Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quick Keto Guide

One of the toughest parts about trying to be healthier is deciding how to do so. Part of that determining process should involve a degree of research in order to find out what is healthy, what will get the best results, and more.

This guide is intended as a basic starting point for anybody considering the ketogenic or low carb lifestyle.


What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet is essentially eating few enough carbs (from all sources) that your body goes into ketosis and burns fat instead of carbs for energy. Many people use this lifestyle to lose weight, but there are also a great number that maintain the ketogenic lifestyle for the cognitive and health improvements.

Why cut out carbohydrates?
All types of carbohydrates, be them from fruit or vegetables or cake are digested by the human body into sugar. If you cut these from your diet, you body's easiest fuel source is gone and it will instead burn fat.

How do I follow the ketogenic diet?
While there are few hard set rules for the most part - some people also avoid artificial sweeteners or even cheese and peanut butter. But, eating few enough carbs that your body enters ketosis is the one requirement.

What foods do I avoid?
All high carb foods like breads, sweets, and starches should be skipped or extremely limited. Most fruits and many vegetables have high sugar levels as well.

What foods do I eat?
Meats and full fat dairy have the lowest carb count. Leafy greens, the squash family, and cruciferous vegetables are pretty low in carbs as well.

How many carbs per day is the limit?
For nearly all people, consuming fewer than 20 grams of carbs per day is all but guaranteed to put you in ketosis. Many people can go up to 50 or even 100 if they are very active. It varies individually.

What if I don't have enough time to home-cook all of my meals?
There are many ways to quickly get food and remain in ketosis.
Here is one post for quick keto meals, otherwise check out the other recipes I've posted:

Keto Breakfasts
Keto Snacks 
Keto Lunches
Keto Dinners
Keto Desserts

Additionally, U/AreYouReadyToReddit has a great 6-day starter meal plan

What is the Keto flu?
The Keto flu refers to a transitional period when your body is switching its fuel source from carbohydrates to fat. Initially, the body might feel a little bit more sleepy, less energetic, to even more full-blown flu-like fatigue symptoms. This depends on the diet followed previously. The higher the previous carb count, and lower the fat, the bigger of a transition the body will need to go through. This period varies in length, depending on how low your new carb count is (how quickly you will burn through your body's glucose stores), and other individual factors.

To get relief from keto flu symptoms, and in general, be sure to drink lots (LOTS) of water. Also try drinking broth, and supplementing your electrolytes during this phase. You want to get around these amounts of electrolytes daily:
   -5000 mg of sodium chloride
   -1000 mg of potassium chloride or potassium sulfate
   -300 mg of magnesium(chelated)
After the keto flu subsides, you can experiment with dropping supplementation and getting all of your electrolytes through your food. Other than bone broth, you can make sure to eat a good variety of foods high in magnesium and potassium, and make sure to add some salt to your meals.
U/AshSimmons' post on "Keto Flu - Symptoms..." has more information on the Keto flu.

More quick Keto guides:
U/pineapple_King's A Practical Guide to Keto for Lazy People
U/nothingtoseehere28's Beginner's Guide to Keto
U/stupidrobots' The Keyto Keto Success and...

For more information check out these sites:
Keto in a Nutshell FAQ

Thursday, May 21, 2015

7 Easy Keto and Keto Crock Pot Meals

Crock pot meals:

Caveman Keto's Pork Carnitas

These are super tasty and quick to make! You add the ingredients to the crock pot after minimal prep, cook it up like a typical pork roast, then fry the shredded pork for a few just to crisp it up. Serve in low-carb tortillas with cheese, sour cream, olives, and whatever else you enjoy.

Caveman Keto's Caveman Chili

Super easy as well! Just brown the ground meat and cook the bacon before hand (I did mine the night before - never any spare time in the A.M.), slow cook all that tasty business all day long, top with sour cream and shredded cheese and eat.

Cauliflower Pizza Casserole

Tasty and easily adjusts for different pizza variations to satisfy your pizza cravings.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Skip potatoes, replace rice with riced cauliflower, and skip raisin topping!

Regular meals:

Unbreaded Chicken Cordon Bleu

All you do to make this recipe keto friendly is skip the bread crumbs!

Steak with veggie side dish

Great veggies to go with a nice steak include broccoli, salad, mashed cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, and a squash medley!

Low carb Soft tacos

For these you can either use those awesome mission low carb tortillas, lettuce wraps, or even taco shells made out of cheese. Pretty much all taco fillings are low carb - just keep an eye on tomatoes and salsa, there are a couple carbs in those.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Low Carb or Keto While Breastfeeding

   Since my second baby was born in February, I have been eager to get back into my low carb lifestyle. However, as studies of breastfeeding women are unethical (thus no studies have been done on breastfeeding while in ketosis), I have been hesitant to jump right back to fewer than 20 carbs per day while my daughter is so young.  I have been limiting my carbs to 100g per day at most. From my recently carb-heavy diet to ~75-100 per day, I saw absolutely no drop in my supply. But. Keep in mind that I did not watch my calorie intake in the slightest.

   The two most important things for maintaining your breast milk supply are sufficient calories and water intake.  I plan to keep myself in the range between 50-100g carbs per day for now, easing my intake of the sugars and starches gradually down. From others' experiences, they only went through a 1-2 day temporary drop in supply, and they supplemented with their freezer stash. If you do this, be sure to pump for an extra "feeding" in order to prompt your breasts to continue to produce more milk and increase your supply.

   If you choose to do this, I would also recommend you make the change just before a day or two off in order to offer lots of time for baby to breastfeed and ramp that supply back up. Once my baby reaches about 4 months I will feel more comfortable dropping below 30 carbs/day! If you haven't checked it out yet, here are my previous posts from being in ketosis while breastfeeding my older baby a few years ago:

Ketosis and breastfeeding introduction

Breastfeeding and the keto diet TIPS

Breastfeeding while in ketosis days 1-5

I apologize for the quick entry! I plan to contribute more again shortly.

See my more recent post here:
Breastfeeding While in Ketosis: Round 2