How to Meal Prep on a low carb Ketogenic Diet

The one thing that can either make or break Keto is 

Meal Prep!!!!!!!

Meal prep is a pain in my behind but it absolutely must get done, because if it doesn't there's just no way I'll have time to cook every day. While the boys are in school and while baby is napping is when I start the meal prep process- yes, it is a process, and a complete nuisance. 

Here's how it's done:

INSPECT / WASH / CUT / STORE all veggies and leafy greens: I cannot tell you how many times I've found critters in the lettuce, dirt, bugs in my broccoli, etc. So now I go through each individual lettuce or vegetable and I inspect it in detail (you have to look under the folds too) and then I wash it and cut it and then store it. For lettuce, depending on how big my batch is, it pretty much takes up an entire hour. Call me OCD but you don't want to come across and aphid in your salad. Yuck. 

aphids in lettuce little green bugs

ketogenic food prep lettuce

Doing all this makes it easy to whip up a salad in no time. Top with low carb and full fat salad dressing and you've got a delicious dinner side. 

Prepping MEAT: Different meats have different methods of prep. The meats that we eat the most are ground beef, chicken breast, flank steak and salmon.

I prep my ground beef by chopipng up onions in a food processor and mixing the onions into raw meat with my hands (while wearing gloves of course). Then I add all kinds of seasoning to it, cover it up and put it in the fridge until dinner time when I'm ready to cook it. If I'm making meatballs or burgers I'll add an extra step of rolling the meat into balls or patties and then will store it in the fridge. 

food prep ground beef ketogenic keto

If I'm making taco beef I'll make a bigger batch, cook it, and then store portions of two into ziplocks and will freeze them for those busy days when there's no time to cook.

food prep ketogenic how to

The way I prep salmon is by cutting it into strips of portions for two, and then coating each side with seasoning. Then I'll put the portions into ziplocks and throw them in the freezer. Then on a day where we will have fish for dinner I'll defrost it during the day, and throw it in the oven for 20 minutes. 

For prepping the flank steak I like to cut the steak in half, and freeze both halves in separate ziplocks till I'm ready to use them. Then I'll defrost it the night before, and I'll prep it more early in the morning where I will cut it up into strips, mix the strips of steak with all kids of seasoning (it's really all about the seasoning) and then throw it in the crockpot with other ingredients and cook it on low for 11 to 12 hours. 

Prepping chicken is by far the easiest. I will usually just throw it in the crockpot along with other ingredients and will have it cooking for 8 hours. Then when it's done I like to shred it, add salt and drench it in butter. Soooo good. If I'm making chicken stir fry I will chop up the chicken, coat it in seasoning and oil and store it in the fridge till I'm ready to fry it. For some reason, chicken does not taste good when it's reheated the following day so for that reason we don't keep it. 

ketogenic chicken

Prepping EGGS: Hubby ordered an instant pot so I'm SO EXCITED for it to arrive so I can start using it to make hard boiled eggs. If I know I'm having a super busy day I will make deviled eggs the night before, as they keep well in the fridge and are good eaten cold. 

deviled eggs ketogenic food prep

What helps meal prep is having a MEAL PLAN. You can't prep if there is no plan!

I have a white board calendar that I will use to plan dinners, because every day for lunch I pretty much eat the same thing- eggs. 

keto meal plan calendar

Happy Fourth America!

Happy fourth of July! I am so lucky to live in such an amazing country with so many freedoms and opportunities. 

We had a fun filled weekend with the toddlers, and attended a neighborhood pool party where the DJ was uncle Sam. The last time I attended a pool party was years ago to see Afrojack in Vegas with hubby when he was just my boyfriend. We thought we were so cool. My life has definitely taken a 180 since then!  

So my two year old, Caspian, had a mini temper tantrum at the pool party. I think the loud music and crowd didn't help, and so he had a little time out in the corner. We are big on discipline and consequences for bad behavior. We both ignored him while he was just sitting there angry in time out, and I had to bite my tongue not to laugh at his adorable angry little face. He later realized the error in his ways and politely came and joined the rest of the family. 

Later that night during baby's last feeding for the night, we noticed fireworks at the front of our house, with a perfect view from baby's window. This was super exciting for us because we didn't live in our current home last fourth of July, and I thought we would have to miss watching them this year because the kids's bedtime is 7:30. How pleasantly surprised was I to get a perfect view! Hubby then joined and all three of us cuddled with baby by her window and watched the fireworks together. She wasn't impressed, but me and hubby just loved it and it was so magical and it was the perfect ending to the day. 

First Month of Keto, Pounds lost and Keto Meal Ideas

It has been one month since I started Keto / LCHF and it is getting HARD now. The first two weeks were ok, however the third and fourth week was when Keto flu hit and when I experienced the strongest cravings EVER. 

Right now my cravings are at an all time high- BUT I am handling it well due to the amount of kids I have. I don't have time to sit and daydream about sweets. Instead I'm running around the entire day (I literally don't have one minute to sit, like ever) taking care of the kids and when I'm not taking care of the kids I'm doing chores and meal prep and cooking and cleaning and sometimes updating this blog. I will often forget to eat and won't have enough time to eat and so will just quickly down a slice of cheese and continue running around the house like a crazy person. Forget getting a gym membership- these kids have me running up and down the stairs a hundred times a day and they are my very own personal trainers! 

So me and hubby have decided to weigh ourselves monthly instead of weekly. We know all the weight will come off eventually so instead of obsessing over it weekly we chose to just do it once a month, at the beginning of the month. 

After the first month of Keto I have lost 14 pounds, and hubby has lost 8 pounds. I only have about 56 more pounds to go, and it's not really that obvious I've lost any weight because I was so heavy to begin with. We are just going to keep at it. 

Here is a glimpse of what we have been eating during this month:

keto meal plan food ideas

keto food prep keto meal ideas

keto salad ketogenic diet meal ideas food

ketogenic food ideas meal plan

ketogenic food ideas meal plan

fish ketogenic ideas meal plan

keto coffee ketogenic diet

ketogenic meal plan food ideas

cheese ball ketogenic keto meal ideas

Starting a Ketogenic Diet and Grocery List Essentials

After having baby #3 I gained back all the weight that I lost since having baby #2. It's disgusting and I am mortified. This is totally unacceptable, and something needs to be done ASAP. I will NOT be obese.

So we started the Ketogenic diet again at the beginning of this month, because I know that I will lose weight this way, it's just a matter of time. This isn't a diet as much as it is a lifestyle, we plan to eat this way forever and only have cheat days maybe 3-7 days a year. 

After having my second baby, Caspian, I managed to lose 70+ pounds on this diet, so I'm very excited to have the same happen this time around. 

Right before we started this diet we went around the house and put all the carbs (minus what the kids eat) in a big box which we then gave away to my parents. Then we had one last "carb weekend" that coincided with our anniversary weekend and we ate all the carbs we wanted to, and even went to Mastro's for that to die for butter cake. 

mastros butter cake dc

I ate the cake and said goodbye to carbs. I need closure you see. So long until next year during a cheat day! 

After having that carb filled weekend and closure, I made a longggg grocery list of all the essentials we needed to start Keto, and sent hubby on his way. 

Here is my Keto grocery list: 

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Full fat mayo
  • Kerrygold butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Sour cream
  • Whole milk (to be used sparingly, I like to pour a dash into my coffee and then mix it with the heavy cream) 
  • Full fat Ranch dressing
  • Eggs
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Sriracha
  • Ground beef
  • Chicken breast
  • Flank steak
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Chicken broth
  • Beef broth
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Smoked turkey deli meat
  • String cheese
  • Shredded cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Green onions
  • Regualr onions
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Heart of Palm
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Truvia
  • Sugar free Starbucks syrups (we like Cinnamon Dolce and Vanilla) 
  • Sugar free popsicles
  • Sugar free jello
  • Sugar free gum
  • Lime hinted Perrier
  • Crystal light packets and drops
  • Low carb ketchup

This is crazy expensive you guys. Carbs are so much cheaper!!!!! After taking a trip to Costco, Giant, and Starbucks, to get everything we needed, it all came to about close to $1000 (we also picked up formula, diapers and wipes tho). EEeeeeeeeeekk!!!!! 

Some essentials that I already had were seasonings like my fish seasoning, cinnamon, Adobo, paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, taco seasoning, and Salt Salt and MORE SALT (pour loads of salt on everything to replenish those electrolytes and minerals!) 

Keto grocery haul essentials Ketogenic diet

Of course this isn't a comprehensive list of all Keto approved foods, but it's what works for us, and it's what we like to eat. 

Are their any yummy keto friendly foods that you think I am missing out on? Let me know!

Utilizing Safe Spaces in your home for small children

My #1 necessity / mommy saver / mom hack are the use of:

SAFE SPACES!

What is better than a safe space?!! NOTHING is better than a safe space!!!! A safe space is an enclosed area where kids are free to roam and do whatever they like with no safety hazards and plenty of room to do what kids do best - play. Our best safe space in our home is our living room, which we have donated to the kids. The kids can be kids and play and run around and touch anything they want without hearing a "NO" or tripping and hurting themselves on a coffee table. It's a contained area with a wide gate that kind of makes it seem like they are in jail....but they are not in jail. They are in a fun and safe environment that they both enjoy and that promotes independence. AND it lets mommy enjoy some space and time to do mommy things without the interruption of one toddler holding onto each of my legs as I try to walk. 

safe spaces for toddlers

safe space in home toddlers

Here's a fun idea- a safe space for toddler eating time! We donated a corner of our dining room for their eating space, with toddler tables and chairs, and a matt underneath to catch all those crumbs. You won't find anything with sharp corners here! And our adult dining table is round so that makes for no worrying about eyes bumping into table corners. 

I've made it easy for them to help themselves to however much food they want. I find that they eat more this way and it gives them a sense of independence which is EVERYTHING to a 2 and 3 year old. Oh and afterwards they put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher too, and Valentino has even begun to vacuum the crumbs with a little hand held vacuum cleaner. I can't handle the cuteness. 

toddler eating space table and chairs

eating area for toddlers

Another safe space area: THE BEDROOM. All our kids rooms are gated and fully toddler safety proof. I've lately been really into the KonMari method and have been on a major purging and organizing kick. I've gotten rid of most all clutter and find it so satisfying to be able to walk into my toddler's rooms without constantly tripping on toys. I put minimal furniture in each of their rooms too- only the absolute necessaties, and also replaced curtains with valances so they won't be able to pull them down. I find that the more "stuff" is in their rooms, the more prone to injury they are and the less safe it is. They do still have a lot of toys but I put them in bins and we have a rotating bin system that keeps them loving their "new" old toys that I rotate out. 

making bedroom toddler friendly safe space

The more kids I have, the more I realize how necessary these spaces are for my kids. Like how else would I be able to feed a baby away from the loud screaming toddlers? I cannot leave any kid fully unattended, however safe the "safe space" may be, so we made sure to install cameras in all our kid safe space areas. This way I can keep an eye on them playing in the living room while I'm upstairs feeding the baby. Or I can peek and make sure they are actually sleeping when it's nap time or bed time. 

So my house isn't fancy and we don't have many expensive and nice things, but when having kids this small I feel this system we have is just perfect and functional for everyone.