Keto Meal Idea #14: Chicken and Spinach Soup

Keto Meal 14

Ingredients

1 cup chicken bone broth

2 tablespoon organic red palm oil

3 ounces shredded chicken

1 cup chopped spinach

Macros: 466.4 calories, 34.9 g fat, 32.5 g protein, 2 g carbs, 0.7 g fiber

One Year on a Keto Diet

Like everything else in life, it feels like a long time, yet it feels like a very short time. No matter the relative time, this last year has been life-changing, that is for sure.

Want to catch up on my monthly updates? Start here with Month 1

When putting together all that I wanted to share with you about the last year of my ketogenic diet, I looked back at the diary I started at the beginning, when I still considered it a 90-day experiment. Here is what I wrote about 2.5 weeks in:

“Why did I do this?

So many reasons! I was in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) last year and in addition to the chronic pain in my legs, I’ve also been having a really long list of other symptoms (fatigue, lightheadedness, cognitive impairment, gastroparesis, heartburn, extreme hypoglycemia symptoms, uncontrollable appetite, extremely high CRP (inflammation marker), etc.) that I think are related to a mild brain injury and Post Traumatic Hypopituitarism. So I wanted to see if this WOE could help heal my brain. Also, dementia runs on both sides of my family (one side is dead, other side was just sent to assisted living due to it). Family history of diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome (I currently fit the criteria). Low HDL cholesterol. AND I really wanted to learn all I could about keto because I’m a nutritionist and if it worked as well as everyone says it does, then I can’t wait to take it to my clients. (I’m about 2.5 weeks in and so far I’m feeling FANTASTIC and more and more motivated each day to keep going. Improvements I’ve seen already: pain in my legs is nearly gone, cognition is nearly as good as pre-MVA, gastroparesis gone, heartburn gone, CRP dropped 62%, hypoglycemia symptoms gone, and appetite normalized. I haven’t had my cholesterol numbers checked yet, but I’m sure things are improving there, too.

I’ve never been able to follow any kind of diet plan in the past due to extreme feelings of deprivation and constant hunger. And as far as the middle path, mindful eating, intuitive eating, all that stuff I used to teach to all my clients, well, that is what lead me to all the health problems and 50 pound weight gain over 10 years! However, with keto, although it is very restrictive (still plenty to eat though!), it has been way easier for me to stick to, mostly because of the threat of having to start over with the fat adaptation process. It isn’t that fun to go through and takes some time, and I don’t want to start that all over again. The other reason it has been easier is that my appetite is more normal rather than ravenous because my body is actually getting an efficient fuel source.”

Video Updates

This month I decided to do two videos. One is a montage of all my monthly progress photos so you can really see the body transformation. The second video is a verbal update of all the health improvements plus other things that have happened over the last month.

Full Year of Monthly Progress Pictures

My 12-Month Update

What I share on my video:

    • Review of what made me start a keto diet
    • Weight loss history
    • My intermittent fasting experience
    • My visit to Levl Now lab in Seattle, a company creating a new breath ketone meter
    • My Top 5 Tips for long-term success on keto
    • Details of my Instagram giveaway!

Before and After Keto

Health Improvements:

  • Weight: 220 pounds to 161.2 pounds
  • Body Fat: 40% to 28.9%
  • Waist: 40 inches to 30 inches
  • Inflammation dropped (CRP down almost 70%)
  • Clean, whiter teeth
  • Skin tags on my neck are all gone
  • Heat tolerance (now I love the sun and heat! I used to get super sweaty all the time and hated the heat)
  • Normal sleep times (All my life, I had been a night owl, naturally staying up until 2 or 3 am. After the accident and my PTHP symptoms, I could not sleep at night at all and often could not sleep until 6 or 7 am. Now I am sleeping by about 11 pm and up around 7 am. My central sleep apnea is much improved as well.)
  • No more non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (something I recently realized that I haven’t even mentioned here)
  • Normal blood pressure (after the accident, it was high enough I was considering taking medication)
  • No more stiff ankles in the morning (pre-accident symptom)
  • No more head twitch (something I had not reported here yet, but something else that I remember from pre-accident and pre-keto was a random, uncontrollable head twitch)
  • Mental and nervous system function greatly improved (after the accident, I was having issues with words getting jumbled when speaking or typing, along with frequently dropping things)
  • No more popping jaw (TMJ)
  • Normal digestion (no GERD, no heartburn, no gastroparesis, normal bowel movements, no gas or bloating)
  • Lightheadedness nearly gone (post accident symptom)
  • Chronic leg pain nearly gone (no edema or swelling, still having some hypersensitivity late at night (allodynia) but not intolerable)
  • No more dry elbows
  • Very soft skin
  • Clear skin
  • Plenty of energy for all day (post accident fatigue was debilitating)
  • Exercise endurance (I can go hiking for hours without any food)
  • And much more than I’m remembering right now!

Come Do Keto with Me!

Let me show you the way. My 90-Day Keto Diet Program teaches you all I’ve learned along the way, plus gives you the tools to make this a long-term health solution.

Keto Meal Idea #6: Pastrami, Zucchini, Avocado

Keto Meal 6

Ingredients

3 ounces pastrami

1/2 avocado

1 medium zucchini sauteed

Topped with 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macros: 409.4 calories, 32.5 g fat, 21.8 g protein, 12.4 g carbs, 6.4 g fiber

Sweet and Sour Bok Choy

This keto-friendly side dish is made with bok choy, a relative in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower. The base looks similar to broad, white celery, while the tops fan out into dark leafy greens, that remind me of collard greens. Since the bottom needs a bit more time to cook than the tops, this recipe has you cook the bok choy in stages:

First cook the white parts
First cook the white parts

 

...then add the leafy green parts
…then add the leafy green parts

 

Let the greens wilt a bit
Let the greens wilt a bit

 

The final dish. Sweet and Sour Bok Choy
The final dish. Sweet and Sour Bok Choy

 

Ingredients
2 strips of thick-cut bacon
1 large head of bok choy, trimmed and rinsed, cut into 2 inch chunks
3 tablespoons of tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of freshly grated raw ginger
2 tablespoons of Swerve, confectioners style

6 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Roughly chop the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Add to the heated skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Place the white end pieces of the bok choy into the bacon grease in the already heated skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 – 5 minutes, until the pieces start to brown a bit on the ends.
  3. While the white ends cook, combine tamari, sriracha, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and Swerve and a blender and blend until smooth. (Sometimes Swerve can clump together if you try to mix it with a fork, which is why I recommend a quick whirl in the blender.)
  4. Add the green parts of the bok choy now to the skillet, on top of the white parts. Gently stir. Pour the tamari mixture over the bok choy and cook for 2 – 3 more minutes, until the greens are slightly wilted. Add the bacon and stir. Dish into 6 portions, topping each serving with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition info per serving: 184 calories, 3.9 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 18 g fat, 4 g protein

RDA info: B6 12%, folate 16%, vitamin A 86%, vitamin C 78%, vitamin K 55%, calcium 10%,

 

Keto Chocolate Pudding with Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are odd little seeds that pack a wallop of soluble fiber and minerals (check out the RDA info below). The soluble fiber, when exposed to liquids, turns into a jelly-like substance that has impressive thickening ability. Additionally, this soluble fiber is great for stabilizing blood sugar. Many even report lower blood sugar numbers for the whole next day after they consume a tablespoon of chia seeds. Most of the carbs in chia seeds are fiber, which makes them a fun little ingredient to play with in keto and low carb recipes.

While this recipe is quite tasty, I recommend avoiding dessert recipes during your first month or more on keto. Initially, I find it easiest to reduce cravings by avoiding dessert type foods all together. After you have been on keto and your cravings seem mostly a thing of the past, then I would recommend trying a recipe like this, occasionally. If you experience increased cravings in the days following this recipe, I recommend going back to no desserts for a while longer.

Keto Chocolate Chia Pudding
Keto Chocolate Chia Pudding with Whipped Cream

Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup Swerve, confectioners style

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 tablespoons chia seeds

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the almond milk, cocoa powder, Swerve, and sea salt into a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour pudding into storage bowl with a lid. Stir in chia seeds. Wait 10 minutes and stir again. (This helps distribute the chia seeds evenly, so that they don’t clump at the bottom.)
  3. Cover and refrigerate pudding overnight.
  4. Stir pudding well and divide among 4 serving dishes. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream on high with an electric blender until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Top pudding with whipped cream.

Yield: 4 – 1 cup servings

Nutrition info: 180 calories, 8.7 g carbs, 5.7 g fiber, (3 g net carbs), 16 g fat, 4 g protein

RDA info: vitamin A 14%, vitamin D 15%, vitamin E 12%, vitamin K 90%, calcium 31%, copper 16%, iron 14%, magnesium 19%, manganese 24%, zinc 11%

Keto Chicken Heart and Mushroom Stroganoff

Oh EM gee, this is delicious! If you’ve never had chicken hearts, they taste similar to dark meat chicken, just a tad firmer. Like all organ meats, chicken hearts are rich in bioavailable nutrients, especially minerals (take a look at the RDA info below). If you are anemic, or low on energy, you probably need more organ meats. Since they are firm, they lend themselves well to slow cooking. This stroganoff is rich and earthy, with tons of mushrooms. The spices used give it a lot of pep-per! It turned out a little runnier than I would have liked, so I may be tweaking this recipe in the future. The flavors were so delicious, however, I really didn’t care about the consistency! I hope you enjoy this, too.

Chicken Hearts and Mushroom Stroganoff
Chicken Hearts and Mushroom Stroganoff

Ingredients

1 pound mushrooms, rinsed and halved
1 pound chicken hearts, cut into quarters
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 -4 cloves)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions

Place mushrooms, chicken hearts, and onions in the crock of your slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, garlic, mustard, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Stir until smooth and then pour over the ingredients already in the slow cooker. Stir. Top with cooker lid and cook on high for 2 – 3 hours or low for 4 – 6 hours, or until the chicken hearts are cooked through.

Place the cream cheese into blender. Strain out 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker. With the blender on low, slowly add the liquid to the blender until smooth and creamy. Pour cream cheese liquid back into slow cooker and stir to combine. Ladel into bowls and sprinkle chopped parsley on top for garnish.

Serving suggestions: serve over Miracle Noodles, or cauliflower rice.

Yield: 5 servings

Nutrition info: 325 calories, 8 g carbs, 1.7 g fiber, 19 g fat, 30 g protein

RDA info: B12 112%, Riboflavin 62%, Niacin 31%, B5 41%, B6 22%, folate 25%, vitamin A 16%, vitamin C 22%, vitamin K 65%, copper 40%, iron 50%, manganese 19%, phosphorus 32%, potassium 16%, selenium 25%, zinc 50%

Low Carb Spicy Broccoli Salad

Apparently,  I didn’t snap a photo of this when I made it! Next time I will for sure. And if you make it, post a photo in the comments.

1 pound broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 ounce almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons hot sauce (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Place the broccoli, onion and almonds into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt and vinegar and mix well to create the dressing. Pour the dressing over the contents of the large bowl and stir until the broccoli is evenly coated with the dressing.

For best flavor, refrigerate 4 hours or more before serving.

Serves: 8

Nutrition info: 240 calories, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 24 g fat, 2.7 g protein, 86% of vitamin C