Tammy Fuller
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keto coffee

Why I Start My Day With Keto Coffee

I have been a coffee drinker since my Marine Corps days. Back then my First Sergeant taught me to make coffee that was more like mud. I would add a packet of hot chocolate to it to make it more tolerable. In later years I learned to make better coffee and would drink it with just a few drops of liquid stevia.

Once I discovered eating a ketogenic diet I also learned about keto coffee. Many people also call this Bulletproof Coffee. If you are going to be technical, Bulletproof Coffee is a brand name using specific products. This recipe is for a  generic version but you can also buy the Bulletproof brand of MCT oil and coffee.

I follow a ketogenic nutrition plan. This means that my body is adapted to using ketones for energy instead of glucose. To maintain this fat burning process I eat a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Keto coffee is easy to make and supplies me with a generous serving of fat and deliciousness in the morning. On weekdays this is all I have for breakfast. It’s frothy and similar to a latte.

Read more about the keto diet here.

 

Keto Coffee

A delicious frothy coffee to add healthful fats and boost ketones for more mental clarity and energy. 

Course Drinks
Cuisine Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1
Author Tammy Fuller

Ingredients

  • 10 oz brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed butter

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to blender and blend until frothy. Be cautious when blending hot liquids. They sometimes splash out of blender.

Recipe Notes

Warning! When you first make this start slow with the MCT oil. It takes time for your body to get used to it. I would start with just one teaspoon for the first few days and gradually increase the amount up to one tablespoon. Otherwise you may end up with what's known in the keto community as "disaster pants."

keto flu

How to Combat the Keto Flu: Simple Tips to Feel Better Faster

keto flu

Photo source: Flickr Desl

What is the keto flu?

The keto flu is a phenomenon that stops many people from fully experiencing the benefits of a ketogenic diet. They start the diet and when they start feeling poorly they use it as proof that the diet doesn’t work for them.  Unfortunately this means they quit right before the magic happens.

The first time I ate a ketogenic diet I experienced keto flu symptoms. I was fatigued, achy and felt like I had “brain fog.”  It resolved over a couple of days and I took those days to take it easy on myself.  I wish I would have known that there were some simple things I could have done to feel better.

The process known as keto flu happens when your body is transitioning from a primarily carbohydrate burning metabolism to a fat burning metabolism. You may feel irritable, have a headache and feel fatigued. Some people even feel some heart palpitations. The body is trying to achieve a level of homeostasis. Many of the symptoms are related to dehydration and electrolyte loss. This usually hits around day 2 to day 4 of the keto diet. Unfortunately this is also about the time that your carbohydrate cravings will be raging.

Why does keto flu happen?

As you eat less carbs your insulin levels go down and your body gets rid of more water and with that water goes some of your electrolytes.

How to cure keto flu:

  • Tackle dehydration by drinking more water. Be intentional about drinking water throughout the day.
  • Get more salt. You can use any salt but I recommend Himalayan Pink salt as you will get other important electrolytes along with it. You can add salt to your water or you can just take in a bit of salt throughout the day. You can also enjoy some broth to get the extra salt in. I recommend a homemade bone broth. I also enjoy an electrolyte supplement called Jigsaw. It adds a bit of flavor to my water with some electrolytes. Sodium, magnesium and potassium supplements are helpful on a ketogenic diet.
  • Eat more fat. While you’re adjusting to the ketogenic diet you need to make sure you’re getting enough fat. Keep your carbs under 20g. Eat a moderate amount of protein. And eat fat to satiety. If you’re hungry, eat fat.
  • If you have done all the above and you are totally miserable you can try adding in a few more carbs to get you past the rough patch. The best way to get the extra carbs is with some berries. A small serving of berries and heavy cream can be a delicious way to do this. Some sweet potatoes or other vegetables can be another good way to get appropriate carbs. Then you can slowly decrease your carbs over the next few days.
  • Spoiling yourself with a nice warm Epsom salt bath can be soothing. It's also a good way to absorb some magnesium.
  • The Payoff

    Once you get past the keto flu you will begin to experience the benefits of a ketogenic diet. You will have more mental clarity, energy and you will be a fat-burning machine.

    traditional diets

    How I Failed With Traditional Diets…or Did They Fail Me?

    traditional diets

    Traditional diets didn’t work for me. They worked short term but I couldn’t sustain them long term. I had success with many different diet plans. But I had never done the thought work required for changing my relationship with food.

    My most successful traditional diet was Jenny Craig. This is a program where you get a personal consultant to work with you and they provide the food. Each week you go in and get weighed and talk with your consultant about how the week went. You set personal goals for the next week and select your next week’s food. You leave with boxes, bags and cans of food and a menu plan for how to use them. From this program I learned about portion control and accountability. I stopped the program because I was having jaw surgery. After recovery I felt that I was close enough to my goal weight that I didn’t need to go back.

    What was missing?

    Unfortunately I had not learned the skills to transition to a good eating plan. I hadn’t changed my thinking about food. I hadn’t learned to deal with urges and cravings. I hadn’t learned about the many ways I was using food for so many more reasons than just fuel for my body. I had basically learned how to eat processed food and practice calorie restriction (which doesn’t work long term). I didn’t know enough about nutrition. What I was learning was the government’s dietary guidelines which virtually guaranteed my eventual failure.

    Slowly my old habits crept back in and I gained weight.

    Fast forward many years and many pounds…

    Earlier this year I had far surpassed my heaviest weight ever. I had working on personal development for the last couple of years but had never quite been able to do the mental work it took to conquer my thinking about my weight. Little did I know that my thinking was the root of the whole problem.

    Coming soon I have a 4-week program to share with you what I have been learning. My goal is to help you think differently about food and to equip you to come up with your own nutrition plan. If that sounds like something that is interesting to you sign up for the newsletter by filling out the subscription form at the bottom of the blog so you will be one of the first to know.

    keto coffee

    Benefits of Keto Coffee

    benefits of keto coffee

    What are the benefits of keto coffee?

    Keto coffee (also known as butter coffee, fatty coffee or Bulletproof coffee) is a delicious frothy coffee drink that can help decrease hunger, increase energy and improve mental clarity.You may wonder how one drink can do all that. A breakdown of the ingredients can help clarify things. I make mine with organic coffee (12 oz.), 1 T grass-fed butter, and 1 T of MCT oil. If you’re new to using MCT oil start with a smaller amount and increase over time.

    Why organic coffee?

    Coffee is not only delicious but it also has some health benefits. Coffee provides antioxidants which help your body fight off cell damage. Studies have shown that coffee may provide protection against Type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia.Using organic coffee is preferred to conventionally grown coffee. Conventionally grown coffee is chemically treated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Choosing organic helps to ensure that your coffee does not contain these extra chemicals.

    Why grass-fed butter?

    Butter makes this cup of coffee creamy, rich and delicious. But more importantly grass-fed butter is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, beta carotene and Vitamins A, D, E, and K. It also contains higher levels of CLA which is a fatty acid that helps your body store muscle instead of fat.

    Why coconut oil or MCT oil?

    Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which boost your metabolic rate and provide easy energy for your body and especially your brain. Using coconut oil is an inexpensive way to get MCTs but purchasing MCT oil is a much more powerful way to boost ketones. I use NOW brand MCT oil from my local health food store or sometimes Bulletproof Brain Octane. The Bulletproof brand is more expensive but also contains a more concentrated form of the good stuff. In addition to boosting your ketones for more fat burning and brain energy, MCT decreases the action of ghrelin which is the hormone that makes you feel hungry.

    What if I don’t like coffee or can’t drink coffee?

    If you don’t like coffee or can’t drink it you don’t have to drink keto coffee as part of your ketogenic diet. You can get healthy fats from a variety of sources. You can even get the benefits of the grass-fed butter and MCT oil by using them in other ways. For example, you can cook with butter and use the coconut oil or MCT oil as part of your salad dressing.

    Using decaf coffee is fine. I’ve even had people say that they enjoy the recipe with tea or chai tea instead of coffee.

    I’d love to hear if you’ve tried keto coffee and what you thought about it. Comment below.

     

    what is ketosis

    What is Ketosis? Fuel Your Metabolism Fire with Logs Not Kindling.

    what is ketosis

    Photo credit : Unsplash alex_klopcic_219015

    The Simple Answer

    One of the most frequent questions I get is, “What is ketosis?” The human body amazing. We can get energy from more than one type of nutrient. We either use glucose for energy or we can use fat for energy. For me personally, ketosis means I’m in a state where my body is burning my stored fat and I feel fantastic with increased energy, clearer thinking and weight loss. But I sense that people want a more scientific answer. I made a quick video to explain what ketosis is. If you would rather read about it scroll down below the video.

    A more scientific explanation

    Let’s get a little more “science-y.”

    Glucose metabolism

    When we eat carbohydrates the body goes through a process called glycolosis and we break the molecules down into glucose. The glucose molecules produce ATP that the body uses for energy.  A by-product of this process is free radicals which cause oxidation stress (kind of like the body is rusting from the inside out). Getting fuel from glucose is similar to fueling a fire with kindling. It burns easily but it is also used up fast and you need to replenish with more kindling.

    Fat metabolism

    When we eat fats the body goes through a process called lipolysis. The fatty acids made in this process go to the liver and are broken down into substances called ketone bodies. These molecules are water soluble and cross the cell barrier easily. These molecules produce 18 times more energy than a glucose molecule with less free radicals and therefore less oxidative stress or “rusting.” Better energy. Less waste. Getting fuel in this manner is similar to a fire burning with logs. The logs produce more heat (energy) and burn for longer periods of time. A person in ketosis is hungry less often.
    Since starting a ketogenic diet in April I find that I feel satisfied longer after a meal. I have more energy and my mental focus has improved. I began this nutrition plan as a way to lose weight (it’s working) but I am so grateful that I feel so good in the process.

    If you’d like to learn more about keto and how it can work for you I’d love to connect with you. Subscribe below and get 9 Tips for Keto Success.

     

    making keto easy

    Making Keto Easy: Don’t Complicate It

    making keto easy

    Source: Flicker cookbookman17

    I see so many people making keto complicated and it doesn’t have to be that way. I thought I’d write about some of the ways I make it easier for myself. This is my 3rd month on keto and I’ve lost 16 pounds so far.The best part of it all is that I feel great.

    Since I work full time I take about an hour out of my weekend and do food prep. One hour of food prep saves me much more than that throughout my work week. This weekend I prepped bacon, baked cheese, hard boiled eggs and cut up veggies.
    To make the bacon I lay out as many strips as I can fit on a baking sheet. I bake it at 400 for 11-14 minutes (for thick bacon). It doesn’t splatter and the pieces come out nice and flat and not all curled up. For the baked cheese I cut up sliced cheese. This week I used Tillamook pre-sliced cheddar. I cut each slice into 4 squares and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. I baked it at 400 for about 6 or 7 minutes. I sprinkled them with Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. So yummy! I usually eat these plain but you could also use them to dip into guacamole or something similar. I peeled and cut up some carrots (I limit these because of carb count), celery (for filling with almond butter or cheese) and radishes.

    Sample daily keto menu for workdays:

    On waking: I start my day with a cup (or two) of fatty coffee. I use 1 cup of coffee, 1 teaspoon grass-fed butter, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil. I put this in the blender so the oils blend in and don’t float on top. It gets nice and frothy like a fancy coffee house drink. It’s delicious and keeps me satisfied until mid-morning.
    Breakfast: I usually take 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 pieces of bacon to work. This is where the food prep really pays off. If I am eating at home I will also saute some greens (kale or spinach) in butter. On the weekends we usually cook scrambled eggs or fried eggs. A side of bacon or sausage and some kale or spinach makes a great meal.
    Lunch: I usually bring 3 ounces of meat for my lunch. Most often it will be whatever leftovers we had from the night before. Otherwise I will bring a hamburger patty (I prep these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for just this purpose). Another option is to prep some chicken salad or tuna salad and divide it up into daily servings. I also bring veggies or a green salad. For fat I will usually bring an avocado that I enjoy with just salt and pepper.
    Snack: many days I’m not hungry in between meals so I don’t need a snack. If I do need something there are lots of choices: pickles, cheese, almond butter or other nut butters, veggie sticks, bacon, etc.

    Dinner: My family is not eating keto so dinner is more variable. The easiest is when we have meat and veggies. (i.e. steak and asparagus, pork chops and greens or other combinations). I will add some sort of healthy fat to that like grass-fed butter, avocado, or coconut oil. If they are having something that is not on my eating plan I will modify. For example if they are having spaghetti I will have some meat sauce over zucchini noodles. If they have burgers I will eat mine without the bun. There’s always a way to modify. If all else fails I’ll scramble up some eggs with cheese.

    Keep it simple!

    Eating this way doesn’t have to be hard. I track my foods as an opportunity to learn. I find that I naturally eat way less calories by eating this way and I’m not hungry. It’s very refreshing!
    cheat day

    Cheat Days on Keto…or Any Other Diet

    cheat day

    Should I plan cheat days or cheat meals?

    Adding a cheat day or a cheat meal is one of the ways people try to stay on track with their nutrition plan. We tend to give in to the feeling of deprivation and “reward” ourselves with food that we miss. Everyone has to decide for themselves but I’m going to share with you why I choose not to include cheat meals or cheat days.

    Who are you cheating?

    One reason I don’t cheat is that I’ve realized over the years that the only person I’m cheating is myself. Allowing junk food back into my eating plan has undermined my success over and over. Not only is it a slippery slope for me, it leads to increased hunger and cravings. I worked hard to kick my cravings and I have no desire to fire them back up again. Cheat meals feel fantastic in the moment however there are consequences.

    Eating foods with poor nutritional value and unhealthy ingredients causes inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a major contributor to many chronic diseases. It affects your gut health and your mental health. It can also feed any food addictions you may have and can be a starting point for a relapse with subsequent weight gain.

    Why Do We Cheat?

    We cheat for various reasons:

    • to numb difficult emotions or as a coping mechanism
    • we feel stuck in a nutrition plan that isn’t bringing joy in the moment
    • old habits and associations with activities (family functions/traditions, going to the movies, eating out)
    • we are unprepared in a situation where there doesn’t seem to be a good choice
    • alcohol consumption impairs our ability to practice good discipline

    The list could go on and on but you get the idea. Next time you are tempted, ask yourself what’s really going on.

    Cheat Days on Keto

    When you have cheat days on keto you have an additional set of consequences. You run the risk of knocking yourself out of ketosis. If you have been on a ketogenic diet for long enough you are fat adapted which means you are a fat burning machine. If you are not close to your goal I don’t recommend jeopardizing that fact. Cheating can cause an insulin spike and messes with your stabilized blood sugar. Eating junk food can increase hunger and re-ignite cravings. If you are hungry for certain types of foods I recommend that you find a keto friendly recipe that will help satisfy your craving with ingredients that won’t sabotage your progress. Sometimes it’s just about staying the course, getting used to eating real food, and learning a bit of something about our relationship with food. It’s OK to be uncomfortable and not give into temptation. There’s room for serious personal growth in those moments.

    What if you already cheated?

    cheat meal

    If you do cheat OWN IT. Remember you never “have to” cheat. Don’t play the victim Learn from it. Move on. Don’t use it as an opportunity to continue down a spiral of giving up on your goals. Anticipate the fact that you may feel some negative effects from it and you may be hungrier than usual. Forgive yourself. Don’t dwell on it. Set yourself up for success. Focus on creating better habits over time.


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    intermittent fasting

    Intermittent Fasting and Keto Diet

    intermittent fasting

    What have I learned this week combining intermittent fasting & keto:

    I don’t need breakfast. What, what?

    Since my body is burning fat for fuel now I can go longer periods of time without needing to eat. I am doing intermittent fasting. We all fast at night when we sleep. Extending that fast until later in the day has all sorts of benefits. I do what’s called a fat fast meaning I have some fat in the morning in my coffee but no other food. I eased into this gradually I started by keeping my feeding times down to 8 hours (fasting for 16 hours).  So I was eating for the first time at 10 a.m. and stopping eating by 6 p.m.  This past week I worked on lengthening the fasting window to 11 or 12 hours. I actually went until 1:30 one day when I was busy at work.

    You can do intermittent fasting along with any nutrition plan. I am doing it along with a ketogenic diet (keto).  Keto helps my body prefer fat as fuel and doesn’t stimulate insulin spikes. Since insulin is a fat storage hormone this helps me stop the continual gain and begin to lose fat.

    I also love the flexibility of intermittent fasting. I don’t have to follow a strict schedule. It’s all about finding what works for me. As for right now I’m fasting 16+ hours a day during the weekdays. On the weekend I’m planning to eat breakfast with my family so my fasting window will be shorter. One thing that challenged me at first was wanting to snack near bedtime. I used to do this every night. In the hour before bed I used to have cheese or nuts or some other snack. I wasn’t hungry. I just did it because I wanted to. Purely out of habit. Now I’m mindful of my behavior and I distract myself when I feel the need to snack at night. Or I just go to bed.

    What about breakfast being the most important meal of the day?

    Well, I used to think this too.  I taught it to others for years. I thought that my body would go into starvation mode and I would do more harm than good. The funny thing is I believed that this was true while carrying around 35,000 extra calories stored right on my own body. Now I am allowing my body to burn those extra calories for fuel. And the result of that is that I’m losing weight and I feel great doing it. I’m enjoying delicious food along the way.

    Learn more about intermittent fasting:

    If you’re interested in learning more about intermittent fasting I recommend you watch Dr. Jason Fung on YouTube. This is a good one to start with:

    He also has a great book called The Obesity Code that goes into detail about this concept.

    macros for keto

    Calculate Your Macros for Keto

    macros for keto

    Photo credit: jetalone/Flickr

    How much do I eat?

    One important part of eating a keto lifestyle is to know what macros you’re aiming for. There are many different ways that people calculate their macros. Below is my favorite way to calculate protein. I find that some of the online macro calculators allow for too much protein. Too much protein can stall your progress (more on this in a future article).

    This protein calculation is based on an estimation of your ideal body weight and so it is based on your height.

    Calculating protein macros for keto

    For females:

    45.5 grams for 5 foot tall

    Add 2.3 grams for each inch over 5 foot

    (subtract 2.3 grams for each inch under 5 foot)

    For males:

    50 grams for 5 foot tall

    Add 2.3 grams for each inch over 5 foot

    (subtract 2.3 grams for each inch under 5 foot)

    Example – For a 5’2” female

    45.5 + (2.3 x 2) = 45.5 + 4.6 = 50.1 grams of protein per day

    Carbohydrates

    You will aim for 20 grams or less of carbohydrates. Especially starting out. Later you can experiment with how many carbs you can handle without getting kicked out of ketosis. Most of your carbohydrates will come from low carbohydrate vegetables. These contain so many important nutrients so yes, eat your veggies. There are two ways to count carbs. The first is total carbs and the second way is net carbs. Net carbs are calculated from subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols from total carbs. To start out with I recommend that you just stick with total carbs until you get the hang of this.

    Fat

    Now comes the easy part. You will eat fat to satiety. Aim for eating at least as much fat as protein but on most days aim for twice the amount of fat.

    I am 5’7”. My macros are 20g carbs, 64g protein and 152g fat.  I am pretty good bout keeping my total carbs under 20 and I usually get close to my protein goal. My fat usually comes in around 100 grams because I’m just not hungry after that point.

    You don’t need to stress over calories. I’m not going to go into detail here – that will be the subject of another post. Just trust me. Stay under 20 grams of carbohydrates, get close to your protein goal, and eat fat to satiety. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. You won’t go into “starvation mode.” Your body will begin to use your stored body fat for energy as it was designed to do. That’s the beauty of this whole way of eating.

    Need help?

    Need help with your macros? Comment below and I can help.