3 Top Tips: Surviving keto life as an adult with epilepsy

When I started this blog I thought I’d be able to update it regularly with posts about my ketogenic journey for epilepsy, recipes and resources. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! Blogging slipped down the priority list (but that’s ok because epilepsy management comes first).

This post is for adults with epilepsy embarking on the lifestyle with 3 top tips to bear in mind when embarking on this life changing journey & links to 3 recipes on my Instagram @riagoesketo @ananyariaroy.


The GOOD news is that the ketogenic lifestyle is still working for my overall wellbeing and still controlling my epilepsy – this month I’ll be one year seizure free!. It remains to be seen whether that’s the impact of the lifestyle or the medication.

The BAD news is that life has been a rollercoaster this last year and I’ve been terrible at blogging my ketogenic journey apart from microblogging on my Instagram accounts @riagoesketo (just keto for epilepsy posts) and @ananyariaroy (my personal account with a mix of posts including keto).

There honestly weren’t enough hours in a day to work (the load was the kind where you needed more than 24 hours in a day), eat, spend time with family, sleep, exercise, and I pretty much forgot about having much of a social life let along blogging.

My priority is staying seizure-free and keto is just one (major) part of a holistic lifestyle change. Stress and anxiety management is a constant battle and for me this last year post shoulder surgery along with numerous personal challenges on the relationship and work front has constantly pushed my stress limits – stress being my #1 trigger combined with #2 – lack of sleep. I’m pleased to report though that I’ve survived this last year unscathed although I’ve had a couple of auras and took my emergency pill on a few occasions. The lifestyle has taught me to be more aware of my body and I’m definitely more aware of my brain than EVER before! WIN!

So for those of you adults with epilepsy embarking on a new diet for your epilepsy, here are my 3 Top Tips:

  1. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process:It can be tempting to feel like you need to research and understand everything straight away, get your macros perfect right off the bat, and so on. But take your time to absorb and learn about the lifestyle in your own time (do your READING, don’t just rely on YouTube).

    It is unlikely you’ll learn everything about the lifestyle let alone test the impact of the lifestyle on YOUR body in a month – give yourself time to learn, play and adapt – enjoy the process.

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    Keto Lemon & Mint FroYo
  2. Listen to your body and the different types of dietary therapies used to treat epilepsy:Although I’ve been on the keto lifestyle for nearly 1.5 years, I have by no means been consistently in ketosis. I do have ‘cheat days’ but this doesn’t mean I load up on sugar, I still opt for the healthier low GI options during cheat days (which also tend to be during my period.)

    I’m a strong believer in sustainability and balance and ‘finding what works for you’ at the end of the day and found that for me it was a combination of mostly ketogenic combined with low GI on certain days seems to work.

    View the Epilepsy Foundation website for more on Dietary Therapies.

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    Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie
  3. Don’t have #FOMO! It’s more than just what you put in your mouth 

    (I personally think the ketogenic lifestyle  works best in tandem with other lifestyle improvements. Factors that could improve outcomes might be e.g. sleep, time with family and friends, work-life-balance, exercise and so on.I strongly recommend taking the time out to assess your seizure triggers, find out what lifestyle factors could minimise them, review and prioritise what’s important, and if necessary, adapt your lifestyle as a whole.

    When prioritising it will probably mean something is sacrificed in the quest for better health, and for us millennials there is always a major #FOMO – but the end result will always be worth it – seizure freedom!

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    FAMILY TIME! Keto Shakshuka for Fathers Day Brunch 🙂

Bonus tip! (And one that I personally struggle with)

It goes without saying that you should be making dietary lifestyle changes for epilepsy under your neurologists supervision and ideally with a ketogenic dietitian, but the reality is that there are probably many who are doing it without either. (I personally had to wait 8 months for an appointment).

Although I am technically under a ketogenic dietitian, follow-up / communication has not been great – largely on my part as it is taxing and a lot of work to submit food diaries, monitor your blood, do routine blood/urine tests etc. A lot of the hard work falls on the patient which is paper based. For an epileptic that can add up to a lot of brainpower and physical energy in addition to daily life and I for one find it quite stressful and draining. Give me an app any day please. (Rant over!)

Nevertheless it IS an absolute necessity if your goal is to manage your epilepsy (or for any medical condition) – please do it under supervision of a health professional as there ARE side effects to the lifestyle.

P.S I write this blog a few days before a milestone “Holidate”! It’s the first holiday I’ve had in a LONG time and the first time in a long time that I’ve gone somewhere without family of some kind as well. I’m completely throwing myself out of my comfort zone. The last time I felt this out of my comfort zone was 9 years ago!  Getting my priorities straight and giving myself a break!

I hope to post more frequently and prioritise this blog every fortnight! GOALS!

 

 

Brain Butter (Low Carb | High Fat |Gluten Free )

Keto vs. Epilepsy vs. Life Update

It’s been a LONG LONG time since I’ve posted. Mainly because there’s been so much going on, and not much at the same time, such is the life of an epileptic! For the average Joe a small task doesn’t take alot of effort, but for an epileptic, doing normal things is exhausting. You brain literally feels like butter much of the time.

As I’m working on a number of small projects part-time, instead of focusing on one stable full-time job now, it can get stressful and mentally draining even though physically right now I’m only really in London as opposed to hopping between two continents as I was doing before.

Still, it’s a battle trying to merely get started, complete tasks, and stay functional.  I find I often spend as much (if not twice as much) time recovering (catching up on sleep, Netflix and chill, yoga and meditation, me time!) as I do just getting on with things and trying to lead a “normal life”.

However, these last few months I’ve had moments of gratitude repeatedly for my parents (without whom I wouldn’t be seizure free), my partner (who saved my life and for giving me space, time and love in his own way), my sister and her family (for just being around and especially for allowing me to vent, cry, be a cow), and for a handful of friends I know I can count on.

Amongst them, one recently came to London all the way from Mumbai last month, and she opened my eyes to a whole new world of Nichiren Buddhism I hadn’t explored. I’m thankful for the quality time we got to spend together and the exciting project we’ve dreamed up! I love that you and I recognise that we are “Dysfunctionally Functional” and accept it.

It was also my niece’s first birthday and my sister and her fambam came to visit for four days.

So here is my confession – last month – OCTOBER 2017, I SLIPPED UP BIGTIME on a few occasions:

  •  Whilst my friend was around there was one night where she had a dessert with flambéed alcohol on it, I took one bite and pretty much got drunk (who gets high on flambéed apple crumble?) We also went to Ping Pong (Chinese Dim Sum) two nights in a row. And I had dessert!!!
  • Whilst my sister was down as well I went to the pub with my her and my BIL and had a chip from her plate with my steak, ate some rice and Paratha with my curry, I also had cake, panna cottage and ‘payesh’ (rice pudding) on my niece’s birthday.

SO SUE ME, I decided to live a little for a few days 😂! No regrets. And it will happen again I’m sure.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Here’s the upside though:

  • Whenever I do slip up, it reminds me that I just can’t stand sugar and carbs, it’s not for me. I can literally feel the sugar slap my brain around. It satisfies me temporarily for a few spoonfuls but in the back of my  mind I think “hmmmm how can I ketofy this at home 😂!” What I really enjoyed though was just being around my family and friends.
  • Unlike previous times during the summer for instance when I had a bad carb-up, practically went into a “food coma”, and also seemed to struggle getting back into the Keto way of eating, every single time I re-started keto after relapsing, THIS time I pretty much bounced straight back into ketosis after a few days, no major struggle or keto flu (although I did battle the real flu twice during this period). I didn’t fast intentionally although it may have happened that I unintentionally Intermittent Fasted a number of days sporadically.

Brain Butter?

Anyway enough of my rambling, as November is the month for #EpilepsyAwareness here is a lovely nut butter recipe especially for my fellow #brainwarriors on Keto – #BrainButter!

The reason it’s called Brain Butter is because it’s made from Walnuts, Pecans, and Fats (olive oil, ghee, coconut oil) which are good for the brain. I used all three, but feel free to use just one or two.

When I was making it I didn’t realise how symbolic it really was. 💜

Walnuts and pecans look like the brain. It’s poetic almost, the whole process of making a nut butter is almost like what it is to be an epileptic – you’re ok one minute and the next your brain feels all mushy and you’ve lost control like liquid nutbutter. BUT homemade BrainButter is of course healing with so many nourishing and restorative properties.

In addition to the countless  health benefits of walnuts, they’re also supposed to have numerous properties which make them good for the brain and there are studies that show they have anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects (albeit on rats).

This recipe also has cinnamon which is supposed to be good for the neurological system including memory – us epileptics suffer greatly on that front!

Other reasons why I LOVE this Brain Butter: 

  • Probably because of the high fat content in walnuts and pecans, it comes together ALOT quicker than almond butter and peanut butter. I think it took me less than 10 minutes to blend a batch of butter. So for tired epileptics, maximum fat for less effort, I think it’s a go-to nut butter!
  • 1 Tablespoon of this would  give you a significant amount (0.9g) of your heart healthy Omega 3’s.

Brain Butter Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (approx. 100g) pecans
  • 1 cup (approx. 80g) walnuts
  • 2-3 Tbsp Fat of choice (I used 1 Tbsp Olive Oil / 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil /1 Tbsp Ghee)
  • 1-2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Himalayan Salt

Note: The ghee makes it smell/taste like burnt caramel a little bit, I would only suggest using homemade ghee otherwise use one / a combination of the other two oils, as store-bought ghee might be overpowering.

METHOD

1. Toast your pecans and walnuts in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes to release the oils.

2. Set aside to cool slightly, allow the nuts to come down to room temperature before putting them in the food processor.

3. Place your nuts in a food processor and blend until you get a grainy consistency.

 

4. Then gradually add your oils in turn every 1-2 minutes. Keep the the processor churning, but check periodically, stir (and push down the sides and scrape the bottom of the processor) and of course taste as you go along if you must and adjust 😊!

 

5. This is what the finished Brain Butter should look like !

 

MACROS per serving

This recipe creates approximately 10 Tablespoons of Brain Butter.

1 serving = 1 Tbsp

  • 157.4 kcal
  • 2.1g protein
  • 1.1g net carbs
  • 16.4g fat

Update: How do you eat it?

Like any other nut butter!

  • By the spoonful 🙂
  • On your (ahem low carb / keto) bread / toast / bagel / waffle / bun  / pancake / donut / world!
  • On top of a keto granola.
  • In your smoothie.

 

 

 

 

Keto Croutons (Gluten Free|Dairy Free|Low Carb)

This was one of those spur of the moment things that I’m so pleased with, it’s DEFINITELY going to become a permanent part of my staples in my Keto pantry.

The reason these babies came about was because I was craving a Caesar salad. But you can’t have a Caesar salad without croutons right!!!

As I learnt, Keto Croutons couldn’t be simpler to make. If making microwave Keto Flax Bread was the easiest recipe in the world, this is just one step up.

They take less than 10 minutes to prepare, are quite moreish (I finished 3 portions of the 4 I made in one day). It also makes for a satisfying Keto snack-on-the-run. I’ve actually been munching on them with cheese (like flax crackers I suppose). They’re THAT good and guilt-free, and SUPER CRUNCHY 🙂 !

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RECIPE

This recipe make approximately 4 servings.

Utensils & Ingredients

  • 1 Microwavable Dish (I used a glass dish that was approximately 5×5 inch)
  • Butter (or oil) to grease
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 4 Tbsp Flax Meal (You could also probably make it from Almond Meal)
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt of choice
  • OPTIONAL Spices / Seasonings of choice: E.g. Pepper, Chilli, Garlic, Onion, Cayenne, Paprika, Turmeric etc.

Method

  • Grease your dish with the butter or oil.
  • Crack and beat the egg in the dish.
  • Add the flax, baking powder, salt, and optional spices and seasonings of choice.
  • Stir the mixture well until everything is well incorporated.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes.

(Click here for step-by-step images of how to make microwave keto bread)

  • Remove the bread from the microwave and slice it into two slices, then cut into crouton sized cubes.

ketocroutons (6)_1200-min

  • Place the bread cubes on a plate and microwave in 1 minute bursts until hard. (Mine took 2 minutes in total).
  • Cool, sprinkle on your salad, or eat as it is with a dip or cheese!

Macros

Per serving:

  • 47.2 Kcal
  • 2.9 Protein
  • 2.7g Carbs
  • 2g Fiber
  • 0.7g Net Carbs
  • 2.9g Fat

ketocroutons (8)_1200-min

‘Cheese’ & Onion Bittergourd and Kale Crisps (Gluten-Free|Vegan|Low-Carb)

I love kale but bittergourd / bittermelon / bittersquash / Balsam-pear / Karela / Goya – call it what you will, my reaction to it would have been the same until very recently. EURGH!!! It’s just so erm, intensely bitter? HOW could anyone with normal tastebuds enjoy it?

This is a recipe to start initiating yourself into the world of bittergourd! It’s actually yummy and moreish.

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I don’t know how else to start this post but to say that until I started preparing bittergourd this way, it has been nearly (but not quite at) the top of my hate list of vegetables (or is it a fruit?) . Either way it’s something that until very recently my tastebuds detested.

Being Bengali this is shameful as it’s a staple vegetable in many dishes including my boyfriends beloved “Shukto” or Bengali style mixed vegetable. Bengali’s love exciting the tastebuds, and this mighty vegetable definitely does. I unfortunately cannot make a “Shukto” yet (but I shall soon!).

Amongst other nutritious elements, bittergourd is a high potassium vegetable, which is something that on the keto diet, I’ve been struggling with and have been searching for ways to incorporate it into my every day diet. If it wasn’t already obvious enough, I’m a bittergourd hater, but this simple recipe my friends, I simply cannot get enough of!

Although it’s commonly seen in Asian households, it’s highly underrated in the western world but it’s increasingly available in supermarkets (and readily available in the Asian / Indian markets). 

Bittergourd: Reasons why I can’t get enough of it now

  1. I’m older and wiser! I know that it’s good for me. Like kale, bittergourd is a nutritious powerhouse
  2. The green colour! And how it changes into a brighter green when you season raw bittergourd with salt. It’s magic :-).
  3. It looks weird and dangerous, like a massive green club.
  4. It can be delicious and moorish, when done right (like this recipe)!
  5. These crisps keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

I’m not listing any quantities for the dressing below because I believe it’s entirely up to your tastebuds and personal preferences as to how flavoursome you’d like your crisps to be! Quantities for the vegetables are also up to you, the 1-2 cups are just a guideline.

  • 1-2 cups sliced bittergourd: Washed, dried and sliced thin.
  • 1-2 cups Kale: Washed, dried and torn into larger than bite-sized pieces (they will shrink when baked).
  • Olive oil (or any other oil of choice). I personally like to use a garlic olive oil.
  • Nutritional Yeast (This is where the ‘cheese-ey’ flavour comes from. There isn’t any actual cheese in this recipe.)
  • Onion Powder.
  • Himalayan Salt / Sea Salt.
  • Cayenne Pepper.
  • Turmeric: Optional

Method

Bittergourd chips:

kaleandbittergourdfries (1)

  1. Heat the oil in a suitable pan. You will you need enough oil to fry the bittergourd until they’re crispy.
  2. Slice the bittergourd into thin round slices and wash thoroughly.
  3. Sprinkle salt onto the bittergourd and  massage into it well. Leave for 10 minutes.
  4. Shallow fry the bittergourd in the oil until they’re darker and crispy but watch closely to make sure they don’t burn. The seeds should be crispy. (You could also try baking them, but we haven’t attempted this before).
  5. Once fried, dress the bittergourd with nutritional yeast, onion powder, himalayan salt and cayenne pepper according to your macros and taste.Tip: The bittergourd crisps keeps well in the fridge for a few days so you can make a large batch of this and snack on it (if it lasts)! It’s good cold, room temperature, or can be reheated in the oven or dry-toasted in a pan on the stove top.

Kale chips:

kaleandbittergourdfries (2)

  1. Wash and dry the kale well.
  2. Pre-heat an oven to 150-160C (it depends on your oven but I find that a lower temperature works better).
  3. Massage the kale with olive oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt and cayenne pepper according to your macros and taste. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Bake your kale chips in the oven for about 12-15 mins, and then give them a toss, then bake them again for another 10-12 mins (or until crispy but not burnt).

I don’t think kale crisps keep as well as bittergourd crisps, so eat the same day if possible.

Eat separately or mix BOTH the bittergourd and kale crisps up for the best of both worlds and enjoy getting your greens and nutrition in!

 

MatchaMonday – Keto Bullet Matcha Milk / Latte!

This recipe came about as I was looking for an alternative to the Bulletproof Coffee and my version of the Bulletproof Chai Latte. I’m sensitive to caffeine and should avoid (high doses of) it, but I needed something which had a bit more of a kick to start the day, without the jitteriness from coffee.

Tea, caffeine & epilepsy

matchaL_small

Before I start, note that caffeine and epilepsy aren’t exactly the best of friends, and all teas do contain some amount of caffeine so epileptics do need to drink it with caution.

However, tea is my weakness and I’m from a part of India where we love our tea but I try and limit myself to 1-2 cups a day.

Depending on the serving, a serving of Matcha contains approximately 35mg caffeine. This normally isn’t enough to make you feel “wired” like coffee does. Bearing in mind that an average cup of filter coffee has 145mg of caffeine, and a cup of instant coffee can have up to 170mg per cup.

The caffeine in Matcha is also absorbed differently due to ‘catechins’ which are antioxidants and known to have many beneficial health properties. Caffeine molecules in Matcha bind to catechins and are absorbed slowly over time. Whereas caffeine molecules in coffee go straight to the bloodstream leading to a high followed by a crash within a few hours. With Matcha however, the caffeine is absorbed over the course of up to six hours.

This is a literature review of the beneficial effects of green tea – many of which are related to catechins, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallat content. Recently it has been suggested that Matcha has greater benefits than other green teas as indicated in this study. This is due to the concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) available from drinking matcha which is seen to be 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG available from China Green Tips green tea, and at least 3 times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.

So overall, I think the nutritional health benefits are worth it! 

Keto Bullet Matcha Milk / Latte

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Apart from Matcha, the key ingredient in this brain boosting Matcha Milk is MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil.

  • MCT’s are found in coconut oil, but also in palm oil and high fat products such as cheese and butter.
  • MCT’s are considered to be good fuel for the brain because they are smaller and easily metabolised.
  • MCT oil is a manmade supplement produced from coconut oil, palm oil or safflower oil.
  • This study highlights that MCTs offer neuro-protective benefits for a range of diseases including epilepsy as well as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Ingredients

1 serving

You will need:

  • Matcha green tea powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Almond Milk: 1 cup
  • Vanilla Stevia drops: 1-2
  • MCT Oil: 1 tbsp
  • (Optional) Butter of choice: 1 tbsp
  • (Optional) For a bit of a twist, sometimes I like to add 1/2 a teaspoon of Cinnamon to my Matcha milk / latte.

Method:

  • In a bowl, whisk the matcha powder in some warm water.
  • (Warm the almond milk if you’d like a warm milk).
  • In a high-speed blender, add the almond milk, matcha, vanilla stevia and MCT Oil.
  • Blend for 30 seconds – 1 minute – A froth will have formed on top when you stop, and the matcha should be well combined.
  • Pour into your mug and serve hot or cold!

Macros:

1 serving (Excluding butter)

  • Energy: 161 kcal
  • Caffeine: 35-70mg
  • Protein: 1.9 g
  • Net Carbs: 1.69 g
  • Fat: 17.15 g
  • Vitamin A:938 IU
  • Vitamin D: 100 IU
  • Vitamin E: 10mg
  • Vitamin K: 58 ug
  • Calcium: 208mg

Low-carb Chocolate Covered Nuts

There are a few things that I find very frustrating on the keto lifestyle with epilepsy at present. These are namely:

  • Brain fog.
  • Tiredness and lethargy.
    (Note: for people who don’t have epilepsy reading this, this probably won’t affect you apart from the initial induction / ‘Keto flu’ period. For those of us with epilepsy, this is why it might be prolonged.).
  • Watching people eat bread, chips and desserts when I’m out!

But then again there are many things that I’m loving about the experience so far. A few of these are:

  • Discovering new things about my body every day.
  • A pretty impressive digestive system – the fibre in the keto diet must be working its magic! It only lets me down when I eat too much lactose.
  • Reading and learning about a whole new world of diet and nutrition.
  • Discovering new foods, recipes and getting creative in the kitchen.
  • The knowledge that I’m feeding my body nutritious food.
  • Building willpower and the comfort of knowing that I’m capable of creating delicious keto alternatives to bread, chips and desserts (this knowledge keeps me going when I’m out watching others eat carb-loaded foods! I have the good stuff waiting for me back at home in my kitchen).

So you see, there’s a lot to love about lifestyle, and the pros outweigh the costs!

Natures Fat Bombs – Nuts!

Nuts are my snacking staple. They’re high in fiber and numerous micro-nutrients, and there’s so much you can do with them. They’re great as an on-to-go snack, in desserts, and really are natures fat bombs.

Because I find it really hard to hit my fat macros, I find that some nuts in particular are ideal to munch on, namely Pecans and Brazil Nuts. But days when I feel like I’ve had too many calories as well, my go-tos tends to be almonds, pistachios, peanuts or hazelnuts.

Below is some useful nutrition information for various nuts:

NutNutrition

The only thing that tops nuts on my snack list is CHOCOLATE! And boy am I glad that Dark Chocolate is legit on the keto diet!

The benefits of dark chocolate and its miraculous properties deserves a whole post to itself so I’ll save that for another day, BUT the reason I’m writing this is because this post is all about chocolate covered nuts – my ultimate keto comfort snack.

My new chocolate discovery – Montezuma’s !!!

As I was working in a coffee shop the other day, I got peckish and unfortunately this popular coffee shop chain largely still does carb-loaded goods. Even the salads in this cafe were “pasta salads”. So I ventured to the supermarket to stock up on sneaky snacks to sustain me whilst I worked.

I was very excited to find this, hidden away in the chocolate aisle:

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And I was even more thrilled to discover the nutritional values.

Wait for it…

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The nutrition label says that 100g (i.e. the WHOLE BAR) has just 8g of carbs, and 17g of Fibre.

Now on Keto as we’re calculating net carbs (Carbs minus fibre), does this mean this bar of chocolate is actually negligible in terms of net carbs (-9)? Drop me an e-mail with your thoughts on this because I could be wrong, but until I have more clarity – I’M INDULGING!

As can be expected with 100% cocoa dark chocolate – it’s bitter AF. So much so, they’ve put a warning on the back of the package which has almost become a tagline for the brand – “For that dramatic cocoa hit. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” This is great I think, because a little goes a long way when you’re looking for your cocoa high!

Which brings me to my next point – it’s not cheap. I got this bar for £2.50. However on Amazon you could buy in bulk and save some that way. And I look at it as an investment for all the keto chocolate goodies I could make.

On top of that, you are paying for a top-quality British product. I cannot describe in words how smooth the texture of the chocolate is. It really is incredible and something one needs to touch and taste for oneself.

Low Carb Chocolate Covered Nuts

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Natures Fat Bombs (Almonds and Pecans!!!) covered in Montezuma Dark Chocolate. P.S. Thank you mum for holding the nuts!

So I wanted to make my chocolate investment last for a while (and there’s no way I could eat a block of 100% dark chocolate so I would have to sweeten it up Keto style.)

Hence here is a very sweet and simple recipe for chocolate covered nuts! These are great on their own, or as a crunchy topping on something else.

Note: ANY Dark Chocolate will do, just make sure it’s at least 85% dark chocolate so as not to throw you out of ketosis.

Ingredients

13 servings (1 serving = 5 nuts)

You will need:

  • Nuts (I used 25 pecans and 40 almonds for this recipe, and the macros reflect the same).
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 25g Dark Chocolate
  • 2-3 drops Vanilla Stevia

Method:

  • Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until melted).
  • Stir in Vanilla Stevia and adjust sweetness to taste.
  • Add nuts and salt to the mixture and stir well ensuring all the nuts are covered with the chocolate.
  • Place some parchment paper on a plate, and place the chocolate covered nuts on the parchment paper.
  • Place the plate in the fridge to cool and allow time for the chocolate to re-harden around the nuts.
  • Once the chocolate has hardened, remove from the parchment, and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

NOTE: To boost the “Fatbomb” quotient per serving, you could add a tablespoon of MCT Oil to the chocolate mixture.

Macros:

One serving of 5 nuts (pecans & almonds):

  • Energy: 84.7 kcal
  • Protein: 1.8 g
  • Net Carbs: 0.3 g
  • Fat: 8 g

Berry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt

The temperature has been steadily creeping up in London recently, and today it reached a sunny ☀ 29°C! I find it incredibly difficult to eat enough and hit my macros when it’s warm outside. I know my tactic ‘should’ be to eat higher fat/calorie food. However, this recipe isn’t that. It’s my summer comfort food – FROZEN 🍓 YOGURT (FroYo) – which is keto friendly if berries are on your list.

Berries on Keto

As a fruit lover (I went through a raw vegan phase once upon a time), the hardest thing for me to let go on this diet has been fruit. If this was a zero fruit lifestyle I don’t think I could have done it, so the fact that berries are allowed are a saving grace. I’m of the mentality – Measure it. If it fits in your macros, it’s OK! 👌 If I could, I think I could happily survive on berries.

Just for your information, according to Cronometer (which is the app I use to measure and monitor my nutrition), summer berries have the following Net Carbs:

  • 1 cup strawberry halves: 8.7g
  • 1 medium strawberry: 0.7g
  • 1 cup blueberries: 17.8g
  • 1 blueberry: 0.2g
  • 1 cup blackberry: 6.2g
  • 1 blackberry: 0.2g
  • 1 cup raspberries: 6.7g
  • 1 raspberry: 0.1g

As it’s summer and berries are very much in season in the UK, I intend on incorporating them in my diet until they’re not! (and then freezing enough to last me the winter 😏).

Meal prepping desserts

As a dessert addict, I think meal prepping applies as much to desserts as it does to breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Especially for someone with a sweet tooth like mine as you really need to watch your macros. The carbs can creep up on you on anything sweet. Meal prepping is an opportunity to control your portions.

I think this good weather called for some frozen yogurt prepping in a massive batch, so I made a large LOG of frozen berry cheesecake yogurt.

This made approximately 10 portions which I then cut up and froze and can de-frost and blend with some additional yogurt or nut milk as and when I desire!

Besides being a fabulous dessert or snack, I think this makes a great base for a breakfast. You could turn it into a strawberry cheesecake smoothie, or even a quick hearty breakkie bowl with a homemade keto ‘cereal’ made from nuts and seeds.

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Hiding my fat (in my food)

As I’m always seeking ways to “hide” fat in my food without it overpowering the flavour of the food, this recipe has some avocado hidden in it which gives it some creaminess, but nothing else. Love it or hate it, you can’t taste or see it at all.

I wouldn’t say the cream cheese is “hidden” fat because it’s supposed to be a cheesecake FroYo after all, so you should get a hint of cream cheese, but in terms of fat content – you do get a significant amount of it from the cheese. If the amount of fat isn’t enough for you going by the macros below, I would just increase the amount of cream cheese rather than anything else.

Increasing the amount of avocado might make it overpowering, and increasing the amount of yogurt might affect the amount of carbs. But play around and use your judgement!

I blended it with some almond milk and sprinkled hemp seeds on top one day which boosted the protein and fat without affecting carbs *win win*!

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Ingredients

1 log (10 servings)

You will need:

  • 1 freezer friendly loaf tin
  • Fresh or frozen strawberries: 2 cups
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries: 0.5 cup
  • Greek Yogurt: 1 cup
  • Cream Cheese: 45g
  • Avocado (ripe): 1 large / approximately 120g
  • Vanilla Stevia (or other sweetener): 2-3 drops (adjust as required).

Method:

  • Blend strawberries and greek yogurt in a food processor until well combined. (Note: If you intend on eating some of it immediately, use frozen strawberries).
  • Add cream cheese, avocado, and vanilla stevia and continue processing for a few minutes until the FroYo mixture is a consistency you would like.
  • Taste and adjust at this point as required.
  • Prepare a loaf tin by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Add blueberries to the bottom of the loaf tin.
  • Pour the FroYo mixture into the loaf tin and freeze for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes if possible.
  • Once the block of FroYo is solid, cut it into servings and re-freeze for future use!
  • To defrost and devour just let it stand out for a bit, or to turn it into more of a soft FroYo, add a bit of yogurt or nut milk and blend.

Macros per serving

(1 log = 10 servings)

  • Energy: 74.8 kcal
  • Protein: 1.7g
  • Net Carbs: 4.9g
  • Fat: 5.7g
  • VitaminA : 160.8 IU
  • VitaminC: 19.9 mg

Salmon Spinach Miso Soup

This recipe is ideal for anyone dealing with Keto Flu, short on time, or just seeking your daily dose of vitamins and minerals from food sources (check the macros below)!

It’s well known that keto-ers can face issues with potassium. It’s one mineral that I am currently struggling with as I write this. Also, as it’s nearly that time of the month, I’m facing a tripply whammy of epilepsy, keto mood swings, and pms.

So for the women out there, this is a good one! I figured I better take precautions to ensure that I’m getting enough potassium from dietary sources as on top of everything else, low potassium levels can lead to menstrual cramps, and I get baaaad cramps due to PCOS. My epilepsy is also further triggered by hormones, and I could do without an episode at this point in time.

Anyway this super simple Salmon Spinach Miso Soup takes less than 10 minutes to prepare (perfect for when you’re not feeling well 🤒). 

Spinach Salmon Miso Soup (6)

 

Ingredients

You will need:

  • 2 cups of chicken bone broth (homemade preferably)
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups of chopped spinach
  • 100g salmon
  • 80g egg tofu or soya tofu
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Method:

  • Heat the bone broth over medium heat with miso paste and cayenne pepper until well combined.
  • Once the broth starts boiling, lower the heat and add the spinach first to wilt it down.
  • After 1-2 minutes add the salmon and tofu. Cook in the boiling broth for a further 2-3 minutes and then serve. (Both will carry on cooking in the hot broth once you take it off.)
  • Taste and add extra salt to taste of needed.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve piping hot!

Macros

Full Recipe / 2 servings:

  • Energy: 420 kcal
  • Protein: 40.5g
  • Net Carbs: 4.5g
  • Fat: 25.2g
  • VitaminA : 6053 IU
  • VitaminD : 977.3 IU
  • Potassium : 1218 mg
  • Magnesium : 110.5mg