How to Get Started On a Ketogenic Diet

If you are a complete newbie to this way of eating, please take the time to inform yourself. The best thing to do in this case is to “clean up your diet”, before you overwhelm yourself with carb counting and introducing new foods at every single meal. I suggest reducing carbohydrates gradually so that your system has a chance to adapt and you get plenty of opportunity to get your head around new foods, cooking methods and shopping lists! However, some people prefer making radical changes and starting the diet straight away, provided they do not have any underlying health issues (e.g. malnutrition, thyroid, cardiovascular problems). I have good experience with the following steps before starting proper carbohydrate restriction (daily carbohydrate intake of 50g or lower). You choose the pace:

1. Eliminate sugar in all forms and shapes. This includes fruit juices, sports drinks, honey, agave and all the other sweeteners. Educate yourself around the subject.

2. Replace the sugar calories with healthy fats like avocadoes, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee and MCT oil.

3. Eliminate gluten in any shape or form. This includes wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley and oats.
Remove grains in general as well as grain-derived and vegetable oils (corn, soy and rapeseed/canola). Be careful with unstable polyunsaturated oils (walnut, flax, peanut oil) and always store them in the fridge.

4. Eliminate all synthetic additives, colourings and flavorings- basically any names on an ingredient list that you do not recognise! This includes aspartame, MSG, dyes and artificial flavorings.

5. Eatwild caught seafood and pastured, grass-fed meat within the limits recommended by the World Cancer Research Fund (details see page 12). My favorite red meat is lamb- here in Ireland we are very lucky that it is grass fed, readily available and inexpensive. To balance this, also have (oily) fish, free range or organic eggs, some chicken, duck and shellfish.

6. Eliminate legumes such as beans and lentils. Small amounts of sprouted lentils or beans are fine. Use peanut butter as a condiment in sauces if you tolerate it well and are not following a Paleo diet but otherwise replace it with sesame paste, for instance.

7. Remove all processed, homogenized and pasteurized dairy. Full fat, whole butter from goats or grass-fed cows are the exceptions.

8. Switch to organic fruits and vegetables as much as your budget allows. This is more important for some plants than others. Google “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” and you will find a list provided by the Environmental Working Group.

9. Cook your food gently, if at all. Always have a good amount of raw food in your daily diet if well tolerated. Prefer steaming, slow cooking and baked at 180C/350F or lower. Incorporate water into your cooking whenever possible and use low temperatures. Do not use a microwave or deep fry. Burnt, blackened or charred foods need to be thrown out.

10. Limit fruit consumption to 1-2 small servings (i.e. one handful) per day. Go for low fructose containing fruits like berries and lemons over watermelon and apples.

11. Add spices and other flavorings. Start experimenting witherbs and spices such as turmeric, oregano, parsley, coriander thyme or rosemary. Bear in mind that these contain carbohydrates, too.

12. Enjoy your food, preferably in great company!

Once you are ready to embrace a ketogenic diet, begin with some technicalities. I strongly recommend buying weighing scales for weighing your food- I do give rough measurements in e.g. tablespoons/cups but this is nowhere near as exact as a measurement in grams, which the software uses to calculate nutrient values. If you want to monitor your nutrients as closely as possible, do purchase weighing scales and start measuring in grams.

Calculate your daily calorie requirements based on your basal metabolic rate (BMR). I am no fan of counting calories at all but most hospitals and consultants feel that it is important to keep an eye on them, especially if a cancer patient is losing weight too quickly.

In order to achieve a faster “metabolic switch-over”, some people prefer to do a 2- or 3-day fast. However, experts do not recommend doing this if your nutritional status is compromised, you are weak and/or are in advanced stages of the disease. Intermittent fasting, where the window of time during which food is consumed is gradually restricted to about 8 hours, can be another effective tool in reaching and maintaining nutritional ketosis. A realistic schedule would be to have dinner at 6pm for instance and then not eat anything until 10am the following day. Intermittent fasting is generally easier and more efficient for men whereas it can pose problems for some women, especially if thyroid issues are present.

Bacon and Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip

Have you ever thought of planning a dip party? Well if not then this is the time to arrange one for your friends and family. The best dip is always the one that comes out dripping from the oven. A dip should always be rich in flavors. There may be many recipes of dips available but I am sure this one will surely make you fall in love with the flavors. The perfect dip has the perfect ingredients mixed in it and what could be better than a Bacon and Garlic spinach dip. The usual dip that is available in the market has the flat taste it seems like that one is eating nothing but a mixture of spinach and cheese.

If you are in mood then make your dip at home. This is definitely one great recipe for a dip made form spinach and do not forget to store a jar of this dip because after tasting it people will be coming back over and over again just to taste your dip. The elements of this dip are very simple and easily available in the market:

The ingredient list

  • Use at least 6 slices of bacon
  • 8 ounces of soft cream cheese
  • Use only ½ cup 0f other cheese (sour cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic (roasted)
  • Fresh parsley
  • 2 ½ ounce of parmesan cheese
  • 5 stalks of fresh and green spinach

The preparation

1. Weigh exactly 8 ounces of cream cheese. For this purpose you should have an accurately measuring weighing balance in your kitchen

  • 2. Now stir fry bacon pieces until the skin is golden in color
  • 3. Now take out the bacon and press it over the tissue paper to get rid of excess oil.
  • 4. Stir fry spinach in the leftover grease of bacon until it is softened
  • 5. Take a large bowl and add sour cream, cream cheese, parsley and salt and pepper according to your taste.
  • 6. Now mix the ingredients in the bowl well and then add the golden crispy bacon in it
  • 7. Now in the same bowl add the softened spinach, the grease of bacon and lime juice. Again mix it well
  • 8. Now add the parmesan cheese in the bowl and again mix.
  • 9. Now divide the mixture into 3 equal portions and put in the baking dishes
  • 10. Now bake it in pre-heated oven
  • 11. Now serve the dip with your favorite meal and enjoy the flavors

This mixture will make up to six servings having a total calorie content of 300. The fats are 26.4 grams, 3.4 grams of carbs and 12 grams of proteins

Bacon & Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip Calories Fats (g) Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
6 slices Bacon 638 61.5 0 0 0 21
8 oz. Cream Cheese 560 56 8 0 8 16
1/2 cup Sour Cream 240 20 4 0 4 4
5 oz. Fresh Spinach 33 1 5 3 2 4
2.5 oz. Parmesan Cheese 305 20 3 0 3 27
1 1/2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley 1 0 0 0 0 0
1 tbsp. Roasted Garlic 15 0 3 0 3 0
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice 4 0 1 0 1 0
Salt and Pepper to Taste 2 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 1798 158.5 24 3 21 72
Per Serving ( /6 ) 299.7 26.4 4 0.5 3.5 12

How To Make Peace With Ketogenic Diet ?

Many of you are fired up and ready to start the moment you learn about the ketogenic diet. This is especially grand if you’re newly diagnosed. Now is the time to jump in and make the most impact. Hit
it with all you’ve got! The step-by-step guidelines in this book and other resources noted here will get you started down the right road.

Know that you have options. Yes, options! Although you may feel pressure to act immediately, do your best to make thoughtful moves towards health, not knee-jerk reactions to disease. Use the diet to give
you the space that you need but do understand that you need more than “diet” in your toolkit!

Watch out for the “yeah…buts”. These are obstacles to action:

“Yeah, I know I shouldn’t have eaten it, but it was my birthday and my daughter baked me a cake.” You could blow out the candles, cut the cake, and move forward with “What I REALLY want is a cup of tea”.
“Yeah, I can stop buying chips for myself but my husband would be lost without them.” Ask your husband to keep his chips at work or at least out of your sight.

You get the picture, right? This diet is a choice, not an imperative. You’re the one calling the shots!

Be sure that you are doing this for yourself and not simply to please a loved one. Recently, I read a series of blog posts written by a woman who adopted a ketogenic diet at the urging of her husband. As I scanned her posts, I realized that she never did get on board. It was painful to read repeated references to “cheats” and “transgressions”. Who wants to live like that? Change the story you tell yourself!

To Caregivers: Most initial requests for info come to me from spouses, relatives or friends of the person with cancer. I always ask: “Is your loved one on board with this?” If the answer is “not yet”,
I suggest education over coercion. Whatever your loved one decides, be prepared to offer your love and support. Remember, this diet is a choice.

Keto Pizza Frittata

Frittatas can be identical twins for pizza. These both the dishes might have the same appearance but they differ in their taste. Both the dishes are made from entirely different ingredients. Frittatas are a great choice for picnic because it does not contain any liquid material that will spill during travelling. You can use as many ingredients in the frittata as you want.

The best part of making frittata is that you can make 8 servings. It is a best meal that you can have in your breakfast. Children specially would love to frittata dressed with their favorite dressing or served with their favorite dip.

The ingredient list

12 eggs
9 ounces of spinach (Frozen)
1 ounce pepperoni
5 ounce mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon garlic (Minced)
½ cup ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese
4 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Add salt and pepper to taste

The preparation method

1. Take out the frozen spinach from refrigerator and place in microwave. Heat or defrost for 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure you do not over heat it. After this squeeze the spinach leaves between your hands to drain off the excess water.

2. Combine eggs, condiments and olive oil. Mix everything with a whisker. In the meanwhile pre-heat oven at 375 degrees.

3. Now add spinach, ricotta and parmesan cheese in the above mixture. While adding spinach make sure to break the large twigs into smaller ones.

4. Now pour the mixture into baking tray. Add mozzarella cheese form top. Also do not forget to add pepperoni from top.

5. Bake the frittata for half an hour but if you are using glass container then bake for at least 45 minutes.

6. Now take it out form the oven and slice it. Enjoy the frittata with your favorite dip or dressing.

This recipe will make eight servings and contains 296 calorie in total. It also contains fats of 23.8 grams, 2.1 grams of Carbs, and 19.4 grams of Protein.

Keto Pizza Frittata Calories Fats (g) Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
12 large Eggs 840 60 6 0 6 72
1 9oz bag Frozen Spinach 60 0 9 6 3 6
1 oz. Pepperoni 130 12 0 0 0 6
5 oz. Mozzarella Cheese 425 32 3 0 3 31
1 tsp. Minced Garlic 4 0 1 0 1 0
1/2 cup Fresh Ricotta Cheese 180 12 4 0 4 16
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese 240 18 0 0 0 24
4 tbsp. Olive Oil 500 56 0 0 0 0
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg 3 0 0 0 0 0
Salt and Pepper to Taste 5 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 2387 190 23 6 17 155
Per Serving ( /8 ) 298.4 23.8 2.9 0.8 2.1 19.4

How To Increase Micronutrients Consumption In Our Diet ?

It’s high time we understand the role of micronutrients in making us healthier. New cutting edge research has proven how essential micronutrient is to ensuring we have good health. The role of micronutrients in keeping us healthy cannot be over emphasized. They make up the:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Enzymes and Phytonutrients

The primary source of micronutrients is plant-based, they are not found in animal or dairy products. An average American diet is made up of 10% of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds which are not sufficient. We lack the micronutrients which build our body cells. Most people are only beginning to realize the significant role micronutrients play in our health, but the awareness is still poor. There has been an increase in complex health cases even around the world. To curb this situation from escalating, people are advised to increase the content of micronutrient rich fruits and veggies in their daily diet.

Let us focus on the diets that will help in strengthening the immune system

Any diet high in the following is recommended:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Mushrooms
  • Berries

Enriching our food with the above will health reduce the cases of ailments in our community. There are so many benefits in increasing micronutrient content in our daily diet. Some of the advantages are:

  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Lower Blood Sugar
  • Immune System Boost
  • Decrease Body Weight
  • And Even Cancer Prevention

Eating processed food is not bad especially when we are famished, but you should understand that the body also needs the nutrition that comes from micronutrients. Therefore, the cravings to eat even more will still exist. The cells are always in need for micronutrients because we don’t eat enough of them. This article is meant to encourage you to add more micronutrient rich foods to your diet. We want you to understand that several colored food is king! For you to take full advantage of the benefits of micronutrients, you need to get a wide variety of colors of produce mixing them up with red bell peppers, brilliant yellow and orange squash, green leafy vegetables, eggplant and purple beets

Improving Our Micronutrient Consumption

One of the reasons for the low consumption of micronutrients is because of the demand to meet up with our daily job responsibilities, which makes us not to have enough time to prepare a proper nutritious diet. This makes our body lack the basic micronutrients. We neglect the addition of micronutrient source foods because our body needs them in small amount, but we forget that micronutrients are essential for every system in our body to function well.

Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient which is needed to improve our eyesight and gums. For our immune system to work very well, we need to eat fruits and foods that are rich in Vitamin C. To fight free radical damage we need antioxidant which is provided by Vitamin E. What about making our bones to be strong? Vitamin D is needed to achieve that.

The functions of micronutrient in our body are inexhaustible. Even for proper digestion and energy production, our body needs Vitamin B.

To improve the content of micronutrient in diet, we have listed the fruits/foods that are rich in different micronutrients in the table below. These will become guild to improve your consumption of micronutrients.

Name Of Vitamin Micronutrient Rich Fuit/Food

A Cheese, Milk, eggs (yolk), orange and yellow fruits and vegetables
B Green leafy vegetables, legumes, wholegrain cereals, nuts, seeds
C Broccoli, citrus fruits, strawberry, parsley, cabbage
D Cabbage, citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberry, parsley,
E Lean meat, green leafy vegetables, legumes

Other micronutrients needed by the body are

Calcium: Can richly be found in green leafy vegetables, dairy products, almonds, and tahini

Magnesium: Can also be found in green leafy vegetables, Nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes

Selenium: Oats, Brazil nuts, wheat germ, sunflower seeds contain it.

Zinc: Is contained in chicken, fish Lean meat, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Pot Roast Recipe


● 3 pounds rump roast, chuck roast or other cut suitable for pot roast
● 1 quart full fat buttermilk (make sure it has active cultures)
● 1 teaspoon garlic powder (and/or 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped roughly)
● 1 Tablespoon onion powder (and/or ½ of a large onion, chopped roughly)
● 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
● ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the gravy:
● ¼ cup butter
● 2 cups beef stock
● several sprigs thyme, tied together
● 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder mixed with 2 Tablespoons filtered water
● optional: ¼ cup heavy cream
● sea salt and pepper


1. Pour the buttermilk into a gallon Ziploc bag and add to it: 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper. Close the bag and make sure the mixture is combined.
2. Using a needle or skewer, stick the meat all over to make holes for the marinade.
3. Place the roast in the Ziploc bag with the buttermilk marinade.
4. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for several days (up to 3 full days is fine).
5. Remove the meat from buttermilk and leave it dripping wet and put it into a crock pot. Discard the buttermilk marinade.
6. Cook in the crock pot all day on low or until it’s done (turning over once during cooking if possible), remove meat to a plate to cool.
7. Pour out all of the liquid from the crock pot into a strainer over a bowl.
8. In a saucepan, heat ½ stick of butter (1/4 cup) until it’s no longer foaming.
9. Add the arrowroot/water mixture and whisk until it’s cooked for a few minutes and it’s boiling.
10. Add the beef stock and whisk until the gravy is completely heated. Let cook for 10 minutes, add optional cream near the end and allow gravy to heat up again. Serve with a side vegetable such as cauliflower rice.

Protein Chart

Protein Food and Serving Size Calories Net Carbs Protein grams
Bacon, 1 medium slice, (6 grams) cooked 40 2
Beef, Ground, 4% fat, 1 ounce, broiled 34 7.5
Beef, Ground, 15% fat, 1 ounce, broiled 80 6.1
Beef, Roast, 1 ounce, baked 67 8
Beef, Sirloin Steak, 1 ounce, broiled 77 8
Chicken, dark meat, 1 ounce 40 7
Chicken, white meat, 1 ounce 33 7
Egg, 1 extra-large, 56 g 81 4 7
Egg, 1 jumbo, 63 g 90 45 7.9
Egg, 1 large, 50 g 75 36 6.3
Egg, 1 medium, 44 g 70 32 5.5
Egg, 1 small, 38 g 65 27 4.7
Fish, Cod, 1 ounce 30 6.5
Fish, Flounder, 1 ounce 27 5
Fish, Salmon, 1 ounce 60 7
Fish, Sole, 1 ounce 27 5
Ham, smoked, 1 ounce 40 1 5.3
Hot dog, beef, 1.25 ounce 148 1.8 5
Lamb chop, 1 ounce 70 7
Lamb, ground, 1 ounce 80 4.7
Nuts, Almonds, roasted, 1 ounce 170 3.6 6.2
Nuts, Cashews, roasted, 1 ounce 165 9.1 4.3
Nuts, Macadamia, roasted, 1 ounce 205 1.2 2.2
Nuts, Pecans, 1 ounce, raw 192 2.3 2.6
Nuts, Pistachios, 1 ounce, roasted 170 4 5.3
Nuts, Walnuts, 1 ounce 175 4 2
Pork chop, 1 ounce 60 7
Pork ribs, spareribs, 1 ounce, roasted 116 8
Pork, roast 1 ounce 60 7
Scallops, 1 ounce 23 2 6
Shrimp, 1 ounce 26 1 6
Tuna, 1 ounce 32 6.5
Turkey Breast, 1 ounce 30 1 7
Veal, roasted, 1 ounce 45 8


Keto Pumpkin Bread Loaf

Hey, trust your day’s cool and want some keto action to ginger your day. The season is really getting colder, but it’s a great time for us ketoers to have fun and spice up our morning with another keto delicacy. Today I am going to share some wonderful keto recipe you will find awesome to get you going for the morning chores.

For the morning, let’s make and enjoy a warm treat of keto pumpkin bread loaf, it’s a special one you will like to make again and again. It will be as usual low fat, content rich and great value for your body. For this recipe, we are gonna have our nutrient carefully mapped to give you the best value with 120 total calories, 8.7gram fat with our total carbs just 3.1gram and of course our protein 4.5 grams in total. I bet you will love; so, come with me as we prepare our keto pumpkin bread loaf for the sumptuous enjoyment of the whole family.

Loaf preparation: For evenly rise of the loaf, use a water bath at the bottom of your oven. It’s a trick I picked up back in the days; it gives your loaf complete robustness, evenness and quick rise even bigger. Don’t share this trick anyhow, it’s a professional bakers’ trick to produce bigger loaves. So, it’s an industry trick am sharing with you. Well, enough of sharing industry tricks; more in subsequent discussions. Hey, note that the steam works fine in early 5 to 10 minutes of baking, so only a cup of water to the baking dish is ideal so it will dry up when you put the loaf into the oven.

We will make 10 slices of our delicious Keto Pumpkin Bread Loaf with the following ingredients, so get ready


  • 1 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 large Egg Whites
  • 1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 cup Psyllium Husk Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice


1. Measure all dry ingredients ready into a sifter

2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Preheat your oven to 350f waiting for your loaf. In the bottom rack of the oven, put a 99 baking dish with a cup of water in it.

3. Make a mixture of pumpkin puree and coconut milk to give you a nicely resistant dough after mixing.

4. In the second bowl, whip the egg whites, you may add some cream of tartar for stability if you want.

5. You should aggressively fold in 1/3 of the egg whites in the dough to absorb some of the moisture. And add the rest of it, gently fold into the dough.

6. Spread the dough into a thoroughly greased standard bread pan using butter or coconut oil; I used coconut oil, it’s my favorite.

7. Now to the oven for heat works. Bake for 75 minutes.

8. Wow! Its 75 minutes already, yummy! Bring out your sweet and delicious keto pumpkin bread loaf to cool.

9. Now it’s ready for the table. So slice and enjoy!

Keto Pumpkin Bread Loaf Calories Fats (g) Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Net Carbs (g) Protein (g)
1 1/2 cup Almond Flour 960 84 36 18 18 36
3 large Egg Whites 30 0 0 0 0 8
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree 50 1 10 3 7 1
1/2 cup Coconut Milk 23 2 1 1 0 0
1/4 cup Psyllium Husk Powder 120 0 32 28 4 0
2 tsp Baking Powder 4 0 1 0 1 0
1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice 9 0 1.2 0 1.2 0.2
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 1196 87 81.2 50 31.2 45.2
Per Slice ( / 10 ) 119.6 8.7 8.1 5 3.1 4.5


In this article, i compiled a list of things that increased and decreased my blood ketone level (beta-hydroxybutyrate). What we’re after is a strong ketone level (between 0.5-3.0mmol/l) paired with low blood glucose (3.0-3.5mmol/l). When these numbers have been obtained, it’s likely a sign that blood sugar is regulated, insulin isn’t pumping through the blood as crazily as in most people, and the walls of our fat cells are wide open, ready for lipolysis to work its magic.

If you’re finding that your journey to nutritional ketosis hasn’t been as “easy” as what you’ve read in my blog, this is a great article to getting some insight on what could be happening. You’re likely missing something; a small something, that’s limiting your body’s ability to switch into ketosis. If this is you, take a read through this list to see if there are glaring issues with your current approach.

I have made; and continue to make, slip ups that affect my ketone levels. The great thing about it all is that the further I’ve gone, the more forgiving my body is. It is quite astounding how adapted my body has become. It WANTS to be in nutritional ketosis and will bounce back quite effortlessly.



Medium-chain-triglycerides the rocket fuel for nutritional ketosis. Starting my day with 1-2 tablespoons of this stuff blended with my coffee boosts my ketone level to soaring heights.

Quick Tip: Because MCT oil is used directly as fuel; especially for the brain, it’s best to start off slow with 1 teaspoon and work your way up. Too fast, and you may experience digestive upset.

Balancing Intake

I’ve learned that my body responds best when I consume 1-2 meals per day, plus a rich blended coffee. Understanding what my macronutrient ratios are, I like to balance my macronutrients throughout the day for maximum satiation.

Example: if my goal is to eat 75 grams of protein in a day with 3 meals, I’ll try to consume ⅓ of it (25 grams) at meal #1, ⅓ of it (25 grams) at meal #2, and ⅓ of it (25 grams) at meal #3. This doesn’t
have to be an EXACT science, I’ve just found that; especially for carbohydrates and protein, this has helped me feel balanced, satiated and strong, all day through.

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

The word “fast” makes me cringe. I can’t be the only one that relates fasting to starving to death. This is not that. Maintaining a ketone level of between 0.5-3.0mmol/l is far from starvation (starvation is a ketone level of 3.0 6.0mmol/l) so please, don’t think that I am advocating being in starvation mode or living with hunger pangs throughout this experience.

Being in a state of nutritional ketosis naturally regulates hunger.

One of the main reasons we’re hungry all the time when following a high-carbohydrate diet (anything over 100 grams per day) is because of blood sugar highs and lows. With a high-carb approach, we eat to boost our blood sugar. When it lowers after our snack (about 2-3 hours following) we get hungry again. In a state of nutritional ketosis, it is normal to be comfortable going 16-18 hours with no food… daily. Because our blood sugar is no longer dictating when we’re hungry. And, when we do this, our bodies produce MORE ketones. In fact, everyone, whether they practice nutritional ketosis or not, will likely generate ketones as they sleep!

High-fat Meal (more than 80% fat)

When I’ve had a slip up, my number one way to getting back on track is to amp-up the fats. Meals that contain more than 80% fat (generally 5% carbohydrate and 15% protein) are a great way to do this.

Moderate Protein

This is key. This is key. Have I mentioned, this is key? I am amazed at how sensitive the body is to protein. If you’re having a hard time getting your ketone levels up, it may be because you’re eating
too much protein.

Before I started delving into the world of whole foods-based nutritional ketosis, I spent 5 days tracking everything that I ate. You know, to see where I was sitting nutritionally. Of all the numbers, I was most surprised by protein. While I felt like I didn’t consume all that much protein, I was dumbfounded to learn that I was averaging about 150 grams per day. 150 grams!

Protein cannot be stored in the body. What we don’t use is converted
into glycogen, causing an insulin response.

So, if we’re eating too much protein while trying to switch into nutritional ketosis, we still may be
experiencing blood sugar irregularities, making it next to impossible to switch over to ketosis.

Blood Sugar Regulation

What carbohydrates we choose to consume, the quality, the quantity, it all will have a slight affect on our blood sugar, some more than most. When blood sugar is controlled, insulin is not frantically released which opens up the walls of our cells, and sets the stage for lipolysis (the breakdown of fats for energy!)

There are 3 strategies that you can use to help control your blood sugar

Fiber Intake

Let’s say I eat 50 grams of carbohydrates on Monday and 10 grams of that was fiber. Then, on Tuesday, I eat another 50 grams of carbohydrates but 30 grams of that was fiber. Any guesses on which day had steadier blood sugar? TUESDAY! You got it. I find, that the more fiber I eat, the more balanced my blood sugar is and the more satiated I feel.

GI Index

The source of carbohydrates plays a significant role in blood sugar regulation. If I compared my body’s response to eating 20 grams of carbohydrates from root vegetables as opposed to 20 grams of carbohydrates from kale, the kale would keep my blood sugar steadier than the root vegetables.

Day Balancing

If all carbs are consumed in one meal, your blood sugar will spike. Spreading carbs out throughout the day will lessen the impact.


The less stress we put on our bodies; especially when it comes to our thoughts, the better it is for our overall health (and our ketone levels!). In fact, this goes beyond nutritional ketosis.

When my weight loss clients reach a plateau, the first place we look at is their stress level. Wanting
to achieve a certain weight and counting everything to make sure “rules” aren’t broken can hold them back from achieving their goals. The hormones released in a stressful state can even trigger a spike in blood sugar, without glucose even being consumed. This is a less-than-ideal situation for those looking to lose weight (because it spikes cravings) and anyone looking to boost their ketone levels.

I saw transitioning to this new ketogenic eating style as a great opportunity to strengthen my meditation practice.

10 minutes when I wake up, 5 minutes halfway through the day goes a long way in reducing stress, focusing my energy and increasing my ketone levels. If you feel like you’re doing everything right but aren’t stoked by your results, get real with where you’re at energetically.

Working Out (Long Term)

Glucose is stored in our body as glycogen. When glycogen is stored, the body uses it as energy instead of generating ketone bodies. We want to run on the ketones! The only way to get glycogen out is to exert ourselves. I love brisk walking for this, it’s stellar.


your ketone levels aren’t as high as they actually are. Note: I’m not advocating dehydration here! Drink up and test your ketones with a blood or breath meter instead.


Your Macros Aren’t Right

The difference between rockin’ a strong ketone number and getting frustrated because this approach
just isn’t working for you could be as small as the piece of fruit you’re having in the morning or the glass of wine you had last night. Getting your macros right is key!

A couple of thoughts

• If your carbohydrate intake is over 50 grams per day, you may be eating too many carbohydrates. Try reducing your intake to 30 or 40 grams per day to see how it goes.

• Alcohol kicks the body out of ketosis very quickly. Remember when I said that carbohydrates are your body’s preferred fuel (the fuel it will go and look for first before anything else)? Alcohol is second on the list, before fats. So, if there’s alcohol in the system, your body will use it for energy before it uses fats.


There’s sugar in your supplements. Surprise! For real, a lot of medications and supplements use sugar and can kick you out of ketosis faster than you can say, “Why the hell is there sugar in my supplements?”

Hormone Levels

Lets say you ate the same thing, everyday, for 30 days and tested your blood glucose and blood ketone levels at the same time. You’d start to see that your levels fluctuate naturally. This is likely due to hormones and is so, totally normal. In my case, I want my hormones to fluctuate – us women want varying hormone levels throughout the month. Maintaining a healthy cycle is how I got into all of this in the first place!

There’s nothing much you can do here except be thankful that your body is creating beautiful, balanced hormones from all of the glorious fat you’re enjoying.

Artificial Sweeteners

Deceiving marketing has made us think that artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, etc) won’t affect our blood sugar. And, there is quite a substantial amount of keto-adapted folks that rely heavily on low carbohydrate goodies laced with the stuff. Not only are artificial sweeteners dangerous for your health, but too, your body can’t tell the difference between artificial sweeteners and actual sugar. It reacts in the same way. And in most cases, even more so because artificial sweeteners are 100 times sweeter than sugar.

Stevia will likely raise your blood sugar, but not nearly as much as artificial sweeteners or sugar.

Stevia is a fabulous sugar replacement when you’re first getting started, especially if you’re looking
to switch into ketosis while also going grain-free, dairy-free and sugar-free all at the same time. Baby steps.

Ultimate goal = limit ALL forms of sweet if you feel like you can’t get a handle on your numbers.


The reason many of us have found ourselves here is because our bodies aren’t working as we
(know) they should. Cravings, abnormal weight gain, high blood sugar, allergies something is out
of whack. We want to gain flawless health now so that more serious issues don’t pop up later.

Paired with the go-go-go of everyday life and the unsettledness that comes when trying a new eating style, stress can become an issue that stands between you and balance.

As mentioned previously, setting a couple of times throughout the day to “breathe” and take it easy, to reflect and wash away the stress, will do wonders in nutritional ketosis.

Studies have outlined that nutritional ketosis increases the level of cortisol in our bodies (the stress hormone) to similar levels experienced when training for a marathon. Here’s why that may not be as accurate as we’re lead to believe. The people in the studies likely had metabolic syndrome  a condition characterized by one of the following factors: large waistline, high triglyceride level, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and/or high fasting blood sugar. One of the key symptoms of metabolic syndrome is high cortisol levels. When placed on a low carb diet, within 6 weeks, cortisol levels decreased in these test subjects. But they likely had higher-than-normal cortisol levels to begin with. In short? We have to look at the big picture before drafting up any crazy conclusions!

Working Out (Short Term)

Especially when becoming keto-adapted, blood glucose levels increase during exercise as we “drain” our glycogen stores. This is why testing for ketone and blood glucose levels directly following an exercise may not be a good idea. My approach is to wait at least 2 hours after exercise before testing to get an accurate picture of what’s going on.

Eating Too Often

The idea that we need to eat every 3 hours to “regulate” our metabolism is crazy pants. Our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), aka “metabolism” is not affected with when we feed ourselves.

BMR is the energy your body requires to fuel basic functions pumping heart, breathing, brain function, that sort of thing. We all need a “base” of energy to fuel these actions. Whether we consume these calories in one large chunk, or space it out over a 16-hour eating period, the amount we need does not change and will not be affected by what approach we take.

The only reason we’ve been told to eat every 3 hours is to avoid blood sugar crashes. In nutritional ketosis, this is no longer a concern. Our blood sugar is regulated. We do not need to eat to boost it.

It took me a little while to get used to this. For the first couple of weeks, I was still eating every 3 hours because I thought it’s what I needed to do, not because I was legitimately hungry. After a little while, I realized that this practice of eating when I wasn’t hungry, was holding me back from maintaining a strong ketone number.

Quick Tip: 9 times out of 10, when you wake up hungry, you’re thirsty. A great indication that you didn’t drink enough water the day before!

Whats The Ketogenic Diet Benefits?

Ketogenic Diet Benefits

Brain Function: Did you know that before medications were created, the main treatment for epilepsy was a ketogenic diet? There was one study done in The Lancet Neurology Journal that showed children who were put on a ketogenic diet had greater than a 50% reduction in seizures and 16% of them actually became seizure free. There is now a foundation called The Charlie Foundation name after a boy, Charlie, who after only 4 days following a ketogenic diet that his father put him on, became seizure free.

The destruction of brain cells and brain atrophy leads to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Sjorgens disease, and almost every neurodegenerative condition that we are aware of. These diseases mainly occur due to mitochondrial dysfunction. The mitochondria are known as the “powerhouse” of our cells because they produce most of the energy within our body. The amount of energy you have is based on how well your mitochondria are working and guess what macronutrient/energy our mitochondria are designed to use? You guessed it: fat. When we begin to have problems with our mitochondria, things go wrong because the byproducts of mitochondria dysfunction are free radical production and oxidative stress, which damage our tissues, cells, organs, muscles, and DNA. Dementia and Autism are diseases highly affected by oxidative stress.

Diseases known to be caused by oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction? Autism, depression, bipolar disease, brain aging, Parkinson’s, ADHD, congestive heart failure, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Ketogenic diets have been closely researched and proven to slow or even prevent these diseases from occurring.

Insulin Sensitivity: Think of it this way: less sugar (carbs) coming in, less sugar driving up insulin levels. Here is what happens when we eat carbohydrates: the carbs are broken down into simple sugars (mostly in the form of glucose) in the digestive tract and then they enter the bloodstream, which elevates blood sugar levels. We know that high blood sugar levels are toxic for our body, and since our body also knows that, it releases insulin, a hormone that transports circulating glucose into our cells to either burn it for energy or store it for later use. When your body fails to secrete enough insulin to lower your blood sugar levels after a meal containing carbohydrate, you develop type II diabetes. A simple solution to improve insulin sensitivity? A low-carb/ketogenic diet. By decreasing carbohydrate intake to a very minimal amount and replacing them with healthy fats, you remove the need for all of that insulin, since fats have a very minimal impact on blood sugar levels. In one study that was done on type II diabetics, 95.2% had managed to reduce or eliminate their glucose- lowering medication within 6 months after going on a low-carb/ketogenic diet. It still amazes me that my fiancé (she’s an RN) tells me that some of her patients who are type II diabetics are eating pancakes and oatmeal for breakfast. Doesn’t anyone else see a problem with this?

Anti-inflammatory: This is one of the best benefits for athletes and intense trainers who lift weights on a daily/weekly basis. A high carbohydrate diet is the main reason for chronic inflammation. High insulin levels, which are caused by an influx of carbohydrate, lead to the inflammation cascade. By cutting carbohydrate intake, you negate this effect. By reducing inflammation, your body is able to recover from workout sessions much quicker and more efficiently, and you are able to perform at a higher level, while decreasing your risk of injury. When our bodies are burning glucose, they are producing a high amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS, or oxygen free radicals, are highly reactive molecules that are produced by the mitochondria, which end up causing damage to proteins and membrane polyunsaturated fats. Reactive oxygen species are also highly linked to inflammation and aging. A well-formulated low-carb/ketogenic diet reduces inflammation, since the burning of ketones, our body’s primary fuel source once keto-adapted, results in less production of ROS and an increase in antioxidant defenses.

Many people also experience inflammation due to their excessive intake of omega-6 fats in comparison to their omega-3 fat intake. Omega-6 fats are highly correlated with inflammation, so the more omega- 6 fat you eat, the more inflammation you will experience within your body. The other problem with this is that a higher intake of omega -6 fats can collide with omega-3 fat metabolism, throwing off the balance between the two. Increasing omega-3 fat intake has consistently shown to be beneficial for reducing inflammation, decreasing blood triglycerides, and aiding in the recovery from workout sessions.

Muscle-sparing: What I really mean is protein-sparing, but that is what our muscles are made up of, specifically amino acids. By adopting a ketogenic diet, you naturally increase the production of ketones, which increases the production or circulating branched-chain amino acids, which then leads to protein being protected from oxidation and breakdown. Also remember, research has shown that blood leucine, which is an amino acid known for regulating protein synthesis and the rebuilding of lean tissue, increases on a ketogenic diet.

Increased Fat Oxidation: Eating carbohydrates will raise insulin levels. Insulin blunts fat oxidation. Even if you are eating “complex” carbohydrates and those considered healthy that don’t produce a dramatic spike in insulin, insulin will still be released. With the slightest changes in insulin, big changes in fat breakdown occur, and these changes happen almost immediately. There are many hormones that play a role in lipolysis (fat breakdown), but it is clear that insulin is the “boss” that will determine if fat mobilization will be slowed or stopped completely. Think of it this way: if insulin levels are high, burning fat for energy is drastically low. If insulin levels are low, fat is being oxidized to a high degree. With a low-carb/ketogenic diet, you keep insulin levels low, which results in significant changes in fat metabolism, leading to better fat oxidation and less of a chance of storing fat.

Body Composition: Without even weighing or measuring portions, a low-carb/high-fat diet consistently beats the competition in terms of losing overall weight. Dr. Jeff Volek’s study also proves that gaining lean mass, while simultaneously losing fat mass, is no longer a miracle; it can and does happen while on a low- carb/ketogenic diet. When people say they want to “tone”, they really just want to lose body fat so that they can see their muscles more. A low -carb/high-fat approach to your nutrition will be the sure- fire way of doing so. By decreasing your overall weight, especially body fat, everything about your life improves: your health, self- image, daily tasks and functions such as walking up the stairs, playing with your children, and doing chores around the house, your thinking, mood, and energy levels, all contributing to a better quality of life.

Time to Fatigue: Especially in marathon runners and endurance athletes. We only have so much glucose available in the form of glycogen (~600 grams), no matter how much you “carb-load”. Once you use up this glucose, you experience a fuel crisis because your body does not know how to start efficiently burning fat for fuel, even though you literally have hundreds of thousands of calories available for energy in the form of fat! By becoming keto-adapted (2-4 weeks in ketosis), you never have to worry about fuel crisis or running out of energy because your body is now efficient at mobilizing fat for energy, leading to better performance, enhanced cognitive function, and better recovery from exercise.

Overall Health: Literally everything about your health is improved while on a low-carb/ketogenic diet. Lower blood pressure, lower total cholesterol (in most people) with increases in HDL, lower blood triglycerides, better gut and immune health, lower fasting blood sugar levels, decreased body fat – especially visceral fat which decreases inflammation, insulin resistance, and risk of heart disease, longevity and aging, decreased risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity, improved cardiovascular function and heart health, and decreased stress, to name a FEW. There was a study done in 2010 that took a look at the effects of a high- fat diet on markers of aging. Participants who were given a low- carb/high-fat diet showed health improvements across the board: Serum leptin decreased by an average of 8 percent, blood triglycerides decreased by almost 80 percent, insulin dropped by 48 percent, fasting glucose decreased by 40 percent, and thyroid hormone improved by almost 6 percent.

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