The Ketogenic Cookbook [review]

Hello!  I’m not sure if you guys have heard yet, but I was lucky enough to be gifted an advanced copy of The Ketogenic Cookbook & have been enjoying it, just biding my time to review it here.  In case you haven’t heard – the book is now ‘officially’ available for sale today!  Click HERE to order yourself a copy!

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I have to say, when this book arrived on my doorstep I was amazed at just how thick & gorgeous it really is!  It’s a nice, thick book with beautiful full-color photos.  The authors, Jimmy Moore & Maria Emmerich, did a GREAT job!!  Not only is this new cookbook full of delicious sounding (& looking) recipes, they are HEALTHY & nutritious, REAL food recipes! It’s a great addition to the library of the low-carb/paleo/primal & ketogenic diet enthusiast.

I love the variety in this book.  There are some great looking breakfast recipes, lunch/dinner, & of course… treats!

The first recipe I made from the book last week were the Keto Pancakes with Brown Butter Syrup.  I made them for Brian & I for dinner… & they were delicious!!  The syrup was really good as well.

Mine don't look nearly as pretty as theirs do, but they did taste good!

Mine don’t look nearly as pretty as theirs do, but they did taste good!

The second recipe I tried out was the Stromboli, which I ended up making for dinner tonight.

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It was a bit tricky to roll out the dough & to fold it just right, but it came out pretty well in the end.  I thought the stromboli was pretty good, but Brian… well, he wasn’t quite as impressed with it.  It’s probably not a recipe we’ll be making again, mainly because it was a bit difficult to make & he didn’t care for it as much.

The third (& last recipe I’ve made up to this review), was the Dairy-Free Keto Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from the Treats section.  Brian had just recently surprised me with an ice cream maker so I can make my own sugar-free stuff at home… so, I figured the simple vanilla recipe would be the perfect one to break my new machine in on!  I made the ice cream tonight for an after dinner dessert.

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I really enjoyed this ice cream & thought it turned out great!!  It was packed with the perfect keto-friendly ingredients & was a full ketogenic reading on the meter (they give a keto meter on each recipe as to how ketogenic it is). As for Brian’s thoughts on this one – well, it has a lot of coconut oil in it… & he doesn’t like the taste of coconut oil.  I’m pretty sure if I used the butter instead – next time he’d enjoy it as well.  :)

Overall, I really like this cookbook & think it’s a great addition to any low-carb enthusiast’s kitchen.  It’s packed with REAL food recipes, uses natural sweeteners, is sugar-free, includes vegetarian recipes, & has a nice variety.  The ketogenic meter on each page is also helpful in determining how ketogenic a recipe may be.  I also found the intro in the beginning & author bios very well written & quite interesting.

If I’m being real here, I also should talk a little about what I don’t like as much… there’s not a whole lot to say on that front, except for that some of the recipes seem to deter me a bit due to looking a bit more complicated with the extra sauces & such.  Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t all that way, but I just really like the easy peasy simple stuff. 😉

Verdit:  Buy it, it’s definitely packed full of recipes & has something for everyone.

What’s your favorite type of recipe?  Are you going to order this book?

My Experience with Fasting

Hey there, friends!  Remember last week when I wrote this post talking about how I was going to try out intermittent fasting?  Well, I tried out the 16/8 method for about 4 days last week.  My thoughts/experiences?  Well, I think that fasting can have many health benefits, but I’m not so sure that it’s for ME.  We’re all individual & for some, fasting comes naturally, & for others – it feels a bit more forced.  I felt hungry & weaker when I fasted, as well as more bloated when I did eat eventually.  I also struggled a couple of the days to not eat ALL the food once I got home from work.  If I weren’t working those days… well, I don’t think I could have fasted for the whole 16 hours.  Being at work kept me busy & distracted… & away from all of my tasty food.

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A couple of my fasting days resulted in some pretty horrid headaches in the afternoons… now, I’m not completely sure if it was related, but since I’ve stopped the fasting for that amount of time I haven’t suffered a migraine.  The last day I fasted was the WORST – like, curled up on the couch in pain bad.

Will I fast anymore?  I may try it out here & there, but most likely not for as long a time period (not 16 hours, maybe just shorter ones).

Now, I’m not trying to scare anyone away from fasting.  I still think it has so many benefits… it did teach me more about my body’s hunger signals, may have aided in a bit of weight-loss from resulting in eating a bit less throughout the day, & does help in mitochondrial cellular repair & longevity… I really think how fasting works out just depends on the person, plain & simple.  Do what works for YOU.

Have you tried fasting and what were your results/experiences?

I didn’t eat for 16 hours – & I SURVIVED!!

Hey friends!!  How’s everyone doing?  Guess what?  I didn’t eat for 16 whole hours yesterday AND again today… & I didn’t die!!!  lol!  Seriously though, not eating for that long (for me) is a challenge – & a feat!  I’m a girl that just loves to eat & food is pretty much ALWAYS on my mind.  So, why would I WANT to purposely NOT eat for 16 hours?!  Experimentation, of course!  Being the science nerd I am, I am curious about the whole fasting & intermittent fasting phenomenon & all of the supposed benefits surrounding it.  So what better way to learn than to try it out myself?!

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Being that I eat a ketogenic diet & am fat-adapted, it’s not an unattainable feat to fast for a longer period of time.  Being a fat burner allows me to not be quite as hungry, keep my blood sugar levels stable, & tap into burning body fat if/when needed.  I’m not quite so sure how fasting as a normal sugar-burner (typical American diet consumption) would quite go.  Most people have to eat every few hours to keep their blood sugar stable & keep HANGER at bay.

What is intermittent fasting?  Well, it’s when you don’t eat or drink any calories (coffee & water are ok) for an extended period of time, then you eat all of your food in a certain window, or time frame.  One of the most popular methods is the 16/8.  You fast for 16 hours and then eat your food in an 8 hour window.  There are other variations & methods, but to me, this one seems to be the most attainable & to make the most sense.  Many people who practice this method say it feels somewhat natural to just skip breakfast & start eating around lunch time.

Benefits of IF:

  • Fasting can be powerful in preventing & reversing some diseases
  • The body functions at high levels both physically & mentally during extended fasts (which was critical during ancestral times when food was sometimes scarce, causing the body to adapt)
  • Animal research suggests that IF can fend off or reverse illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, & neurodegenerative disorders
  • IF helps the body to rejuvenate & repair, promoting overall health
  • Eating at certain times of the day may help regulate your circadian rhythm & actually be better for you(1)
  • Fasting helps to normalize insulin & leptin sensitivity, & boosts mitochondrial activity
  • Fasting can regulate human growth hormone, which can in turn aid in weight-loss
  • IF can help to reduce oxidative stress & decrease the accumulation of oxidative radicals in the cell(2)
  • It can simplify your day & your meals

So now that I’ve shared some of the benefits I’ve come across online, what do I hope to gain from IF?  Well, I am hoping that it will shake up my weight & help me to lose a bit of stubborn body fat.  I’m at a spot where my body doesn’t seem to want to budge for the moment, so since I’ve been curious & hearing a lot about IF lately, why not give it a go & see how my body does?  I know that IF can be controversial, especially when women are concerned.  There’s a lot out there online about the fact that IF was developed for men & men seem to be very successful with this, while women on the other hand… well, not quite as much.  There’s a lot going around about how IF is hard on a women’s hormones & how women should NOT do it.  I’ve also heard that SOME women have great success with IF, while some do not.  It seems to really vary.  I think that you don’t know how something affects you until you try, but that you should always be cautious & take note of how your body is responding.  Obviously, if I notice ill effects to the fasting – I will adjust accordingly.

So far, it’s only been two days of trying the 16/8 out.  I’ve been working the breakfast shift at work, so it’s worked out ok for me.  Working keeps me occupied & doesn’t make me miss not eating quite so much.  I’ve been fasting from 9pm until 1pm (my lunch break) and consume my calories in that 8 hour window (from 1pm until 9pm).

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My experience thus far: Again, I’ll say that i’ve only been trying this out for two days, which isn’t really much to go by… I haven’t weighed myself during this time yet, but I can say that I do feel pretty bloated.  The fasting period wasn’t too bad except for around breakfast time at work (probably smelling all of the food didn’t help) & then around the 14 hour mark or so I had some stomach rumbling.  I drank a LOT of water & black coffee most of the morning & was in the bathroom peeing constantly, which was irritating.  Being able to drink water & coffee did help with the fast though & made it feel like I could at least have something.  After I was able to break the fast at lunch time it felt GREAT!!  The only thing I noticed later was that I felt so bloated & my tummy felt unsettled & a bit… gassy.  Not cool.  I sort of felt that way again today, too.  Not sure if it’s a coincidence, or not.  I kind of feel that my tummy was unhappy that it was so empty & then had a flood of food put into it at one time.

The positives: Less food prep (didn’t have to make or take breakfast), better able to manage food intake/calories, potential weight-loss…

The negatives: Felt bloated, hungry, peed a lot due to excessive water consumption, kind of wanted to ‘eat all the food’ when I got home from work later, didn’t sleep well the first night (too much food in tummy?)

Takeaway: Not sure on this whole IF thing yet.  I think I need to give it a bit more time, but fasting that long doesn’t really come that natural to me.  Some people say not to force it & only do it if it feels natural.  As a person that LOVES to eat & thinks about food all the time – well, it’s challenging.  The jury is still out on this one… 

Resources:

  1. http://www.livescience.com/48888-intermittent-fasting-benefits-weight-loss.html
  2. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/14/intermittent-fasting-longevity.aspx

Have you tried intermittent fasting?  If so, how was your experience & results?  Please share!

Keto Diet Challenge & Strength in Numbers

Hey there, friends!!  Long time, no talk, but I’m popping in every now & then when the mood strikes me.  I just wanted to update you all on a few happenings…

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1) I am OFFICIALLY finished with all of my classes & school!!!  I am just awaiting the paperwork & my actual degree.  2) I’ve decided to join a 60 day keto challenge!  I think it’ll be great motivation & fun.  Besides, I’m doing keto anyway… so why not participate & potentially win a prize? 😉  If you’re interested in joining or checking it out, you can find more info on it HERE.  3)  Last, but not least… there is most definitely strength in numbers!  I am SO excited & happy that my husband realizes the power of keto & is back on the keto wagon with me!  Having a partner that is involved & eats very similar to you is priceless!!  I feel like we can conquer the world now!!!  *insert evil laugh here*  Seriously though, it’s so motivating & I’m so ecstatic that he’s taking control of his health & we can live long, happy, healthy lives together. :)

Other than the above news, I’ve basically been working as much as I can & just trying to enjoy this very short summer & bit of gorgeous weather.

What’s new in your neck of the woods?  Are you participating in the challenge?

Keep Calm & Keto On!

Hey there, friends!!  I’m popping in today to update you all on life’s latest happenings in my little low-carb foodie world.  I’ve been following a keto lifestyle since winter for the most part, but had a few slip-ups as of late & just overall, haven’t felt too dedicated to the lifestyle.  I need a new goal.  I think that I’ve a very goal-driven, goal-oriented person.  I love the challenge of working towards a new goal, but I’ve failed to set one for myself lately.

Goals

I’ve decided to set myself a goal & to stay in ketosis (no carby cheats) for a minimum of 30 days & the entire month of July.  Once I’m in a steady state of ketosis for an extended period the cravings for anything sugary are greatly reduced or eliminated.  Plus, I definitely hope to see more progress in my physique & leaning out.  Too many slip-ups & popping in & out of ketosis isn’t exactly conducive to progress.  Goals are good.

Being in keto makes me feel good & I still feel there are SO many benefits, even if I don’t lose the bit of extra weight as easily as I’d hoped.  As of June 30th, I rededicated myself to my goals & to maintaining ketosis.  My internship orientation is coming up at the end of August/beginning of September & I want to look as good as I feel. :)

For inspiration/motivation, I’ve been checking out the Reddit keto forums (where I got the title for this post from).  Also, check out this GREAT Ted Talk from Dr. Sarah Hallberg on Diabetes & keto – it’s a must watch even if you don’t suffer from Type II Diabetes!

Are you a goal setter?  How do you keep yourself motivated?