I’ve done a few of these where I put some pictures out of my food….and I’ve shared SOME recipes. Today, I’m going to kind of wing it and throw some recipes out there. I think some people are intimidated or think keto food tastes like shit. Furthest from the truth!!! Eating lots of fats and protein is very savory and above all – satiating.
On a side note, there have been parts of my life where I was completely out of control with food. I was merely a passenger with my gut making the decisions about what drive thru I was getting food at that day. Or the switch being flipped off when a pizza arrived with no hope of stopping until my belly was ready to explode. That lack of control – the inability to STOP whatever harm is about to come to you – THAT is the control I got back in my life. Many of you who are fit or relatively in shape I feel have not experienced this. It is food addiction. I strongly believe a lot of the foods out there are engineered in such a way to create a drug-like effect in your brain.
Pretty much the only way to stop this is to start cooking at home.
So let’s begin with what I have daily:
Pretty much this is some heavy whipping cream sweetened with monk fruit or swerve. I used to do the bullet proof coffee the first month or two, but I no longer needed it after a bit. It was tasty, but it was also about 400 calories of fats. It helped to get me fat adapted, but after awhile, I just wanted my cream and sugar – so I got heavy whipping cream and swerve.
I don’t do breakfast that often, maybe on weekends. I usually eat two meals on a weekend day, with some light snacking.
Eggs – I might have 6 of these at a time. I get the best eggs I can, which are those free range cage free etc etc. This is an ethical and a health choice. I will use Kerry Gold butter (mostly grass fed) or bacon grease.
Bacon – I might have 2-4 strips a week. I don’t eat a ton of this, but it goes good with eggs.
Ham – I will have this occasionally with eggs. If I have a very, very heavy weekend day ahead, I will have this in addition for more protein. Ham is low in fat, so not an ideal keto food. However, if you eat it with bacon, eggs, and butter, you add to your protein for the meal. Eggs have about 6g of protein in each egg, so they have protein, but you have to have a decent amount of them. If you only want 3 eggs, add some ham to boost your protein.
Ketchup – I get Heinz low sugar ketchup. I used to put ketchup on EVERYTHING. Now, I think the only thing I use it for is eggs and cheeseburgers without the bun.
Quest bars – I will have these usually before the gym and put some almond butter with pink salt on it. I also use these as a dessert for most evenings to boost my calories. So mostly on my Saturdays, I have the gym at 9AM. I will have a quest bar with almond butter, perhaps my GREENS+ and pre-workout. When I get home from the gym (after a grocery store run), I will eat my eggs, etc at like 11AM.
Pre workout-greens+. As mentioned above, I have this occasionally. The pre-workout has creatine, which can hold 4-5 pounds of water on you. So factor that in. You aren’t gaining fat. The greens+ is something I discovered maybe 15 years ago and bought off of their website. Well, looks like everyone knows about them now. I get the berry flavor. It also mixes in well with my Gold Standard vanilla whey protein shakes I may have after a workout if I don’t want to cook up eggs.
So I don’t eat lunch during the week. M-Th I do OMAD (one meal a day). Once in awhile, if I want to run right after work or the like I might take a lunch heavy with salt and higher in carbs (cabbage). This helps fuel my run pretty well. I also will eat this routinely for a lunch on a Saturday or Sunday prior to a long bike ride.
Cabbage/Chicken thighs (one of my favorite meals on keto)
What do you not realize, is there’s life after sugar. I used to be you. “How can I give up bread?” You can completely re-program your taste buds. As I’m writing this at 8:14AM on a Sunday, I am CRAVING this right now. Feed me!! I make massive servings of this. Each serving comes in somewhere in the neighborhood of 500-700 calories. It has the taste of a chicken noodle soup and feels “nourishing” to me on this diet, or way of eating.
- Chop up a head of cabbage and place it in your instant pot
- Add a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They are roughly 3 pounds. On keto, they’d prefer you have the skin, but I tried it once and I couldn’t deal with the bones. So this meal is relatively low fat. I’d do this after you were fat adapted.
- Add 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
- Add 16oz of chicken broth
- Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- Pressure cook for 14 minutes. Do a quick release. Done. for me, it’s 3 massive servings. For most normal humans, this might be 5-6 servings.
- get a 3 pound chuck roast. These are great for slow cooking for your crock pot. When I get home, I don’t have 4 hours to wait.
- In your instant pot, use the saute feature and brown each side for 5-7 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of beef broth and a can of diced tomatoes
- Put on your pressure cooker for 45 minutes on high pressure
- Do quick release
- Add veggies like cabbage, celery, carrots and put back on for 10 minutes of pressure cook
- Do quick release and DONE. 3 BIG servings for me, lots of fat in this. 5-6 normal servings for the rest of you
Unstuffed cabbage rolls
- In a giant soup pot – I’m putting in 2 heads of cabbage, 32 ounces of chicken broth, and a diced tomato can (28oz). You want to get this up to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add carrots, green beans, and some other veggies of your choice. The cabbage will cook down.
- In a pan, I would brown some onions/garlic/green peppers and then add to the soup
- In a pan, brown 1.5 pounds of ground beef and 1.5 pounds of ground pork. Add this to your soup. This makes 6 LARGE servings. I also may eat this for lunches
Considering 4 days a week I do OMAD, I try to eat very large dinners to get my calories in. The way I used to eat, I could polish 4,000 calories without trying with pizza, wings, chips, soda, etc. Today, with cooking up everything myself, it’s near impossible to do. I eat a lot of whole foods and vegetables, which make it very difficult to eat 2000 calories for a dinner. Still, I try.
My favorite – Taco Tuesday (and perhaps Thursday)
- Brown 3 pounds of grass fed beef in a pan. I use ONE packet of the taco seasoning I get from the grocery store. You’re supposed to use that for one pound, but I use it for 3 to reduce the carbs per serving as well as add my own cumin, paprika, and chili powder. This 3 pounds will work for 3-4 servings for me. I will then freeze leftovers in single serving containers and heat up next week.
- I use an entire head of iceberg lettuce. This is not overly abundant in nutrients, but it is a great filler. Chop it up and throw it in a massive bowl.
- Top salad with whatever you like. I will use taco cheese (2-3 oz), tomatoes, salsa, a whole avocado cut up, 3-5 TBSP of sour cream, and I literally pour hot sauce on it. I use tabasco in sick quanties
The whole thing usually comes out to be somewhere like 1100-1400 calories depending on how much beef, cheese, and sour cream I use. I use the grass fed beef, and a whole pound of that is about 800 calories and 88g of protein. I only need about 100-120g of protein a day, so this is usually followed with a quest bar (20g of protein) with almond butter to get my calories up another 300 and round off my protein for the day.
Chicken and salad
With keto, they want you to eat a lot of fat. Well, fat is great and all, but you will often hear this: Your body will get the fat from your plate or your waist. Your choice. After you are very well fat adapted, I mean like 3 months or so, your body will start to legit take your fat stores out for a spin when you don’t put it on the table. This meal is high in protein, and to keep insulin from getting a nice spike, I do add 2 TBSP or so of olive oil.
I also occasionally do “alternate day fasting” where it’s like OMAD, but instead of me trying to hit 2000 calories, I’m keeping it 500-800 calories. Due to the size of my salad, below, I go to bed FULL. I never though I’d be so satiated on 600 or so calories.
When I make up chicken breast, I usually make 5+ pounds at a time. It’s good for 4-5 meals for me.
- Make up chicken by cooking at 400. Butterfly if thicker pieces. Season with plenty of paprika, salt, chili powder, cayenne, etc. I usually eat my dinner with 1 pound to 1.25 pounds of chicken. After cooking, this is roughly 3/4 of the weight. So 1 pound of chicken, after cooking, is close to 12 oz, etc.
- My salads typically will have 2-2.5 whole stalks of romaine. Add what you want. I use zesty Italian dressing, 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil (get the fats up to reduce the insulin hit of the chicken breast) tomatoes, and some shaved parm/asiago cheese. I’ll also add red pepper flakes. I use the extra virgin olive oil for salads and the regular olive oil for cooking. There’s a difference with smoke points and flavors. Know which one to use for eating and which to use for cooking.
I’d most likely have this on a Monday or Weds
I don’t make this up much these days, but the below pizza is really good for home made and as close to real pizza as you can get on keto. For me, the best results are when you add pepperoni/sausage to give it some more protein. I don’t think I can eat a whole one of these. Great for a Saturday evening to split with the wife. This is also made with cheese and protein powder, so that along with the meats, you can get some decent protein/fats from this.
I’ve tried all of the cauliflower home made crusts, and this is 100 times better. This holds together like real pizza crust and uses baking powder, so the dough gets the air bubbles that you see in bread. It doesn’t “brown” like pizza crust does, but it is very tasty. This is a 90% substitute for me. When I do have cheat meals scheduled, I will add pizza to my list 🙂
This is where you can find the recipe
Zucchini has some carbs in it, so when I’m eating 3-4 of these in a sitting, it’s usually after I just ran a ton or about to do a 20 mile bike ride. For me, they have solved my pasta addiction. I found that my true pasta addiction was to sauces and cheese, and pasta was just the delivery vehicle. My wife got me a zoodle maker and I’m in love with it!!
- Zoodle up your zucchini. For me, I eat 3-4 cooked on a giant plate.
- Heat up 1-2 TBSP of olive oil. (not extra virgin olive oil)
- Top with sauce, meatballs, etc. I also use the really expensive pecorino romano on it as well as mozzarella. The sauce you can use is Rao’s or Victoria’s. Both are extra low carb and taste amazing.
Lasagna was one of my all time favorites. With this, use a mandolin to cut up 6-8 zucchini. Salt them, use paper towels, and let the water drain out of them for 10 minutes or so. Pat dry. Use like lasagna noodles and build your lasagna how you want. use mozz, meat sauce, etc.
Steak and “potatoes”
I don’t do this as often now, but I get some good ribeyes that are marbled and make up cauliflower mash with them, and I will also usually add asparagus or broccoli. Cauliflower mash, done the right way, tastes every bit as good as mashed potatoes.
Baked chicken parm
I don’t make this up a ton anymore, but it’s on my radar. Typically, you make up the chicken at 400 degrees until it hits 165. Take it out, throw some Rao’s pizza sauce on it, and top with a lot of mozzarella and some oregano. I could pound a lot of this 🙂
Side with zoodles, green beans, etc.
Cheese steaks, cheeseburgers, etc –
I use these low carb wraps. Occasionally, I will make this up. I don’t do it too often because I don’t feel the burger/steak is extremely nutritious. This lends more towards my “cheat meal”. Yeah, your idea and my idea of a cheat meal may vary. But this is what I might make up with no real food in the house. Takes 10 minutes and taste is off the charts. I also would put these over a bed of lettuce…
On the left, above, you see my bacon cheeseburger mix over a bed of lettuce. This was about 10oz of meat. I’d also use ranch on this, it was pretty good! In the middle is my lettuce wraps for cheese steak. Not bad. Kind of a pain in the ass at time, but flavor was there. Last were the cheesesteak wraps. On my “cheat” meal, I might eat 2-4 of these. Since my carbs for the day might hit 50 on this, and it’s my only meal of the day, I don’t really sweat this.
Desserts….no real recipes to share here, but I want to inspire you to find some of your own:
- raspberry cheesecakes. This is the cheesecake recipe from keto connect, I just added raspberries to it. In my first 2-4 months, these were helpful in waning me off of any sweet tooth I had. I haven’t made these in awhile, but I’d freeze them and take them out for 10-15 minutes and it was a substitute for ice cream!
- Quest. Whether you are going after the quest cookies or quest bars, be careful. They say they are low carb, but in reality, for me, overuse of these products will indeed slow your weight loss. Use sparingly, but the cookie is REAL.
- Berries. On keto, I’d limit your fruit intake to about 1/2-1 cup of fruit a day…of strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, or blackberries. If you’re doing a heavy run/bike day, feel free to incorporate some of these. Fruit is stored/processed as fructose in your liver, it doesn’t go to your muscles for muscle glycogen. So that banana you have after working out goes right to your liver and sits there…and you can’t get back into ketosis until your liver glycogen is depleted. So – I do these long bikes. I have zero problems putting that in a smoothie in the morning.
- Chocolate – yes, there are tons of chocolate recipes out there with keto. My favorite is from keto connect. I used to make this up a bunch. I rarely do anymore.
While the above is a massive staple of what I eat, check out keto meal ideas on pinterest. I think so many people think all you are doing is scarfing down bacon and butter, they miss that there are so many veggies to use and the meals are SOOOOO wholesome and satisfying. And…as a side benefit of eating all of this fat and protein, you are rarely hungry…so it allows for you to do OMAD and intermittent fasting, with ease.
Not pictured here are my wings. I haven’t made them in awhile, but when first getting into keto…eat as many of these home made as you want. They helped me on my transition!