I’ve tried this a bunch of different ways and blended a few online recipes together. So far, this is my favorite combination. It’s gluten-free, low carb/keto/paleo, and could easily be made nut-free and/or vegan (see notes below). I’m pretty excited to take this base and create varieties by adding random protein and fiber powders, herbs, nut flours, mushroom powders, spices, extracts, etc. that are currently in my cabinets.

Ingredients
• 2 cups almonds/cashews/pistachios (I use sliced almonds.)
• 1 cup sunflower seeds
• 1 cup pumpkin seeds
• 1 cup flax seed meal
• 1 cup toasted coconut flakes (unsweetened)
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar (I replaced this with mini vegan chocolate chips.)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup cacao nibs
• 1 cup hemp seeds
• Cover with cinnamon
• Vanilla extract (To liking. I use a lot.)

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 300F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Run nuts through a food processor if whole.
3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
4. Spread mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.
5. Remove and let cool.

Notes
• To make this nut free, you could leave out the nuts or replace with more seeds.
• To make this vegan, you could replace the eggs with a blend of chia seeds and water, applesauce, or mashed banana.

Ingredients:
8oz Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Butter (Salted)
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 Cup Erythitol
1 Serving (16 chips) Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (These are my go to because I really don’t like alternative sweeteners, but you could easily use keto chocolate chips for even less carbs. I’ll try this with Lindt 90% Cocoa Supreme Dark bits next time.)

Directions:

Mix ingredients together well. (I used a mixer.) Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove and form into balls. Keep stored in a refrigerated air tight container.

Macros: (per ball, 20 count) 124 calories, 12g fat, 3g carbs, 2g protein

Note: I’ve tried this a few different times. The first version didn’t include flax or the egg, but I think they came out much better with the additions.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup chia seeds
2/3 cup sunflower seeds or hemp seeds
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup flax meal
1 egg
1 cup water
Garlic Powder (and/or other spices as desired – I use Za’atar)
Sea Salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pepita seeds, and sesame seeds.

Add the water, spices, and salt. Stir with a spatula until combined. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes until the chia seeds absorb the water. After the 2-minute rest, when you stir the mixture, you shouldn’t see a pool of water on the bottom of the bowl.

With the spatula (and a hand, if necessary), spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in two small rectangles, about 12×7 inches each and 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle additional salt on top.

Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully flip each rectangle with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes more, until lightly golden around the edges. Watch closely near the end to make sure they don’t burn. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes on the pan and then break the rectangles into crackers and let cool completely on the pan. Store in an airtight container or jar on the counter for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the crackers in freezer bags for up to 1 month.

*If the crackers soften while storing (this can happen in humid environments), toast them in the oven on a baking sheet at 300ºF for 5 to 7 minutes. After cooling, this should return them to their former crispness!

Mark Sisson is a genius. I was so-so on fat bombs before. Typically the recipes taste like blandly flavored coconut oil and butter. Sisson’s from his book, The Keto Reset Diet, are actually an amazing dessert replacement, in addition to being the perfect fat bombs to boost your fat macro. Here are my favorites so far (slightly altered):

Base Bomb
1/3 cup coconut butter
1/3 cup coconut oil

Mine: Lemon-Limeade
Base Bomb
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
Total Calories 1230, Fat 140, Carbs 20, Protein 10 (divide by however many you make)

Cinnamon Roll
Base Bomb
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
Total Calories 1430, Fat 140, Carbs 30, Protein 10 (divide by however many you make)

Mine: Sunbursts
Base Bomb
2 tablespoons sunflower butter
2 teaspoons raw cacao

Mine: Dairy-Free Strawberries & Cream
Base Bomb
2 medium strawberries (diced)
2 teaspoons vanilla

I took a break from a ketogenic diet (keto) for awhile. This past summer I experimented with Intermittent Fasting (IF). I am continuing IF, but looking to expand my fasts to extended periods. While eating carbs, it’s been difficult to get beyond the 5-day mark. I believe that this will be easier if I get back into a strict ketogenic mode. This time I am going to give it a shot without any sugar substitutes, without nightshades, without factoring in net carbs (as I did originally), with a higher concentration of seeds versus nuts, and with very low lactose. The only lactose that I am going to consume will be trace amounts from butter, parmesan, cheddar, and potentially kefir. I got off of the Bulletproof Coffee kick and back into heavy cream. Because I am cutting out heavy cream, I want to experiment a bit with fatty coffee as it is the best way to make sure my fat macros stays high. I am going to focus more research on finding alternative fats. I previously did the same with alternative proteins as many of my vegetarian friends wanted to try keto. I was surprised at the variety of options.

My typical go-tos have been butter, oils (including concentrated MCT), animal fats, and raw cacao butter. Tonight I did a mix of 1 chunk (roughly 1 tablespoon) of raw cacao, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, and 8 ounces of coffee. I would definitely repeat this.

Here are a list of the benefits of raw cacao from Daily Superfood Love:

1) Get Happy With Cacao: Some days you just need to find your bliss – cacao is one of the healthiest foods, you can consume. Cacao contains the mood improver, anandamide – known as the bliss molecule, which creates a feeling of euphoria.

2) As an aphrodisiac – Another mood-enhancing compound found in cacao is PEA or phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and pleasurable opium-like neurochemicals. These often release naturally when we fall in love and during sexual activity. (The only other food on earth that contains PEA is blue-green algae.)

In addition these chemicals improve libido, which is probably why chocolate is so popular on Valentine ’s Day or as a token of love. Here at Daily Superfood Love headquarters we always accept gifts of cacao.

3) Balance Hormonal Mood Swings: Cacao boosts brain levels of serotonin, the feel good brain chemical. When women are experiencing PMS serotonin levels drop dramatically. The benefits of cacao are proven to boost the brain levels of calming hormones and restore feelings of well-being.

4) Protect Your Heart and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: Flavanols an anti-inflammatory and heart protective antioxidant found in raw cacao may protect against cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of stroke, and help improve blood circulation.

Cacao contains over 700 compounds and the complex antioxidants found in it known as polyphenols help reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ and prevent hardening of the arteries.

It is mind boggling to think that no heart drug on the market can come close to the protective benefits of cacao.

5) The Department of Nutrition at University of California, Davis discovered that cacao thins blood and can prevent blood clots. This finding shows that eating raw cacao can be just as beneficial as taking an aspirin a day.

6) Cacao can prevent premature aging – polyphenol antioxidants found in cacao belong to the same group of antioxidants as green tea and red wine. These anthocyanins (found in dark colored fruits) and catechins (found in green tea) protect our cells from premature oxidation or destruction and can keep us looking and feeling younger longer.

7) Drinking a cup of hot cacao before meals can help you shed fat. This is due to cacao’s MAO inhibitors, which shrink appetite.

MAO inhibitors are often found in weight loss products. However cacao’s unique MAO’s allow more serotonin to circulate in the brain. Don’t consume more than 40 grams or four heaping teaspoons of cacao daily.

If you find the taste of cacao too strong, add coconut milk, rice, or nut milk. Avoid dairy, as it will prevent antioxidant absorption.

By gently heating and making your own delicious hot cacao beverage, you will release more antioxidants and increase the appetite suppressant properties.

Add one teaspoon of cacao powder in a coffee cup of hot water or milk and drink 10-15 minutes before your next meal. Who needs dangerous diet pills? Not us.

8) Create loads of energy and combat fatigue with one of the highest concentrations of magnesium found in this natural food source. Magnesium also helps to protect against osteoporosis, reduces type II diabetes, and lowers blood pressure.

Raw cacao powder (2tbsp) contains 52mg or 14% of daily value
Raw cacao nibs or beans per 100 grams contain 272 mg or 65% of daily value
The recommended RDA’s for Magnesium for a Male are 420mg and 320mg for a Female

9) Get shiny hair, strong nails, and take care of your liver and pancreas with this great source of sulfur.

10) Lower your blood pressure naturally, in a study of 470 men from the Zutphen Elderly study, the benefits of cacao intake are found to reduce blood pressure by patients who took a small amount every evening.

11) The antioxidant properties of cacao were also found to reduce insulin resistance and sensitivity in people with impaired glucose tolerance and smokers.

12) Cacao has the ability to help improve kidney and stimulate bowel function.
Benefits of Cacao Infographic

13) Reset your metabolism and restore your internal balance with cacao – Not getting enough antioxidants in your diet can have dangerous long-term health consequences. A Swiss 2009 study found that in just under two weeks cacao reduced the stress hormone cortisol, improved metabolism, and even improved gut microbial activity.

14) Prevent sunburns – A recent study by London scientists found participants who ate 20 grams of cacao for 12 weeks were able to stay in the sun for twice as long as those who didn’t, without getting sunburned.

15) Get glowing skin and improve skin texture – In 2006 the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cacao with at least 326 mg of flavonals a day had better skin texture, improved microcirculation, increased oxygen saturation, and improved skin hydration than those didn’t. Stir some cacao powder in your cup of coffee or add to a smoothie.

16) Skin cancer prevention – German scientists found that cacao may protect against harmful UV rays that cause cancer.

17) Fight tooth decay – Recent studies from Tulane University discovered that an extract of cocoa powder was even more effective than fluoride in preventing cavities. This crystalline extract similar to caffeine helps harden teeth enamel.

18) Theobromine found in cacao was found to halt coughs better than codeine or commercial cough suppressants with the equivalent of two cups. In fact the UK based study by the British Lung Foundation discovered codeine was only slightly more effective than the placebo at preventing coughing with no side effects.

19) Improves cognitive function and prevents Alzheimer’s – A Harvard study by Dr. Gary Small, showed that middle-aged people who drank two cups a day had improved memory and increased blood flow to the brain.

20) Better digestion thanks to the fiber found in raw cacao, that stimulates the body’s digestive enzymes.

21) Healthy fats – your body needs fat contrary to what some health practitioners preach. Fats are the helpers that create chemical reactions for: growth, immune function, and metabolic function. Healthy fats found in raw cacao are similar to the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.

Read more: http://dailysuperfoodlove.com/2852/21-fantastic-benefits-of-cacao

Pizza and keto typically don’t mix. It’s also one of those things that everyone ends up craving. I’ve tried every crust in the book. While I have a favorite thin crust that nears 20g net carbs when topped, this little guy topped is closer to 9g (4g net for the crust) and just as filling (in addition to being tastier and faster to make).

One morning, a friend who I had turned on to low carb told me that she was making a low carb English muffin. I tried a few recipes before settling on one. When toasted it makes the outside super flaky and the inside soft. When prepared in a bigger dish, covered in sauce, cheese, and other goodies, it makes the perfect pizza.

1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in the microwave for 20 seconds in a flat bottom baking dish the same size as you’d like your pizza (I used a 7″).
2. Mix in 3 tbsp almond flour, 1/2 tbsp coconut flour, 1 large egg, 1 pinch sea salt, and 1 tsp double-acting baking powder. Optional: I mix a sprinkling of crushed rosemary into my crust and muffins because I’m addicted to it and think it makes everything taste better.
3. Let stand for a minute and return to the microwave for 90 seconds.
4. Toast in microwave for about half of your desired darkness (I was doing 2 minutes or so).
5. Remove from toaster, top with pesto/sauce (I like Rao’s), top with cheese and fixings.
6. Broil for 10-12 minutes.
7. Let cool and enjoy!

NOTE: I use a countertop convection toaster oven for nearly everything so you may need to adjust when using a standard oven.

My favorite combo is a pesto base topped with mozzarella, fresh basil, kalamata olives, and goat cheese.

Here’s some information to get you started on your research. All of these resources stress that although they’re presenting the science, people need to switch things up depending on their own reactions. I pretty much just included the keto stuff, but that led me to diving into cyclical ketogenic diets, intermittent fasting, supplements, and biohacking… so if you get into any of that, I can send you stuff, too. It all goes hand-in-hand.

Personally, I’ve been doing ketogenic with supplements. I have also experimented with cyclical ketogenic (carb-loading two days a week) and daily intermittent fasting (window of 2-8pm for eating).

PS If you’re looking for information online, keto, ketogenic, low carb high fat, lchf, banting diet, and noakes diet should all lead you to similar information.


FEW NOTES

1. If you go full on keto, get a blood tester. These are the same tools as used to test glucose, but use different strips for testing ketones. Do not waste your time on ketosticks because they’re not actually accurate for testing beta-hydroxybutyrate. (Tester: https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Blood-Glucose-Monitoring-System/dp/B000N64MZA / Strips: https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Xtra-Blood-Ketone-Strips/dp/B001EL30TM/)
2. If you’re coming at this from eating “the standard American diet” then start by cutting out gluten, sugar, alcohol, and as much starch as you can first.
3. Pay attention to supplements in the books. I took a good average from all of the resources and came up with a list (I have that if it’s helpful). If you haven’t already taken supplements before, it’s good to keep in mind that many of them depend on each other (take for example, potassium, magnesium, and sodium). There are also more active forms of some of them than others (R-ALA vs ALA or Ubiquinol+PQQ vs COQ10). If you get cramps, potassium will most likely help. If you get constipated, magnesium will most likely help.
4. Going keto means that your body will need much more water 3-4 liters vs 2-3 liters and way more sodium (approximately 3500mg daily). Nearly everyone recommends drinking broth daily. If you get headaches, broth or just upping your sodium intake will help.
5. MyFitnessPal is awesome, but manually adjust the levels based on the keto-calculator below for your macronutrients. I have gone back and forth on my levels, but tend to stick at 75-80% fat, 15-20% protein, and 5% carbs. You want to start at a max of 20 grams of carbs for at least the first 3 weeks and then some people can add on to that. I do 15-20 grams.
6. Keto, unlike anything else, has to be taken very seriously because you are changing the way that your body burns fuel and which fuel it uses. If you don’t commit then you won’t be able to switch. And if you switch back and forth, your body will get confused and you can get sick.
7. You may be sluggish and have some rough side effects for the first few weeks. Mine were really mild, but I made sure to read up before starting and taking the supplements when I started.
8. Don’t worry about ketoacidosis (unless you are diabetic or drink a lot). People get ketosis (the whole point of this) confused with ketoacidosis. The standard keto-adpated person will be between .6 mmol – 5 mmols when testing ketones. Ketoacidosis comes in at like 20-25 mmol which isn’t possible to reach unless you have high ketone levels with high glucose levels.

BENEFITS

The benefits are pretty awesome (may be some cool topics to check out… I found it fascinating):
a. You lose your appetite
b. Weightloss (and a greater amount comes from the abdominal cavity)
c. Triglycerides go down (heart disease risk decreases)
d. Significantly increases HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers LDL (bad cholesterol)
e. Significantly reduces blood sugar and insulin levels
f. Lowers blood pressure
g. Can reduce/eliminate symptoms of epilepsy, Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, brain injuries, and more research is providing evidence that this can reduce/eliminate different forms of cancer
h. Energy and focus improves significantly
i. Reduces inflammation
j. Corrects hormone imbalances and acne. For women this can actually reverse the effects of PCOS and menopause and can improve fertility significantly. For men it can significantly enhance testosterone levels.
k. These sound crazy, but some people report that they no longer get sunburnt or bug-bitten. (I looked into this and it had to deal with absorption of Vitamin D and amount of glucose in the blood.) Check out intermittent fasting because the benefits there are pretty cool as well.

BOOKS

1. The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living [ http://www.amazon.com/Art-Science-Low-Carbohydrate-Living/dp/0983490708/ ]
Probably the best introduction to the science behind low-carb.
2. Keto-Adapted [ http://www.amazon.com/Keto-Adapted-Maria-Emmerich-ebook/dp/B00GTU9AJC/ ]
Probably the best introduction to keto-adaptation and includes information tailored to women.
3. The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance [ http://www.amazon.com/Art-Science-Low-Carbohydrate-Performance-ebook/dp/B008BYG7RW/ ]
If you are going to work out while doing keto, this has great information.I read A LOT of books trying to gather an overview from different points of view. Here are a few good ones – that essentially include the same information as the books above, but with variations of intermittent fasting, supplements, diet, exercise, etc.
4. Keto Clarity [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MEX9B4C/ ]
5. Good Calories, Bad Calories [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UZNSC2/ ]
6. The 4-Hour Body [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EI2EH2/ ]
7. The Bulletproof Diet [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K8DSTWU/ ]
8. Grain Brain [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BAXFCPO/ ]
9. Wheat Belly [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00571F26Y/ ]
10. Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It[ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WUYOQ6/ ]
11. Fat Fast Cookbook [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BGGBE20/ ]
12. The Big Fat Surprise [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A25FDUA/ ]
13. Real Meal Revolution [ https://www.amazon.com/Real-Meal-Revolution-Sustainable-Approach/dp/1472135695/ ]

SITES

I went through hundreds of sites looking for information, but the best ones can pretty much be summed up in the following:

1. Overall: http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/ketogenic-diet-plan.html
2. Great information and recipes (as well as keeping things realistic): http://www.ruled.me/30-day-ketogenic-diet-plan/
3. Best macronutrient calculator: http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/
a. Easy macronutrient calculator: http://shecallsmehobbit.com/2016/04/hitting-my-macros-deja-vu-yeh-updated-with-calculator/
b. Comprehensive calculator: https://www.healthambition.com/how-many-carbs-per-day
4. bodybuilding.com actually had the best overall information for exercise: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/keto.htm and timing (cyclical ketogenic / intermittent fasting) http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cyclical_ketogenic_diet.htm
5. More recipes:
a. http://www.wickedstuffed.com/
b. http://cavemanketo.com/category/food/
c. http://nobunplease.com/
6. https://www.bulletproofexec.com/
7. http://fourhourworkweek.com/overview-the-4-hour-body/
8. Keto Reddit Forum: https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/wiki/faq
9. Keto in a Nutshell: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aiHSPoto_YqsNTDvL-g60nytMnyH-CJcCbiAx1IEUYM/edit
10. General Low Carb Info: http://www.dietdoctor.com/, http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/truth-behind-worlds-most-cutting-edge-fat-burning-performance-meal-plan-keto
11. Real Meal Revolution (Excellent Recipes and Beginner Info):
a. http://realmealrevolution.com/real-thinking/the-10-commandments-of-beginner-banting
b. http://realmealrevolution.com/real-food-lists
c. Main Site: http://realmealrevolution.com/
d. Book: https://www.amazon.com/Real-Meal-Revolution-Sustainable-Approach/dp/1472135695/
12. Everything by Scott Swenson:
a. Blog: http://shecallsmehobbit.com/
b. Book: https://www.amazon.com/Ketofy-Everything-Adventures-Permanent-Lifestyle-ebook/dp/B019I3115W/
c. Keto Plus! Closed FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482087988763862/?ref=group_browse_new
d. Open Discussion FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/407740426088952/?ref=group_browse_new
e. Low Carb Food List: http://muscles.zone/low-carb-foods/

My new favorite keto-friendly meal as of late is tuna with topped with crushed up parmesan crisps. To recreate take one can of tuna, add two tablespoons of mayo (I use Hellmann’s with olive oil), one tablespoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of dill, and one teaspoon of gomasio (a seaweed/sesame/salt mixture) or celery salt. Stick four tablespoons of freshly shaved parmesan (separated) onto a piece of parchment paper and microwave for 1.5 minutes. Let the cheese cool for 1 minute and then break it up over the tuna. Eat. There are endless possibilities for variations… I have been thinking of trying this with celery and onion.