KETO DIET MEAL PLANNING FOR MOMS
Keto, Keto, Keto seems to be new word and craze these days. So much so I even hear moms talk about it on the phones at the grocery stores “well I can get that, but its not a part of my keto diet” (my initial thought….eye roll).
WHAT THE HECK IS THE KETO DIET ANYWAY?
So.... the question I have is, what is the Keto diet and is it worth investing in? I’ve been through the paleo phase, the fuck it phase and then back to the ok what’s next phase. The truth is, everyone wants to be healthy and so do I. But is this the diet for me? If you know me, I’m actually not much of a diet/weigh yourself kind of girl anyway. But I’ll get into them every once and a while because there is so much damn hype that I have major FOMO. My FOMO is getting the best of me, so I decided to check it out.
The first things I see on every site or book is “low carb, high fat”. To me that sounds kind of funny because high fat doesn’t seem like it would be any good for anyone. I looked into it further and clearly this doesn’t mean eat bacon every day for every meal (damn.). They are talking more about the avocado fats, coconut oils, nuts…things like that. Which, I actually happen to like very much.
The diet doctor breaks down the background of keto and what it means for us so I am going to refer to their intelligence:
The “keto” in ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it allows the body to produce small fuel molecules called “keytones”. This is an alternative fuel source for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. Keytones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar). The liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then service as a fuel sources throughout the body, especially for the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run n fat directly. It can only run on glucose…or ketones. On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24/7. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. >>> Read more (dietdoctor.com)
KETO EATING PLAN
OK so now that we know what a Keto diet is, what foods does that entail?
Low carb foods are vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, lettuce, etc (above ground). Berries in moderation. Meats, fish, nuts (lower carb nuts) natural fats (oils and butter), eggs, and cheese/dairy (full fat options). Proteins should not be eaten in excess.
As I am going through this, the amazing part is that I love and live by this diet already. Bye bye FOMO. These are exactly the foods I love. I will say, I am a sucker for grapefruit and other fruits as well which might be higher in carbs. But I believe, everything in moderation is fine. That is just my opinion. I am huge on salmon and although many recommend wild caught, I usually get the fattier type of salmon. Put that fatty salmon in the oven with some olive oil and flake sea salt and it is the most delicious meal alone. Add some steamed broccoli, shisito peppers cooked in coconut oil and bam, you have yourself a damn good meal! And yes, my kids love it too!
Time to get rid of those starchy foods (pastas, potatoes), take away sugars and packaged snacks or foods. Getting into a habit of making snacks and meals from scratch can be difficult for some and easy for others. The key is routine and habit. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
SAMPLE KETO DIET MEAL PLAN
At our house, I like to make bigger meals for dinner and the leftovers are what we all eat for lunch. And I mean all of us (including the kids). I have done this from an early age (1.) Because I want my kids to get used to eating healthy foods (2.) I am not going to make five million meals for each person. (3.) If I can save some time by eating the same meal twice, sign me up!
So far, I’ve had success. You can do it too, trust me.
Let me give you some of my favorite go to recipes which turns out fall into the keto meal plan.
Chicken Roasted Bell Pepper Stew
1 yellow Onion
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 packages of chicken thighs
6-8 red bell peppers
Red Paprika Spice
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (add more if needed)
Add into meal: (optional)
Bulgarian or French Feta
Prior to cooking, take your bell peppers and place them on the grill until the skin is blackened a little. Do not over blacken because the bell pepper will end up dry. Once they are finished on the grill, put them in a brown paper bag and let them sit for a little until cool. Once cool, remove the skin, green and seeds. If needed, you may wash the seeds off. Set them in long pieces about ½ wide (doesn’t have to be perfect. Just smaller pieces so it is easier to eat).
Add olive oil to your pot (I like using a Le Creuset pot) and put on medium heat. Add diced onion and sauté till golden. Add salt and paprika and stir around a little. Reduce heat until you place the chicken in the pot. Take out your chicken and cut the thighs into smaller pieces. Either 2 or 3 pieces per thigh depending on the size of the thigh. Raise heat back to medium, add the chicken to your sautéed onions and mix around allowing the chicken to take in the golden onion flavor. Put your lid on and let sit for a minute or two and stir around for another minute or two. Add a can of tomatoes and stir evenly. Add your roasted peppers and a little water. Enough water so the chicken can cook. Keep in mind that the bell peppers will provide more juice to the meal. Bring meal to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and let cook until the chicken is cooked through. Its ok to leave on for a little more if you are unsure (30-45 minutes is typically great). Taste and add more salt if needed.
I love to add crumbled Bulgarian or French feta to my meal!
This meal is amazing the next day so do not be afraid to eat it for lunch or dinner once again!
Carrot & Sun-Dried Tomato Lentils
1 package of lentils (2 cups)
6 medium carrots
¾’s of Jar (8.5oz) sun-dried tomatoes
1 yellow onion
8-10 garlic cloves (add more if you are a garlic lover = great for the immune)
1 tablespoon Olive oil
4 cups water
Add olive oil to your pot (I like using a Le Creuset pot) and put on medium heat. Add diced onion and sauté till golden. Add garlic cloves ( I like to cut them in halves), carrots (diced) and sauté with onions. Add lentils and continue mixing around and sauté. Add salt and mix. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and mix around. Keep in mind the sun-dried tomatoes are in an oil which will bring a lot of flavor to the meal.
Add water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat to low cover the pot and let simmer until the lentils are cooked and the water is gone.
Salmon with Steamed Broccoli and/or Shishito Peppers
2 lbs Icelandic or Steelhead Salmon (enough for 2 adults, 2 kids for 2 meals)
Place Salmon (can split in half if using for two meals), on parchment paper. Pour a little olive oil to the top of the salmon and sprinkle Flake salt evenly over the salmon. Place Salmon in oven and bake until cooked through (typically when you see white coming out of salmon). Place on broil for a minute or so to crisp up the fatty parts. Keep an eye to not over dry or cook the salmon.
Broccoli: Wash and cut stems (1/2 inch) and place in boiling pot with steaming bowl. Cook until soft.
Shisito Peppers: Add coconut oil to a pot with a lid, place on high heat and add shishito peppers. (Careful for the coconut oil at a high heat, may splatter out and burn skin if not careful.) Keep lid on the pot and carefully toss shishito peppers around. Cook until slightly golden. Once finished put in a bowl and add flake salt.
MEAL PLANNING FOR MOMS
Save yourself time, energy.. oh and don’t forget MONEY $$$$ by meal planning. If you want to get on the keto diet or just eat healthier in general, meal planning is a must. I swear by it. I start thinking about my meals for the week on Saturday and finalize by Sunday morning in my Mommy-do Planner. Sunday, I do my shopping and bam, we are ready for the week. I can honestly say I love the fact that I don’t have to think about what I am going to make for each meal and even snacks every day. One thing that stresses me out big time is having toddlers crying at my feet and not knowing what the heck to make them. I hate that! Not only that, I notice a huge change in our budget and love that I can save money each week! Try meal planning with a free printable to kick start your healthy lifestyle.
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As a mom, you might be thinking “what the heck is time management”, I’m just surviving. Let’s be honest, we are all surviving. But, how can we survive better? How can we make the most of our time all while doing what means the most to us and our family daily.
Mom life is not going to allow for the perfect plan daily. And if you are my “type A” >>
I think about the fact that we are a unit and there is nothing better than family. And as we grow together, we will be each other’s support and life. We will have great family gatherings, dinners, traditions and holidays. We will celebrate each other and go on adventures to experience what life has to offer. And for that I am ready to have baby #3.
Does that mean I just decided? Haha. Just kidding. >>