Sunday, February 26, 2017

KETO: Low Carb Dinner Ideas

Crack Slaw

Image Credit: Tasteaholics
     This recipe has been repeated many times over in our house. I typically don't add the sriracha until after serving up the kids, then let loose! Keep an eye out for too much sriracha - there are a couple carbs in there.

Fathead Pizza Rolls

Image Credit: Ketogasm

     This recipe was certainly tasty - but a little bit labor-intensive for the end results. I liked this for the fun aspect, but it ends up having fewer toppings and more of the crusty part, and I'm a person who loves a lot of toppings on my pizza!
     One recommendation I have for any of the fathead dough recipes, or any recipe when you shred cheese - don't measure by volume but rather by weight. Get an inexpensive food scale, there are many to choose from. Before I was weighing my ingredients, I somehow always ended up with too much cheese in my fathead dough! It makes these a lot more greasy and heavy, and not very dough-like.

Ginger Tzatziki Chicken Wraps
Image Credit:
      I saw this recipe floating around on Facebook and knew I needed to try it. I'm so glad I did! Just look - the vibrant green of the lettuce and cucumbers, and the marinaded chicken altogether look very appetizing. And they work so well together - even for people who aren't on a low carb diet. Great crowd-pleaser recipe, in my opinion.

Monday, September 12, 2016

KETO: Low Carb Desserts and Drinks

Here's a quick recipe dump for some dessert and drink ideas!

Keto Chocolate Mousse

There are so many variations you can make to this simple and tasty dessert. You can add flavors like peppermint, amaretto, cinnamon, pumpkin, and more! Torani and Davinci have a huge selection of sugar free flavors.
Image Credit:

Sugar-Free Gluten-Free Raspberry Chiffon Squares

This recipe is easy but has a few steps and waiting times that make it slightly more challenging to prepare while my eldest keeps asking when it'll be ready. Ah, four year olds.

Image Credit:

The Ultimate Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte (Altered)

For this recipe, skip the nonfat milk and instead you can use almond milk or half and half for a fraction of the carbs!

Image Credit: Amy's Healthy Baking

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Emotional Eating

Many people have emotional struggles when it comes to eating. Dieting itself becomes all the more difficult if you are dependent upon food to "feel better" or to deal with stresses. Many people turn to junk food in times of duress (it's called comfort food for that very reason).

It is important to recognize when you have an unhealthy reliance upon food. This can manifest to where you might feel you need to eat a certain food in order to deal with any type of negative circumstance. Maybe you feel like any celebration requires an abundance of sweets or else no one will have fun. Or even feeling like you could never give up a certain food group. 

"What's the point of living if I can't eat ____?"
That is unhealthy to feel that way about food. Yes, eat food for nutrition  and eat food for enjoyment (to an extent) but if you think you NEED a particular food type, then you should think about why you couldn't  manage without it, even if your health was in jeopardy. 

If you habitually reach for a bag of potato chips each time you come home stressed, or order a pizza when you're feeling overwhelmed,  then you are training yourself that this is how you cope with stress. Obviously,  eating a pizza will never ease your stress. So not only have you not solved it, you also consumed a bunch of unnecessary calories and strengthened  your emotional reliance upon food.
For those trying to lose weight or get healthier, the issue is amplified. Not only do you still have to deal with whatever is emotionally taxing you, but now you have added guilt for "failing" on your diet, as well as lost progress and momentum.

If you have fallen into the same trap I have, where you feel like you need junk food in stressful times, then you should find alternate means of stress relief. You should find ways to regularly cope with stress in the moment, as well as trying to regularly and pre-emptively reduce your stress.

There are a number of in-the-moment coping mechanisms. These can include deep breathing exercises, finding a substitute consumable (sparkling water instead of soda, stick of gum instead of a cookie, maybe even a protein bar instead of a candy bar), writing out your feelings, listening to relaxing music, and going for a quick walk. Experiment with a few and find out if these help you when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Many in-the-moment coping mechanisms can also serve as regular stress relievers whenever you may use them. Regular exercise, writing in a journal and meditation are all great forms of stress relief and can enhance your day to day stress level. If you speak with a therapist or a trusted loved one you may also find yourself feeling better.

In any case, try to understand why you are feeling bad, stressed, or emotional; work on that problem. Don't exacerbate it by binging on ice cream.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

KETO: 5 EASY Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes

With our recently extra-busy schedule, my family has been trying out a TON of slow cooker recipes.
It's hard to find time in the day when every body has so much to do. With two little ones running around (and the youngest going through a particularly clingy stage) it's hard to have dinner ready on time!
Here are some that are in the rotation at least once a month.

1) Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken Thighs

Image Credit: User Kate from

To keep this recipe strictly Keto, skip: Potatoes, Corn Starch, raisins, and be sure to get unsweetened coconut flakes.

Serve over riced cauliflower or Kibun Healthy Noodle (due back in NW Costco stores in mid-May!)

Nutrition Information from MyFitnessPal

2) Crock Pot Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Image Credit:

This recipe has loads of flavor and keeps the calorie count fairly low! You can shred up the cauliflower by hand with a cheese shredder or with a food processor to save time.

Nutrition Info from MyFitnessPal

3) Slow Cooker Pork Chops

Image Credit: User Hopper from
 After trying this recipe for pork chops, I don't even want to cook pork chops in the traditional style any more. The resulting tender pork is delicious and flavorful.

Nutrition Info from MyFitnessPal

 4) Crock Pot Tomato Soup
Reddit User UnstableMongoose  posted this in r/ketorecipes

2 cans diced tomatoes
1 c celery
1/2 c onion
1 stick of butter
1 tsp oregano (dried)
1 tbs basil (dried)
1 bay leaf
1 c Parmesan
4 c chicken broth
8 oz cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Dump everything but the cream cheese, Parmesan, and chicken broth into the crock pot and let it cook for 6-8 hours. Move everything to a blender and add the chicken broth, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Blend everything until it's smooth. Put it back in the crock pot for about 30 minutes.
I also like to put some Parmesan in the oven for about 5 minutes at 400 and then break that up into the soup.

This is a HUGE recipe. I typically cut it in half for my family of four, but when these kids are older I can definitely see needing the original size. We generally serve this with low-carb quesadillas to dip, or the cauliflower grilled cheese sandwich if I have some extra time.

Nutrition Info From MyFitnessPal


5) Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

Image Credit: Linda's Low Carb Menu and Recipes
This recipe is fantastic, and the one that my family has made the most often of all. I think we made it once a week for 3 weeks in a row! I also enjoy serving this recipe over riced cauliflower or Healthy Noodle.

Nutrition Info from MyFitnessPal

Monday, March 14, 2016

Welcome to the new KETO AND KIDDOS!

Finally launching the new domain name, soon to come will be more tried and tested recipe reviews, more information about the ketogenic diet, and LOTS MORE! Check back again soon!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

KETO: Macros, Ketostix, and Sugar Alternatives

   Being in and out of the ketogenic diet for the past years, I missed a couple of pretty important details along the way. Other than the importance of electrolytes, which I discuss in my post here:
KETO: Electrolytes

 There are a few other things to know about following a very low carb diet.


The "Golden Standard" for ketogenic macros are:
65% Fat
30% Protein
5% Carbohydrates

   I used to try to stick to these macros diligently, fretting about getting "enough fat" each day. However, the truth is that, as long as you are able to remain in ketosis, and are hitting your protein count: you can have as little fat as you'd like. That is, IF you have fat on your body. Rather than taking the old calorie count, finding whatever percent of your calories should be allotted to each category, and figuring it out that way, try this:

   Determine your body fat percentage/BMI. You can use an online calculator, like the one here, but know that these are notoriously inaccurate. You can also use a set of calipers, like these:

In any case, this is all a rough estimate. If you aren't completely accurate here, it won't be the end of the world.

So, take your handy BMI number, and input it into the following set of equations:

BMI * Current Weight = A
eg: If your BMI is 30 and you weigh 210 lbs, that equation looks like this: 0.30*210 = 63

Current Weight - A = Lean Muscle Mass

eg: 210 - 63 = 147

Lean Muscle Mass * 0.67 = Grams of Protein per Day for Muscle Maintenance
eg: 98g/day

   The 0.67 number is a rough estimate as to how many grams of protein are ideal per pound of lean muscle mass (More info on that here). So, this will get you an estimate of your daily required protein.

   So, hit your protein, remain under your cabs, and eat fat to satiety. It doesn't have to total at 65% of your day's calories.

   If you are short for time, or are having trouble hitting your protein goals, there are some protein bars that are quite popular among ketoers, and I personally enjoy them very much. Quest bars!
 My favorite flavor is cookie dough and my husband loves the cookies & cream flavor.

These bars are known for having the best flavors when it comes to protein bars, and an amazing texture similar to that of cookie dough. I highly recommend these!


   These guys come in 31 different flavors, and are the best-tasting protein bars I've ever had. Here are the nutrition facts for double chocolate brownie flavor:
  • 20 grams protein
  • 5 grams net carbs
  • 19 grams fiber
  • 170 calories
   These things are great! Best price I've seen is $2.08 per bar, generally they run up around $3 per bar at grocery stores. Multi-flavor packs cost more than cases of individual flavors, but I recommend starting with a multi-pack to see which flavors you like best.


   When we first started the ketogenic diet, ,we thought these were helpful little tools to determine whether we were in ketosis. In actuality, these are not very accurate at measuring whether you are in ketosis or not. What are these for, if not for helping people determine ketosis? Ketostix are actually intended to help diabetics avoid ketoacidosis - something you won't have to worry about if you are not diabetic.

More detailed info from u/bluefocus on Ketostix:
PSA: When and How to Use KETOSTIX

More info on Ketoacidosis:
Difference Between Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

 3) Sugar Alternatives

    There are a number of reasons to avoid or limit your consumption of fake sweeteners. Reason one is that even though these aren't regular sugar, for some people fake sweeteners can kick them out of ketosis. Most people, if affected at all, are only affected by certain types of sugar alternatives. Erythritol seems to be the best choice these days, as it has the lowest glycemic index, followed by Xylitol. Sucralose (Splenda) isn't too bad, but not quite as good as the others.

   Other than that potential risk of being booted out of ketosis, artificial sweeteners have been known to cause sugar cravings in some individuals. You taste something sweet, your body expects some sugar, and the cravings pile up. If you do not act on those cravings, then there's not much harm done.

    When my husband and I first started out, we knew we could have  sugar alternatives, and basically to only watch out for over-consuming some as they had minimal carbs or could cause diarrhea. My husband and I had cut out so many carb-laden foods that we were really being hit with cravings - hard. We tried substitutions for all of them. Low-carb breads, low-carb pancakes, low-carb cookies, etc etc. We probably had a faux carb food each day, at least. While we quickly noted our limits when it came to carb count of sugar alternatives, and even more quickly our threshold before we had digestive issues, what took much longer was realizing that some of those fake sugars were causing our progress to stall out. Only when I hit a long plateau did I decide to try a sweetener-free "clean Keto" week to test out this new theory.

My Before post: Clean Keto
My After post: Clean Keto After One Week

   What a HUGE difference it made! Now, I'm not saying my results were typical. Not everyone consumes as many faux-sweeteners as I used to, and not everyone is affected by them. However,  if you are at a stall or are having intense sugar cravings - it's worth looking into.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Breastfeeding while in Ketosis: Round 2

    Since my baby has been growing great, no issues breastfeeding, etc, and I found myself trending lower and lower in my daily carb counts; I decided I was going into full-on Keto again. I tend to average between 20 and 40 carbs per day.

    After a couple of days with this limit, I noticed Natalie wanted to nurse practically all day long. It seemed like a small drop in supply, as expected. However, the very next day my letdowns seemed normal, and I got the usual breaks between feedings.

    If some one else is consuming a high carb diet and wants to make the change with younger babies (~4+ months old), I would recommend starting at 100g carbs per day, and cutting 5g each day and monitoring your supply as you go along. More important than carb count while breastfeeding is your water and caloric intake. Be sure to be constantly drinking water; if you feel thirsty then you are already a little bit dehydrated. If you are having trouble with your calorie counts, I highly recommend MyFitnessPal. Great, intuitive site (and love the app!) with an extensive food database.

Above all else, I recommend going gradually into ketosis and calorie restriction while breastfeeding, especially if your baby is young, and if you are not at home with the baby for unlimited nursing during the potential conversion.

   Check out my previous posts on breastfeeding while in ketosis -
Low Carb or Keto While Breastfeeding
Keto and Breastfeeding Introduction
Keto While Breastfeeding: Days 1-5
Keto and the Breastfeeding Diet TIPS

KETO: Great Low-Carb Foods for Summer

It is officially Summer and the hot weather has been here in the northwest for some time now. When it's hot, certain foods just don't sound as appetizing.  Here are some awesome, low-carb foods for this Summer season! Of course, we gotta have some refreshing keto beverages to keep cool with.

Side Dishes
Everyday Paleo's No-Potato Salad
   I have made this "fauxtato" salad a couple of times now, and I just love it. I like to crumble the cauliflower pretty small, and give the garlic a quick stove top roast before I mix it all together. I also admit, I use regular old mayo instead of the paleo mayo listed in the ingredients. If you let this sit overnight, the flavors soak into the cauliflower a bit more for a deeper flavor. 

   There are endless combinations of salad out there, from the types of lettuce to the dressings and toppings you can put on. My favorites include chopped or shredded meat, cheese, nuts or seeds, hard boiled eggs, maybe black olives, and occasionally a (small) handful of dried cranberries on top. I tend to go for ranch dressing, but you can also do things like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, caesar dressing (check the label!), and I'm sure a few others.

Veggies and Dip 
   Much like salad, there are a number of dips that are acceptably low-carb for the ketogenic diet. As always, be sure to check each label before buying! Safe bets are on full fat ranch dip and hummus. The best low carb vegetables are zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, peppers, and even green beans.

   Limited amounts of berries can fit nicely into the keto lifestyle, but be sure to keep track of how many you are consuming. Blueberries, in particular, have ~4 net carbs per 1/4 cup. Strawberries and raspberries are between ~1-2 carbs per 1/4 cup.

Deviled Eggs
   There are numerous variations to this dish, a couple of my favorites are:
Avocado Deviled Eggs
Caveman Keto: Bacon Deviled Eggs

Main Courses
Meat and Veg Kabobs:
Caveman Keto: Sunflower Butter Pork Kabobs
Grilled Marinated Shish Kebabs

 Pulled Pork
 While you can look up any number of pulled pork recipes, my all-time favorite is this one:
Caveman Keto's Crock Pot Pork Carnitas
Cook up the pork in your slow cooker, then a quick stove-top fry to crisp it up a bit, and serve with taco ingredients! If you use this recipe, be sure to set aside the onions after cooking in the crock pot, they have a couple of carbs and can add up quickly.

Chicken tacos
Cool Ranch Crockpot Chicken for Tacos or Tostadas
I use this recipe for the chicken only, regular tortillas (even corn tortillas) have far too many carbs for the ketogenic diet. I highly recommend Mission's Low Carb Tortillas - They look like this (affiliate link):

Otherwise you could always do romaine leaf taco boats, or taco salad!

Primitive Palate: Everything Bagel Dogs
These are so awesome and fulfill that expected bread-like texture we are so used to having our hot dogs with. And so simple! 

So far I haven't ventured out and tried too many popsicle recipes. If I am feeling particularly lazy, I will make jello popsicles: Just make regular (sugar-free) jello, then put into popsicle molds.

Otherwise, I had great experience whipping up some heavy cream, folding in some Orange Mio, and freezing those into orange creamsicles! Super tasty and nostalgic.

Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Any keto or low carb recipes you really enjoy in the hot weather? Post in the comments!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

KETO: Electrolytes

Even though I've been in and out of Ketosis a number of times, I still occasionally get lazy and need a good wake-me-up about eating right.

This happened to me last night. Leg cramps, light-headedness, achy joints, and general sluggishness. When I awoke this morning I was very tired, I felt sick. However, I knew right away what was wrong with me: My electrolytes were very low. This can happen if you aren't careful in general, and is a bit easier to do while in ketosis. Because there are so few carbs to hold onto water in your body, you tend to urinate more frequently - this depletes you electrolytes faster. And if you're breastfeeding AND in ketosis? You are losing your hydration at an elevated pace, all the more reason to be sure you are keeping your electrolytes in order!

Other than supplementation, which is fine, here are ways to make sure you are keeping your electrolytes in order.

The general amounts of electrolytes for adults are the following:
  1. 5000 mg of sodium chloride
  2. 4700 mg of potassium chloride or potassium sulfate (if you are breastfeeding, this jumps up to 5100mg per day)
  3. 300 mg of magnesium (chelated)
Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate
NIH: Magnesium
R/Keto: More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Potassium

Keto foods high in Magnesium:
Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, full fat plain yogurt, and dark chocolate.

Keto foods high in Potassium:
Dark leafy greens, squash, full fat plain yogurt, fish, avocados, and mushrooms.

As for sodium chloride (salt), the easiest way is to drink bone broth, or add a little bit of salt to your meals.

Affiliate Links-
Electrolyte Combo Supplements:
Emergen-C Electro-Mix

Boullion Cubes

Morton's Lite Salt

Sunday, June 14, 2015

KETO: 5 Amazing Low Carb Desserts

Ever since we discovered our local Fred Meyer sold Erythritol, we have been using it as our only artificial sweetener. It tastes great! Hardly distinguishable from actual sugar.

Sugar-free almond paste or marzipan
My husband and I have one major, sugary weakness; marzipan. The almondy flavor and sweetness is just amazing. This recipe is all of those things AND NO SUGAR. Instead of the sweetener this recipe calls for, I used 2TBS powdered Erythritol.

Cheesecake with a brownie crust
This cheesecake was fantastic. I loved the chocolate crust. It was even better topped with whipped cream and keto caramel sauce (recipe further down).

Keto Chocolate Mousse
Much like the cheesecake, this is super tasty, and we loved it even more with that keto caramel sauce!

Keto Caramel
This stuff is amazing. Use it warm as a caramel topping, mix it into your coffee, freeze it into caramels.

White chocolate butter pecan fat bombs
So tasty, easy to make. I thought the original recipe was a little heavy on the coconut taste, so I used more butter and less coconut oil.

Keto Orange Creamsicles
We spotted some Orange flavored Mio at the store the other day and grabbed some, thinking we would mix it into a little bit of heavy cream as a quick fat bomb as needed when it hit me: Whip that heavy cream up into creamsicle whip cream! As tasty as that was (and believe me, it was tasty) I knew it just wasn't quite the same. So I froze it up into popsicle molds. Took me back to when I used to get orange creamsicles when I was a young kid. I couldn't say exactly how much mio I squirted into it, but it couldn't have been more than half a teaspoon for 4oz heavy cream. Easy to experiment and try it out as you go along!