Easy ways to get back on the keto track
I just finished up with a new Keto Cure Me client who had made some food choices in the past few weeks that had seen her struggle to stay on a low carb way of eating. All of the eating habits that saw her become overweight and unwell in the first place were coming back into her life. It was becoming so much harder to stay in ketosis and continue on her path to wellness.
For many people it can be difficult to navigate the social expectations of going out to dinner or to family or other types of events, where the array of food choices, particularly high carb food choices can be too much to resist. It’s not only trying to resist the fries or mashed potatoes that used to be our common choices, but the days after when we feel let down by our choices and also feel bloated or unwell from going back to eating the foods that made us so unwell and overweight in the first place.
I can relate to what my client has been experiencing.
I recently made a trip overseas to Cape Town. While I was there I was offered lots of food choices that were more Paleo perhaps than Keto, also wine with the dinners and lots of desserts.
Now, I am quite proud of the changes I made to my health both mental and physical by embarking and staying on a ketogenic way of eating for a substantial period of time, but what happened to my client also happened to me.
When I was travelling I drank a few wines and ate a few low carb desserts. That’s not bad I hear you say… you should be able to enjoy yourself from time to time. That is true. The difference for me is that I have an all of nothing kind of personality. I had stayed away from wine and desserts because they contain sugar and are highly addictive and its very hard for me to just have a little bit from time to time. I chose to abstain completely and felt amazing for it. I lost over fifty kilos and completely reversed my type two diabetes.
Sugar was in my life and in massive quantities everyday and it was the consumption of sugar and other high carb foods that saw me become 110 kilos, morbidly obese and a type two diabetic. Aching joints, stress fractures, depression, anxiety and a low sense of self worth was the result of eating a high carb diet. I know that many of you are experiencing or have experienced this and understand how awful it is.
The point of this post is to show you how easy it is to let foods back into your diet that reinforce our desire for sweet tasting foods and allow you to rapidly spiral back into poor eating habits and all of the negative aspects of being overweight and unwell.
For myself I noticed that I was craving a glass of wine after work or tempted to eat snacks or sweets that I would normally find absolutely abhorrent.
I allowed my brain to rule my body and its so easy to let that happen when you let sugar back into your life.
Here’s how I help my Keto Cure Me clients and here’s how I rejigged my own eating habits to make sure I was was truly following keto and not experiencing the carb cravings that lead to poor food choices.
You have to go back to the beginning
I make a large batch of broth once per week that I divide up and freeze so its always on hand. I make sure to have broth for the first meal of my day, whatever time that may be. Broth helps you to get into ketosis and is highly nutritious and healing.
My broth recipe is super simple. Sometimes I make a bone broth, other times I make the following because it is very quick.
I buy a kilo of beef cheeks and a lambs heart. If you haven’t tried heart, don’t knock it. It doesn’t taste wierd or strong and it is highly economical and nutritious. The beef cheeks after a few hours of cooking just fall apart and taste great. It also has a good amount of fat on it. I use beef cheek for casseroles. Here in Brisbane beef cheek costs arounf $2.50 per 500 grams…so it’s a great choice for those on a budget, (I kind of hope it doesn’t become too popular and expensive as it’s a staple in my house).
I chop the beef cheeks up kinda chunky and cut the heart up nice and small. Leave out the heart if you want, it makes no diffference to the overall taste, it helps to extend the meal and as I said before it is really nutritious. The heart has a difference more dense texture.
I brown the meat and put it into a pot or casserole dish. I cover with water, salt and pepper. I add half an onion for a bit more flavour. You can leave out the onion and add some cauliflower at the end if you want.
If cooking on the stove top, bring it to the boil and reduce to very low. Cook for several hours until the beef is falling apart. Mine usually only takes about three hours. Let it cool and then freeze into portions. Smaller batches I keep in the fridge as it lasts all week. Super easy to grab a portion when you are hungry or craving high carb foods.
If cooking it in the oven just put it on a high heat for half and hour and then leave on low for several hours.
Fat is the true key to being successful in losing weight and staying in a ketogenic state.
I use a lot of coconut oil, MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride oil) to assist with the generation of ketone bodies. I cook my eggs in butter or coconut oil and use cream in my scrambled eggs.
I eat avocado several times per week as a great source of fat and because it goes with so many recipes. I never, ever, ever cook with or use vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is toxic and comes from chemically processed seeds. It causes inflammation and is in nearly every processed product. Stay away from it.
Eating saturated fat is so important. It has restored my female reproductive system, my hormones are normal and I feel so much better.
Fat is vital to restore your broken appetite control mechanism. Without fat you experience more hunger, cravings and mood swings. When I include fat with every single meal I am able to experience long periods where I am not hungry or looking or snacks.
Fat has more vital nutrients than vegetables and fruit which means your body gets what it needs without the requirement for extra supplements.
Fat soluable vitamins. These include true vitamin A or retinol, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E as well as all their naturally occurring cofactors needed to obtain maximum effect.
Butter is a great source of these vital nutrients. In fact, Vitamin A is more easily absorbed from butter than any other source.
Vitamins A and D are essential for healthy bones, brain development and the nervous system. My meals taste great because I leave the fat on. My cholesterol is fine, much better than when I was eating refind carbs.
MODERATE AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN
Keto is not Atkins, around 0.8 grams of protein to each kilo of body weight is required. Adjust as you lose more weight. I eat around 45 to 50 grams of protein everyday. I am in a healthy weight range and this is all I need.
Over-doing protein will stall your weight loss and will increase your carb intake. Yes there are carbs in meat. Only a problem when eaten to excess.
I always have eggs in the fridge, lots of them.
I keep boiled eggs ready for salads, devilled eggs or simply on thier own. They fill you up and help you avoid boredom hunger. If you feel tempted, eat an egg and wait for half an hour. Cravings are just a passing feeling. Tell this to yourself often.
I am enjoying soft boiled eggs at the moment. They are delicious with a little bit of salted butter on top. I will have two or three to start my day and I do not feel like anything else for hours and hours.
Scrambled, boiled, devilled, egg salad, quiche….eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition, are a great source of protein.
Chicken wings are so cheap and are great to cook up and keep in the fridge for a ready meal.
I cook mine in coconut oil. I keep it simple and then its easy to stay on track. You can of course coat the wings or drum sticks in pork crackling or coconut if you find them too plain. Just remember to count the carbs when you use coconut or or other coating. That is where carbs can add up. I like wings cooked in coconut oil with a bit of butter added at the end.
Fresh seafood is never cheap so we eat it only occaisionally. Tinned fish is a good choice, especially if you source a sustainably fished product. I use Mackerel because it is so nutritious, its inexpensive and you can keep tins of it in your pantry. See my recipe for Cauliflower and Makerel bake on the recipe page. It is so good, and is great cold in your lunch box.
Tinned salmon and salad, smoked salmon and cream cheese roll ups, poached eggs and salmon with hollandaise sauce… lots of excellent low carb options.
I like vegetables, but I don’t eat a lot of them. In fact… as carbs are a non essential food element I can say I could happily live without them. when I do eat vgetables I stick to cruciferous ones such as Cauliflower & Broccoli. I do eat Zuchini and Mushrooms and that’s about it apart from the odd salad.
The reason I keep cooking vegetables is because my family enjoys them and they add colour and flavour. Mushrooms taste great cooked in butter and cream.
People ask me about the need for fibre… this is one of those myths out there…. that fibre is needed to assist your bowels. It is a fallicy that you need to visit the bathroom daily to move your bowels. I am not going to going into too much here. Do some basic research and understand that your bowels will move when they are ready. Gastric motility occurs when you eat, it just takes a little longer when you are consuming less vegetables or fibrous foods. Be patient. It will and does happen. Exercise also helps to keeps you bowels moving, as does drinking enough water.
Cauliflower has to be the most versatile food. You can substitute Cauliflower for mashed potatoes and rice and even make bread and pizza bases with it. It helps to bulk out casseroles and other meals and is definetely something to keep in your fridge.
I keep green leafy salad and iceberg lettuce in the fridge. I use the green leafy’s in salads, in casseroles and I saute them with my eggs. The iceberg lettuce while not as nutritious as the darker greens is so good to use as a wrap for bacon and egg wraps, or with beef mince recipes such as bunles burgers.
Dairy is allowed on a ketogenic diet, excepting milk and cottage cheese.
If you are trying to restart keto or begin your weightloss / wellness journey… it may help you to minimise the amount of dairy you are consuming. I eat cream, butter and cheese. I have found that when I over-do dairy, particularly cheese, I find that my weight creeps up and I crave cheese all the time. It’s easy to replace sugar with cheese because it’s so delicious. (My weight creeps up because I over-do the protein, not the fat)
I use cream in my coffee, my scrambled eggs and sauces. I use cheese as a topping for my vegetables, or as an after dinner treat like a piece of brie with a coffee made with cream.
It is easy to overdo your protein if you are consuming loads of cheese and not accounting for it.
When starting keto make sure to measure out your cheese and use sparingly. I use sour cream on my casseroles and steak but not all of the time. I avoid yoghurt completely because of the sugar.
Water is so important. It helps to hydrate of course and helps with hunger pangs. Most people are unaware they are thirsty not hungry. Water is great for your bowels and also for eliminating trace amounts of ketones. Water is so important when you are losing weight. I always have water around me in a bottle. I use a soda stream machine to carbonate the water because I enjoy it better than plain water. This means I drink more water. Yes I visit the bathroom a lot but I can tell you that my own weight loss and that of my clients is much faster when we drink lots of water. It is important to help you lose retained fluid. Make sure to add salt to your diet when drinking lots of water. The salt helps balance your electrolytes and assists with muscle cramps.
I also drink a lot of black tea with lemon to balance my pH.
Testing for Ketones
When you are starting on keto, you can test for traces of ketones with pee sticks you get from the chemist. There are other ways of testing more accurately, a blood glucometer with ketone strips or a ketonix meter which measures the ketones on your breath. All can be found online.
Need Help getting started?
I find keto really easy and it is so simple. I am not hungry all the time, so I don’t go looking for extra foods. I have a mental clarity that is awesome. I feel great about my body and love that I can fit all of my favourite clothes again… YOU CAN TOO
If you have fallen away from low carb and want to get started again, follow what I have suggest here. Yes you will need to stick to it for a week to get back to the point where you feel in control, but the benefits are amazing.
All of us have moments where we are challenged and need to re-evaluate where we are at. Make yourself accountable, get back on track and have some faith in yoursself.
If you need help with your eating and require assistance to get started on keto, send me an email and book a Keto Cure Me consultation.
All the tools you need to get started are provided as well as one on one personalised coaching no matter where you are in the world.
Skype allows me to help people from Australia, America, Canada, Korea and the Uk. For my Brisbane clients we meet in person which is great fun for me to meet up with people who are making positive changes to their health!
Simply send an email to email@example.com or go to the contacts page and submit an email there. I can’t wait to hear from you and help you achieve your goals.
Take care of yourself,
Michelle, Keto Cure Me