Peanut Butter Cookies from a Very Special Guest.

Many of you know that I’ve been doing keto for a while. What you might not know is that Keto has been rubbing off on my family members, too! This recipe for these delicious peanut butter cookies comes from my sister.

My sister has been doing keto for about 6 months now, and has a unique experience with it since she is still a high school athlete. Her progress pictures are below.

 

Throughout the summer, she will share her tips and tricks to working keto into her lifestyle on our blog. I’m super proud of my sister for taking the bull by the horns and changing her life!

Ok, without further ado, here’s what you came for, the Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe!

With many cookouts and parties this summer, these low carb peanut butter cookies will be a perfect dessert.

What you will need:

 

1 cup of creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg

Up to 1 cup of sweetener

+ some oil (apprx. 1-2 tbs, but it will depend on how creamy your peanut butter is)

Directions:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees

Mix the peanut butter, sweetener, egg, and vanilla extract into a small bowl.

 

 

While mixing these ingredients, add small amounts of the oil to the batter until the batter looks like this:

Small amounts go a long way! Once finished mixing, use a large non-greased cookie sheet to place the cookies on.

Roll the cookies into a 1 inch cookie.

Place a fork on top to flatten the cookies out and for a cute decoration.

Place the cookie sheet into the oven and wait for 9-11 minutes.

 

 

Then take them out and allow a good 5 minutes for cooling. Enjoy! Makes about 2 dozen cookies

 

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One Pancake to Rule Them All

Keto Girl Pancakes

 

Hello fellow ketoers, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Most of this has been for lack of inspiration, but through some recent cooking experiences, I think the blogger’s block is gone.

And to kick off a new set of recipes, I thought I’d share with you my recent favorite recipe, The Best Keto  Pancakes in the world.

Pancakes have always been a favorite of mine. When I was little, my nana would make them for me from a box in a pan with a ton of grease to the point when they were “crispy around the edges”. My mom would refused to make them that way, thinking that the fat in the grease would clog my 3 year old arteries. Of course, mom was a product of the low fat high carb craze of the time, and somehow miraculously stayed thin through that crazy time.

As a teenager, I learned the dangers of high carb diets, so despite my love for them, I generally stayed away from them. However, three or four times a year, I’d whip up a batch and devour them with a smile on my face. Pancakes are definitely a favorite “comfort” food of mine.

As a ketoer the last few months, I have been very intrigued by various recipes and have tried a lot of “low-carb” versions of famous high carb foods. I tried the cream cheese pancakes, made primarily of cream cheese and egg. I found them to taste very… ummm…. cream cheesey and eggy…. for lack of better words. I literally felt like I was eating cream cheese eggs. Not a fan. And then I tried mostly almond flour based ones. And they tasted very gritty and grainy. Much more like a “health food” than a “comfort food”.  And then I’ve SEEN recipes for other pancakes with 50 low carb ingredients that I’ve never heard of and would not be able to buy at my local grocery store. Sorry, but I am a human, and if I crave pancakes, I can’t wait for my amazon order of low-carb foods to arrive in 2 weeks… I want pancakes NOW.

And so, after several attempts, I have found my absolute new favorite recipe for pancakes. And I’m going to make a bold statement: I like them better than high carb pancakes!

No crazy ingredients. These pancakes call for things that almost every ketoer probably already has.

Basic Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of almond flour or meal
  • 1 brick of cream cheese

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You can make these pancakes with just these ingredients. However, I add a little more to them to make them tastier.

Full ingredient list:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1 brick cream cheese
  • 1 TBS vanilla (in the picture it looks like vodka, don’t get too excited. That’s homemade vanilla extract!)
  • 2 TBS Sugar Free Caramel Syrup
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

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Directions:

  1. Measure out all the ingredients and blend them together. I used a magic bullet (it didn’t quite fit, but I mixed it up in two batches). You could use a hand blender or a food processor. A blender might be more difficult because a a lot of the ingredients are solid or semi-solids and may not mix well.

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2. Put a BUNCH of butter in a big skillet or griddle, and turn the burner on a medium heat.

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3. Once the butter has melted, put the pancake mix in. I make each pancake about 3-4 Tablespoons, about the size of the head of my spatula. These pancakes stay together pretty well, but still break occasionally, especially if they aren’t ready to be flipped yet. The pancakes aren’t ready to be flipped for 3-5 minutes. Once they bubble up, like regular pancakes, you can flip them. This is one of the reasons I prefer this recipe over the cream cheese and egg only mix, because it was impossible to tell if the pancakes were ready to be flipped or not.

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Above, is what the batter looks like when you first put it in the pan. Below, you can see what the flipping process looks like. The ones on the left were just flipped, and the ones on the right are ready to be flipped.

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5. Top with your favorite toppings. I like making my own whipped cream and then adding a couple of Tablespoons of low/no carb syrup.

 

Carb facts for this batch are below. In the picture, there are 5 pancakes. The batch makes about 30. So the myfitnesspal information is for 1/6 of a batch.

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Keep Calm, Keto On, and Enjoy!!! 🙂

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Tips for Starting Keto and Bonus Update

It’s about the time of year when people start re-evaluating their New Year’s Resolutions. We start to ask ourselves questions like, “Do I really need to give up smoking, I’ve already been doing it for 20 years, the damage is done, right?” “Is it realistic to put  50% of my income toward debt so I can be out of debt by the end of the year?” and “Can I really make it to the gym that early and workout for that long? And in the end, is losing a pound per week worth it?”

For most people, New Year’s resolutions means you start something on January 1st or maybe the 2nd, and you stick with it for the entire year. According to the United State’s government, three of the top thirteen resolutions made in the United States are directly related to eating healthier, losing weight, or getting fit. And According to the New York Times, “Losing weight and getting fit” and “eating a healthier diet” are two of the top ten most broken New Years resolutions.

So, if you made a resolution to get healthier, lose weight, eat better, go to the gym more, etc, you are not alone.

You are also not alone if you feel like giving up! Only twenty percent of people that begin a new diet plan are keeping that plan at the three month mark!

A lot of people have already been telling me that keeping their New Year’s resolution in difficult. I thought I’d explain some of these best reasons to at least try Keto for 30 days.

  • Fat keeps you full. If you aren’t eating fat, you’re eating either carbs or protien. Protein will keep you full better than carbs, but not as much as fat. Also, too much protein will be converted into carbohydrates in your body, so if you eat excess protein, it’s almost as bad as eating carbs.
  • On the other hand, Carbs make you hungry. It’s not just that fat will keep you full, it’s that carbs add to your hunger. Check out our trusty sugar addiction chart below. Keep in mind that all carbohydrates are just strands of sugar that once they enter your body, are broken down into simple strands of sugar, not much different than a dum-dum sucker of slice of pecan pie. The more carbs you eat, the more you’ll want to eat. So, if you are on a low-fat, high carb diet like the American Heart Association recommends, you’re going to be hungry all the time.
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  • “Low Fat” foods replace fat with sugar to add flavor. Do I need to say more?
  • Insulin spikes leads to food storage. When you eat carbohydrates and your body has enough energy for the time being, your body will store the carbohydrates as fat. Boy doesn’t that make a banana split sound awful?
  • Weight loss is quick. Studies have shown that women that lost weight quickly, were more likely to stick to their diets than women who did not.

So now you might be a little more interested in keto verses the American standard diet of a low fat, high carb diet. Here are some steps to get you started out.

  1. Read as much about Keto as you can. I could reiterate a lot of information that has already been written, but it’s just not necessary.  Here are a couple of links to some very helpful resources: Keto in a Nutshell and r/keto’s FAQ page. 
  2. Calculate your “Macros”. This is just a fancy word for the numbers you want to get as close to possible each day. For most people, you will want to have about 5% or less of your diet coming from carbs, 30ish% coming from protien, and 65ish% coming from fat. This calculator is amazing. It takes into consideration your age, height, weight, gender, body fat percentage, activity level, and how much you want to lose. 🙂
  3. Keep track of what you eat. Find a way to keep track of what you are eating. All day. Everyday. Count everything, because everything counts! My Fitness Pal has an online site that can help with this, as well as an App. The best part is, it’s free.
  4. Connect with people doing keto. Thankfully for introverts, you can do this on your laptop. http://www.reddit.com/r/keto is an excellent site for support and help for those that are excited about doing keto. You will not be a stranger there.
  5. Remember to drink lots of water. A gallon of water a day is not too much on this diet.
  6. The Keto Flu will come. The first week, as your body adjusts to not using carbs and begins to use ketones, you will probably start to feel crappy. It’s normal and expected. It lasts 1-3 days at most

Most importantly, don’t give up. This diet will make you feel more energized. You will likely sleep better at night. Eating healthy has more benefits than just looking good.

As Promised: a Bonus Update:

4 months into Keto and I’ve gone from wearing tight Xtra-Large clothing to comfortably wearing mediums!!!

My body fat percentage has gone down 12%

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For comparison:

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No wonder I feel better about myself!

Why Keto? What on earth is Keto? and are you a crazy person?

Why Keto?

I’ve always been a fan of low-carb diets. Cutting out carbs is a quick way to drop a few pounds and lose your water weight to fit into something you haven’t been able to wear for a while or just to feel better for a special occasion. I’ve also had a low-metabolism since I was a kid, so this diet was something I frequently went to when I felt like my metabolism had helped me add on too many pounds. I successfully lost about 15 pounds in Middle School with a low-carb diet. Of course, I gained it back, but in High School, I lost 20 pounds with a low-carb diet and lots of exercise. Both of these times I ended up weighing between 135 and 125.  Below is me in my senior pictures. I dropped 20 pounds in about 8 weeks with my senior pictures as my motivation.

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Fast Forward 5 years, to about 45 days ago. I’m at 173.3. Not the highest weight I’ve ever been, but given the fact that I’d spent the last year hovering around 165, I was not happy. There are a lot of reasons that I got to this weight, many of which I’ll talk about later in other posts. Here’s a picture of me at about this weight. Sucking my gut in, of course. Don’t get me wrong. I think I’m beautiful. Just really unhealthy.

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Enough was enough. I immediately put on sweatpants and running shoes and went for a 1.5 mile jog. The next day, the scale didn’t really budge. On top of this, I’d been going to the bathroom about every hour to urinate, and not much was coming out. This happened all day long. A tell-tale sign of diabetes (which I’m über predisposed to have). Given that I knew low-carb diets help regulate insulin levels, I knew that this was the quickest way to get myself back on track.

Except, I didn’t follow through. A true Ketogenic diet keeps carbs that affect your insulin levels (any carbs except sugar alcohols and dietary fiber) at below 20 grams per day, which is about 10% of what the average American woman my height, age and weight is recommended to eat by most nutritionists.  Instead of counting my carbs, I just guesstimated each meal and made sure I didn’t eat all of my potatoes, but a few bites were ok. Or I’d eat a few bites of dessert. And of course, there were special occasions which would require (the new me now roles eyes) me to eat to eat some sort of carb that was bad for me. In reality, I wasn’t eating much different that what an average American probably eats. And in the end, I wasn’t making progress.

So 30 days ago, I woke up committed. I’m not sure why. I just was. I still can’t decide what the determining factor in my attitude change was. I was probably still at about 173, maybe 171 or 172. And I just did it. I’ve cheated once in those 30 days. And I fully regretted it. I just felt gross the next morning.

So, now you are probably wondering the details of what a Ketogenic diet is.

I’m glad you asked!

What is a Ketogenic diet? 

This is going to be the short version. I’ll be posting lots of scientific evidence to support this diet later, but let’s just get a quick, laymen’s term overview.

Your body uses energy, all day, everyday. Primarily, your body will use glucose, aka sugar as the go-to source for energy. If your body has glucose in the blood stream, it will use this first. Most of us live a lifestyle where all our body ever uses is glucose. Glucose will come from any carbohydrate, because as soon as your body breaks down the carbohydrate, it turns into sugar. So that potato you ate, 15 minutes after you ate it, it was primarily sugar. The bun on your burger at lunch, is also sugar by now. If you have excess sugar that your body can’t use, the insulin in your body will carry it back to your cells and store it for later. (In the form of fat.)

If your body can’t find sugar, it will use your liver to turn fat from your cells into ketones. Your body can use the ketones for energy instead of glucose. When your body is only using ketones, your body is using your stored fat as a resource to burn energy. This state is called ketosis. 

So, on the Keto diet, I keep my carbs at about 20 grams. Unless I do a lot of exercising, in which case, I may up my carbs anywhere from 21-30 grams. The less carbs I eat, the more body is relying on my liver to turn my fat into ketones. And as a result, the less I weigh.

So, I’m not a crazy person.

The Ketogenic diet is healthy. In fact, I would argue that it is most like what God would have wanted us to eat. When we think about the Garden of Eden, and life shortly after the fall, there were no processed foods. It was a lot of veggies and meats. Their primary source of sugar would have been fruit, which at least in the western world, are typically only found in the fall, when people may need to put on a little extra weight to keep them warm. 

Also, there is no comparison to how I felt 30 days ago and how I feel today. I feel like a whole new person. I have virtually flawless skin, my nails are super strong, and my mind is super clear. I think more quickly on my feet. I laugh a lot more. I have massive amounts of energy! And I literally mean massive, the other day after power walking for 4.5 miles, I still had so much energy, I was skipping across my house to go to the bathroom. This, coming from the girl that has such a low metabolism that she used to gain weight by looking at food.

In addition, I don’t eat red meat and rabbit food all day. I get to eat things like cheesecake; avacado, bacon, blue cheese lettuce wraps; and loaded mashed cauliflower. And bacon. Lots and lots of bacon! I usually have to force myself to eat more calories so I don’t get pushed into a starvation mode. I love the foods I get to eat on this diet!

Oh. And  for results, in 30 days I’ve lost 14 pounds. I don’t really have a goal weight. My goal is to live this life for the rest of my life. That’s my goal.

So thank you, dear reader, for joining me on this journey. I hope this can be a way to keep me accountable to sticking to the lifestyle. I also hope I may help someone else learn how they can have their life and their body back.