10 Things to Know About Keto

The Ketogenic Diet. 

If you live in America and have paid any attention to the internet in the past few months, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. The diet that promotes high fat, medium protein, and low carb intake. Some doctors refuse to admit that there are many health benefits of the diet, while others are doing it themselves. All this controversy makes it pretty difficult for some people to start, especially when they lack the support of their friends and family.

When I initially began loading my food up with butter, bacon, eggs, and a side of leafy greens, I think quite a few people were hesitant. As usual, there was at least one troll on Facebook who was determined to prove that the diet was not good for a person’s heart (false – see why here) and that it wasn’t a feasible way of eating (again, false). Luckily, though, I had a bunch of friends and family supporting and encouraging me and, eventually, almost everyone realized that I was making some huge healthy strides in life.

So now I sit here, over fifty days into this supposedly infeasible way of eating, I can confidently say that there at least 10 things that everyone should know while starting their keto-journey:

1) Eat veggies. I don’t think I’ll ever forget one of my friend’s reactions when she found out that I planned on starting to eat in a keto-friendly manner.

“No, you don’t need that. What you need is more fiber in your diet!”

Was she wrong? No, not at all. Was she fooled by the false accusations thrown at the ketogenic diet daily? Yes, absolutely. Before I started eating keto, I think I ate about 1-3 cups of veggies per week (that may even be an over exaggeration). Now that I’m following a ketogenic diet, I eat at least four servings of vegetables (I’m talking Fresh-baby-spinach-leaves-in-a-bowl-on-a-wooden-table-640x479cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, leafy greens, onions, peppers – all the non-starchy veggies) per day.

If you’re just starting keto, eat your veggies. They should be where the majority of your carbs come from! So throw that spinach in your eggs, eat leafy salads, do whatever you need to do! If you’re counting net carbs, you won’t go over in carbs! If you aren’t, you didn’t get fat from eating vegetables!

2) Eat berries. This is one thing that I can’t find a clear answer about anywhere online. Some people encourage the consumption of berries on the keto diet, while others insist they have way too much sugar. background-2277_960_720.jpgI personally love berries and what they provide for the body. They are stacked full of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

I eat one cup of berries per day, almost every week, and I’m in a steady state of ketosis. The sugar they offer is enough to eliminate the annoying craving for sugar I had at the beginning of my keto journey. Now, they’re my favorite treat! I log them into my tracker and I still stay well below my carb count for the day. Stick with raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries! Otherwise, check out this blog to see what kind of fruits are “safe” on keto!

3) Drink water. One of the most important, yet least mentioned, aspects of ketogenic eating is the need to drink water, constantly. The the keto way of eating restricts the intake of carbs drastically, so besides diet soda (which is generally not recommended) and sparkling water, you don’t have many choices besides actual water. Every person glass-1206584_1920will tell you something different – drink 2-3 liters, drink at least 1 gallon, drink half your body weight (in ounces) – but the general consensus is you need water. Without it, you will most likely stall in weight loss, overeat, and feel like crap because your dehydrated.

I personally keep a 32 oz water bottle with me at almost all times and I drink out of it constantly. To make sure I’m keeping up with it, I downloaded the My Water app, which helps me track and make sure I’m drinking enough water daily. It even allows the user to set a two-hour reminder!

I’m not sure about everyone else, but when I don’t drink enough water, my weightloss stalls.

4) Give in to your cravings. The most restrictive part of the ketogenic way of eating is the lack of ability to “cheat”. I mean, you can have binge days but the following morning you will experience something that feels worse than a hangover. So, don’t binge!

If you really have a killer craving for something that you know isn’t keto friendly, but you can’t get it off your mind, then give in. Take one or two bites. Odds are, it won’t taste like you remember it tasting and you won’t even want to finish the rest. If you haven’t started keto yet, then you won’t understand the amount that your taste buds can or will change. Sugary foods will literally repel you, salty foods will become your favorite treat – even if you hate them beforehand (in my case, olives).

8143215572_aaa192f850_kThe thing is, if you restrict yourself completely from the things you want, by the time you have them you will be ravenous! You’ll want every crumb – and carb – of that thing that you’ve repeatedly told yourself you cannot have. So, once you finally have it, you’ll have it all. Then, you’ll wake up the next morning feeling like total shit and completely regretting it.

I promise you, regret tastes just as disgusting when your leading a keto lifestyle as it did before.

5) Be careful with protein. What? Be careful with protein, but you thought you were allowed to eat that – in endless amounts? Unfortunately, you’re not. While protein is essential to maintain and increase muscle mass. Increased muscle mass is essential for an increased metabolism. So, yes, you absolutely need 15 – 30% of your calories to be from protein. The issue is, essentially, that excess protein is converted to sugar, which is BAD because excess sugar equals ketosis.

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I sincerely admit that I have no idea how to actually manually calculate my macros, but I do frequently check them at the following websites:

Generally, the results are pretty similar. If they aren’t, feel free to research how to manually calculate them or find your own favorite calculator.

6) Keto is not a “diet”, it’s a lifestyle. Will you gain weight if you stop keto and eat a crap ton of carbs? Yes, you probably will. Just like a calorie restricted diet, if you go diet-vs-lifestyle1back to your old way of eating, you will gain weight.

Does that mean you will never be able to eat or drink any non-keto foods again? No. It means that you have to learn how to eat properly, get yourself in great shape, and then enjoy “naughty” foods occasionally, while readily maintaining a ketogenic lifestyle. I know this sounds rough, but after you achieve fat adaptation, you won’t want to go back to your old way of life again.

7) Do not expect to eat your favorite carb-loaded snacks in a keto-friendly variety. Unless it’s switching from store bought cream of chicken soup to the kind you whip up on your own, odds are the recipe is going to taste different. But, no, radishes do not taste like french fries, zoodles aren’t macaroni flavored, and no strand of stevia extract tastes just like sugar. Thinking otherwise will leave you feeling disappointed.

Healthy food does not taste like crappy food, it just doesn’t.

8) Count calories. I think one of the most annoying things I’ve heard about keto is that you don’t have to track your calorie intake. Technically, in order to obtain or maintain ketosis, you don’t. Yet, to lose weight using the keto way of eating, you do.

Calories are not the primary focus on keto; eating good fat is. Consequently, your calorie limit may be higher than a regular, low-calorie diet. Still, you do need to count the calories because if you’re eating too much of a good thing, it becomes a bad thing – you can still gain weight and maintain ketosis. 

9) Accept the changes. As you continue leading a ketogenic lifestyle, you will start to notice odd changes. They aren’t coincidences and, yes, they are linked to your new way of eating. What are some of these changes?

  • You’ll like new foods that you’ve never liked before.DIJON-MUSTARD-600x303 I have spent my whole life hating mustard. My family can tell you stories about how much I hate mustard. Guess what I suddenly love! Mustard.
  • You’ll have so much energy. The first week is groggy, to say the least. Soon after, though, you’ll start waking up early, staying up late, and getting things done on the weekend instead of sleeping. Crap, I had so much extra energy that I started working out willingly!
  • You’ll feel better. Of course, when you see the weight falling off, you will feel excellent. Before that, though, you will just feel healthier.

Enjoy the benefits of these changes. Trust me, keto will change your life if you let it!

10) It’s not always easy. Sometimes, it sucks to have to plan out your meals at restaurants to make sure they fit in your macros. Other times, you will get sick of explaining to people why you can eat one thing and not another. You might stumble, you might fall right off the wagon; climb back on. Just do yourself a favor and don’t give up.

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“Lost Among the Living” By Simone St. James

Concept: ★★★★★ – The concept of this book was well thought out and very unique. “Lost Among the Living” is set in 1921, a few years following the first World War. The author artfully twines a novel that expertly addresses issues that were active in Europe, while spinning a tale of a not-quite-widow and the challenges she faces after her husband disappears in the war. Weave in a ghost, a family full of secrets, and a house with footsteps that follow people down an empty hallway; then you have yourself a novel!

Writing: ★★★★★ – As always, I was very much a fan 6a015390e082b4970b01b8d1b6f7a6970c-600wiof St. James writing. The language and rhetoric style she chooses to use in her historical novels is delectable. Perhaps my favorite part of reading her novels is imagining the amount of research she may have had to complete to accurately write a story from a different decade. Another amazing attribute that she possesses is her capability to write a fiction novel around challenges that were very real and present in the post-Great War era.

Character Development: ★★★★☆ – As always, St. James has a way of gradually introducing characters throughout the entire novel. I feel as though this is what sucks me so deeply into her stories, the fact that I get to know characters at their deepest levels as I read. The only character that I found to be less developed in this novel was the villain. I felt as though it made his role obvious, but perhaps that’s just me.

Plot: ★★★★★ – A not-quite-widowed woman, a recovering addict, a lonely woman, and a mysteriously dead little girl, all woven together into a novel that develops slowly into a page-turning novel. With so much activity, it was hard to keep up at times! The author expertly stitched together a breathtaking and nightmare giving read!

Pacing: ★★★★☆ – The greatest downfall to this book was when the main character said, “Things moved quickly after that.” Even though the book was attention grasping and full of endless twists, I really was frustrated that St. James couldn’t come up with a less obvious transition to the climax and end of the story.

Ending: ★★★★★ – The ending was, well, short and sweet – and, boy, do I mean sweet! The bad guy was proven guilty and the good guys lived on, happier than before. The only one who didn’t get the happy ending is the little girl who was long ago passed. Of course, if you want to know who the bad guy is, I suggest reading the book or checking out the spoilers below!

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Spoilers below!

Continue reading ““Lost Among the Living” By Simone St. James”

“Silence for the Dead” by Simone St. James

Concept: ★★★★★ – I honestly don’t know how Simone St. James continues to do it, but the concept behind “Silence for the Dead” is truly amazing. In this amazing, historical and paranormal mystery, we visit the era between the World Wars in the countryside of England. The main character, Kitty, is simply looking for a way to survive and lands at a haunted mental hospital, surrounded by men who don’t seem to be recovering and fellow staff members that appear to be out to get her. As the story unravels, we find that those who appear to be the enemy aren’t always as dangerous as they appear.

Writing: ★★★★★ – The most important part of a book – at least for me – is the descriptive narrative that an author utilizes to enthrall the reader, tugging them deeper into every aspect of the tale. St. James does not fail, in this novel, to provide a setting that my mind only enhanced. While reading this, I felt as though her flawless writing tugged me into every page of every chapter. If the writing had been any better, I may have glanced up from the pages to find myself in another time.

Character Development: ★★★★★ – This is the third book that St. James wrote that I’ve read and, I must say, she never ceases to amaze me with her ability to work character development into the storyline. While reading this book, specifically, we get to know people through their interactions with others more so than through their reflection on the past. Although reflecting on the past isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s a fresh sip of lemonade to read a book that develops characters in their present.

Plot: ★★★★★ – This plot was incredible! The cleverly braids together a haunted house, a mental hospital where patients seem to get worse, a covered up murder, a family that disappeared, and a girl with a home life that she wants nothing more than to escape. Not only does she develop a plot laced with thrills, heartbreaks, and eminent fear, but she manages to provide a conclusion for every single aspect she introduces.

Pacing: ★★★★★ – This book moved so quickly that I read it in two days, as I was fearing that otherwise, I might not be able to keep up. It seemed like every turn of the page 18114136brought along a new, unexpected twist that threw me – the reader – off kilter. From missing people appearing to visits from the past, the book had so many twists and turns that my head was almost spinning, but not quite.

Ending: ★★★★★ – My favorite part of the ending of “Silence for the Dead” is that every beginning is thoroughly addressed. There’s nothing better than reading a book that plants questions in your mind and then answers every single one prior to the conclusion. Additionally, for all the characters that aren’t villains, happy endings do ensue.

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Spoilers below!

Part One: Angel of Mercy

As the story opens, we are introduced to Kitty Weekes, the main character. Eventually, we learn about the troubled past that led to her arrival at The Portis House where she establishes herself as a nurse. Before she manages to get through her first meeting with her new boss, the Matron, she finds that her lack of experience and education precedes her.

However, turning a blind eye to the bold lies in front of her, the Matron agrees to let Kitty begin her new employ, assuring her that she is watching her carefully. As anyone that is pretending to be a nurse would do, Kitty stumbles and repeatedly fails. However, the other nurses on staff – Nina, Martha, and the Matron’s favorite, Boney – manage to cover her tail successfully. In fact, we find later on that Nina was aware that something wasn’t right from the very first moment on.

Throughout her first days, the Matron continues to almost taunt Kitty by placing her in horrible situations that she is utterly unprepared for. She leaves her to fend for herself in a dining room full of rowdy and troubled veterans, all shell-shocked from their ghastly experiences during the Great War. It’s only after she manages to work her way through that catastrophic situation, she sits down to dinner with the other staff members and learns about the mysterious patient 16.  In the case of Kitty, curiosity definitely got the cat.

The next day, she tricks Nina into letting her take patient 16 his food and finds out that he is, in fact, the infamous war hero, Jack Yates. He defends her breaking the rule by stating that he had requested she remove his dishes. The Matron reluctantly accepts this reasoning but finds another way to punish Kitty.

That’s how Kitty ends up being forced to clean the absolutely filthy restroom in the patients quarters. The bathroom is filled with black mold and slime, as well as chilling sensations that seem to materialize into cowardly accusations in her mind. Utterly terrified, she cleans the bathroom as thoroughly and quickly as possible. After her traumatizing cleaning experience, Kitty knows something is amiss, yet even her imagination cannot reach the hauntingly dark secret that lies behind closed doors.

Part Two: The Night Shift

After to being forced to clean the relentlessly filthy restroom, Kitty is then instructed to cover night shift. Had she been a nurse with actual, legitimate experience this may have not been such a daunting task. However, as the story played out, we find that her lack of nursing experience is quite troublesome at night.

The beginning of the night shift is less than notable. Then the patients begin screaming that he’s coming. The issue is, no one – including the nosey – orderly is aware of who he is. After being attacked by one of the patients, Kitty catches a glimpse of him – or so she thinks. She follows him to the stairwell and watches as he silently walks down them. He walks through the door and he’s gone. At that moment, Kitty suddenly started to grasp what was wrong at The Portis House.

The next morning, Kitty is called into the Matron’s office to discuss her disappearance into Jack Yates’ room the night before. Well, she’s called in under the pretense that her report from the night watch was incomplete. The Matron informs her that she must file complete reports because, should one of the men be sent home because an incident wasn’t reported, and then if he hurts someone, it will come back on The Portis House, the Matron, and – finally – Kitty. It is then that she threatens to file an incident report and have her dismissed by Dr. Thorton, Dr. Oliver, and the owner, Mr. Deighton.

Later that morning, Kitty goes for a walk and notices that Jack Yates is watching her out of his window. However, its the appearance of a strange girl – not a nurse – standing outside of The Portis House that sends chills down her spine. After the illusion she’d seen the night before and seeing the unfamiliar girl outside, she begins to ask fellow staff about the family who used to live in the house.

The cook informs her that their name was Gersbach and they were from Switzerland, although – during the era, especially – people frequently assumed they were German. We later find that this is one of the many issues that led to dreadful events playing out at the home. Since the cook only had so much information to offer, she was promptly instructed to talk to Bammy, a younger man that grew up in the village. In Bammy’s version of what happened, the family moved in and kept to themselves. The son went off to serve in the military and then the family just moved away. The one thing that Bammy notes as odd is that, when they moved in, everyone noticed because of the large number of belongings they had, but when they left, no one saw anything.

Due to the finding of the previous nurse’s – Maisey’s – belongings in the nurse’s quarters, Kitty sent her a letter. Maisey then responded and asked her to meet her in a hollow, not far from The Portis House. Curiosity alone persuaded Kitty to meet with her and that’s when things regarding the Gersbach’s and The Portis House start to fall into place.

As it turns out, Maisey also grew up in the village. Her father was the magistrate in the village, so when the Gersbach’s arrive, it was determined that Maisey held a high enough status to be allowed to be Anna’s, their daughter, friend. Maisey explained that, after years of being friends, Anna had just suddenly stopped writing her. She couldn’t believe that her dear friend no longer wanted to be friends, determined that something had happened that made it so Anna couldn’t write.

Maisey then explained how Mikael, Anna’s brother, had left to serve in the military. Jack Yates was present, as he’d followed Kitty, and promised to look into Mikael’s military service. The three continue to talk and realize that the state of the house – rotting and falling apart – is peculiar, as the house less than two decades old.

Skipping Part Three

Normally, I would continue to play out the events here, however, I actually read the book almost a month and a half ago – fell ill immediately after. So, instead of recanting every event in the story – there were so many, so read it – I’m going to tell you how it ends, in a few quick words.

In the end, members of the staff and patients alike fall ill. The house is out of power and rain is gushing out of the sky. It’s then that Kitty discovers that Anna is alive and has been living out of the cellar since her mothers passing. Anna has been hiding because, after her father murdered her brother for being a coward in the military, she murdered her father. Maisey’s father, the magistrate, covered up the crimes by ushering Anna and her mother into hiding.

After finally getting all of the patients out of The Portis House, Mr. Deighton and Maisey’s father are both found guilty of crimes that included covering up a murder. And, finally, of course, Kitty and Jack Yates fall in love.

Grab your own copy of “Silence for the Dead” here!

“Bring Me Back” by B. A. Paris

Concept: ★★★★★ – The concept of the way in which “Bring Me Back” By B. A. Paris is being told seems too recognizable during the first part of the book. The author played on the then and now writing pattern that too many authors seem to use these days. However, in the second part of the book, her decision to use this method is backed up by how the storyline plays out.

Writing: ★★★★☆ – The author maintains a steady writing pattern, continuously giving the reader enough to manipulate, but letting the story play out as a page-turning mystery. Paris wrote in a manner that was easy to follow, yet supported the entirety of the plot. The only thing that I didn’t like was her lack of physical description of the main character. Beyond his height and his age, I truly feel as though I have little idea what Finn looked like.

Character Development: ★★★★★ – If I could give Paris six stars for character development, I would. She effortlessly created five – or six – main characters, both now and then. Not only that, but she transitioned them throughout the story in a way that mirrored and emphasized the plot! Truly spectacular!

Plot: ★★★★★ – To say I didn’t have an inkling as to how the story would finally end is a lie. I had ideas, I had a lot of ideas. What made the plot great is that I had no idea which idea was right, nor did I have any idea how the main character would come to find out the truth behind Layla, Ellen, and their Russian dolls.

Pacing: ★★★★★ – The pacing of this novel was fabulous. I couldn’t put the book down. I had an ARC – provided by Net Galley – that was in an e-book format and I’ve been reading this book on my Kindle, on my phone, on my iPad and pretty much anywhere else I could pull it up for the last three days!

Ending: ★★★☆☆ – Although I honestly loved this book, the ending wasn’t great. Did it answer all of the questions created in my mind as I read it? Yes. Did it do it in a creative way? No. The note, found after all is said and done, is a cliche way to reveal all of Layla’s secrets.

Cover Art: ★★★★★ – Since this book isn’t published yet, I was left to Google for the possible cover art. I was able to find two versions, which are pictured below.

At first, I was a bigger fan of the one on the left, with the broken  Russian dolls littering the cover. However, once I realized that the shattered wood on the right cover represented a shattered person or the broken cottage where love was initially found, I decided both covers were excellent works of art.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC of Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris!

Spoilers and an overall review below! 

Continue reading ““Bring Me Back” by B. A. Paris”

Dad’s Keto Friendly Deviled Eggs!

Although the odds are quite against it, if you’ve ever stumbled into the Starks’ Townhall Christmas Party – just outside of Rhinelander – then you’ve tried my dad’s “world famous” deviled eggs. I’m completely serious when I say my parents moved out of the township over three years ago and they still get invited every year just so my dad will bring his eggs.

They tend to be a basic staple at any family gathering, any graduation party, any potluck, or any other food-bearing event my parents are invited to. Consequently, after starting to live a keto lifestyle, I really missed the creamy and sweet little gems. So, I set out on a mission to replicate my favorite treat in a keto friendly way.

Needless to say, I succeeded. From the mayonnaise – made from avocado oil and other basic ingredients – to the paprika sprinkled over the finished product, these eggs meet all the expectations of my insatiable taste buds while staying well inside the range of my macros! The best part is, they taste just like the real thing. I can’t wait to bring these to all my local gatherings all summer long!

Dad’s Keto Friendly Deviled Eggsimg_0858.jpg

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Makes 6 servings (24 deviled eggs)

Ingredients

Deviled Eggs

  • 12 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Keto Friendly Mayo
  • 1 1/2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Xyla
  • 1 Tbsp Dill Relish (I sub 2 Tbsp of Dill Pickle juice since I rarely have relish on hand!)
  • 1 tsp Paprika

Keto Friendly Mayo (a knockoff of Grass Fed Girls recipe!)

Directions

IMG_0856Prepping the Mayo

  1. Begin by ensuring all of your ingredients are room temperature, especially the egg. A quick method to get an egg to room temperature is run warm water over the egg.
  2. Combine yolk, salt, mustard, lemon juice, and white vinegar in a bowl and whisk together. I like to use a glass and a fork, personally.
  3. Slowly add the avocado oil – whisking continuously (this is REALLY important) – until the mixture begins to thicken and emulsify!
  4. Transfer it the mixture into a food processor – as usual, I use my ninja – and pulse for about thirty seconds, or until the mixture appears to be spreadable mayonnaise.
  5. Leave in the food processor! 

Prepping Eggs

  1. While you are making the mayo, boil one dozen eggs in the manner that you usually use.
  2. Peel the eggs.
  3. Cut each egg in half “like a hotdog”.
  4. Remove the yokes and place in the food processor with the completed mayonnaise.

Deviling the Eggs

  1. Add mustard, Xyla, and relish. Then pulse until img_0859.jpgthe mixture is creamy. (Note: (The original recipe calls for 2.5 Tbsp of sugar and sweet relish. In order to keep the recipe keto friendly, I changed to dill relish and Xyla. Since starting keto, I sincerely cannot handle much sweet, so please test the mixture and make sure it’s sweetened to your liking with your favorite keto sweetener!)
  2. Insert yolk mixture – evenly – into halved egg whites. I personally pour my deviled egg yolks in a Ziploc bag with the corner chopped off and squeeze it in, other’s use a cake decorator! Whatever fits your needs works just fine.
  3. Sprinkle with paprika and refrigerate for a half hour (or longer), then enjoy!

Calories: 406 – Fat: 38.4g – Net Carbohydrates: 3.3g – Protein: 13.2g

I am not a nutritionist or doctor! For precise nutrition facts, I recommend you calculate your own!

Keto Cheesy Meatball Marinara

Meatball Marinara

Prior to beginning the ketogenic way of eating, I frequently had a hankering for Meatball Marinara subs. I would get them from everywhere I could imagine: Portillo’s, Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike’s, Subway (if I was desperate), and basically anywhere else that carried my favorite treat on the menu! So, right after I started keto, I was searching high and low for my favorite treat. I would find recipes that were too complicated, time-consuming or a little bit of both.

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Now, over a month later (ironically, not keeping track!), I have finally been able to squelch my craving and find the perfect meatball marinara recipe. Okay, not necessarily find. After searching for so long, I finally decided to take a recipe I had found and simplified it into an easily meal-prepped solution! I must give credit where credit is due – since I did not create the meat recipe – so here’s a HUGE shoutout to Mellissa Sevigny from I Breathe I’m Hungry for her Low Carb Meatballs alla Parmigiana (Gluten Free) recipe.

Keto Cheesy Meatball Marinara

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef (80/20)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp Bacon Grease, melted

Toppings

Directions

Making the Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a food processor – I use my Ninja – add the fresh parsley. Pulse the parsley quickly, which will dice it down just a little more.
  3. Add all ingredients for the meatballs to the food processor, excluding the bacon grease! Mix the added ingredients together thoroughly.
  4. Roll all of the prepped meat into fifteen evenly sized meatballs (mine were about two inches in diameter prior to baking).
  5. After all of the meatballs are made, drizzle a tiny bit of bacon grease on each meatball and roll them until the entire surface is covered in bacon grease.
  6. Place all meatballs in a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Cover the dish with foil (or, if your cheap like me, place a metal cookie sheet over the glass pan) and bake the meatballs for 40 minutes. I recommend checking the inner temperature after about 30 minutes to avoid overcooking them. Once the thermometer hits 165°, go ahead and pull them out!

Meal Prepping

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  1. Place three meatballs in each meal prep container.
  2. Add three tablespoons of Mozzarella and marinara sauce to each container. (In case you divide them differently, each meatball should receive one tablespoon of sauce and cheese.)

I want to be very clear, this recipe is nearly identical to Mellissa Sevigny’s. The meatball portion is only different because it incorporates a suggestion she made. I merely simplified the measurements of cheese, chose to use shredded mozzarella and eased the meal-prep process! I do not want to steal her recipe, nor any associated credit!

Calories: 656 – Fat: 44g – Net Carbohydrates: 4g – Protein: 59g

I am not a nutritionist or doctor! For precise nutrition facts, I recommend you calculate your own!

 

 

Keto Avocado Peanut Butter Brownies

Keto Avocado Peanut Butter Brownies!Have you been searching for the perfect keto-friendly brownie to conquer all of your chocolate cravings? Then look no further than this peanut butter swirled, rich, chocolate delicacy!

These brownies are loaded with healthy fat, fiber, and a little protein. However, they only have 4 net carbs! It has all of the flavorful sensations of cheating, with none of the guilt!

Keto Avocado Peanut Butter Brownies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 55 minutes

Makes 9 servings

Ingredients

Brownies

Peanut Butter Drizzle

Directions

For Prep

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line an 8 x 8 glass pan with non-stick parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor – I prefer to use my Ninja – combine the avocado and eggs until the mixture is smooth and the avocado is no longer “chunky”.
  4. Add all of the other ingredients (excluding the ingredients for the peanut butter drizzle) into the food processor and blend until mixture is smooth. (At this point, I suggest checking the sweetness of the brownies. Since I’ve started living keto friendly, my tolerance for sweetness has greatly decreased. Consequently, you might need a little more sweetener than I do. The batter should taste slightly sweeter than you want your brownies to turn out.)
  5. Pour the batter into the lined glass pan.
  6. In another glass bowl, add the natural peanut butter and coconut oil. Microwave these until the mixture is running enough to drizzle.
  7. IMG_0823Drizzle the mixture over the brownie batter and swirl it with a butter knife.
  8. Bake for 55 minutes, or until only a few crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted. (I recommend checking every five minutes after the brownies have baked for 45 minutes.)
  9. Let cool and enjoy!

Calories: 176 – Fat: 10g – Net Carbohydrates: 4g – Protein: 5g

I am not a nutritionist or doctor! For precise nutrition facts, I recommend you calculate your own!