Family gatherings are so fun, and a great way to pick up new recipes. At every family event over at Erin’s house her mother would bring these amazing olives. I finally asked for the recipe and have made them several times now. Her mom gave us permission to use this recipe in our catalog of many. They are a great Keto/Paleo appetizer or snack. Everyone is always looking for snack ideas, and this is a great one you can leave out on the counter after school if you have olive eaters in the house!
2 cans medium to large (not jumbo) black, green, or a mixture of olives (Drained)
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
4 bay leaves
Mix together your oil and vinegar.
Mince or chop your garlic and thyme. I really prefer the fresh thyme on these.
Add all your spices to your oil mixture and combine well.
Drain and add your cans of olives.
These are beautiful and yummy to serve. The garlic gives them a nice kick. Bring them to room temperature before serving. You can also invert the jar occasionally to let the spices cover all the olives.
We store these in a mason jar for a couple of weeks in the fridge if they last that long.
For those of you that have seen our library of Keto resources, you know that it is extensive. We read A LOT! Erin and I are very passionate about diet and nutrition so we literally live, eat, and breathe what we preach! While we love our books, there is also a lot of information coming out in the news on a daily basis. In addition to our books, we subscribe to wellness and health magazines, both through snail mail and email, and scour the internet for the latest and greatest information. Gut health and depression has been in the headlines quite often the past few weeks. This is an article from Paleo Plan, an online subscription I follow on occasion:
“Did you hear the good news!? At long last…science is recognizing something that’s been known since antiquity…the interconnectedness between gut health and disease!
Recently researchers have begun to realize how depression and overall brain health are intimately connected to our microbiome (the 3-5 pounds of bacteria living inside our bodies which outnumber our own cells 10:1). Several studies are now linking depression with imbalances in our microbiome. In other words, having too much ‘bad bacteria’ and not enough ‘good bacteria’ in our guts can trigger depression (and a host of other diseases).
While scientists are rejoicing about their ‘discovery’ that the brain is indeed influenced by gut health, this is not breaking news. The father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, proclaimed over 2,000 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut”.
What is more along the lines of breaking news are recent headlines likening yogurt to Prozac for treating depression. Now before you go raid the dairy aisle of your local grocery store, let’s chat about why yogurt is being touted as an antidepressant.
Yogurt is marketed to contain probiotics, which are beneficial ‘good’ bacteria critical for immune function and overall health. These probiotics are also capable of altering our emotional state, and studies have found that supplementation with them can improve mood and act as a mild antidepressant.
There are some problems with most yogurts sold at the market (other than the dairy, sugar and other non-Paleo ingredients they commonly contain). Many commercial yogurt products have been pasteurized at high temperatures after the live bacteria cultures have been added, essentially killing all of the probiotics.
Further, we house hundreds of different species of bacteria in our guts, yet most yogurts (and probiotic pills) contain only a small handful of species. Dysbiosis (an imbalanced gut microbiome) is defined as overgrowth of any one type of bacteria. Unfortunately a ‘good’ bacteria can become ‘bad’ if taken in excess.
While yogurt may not be the best source of probiotics, there are several ways to increase your microbial diversity. Eating dietary fiber from whole, natural foods at every meal feeds the good bacteria in your gut and colon, helping them to naturally populate. Other foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut kefir or yogurt, kombucha, live probiotic drinks, and other fermented/cultured vegetables are packed full of living probiotics. The key is to select a brand that is live or raw, meaning the bacteria haven’t been killed via pasteurization. Better yet, you can make your own raw fermented foods!
Lastly, it’s easy to overconsume any one type of bacteria if you take the same probiotic pills over and over. That’s why I urge my clients to rotate their brand of probiotic supplements and ideally get their probiotics from whole food sources.
Ok, so yogurt is probably not the”new Prozac” as news reports are so eagerly proclaiming, but the message is valid: a happy gut precedes a happy mind! It’s time for us all to quit fearing bacteria, and to embrace the reality that our bodies contain more bacterial cells than human cells…now that’s some food for thought! :)” – Paleo Plan
While we do not recommend yogurt for adults on a Ketogenic diet, I do allow my children to have good quality, unsweetened yogurt from grass-fed cows. It has the quality probiotics as well as the nutrients from grass-fed cows that you can’t get from any other kind of yogurt. This one in particular is also WHOLE milk yogurt that is almost impossible to find in this day of low-fat everything! It is the best I have found and a great treat for the kiddos.
I was listening to this same study on Good Morning America this morning and then came across it online as well, so I wanted to share it and put it in line with the Keto diet. It is written from a Paleo perspective so it does not follow all of our rules exactly, but it does have some good tips about cleaning up your gut! This is where Keto helps a ton! Fat is great for the brain and Keto does a great job cleaning up the gut bacteria even alone. The GMA segment was mainly focusing on carbs causing depression and the great probiotic foods we can use to help it. We all know we need to cut the carbs, but not everyone knows that there are actually healing foods that can repair some of the damage we have caused.
Dr. Perlmutter’s new book entitled, Brain Maker is all about the gut, and the foods you can use to clean it up! In fact, a large part of the article above is taken directly from his book. This is on my bedside table at the moment, and about to move to the kitchen to try the recipes he has included in it as well. Check it out in our Amazon Store!
The gut and the brain are more connected than we ever thought. What you put in your mouth can greatly effect what happens in your brain. Even more, as ketoers, we know that the brain prefers fat as a fuel, and by replacing your carbs for fat you are already helping. Now imagine going a step further to feed it healing foods as well!
How do we cause damage? Many ways, but a BIG one is antibiotics. We try to limit antibiotics as much as possible. While they were created for life-saving measures, they are highly overprescribed and frankly abused this day in age. I only take them and give them to my family if they are absolutely necessary – and by that, I mean a raging ear infection, sinus infection or something we know, without a doubt, an antibiotic can fix. If a virus is a possibility – I pass. Another example; I had a severe allergic reaction to a yellow-jacket sting last week. After two days my foot swelled so badly that I couldn’t get a flip flop on and it was turning colors. I reluctantly went to an emergency clinic when my foot was hot to the touch. The doctor immediately wanted to give me an antibiotic to reduce the CHANCES of infection. I did NOT have an infection, I had a reaction! I verified this and refused the antibiotic. There ARE cases when an antibiotic is needed. Just tell your doctor that if it’s not necessary you don’t want it. So many doctors today are quick to provide a fix because they think that is what YOU want, when in reality, you may just need to wait a couple of days to shake off a virus. If, however, an antibiotic is taken, you need to know that it not only kills the bad bacteria, but also kills the GOOD bacteria your body needs for many functions. I know it sounds crazy, but your body NEEDS bacteria. There is actually a purpose for it. So what to do, if you are sick with a fever and NEED an antibiotic? Take a great quality probiotic TWO hours after taking your antibiotic. While there isn’t exact science, this seems to have the best results in replacing some of the good bacteria you kill with the antibiotic. Here are a couple of probiotics we believe are GREAT ones. I do take these daily and switch them up after I finish a bottle.
These first two need to stay in the refrigerator:
This one below does not need to be refrigerated so it is great for travel:
To sum it up…Take care of your gut and it will take care of you. It kind of goes along with what we have heard for years…”You are what you eat.” It seems now, that this saying is more accurate than we ever imagined!
Take care of you, yours, and your gut! Happy Friday!
It’s the weekend, and what is better than taking a night off from the kitchen to have a wonderful meal out? For those of you not local to San Antonio, you will have to make the trip down here. We know many of our readers are local though, so we have some great tips you can try for an evening out!
The kids are off to camp this week so we decided to try some new restaurants we had heard about. We ventured out four nights this week which I think is a record! Of the four, two were very much post worthy.
The first one worth mention was Cured, which is located in the Pearl area near downtown San Antonio. I went with Erin and another Keto friend, Kelley, where we decided to get three different dishes and serve them family style.
We ordered a great variety.
The first was the Crabmeat Ravigote:
It is basically lump crabmeat in a mayonnaise base topped with a ton of avocado and salad fixings. I asked them to leave off the beets. It was a delightful summer dish, not to mention beautiful!
The second was the Wagyu Brisket Sandwich:
Of course, without the bun! Another delicious dish. Look at the Herb Creme Fraiche and picked onions! And…the wonderful natural beef fat could only help to make it perfectly KETO!
The third dish was a hands down favorite with all three of us. Pork Cheeks Poutine:
I am still salivating over this one! I had never had pork cheeks or any kind of cheeks for that matter, but I guarantee I will have them again. They are melt in your mouth tender with wonderful flavor. They braise these and then slow cook them for hours. It was topped with gobs of flavorful cheddar cheese, pickled cauliflower, and we chose to add the fried egg. Can you say Keto, Keto, Keto! AMAZING!!! I can’t say it loudly enough!
Over all Cured got 5 Stars from all of us for food, atmosphere, staff, and Keto friendly!
The other restaurant we tried was The Cookhouse! This one is located off of St. Mary’s on Mistletoe in a cute little restored house. Make sure you have a reservation! We went on Tuesday night and the only reservation they had left was 6:00 pm. We probably watched them turn away 7 or 8 parties while we were there. Another advantage of this restaurant is their corking policy. You can bring your favorite wine to enjoy for a $20 corkage fee.
The Cookhouse is a New Orleans style restaurant so we were a little anxious going in because of all the heavy carb dishes usually associated with New Orleans. They could not have been more friendly about substitutions here even though they had a large party that evening. Everything is prepared fresh while you wait, and we were able to have a perfectly Keto Low-Carb meal.
We tried a lot of different dishes, and realized we ordered too much once the entrees arrived. They are massive so go hungry!
We started with the Shrimp Remoulade Salad and Pork Cracklins:
The Pork Cracklins are you guessed it, Pork Rinds served with an incredible cream cheese, sour cream and chive dip. These are a far cry from the pork rinds at the gas station!
Above is the Shrimp Remoulade Salad-A meal in itself but watch out for the fried green tomatoes.
Trout Almandine above
Braised Pork Shoulder with zucchini.
This was in place for the Blackened Drum in the menu, I believe it was a red fish.
When you think of cajun often the first thought after spicy and gumbo is grits. None of the four of us had grits and none of us missed them.
The Cookhouse was super accommodating and the objects on your screen are about three times larger than they appear. 🙂
We were chatting the other day about keto (of course) and thought it might be a good idea to post a bit about the “basics.” While we we have been trucking right along with recipes and tips we realize not every one has been with us since the very beginning. So today’s post will be a little refresher about what the Ketogenic Diet is about.
This information is also located on the “What is Keto?” tab.
So what are we talking about?
When Erin was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer, she was immediately given books, journals and studies outlining the tragic effects sugar has on the body. Her father-in-law insisted she remove sugar from her life and start a Ketogenic diet. Upon further research, both Erin and Cindy have come to discover the benefits of a Ketogenic diet for more than just cancer patients. Other than Type I diabetics and alcoholics, the ketogenic diet is good for most people if even just used to power the brain with it’s preferred source of energy…FAT!
Fat is great for our brains and our bodies. Fat was given a really bad name back in the 1950’s, and continued to be beaten out of our diets based on false science until recently. When the fat was removed from our diets, food manufacturers added copious amounts of sugars and fillers to replace the fat that had once given us the natural flavors and textures we all loved in our food. In turn, this made us not only food addicts, but sugar addicts as well! Now, it is time to break the cycle and bring our nation back to the way we were originally designed to eat!
In a Nutshell – KETO explained
A Ketogenic diet is a diet that consists of primarily fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate intake. Many times referred to as Low Carb/High Fat (LCHF). The percentage of Macronutrients varies for each individual depending on insulin resistance and metabolic panel. For instance, Erin can eat quite a bit more protein and carbs without a negative impact on blood ketones. Cindy, on the other hand, has to have a higher fat intake with fewer carbs and protein in order to keep her blood sugar minimized because of her insulin resistance due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). A typical day for most individuals would consist of 72.5% Fat, 22.5% Protein, and 5% Carbohydrates.
Ketosis occurs when your body shifts from burning glucose (sugar and carbohydrates) for fuel and instead burns ketone bodies produced by the consumption of fat. We call this Keto-Adapted.
Ketones are the ideal fuel for the body, unlike glucose, which is damaging, less stable, and shortens your life-span. Ketones are non-glycating, which means they don’t have an aging effect on your body.
The energy producing cells (powerhouse) of our body, the mitochondria, work much better on a Ketogenic diet as they are able to increase energy levels on a stable, long-burning, efficient, and steady supply of Ketones. No drug has been able to mimic the effect of Ketosis because the mitochondria were specifically designed to use fat for energy.
This was the diet of our ancestors years ago, and the way we were designed to live as they were scavengers and hunters. Our brains have evolved to live off of fat. In fact, our brains are primarily composed of fat and prefer such as a fuel.
Babies live on a Ketogenic diet. We were given a gift to provide newborns with the ultimate brain fuel naturally in breast milk. When babies are given breast milk which is primarily fat they are essentially Keto-Adapted and burning ketones for fuel which in turn helps construct and grow their brains.
In a nutshell…Being in Ketosis means your body is burning fat (Yay!). For your brain, it means clarity, less risk for seizures, a better environment for neuronal recovery and repair, plus more energy!
What does a ketogenic diet treat?
Inflammation of many kinds, including joint pain
Individuals with high cholesterol
Individuals seeking greater mental focus
Type 2 Diabetes
Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Stroke and Head Trauma
PCOS and Infertiltiy
Strengths Immune System
Great for Indurance Athletes that want Sustained Energy
Great for Body Builders or Fitness Buffs that want increased definition of their muscles.
That’s a mouthful! This may be the perfect Keto Chocolate pudding to put in your mouth though!
The kids always want some kind of treat, so I experimented with something different. I wanted to go chocolate based off of a treat the kids picked out at the grocery store on vacation a few weeks ago. I relax a little on the restrictions on vacation, and amazingly the treat they chose was not too far off. It was a store-bought Jello-brand chocolate mousse at the grocery store in Port Aransas, Texas. I expected it to be filled with artificial this and artificial that, but it actually had real cream in it! Surprising, right? It wasn’t perfect, but it did give me the idea of trying to create my own that was perfect! The only ingredient I am still waiting on is my new gelatin, but the Knox worked for today.
This is not really a mousse, but a pudding. With supervision, this is a great one to do with the kiddos this summer.
Start with your ingredients: (I also added vanilla and salt that are not pictured.)
Going Keto means no sugar, but it doesn’t mean no desserts!
Every once in a while, I like to experiment with sweet recipes. Sometimes it is as easy as taking an old recipe and just replacing the sugar with Swerve or Stevia. Sometimes it takes a little more creativity, and other times, I can find new Keto recipes online and adjust to our taste.
I was a legitimate sugaraholic before I started Keto. I was one that had to have desserts after every meal. Once I started on something sweet, I had to finish it, even if I was completely full! Keto has helped with this sugar addiction tremendously. I still like sweet, but I don’t crave it like I did. We also keep sweets to a minimum so that the kids don’t expect something sweet after every meal. It is always a special treat!
When I say addiction, sugar is a real addiction! Did you know that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine? In fact, sugar has almost the same molecular structure as cocaine. That is a pretty scary statistic knowing all the diseases that sugar causes and progresses. We will talk about this more, but sugar is BAD!!!!
I will no longer eat anything with sugar, but have substituted it with Swerve and Stevia. I am also going to try chicory root in the near future too! The following recipe uses Swerve. Some, like my family, love Swerve and cannot tell the difference. I have heard others say they experience an aftertaste. I do sometimes taste sweet on my tongue when I drink water after eating something that was made with this substitute. Overall, I think it is a great sweetener with no glycemic effect, no GMOs, and no digestive effects like Xylitol can have on some individuals. It is all natural made with Erythritol, and is diabetes friendly and gluten free. Another great component is that it measures just like sugar so you can use it in your old recipes when sugar is the only substitution needed. It is great for us Ketoers.
We will do a post soon on all sweeteners, but Swerve is my primary go-to. It can be purchased at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and other health food stores, or online. Even Amazon has it, and we have it in our Amazon store here. There are two different kinds. One is granular like white sugar (orange package), and the other is Confectioners Style (purple package) which is more like powdered sugar. I use Confectioners in this one.
The Granular is great for anything baked, but can get grainy when refrigerated.
That being said, any time I make something cold, I use the Confectioners Style.
Without further ado, here is a scrumptious recipe for you to try that is perfect for summer!
1/2 cup Key Lime juice (Yes, it makes a difference – this part is time consuming so take that into account)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9×13 pyrex baking dish with butter or coconut oil. Grease well!
Combine your almond flour, 1/2 cup of Swerve granular, cinnamon and melted butter. I use my hands to really combine well because it is a thick crust-like consistency.
Press all the crust evenly into your baking dish or use a mini muffin pan with liners to make mini cheesecakes.
Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes.
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, beat your room temperature cream cheese until soft and fluffy.
Add your cup of Swerve confectioners, and vanilla. Continue to beat until well combined. Add your eggs, one at a time, beating in between each. Add your lime juice slowly, while beating constantly. It should be fairly runny and smooth.
Pour the mixture over your baked crust. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until firm. (About 15-20 minutes for mini-muffins, but check because sizes can differ.) Cool completely, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
Cut and enjoy. Serve with Keto whipped cream if you desire for a super rich dessert.
Note: This crust is delicious, but can be crumbly so use a very sharp knife and a spatula to remove from dish.
As a follow up from Erin’s emotional post on her Cancer survival, I thought this article apropos to post. Erin gives so much credit to her survival of Cancer and continued remission to the Ketogenic diet. Erin also did traditional therapy, but the results were much faster because of Keto. So fast, in fact, that her doctor asked her what she was doing in addition to traditional therapy! We often wonder if Keto could have cured it all, but at 31, she needed to do everything humanly possible to get that disease as far away as possible – forever! So, we are definitely not saying to avoid traditional therapy, but we are saying that you can help yourself move towards faster healing by eliminating sugar from your diet because sugar feeds Cancer! As you will read in the article, a majority of Cancers have been proven to be metabolic diseases. All are not simply genetic, or a case of bad luck, as so many of us have been told and believed for quite some time.
How are metabolic diseases treated? Answer: Diet
If you have not already read our page entitled, “What is a Ketogenic Diet?” I encourage you to do so. While we often speak to Cancer, the Ketogenic Diet can be used to treat many other diseases and illnesses, and help you live a stronger, healthier and more fulfilled life. For instance, it reversed my pre-diabetic status, put my PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms at bay, and alleviated every bit of lower back pain I had from an injury I sustained while training for a marathon several years ago when I ruptured a disk.
This article is excellent in explaining how great the Keto diet is for most Cancers, and why we don’t hear more about it (hint…$$$).
I also encourage you to do your own research or talk to your doctor about how this type of lifestyle might be able to help you with your own ailments or even just living a healthier lifestyle. I will tell you; I have never felt better, been stronger, or had clearer skin in my entire life! I just wish I had learned about it sooner than a year and a half ago. I hope that it can help you too! Let us know how we can help you!
Posted with Love,
In an exclusive interview, Dr. Seyfried discussed why the ketogenic diet has not been embraced by the medical community to treat cancer despite its proven track record both clinically and anecdotally.
“The reason why the ketogenic diet is not being prescribed to treat cancer is purely economical,” said Dr. Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. “Cancer is big business. There are more people making a living off cancer than there are dying of it.”
This is one of our favorite tricks for sprucing up dishes with a little extra texture.
I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, but it really works, and the kids love it, while getting their veggies at the same time. Mine can’t tell the difference!
Start with a large head of cauliflower, a nice sharp knife, a food processor and a foil lined baking sheet.
Cut your cauliflower into small florets and rinse in a colander.
Let the cauliflower dry for a bit and then add to your food processor a little at a time. If you do too much at once you will get some clumps.
Then PULSE your food processor until the cauliflower resembles snow. Don’t over pulse or you will get a puree.
After each batch, scrape the pulsed cauliflower out onto your cookie sheet. If you have larger pieces, just throw them back in with the next batch.
When it is all “snow” you should have a nice full cookie sheet of “rice”!
Bake in the oven on 350 degrees until the top is just starting to turn golden. I take it out a few times and toss it around to make sure it is all getting cooked through. This will remove the rest of the moisture and you will have a great side dish in about 25 to 30 minutes.
We generally use the rice under Indian dishes like Tiki Marsala or Curry, but we also serve as a side topped with Kerrygold!