For those that don't know me personally I started following a low carb lifestyle back in October. Not just to lose some added pounds my body doesn't need to be carrying around, but also for the long term health benefits. The photo above shows my body before starting to eat low carb, and after two months of following a low carb diet. The first thing I want to point out is I use the word diet loosely, because I am not on a DIET. I am following a low carb diet. What's the difference you ask? Most people that go on a diet eventually stop following that so called "diet" and go back to their old eating habits. Resulting in gaining back the weight lost, and many times more. I don't want that label on what I'm doing because this for me is a lifestyle change, it's not a temporary thing. I will also point out that I am not following a strict Keto lifestyle either and that's why I use the term low carb. Since going low carb not only have I lost a noticeable amount of unnecessary weight I've also started feeling better on the overall. I use to struggle to stay awake in the mornings - and thanks to Bulletproof Coffee now have the desire to stay away and start my day. I used to get that afternoon slump - again struggling for lack of energy. I don't have that anymore either! I also used to find myself "thinking" I was hungry all day long constantly snacking on something. I know eat two small meals a day and find myself feeling full and satisfied all day long. Yes I occasionally have a snack, but it's a healthy snack not a candy bar or bag of chips. In the end it's all about the choices we make when we step into the kitchen.
I'm not a certified dietitian and will never claim to be. I'm just someone that wants to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy life with my family. With that said yes there were struggles along the way, I won't lie and say it was easy. In the beginning I experienced some not so fun side effects while my body was detoxing from the carb and sugar overload and converting to fat burning mode. But once those passed it was honestly pretty smooth sailing from there. If you're considering the switch to a low carb or full on Keto diet here are some of the things I used when I first started out to help along the way. I would also definitely recommend doing some research first, arm yourself with knowledge.
First up is The Beginner's Keto Diet Cookbook. This is a great book for beginners because in the front it gives you a really good explanation about following a Ketogenic lifestyle. A must read for anyone starting out. After the introduction you have six chapters of recipes. I for one love that many of the recipes not only have your basic ingredients list and instructions but also have color photos that show how the food looks prepared. Each page also gives you a little note about the food being prepared as well as nutrition facts.
Another great book is Keto Snacks: From Sweet and Savory Fat Bombs to Pizza Bites and Jalapeño Poppers, 100 Low-Carb Snacks for Every Craving. In Keto Snacks, you’ll find yummy recipes for Cheddar Mexi-Melt Crisps, Smoked Salmon and Avocado Roll-ups, Pumpkin Pie Coconut Crisps, Maple Nut Bars, and so much more. I literally had to get out the sticky notes when I was flipping through the recipes because I saw so many I wanted to try right away. Again there is a short introduction about the Ketogenic lifestyle in the front of the book - though it's not quite as detailed if you're a beginner. I know it's called Keto Snacks, but many of the foods I've prepared from it I actually used as part of a meal. For example I made their Chorizo Stuffed Jalapenos and paired them with a salad for my husbands dinner.
As you're exploring a low carb lifestyle you'll quickly learn there are some things that you'll need for your pantry. A couple of those are bone broth and a sugar replacement like these from Ketologie. Bone broth is great for making soups, casseroles, or just by itself if you're not feeling so great. I never imagined I would be drinking chicken broth instead of eating chicken noodle soup, but honestly it was just as good. The Sweet Like™ Sugar will be your new "go to" in place of traditional sugar that you've now cut out of your diet. I personally like it a lot because it doesn't have any aftertaste like some of the other sugar alternatives on the market. So be careful when you're shopping not to jump on those bulk sized bags, you may not like the aftertaste of some out there. Ketologie also carries a line of shakes but I haven't tried any of them yet so I can't say what they are like. From the comments on their website it looks like they are pretty good too though.
Another pantry staple that you'll need to replace is that old stand by vegetable oil. It was the first thing to go in my cabinet. Now I use either bacon drippings (you'll have a lot when eating low carb) or a healthier oil like Malaysian palm oil. I've actually been using the palm oil in my microwave popcorn bowl and it works great! I like to have popcorn every now and then as a healthy snack to treat myself. And by using palm oil I keep it that way!
Palm oil is non-GMO, balanced and ultra-nutritious. This naturally trans fat-free oil contains almost equal amounts of unsaturated fats and saturated fats. In the body, palm oil has virtually no adverse impact on your cholesterol levels. Palm oil is also a great source of vitamin E tocotrienols, powerful antioxidants that help protect you from chronic diseases. Palm oil has a neutral flavor--- so it's great for many different cuisines, and is even a good substitute for butter when baking. Unlike other oils, palm oil doesn’t break down or lose its nutritional value at high heat. With its high smoke point, it’s a smarter choice for grilling, frying or sautéing than olive oil.
If you're not real adventurous in the kitchen or just don't have the time to make those extras KetoLuxe is a great place to turn to satisfy your sweet tooth. Everything is made from scratch and crafted by Chef Alexa. I for one have been a little intimidated when it comes to trying to make low carb sweets at home. I tried a couple recipes and lets just say I did not eat them, Mr. Garbage Can did. And so it lead me to looking for an alternative for when I get a sweets craving. KetoLuxe has an online store filled with already made sweets (and more). WooHoo! I hit the jackpot, because their sweets taste WONDERFUL! I honstly thought I would never eat a marshmallow again - until I found their Very Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Oh my goodness they are even better than store marshmallows. They are light and airy and the vanilla flavor is an added bonus. I think next time I'm going to try the ones they have with chocolate chips in them. Or I might try dipping them in some low carb chocolate. Of course they are perfect all on their own so I don't really need to change anything. The same can be said for their FudgeBites and LuxeBites. They are both great fat bombs that you can keep on hand in the freezer. Their caramel sauce is great drizzled over deserts. The CoffeeLuxe is great to carry with you if you're traveling because it already has everything in it that you would normally put in your Bulletproof coffee. It's pretty ooh-la-la if I do say so myself. I purposely only had one cup from it so I could take the rest with us over Christmas break. Be sure to bookmark their website because you never know what Chef Alexa is going to come up with next!
I will leave you with this mouth watering photo of a bacon wrapped meatloaf recipe I recently made. Hopefully I've given you a little insight into the world of low carb living and not scared you away. I know it can sound scary when you're reading what all it entails and all you would have to give up, but trust me the changes are so worth it!
You can find the bacon wrapped cheesesteak meatloaf recipe and many others on my Keto Pinterest board.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of the above mentioned brand. I received product to share my honest and unbiased thoughts. However, all thoughts and opinions stated are my own and are in no way influenced by my partnership with mentioned brand.