LowCarb/Ketogenic Success Focus: Snacks - Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Recipe: Mustard Greens

One of the first things that people ask me when we meet and discuss their nutrition plan is:  but what about snacks?  Where are my snacks???  Wide eyed and breathless, they are borderline panicky….it seems that as a society we are obsessed with snacking and snack foods.  A fellow Nutritionist recently received a concerned phone call from a teacher complaining that her daughter never had any food for “snack time” - was there a problem she should be aware of?  It turns out that this child eats an incredibly nutrient dense diet and simply does not need a snack…for some reason this mystified and concerned her teacher enough to call her Mother who had to spend some time convincing the teacher that her child was just fine thanks.


There is this myth that we somehow need to be eating small meals all day long….as if we were giant ruminants roaming the earth with the sole purpose of eating our way through life.  At some point someone perpetuated this theory that eating constantly will somehow boost your metabolism…in a word, this is ridiculous.   You should ideally be able to go 4-5 hours between meals.  You might get a bit hungry, but developing the ability to be hungry without the accompanying irrational fear that if you do not eat right this second you will die (therefore that Mars Bar is a perfectly acceptable option) is a bit of a worthwhile skill to develop.  That being said, there are few things to consider depending on what type of hunger you are experiencing:

  1. You’re hungry but if you have a glass of water or a cup of herbal tea you can definitely survive till mealtime. You are able to focus and get whatever you need to get done.  This is a good sign….have some water, be strong and think back to your last meal.  Did you eat enough?  Is it possible that you skimped on healthy fats and protein and just leaned into the carbs a bit too much?  If so, strategize for your next meal - rebalance your macros (have a bit more protein and/or fat, cut back on the starchy carbs and see how you do.  It also bears mentioning that feeling hungry before your next meal should not be a deal breaker especially if your system is resilient enough to power through till you are ready to eat…it’s ok to be hungry sometimes.
  2. You are “Hangry"…anybody stands between you and the next edible thing you lay eyes on had better get out of the way. You can barely think you’re so hungry. Hmmmm might I delicately suggest that you might have a bit of a problem metabolizing sugar coupled with a certain over dependance on carbs as a fuel source?  Not that I am diagnosing here but quite often when we see this we find that people are full on sugar machines, they are possibly insulin resistant and they have little if any capacity to tap into their fat stores to use for fuel.  You are likely much too dependant on carbs in your diet and/or your cells may have become insulin resistant over time…..you may really benefit from switching to a low carb higher fat or Ketogenic Plan at least for a time to recalibrate your system.   Keto//OS shakes can be an invaluable tool for you in making these transitions.
  3. It’s all in your head - you stop and think…”I want something to eat”. Take a moment and think about that. Are you hungry or are you looking for something to eat?  Two very different things….you may be stressed or bored or simply acting out of habit drilled into you since childhood - it’s 10:30 am (or 3 pm), ergo you must be hungry.  Take a deep breath.  Have a glass of water.  Often times you realize you were being driven by something other than hunger.  Shake it off and soldier on.  You can do this.  Eating only when you need to eat is a valuable skill  that can avoid so many off the metabolic diseases that seem to be taking over the world.
  4. It’s midnight…of course you’re hungry! Staying up late and getting your second wind costs a ton of energy…your brain is screaming for calories to stay awake.   If you think that going to bed with nothing will produce a bad night of tossing and turning, have a tablespoon of almond butter (eat it slowly) and a bit of water (not too much or you’ll be in the bathroom right around when you are about to slide into deep delicious sleep) and go to bed.  Alternately, have some warm almond milk with some Ketokreme (again not too much fluid) and then crawl into bed and drift into dreamland.  And commit to get to bed earlier tomorrow night.

Alright - so this is the plan: 

  • Eat healthy well balanced meals until you feel satisfied,
  • Avoid too many carbs - I’d avoid anything starchy during the day (unless you just did a killer workout) to avoid the dozy relaxed state that often results from carb heavy meals. Save your carbs for dinner.
  • Eat because you need to not because you feel like it.
  • Drink water before you cave…just in case you’re mistaking thirst for hunger.
  • If you get hangry, start to transition your diet and use Keto//OS shakes to help you through the slumps when you’re pretty sure you can’t stand it for one more second.
  • If you MUST eat something - make sure you have the right stuff on hand like avocado, a hard boiled egg, some jerky, about 1 -2 ounces of raw unsalted nuts, a couple of pieces of 80% or darker dark chocolate (unless you know that this will trigger a chain reaction that will end badly) or of course - our trusty Keto//OS Shakes…there’s really nothing like them to keep you on track and humming till you decide it’s time for your next meal.

Keto//OS Fast Facts:  How do ketones help with cravings and appetite?

When it comes to appetite suppression, researchers do not fully understand the mechanisms involved but it has been shown in studies on humans (as opposed to rats) that one pathway involved is the suppression of Ghrelin in the presence of Betahydroxybutyrate (your friendly ketone bodies). Ghrelin is the hormone that drives hunger - think of your stomach growling.  If you feel less hungry, you are less likely to have cravings or you are at least more likely to be able to control these (or talk yourself out of them)….It is for this reason that so many people get such powerful results with Keto//OS over time…. as you gain control over your cravings (without exhausting your willpower), improve your diet and spend less time feeling hungry you are less likely to over eat.  Because this all comes with better energy, you are more likely to get moving… and the rest, as they say, just comes naturally.

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 & Lifestyle tips and to be the first to hear about Pruvit sales and promotions.  You can also join me LIVE on Saturday mornings at 9 am EST on my Facebook page KetoNat where I talk about a variety of health and nutrition topics and can answer your questions on the spot

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.


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It’s Mustard Greens season!!

Farmers Market Season has launched and with it beautiful vegetables freshly picked  for you to enjoy.  In my house we have been eating mustard greens several times a week for the past couple of weeks as I simply cannot resist them when they are so fresh.  It’s also interesting to note how different mustard greens from the farmer look from the ones you buy at the Supermarket.  Even organic Mustard Greens from the Supermarket look like a bunch of identical green leaves.  Check out the “bouquet” my favourite

Rather than give you a recipe this week I thought I would share my “universal vegetable cooking recipe”….my default when I am short on ideas and time.  The beauty of fresh vegetables like this is that you hardly need to do anything for them to taste great.

Mustard Greens

  • Just wash and chop the leaves.
  • Warm some ghee, butter or coconut oil in a pan over medium heat with a bit of garlic (do not let it burn).
  • Add the greens and stir till wilted - if they are still a bit wet this will cause a “steam sauté" effect one of the most healthful ways to enjoy your vegetables.
  • Season with sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

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