I am currently researching (my fave thing) and David is evaluating treatment options for his prostate cancer. When we come to a decision, we’ll share some sites that really helped us. But until then, let’s talk ketogenic diet!! And, cuz that’s who I am, the recipe for this not-strictly-keto corn/pepper dish is below. Just scan down if you want to skip the keto stuff!
While a diet that features unlimited bacon sounds like a gift from the nutrition gods, The Vino Man and I have decided that a ketogenic diet is not for wimps. And while I am NOT a medical expert or a nutritionist, I’m happy to share a few of the roadblocks we hit resources that really helped us on this journey. As a reminder, this is the book that started it all for us Fat is Fuel. There’s also lots of great info on Dr. Mercola’s website Mercola.com
When you go ketogenic you are basically pushing a reset button on your body and teaching it to burn fat in addition to carbs. Burning carbs is easier for your body. Burning fat is harder. Your body naturally wants to take the easiest route (thank you evolution). Additionally, so many of the environmental toxins we absorb on a daily basis are fat soluble. When you start burning fat, those toxins are released into your system. Here’s a great post for newcomers to Ketogenic diets.
Roadblock: Keto flu. Sure most of the websites and books reference it. But I don’t think they tell you quite everything. And full disclosure – this hit me more than David. But let me just say – Keto Flu Sucks. Totally. This is your body pushing back trying to get you to eat carbs. AND it’s environmental toxins flooding your blood stream. For me it lasted 7 days. Stuffy head, streaming nose, insomnia, irritability and incredible muscle cramps (yep, they call it flu for a reason). On day 4, I actually woke up at 2 in the morning, ready to give up and just go eat a damn potato. On day 5, David and I were standing toe-to-toe in the kitchen screaming at each other because I put cream in his coffee. Oh yes, fun times.
But if you do a little research (before you start the diet – not after: learn from my mistakes). Part of the cause is electrolyte imbalance. You can’t drink Gatorade (39 grams of carbs in a 1/2 bottle serving). So at this suggestion of this great website, I ended up adding a little Himalyan Salt to my water bottle and I started taking Magnesium. And eating Avocados. Lots and lots of Avocados (potassium). Much, much better. This website has a great recipe for an electrolyte balancing drink. It does not taste particularly wonderful, but it helped. This drink is from the ketodiet app. There is a free version of the app which has some great keto recipes!
Additionally, this website gave the the great tip to have 1 square of 70% Cacao before bed to help release tryptophans. I’m never going to say no to chocolate and it may be psychosomatic, but I do sleep better. It has lots of other tips for surviving the start of your keto diet as well.
Roadblock: Cooking Breakfast. Well you know I love to cook. But breakfast is just not my meal. It’s not fun food. It’s in the morning. Just ughh. But after your 8-10 hour nightly fast (also known as sleeping), we discovered it’s really, really important to get some calories in you (reference the cream screaming fit mentioned above). We’ve figured out that we pretty much just have dinner leftovers for breakfast. Or eggs. Lots of eggs. I actually had to google “how many eggs per day is too many?” when I felt like I was going to start clucking. We are so thankful for our friend Angela – she keeps a flock and is a wonderful source of pasture-raised chicken eggs – which are better than any other eggs in the world. We are also thankful for our friend and wine club member Kimberly who is very experienced cooking Paleo/Keto and loves to cook. She gave us the idea for this spinach, chorizo, avocado dish that is full of good fat and really sticks to your ribs. Follow her on Instagram – @foodfamilywine.
RECIPE – Padron Pepper & Corn Saute (photo at top of page)
OK, corn is not strictly keto – certainly not during the induction (first) phase. But when Talley Farms puts it in your harvest box, you just have to go for it.
2 ears fresh corn
3 C of whole Padron Peppers (or other small, mild pepper like Cubanelle, Banana or even small Poblanos)
2 T of coconut oil (the roadblock in my next blog post)
1 t. Avocado oil
1/2 onion, peeled and cut thinly in long strips (root to end)
3/4 t. sea salt
1 t. chili powder
1/4 C Feta cheese
Shuck corn. Remove the corn from the cob by placing a coffee cup in a bowl, put the stalk end of the corn on the cup, holding the tassel end of the corn and carefully slicing downward parallel to the stalk so that the corn falls into the bowl and doesn’t scatter everywhere. Or use this cool shucker thing – which I have ordered but haven’t tried yet.
Melt the 2T of coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the Padron peppers. Saute the peppers until the skin sears – 4-5 minutes – stirring frequently. Sprinkle the salt over the peppers. Add the Avocado Oil and the onions to the skillet. Continue to saute until the onions lightly char and the peppers start to soften – maybe 3 minutes more. Add the corn to the skillet and saute until the corn starts to take on color and char a bit – probably 4 minutes more. Add the chili powder and stir. Remove from heat and stir in the feta cheese. The coconut oil, corn, cheese and peppers marry beautifully together! We’ve done this as a side dish, but we’ve also filled a roasted portabella mushroom cap with this mixture and topped it with a fried egg – also AMAZING.