Keto Carnivore…Our Way

IMG_3528-300x300The one thing about eating low carb, both blessing and a curse, is that everyone has an opinion on how to do it. I love how you can go into any online community and get help with nearly every challenge or issue.

On the other hand, I hate when I hear, “you’re doing it wrong.” There is only one way to eat low carb, don’t cha know? And the people who believe that are the first ones who to let you know loudly and proudly.

Well. I hate to break it to the don’t-cha-know crowd: there is more than one-way to keto.

  1. We’re not the same – someone with IBD is going to keto differently than someone eating for athletic performance.
  2. Our diets change as we change. As we age, our bodies have different needs when it comes to nutrition.

I tried going back and doing my tried-and-true low carb style – the one that helped me shed all that weight. This time around, though, it didn’t work. I felt tired and hungry. My joints—already hurting—seemed to hurt a little more. Was I perfect? No, because I’m human. But something was different this time around, and I think that “something” is me.

Now, I love to do 30-day challenges. Why? I like to stretch myself and see what does and doesn’t work for me. It’s almost like test-driving a car to see if I really wanted to buy it. Also, frankly, it’s just fun to shake things up and experiment.

Today, the hubby and I are officially keto-carnivore for 30 days.

What is keto-carnivore?

We all grew up with the food pyramid, where grains, breads, and cereals made up the foundation of the “Standard American Diet” (SAD in deed). Then fruits (2-4 servings) and vegetables (3-5 servings), followed by low fat dairy and lean meats, and fats were used sparingly.

With the keto-carnivore food pyramid, red meat (beef, deer, bison, lamb) is the staple, followed by fish. Pork and poultry are limited. Dairy (cheese, creams, butter) and fats like avocado (oil and fruit) coconut oil, and olive oil are used sparingly. Eggs are also part of the pyramid and we group them with red meat.

There’s one big caveat to our keto-carnivore challenge:

My Garden

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Yep, that’s 1.5 pounds of heirloom tomato you’re looking at.

Other than avocadoes, I’m not buying fruit or veggies, but I am growing them. We don’t want to waste them. Most of the plants we’re growing are low carb, so yes, we will incorporate them into our diet. If we grow them, we’re eating them.

As luck would have it, yesterday we had a big harvest.

  • Peppers – green bell, chili and ghost
  • Tomatoes – Yellow pear, plum, and some big-ass heirloom yellow tomatoes including a 1-½ pounder.

We normally eat 2 meals a day. To handle our little bounty, I’m limiting our veg intake to the first meal of the day. Dinner is meat only.

Now, hot peppers are not what I would consider “low carb,” so I’m using them in dishes that spread the carb count across multiple servings. I’m talking beef chili and spicy pulled pork barbacoa – dishes that will last us days. They can also be used in marinades where not all of the carbs will be absorbed (but I still count them anyway).

The key is we’re staying below 20g of total carbs daily when we have any vegetable. I fully expect that by Wednesday of next week we’ll be strictly meat only…until the next little harvest.

The nice thing about this challenge is it pretty much ends around when I expect the first frost to hit. If we’re happy with the results, and I see a noticeable change in how I feel, we may decide to go full-time keto-carnivore.

Wish us luck!




Bacon & Turkey Soup

bacon turkey soup 1

My version of Bacon and Turkey soup. To lower the carb count I used an orange bell pepper instead of a sweet potato. Still got my splash of orange and comfort out of the soup on a very cold Virginia day.

My 15-pound bird yielded a lot of meat. I wanted to do something different with the leftovers than the standard turkey sandwiches (on oopsie bread of course!). So I thought of making a soup. I found a lovely recipe on I Breath. I’m HungrySmokey Bacon and Turkey Chowder.

I just made a few minor changes to the recipe, based on what I had in my house. My goal was not to run out to the grocery store for leftover soup.

My Changes
I used Applegate Naturals Uncured Sunday Bacon* rather than the cherry hardwood smoked bacon. While I love the idea of cherry hardwood smoked bacon, I can’t find any in my neck of the woods that is uncured with sugar. So I just remedied the lack of smoky flavor by adding a bit more liquid smoke. Read More


Bacon, Spinach & Mushroom Breakfast Casserole

This quick and easy breakfast casserole lasts for a few days and ends up saving me a lot of time in the mornings. Plus it is mighty tasty, low carb and healthy!

This quick and easy breakfast casserole lasts for a few days and ends up saving me a lot of time in the mornings. Plus it is mighty tasty, low carb and healthy!

Lots going on over the next few days. The weather forecast is awesome and I intend to spend my mornings training for my 5k or upping my walks to 8 miles.  To save time in the mornings I decided to whip up an egg casserole to last us for the next few days.

Breakfast casseroles are the easiest things to make. All you need are 8-10 eggs (for an 8 x 8 dish), some sautéed veggies, 1 cup of cheese and a protein. Toss in a little salt and pepper and you have yourself an amazingly tasty way to start the day. Read More


What To Do With That Left Over Turkey? Healthy Mac ‘N Cheese!

A perfect, healthy lunch solution for all that left over turkey -- Mock Mac N' Cheese.  It might not look pretty in the container, but it is tasty.

A perfect, healthy lunch solution for all that left over turkey — Mock Mac N’ Cheese. It might not look pretty in the container, but it is tasty.

With half a turkey breast and a leg sitting in the fridge, I started wondering how I could jazz up dinner.  I came across this George Stella recipe for Mac & Cheese (substituting cauliflower for the macaroni!) and it hit me. Add the turkey to increase the protein!

I ended up dividing the casserole up into 8 single serving size containers. A perfect Grab-&-Go lunch for my working hubby.

The dish is delicious and I didn’t miss the pasta at all…of course all of that glorious bacon helped.

For those of you not eating low-carb and want to use fewer points, try using fat-free cream and Cheddar cheeses, and less bacon (I can’t believe I wrote that!). Read More