believe that keto could be for you I am here to help!

  Lets get started!

Okay so the first very important thing is research. You shouldn’t jump into anything without first knowing what you’re getting yourself into. The main thing you should be looking for are a recommended food list, with the foods that you should not be having.  A big goal with keto is to go with minimally processed food, and to stay far far away from sugar in any form that will mess with your blood sugar levels.Screenshot_20180521-133359

The overall goal is to become a fat burner not a sugar burner. This is when you start to lose weight and begin to reap the other benefits of Keto. Also you should take the time to sit down and write why you want to do this, and really think about it. Yes a lot of us want to lose weight but try to dig deeper than that. I have mine written in my fitness journal.

Another very important research tool is going to be a macro calculator. This will help you determine macros specific for you. Many macro tracking apps have one built in or you can find a ton online. That is another highly recommended piece of research to do. Find a tracking app that you like.

Personally I use CarbManager. I like how its set up its really easy to use. It has the option to save favorite foods, copy meals to a new day, and also input a recipe and it will give you the nutritional info per serving. The premium version has a ton more bells and whistles but I’ve been quite happy with the free version.

When you do start to track be brutally honest.

You’re only hurting yourself when you sneak things past your tracker. When you’re being honest you will be more likely to make better progress and get into ketosis faster. It’s true that the numbers may seem discouraging at first but when you fully commit and you can get passed cravings and sugar/ carb addiction and start nailing those macros, you will feel a big sense of accomplishment. After that everything will get easier.

I would also highly recommend keeping track of your end of day macros. For me its part of my fitness journal. You can read more about my journal here, in another post. I find it really useful to be able to look at my daily macros all together instead of flipping through the app.Screenshot_20180521-132530.png

Alright so after you’ve done that research and you have a pretty general idea of the kinds of things you’ll be eating, I HIGHLY recommend that you do some meal planning. It can be extremely overwhelming to start a new diet especially when its important that you hit your macros.

A word of caution: take it slow.

You will no doubt see a million recipes for tasty Keto deserts and breads and whatnot. If you are new to Keto and you start trying some of these recipes before your adapted to the keto way of eating, they most likely taste off, and you could get discouraged.

Adjusting to different sweeteners can take time and if you are still sugar addicted then making keto sweets is not recommended. Trying a fat bomb or two, however, would be highly recommended and for me keeping a good PB and 75% or higher chocolate on hand was extremely important.

I really love Smuckers natural chunky pb. You can check it out here. The only ingredients are peanuts and less than 1% salt. One serving is 2 tbs; with 2 net carbs, 16g fat, 8g protein and 180 calories. Yes the calories are a little high and I definitely had to start restricting my pb after a little while but it helped a lot at first. It was slightly sweet, felt like a treat and was filling. Confession when I started and cravings were bad I would dip my chocolate into my pb more often then not, but I have since switched to celery.

I do feel like I should add that sugar is a very real addiction. So once you stop in taking carbs and sugar you body will go through withdrawal. I believe this is what some people will call keto flu. The symptoms can be very much like the flu but it will pass.

It does not last forever.

For some, the best option is to wean off slowly. Start with 150 carbs and go down until you reach 20 or less. Some people will not get into Ketosis until they are under 20 carbs a day for anywhere from 3 days to a week.

For me I had already cut most carbs out of my diet so I went through my main withdrawl problem before starting keto. The biggest thing for me was finding a sugar replacement for my coffee. When I first started keto I cut back the sugar in my coffee to about 1 teaspoon per cup, until I found a stevia I liked. The one I use is an alcohol free liquid stevia you and find it here.

As for coffee, I started drinking Keto coffee, or butter coffee or bulletproof coffee whatever you’d like to call it. My morning cup has 12oz brewed coffee, 1tbs butter, 1 tbs coconut oil a little cinnamon and 6 drops of stevia. All tossed in the blender for 30+ seconds. So tasty, and it helps a whole lot for getting the fat grams up there.

For those crazy people out there that don’t like coffee a good replacement for this would be a bulletproof bone broth, or I’ve see a few recipes for bulletproof teas. I haven’t tried the tea but the broth is quite tasty.

Let’s talk about carbs.

It’s really processed sugars/carbs are the things to avoid while keto. Don’t be afraid of veggies even though they do have carbs. Vegetables should be your main source of carbs. Dark green veggies to be specific. Potatoes have a lot or carbs that will get broken down to sugar. If you are at a stage where you are just maintaining your weight then you can have a higher carb limit, then potatoes could become a sometimes thing. If you’re really craving potatoes the mashed cauliflower, made up like a loaded baked potato with cheese sour cream and bacon, is amazing.

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to have a plan, have someone you can talk to (preferably that also does keto) and cut yourself some slack. Its ok to make mistakes. Just don’t let it be a whole day. Accept the mistake and move forward. We’re only human after all, we all make mistakes. Just do your best to try and be aware. And drink a ton of water, I mean it.

Ready to get started? Do you have more questions? I am always here to ask questions or to bounce ideas off from. If you haven’t already I would highly recommend checking out some of my other posts for some keto other ideas that could help, and of course following my blog to keep up-to- date on all the fun craziness here. Don’t forget life is short Live Crazed!

My Go-to Keto-tastic Menu

Hey all! Welcome Back!

I’m off to a slow start but a good one none the less. Today I’m going to tell you about what I eat in a day, on keto. If that wasn’t already obvious from the title…. Anyway I’m sure some are curious about this keto lifestyle and what it means for your taste buds. Well I’m here to tell you it’s a party for your mouth. Having a diet high in fat means that its also high in flavor. True you really don’t eat as much when you’re fat adapted, but what you do eat is delicious.

Alright lets get started.2018-05-07_09.59.24

So of course I start with my coffee. Yum! And with my coffee I have scrambled eggs with spinach. I start with a couple handfuls of fresh put into a hot pan. I don’t use any oil or butter in the pan at this point because the spinach doesn’t need it. While that’s cooking I mix up two large eggs. After the spinach cooks down it usually ends up being about one ounce. I prefer to mix the spinach into the eggs before adding it all to the pan. Before adding the spinach/ egg mixture I put one tablespoon of butter into the pan. When that’s melted I add the eggs and cook it all up.

They didn’t come out super pretty, so sorry, the butter browned on me before I got the eggs in the pan. Crazy kids…There’s breakfast, so tasty! The breakdown of this breakfast, coffee included: 474 Calories, 1g Net Carbs, 47g Fat, 14g Protein.Spinach and eggs

Onto Lunch!

Normally I don’t need a snack between breakfast and lunch I just drink lots of water. My favorite lunch as of late is a mess bowl. I call it that because the first time I made it I just threw things I had into a bowl. Well it ended up being so tasty I’m having it for the second week in a row. Though I don’t think I’ll do it a third because I know there’s better lower calorie options.

I found pre made uncured pulled pork at Walmart and I thought how perfect! This will simplify meal prep a whole lot, it has 5 servings per pack and 0 Carbs in a serving. I’m thinking next ill try some seasoned chicken or turkey. Anyway a serving is 3 ounces of pork. To that I add 2 ounces of steamed broccoli and .5 ounce of shredded cheddar cheese. I warm it all up in the microwave then its pulled pork deliciousness ready to go in about a minute to a minute and a half. Meal prep is so amazing. The breakdown for Lunch is: 219 Calories, 2g Net Carbs, 11g Fat, 24g Protein.IMG_20180508_131602_893

Most afternoons I have another coffee, though my afternoon coffee is different than my morning coffee its still delicious frothy and a helpful fat boost. Which also means energy boost. Usually for my afternoon coffee I use a single cup pour over filter, it’s a bit faster then the French press and still tasty. Occasionally I will use, instant espresso, but its hard to find so I don’t use it all the time. The breakdown for my afternoon coffee/snack: 209 Calories, 0 Carbs, 24g Fat, 0 Protein.

I am very happy to share this dinner with you as its one of my absolute favorites. It was burger night at the Harris household, which meant bacon and blue cheese burger for me. This is so tasty. I do usually buy the premade non-frozen burger patties because they keep their shape much better than my attempts.  Maybe if I had a fancy burger press it’d be different. Anyway I cook my burger medium well. I haven’t tried any of the low carb hamburger buns yet. Instead I put .5ounce of fresh spinach on my plate then the burger, then blue cheese dressing (2 tablespoons is a serving), and one slice of bacon crumbled on top.Blue cheese and bacon burger

I usually also have another slice of bacon on the side. Because well its bacon. This may not seem like a big dinner but its actually quite filling. The breakdown for dinner is: 403 Calories, 2g Net Carbs, 32g Fat, 25g Protein.

 

Well there it is my go to daily menu on the keto diet.

My overall breakdown for the day is: 1309 Calories, 6g Net Carbs, 114g Fat, 64g Protein. Percent’s being: 70% Fat, 20% Protein, 2% Carbs. This is actually a pretty spot on day of keto. Of course there are some slight differences day to day. Sometimes ill change my afternoon coffee to lower the fat so I can have an ounce of cheese snack or I’ll lower my dinner protein so I can have a small bowl of pork rinds and an evening show with my hubby.

As with any way of eating it takes some adjustment until you can find out what works for you. At first it will probably be quite different, until your body is more used to burning fat.  What do you guys think? Does this sound tasty to you? Any other Keto-ers out there how does your daily menu differ? Please let me know what you think and don’t forget to hit the follow button! See you guys Wednesday!

Keto: What it is and Why it’s for me

Hey all!

I am quite excited for this post. Today I will be telling you all about the Ketogenic diet what it is,  why I started, how long I’ve been into it and why it is perfect for me. Although I would really like to start by saying I’m not a huge fan of the word diet. That word has almost become a red flag.no-dieting_l

Oh no this person is on a diet, I wonder how long that lasts. It makes it seem like a fad, a temporary solution, but this is more of a lifestyle. Yes some people use it as a quick solution for fast weight loss but funny story once you stop you gain it back. In many cases though not everyone does. Lifestyle not temporary solution. Alright rant over moving on.

What is the Ketogenic diet (lifestyle)?

Well I think the best way to describe it is as a macro based diet. Macros or macronutrients: Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein. With the keto diet you are focused on your macros, and keeping them in the ideal range to put your body into ketosis. Ketosis is when instead of using glucose for energy your liver is breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones, which the body can then use for energy.

This is very efficient because the ketones do not effect the blood glucose level so insulin, the hormone that not only regulates blood sugar levels but can also tell the body to store fat, levels are kept low. When blood glucose and insulin levels are kept low there isn’t a rolling hunger that you go through. If you eat something high in carbs or processed sugars it spikes your blood glucose so insulin comes in and get rid of the access glucose, then you feel hungry (or hAngry) all over again. With ketones you stay more level.

What could be better then that?

Consistent energy and burning fat stores, yes please! The generic ideal macro levels are roughly 70% Fat, 25% protein and 5% Carbs. If you are aiming for weight/fat loss you generally want to stay at or below 20 grams of carbs of day. This is a very good way to keep blood glucose low and to encourage your body to be in ketosis. When you aim to maintain the amounts are slightly different. There are many calculators out there to find the ideal macro percentages for individuals.keto pyramid

Why I started

I had been trying to lose weight for two years, or after I gave birth to my second son. Nothing seemed to work, I ate “healthy”, I cut calories, I exercised I kept in motion. But unfortunately I remained at the same weight. On a trip to see my doctor I talked to him about my troubles and how discouraged and upset I was about them. He suggested Keto. It’s the lifestyle he chooses so he was very passionate about it.

At first I was unsure. How could so much fat be ok? How can making these small changes make such a big difference? So of course I went home and I did some research, I saw many keto success stories and before and after photos so I thought why not? I’ve tried many other things maybe this will work. I then did some more research made some lists, decided on a rough meal plan and found an app to track my macros. For the first week or so it was a bit hard I couldn’t seem to get enough fat in and I was always going over calories and eating too much protein. So more research.2018-05-07_09.59.24

I found Keto coffee, or bulletproof coffee or butter coffee whatever you want to call it. Now my morning coffee just about solved my low fat problem, and made my mornings better. Also I started actually using my kitchen scale and weighing my portions. I’m still learning and still trying different things but its gotten a lot easier. I’ve also decided that I will remain keto it’s not a temporary solution but MY chosen lifestyle.

I’ve been Keto for over a month now and it’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. My head feels clear, my hunger is under control. I don’t feel randomly hungry which has been great because then I’m not snacking here and there. This has helped bring my calorie count down a lot.

True I do have to still pay close attention to what I eat and make adjustments here and there. I still have many things to try and ways to find to improve or have foods that I want in a way that doesn’t throw off my body. It’s quite exciting for me to think about. I’m still early on in my journey to a better me, but the important parts is that I’m on the journey.

When I started I was 170 pounds, as of my last weigh in I am 156. I still have 16 pounds to go to reach my goal but it really has become much more than the number. I have a lot of shaping and work to do but I am excited to finally be moving forward.

After two years I am finally seeing results from my efforts. So far I am all about keto. I am bonkers for the coffee, I like it several different ways. I really like the foods I’ve been eating. To be honest some of the things are things that I should not eat as much of and I’m slowly working on replacing things. Sausage for instance. It is super tasty and easy but it has too much fat and is too processed there are many better options.

board cheese close up dairy
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Also sometimes cheese is just too tasty. I’ve cut back on that quite a bit though. There are many things that would make Keto seem like it would be hard to maintain, such as the counting carbs and no processed sugars. Really thought, once you get rolling you don’t really miss those things.

Which being out the other side is pretty great. I don’t feel like I want to eat pizza and bread by the loaf or anything like that. I don’t constantly feel like I want sweets. Its wonderful when someone offers you something and you can genuinely say no, without feeling like you’re punishing yourself.

All of this together is why keto is perfect for me I love the food and how I feel and of course the progress I’ve been seeing. Nothing makes people happier than getting results for their efforts. Yes many of us want instant results, but unfortunately that’s not how most of life works especially when trying to lose weight and change your body or lifestyle. But there is something that will work for everybody and its true that Keto is not the end all be all for everyone, nor am I trying to say it is. All I know is that it works for me, and it’s something that I am excited for and passionate about.

I would love to know your thoughts! Have you tried keto? Have you heard about it but have questions? If you have tried Keto I’d love to know your favorite recipe or dish. Also I hope that you will click follow and keep up to date on all things crazy.