How to Prepare For the Week on a 'Keto' Lifesytyle
This week alone, I had 5+ people ask me what my Sunday food prep looks like when eating a high-fat lifestyle (AKA: Keto or LCHF) and what a day's worth of meals looks like for me.
I think this is such an important topic to write about as so many people want to know what this lifestyle truly looks like on a daily/weekly basis.
* One thing to note:* I don't call what I am currently doing 'Keto' being that I am not actively trying to be in the metabolic state of ketosis (which you can read more about here) while pregnant. Pre-pregnancy, I did aim for ketosis daily and ate around 50g carbs + 25-30g fiber daily. The below food prep/meals can be adjusted for your own goals or just because you love the high-fat lifestyle and health benefits it brings!
I DO eat what is considered by most a nutrient-dense 'ketogenic' nutritional style and this is based on many factors:
It's my preferred eating style based on foods I love
I have never FELT better in my life
I am always satiated and rarely hungry
My energy, even during pregnancy, is through the roof and has been for months even before pregnancy
My sleep is incredible (and you all know how important my sleep is!)
My hormones are balanced (I conceived while on 'keto' and have avoided all of the typical hormonal symptoms of pregnancy)
My performance in the gym has vastly improved!
My health markers are incredible: from thyroid function to pre-pregnancy estrogen/progesterone levels to good cholesterol and beyond
That being said, let's chat about my Sunday prep.
I do VERY LITTLE prep these days. That's because I don't do meal plans. Why? Meal plans are a means to an end - a way to get to 'X Goal' without teaching people how to truly live a healthy life intuitively and flexibly. BUT - I STILL prep foods on Sundays to keep in the fridge simply because of our busy lifestyle.
I work full time in the corporate world and there are days I am on calls for hours on end. If I was not prepped, life would get difficult fast! Those of you who have to commute to an office, you may choose to do some 'meal prep' simply for times sake and this I can understand.
-> Here is what I prepare (NOTE: this will change week to week based on various proteins or veggies I want to incorporate and won't always include all of the below):
Spirliazed Zucchini Noodles:
Aka: Zoodles - I use this Spiralizer and place in a sealed container in the fridge
Keeps for 7 days
Cooked Spaghetti Squash
Sliced in half, seeds/guts scooped out, placed flesh down on cookie sheet and baked @400 degrees for 25 minutes (small) or 30 minues (large) al dente and removed with a fork and placed in container
Keeps for 7 days
I don't buy this frozen when I can save $3 and buy the whole head and pop it in to a food processor. You can also use for mashed cauli
Chop the florets from head and place in Ninja or food processor. Place in air tight container
Keeps for 5-6 days
For quick roasting with some pastured bacon and ghee
I just chop the florets from the head and place in an air tight container
Keeps for 5-6 days!
Browned Grassfed Ground Beef:
Simple - just brown and put in air tight glass container
Keeps for 5 days
Pork Shoulder or tenderloin
I literally throw in the crockpot with sea salt, pepper and a little coconut aminos and let cook on low 8 hours. Shred with forks and viola!
Keeps for 5 days
Grilled or Baked Pastured Chicken Thighs:
Lightly sea salt/pepper and bake @400 for 35 minutes or grill 8 minutes per side on medium-high heat and place in air tight glass container
Keeps for 5-6 days
Full-Fat Organic Coconut Milk:
I buy organic canned coconut milk and a lot of the time, have to blend it to smooth it out
I use this for coffee creamer, in my grain-free hot cereal, in my green shakes, to make treats, to cook curry in, etc. so I LOVE to keep it on hand ready to go!
Homemade Dairy-Free Ranch:
Whisk and keep in a mason jar for up to a week in fridge
Homemade 'Fat Bombs'
84 grams coconut oil + 5g extra dark cocoa powder + 1 Stevia, melt and pour in to 12 cupcake liners and put in freezer for 10 min
10g organic peanut, almond, cashew, coconut or pecan butter in each
84 more grams coconut oil + 5g extra dark cocoa powder + 1 Stevia, melt and pour in to 12 cupcake liners and put in freezer for storage (dont need to cover but can if you want)
Great for pre-workout or when hungry but not starving for something high-fat that will keep you satiated
Keeps in freezer for a week!
The above takes ALL of an hour aside from the pork in the crockpot. It's SO easy to be prepared for your week! Below I will outline some other items to keep on-hand in your house as well as what you can prep with these simple, nutrient-dense foods.
2. Other Items to Have on Hand
I am all about convenience but not at the sake of nutrient-dense foods. Luckily, there are TONS of minimally processed foods out there that are well sourced, choc-full of nutrients and easy to grab. These are all staples in my house for easy meal creations:
Tons of Veggies
Bags of organic Kale for sautees or green shakes
Bags of organic Romaine or Spinach
Avocados (even though they are a fruit - cannot live without!)
ALL the herbs! Dill, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage - you name it!
Grassfed Butter and Grassfed Organic Ghee
Cooking (and coffee) staples!
Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil
Nuts and Nut Butter
Use moderation here but I love me some organic almond or cashew butter and LOVE all kinds of nuts - especially pistachios!
Mayos and Aioli
Can also make homeade which is fun!
Great for salads, cooking etc!
I love to make mine homemade but in a pinch, natural grocery chains carry some high quality ones!
Grassfed organic Cheese (IF you can handle dairy - I cannot tolerate much)
Can find even in local grocery stores though natural stores typically have best selection
Kite Hill Artisan Almond Milk 'Cheeses' and Yogurts
Since I don't tolerate dairy and most yogurts are full of sugar (this one is not!) these are PERFECT!
I buy the Almond Milk Cream Cheese and the Almond Milk Plain Unsweetened Yogurt. Great for cooking or on their own!
ALWAYS! I either buy from a local farm or at a natural grocer
You can also source on delivery services like Butcher Box
Step 3 Organic Chicken Sausage
Brat Hans (found at Whole Foods) is my favorite brand! It literally only contains organic, humanely raised chicken, veggies and spices!
Grassfed Steaks and Roasts
Again you can source from a local farm and keep in fridge or freezer or order from Butcher Box or another locally sourced delivery service!
Wildway Grain Free Hot Cereal
Obsessed with this one for my morning meal with some grassfed butter and full-fat coconut milk!
I just order on Amazon!
3. A Day's Worth of Easy Meals in under 10 minutes each
(Yes - these are all my recipes and a day's worth of my own meals....for real)
From top left counter-clockwise:
Wildway Hot Cereal with about 10g grassfed butter and 1/4 cup. coconut milk
Pour 3/4 c. hot water and 10g grassfed butter in to bowl, stir in coconut milk.
Not pictured: ALWAYS a cup of coffee with 5g ghee and 2 TBS full-fat coconut milk
Done in under 5 minutes!
Spaghetti Squash Scramble
2 slices pastured bacon chopped and sauteed in about 3g ghee or coconut oil. Add pre-cooked spaghetti squash (around 7-8oz), sea salt/pepper and fresh thyme. Top with 2 pastuered eggs, 1/2 avocado, a TBS of lemon aioli and some habenero sauce
Done in 5 minutes!
Chicken Bacon Ranch over Zoodles
1 piece chopped pastured bacon cooked in pan with 1 tsp ghee + 5-6oz zoodles cooked 1-2 min until soft. Add in 3oz sliced psatured chicken thighs, sea salt and pepper. Put in bowl and top with 1/2 avocado and 1 TBS of homemade dairy-free ranch
Done in 5 minutes! Can also use microwave if in pinch for the zoodles and chicken and skip the bacon or have some pre-baked in the fridge
3p (if hungry):
Homemade Fat Bomb!
430p Pre-Workout Meal:
2 pastured eggs (cooked in a circular egg cooker) + 1 slice Applegate organic canadian bacon + 1/4 avocado
Done in under 5 min and can eat on the go!
ALWAYS Something Different - Photo is Grassfed Steak + Broiled Asparagus with Bacon
Turn oven on to high-broil. Melt some grassfed butter (around 10g) in a cast iron pan on med-high heat. Place grassfed steaks on to sear about 1 min each side. Place pan in oven for 2 minutes. Flip steaks and place back in another 2 minutes. Remove and drizzle with grassfed butter thats been mixed with fresh rosemary and thyme. Serve with asparagus thats been broiled with salt and pepper (pictured is asparagus broiled with pastured bacon)
Done in less than 10 min!
Macronutrients for todays meals = 105g Protein/52g Carbs/25g Fiber/150g Fat
**Note: Macronutrients are PERSONAL and will vary by person and goal. Currently, mine is to get in enough of the right nutrients and eat 2,000-2,100 calories a day.
4. Some other quick and easy meal ideas
Kale and Sausage breakfast bake
So easy - 12 pastured eggs whisked with 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk, salt, pepper, a little hot sauce, 1lb cooked organic or pastured ground sausage and 3-5oz chopped kale. Pour in to sprayed glass baking dish and bake 40 min at 400 degrees
Make ahead for the week!
Sauteed Kale and Bacon with Grassfed Beef
Pop some grassfed ghee in a pan, sautee up a slice of pastured bacon, handful of kale, add in pre cooked ground beef, salt/pepper and top with some fermented organic sauerkraut
Done in less than 5 min!
1 cup frozen cauli, 1/4 c. coconut milk, 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk, 1 scoop protein powder (I use Paleo Pro's grassfed egg/beef protein), 1 packet stevia - blend and pour in bowl and top with things like flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, melted coconut oil/stevia/dark cocoa powder that hardens on cold substances, dark chocolate bar pieces, fresh coconut, nut butter, etc
Done in less than 5 min!
1 cup frozen cauli, 1/4c. coconut milk, 1/2 c. unsweetened cashew milk, 1 scoop Paleo Pro protein powder, 1 TBS chia seeds, 2oz kale, 2oz spinach, 1 oz avocado, 10g almond butter, packet stevia, 1 drop each lemon and orange essential oil. Blend and enjoy!
Done in less than 5 min! This also keeps well to prep and bring to work in a mason jar!
Big Fat Salad:
Throw everything in! These are easy to make and take too!
I put in chopped pre-made chicken thighs, hardboiled pastured egg, chopped pastured bacon, pistachios, organic olives and homemade dairy-free ranch!
Done in less than 5 min!
Broiled Herb Butter Salmon and Brussels
Put salmon in a cast iron or glass pan. Melt grassfed butter or ghee with some fresh rosemary and pour over. Broil 12 minutes on high. Serve with roasted brussel sprouts/pastured bacon/coconut oil and salt pepper in a 400 degree oven for 30 min.
Done in under 30 min!
Simple and delish! You can also pre-prep the crust in advance and put in freezer!
Roast a head of cauli and pop in a food processor with about 1/3 c. unsweetened cashew milk, 1 pastured egg and some Italian seasoning (can also use some organic cheese if you tolerate dairy). Spread out on parchment on a cookie sheet and bake 20 min at 375. Top with desired toppings like pesto, olives, chicken thighs, Brat Hans sausage, sun dried tomatoes, etc. and place back in the oven on broil until crispy!
Done in less than 30 min (if you hvae pre-roasted cauli....can also default to microwaving cauli if short on time.)
I have SO Many more quick and easy recipes you can find on my IG @tnutritionista303 that I post weekly.
This lifestyle or any nutrition lifestyle doesn't require a ton of time, ingredients or headaches to prepare. As long as you invest a small amount of time in to some preparation before your week starts, you will have all the tools you need to embark upon and sustain a nutrient-dense, high-fat lifestyle with all the perks!
Happy and Healthy Cooking!