Getting Started: Stocking up
There are certain ingredients that you are guaranteed to find in my fridge / pantry on any given day. This is what I have found is most used in the recipes that I like, and will give you a good guideline for understanding what is allowed on a ketogenic diet.
In my fridge, you will find EGGS - lots of them. I probably have three dozen eggs in there right now! I always make sure to have eggs because they are an easy snack, and they are in a lot of recipes that I use. On a most basic level, eggs and bacon for breakfast is a go-to ketogenic meal. I also will make breakfast in bulk as a giant spinach, sausage, onion, and mushroom egg bake. Hard boiled eggs are a great snack, or have them ass deviled eggs, or egg salad, or on top of a big cobb salad. They also go in my keto bagels and keto pizza crust! There is a reason that some people get beyond their weight loss plateau by doing an "egg fast", you can have them SO many different ways.
The next most common ingredient in there is CHEESE! Mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, and feta are my most used cheeses. Mozz. in my keto bagels, keto pizza, or cheese sticks as a snack! Cream cheese in my keto chocolate mousse, also in the bagel and pizza crust recipe. Lemon ricotta pancakes, or feta in my breakfast egg bake, or on top of my cobb salads instead of blue cheese. Along with this dairy theme, I also always have a container or two of heavy cream for alfredo sauce, creamy soups, chocolate mousse, and for my coffee.
You will usually find some different variety of meats in my fridge including bacon (or Canadian bacon), a rotisserie chicken (cheap and convenient), ground beef, and ground turkey. You won't always find all types of those meats, but a rotation of these is what I have most often. With that said, I try to limit the number of meals I have per week that have meat. I didn't start out this way, but I have found that the further I go into my keto journey, the more I branch out and enjoy vegetarian options which also goes hand in hand with teaching about global sustainability because eating less meat drastically reduces our environmental impact. I try to practice what I preach. I believe this also makes me more well rounded as a keto coach, because I am able to recommend vegetarian options to people where I otherwise wouldn't feel comfortable sharing had I not personally tried them.
The rest of my fridge space is taken up by a wide range of other fresh ingredients that make for a good combination of meals or sides. Peppers, red onions, mushrooms, cucumber, zucchini, squash, brussels sprouts, spinach, other mixed greens for salad, grape tomatoes, and avocados.
Fun fact about avocados: you can store them on your counter until they feel ripe, and then stick them in the fridge to make them last longer! I usually feel that there is about a 2 hour window where you can eat an avocado, and after waiting a week for it to be ripe, it is all of a sudden no good in a flash! Sticking them in the fridge works like a charm!
On to the pantry: almond flour, coconut flour, unsweetened cacao powder, taco seasoning, organic "sweet 5 agave", salt and vinegar almonds (OMG my favorite), pink Himalayan sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, and baking powder.
Notice that I do not have any bread, or any fruit! This is the key to avoiding carbs! There are keto-friendly varieties of breads, but I don't eat them too often, not often enough to make my weekly list. And the only fruit that is allowed are berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries/blackberries). You want to keep this to about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per day. I love to heat up some blueberries in a frying pan to turn them into a sauce for my lemon ricotta pancakes!
There are plenty of grocery store guidelines out there on the internet to get a more inclusive picture of everything that is allowed or not allowed, but this is what I do! If I have these ingredients, I can make a full week's worth of keto-friendly meals for myself and my husband. We don't get bored and can't believe that we are enjoying these flavor combinations and losing weight at the same time! It makes our minds sharper, our energy higher, our mood better, and feels good to be eating minimally processed, whole foods straight from the Earth as much as we can.
Last, but not least... water water water water. It is VERY important that you stay hydrated while following a ketogenic diet. Water is required to break down fats for energy, and you are supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day!! Seltzer water counts, I also love a big pitcher of water with lime juice and sliced cucumbers, or any sugar-free crystal light powder flavors.
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