The Imperfect Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies

Remember my Poppy Seed Cakes recipe that almost turn out to be a disaster but I somehow managed to save it by switching gears and turning a roulade into a cupcake like treat? Well, it sort of happened again this weekend. Even though that initial Poppy Seed Cake recipe almost ended up in the garbage bin I really liked how the final product tasted so I reused the almond flour batter to make some cookies. Surprise, surprise they also almost did not materialize. I guess I have a knack for pulling recipes out of a fire when they flop 🙂 

I won’t bore you with a big write up about how these almost did not come to be, instead I leave you with the recipe, some pictures and a video that explains it all. I will say, even though I was quite apprehensive to put my voice into the video, I enjoyed the process and hope you enjoyed listening to my cookie story at least half as much. It was not easy to put myself out there for everybody to judge. But hey, nobody’s perfect, least of all me and my recipes.  

You really won’t need much for this cookie – if you are worried about the 2 ingredients that might not be readily available at your local grocery store you can skip them – I’m starting to think they might have been the reason why this cookie almost flopped. 

The Imperfect Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 14
  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 20
  • Saturated fat: 10
  • Unsaturated fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 9
  • Sugar: 2
  • Sodium: 33
  • Fiber: 5
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 44
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The cookie that almost wasn't meant to be...
Ingredients
  • 150g Almond flour
  • 120g Coconut flour
  • 20g Lucuma powder (can skip if unavailable)
  • 20g Sacha Inchi powder (also can skip)
  • 115g melted unsalted Butter
  • 50g melted Coconut oil
  • 50g 90% Dark Lindt Chocolate
  • 2 Eggs
  • Leftover nut butter of choice
  • Almond and Vanilla extracts
  • Sweetener of choice - I used Erythritol
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients, making sure to get rid of any lumps.
  2. Add eggs, extracts, butter and coconut oil and mix well.
  3. Do not forget to sweeten your batter, otherwise it will taste more like a cracker than a cookie, which wouldn't totally ruin it, but people will laugh at you if you still call it a cookie.
  4. If you wish you can put the chocolate chips and nut butter into the batter like I ended up doing in the end or you can attempt to fill the inside of the cookies with each. I can spare you the frustration - it won't work, so you might as well just integrate all the ingredients in the batter.
  5. Form cookies and put in the over at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.

 

 

 

I found my calling

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or following my social media posts, you know that my most notable obsession is making and devouring pancakes. However, they come at a certain price for me – guilt for having indulged is something sweet. There is a certain pleasure in eating my pancakes: they are sweet, fluffy and featuring an array of toppings. I top them with nuts, nut butters, chocolate ganache, coconut purée, coconut flakes, pieces of chocolate, not to mention mounds of cinnamon finished with a crunchy, sweet layer of erythritol. You get the picture… This does not instill any amount of self control in me, I always want more once my pancake is gone. But I promised myself to tone it down, because I want to wean myself off the sweet dependency and be able to taste and enjoy the food’s natural flavour, not some artificially made sweetness.

Like anybody out there I want to have my cake and eat it too, but in my case it’s a pancake: I don’t care for cakes that much. Funny thing, I figured out a way to have it and eat it too – without resorting to any gimmicks, tricks, secrets or other questionable ways – without the guilt of eating a treat. How? I turned my sweet pancake into a savoury dish! Voilà! I’m eating a pancake at least twice a day and it’s not rising my insulin levels or my cravings. Let me introduce to you my one and only Basic Savoury Pancake aka a Wrap.   

 

Basic Savoury Pancake
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1
  • Serving size: 1 pancake
  • Calories: 94
  • Fat: 1
  • Carbohydrates: 1
  • Protein: 19
Recipe type: Wrap
Cuisine: Low-carb
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a game changer for me: no more cravings after having my pancake!
Ingredients
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • ½ scoop of Pea Protein Powder
  • Spices
  • ⅓ cup Milk
Instructions
  1. Whip egg whites on high until slightly stiff
  2. Add pea protein powder and spices and mix until integrated.
  3. Add enough milk of choice for the batter to become quite runny for a pancake that can be swooshed around in the pan for a larger surface
Notes
NOTE 1: I opt for using egg white but you can just as successfully use whole eggs. The reason why I am using egg whites is because I like to add fat in the form of avocado, nuts and nut butters. So in essence I am saving my fat macros from the pancake and adding them back in my toppings.

NOTE 2: I am experimenting with different sources of protein lately. Inspired by one of the Arnold Classic competitors I am giving meat a bit of a rest and replacing it with vegetarian options. I still like meat and I am not turning vegetarian or vegan at all, just experimenting with different options. Somebody once asked me if vegans/vegetarians can follow a ketogenic diet and I never did find out, other than googling and getting mixed messages. So, here I am spreading my wings: my choice of protein for this pancake apart from egg white is Pea Protein Powder.

NOTE 3: You can use any milk you wish, I opted for unsweetened Almond Milk. You can add as much or as little as you wish. Thicker batter with not spread very easily on your pan, whereas with a thinner batter (which you will achieve by adding enough milk) you will be able to spread and achieve a larger, more foldable pancake that you can use as a wrap if you wish.

When I first attempted this creation I was a bit sceptical as to how filling this bad boy was going to be, mostly because I’m only using 2 egg whites, so volume-wise it does not seem like a whole lot of food. My regular sweet pancake calls for 250ml of egg whites – so visually, when I start whipping up my egg whites the volume seems incredible – and truth be told my sweet Basic Coconut Pancake is rather large. But I decided to switch things up a little bit for my savoury equivalent. The reason for this is simple – I wanted to concentrate more on the toppings for the savoury pancake rather than use up all my macros in the pancake (that’s also why I opted for egg whites in the batter, rather than whole eggs – I wanted those fats on top). And my toppings for the savoury pancake made the whole dish quite satiating.

And toppings is where it’s at, my lovely readers! The possibilities are endless – let your imagination run wild! Same as being able to switch up the flavour of the pancake by playing with the spices, you can top the pancake with different things every time you make it. The pancake is quite malleable when you thin out the batter enough, so it’s perfect for lunches in place of a traditional store bought wrap – you can stuff it with anything you desire. And, did I say it takes literally no time to put it together? Well, it’s true, you can make it in under 5 minutes!

This was my very first Savoury Pancake I made and it came out much thicker because I did not dilute the batter as much – it was quite yummy! Toppings include caramelized red onions and walnuts and some sautéed shrimp for added protein.

 

Second attempt came out just as good and at that point I was hooked! This time I made the batter slightly thinner which allowed for the pancake to be folded – now that I think of it, these could very easily be turned into quesadilla style wraps! Anybody up for chicken quesadillas? Oh, the possibilities! I served this one with mushrooms, onions, avocado and walnuts and a side of baby spinach topped with grated beets in home made simple vinaigrette.

 

It was that good!

And as tradition would have it I put together a quick video to show you it really isn’t that difficult or time consuming to cook from scratch:

 

So what’s my calling? I think I’d be perfectly OK to be the Pancake Lady until I’m old and wrinkled 🙂

Breaded Pork Chops the LCHF way

A staple meal in my mother’s kitchen when I was growing up was breaded boneless pork chops and boiled potatoes. And it wasn’t happening just in my mother’s kitchen –  early Sunday afternoon you could hear the reverberation of the meat mallets pounding the pork chops in perfect unison. It was like in a Swiss clock – at 12PM – all the women took to their kitchens to cook breaded pork chops for their families.

Part of me really misses this tradition, part of me really misses the taste of the grease from the bottom of the pan drizzled all over my boiled potatoes. It was so simple, yet so satisfying that we would fight for the drippings from the pan and if there were any extra chops left, you know they would not last long and would never make it into the fridge for later consumption. Somebody would always sneak into the kitchen to grab the last one when everybody else retired to their respective bedrooms.

Today, I won’t even come close to breadcrumbs – I tried in the past, only to get really disappointed by the amount of grease that bread crumbs can absorb. And as you probably gathered by now, bread and flour does not belong in my WOE these days. In fact I haven’t had bread in years. But does it mean that I can never again have my childhood favorite meal?

Well, you know I found a way to have my Breaded Pork Chops and eat them too. Only my Pork Chops do not include heavy coatings of bread crumbs and flour – they are light as a feather 🙂

Pork is said to be the other white meat, especially pork tenderloin. This cut is pretty lean, so I didn’t mind using quite a bit of butter to fry my chops. The butter added some very needed flavour and moisture to my chops.

 

To tenderize the pork chops I used a simple meat mallet, I wrapped the individual chops in some plastic wrap to prevent splattering meat juices and bits of it all over my kitchen and gave it a good whack with the mallet on both sides. You can see the indentations of the mallet all over the meat. I then seasoned the chops with salt and pepper and voilà it’s prepped and ready to go.

 

Now for the messy part : my “breading mix” is composed of 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast, 1Tbs of Coconut Flour, 3Tbs of unsweetened Coconut Flakes and some more salt and pepper. You could easily incorporate some other spices like paprika, cumin, turmeric, etc. As usual, every time you make this, you can turn this into 10+ different variations of the same meal by playing with the spices. And for the wet ingredients I used 2 eggs (you will need more or less depending how many chops you’re working with).  The technique here is to dip your chop in the egg wash on both sides and then place it in the dry mix, flip and coat the other side. You can repeat this twice if you feel that your chop is not sufficiently covered. I only coated once, as you can always sprinkle some of the dry mix on the spots that did not coat properly.

 

And here is the assembled meal – the pork chop looks very much the same way as what I was used to having as a child, but the rest of my plate looks nothing like the pile of boiled potatoes. Notice that I kept the drippings of butter from the bottom of my pan and drizzled them all over, it’s that yummy.

 

I replaced the starchy potatoes with fried lime fennel, side of caramelized mushrooms and some sliced radish. It was perfectly satisfying and I did not feel like I needed to lie down after consuming it.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here you have it – you may consider this another instalment of “How will I live without _______ (fill in the blank) on a LCHF diet?” – this time a perfectly breaded porkchop without the unnecessary carbage. You can enjoy the delicious breaded pork chops and not worry about the carb content in your meal – there is some carbs in coconut flour, but the amount is truly insignificant when looking at how much actually adheres to each chop. Note : that I had 5 chops and did not use up all of my “breading” mix.

 

 

 

Sumac Pork Chops in Pesto Sauce

This post has been written sometime during the morning hours of Christmas vacation that I enjoyed at home this year – a rarity in the fast paced life of a workforce gal. I’ve been feeling very inspired this Christmas to write at the expense of my gym visits, but that’s OK, because I ended up with a string of posts that I was going to start posting in weekly instalments come January 2017. But this one must come early as a token of appreciation for having received the most touching compliments already.

When you embrace the fat on your plate you will quickly realize that it doesn’t take much food to satiate you. It takes time though to switch your thinking from I must fill up the plate to the brim to it’s OK to see the bottom of the plate. We’ve been programmed to believe that if we don’t have enough to eat, we might die of starvation before the next meal. However, the truth of the matter is that it would take us much longer than the meager 2-3 hours in between meals (that most people allow between meals) to starve to death. Most of us carry enough body fat to fuel themselves for quite a bit before we’d die….

So this is what I endeavour to make my plates look like, unless, of course I’m making a big bowl of salad 🙂

This is a very simple meal that packs on tons of nutrients and will satisfy the hungriest among us. I know because I fed it to a very hungry meal tester only to see a wide smile on his face when he was done.

 

Sumac Pork Chops
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: LCHF
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Fat loaded, grain and sugar free dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 large Pork Chop (bone in)
  • Himalayan Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • Dash of Smoked Paprika, Onion and Garlic Powder
  • Generous Coating of Sumac
  • 1 Tbs of Coconut Oil or Butter
Instructions
  1. Coat the chop with all the spices and let sit for about 5 minutes while you prep your frying pan.
  2. Turn on the burner at medium heat and let the Coconut Oil or Butter melt in the frying pan.
  3. Place the chop in the frying pan - it's important that the frying pan be hot in order to get a nice browning on your chop. You'll hear it sizzle when it touches the pan - that's a sign the pan was hot enough.
  4. Let it cook on one side for 5-10 minutes before flipping it to the other side.
  5. Once browned flip and let cook on the other side.
Notes
The only way to screw this one up is by constantly poking at the meat in the frying pan. The most important thing to remember is to leave it alone - once you place it in the frying pan, let it cook. If you keep moving it around it will not develop a nice crunchy exterior. Leave it alone and you will be amazed at the flavour and texture. Only flip once.

This goes pretty much for any meat you are preparing this way, if you want a nice crispy exterior let it develop it by keeping away.

Of course, you have to be vigilant not to let it cook for too long or your meat with burn 😉

 
Quick and easy sauce/dressing that has a million and one applications and can spice up any meal, from an unsuspecting salad to a juicy steak.

 

For this meal to be LCHF there is no starch on the plate. Instead, I decided to up the fat content by adding 1/2 an avocado to the plate and generously coat the chop in my own pesto sauce. And since I had some of my roasted grape tomatoes left I added them to this meal for splash of colour and flavour. I should mention that I don’t do anything special with the avocado – I splash some lemon juice on it, sprinkle with salt, pepper and chilli powder. I like to taste the avocado rather than cover it up in other flavours and the best way of achieving it is by leaving it as is with minimal spices.

 

 

 

 

 

We tend to be so busy with life, work, house chores and other responsibilities that we forget to unwind and enjoy our meals. Many times food is just simply inhaled when it should be savoured. When I offered this meal for consumption I’m pretty sure that the presentation made a huge difference in the experience of eating. Maybe, just maybe, for some of us the presentation will make us slow down a notch and eat with more care, as if though it was a delicate piece of art that needed not be disturbed, as if though eating it with purpose was able to preserve the integrity of the art even after it’s been consumed.

This is important not only for the experience of eating and savouring the flavours but also for our brains to have  the time to release hormones –  the little messengers telling our body to feel satiated. If you slow down you will also notice that the empty spaces on your plate are not that big of a deal either.

Ps. Day one with no sweeteners was a success – I stayed away from my liquid stevia even at night! It is a transition though, because after my evening meal I still felt like I needed a dessert. So I reached for my favorite fat source – Pure-Creamed-Coconut – added a pinch of unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla, mixed it all together and had my way with it. Normally I would add a generous splash of stevia in this concoction, but not last night – I let the natural sweetness of  coconut be enough and it was. I also noticed that without the overpowering sweetness of stevia I didn’t feel like eating the whole package in one go. So, my theory on eating more than necessary to satiate when using sweeteners is already coming true.

Measuring progress

In my previous post I told you about some of the physical, emotional and mental effects of eating a diet that is high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. This can be very subjective and one could argue that they experience the same without having to lower their carb consumption. If that’s you, more power to you – I’m not here to change everybody’s WOE. I’m here to show you what works for me.

Aside from the feel good aspects of this diet I am also experiencing more tangible and measurable effects of having reduced my carb intake to about 30-50g a day and increasing my fat consumption. I’ve started measuring the production of ketones in my body. What are ketones you ask? Let me explain…

When you switch your fuel from carbohydrates to fat by consuming below 50g of carbohydrates per day and increasing your intake of fat to meet your expenditure goals, your body will no longer have the ability to breakdown carbs to create glucose for energy. Instead, your body will start breaking down fats for energy and the byproduct of this breakdown is what’s called ketone bodies. There are 3 ways of measuring your ketone production:

Urine Ketone Strips ( measure acetoacetate )
Blood Ketone Monitor (measures beta-bydroxybutryate (BHB))
Breath Ketone Analyser (Ketonix) (measures acetone which is made from a breakdown of acetoacetate)

Urine Ketone Strips in my experience have proven useless as they barely registered any ketones in my urine at all. I only started using them about 2 months into my diet and there is a possibility that if I had used them at an earlier stage of my ketosis I might have been able to register some ketone production. The reason for this is the fact that the type of ketones (acetoacetate) that one can measure in urine are the ones that the body has no need for so it excretes them – so called  “wasted” ketones. In other words, if ones diet is extremely high in fat and the body breaks down that fat to produce ketones some of them will be used by the body for brain function and energy, but if there is too much of them (ie. more than needed to fuel your body) they will be eliminated via urine. Moreover, if one has been following the LCFH diet for an extended period of time the body becomes very efficient at using its ketones and does not have an abundance of “wasted ketones” to release. Hence, my poor results with measuring urine ketones.

Blood Ketone Monitor has given me a better result as I have registered 0.6 mmol/L of blood ketones. However, I am not able to do any type of analysis of my blood ketones because I’ve only measured one time so far. The trouble with measuring blood ketones is that, while it is the gold standard for accurately measuring ketone levels, it is also the most expensive. Or maybe we are seeing some sort of cause and effect here – because it is a gold standard it is also the most expensive (after all Big Pharma is after your money). The monitor itself is not very expensive, in fact if you live in Canada most manufacturers will send it to you for free (I got mine free from Abbott), but what will drain your wallet if you want to measure regularly are the strips. The cheapest I have been able to find them was on Well.ca  – a box of 10 will run you 25.99$ + economy shipping of 5.95$ or express shipping of 14.99$ (free shipping only starts at 29$) – so one test will cost you 3.30$. Helpful hint to save money is to buy 2 in one order and you will shave off the cost of shipping and one test goes down to 2.59$ – still pretty steep. So personally I will not be measuring blood ketones regularly, but only at times when I know I have been 100% adherent to the diet and have not been using any sweeteners in my food. But here is my result:

This is my one and only ketone and glucose measurement to date. As you can see from the picture below, the ketone reading of 0.6mmol/L puts me just at the start of nutritional ketosis.

 

 

This is the blood ketone range – the Nutritional Ketosis starts at about 0.5 mmol/L, it’s followed by Optimal Ketosis and Post-Exercise Ketosis. Starvation Ketosis and Ketoacidosis are not desirable. The former because the purpose of this WOE is not to starve but to eat to satiety and the latter only matters for those who along with high ketone levels have high blood glucose level due to unstable insulin levels (usually Type 1 diabetics)

Breath Ketone Analyser aka Ketonix has just arrived as an early Christmas gift from my partner in crime, so we started blowing right away. This device measures breath acetone and has a slightly different range than blood ketones and does not seem to correspond closely to the levels of blood ketones. As you can imagine, since the initial cost of the device is the only cost associated with this method, I’ve done quite a few tests already. The results have been all over the map, I’ve gotten readings between 4-14ppm which I am very happy with, to say the least. The highest readings have consistently been recorded after my morning workout which includes 45-60 minutes on a bike and 60 minutes weight training and the lowest readings happened at the end of the day.

These are the ranges of Ketone readings for a Ketonix as defined by the maker of this device. Nutritional Ketosis according to “Measuring Breath Acetone for Monitoring Fat Loss: Review“ by Joseph C. Anderson (Obesity (2015) 23, 2327–2334. doi:10.1002/oby.21242 ) is between 4-30ppm.
This is a reading of my ketones that was taken sometime in the afternoon. While I have seen people display their own readings that were much higher than this (going into the red zone) I believe that this is a pretty decent reading. I don’t subscribe to chasing the ketones and trying to achieve the highest reading possible. After all, you want your body to be utilising them, not producing an overabundance of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today 3-4 hours after a morning fasted workout the reading shows above 12ppm.

 

And this is a snapshot of my ketone readings so far. As you can see it seems to be all over the place, hitting low and high notes depending on my activity level and how much fat I am consuming.

Up until now I didn’t have any tangible results other than feeling physically, mentally and emotionally better than I have ever felt during my high-carb days – I couldn’t really tell if I was doing this right. These ketone numbers – even though many would argue are completely unnecessary – do give me some sort of validation. Both, myself and my partner are in it knee deep and once we started measuring ketones we’ve entered into a  “ketone competition” with each other where we both want to outdo the other person. While the competition is very innocent I do think it is a healthy competition to have because the bottom line is, each of us wants to eat optimally for this WOE and what can be better than two people making sure they eat well so that they can be healthier than the other one? If you ask me, this is an ultimate thing in any relationship, since usually couples tend to trip each other up rather than be the motivating force for each other.

From Farm to Table to Plate

If you remember my quick post about produce – From Farm to Table – you might be wondering how I use those precious Farm finds, or maybe not. Maybe your culinary genius has already created some scrumptious dishes with the produce you have acquired at your local farm. Whatever the case may be here is what I use my carrots and beets for:

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This is a sample lunch that consists of 2 poached eggs with a blob of home made mayo and a ton of vegetables including grated carrot and beet mix with a simple vinaigrette….

 

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I always cook in big batches, so as you can imagine the batch of grated carrots and beets makes its appearance in several dishes in the following days… It did so for this supper dish, this time accompanied by roasted broccoli, green beans and a handful of kale leaves drizzled with my avocado dressing…

This is nothing spectacular but when you “limit” yourself to fresh, natural food items you will realize that there is not much you need to do to your food to make it taste delicious. 

I quickly peeled a bunch of beets and carrots and grated them in my 12 cup food processor – it literally took me 5 minutes. I transferred the grated mix into a large plastic container and put it in the fridge. In the meantime in a smaller food processor I put the following for the dressing:

  •  1/4 cup Avocado Oil or light Olive Oil
  •  1/4 cup Grace Organic Coconut Vinegar (you can use any type of vinegar you have, lemon juice will work as well)
  • 1tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 5-6 cloves of roasted or fresh Garlic

Process everything on high and transfer into a jar for storing in the fridge. When you are ready to serve your meal scoop out as much of the carrot and beet mix as desired, pour some of your dressing over it and let sit for 5-10 minutes – for the vegetables to absorb some of the dressing goodness – and you are set. This is so simple, yet extremely satisfying. 

You might have noticed that I have been trying to lean towards a fat centric diet lately – that’s because I feel best when fueled with fat as opposed to carbs. It also has to do with the recent reemergence of some startling news about how the sugar industry created false evidence that dietary fat is the bad guy rather than sugar.

In short the sugar industry knew all along that consumption of sugar should be minimal, but they did not want this to come out in public so they paid the equivalent of today’s 50k to some University scientists to fudge the data and point the finger at dietary fat and hence the fat phobia era had began. Since then just about every packaged product started displaying in bold letters “low-fat” or “no fat” making people believe that it is a good choice since everybody “knew” that fat was the enemy and should be avoided. However, nobody really questioned what the food manufacturers replaced the fat with, because let’s face it, if you remove the yummy stuff (aka fat) you end up with food products that taste like cardboard. Nobody was really concerned with this question, because all they knew was that the bad stuff has been removed so whatever remained was OK to eat. But we know now that the replacement – sugar – is far more dangerous to our health than a bit of healthy fat.

The truth of the matter is that when fat is removed it is in 99% of cases replaced with some form of sugar. Today we know that it’s the cane sugar that is responsible for most of the ills of the world, so people in the know – scientists such as Robert Lustig, David Ludwig, Gary Taubes, John Yudkin, Tim Noakes, David Perlmutter  and many others – are trying to teach about the importance of switching from carb-high diet to high-fat diet that is very low in starch in order to live long, healthy lives. Just Google William Banting to find out how it all started.   

So a natural progression for my browsing habits is to seek out information on a Ketogenic WOE – I’ve even joined several Facebook Groups that focus on using fat as fuel and eliminating starchy carbohydrates from ones diet in order to achieve a ketogenic state. I will admit that some of these groups, IMHO do not recognize that calories still matter and people in these groups go overboard with fat consumption which really doesn’t help with attaining the goal of bodily fat loss. Very few and far between actually understand that if you carry a lot of fat on your body your goal should not be to douse every meal in tons of fat, because the excess will still be deposited as body fat regardless of whether or not its consumption is accompanied by carbohydrates – total calories still matter with this dietary approach. Now, there are a couple of groups that promote fat-centric diets but also promote adherence to macro oriented eating and monitoring calorie uptake. However, one of these groups that I really enjoyed visiting also goes the other extreme way where natural foods such as carrots and beets are deemed unacceptable because they contain fructose….

Yes, all vegetables will contain a certain level of fructose (it’s more obvious for fruits) but they are also accompanied by fibre, vitamins and minerals that will make the consumption of such fructose acceptable, at least in my books. However, certain proponents of the Ketogenic Diet shun everything that contains fructose, unless it’s less than 1g per 100g  – if you are interested in exploring the different levels of fructose in fruits and vegetables to see how they compare there is plenty of resources out there. However for me, this is where I draw the line – I consider this way of thinking extreme and therefore dangerous and if carrots and beets are not allowed on any WOE then maybe it’s the wrong way of eating. I understand the concept of banning processed sugary junk from ones diet, but in terms of vegetables there is only one that I consider unworthy of my plate and that’s a potato.  

Keto Buns

garlic2Ask a random person at the grocery store about what, in their opinion, is the worst macronutrient – fat, protein or carbohydrate – and I guarantee you, most people will say fat. You think people have moved on from the era of fat phobia but they haven’t. Take for example an exchange that I was a part of in the line-up at Winners this summer. I was waiting my turn to pay for my stuff and as is the case at most checkouts you can’t help but “check out” all the items around you. Maybe that’s why it’s called a “check out” because you’re constantly “checking out” what else you could grab. I digress. So, there are mostly bags of chips waiting to be checked out, both looked at and purchased ;-)… But there are other items too. I kept grabbing various bags of snack, because as it happened we were looking for hiking appropriate snacks. That means they had to meet 2 criteria:

1. They had to be light weight – Randy’s criteria.
2. They had to be minimally processed – my criteria. Yes I know, go get an apple, right? “Too damn heavy” – says Randy 🙂

I had a bag of sliced dried apples in my hand and said to Randy “Oh, look, this is not bad at all, just apples.” To which a random woman said something about “them (media) always being about what’s good and what’s bad, it’s all bad, people getting all confused about the contradicting information….” and another woman behind us making some other comments. I thought that was going to be it, but no, the best was yet to come. Randy spotted a hazelnut halva bar, grabbed it and said in a drooly kind of way “Oh loooook!” I replied “Now, that’s bad!” to which the woman in the front replied “No, that’s good!” – in an even more drooly way.  She was quite defiant about it, as if though she wanted to contradict me, so I replied “I beg to differ! That’s nothing but bad news!” Next, we went on to point out all the coffees lined up at the shelf (we always look for different flavoured coffees)… We started sniffing each bag through the little holes intended for sniffing… The woman in the front then said something about coffee being bad for you to which I said “There is nothing wrong with coffee! Did you know it actually aids in weight-loss!” But she had the last grunt, saying something inaudible, probably an insult in my direction and it was her turn to pay for her “goodies” she found at Winners.

This perfectly illustrates people’s unwillingness to understand and to accept that what we have been led to believe to be true by the media and the government is not true. But to backtrack to my macronutrient debate, fat is not the enemy. It has a high caloric value (9 calories per gram), but that’s its only crime – meaning that you can’t eat as much of it as you would protein and carbs (each coming at only 4 calories per gram). But the problem is, people don’t, generally speaking inform themselves. They think they do, but really what most of us are doing is unquestioningly absorbing popular media’s message: Fat will make you fat.

However, if you do a little research of your own, without the commercial media breathing down your neck you’ll soon find out that dietary fat does not equal body fat. Here are some topics and books worth digging into if you don’t want to take my word for it:
“Why we get fat and what to do about it” by Gary Taubes
“Good calories, Bad calories” by Gary Taubes
“Salt, sugar, fat” by Michael Moss
“Fat chance” by Robert Lustig
“The big fat surprise” by Nina Teicholtz

Even though anything with the word DIET in it sends shivers down my spine I also highly recommend you look into the Paleo Diet and Ketogenic Diet – both of which point out the benefits of higher fat, lower carbohydrate intake, especially for sedentary people (let’s admit it, most of us are). But as with anything you need to exercise sound judgement. 

“Paleo Diet” by Loren Cordain 
Paleo Hybryd Diet by Nate Miyaki
“The Ketogenic Cookbook” by Jimmy Moore and Maria Emmerich

And on your phone and tablet you might want to give a try to this great little app, it’s called KetoDiet and it is packed with tons of recipes and information about a ketogenic diet. In fact, these little cherubs that have been gracing my plates as of late are featured in this app. You can also visit the website for additional recipes and information. 

These Keto Buns are definitely going to be a staple for my low carb and high fat days! Here is a
slightly modified version:

IMG_20150807_114638

IMG_20150807_114550

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 74g almond blanched flour
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.3 oz Flax meal
  • 2 TBSP Psyllium Husks (ground) 
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds (I skimped on this)  
    DIRECTIONS:
  • Mix all the dry ingredients well in a large bowl.IMG_20150807_114122
  • Add egg and egg whites. Integrate well.
  • Add water and mix.
  • Form little flattened balls and place them on a cookie sheet.
  • If you are using the sesame seeds sprinkle them on top and press on with your hand.
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  MACROS:
    My batch yielded 7 buns and macros per serving (1 bun) were:
    132cal, 6.7p, 9.2c 8.5f 

IMG_20150807_114542   KetoBuns2