Hello my Keto friends,
First I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Oded Talmor, Chef and entrepreneur in the culinary world. Four years ago I started to live by the ketogenic lifestyle. I spent thousands of hours researching the Keto lifestyle around the world, playing with hundreds of recipes and coming up with tons of Keto ideas and finally decided to share all this knowledge with the world and make this journey my life mission. Keto worked for me like magic in many aspects of my life which I’ll more than happy to share in later posts and now I’ve decided that I want to help as many people as possible around the world to fully understand and enjoy the benefits of this amazing lifestyle.
One quick note: I grew up in Israel and spent about 12 years of my professional career in the USA. I write in English, even though it’s my second language so I can connect with more people. So, to my worldwide readers — please excuse any grammar mistakes, and to my Israelis, Hebrew readers, feel free to contact me directly and I’ll be happy to send you everything published here in Hebrew, though I know most of you are perfectly fine with English.
5 tips to help you keep it simple
I believe that in order for anyone to really enjoy the benefits of this lifestyle — you need to KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!
Now, what does it actually means:
1. Stick to the basics
This is probably the hardest but most important tip for anyone who’s trying to start the Keto lifestyle. DO NOT LOOK for shortcuts and substitutes. I read a lot of questions and comments about alternative sweeteners, desserts, bread etc…. remember, the basis of this diet is to eat as much healthy fat as you can, avoid ALL sugars and monitor your protein intake. I’m sure you all know the pyramid below right?! So if you’re just starting this journey, and want to be successful in the first few weeks which are the most difficult, start looking for healthy fats that you can enjoy, forget about anything that reminds you previous food like icecreams, bread, sweets etc… and KEEP IT SIMPLE
2. Fall in love with GOOD FATS
This is probably the number one most difficult for beginners to embrace. We were all educated for so many years that fat is bad for us. Some of us even have a psychological barrier to consume and enjoy fat. Remember again, consuming good fats is in the base of this diet/ lifestyle. So, how do I start?
If you’re a meat lover, like me, this should be relatively easy, educate yourself about cuts of meat and start cooking them properly. No more just beef tenderloin and chicken breast. Try Liver, Try oxtail, Try bone marrow, try shoulder etc etc etc….you have no idea how much flavor and joy you’re about to discover. Trust me, chicken legs and thighs have so much more flavor than the breast. Try Goose, what an amazing flavor and so much healthy fat. Now, here comes another concept that especially in the western world is not really popular — EAT THE ENTIRE ANIMAL!!! stop throwing away parts that have the most flavor and the best fat for you. Do not be scared, it’s much easier than you think.
Remember, fat is not only the white part you see around the cut itself. Fatty cuts have a nice marbling inside that contains all this good.
For those of you that are not huge meat lovers, well, the first tip is — fall in love with meat, really, as simple as that, but, you still have tons of other options. Fish, some of them have beautiful parts for us the ketogenic people to enjoy. Salmon, Tuna, Snapper, Grouper — all have a good amount of fat. Again, eat the whole fish, do not waste the best parts, the skin, the fattier parts, EAT THE ENTIRE THING. Butter — thank god for butter!!! learn how to add butter my friends, not only you’ll uptake your fat consumption, it’s just so freaking good and tasty. Add butter to your coffee, add butter to your sauces, sautee your food with butter, buy and consume Ghee, or simply take the butter out of your fridge and bite right into it!!! Did I say I love butter???
And finally, fats from Fruits and Veggies, this is were most of us feel more comfortable right? and this is perfectly fine — avocado is great, coconut oil is great, almonds are great….and you know the list. Remember, however, those could also be a trap, why? because they also contain more protein and carbs than you need. So do not eat 2 or 3 avocados a day, do not eat a dessert just because it has coconut in it do not eat a bunch of almonds just because almond oil is good for us. Yes, you can try MCT oils and see what it does to you, but here we’re moving to tip # 3:
3. Stay away from processed food
Since the Keto industry has become more mainstream and we’re no longer hiding our identity, the food industry discovered the potential and started to offer us substitutes right?!
The same big brands that told us just a few years ago how much fat is bad for us and shoved tons of sugar into our diet, now suddenly trying to sell us good fats. Don’t get me wrong, I consume some of those products as well, and actually making some amazing Keto friendly subs, but, not everything that says KETO on the packaging is actually good for you. This takes us back to the pyramid and the basics and since we know already that Keto is simple and shouldn’t have 20 ingredients to be Keto, this rule is pretty easy to follow. When you see those subs read the label and ask: Does it have enough fat? where is the fat coming from? what else is in it besides the good fat that I need? as a rule of thumb, if it has more than 5 ingredients…mmm, it is already suspicious, if it has names and signs that you’re not familiar with…mmm, you may want to stay away.
To summerise, I love to use this very simple idea: if it’s not something that you’re grandma would cook for you — stay away!!!
4. Learn how to cook
The best thing that can happen to you, even if one day you decide that Keto is not for you, is that you have to learn how to cook. I can’t stress this enough…teach yourself, watch youtube videos, take courses, do whatever it takes to at least learn the very basics of cooking techniques. I know, most of us don’t have the time, most of us rather pay and buy something or pay someone. I’m telling you that a lot of your success in this journey depends on your ability to cook, not only for the benefit of having a good, fresh, well-balanced keto meal but also for you to understand food, understand what goes into your body, understand the process. Trust me, cooking is way more than putting food on a plate. By cooking your own food, at least when you do have the time, you will increase your chances to stick to this diet by hundreds of times. If you learn best by watching, search for hundreds of thousands of Keto friendly youtube cooking movies, if you learn best by doing (like me), search for a chef, a mentor, someone that is already in it and lives in your neighborhood ask him or her to teach you and cook together. Cooking is fun regardless of Keto, but for us, people is crucial for the success of our journey here.
5. Do not count calories
Remember, Keto is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. If you’re in it just to lose a few pounds then you can probably find easier ways to do so. Yes, you’ll lose weight, especially at the beginning of this journey, but this should not be your ultimate goal. The keto lifestyle has so many other benefits that I’d love to talk about in future posts. If you embrace your old habits from previous diets that you’ve tried in the past and count calories, you’ll probably fail. We do not stick to a “menu” in Keto. we follow a very simple rule — we eat when we’re hungry and we do not eat when we’re not hungry. This may sound a bit strange at the beginning but trust me if you do this right, sooner than later your appetite will go down significantly. You’ll find yourself “forgetting” to eat for hours and sometimes for the entire day. Why??? because you’re no longer operating on glucose fuel, you’re now operating on ketones fuel, your cravings should and will go down and the longer you go the easier it will be. This is when you know you’re doing something right, an amazing reinforcement to your hard work. So, stop counting calories, don’t live by a “menu” and listen to your body.