2018 was a rough year and, among all the life challenges we had to face, my husband and I got an abrupt wake-up call concerning our health. We had to make some lifestyle changes, and FAST. So we decided to give the Keto lifestyle a shot.
There is a lot of controversy regarding Keto, not only between keto-lovers and keto-haters, but even within the keto community itself (i.e. “clean” keto vs. “dirty” keto). A high-fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet flies in the face of everything we were taught in the ‘80s, and it took me a while to come around to it. But I learned that fat (yes, even saturated fat) isn’t necessarily bad. It can wreak a bit of havoc when combined with a lot of carbs, though, so we learned to eat a very low-carb diet and actually like it. After all, the fat is where the flavor is – butter, cream, bacon — what’s not to like?
Flash forward three years. We’ve found keto recipes & cooking methods we really like. We were also “cheating” more often and getting a bit lazy with tracking macros. And so we gained weight. Again. But before it got totally out of hand, we changed tactics and switched to a diet & exercise program called E2M (an acronym for “Eager to Motivate”). It’s an 8-week online fitness and diet that provides a new meal plan and workouts each week, as well as a supportive online community. The eating plan & workouts are proprietary information and, while I can’t say what’s on the plan, I can say it takes a whole-foods approach in combination with carb cycling. They use Facebook as their platform and, once you’ve been through one round (of 8 weeks), you’re in for life with no additional membership cost.
After three years of Keto, eating low carb wasn’t a problem, but I’ve had to re-learn to cook lean meats again (without drying them out). Anyone wanting to transition to a healthier lifestyle knows they’re going to have to give up or limit processed foods and eat more veggies, which means you take the convenience right out of your diet! So I’ve learned a few ways to prep on the weekend that carry me through the week:
- Prep & cook the week’s veggies on the weekend
- Prep enough meat for lunches for the first two workdays of the week, then make enough for dinners so that leftovers carry you the through the rest of the week
- Take advantage of pre-chopped fruits & veggies to make meal prep faster
- Pre-bag veggies (cucumbers, carrots, celery, peppers, grapes, etc.) for a quick grab & go snack or lunch pairing
- Portion your lunch & get it ready to go the night before
For dinner, I just cook my meat and warm up the veggies! Easy peasy!
Hopefully, these tips will help someone on their nutritional journey. For me, a little prep work has made all the difference between dietary frustration or success. Plus, it makes mealtimes super simple!