Ketogenics – Day 2

Day 2 is done and so far we are both feeling good! Right around 4:00 this afternoon we both slowed down, both looking for some sugar but other than that today went well. So here is a breakdown of what we ate for day 2:

Breakfast: baked omelet & coffee. I made this yesterday and we both took a piece for breakfast. I ate mine with a little creme fraiche (sweeter version of sour cream) and Jordan ate his plain. It was delicious! I also had my usual coffee BUT this morning I added coconut oil to it. Sounds weird but it was surprisingly very good! I happen to love the flavor of coconut so it was great. I still added a little cream but no sugar. I think I can handle that!

Lunch: salads. I made one big salad on Sunday, just to make morning prep easier because I am not a morning person by any means. The salad has lettuce, cucumber and red pepper and this morning I added an avocado and some feta cheese. This is where you can get creative though. Any good, pastured cheese, meat (think leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, etc.) I made dressing from Coconut Vinegar (apple cider vinegar substitute), olive oil, and Italian seasoning. This is a usual for me, so I enjoyed it!

Dinner: crockpot beef and sweet potato stew. This recipe was really easy and anything in the crockpot is a win, especially on NSS workout nights! I made some roasted broccoli and of course, pickles for digestion!

Crockpot beef & Sweet Potato Stew:
2lbs stew meat
1 cup beef/vegetable stock
5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes

Turn the crockpot on high and melt butter (about 3 tbsp)
Add the onions and let simmer while you cut the rest of the vegetables and meat.
Add sweet potatoes, carrots and meat. Pour in broth until the crockpot is about 1/4 full, or so.
Cook on high for 4-6 hours or longer if needed, until the sweet potatoes are cooked (soft) and meat is tender.

For a thicker stew-like sauce, coat the meat in coconut flour and brown in a sauté pan before adding to the crockpot.

**UPDATE: This is the recipe that I used for the roasted broccoli – I make this all the time. Its super easy and tastes amazing! I usually leave out the lemon juice and I don’t always use the Parmesan cheese, it really doesn’t need it but a little parm never hurt anyone! 🙂

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Ketogenics – Day 1

So today was day one of the Ketogenic Diet (I don’t like calling it a diet because it really is a lifestyle, not a diet)

Jordan went to the grocery store yesterday to pick up some of the things that we needed for the week. He went with Jerry who has been doing this for over a year now and they went to Adams Fairacre Farms. Some of the things that he got:
Produce (all organic): broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, cucumbers, red peppers
Staples: raw/organic coconut oil, fermented pickles (see picture), fermented sauerkraut, pastured butter, free-range eggs, pastured cheddar cheese (pastured is different and not to be confused with pasteurized)

So for dinner tonight, I made baked chicken with spinach. I cut boneless/skinless chicken breasts in half and put them in a casserole dish. I melted the pastured butter in a sauté pan and added a medium white onion. I cooked the onion until it was soft and added 2 cloves of garlic and the spinach. Once the spinach was wilted, I added a little bit of organic chicken stock and poured the whole mixture over the chicken breasts and baked it for about 30 minutes at 350.

Overall, it was pretty good. It wasn’t overly flavorful which was surprising to me but I will add some seasoning to it next time to “kick it up a notch” maybe. Some red pepper flakes and maybe a can of diced tomatoes would be good.

Day 1 - Dinner

Day 1 – Dinner Chicken, Spinach, Onions, Garlic

Pickles

Fermented Pickles – Taste DELICIOUS the probiotics help you absorb nutrients so you get the most of your meal (but I don’t need an excuse to eat pickles:-))

J- Day 1 weigh in

Jordan’s first weigh in stay tuned for updates!

Tonight I made breakfast for us for the next couple of days. I have done this before but this time I used all fresh/organic ingredients. This baked omelet is made with a dozen farm-fresh, free range eggs, a little bit of milk, organic spinach and some roasted red peppers. We can both take a piece for a quick and easy breakfast “on the go.” Sidenote: the color of this omelet is amazing! the free range, farm fresh eggs make a huge difference! and I use coconut oil to coat the pan so it doesn’t stick (I hope!)

Breakfast

Baked Omelet Dozen farm-fresh eggs, spinach, roasted red peppers

Baked Chicken (need a better name)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large container organic baby spinach
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp pastured butter
1/4 organic chicken stock

pre heat oven to 350

1.Cut the chicken in half (butterflied)
2. Melt butter in saute pan with minced garlic and chopped onion until the onion is soft/translucent
3. Add spinach and wilt just until it is soft, not fully wilted.
4. Mix in chicken stock
5. Pour mixture over chicken
6. Bake at 350 for about 25-35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (no longer pink and juices run clear)
We ate it with a side of pickles which is highly recommended for digestion but it can be served with any other vegetable you like – be creative!

So overall day one was a breeze! Tomorrow’s menu is a spin on a comfort food classic and I am excited to try it!

If you have suggestions or questions, please let me know! I would also love to know if you are living the ketogenic lifestyle and what your thoughts and recommendations are.

Here Goes Nothin’

Today marks day one of the Ketogenic Diet for Jordan and I. For anyone who doesn’t know, my husband, Jordan, runs an Athlete Training Facility called NorthStar Sports (check it out here) in Poughkeepsie, New York. Exactly one year ago today (totally by coincidence), we learned about the concepts of the Ketogenic Diet from NorthStar’s owners Jerry and Jasmine at a nutritional seminar they did for NorthStar athletes and their families to introduce and encourage healthy eating habits to enhance their workouts.

So what is this diet? A Ketogenic Diet is a high fat, adequate protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to use fat for energy rather than glucose. I would highly recommend reading about this diet – in the medical world, it is/can be used to treat epilepsy but there are a million other health benefits that come from this diet. **

Because we know the source of your food is key to the success of this diet, about 6 months ago we bought one quarter of the meat from a grass-fed, organic cow which we have been regularly eating. Jordan’s parents were kind enough to let us “rent” space in their extra freezer for all the meat we couldn’t store in our tiny apartment freezer.

I have never been a meat person. In fact, I can confidently say I don’t like it. I never choose to eat meat over other things and can say with 100% certainty that I have never ordered a steak at a restaurant in my 25 years of life. Growing up, I almost always chose veggies over everything else on the table and thankfully my mom always made tons of veggies and salad for me so I never had to eat meat – thanks, Mom! 🙂 So for me, this was a huge leap of faith.  I have tried different recipes with various cuts of meat and have been very pleasantly surprised. The meat has a different taste and texture from what you get in the grocery store and I have found it to be enjoyable enough to eat it on a regular basis. Over the the last 6 months, I have eaten more red meat than I probably have in my whole life, which is great.

After 6 or so months of taking on this ‘diet’ in pieces, we have decided to jump in with two feet and just go for it. We are giving it a month of going all in and from that point we will see how it goes. We know it will be more costly this way because we will be choosing all fresh produce, everything organic, grass-fed beef and free range chicken and eggs, nothing processed or pre-packaged and nothing with sugar (glucose, gluten, etc.) of any kind. These things tend to be more expensive than the mass-produced foods but on the other hand we believe that we will see noticeable change in ourselves in both the short term and the long run.

For those of you who are thinking about taking this journey with us, or are just interested to see how we are doing with it, I will post updates on here for you to follow along. I will do my best to post daily about our meals – how they are prepared and how we like them.

Today is day one so I will post about today meals after dinner tonight.

Stay tuned! 🙂

** We have spent a lot of time over the last year learning, researching and taking the concepts on bit by bit. We feel confident that it will work for us, but before you jump in, do some research on your own and make sure that this diet will fit in with your lifestyle and your needs, especially if you are taking various medications.

Another One Bites the Dust

One thing I have always loved is house plants – they can make a room feel lively and brighter and theoretically, they are low-maintenance. Anyone who knows me, knows that my track record for keeping plants alive for any period of time is really terrible. But I try! (and try….. and try….)

I recently got a new job and was so excited to have an office of my own, with four walls and everything! I was in IKEA (my happy place) and I decided that my new ‘big-girl’ office needed a plant to bring in some life. So I bought a Dragon Tree or more officially known as Dracena Marginata.

I didn’t take a picture of it when I first got it, but this is exactly what it looked like:

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It was all spikey and cool looking, a little tropical even. I brought it home and immediately gave it a little water and it stayed on my dining room table until I went to work on Tuesday (yay! for 3 day weekends).

By Tuesday afternoon, my poor dragon tree was wilted and sad!

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So I did a little bit of research on how to revive it and I found out a few things; for starters, they don’t like water (strike 1). They prefer dry soil and to only be watered every once in a while. I also found out that they don’t like the cold or direct sunlight so putting the poor plant on my window sill was strike 2 AND strike 3.

I read that as long as the trunk is still hard, it may come back. Welp, I guess there is no hope for my little dragon tree. It’s leaves are still green but the trunk is starting to get soft and mushy.

So long little Dragon Tree! It was a nice 3 days 😦

Do you have house plants? and if so, what is your secret to keeping them alive? I worry that if I can’t keep a plant alive inside, how am I going to manage landscaping when we buy a house?!

Memorial Day Treat – A Fun Twist on an American Classic

S’mores cupcakes!

I was looking around for a fun Memorial Day treat to bring to a BBQ and cupcakes are usually “my thing.” I found a recipe on Pinterest that looked too good to pass on. (original pin)

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I used the Dunkin Hines Triple Chocolate Cake Mix. I am usually a fan of Betty Crocker cake mixes but this had the chunks of real fudge which seemed to go perfectly with my S’Mores 🙂 

I made the cake mix according to the directions on the box. The only difference was that I only baked mine for 18 minutes and they were perfect. (side note: Not sure why, but I usually don’t have to bake my cupcakes as long as it says to on the boxes)

I got a total of 18 cupcakes out of my batch but sadly, two of them missed out on the extra fudge filling, but the recipe did say it would make 14-16 cupcakes. 

I let the cupcakes cool on a rack while I made the frosting (the best part – I LOVE whipped cream!)

Since it is pretty warm and humid here, I put my Kitchen Aid mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for about 20 minutes to make it frosty so it would help the heavy cream whip easier. I poured the two cups of heavy cream into the bowl and turned it on medium speed. Once it was fairly stiff, I added 1 tsp of vanilla and whipped it until it formed stiff peaks. Then I added one cup of Marshmallow Fluff (fluffernutter) to the whipped cream and slowly folded it in. Once it was mostly incorporated, I put it back on the mixer and let it whip for another 30 seconds or so. 

I used a large pastry bag and my favorite icing tip but you could also use a gallon sized plastic bag and just cut the tip off. These are the bags that I use. 

Just pipe the whipped cream onto the cupcakes. Then sprinkle with crushed graham crackers and drizzle Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup on them. I put a paper towel down on top of my cooling rack and put the cupcakes on there to decorate for easy cleanup. 

Because of the whipped cream, the cupcakes should stay in the fridge until you are ready to serve 🙂 

I am using my new cupcake carrier for the first time – I LOVE IT! Thanks, Martha Stewart (and Macy’s)

 

Let me know if you try the cupcakes and how they come out in the comments below! ❤

 

Organized necklaces

I had this idea that all my “fun” necklaces needed to be where I could see them and where they wouldn’t get all tangled. So I got a couple of these bars from ikea and went to town!! It adds some color to that corner of the bedroom and now no more tangled and forgotten necklaces!

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