This post is sponsored by Raley’s. All opinions expressed are my own.
New year, new you, right? The most popular New Year’s resolution is always to lose weight and get in shape. I can’t tell you how many times this has been on my goal sheet at the start of a new year. One of the most popular diet practices that I have seen lately is the ketogenic diet and I even have friends close to me that practice this type of diet and have seen some great results! If you’re curious about what it is and guidelines to follow, here is a beginner’s guide to keto for your reading pleasure! There aren’t any special products that you have to buy, although, if you’re having a sugar-craving then Raley’s has some great treat options!
What is a ketogenic diet?
You have probably heard about “keto” or seen it online with various recipes and supplements but your interest or understanding may have stopped there. In basic terms, the ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat diet similar to Atkins. The theory is that by drastically lowering your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fats will put your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Once a state of ketosis occurs, your body becomes much better at burning fats. It can also help to significantly reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. This is a great video that can help you better understand the process.
What are the different types of a ketogenic diet?
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
- Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs
- Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
- Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
- High protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
I suggest speaking with your healthcare professional or doing your own research before diving in to any restricting diet.
What is ketosis?
Simply put, ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs.
What are the benefits of a ketogenic diet?
I’m not a scientist, but from the research that I’ve done I have found that there are a lot of great health benefits from practicing the ketogenic diet.
- It can help you lost weight.
- It can help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
- It may provide health benefits related to metabolic, neurological or insulin-related diseases
What foods should I avoid if I’m following a ketogenic diet?
Alright, here’s the list of no-no’s when it comes to keto:
- Sugary foods – Yes, it’s time to give up the cookies, ice cream and cakes.
- Grains or Starches – This isn’t going to be fun for bread-lovers; wheat-based products, rice and pasta are out the window!
- Fruit – All fruit, except for small portions of berries.
- Beans and Legumes – Peas, lentils, chickpeas – Just say no!
- Root Vegetables – Potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
- Alcohol – Yes, sadly.
What foods are good for a ketogenic diet?
Here are the things you do want to focus on:
- Meat – Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, bacon, bacon, bacon….yes, bacon.
- Fatty Fish – Salmon, trout, tuna.
- Eggs, butter and cream.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Low-carb Veggies – Leafy greens, tomatoes, onions and peppers are great options!
Extra Keto Tips and Tricks
As with any change to your diet you’ll want to do some reading. Read about what you’re getting into, read labels, READ. Educate yourself on what you are doing and know what you are trying to accomplish before you even start! Meal planning is going to be key if you want to go keto so that you’re not left hanging without anything to eat when you’re in a rush. There are a lot of great recipe resources out there that can help you find delicious and easy keto meals! Read more about the keto diet and lifestyle here and here.
- Steak Rolls
- 1 lb flank steak, sliced lengthwise, pounded thin
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Cauliflower Rice
- 1 head cauliflower, riced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and minced
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock
- Cilantro for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- In another small bowl, mix melted butter with minced garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Lay the flank steak flat on a cutting board with the grain running up and down. Brush with the butter mixture. Cover with a layer of cheese. Tightly roll up the meat ensuring that you cut against the grain when you slice the meat. Stick toothpicks through the sides of the roll to help it hold its shape and use a sharp knife to cut in between the toothpicks.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the steak rolls, cut-side down, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, to desired doneness.
- While the steaks are baking, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet. Sauté the onion, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeño until soft, about 3 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and stir to coat well, cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly then add the spice mix and ½ cup vegetable stock. Allow the juice to reduce a little and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve the steak rolls with the cauliflower rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.