Sunday, June 11, 2017

Giving Keto a Go

Hi, there!

It's my birthday week, so I decided to give In the Kitchen a little facelift as a gift. I hope you enjoy the new look! I also bought myself a domain name, you can now find me at I'm excited about these changes and hope you are too!

To those of you joining me after seeing my interview on Yahoo!, welcome! Thanks for coming along for the ride. I'm really humbled by the opportunity to be able to share my story and I hope you enjoyed reading it!

If you haven't already read it, check it out here.

I posted a few weeks ago on Instagram that I was toying with the idea of trying Keto. Keto is a high fat/moderate protein/very low carb way of eating (remember, I hate the word diet).

Let's get one thing out of the way- Carbs are not the enemy. They are your body's preferred source of fuel. They are important and have their place. Also, remember that carbs are more than just potatoes and cake. Fruits, vegetables and sugar are all sources of carbohydrates.

With that being said, I know that the sugary, starchy carbs are my trigger. Once I have them, especially sugar, I can't stop. I have such an all or nothing personality that manifests itself in so many ways in my life; if I'm into something, I'm ALL IN with it. Food is no exception. I also know that my body doesn't react that well to a lot of carbs, as much as I may enjoy them.

I am also feeling a little bored/burnt out with counting macros. I've been counting macros for almost two years and while I love the freedom it affords a weight loss plan, basically allowing you eat anything so long as it "fits," mentally, the planning, tracking and playing food Jenga in order to hit my numbers was starting to burn me out a little.

I've been hearing a lot of chatter about keto. Now, I'm very much anti-fad diet (there's that word again). I KNOW there is no quick fix. I KNOW you have to commit to making a lifestyle change. If you try to do something quick, or go on a "diet," as soon as you stop, you're going to find yourself right back to where you were, and, in some cases, even worse off.

With that being said, I was still intrigued, and thought it would add a little bit of a challenge to just straight counting macros. Also, counting net carbs (subtracting fiber grams from the total carbohydrate grams) was new, so that would also be a bit of a change.

In a very short explanation, going keto means getting your body into a state of ketosis. The goal is to become "fat adapted" so that your body is burning fat for energy. The number of carbs you can consume and still be in ketosis varies from person to person, but typically its under 50 net carbs a day; however, when just starting out, you usually need to be somewhere between 20-30.

Like everything, there are different ways to do this. Some people totally frown upon anything processed, while others don't care so long as they are staying under their net carbs for the day. There are also ways to cycle and have one high carb day a week or cycle in fast acting carbs during your day so they are right around your workout. There is obviously a lot more to it, and you can find a lot more online. Or, ask your friendly neighborhood librarian, and she can probably help you out :)

I did have my macros recalculated for me for keto. One thing that I've read over and over again is that since you are eating so much fat which is filling, it is difficult to overeat on keto. You're supposed to listen to your body, eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Snacking is generally frowned upon; you're supposed to be eating enough at your meals to keep you full until your next meal. If you find that you're hungry, you're not eating enough fat at your meal, and should add some in.

So, how did I do?

For the most part, I found it pretty easy to follow. The less starchy/sugary carbs I had, the less I wanted, and really by the end of the week, my cravings for sugary things diminished.  I really thought I'd be miserable and by day 2 would have had enough, but I'm truly loving eating cheese, bacon and avocado. I can really see myself sticking with this for the long-term with some modifications; I feel better, I'm sleeping better and I'm for the most part not hungry (more on that below).

What did I eat?

In short, a lot of cheese, coconut oil, heavy whipping cream, and of course, bacon.

I made egg sandwiches for breakfast. I beat eggs, egg whites, heavy whipping cream together and poured them onto a large cookie sheet. I baked at 425 for about 20 minutes. When it was done, I used a pizza cutter and made five portions. I stuffed the egg with turkey lunch meat, cheese, spinach and avocado and heated. I also had a glass of iced coffee with heavy whipping cream (HWC) and coconut milk. YUM.

For lunches for the week, I made a cabbage/ground turkey/cheese/taco bake. Recipe adapted from here:

Dinners consisted of: Steak with asparagus and spinach, Creamed spinach with mushrooms and bacon over chicken, BBQ (no sugar added sauce) chicken thighs with bacon wrapped asparagus, and fathead pizza.

My breakfast was great, and kept me full until lunch. I actually didn't eat lunch until about 2pm most days this week.

Lunch, on the other hand, while delicious, did not keep me full through the afternoon. It may be because I did use a 93/7 ground turkey to make it and if I would have used a fattier cut of meat, it would have been more filling. By 3:30-4 every day I was looking for something to munch on. I did come prepared with almonds, cheese, and tuna packets, so I was able to stay keto compliant.

Dinners were great! I generally tried to save most of my carbs for dinner and then filled up on veggies with a protein. They were, for the most part, pretty easy, and I was able to just easily throw them in the oven or on the grill after work.

What's the catch?

Full disclosure, I did stop tracking my macros. I actually found it a little overwhelming trying to hit all three numbers, while keeping my carbs so low, so I really just focused on my carbs for the first two weeks. So, to be honest, I have no idea if I was over/under eating calorie wise. I did drop 5 pounds the first week, and then kind of just hung out around there the second, so I may have been eating at my maintenance, or my body can just be adjusting; I know it takes my body a while to catch up with what I'm doing, especially since I'm SO close to where I want to be on the scale. Now that I think I have a little better handle on things, I'm going to work on hitting all of my numbers.

Another downfall I discovered is how absolutely miserable you will feel if you go off plan. We celebrated my trainer (book your free class with her here) and friend, Von's, birthday on Saturday. I didn't think one little piece of birthday cake would do too much harm, but I was wrong.  I felt miserable on Sunday- I had the worst headache and felt so run down. So, lesson learned. If I'm going to do this, I have to 100% do this or suffer.  I'm not sure how this is going to play out in the long run, because I'm all about balance and living life.  I don't want to feel miserable for an entire day for simply eating a piece of cake.

So, that's my experience so far. I'm going to keep up with it for now, and see what happens. I'm going to Chicago next week for work, and then home to NY for my niece and nephew's baptisms, and the 4th of July, so I'm not sure that I'll be able to stay totally on track, but I'm up for the challenge.

Tell me, have you heard of Keto? What are your thoughts on it?

Look for a recipe post later this week where I'll feature a keto friendly biscuit I made for meal prep this week!


  1. I know you're just recently starting this blog and know you do videos with your friend that owns a food truck but i think you should also consider making a Youtube channel and show you cooking the recipes, weightloss tips and secrets and other things you would like to share with the world.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I think what I could do is start going FB live from the inthekitchenwithsassy facebook page. After the live feed, I could post the recipe to the blog.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Dear In The Kitchen With Sassy,

    I'm 20 years old and currently weigh about 233 and want to weigh between 130-160. Any main pointers you have in cutting weight? I cut out pretty much all sugars beside Cranberry juice. I also walk 3 to 4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. I usually miss breakfast and lunch because i'm in a hurry or busy. Do you think i'm not losing weight is because of this. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Hi, there! Good for you to decide to make a change. My biggest piece of advice is to start small. Don't try to overhaul everything at once, or you're going to get overwhelmed. You want this to be sustainable. Pick 1-2 goals and work on those, and then add more in. Maybe start with adding in drinking more water and being sure you're getting a good breakfast. Once you feel confident with those changes, add something else in, maybe an exercise goal. Good luck, and thanks for reading! :)

  3. I love it! And Happy Birthday week! -Apryl