Trust me… I completely understand that there are a million and one diets, eating plans, mindsets about food out there. I’ve been vegan, vegetarian, Whole30, stuff anything in face and regret it… you name it, I’ve probably done it! I’m not going to lie, all of my previous attempts at “diets” were strictly based on the physical and losing weight. Although sometimes it’s necessary to do that, I don’t think it’s always the best reason to go into a diet. Because eventually you will have slip ups, cheat days, or fall of the wagon completely and then you just beat yourself up. It’s no way to set yourself up for success. I think you need a bigger reason to change your eating happens. Mine was total health and a tiny bit of an eye opening scare.
A few month ago, my husband and I decided to increase our life insurance. Since it had been over 7 years since the last time, we had to go through all of the blood and urine tests again. We actually like this because we get to request a copy of those findings, and having a Dr. as a husband makes them a lot easier to decipher.
When I got my results back everything looked stellar! Except 1 number…. My A1C. Basically, your A1C gives you a 3-month snapshot into your sugar levels (as opposed to just taking your glucose which can vary from hour to hour). It was high! Like almost to the top of that comparison scale they give you! Like, a little higher and I’m officially in pre-diabetic range! I think what shocked me the most was that I really eat fairly healthy. Do I indulge? You bet! But my everyday diet was not filled with sugar, and very few processed carbs. What I did eat a lot of was fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes and other starchy but “good” root vegetables. We began to think that maybe my body just didn’t process carbs the way other peoples did. So I started doing some research and came across the Keto Diet. When I asked my husband his thoughts, he actually thought it was a good idea (this rarely happens, trust me).
I read “Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Mercola. I HIGHLY recommend this book if you truly want to do Keto the right way. I’ve come across a lot of people, recipes, etc that think they’re doing Keto simply by being “low carb” (but still eating decent amounts of fruit, sweet potatoes, etc), and high fat. But they are also not really paying attention to their protein intake which is a huge component of this as well. Without getting too sciency (you can read the book for that), you should generally be keeping your fat around 75%, protein at 20% and carbs at 5%, all while paying attention to the amount of grams you’re consuming of each. There is also an optimum level of grams of protein you should be eating per meal and per day that is calculated based on your body. Again, Dr. Mercola is much better at explaining the how’s and why’s of this. The point is to starve your body of glucose (sugar and carbs) and let your body switch to burning fat as it’s fuel instead of glucose (ketosis).
So, I set off on my quest for reducing that pesky A1C number. It was quite daunting at first, learning how to calculate all of those percentages. But I downloaded the Chronometer app that Dr. Mercola created and it made calculating those things so much easier! You have to be diligent about logging everything you eat, but it will calculate all of your macros (those percentages I talked about) and calories so you can stay on track. I also bought a scale to weigh my food and that helped immensely. I really never understood how much 3oz of chicken or steak was until I started using it. A few weeks in I got the hang of it and don’t rely on the app, although I still use it, because now I have a much better sense of what to eat to reach my goals.
Here I am 2.5 months in and loving not only how my body feels, but the bonus 12lbs of weight loss that came along with it! I plan to go back at 6 months and get blood work again to see how my A1C is looking and will report back!
Now to the good stuff! I cook at least 5 nights a week in our house (I always have so that part wasn’t a huge change for me) and I’ve come across some amazing (and not so amazing) recipes. One of the hardest things to get over both mentally and physically is how much fat you have to consume daily. We’ve been trained that fat is the enemy, when in reality it is the best fuel our bodies can use! So I’m starting off with a fat bomb recipe that helps get those fat grams up and tastes amazing! I got the original recipe from Paleo Mom Noms, but tweaked it just a tiny bit to my taste.
If you try this recipe, be sure to tell me what you think!
One note – My favorite part of this way of eating is that I can still have dairy. When eating meats and dairy, I always opt for organic and grass fed when I can. Also, some recipes call for alternative sweaters. The ones Dr. Mercola says are safe of erythritol and stevia so those are what I use.
COOKIE DOUGH FAT BOMBS
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter – I use Kerrygold
1/2 cup almond butter – I use Barney Butter
1/3 cup erythritol – I use Swerve Granulated
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz stevia sweetened chocolate chips – I use Lily’s baking chips.
Pinch of sea salt
Cream together all of the ingredients until well combined then set in the refrigerator for 30 min.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and scoop 1 inch balls of dough onto it then place in the freezer for 30 minutes to “set”.
Once set, you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or put some aside in the freezer for a later date!
*Makes 20 servings
Cal: 162 Net Carbs: 6.9g Fat: 15.7g Protein: 3.8g