Category Archives: Eat With Me

The Best Things to See and Eat in Paris … or At Least Just All The Things I Loved :)

We started out our European adventure in Paris, which was beyond all expectations I had for it. After flying for about 15 plus hours, through the night, and feeling a little ragged…the jet lag was real. BUT, everyone I talked to told me it was best to just stay up and soldier through until it was night there, so that is just what we did. I for sure think that it helped us to get adjusted.
We ended up staying in an AirBNB in Le Marais, which we learned later is considered one of the quarters where the fashion/art students live. It has such a cool vibe, and it felt really safe. It just so happened that this tiny bakery was right next to where we were staying. I’d had a lot of people tell me to try the almond croissants while we were there, and to try and find the chocolate ones if possible. We decided to wander into this little bakery, unaware at that point that there are bakeries on every single corner. I saw that they had the almond croissants, but had already sold out of the chocolate ones. We decided to split one, just to see if it was good. It is probably in the list of top 10 best things I’ve ever had. We devoured it, and ended up going to back to this bakery every single day we had in paris. The next morning i tried the chocolate croissant for breakfast, and it blew my mind. The name of the bakery is Willy’s Boulangerie. The croissants are called “ Pains chocolate amandes.” Get them.
Let me just say that we made it a point to try a lot of different pastries while we were there, and nothing could beat the croissants from Willy’s.
That night, despite our jet lag, we had planned to do a night bike tour of Paris. This is another thing I’d %100 recommend. It was so helpful doing it the first day because we got to see a lot of the major landmarks up close, we were able to experience some of the city, the night tour made a stop at Berthillion’s Ice Cream (amazing), and you end on a boat cruise down the Seine. It’s pretty dreamy.
On the bike tour we saw the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, the love lock bridge (although there are no longer locks on it), we rode past Saint Chappelle, past the ferris wheel, and by a lot of other museums and buildings I can’t remember now…My family told me this was a MUST, and I was so glad we listened. Do it. We did it through Fat Tire Tours, & I’d highly recommend them. We met some others who had done their daytime bike tours, and they said they were awesome as well, so I’d highly recommend them!
The next day we took the train to Versailles. This was probably one of my favorite things we did in Paris. Versailles is HUGE. If you are planning on going there, plan on spending at least half a day there. It is amazing. Explore the palace, because it’s gorgeous. The hall of mirrors is unreal. Whatever you do, do NOT skip the gardens. Marie Antoinette’s gardens were the best part of the grounds.
They have a Lauderee’s on the grounds of Versaille, as well as an Angelina’s. We got some macaroons at Lauderee’s, which were delicious! The shop itself is so darling. We were planning on going to Angelina’s for dinner, but it closes early there, so be aware of that if you have the same plan. We didn’t ever make it to Angelina’s, but if you do, I hear the hot chocolate is out of this world.
Also, if you are interested in seeing the Paris Temple, know that it is right by Versailles. So, see it while you’re there!
Just another note, if you want some delicious macaroons, but don’t want to pay the price they are at Lauderee’s, they have some amazing macaroons at all of the McDonalds in Paris. I know that sounds weird, but they are pretty bomb.
Some other places we hit while we were in Paris…
Sainte Chapelle – This was probably  one of my favorite buildings we saw the entire trip. This is a quick stop, and is worth every minute. The stained glass windows are out of this world. It’s beautiful.
The Louvre – We actually just saw this from the outside, & didn’t end up going in. We rode our bikes around it at night, and it was delightful. Even if you aren’t going to go in and see the artwork, go walk around outside. It’s stunning.
Arc De Triomphe – Climb up into it. Worth it. The view from the top of the Arc is so amazing. You have a 360 view of all of Paris. It’s pretty legit. 
Notre Dame – We didn’t actually end up going in to Notre Dame because the line was insanely long, but walking around the grounds was amazing. It’s such a beautiful building! Something you for sure have to see.
Shakespeare & Company Bookstore – This book store is absolutely the cutest thing ever. If you purchase a book, they will stamp it saying you bought it there. It’s right next to Notre Dame, so stop in if you are close!
Sacre Coeur – Getting here is about a 25-30 min ride on the metro because it is on the edge of the city, but it was the most incredible view of paris. The basillica itself is incredible to look at, but you are at the top of the hill in Paris, and can see over everything. It’s breath taking. It’s an awesome place to sit, and chill on the steps and take it all in. SO worth going here. I’d totally recommend it.
The Catacombs – I didn’t really know what to expect with the catacombs, but it was really cool. You get to walk the tunnels of Paris underground, which is lined with the bones of over 6 million bodies that died during the time of the plague, & the french revolution. It’s pretty cool!
Disneyland Paris – We actually didn’t plan on going here initially, but because we had a change in our plans we decided to do so. It was super fun. It is definitely different from Disneyland in America. It’s smaller. BUT, it’s still fun! It’s cheaper to get into, and they have two parks you can go to. They have some rides that are different than the ones in America. If you have spare time in Paris, it is a really fun place to see. However, if you are trying to hit as much as you can in a little bit of time, I wouldn’t put this at the top of your priority list. Also, one thing I LOVE about Disneyland/Disneyworld is the food experience. I think that is part of what makes it so fun & magical. The ice cream, the special mickey treats, etc. This is not a big thing at Disneyland in Paris. The food options are actually pretty slim, and not that great. You may want to bring some of your own food, or buy some baguettes & crepes before you go to take in with you.
Food…
Crepe a Ding – There are a million places to get crepes in Paris, and I’m sure a lot of them are the same. We had a lot that were so-so. However, this place was BOMB. The owner is super fun. If you can beat him in connect 4, you get your food for free. If you don’t, you get your picture taken for the, “wall of losers.” There are all sorts of different combos. I had the banana nutella crepe, because it’s my favorite. Whit got one that had white chocolate, pears, raspberries, and speculous. It’s a super fun, hip place. They serve the crepes HOT and fresh. So good.
Ober Mama – This was an AMAZING italian restaurant. When we ate there we actually saw that there are 4 connecting restaurants all over Paris, so you may want to look that up as well. It took us two tries to get in here because it fills up QUICK. We got there right when it opened, and got in. I think they may have taken reservations. The pizza there was awesome, the salad I had was delicious, & the desserts all looked unreal.
Au Petit Grec – This would be the other crepe place that I’d ABSOLUTELY tell you to go to. We stood in line for an hour here. It’s a tiny little place that you order and take away, or eat at their little bar stools. If you go here, I’d recommend getting both a savory, & a sweet crepe. The savory crepes have meat/cheese/egg/veggies. The sweet ones were pretty normal as far as what goes in them, but they were so good. I think if you go here a bit earlier the line isn’t quite so long.
Willy’s Boulangerie – I already mentioned this place, but go here. Just do it for me. 
Gaston’s – This was Whitney’s favorite place we ate. She ordered the Croque Monsier, which is a typical french meal. It’s like a ham & cheese panini. She had hers with an egg on top, and she also loved their hot chocolate. I had french onion soup there, which was good. This place is right by Notre Dame as well.
La Brioche Doree – I actually saw these around Paris, but didn’t eat here until we were leaving the Paris airport. They have a selection of baguettes stuffed with different things, and then they pop them into the oven to make it into warm/melty goodness when you order it. I had a sandwich with ciabatta, tomato, mozzarella, & basil. It was out of this world. I don’t know why I thought it was so good…but it was SO GOOD. So, If you are looking for a quick bite in paris that isn’t as expensive, stop at one of these spots. Whitney also had an eclair from here that she loved.
Paul’s – I had a lot of people tell me to try stuff from Paul’s. It’s a bakery chain that they have everywhere. I wasn’t a huge fan of everything I tried. I think my chocolate croissant from Willy’s was just hard to beat. 😉
Berthillions – I mentioned this was on our bike tour. The ice cream here is amazing!! I had the chocolate and the salted caramel, and I loved both of them! The people with us said that this place claims to have the, “best ice cream in the world.” I don’t know if I’d go there…but, it was good!
I’m sure I am leaving out some details, but the truth is you really just can’t go wrong. Paris really is just so incredible. I can’t wait to go back!!

Eat Fat to Lose Fat? Ketogenic Eating Part 2

It’s been about 4 months since I started down this ketogenic path; well…4 weeks & 10 days to be exact. I’ve eaten this way through my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. I tell you this not to brag, (by any means) but to let you know I’m still alive…and still sticking with it…and still quite happy with the process. 🙂

I’ve had a LOT of you who have questions regarding this method of eating, and quite a few of you who’ve decided to take the keto plunge yourself. If you haven’t read my first post on WHY I decided to start eating in a ketogenic way, and the method behind the madness read HERE first. It will help give you a proper introduction into this post. I hope that through my past few months of experience, trial & error, & researching, I can give some support, information, and answers to those who might be seeking it.

What I’ve learned thus far in the process…

  1. I personally, am prone to NOT eat enough fat. As far as my macronutrient percentages, I shoot for 80% fat in my diet. For someone who is used to eating high protein, (and who doesn’t naturally have an affinity for things like cheese…) I find myself still reaching for those lean options. It’s a total mindset change for me to be sure to get fat in first with regards to meal prep. It makes a HUGE difference. It is key to get enough fat. It is THE key.
  2. It is VERY beneficial to properly test your ketones. Without testing, you don’t have a way to know if you’re eating correctly. I would recommend testing with a blood glucose testing meter like THIS ONE. If your ketones are low, you know you need to switch something up in your diet. There are other methods of ketone testing (breath & urine strips) However, they tend to be less accurate.
  3. It is FAR better to stick to REAL healthy food options, even though there might be a barrage of “low carb” no calorie, artificially sweetened options. I see a lot of people get really excited about how easy eating Keto is going to be because they see a lot of options for “low carb” treats. Yes, they can be a great OCCASIONAL way to curb the sweet tooth, but the less artificial sweeteners the better. It’s better to just stick to real food, and not try so hard to fit in all the extra “treats.” Those are the foods that tend to lead to what is called “carb creep..” a few carbs here a few there, and before you know it, you’re not in ketosis. Things are called “treats” because they should be a treat…not an every day occurrence. Even things like gum or sugar free candies might surprise you with how the carb count adds up.
  4. This process has allowed me to decrease my body fat, and lose weight. So, yes…I’ve been eating fat in order to lose fat. As I explained in my first post, despite the fact that I am cutting out carbs to a high degree, it’s necessary to have fuel still. I’m just trading where my fuel source is coming from. Instead of using glucose to fuel my body, i’m using fat. I’m trying to re-train my body to become fat adapted…and it’s working. I won’t give you my exact number of lbs, mainly because it will be different for everyone according to what you have to lose.
  5. There are SO many different methods of eating this way when you search info on ketogenic eating on the internet. I would highly recommend working with someone who knows what they are doing to make sure you are doing it correctly. It can save time and misspent effort. I offer meal plans to those who are interested.
  6. Salt replacement is ABSOLUTELY KEY. This is especially true for those who are working out. With cutting out processed foods, salt intake is cut down dramatically. Insulin signals salt retention in the kidneys. When insulin levels aren’t elevated, the body doesn’t retain that salt, it actually excretes it. That being said, your body NEEDS salt to function. So, you must replace it. Drinking broth is a great way to do this. Those who start out eating this way might experience what is called the “keto flu” initially as the body is becoming depleted of it’s glucose stores, and the best way to combat this is through salt replacement.

The questions that I get on a regular basis…

  1. So..what’s the next step? Are you going to eat like this forever? My answer…I’m honestly still not sure. I’m over 4 months in, and i’m really taking this process a week at a time. Each week I test my ketones, reevaluate what needs to be shifted, and keep moving forward. I’m not where I want to be yet, goal-wise, so I’m still focusing on getting there. However, I’ve been studying a lot on ketogenic carb cycling for the future, and that might be a route I take if I feel like it might be beneficial to me. I guess I don’t fully have an answer there, but in the mean time I’m enjoying the processes I am in. I’m hoping to correct some health issues, and get my body working properly again.
  2. But, I thought eating fat was bad for your cholesterol…heart…insides…etc. Turns out a LOT of the information that we’ve had through the years telling us to fear fat may be a bit off. The more I study this information, the more I realize that it is the combination of excess calories & sugar (coming from actual sugar as well as carbohydrates) WITH the large amounts of fat that people are eating that are causing most of the problems. I’m eating a low carb, high fat diet, and my health stats are great. In addition to that my weight is decreasing, as well as my body fat.
  3. Are you still able to go out to eat?? Absolutely. I have simply had to figure out ways to ditch the carb heavy options for other low carb substitutions. For example…I’ll order chicken fettuccine alfredo, but instead of noodles I’ll have them sub broccoli or brussel sprouts. I’ll check w/the location on their salad dressing stats, and if it doesn’t contain sugar i’ll get a cobb or cesar salad. Those who like beef could order a steak w/a side of veggies topped with melted butter. Fajitas are a great options with the meat, cheese, veggies, guacamole, & sour cream…just ditch the tortillas. You get it. I will say that I have found myself cooking at home a lot more because I like to know exactly what is going into what i’m eating. I’ve found a ton of awesome recipes on pinterest, and pinned them on my Ketogenic board HERE.
  4. What do you eat all the time? My day typically goes like this
    • 8 oz heated up chicken broth + 2 tbs heavy cream in the morning (This tides me over until lunch, & helps with the intermittent fasting, which drives the ketones up)
    • Lunch: Low carb chocolate protein shake with added fats (heavy cream & MCT oil)
    • Snacks: (if hungry, a lot of the time i’m not) string cheese, veggies dipped in low carb ranch, cheese wisps, hard boiled egg, fat bombs, pickles, 1/2 a questbar if i’m really in a pinch.
    • Dinner: some combo of a hearty amount of fat + protein … Chicken Alfredo over zoodles, chicken broccoli & cheese bake, green chile chicken soup, cauliflower crust pizza, etc.
  5. Do I think this way of living is maintainable. I actually do. Does it require some effort, and some mind set changes in some areas…absolutely. However, Once you get into a routine it’s really not that difficult to maintain. HOWEVER…and this is a big however…It’s not something I think you should do for a couple days and then ditch on the weekends. In order for your body to actually enter into nutritional ketosis, you need to eat this way consistently. You need to decide to make it a lifestyle change, and not just a day to day decision.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the topic in the future. This is still a learning process for me as well. I’m just happy to share with you as I go along, and hopefully help some along the way as I do! 🙂

CREAMY GREEN CHILE CHICKEN SOUP

I have always been a lover of all things Mexican food…There is just something about the flavors that call to me, I guess. I would say that prior to switching over to a Keto way of eating, I was probably eating some sort of Mexican food like 4-6 times a week, and that might be an underestimation. I realized the other day that I miss those flavors! I have enjoyed the new palate that I’ve been eating these past few months. However, I was in the mood for something Mexican…SO, between that thought process, & the mounds of snow piling up outside my window…I decided to come up with a new soup recipe. I was pumped with how this turned out. (I will also say that I fed this to my friends, and there wasn’t a drop left…so keto or not, I think everyone was on board.)  CREAMY GREEN CHILE CHICKEN SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • two 4 oz cans of Hatch’s green chiles (I used mild, but if you like spicy food you could use medium)
  • one 12 oz bottle of Victoria Green Taco Sauce (again I used mild here)
  • two 12.5 oz cans of Kirkland brand chicken breast (you could use a rotisserie chicken or cook/dice your own chicken if you would rather)
  • 8-12 oz chicken broth (depending on how thick you want your soup to be)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 2-4 tbs heavy cream (again depending on how thick you want it to be)

Combine all of these ingredients into a crock pot & cook on high for 1-2 hours. All of the ingredients are cooked, so it’s just a matter of everything combining, & the flavor coming together. If you were needing to leave this to cook while you are doing other things, you could put it on low for longer.

Top this with shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream, or whatever else you might like!

For those who are trying to keep this meal ketogenic, check the chiles and taco sauce you are using. Some brands sneak some sugar in there. You want yours to only have 1-2 carbs. Enjoy!

 

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Zoodles

Since I’ve started this Keto eating process, I think this recipe has become one of my favorites. It’s SO easy, filling, & very versatile as well. CREAMY CHICKEN & BROCCOLI ZOODLES

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups of broccoli florets
  • 3-4 cups of cauliflower florets
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • chicken broth (if needed)
  • 1/2-1 TBS basil
  • 1/2 -1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 7-8 oz of cooked chicken (you can use a Costco can of chicken breast if you want to speed things up)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 4-6 cups zoodles (1 medium zucchini makes about 1 cup of zoodles)

In a large saucepan, combine broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, & coconut oil. Add to that the basil, garlic salt, onion powder, & ground pepper. Cover & cook until broccoli & cauliflower are cooked through. If you need more moisture, add some chicken broth to the veggies. You really could add any vegetables here, making this dish super versatile. While the broccoli & cauliflower are cooking, cook the zoodles in a separate saucepan. Combine the butter & zoodles over medium heat. Season with some salt and pepper. These don’t take too long to cook, so be sure not to cook them too long. Once they start to become see through, take them off the heat, & they’ll finish cooking while the rest of the dish finishes.

Once the broccoli & cauliflower are almost completely cooked, add in the chicken, cream cheese, heavy cream, & parmesan cheese. Stir together, until combined. Do not over stir, or the veggies will become mush. Taste, and add more of the seasonings if need be.

Serve up the creamy veggies & chicken over zoodles, & enjoy! g This dish actually reheats really well. It’s a crowd pleaser! Low carb, gluten free, full of flavor, keto-friendly, & SO delicious!! 

Insulin Resistance & Ketosis…Part One

Well. As promised…I’ve finally collected some of my thoughts on this process I’ve been going through. I hope it answers some of your questions. Chances are it will raise some new ones for some of you, which I hope to be able to answer. Here goes nothing. 😉 muncher_cruncher

I’ve taken my time writing this post for a variety of reasons. One, I wanted to be sure I had a firm grasp on the process that I’ve been going through for the past 9 weeks. Two, I wanted to understand the science behind it. I hate fad diets. In fact, I actually HATE the word, “diet.” I believe in lifestyle changes; in sustainability. If a crazy attempt at weight loss isn’t sustainable. I won’t endorse it. End of story. Lastly, I wanted to wait and see how my body responded to this process before I gave you the full rundown. I can tell you honestly, I feel like this lifestyle might be the answer to many problems, weight loss issues, & overall health concerns for a lot of you. I’m still in the thick of it, no question, but I want to share at least this first part of my journey.

Let’s fast forward to about ten weeks ago. I made an appointment to see my doctor, which is unusual in and of itself. I rarely go to the doctor. I have been lucky to stay healthy enough that I haven’t had to go in often. However, I was about at my tipping point. Having been in the health and fitness field for over ten years, I feel like I’ve been forced to get to know my body very well. It has always been stubborn. I’ve never been one of those people who could eat whatever they wanted, & “get away with it.” While some might not believe it, I’m actually naturally drawn to healthy foods. I have always really loved fruits and vegetables. I was the weird kid that asked my mom if I could bring cut up veggies, & salads in my packed lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all sorts of sugary junk food too…I have a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe, but for the most part, a lot of my favorite foods are naturally healthy ones. I have also been through ups and downs with my weight, and in coming to know my body I have found what feels comfortable for me…at my height, and with my build.

SO, back to 10 weeks ago…prior to my making my appointment I’d seen some drastic changes in my body over the past year. Things that had changed for me…my weight increased, my body fat increased, I was feeling exhausted, I wasn’t sleeping well, I felt like I was extremely snacky, and I had some weird dizzy/almost blacking out spells. A lot of it I brushed under the rug because…I get up early…being tired is kind of part of that. Not sleeping well tends to run in my family…etc It’s easy to try and push those types of things away. However, the weight gain I was not ok with. I workout pretty hard as it is, and I was eating very clean. The fact of the matter is that my caloric intake hadn’t increased, my sugar intake hadn’t increased, and my exercise hadn’t decreased. Scientifically, the math just wasn’t adding up. In fact, I started to add in MORE exercise and tracked & restricted my calories more, desperately trying to make my body do what it SHOULD have been doing. Turns out I’m in the fitness industry, and there is a lot of pressure on me to look a certain way. Like I said, I knew my body was stubborn prior, but this was different. Not only were things not responding positively, they were responding negatively. Which might makes sense as to why I was at a bit of tipping point…

I had done a lot of research on what the problem could be, and decided that I should at least get my blood work done to eliminate some possibilities. So, it was to the doctor I went. I had a full check up…blood work and everything. The results came back to show that all my hormone levels were normal. No signs of thyroid issues. However, my blood glucose levels were abnormally high. My doctor went on the tell me that my results were showing that I had somehow become insulin resistant, and that he wanted me to go and work with a specific dietician who he thought could help me reverse this issue.

At this point I will be honest. I was one hundred percent skeptical. I have studied a LOT about food and dietary intake. While I’m not a registered dietitian. I have put a lot of time into learning about how the food we eat affects us. I was actually quite curious as to what this dietician might have to say that I hadn’t heard before. Turns out I had a fastball coming at me.

I sat down and learned that I wasn’t alone in my current state. It’s actually thought that about half of the United States is insulin resistant, due in LARGE part to our common diet. The program that was introduced to me was completely based around controlling my insulin levels, similar to the ketogenic diet, the goal was to retrain my body to become insulin sensitive again…and in doing so to re-train it to utilize fat as the main source of energy.

I instantly began studying the topic. What I was hearing made sense. However, for me, making any health or lifestyle change has to be backed by reason and understanding…and for the record, “So and so just lost 10 lbs in 5 days,” is not what I’d call a reason. I need to know the science.

So… here is a snippet of what I learned..Insulin resistance means the body has stopped responding to the hormone insulin. Insulin’s role in the body is that of storage of glucose and fat. It also helps our cells function as they should. If there is too much insulin in the body (commonly a result of the food we eat) the body starts to become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance very likely means inefficiency in how the cells of the body are working & excess fat storage. Sugars & carbohydrates are the foods that will spike insulin.

Let me try & break it down simply…We eat food. The food that we eat raises our blood sugar to a certain extent (depending on the sugar/carbohydrate content) The pancreas responds to raised blood sugar by releasing insulin. Insulin tells the muscle, liver, & fat cells to take up the blood sugar and remove it from the blood. If this process happens excessively, the muscle and the fat cells stop listening to the pancreas…and all gets sent to fat storage. This is insulin resistance. The longer this goes on, the “louder” the pancreas tries to get the point across…releasing more & more insulin. This makes the body extremely inefficient. Anytime the blood sugar is raised, the pancreas will give an exaggerated insulin response. Elevated insulin levels stop the body from utilizing fat as a fuel. IN SHORT: insulin keeps fat in the fat cells, where they are NOT utilized as fuel. This isn’t good…in fact it is the gateway to a HANDFUL of other chronic & deadly diseases, but that is another post for another day.

So, I was told, that in order to reverse this spiking, I needed to maintain a consistent diet of foods that don’t increase insulin levels, (namely fats). This was to the be the start of reversing my insulin resistance issues.

What did this look like for me?

Well…this is where the curveball came at me. I was told that I needed to base my diet primarily around fat. I needed to focus on eating in a low carbohydrate, high fat way. In doing so, I would stop my body from eliciting an insulin response. This would put my body in a state of ketosis.

Many people stress at hearing that word because they confuse it with ketoacidosis. Nutritional based ketosis is controlling the body’s insulin response, resulting in a the generation of fatty acids, known as ketones. This means the body is in a state of burning fat. Diabetic & alcoholic ketoacidosis is a metabolic state of toxicity. It occurs when the body fails to regulate ketone production and those ketones become out of control. The blood becomes acidic, and can be deadly. A nutritional state of ketosis will not default into ketoacidosis because the body has regulatory feedback loops that will prevent it from doing so.

When eating in a nutritional, ketogenic way, ketones are measured. A high amount of ketones denotes a low amount of insulin. this is what is desired with this process. So, is eating this way safe & healthy? Yes.

Whoa…that’s a lot of sciency talk…I just want to try and give the background explanation as to why this process made sense to me. I wanted you to understand why I felt like this was a process I wanted to pursue.

Now on to what you really want to know? How is going..

I’m happy to say that I have really enjoyed eating the way that I am, and it’s been a very positive experience for me. The first couple weeks were definitely an adjustment. It’s common for people to feel what is considered a “keto flu,” lethargic/tired/low energy/etc…which I did. It makes sense. You are basically starving the body of carbohydrates for a few days, which it is NOT used to. I had to allow for time for my body to make the shift to relying on fat stores for fuel.

I had to re-set my habits. I had to build my meals around fat. This was a change for me, mostly because I’m not a lover of high fat foods like cheese & butter that many people are MORE THAN HAPPY to eat. However, I’m adapting…and I’ve come up with some BOMB recipes.

My energy levels have returned, which means my body is working toward utilizing fat as fuel. I have become more of an intuitive eater, and less of a snacker. This actually is the most insane part to me. I never thought that this would be the case. Fat is a satiating food. So, eating mostly fat, means that I don’t feel hungry as often. I feel satisfied when I eat. In turn, I’m learning to listen to my body more. The people I have been working with challenged me to stop tracking my food, and to listen to my body. (From someone who could give you a record of my tracked macronutrients for the past…i don’t know…10 years…this seemed unbelievable.) I have actually let go of my journaling…it’s been so incredibly freeing. I don’t feel bloated like I used to on occasion. I am sleeping better…and I’ve dropped weight and body fat, which THRILLS me. I’m starting to feel like myself again, and I almost didn’t believe that was possible.

I’m still in this process, still learning, and still working to be where I want to be. However, I will absolutely say that I’m loving the path I’ve gone down so far. I’m excited to continue to learn more, and I hope that this will be something that I can utilize to help my clients, readers, & followers in the future! xoxoxo Megs

Chocolate Silk Pie (ketogenic + gluten free)

As I started this process of ketogenic eating, I knew that I was heading into the holidays. I knew that it would be a change to not have the option to be able to eat all the sweets. I usually am good at moderation, but I knew that sugar wasn’t an option regardless…SO I was so excited to find that there were some alternative options to the normal holiday goodies I usually enjoy. It actually became kind of fun to decide WHAT exactly I was going to make to go with my family’s Thanksgiving meal. I finally decided I was going to attempt to make something chocolate, and for whatever reason…a thick, creamy, chocolate silk pie just sounded perfect. I found a recipe on Ruled.me and adapted it to my liking. I’m not going to like…I was PLEASANTLY surprised with how this turned out. My family even liked it. 😉 PLUS, it’s gluten free for those of you who need it to be.

MUNCHER CRUNCHER KETOGENIC CHOCOLATE SILK PIE

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup swerve (or your choice granulated stevia/erythritol sugar substitute)
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • butter for greasing the pan

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 16 oz full fat cream cheese @ room temp
  • 4 Tbs full fat sour cream
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 cup swerve (or your choice of granulated stevia/erythritol sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3-4 tsp powdered swerve (or your choice stevia drops/sweetener for whipped cream)
  • 2 tsp vanilla for whipped cream

First you will need to make your crust. Preheat your oven to 375. Prep a 9 inch pie dish by greasing it. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients FOR CRUST. mix together. Soften butter, & add to dry ingredients. Mix it in w/a whisk or a fork until combined. It will be crumbly. Add to this mixture the egg & vanilla. Stir with fork until this dough becomes a firm ball. Work dough into pie crust. If the dough is sticking to your fingers, wet them with water slightly. Poke crust  several times with fork to prevent bubbling, and cook for about 10 mins. Remove from oven, and cover edges with tin foil to avoid them burning, return it to the oven to cook for about 6-8 more minutes, or until the crust appears to be golden brown. Set the crust out to cool completely. **As a side note, this crust was delicious. I actually don’t even usually like pie crust, & I’d use this again as a base for a dessert**

For the filling, place cream cheese, sour cream, butter, vanilla, swerve, & cocoa powder in a bowl. Mix together until the filling is fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together whipping cream until it thickens and forms peaks. Add to the cream the 3-4 tsp swerve, & 2 tsp vanilla. Continue to beat until the cream forms stiff peaks.

Fold a few spoonfulls of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and mix GENTLY, allowing the air bubbles to remain in the cream. This helps the pie to maintain a thicker consistency. Continue this process until all of the cream is folded in, and the mixture is mixed through. Scoop this filling into the pie, and smooth the top out. Cover completely, and allow this pie to chill in the fridge for a few hours. I made mine the night before, and it was PERFECT for dinner the next day. Top with whipped cream, and enjoy…very happily. For those who want to know, if you slice the pie into 10 slices…each slice has about (7 net carbs.)

Muncher Cruncher Crockpot Healthy Ranch Chicken

The crockpot can be one of the best tools for busy people trying to eat healthy. It require very little effort to dump some ingredients into a crockpot, & let it do the work for you while you are running around all day. We had this super easy, and very delicious, healthy ranch chicken this past Sunday for dinner. It was a hit!

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CROCKPOT HEALTHY RANCH CHICKEN : (serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 dry ranch dressing packet
  • 1 can of Healthy Choice cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz of neufchâtel cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 dash paprika
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp parsley flakes

In a large crock pot, combine 4-6 chicken breasts with one dry ranch dressing packet. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through & falls apart.

Add in 1 can of Healthy Choice, Cream of Chicken soup, 8 OZ of neufchâtel cream cheese, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 1 dash paprika, 1/8 tsp dried oregano, & 1/4 tsp parsley flakes. Cook for another 20-30 minutes until all ingredients combine.

Serve over brown rice or quinoa. We paired ours with some oven roasted veggies, & it made for the perfect meal!

NUTRITION BREAKDOWN: (for 1 serving) 25 g protein/12 g fat/6 g carbohydrates

Muncher Cruncher Chocolate Cinnamon Protein Balls

Whenever I’m really trying to be good with my eating, the hardest thing for me is always the snacky moments, those times in-between meals when all I want to do is walk in the pantry & eat all the things I see. These protein balls are a great way to help with those “I need a snack,” moments. Clean, full of good stuff, & delicious.

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Muncher Cruncher Protein Balls: (makes 20 servings)

  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (can use gluten free if needed)
  •  1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 2 TBS sugar free maple syrup (could use agave/honey/real maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup carob chips

Mix all ingredients together until combined completely. Use 1 TBS to scoop up balls. Place in fridge if you plan on eating them right away, or in freezer if you want them to last a bit longer.

Nutrition Facts: (per 1 ball) 82 cals, 4.7 g fat, 7.7 g carb, 1.5 g fiber, 2.1 g sugar, 3.2 g protein

Make Your San Francisco Trip an Active & Healthy One!

When we ventured to San Francisco last weekend, I had NO idea how much I would fall in Love with this city. It is so incredible. We started out with a “to do” list, and I didn’t really know what we would actually get to see. However, we crushed our list..and then some. I have had several people ask me for the details of my trip, so I wanted to share what we did for those who are interested!

I really, really, really wanted to go to Alcatraz, and unfortunately, because we were going to be in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend, the tour tickets that were just to Alcatraz were sold out. HOWEVER, upon doing some research we figured out how to get tickets to Alcatraz when it’s sold out. There are quite a few 2nd party tours that will offer a tour of San Francisco, including Alcatraz in their entire package. We were hesitant to do one of these tours because…let’s get real…tours of any kind are usually a little bit cheesy. Let me just tell you I’ve completely changed my tune here. If you are looking to see a lot of the “touristy” San Francisco sites, DO THE TOUR, and do it the first day…and I’ll tell you why.

Parking in SF is nearly impossible, and it’s expensive. Our tour hit SO many awesome places that we wanted to see, and we didn’t have to find parking EVER. It was simply a matter of being dropped off and picked up. It was awesome. The tour we did is THIS ONE if you are interested in our exact plan, but there are quite a few. Here is how our itinerary went down for the weekend…

DAY 1:

  • San Francisco Day tour – We got to walk down Lombard Street, Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetvisit the cable car museum, FullSizeRenderwalk through China Town,
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    visit the Fortune Cookie Factory, Visit the Painted Ladies (Full House home), FullSizeRender 6Drive past the Mrs. Doubtfire house, Stop at the Grace Cathedral,FullSizeRender 2 drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, Stop on the other side for a picturesque view of the bridge, FullSizeRender 3stopped in Sausalito for lunch (We ate at a Mexican place called Copita that I would HIGHLY recommend.)  I ordered the Chicken Tinga. I’d eat it all over again right now if I could.FullSizeRender 2 copy

  • At this point our tour took a ferry ride back across the bay, which was so fun.FullSizeRender 5
  • We stopped at a frozen yogurt place in the Ferry Building called Humphry Slocombe which was BOMB.IMG_2906
  • We then walked to another Ferry to head to Alcatraz. GO TO ALCATRAZ. It was so fascinating. I absolutely loved it. We were there for a few hours. FullSizeRender 4You have the option of doing the audio tour that is included. Do it. It is so cool to hear all of the facts. We then took a ferry back.
  • We walked down to Fisherman’s wharf & saw the sea lions, which was super fun. We walked all around the shops, & had dinner at Boudin. We then walked back to catch our BART back to where we were staying. All in all we walked about 10 miles day 1.

DAY 2:

  • I woke up and ran along Ocean Beach. There is an AMAZING trail that runs right along the ocean.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIf you are a runner, or if you have any interest in an awesome view while you’re running, this is an AWESOME place to go. It’s a straight trail w/very few lights.
  • We then went and rented bikes to ride around the Bay.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetTHIS IS A MUST. We got off our BART at Embarcadero, right by the ferry building and there was a bike rental place right there. Their info is HERE. They were super nice & easy to work with.
  • We biked from right by the ferry building all the way to Chrissy Field,Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetwhere we stopped and bought some waters & took some pictures. It is an AWESOME view of the bridge. We then continued across the bridge. At this point you can actually go down into Sausalito, & then take the ferry back if you’d like. However, since we’d already done that, we decided to turn around and bike back & have lunch in San Francisco. I’ll be honest there are some HILLS along this little adventure. It was a pretty good workout. We ended up biking around 16 miles. I loved it! 🙂
  • We ate lunch at a little cafe right by Ghirardelli Square called The Black Point Cafe. I really liked it!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetI got their “seasonal” salad w/chicken. We then biked back to the Embarcadero station, & returned our bikes.
  • Next we headed to Oakland to go to an A’s game which was so fun!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe weather was perfect, and they had a fireworks show after the game, so everyone was able to go down on the field to watch it. Worth it.

DAY 3:

  • We trekked out to Muir Woods to start the day off. It was awesome. The parking here is a little crazy, but it’s worth it!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIt is a great stop because you could go for 20/30 minutes and walk around and be done if you’d like, or you can take your time, enjoy some of the hikes, and make a day of it. We were there for a few hours because we chose to go on some of the hiking trails. There are trails for those who want a flat, less strenuous adventure, as well as the hiking trails that are more hilly.
  • We headed back toward San Fran after our adventure in the Muir Woods & Stopped in Sausalito at Cafe Tutti’s for lunch. I’ll be honest, this place wasn’t my favorite. Their ice cream actually looked decent, but  I would have rather gone back to Copita’s, or across the street to Lapperts, and just had some ice cream for lunch. 🙂
  • I knew what was coming next though, so I just waited until we got to the Bi-Rite Creamery. YES PLEASE. We waited about 30 minutes in line here for our ice cream, and it was SO worth it. It was seriously delicious. IMG_3207I went with a scoop of mint chocolate chip, and a scoop of cookies & cream. The cookies & cream was by far my favorite. I LOVED it! Everyone was really happy with this stop.
  • Next we went to another hot spot we had been told was a must stop, Bob’s Donuts. I am not much of a donut lover, but everyone that got some said they were delicious. They are open 24 hours, so this is an easy one to fit into your itinerary at any time. 🙂
  • I had a friend send me a post on the Seward Street Slides, and I was bound and determined to find them. These long cement slides are so much fun!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

    We found out after that people bring card board to slide down on to make them go faster, which is brilliant. These slides have weird hours, and close at sunset. I think they are also closed on Sunday & Monday if I remember correctly, but well worth a quick stop!

  • We went to find an incredible view of the bridge above Baker Beach next. This is another spot that is worth the stop if you are looking for a great view. There is a parking lot you can pull right into & go explore. IMG_3249It was gorgeous. Totally worth it.
  • We ended our last night watching the sun set on Baker Beach. IMG_3274It was the perfect end to a perfect trip. I LOVE San Francisco. I can’t wait to go back!

Chopped Asian Chicken Napa Cabbage Salad with a Sweet Asian Dressing

My salads tend to look a lot alike most of the time, so when my mom busted out this yummy salad full of all sorts of different things a few weeks ago it was like a party in my mouth. I loved it! It tasted SO fresh & delicious. I wanted to recreate it ASAP. I changed it up a little bit because I couldn’t find all of the ingredients that she used…(I still have no idea what a daikon is…sorry mom, I left that out.) I also added chicken to make it a main dish instead of a side. I LOVED how it turned out.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetChopped Asian Chicken Napa Cabbage Salad with a Sweet Asian Dressing

Ingredients: Chop the following & combine in a bowl

  • 1 head of napa cabbage (I actually used a bag of pre cut cole slaw to save time)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper sliced very thinly
  • 3 scallions, white and pale green parts only, chopped or julienned
  • 1/2 cup snow peas thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber julienned

Add in 7 oz of chicken. I used one can of the Costco chicken breast that I’d seasoned with black pepper & garlic salt.

Sweet Asian Dressing: whisk together the following

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • sprinkle of crushed red pepper
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 TBS rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp stevia in the raw (or regular sugar if you would rather use that)
  • salt to taste

Combine the chopped vegetables, chicken, and dressing together and stir.