I really felt like I needed to start with some basics to explain the type of recipes that I share here. In spring of 2016 I started on a journey to become healthier. I was feeling so sick all of the time from eating the typical american diet and just needed a change. This was most definitely not the first time I had tried making this sort of change but this was the first time that it stuck. Why? Because I actually felt full and satisfied.
Have you ever tried to start eating healthy and all you could focus on was what you couldn’t eat? You were craving foods and even when you ate as many calories as you could and hit your macro’s you still didn’t feel full? Drives you crazy right?! I couldn’t believe when I found the ketogenic diet that I could eat alfredo and hollindaise sauce without feeling guilty. That I could eat my favorite food group, CHEESE!!!! OK so it’s not technically a food group but it should be because it’s wonderful.
So how exactly does this work? First I would like to mention that I am still in my journey of becoming healthier and that before I started I did a lot of research. This wasn’t something that I started just to lose weight on. I fully intend to make this a life long way of eating. That’s not saying that I haven’t lost weight with this!
So a ketogenic diet is a high fat and low carb way of eating. I keep the amount of carbs that I eat every day under 20. But that’s insane you say?! Not really if you think about it. I do net carbs for vegetables and end up feeling full much faster than I ever did while eating carbs.
See when your body goes into ketosis it is burning fat for energy instead of sugars. Carbs break down into sugars in your body so you have to keep your carb count low enough that your body will use the fat instead of the much easier source of energy to use, sugar. Fat for so long has been getting such a bad rep but if you look in the history of how our bodies work it’s actually a way of eating that we adapted to long ago. Not only that but healthy fats have so many nutrients in them!
When was the last time that you read that coconut oil or avocado’s were great healthy fats and then that little voice in your head tells you that they can’t possibly be good for you because they are fats? I know that was me for so long. All of the way from the 1930’s through the 1980’s there were smear campaigns against healthy fats so it’s ingrained in our brains. Personally I find it funny because sugar is one of the most addictive substances on earth and yet we tend to overdose our bodies with it daily. Yes I was one of those for a long time as well so I promise no judging!
The ketogenic diet initially was created as a treatment for epilepsy and it worked! In fact it worked so well that when no medications could help someone with seizures doctors would revert back to it in the following years even to the current day.
A true ketogenic diet not only does low carb and high fat but it also cuts out inflammatory foods out of your diet. For example peanut butter is a high source of fat but it’s also high in carbs and can cause abdominal bloating as well as joint pain. Same with most sweeteners. The only two that are officially keto are stevia and swerve.
The hardest thing about going keto is really just getting started. Once you are familiar with how you should eat and looking into what you eat for hidden sugars and carb counts it will become second nature. My best advice for someone starting out would be to up their salt intake with pickles and broths as well as your water intake to help with the keto flu. When your body doesn’t have carbs and sugars it actually releases salt instead of holding onto it. No more retaining water because you put salt on your eggs!
My second piece of advice would be to look up what your macro’s should be for your body size and to track what you are eating for the first few weeks before you put it in your mouth. When I first started I decided to eat some peas and didn’t check first and had no idea just how much sugar I had just taken in! Get creative and have fun! Like I said think about it as what you get to eat without feeling guilty instead of what you can’t eat. You would be amazed at what all you can do with simple ingredients.