Keto

Here’s a detailed list of keto-friendly foods I eat on a regular basis with pics, tips and recipes

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Full Disclosure:

  • I don’t have extravagant or complicated cooking sessions.
  • I keep things as simple as possible to help save me time so the things I eat daily are not complicated.
  • I’m also not a picky eater at all and enjoy the taste of everything.

1. An apple avocado a day keeps the doctor away

  • I used to avoid avocados because of their high fat content, but now I often eat one avocado a day, usually as the first thing to break my fast (“breakfast”) and it’s shockingly filling. They are quite literally, the perfect low carb, keto-friendly food. They have very few net carbs, lots of fiber, and it’s mostly just fat. Not just any fat though, it has a magnificent fat profile of mostly monounsaturated fats. (This is the stuff olive oil has a lot of too.)
  • I eat avocados with some…

How to buy and rotate avocados so you always have some ripe ones:

  • I buy 6-8 avocados at a time because it takes several days for them to ripen and I like to have a good supply.
  • An easy way to check if they’re ripe without having to smash the skin is to simply push down on the brown stem (if there is one). If it goes down, it’s ready.
  • If too many avocados are ripening and you want to slow down the process, throw them in the fridge! As simple as that.
  • With that trick in mind, I usually have 5-10 avocados in the fridge and 5-10 over the counter so that I have a constant supply.

If you have too many avocados that have ripened, make guacamole! Guamacole is super easy to make!

  • Mash up all the ripe avocados together
  • Add some lime
  • Add some minced up cilantro and you’re good to go!
  • If you’re at a (mexican) restaurant and they serve chips and guacamole, tell them you don’t want the chips, but order some chicken or steak with it and dip it into the guac! Delicious.

2. Eggs

Normally I eat 2-3 eggs, a few times a week. They too, like avocados, are a very keto-friendly food. They have zero carbs and are highly nutritious with an excellent amino acid (protein) profile.

Pictured here are some fluffy hard boiled eggs with some salt and pepper. Simple and delicious. If I’m boiling eggs for the day, I will boil some extra ones at the same time to keep for egg salad (recipe below).

Other keto friendly ways I prepare eggs?

  • Scrambled or sunny side up, fried with coconut oil.
  • Omelette with cheese/veggies
  • Poached eggs (w/ Hollandaise sauce) (Basically “eggs benedict” without the English muffins.)
  • Egg salad (below!)

3. Egg Salad

This makes for a nice lunch idea that’s easy to customize and takes barely a few minutes to make because you just mash the ingredients together.

Recipe: Mash up all these ingredients together:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Soft-Boiled Eggs (hard boiled works too but soft is creamier)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Optional: add garlic salt and pepper
  • Optional: add some shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional: add cayenne to taste for spicyness

4. Simply Delicious Vegetables

The following are common, non-starchy vegetables that I eat regularly:

How do I prepare these guys? Easy! I bake them!

Don’t be scared of ovens, people, it’s stupid-easy to bake things! Just follow the simple steps below:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • In a small bowl, mix a few tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Soy Sauce together.
  • Optional: add some minced garlic, maybe some ginger depending on the veggies used.
  • Put the veggies in a big bowl and pour this small bowl of oil and soy sauce into the veggies and mix it well.
  • Put the veggies on a pan with Parchment Paper for 400F for 15 minutes.
  • And that’s it! Ta-daaaa! See how easy it was?
  • I personally like the EVOO and Soy Sauce, but you could also just put it all with BUTTER, too. That’s keto friendly, too. Oftentimes the veggies are actually there to act as a carrier for the butter.

5. Blueberries! The Keto-Candy.

Frozen blueberries are my favorite little snack! I love the crunch they provide and since they’re so cold, I can’t eat a bunch of them because then I’ll get brain freeze. This also reminds me to treat berries like candy, so I eat them sparingly and usually NOT daily. When they’re on sale, I stock up on a bunch of them, wash them and keep them in the freezer. (I eat raspberries and strawberries sometimes too, but blueberries are my jam, without the jam.)

6. Baked Fish

Fish is something I have ~3x a week that I’m always trying to eat more of. On the days that I don’t eat fish, I take a fish oil capsule to get more Omega 3’s in my diet.

Here’s how I bake fish (you could do this to fillets or whole fish):

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Rub salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon and blackened fish seasoning on both sides of the fish.
  • Bake at 375F for 25-35 minutes.
  • Done! How easy is that!

Other fish choices: I don’t eat tuna anymore because Wild Sardines in Olive Oil and Smoked Sprats are superior in every way. They are lower on the food chain than tuna and don’t accumulate toxins (such as mercury) and have a superior Omega 3 to 6 ratio! (Btw, I used to buy Riga Sprats but turns out they are stored in rapeseed oil, which is a terrible vegetable oil to eat, not only cause rape is bad, but it’s mostly bad fats… so no more of that brand!)

7. Salmon and Cream Cheese (And Avocado!?)

Ingredients:

  • Smoked Salmon Lox
  • Cream Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Optional: Chopped Green Onions (Scallions)
  • Optional: Capers
  • Optional: Avocado
  • Optional: If you want a “carrier”, you could put it all on a piece of lettuce.

8. Cheese and Olives

I’ve been eating this Kerrygold Dubliner Irish cheese as a standalone snack. I love to get a big knife and make extremely thin slices of these. The taste is so complex and satisfying. (They are available on Costco. And speaking of Kerrygold brand, by the way, their Irish butter tastes really good too. All their products come from grass-fed cows.)

I may or may not eat this cheese with some olives. Olives have almost no net carbs and have a great fat profile, so they are a great little keto-friendly snack. I love the ones in brine.

9. Cream Cheese and Bastirma (seasoned, air-dried cured beef)

One of my favorite dairy things is to get cream cheese and mix it with some Armenian cured deli meat called Bastirma. This is one of those foods that are not well known if you’re not familiar with the culture, but it’s highly spiced, the slices are extremely thin and delicious with some cream cheese.

Here are some other Middle Eastern Foods that are keto friendly:

Since my father is Lebanese-Armenian and my mother is Armenian-Armenian, I know about some foods that others may not know about that are very low carb and these are my random faves:

  • Lebni / Labneh (Strained yogurt)
    • This is a type of kefir cheese, made in a similar process as Greek Yogurt, but it tastes much more tart, like sour cream. Traditionally it’s spread on a plate and drizzled with olive oil and topped with some dried mint. I personally think it’s dank as fuck.
  • Sujuk / Soujoukh / Yershik
    • This is type of highly spiced, dried beef sausage that you could find at your local international market as well, probably in the deli section. I love to eat them with cream cheese.

Note: One of the main drawbacks of deli meat, or highly processed meats is that their protein becomes inferior and a lot of important minerals (like potassium and magnesium) are lost as well, so I don’t make them my main source of protein.

10. Nuts: Macadamia’s and Almonds

  • As you know, when one is on a low carb diet, they should replace those calories with fat and nuts are predominantly high in fat. The top two nuts that are very low in carbs AND have a very healthy fat profile are macadamia’s and almonds!
  • Macadamia Nuts that are Dry Roasted with Sea Salt are one of my favorite snacks. They taste like butter balls that are perfectly salted. (~20cals each)
  • love these Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds. I always get a pound of these that last me the month.
  • These Marcona Almonds with Rosemary are a bit pricey, but have an incredibly luxurious taste. Marcona almonds are fried in olive oil, by the way.
  • Warning for those trying to lose weight: Nuts are high in calories and it’s easy to “accidentally” eat a few hundred calories of these if you are just munching mindlessly. Even if you practice severe carbohydrate restriction, eating more calories than you need can result in fat gain. (I still use MyFitnessPal when I want to ensure weight loss even on keto, but that’s just me, YMMV)

You could have other nuts too, like cashews and peanuts for example. But as dank as they are, I can’t go to town on them cause they’re somewhat higher in net carbs, so I eat them very sparingly and infrequently. If I’m going to have peanuts, I usually opt for peanut butter, actually. And on occasion, I go for cashew butter. (relevant peanut butter related meme)

11. Milk Alternatives for when I want a creamy drink

Unsweetened flax, coconut, soy, hemp, cashew, almond milks. (We live in good times to have access to such variety!)

  • Note that ALL of these must specifically say “UNSWEETENED” on their label. The beauty of these are that they are only 30-45 calories per cup.
  • Coconut Milk: In the summertime, there’s something so brisk and refreshing about coconut milk. (It reminds me of summer, probably thanks to all those dark tanning products that smelled like coconut oil.)
  • Hemp and Flax and Cashew milks: I have only tried these a couple times, they are a bit more fatty, creamy, thick and I like them.
  • Almond milk is my favorite. Some people don’t like it at all and that bewilders me, but… I like it and it’s a yummy drink to me. I sometimes will heat up a cup and drink it hot.
  • Soy Milk is my go to when I’m looking for a more hearty drink (clocking in at 100cals/cup), I really like unsweetened soy milk. It’s also great to add to your tea so it’s like a chai-latte. Protip: If you live near some Asian stores, you can find unfiltered soy milk which tastes like the real thing. But you must make sure it’s not sweetened.

12. Arugula Salad

This is stupid easy to make. I just added arugula and avocado and salt & pepper and olive oil. How easy is that? Really easy. You could also do something similar with spinach. Loves me some spinach.

13. Keto-Friendly Foods On The Go

If I’m on the go, I usually don’t have hunger and can get away with several hours without eating but… if I do…

  • I like Quest Bars, specifically the Choc Chip Cookie Dough flavor. They are the only truly keto-friendly bars that I know of. (Edit: Costco carries Kirkland Protein Bars that are similar to these apparently and much cheaper!)
  • Sunflower seeds (I love the cracked pepper version) found at most gas stations, are quite a good snack if you like spitting sunflower shells.
  • If you’re not a fan of spitting sunflower shells, already-shelled-for-you roasted and salted sunflower seeds/kernels are also pretty delicious too. These also are found at gas stations. Just make sure they don’t have added sugar.

I also take an avocado with me sometimes. Here’s how to eat a ripe avocado without any tools:

  • Bite the skin at the top to remove it and spit it out.
  • Squeeze the avocado out from the bottom up. Eat it as it comes out the top hole.
  • Eventually the seed will come out as well and you just keep squeezing it out into your mouth and into the trash or straight into the trash.
  • Fair warning: Keep the avocado in a place that won’t get mashed in your bag by other things or else it will make a mess. Ask me how I know. 😛 (Maybe even put it in its own zip lock bag or something)

14. Mineral Management and Daily Supplements

Mineral management is especially important on a ketogenic diet to prevent feeling fatigue (especially before strength or endurance training) or if you’re not feeling well while in ketosis. These are the following things I take:

  • Multivitamin: I supplement with a daily one-a-day multivitamin to cover my bases.
  • Sodium & Potassium: It’s no coincidence that many foods I eat are somewhat higher in sodium overall, and that’s because the kidneys excrete more than usual while in ketosis and so I make up for it with the higher sodium intake. But, to not get too much sodium, I use “LoSalt” instead of regular salt because it’s more potassium in it and half the sodium (salt) which makes for a better balance. I also drink bone broth almost daily.
  • Magnesium: Two of these magnesium pills a day (400mg) for 20 days will help stabilize magnesium levels. This improves almost every cellular process in your body (especially important for sleep and muscle cramps). This is doubly important on keto due to the kidneys excreting faster than usual.
  • Fish Oil: If I did not eat fish that day, I’ll take 1-2 capsules of fish oil which has lots of omega 3’s in each capsule.
    • Advisory: Many fish oil brands will say “1200mg” but really, only 300mg of it will only be Omega 3 fatty acids. So read the labels to make sure you’re getting one with high DHA/EPA!
  • Protein: If I haven’t ate much protein or I had a particularly hard strength training day, I will drink a scoop of vegan protein powder and add raw cacao and chia seeds in a blender bottle. The unflavored one tastes really blah but the chocolate or french vanilla flavored ones are a good powder that gets the job done with minimal fuss.

15. Special mention for Fiber

If I’m feeling like I ate too many things that don’t have any fiber (read: meat, cheese, etc) and feel constipated, then I will have 1-2 teaspoons of organic psyllium husk mixed in water. It’s pure fiber which causes me to poop gloriously sometime later that day.

ProTip: Nowadays, if I’m going traveling or camping, I will take a zip lock bag of this stuff with me and my bowel movements won’t feel disrupted from the traveling and it works incredibly well. (relevant meme)

Well, that wraps it up

  • Now you know what I eat on a regular basis. All this info above was from a blog post that I published yesterday titled “What I Actually Eat” but since self promotion is not allowed on this sub, I took the hour here to make it reddit-friendly.
  • If you’re missing an ingredient or curious to know exactly which product I use, there are a billion links (mostly on Amazon) in the official article.
  • If you like my writing style, here’s a link to the beginners guide I created for the keto diet that was very well received. Hope that helps!

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