Feel good by choosing a keto diet
In this article, we are going to delve into what you should know about a keto pantry staples. The first thing you should realize before beginning a keto diet is to feel good; you have to eat well! For your mitochondria to function at their best, you have to give them fuel. I am going to go through a rundown of what a holistic keto goddess should keep in her pantry. The foods that I will mention have so many benefits, both physically and mentally. This list is not all-inclusive, and there are keto-approved foods that may not be mentioned here. If you are not sure about the food, you can always research it on the internet or download an app called Cronometer.com.
When you are determining your ideal max on the keto diet is essential to keep in mind that your daily intake of healthy fats should be around 70%, carbohydrates 5%, and protein 25% 1. Ideally, your keto carb limit should be kept between 20-30 total carbs a day, or 4% to 10% of your daily calories. Doing this will help you transition to burning fat for fuel. However, this number may change depending on various factors. The most important thing would be to monitor your ketone levels and to personalize your keto diet. To do this, you can read the following: What you should know about monitoring biometrics during a keto diet- part 1 or What you should know about monitoring biometrics during a keto diet – part 2.
When looking at the different categories, please note that sometimes the foods can be listed at several different times. For example, salmon may be listed under protein and oils/fats, or macadamia nuts may be listed under fats and nuts. So if you eat salmon, it would count for a protein (the 20%) and as part of your fat content (the 70%).
Proteins ( meat, eggs, dairy, and seafood).
Preferably all organic! For fish, make sure it is low mercury and wild-caught! Fish such as wild-caught salmon, sardines, rainbow trout, Atlantic mackerel, and shellfish like mussels and oysters are rated by the Environmental Working Group as the best fish for you 2. They are also known for their high amounts of omega-3 fats, low mercury levels, and sustainability factors. You want to avoid ones with higher levels of toxins, such as larger predatory fish like marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, and tilefish 3.
When it comes to meats such as chicken or beef, it is necessary to avoid packaged, factory-farmed, or heavily processed meats. These can contain trace antibiotics or heavy metals. Plus, watch out for additives or curing agents in items like bacon or sausages.
Here is an example of some proteins (the list includes but is not limited to):
grass fed beef free range eggs, any types of seafood caught fresh ( fish, shellfish, crustaceans), duck breasts, pork( watch out for heavily processed like bacon/sausage), shrimp, organ meats, collagens, bone broths, chicken and turkey. Only high fat dairy products in moderation like heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, sour cream, parmesean cheese, cheddar cheese and brie cheese. Also included in this list, is any nuts and seeds.
Oils and fats
These also should be organic and good fats! Good fats are very beneficial for your mitochondria. Which equals more energy for a goddess to run on. However, an important thing regarding these is always to make sure you check at what heating point any fats can be harmful. I love to cook with coconut oil because it has a higher smoke point. I like to use it, especially when cooking on the stove for stir-frying or even for deep frying like making sweet potato fries.
Another great thing besides a high smoking point is that coconut oil has been shown to promote fat loss! Yay! This should be a big staple on your holistic keto goddess list. If you want to enjoy the flavor and satiety dietary fat offers, coconut oil is a good option for cooking compared to the saturated fats in butter or lard and compared to the fats in soybean and corn oils4.
Avocados are also a must for a holistic keto goddess! They are also great for weight loss and have found to be cancer-fighting! There is research that found those who ate half an avocado with their standard lunch reported being 40 percent less hungry three hours after their meal. They also have Avocatin B, which is a type of fat that has been found to combat acute myeloid leukemia, which is a particularly rare and deadly form of cancer5. Olives are also really high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. They are also great for any kind of cancer prevention. For instance, compounds in olives and olive oil have been found to activate the tumor suppressor gene and apoptotic gene, which induces programmed cell death6.
Example of good fats (the list includes but is not limited to):
avocados or avocado oil , grass-fed butter, ghee, grass-fed tallow, coconut oil, cacao butter, olives or olive oil, sesame oil, MCT oil. This also includes: grass fed meats, organic pastured eggs, raw nuts such as macadamias, animal based omega 3 fats such as wild caught Alaskan salmon and various seeds (pumpkin, sesame, cumin and hemp)10.
As mentioned previously, these preferably should be organic. I would focus on leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, or collard greens since they are deficient in net carbs. However, feel free to be diversified in the vegetable department.
I love cauliflower rice because it is very filling and low in carbs. I have found that it takes the place of regular rice very well! A lot of grocery stores even have it for sale in bags in the frozen section. This is very convenient for me as a mommy and a working professional. I just place a container of it in a pan with a little bit of coconut oil ( maybe like a tablespoon). It turns out good, and my kids even love it! FYI certain vegetables such as sweet potato and squashes ( several types) may have more carbs, so make sure to watch portions or save for higher carb days ( more of that end of this article).
I feel like as holistic keto goddesses; we should eat a lot of vegetables probably at least 2-3 cups of vegetables per day, if not more! They will help so much with our moods and fight any irrational thoughts, which will interfere with yoga and meditations! Focus on leafy greens like kale and bok choy that contain the following: folate, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. Folate has been used as a supplement to improve depression. Leafy greens also contain compounds that help the liver process toxins better7.
Example of vegetables (the list includes but is not limited to):
spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, chard, collard greens, bok choy, cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, zucchini, green onions, eggplant, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, radishes, beets (watch carbs), sweet potatos (watch carbs), squash (watch carbs).
Do you love fruit? I know I do. Remember fruit is limited when you are doing strict keto. However, there will be days where you can have a higher amount of carbs ( this is, of course after you do at least three weeks of the strict keto diet). At this moment, I am going to focus on the fruit you can eat. You need to make sure that you measure out even these fruits that I mention because the net carbs can add up! I would probably only do about 1/4 cup of any of the three berries that are mentioned below to avoid going over your max net carb limit.
If you have access to goji berries, I would recommend it because it may help with your meditation. It has been said goji berries were eaten by monks in the Himalayan Mountains and steeped in hot water to help aid meditation and obtain more excellent health, vitality, longevity, energy, and stamina8. I would again limit these to amount 1/4 of a cup for a total of around six net carbs. Keep in mind that any of these berries can support your moods!
Examples of fruit ( this is few and far between haha):
Blackberries,blueberries,lemons, limes, cranberries, goji berries and few sections of grapefruit. Also raspberries and small mandarin oranges in limited amount. Make sure to measure all your fruit on cronometer.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are so good, but be careful with these as you only want to do a small amount every day. The carbs can add up fast! I love cashews, but I usually will only do like 1-2 tablespoons a day ( doesn’t take long before your total or net carbs add up to 20-30). Flax seeds are excellent for a goddess because they provide lignans and are a rich source of omega-three fats in the form of anti-inflammatory alpha-linolenic acid9. Lignans are great for balancing estrogen levels! Especially good for those hormonal days! I love flax crackers and would recommend them, especially if you want that crunch. The brand that I like is Flackers organic, flax seed crackers.
Also, it is good to keep in mind that nuts and seeds also count for fats and proteins. In general, it is best to soak your nuts and seeds to break up any inflammatory lectins or phytates11. You do this by placing them in a bowl, and then place water over the seeds that you want to soak. You can put seasonings in the water and nut mixture. I like to put 1-3 tablespoons of Himalayan salt.
After this, just plan on letting them soak for about 5 hours, or you can soak them overnight. After they have soaked, then proceed to rinse them and spread them out, and place them on a dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator, then just roast them in over at a low temperature of about 250 degrees until they are crispy.
Examples of nuts (the list includes but is not limited to):
Period, PMS or Peri/ Post Menopausal Treats
Okay! So you’re a woman ( aka goddess), right? Sometimes a girl just has to have a treat. I mean, we get hormonal swings on a day to day basis. I know there are times I’m like, ” I just need some chocolate.” Let me tell you I have some! It’s just part of our human nature as women. Come on people. Luckily, in the keto world, we have fat bombs. These are yummy delicious treats with good fats( such as coconut oil, almond butter, coconut, etc.) while including cacao powder (chocolate)! Can you say chocolate fix? All you do is sweeten with a keto-approved sweetener such as stevia! I can say one keto treat that I like to divulge in is BHU keto bites.
They come in several different flavors and are sweetened with monk fruit( which is keto-approved). They are at most two net carbs, which are great ( some only one net carb)! You can purchase these here! Another excellent item for those hormonal cravings is Lily’s chocolate. They even have vegan options for those who don’t want the dairy.
Another treat to check out is keto cups, which are made by Eating Evolved. They resemble peanut butter cups but with antioxidant ingredients that are good for you. In these, the ingredients are cacao powder and coconut oil. They are about a whole 1-2 net carbs per cup. This is a fat bomb minus the work you didn’t have to do!
examples of treats (the list includes but is not limited to)
Sauces and marinades
So, of course, sauces and marinades have to be included as well on the holistic keto goddess diet. I am going to list some of the ones that I use in my home, but feel free to shop around to see if there are any others that you find. What’s amazing is that there are so many places that are keto-friendly nowadays, but you still have to watch marinades and sauces. For this reason, I would highly recommend you bring your sauces and dressings wherever you go. This is mainly to avoid any salad dressings or other condiments like ketchup that may be filled with processed sugars. Some other ingredients in these that may trigger inflammation would be canola or soy. I do realize that doing this is easier said than done but believe me, your body will thank you.
Examples of sauces ( list include but is not limited to)
The good news is that with keto you can sweeten your food. The key is to be vigilant as to what you are using to do it! I prefer Stevia and use it to sweeten my coffee. Another good sweetener is monk fruit (Lo Han Kuo), which is very good and tastes a lot like sugar.
It is important to note that just because a sweetener says that it is keto-friendly does not mean that it is right for you! In general, you need to stay away from the following sweeteners: Sucralose( Splenda), Aspartame ( Equal and Nutrasweet), and Saccharin (sweet n low). Unfortunately, these sweeteners can be triggers for autoimmune problems, diabetes, and metabolic disorders12.
I think any of the below would be okay for the holistic keto goddess to use.
Remember you do not have to stay on strict keto forever
Remember, by resorting to keto; you are making the perfect choice for your body healing. I know it is not an easy one and you are going to have to say goodbye to a lot of food. However, do realize that you won’t have to eliminate all non-keto-type foods forever. The strict keto phase is mainly for the first month (can also go as long as two months), but after this, you can start to introduce some foods with higher carb content a few days per week. Please remember that this healthy higher carbohydrate food list does not include anything that is processed. An example of these types of foods may be mangos, bananas, sweet potatoes, rice, etc. The reason that you cannot have these foods at first is mainly to get your body into fat-burning mode.
Stick to 20 to 30 total or net carbs per day for the first 1-2 months for the initial fat-burning phase
While you’re making this transition to a fat-burning mode for the first month or two, I would highly recommend sticking to 20 to 30 total or net carbohydrates per day. After this, then you can have at least two days per week where you can incorporate more carbohydrates ( like around 100-150 total carbs). Another term for this would be keto-carb cycling, which I will cover in another post later. This will allow you to play with the different net carbohydrate amount to see what works for you!
After the initial fat-burning phase, add in more carbs to maintain ketosis of at least 0.5 mmol/L
After the initial fat-burning phase, the number of total carbohydrates that you can take in per day will all depend on how fast you lose weight, and if you are in ketosis. Ideally, you have to stay around 0.5 mmol/L at least to be in ketosis ( this is the minimum). However, a lot of people have found for optimal weight loss; it is most ideal to be around 1.5-3 mmol/L. Remember, this is your personalized keto diet. If you are losing weight at staying in ketosis around 0.5mmol/L, then that is your sweet spot.
After you have been doing the ketogenic diet for a while, you will learn the foods that will get in and out of ketosis. In the beginning, it does take some fine-tuning to get there. Again, as mentioned in the beginning, please go to my biometrics one or biometrics two posts to learn more about monitoring yourself on a keto diet.
Your journey is your own
In conclusion, I know that you are perfectly capable of doing this! Remember to change a habit; sometimes, it takes around three weeks. Give yourself plenty of time, and if you make a mistake, just pick yourself back up. Remember, we are human and are not perfect. Once you have conquered the keto diet, then you have completed your first step in your journey towards wellness. This voyage is a continuum and does not just stop at starting a keto diet. It is an integration of many factors, and your success depends on your determination. Remember to “Each his Own.” I can lead you to the water and give you advice, but ultimately it is up to you to drink. For more information about your journey towards wellness, I would visit my Start Here page. This will be a good guide to starting your path towards vitality.
1, 10- Mercola, J. (n.d.). The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Beginner’s Guide. Retrieved January 28, 2020, from https://articles.mercola.com/ketogenic-diet.aspx
2- EWG’s Consumer Guide to Seafood. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2020, from https://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-good-seafood-guide
3,11,12-Cole, W. (2019). Ketotarian: the (mostly) plant-based plan to burn fat, boost your energy, crush your cravings and calm inflammation. London: Yellow Kite.
4-DiNicolantonio, J., & Mercola, J. (2019). Super fuel: ketogenic keys to unlock the secrets of good fats, bad fats, and great health. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House Inc.
5 MERCOLA, D. R. J. O. S. E. P. H. (2018). Fat For Fuel: a revolutionary diet to combat cancer, boost brainpower, and increase your … energy. Place of publication not identified: HAY House UK LTD.
6-Notarnicola, M., Pisanti, S., Tutino, V., Bocale, D., Rotelli, M. T., Gentile, A., … Caruso, M. G. (2010). Effects of olive oil polyphenols on fatty acid synthase gene expression and activity in human colorectal cancer cells. Genes & Nutrition, 6(1), 63–69. doi: 10.1007/s12263-010-0177-7
7-How Many Fruits and Vegetables to Eat to Boost Your Mood? (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/urban-survival/201608/how-many-fruits-and-vegetables-eat-boost-your-mood
8- Levy, J. (2019, May 15). Goji Berry Benefits, Nutrition, Uses, and Side Effects. Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://draxe.com/nutrition/goji-berry-benefits/
9-MERCOLA, D. R. J. O. S. E. P. H. (2018). Fat For Fuel: a revolutionary diet to combat cancer, boost brainpower, and increase your … energy. Place of publication not identified: HAY House UK LTD.