I have done the keto diet for several years now. Overall, I have been very fond of it because it helped me to lose weight after having my kids! However, six months ago, I decided that I wanted to try a different spin on keto. I wanted to try out the Ketotarian diet plan by Dr. Will Cole. When I first read the definition of this, I thought, wow, what a great concept! I then discovered that when you choose the Ketotarian lifestyle, you are taking the best out of both the Keto and Vegetarian world. You are essentially merging the gap between the two! This super-charged version of keto takes the processed meats, cheese, and dairy out of the keto and the bread, pasta, and beans out the vegetarian!
Definition of Ketotarian
In 2018, Dr. Will Cole wrote the book titled the Ketotarian. In his work, his objective was to show a clear path of exactly how to use food as medicine and optimize every system in your body 1. Using a noun, he defined Ketotarian as a ketogenic plant-based rock star! When analyzing the word as an adjective, Ketotarian is the amalgamation of delicious healthy fats and vegetable meals to optimize your metabolism, brain, hormones, and overall health2.
I must say that I have been delighted with the Ketotarian concept! The good news is that you don’t have to say goodbye to chicken, beef, or other types of meats forever! In the book, he says that after 60 days, you can bring in grass-fed beef or organic chicken a few times a week3. However, if you do want protein from other sources than plants, you can consume fish and eggs during those initial 60 days .
Overall, for certain people, it is necessary to incorporate protein from meat or eggs. It turns out; there are individuals that have an MTHFR methylation impairment and need protein from meat or eggs to be able to support their detoxification pathways and make B12. As a general rule, it is for this very reason why some people need to eat meat or eggs in their diet and do not need to be strict vegetarians! If you are wondering if you are one of these people, then I suggest you see a health care provider and get testing to see if you have an MTHFR methylation impairment.
The cool thing about Ketotarian is you can incorporate the concept into your keto diet now! Maybe you don’t want to be a strict Ketotarian, but you can start by including more vegetables into your keto diet!
Starting a journey back into fat-burning mode
After stepping on the scale during this quarantine, I decided to delve back into Dr. Will Cole’s Ketotarian book. Now, don’t get me wrong, I always follow a keto diet, but I usually cycle in carbs a few days a week with my work-outs. However, since the pandemic, I think I have been eating too many carbs! Typically, throughout the year, I do periodically take on 30-day stents of strict keto ( keeping net carbs under 50 grams) to get my metabolism going. So now that certain grocery stores were restocking foods, I decided that it was a prime time to take on Ketotarian meal planning!
I began this 30-day keto journey, by pulling out my Keto-Mojo meter and dusting it off. When I took it out and opened it, I also realized that I did not have any test strips, so I went ahead and ordered those! Talk about unprepared! Saturday I got the test strips in from Amazon, and I started checking my ketones again once per day starting on Sunday. I also went ahead and pulled out Cronometer to log in carbs and calories. Overall, I tend to eat the same thing so I don’t always need Cronometer. However, when I’m trying to keep my net carbs under a certain limit, I use it a lot more.
The initial 30-day keto journey
Fasted at least 13 hours before eating
Each day, after I had my keto coffee*, I tried to fast as long as I could- at least 13 hours. For the first couple of days, I made it 13 hours (my last meal at night was 8 PM, and I went to 9 AM next morning), and over the remaining days, I ended up going as long as 18 hours. Each day when I broke my fast, I would check my glucose and ketones with my Keto-mojo meter. The first couple of days, I was barely in ketosis, got a number of about 0.5 mmol/L on the meter, but over the next couple of days, I progressed to about 1 mmol/L on the meter.
After fasting, I checked my ketones and blood sugar.
Every day after I was done fasting and I checked my ketones; I went on to check my glucose. For the first couple of days, my fasting glucose was in the 80s, but I noticed as soon as I integrated the longer fasts, it dropped into the 70s. After checking my ketones and blood sugar, I went ahead and would break my fast with a small meal. Every day, I chose avocado because it is low in carbs and high in good fats. I just put a little salt and garlic powder, and it was awesome! After having the avocado, I did notice that I felt hungry, so I had a fat bomb or a BHU Keto bite.
Stuck to my normal exercise regimen
Usually, when I exercise, I always try to hike or do yoga. Fortunately, during these initial days, I found that I had a lot of energy to do both! Every day, I stuck to my normal routine between the hours of 3 and 4 PM. I found that having that fat bomb or BHU keto bites before the session helped in terms of energy.
Made my Ketotarian meals around 5:30 –6 PM
I made each of the meals around 5:30–6 PM each night, and they were effortless to make! The steps of cooking were well delineated, and the meals were ready fast! As a busy mom, this was a plus for me! Each night, I tried to stop eating by 8 PM. At night, after dinner, I avoided watching any TV and went to bed by 10:00 PM. Each day, I noticed that I felt pretty good, and my sleep was much improved. As for the scale, I haven’t gone there yet! I will try that maybe in a few days after I have finished!
Get yourself into a fat-burning mode with me!
I hope that you will also embark on this 30 day fat-burning journey with me! To help you get a jump start, I am going to present you with two different meal plans. One of the meal plans is from Will Cole’s Ketotarian book, and the other meal plan is from Keto Comfort Foods, which was compiled by a friend, Rebecca Huff, with Thatorganicmom.com. Click here to find Rebecca’s Keto Comfort Foods menu.
I am going to start by presenting you with the pictures of what I have cooked so far in the Ketotarian book. The links to the grocery lists and meal plans are attached below the images! FYI- I started cooking the meals Saturday night, so the days that I made the dinners do not correspond to what is on the printable. The printable is for your use, so you have an idea of what Ketotarian dinners you can cook from Monday to Sunday. The pictures are there to give you an idea of what the meals look like on the menu plan!
Spinach Salad (p.166) and Sauteed Shrimp (p.262)
Cauliflower fried rice bowls (p.199)
Plank salmon smoked ginger (p.254)
Spicy frittata pizza with spinach and olives (p.206)
Stuffed zucchini (p.161)
Cocoa almond butter fat bombs and Coconut lemon fat bombs
You can find the links here:
Journey to wellness
In conclusion, choosing to do a keto diet is part of your journey to wellness! If you are wondering how to begin the voyage to the better you, then go to my Start Here page to learn the six steps towards wellness. I wish you the best in health!
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