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. 

Father's Day 2017

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! What a great day hubby had. The kids's school celebrated Father's Day too and hubby got showered with gifts! I'm so grateful that he's such an amazing dad and role model, and if I could I totally would have gotten him maybe an Apple imac, new iPad and/or the latest Apple laptop. BUT- a craft with the toddlers had to suffice. It's the thought that counts? Right? :) '

On Father's Day we had (almost) all his favorite foods. Carbs are a no no on our Ketogenic diet so I had to improvise. I made his favorite cheese ball AND ropa vieja! Ok you guys like seriously this ropa vieja I make is TO DIE FOR and I am not even Cuban. I'll post the recipe for that and the cheese ball later...Both of which are keto friendly. The ropa veija does have a tomato based sauce but to make it keto friendly I don't pour the sauce over it. 

These past two Father's Day have been AMAZING- last year we found out I was pregnant ON Father's Day- who can beat a gift like that?!! And this year for Father's Day hubby is a father of 3 and was spoiled silly. How am I going to top it next year?!!! I love him so much!

Father's Day craft ideas

cheese ball

ropa vieja

Mother's Day 2017

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! This year was just so special to me because as my boys are getting older they are making me presents. How cute is that? Valentino made me a necklace with his thumbprints on it in the shape of a heart and both boys handed me roses and other presents. It was SO cute I died! 

We couldn't go anywhere this year as the baby is still too little. Going anywhere with all three kids (who are three and under) is literally impossible. The boys have a tendency of running away at opposite directions leaving me in the middle torn between which kid to chase first. It's all chaos! 

Instead we stayed at home and decorated cookies together and cuddled and read books. 

Hubby said I was in charge of planning the weekend and we could do whatever I wanted and he would buy me whatever I wanted too. I told him that I wanted a nice big house with a white kitchen smothered in calacatta marble with dark hardwood floors and a farmhouse dining table from Restoration Hardware. He said ABSOLUTELY! Just maybe not this year...... :) 

So what I planned for the weekend was for us to organize our lives and get on top of finances so we can figure out how to make the future financially work while having three kids. There is so much that I want for my kids that are oh SO expensive (mandarin classes, kung fu classes, music lessons, computer science classes, swimming lessons) I need them to be well cultured, speak no less than three languages, become black belts and first chair musicians, excellent swimmers AND they all need to be able to build a computer by the age of 7. All that for 3 kids will cost a fortune each month. Forget about saving up for college, just the boys monthly school tuition costs MORE than my college tuition was!

So for all of mother's day weekend we had budgeting realted meetings and got on top of our $h!t. We purchased filing cabinets and organized our life. This was honestly the BEST mother's day for me because it gave me what I wanted most, a way to plan for eventually getting everything I want (which is really for the kids, but it's what I WANT for them, so in that way it's for me too :) 

Easter 2017

Happy Easter! This year it was low key because I'm still trying to figure out how to care for three kids and run a household. It's getting a little easier day by day! 

Instead of going anywhere we just got some cupcakes and balloons and had a little party. My birthday falls close to Easter so we had a small celebration for that as well earlier in the month. Valentino now thinks that whenever we have cake it means that it's someone's birthday, so for Easter we had to put candles on the cupcakes and sing happy birthday to everyone. They are so silly. 

easter cupcakes birthday peeps toddlers

toddler birthday cake party

easter bunny balloons toddlers

I put together some Easter eggs for the kids's school and for themselves. I LOVE this stuff! It makes me feel like I'm 5 again. I also love dressing up my kids in suits and pretty bows! In a perfect world I would make them all wear suits and pretty dresses just for dinner time every night. 

stuffed Easter eggs for class school

stuffing easter eggs

toddlers in matching suits

newborn photography 2 month old

newborn hair bows photography girl

We saw a real bunny in our yard during Easter weekend! The kids love bunnies, and Valentino has eventaully figured out that Sir Edward is not a bunny and is, in fact, a dog!  Btw fun fact- bunny in Persian is called a "khargoosh" which literally translates to "donkey ears" Sir Edward totally has donkey ears.