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Review: Are Shiitake Mushrooms Low Carb?
During a recent trip to Costco, I came across Snak Yard Shiitake Mushrooms. I love mushrooms and in big letters on the front of the bag were two of my food buzzwords: crispy and crunchy. Could these be the keto snack to fulfill my low carb dreams? Anyone who knows me will tell you that sweets were never a problem for me. I can usually take them or leave them. Salty, savory, crunchy things ... now those—often carb-filled—foods continue to tempt me. Shiitake Mushroom Nutritional Content According to the nutritional information, for a serving—30 grams—there was 8g of fat and only 1 net carb. Honestly, I don't know how much I trust this though since the carbohydrate section of the mushroom nutritional information doesn't seem to add up. I'm not sure how a product can have 8g of carbs, 7g of fiber, but also have 4g of sugar (which includes 3g of added sugar). If anyone can explain this to me, please do. My best guess is that without those 3g of added sugar, there would be 8g of total carbs—7g fiber and 1g sugar. So, they decided they didn't need to update that total carb number. Josh describes this as "a really fucky way of doing that math." I have to agree. So, in reality, Snak Yard's Shiitake Mushrooms are 4 net carbs per serving. If you're monitoring a ratio of macros for keto or low carb a serving of these mushrooms would be: 60% fat, 13% net carbs, and 10% protein. So, not the worst in the grand scheme of things, but if you're going for the usual keto ratios of 70, 5, 15, then I'd say these are only worth it if you really like mushrooms. I could definitely see the argument of someone focusing on low carb saying these are a low carb snack. How Do Shiitake Mushrooms Taste? Okay, the bag kept its promise. These mushrooms make for a strangely addictive crispy and crunchy snack. It has a great crunch and a decent mouthfeel. If you ever had Chicken in a Bisket crackers, then these taste pretty similar. If you haven't, I would describe the taste as a salty nothingness with a slightly earthy aftertaste. Someone better with words would probably say there is a savory or meaty taste similar to umami because, you know, mushrooms (something, something high in glutamates). Which isn't bad. As I said, strangely addictive. Most likely from the satisfying crunch from eating them. In fact, I would argue the crunch is more satisfying than a crunch of pork rinds. I think due to the density of the mushroom. What Are Shiitake Mushrooms Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide and are mostly grown in Japan. These mushrooms contain many of the same amino acids as meat, which make them popular amongst people trying to eat less or no meat. There are also some studies that suggest some of the bioactive compounds in shiitake may protect against cancer and inflammation. In addition, many people believe these mushrooms can help boost your immune system, strengthen your bones, and aide in heart health. I don't know about all that, but I do know I find mushrooms tasty. So, are these mushrooms the end all be all to my continuous hunt for a great low carb snack? No ... but they definitely made it into my rotation. For a deeper look at my low carb journey, follow me on Instagram at @KaitandKeto.
The Easiest Low Carb Pizza Crust
Fathead dough is an awesome pizza crust. I would never argue against that. However, sometimes I just don't have the time or mental bandwidth to make it when I get home from work. That's when I reach for the Carbquik and make this super easy low carb pizza crust. What is Carbquik you ask? It's a low carb flour substitute that is high in fiber and boasts having 90% fewer carbs than the "leading brands" of baking mixes. For every 32 grams of Carbquik you're looking at 2 net carbs. It's definitely a product that seemed too good to be true the first time I tried it, yet somehow, I stayed in ketosis after using it. So it quickly found its way into my pantry as a staple. I would not recommend using it as part of every meal, but if you're feeling lazy and craving some low carb pizza, waffles, or even cookies—yup, you can make desserts with it—then it's great to have on hand. How to Make Low Carb Pizza Crust With Carbquik This keto pizza crust doesn't make you chop anything or melt any cheeses together. The low carb crust is only three ingredients and all together this recipe takes me about 30 minutes. For this pizza, I'm going to top it with buffalo chicken. A quick and easy keto dinner for any night of the week. Okay, now that all the SEO words are in there, let's get to why you're here ... for the low carb recipe. Tools We Used: Mixing Bowl Pizza Pan (or any pan really, you do you) Pizza Cutter (or a knife ... or your bare hands) Breville Convection Oven: We rent an apartment in Boston, and it has a gas stove which can can turn our whole apartment into an oven in the summer. Plus Josh is real picky ... er ... particular about baking in a convection oven. So, this isn't necessary, but if you're looking for a great compact convection oven and toaster, then I recommend this one. Ingredients: Pizza Crust 1.5 cups (144 g) Carbquik 1/3 cup (78 g) Water 1/4 cup (54 g) Olive Oil Pizza Toppings 6 oz (170 g) Chicken, grilled or boiled—either works—then cut into chunks or shredded 1/4 cup (52 g) Franks Buffalo Sauce 1/2 cup (56 g) Mozzarella Cheese, shredded any spices you see fit—we like to add a little garlic powder and oregano Instructions: Pre-heat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, mix together the Carbquik and water, then add the olive oil. Knead the mixture until it has the consistency of dough and isn't sticky. Grease the pizza pan and spread the dough into a circle, then bake for 10 minutes at 375. While the dough is baking, get all your ingredients together. For this pizza, I mix the chicken, cheese, and buffalo sauce together. TIP: Be sure not to over-top your pizza. The heavier your pizza the less likely you'll be able to eat it with your hands. Then again, if you don't mind eating your pizza with a fork, then go crazy with your toppings and live your truest life. Once the crust is done baking. Take it out of the oven, add your toppings to the top and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust has browned. Take out of the oven, slice, and enjoy! Nutrition: The above keto pizza recipe makes roughly 8 slices of low carb pizza. **NOTE** I got these numbers after putting all the ingredients we used into my calorie tracker. I use Cronometer. Be sure to add this recipe to what you use to track your macros with the brand of ingredients you use for the most accurate count. Per slice just the crust: Calories: 110.3 g Fat: 10.1 g Net Carbs: 1.1 g Carbs: 9 g Fiber: 7.9 g Protein: 3.4 g Per pizza slice with above toppings: Calories: 169.6 g Fat: 13.2 g Net Carbs: 1.4 g Carbs: 9.3 g Fiber: 7.9 g Protein: 10.8 g We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, we'd love to see it. Tag us on Instagram using @KaitandKeto!
Low Carb Grocery List for Beginners
Deciding to go keto or live a low carb lifestyle can be a little overwhelming at first. There are so many variations and schools of thought out there. If you frequent our posts then you know Josh and I take a very simplistic approach to keto. Basically, if it fits into my macros then great. When I first started keto, I was one of those people who got a little ... intense ... about it, and I was miserable. I felt restricted and if I "made a mistake" I would beat myself up over it for days. Then I found a balance. I went back to the basics and accepted that keto and low carb is a lifestyle, and everyone has different needs. What I am saying is, this is just a sample low carb grocery list for people who want to try living low carb, but it is not the end all be all of grocery lists. You can adapt this low carb grocery list and make it your own, just like keto. As a reminder, the most common keto macro ratio is 70% fats, 5% carbohydrates, and 25% protein. Learn these numbers, and consider using a calorie tracker that will also track macros. I use Cronometer but MyFitnessPal is also popular. Before You Go To The Grocery Store Now, before you grab your reusable bags and hit the outer isles of your chosen hunting grounds (grocery store), take inventory of your kitchen and pantry. Gather all the items that are full of sugar and carbs and get rid of them. You don't have to throw them out. If they are unopened, consider donating them to a local food pantry. If you live in the U.S. you can search for food pantries in your area here. You can also have a "Grocery Party." Basically, you let your friends know you're changing your eating habits and invite them over for a party where they can take whatever they want from the items you're getting rid of. If you want you can make it almost a grocery swap where everyone can bring items they want to get rid of that they think others may like. Okay, now your pantry and kitchen are clean and ready to be filled with delicious keto and low carb friendly foods. Let's go to the grocery store. Low Carb Grocery List We're going to split this list up into 5 categories: meats dairy vegetables fruits other For the list below we'll be using nutritional information from the USDA website. Bolded foods are easily bought in bulk, can be part of many recipes, and are great for low carb on a budget. Low Carb Meats Basically all meat. However, meats like liver can be sneaky and have hidden carbs, so be sure to check. Same with any type of sausage, bratwurst, or bacon. A lot of processed meats have added ingredients which can increase the carb content. So get real familiar with labels and always double check. Beef ground beef (the higher the fat content the better, stay away from the lean stuff) steak ribs Pork pork belly bacon salt pork (fantastic alternative to bacon, usually no sugar is added) Chicken chicken thighs chicken wings chicken breast whole chicken Fish Don't be afraid to buy frozen. Fresh fish is wonderful, but frozen fish can be a lifesaver. [something about sustainability] salmon tuna shrimp white fish (like: cod, haddock, catfish, sea bass, flounder, tilapia, trout, etc.) crab squid Other Don't overlook things like lamb, duck, or oxtail (usually found near beef). Low Carb Dairy Butter NOT margarine. Gotta be the real stuff. Margarine has added ingredients that adds carbs. Cheese There are many options for what kind of cheese to buy. Some will have trace carb counts and some will not. Cheese is a great way to get fats in, so go forth and experiment with what kind of cheese you like. Heavy whipping cream There are some carbs in heavy whipping cream, but the fat content really counters it. This item is great for baking and adding to coffee. Milk and Yogurt You will find low carb milk and yogurt substitutes in the grocery story, or brands that claim to be low carb and keto. This comes back to personal preference. Personally, I have found that the milk and yogurt aren't worth it, and generally any recipe that calls for them can easily be substituted. To not upset the Dairy Pride Act—yes, this is real legislation the U.S. Congress is considering—look under other for almond and coconut milk. Low Carb Vegetables From here on you're going to want to start looking at things like fiber content to find the net carb count—total carbs minus fiber. Also, consider foods with a lower glycemic index (GI). In layman's terms, GI refers to how slowly or how quickly a food causes your blood sugar to rise. Below are vegetables that are under 10 net carbs per 100 grams. Pro-tip: check out the frozen food sections for bagged veggies. These veggies are often already cut and prepped and can be stored longer in your freezer, and are also cost effective. alfalfa sprouts (0.2 net carbs) endive (0.3 net carbs) watercress (0.8 net carbs) collard greens (1net carbs) celery (1.2 net carbs) bok choy (1.2 net carbs) spinach (1.4 net carbs) mustard greens (1.5 net carbs) lettuce (1.6 net carbs) asparagus (1.7 net carbs) radish (1.8 net carbs) Chives (1.9 net carbs) arugula (2 net carbs) chard (2.1 net carbs) zucchini (US) (2.1 net carbs) mushrooms (actually a fungus, not a plant) (2.3 net carbs) kohlrabi (german turnip) (2.4 net carbs) daikon (2.5 net carbs) tomato (biologically a fruit, but taxed as a vegetable) (2.6 net carbs) rhubarb (2.7 net carbs) eggplant (2.8 net carbs) broccoflower (a hybrid) (2.8 net carbs) kale (2.8 net carbs) cauliflower (3 net carbs) parsley (3 net carbs) cucumber (biologically fruits, but taxed as vegetables) (3.1 net carbs) bean sprouts (3.4 net carbs) mung beans (3.4 net carbs) cabbage (3.5 net carbs) green beans (3.6 net carbs) okra (3.8 net carbs) bell pepper (3.9 net carbs) fennel (3.9 net carbs) jicama (4.1 net carbs) Jalapeño (4.2 net carbs) turnip (4.2 net carbs) broccoli (4.4 net carbs) scallion (4.7 net carbs) hubbard squash (4.8 net carbs) artichoke (5.1 net carbs) brussels sprouts (5.2 net carbs) Habanero (5.3 net carbs) spaghetti squash (5.4 net carbs) beet (US) (6.7 net carbs) carrot (6.7 net carbs) rutabaga (6.7 net carbs) bitter melon (7.2 net carbs) onions (7.3 net carbs) celeriac (7.4 net carbs) chili pepper (7.5 net carbs) acorn squash (8.9 net carbs) peas (9 net carbs) butternut squash (9.6 net carbs) The next three items have a higher net carb count, but I wanted to include because when you cook with them a little goes a long way. ginger (30.9 net carbs per 100 grams) garlic (16 net carbs per 100 grams) leeks (12.3 net carbs per 100 grams) Low Carb Fruits There are some keto'ers and low carb people who firmly believe once you're keto you can never eat fruits again. I am not one of those people. If you can fit something into your macros then you do you. Here are some of the lower carb fruits. Again, we're looking at foods that come in under 10 net carbs for a serving of 100 grams, raw. winter melons (0.1 net carbs) avocado (2 net carbs) starfruit (4.2 net carbs) olives (4.4 net carbs) strawberries (6 net carbs) coconut meat (6.2 net carbs) lemons (6.2 net carbs) watermelon (7.6 net carbs) limes (8.2 net carbs) peaches (8.5 net carbs) apricots (9 net carbs) guava (9 net carbs) papaya (9.1 net carbs) grapefruit (9.4 net carbs) oranges (9.6 net carbs) plums (9.6 net carbs) There are a few honorable mentions that, like the vegetables above, have a higher net carb count but when you cook with them a little goes a long way. dates (68.2 net carbs per 100 grams) - often dates are used as a low carb sugar substitute in baking. bananas (20.4 net carbs per 100 grams) - another fruit that often used in low carb baking. Other coconut milk (unsweetened) almond milk (unsweetened) coconut whipping cream pork rinds dark chocolate almond flour coconut flour flaxseed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.) coconut oil olive oil peanut oil (for frying) spices (but keep in mind, in large quantities spices do add carbs, so be sure to track your spices) low carb tortillas (use sparingly) coffee tea This is not the end all be all of grocery lists, but it's a good place to start. Trips to the grocery store on keto become an adventure of reading labels and discovering foods you may not have noticed before. As you continue on your low carb journey you'll find foods you like and foods you don't, and before you know it, you'll know which foods are low carb and best for your kitchen. Have fun shopping! We hope you enjoyed this list, and please tag us on Instagram @KaitandKeto during your next grocery store visit.
Low Carb Arugula Salad: A Keto Side Dish
If you frequent this website, have been following my journey on Instagram, or really just know me in any way, then you know that salad is not one of my favorite dishes. I tend to avoid it at all costs. In fact, I once very dramatically turned to a coworker and exclaimed, “WOAH, WOAH, WOAH … A smoothie is basically a blended salad?!” Then continued to drink my smoothie like a grossed-out child being forced to eat their veggies. She just laughed, agreed, and continued to drink her own smoothie. For those wondering, these were homemade smoothies we had both brought in. Mine was a low carb green smoothie. Hers was a green smoothie, but not low carb. Well, recently I came down with an awful bug that had been going around both my and Josh’s offices. Josh caught it first, then naturally passed it to me. For two weeks we were both big old babies that only drank broth and ate soup. By the time we were better we were both craving and in desperate need of some greenery in our lives. Enter me, willingly making a salad. I decided to keep it simple, and that’s how this low carb arugula salad came to be. Let me just say, as someone who literally only eats salads if they are the last thing on a menu, this keto arugula salad was delicious. It was just what I needed, this salad is crisp and full of flavor and almost has a meaty weight to it. Also, it could not be easier to make. This salad would make the perfect side dish for any dinner, from a keto side dish for a casual night in to a low carb side for a holiday dinner. The best part is since it’s such a simple recipe, you can eat it as is or dress it up more. Really make it your own. So, let’s get to the good bit, the recipe. How to make a low carb arugula salad Like I said above, this is an easy low carb salad. You only need five ingredients. Ingredients 2 cups (5oz) arugula 1 small lemon (or ½ a large lemon) 1 tbsp white wine vinegar ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste Tip I buy the arugula over in the salad section of the produce because I’m lazy. For the lemon juice, you’re aiming for about 2-2.5 tablespoons. If I’m feeling frisky, I’ll use this wild mushroom and sage olive oil we buy from a local business near our apartment. Instructions Get a large salad bowl, or whatever you mix your salad in when you make it. Juice the lemon and put the juice in the bowl. Add the vinegar and olive oil to the bowl and whisk … or just stir really well. Next, add the arugula to the bowl and toss that salad … or just mix it up. Salt and pepper to taste. Finally, mix in the parmesan, or you can use the parmesan as a garnish. I prefer just to mix it in. That’s it, easy peasy. Serve it or save it for the next day. Nutrition The above recipe makes roughly 5 servings. **NOTE** I got these numbers after putting all the ingredients we used into my calorie tracker. Be sure to add this recipe to what you use to track your macros with the brand of ingredients you use for the most accurate count. Calories: 194 Fat: 17 Net Carbs: 2 Carbs: 2 Fiber: 0 Protein: 8 #sidedish #recipe #mealprep
Low Carb Side: Coconut Kale (Laing)
When you live a low carb lifestyle you can fall into the routine of eating the same sides. Riced cauliflower, fried brussels sprouts, cauliflower "mac" and cheese, repeat. One recipe Josh and I often turn to when we want to mix up our dinners is coconut kale (also known as "lying laing"). We first discovered this recipe in the Adobo Road Cookbook. I highly recommend it. It is full of amazing Filipino recipes. The author—Marvin Gapultos—calls it "lying laing" because traditionally this side is made with taro leaves, but he swapped it out for kale in this recipe. Which was fine by us, Josh had actually never had laing (he was a picky eater as a kid), and we were not sure where to get taro leaves. So, we were open to to try this version. This is a hearty side, and any low carb vegetarian could easily find it filling on it's own. However, if you want to serve it as a low carb side dish, it pairs great with fish and other lean meats. Of course, who am I to tell you what to do, if you want to eat this hearty side with a heartier meat, you do you. How to make coconut kale (laing) Like a lot of Filipino food, you are basically making a sauce and then adding the protein to it. When we came across this recipe in the book we were excited to see that it was already pretty low carb, so the only substitution we made was for an ingredient we didn't have. The original recipe calls for shrimp stock, but we don't use shrimp stock very often, so we used chicken stock. We've found you can really sub for any kind of stock and it still tastes just as delicious. Ingredients 2 tablespoons oil (we used olive oil) 1 onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced 1–2 Thai chili peppers, split in half lengthwise with stems intact 1 tablespoon fermented shrimp paste 1 pound (500 g) kale, washed, center ribs and stems removed, leaves roughly chopped 1/2 cup (125 ml) Stock (we use chicken stock, you can also use any stock of your choice or plain water) 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coconut milk Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions You can find the full instructions in this Serious Eats post. They excerpted the recipe with permission from The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food Journey--From Food Blog, to Food Truck, and Beyond. Nutrition The above recipe makes roughly 6 servings. **NOTE** I got these numbers after putting all the ingredients we used into my calorie tracker. Be sure to add this recipe to what you use to track your macros with the brand of ingredients you use for the most accurate count. Calories: 215.1 Fat: 18.8 Net Carbs: 5.6 Carbs: 9.7 Fiber: 4.1 Protein: 5.5 #FilipinoFood #sidedish
Easy Low Carb Waffles
There are many low carb waffle recipes out there. I encourage you to try a bunch and discover which keto waffles taste the best to you. I have found some to have too much of an egg-y taste, or some to fall apart as you try and eat them. In my opinion, the Carbquik low carb waffles taste the most like what I remember waffles tasting like. However, these waffles are heavier than using traditional waffle mix. Of course, being heavy isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I tend to fill up on one or two of these waffles. For those of you who have never used Carbquik, it's a low carb flour substitute that is high in fiber and boasts having 90% fewer carbs than the "leading brands" of baking mixes. For every 32 grams (about 1/3 cup) of Carbquik you're looking at 2 net carbs. I talked about Carbquik in my Easiest Low Carb Pizza Crust recipe. I thought it was too good to be true, but I was able to stay in ketosis after using it. Granted, I would not recommend using it as part of every meal. But if you're craving something like keto waffles or low carb waffles, this recipe is definitely something you'll want to try. How to Make Low Carb Waffles with Carbquik Tools We Used: waffle iron: this is the one we have, but any waffle iron will do. a wooden or silicone spoon/spatula/single chopstick (Optional) hand mixer or immersion blender Ingredients 1 1/4 cup (120g) Carbquik 1 Extra Large Egg (56g) 1/4 cup (60g) Heavy Whipping Cream 1 tsp (4g) Vanilla Extract 1/8 cup (28g) Vegetable Oil Cooking spray Instructions Spray with cooking spray and preheat the waffle iron on a medium setting. In a small bowl beat the egg with a hand mixer until it goes from bight yellow to a much lighter/mellow yellow. (NOTE: you're incorporating air into eggs and will add the rest of ingredients to preserve air in the batter. If you're in a hurry, combine liquid ingredients and egg with an immersion blender. If you don't have any motorized mixing tools, you can beat the egg by hand with a whisk.) Slowly stir in in the cream and water. Slowly mix in the Carbquik then stir in the vanilla. Pour batter into waffle iron and cook until iron stops steaming. For us, it's roughly a cup in the center and cooking time is about 5 minutes. (NOTE: Amount to fill your waffle iron depends on make and model. Batter expands when you close the lid and when it cooks so don't fully cover the cooking surface.) Using a wood or silicone tool, carefully remove the waffle from the iron and place in the oven to keep warm as you make the next batch. (NOTE: Most waffle irons come with a nonstick coating. Using a wood or silicone tool doesn't scratch nonstick as easily as metal tools do.) Top with butter—and a low carb syrup if that's your thing—and enjoy. Want to get a little crazy? Drizzle some Performance Nut Butter on top to add just a hint of sweetness to your low carb waffles. Nutrition The above keto waffle recipe makes roughly 4 waffles using this waffle iron. Serving size will vary based on the waffle iron you use. **NOTE** I got these numbers after putting all the ingredients we used into my calorie tracker. I use Cronometer. Be sure to add this recipe to what you use to track your macros with the brand of ingredients you use for the most accurate count. Per waffle: Calories: 218 g Fat: 19.1 g Net Carbs: 2.4 g Carbs: 15.5 g Fiber: 13.1 g Protein: 7.8 g We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, we'd love to see it. Tag us on Instagram using @KaitandKeto! #recipe #breakfast
Why I Joined A Rowing League
When I was younger, I spent my summers at 4-H camps in WV. My favorite class was canoeing. Now, you could say that was because of the handsome older waterfront instructor, sure, that may be why I signed up for the class, but after the first day, I was hooked. Even when we had a new counselor take over the class the following year, I continued to take canoeing. Every summer until college. So, when my coworker emailed me about some people from my company forming a summer rowing team at Community Rowing, Inc., I jumped at the chance. I knew rowing would be different than canoeing, but hey how different could it be? (Spoilers: quite) Okay, why am I doing this? Accountability It's hard to skip the gym or workout when you're part of a team and are needed to fill a seat. If I don't show, I have to find a replacement or the other's won't be able to row. Not to mention, as our coach pointed out during our first practice, it's not about whose team is tallest or strongest, it's about whose team works the best together. If I skip out, my replacement may not mesh well with everyone. That coupled with having to pay to be on the team practically ensures I'll be there the whole time. Josh and I have friends visiting to run the Tough Mudder with Josh next week, and I've already told them that for 2 hours on Thursday I'll be at row practice. I'm getting my monies worth here. So what exactly am I getting myself into? The league consists of 5 practices, a 1k race, and a BBQ at the end for all the teams. Don't worry; I'll bring some low carb BBQ sauce and post the recipe. My Tanks and Shorts Now that I have my diet under control, I'm interested in trying a bunch of different workouts to see what works best for me. Obviously, I'd like my clothes to fit better. I'm less interested in the number on the scale and more interested in how strong I am and how my clothes fit. I took my measurements before the first practice. At 5 feet 2 inches, I currently have a waist size of 38 inches, a hip size of 46 inches, my thighs are 26 inches, and arms are 15 inches. So, in six weeks I'll check back in and see how (if at all) these numbers have changed. I know any changes I do or don't see in six weeks will depend on other factors like diet and any additional exercise I do, but this program will be a good time frame. In my update post, I will be sure to include all I've done over the six weeks food and exercise wise. Fun fact: Did you know rowing works your thighs? I figured it'd work your arms (duh - rowing) and I knew it was good cardio. I did not know your thighs were one of the muscles that got a lot of work. Our coach Coree taught us that at practice this week. INTERESTING! The Inactivity Crisis If I'm being completely honest with myself (and all of you) the fact that I recently accepted a job with a fitness organization (and also Boston generally being full of fit people) is probably playing a role in this too. Nothing motivates you to be active quite like being surrounded by people who are fit and actively trying to combat the inactivity crisis in the US. Did you know as of 2015, 80% of American adults did not meet national physical activity recommendations? I'm sure I was part of that 80% before accepting this job. So there you have it. I've joined a rowing team. Am I going to regret this? Possibly ... but that's because I'm lazy and would rather be on my couch watching SyFy not because I have any doubt about this being a fun experience. I guess we'll see in 6 weeks. Also the scenery isn't the worst. #fitness #rowing #exercise
Does Keto Really Work?
Short answer: for me it does. So what is keto? In short, it's when your body burns fat for fuel. Carbs burn fast and can cause energy crashes. Fat and protein burn slower and steadier, allowing for a steady stream of energy. There is a great Keto In A Nutshell explanation on Reddit regarding keto. Most ketoers try to stay below 25 carbs a day and get 70% of their calories from fats. Why do I keto? I grew up in West Virginia. A state that is currently tied for second place for the highest obesity rate. I was an active kid. I was a Young Marine, a part of 4-H, I ran track (6 years), played softball (3 years), and was on the swim team (3 years). Eventually, I quit sports to pick up more hours at my after-school job at the local Dairy Queen. Surprise! Eating fried chicken and french fries for dinner four to five days a week takes a bit of a toll. The pounds just crept on. By the time I got to college, I was already considered obese. Fast forward to my senior year of university, and I weighed just over 250 pounds. I tried many diets. Counting calories, Weight Watchers, soup diets, juice cleanses - nothing seemed to work for me. One day, I was taking a shower, and something as simple as shaving my legs caused me to become short of breath and light-headed. I had a breakdown. That's when Josh, my significant other, suggested I try keto. He's always been very good at being supportive and encouraging while letting me know that he'd love me no matter what. I've been lucky in that regard. Especially since Josh loves to cook, and the keto lifestyle ultimately meant changing the way we cooked. I asked what keto was, and he explained that he had seen it popping up on Reddit a lot lately. He said it was a lifestyle where you ate a high amount of fat and a low amount of carbs. He stressed there's a ratio to it, and that it would have to be "good" fats. "HOLD ON!" I said confused and in a questioning tone. You can't lose weight by eating fat. Fat is bad for you. I was scared of gaining more weight that I would struggle to lose. Josh convinced to give a week. One week to see how I felt and if it was something we could do. So, I did. My life has been different ever since. In that first week, I lost 7 lbs. That was more than I had been able to lose in the last two years of trying. I was encouraged for the first time in a long time. At the time I was working as a social media manager for the West Virginia Uncovered project through AmeriCorps. My manager knew my background was in video and suggested I start making videos in my spare time to keep my skills current. So, I started The Keto Show. In that first year, I was able to lose 50 pounds. When my year with AmeriCorps ended, I accepted a social media position in Boston. I switched into maintenance mode. Sure, I still had weight I wanted to lose, but I had also just made a major life change. Fast forward three years and I've been able to maintain the initial weight loss. Now I've accepted a new position at an organization that works with health clubs and aims to solve the inactivity crisis. This reignited my fitness journey and has pushed me out of maintenance mode. I know that keto is the best way for me to continue. In addition to keto, I've started boxing and jogging with Josh. I'll update my journey along the way. Me wrapping my hands before our boxing class.
Yankee Lobster Co. – Low Carb Friendly
My day job is in the Seaport district of Boston. About once a week I get lunch with a friend who also works in the area. We try go to new places to break up the routine of our meal preps, and it’s also a great way for me to see what restaurants in Boston have low carb and keto options. This week we went to Yankee Lobster Co., located between Blue Hills Bank Pavilion and Harpoon Brewery. It is this little hole in the wall seafood place. You walk in and they have a fresh display of seafood right at the register. A picture of the inside of Yankee Lobster Co. There are TONS of carby options for sure, but amongst all the sandwiches and fried fish I found a few low carb possibilities. I decided I would try the lobster salad. My Greek lobster salad. You have several options for type of salad. You could get Caesar, Greek, garden, etc. I chose Greek with lobster and a Greek vinaigrette. The dressing added 1 carb to my salad. The salad itself was actually pretty tasty. Also, they put a lot of lobster on top. I was pretty hesitant at first because it’s a $20 salad, but if lobster is your thing then you get a lot of bang for your buck. Other low carb options included grilled chicken and beef burgers (just ask for no bun), blackened salmon, scallops, clams and shrimp plates. However, their sides were definitely lacking. So, adding these things to a salad seemed like the best bet. Overall, if you’re in the Seaport district and you’re looking for a restaurant a little less fancy or a place you can grab and go then definitely check out Yankee Lobster Co. The staff is friendly, one of the food runners even had a mini dance party with me while I paid for my food. Yankee Lobster Co. get’s a low carb friendly stamp from us here at the Keto Show. #restaurants #lowcarb #eatingout #review
How To Go Out With Coworkers On Keto
We've all been there. The work day is almost over, and one of your coworkers asks if you want to join the group for drinks or dinner or both. Queue internal struggle over being social and building friendships vs. the ease of tracking what you make at home and knowing exactly what is in your food. Of course, you could always go and not eat or drink anything. "Just water for me, thanks," you could say as your coworker's order, and you look at your watch wondering when would be appropriate for you to go home so you can make your dinner. This is the safest course, but humans are social animals. There has to be a way to go out with coworkers or friends and not completely derail all the hard work you've done up to this point. There is. Drinks Michelob Ultra (Calories: 95, Carbs: 2.6 g, ABV: 4.2%), while at the Atlantic Beer Garden with coworkers. Drinking on keto is always tricky. Your tolerance goes way down. So know you're limit. Give yourself a number of drinks you'll have that night and stick to it. This will help you not go over your carb or calorie count as well. If you're a beer person, Daily Burn actually put together a list of beers based on the lowest carb and lowest calorie main stream options. Something that's not on the list that if you can find, is Truly. It's 100 calories, only 1 carb, 5% ABV, and I think it tastes pretty good. If liquor is your thing, you're in luck. Google low carb mixed drinks you will find many articles written about what low carb mixed drinks to order at the bar. My personal go-to is vodka on the rocks and a glass of water. bring one of those sugar free Mios or similar drink enhancers drink a little of the water pour your vodka on the rocks into the water glass mix in a few drops of the Mio Now you have a delicious low carb mixed drink. Just be careful after having a few drinks that you don't start eating everything in site, that's something I struggled with for a long time. Remember, set your limit. Food Jalapeño sausage pizza from Pastoral. Just the toppings while out with coworkers. Eating out on keto really is not something to be afraid of. You can order a grilled chicken (cobb, or steak, etc.) salad with light or no dressing, and no croutons. I'm not a huge fan of salad though. You can order grilled chicken or steak with a side of steamed veggies with butter. You can order a burger with no bun, or you can order pizza and only eat the toppings. That last one is my personal favorite, but only if it's a really meaty pizza. All the meat and cheese! Often, you'll find one of your friends or coworkers will volunteer to eat your crusts. The possibilities really are abundant. So next time you're asked to go out with your office mates or your friends, don't hesitate. Go. Foster friendships. Don't feel like keto means you can't enjoy a night out. Hopefully, this post has shown you just how easy it is to stick to keto or low carb while out and about. #eatingout #happyhour #lowcarbbeer #restaurants #tips
Fuji at Assembly - Low Carb Friendly
When you're trying to stay low carb, there are certain restaurants you tend to avoid. Two types of restaurants people often avoid are Italian and sushi places. Carbs. Carbs everywhere. The good thing about sushi places is you can always just get sashimi. That's when they slice raw meat or fish thinly and serve it with ginger and some wasabi and call it a day. Don't get me wrong; I'm all about some delicious thinly sliced fish. However, when it's $7 on average for 3 small pieces of raw fish, I'm not exactly rushing out the door. Without the rice, avocado, seaweed, and whatever else goes into sushi, to me, paying the same price or more for just the fish doesn't quite seem worth it. Well, lately I've been venturing out of my usual restaurants to prove that just because you're low carb does not mean you are locked forever into burger and steak houses. Fuji at Assembly is an adorable little place right near the AMC theater. We decided to try it before our movie. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw several low carb options mixed in with the many not low carb choices. Appetizers Spicy Sichuan Fish and the Sichuan Garlic Bacon from Fuji at Assembly We went with the Spicy Sichuan Fish ($14) and the Sichuan Garlic Bacon ($10). The spicy Sichuan fish is made of white fish simmered in a spicy broth with Chinese napa, onions, red and green peppers and tofu. Some low carbers stay away from tofu, but tofu is roughly 2 carbs per 0.5 cups so split between 2 people it's not bad. Oh, and it has a bit of kick. The soup was a lot bigger than we expected when it came out. We ended up taking a lot of it home as leftovers and enjoyed it the next day. The Sichuan Garlic Bacon is a monthly special found inside the cocktail menu. It isn't available all the time, but if you're able to get it - DO IT. It is fried pork belly, thinly sliced, wrapped around cucumbers with a garlic Sichuan sauce poured over top. Main Entrée - Wok Tossed Salt Fried Pork Belly from Fuji at Assembly As my main dish, I chose the Salt Fried Pork Belly ($16) with chives, ginger, and peppers. Like the soup, it was larger than expected when it arrived at our table. I declined the rice that came with the dish on the side, and honestly, I don't know how people would eat all of it if they were eating the rice too. The dishes were a decent size and delicious. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought the restaurant was a family style place. Even though it's not, we ended up sharing the dish. All-in-all, I'd say this place was worth it. I think I may even try and recreate a version of the salt chive pork belly for an episode of The Keto Show. If you're looking for a nice place for a date night, give this place a shot. It did appear to have some low carb cocktail options, but I wasn't drinking that night, so I cannot attest to their taste. #eatingout #restaurants #Boston #Somerville #AssemblyRow #lowcarb #review
JNJ Turo Turo - Low Carb Friendly
Contrary to what many people believe, it is really easy to go out to eat with your friends and stick to your low carb or keto lifestyle. That said, you often have to resort to bunless burgers, grilled chicken, or wings. If you're the kind of person that can eat grilled chicken and broccoli every day, all day and not want to hit your head off a table, then knowing it's bunless burgers or chicken for you isn't the worst thing. However, if you're like me and you need variety, then see if there is a Filipino restaurant near you. If you're near Boston, then I cannot recommend JNJ Turo Turo loud enough. It's actually outside of Boston in Quincy, but it's worth it. Filipino food is great to make at home to spice up your low carb recipes, but heading to a restaurant can open up a lot of items you may want to try before attempting in the kitchen. JNJ Turo Turo is a family style restaurant, meaning you get a bunch of dishes and share with your family and/or friends. Josh and I went with two of our friends and the four of us split several delicious dishes, including: Kare Kare (oxtail in a peanut sauce) Adobo Sisig Bistek Lechon Egg Rolls (for my non-low carb friends) White Rice (for my non-low carb friends) A look at my (second serving) low carb plate, kare kare (over greens), adobo (to the right), bistek next to that, and lechon next to that. The sisig is on the black pan. All of this food plus three halo halos (not pictured) ended up costing us about $80 (tip included). Reasonable deal for all the food, especially since we left fully satisfied. Now if you're thinking to yourself, those dishes are new and strange to me so I'll pass, don't. You'll be missing out on some truly delicious food. Allow me to ease your concerns. Kare Kare As mentioned above this dish involves oxtail in a peanut sauce. Careful with this as a lot of places use peanut butter and sometimes uncooked rice grains ground into a powder. Treat this as more of a treat. Adobo There are many different kinds of adobo. You can make it with chicken or pork or both cut into chunks. If you ask Josh's sister, Kat, the only real adobo is made with vinegar, but there are adobos out there made with coconut milk. Bistek When I think of my childhood I think of my mom making enchiladas and putting me on quesadilla duty, Josh, he thinks of his dad making bistek. Bistek is basically just thinly sliced skirt or sirloin steak, some lime juice, a little soy sauce, and onions. Sisig Sisig is another pork dish, made from parts of the pig's head and liver. The meat is marinated in lemon juice and/or vinegar then goes through a process of boiling, broiling, and pan-frying. Lechon Lechon is pork-belly that is crispy from deep frying. Simple enough. So the next time you and your friends are trying to decide on a place to go, try going to your local Filipino restaurant. For those in the Boston area, I recommend Turo Turo as a low carb friendly restaurant. #restaurants