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Greek vs Greek Style Yogurt

Greek vs Greek Style Yogurt

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Eating out when low carb / keto

Eating out when low carb / keto

We all do it and we all enjoy doing it...and why not - someone else cooking for us is always nice. But the dread that we are now giving control over our food to somebody else can sometimes spoil the entire reason why we are out...to enjoy some quality time with friends and family.
We can pretty much guarantee that the majority of what's on the menu is going to be high carb...no change from what the supermarkets do with their packaged foods and no different to how the guidelines have been telling us to eat for all these years. 
However things are changing and, either with a little research before you go or by understanding what's on the menu, you can make the best choice available to you at the time. This one meal is not going to damage your overall plan if you don't let it. 
Simple things to remember: send the bread away if it arrives while you are looking at the menu, avoid any of the breaded options or those that you know are covered in a sugary sauce like BBQ Wings. Restaurants are now offering lots of different options, so you might see on a menu 'Go Naked'...this isn't an invitation but a suggested serving style: having your burger without the bun...naked...served with salad and homemade coleslaw. The more traditional a restaurant is, the easier it will be to make a good choice. Tandoori mixed grill or a butter chicken are good options. Foo yung and spicy ribs from the Chinese, or for those popping to Nandos (although not a very traditional restaurant)... chicken it is! Our favourite Turkish takeaway can easily be turned low carb by replacing the standard bread & rice for extra salad. We often choose their Family Platter which includes chicken, lamb and beef, plus a few sides like olives, feta and Ezme (tomatoes, pepper and chillies in olive oil).
The course that may be the most difficult to find a good alternative for is dessert. It's a concoction of high sugar, mostly artificial colours and flavours mixed with high fat. It's a red flag to your new way of eating. If you've been following a Keto lifestyle for even just a few weeks, having a dessert full of sugar will taste incredibly sweet and you'll probably be surprised as to how you didn't notice it last time round!
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Low Carb / Keto on a budget

Low Carb / Keto on a budget

Is it expensive?
This is a fairly common question as we have become so used to buying packaged food that is purely targeted to being as cheap as possible. However, we're not only paying for the ingredient costs of a ready meal, but we're also paying for the production cost, packaging and transportation...all of which are adding to the end price of the meal. So it makes you think just how much money went into the quality of food you are about to eat!
Having a plan means less wastage as you are only buying food that you are going to use rather than buying food to sit in the fridge and not know what to do with it. Our MMM! Journal can help here :)
 
Bulk cooking
This is something we do regularly. Whether it's making a couple of batches of brownies to get us through the week, half a dozen scotch eggs for pack lunches or preparing several portions of a dish to be portioned out and frozen to be used over the next week or so, bulk cooking will save both time and money. A couple of hours invested will enable you to prepare 75% of the food you are going to eat over the following week and you'll get this time back every single day as you won't need to decide whats for dinner on the way home, stop at the supermarket and end up spending more time (and money) browsing the special offers.
Preparation is the key to success!
  
Cutting out the junk
We know it's junk - it's called junk for a reason, and in truth when we decide we want to take better care of ourselves it is usually one of the first things we avoid. However, there's always going to be that occasion when someone suggests a take-away, or you get caught at a motorway services and find yourself surrounded. Understanding and making the best choice available will not only prevent F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) but will leave you feeling that you have stayed in control.
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Eatwell Plate VS Low Carb / Keto

Eatwell Plate VS Low Carb / Keto

Nutritional Guidelines
You may have seen this type of chart over the years either at school at even during 'Health Weeks' at the doctors. This is how we have been told to eat over the last 30 years...the same 30 years that have seen obesity and type 2 diabetes rates rise dramatically. 

We know that high carb foods raise our insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone responsible for removing the sugar from the blood and storing it away as fat. So, when 70-80% of our consumption is based on a mix of high and low carb foods, it's no wonder how we've got to where we are.

Our mindset has been altered not just from the introduction of these guidelines but from food manufacturers who have created a whole new industry...low fat products!
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Low Carb / Keto

Keto nutrition is a step not only in the right direction but back to before politicians and food manufacturers created the nutritional guidelines. Up until the 1960s there were no such things as guidelines for what we should and shouldn't eat and the introduction of such guidelines was not based on any scientific evidence. 

Before the time of the guidelines being introduced we ate butter, bacon and cheese; before the climbing rates of metabolic syndrome we would enjoy natural yogurt made the way it is supposed to be made.

Nutrition on the keto way of eating is using real foods, giving the body essential mineral and vitamins and all the time feeling like you are not missing out of going hungry. 'Keto nutrition' is not bars, shakes, pills, or any other products that have been labelled 'low carb' or 'keto' but contain a multitude of inflammatory & artificial ingredients.

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What is Keto?

What is Keto?

Why is it called Keto?
Quite simply, the term "Keto" comes from the word Ketosis. This is a natural state the body achieves when it is using either the dietary fats we consume in our food, or the fat we have stored in our body. During ketosis, ketones are produced by the liver as an energy source.
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What happens in ketosis?
Ketosis can be achieved when we reduce the number of carbohydrates and increase the amount of healthy dietary fats we consume. Initially, the body will automatically use the stored carbs (glycogen) as energy. We store around 2,000-2,500 calories in glycogen, so it can take a couple of days to deplete these. You may find at this stage you experience a weight loss, however this is mostly going to be water weight not fat loss.
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Benefits of Keto
There are numerous benefits to be had from following a well planned Keto way of eating. We all want to enjoy more of life and to look and feel our best with energy left over at the end of the day. By eating the Keto way we can do just that! 
People who maintain a Keto lifestyle have experienced significant improvements to their type 2 diabetes, weight loss, sports endurance and a better relationship with food.
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Not a diet but a lifestyle. 
When we hear the word 'diet' we immediately conjure up a feeling of hunger and dissatisfaction...neither of these are words ever used to describe Keto! By reducing the number of carbohydrates and increasing the amount of healthy dietary fats we consume, we can feel fuller for longer, have more energy, less bloating and less cravings.
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Macros: Red, Amber, Green

Macros: Red, Amber, Green

More info on how to track macros is here.
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Keto Essentials: Shopping List

Keto Essentials: Shopping List

Click the link below to see videos of our shopping trips at Aldi, Lidl & Morrisons. We'll update this playlist with more videos from different stores in the near future.
Some of the day-to-day items that will help you have a good selection to choose from are:

Cheese- Mature Cheddar, Monteray Jack, Cream Cheese, Brie/Camembert, Goats Cheese, Mozzarella and Mascarpone.
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing meat & fish as either a snack or a meal option. The majority of meat is high in protein but by choosing from the items shown below you will also get a good source of dietary fats which will not only add flavour but will also satisfy your hunger.

Sliced Meats- Salami, Chorizo, Corned Beef, Pastrami, Ham.

Meats- Chicken Thighs/legs, Bockwurts Sausage, 97% Pork Sausages, Back or Streaky Back Bacon, Pork Chops, Steaks, Lamb Steak, Lamb Mince (20% fat), Beef Rib Eye, Beef Rump Steak, Mince Beef (20% fat). 
Fish- Oily Fish is a fantastic way of getting Omega-3 into your diet and other seafood items such as prawns and haddock are packed full of protein and enable you to create tasty dishes.
Coconut Products
Dietary fats can come from some unusual sources and these foods help keep the variety of dishes you create interesting and enjoyable. Coconut comes in various forms and has many health benefits; coconut milk can be used to create quick breakfasts, tasty snacks, spicy curries and creamy deserts. Be careful when buying coconut milk that your aren't picking up a low/reduced fat version. The best I've found for quality, price and taste is from Aldi which contains 91% coconut extract. Many 'brand' coconut milk contain as little as 51% coconut extract which means you are paying for extra water.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat which is amazing to use for baking, frying and creating such things as Fat Bombs and Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC). You will either find 'cold pressed' coconut oil which retains both its scent and taste, or you can buy 'heat treated' coconut oil that has been produced without either of these and they work exactly the same, but the latter is usually cheaper. The Coco Loco from Aldi is around £2.30 for a 300ml jar whereas the KTC from Morrisons is under £2 for a 500ml jar. 

Coconut Flour is one of the two main flour replacements used in low carb foods. This is available in most big supermarkets but it is rarely placed with the flour so it might take a little looking for.
Baking & Sweeteners
One of the best ways of keeping low carb/keto is to make your own sweet treats. This might sound daunting to some but there are some very simple recipes to follow. Choosing the right sweetener is important as there are many on the market that will have a negative effect on the body and stall weight loss.

Stevia is considered to be one of the best sweeteners available, along with Erythritol and Xylitol. You will often find these mixed together but be aware that the cheaper sweeteners can be as much as 99% maltrodextrin and 1% Stevia but sold as a Stevia sweetener. Maltrodextrin is at the very top of the G.I list and is best to be avoided. Be sure to look at the ingredients of the sweeteners before you buy them - one brand to stay away from is Aldi's own 'Stevia', which is 99% maltodextrin. Below you will find images of the only sweeteners we have found in UK supermarkets that do not contain added nasties.

Many 'sugar free', 'low carb', 'Atkins', and 'keto' items in supermarkets and coffee shops will also contain nasty sweeteners such as maltrodextrin, polydextrose, and maltitol.
One important factor to be aware of is that Xylitol is highly toxic to animals.
Keto Cupboard Basics
Ground Almonds are used a lot in keto baking. This ingredient is used in the process of making cookies, brownies and even pizza bases! It is available from almost every supermarket in small 200/500 gram bags.
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What to eat - Low Carb & Keto Food List

What to eat - Low Carb & Keto Food List

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How to start your low carb / keto lifestyle

How to start your low carb / keto lifestyle

In the first days and weeks of starting to reduce carbs, it's important to stick to some basic principles.

The first and most obvious is to remove if possible all of what you would have previously used in the way of bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Other sources of refined carbs are all breakfast cereals including oats, jams, tins of beans, bags of sugar & flour, jars of honey or other liquid sugars such as agave syrup. You will also want to look at moving any hot chocolate mixes, cappuccino sachets and of course any biscuits, crisps and chocolates out of eyesight. Click here for a list of what to eat and what to avoid.

The focus of every meal should always start with a good choice of protein. Accompany this with good quality fats such as olive oil, butter, coconut oil, ghee or avocado and finally choose some nutrient dense low carb vegetables to complete your meal. 

Shopping for the right ingredients is essential. All the key ingredients are in most regular supermarkets, they just might require a little finding. Take a look at the 'Keto Essentials' to help you find the right ingredients and hopefully save you some time and money. 

The best way to start your new lifestyle is to make a plan. Before heading out to the shops take some time to look through the free recipe library and choose a few new dishes to try. Select maybe 2 or 3 different breakfasts, things like the pancakes are a great way to start and can be made in advance to keep things quick and simple on those busy mornings. Save the cooked breakfasts for the mornings you can sit and enjoy with the family.

Choose lunch dishes to suit your work / family commitments. Salads, soups & scotch eggs are all great dishes that can be made in advance and enjoyed anywhere.

Dinner is where we need the most planning as we generally prefer to eat different dishes most evenings. Getting organised will save you a lot of time and stress. Even just knowing what you are going to have and shopping accordingly will remove the uncertainty of 'what's for dinner?' Whether it's just a meal for one or feeding the family having a plan will really help with not becoming overwhelmed. Our MMM! Journal can help with this :)

Alright, you don't HAVE to join a K.I.C.K. workshop. But if you'd like more info on the workshops we run twice a week, click here :) 
We also have a free Facebook group which you're more than happy to join. Don't worry, there are no keto police on patrol in there!
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Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter

Peanut Butter vs Almond Butter

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Look Twice: Misleading Labels

Look Twice: Misleading Labels

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Carbs VS Net Carbs (USA vs UK)

Carbs VS Net Carbs (USA vs UK)

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