When I began living a ketogenic lifestyle I immersed myself in all the science and nutrition-based data I could get my hands on. I wanted to understand the inner workings of my body, my triggers from both a psychological and bio-medical perspective, and I wanted to learn how to work with my body’s chemistry instead of against it to achieve optimal health. Ultimately, weight loss or gain is a symptom. I knew I couldn’t approach weight loss with one of the standardly recommended caloric depravation programs because I had tried countless times and they only left me feeling terrible, tired, defeated and hungry. Not to mention, reduced calories alone did nothing to reduce the rampant inflammation throughout my body or my intense cravings. I longed for permanent weight loss and to develop sustainable long-term habits that would result in a healthier and happier life.
Keto changed the game for me like it has for so many others. After losing 120+ lbs and gaining control over my failing health, Keto opened an unexpected pandora’s box of positive discoveries that haven’t stopped. Most importantly, it opened my mind to all aspects of the body, mind and spirit that could empower forward momentum and support sustainability on Keto.
Meal Prepping was a topic that regularly courted the conscience, logical part of my brain but, for some reason I pushed it aside. Maybe because I associated meal prepping with an assembly line approach that I assumed would lead to monotony and lack of variety. Perhaps, it was the ill formed perception it would take oodles of time and effort.
GUT CHECK! Where do you stand on meal prepping? When you hear the term meal prepping what is your immediate reaction? If you sigh or roll your eyes or tense up- take a deep breath and read on because we might just give you a reason to make meal prepping a habit! Here are 5 reasons you should incorporate meal prepping into your ketogenic lifestyle to improve your overall satisfaction, results, and sustainability. Some of these may just surprise you.
5 REASONS TO MEAL PREP
Want to try meal prepping? Keto Lab recommends you start with a Meal Plan. Get your MACROS and head to your local library to check out some cookbooks. Many ketogenic cookbooks have built in meal plans that disclose MACROS for you. Select 7 days of meals and decide which meals you are willing to eat more than once in that week. Create a grocery list of ingredients needed for that week and buy only those ingredients required for the week.
Select a day to devote to prepping, chopping, cooking, and storing. The average prepper spends 2 hours prepping enough food for a week. You need only make enough portions for the week unless you intend to freeze extra portions of your favorites for future weeks. To reduce food waste and ensure freshness, freeze any portions that will not be consumed within 3 days. If you experience a change in plans and eat out for example, your food will not be wasted.
Another great tip is to freeze/store components of meals separately to create a grab, pair and heat system. For example, cook 5 chicken breasts, 5 burgers, 5 pork chops prepared the way you like them and make 3 different Keto sides and place in single serving containers. When it’s time to eat pull out one of the servings of prepared meat and pair with a single serving of a side dish and heat up.
It’s quite easy to see how meal prepping and food prepping go hand and hand with Keto to create a win2. Want to learn more about meal prepping and Keto? Join Keto Lab’s next 12 Week Members Only Program.
35 MEAL PREP RECIPES
Enjoy some of our favorite meal prep choices by meal. All of these options store, freeze and re-heat well. Be sure to freeze in airtight, freezer/micro-wave or oven safe containers that are BPH free. With all these great options who wouldn’t be inspired to meal prep?
Sausage Egg & Cheese Bites https://www.maebells.com/sausage-egg-and-cheese-bites-low-carb-keto/
Low Carb Keto Everything Bagel https://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/low-carb-keto-everything-bagels/
Keto Sausage & Egg Breakfast Sandwich https://peaceloveandlowcarb.com/keto-mcmuffin-sausage-and-egg-breakfast-sandwich/
Keto Breakfast Pockets https://joyfilledeats.com/keto-breakfast-pockets/
Bacon, Egg, Spinach Casserole https://www.staysnatched.com/low-carb-bacon-egg-and-spinach-breakfast-casserole/
Keto Breakfast Pizza https://mylifecookbook.com/low-carb-breakfast-pizza/
Classic IF Steak Salad https://www.facebook.com/BodyMindSpiritKeto/photos/a.425515854604767/425599497929736/?type=3&theater
Keto Tuna Stuffed Avocados https://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/keto-tuna-salad-stuffed-avocados/
Low Carb Mexican Soup https://lowcarbyum.com/crock-pot-mexican-chicken-soup/
Pizza Chicken Meal Prep https://mealpreponfleek.com/recipe/pizza-chicken-meal-prep/
Spicy Carne Asada Steak Lettuce Wraps https://www.staysnatched.com/spicy-low-carb-steak-lettuce-wraps/
Cilantro Lime Chicken & Cauliflower Rice https://fitfoodiefinds.com/video-meal-prep-cilantro-lime-chicken-cauliflower-rice/
Keto Mini Meat Loaf
Keto Bacon Sausage Meatballs https://mealpreponfleek.com/recipe/keto-bacon-sausage-meatballs/
Cheeseburger Lettuce Wraps https://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/cheeseburger-lettuce-wraps/
Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowl https://www.heyketomama.com/keto-chicken-enchilada-bowl/
Skillet Shrimp with Tomato & Avocado https://mealpreponfleek.com/recipe/skillet-shrimp-with-tomato-and-avocado/
Keto Lasagna https://ketogasm.com/keto-lasagna-zucchini-recipe/
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers https://www.homemadeinterest.com/philly-cheesesteak-stuffed-peppers/
Cauliflower Bacon Gratin https://reluctantentertainer.com/cauliflower-bacon-gratin/
Cheesy Zucchini https://www.simplydelisheats.com/recipes/cheesy-zucchini
Keto Deviled Egg Salad https://sarcasticparent.com/recipe/keto-deviled-egg-salad/
Garlic Parmesan Roasted Radishes https://www.pinterest.com/pin/13933080083612199/
Cheesy Garlic Green Beans https://cafedelites.com/wprm_print/58153
Keto Zucchini Tots https://www.southernkissed.com/wp-json/mv-create/v1/creations/78/print
Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups https://www.facebook.com/BodyMindSpiritKeto/photos/a.425515854604767/427533697736316/?type=3&theater
Keto Crab Rangoon Fat Bombs https://www.facebook.com/BodyMindSpiritKeto/photos/a.425515854604767/425515891271430/?type=3&theater
Low Carb Keto Chocolate Muffins https://www.ketoconnect.net/low-carb-chocolate-muffins/
Keto Pinwheels https://www.heyketomama.com/keto-pinwheels/
Keto No Bake Cookies http://howtothisandthat.com/keto-no-bake-cookies/
Bacon Guacamole Fat Bombs https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/lchf/Bacon-Guacamole-Fat-Bombs
Cinnamon Keto Granola https://www.ketoconnect.net/cinnamon-keto-granola/
Buffalo Chicken Celery Sticks https://www.mantitlement.com/recipes/buffalo-chicken-celery-sticks/
Loaded Zucchini Skins https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a53687/loaded-zucchini-skins-recipe/
Several times a day our coaches receive screen shots of the front of food products like the one pictured asking permission to partake in what seems like a sensible choice for someone on Keto. Terms like “Sugar-Free” and “Made with Stevia Extract” gives the impression of a brand that is becoming more consciences of the Keto Community’s need for variety while meeting our high standards. The truth is, the label “Made with Stevia” only means the product contains some portion of Stevia.
Our response to these front-facing screen shots is always, “show us your backside!”- the Nutrition Panel & Ingredients to be specific. Often, what we find are high glycemic, toxic, additives, fillers, and sweeteners that will very likely work against your body, not with it.
One of the common sweeteners found in many “sugar free” candies is maltitol. If you're eating a lot of products with sugar alcohols such as maltitol while on Keto, you may not be as effective despite your best efforts. Although sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners like maltitol don’t affect everyone the same way, it has been known to stall those on Keto. Here’s why. We will use maltitol as our example.
Maltitol is a sugar alcohol, a type of carbohydrate that is neither sugar nor alcohol and is naturally in some fruits and vegetables. It's commonly used in low-carb or “sugar-free” products such as candy, like that pictured, and nutrition bars because of its similarity to sugar in terms of taste, texture, and interaction with other ingredients. Products that use maltitol and other sugar alcohols as sweeteners can be labeled “sugar-free,” despite the fact they still affect blood sugar. Although product marketers use clever labeling that leads people to believe maltitol has little impact on blood sugar, that is not the case.
Maltitol is a carbohydrate with calories. The body does not absorb all the calories in maltitol, but it still has about 2 to 3 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram of sugar. Since maltitol is a carbohydrate and has calories, it also affects blood glucose. The glycemic index is a measure of the effects of food on raising your blood glucose level.
Maltitol syrup has a glycemic index rating of 52, which approaches that of table sugar at 60. The powdered form has a glycemic index of 35, which is still higher than most other sugar alcohols and higher than all artificial sweeteners.
Comparing Impact of Maltitol to Sugar
Maltitol is estimated to have around 90 percent of the sweetness of sugar. If Maltitol has three-fourths of the sweetness of sugar, three-fourths the calories of sugar, and three-fourths the glycemic index of sugar, it isn’t a far leap to the conclusion that you need one-fourth more maltitol to get the same effect as sugar.
The brain will likely not be able to differentiate maltitol from actual sugar and hence, trigger the body to create insulin to devalue the effect of maltitol. For those who are following a ketogenic plan, are insulin resistant, have diabetes, or struggle with sugar addiction, this type of sugar alcohol is considered to be counterproductive and is not recommended.
In addition, to a non-keto friendly glycemic impact, some people who eat maltitol, especially in large quantities, may experience intestinal gas and cramping, while others experience more severe cramping and diarrhea.
Index of Sweeteners
Maltitol is not the only potential keto culprit. There are several other sugar alcohols, sweeteners, additives, and fillers that could hinder your progress. You should always review the ingredient panel of every food product label. Avoid the following while following a ketogenic lifestyle:
Keto Friendly, Low-Glycemic Sweeteners & Thickening Agents
The great news is there are some great low-glycemic sweetener options for those on Keto. Stevia, Erythritol, Lakanto Monk Fruit, and Xylitol are all low to no calorie and low to no glycemic sweeteners. It is important that you also read the ingredient labels on sweetener packages as many have added non-keto ingredients to cut down the production cost. Our personal favorite sweetener is Lakanto Monkfruit. We love Lakanto Monkfruit because there is no significant aftertaste or the strange cooling effect that some report experiencing with some erythritol products. As far as a thickening agent for soups, stews, sauces and dressings we recommend Xanthan Gum.
#Keto #ketolab #Ketolabcoach #bodymindspiritketo #realfood #lowcarb #weightloss #weightlosstransformation #sugarfree #weightlossjourney
Who hasn’t seen the interview that Jillian Michaels did with ‘Chatter’ calling Keto a “fad diet” that is a “bad idea”? Social Media is blowing up with Instagram and Twitter posts on both sides of the Keto debate. Some celebrities have come to Keto’s defense; most notably Al Roker from Today and Andy Cohen. Al Roker quickly pointed out what many of us were already thinking, “So @JillianMichaels says #Keto is a bad idea,” he tweeted. “This from a woman who promoted on camera bullying, deprivation, manipulation and more weekly in the name of weight loss. Now those sound like bad ideas.” You took the words right out of my mouth Al!
One video of Jillian Michaels’ megalomaniac, blame and shame approach to training captures Jillian yelling at two people on Biggest Loser who are visibly distressed, “I don’t care if you both die on this floor, you are going to look good doing it!” Jillian’s methods have certainly gained her notoriety, followers, and a sizeable consumer base for her growing franchise. Her reported net worth is $14 million. I can only imagine how threatened Jillian feels by Keto.
Keto stands to disrupt Michaels’ bank roll and the whole diet products market. Technavio forecasts the global keto diet market to grow at a CAGR of over 5% during 2018-2022, according to their latest market research report. 36% of that 5% global growth coming from the United States. Heavy weight champions of the diet industry like SlimFast are already arming their way into the market with “Keto” in their product labels.
I suspect we will see many more attempts from a wide variety of nutrition companies to cash in on Keto. The truth is, one of the fundamental appeals to Keto is that gimmicky nutritional programs are not necessary on Keto. Keto is mostly a DIY health and wellness endeavor supported through guidance from a trusted dietitian, nutritionist, health & wellness or health practitioner.
After watching the Jillian Michaels’ interview I wondered what I would say to Jillian if I had an opportunity? After all, I have seen thousands of people who are Keto successes. People whose lives have been saved. People who are in control of their nutrition for the first time in their lives. I’m certainly open to suggestions, and would love hearing how you would respond but, I think this is what I would say:
Dear Jillian Michaels,
You see, I am not a celebrity. My reach isn’t quite “Jillian Michael’s” status; however, my passionate labor of love is changing our food supply in this country and educating as many people as possible how to live a Ketogenic Lifestyle safely and reduce their dependency on sugar and carbs. You just opened the door for discussion and made Keto the center of attention. For that, I am grateful.
Formerly Fat from Illinois
When I was introduced to Keto I rejected it passionately like a newly jaded lover impervious to the advances of an unwelcome overzealous flirt. I was walled up so high against the mere suggestion of another “diet” that an Olympic pole vaulter couldn’t get over all my well-placed reinforcements. When my friend Judy announced she was “going Keto” I remember thinking, where the hell is Keto? When she explained that it was a way of eating and not some nudist colony, I rolled my eyes harder than a seasoned teenager. I scoffed out loud in disgust and promptly discouraged her from jumping on the bandwagon.
Judy was diagnosed with Lymphoma and I wanted to find the person who suggested this Keto “fad” to her, look them in the eye and firmly tell them to piss off. The irony is, had I not been so concerned how my friend’s health would be impacted by her newfound diet, I would have never given Keto a second thought and that would have been a personal tragedy.
If there was the equivalent of the Golden Globe for most failed attempts at weight loss, I would have taken home that handsome gold statue in every category and received the Lifetime Achievement Award to boot. So that wall was there for good reason. I built that wall with the blood sweat and tears of every failure, every disappointment, and every self-deprecating label I was tricked into believing about myself. Only I couldn’t see it. I wasn’t remotely open to the possibility that I could live my healthiest, happiest life because all my past experiences and failed attempts proved to me it just wasn’t in the cards for me.
I was conditioned to expect and protect myself from disappointment with the commitment level of a triathlete training for a triathlon. I regularly hoped and prayed for positive results but in my heart of hearts felt it was an act of futility. I would try my hardest to visualize and experience my body healed but, when I looked in the mirror that healed ideal version of myself crumbled to dust.
I wouldn’t allow myself to believe there was a solution right under my nose the whole time because all those attempts were like Purple Hearts earned in battles strung together over decades of long war. I fought hard and devoted my whole heart, discipline, all my energy and years of my life in the conquest to improve my health and lose weight. I failed. Repeatedly. Consistently. How could Keto possibly be any different? I certainly wasn’t willing to sacrifice any more of my financial well-being to the weight loss marketing engine either. I was no longer buying what lies they were selling.
I had convinced myself time and time again I just needed to overcome my mental weaknesses to lose weight and feel better. That I was my own dragon. I was the reason I was failing, and if I just kept trying, eventually I might be strong enough to overcome. Even doctors told me most of my problems would go away if I just lost weight. Can you relate?
Eventually though, after trying so many times I became heartbroken and tired. I resolved to just eat organic and as clean as possible. If I never lost another pound I was going to try to make peace with it. I would live with the burden of my body mass knowing I was at least not loading my body with toxic foods- Or so I thought. I ate strictly organic, grass-fed, non-GMO for three years according to the American recommended food pyramid and to my surprise I gained an additional 85 pounds. My liver was in trouble, the inflammation was debilitating, and I couldn’t concentrate on day to day tasks. I started to get concerned I had early onset of Alzheimer’s.
So, it was easy to disbelieve the hype about Keto and reserve my faith for causes worthier. In my mind, I probably wouldn’t make it out of my 40s at the rate my health was declining so I’d be better served saving children and animals. I didn’t believe I was meant to be blessed. I believed I wasn’t one of the special chosen. I programmed myself as unworthy and ultimately, I allowed myself to believe I wasn’t lovable and my biology was defective. I became accustomed to comments from outsiders like “you are so driven, smart and pretty. If you could just lose the weight, you could find the man of your dreams”. Gee- thanks! Why didn’t I think of that?
To add insult to the emotional pain I was in I was also in a great deal of chronic physical pain from RA and had several regular uncomfortable concerning health related symptoms. I was taking a fist full of medications and felt like I imagine a 90-year-old would feel. I could barely walk. My vision was deteriorating at an alarming rate and, I was hospitalized and almost died from pneumonia.
Exactly two weeks before hearing the term “Keto” I had a personal meltdown before God and my two concerned Labradors. I proclaimed through ugly crying and fists clenched in the air that I was officially giving up- “UNLESS” (important choice of words), God himself, showed me a way with blinking lights, a billboard with my name on it, or at least a courier pigeon sent from heaven with very specific instructions. I yelled, I’m done several times and asked the Creator of all things why He didn’t love me enough to help me. I sobbed. I know- dramatic. Although, honest and raw. I poured my heart out. I didn’t want to feel unworthy anymore. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be healed. I wanted to be able to do things, travel, tie my damn shoes without losing my balance.
So of course, when my friend walked in my door announcing she was going Keto what did I do? I resisted! Because God forbid if when we scream out to the Universe with our whole heart, that we would get a response. I missed it. Went right over my head. But, because I AM so loved, because I AM worthy I was given a seed of concern to investigate Keto out of love for my friend and a fear that a diet would harm her health. I had a duty to investigate Keto to the full extent. I had a mission to keep my sister, my friend safe.
In doing so, I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could get access to about Keto. I broke through the mind block and myth that “eating fat makes you fat” and that Keto is unhealthy. I surrounded and aligned myself with brilliant experts and the right support system to help guide me on my journey. I sorted through the healthiest options on Keto and resisted the urge to use Keto as an excuse to eat cheeseburgers all day, every day as some do. I didn’t seek out ways to outsmart Keto. I stuck to the abundant, delicious real food options that make up Keto. Instead of experiencing hunger and restriction, I experienced more. My world and options expanded.
I made science and nutrition the solid foundation of my new way of eating. I learned to ignore critics with the understanding that I was once them. I claimed victory over my health and once my mind was changed my heart began to open and I embarked on the important and valuable endeavor of deconstructing that wall I built so high. I quantum leaped armed with knowledge and an expectant heart. I took back control by making one of the most important decisions towards changing my life because it is within my power.
To the naysayers please be advised- sorry- NOT sorry! I am not afraid to now proclaim it from the rooftops how Keto saved my life. How this way of eating is not a diet, but rather a way of living and when followed healthily- an act of self-love. I might now be labeled a rebel and if I am so be it! I may just be a rebel. I’ll wear that label proudly if I must!
104+ pounds lost and still counting. $212 per month in medications saved. No more physical pain. No more inflammation. Healthy skin. Liver enzymes normal. No more anxiety. Best sleep of my life. Greater self-love. More present experiences. Overwhelming joy. Faith restored. Back in the big game. Eating real food. Lacking nothing. Strong. Rebellious. Free. Keto for Life!
#bodymindspiritketo #ketolab #ketolabcoach
Sarah Schwarz is the Founder of Keto Lab and respected Health & Wellness Advocate for those living a Ketogenic lifestyle. Sarah resides in the tight knit community of O'Fallon, Illinois, USA with her son and beloved Labradors. Sarah's own personal Keto journey resulted in 120+ lbs lost and freedom from chronic pain associated with her once failing health.Sarah shares her journey, insight, recipes and information regarding impending legislation that impacts quality of food in the United States.