Nutritional Ketosis Day 22

Definitely no hunger today. No nausea either and lots of energy, which is really good. I’m still using 8 Tbs of coconut oil and I added some red palm oil with my dinner.

I think I have some detox symptoms, but it’s too soon to tell. What is going on is unexpected. I started the coconut oil to facilitate keto-adaptation by increasing my level of beta-hydroxybutyrate (ketone used by the brain) and now, I feel that all that coconut oil might be doing a “cleanse” in my body… interesting.

Today I had: Coffee, peppermint tea, water, 8 Tbs of coconut oil and spice mix and for dinner I had cod cooked in red palm oil. I had some kale chips and some pork rinds. That’s around 1900 calories for today.

First time cooking with red palm oil.

First time cooking with red palm oil.

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Easy peazy kale “chips”

First and foremost, calling them chips might be a bit of an overstatement. I want to make sure I manage expectations, if you never had it; they are dehydrated kale leaf with a bit of oil and salt (and other seasoning). The first bite is a bit strange, but you’ll probably come back from more. They feel a bit like a treat because of the crunchiness and with the right spice, they taste yummy! And they are low in carbs…

With that out-of-the-way, here is how to make it:

The kale!

The kale!

You have to remove the white hard stem; I fold the leaf in two and I cut along the stem.(some stores sell pre-wash, pre-cut kale, for a zero hassle process).

The stems

The stems

I fill the sink with cold water and wash the bite size kale thoroughly. Drain the water making sure there is something blocking the kale from going down the drain, but that let’s the water through. Toss the kale to remove some water. With a salt shaker (for evenly distribution) lightly salt the pieces in the sink. Toss with hands. Salt. Toss. Salt. Toss. Let the kale sit in there for 15-20 minutes, the salt will help to remove the excess water.

After the 15-20 minutes, preheat the oven at 450°F, we needs both racks, toward the middle (1/3 and 2/3 and leave 1 space in between). Then toss the kale to shake off the excess water. Still in the sink, drizzle ½ a Tablespoon of oil. Toss with hands. Drizzle ½ Tablespoon of oil (it’s a total of 1 Tablesoon of oil). Toss. (The little bit of water left will help coat the pieces of kale evenly). Add dry spices. Toss.

Put the kale pieces evenly spread on to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, or better yet use thin dish towels (the low tech version!) If you use the dish towels, 1) Make sure they are far from the elements because it could burn and 2) Add spices later because it will stain the towels. Put in the oven and lower the temperature to about 200°F. Let it sit in the oven until there is no more moisture in the leafs; about 45-60 minutes.

The result!

The result!

It is a very simple technique that can be used to dehydrate all kinds of things without a dehydrator. For instance, I use a similar process to make some meat jerky or “sun”-dried tomatoes.

Flavor ideas:

  • Add 1-2 teaspoon of Sriracha sauce to the oil before tossing with kale and baking.
  • Add garlic powder before cooking
  • Add Cajun seasoning before cooking
  • Add some vinegar to the leaf when they are still a bit wet, then salt and then oil.
  • Replace half the oil with soy sauce, and don’t use salt
  • Sprinkle nutritional yeast after baking. It’s healthy and the chips will taste cheesy
  • Mix a bit of chile powder in with the salt, squeeze lime juice over kale chips when they’re still hot out of the oven
  • Sprinkle some finely grated parmesan cheese, when they are sill hot out of the oven.
  • Add 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne with the oil and salt before baking

Nutritional Ketosis Day 21

No hunger today and loads of energy. I guess it’s expected because I had 8 Tbs of coconut oil! It was surprisingly easy to take in with the spices. I had a little bit of nausea but nothing too bad; I had a couple of cups of peppermint tea and it took care of it (peppermint tea is yummy hot or cold as is or mixed with green tea). Ginger and peppermint are great against nausea and to calm the digestive system. I will stay at 8 Tbs for a while to see what happens but I actually feel pretty good.

As I mention previously, coconut oil needs to be increase slowly and gradually in order to give the body time to adjust. You need to start with a teaspoon a day. Some can’t tolerate it.

As I was bumping my quantity from 4 to 6 to 8 Tbs, I have felt an improvement in my sinuses. I also find it soothes my digestive system. My tummy has given me grief since I had to take several rounds of antibiotics many years ago (for a bad sinus infection and since then, I have had constant issues with both sinuses and digestive tract!).  It might be the lauric acids that is helping; about 50% to 60% (depending on the quality) of the fat in Extra Virgin Coconut oil is lauric acid (MCT). We shall wait and see!

i.e. Lauric acid is converted into monolaurin in the body, a monoglyceride compound which exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. It disrupt the lipid membranes in organisms like fungus, bacteria and viruses, thus destroying them.

Preserving Potassium When Cooking Foods

Minerals, which are very important on a ketogenic diet, are little affected by heat. The exception to this rule is potassium, which about 50% escapes from foods into the cooking liquid.

On a ketogenic diet some of the best sources of potassium are animal proteins (fish, seafood, pork, red meat and poultry) and their liquids. Avocado is also a good source.

Strategies that conserve potassium in fish, meat and poultry during cooking also work to conserve the B vitamins that leak out into cooking liquid or drippings: Always use your cooking liquid in soup or sauce.

Small boneless leg of lamb after a day in the slow cooker. No liquid added.

Small boneless leg of lamb after a day in the slow cooker. No liquid added.

Drippings from the lamb

Drippings from the lamb

One issue I have with red meat is with the fat; I can’t digest it for some reason. I don’t use the dripping or cooking liquid right away. I keep it in the refrigerator overnight and remove the fat that hardened on top, then I use it.

Here is the latest USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors:

http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Data/retn/retn06.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,0,800

Today I had: Coffee, peppermint tea, water, 8 Tbs of coconut oil and spice mix and for dinner I had lamb and greens with a curried butter sauce.

NOMNOMNOMNOM!

NOMNOMNOMNOM!

Nutritional Ketosis Day 20

No hunger today and good energy.

I have been craving red meats and I will make a nice leg of lamb for tomorrow. I haven’t had a lot of red meats yet and I find it really helps with hunger. Red meat contains carnitine, which is sometimes used as a supplement on a ketogenic diet. Carnitine is required for the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria during the utilization of fats for metabolic energy. I find that carnitine, either as a supplement or in foods, helps with hunger and energy. I also find that it gets me in a deeper level of ketosis. Unfortunately, I find that red meat is harder to digest (for me) and I wait until I crave it.

I will also ramp up my coconut oil and calories in the next couple of days.

Today I had: Coffee, water, 6 Tbs of coconut oil and spice mix and for dinner I had a chicken and greens soup with pumpkin seeds, butter and olive oil. 1 Tbs of butter before bed, to make sure I sleep really well! I’m around 1800 calories for today.

Dinner in the pan...

Dinner in the pan…

and in the bowl!

and in the bowl!

 

Low-carb, low-calorie Cocktails and Mixed Drinks

These cocktails options are lower in calories and carbohydrates, so it will help keep your social life and your good diet resolutions too.

To replace sugar, I like to use xylitol or erythriol or a liquid no-calorie sweetener for better result and taste.

Wine spritzers

I find that wine spritzers are a great refreshing summer drink, and are compatible with a low carb diet. The basic recipe for wine spritzer is a 50-50 mix of wine and sparkling water. While white and rosé are the usual choices, red wine is used in tinto de verano, the Spanish version which uses lemon-lime soda or lemon/lime sparkling water.

Simple guidelines for wine spritzers:

  1. Don’t use a fancy expensive wine
  2. Make sure it is reasonably low in sugar, fresh, light and unoaked (white or rosé)
  3. Use a no sugar, no calorie sparkling water or diet lemon-lime soda
  4. Start with a 1:1 ratio, and then adjust to your taste. I like the basic 1:1 ratio; it doesn’t seem like the wine is too watery or the water too wine-y
  5. You can add a slice of lemon or lime and ice, if you like

As an alternative to the wine, I sometimes use 1-2 oz of vodka, rum, tequila or gin mix with a tall glass of sparkling water and a bit of lime or lemon juice or a diet soda (Rum and Coke/Cuba Libre, Paloma, Tom Collins, Vodka and Ginger Ale, Gin and Tonic, Rye and Ginger etc).

English: Fotografía de vaso de tinto de verano

Tinto de verano

Margaritas

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 4 Tbs water
  • 3-4 drops of orange extract
  • Low calorie sweetener to taste
  • Ice
  • Margarita salt or kosher salt

Wet the rim of the glass and dip into a small plate of salt.
Combine all ingredients. You can either serve it over ice or mixed in a blender.

Margarita

Margarita

Cosmopolitan

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 2 Tbs diet cranberry juice (make sure it’s low in carbs like Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry Juice Drink  with 2 grams of total carbs per 8 oz/250 ml)
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 2 to 3 drops orange extract
  • Low calorie sweetener to taste

Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-full of ice. Shake well. Strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a small lime wedge.

Cosmopolitan (cocktail)

Cosmopolitan

  • You can also make a low carb, low-calorie Vodka-Cranberry with the Diet Cranberry juice.

Mojitos

  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbs erythritol or xylitol
  • 1½ oz. white rum
  • Carbonated water

Put mint, lime and sweetener together. Mash ingredients with a traditional “muddler” or use the handle of a wooden spoon and a regular glass. This step is very important in order to release the mint essences.
Fill the glass ¾ of the way with ice. Add the rum and carbonated water. Stir.

Mojito

Mojito

Frozen strawberry (or other low sugar berry) daiquiri

  • 75-80 grams of frozen berries (the volume depends on the chosen berry)
  • 1 Tbs lime or lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz rum
  • Sweetener to taste

Put in blender and blend everything together.

  • This one is slightly higher in carbs that the others, don’t go overboard.
Strawberry Daiquiri aus echten Erdbeeren

Strawberry Daiquiri

Basic sugar-free jello shot

For 16 1-ounce shots

  • 3 oz Sugar-free Jello (1 box)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) of vodka or other low sugar spirit
  • 1/2 cup cold water
Mix the liquor and cold water together and put in the refrigerator.

Put the jello powder in a bowl and add the cup of boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in chilled liquor and water mix. Pour into shot glasses and refrigerate until the liquid sets. (it takes about 2 hours, but overnight is better). Serve cold.

Thanksgiving Jello Shots

Jello Shots

Except for the daiquiri, the drinks contain 0-3 grams of carbohydrate and about 100 calories per serving.

The best part is that 1 or 2 glasses, if calculated in your carbohydrate allotment, should not kick you out of ketosis (liver makes ketones with alcohol, but it will slow down fat burning temporarily).

Enjoy!

Nutritional Ketosis Day 19

Once again I was hungry today. For the past 3-4 days I have decreased my protein by 5 to 10 grams a day from my baseline 70 grams. If I eat 60-65 grams of protein with 15-20 total grams of carbohydrates on a consistent basis, it is not enough to keep hunger at bay. I have tested different amounts of protein and carbohydrate in the past and the fact that I am experiencing hunger and a general feeling of undernourishment is consistent with my previous observation; 70g of protein and 15-20g of total grams of carbohydrates is the sweet spot for me.

As an aside: I want to add that I’m fairly tall at 5’8 or 173cm and I have a very athletic built with big bones. Different people have different numbers, but it’s hard for me to imagine how a petite woman would need 90-100 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbohydrates while trying to get into true metabolic ketosis.

There is only one other variable that could explain why I am hungry; it coincide with starting taking ginger on a regular basis. So I will bring back my protein to 70g, try to up my calories a bit and reassess in a couple of days.

My cocoa free new delicious way to take my coconut oil

4 Tbs of coconut oil

1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp of ground ginger

A bit of grated fresh ginger

1/4 tsp of ground cardamom

A pinch of black pepper

A pinch of cayenne pepper

A packet of low-calorie sweetener

Put the coconut oil in a small bowl. Warm it up 30 seconds in the microwave or place the small bowl containing the solid oil into a bowl filled with hot water from the faucet. If the oil is already semi-liquid, skip this step. Make sure no water gets into the oil. Add all other ingredients, mix well to make sure there is no lump left. Put in some type of silicone mold or ice-cube tray. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. It’s easy to pop it out of the mold by turning it upside down over a plate or by using the tip of a knife. Keep it refrigerated until 5-15 minutes before eating. I eat it like that of just put one in a cup of hot tea

Today I had: Coffee, water, 6 Tbs of coconut oil and spice mix and for dinner I had a celery, cilantro, parsley and wild shrimp salad with goat cheese, olive oil and lemon juice. I also had a small bowl of pork rinds (addictive!). I also splurged on a glass tinto de verano (wine spritzer). I’m around 1750 calories for today (including the booze!).

Dinner!

Dinner!

Nutritional Ketosis Day 18

I was hungry today but the energy and mental clarity was there. I feel a bit leaner too, I think fat loss has resumed (Yay!).

I took my coconut oil in tea with spices; it was great. I just made a mug of black tea, adding ½ tsp of ground cinnamon, ½ tsp of ground ginger, a little bit of grated fresh ginger, ¼ tsp of ground cardamom, a pinch of black pepper, a bit of low calorie sweetener and some coconut oil. It reminded me of a dairy free Chai tea (I’ll try it with a splash of almond milk tomorrow or perhaps some full fat coconut milk).

Today I had: Coffee, water, Chai tea, 4Tbs of coconut oil and for dinner I had bacon and 2 eggs fried in butter, a side crimini mushrooms and olive oil. I also had a small bowl of pork rinds (those things are addictive!). I’m around 1700 calories for today.

Pork rinds are addictive!

Pork rinds are addictive!