March was when I found my sweet spot with our new way of eating. It was when I developed the basic daily outline that I am still following to this day & that I anticipate being able to continue to follow indefinitely.
I was a little nervous that after a month without dairy, I would re-introduce it & find that I could no longer tolerate it, but thankfully, that was not the case. I also worried that because dairy has carbs in it, it would throw off my progress. This also proved not to be the case.
Here are a few of the reasons why I do not refer to the way we eat as following the ketogenic diet, but rather refer it to it using the cumbersome description of low carb high fat diet with elements of the ketogenic diet:
- The ketogenic diet follows very strict guidelines for macronutrient percentages, and we do not calculate them
- We do not test our blood sugar or blood ketones regularly, or at all
- We occasionally cheat. We have chosen to adhere to this way of eating to lose weight, to feel better & to make sure that we enter our older years in good shape. We do not have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Neither of us currently has diabetes, heart disease, chronic high blood pressure or any of the things that we hope to avoid in our later years by eating this way.
- I respect those who adhere to the ketogenic diet 100% all the time & understand that they find it frustrating to encounter people who aren’t as devout as they are.
- Basically, I don’t want anyone to call me out for not being keto enough. I’m ok with not being keto enough for someone else. I’m keto enough for ME!
In finding my daily dietary flow, I needed to find recipes that could be made ahead. With my work schedule & the boys’ after school activities, I just don’t have time to stand at the stove every night. While we love to sit down at the table to a dinner as a family, the truth is that we rarely seem to find ourselves all at home & eating at the same time during the week at this phase in our lives.
The other factor I needed to consider is familiarity. Yes- I could make all kinds of ketogenic recipes that require obscure ingredients & lots of prep time- but that’s just not for me. I tried a number of recipes during 28 Days in Hell. I learned that ketogenic substitutes for starchy foods are just disgusting to me. I grew up on New York style pizza, delicious pasta & Italian pastry. I’m sorry, but a muffin made of coconut flour tastes like some kind of poison & a horror movie procreated, and that muffin is the demonic spawn. The lining of my stomach continued to taste those horrible creations even after I managed to get a bite choked down. It’s easier for me to just abstain from starchy foods- and their not-quite-up-to-par substitutions.
Each weekend, I choose 2 make ahead recipes & a meat to grill, plus a ketogenic dessert. I prepare these things on Saturday, and keep them in the fridge. During the week, it’s quick & easy to heat up a portion and eat an on-plan meal. This also helps avoid grabbing something that isn’t on-plan in a fit of hunger. If what you are supposed to eat is all ready for you to just grab & eat- why bother cheating?
One aspect of the ketogenic diet that we adhere to pretty completely is the concept of intermittent fasting. Google it if you are unfamiliar with it, as there are many interpretations. It’s also important to know WHY you are doing something- so don’t start intermittent fasting without an understanding of what it does to your body & why you should bother doing it. We confine all of our calorie consumption to an 8 hour window in the day. Consuming anything that has more than 50 calories will “open the eating window”.
Here is how my day goes:
- Upon waking, I make a small cup of coffee and sweeten it with a drop of Stevia Glycerite Liquid Extract* and about a teaspoon of Swerve*. This combination is the perfect amount of sweetener for me. It took some experimentation to find the right combo, and to find a sweetener that doesn’t have an unpleasant aftertaste, or just an unpleasant taste in general. I add 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream to my coffee, as this has 50 calories and does not open my eating window.
- At any time after 11 am, I make a large cup of coffee and sweeten it with 2 drops of Stevia Glycerite Liquid Extract and about a tablespoon of Swerve. I top it off with heavy whipping cream. I do not measure the heavy whipping cream. I just add it until I like the color of the coffee. I like my coffee like I like my man- strong and sweet! This is what I consider my first meal of the day.
- Around 2 pm, I have my second meal of the day, which is either a portion of something I have ready in the fridge, a salad with meat on it, or a plate with some deli meat, cheese & a handful of almonds.
- Between 5 & 6, I have my final meal of the day- a portion of something that is ready in the fridge and a portion of whatever ketogenic dessert I have in the fridge for the week.
For some, this routine might become too boring or predictable. For me, a lover of plan & routine, it is what works!
Stop back next week to learn more about how hunger & cravings changed when we adapted to our new way of eating.
* This blog will occasionally utilize affiliate links, for which I receive credit. It doesn’t cause anyone to pay more for the item in question, but it helps me be able to create content for this site. You are in no way obligated to use my links, and I will only link to the exact products I use myself, to help you achieve the same results I achieve with my recipes