My last post discussed my current experimentation with the ketogenic diet and trying to stay on it while backpacking. I’m 6 weeks in now and this way of eating feels so good to me that I’m not sure Ill ever got back to all of the carbs I ate previously! I feel like I have to put the disclaimer in here that points out that this might not work for everyone. Since every body is different, its clear that not one diet will work for everyone, but are some of the changes that I’ve experienced on the Keto diet:
- Improved energy (big time!)
- Improved digestion
- Thinking more clearly – No more foggy brain
- Clear skin
- Improved mood
- No more hunger roller coaster (I used to need to eat every 2-3 hours, now I barely snack between meals)
Also, I want to point out that I don’t follow a “strict” keto diet. I have days where I eat MANY more carbs than the traditional keto macros recommend and probably do this 2-3 times a week; However, when I test my ketone levels the next day (via a blood monitor) I’m still ketogenic. And most importantly, I still feel good! I basically just try to keep the fat up, the carbs down and eat food that tastes good. I hate tracking macros, so I only do it occasionally to see where I’m at.
So, I’ve been experimenting with my go-to recipes to make them keto friendly. I like a good peanut sauce and so here is one that turned out great and the macros ended up falling in line with a keto approach: Fat – 62%, 25g Protein – 28%, 25g Carbs – 10%, 9g
Meal prep tip: I recommend either buying 1-2 rotisserie chickens for the week, making a Crock Pot Chicken, or cooking a large batch of chicken thighs on a Sunday to have on hand for easy dinners and lunches. The recipe below calls for spaghetti squash. I also typically roast 1-2 squash varieties on a Sunday night and keep it in the fridge for easy sides for me and the family.
THE WHAT: STIR-FRY INGREDIENTS 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil 1/2 Medium white or yellow onion - chopped 4-5 stocks bok choy - chopped 1-1/2 - 2 cups chopped green beans 1 cup cauliflower 1 Tablespoon finely diced ginger 1-1/2 cloves finely diced garlic 2 cooked de-boned chicken thigh/legs (skin on is best for keto) SERVE OVER Roasted Spaghetti Squash (for a higher carb day) OR: Kelp Noodles (I like Sea Tangle brand) OPTIONAL TOPPINGS Fresh cilantro Sesame seeds SIMPLE PEANUT SAUCE In small bowl, whisk together the following 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (almond butter could work well too) 1 Tablespoon Tahini 1 tsp coconut aminos 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (found in Asian section, or just some red pepper flakes) - optional 1/4 tsp finely diced ginger 1/2 clove finely diced garlic 1 Tablespoon MCT oil (or sesame oil) 3 Tablespoons water (add water as you whisk to desired thickness)
- Add coconut oil to a hot large pan or wok and allow to melt.
- Add onion and saute until translucent.
- Except for the cooked chicken, add the remaining “Stir-Fry Ingredients” to the pan, stirring or tossing every 2-3 minutes until crisp but cooked.
- Add the chicken and allow to warm (1-2 minutes).
- Top either the kelp noodles (lower carb option) or the spaghetti squash (slightly higher carb option) with the stir-fry, the peanut sauce, and desired toppings.
(great for a family of 2-3: either serve it all, or have a serving left for a weekday lunch)