Sunday 30 June 2019

Intermittent Fasting; What Does It Mean?

June 30, 2019 0


When you say the phrase “Today I will fast,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Let me guess—is it “But I don’t want to starve”? You’re not alone in this common misconception, so let’s break it down and make it easier to digest (pun very much intended!).

Fasting vs. Starvation

Fasting is a conscious choice. What sets fasting apart from starvation is that it’s a decision you make to intentionally not eat. The length of time you choose to fast and the purpose for fasting (be it for religious reasons, weight loss, or a detox) are not forced upon you. Fasting is done at will. Done properly, fasting can have positive effects on our overall health.

Starvation is brought upon people unwillingly by a set of circumstances out of their control, famine, poverty, and war being just a few reasons for such a catastrophic situation. Starvation is a severe deficiency in calories that can lead to organ damage and eventually death. No one chooses to starve.
Once I thought about not eating from this perspective, it made perfect sense, and it was so much easier to wrap my head around the idea. Yes, at first I was skeptical about fasting too.

Before I understood that there is a difference between fasting and starving, my first reaction to the idea of not eating was always “Why would anyone choose to starve?” The reality is, anyone who decides to fast is only choosing not to eat for a predetermined period of time. Even peaceful protests that use fasting as a means to an end have a defined goal for fasting.

Will You Feel Hungry While Fasting?

To answer that, let’s put the question in perspective. The truth is, we all fast once a day. We often eat our last meal a few hours before going to sleep, and except for nursing newborns, I can’t think of anyone who eats the moment they wake. Even if you average only six hours of sleep a night, it’s likely you’re already fasting ten hours a day. Now let’s add the idea of intermittent to the mix.

“Intermittent” means something that is not continuous. When applying that to the idea of fasting, it means you’re lengthening the time when you don’t eat between meals (the word “breakfast” means just that, breaking the fast).
Since our bodies are already accustomed to fasting once a day, the bigger issue is mind over matter. Let’s get back to the question of whether you will feel hungry. The first week may be an adjustment as you get used to the extended period of time in your new fasting goal. To help you adjust, the 4-Week Intermittent Keto Plan here builds the fasting part of your day into your sleeping hours. It’s quite possible your body will start to feel hungry around whatever time you’re currently used to eating breakfast if it’s before noon, but you will adjust within a few days.

In anticipation of the change you’re about to make, try pushing back your first meal of the day by thirty minutes every day for a week before starting the 4-Week Plan. This way, when you begin the schedule laid out here, you’ll need to adjust your timing of your final meal of the day only once you begin week two of the plan for the Meals from Noon to 6 p.m. Only schedule.

Why Choose Intermittent Fasting?

Now that we’ve cleared up what it really means to fast, and you realize it’s a conscious choice not to eat for a period of time, you might be still be wondering, why bother? The main reason that intermittent fasting (commonly referred to as IF) has taken the diet world by storm is its ability to promote weight loss. Metabolism is often categorized as one function of the human body. In reality, metabolism involves two essential reactions: catabolism and anabolism.

Catabolism is the part of metabolism wherein our bodies break down the food we consume. During catabolism, complex molecules are broken down into smaller units that release energy. Anabolism then uses that energy to begin the process of rebuilding and repairing our bodies, growing new cells, and maintaining tissues. Technically speaking, catabolism and anabolism happen simultaneously, but the rate at which they occur is different. A traditional eating schedule, where we spend the majority of our day eating, means our bodies have less time to spend in the second, or anabolic, phase of metabolism. It’s a little confusing, perhaps, because the processes are interdependent, but remember that the rates at which they occur differ. The important takeaway here is that fasting for an elongated period allows for maximum efficiency in the metabolic processes.

Another amazing side effect of fasting, even for an intermittent period as outlined in this book, is a resurgence in mental acuity. Numerous studies show that contrary to popular belief, fasting makes you more aware and focused, not tired or light-headed. Many point to evolution and our ability to survive as a species: long before food preservation was possible, mental awareness was necessary at all times so that we could live from day to day, regardless of how plentiful food resources may have been.

Scientific research points toward neurogenesis, the growth and development of nerve tissue in the brain, kicking into high gear during periods of fasting.
All roads lead toward one exceptionally important conclusion when it comes to fasting: it allows your body time to do more of the behind-the-scenes work necessary. The longer you extend the window between eating your last meal of one day and consuming the first meal of the following one, the more time your body must focus on cellular regeneration and tissue repair at all levels.

Are Liquids Allowed When Fasting?

There’s one last important detail to note about intermittent fasting. Unlike religious fasting, which generally restricts consuming any food or liquids during the fast period, IF allows you to consume certain liquids. Technically speaking, the moment you consume anything with calories, a fast is broken. Looking at it through the lens of using intermittent fasting for its weight-loss benefits means we can apply different rules.

Bone broth (here) is recommended to replenish vitamins and minerals, and to maintain sodium levels. Coffee and tea are allowed, preferably without any added milk or cream, and with absolutely no sweeteners. There are two schools of thought on adding dairy to your coffee or tea. Provided it’s only a high-fat addition, such as coconut oil or butter to make bulletproof coffee (here), many keto advocates think it’s fine, since it doesn’t disrupt ketosis. Adding MCT (medium-chain triglyceride)

oil is believed to boost energy levels and leave you feeling sated as well. Purists adhere to plain coffee or tea. You should do what works best for you, provided it doesn’t kick you out of ketosis (for ways to test for this, see here).
Let’s not forget water, as staying well hydrated is essential to any healthy lifestyle choices. Caffeine can be especially depleting, so make sure to balance coffee consumption with water intake too.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Know What Foods To Enjoy & What Foods To Avoid On Keto Diet

June 26, 2019 3

Know What Foods To Enjoy & What Foods To Avoid On Keto Diet 

It’s so easy to think about what you can’t eat on keto, but it’s much more fun to focus on all the things you can enjoy. Here’s a chart you can reference when you’re in need of some inspiration.


Eat: Zoodles, spaghetti squash and shirataki noodles
Avoid: Pasta

Eat: Use almond flour, unsweetened coconut flakes and pork cracklings
Avoid: Bread crumbs

Eat: Cauliflower rice, shirataki rice
Avoid: Rice, couscous

Eat: Heavy cream and cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar)
Avoid: Milk

Eat: Low-carb tortillas and keto bread (here)
Avoid: Bread, wraps, tortillas

Eat: Puréed cauliflower
Avoid: Mashed potatoes

Eat: Zucchini fries
Avoid: French fries and sweet potato fries

Eat: Berries; use lemons and limes for flavor
Avoid: Sweet citrus (oranges, grapefruit, clementines), tropical fruits (bananas, mango, pineapple), all dried fruits
Eat: Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs
Avoid: Beans, tofu

Eat: Stevia, monk fruit
Avoid: Sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, sugar)

Eat: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee, sesame oil (in small quantities)
Avoid: Sunflower, grapeseed, canola, peanut, safflower oils, margarine, vegetable shortening

Eat: Parmesan Crisps (here)
Avoid: Chips and sweet/salty snacks

Eat: Water (key for staying hydrated), coffee, tea
Avoid: Sugary drinks (soda, juices), alcohol

The Keto Kitchen

Leading up to starting  keto, it’s important to make sure your pantry aligns with your new eating goals. Those new goals might also be at odds with the rest of the members in your household, be they family or roommates. If so, clearing out all the carb-laden foods, sugary snacks, and processed foods might not be a possibility. In that case, it’ll be an exercise in self-control for you, especially during the first week or two, when cravings might be tricky to manage. Don’t fret. You can still claim an area of the kitchen and set up a keto-friendly zone to make sticking to the plan easier. 

And by all means, if you live on your own, or if your partner/family is doing this with you, go full throttle and use an out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new approach. Instead of discarding unwanted items, donate them to a local food pantry (check expiration dates first), or give them to your neighbors.
Once you’ve got a clean slate, it’s time to start filling the pantry with all the foods you can enjoy. Here are staple ingredients you’ll want to add to your first shopping list.

Fermented foods (make sure veggies are lacto-fermented): pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, plain full-fat yogurt
Oils: avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed or virgin coconut oil, ghee, MCT oil
Nuts and seeds (and flours made from them): almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pecans, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almond flour or meal, coconut flour
Canned goods and other shelf-stable items (make sure all nut milks are unsweetened): coconut cream, coconut milk, almond milk, olives, dark chocolate (Lily’s dark chocolate chips are sweetened with stevia), cocoa powder, tea and coffee (plain, unflavored), pork rinds, baking powder (see note below)

Spices and sweeteners: red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, bay leaves, smoked paprika, sea salts, black pepper, cumin, curry powder, everything-bagel seasoning, whole-grain mustard, stevia, monk fruit sweetener (read the label to make sure it’s not a blend mixed with sugar)
Perishables: bacon and sausage (be sure to buy sugar-free varieties), eggs, coconut wraps, low-carb tortillas, sugar-free mayonnaise, heavy cream, butter, cheese

A Word About Baking Powder & Other Ingredients

One look at the ingredients and you’ll notice there’s cornstarch in commercial baking powder. It’s actually in most homemade recipes, too. Baking powder is traditionally made with a combination of baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch. Some keto folks will tell you cornstarch is absolutely forbidden, since it’s a grain and you’re not supposed to eat any grains on keto. It’s important to remember why you’re not supposed to eat grains, though, before settling on a conclusion about baking powder. The underlying reason is that grains are carb heavy, and keto is a low-carb diet. 
The reality is, the amount of cornstarch in baking powder compared with how much you actually use in a recipe is so negligible that it barely registers. If you’re grain free for health reasons, that’s a good reason to make your own baking powder or seek out a brand without any cornstarch.

Most bacon has sugar added during the curing process, even bacon from small, artisanal farmers. While the actual amount of sugar in the end product is minimal, you might want to look for a brand that has no sugar added if you’re having trouble balancing your carb count.

Not all ketchups are created equal. In fact, many are loaded with sugar. Be sure to buy an unsweetened brand like Primal Kitchen for dipping  .

Many keto enthusiasts swear by MCT oil. It’s not coconut oil, but rather a by-product of coconut. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. Among the health benefits it is said to offer are that it keeps you satiated (feeling full), provides a quick boost of energy, and supports a healthy immune system. The full feeling it offers may be why some people believe it aids in weight loss, in that it prevents you from overeating or snacking. 

Essential Kitchen Tools

Veteran cooks likely have a well-stocked kitchen. If you’re just starting out, you’ll quickly realize that cooking your own food increases your success in sticking to a keto diet. I tend to stay away from gadgets that serve only one purpose, but exceptions to that rule are my spiralizer and avocado slicer. Homemade zoodles are a breeze to make with my handheld spiralizer, found in the hardware store’s kitchen section f.

Avocados are a keto fan-favorite. Pitting avocados also results in more emergency-room visits than you might imagine and can even result in nerve damage. This happened to a dear friend of mine who’s an experienced cook. She now owns an avocado slicer.

Regarding skillets, I find nonstick to be great if you can buy only one set of pans. Even though you’ll be consuming considerably more fat than you do in your current diet, nonstick skillets are great for making eggs and pancakes .
Here’s a list of kitchen tools and equipment that you’ll find helpful in preparing meals:
8-inch skillet -

10-inch skillet -

Spiralizer -

Digital kitchen scale -

Bento box for packing lunches -

Tongs and spatula -

Avocado slicer -

Mason jars -

Silicon candy molds (for making fat bombs) -

Chef’s knife and paring knife -

Variety of saucepans (ranging from 2 quarts to 8 quarts, if space and budget permit)

Cutting boards

Blender -

Food processor (optional, but especially helpful to grind your own nut flours) -

Carbohydrates on a Keto or Low-Carb Diet : CARBS VS. NET CARBS

June 26, 2019 1

Carbohydrates on a Keto or Low-Carb Diet : CARBS VS. NET CARBS

Carbohydrates exist in some form in almost every food source. Total elimination of carbs is impossible and impractical. We need some carbohydrates to function. It’s important to know this if we want to understand why some foods that fall into the restricted category on a keto diet are better choices than others.

Fiber counts as a carb in the nutritional breakdown of a meal. What’s important to note is that fiber does not significantly affect our blood sugar—a good thing, since it’s an essential macronutrient that helps us digest food properly. By subtracting the amount of fiber from the number of carbs in the nutritional tally of an ingredient or finished recipe, you’re left with what’s called net carbs.

Think about your paycheck before taxes (gross), and after (net). A terrible analogy, perhaps, since no one enjoys paying taxes, but an effective one in trying to understand carbs versus net carbs and how to track them. You put a certain number of carbs into your body, but not all of them affect your blood sugar level.

This doesn’t mean you can go crazy with whole-grain pasta. Even though it’s a better choice than white-flour pasta, overall, you should be limiting your net carbs to 20 to 25 grams per day. To put that in perspective: two ounces of uncooked whole-grain pasta have about 35 grams of carbohydrates and only 7 grams of total fiber. Probably pasta and bread are the two main things that people will ask you if you miss. Best way to answer them is by sharing all the things you can eat (see the Keto Cheat Sheet here).

How are Paleo and keto different?

June 26, 2019 1

How are Paleo and keto different?.

Evolution offers us many benefits. The ability to use fire and electricity to cook our food is proof alone that progress can be a good thing. Somewhere between our hunter-gatherer foraging lifestyle and today’s modern world, a big disconnect happened. Sure, we have longer life spans now, but what about the quality of those extra years from a health perspective? The sluggish feeling that never seems to go away may be not just because you need to get extra sleep (though sleep is always a good thing!).

If food is fuel for our bodies, then it’s safe to say that what we eat has an impact on our productivity. Put diesel in a car designed to run on gasoline and the effects are disastrous. Is it possible our bodies are in a similar state today, the result of our systems’ having evolved to rely on carbs for energy as food became more reliably available, instead of fat, as in our early days of existence? I realize this sounds an awful lot like advocating for a paleo diet, but while the ketogenic lifestyle looks similar, the underlying principle to keto is vastly different. Keto is about creating a synergy between what you eat and the way your body functions—that’s why the focus is on a specific manipulation of macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fluids). Every calorie is made up of specific macronutrients. Understanding why you’re making such specific food choices is key to comprehending the bigger picture.

Fiber, for example, keeps us regular because it helps food pass through the digestive system. What goes in must come out, and fiber is essential to that process. Protein aids in tissue repair, producing enzymes and building bones, muscles, and skin. Fluids keep us hydrated—without them, our cells, tissues, and organs cannot function properly. Carbohydrates’ primary role is to provide energy, but to do so, the body must convert them into glucose, which has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the body.

Carb consumption is a delicate balance for people with diabetes because of its relationship to insulin production from increased blood sugar levels. Healthy fats support cell growth, protect our organs, help keep us warm, and have the ability to provide energy, but only when carbohydrates are consumed in limited quantities.

Tuesday 25 June 2019


June 25, 2019 0


On the surface, carbohydrates are a quick,, often fast and inexpensive form of nutrition to power through each day. Think about all those grab-and-go snacks we associate with breakfast—granola bars, fruit-filled smoothies, muffins. We start our mornings with carbs, and we keep piling them on as the day progresses.

Just because something works doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient means. The tissues and cells that make up our bodies need energy to perform everyday functions to keep us alive. There are two primary sources from which they can draw energy from the foods we eat. One form of energy is carbohydrates, which convert to glucose. That is the current model that most of us follow. 

There’s  an alternative fuel, though, and a surprising one: fat. Yes, the very thing you’ve been told to limit your entire life might just be the resource you need to jump-start your metabolism. Organic compounds, called ketones, are released when our bodies metabolize food and break down fatty acids. Ketones act as energy to keep our cells and muscles functioning.

You’ve likely heard the word “metabolism” throughout your life, but do you know what it means exactly? The term simply refers to the chemical reactions required in any living organism to stay alive. Of course, our metabolism is anything but simple given the complexities of the human body. Our bodies are constantly at work. Even when we’re sleeping, our cells are continually building and repairing. They need to extract the energy from within our bodies.

Glucose, which is what carbs are broken down into once we eat them, is one way to fuel our metabolism. Our current nutrition guidelines focus on carbs as the primary source of energy. Factor in any additional sugars we eat and the recommended daily servings of fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and plant-based forms of protein (e.g., beans), and there’s no lack of glucose in our bodies. The problem with this model of energy consumption is that it leaves us like hamsters running on one of those wheels. 

We’re burning energy but getting nowhere, especially if we’re consuming more carbs than our bodies can use in a day’s work.
But there’s that other form of energy I mentioned: fat. How does that work exactly? Is it possible that tapping into that alternative fuel source will help our bodies burn energy more efficiently, with greater overall benefit to our health? We’re back to that old idea of you are what you eat, except now think about the principal theory instead as you burn what you eat. 

That’s where ketosis comes into play. Switching to a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet allows your body to enter a state of ketosis, wherein you metabolize fat, triggering a release of ketones to fuel the functions of our elaborate inner workings. The liver releases ketones after fatty acids are broken down.

Achieving a state of ketosis is about balance, but not the kind you’re used to when it comes to eating. It turns out that our current food pyramid, which instructs us to consume an inordinate amount of carbohydrate-rich foods for energy, is upside down. A more efficient plan for fueling your body has fats at the top, making up 

60 to 80 percent of your diet; protein in the middle at 20 to 30 percent; and carbs (really glucose in disguise) way at the bottom, accounting for just 5 to 10 percent of your daily eating plan.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Delicious Keto Low-Carb Baked Eggs in Avocado ... Quick & Easy!!

November 28, 2018 0

Delicious Keto Baked Eggs in Avocado ... Quick & Easy!!

Servings: 1 
Cooking: 20 MINS


1 small egg
1 1/2 avocado
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon parsley to taste
Topping of choice (ham, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, black olives, lettuce )


Preheat oven to 440°F (220°C).

Put the avocado on a baking sheet and scoop out some of the flesh to make a hole.

Crack the small egg into a hole of avocado and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15 to 20 min until reaches desired consistency.

Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, ham and parsley to taste .

Enjoy your meal !!

Nutrition Value per serving:

Calories 330
Carbohydrates 1
Protein 14

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Standard 28-Day Meal Plan: Shopping List Week 4

November 27, 2018 3


Meat, Eggs, and Seafood

• Bacon, thick-cut – 20 slices
• Beef, ground (80% lean) – 2 pounds
• Beef, sirloin – 8 ounces
• Chicken wing pieces – 1 pound
• Eggs – 30 large
• Halibut, boneless – 4 (6-ounce) fillets
• Ham, deli, diced – 1 cup

• Ham, deli, sliced – 1 ounce
• Ham, fat-free – 30 ounces
• Pancetta, diced – 2 ounces
• Salami – 1 ounce
• Turkey, sliced – 1 ounce
• Tuna, in oil – 2 (6-ounce) cans

Fruits and Vegetables

• Asparagus – 1 pound
• Avocado – 1 small, 5 medium
• Bell pepper, green – 1 small
• Bell pepper, red – 1 small
• Cauliflower – 2 medium heads
• Cucumber – ½ cup
• Garlic – 1 head
• Ginger – 1 piece
• Kale – 1 cup

• Leeks – 2 medium
• Lemon – 1
• Lettuce – 8 cups
• Mushrooms – 8 ounces
• Onion, green – 1 bunch
• Onion, yellow – 1 small, 1 large
• Tomato – 1 medium
• Tomatoes, cherry – 1 cup

Refrigerated and Frozen Goods

• Almond milk, unsweetened – ½ cup
• Broccoli, frozen – ¼ cup
• Butter – 5 tablespoons
• Cheddar cheese, shredded – ½ cup
• Cheddar cheese, sliced – 2 slices
• Cream cheese – 1 ounce
• Heavy cream – ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon
• Mayonnaise – ¼ cup
• Mozzarella cheese, shredded – 1 cup
• Parmesan, grated – 6 tablespoons

Pantry Staples and Dry Goods

• Almond flour – 2 tablespoons
• Apple cider vinegar
• Baking powder
• Baking soda
• Balsamic vinegar
• Black pepper
• Broth, chicken – 4 cups
• Chia seeds – 2 tablespoons
• Coconut, unsweetened, shredded – ¼ cup

• Coconut butter – ½ cup
• Coconut extract
• Coconut flour – 1 ¼ cups
• Coconut milk, canned – 1 cup
• Coconut oil
• Cream of tartar
• Dark chocolate (90% cacao) – 4 ounces
• Dijon mustard
• Garlic powder
• Ground cardamom
• Ground cinnamon
• Ground cloves

• Ground ginger
• Olive oil
• Liquid stevia extract
• Pickle relish
• Powdered erythritol
• Salt
• Sesame oil
• Soy sauce
• Vanilla extract

A Keto Helper: The FREE 28 Day Meal Plan With Recipes,Macros & Shopping List