There is a growing segment of the natural health movement that endorses the ketogenic diet as the best nutritional approach. The biggest challenge that people have is navigating how to set up meals to maintain ketosis.
When meal planning on a ketogenic diet, you will have to take into account your unique metabolism. Some people do great with intermittent fasting where they go 16-18 hours without a calorie source. Other individuals who have adrenal fatigue may need to eat every four hours or so to maintain stable blood sugar and elevate ketones appropriately.
What Do You Eat For Breakfast?
If you are a coffee drinker, I recommend using an organic, mold-free coffee and putting 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 teaspoons of pastured butter in it. This combines the benefits of the caffeine and antioxidants in the coffee with the medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) in the coconut oil and butter. These MCTs go right to the liver, where they are converted to ketones and used for energy.
You could make something similar with raw cacao and make a hot chocolate or chocolate milk depending on what season it is and what you would like. The chocolate milk could use organic coconut milk (full-fat) which is very creamy and provides the same MCTs as the coconut oil.
How About Some Real Solid Foods?
You could also cook some pastured eggs in coconut oil. This is a little more challenging on the digestive system than the drinks above, but it provides more quality nutrients, as the eggs have tons of choline and carotenoid antioxidants. You could throw some non-starchy veggies in with the eggs and put some olive oil on top for more beneficial fats.
Finally, you could make a protein shake with full-fat organic coconut milk, or organic almond milk with 2 tbsp of coconut oil added. You would have a small amount of frozen, organic berries and about 15-20 grams of a quality, low-carb protein powder. The protein could be a hemp, pea, brown rice or non-denatured whey source. Be sure not to put too much berries or protein in it.
How About Lunch:
Lunch could be a number of things such as a creamy guacamole with coconut milk, lemon, apple cider vinegar (ACV) and herbs. You can serve this with flax crackers or with kale chips, red cabbage, celery, cucumbers, etc. You could also have a big salad (without tomatoes or fruit) with diced avocado, freshly squeezed lemon, extra-virgin olive oil and herbs.
During the wintertime, you may want to have some bone broth stew with grass-fed beef bones and meat or pastured chicken bones and meat. Load it up with non-starchy veggies, and you have an incredibly nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest meal.
You could also have a nice performance-enhancing treat such as a coconut cacao butter ball. This is a combination of coconut oil/butter, raw cacao and stevia for flavor. This is high in good MCT's and antioxidants from the raw cacao.
What's For Dinner?
Due to the lack of hunger when the body is in ketosis, some choose to fast through dinner or just have some organic bone broth. Others choose to make dinner their largest meal and sometimes their only meal of the day.
Great dinner options include a healthy meat source such as bison, grass-fed beef, lamb, venison, organic poultry, etc. Combine this with steamed, sauteed or raw non-starchy veggies. Anything that is grilled or sauteed should be bathed in tons of coconut oil. After the dish is complete, be sure to add in generous amounts of extra-virgin olive oil, ACV, freshly squeezed lemon and herbs.
It is always a good idea to stick with a clean meat, lots of veggies, good oils, lemon/ACV and herbs for dinner. Just rotate out the different types of meat and veggies for some variety. You could also do soups and stews, which are particularly good in the wintertime.
Sources for this article include:
Ketogenic Diet Information: Peter Attia - An Advantaged Metabolic State
Ketogenic Diet Information: Natural News 2/15/2014 - Programming Your Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic Diet Information: Dr. Mercola 3/10/2013 - Ketogenic Diet May Be Key To Cancer Recovery