Wednesday 15 August 2018

Is the Keto WOE (way of eating) for you? Spoiler. The answer is Yes

While I have been eating LCHF (low carb high fat) on and off over the last 4 years, in the last 6 months or so I have become very committed to it, recently completing a straight 30 days of strict keto eating (as compared to lazy keto or dirty keto).  These are all words you will soon become familiar with on your keto journey.

So what's the lowdown? Ok so this is what I think, and why I believe in Keto. My theory is kind of simplistic I know, but it works for me
It all starts waaaaaay back after the industrial revolution when food became more processed and people got less active.  With this came increased incidences of heart attack, obesity and cancers.  So obviously this was a concern for Governments around the world.  The health of their people was getting worse, people were dying younger, and health costs were rising.  Around the 1950's the UK Government started looking at solutions for this problem and so did the US Government. They both commissioned their scientists to look into it
The UK scientists identified that sugar was the problem, whereas the USA identified that fat was the problem.  I think you know what thinking won out - based on the proliferation of low fat food and low fat marketing. 
But hey! Guess what? When you take fat out of food it tastes pretty horrific, so how do you make it taste better - you add in sugar  (Lesson number 1 - low fat really means high sugar!)
Ok so here we are in 2018 and health problems and obesity are massive problems, and rising year on year.  It is clear that the low fat diet and the traditional food pyramid is not the solution.

And that is where the Keto diet enters the frame. 

Ok here comes the science
To understand ketosis, we must first understand the role of insulin and glucose in the body.
Insulin is produced in the body in response to glucose/carbohydrate consumption. In modern diets, our body runs off of glucose for energy and therefore doesn’t need or use fat, causing your body to “store” excess sugar (glycogen) as fat in the liver and body. This can cause several health concerns including obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and fatty liver disease.
The Ketogenic Diet is a metabolic state when we consume low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat, allowing  the body to switch from using glucose as its primary fuel source to ketones (fat). This only happens when glucose isn’t available for fuel.
When the body produces ketones, the levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) in the blood increase, which are synthesized in the liver, making it an energy source to be used by every cell in the body. When we look at the muscles, heart, liver and brain, ketones are a preferred fuel source, and higher carbohydrate diets are shown to actually cause a breakdown in their functioning.
So, when we break down fat, our bodies generate ketones that help us burn fat for fuel and provide more energy than when we use sugar/glucose.
Think of throwing gasoline on a fire: that’s carbs. We see an instant increase in the flame, but it burns quickly, dampening the fire shortly after.
Now throw on a nice big log that will burn slower, more consistently, and longer. That’s fat.
On a Ketogenic Diet, your body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat (i.e. “in ketosis”), thus decreasing blood sugar and insulin levels in the blood. When in ketosis for a long period of time, it becomes easy to access your fat stores and burn them, sometimes referred to as being keto-adaptive.

Ok so how are you going to do this?!

Resources!  There are loads out there. Use them all.  I especially recommend Diet Doctor who is a Swedish doctor and expert on the subject.
  • THIS is the diet doctor website! Have a good look around this website and follow him on facebook too
  • Instagram.  Search "#Keto" on instagram and you will find thousands and thousands of IG's to follow. Search "Keto Transformations" and be prepared for your jaw to DROP.  Check out Keto Konspiracy for some food inspiration
  • Download a tracker or a carb manager.  I use myfitnesspal - but you do need to adjust the macros (75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs)
  • Facebook, facebook, facebook!  There are some super groups on facebook.  You need to join these!
  • Netflix & Youtube: Watch The Magic Pill movie and Cereal Killers movie

Some questions people have asked me!

Doesn't fat make me fat?
No.  Just like green vegetables doesn't make you green :-)

So I just eat a load of fat and I lose weight?
What is very important about keto is what you take OUT of your diet.  You
must remove the sugar from your diet before you add the fat.
But yes you must eat fat. A lot.  This is a high fat diet.  Low carbohydrate (i.e. sugar) and low protein, but high fat

What happens if I do this diet for a couple of weeks and then go back to my regular diet?
You first lose a load of weight. Yaaayyy
You then pile it back on. 
And more.
Do not do this!!!  Better to just stick to what you are doing currently rather than doing this

Can I have the occasional sweets or sugar on this diet?
See answer above
The combination of high fat and sugar is not good.  You know this :-)

So how do I get started?
You do loads and loads of research until you are happy that you know why you are doing it and how you are going to do it
You join this facebook group and you read their "files" section. There is all the information you need there!
You read the diet doctor website inside out.  You read up on Dr Berg Keto and watch youtube
You plan your food.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner for the first week.  Look at the diet plans here!
Then you start.  You eat real food.  And you feel happy

I picked up a snack in the supermarket. How do I know if something is high or low carbohydrate.  It looks healthy!
All of the resources above give information on how to read food labels.
It is really important that you learn this.  It is different in Ireland to the USA (how food is labelled) so make sure you are clear - this is where all that research comes in!
Ps. When it "looks healthy"...there is a high chance it's not lol!

Can I eat vegetables?
Yes.  Research and know the veg you can eat, and the veg you can't
My twin sister swears by broccoli smothered in coconut oil and roasted in the oven

Is fruit ok?
Do your research on this. Most fruits should be avoided as they are far too high in carbohydrate.
But avocados are your godsend!

So it's basically all about cheese?  I can eat a ton of cheese?
Nooooo.  Snacking on, and eating too much cheese, is a common mistake which prevents weight loss.  More on that here

Pizza.  I miss Pizza
I hear you.  No more pizza I'm afraid.  But you can have cheatza!  Google how to make it - you can make the base from cauliflour or almond flour (fathead pizza).  I prefer the almond flour one. It's great

Is this sustainable?
You will never feel more full and satisfied. 
Your sugar cravings will  be gone forever
Your mind and brain will feel clearer
You will lose a ton of weight
So, yes :-)

I'm not sure if I'm eating enough fat
You're probably not. Eat more butter

Come on,  this cannot be healthy??
Read up and research.  Fat is not the problem.  It is the sugar that is the enemy.  I know this is hard to get your head around based on everything that we have been told and understood over the last 50 years.  But avoiding fat has not worked.  We need to change this habit.
Don't fear fat!
Don't blame butter for what the bread did :-)

Is hummus keto?
No :-(

Seems like a lot of work to me...
You will cook more, yes.  And that will make you feel good!
Check out my recipe for buffalo chicken.  So easy and incredibly tasty.  Eat with FAT i.e. mayonnaise

What is this bullet proof coffee?
For me it is all about getting fat into my diet.  Remember this is a high FAT diet.  It is not high PROTEIN.  And remember...Low Sugar. (That's the most important, you must get that sugar out) 
I add Irish butter into my coffee.  Yep, I know that sounds totally gross.  It's not. You first get used to it and then you love it.  Lovely creamy buttery golden coffee. Mmmm.  And good for you.  You must get your mind around embracing fat (your mind will fight this, but the more research into this topic the more you will realise the benefits of fat and keto)
Get that fat straight into you in the morning via your first amazing coffee!  And all throughout the day

Intermittent fasting.  What's that all about?
That's lesson 2.  Just get yourself all researched up and started on the keto food.  Then you can look at IF

Will I lose weight? Please tell me I will lose weight
Yes.  But that's only one benefit.  Stick with it.  Soon you will be raving about this Way of Eating and how you feel and all the benefits

I feel shit.  I think I have keto flu
Yes,  You probably do.  It will go.  Three days max I bet it is gone.  Maybe two.  Ok maybe four 
Drink bone broth. Drink water. Take magnesium supplements. Take paracetamol. Add lo-salt to your diet. Savour your lovely warm buttery bullet proof coffee. Eat avocado
(Do some research on this asap if you start feeling flu-ey.  Remember it will pass)

Any more tips?
Yes.  From my twin sister.  It's a good one:
Eat food that your grandparents would recognise (umm yeah I don't think your granny would recognise that crappy protein bar you're chomping on.  Put it in the bin now)

OK so I hope this helps! I will add to this as I think of more stuff.  Feel free to post a comment/question below and I will answer.

GOOD LUCK! Comment below how y'all get on!

Keto on!

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Keto buffalo chicken

I made KETO buffalo chicken and it could not have been easier!!!

And it could not have tasted nicer!  End result pictured above.
Ok so this is how I did it!

Just 4 simple ingredients.  5 if you count whatever fat you fry them in
NB! Do not use this type of chilli sauce, it's too high in carb.  Use Frank's hot sauce!

Egg and hot sauce whisked in a bowl.  After I made one test one I doubled the amount of hot sauce - I literally just threw an extra few dollops.  Go with your own taste for these.
NB. Remember - use Frank's hot sauce, not the one in this picture

This is what I fried them in.  But only because I had ran out of my pork lard.  You could also use coconut oil

Dip the chicken in the hot sauce & egg mixture

Into the almond flour

And back into the hot sauce!

This is the very first test (individual) one I made - I didn't want to ruin all the chicken if I didn't like it

How could I not like this??

I quickly moved on to cook all the rest of the chicken

So good!!!

A question for you all out there.

Have you ever made these?  Do you think I need to use the almond flour?? Is it just adding calories?  Or adding valuable fat?

What about if I just fry them in the eggy hot sauce mixture?  Or bake them in the oven in a tray of chicken covered in the chicken and hot sauce liquid??

Thoughts welcome please :)
And a final reminder.  Use Frank's hot sauce, not the hot sauce on the pics above - it's too high in carbs.  Frank's is much better.

Sunday 5 August 2018

August Bank Holiday lakehouse weekend

I'm just back from the most glorious few days spent in a little part of Irish heaven in a house by a lake.  This might be a short blog but I am sure you will find that the photos below capture the spirit of the weekend (aka the awesomeness!). 

Amongst other things we drank wine and ate lovely food,  Relaxed with vodka and beer - while sitting outside reading (Enid & Amy) and sketching (Ciaran) while waiting for sunset.  We took a lovely spin around the gaeltacht region, dropping into the Connemara airport - hoping we might be able to buy plane tickets and take the 8 minute flight across to the Aran Islands but they were completely booked up. We visited the beautiful beach famous for it's coral sand and laughed at how Bones was practically camouflaged - he was the colour of the sand!
On Saturday afternoon we strolled into the village and had a pint in the local pub - and a quick game of pool.  It was also useful as we could access wifi in the pub.  There is nil to none coverage in the house. It's a real digital detox which is fantastic.
We twice clambered down the hand made stone path from the house to the shore of the lake and sat on rocks - chatting, and enjoying the sounds of the water lapping against the stones. What else?  Oh yes,(because we are nerds) we had a fun Saturday night playing quiz games and scrabble.  And finally, today on the way home we stopped in at the Spiddal Craft Village where Enid and I bought super fun rings made out of vintage 1 penny Irish (pre-euro) coins.

Enjoy the photos!

Ps. I cannot take credit for that adorable kissing horses shot - that was Pigsy

Pps. A special mention to Bones who was a very good boy for the whole weekend