Ketogenic Diet Meal Planning Strategies
As a clinician, I believe everyone on the planet would benefit from a cyclic ketogenic diet. This means that the body uses ketone bodies as its primary fuel source a majority of the time. To get into and maintain ketosis you eat a low-carb diet with only moderate amounts of protein and high amounts of good fats. Discover ketogenic meal planning strategies in this article.
There is a growing segment of the natural health movement that endorses the ketogenic diet as the best nutritional approach. The biggest challenge people have is navigating how to set up meals to maintain ketosis.
When meal planning on a ketogenic diet you will take into account your unique metabolism. Some people do great with intermittent fasting where they go 16-18 hours without a calorie source. Other individuals who have adrenal fatigue may need to eat every 4 hours or so to maintain stable blood sugar and elevate ketones appropriately.
What Do You Eat For Breakfast?
The first question should be whether or not you actually want to eat breakfast. Personally, I am not hungry and water fast through breakfast. I typically will drink about a half a gallon of water before 12pm.
If you are a coffee drinker, I recommend using an organic, mold-free coffee and putting 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 tsp of pastured butter in it. This combines the benefits of the caffeine and anti-oxidants in the coffee along with the medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) in the coconut oil and butter. These MCTs go right to the liver where they are converted to ketones and used for energy.
You could make something similar with raw cacao and make a hot chocolate or chocolate milk depending upon what season it is and what you would like. The chocolate milk could use organic coconut milk (full-fat) which is very creamy and provides the same MCTs as the coconut oil.
How About Some Real Solid Foods?
You could also do some pastured eggs cooked in coconut oil. This is a little more challenging on the digestive system than the drinks above but it provides more quality nutrients as the eggs have tons of choline and carotenoid anti-oxidants. You could throw some non-starchy veggies with the eggs and put some olive oil on top for more beneficial fats.
Finally, you could do a protein shake with full-fat organic coconut milk, or organic almond milk with 2 tbsps of coconut oil added. You would have a small amount of frozen, organic berries and about 15-20 grams of a quality, low-carb protein powder. The protein could be a hemp, pea, brown rice or bone broth protein. Be sure not to put too much berries or protein in it.
How About Lunch:
Lunch could be a number of things such as a creamy guacamole with coconut milk, lemon, apple cider vinegar and herbs. You can serve this with flax crackers or with kale chips, red cabbage, celery, cucumbers, etc. You could also have a big salad (without tomatoes or fruit) with diced avocado, fresh squeezed lemon, extra virgin olive oil and herbs.
During the winter-time you may want to have some bone broth stew with grass-fed beef bones and meat or pastured chicken bones and meat. Load it up with non-starchy veggies and you have an incredibly nutrient dense, easy to digest meal.
You could also have a nice performance enhancing treat such as a coconut cacao butter ball. This is a combination of coconut oil/butter, raw cacao and stevia for flavor. This is high in good MCT’s and anti-oxidants from the raw cacao.
What’s For Dinner?
Due to the lack of hunger when the body is in ketosis, some choose to fast through dinner or just to have some organic bone broth. Others choose to make dinner their largest meal and sometimes their only meal of the day.
Great dinner options include a healthy meat source such as bison, grass-fed beef, lamb, venison, organic poultry, etc. Combine this with steamed, sautéed or raw, non-starchy veggies. Anything that is grilled or sautéed should be bathed in tons of coconut oil. After the dish is complete, be sure to add in generous amounts of extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon and herbs.
It is always a good idea to stick with a clean meat, lots of veggies, good oils, lemon/ACV and herbs for dinner. Just rotate out the different types of meat and veggies for some variety. You could also do soups and stews which are particularly good in the winter time.
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