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Archive for the ‘cooking’ Tag

Can You Afford Not To Keto   Leave a comment

When you start a diet, any diet, and begin making progress you’ll generate a bit of interest in what you’re doing to lose the weight.  I’m always happy to discuss the ketogenic lifestyle with the people who ask, and what benefits I think it can have in their life as well.  After discussing the basics I get two frequent responses.  One response I get, the other I don’t.

The first response is “I don’t know if I can give up the things I like to follow the keto diet as you just explained it.”  That I totally get.  It’s a total rework of your diet.  And most of the foods you love the most are probably not going to make the cut.  It isn’t like the glucose based diets where you can slowly wean yourself off of them.  You have to give them all up right when you go keto.  You might find keto friendly alternatives to help you along but the reality is as tasty as some of them are, most are just not the same thing as you’re giving up.  Again, I totally understand that response.

The one I don’t get is “I don’t know if I can afford to go on the keto diet.”  That one makes no sense to me.  One of the bonus effects of the keto diet, at least for me, has been the cost savings.  Let me break them down for you.

The first is the cost of food.  The higher fat meats are generally the cheaper cuts of meat.  The vegetables you buy can be pricey if you get it pre-cut or frozen, but on the whole the cost of the vegetables is much cheaper than the cost of sides at a fast food place.

Oh, and while we’re on fast food, the money you save cutting that out of your budget is amazing.  I’ll occasionally go to McDonald’s and get a couple of sausage and egg McMuffins no muffin and a black coffee, but for the most part I cook for myself at home.  Keto is done most easily when you cook for yourself which means lower price per meal.  Now if you have the budget and want to get grass-fed beef and cage free eggs that’s awesome, and yes it will cost more than the regular fare.  But you can keto with regular beef and regular eggs and you’ll still be better off than you were eating the glucose based diet you were on.  And even going with the grass fed foods you’ll still be ahead of the game compared to buying tons of processed foods like chips and pre-made dinners.

Second, there’s nothing else to buy.  There are keto friendly supplements and prepackaged foods, but none of them are required to be successful on keto.  Having said that I will make one caveat.  In the beginning it does make transitioning to keto easier if you buy some exogenous ketones to fuel yourself with when you start out.  The key here is that it makes it easier.  It isn’t necessary.  Supplementing with electrolytes is also helpful and can make you feel better but if you’re eating a well-rounded keto friendly diet it isn’t necessary.  I do know that this can be true of many diets.  But it seems especially true of the keto diet.

Finally, and this is the biggest cost saver, when you switch to a ketogenic lifestyle your body becomes very agreeable to fasting.  Fasting becomes a cinch when you’ve fully keto adapted.  And that’s the biggest cost savings of all.  Fasting requires $0.00 to do.  Even if you cook for yourself and have your per meal cost down to say $10 per a day, you’re still saving $40 a month if you fast one day a week.  If you fast two you just doubled your bank account gains.  And I can easily do 48 hours of fasting now that I’ve been living the ketogenic lifestyle for over a year.  Of course the more you spend per meal the bigger the savings this becomes.

So from a “I’m not ready to make the transition” perspective I totally understand the hesitancy to go keto.  But from the “I can’t afford to go keto” perspective, I just scratch my head.  I think it’s actually cheaper to eat keto, especially figuring in fasting periods.  And that doesn’t even begin to cover the cost savings from being overall healthier and happier.  Or the cheaper clothing for me now that I don’t shop at the big and tall store.  So from that perspective can you really afford not to live the ketogenic lifestyle?  I’m thinking the savings speak for themselves.  Hope you’re having a great day today.  Peace.

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Why Stress Needs A Better Publicist.   Leave a comment

We live in an age of convenience.  Want a quick dinner?   Pop one in the microwave and a couple of minutes later you’re ready to go.  Feel like being entertained?  Most newer televisions sold these days allow you to play movies from Amazon or Netflix right thru the television.  Want to go somewhere but don’t feel like driving?  Call an Uber or Lyft.  Want to tell a friend something but you need to say it face to face?  No need to go to where they are, just open up your phone and FaceTime them.

Life is very easy now.  In many ways that’s a good thing.  In many ways it isn’t.  All these things making our lives easier are taking away our stress.  You read that right.  All these things making our lives easier are taking away our stress.  And that’s a bad thing.

We’ve been told for the longest time we need to get rid of stress, and that’s wrong.  It’s an oversimplification lumping all stress together.  But some stress is actually good for you.  Your body actually needs it to grow, both physically and emotionally.

Want a quick dinner but you don’t have anything you can microwave?  You’ll feel a little bit of stress about that because your primitive mind fears scarcity.  But then you’ll take the time to cook for yourself.  It’ll take longer than microwaving something but you’ll get the food eventually.  Or maybe you can’t cook so you order something to be delivered to your doorstep.  That’ll take time too, but again you’ll be fed sooner or later.  Worst case scenario you get in the car and go buy food to eat.  However you make it happen, once you get fed your primitive mind learns that it’s ok.  The stress has made you stronger because it’s taught you patience.

Want that entertainment but you don’t have a television?  You go to the theater where you have to walk in, wait in line, and then walk up the steps to your seat.  That’s physical stress on your body.  If you haven’t been exercising it stresses your body forcing it to adapt and become stronger.  If you exercise a lot already you’re still burning calories which helps your body keep what it has.  Sitting at home and pushing buttons on your remote, not so much.  Works the same for not being able to Uber or Lyft yourself places.  Instead of being dropped off right at your destination you’ll have to park somewhere and walk to and from your car.

Want to tell someone something face to face?  Yeah FaceTime is great for that, especially since you can hang up if things go south.  Takes a lot of the stress out of the conversation.  But wait, stress can be our friend.  So be a good friend and sit next to the person actually face to face.  Tell them what you need to.  If it needs to be done face to face it’s probably going to be a little stressful to tell.  But you’ll live, and learn that you can do it and go on.  This stress builds emotional strength and courage.

The point is not that reducing stress in your life is bad.  Reducing stress in your life is great if you experience it frequently or for long duration.  The point is don’t try to eliminate stress from your life.  A little stress is a good thing as long as it isn’t chronic stress.

So this week when you see something that might stress you out, keep it under control.  Be thankful for the chance to grow and strengthen yourself.  Or better yet, add the stress yourself.  Do things the harder way because you know that you’ll be better for having done it.  Just don’t stress yourself about having stress and you’ll be fine.  Have a great day.  Peace.

 

To Supplement or Not to Supplement   Leave a comment

I get the question every now and again about what supplements I take on the ketogenic diet.  Which of course overlaps with the question of do you need to supplement on the ketogenic diet?  So I thought I’d take a moment to answer both for today’s blog.

The first one to answer is whether or not you need to supplement.  And the answer is no.   You don’t need to supplement.  The ketogenic diet will work without supplementing so you can’t really say it’s necessary.  Much like your car will continue to drive even if you don’t add a fuel cleaning additive to your tank when you fill up.  But your car can drive better if you do.  Similarly, you can operate better if you supplement.

So what should you supplement with if you’re going to supplement?  My list is pretty short, which isn’t surprising since I’ve already mentioned you can do without them.

First, a daily multivitamin is a good choice.   Your body requires a certain amount of vitamins and minerals to function properly.  While eating a proper ketogenic meal plan can include lots of dark leafy or cruciferous vegetables that will meet a lot of those needs, the reality is for many that we don’t get as much as we should.  And this can lead to deficiencies.  Taking a multivitamin every day helps ensure you are getting the proper amount.  While it’s always best to get these from whole food sources, it’s better to get them in a pill than not at all.

Second, while your body is turning itself into a fat burning machine it can struggle a little at first.  Energy demands can exceed your body’s ability to produce ketones. During that time it can be beneficial to supplement with exogenous ketones.  But I’d limit using them to the time while you’re adapting.  After all if you’re adding extra ketones into the system you lower the amount you need for your body to create.  And if the point of going on a ketogenic diet is to lose weight you should be encouraging your body to use its internal fat stores first, not exogenous one.  Having said that, from time to time when you need a little extra boost, exogenous ketones can offer that for you.  I just wouldn’t make a habit of using them.

Once you get the fatty acids flowing you need to get them into your cells to produce energy.  This is where L-Carnitine can be handy.  Your body produces a small amount of this transporter, but you can add more via supplementation.  As L-Carnitine helps shuttle fatty acid into the cells to create energy, supplementing with it can help you along on that goal.  As a reminder though you’ll burn fat either way so it isn’t a necessary supplement.  So if it isn’t in the budget I wouldn’t worry about it.

The last one I take and recommend is a vitamin D supplement.  Especially if you live in areas like the Pacific Northwest or Alaska where your sun exposure won’t be as great as if you lived in Florida or Hawaii.  Even if you live in those states, our lives are spent primarily indoors or behind protective glass like in your car.  As such you are likely deficient in this vitamin.  So I take a vitamin D supplement every other day to try to make up for that.  With a variety of health benefits, like bone density, sleep aid, and helps in weight loss it just doesn’t make sense to be deficient in it.

That’s it for whether to supplement or not.  This isn’t a list of all the supplements you could take, it’s just the list of the ones I do.  As a final word on the subject, keep in mind what the name implies.  A supplement shouldn’t be taken to handle all of a certain need.  A supplement should be an addition to a healthy diet and exercise plan.  If you’re relying totally on the supplements you should go back and fix your diet and exercise first.  I hope this helps and I hope you have a great day.  Peace.

01/14/19 Weigh-In   Leave a comment

Time for the weekly weigh in.  I noticed while looking back over the past few weeks I may have missed one or two.  I’m sorry for that.  You guys have been supportive of me on my journey and I want to keep you up to date as much as possible on it.  In the future I will endeavor to do better.  On to the numbers.

This week I weighed in at 262.6 pounds.  Last week I weighed in at 267.0 pounds for a total loss of 4.4 pounds.  Wow.  That’s quite a weekly drop.  Considering the up and down weigh ins over the past few weeks I’m hoping this means my body has figured things out and I’m back on track to losing consistently again.

My muscle mass was 28.6% this week, and 28.2% last week.  In pounds that’s 75.1 this week and 75.3 last week.  So a slight drop in muscle mass.  Which is somewhat expected considering the overall weight loss.

For body fat I am 34.9% this week and was 35.7% last week.  In pounds that’s 91.6 this week and 95.3 last week.  So 3.7 pounds of fat lost.  That’s a lot for one week.

Which brings me back to a concern I’ve had over the past few weeks as the scale has gone up and down.  I’m wondering if there isn’t something wrong with the scale.  I like the scale and all but if it isn’t giving accurate measurements week to week it isn’t of much use to me.  When I first started I got this one mainly because of the fact that it could handle my weight.  Most scales topped out at 350 pounds, just under what my actual weight turned out to be.  So I looked for a scale that could go up to 400 pounds, which I was sure I was under.  I’m going to keep an eye on things but if they seem to be off over the next few weigh ins I’ll consider getting a new scale.

I’ve been on vacation this week so I was worried about closing the rings on my Apple Watch.  Happy to say that concern was unwarranted.  I have closed all three rings every day this week.  And I accomplished that by getting in 3 exercise sessions a day.  Usually two walks and an extra more strenuous one like maybe jump roping.

Food wise I’m doing well.  When I fast I don’t feel hungry.  I’ve increased my water intake which has helped a lot.  Feel much better.  I also have made sure to keep up better on my electrolytes.

Meditation wise is pretty much the usual story.  Slow but sure improvements mainly in quality.  The effect on my mood has been noticeable.  Of course that could also be due to being on vacation.

I’ve put in for a few more jobs.  I’ve moved forward with the dispatcher job but haven’t heard back yet on the others.

All in all it’s been a great week.  I have most of this week off before having to return to work.  It’s getting closer to decision making time on when my exact last day will be.  I’ve found out on the dispatch job the interview period will be close to the end of the month so I’ve considered working one more full pay period at my current job so I’m not left in a lurch.  Also that gives me a little time to talk to people here who work for companies I’ve applied for to see what’s going on with my application or how I might improve my odds of getting jobs with them.  But one way or another I’ll be moving on to greener pastures soon.

That wraps it up for this weeks update.  I hope you’re having a great day and I’ll see you next week for the next update and tomorrow for the next blog.  Peace.

Is This Or That Food Keto?   Leave a comment

One of the questions I get the most by people considering going on the ketogenic diet is if certain foods are keto or not.  The reason being of course that they’re concerned about what they will have to give up.  The problem is the answer will always be the same, no matter what food they mention.  And the answer is no.

That’s because no food is ketogenic.  There isn’t some magical keto ambrosia out there that will instantly make you the Greek god of ketosis.  There isn’t a food out there that will put you into ketosis just by eating it. That’s not how the ketogenic diet works.  Ketogenic is an overall principle or lifestyle choice.

When you eat a diet that is high in fats, moderate in proteins, and very low carb you enter the state of ketosis.  While there are foods that are certainly more friendly to a state of ketosis, and conversely ones that are very averse to ketosis, any food can be included in the ketogenic diet within certain boundaries.

I’ll give an example.  Tonight for dinner my Dad made a pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  Now the pot roast of course is very ketosis friendly.  High in fat, moderate protein, and no carbs.  The carrots are in the middle.  In small quantities they won’t hurt your state of ketosis.  The potatoes on the other hand are not ketosis friendly.  High carb (as vegetables go), low protien, and no fat.  Having said that I could have had a small bite or two of potatoes and been fine.

So make your decisions.  Ketosis unfriendly foods in very small amounts won’t take you out of ketosis.  But where’s the line between being in and out of ketosis?  And if you have that small bite, will the small bite be enough?  Or will you indulge?  If it’s in the middle, like say a Halo Top Ice Cream, than sure, give yourself a treat, but keep it in moderation.  And of course if the food is ketosis friendly you can eat away, just don’t exceed your caloric needs for the day.  And that’s the answer to “is this or that food keto?”  Have a great day.

New Video Up On YouTube   Leave a comment

This is a review of Keto Meal replacement shake by American Metabolix.  Sometimes life gets busy, or maybe you’re on the road or away from home, and you just don’t have the time or ability to make yourself a full keto friendly meal.  So what do you do?  Well American Metabolix has the answer for you.  Have a quick, easy to prepare, and delicious Keto Meal shake.  While this video is specific to the Vanilla Cake flavor, they do also offer Blueberry Cheesecake (which I’ve tried and love) as well as chocolate (which I’ve not tried personally but considering how well the two I’ve tried taste I’m sure it’s pretty good too).  Links to the products mentioned in the video, and to one of my favorite sources of information on all things keto, Logan Delgado (aka Goody Beats), are included on the YouTube page in the description.  If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments here or on YouTube.  If you check out Logan’s social media let me know what you think about him as well.  He’s a great guy and I’m sure you’ll want to follow him too.  Have a great day.

Ready Made Keto   Leave a comment

Ok, so I’m not really that great a cook.  I usually do easy stuff like Brussels sprouts with bacon on top in the oven, or really easy like salami with cream cheese.  I know how to cook eggs and can make simple keto stir fries.  Sometimes though you just want a tasty meal that doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part.  So I’m putting together a list of ready-made keto meals.

The first on the list is Sated (www.sated.com).   Sated is a meal replacement drink that’s designed around the macros of the ketogenic diet.  It comes in two varieties, Sucralose sweetened, and naturally sweetened using Ethyritol, stevia, and monk fruit.  The sucralose variety comes in chocolate and vanilla flavor.  The naturally sweetened is available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.  All the flavors taste good and are easy to mix.  When I ordered for the first time they had a starter kit that included a Blender Bottle with it, but that option doesn’t appear available anymore.  I’m guessing any shaker bottle that can hold 20 oz will do.  To mix you include one scoop of oil and one scoop of powder with 12 oz of water and then shake away.  If you buy using one time purchase the box will cost you $90, which may seem like a lot until you consider that it’s 30 servings of a 400 calorie keto meal.  So $3 for each meal is actually quite reasonable.  However, you can shave $18 off the price by opting for the monthly subscription.  The customer service is top-notch (I had a bottle of oil with a broken seal so a bunch leaked out, four days later I was holding a new bottle at no extra cost and I didn’t even have to ship back the old bottle) and they will soon be offering ready-made drink cartons.  On a side note if you order Vanilla it’s easy to add flavoring like cinnamon or pumpkin spice to mix it up a bit.

My second option is also a meal replacement shake.  This one is made by American Metabolix (https://americanmetabolix.com).  They offer a variety of keto friendly products but their Keto Meal keto shakes are the ones I’m talking about today.  Same as Sated, the shake’s macros are aimed at the ketogenic diet ratios.  The available flavors right now are Vanilla Cake and Chocolate.  They just demoed two new flavors for pre-order, Blueberry Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cookie, but they are currently out of stock and I don’t know for sure they will be available again.  I’ve only tried the Vanilla Cake, although I did order the Blueberry Cheesecake.  The Vanilla Cake is good, but I do like the Sated Vanilla better.  You get 40 servings per tub of Keto Meal but the servings are only 210 calories, half of a Sated serving.  The cost per tub is $79.99, but if you subscribe monthly you get a discount (10% off).  Where Keto Meal has it over Sated is it’s easier to mix.  With Sated you have to add the oil, which is an extra step.  And if you get clumsy, a very messy step.  With Keto Meal it’s just the powder.  This makes it quicker to make, plus you can take it with you by putting a scoop of powder in a Ziploc bag.  You can’t do that with the Sated. Also, I think that the Keto Meal mixes better.

The third option is the priciest, but you’re getting actual meals out of it.  And it has the greatest variety.  It’s called KetoFridge (https://www.ketofridge.com).  This one is a meal prep service.  They offer a weekly rotating menu of keto approved foods to choose from.  The minimum order is $69, which is easy to get to quickly.  Some meals, like the keto pizzas they offer, will give you enough for two portions, but most are designed around a single serving.  They’re easy to reheat in the microwave or oven and taste oh so delicious.  I’ve not had anything yet from them I didn’t like.  My favorite dinner is the pepperoni pizza.   My overall favorite though are their blueberry scones.  The weekly selection is rather large so I won’t be able to list it all, you’ll have to go to the website to check it out yourself.  Plus, as the menu does rotate anything I mention here could be gone later.  They do also carry pre-made drinks and desserts from Leopard Spotted Hippo.  They are tasty, but not cheap.  I usually order a few items once a month as a treat for myself.  The catch is that you have to eat most of it up within a week of receiving it so only order it if you’re planning on using it the following week.  They do not offer a subscription service and they don’t usually offer a discount.  But still a good company to deal with.

That’s it for this list.  Although there are just 3 overall options listed, between the three you’re looking at a lot of meals that won’t require much of any cooking skills on your part.  If you do decide to try them please leave a comment letting me know what you think of them.  This wraps up today’s post and I hope you’re having a great day.