The thing I love about the keto lifestyle is that the odds for success are stacked in your favor. I have battled my weight and health most of my life; in addition to that, I have a higher education in the healthcare professions, with a focus on nutritional health for a portion of my 20+ year career. You would think that, considering my personal motivation and my education, I would have had nutritional health figured out long before now. But, the truth is that everything I had been taught, stacked the odds against me.
My body was over-stressed, under-nourished, and traumatized by the high carb low fat gluten-free lifestyle I was living. My doctors praised the fact that I made most of our food from scratch and limited the amounts of processed foods we consumed. They were taught the same things I was, Fat IS THE ENEMY. So, I adjusted my diet, limited my calories, did everything I could find that suggested I could control my weight. It worked, temporarily, then I gained more back than I lost. So, even after getting so desperate to better my health that I had gastric by-pass surgery, my weight crept higher and higher. I became sicker and sicker. I have talked before about how, I became extremely ill with and autoimmune event, that left me severe deficits, and though I tried to soldier on, eventually it ended my career. I have no way of knowing that if I had been really practicing good nutrition, whether my body would have had this cataclysmic crisis or not. But, from the neurological gains I am making on keto, I believe, it would have either prevented, or lessened the severity of the event.
So, how are the odds stacked in your favor for success with keto?
Well, first of all, once you get through the transition phase, which is varying levels of rough for some people; you get to eat until you are full. So, hunger will not sabotage your efforts to eat healthy. Fat is your friend and you will be surprised at how much you need to eat each day. If you can eat it and like butter, it’s your friend! I even put it on my meat. Everything’s better with butter, right? lol.
Second, if you are willing to put in a little effort, there are many many lovely little desserts you can add into your daily carb count. Though honestly, the more keto adapted you become, the less sweets you will crave. But, that being said, it is nice to know you don’t have to be deprived of anything sweet for the rest of your life, because that would be a sure fire way for me to fail.
Third, bread is easy to make, and takes only a few minutes in the microwave. As someone who either had to make my own bread through a torturous process or pay $7-8 per loaf for gluten-free bread. I love this!
Fourth, there is a huge social network out there of people who are eating a healthy LCHF (low carb high fat) diet (when I use that word, I mean way of eating (WOE)). FaceBook has support groups for every style of LCHF eating, there are many wonderful blogs, some of my favorites are in the links of this blog. So, you are NOT alone in trying to do this.
I hope this encourages those of you thinking about starting out on your own keto journey. You can always comment here and ask questions, or share things you learn along the way.
I am going to share a recipe today, that is a spin-off from one in my favorite keto cookbook, which I will link below. These are a quick and easy no-back treat.
Keto Dark Chocolate Haystacks
- 3 oz 90% or higher dark chocolate approximately one bar
- 1/3 cup creamy unsweetened nut butter (I used almond, but if you are avoiding tree nuts you could use unsweetened peanut butter just add the net carbs)
- 2 Tbsp butter (if you are dairy free you can use coconut oil)
- 2/3 cup keto friendly sweetener powdered (you can do this in a coffee or spice grinder if you don't have any powdered)
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 scoop MCT powder optional
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but you could just use all coconut if you are avoiding tree nuts)
Prepare a baking sheet or platter with parchment or waxed paper.
In a medium pan on medium low heat melt butter/coconut oil, nut butter, and chocolate bar broken into pieces (You can also melt these in a microwave safe dish on high heat for 1 1/2-2 mins or until chocolate is just melted).
Add remaining ingredients to melted chocolate mixture.
Mix well, it will be thick but still a little sticky
Using spoon or cookie scoop measure out 24 balls of dough and place on the parchment/waxed paper.
Chill for an hour or so before serving, so haystacks are firm.
Totals are for each cookie
total fat 10 g
net carbs 2 g
protein 2 g