Being that it is the beginning of January, many of you have requested more info on why and how I follow a Ketogenic diet. So let’s just dive right in and get a keto kickstart to the new year!
I have been following a keto lifestyle for over a year now. Originally my husband and I jumped aboard the keto train partially due to the diagnosis of his fathers Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer’s. He was only 59 years old, so this came unexpectedly. No one really knows if it is heredity or not, but it really made my husband and his brothers think twice about some of the diet decisions they were making (or not making). Could their diet help prevent them from getting this debilitating and ultimately terminal disease? Studies show that it is likely! My hubs older brother started the ketogenic diet 3 years ago and never looked back. His dedication and conviction got the rest of us thinking. Other than the known side affect of fat loss, the ketogenic diet has some major brain benefits. With brain health and fat loss on our side, we took the plunge. Other than a few holiday slip ups, I’ve stayed committed because I just feel so much better. I will say it’s much easier to stay committed having myself and my husband on the same diet.
*DISCLAIMER * Obviously I am not a doctor. While the ketogenic diet has many proven benefits, it’s still controversial. The main potential danger regards medications for diabetes, where doses may need to be adapted.Discuss any changes in medication and lifestyle changes with your doctor. I am only sharing my personal option and experiences here today.
*Affiliate links used throughout this post.
Keto Kickstart – What you need
If you are thinking about starting a ketogenic diet or have already started and would like to further understand the process and benefits I would suggest this book. “Keto Clarity” has been a super helpful resource and reminder to myself that this is WAY more than a weight loss plan. Click here to purchase my favorite Keto book.
I was able to collaborate with Atkins last year to develop a couple of low carb recipes. During the process, I also received This Cook Book. Atkins is a low carb diet (not the same as keto), but I have found myself making several of the recipes listed in this cookbook over and over. It’s been a great recipe resource for me. If you are looking for a very basic keto cookbook, get The Complete Ketogenic Diet for beginners! I’ve included links to my very own keto recipes at the end of this post. My favorite is the shrimp alfredo!
If you are serious about tracking your ketones and want to be sure that your body is actually in ketosis, I would definitely invest into some test strips. You can do this in two ways: Get these ketone test strips for urinalysis or Get this blood ketone and glucose testing meter kit. This method is more expensive, but also more accurate.
Most people enter ketosis when blood ketones reach a level of 0.05Mm/dL of blood. However, the optimal range for blood ketones is from 1.5 – 3.0. for optimal fat burning. There is no way of knowing what your ranges are if you are not testing. So if you are serious about losing weight and serious about this diet, it is a good idea to purchase one of the 2 testing strips mentioned above.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar). The liver produces ketones from fat which then serve as a fuel source throughout the body, especially for the brain. As a general rule, you will want to keep your net carb intake under 20 grams per day. The fewer carbs, the more effective it appears to be. I personally keep mine under 25 grams of net carbs per day. When you first start you will have to track your carb intake. After you get the hang of things you will quickly understand what foods to avoid and what foods will become your new BFF’s.
I started the keto diet when my youngest was 6 months old. I went from a size 8 (still losing my baby weight) to a size 4- smaller then I have ever been.
*note: all blue script is clickable link to that product. Happy shopping.
First step- get rid of all your holiday candy, sweets, breads, or trigger foods. Throw them out! Second step – Go shopping for easy grab n go snacks that are keto approved. I keep all of my keto snacks in a separate bin in my pantry. That way I always know what I need and my kids don’t get into it.
Keto Kickstart-Pantry List
Macadamia nuts ( This is my favorite brand & best priced)I like the salty crunch when I’m craving chips.
Organic MCT oil – some people put it in coffee, I take a tablespoon a day before I work out. It’s helpful to stay in ketosis.
Low carb tortilla shells– Perfect for lunch wraps
Spiralizer for veggie noodles
Almond Butter or Natural peanut butter (this one is my fav)
Fat bombs- this is my favorite flavor, but you can also make homemade versions.
Here are a few specialty items you will need in your pantry for cooking and baking.
xanthan gum (thickening agent)
Keto Kickstart – Refrigerator/freezer List
Carbonated flavored water if you like bubbles . I actually have a SodaStream which I love and use daily.
Babybell Cheese – love these for a quick grab snack
stock up on cheeses you love
Hard boiled eggs
Heavy Cream – love to add to my scrambled eggs
full fat unflavored greek yogurt
deli meat – I always have at least 3 different varieties in the fridge at all times ( I love pepperoni, ham and, turkey)
fish – my family loves salmon. I try and cook fish once a week. Great source of fat and protein.
Chicken – thighs, breast, legs, wings – just no breading.
sour cream mixed with ranch dressing packets for dipping.
Frozen veggies – stay away form mixes with corn and peas.
frozen cauliflower rice – use as rice substitute or make into mash.
precut veggies: cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peppers. You can have carrots, just not too many as they are higher in sugar.
pre washed romain lettuce leafs for breadless sandwiches
Tuna or chicken salad
Zuccini and/0r spaghetti squash for pasta replacement
Keto Kickstart- fast food options
I try not to eat fast food in general, but let’s be real…it happens. My favorite keto friendly fast food options are:
In-N-Out – Double single cheeseburger protein style . Avoid catsup.
Chick fillet – Grilled nuggets with ranch and side salad
Mexican fast food – burrito bowl minus rice. Replace rice with cabbage or lettuce.
* I also love bacon avocado burgers protein style. This means with no bun and wrapped in lettuce. You can order just about any burger as long as you don’t eat the bun, catsup, or Bbq sauce.
I hope this post has been helpful. If you have any questions, please ask in the comment section below. That way everyone can read the answers and we can all share information, tips, and tricks. My biggest words of advice would be to stay consistent. The first couple of weeks will be the hardest as your body adjusts to the low carb intake. You will feel a bit lethargic and tired (some people call it the keto flu). It’s normal. Once you get over that initial 2-3 week hump, you will feel like a million bucks. You will also notice stomach bloating diminishing right away. I’ve linked my personal keto recipes below and all of my favorite keto resources & food.
Add to favorites or read later