As I write this, I'm about a week into a ketogenic diet (I'll explain why in next week's blog). I'm doing a modified or low-ketogenic version of the diet, because it allows me to keep the nutrient density high in terms of micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals. Historically a ketogenic diet has been used to manage epilepsy, but now studies are revealing a significant reduction in symptoms of Alzheimer's (on a modified ketogenic diet), and David Perlmutter recently discussed promising new research showing a reduction in Parkinson's symptoms (watch here). The use of a ketogenic diet or a modified version of the diet has significant implications for neurological conditions.
Here's a brief outline of what my meals look like:
Water with electrolytes: I drink a huge glass of warm water with some added electrolytes when I wake up. The added electrolytes help me transition into a ketogenic diet without common side effects. I also drink this between meals. I like to use ConcenTrace, a liquid ionic mineral supplement. I won't always need to add electrolytes - it's just to help get my body through the transition of using glucose, to using ketones as my primary fuel source.
Fat Bomb Latte: I drink a large Fat Bomb Latte an hour or two after waking. (see recipe below)
Lunch: A combination of 3 cups of vegetables like leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts...) or other low-carb vegetables, like celery, cucumber, asparagus, or zucchini. Grass-fed animal protein like a chicken drumstick, a hamburger patty, a couple of eggs or any other meat (I love liver, so often have it at lunch). Then I add a few tablespoons of fat that include MCT or coconut oil. My current favourite is asparagus (which is seasonal right now) drenched in grass-fed butter.
Dinner: Very similar to lunch except that I have a carb-up, which means that I have a small serving of a carb-rich vegetable like beets, carrots or winter squash, or some berries. These foods provide a small amount of carbs, but also allow me to get a variety of nutrients and antioxidants that might otherwise be lacking in a ketogenic diet. An evening carb-up can also help mitigate some of the side effects that some people experience on a ketogenic diet, and many people find they sleep better with the addition of a carb-up.
MCT Oil: Since I am doing a modified or low-ketogenic diet I make sure to include some medium-chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil) with each meal. MCTs are able to enhance ketone production. MCT oil is easily absorbed and doesn't require bile or pancreatic enzymes, so anyone suffering from digestive issues or compromised digestion can still absorb MCTs. Once absorbed, these fatty acids easily cross into cell mitochondria where they are metabolized and form ketones. The best food sources of ketones are coconut and palm oils. Grass-fed butter also has some MCTs but lower amounts than the coconut and palm oils. You can also purchase a supplemental version of MCT oil, which is what I use in my Fat Bomb Lattes.
The two main meals above don't look that different from a gut-healthy, Paleo diet except that they are higher in fat. The main difference is that I've replaced breakfast with a Fat Bomb Latte. It's possible to skip breakfast completely, so that you have a longer fasting period (through the night and later into the day), but I like to spread my fat consumption out a bit, and it's nice to start the morning with a hot, comforting drink. If you are familiar with Dave Asprey's Bulletproof coffee (coffee with grass-fed butter and MCT oil), then these lattes are a bit like that.
SPICED FAT BOMB LATTE
I love cacao butter, because it provides a rich creaminess that has the flavour of white chocolate, so this latte recipe uses cacao butter.
2 cups almond or coconut milk
2-3 tbsp raw cacao butter (approximate)
1 tbsp MCT oil
2 teaspoons Spice Blend such as Smooth-y-Golden Milk Spice Blend or Sweet Delight Spice Blend
1 scoop of collagen powder (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
1-2 teaspoons of monk fruit (low-carb sweetener)
Put the almond or coconut milk, raw cacao butter and spice blend into a small saucepan and heat until the cacao butter has melted. Pour the mixture into a high-speed blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend on high speed until the mixture is frothy. Pour into a large mug and enjoy. The monk fruit is optional, but I find adding it helps bring the flavour of the spices out.
What is your favourite fat bomb drink?
Add cacao butter, and MCT or coconut oil to your shopping list. Buy or make your own Spice Blend. Start experimenting, and then let me know if you come up with a good recipe.
Happy, Healthy Eating!