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Eating Real Food

Measurement chart

I’m trying to get this blog off the ground, so I can get to the good stuff: posting recipes! This blog is for people following a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is basically a diet that is very low in carbohydrates, moderate amounts of meat, and high in fat. It is not only beneficial for losing weight, it is used to improve other health issues, such as diabetes and even cancer. If you search the net, you will find there are lots of blogs and lots of information that deals with a keto diet. The one thing I found was lacking though, is how to do a keto diet on real food. By real food, I mean non-processed. Sound hard? It’s not and the health benefits are unbelievable. So that’s what this post will address; the real food aspect of this diet.

What is NOT real food.

Food that is not real is food that has been heavily processed. It usually comes in a can or a box (or perhaps a drive through window). It usually comes with an extremely long ingredient list made of mostly things you probably never heard of and have no idea what they are. Most processed foods are made of chemicals, dyes, GMOs (genetically modified food), and have very little of the actual food they claim to be made of. Some don’t even have ANY of the actual food it claims to be! And when it does have the actual food, it has usually been processed to the point that it is unrecognizable. Most, if not all, of the health benefits it may have had at some point are long gone. Hopefully, your goal is to eliminate or greatly reduce processed food. If you purchase something processed, make sure the ingredient list is very small and that you know what they are. Here’s an example of a non-organic processed food that I use. It’s Franks Red Hot sauce.

Franks hot sauce ingredients
Five ingredients; all recognizable.

I am hoping to start out with some basic recipes (things like mayonnaise, ketchup, dressings, etc). You might be surprised to find that these things take very little effort and being in control of your food ingredients is an amazing thing. None of those things I listed need sugar in them.

Homemade ketchup
Ketchup fermenting.

What IS real food.

Real food is food that comes in (or as close as possible to) it’s most natural form. It is food that hasn’t been tampered with in any way. It is organic. This means it has not been coated with layers of pesticides or genetically modified. It is meat that comes from animals that have been treated humanely and fed well. It is from animals that have been grass-fed or pastured. It is from fish or seafood that is wild caught and not farmed, fed with things you don’t want in your diet. As they say, you are what you eat. It is eggs from chickens that were free to roam around and eat bugs and other things they were created to eat. Eggs from chickens that weren’t supplemented feed with genetically modified corn or soy. It is dairy from grass-fed cows; preferably raw, but it that’s not possible, from an organic source, as minimally processed as possible. (Avoid ultra-pasteurized milk and cream products)

Farm fresh eggs
I love all the colors fresh eggs can come in!

Some extra thoughts regarding real food.

I recommend avoiding toxic sweeteners, such as sucralose (Splenda) or aspartame. Some acceptable sweeteners would be xylitol or erithritol (sugar alcohols), but only in a non-GMO form. I personally use LC-Sweet Natural (if it doesn’t say Natural on it, it has sucralose), as well as stevia (I prefer KAL brand) and Lo Han Guo. Sometimes I use a tiny bit of raw honey or molasses, if it will really enhance a dish and I know the carb count will be distributed so that it is negligible. The LC-Sweet Natural that I use is mostly made of various fiber sweeteners. I find these have the littlest effect on a gastric level and also the smallest effect on blood sugar (though your mileage may vary). In addition, fiber-based sweeteners are known to have a prebiotic effect. This is a very good thing.

On the subject of fats, please try to limit them to the following: coconut oil, olive oil (good quality; I like Braggs), lard or tallow (that has either been rendered at home or that you know is from a good source), butter, ghee, and palm oil. Also good are fats that have rendered (been cooked off of) your quality meats. This includes bacon grease, chicken fat (schmaltz), grease from cooked beef, etc.

Also, in regards to what is acceptable to drink, please avoid diet drinks unless they are made with acceptable sweeteners. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Coffee and tea are acceptable. I personally use Dandy Blend (a dandelion drink); it tastes very close to coffee and has numerous health benefits with none of the caffeine. Instead of bulletproof coffee I have my “bulletproof beverage.” I also drink kombucha, which is a fermented tea. Though it is made with sugar, the fermentation process removes the sugar. I have found it has not interfered with my ketosis at all.

Strawberry kombucha
Strawberry kombucha.

Which brings me to my last topic: fermented food. Fermented food has a very important place in any food plan. Without them, all the “bugs” in your gut that are only beneficial in small quantities (think candida) can get out of control and cause a host of problems. In fact, most (if not all) autoimmune problems can be traced to the gut. What do I mean by fermented foods? Yogurt, pickles (if they’ve actually been fermented; Bubbies is a good brand), sauerkraut, kimchi, or even your mayo or ketchup. It’s easy and I’ll show you how!

Fermented Food & Drink
Kombucha, beet kvass, purple sauerkraut, and green sauerkraut.

Hopefully I’ve covered enough about what is and isn’t real food that you have an idea of what this blog is about. Like all of life, it’s a journey and a process. I feel certain it’s one you won’t regret.

I hope to come back to this post, as time allows, and include some links and other information to help you on your real food keto journey. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask!


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