I hope you caught part 1 of the lazy girl’s guide to Keto on Tuesday. If not, make sure you catch it before reading this part!
How to follow a keto diet
In principle, you are supposed to feed your body a certain number of grams of fat, calories, and carbs in each day in order to “be Keto.” You’re counting macros, calories, fibres, and carbs.
As someone who has struggled with their relationship with food — their entire life — I was not thrilled to be rekindling behaviours that had me tracking everything I ate.
Instead, Dan and I chose to make this as easy on ourselves as we could, and decided to ONLY track our carbs. This is the lazy girl’s way to a keto diet.
It’s actually a heck of a lot easier than you’d think, especially once you find the carbs you want to eat, because you quickly learn what the portion size is. To keep me at/under 20g of carbs a day, it’s either:
- 3 squares of Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup of Halo Top Icecream + 1 square of chocolate
- 1 square of chocolate + a gin with diet tonic
- 3 chocolate caramel nut clusters etc.
You get the point, and you can also see that chocolate is my vice. I need chocolate to remain a functioning member of society. If I’m sent to a remote island with 3 things, it’s going to be a water filter, infinity chocolate, and a swiss army knife.
Some people may say “hey! you’re not tracking your macros or your fibres, or your calories! you’re not doing it!” to which I say “why does what I eat matter to you?” This is what has worked for us, and allowed us the freedom to live our lives without being those assholes who bring their own food in a tupperware to a party #nottodaysatan
There are hidden carbs
There are hidden carbs, and it always feels like a stab in the back when I find them. For a full list of items with carbs, read the labels on the packaged food you love.
Here are a few items with hidden carbs that effect me:
- Processed cheese aka american cheese aka Kraft singles
- Starbucks’ Sous-Vide Egg Bites (I was SHOOK when I actually read the info)
- Gin *INTERNAL GASP*
- Nuts – not all nuts are created equal, and should only be consumed in small portions
- Quinoa – obvious, but not really. Everyone thinks it’s healthy, but it’s not Keto friendly
- Ketchup – I knew it was full of sugar, and I don’t particularly like it, but I know some people eat it with every meal.
- Milk has lots of sugar, so on Keto you’d be moving to cream and whipping cream.
- Fruit is a hard no. This suits me perfectly, but I know some people live on it. It’s full of sugar, it’s a no.
- 1 can of pop is about 3-4 days worth of carbs. Most diet pops are OK, and Sugar Free Coca Cola is.
- 1 small fry at McDonals is 2 days worth of carbs
- 100g of Cashews are a full day’s worth of carbs
- 1 tbsp of peanut butter is half you day’s carbs
Reading your food labels will truly shock you. Always check the portion size too. Those can be deceiving. If you’re unsure just how much is in your portion (I’m a visual person) take the time to measure-out the portion size, and see if that’s really worth the carbs to you.
Foods we love to cook that are Keto
I am more than happy to start up a Keto recipe series, but for now I’m happy to list some items we’ve loved cooking. Eating a Keto diet is pretty simple once you get down to it, and you’ll find yourself going back to a lot of ingredients and recipes because they work.
- Zoodles: aka zuchinni that has been spiralized as a noodle. We use them instead of pasta to make things like carbonara, tomato sauces etc. I don’t steam it because it gets soggy. Instead I flash fry it in bacon grease for flavor + extra fat.
- FAT HEAD pizza: If you’ve ever had a really good thin crust pizza, then you’ll love this. There are some carbs in it, but there’s a minimal amount per slice. You then dress it like a regular pizza, but we use pesto instead of tomato sauce.
- Chicken Pizza: aka chicken parm. We tenderize a chicken breast, blind bake it until it’s cooked, and then dress it like a pizza. This one is incredibly satisfying.
- Bulletproof Coffee: This sounds absolutely awful. Once you’ve tried it though, you’ll be a convert. You would never know there was butter in it. It is so incredibly filling, and full of fats which is what your body runs on with Keto.
- Sugar free Jello: add some fresh whipped cream, and girl, do you have a dessert on your hands!
- Halo Top Ice Cream: the serving size is reasonable, and a great option on hot summer days when you really want a triple thick milkshake.
- Salmon with veggies: fry everything in butter.
- Salads: Salads all day, night, and weekend. Salads are a MUST on keto, because otherwise you will be constipated. It’s not cute.
- BBQ food is doable, just watch for sugary sauces and no buns. Brisket is my new best friend.
This site has an entire repertoire of food ideas that you can start with. Like I said though, you’ll quickly learn what you love, and go from there.
Changing your relationship with Food
This is a huge part of making the keto switch sustainable, and worth while. I am an anxious person – no surprise here. I eat to soothe, I reward myself with food, and I eat just to eat. Or at least I did.
A huge part of eating keto has meant that my food options for any of the above behaviours are no longer an option. Sure, I could an entire bag of lettuce, but it doesn’t quite do the trick, and it promotes the same behaviour. I’m not interested in that.
Instead, I’m trying to find ways to address my issues instead of just eating. When I’m anxious, I go for a walk. I talk to Dan about it, I stroke Bruce and cuddle Boots. I drink water. When I want to reward myself, I do it with experiences like going to the movies, taking the night off work.
This is the hardest part of the journey so far. Food has been my crutch for years. Even at my fittest, I was still just working out to support my food choices, and that’s no better. Now, I hold myself accountable for my emotional decisions, and by sharing with you, I’ve made it even more public.
The lazy girl’s tips for living day to day with Keto
Like I’ve said before, I didn’t this lifestyle change to be a lot of work. Thankfully it’s not. 3 months in, we’ve got our habits, know what we like, and know where our food is in the grocery store.
I’ve also figured out which restaurants have dishes that work in our favor, and which fast food places can be made to work. It’s great!
I finished part 1 of the guide by saying that I do not feel deprived, and that’s the truth. I don’t. As long as I’m getting all my fats and fibres — and my 3 squares of chocolate – I’m good!
I know some die-hards will say that this isn’t keto, or I should be tracking my macros, but honestly — that’s not for us. This is for us, and we’re committed to it until December. At that point we’ll re-evaluate and see what we want to do.
Once we’ve hit our goal weights, we’ll likely just slowly increase our carb allowance to a point where we can maintain. We may also try switching to Paleo. Who knows!
Don’t forget to seek out resources, educate yourself, and consult with your physician.