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Keto Walmart Haul

What do you buy at Walmart when you're keto? What's on my Walmart keto shopping list? Today I'm going to answer those questions with a video. An epic keto Walmart haul! 

Our weekly grocery shopping trip this week was at Walmart. I must confess that I used to be such a Walmart snob, but not anymore. Walmart has become our go-to for tons of ketogenic diet foods, from staples to snacks. They really do carry everything you need.

The yummy keto eats we picked up at Walmart this week:



What's on your keto Walmart list?

KETO Pre-Workout



Raise your hand if you remember the golden age of pre-workouts! Oh, what a time. We guzzled fluorescent, artificial ingredient galore, chemical concoctions filled to the brim with now-banned ingredients. Good times. Good times.

Then, we had to go all hippie chick crunchy naturaified and start to care about what we put in our bodies. Sheesh.


Just me? 


Not going to lie, there have been many a workout that I've missed those chemicaltini pre-workouts. Buuuuuut, they really were full of junk. So, I have been on a search for a more natural pre-workout for ages. I just plain missed a pre-workout, but everything I tried fell short in one way or another. Until...








I take this mostly before weight-lifting workouts, but sometimes before cardio just for that little boost. Especially when I'm struggling with motivation. I mix it the night before and just knowing it's waiting for me in the fridge somehow gives that little extra mental edge to just do that workout. Hey, whatever works.



I love that Perfect Keto Perform helps me with the energy to maximize my workouts and still stay in ketosis. If you're struggling with energy levels or lackluster workout performance, especially while transitioning into keto, I highly recommend this pre-workout. Some people recommend upping your carbs, but I find this to be a better option for me. Upping carbs never works for me in the long run.


No additives or fillers. Perfect Keto 
Perform has zero fillers, corn starch, or fiber additives. This means ZERO carbs and ZERO grams of sugar: just pure performance from keto-friendly sources.

  • 7.7g BHB - one of the ketone bodies that provide your body with energy in the absence of glucose.
  • 5g MCT - your body’s preferred source of energy.
  • BCAAs - protect your muscles
  • Creatine - increases muscle power.
  • L-citrulline - boosts your immune system.
  • Beta-alanine - supports muscle strength and increased power output.
  • Caffeine - from green teaprovides prolonged alertness during workouts.

BEST Keto Pre-Workout


I love that Perfect Keto Perform is a keto-specific pre-workout. Sure, you may find other pre-workouts out there that are low in carbs, but they're not designed specifically to optimize your keto workout. The exogenous ketones and MCT powder make all the difference to me. It's really nice to finally find a pre-workout that fits perfectly into my keto lifestyle!

I stocked up on this during their holiday shopping sales, but this is definitely going on my Amazon Subscribe and Save soon. That's the best way to get a deal on your Perfect Keto supplements because if you have 5 items on your Subscribe and Save order you save 15% on everything. All of my keto supps are on mine.

So, yes, if I haven't gushed enough, highly recommend this pre-workout if you're low carb, keto, or just looking for a really clean pre-workout.



Tell me I'm not the only one that reminisces about those pre-workout days of yore... OK, we're putting good stuff in our bodies only, we're putting good stuff in our bodies only... ;)






December Keto Monthly Favorites



Happy New Year! I am really excited to turn the new page of 2018, how about you? I was going to do a goals post, but to be honest, I'm so busy WERKING on my latest goals that I haven't taken the time to write that post. How about more show, less tell with my goals this year?? Instead...

Let's chat monthly favorites, shall we? Today I'm sharing what I found myself loving and returning to over and over for the month of December. Mostly keto diet related products, but there's a new small appliance obsession or two and a little random nail polish love in there too.





Kiss My Keto Collagen Powder - At the time I'm posting it they're currently sold out! I also love the Great Lakes Collagen and Kiss My Keto also has a Marine Collagen Powder. Hopefully, the one I use will be back in stock soon!

Kiss My Keto MCT Powder - Love. Mad love. Highly recommend this. It's a constant on my Amazon Subscribe because I use it so much! I have over 5 items on my monthly Subscribe and Save so I always save 15%!



How I Make My Keto Coffee.

Kiss My Keto Exogenous Ketones with Electrolytes - I tried their pink lemonade and didn't like the flavor as much, definitely recommend this one or the Perfect Keto Chocolate Sea Salt that I shared in last month's favorites. With the Lemon Lime, I do 1 scoop in a blender bottle with about 12 oz of water.




Ultima Hydrating Electrolyte Powder - I take this daily; I do 22 oz of water in a Blender bottle with 2 scoops of the orange powder. Gotta have those electrolytes when you're keto. 



Simple Truth Organic Stevia Extract Blend - 
Available at Kroger-family stores.


Green Giant Riced Cauliflower - Found this at Walmart, but it's widely available at most grocery stores.

Mr. Coffee Frother - Great little frother.





Instant Pot ULTRA - Mad love. I could gush about this for days. No idea what took me so long to get on board. I see Keto Instant Pot recipes in the near future!





Kokie Nail Polish in Atlantis at Last - I do notice this chips after a few days on me. A good topcoat seems to help some, but the color is so gorgeous I put up with it.




That's it for this month! I'd love to hear what you're smitten with lately...

How to Make KETO COFFEE - Easy Keto Diet Coffee Recipe


Today I want to share with you how to make KETO COFFEE! If you are looking for an easy, everyday ketogenic diet coffee recipe, you're going to love this one. It's what I have in my coffee every day. Not only is it keto, but it's a Bulletproof Keto Coffee, so easy, and only 3 ingredients! Plus, it has virtually perfect keto macros and I have to say is so much better than recipes using Oils, blech. Bonus, this recipe is also DAIRY FREE!

If you've struggled with MCT oils in bulletproof coffee recipes in the past, I find using MCT powder gives all the great MCT fats to boost energy and focus, with none of the MCT oil side effects!

If you don't have a frother, you could use a blender, but I really recommend getting one. Using a frother will give your keto coffee an amazing, frothy, keto latte-like foam as well as mix the ingredients thoroughly. Simply stirring with a spoon will be a mess. Frothers are super cheap and handy. I can't do without my frother! I've thrown it (and my mct powder) in a Ziploc and taken it on a road trip. #noshameinmygame

Life is too short for bad coffee.


For This Recipe You Will Need:


Coffee, MCT Powder, Collagen Powder, Stevia if desired, and a Frother.


Keto Coffee Recipe


Keto Coffee Ingredients

INGREDIENTS


1 Cup Coffee of Your Choice
1 Tablespoon MCT Powder
1 Tablespoon Collagen Powder
Stevia to taste (optional, I leave this out)



DIRECTIONS


Add MCT Powder, Collagen, and Stevia to your coffee and blend well with your frother. YUM!


NOTES


Stevia is optional, if you like your coffee sweet, add it. I don't like my coffee sweet, so I leave it out. Also, If you like a "creamier" coffee add more MCT Powder.


My product recommendations for this keto coffee recipe:


MCT Powder:
http://amzn.to/2BVxXtp

Collagen Powder:
http://amzn.to/2EizXNO


Frother:
https://goo.gl/fHTzfW


Let me know if you try it!

What is KETO?

Below are my experiences and opinions on keto. I am not a healthcare professional.
What is KETO? A Complete Guide to the Ketogenic Diet

What is this keto thing? It seems to be all over the place these days. Everywhere you look you see new YouTube channels, Instagram accounts, blogs, books, recipes, supplement companies, and classes popping up. It seems to be all keto all the time. But, what is keto? 

If you've been curious about this new keto trend, you're in the right place! In this in-depth guide, I will answer all your questions about all things keto.


What is keto?


Keto is simply short for the keto diet, which is short for the ketogenic diet. They all mean basically the same thing. I will use them interchangeably throughout this blog post.

A ketogenic diet, or keto as I refer to it, is a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb eating approach. Through eating this way consistently your body will get into a state referred to as nutritional ketosis. Once adapted to the keto approach in this way, your body will begin to use ketones for fuel instead of glucose. Ketones are broken down from fat sources. Whether that be dietary fat or stored body fat. Thus, why people call themselves "fat burners" on keto.
 
keto results
My first 2-months keto progress.


Why keto?


This diet has been around for ages and most known for being used to treat epilepsy patients. It has, however, seen a great resurgence lately and is touted as a dietary approach to help remedy everything from obesity to Type 2 Diabetes, to neurological disorders. It is even suggested as a supplementary Cancer therapy for certain types of cancer. Currently, much of the evidence is anecdotal but encouraging nonetheless. As more people are going keto, the keto diet becomes more popular, and more health benefits are suspected through their experiences hopefully more research will be done. 

Just a side note, if you're interested in the studies and research that are being done surrounding keto, LCHF, insulin resistance, etc definitely follow Benjamin Bikman on Twitter or Instagram.

While there is some promising research coming out to suggest many health, wellness, and longevity-related implications for keto, most people are generally looking to keto for fat loss and body composition goals. Many see weight loss and strength gains adding keto into their healthy lifestyle plan. Ketones have a protein-sparing, anti-catabolic, anti-inflammatory effect. People looking to lose fat and gain muscle or strength look to keto for this reason.

Two keto benefits often overlooked are increased energy levels and mental performance. Most people on a keto diet experience noticeably increased energy levels as well as improved mental focus and clarity.


How do you get started with keto?


The simplest way to start keto is to drop your carbs to 20 to 30 grams per day. From there you can play around with protein and fats levels and see where you feel best and see the best results. I find I do best with these, standard keto, macros:





What are keto macros?


There's much discussion surrounding keto macro goals. Keto macros are simply the macronutrient ratios you eat on a ketogenic diet based on the percentage of calories consumed. So, if you eat 1500 calories a day, what percentage of those calories are fat, protein, and carbohydrate? Those are your macros.

Keto macros vary widely based on your goals. For example, someone looking for fat loss will have different macros from someone looking to use keto as an Epilepsy therapy. 

While you will see keto macros from 90% to 60% fat, 5 to 35% protein, and 5 to 30% carbohydrates, the most common recommendation for a keto diet is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.

How do you know when you're in nutritional ketosis?


While there are purported "signs" of being in nutritional ketosis, the most foolproof way to know is to test your ketone levels

There are several methods of testing your ketones. The first is urine test strips. There are varying opinions among the keto community whether these are accurate once you've been in ketosis for a while. They can be an affordable option for beginners though. The second is ketone breath meters. These aren't as readily available and are quite a bit more expensive. They are however very convenient as you just have to breathe into them and they don't require replacing test strips. The last option is ketone blood meters. These are similar to meters diabetics use to test their glucose (in fact, many test glucose as well). Blood ketone meters give an exact reading for ketone levels, such as 1.6 millimolar, and are handy for those really looking to optimize their ketone diet.

Just a note, these discussions of ketone levels are NOT for Type 1 diabetics. Type 1 diabetics are a special case and should check with a knowledgeable health practitioner and do further research.

What readings are considered ideal nutritional ketosis levels? Ketone levels of 0.5 millimolar or above are considered nutritional ketosis and 1 to 3 is considered the optimal range for most people seeking fat loss, strength performance, and mental focus benefits. Though, Jimmy Moore shares his levels ranged even up to 5 in the beginning. Also, levels around 3-5 millimolar are generally considered optimal therapeutic ranges (though I've seen recommendations up to 6).


Keto Mojo Review

Do you have to track on keto?



Tracking seems to be quite the hot topic among the keto community. Some are for it, some vehemently against it, and some "meh" whatever.
 
Overall, most people beginning a new ketogenic diet or seeking specific health or wellness goals with keto will be best served to track their calories, macros, and definitely their carbohydrate grams. The most common recommendations being 20-30 grams of carbs on keto.

There are great apps available to track your keto diet. My Fitness Pal and SparkPeople are popular options that offer free versions and allow you to customize your macronutrient goals.


Tracking Printable

Do calories count on keto?


Do you have to track calories on the keto diet? Well, that depends greatly on your goals and how in-touch you are with your body and hunger and fullness cues. 

I often see people profess that you absolutely shouldn't count calories on the keto diet. While that will work fabulously for a lot of folks, it will not work for everyone. ultimately you can out-eat a keto diet. Meaning, you can reach a level of just too many calories for your goals even on perfectly clean, keto foods.

Beginners, those really out of touch with their hunger and fullness cues, and those simply not seeing the results they desire on keto would be best served by tracking their calories on keto. Though it needn't be a forever thing, it can be beneficial for a period of time.


Does carb type matter?


Are all carbs created equal or does quality matter? It seems to be a common notion that keto is just bacon, eggs and butter. In reality, a well-crafted keto diet will be abundant in low-carbohydrate, nutrient-dense greens and veggies. 

Because you are limiting your carbs so much on keto, you want to get the most bang for your buck nutrition-wise from the carbs you do choose. Therefore, it is best to focus your carb choices on nutrient-dense carbohydrates. Think nutrient-packed, low-carb veggies like greens, broccoli, etc. Berries are another nutrient-dense powerhouse. In order to reach your nutrition requirements, you will want to focus on these nutrient-dense carb sources and minimize empty, junk carb sources like sweeteners as much as possible.


activity levels on keto

What about exercise on keto?


Do you have to exercise with keto? What are the best exercises to do on keto?

First, no you don't have to exercise on keto. Will you see optimal gains towards your goals without exercise? Maybe. But probably not. Exercise is good for us overall. We should all exercise at our current ability level and work towards improvement. Whatever your goals on keto, exercise should be part of your game plan.

Now, as far as best exercise, it's the same for keto as anything else. Everyone should start at their ability level and work towards a program including strength training, some level of cardio that gets your heart rate up, and flexibility training. A well-rounded fitness program will benefit everyone, keto included.

The one caveat, it may be wise to go easy the first 3 weeks or so on keto. As your body transitions be a little gentle. Just focus on keeping your daily movement up. Walks are a great option. After that, find what you love and will do consistently. If you already have a consistent workout program, just take it slightly easier as you adapt.

If you find, even once keto-adapted, that your workout energy levels are down or you're struggling with workout performance, consider trying a keto pre-workout with creatine, MCT, and exogenous ketones.

Best Keto Supplements

What about all of these keto supplements flooding the market?


Keto supplement companies are popping up all over the place. As with any diet that becomes popular, companies will swoop in to capitalize on the new market. Though it is best to focus on real, whole foods, I still think this can be highly beneficial to those on the keto diet. Just beware not all keto supplements are created equal, nor are they even necessarily truly keto. Always read your labels for carb counts and ingredients.

Also, some are touting claims that you can simply take their keto supplement as a replacement for the keto diet. I would humbly disagree. Taking a keto supplement and eating a standard high carb American diet is no comparison to consistent keto eating. However, many of these supplements can be a great addition to your existing ketogenic diet lifestyle.

Some of the most promising keto supplements currently out are no-carb electrolyte powders, MCT powders, exogenous ketones, and various keto shake products. Keeping your electrolytes in balance is extremely important on keto. No-carb electrolyte powders are an amazing help for this common keto issue. This is the one supplement that will benefit the majority of people on the keto diet. MCT Powders are a great option for those that don't do well with (or prefer the taste of) MCT oil. Try some MCT Powder in your keto coffee or post-workout shakes. Exogenous ketones are exactly what they sound like, ketones you consume. They can be a great boost to your ketone levels when you're first beginning ketosis or looking for therapeutic ketone levels. Try adding MCT powder to your exogenous ketones for maximum benefit. Keto shake products can be a good option for those too busy for breakfast or looking for a replacement for their high carb post-workout shakes. Some make a great flavored coffee creamer alternative as well.


Keto Coffee Creamer

Which sweeteners are allowed on keto?


You will find wildly varying opinions here. From purists who think sweeteners of any kind should be banned because the mere sweet taste can cause an insulin response, to those who allow artificial chemical-laden sweeteners of all kinds. 

Best case scenario, try to minimize your sweetener use. When you do choose to use sweeteners, look for naturally derived varieties with the least amount of carbs. Read your labels! You would be surprised how carbs can sneak in here, even with natural, calorie-free sweeteners. Some stevia blend products can contain 2+ grams of carbs per serving. That can really add up.

The most common natural keto diet friendly sweeteners currently used are:
  1. Stevia
  2. Monk Fruit also called Luo Han Guo

What is "keto flu" and how do you avoid it?


The "keto flu" is a term widely used in the keto community to describe the not great, withdrawal-type symptoms some experience while their body transitions to fad adaptation. Transitioning from being a glucose burner to being a fat burner will take time. Many will experience fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, and just general unwell feelings at the beginning of this transition. You're taking away carbs that your body is used to running on and it tends to let you know it is disgruntled. Also, keto tends to cause your body to flush water and salt, which is great for getting rid of bloating and excess water, but can cause electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

Thankfully, this will all pass once your body adapts and most people will feel amazing at this point. In the meantime, however, it's not a whole lot of fun.

This is where keto supplements really shine. Electrolytes and exogenous ketone supplements can greatly help ease this transition and keto flu suffering. Also, ensuring you're getting enough water and salt is imperative on keto. It's all about finding that balance.


Best Exogenous Ketonesbest keto flu supplements

What is "low carb purgatory" and can keto help with this?


Low Carb purgatory is another slang term used for not feeling great on a low carb or LCHF (low carb high fat) diet. Generally, the cause of low carb purgatory is eating low carb, but not low carb enough to be in ketosis. Your body is caught in this weird state of not getting carbs, but not necessarily being low enough in carbs to get into ketosis and transition to burning ketones. Again it will let you know it is not happy.

It can also be used interchangeably with "keto flu", meaning the transition time on a low carb diet.

Keto is often the answer to low carb purgatory symptoms. Simply restructure your macros to be ketogenic and once you transition into nutritional ketosis (see keto flu above for coping tips) the low carb purgatory symptoms should vanish.

Total carbs or net carbs?


Should you count total carbs or "net" carbs? This is another hot-button topic, though most people seem to be relying on net carbs. "Net carbs" is simply not counting the fiber grams in your carbohydrate gram counting. Whether you choose to track your total carbs or net carbs is something very individual and best played with along with ketone testing to see how your body is responding. (I personally count total carbs. It just works for me.)


Don't Quit!

How do I beat a keto plateau?


A "keto plateau" is generally when someone is not losing weight on a keto diet. Or was losing weight on a keto diet, but temporarily stalled. There are several things to be tried when this happens:
  1. Track your calories and macros and make sure they are ideal. Many will find their calories, carbs, or protein levels are too high.
  2. Test your ketone levels and make sure they're ideal. Some people will think they're eating keto but aren't actually at optimal ketone levels.
  3. DITCH the "keto" or "low carb" prepackaged treats. This will stop many a keto weight loss journey in its tracks. Often these are laden with sugar alcohols, artificial ingredients, and "hidden" carbs.
  4. Make sure you're getting enough water and salt. Keto can cause your body to flush both, which we need optimal levels of when trying to lose weight.
  5. Try going dairy-free for a few weeks. This seems to be an issue for many more than realize it and is a common cure for keto stalls.
  6. Try cutting out nuts for a few weeks. Again, a common stumbling block for weight loss on keto.
  7. Try adding some keto supplements. Some MCT powder, exogenous ketones, or electrolytes might do the trick to get the scale moving again.
  8. Take out the keto supplements. On the flip side, if you're doing a lot of keto supplements, like exogenous ketone blends, try taking them out and see if that gets you the results you're seeking.
  9. Try intermittent fasting. While beyond the scope of this blog post, IF is commonly practiced alongside keto. A simple google search will provide many options to try.
Hot Cocoa Keto Pancakes

What if I get bored on keto?


The best weapon against boredom is variety. For keto, this means trying new foods and recipes. Really try to get out of your comfort zone, you may find new loves.

The internet has done an amazing job at providing loads of free keto recipes. A quick search on Google or Pinterest will provide a host of delicious options. (You can find my keto Pinterest board here.) There are also some great keto recipe books starting to become available. Go nuts, try new things!

One word of caution, as with anything else, one person's keto may not be keto. Check ingredients and carb counts.

What are the most common keto foods?

 

Clean keto foods list:

  • Fats: Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grass-fed ghee, walnut oil, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, avocado oil mayo and salad dressings, low carb nut butters (reading labels and practicing portion control is vital here), MCT Powder, coconut, coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut butter, cream cheese, sour cream, low carb cheeses, eggs.
  • Meats: Virtually all meat, poultry, and fish or seafood. Read labels on processed versions as many add non-clean additives and sugars. Also, grass-fed, wild caught, organic is always best when relevant depending on budget. Beef, chicken, pork, venison, duck, salmon, oysters, sardines, lamb, cod, tuna, turkey...
  • Low carb nuts: Macadamia nuts are best, but many others are great with portion control. Check carb count on the labels.
  • Low carb veggies: Green veggies are best. Check carb counts on labels. Salad greens, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, zucchini, collard greens, swiss chard, green onions, spinach.
  • Fruit: Portion control is important here, as well as reading labels (or googling) carb counts. Berries are best. As well as non-traditional fruits like avocado.
  • Salts and Spices: Experiment with a variety of salts and spices. Always read labels on spice blends for lurking carbs and sugar. 
  • Beverages: Unsweetened versions of any coffee, tea, mineral water, electrolyte-added water, sparkling water, Perrier, lemon water, cucumber water, and low carb non-dairy milk alternatives (like unsweetened versions of Milkadamia, cashew milk, coconut milk, Ripple, etc).
  • Treats: Be extremely careful with keto treats. Especially the various keto-treat and bread-type recipes online and the pre-packaged keto foods beginning to roll out. Read ingredients and count the carbs! Good options are low sugar dark chocolate and fat bombs.
  • Alcohol: It may be a good idea to test your ketones and see how various alcohols affect them. Low sugar red wine and low carb hard alcohols like vodka are good options for many. Because of the way our body processes alcohol, most will find it beneficial to limit it, especially at the beginning of their keto diet.

I hope that answers all your questions. From my perspective of course. If I left any of your questions unanswered in this keto diet summary, feel free to ask in the comments below. I have follow-up posts and videos coming soon to expand on most of these topics if you're wanting further info!



2018 One Word Intention - My Word of the Year



If you're not familiar with the "one word" concept, it's basically boiling down your dreams, goals, and intentions for the next year to one single word. It's setting your intention and focus for the upcoming year with one word. 

I kind of love the concept.

Last year my word was "consistent". I have to say it was a great pick and I did a pretty good job of keeping that focus throughout the year.

I made quite a bit of progress on my goals, particularly my fitness and weight loss goals. I started 2017 at 222 lbs and I am ending the year at 197. Not too shabby.

OK, I only go deep down the rabbit hole of my life about once a year here on FitViews. I guess this shall be THAT post. If you just want keto recipes, fitness, and the like, click away, click away. 2017 was a rough year.

But if you're a reader friend interested in how my year really went, read on...

2017 was a really hard year for me. My parents had some health issues. Hubby got a job after being out of work for three months, but then changed jobs again. (He has an amazing job now though, hallelujah). 

Then, October 1 my older brother was killed. 

I was broken. Wrecked. Completely and utterly destroyed.

I won't go into all of that further, but I will share what I come away from 2017 knowing:


Life is short. LIVE your dreams.


I head into 2018 with a driving passion to not spend one more second doing or being anything I don't want. On the flip side, I refuse to spend one more second NOT doing or being what I want.

In that, I've decided 2018 shall be my year of flinging things up on the wall and seeing what sticks. In the past, I've been in this weird state of having several dreams and directions I contemplated, but in my indecisiveness, I did none of them. Not well at least and mostly not at all.

This year I am all-in. I'm all. In. One dream at a time. We shall see what sticks.

My word for 2018:




I want to thank all of you who have read FitViews, watched my YouTube channel, or friended me on social media over the years. New and old friends, I appreciate each and every one of you. 2018 will bring lots of new and exciting projects coming from me on several platforms. I hope you'll continue to follow along.


What's your 2018 one-word? I would really love to hear yours in the comments below.

Bring on 2018 and a turning of the page.