Keto Korner

April 26, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


LowCarb/Ketogenic Diet Focus: The Value of Logging Your Food

Good afternoon!  Did anyone try the fat bomb recipe I posted last week?  What did you think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the recipes I post - it will give me insight into what you find most helpful.  In addition to the weekly recipes I will post here you can also make requests based on any of my Instagram (@nathalieniddam) or Facebook (KetoNat) posts - I will often post meal ideas but not exact recipes but I would be happy to provide you with any that are of interest.  You can provide me with feedback either on the comments section on this page or by emailing me directly at canfuel@lowcarbcanada.ca

Today’s post is about the value of using one of the many apps available to log your food at least some of the time.  This is not with the intention of making you obsess over every bite of food that you eat, but rather to give you a tool that can provide insight into what may or may not be working for you.  As I tell my clients, without this information, there is no way to know what is working or what needs to change.  Plus, there’s nothing like looking back over a week’s worth of entries and realizing that you have been subsisting on Fat Bombs, Protein Bars, Shakes (Keto//OS or others) with the odd coffee plus fat thrown in.  You may be able to get away with the occasional day that looks like this but trust me when I tell you that over time, regardless of what your macros (Fats, Carbs, Protein) look like, this will lead to deficiencies and health issues.  Another great reason to use this tool is to start to understand how your food affects your moods, your digestion, your sleep, headaches (if you get them), energy levels….over time you can look back and start to detect trends based on different parameters (ie…why am I so tired today?  Oh look, I ate a total of 1000 calories over the past two days and only slept 10 hours…hmmm).

Here are some of the most common issues can I detect when looking over a client’s food diary:

  • Lack of food variety - getting into a routine is great but eating the same 5 foods day in day out can and will lead to deficiencies over time.
  • Not enough calories - you are busy, you are in ketosis, you are stressed, you aren’t hungry…occasionally this is ok but if it becomes your new normal, it’s a recipe for trouble.
  • Your macros are way off….too much or too little fat, protein or carbs can all make a mess of your progress.
  • You think you’re following a Ketogenic diet…..but your daily intake tells a different story.
  • Water? I was supposed to drink water?  Dehydration leads to Disaster. 
  • What do you mean a cup of cashews is no good?? I thought you said nuts are ok?  That’s over 700 calories - just while you were watching Survivor.

You get the idea.  So what are the best apps out there?  Until recently I have used MyFitnessPal, (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/) it has a great database and, like all apps,  it’s easy to use once you get used to it.  I have recently started to shift over to Cronometer (https://cronometer.com) - a fantastic app that you can use for free (although it does have a paid version just like MyFitnessPal) that does a brilliant job with everything from your basic Macros to Micronutrients and even calculates NET Carbs for you.  There’s a note section (these are great for keeping track of your energy levels, sleep, stress etc..), fitness integration, a place to record blood sugar and ketones (!) and more….I highly recommend it.  Cronometer is a Dr Mercola collaboration and was designed with Ketogenic Diets in mind so it has lots of great features to support you in this direction whereas MyFitnessPal’s basic settings are skewed towards a standard balance (although you can absolutely customize them).

In the end the best app is the one you will use so check them both out and see which feels better to you.    Once again, food logging is a great tool but do your best not to get carried away, the objective over the longterm is to use it as a tool to create good habits you can sustain and to learn how you feel when you are in the “zone” you want to be in.

Keto//OS Fast Facts: Orange Dream (2.1) Formula - How is it different?

The Orange Dream Formula is the first formula that Pruvit introduced into the North American market in 2015.  To begin with, it features a delicious Orange Creamsicle taste that transports many people right back to a hot Summer day when they were 5, cooling off with a delicious orange creamsicle.  The good news with this one is that it won’t send your insulin skyrocketing and it has no artificial colours or flavours to mess with your body.

The 2.1 formula is the only one that includes fat in the form of MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which your body will convert into ketones in addition to the BHB’s (actual ketones) in the formula.  (It does have traces of dairy so if you know you don’t tolerate dairy this is not the formula for you.).  Aside from the taste profile - I like to recommend this formula for people who seem to always be hungry - the fat is more satiating so it may help them a bit more on the appetite control front.   Make sure that with the 2.1 you start with a 1/2 sachet in 8 oz of cold water with ice for a few consecutive days before you build up to a full serving.  The MCT oil can cause loose stools in some people until you acclimatize to it so it’s a good idea to start slow.

In the end, different people like different formulas and they seem to work differently for individuals, so it’s always a great idea to try them all out till you find the one that resonates with you. 

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.   Follow me on Social Media links (below my signature) for healthy meal ideas, health tips and to be the first to hear about Pruvit sales and promotions.

Useful links:

  • To reach me directly, email: canfuel@lowcarbcanada.ca
  • To order Keto//OS: shopketo.com/ca
  • To order a “5 day Experience” (5 single sachets) to try the product please email me and we can get you set up.
  • When you receive your order to get you started on your Keto journey watch the videos at: drinkyoursample.com/ca  The first explains how to use Keto//OS and the second explains how ketones work in your body - both are short and informative.
  • Ask about Pruvit’s new customer referral program - if you are on Smartship, just sign up two friends as Smartship customers and get your product for free!

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!!

Instagram:       @nathalieniddam

Facebook:       KetoNat

Website:          NathalieNiddam.com

Recipe

Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

No matter what eating plan you are on Brussel Sprouts are Nutritional Powerhouses full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals plus they are low in Carbohydrates and a great source of fibre.  This recipe is easy to make and tends to be a crowd pleaser.  I like to use cast iron cookware to allow the sprouts to caramelize a bit during cooking - just try not to let them burn - that black stuff is really not good for you plus it’s bitter.

Ingredients (serves 3-4 people as a side

1.5 Lbs Brussel Sprouts - ends trimmed and sliced in 1/2 lengthwise

1-2 Tablespoons Ghee or Coconut oil or a mix of both

Zest from one lemon

Juice from 1/2 a lemon (or to taste)

Sea salt (to taste)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

Warm up your pan or skillet to melt to ghee or coconut oil - toss the Brussel Sprouts to coat (there should not be a puddle of fat at the bottom)

Try to arrange them cut side down in a single layer.

Sprinkle with salt

Roast for 25-30 min till cut side is golden and tops are just starting to brown.

Toss in a bowl with lemon zest and lemon juice

Correct seasonings and enjoy.

If you used ghee you can drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!!!

April 12, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


Low Carb/Ketogenic Diet Focus: Stress

How much do you love a short week!?  As a self employed person holidays don’t always mean much to me but this time, I have committed to my family that I will take the day off this Friday - let’s hope I can stick to my promise.  Working hard is important but so is finding balance and taking some time to recover.  Having worked consumer shows the last two weekends has left me needing a bit of recovery time and feeling a bit more stressed than usual - a condition that I know will not serve me in any way.  Take a deep breath - this is a longer than usual post but it’s important.

Today’s post is all about stress and how too much of it, left unmanaged can throw the best plan completely off the rails.  I have often seen clients who, on paper are doing pretty much everything right - they are watching what they eat and sticking to their plan, they are exercising but somehow their results are just not there.  Quite often, a few minutes into our meeting it comes to light that they are going through some kind of intense stress, at home, at work, sometimes both…as a result they aren’t sleeping well and they are living in a constant state of stress.  This basically puts the body into “fight or flight’ mode causing an increase in the stress hormone cortisol which in turn also causes an increase in blood sugar (in case you need to flee in a hurry) - exit ketosis, enter spare tire. 

The upside of that blood sugar release is that if you happen to need to get out of the way in a hurry you are in luck, more blood sugar means more energy available for that sprint to safety.  If, on the other hand, your stress is the chronic kind, driven by anxiety, worry, negative self thoughts, ongoing relationship or work issues, illness etc.  then that constant release of cortisol will ultimately lead to a cascade of negative results including belly fat (blood sugar with nowhere to go ends up stored as fat around your middle), negative impacts on your brain (memory issues lead the pack here), impaired immune system, and even breakdown of muscle tissue, oh, and also it will kick you right out of Ketosis if that happens to be where you want to be.  I could go on but you get the picture.

So what is the solution here?  Most of us are not in a position to necessarily leave our stressful jobs, win the lottery to solve our financial woes, heal from chronic illness overnight ….. are we doomed?  Not exactly.  It turns out that how you manage your stress has a lot more to do with your outcome than whether or not you live a stressful life.  The first thing you need to do is acknowledge what it is that is gnawing at you and start to develop a plan - on your own, by buying a self help book, or hiring a professional - for many people just facing the problem and taking action goes a huge way to lowering stress.  Beyond that here are a few other things you can do to actually lower that cortisol during the day - do these things often enough and you will eventually be able to weather the stress with fewer consequences and ultimately be better equipped to make whatever changes need to be made in your life to reduce it in the first place:

  • Box Breathing - find a comfortable seat, close your eyes - inhale for four counts deep into your belly - hold for 4 counts. Exhale for four counts - hold for 4 counts.  Repeat 3-4 times.  Feeling calmer?  This exercise helps to get you out of the short shallow breaths you take when stressed and help to calm your nervous system.  Check out this link for more details: http://www.livestrong.com/article/74944-box-breathing-technique/. Or, a great app for breath exercises is Pranayama - the free version is plenty to get you started.
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing - This one is a bit more obvious to passersby but it is an incredibly effective way to get centred and calm your body and mind. You can do this during the day when you need to get a grip or before bed to get to sleep easier or even before you meditate.  Here is a link to a post detailing exactly how to do it and expands on the benefits a bit further:  http://bit.ly/2o6TisO
  • Meditation - taking up meditation is an incredible way to learn the skill of calming your mind and managing your stress. Not only that but an 8 week study at Harvard showed that people who participated in an 8 week program of daily mindfulness based meditation actually experienced an increase in grey matter in their brain!  Who couldn’t use a bigger brain? Want to know more?  Here’s the link to the study: http://bit.ly/1fMM9Wz
    • You can start to meditate for free by downloading one of these apps onto your phone - try Headspace, Omvana, or Calm as starting points but there are dozens to choose from.
    • If you have some $$ to spend you can also go to the nearest Transcendental Meditation Centre (http://ca.tm.org), find a teacher and get your very own Mantra.
    • MBSR or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is yet another branch of meditation that is increasingly being turned to - kind of like meditation only different. There are centres and teachers all over the country just google it.  In Toronto we have several but a hub is: http://www.mindfulnessstudies.com

So there you have it - manage your stress to feel better, get healthier and get smarter.  What does this have to do with ketones you ask?  Well, remember that one of the many benefits of ketones is that they cross the blood brain barrier and are a preferred source of fuel for the brain.  A better fuelled brain is a more resilient brain and one that can help you function and feel better throughout the day.   One of the many benefits reported by people following a ketogenic diet is how much clearer they feel and how much more energy they have.  We get these same reports from many of the people who use Keto//OS daily, even if they are not on a fully Ketogenic diet - in my business we call this a “biohack” and this is one of the better ones I have found.  So, practice deep breathing or meditation, drink your ketones and become calmer, more focused and efficient.

Keto//OS Fast Facts: What makes KetoMax different than the other formulas?

The short answer is that KetoMax will push you deeper into Ketosis than our two other formulas.  Most people will end up with 1-2 mmol of ketones in their blood vs the nutritional ketosis (0.5-0.9) delivered by 2.1 and 3.0.  How?  KetoMax is formulated with a new patent pending BHB salt that is twice as bioavailable as the BHB used in the 2.1 and 3.0 formulas.  It was designed with the elite athlete in mind and so has very little else in it other than L-Leucine to stimulate muscle growth and L-Taurine an amino acid that supports cardiac function, helps the body to manage stress (!) and supports exercise performance.  I use KetoMax before going to the gym in the mornings to support my workout and recovery and I love it.  I then use either of the 2.1 or 3.0 during the day when I need an extra boost.

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.  Make sure to check my KetoNat Facebook page this Friday - there’s a chance the Easter Bunny might bring us a Keto Treat (I’m truly guessing here but I think the odds are good)

Useful links:

  • To reach me directly, email: lowcarbcanada.ca
  • To order Keto//OS: shopketo.com/ca
  • To get you started on your Keto journey watch the videos at: drinkyoursample.com/ca. The first explains how to use Keto//OS and the second explains how ketones work in your body - both are short and informative.

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!!
          

Instagram:       @nathalieniddam
Facebook:       KetoNat
Website:          NathalieNiddam.com

Toasted Coconut Fat Bombs - Just in time for Easter!


These are truly delicious and should hit the spot when you need something rich and creamy.  You would think they’d be an obscene number of calories but they are only 123 per serving (recipe makes 12) - most of which come from the fat of course. Enjoy!

1.5 Cups Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil softened
1/4 cup grass fed butter softened (you can skip the butter & just use more coconut oil)
2 Tablespoons Lakanto Sweetener
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or Vanilla Bean powder (I used vanilla bean powder)
pinch of sea salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350
Spread coconut flakes on a cookie sheet and bake till golden - watch them carefully as they burn easily.
When golden - place in a high speed blender or food processor and process scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly till you have “toasted coconut butter”…this takes a few minutes. When you are happy with the consistency…I like it a bit crunchy still.
Add the Coconut oil and butter and blend till smooth
Add Vanilla or cinnamon and Lakanto sweetener - blend again till smooth
Pour into an ice cube tray or into candy molds - should give you 12 servings.
Keep Refrigerated - good luck keeping them around!

April 05, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


Low Carb/Ketogenic Diet FOCUS #3 Healthy Fats

Happy April!!  Longer days, hints of Spring…..things are definitely looking up!  First order of business today is an apology - For those of you have tried emailing me - I made a mistake on the email address - It is canfuel.lowcarbcanada.ca NOT .com.  A million apologies, I am so sorry!

On to business - I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of you at The Toronto Yoga Show this weekend completely by chance so I wanted to extend an invitation to any of you living in or close to Toronto to come by and see me at the Green Living Show this weekend!  I will be in the Pruvit booth - # 336 sampling ketones including our brand new flavour Swiss Max.  It’s the exact same powerful ketone salt found in the Maui Punch formula but in a delicious Swiss chocolate flavour - tastes exactly like milk chocolate (only no dairy of course!).

We are going back to our series of the most common mistakes made by people trying to follow a Low Carb or Ketogenic lifestyle I see in my practice. except I am reframing this as a positive - FOCUS.  This week we are going to talk about fats - given the importance of fat in these lifestyles, making the wrong choices can certainly be a major problem.  Without taking you through some kind of a chemistry lesson I am going to leave it at this:  healthy fats are as good for you as bad fats are toxic.  It’s that simple.  Consider this:

  • Healthy nervous system - every nerve in your body is wrapped in a myelin sheath (fat) without with nerve impulses cannot be carried from the brain and back properly.
  • Healthy cell membranes - every cell in your body is surrounded by a wall that needs to be fluid and functional in order to manage the flow of nutrients in and waste products out. Cells also communicate with each other, a healthy cell wall is necessary for this to happen properly.  The right fats (cholesterol and omega 3) are incorporated into the wall and are crucial to these functions
  • Healthy fats help to deliver important fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) to the body.
  • Good fats in appropriate quantities can help your body manage inflammation whereas toxic fats will drive inflammation.

I promised no chemistry lesson so I will stop there but just know that for most people, extreme low fat diets spell trouble in the long run.  But by the same token eating poor quality fats is also extremely unhealthy.  Here is a list of the fats you DO want to eat:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferably unheated as high heat damages the delicate fat and turns it into a toxin)
  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - raw, cooked or somewhere in between, coconut oil does wonders for a body and it tastes good too.
  • MCT Oil like Bulletproof (available at Low Carb Canada) - an extract of coconut oil that is great for mixing into shakes, into your coffee, drizzling onto veggies and any food you’d like to enhance. The beauty of MCT is that the liver will happily convert it to Ketones to drive energy and focus.
  • Avocado Oil - a bit harder to find but wonderful for cooking
  • Ghee (clarified butter) preferably from Grass Fed Cows (Low Carb Canada sells Bulletproof’s Ghee which is a fabulous product) - great for high heat cooking and tolerated by people who do not do well with dairy as the milk proteins have been removed.
  • High quality and fresh Flax Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil (the best on the market is Styrian Gold), Sesame Seed Oil and other raw nut oils just never ever heat them and enjoy in small quantities
  • Egg yolks - long demonized egg yolks are so incredibly rich in vitamins, minerals and they even contain compounds to help you break down the fat in them. Buy the best quality eggs you can afford - it’s almost Farmer’s Market time - best place to buy eggs from pastured happy hens.

I will deal with animal fats on another day so will stop there but hopefully this gives you an idea of the best fats to use.  As you can see, missing from the list are Canola Oil, Seed Oils, Vegetable Oils, Corn Oil etc…..these are highly processed, over heated and damaged fats that will drive inflammation and wreak havoc in your body.  Switching to better options is part of the solution to helping you look and feel your best.

Keto//OS Fast Facts

How do I use KetoKreme and how is it different from the other Keto//OS formulas?

KetoKreme is what I like to call a “supporting actor” in your Keto day.  It does not contain actual ketones (which all of the other formulas do) but it does provide MCT oil which your body will convert into ketones.  It is a creamy lovely addition to a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa…you can use it to your “fatty” coffee to start your day if you are skipping breakfast and intermittent fasting, or, as a treat mid afternoon or even in the evenings as a pre bedtime treat in a cup of herbal tea.   I will use anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 sachet per serving although there are those who will use a whole sachet in their coffee first thing in the morning to kickstart their day.

I always have at least one sachet in my purse for emergencies when I am out on the road - if I can’t get to a meal and need to buy some time and have no KetoMax on me then my KetoKreme in a coffee or tea will tide me over.

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails, I hope to meet some of you this weekend at the Green Living Show - booth 338! 

Here are some useful links:

  • To reach me directly, email: lowcarbcanada.ca
  • To order Keto//OS: shopketo.com/ca
  • To get you started on your Keto journey watch the videos at: drinkyoursample.com/ca. The first explains how to use Keto//OS and the second explains how ketones work in your body - both are short and informative.

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!!

Instagram:       @nathalieniddam
Facebook:       KetoNat
Website:          NathalieNiddam.com


Shrimp with Mustard Greens, Lemon & Capers over Shiratake Noodles

1 lb Good quality Shrimp (Selva is my favourite brand)
1 Bunch Mustard Greens washed and chopped
3 Tablespoons Capers
Zest and juice from 1/2 an organic lemon
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tablespoon Ghee (Bulletproof)
1 -2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 package Shiratake Noodles Rinsed and drained


Directions

Melt the ghee over medium heat in a stainless steel pan
Add the garlic and stir till fragrant (do not let it burn)
Add the capers, the lemon juice and stir quickly
Add the Shrimp and toss till they turn pink
Just before the shrimp are cooked add the chopped mustard greens and stir till they are wilted
Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil and add the lemon zest.

Set this aside

Warm the remaining tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive oil in the pan over medium/low heat, add the noodles, add sea salt, a bit more lemon juice and zest to taste.  Toss till just covered and warmed.  You can add a bit more ghee or olive oil if you like.

Place noodles in a bowl and top with the shrimp and greens. 

If you include dairy in your plan add a bit of Parmesan cheese at the end.

March 29, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


20% Off March Madness Sale Till 11:59pm March 30

Keto/Low Carb Lifestyle How Keto//OS Saved Me

20% Off March Madness Sale Till 11:59pm March 30

Good morning friends!  I am back on the continent and finally through my jet lag….thank goodness as I have far too much to do to be crashing and burning at 8 pm every night!  Let’s take a break from our recent theme of Keto/Low Carb Mistakes and use this week for a bit of a celebration.  I wanted to share with you how I believe my Keto//OS saved me during my trip this year. 

As many of you know I spent two weeks touring Israel, as one relative noted, from one border to the next - literally.  It was beautiful, busy and at times emotional.  Immersing yourself in a new culture for me, means taking in every piece that you can, being the food focused person that I am, that means partaking of foods that I might not otherwise eat as long as they are not harmful to me.  I shared with you my troubles with beans last week so I stayed away from those but bread is a different story.  While it is neither the most nutritious or beneficial option for optimal health, bread is not a harmful food for me.  I am neither Celiac nor allergic to wheat but I know that in my day to day life eating bread leads me to sluggishness and weight gain.  On this trip I parked that and enjoyed fluffy pita’s, Yemenite Crepes, homemade baked goods to name a few.  Not every day, there were certainly days I was able to stick to my guns but definitely more days than not there was some reason to stray. 

A few years ago, we went to Paris - I applied the same logic.  I came home 8 lbs heavier than I left.  You can imagine how apprehensive I was to step on my scale upon my return although strangely my clothes seemed to fit me pretty much the same as before.  This time…the number was 2.  2 lbs that were gone 2 days after we got back.  How to explain this?  Both trips involved a lot of walking, meals with friends and family and no access to gyms.  In spite of my best intentions I did not do daily push ups and sit ups in my room (who has time!?).  Not only that, on my first day back it was Back Squat day at my gym and I exceeded my personal best by 20 lbs!!!  What gives?  I believe that my KetoMax was in no small part responsible for all of this - the weight maintenance, the  fact that my muscle mass was at least maintained…that and the occasional day when I managed to fast until lunch.   This experience really confirmed to me the power of ketones.  A couple of factors that may have come into play:

  1. Research has shown (in lab animals at least) that ketones can reduce “feed efficiency” - meaning that the animals seem to absorb fewer calories from the food they consume. We cannot always directly translate animal study results directly to humans but could this have something to do with my results?  I have to at least be open to that possibility.
  2. Ketones are muscle sparing and help your body use amino acids (the building blocks of protein more efficiently allowing for muscle building and repair - perhaps this helped me at least not lose what I had at the beginning of my trip - while we did a couple of hikes there were at most two that even had me break a sweat.
  3. The appetite suppressing effect of ketones may also have helped me at least manage my intake of the fresh out of the oven, warm pillowy pita’s….mmmmmm.
  4. Finally, drinking ketones on the 11 hour flights I also believe helped me to manage the swelling that usually plagues me for days after much shorter flights. My feet swelled a bit on the flight but the swelling was gone within a day - this is not my usual I can promise you. 

So that’s it….my personal testimony as to the power of this magic white powder that I just mix in water and chug every day.    I brought a recipe back from Israel to share with you - it is low carb and high fat and delicious.  I hope that you like it as much as I do!

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.  Here are some useful links:

  • To reach me directly, email: canfuel@lowcarbcanada.com
  • To order Keto//OS: shopketo.com/ca Note that all products are 20% OFF till midnight Thursday March 30
  • To get you started on your Keto journey watch the videos at: drinkyoursample.com/ca. The first explains how to use Keto//OS and the second explains how ketones work in your body - both are short and informative.

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!!

Instagram: @nathalieniddam

Facebook:  KetoNat

Website:NathalieNiddam.com

RECIPE

Middle Eastern Beef & Lamb Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

1 Lb Grass Fed Ground Beef

3/4 Lb Ground Pastured Lamb

2 eggs

1/2 cup fresh chopped Parsley

1/4 cup almond meal

2 TBSP Brain Octane Oil (optional but great for MCT’s and flavour)

3 teaspoons Ras el Hanout (Middle Eastern Spice Mixture)

1- 2 teaspoons sea salt (to taste)

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, wash your hands, remove your jewellery, roll up your sleeves and blend well with your hands. 

Then form meatballs with about 1/4 cup or so of the mixture.

To cook, you can either bake in the oven on a cookie sheet at 320 for 25 minutes or so till cooked through OR (my fave) fire up the BBQ and grill ,them - careful that they don’t flame though, between the lamb and the MCT there will be lots of fat to feed those flames.

Serve wrapped in lightly steamed collard leaves topped with 1- 2 TBSP Tahini sauce

Tahini Sauce

In a small blender place

1/2 cup tahini

1-2 cloves garlic

2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tsp Sumac (optional but delicious if you have it)

3/4 tsp sea salt

Blend till smooth.

If it’s too thick you can thin it by adding water a tablespoon at a time till you are happy with the consistency.

Taste to adjust the seasonings - use on meatballs or on steamed veggies.

March 23, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


Keto/Low Carb Lifestyle Common Mistakes Part 2 - Not Enough Vegetables

Hello from far far away - as we near the end of our family holiday in Israel I can tell you that in addition to being a country full of history and culture, the culinary adventure has been nothing less than spectacular…and, eye opening.  While I have been diligently using my KetoKreme in the delicious coffee and getting my KetoMax in on most days (long hours in the car driving through desert landscapes with dubious access to washrooms has made me cautious about chugging large amounts of fluids on a couple of occasions) I have been compelled in certain instances to “break my own rules”.  At times with no ill effects and at others with an unpleasant reminder of why I avoid certain foods. 

Beans and legumes and I have never gotten along - apparently that has not changed - after dealing with unpleasant and at times borderline painful bloating I gave up on anything that involved hummus or falafel no matter how delicious it looks.  Cheese, I treat with caution as dairy too can be a problem - so I have built in controls on that front.  Real trouble for me presents in the delicious breads, pita’s, flatbreads…all homemade - I can consume these with no apparent issues so I have, on a few occasions thrown in the towel and surrendered - like last night at my cousin’s house where her husband buried the table in homemade flatbreads and pizzas all baked in his outdoor wood-burning oven, covered in tomato sauce made from a neighbour’s tomatoes, another one’s goat cheese and fresh herb’s from his backyard - and did I mention the wine he makes himself??  Seriously. 

But the saving grace at every meal no matter if it was at someone’s home or in a restaurant has been the bowls and bowls of vegetables - salads, platters of vegetables, cooked and raw, dressed simply in olive oil, lemon, sometimes creamy tahini (sesame paste), fresh herbs…no end of combinations and every one of them delicious.  So my strategy has been to load up on these before anything else (last night was no different) -no hardship for me since I have always loved my vegetables - which I believe has always been my ace in the hole.

This somewhat long winded preamble brings me to what I have seen over and over again with my clients as one of the biggest mistakes people make when following a low carbohydrate or ketogenic lifestyle - not enough vegetables.

Here are a few reasons why you do not want to fall into this trap:

  1. Vegetables provide invaluable fibre that your gut microbiome requires to function
  2. Fibrous (non starchy) vegetables help to fill you up so you don’t need to overload on more calorie dense fats and proteins - not that you don’t need those too but as you know, it’s all about balance.
  3. Variety of vegetables ensures you are providing your body with the many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols that are vital to your long term health.
  4. Eating fermented vegetables is particularly beneficial for gut health the cornerstone of optimal health.
  5. Sprouts as we have discussed in previous posts are a treasure trove of nutrients high in fibre, low in calories - you can enjoy almost limitless amounts of these without driving your carbs up.

Don’t believe me?  Check this out:

1 Cup Sunflower Sprouts

1 cup arugula

2 Cups Baby Spinach

1 cup Broccoli

1/2 cup red pepper

65 g Avocado

1 cup Romaine Lettuce

1 cup Spaghetti Squash

1 cup Celery

1/2 cup cucumber

1 cup Kale

Total 10 (!) cups of vegetables providing 39 grams of Carbs but of these 19 grams of fibre - so a total of 20 grams of NET carbs…well within range for almost anyone and providing a laundry list of benefits.

And so, the invitation this week, is to gradually increase your intake of vegetables both in quantity and in variety.  Eat them cooked, raw, baked, roasted and steamed….with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or ghee (the fat helps with the absorption of vitamins and satiety), some sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Keep it simple and enjoy.

No recipe this week as I am short on time but I will make up for it next week, I promise.  Meantime keep using your Keto//OS as your secret weapon and eat your vegetables - see how much better you feel!

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.  Here are some useful links:

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!

Instagram: @nathalieniddam

Facebook:  KetoNat

Website:NathalieNiddam.com

March 15, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


Common Ketogenic Diet and Low Carb Diet Mistakes

Keto//OS Q & A

As the Ketogenic diet and lifestyle becomes increasingly mainstream people in the nutrition and health field are starting to see the dark side of what in some cases can be the perfect fit for some.  The appeal of a lifestyle where you can seemingly eat cheese and bacon to your heart’s content is hard to resist for a lot of people.  And once they’ve heard of a few people who’ve had success with it they are SOLD.  The trouble is that for many people it is not that simple.   They may not tolerate high amounts of fat, the diet may work for a while and then stop, while some peoples’ blood work normalizes and improves others see their blood work get dramatically worse.  What gives?

As in all things it’s never really that simple.  What “diet” will work best for you is an intricate formula of your genetic makeup, your ancestry, your age and stage, your current health status, food sensitivities and activity levels.  In the next few weeks I will explore some of the common mistakes I see people make that can hold them back. 

Food Sensitivities:  This feeds a bit into the next point but I cannot stress enough the importance of listening to your body.  Yes, I know that virtually every Keto Cook Book out there is filled with delicious recipes oozing with cheese, and fluffed with full fat whipped cream but even the “best” food may not work for your body.   Eggs, pork, dairy, certain nuts, almost any food may cause inflammation and an immune reaction in your body - and you may or may not be aware of it.  If you have been Keto or very low carb for a while and don’t seem to be feeling any better or seeing changes in your body composition it may be that you are eating foods that do not agree with you.  Get to a Holistic Nutritionist (like me) or a Naturopath and get tested for Food Sensitivities - you may be amazed at what you learn and the difference it can make.

Stubborn About Dairy:  This is a big one - one of the things that gets people over the fact that they are giving up their favourite baked goods and carbohydrate heavy meals is that they get to eat cheese, cream, and other such foods that previously had been told to avoid like the plague.  The trouble is that too much (or in some cases any) dairy can make a mess out of some people, bloating, digestive issues, the inability to lose weight, bad skin, inflammation - all of these can be symptoms of dairy intolerance.  I have had clients cut dairy out of their diet (reluctantly) and the stubborn pounds just melted off - plus they felt SO much better!!  The easiest and least expensive way to find out if this is an issue for you - eliminate all dairy for 30 days - see how you feel, observe your results.  Still not sure?  After 30 days is up eat, drink dairy every day for 4 days straight, you will know…observe energy levels, digestion, bloating, headaches, sleep etc.  Still not sure?  Re read the section above on Food Sensitivity Testing.

Keto//OS Q & A

When should I take Keto//OS (2.1, 3.0 or KetoMax)?

The general rule of thumb I use is: any time of day you are looking for an increase in focus, energy and help with cravings or hunger. 

For example:

  • Whether you practice Intermittent Fasting or eat breakfast, use Keto//OS midmorning when you get hungry to keep you focused and energized to lunch.
  • If you know that you get hungry or tired mid afternoon have a Keto//OS around 1 or 2 pm to carry you through till dinner.
  • Pre workout to give you energy, focus an support recovery or Post workout to support recovery (KetoMax is my favourite formula around workouts).
  • On a night when you need to work late to meet a deadline - have a Keto//OS (uncharged) to help with focus and mental energy.

If you are using Caffeine Free you can take your Keto//OS at any time of day that you want energy without the use of stimulants like caffeine.  That being said there are people who swear that Keto//OS in the evening allows them to enjoy their best sleep….you be the judge :-).

For the Charged or caffeine versions I recommend that people use these anytime of day before 1:00 or 2:00 pm depending on your sensitivity to caffeine.

KetoKreme can be added to caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, tea or other warm beverage at any time of day to bump up ketone production and curb cravings.  Great before bed with herbal tea for sleep.  Take 1 or 2 capsules of Magnesium (BisGlycinate or citrate NOT Oxide) to support an even better sleep.

 Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.  Here are some useful links:

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!!

Instagram: @nathalieniddam

Facebook:  KetoNat

Website:NathalieNiddam.com

Avocado & Spinach Dip

While visiting friends in Israel this was placed on the table with bowls of raw vegetables for dipping.  Aside from the gorgeous green colour it was truly delicious and it tool seconds to make.

Ingredients

1 avocado

2 cups baby spinach leaves

1/2 a medium onion

juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon (or to taste)

1/4 lemon with peel (optional)

sea salt (to taste)

black pepper

Directions

Starting with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, place all ingredients in a food processor pr blender and blend till smooth.

Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Options:  Add fresh herbs you enjoy to change this up.  Try fresh basil, or oregano….

March 08, 2017

0 comments

Posted in


The Importance of Chewing, and a (new) KetoMax Coconut Cream Shake

PRUVIT March Madness Sale!  15% OFF till Thursday March 9th 11:59pm

Today’s post is about a subject that hits a bit close to home for me.  As a young child I was a very very slow eater - I have memories of being the last one at the table, an old style alarm clock in front of me, my cheeks stuffed full of food and not being the least bit hungry.  My poor Mother, terrified that I would die of malnutrition if I didn’t finish everything on my plate would be beside herself at times cajoling, pleading and occasionally losing her temper as the minutes ticked by and my plate remained unchanged.  

I can’t tell you if I was over served in the first place but I can tell you that I was a very slow eater which was at the root of the issue.  It turns out that staying there would have served me much better than what ended up happening in my teens when I learned the “skill” of inhaling my food.  There was no chewing, no tasting, just eat as fast as possible.  Not so good.  It took a long time for me to understand that, drama aside, it would be a good idea for me to revert to my old ways as my digestion was not the best and I often would find myself overfull and in some kind of a food coma after meals.  I was lucky to be active enough and to have a reasonably healthy diet or I could have ended up with much bigger issues.  

So, let’s talk about chewing, and slow eating and the value that these bring to managing portion sizes and, even more importantly, to how well you digest and then are able to absorb the nutrients in your food.   Take a guess when digestion really begins…..before or after you take the first bite?  Turns out that digestion starts when we start to think about the food we are about to eat, when we see it, and smell it….our brain sends signals to our digestive system to get the juices flowing and the engine revving.   You begin to salivate (assuming you are looking forward to your meal of course)…..and for some people this anticipation gets them to a place where they just can’t wait to chomp down on the first bite, and the next bite and the next…you see where this is going yes?  

There are a number of reasons why you want to slow down when you eat, here is a short list of the top 5 reasons why:

  1. Chewing starts the mechanical breakdown of food so that you can absorb and assimilate the nutrients from your meal….us nutritionists have a saying:  You cannot assimilate what you cannot absorb…quite apart from the risk of choking, food that is not broken down enough can’t be properly digested in the stomach - the digestive juices just won’t be able to do their job and, while the stomach churns it cannot chew…
  2. Chewing also mixes your food with saliva which contains enzymes to break down some fat and starch - this along with the mechanical act of chewing makes it easier for your stomach and intestine to do their job
  3. Improperly chewed and broken down food ends up in the intestine where bacteria get to work breaking it down for you - good news bad news - the result is often gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramping and other digestive issues.  
  4. Chewing actually keeps your teeth strong, and, the saliva released helps to manage plaque buildup and tooth decay
  5. Chewing your food properly (till it is pretty much pulp) allows you to slow down and savour your meal.  How often did you rush through a meal, distracted by your TV or work only to be surprised to find your plate empty?
  6. When you slow down, there’s time for your stomach to let your brain know that you are full.  A guideline I often share with my clients is, on a scale of 1 - 10 to eat to an 8.   Stop, rest….usually, within 10 minutes or so you realize your are full.  This can avoid overeating in many cases.

Net, net, there are many good reasons to slow down and chew your food properly - better nutrition, better digestion and better portion control….I can tell you from personal experience that slowing down definitely can cut down on how much you want to eat.

KETO//OS Q & A

For the next couple of weeks I will be travelling abroad so my posts will get a bit shorter.  I thought that one thing that might be useful would be for me to answer some of the more common questions I get asked about using this product.  The number one question I get about Keto//OS is: what should I eat?  Do I need to be on a low carb diet for Keto//OS to work? As is often the case the answer depends on a number of variables but here is a general one that I hope will serve most of you.  

If you are looking to drop some extra weight as many people are with this product you would get the best and fastest results by at the very least cleaning up your diet.  This means eating mostly vegetables (primarily non Starchy), a moderate amount of the best quality protein you can afford, and healthy fats.  Make sure you are drinking a lot of water AND that you are getting some form of exercise in every day.  The short answer - a moderate to lower carb diet is optimal although you may be able to get away with a bit more carb than if you weren’t using Keto//OS.

For people who have a lot of weight to lose just adding the shakes to their routine will help them to start releasing weight - this typically happens faster for men than women (not fair I know) but the closer you get to your target the more important it will be to improve your diet and exercise routine.

In short, you do NOT need to be following a Ketogenic Diet, but if that is your inclination and it works for you then by all means do so.  The extra Ketones will help you stay in ketosis and get maximum benefits.

No matter what you decide, remember that it is important to track your progress - we forget how tired, foggy, sleep deprived we were when we start to feel better.  You may also want to consider tracking your food for at least a week or so to get an idea of what is or isn’t working.  Whenever you find your progress has stalled - go back to tracking your food and see what may have changed.  If you can’t figure it out for yourself, that food diary will be invaluable for someone like me to help you out.

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.  Here are some useful links:

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

KetoMax Coconut Cream Shake

I love my KetoMax just the way it is but there are days when I’m looking for something a bit more rich, especially when I may not have eaten quite enough.  

On those days I do this:

  • Fill my shaker bottle with about 14 oz of cold water
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of full fat coconut milk
  • Add a sachet of KetoMax Maui Punch (I use uncharged after 2 pm to avoid bad sleeps)
  • Shake well and enjoy

Cheers!!

Instagram: @nathalieniddam

Facebook:  KetoNat

Website:NathalieNiddam.com

1 2 3 5 Next »