Realistic Goals and Food Relationship Goals:
Food is at the center of our universe so you don’t want to hate it because of your diet. Fall back in love with real food as you take a journey into a keto lifestyle. Starting this journey is the first step to learning more about your food, how to balance your keto diet, what you are taking in (macros), and what it’s doing for you (micros).
What Does 20-30g of Carbs Look Like on Keto?
It may be shocking at first to see on your plate what 20-30 g of carbs looks like. You can have a lot of delicious vegetables (30 carbs) or six tablespoons of peanut butter (30 carbs). You can have a berry smoothie in the morning or a whole tub of hummus (more than 30 carbs). The point is that balance is everything. Scientifically, massive changes are going on inside your body when you decide to cut out carbs.
Some struggle with switching to low carb because they do not get enough electrolytes; we need sodium, potassium, and magnesium to keep ourselves from passing out or feeling like crap while we make this change. Foods that contain higher potassium and magnesium are dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, and hard-boiled eggs. As you transition, you may want to eat an abundance of higher fat foods like these, mixed with veggies full of fiber like celery, spinach, collards, broccoli, or cauliflower. Reasonable portions and measuring will be necessary as you begin this epic journey.
Measuring foods and looking at portion sizes on your plate is a learning curve.
It is a mental note to yourself about what 50-100 calories look like and what 5 ounces of meat look like. To adjust successfully, you might want to buy a food scale and measure in the beginning. Eventually, one day, you will not need this food scale because as you try different foods, you will learn how much you need to sustain yourself and how much is gluttonous. As time goes on, you will discover your go-to meals and snacks are; you will start buying things every week at the grocery store that support your dieting and help you snack reasonably and keep on track.
Options like pre-made and frozen cauliflower crusts and fresh ingredients to top that pizza will suddenly jump to the top of the grocery list. Don’t eat the entire pizza! Eat a piece and if you are still hungry, fill your dinner with a dark green salad. One of the biggest dieting fears: that you will be so hungry that you won’t control yourself and binge eat. Always remember to learn how to control and balance your keto diet. Give your body what it needs, and within the first ten days, the severe craving for carbs (sugar) will eventually disappear.
SALAD RECIPE THAT ONLY HAS 12g of CARBS
- 4 cups of spinach
- 1 cup of mushroom
- ½ cup of blueberries
- 1 Roma tomato
- 1 oz of sunflower seeds
Optional for flavor:
– parmesan cheese, hardboiled eggs, salmon or tuna, 2 tbsp Primal Kitchen avocado oil caesar dressing.
- One cauliflower crust (prebake, then bake with ingredients on top)
- 2 cups Cherry tomatoes
- Four balls of fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil, parsley, salt, and pepper
Optional: sausage, salami, maybe ground sirloin?
*If you love ranch, you can buy Primal Kitchen Ranch made with avocado oil.
Demystifying Food and Our Relationship With Food
Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I thought I wanted to be in the healthcare field. I told family and friends that I wanted to be a heart surgeon. As I aged and my hormones changed, my body changed ALOT; I changed my mind and decided to be a nutritionist.
Obesity runs in my family and many other health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. As I grew up, I realized that food should be enjoyed, but when it’s done excessively, not only do the people around you notice, but your mind, body, and soul notice too. But, enough about me, this is about food.
Family Gathering and Food Shatterings
It all starts with our relationship with food. Every holiday, every party, every event is centered around food. Food gathers people and people gather in the kitchen.
Most families spend that dinner talking to each other before they all scatter like cockroaches back to their busy lives or into their phones, computers, or TVs. With food being one of the most significant and most essential parts of our lives, family life, and social life, we should appreciate it a little more. Furthermore, the appreciation for real food and not pre-packaged concoctions is deeply engraved in my soul.
When I became old enough, I would try to make my meals. As an athlete, I was detrimentally impacted when I ate things that were not nutritionally balanced or full of good vitamins. I started experimenting, cooking, burning things, exploding blenders up to the ceiling, and eating different foods outside the box. I researched and discovered how processed carbs wreak havoc on your body and mind. Soon, I started creating my salad dressings, bought fresh fruits and vegetables, and started cooking fish more frequently. Not fried fish, actual fish!
Always Choose Real Food
My relationship with food was a long learning curve, which took a lot of time and energy, but I realized I loved it! In addition, I was thinking: maybe I should have become a chef, but I never did. Instead, I grasped onto that healthier eating and choosing natural foods mentality. However, I started to realize that there are not many new options readily available to us all the time. This was a problem that needed work when I was growing up and is an ever-evolving industry.
Later on in life, I became an educator. I was training new employees for a fortune five hundred company and fell in love with the companies ideas and cafeteria. They offered fresh vegetables and fruits, a salad bar, an omelet station where you could make your own unique and fresh omelets, plus freshly cooked meats. They also offered fried items because let’s face it, some people crave that! I was impressed at how healthy, and fresh everything was in that cafeteria, and thought: why couldn’t it be like this everywhere?
What you eat is 80% and what you do is 20%
After getting married and having a baby, I stopped the corporate hustle and had the opportunity to decide what my second act would be. Naturally, I fell into the fitness world; the gym is my happy place, the feeling I get after a great workout always keeps me coming back for more. It was there in fitness that I learned the most about food.
What we take in is 80% and what kind of exercises we do is 20%. What we eat is pretty much everything; our muscle strength, mental strength, and mindfulness all come from food. I have tried multiple types of keto, high protein- low fat, high fat- mediocre protein; some worked, and some did not suit my lifestyle. The most significant commonality in these types of eating was the low carb aspect.
What is LOW CARB to you?
First and foremost, you need to ask yourself, as I do every year: “What is my goal this year?” It is not realistic to live forever in a dieting zone, nor is it healthy. There has to be a goal. Instead of making lbs off the scale your goal, you can choose to gain muscle or strength as your goal. The goals centered around mental health seem to have the most success. Do not think of this new eating method as torture; instead, think of it as taking your life back. Taking your health back and gaining control over what you put in and how it makes you feel is not as intimidating anymore; it’s liberating!
Setting a goal to understand and practice food, portions, and what works best in your body will be vital. If your goal is to drop 50 -60 lbs of fat, it is critical for your food consumption to boost your metabolism and keep your engine running. Eating things that contain healthy fats, omegas, and large amounts of vitamins will help support your goals and keep your thoughts from wandering back to McDonald’s french fries.
Exercise may already be a big part of your life and if it is, you should adjust your goals accordingly. If you are losing excessive hydration from your sweat sessions, going to a standard keto diet may hurt. Therefore, counting the number of carbs you are taking in becomes highly important when trying to cut fat. Learn how to balance your keto diet.
Try to track your foods; keep in mind to be extra vigilant and care if you decide to use an app to help you with this.
Here are some of the Biggest Tracking Mistakes:
- Not Tracking Intentionally
- Lack of consistency
- Eyeballing your food
- Eating out too much
- Not prepping/planning your food
- Not tracking your BLT’s (bites, licks, and tastes)
- Post tracking food
All in all, when just starting, tracking will make your life easier. It will also help you grasp the amount of food you need and the other macro goals that you are trying to hit. Macronutrients are the three most significant categories of nutrition, fats, protein, and carbs. While food tracking, you will naturally fall into a rhythm that sheds light on what you are eating and what you may be missing from your diet.
If it doesn’t swim in the ocean, fly in the sky, or grow from the ground, you shouldn’t eat it.