Sunday, July 3, 2016

Still Keto: What I Eat Nowadays

According to the blog metrics, lots of visitors arrive here via keto-related research.

I’ve remained in ketosis (or “Primal/Paleo” at minimum) since July 2012.  Four years. It still feels great. The next few blog posts will be about what I’ve learned so far over that time.

MEAT PREP

Possibly the biggest reason I wanted to keto-blog again is that my wife and I have gotten really good at preparing our meat dishes. Some household appliances have greatly helped:
  • a sous-vide controller 
  • a chimney starter for charcoal grilling
  • a remote food thermometer 
Swear, since introducing these items, I have not wanted to go out to eat anywhere (except for sushi-sashimi and BBQ at a couple neighborhood spots). Add in some fresh home-grown veggies from Lisa’s vegetable garden and our kitchen is at Napa-level. Not even kidding.

The sous-vide controller lets us cook meats evenly at a desired “doneness” temperature while maintaining tenderness. That is, if you spend $40 at the counter for ribeye, you’re going to want to cook it the way you imagine it. The sous-vide controller lets us do that.

 

But even better is that it can turn otherwise mundane lean meats (chicken breast, pork chop) into something spectacular. At this writing, we’ve cooked chicken breast every week for the last four months. It comes out juicy, like a lite-flavored chicken thigh or leg. It’s inexpensive and helps simplify macro-nutrient planning.

The chimney starter helps speed up charcoal grilling, which had gone dormant for years after our gas grill. With the chimney starter, we can start grilling after 10 minutes (versus, say, 40 minutes spent getting the coals to burn right). We do have a separate wood-chip smoker that gets regular use (especially in winter) but it’s not the same. We like some char.

The remote food thermometer gives us a more-precise way of pulling the meat off the grill at the right temperature. It's not nearly as spot-on as the sous-vide, but a world of difference over the highly inexact poke-and-see method we used in the past.


STOKING HUNGER

At this writing, I’ve been on an extended cut for a couple reasons. I’ll go further into that in a later post. As mentioned early on, keto doesn’t magically break the laws of physics and CICO (calories in, calories out).

What I’ve learned on this cut: Hunger is my cue that I’m burning fat stores; Let it burn!

So I will get hungry. That’s just how cuts go. But maybe the best thing about keto is that it helps manage the body’s response to hunger; I don’t ever get “hangry.” I don’t bonk physically or mentally. And when it does come time to eat, having a level-head helps make the right food choices.

So besides the meat dishes, what do I eat?

A TON OF VEGGIES

Or, to borrow a Paleo/Primal adage, “vegetarianism with a steak on top*.” While cutting, a normal meal goes like this:
  • 2-3 ounces of a meat depending on protein/fat ratio 
  • A bowl stuffed to the max with leafy greens and low-calorie/high-fiber veggies (for satiety and vitamin/minerals)
  • Supplements: Fish oil, potassium, magnesium (chelated or citrate), one-a-day multivitamin
The above gets me through most days. For higher-activity, on-the-go days (or maintenance days), I’ll add the following as needed:
  • An extra meal or two of the above
  • Quest protein bars and shakes for any further protein and fiber needs (and because they’re delicious!)
  • Eggs, nuts, nut-butters, avocado, low-calorie cheeses, bacon bits, olive/avocado oil, coconut oil


*Being cheeky: For strictly practical reasons, keto/paleo heads likely eat at least as many fresh vegetables as vegetarians and vegans do.

NEXT POST: Keto and long-distance running

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