Keto Korner

March 23, 2017

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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

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Common Ketogenic Diet and Low Carb Diet Mistakes

Keto//OS Q & A

Avocado Spinach Dip/Sauce

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

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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
February 28, 2017

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LAST DAY PRUVIT SALE - 15% off all Products till midnight tonight (Feb 28th)

 

Know Yourself to set up for Success

6 Minute Keto/Low Carb Breakfast

Are you an Abstainer or a Moderator?  Could answering this question help with your success?  A couple of years ago I ordered a great book by Gretchen Rubin the author of the Happiness Project - it’s called Better Than Before and it’s all about changing our habits.  In my business, this type of information is golden - a huge part of the reason I became a Bulletproof Coach is because I quickly learned as a Nutritionist that often what holds people back the most is not that they don’t know what to do (I can usually help with that problem), it’s that they can’t, won’t or don’t do it.   It’s a great book and I highly recommend it.  In today’s post however, I just wanted to share one of the concepts that really stuck with me.

For the most part, the world is divided into two groups of people when it comes to consuming favourite foods which may or may not be good for you.  Understanding which camp you fall into can be quite helpful, especially when it comes to certain foods - should you keep a dark chocolate bar in the house or should it and anything like it never ever darken your doorway? 

Abstainers are people who, when trying to give up their “kryptonite foods” those foods that throw them off their plan in the blink of an eye, need to give these up completely.   For this person, just having the food in the house (the car, their desk, their purse…wherever) means that they will obsess about it and eating it until it is completely gone.  They simply cannot stop themselves and get it out of their minds.  They get exhausted negotiating with themselves - just this once, only a bit, ok maybe a bit more…and so on.

Moderators on the other hand, can have one square of chocolate, a single cookie, 6 almonds, a single small glass of wine and step away, satisfied and happy till another day.  Remove this food completely from their plan, forbid it, and they become obsessed with when they can ever have it again - they will fixate on it endlessly, dreaming, fantasizing….you get the picture.  This person may be better off allowing themselves the occasional indulgence (a bite of dessert, a square of dark chocolate) which may help them to do a better job sticking to their plan the rest of the time.  Sometimes, all these people need is to know that they can and then they don’t - funny huh?

I would take this it one step further to say that we may be abstainers for some foods (in my case sour wine gums, Jelly Belly jelly beans) and moderators for others (in my case again, dark chocolate and wine).    It could be that I don’t love the latter as much as sour and chewy candies, or, that the sugar and chemicals in the candies light up my brain in a way that renders me powerless - there is no end of information out there about the dollars spent by big food companies to create addictive foods we cannot resist.  Either way, my reality is that I do not buy those foods I know I cannot resist.  Done.  I don’t even think about them.

The invitation to you today is to sit down and think about which camp you fall into and use this knowledge to set yourself up for success.  Take it a step further and identify the foods that might turn you from a moderator to an abstainer and cut those out completely.

PRUVIT KETO//OS Sale

It’s on till midnight tonight (Tuesday Feb 28th) and it’s 15% off everything in the store!  Many people use Keto//OS because it helps them manage their cravings which is a big step in forming better food habits.  Some of the ways it may do this is perhaps because Ketones seem to help your blood sugar levels to stabilize, or because Ketones exert a slight appetite suppressing effect….whatever the reason, they can be a great tool in your kit to success. 

To get the best discount, place your order for “Today and Smartship” you will only be charged for the immediate order and your Smartship will be scheduled for one month from today.  If between now and then you decide you don’t want it, just sign back in to your back office and cancel or change it with the click of a button - no email, no phone call, nothing.

To order Keto//OS go canfuel.shopketo.com/ca (no /ca if you are in the US and if you are in Australia you can now place orders by adding /AU after the .com).  After you place your order watch the video at canfuel.drinkyoursample.com/ca to learn how to incorporateate ketones into your day.

To watch a video about how ketones work in your body go to: canfuel.experienceketo.com/ca

Thank you for reading and thank you so much for your comments and emails! 

Follow me on social media for recipes, meal ideas and more - see links below - and check out the recipe at the bottom of this post!

 

Instagram: @nathalieniddam

Facebook:  KetoNat

Website:NathalieNiddam.com

6 MINUTE BREAKFAST - LOW CARB & KETO!

Yesterday as I browsed in the Low Carb Canada Store my eye fell upon a cute little box of crackers - Rosemary Parmesan Crisps by Kitchen Table Bakers.  I happened to be wanting something a bit salty at the time so I checked out the box intrigued.  Nothing but Parmesan Cheese and Rosemary - no carbs, no sugar just good fats and protein…they are delicious.

Fast forward to this morning - I came home from the gym hungry after a tough workout (fuelled by KetoMax of course) and had this idea (see picture). Here’s what I did:

  • I looked at the clock: 10:35 am
  • wilt 1 cup of arugula (or baby spinach) in 1/2 teaspoon of Bulletproof GF Ghee
  • scramble in two eggs, sprinkle sea salt
  • place two Parmesan Rosemary Crisps on a plate with 1/4 avocado sliced
  • top the crisps with the scrambled eggs and greens
  • top each with a teaspoon of salsa ( Neal Brothers Organic - my favourite - no sugar & tangy)
  • Looked at the clock again 10:41 am

SO GOOD!!!  Try it out for yourself!  Add a salad or a bowl of soup and make it a lunch!

February 22, 2017

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Vitamin D3, Fat Loss & Keto//OS - An Invitation, and SuperCharged Coffee

Good day to all - if you live in Ontario you are coming off one of the most unbelievable Family Day weekends in recent history from a weather perspective.  I believe we experienced record breaking highs and…wait for it, 3 (!) days in a row of sunshine!!  Speaking of sunshine, I was chatting with a client yesterday and she brought up a common misconception about Vitamin D3 that I thought I would share with you as it is quite important to manage properly.   My mission with this newsletter is not only to support low carb and Ketogenic lifestyles but also to help you optimize your health in all areas - Vitamin D3 deficiency is a big deal so optimizing it will help you to be successful in reaching your goals.

Vitamin D3, also called the sunshine vitamin is considered by many people in the health field as a Hormone.  Every cell in your body has a receptor for Vitamin D3 - it’s that important.  Here are a “few” things that you may not already know:

  1. Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin - this means that excess will build up in your fat stores vs being excreted but the body so it is important to have your D3 levels checked regularly to understand how much you may or may not need to supplement.
  2. Your body produces the precursor to Vitamin D3 on your skin through the interaction between the sun and a cholesterol compound…the liver and kidneys complete the conversion to the active form of D3 - this is why people with liver and kidney diseases are at higher risk for osteoporosis.
  3. Vitamin D3 deficiency in Northern climates such as ours is incredibly common so it’s a really good idea to pay the money to have your levels checked at least once a year.
  4. Most experts agree serum levels of Vitamin D3 in the range of 30-40 ng/ml are optimal but it has more recently come to light that excess Vitamin D3 can also be a problem - again, do not blindly supplement - a simple blood test will tell you what you need.
  5. Vitamin D3 plays a huge role in Calcium metabolism (along with Magnesium and vitamin K2) which is why it’s so important for bone health. I recommend clients take a supplement that provides both D3 and K2 as they work together and both are fat soluble plus some experts believe that Vitamin K2 may be protective against excess D3.  AOR brand makes a great product combining these two.
  6. Vitamin D3 is also very important for immunity - a number of studies have demonstrated links between maintaining optimal levels of Vitamin D3 as part of a strategy to prevent certain types of cancer.
  7. Optimizing your Vitamin D3 may also help you avoid catching or beat the flu if you do get it.
  8. Vitamin D3 may help with weight loss and people who carry a high amount of fat may actually need to take more D3 than leaner and smaller people as fat tissue tends to store D3 - so in this case, size does matter.
  9. Winter sunshine where we live will NOT help your body make a significant amount of D3 - in order to make decent amounts of D3 you need about 20 minutes of sun (till your skin just starts to turn pink) usually between 10 and 2pm and within 35 degrees of latitude to the equator …..before you start screaming about skin cancer go back and read what I wrote: 20 minutes….. But guess what? There’s an APP for that!  D-Minder is free and is awesome - check it out for yourself….
  10. Your skin colour affects your ability to produce D3, darker skinned people need more time in the sun to make the same amount of D3 as a fair skinned person.
  11. If you work inside in the summer months and don’t get out in the sun - your body won’t make D3, no matter how close to the equator you live - looking out the window at the sunshine will not help.
  12. Last but not least - there are food sources of D (Fish liver oils, wild cold water fish, eggs, some mushrooms) BUT you’d be hard pressed to meet your needs from even the best diet so for the vast majority of people this is one supplement you may have to take - and that includes babies and children too! Check with your doctor and have their levels checked!!!

Fat Loss & Keto//OS

One of the many benefits that one can reap from the regular use of Keto//OS is fat loss and improved lean muscle mass - however this benefit does not happen in a vacuum.  For people who have a lot of weight to lose Keto//OS can kick start fat loss with seemingly little effort on their part aside from drinking a shake or two a day.  

Talking to these people there is a cascade of benefits that kick in - improved energy and mental focus allow them to start to feel better and make better decisions.  Reduced appetite and cravings help them to eat less and again, to make better choices when they do.  As they start to see and experience the benefits they start to move more, and eat better, they burn fat, build muscle and the cascade of benefits kick in until they are standing in front of a room full of people 100lbs or more lighter tearfully and joyfully sharing their story. 

You would think that given this, those of us who have 5 - 10lbs to lose should do so after a few sachets of Keto//OS and yet, for many people this is not the case - what gives???  It’s not that these people don’t experience benefits, they certainly do - better energy, mental focus, reduced cravings, appetite control, better mood, better sleep - all of these benefits are there but let’s face it, what most of us are really after (whether we want to admit it or not) is looking good naked - or at least in a swimsuit…come on admit it - I’ll go first. Me.  And I will share a secret with you - the closer you get to your target, the more you are going to have to work for it especially if you are over 40 and definitely if you are over 50.… and even more so for us women.  Here are the 5 things you need to hone in on if you are after optimal results

  • Intention - set your intention to do what it takes to get to your goal. Define your goal and move on to #’s 2-5 because intention without action is simply a wish…nice but won’t get you too far.
  • Nutrition: Still eating the same as before?  Change it up.  Get rid of sugars, processed foods and most grains, eat a ton of green vegetables, clean protein (25%) and some healthy fats.  Try Intermittent Fasting a couple of days a week - keep track of your food and progress (measure inches not pounds) to see what is an is not working.
  • Movement: If you are sedentary start walking, if you are active, change up your workouts - lift weights, get some cardio in, do some high intensity interval training, learn a new sport.  Just a few times a week will do, no need to spend hours in the gym but you have to move!  You have a tool on board (ketones) that will enable you to recover better and build muscle - use it.
  • Sleep: If you are sleeping less than 6 hours a night (real target is 7) your body will likely be holding on to fat.  Lack of sleep messes with your hormones and drives up hunger,  I’ll get in to the details next week but suffice to say, start working on getting enough good quality sleep.
  • Stress Management: We lead fast and stressful lives - it’s unlikely that will change but we can choose to manage our stress differently.  As a starting point, download the app Headspace - it’s free.  10 minutes a day is all you need to get started - commit for 30 days.

We are all after the magic pill, or, in this case, the magic powder that will make it so we can eat and drink what we want, when we want, never break a sweat and look like a supermodel….for 90% of us this is simply not going to happen unless we take ACTION with INTENTION..   What Keto//OS can do for you is give you an edge, a leg up if you will so you have the energy and the mental focus to do what you need to do to get the results you want.  You will feel better, and your body will be better with ketones on board - where you go from there is entirely up to you.

Easy to say. Harder to do.  So I have an invitation for you - would you be interested in joining me for a six week Transformation Challenge?  The only requirement is that I strongly recommend that you get yourself an order of Keto//OS to get started (if you don’t already have some) so that everyone is on an even playing field.  You will be invited to join a private Facebook page where we will share stories and recipes, we will support each other and I will guide you through six weeks to your better self.  There will be Facebook Live events where you can ask questions.  Recipes of the week.  Short workouts you can do at home.  A community to support you.  If you are interested please find and follow my Facebook Page KetoNat where I will announce the launch of the program and how to join in the next few days and make sure to tune in on Saturday morning at 9 am for my weekly Facebook Live event where I cover biohacking tips, recipes and more. 

To get your ketones go to canfuel.pruvitnow.com/ca to place your order.  You can reach out to me at canfuel@lowcarbcanada.com with any questions or for support.  And finally, to see how ketones work in your body watch the video at: canfuel.experienceketo.com/ca

As always, thank you so much for reading!!! 

Have a wonderful and healthy week

Instagram: @nathalieniddam

Facebook:  KetoNat

Website:NathalieNiddam.com

SuperCharged Coffee

Full of healthy fats, plus tahini for calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, fibre, more good fats….oh and if you’re brave and have great fresh eggs in the house, try throwing in a raw egg yolk for even more fats and some vitamin D!!  This coffee is a breakfast or can kick off an Intermittent Fast Bulletproof Style….however you use it, be mindful that you can probably do without a big breakfast is you have one of these.

1 Cup of your favourite Coffee (Caf or water decaf)

1 TBSP KetoKreme

1 TBSP Tahini

1 Scoop Bulletproof Upgraded Collagen Powder

1.5 TBSP Full Fat Coconut Milk

1 TBSP MCT Oil (optional)

1/2 TSP Cinnamon

Place all ingredients (with egg yolk if you’re using it) except the collagen powder in your blender and blend till frothy.  Gently pulse in the Collagen just to blend and enjoy!

February 15, 2017

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Genetics for Personalized Nutrition and Keto Breakfast Bowl Recipe

Happy Hump Day.  Hoping that you are all doing well as we move into the back half of February….this means that March is closer than January and that Spring is just about in sight!!  Is anyone else as excited as me about that?  OK, I’m pushing it I know, but work with me people - as you’ve probably figured out by now, winter is not my favourite season.  Having said that being housebound has it’s advantages - over the past two weeks, I have done a deep dive into personalized nutrition for a talk I am delivering to a group of Executives and their partners this Thursday morning.  I have always been a believer that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next but never before have we had access to the tools to quantify what those differences may be like we do now.  Let me explain….

Your personal genetic code holds a wealth of information about your body, how it works and what it needs to function at its best, she of it is understood, much of it is not.  Over the past few years an increasing number of companies have been mining this information and gradually interpreting it in ways that make it useful to you and I.  I work with one of these companies and so am able to offer my clients insight into what their genes have to say about what type of diet might be most useful to them.  I became fascinated with this recently when I came across a study conducted at Stanford University that showed that when two groups of women were put on a weight loss plan (Group A on a standard Fat Loss Diet and group B on a diet based on a few of their genetic markers) the group with the diet matched to their DNA lost 2 and 1/2 times more weight than the first group!  How crazy is that??  But it actually makes sense - take me for example - when I look at my results I can see the following:

  1. I have a variant of a gene (UCP1) that sets me up to have a lower resting metabolic rate than the average person - this means that in order for me to lose weight I need to create a greater caloric deficit through diet and exercise than the average person.
  2. I also (and this is not what I was hoping for) have a variant of the FTO gene (aka the obesity gene!) that makes it easier for my body to store extra energy (other people might call that fat) - I need to watch my saturated fat intake and actually follow a moderate to high protein diet while at the same time…..
  3. Keep my carbohydrate intake in check as I have an elevated risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes (no surprise there, both my grandmother and mother developed T2D later in life).
  4. Keep my Caffeine intake below 200 mg a day (small cup of coffee) as I am sensitive to caffeine - excess caffeine consumption may set me up for high blood pressure down the road.

There’s more in my report but that’s probably enough super personal information for now lol.  Gee my cup runneth over….low resting metabolic rate, elevated risk of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure (good thing I’ve been active all these years!)…..but here’s the good news…armed with this information I can make adjustments now before I get into any real trouble.  You see, your genes are only part of the story - they tell you what your predispositions are but in most cases the decisions you make about your diet, and your lifestyle have a huge impact on whether or not those genes get expressed.  Granted, I have to be a bit more cautious about my diet, I do not get to eat a high fat ketogenic diet with impunity and I have to minimize my caffeine consumption but I have tools at my disposal (like my trusty Keto//OS) to hack my way into Ketosis and keep my cravings in check - I get to eat lots of protein (which I love) and I know what trouble signs to look out for.  All in all, I feel pretty lucky

So as of now my personal plan will look like this:

  • include daily exercise,
  • I will modify my diet to reduce my total fat intake to reduce overall calories
  • focus more on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than saturated fats (although I will still include some)
  • increase my protein intake to 30-35% (from my current 20%)
  • still eat LOTS of vegetables and pretty much stay away from grains
  • commit to no more than 200 mg (1 small cup) of caffeine a day
  • enjoy daily Keto//OS shakes to keep my energy high and my cravings in check, build muscle mass and burn fat to offset my lower than average RMR.

Bear in mind that other lifestyle choices can and will also have a major impact on my outcome and even the expression of my genetic code - sleep and stress management are also crucial to getting the best results.  If you’re interested in looking into your genetics shoot me an email via my website NathalieNiddam.com and we can discuss your options.

To get your Keto//OS go to canfuel.pruvitnow.com/ca  and place your order - KetoMax is the Maui Punch Formula and provides, to date, the most powerful increase in ketones of the three formulas - it actually outperformed anything else currently on the market in an independent lab study that will soon be published.  Other great Keto//OS Formulas are the Orange Dream (2.1) and Chocolate Swirl (3.0)

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this week’s post!  To finish off I am sharing with you the most popular breakfast post from my Instagram feed from last week.  I also share these weekly in Facebook Live posts on KetoNat my Facebook page along with other health and biohacking tips.  This week I’ll be talking about a new recipe plus my favourite stress management tool - Saturday morning at 9 am (EST) I’d love to see you if you can make it!

Have a spectacular week!!

Yours in good health,

 

Avocado Blueberry Keto Breakfast Bowl

Super quick to throw together as long as you’ve pre made your grain free granola or seed mix ahead of time. 

Ingredients

1/4  avocado cubed

1/4 cup frozen organic blueberries

1 serving seed mix (see below)

1Tbsp Almond or Sesame (Tahini) Butter

1 TBSP KetoKreme OR 1 tsp Erythritol, or a few drops of Stevia (see below)

2-3 Tbsp Plain Full Fat Yogurt (Pinehedge is my favourite brand) OR 1 oz of Full Fat Coconut Milk

Seed Mix (12 servings)

3/4 Cup organic Hemp Seeds

1/2 cup Chia Seeds

1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds

1/2 cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

35 grams Cacao Nibs Unsweetened (optional)

1 TBSP Cinnamon

Directions

Mix the almond butter and MCT oil with whatever sweetener you are using in a small bowl to make your drizzle.

Place the avocado, blueberries, seed mix in the bowl and top with yogurt or coconut milk and drizzle.

Note: This is a hearty breakfast delivering 411 calories of which 10 grams of net carbs,  32 g Fat and 17g protein.  If this is still too many carbs for you, you can reduce or eliminate the blueberries or even replace them with raspberries - only 2 net g carb vs 4 g)

February 10, 2017

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Paradox of our Time: Overfed & UnderNourished - Valentine Keto Ice Cream

As I sit and write this today, a thin layer of ice collects on every surface outside my window - freezing rain is one of Mother Nature’s most subtle weapons - seemingly harmless rain falls from the sky and coats the world in a beautiful yet dangerous layer of ice.  A paradox of sorts - like a thorn on a rose…there are no shortage of these in the natural world around us but our topic today centres around a man made paradox, the idea of being overfed and simultaneously  undernourished.

 

This may not be the first time you have heard about the idea that in North America and increasingly globally as access to fast and convenience food is going up, an increasing number of us, young and old are finding ourselves “victims” of this paradox.  A condition that is at the root of many preventable diseases and that more often than not is often accompanied by  obesity. There are stats that show that disadvantaged people (homeless, poor, unemployed) are obese, while other studies show that people from upper economic circles are also increasingly obese….adults are obese and far too many children as well.   If there was ever an argument that refuted the “calorie is a calorie” position of fast food and soft drink companies it is this one….you don’t have to be a scientist to understand that a glass of Coke delivering 100 calories is NOT equal to a glass of high quality protein powder blended with 1/4 avocado, 1 cup of baby spinach and 1/4 cup of berries.  They do not elicit the same hormonal response in your body nor do they deliver the same building and repair materials.  

So.  What to do?  When it comes to people without means, it will take education, programs that provide access to nutritious food and other solutions beyond the scope of this document .  For those of us who have the means to do better we must educate ourselves and equip ourselves with the resources to understand the nutrient density of what we are eating and continue to improve it wherever and whenever possible.  This concept also ties in neatly to the principles around a reduced carbohydrate and higher fat nutrition strategy.  It is no coincidence that as you start to remove breads, pastas, baked goods, and grains from your plate it frees up a whole lot of space for more vegetables and removes a major source of calories that for many people is more than they can use.  Plus, as we age, our tolerance and ability to properly process carbohydrates diminishes so they often end up showing up as fat in our blood (triglycerides) and fat around our middles.   Yes, this is yet another invitation for you to consider a reduced carbohydrate lifestyle to get to your healthiest self.  For some, a Ketogenic Diet is appropriate and achievable but it’s not appropriate for everyone.  That being said, most if not all of us would do better with fewer empty carbs and more of the good stuff on our plate.  Here are a few easy things you can do to work towards this goal:

  • Eat Vegetables - a lot of them - aim for at least 6-8 cups a day focusing primarily on non starchy varieties - so lots of leafy greens, cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage) and eat as wide a variety as you can manage.
  • Eat appropriate portions of the best protein you can afford - the palm of your hand and the thickness of a deck of cards is a great place to start for most people (unless you are an athlete in which case you may need a bit more). If you’re a numbers person figure about 0.8grams per kg of your target weight or, if you’re an athlete up to 1.2 grams is good for most people.
  • Eat a reasonable amount of healthy fat - before you go diving for the carbs to fill up on, have some good fat which will help your body to absorb vitamins and nutrients from your vegetables and help you to feel fuller and more satisfied. In descending order:  Extra Virgin Olive oil, olives, avocado oil, avocados, coconut oil, coconut milk, some nuts and seeds (raw not roasted and salted), whole eggs and, if you tolerate dairy some full fat organic dairy can also be good.  The battles over saturated fat rage on but unless you have a genetic issue with processing fats there is far more evidence that points to excess carbs and sugar as health culprits than fats.  That being said, if you’re not sure just go mediterranean - extra virgin olive oil, cold water fatty fish, nuts and seeds (in moderation) and avocados should form the bulk of your fat consumption.
  • Starchy Carbs - start with vegetables - sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash…all of these are great options and come full of nutrients to nourish your body.
  • Noodles - ok, I know this is not a food group however it is one of those things that people miss the most on low carb plans. The good news is that Shiratake Noodles are now readily available (at Low Carb Canada for one)and they are getting better and better with every passing year.  The Zeroodle brand also includes some great pastas made with legumes that deliver protein, fibre and almost no net carbs - serve them with veggies and healthy fats and they make a great satisfying meatless meal.

And our last concept of the day - eat less.  Under eat.  Just a bit.  You will live longer, be healthier and feel better if you do.  At this point, a number of you would probably like to bop me upside the head.  I know.  It’s not that easy.  But I’m here to tell you that if you eat real, nutrient dense food, hydrate and start to move a bit more it is doable.  One of the strategies I use with my clients is a food diary using a free app like myfitnesspal.  You get to enter your age, height, target weight, your activity level and goals and it will give you a rough idea of what your caloric intake should be.  It’s imperfect but it’s a great place to start.  Aim for 1 lb a week to start, nothing too aggressive - slow and steady wins this race…every time.  

And the next strategy, (you knew this was coming) is Keto//OS -

  • Because it can balance your blood sugar it can help reduce cravings and manage appetite.
  • Because it increases energy and focus it can help you to move more and stay committed to your goals.
  • Because it supports lean muscle mass and fat burning as you lose a few pounds, start to move more and eventually exercise you will build on your success and start to make gains you never dreamed of.

Above all you need a plan, a goal, patience and kindness towards yourself.  You did not get here in a month, it will take time to see the results you seek.  Time and tweaks - as we discussed last week, stick to your plan for a month and then adjust.  Next week we address planning for success starting with:  The Pantry Purge.

To order Keto//OS for yourself go to: canfuel.pruvitnow.com/ca

and, if you want a bit more insight into how it works in your body, watch the video at canfuel.experienceketo.com/ca

As always, thank you for reading and thank you so much for your comments and emails! 

Follow me on social media for recipes, meal ideas and more - see links below.

Instagram: @nathalieniddam

Facebook:  KetoNat

Website:NathalieNiddam.com

Did you think I forgot?  Not on your life!  Next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day - how convenient that KetoMax is pink!  In black and red packaging - how perfect!  What better gift than the gift of better energy and health?   Order yours soon so that you can surprise your Valentine with an energizing shake on the big day.  In the meantime, here’s that recipe I promised:

Valentine’s Day Keto Ice Cream Recipe - Chocolate Coconut

This is a variation on Bulletproof Ice Cream - not for the faint of heart the bottom line here is if you're going to eat ice cream make it count.  This recipe is incredibly decadent and nutrient dense full of great fats, protein and sweetened with non insulin spiking natural sweetener of your choice.  Play with the sweetness and chocolate intensity to get it to your liking just be careful…too many taste tests and you’ll need to make another batch! 

What you need:

A High Speed Blender

Small Jars ideally with lids - this ice cream does freeze solid so it’s hard to serve out of a large container lol.

Ingredients

*4 whole eggs

*4 egg yolks

7 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

7 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Butter

3 Tablespoons plus 2 tsp MCT Oil (Bulletproof Brain Octane is optimal here)

1 Cup Full fat Coconut Milk (preferably canned like Native Forest or Cha’s Organics)

4 Tablespoons Raw Unsweetened Cacao Powder (or more depending on your taste)

1 Tsp vanilla Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon (optional but adds nice complexity)

4 TBSP Xylitol or Erythritol or Lukuna

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut to garnish (optional)

7 tsp Raw Unsweetened Cacao Nibs

 Directions

Place everything except for the coconut and cacao nibs in a high speed blender and blend till smooth…..pour into individual jars and then carefully mix in cacao nibs if using and sprinkle shredded coconut on top for garnish.  

If you are following a ketogenic diet you could say that this recipe serves two - for everyone else - you may want to split it up into a few more portions - I split mine into 6, I am low carb but not quite Keto on most days.
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