I Ate Keto For A Month…

In case you haven’t been online lately, the ketogenic (“keto” for short) diet is trending so hard that the CrossFit Army is at war in terms of devoted followers. It is the diet that screams, “Fat isn’t bad for you!” and allows you to not only cook with butter but also indulge in copious amounts of cheese every day. Closely related to the once-famed Atkins diet, the keto diet revolves around eating lots of fat, limited protein, and very little carbs. 

Basically, you aim for macro percentages of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. Exactly how many grams of each depends on your body type and energy needs, but most dieters take in no more than 20 grams of carbs per day, with few leaning upwards to 50 grams if they’re needing the boost for heavy workouts. In a traditional Western diet, 50 to 65 percent of a person’s calories come from carbohydrates so this is a complete shift in how your body runs.

The goal is that your body will enter into ketosis and start to burn fat rather than glucose. Usually, your body gets its fuel from glucose which is found in carbs. When you take out carbs though, your body is like, “What the heck?” It doesn’t know how to run any longer, so it turns to another source of energy: fat. Or, scientifically speaking, ketones.

A diet that allows ungodly amounts of cheese, has tons of delicious-looking recipes, and sports thousands of Facebook groups for community-building? Sign me up! I began on Monday, August 20th and wanted to experience the keto diet for myself. Here is what happened when I committed to the high-fat, low-carb diet for one month.

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Hot Baked Chicken

I’ve been doing pretty well when it comes to tracking my intake and eating healthier meals now that the holiday season has waved goodbye. Though it is difficult to say no to desserts now that I don’t have the excuse of numerous baked goods appearing in the house, I balance my newly-found sweet cravings with a glass of wine each night becauseeeee heart health, right? And the necessity of a good Malbec after a long day — G and I have been hitting the gym every morning at 5:30am!

So, time for another healthy recipe that is a staple in my monthly meal plan. This week’s lunches are one of my personal favorite: hot baked chicken. For a girl who grew up having hot wings every Sunday paired with a juicy episode of Desperate Housewives, this healthier option brings back some great memories with my family. Plus, how can you go wrong serving this American classic?!

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Broccoli Ranch Chicken Casserole

Okay, truth time: over the holiday season I went way off on my healthy eating habits. I could use the excuse that my future MIL is an awesome baker, my mom made her famous Christmas candy (more than once), the holiday celebrations were numerous, or I was enjoying Life so much I didn’t care to count calories, BUT I won’t because in all honesty there is no excuse for completely falling off the wagon. I’m back in the grind now though — and hitting the ground running fast!

In the future, I will be adding a few healthy recipe choices which I use as staples in my meal planning each month. I have been eating 80/20 with high protein and low carb food choices. (80/20 because I still want to enjoy life and food is a big part of my enjoyment.) I’ll also share each recipe’s macro stats via MyFitnessPal, in case you are as interested as I am. 🙂

I am so excited to begin adding some healthy recipes to Uncorking Peonies! And I am even more excited to introduce a recipe which has warmed the tummies of G and myself multiple times since the New Year, because it’s just that good: Broccoli Ranch Chicken.

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