I am at week 7 of a Ketogenic lifestyle. It was not something I set out to do originally, I had heard about it and decided to do a bit of research. What I learnt resonated with me so much that I immediately made some changes in how I look at my diet and the foods I consume. It has been so much easier then I thought it would be.
It is Good for Your Brain
There are many reasons people start doing a Ketogenic way of eating and though possible weight loss is a great bonus in doing Keto I am doing it for a number of reasons. In doing my research I discovered that it is beneficial for some of the serious health issues that members of my family have dealt with and I am doing it as a way of preventive maintenance. If you know me personally then you are probably aware of the dementia issues that my father has been battling for many years now. After sharing my concerns with my Dr. about dementia and my chances of developing it in the future she told me 2 things :
- There is no test that she could give me that would tell my if I am at risk for developing it.
- And even if there was……there is nothing she could do to help me anyways.
Not exactly comforting but I would rather be well informed so that I can be proactive about my choices. There has been quite a lot of research on a Ketogenic lifestyle and the brain. Without going into all the science behind it I will just say that Keto is good for your brain. And if a few changes in what I eat can be beneficial for my brain health then that is a lifestyle I want to live.
Be Open To Change
If you have ever considered doing Keto there are some huge changes in the way you will eat. The reduction of carbs and sugar is one of the main focuses while you want to raise your consumption of fats and set a goal on proteins. At first it may seems bit overwhelming and perhaps a bit daunting but rest assured, with some research, tracking of your macros and a solid eating plan you will soon get a handle on this way of life.
Read The Labels
Once you understand the basics of Keto and start creating an eating plan one of the more important things you will have to do is read the labels on the foods you are buying and understand exactly what those numbers mean. You will be surprised at how easy it is to learn what you should and should not eat once you understand the information provided to you through nutrition labels and reading the ingredients.
Do The Work
It is a lot of work when you first make the lifestyle changes to Keto. You will be surprised at how many foods you were eating before that were not necessarily good choices. It can be a lot to figure out, keeping track of net carbs, watching fat and protein limits as well as calories. A good Carb Tracking app helps tremendously and not only takes away the stress of trying to keep track of it all but also aids in learning about food. Before you know it you will be a label reading expert and be able to make confident choices when you are shopping. To track my macros I use the Carb Manager App, it makes it easy to track everything and there are recipes, community, meal planning resources, analysis section and more. It is a paid app but worth every penny for the volume of work it does for you.
Enjoy the Process
You will find that you are shopping and cooking differently along the way. Don’t feel overwhelmed by it all, rather take your time and enjoy the process. It is quite empowering taking my cooking to a different level. I love experimenting with different ingredients and new flavor combinations. And not only does the food taste great (and often exactly how the high carb high sugar foods taste) you feel better. In fact once your body enters Ketosis you find that you feel pretty spectacular. You will also find after the first week or 2 you will stop craving the carbs and sugar you have cut out of your way of way of eating.
There have been great new recipes going through my kitchen, if you google Keto recipes you will be very surprised at how many great dishes you will discover.
Keto Coconut Flour Pizza
The recipe below makes one large Keto crust. Working with coconut flour is a bit different then working with white flour. It absorbs liquid quickly. If you find the dough seems to be a bit on the dry side add another egg and knead it in well. Or alternately you could add another ounce of softened cream cheese. I did find when I used an extra ounce of cream cheese the center of the crust was quite soft and could have been rolled a bit thinner. As with learning any new recipe using new ingredients it takes a few practice runs and some trial and error. Every oven is a bit different and also using parchment paper as apposed to a silpat mat also makes a difference in the crispness of the crust. If you like a crisp crust parchment is the way to go.
I topped my Keto pizza with tomato paste, dried oregano, lightly sauted mushrooms, fine red onion and Grimms dried pizza pepperoni. Because this crust bakes quickly you want to make sure your toppings do not require long cook times. If they do precook them before topping your pizza.
- 1½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 oz of cream cheese, warmed
- ⅓ cup of coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp of dried oregano
- ¼ tp of garlic powder
- pinch of salt
- Warm the cream cheese in the top of a double boiler until very soft.
- Add the mozzarella and stir frequently until completely melted.
- Remove form heat and allow to cool several minutes.
- When it is lukewarm add oregano, garlic, salt, eggs and coconut four.
- Stir to lightly combine then knead with your hands to fully incorporate the ingredients.
- Place the dough ball in a lined cookie sheet using either parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- Cover the dough with another silpat mat or a sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough until nice and thin.
- Dock the crust and cook in a 475 degree oven for 5 - 7 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add toppings. Place back in oven for another 5 minutes or so.
- If you like the crust a bit thicker turn the oven down to 375 degrees once you add the toppings and put back in for 10 minutes or until the crust is baked right thru to the centre.