Meredith

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13 Tips on How to Start Keto for Complete Beginners

13 Tips on How to Start Keto for Complete Beginners

I’ve been posting all kinds of Keto related content, but I haven’t really talked about how to start keto. There are all kinds of articles on what keto is, why you might want to try it, etc., but that’s not what this post is about. This post is truly…HOW do you start a keto diet? Especially when it seems so overwhelming! (It can be). Here are my ten tips–what I personally have done–to start keto. Also remember: this is truly a WAY OF EATING, not just a diet. This isn’t something you can try for a week and see if it works out. It does require commitment, and honestly if you’re not committed, then you should look for another way of eating.

*Note: I’m not a doctor. This is my personal advice ONLY. Please consult your doctor before trying anything!*

Tips on How to Start the Keto Diet

  1. Meal plan! This diet takes consistency. You can’t just decide you’re going to start keto and then go off and have a cheat meal a few days later. Your body is completely changing the way it utilizes fuel…make sure you’re not confusing it!!! So, plan out your meals so that you know exactly what you’ll be eating.
  2. Make a lot of hard boiled eggs. The egg is probably nature’s most perfect food in general, but especially for this diet, it has a wonderful ratio of protein/fat/carbs. These are great go-to’s!
  3. Calculate your macros. I like this calculator.
  4. Download a tracking app and track EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth. I use the free version of Carb Manager, but I’ve used My Fitness Pal as well. Find one you enjoy, and use it religiously. I can’t even believe what I used to think a “serving” size used to be…especially of macadamia nuts!!
  5. Keep your carbohydrate intake to under 20 net grams per day. You may think you’re around 20g, but I guarantee you it is a VERY small amount, which is why #4 is so important!! Track track track, until you’ve gotten used to this way of eating!
  6. Eat healthy fats! Your diet should consist mostly of good, high quality fats like avocados, macadamia nuts, olive oil, naturally fatty meats, real butter, yes, bacon….
  7. Eat lower-carb vegetables. Some of my favorites are broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts and asparagus.
  8. If you have a sweet tooth, buy some monk fruit sweetener or Swerve sweetener to make some fat bombs (fat bombs increase your healthy fat intake if you need it). One of my other favorites for my sweet tooth is Lindt 90% dark chocolate. It’s amazing!
  9. Keep protein moderate. Once you calculate your macros, use the protein recommendation as your goal!
  10. Stick to fatty meat sources like prime rib, or use other healthy fats to add on to something like a chicken breast.
  11. Use MCT (medium chain triglyceride oil) to help boost your healthy fat intake if needed. Bulletproof coffee is also a great way to get fat in.
  12. Test your urine with Keto strips, or use a ketone blood monitor. I’ve used both. Use the strips first, as they’re the least expensive investment.
  13. Don’t. Cheat. I can’t emphasize this one enough. It can (and will) take several days for your body to adjust and completely change how it utilizes fuel for energy. You can’t keep confusing it by thinking you can have a cheat meal or day!

These are my top 13…what are you own tips on how to start Keto?!

13 tips on how to start keto

Chicco NextFit Review

Chicco NextFit Review

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s time to transition from an infant car seat to a bigger car seat–our little man is 7 months old already! We still use the infant car seat here and there, but I really wanted to upgrade to something that I wouldn’t have to replace every year as he gets older. We used a Chicco infant car seat for him which we loved, so I was ecstatic when Chicco sent me two of their NextFit car seats to try out–one for my daughter, and one for my son. All opinions in this review are 100% honest and my own, but I do truly appreciate the brand sending these over for us to test out!

We got two of the Chicco NextFit Zips, which fits kids up to 65lbs, rear or forward facing. So this is the only seat we’ll need until our kids hit that weight range, which I’m just thrilled about. I HATE installing and re-installing car seats!!!

Here are a couple features of the Chicco NextFit carseat:

  • 9 recline positions
  • 2 level indicators, which make it so easy to make sure it’s installed right!
  • Easy latch tighteners (trust me, these help)
  • Removable pads that zip off (this will be a pain to clean, like with any car seat, but the fact that they actually zip off is amazingly helpful)
  • Removable insulated cupholder

The quality of these seats is amazing. They’re softly padded, and easy to clean.

I love this insulated bottle holder. The only con to the insulation, is that it doesn’t make as good of a “drop all” toy holder as our other cup holder in another car seat.

The zipper feature makes me feel like this is way too fancy of a seat for me to have, especially when I know they’ll be covered in cookie crumbs and spilled milk in a matter of months! 

Here’s a picture of the zipper, and the underneath once you unzip it.

I would say that these Chicco NextFit carseats were so easy to install, a monkey could do it. I say that because I was able to do it, and I put my car-seat-installation capabilities on a VERY low base…. seriously, it was really easy. In the above pic, you can see that there’s a little holder for the latches if you’re going to install it just with a seat belt. This, along with the actual instructions on the sides of the seat, are AWESOME and super helpful to have!

My mom was able to easily stick the kids in by herself. I love how the seat is very roomy and “bucket-y” for the baby, and it’s super easy to adjust the height for my toddler!

I mean look at this guy! Super happy!!

UPDATE: So we’ve been using these Chicco Nextfit carseats for a little over a month now, and I have to say they’re still as awesome as I thought they were when I took them out of the box. We still love our Chicco infant seat (the best thing ever is that it has one-handed carry-handle click-down, if that makes sense), so we use that if we’re in my husband’s car, but I’m absolutely loving these NextFits for my van. If there was a complaint, I’d have to say it’s that the chest clip isn’t as one-handed-friendly as another brand I’ve tried, and it’s thinner. The cup holder can also be a bit of a pain, only because the insulation pieces will get in the way of some bottles or sippy cups fitting in there. Longer term, it will probably need way more cleaning that a plain plastic cup holder. But overall, I would say I give these seats a 4 out of 5 stars. Very high quality, easy to use and install, comfortable, and easy to clean. Nice job Chicco!!

Chicco Nextfit Carseat review

Keto Salted Caramel Chocolate Strawberry Bulletproof Coffee

Keto Salted Caramel Chocolate Strawberry Bulletproof Coffee

Holy heaven, you guys. I’ve been really into mixing up new flavors for my Keto Bulletproof Coffee (Chocolate is still my #1 favorite, click here for my perfect recipe), and I’ve found another winner!! I thought my Pumpkin Spice Keto Bulletproof Coffee was good, but this is even better than that!! It’s a really easy recipe, but does require a few products, so read on for more!

*this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more info*

How to Make Keto Bulletproof Coffee:

When I’m experimenting with flavors, I always use the same base every single time, which is:

1T of butter

1T Heavy Whipping Cream

Some type/flavor of MCT oil

~2 cups of coffee

The extras I add are some type of Sugar Free flavoring syrup (Torani brand is my favorite, and they have tons of flavors), and usually add a flavored Collagen. You can play around with basically any flavor, which is what I did here, and it rocked!!


How to make Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Strawberry Keto Bulletproof Coffee:

Use my base:

1T Butter

1T Heavy Whipping Cream

Add:

1 Scoop of Strawberry Keto Collagen (this is from Now Keto, but there are several brands that have this flavor)

1 Scoop of Salted Caramel MCT oil powder (this is from Perfect Keto)

1 T of Sugar Free Chocolate Torani Syrup

~2 Cups of coffee, or whatever will fit into your blender (I use a Ninja blender that has a personal travel size attachment)

Blend for a few seconds, and it’s complete (and perfect). I wasn’t sure what to expect here with the taste, but it’s PHENOMENAL!!!!!!

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Keto Chocolate Strawberry Bulletproof Coffee

Keto Chocolate Strawberry Bulletproof Coffee
Keto Chocolate Strawberry Bulletproof Coffee

The Ultimate Keto Gift Guide

The Ultimate Keto Gift Guide

Are you ready to see some amazing keto gifts?!

These Keto gifts aren’t just for the holidays! They’re awesome for any time of year, whenever you’re searching for the perfect Keto gift for that keto-loving friend (or yourself). I have and love all of these things; they make eating keto more helpful or fun, and I know your friends will love these keto gifts too! Check out the product links and commentary below. Note that none of these items are sponsored, but some of these may be affiliate links which will not affect the price, I’d just get a cut of the item you bought if you decided to buy it. Enjoy!

Keto Gift Guide

The Best Keto Gifts:

1. Keto Coach Test Strips: For the beginner, or someone that uses strips, this is a great keto gift!

2. The Keto Mojo Monitor: This monitor is awesome. Anyone who is pretty serious about Keto will have or want one of these. It’s a blood tester that tests for your ketones–blood testing is the most accurate! If you know someone who has this, the test strips are $0.99 each (so not super cheap), so you might want to buy some replacement strips as a Keto Gift!

3. A Keto Book: This one is by Maria Emmerich, who is one of my favorite Keto writers. I have about 4 of her books; you just can’t go wrong with Maria Emmerich, and Leanne Vogel’s book is good too. Another favorite for their simple recipes is the Bacon & Butter book. All can be found on Amazon!

4. Perfect Keto Chocolate Collagen: I just started taking this stuff, but I love it! Chocolate is my favorite, and I use it daily in my Bulletproof Coffee!

5. Immersion Blender: This is a great idea for making Bulletproof coffee, but I also love the Ninja Blender below (that’s what I use most often); this, however, is quite a bit cheaper if you’re on a budget.

6. Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil: You’ll see

7. Avocado Oil: I got a huge bottle of this at the World Market–if you don’t have one near you, usually a TJ Maxx or Home Goods has some bigger bottles of avocado oil for a pretty good price. It’s great on Keto, and kicks it up a notch after we’ve been using Olive Oil for everything!

8. A Keto Shirt: This is an awesome keto gift, because we love to wear our Keto Pride!! There are tons of them on Amazon and/or Etsy, but I love this one!

9.  Swerve Sweeters: These are my favorite–if you’re going to choose this as a keto gift, buy both, so that your friend can have granulated and confectioner style. I use both equally; different recipes call for different styles!

10. Perfect Keto Chocolate MCT Oil Powder: This is one of my new favorites as well! This is the MCT oil I mix with my BPC and the Collagen from #4.

11. SportsResearch MCT Oil: Another MCT oil I love!

12. Zak! Travel Mug: I bought mine at Target for $7.99. This works just as good as the Yeti version it’s knocking off (I know, my husband has one and it works just as well as his). GREAT gift; I use mine daily!

13. Ninja Blender: I’ve had this for years and LOVE IT! This is what I use every day for my bulletproof coffee. It’s a little pricier, but it’s a wonderful keto gift!

14. Veggie Spiralizer: This is awesome, because I spiral all my Zucchini noodles. I once bought the pre-made ones from Target and they STANK and were bad. So now, I only ever do my own. The Zoodles lover in your life will love this Keto Gift!!! Just be sure to be careful as you’re spiraling…I’ve cut a couple fingers trying to go too fast!

15. Microwave Bacon Crisper: I know this probably has “gag gift” written all over it, but trust me, IT WORKS!! The only down side is that it makes your bacon curly, and I know some people only like flat bacon. Other than that, it’s super amazing, I love mine!

Happy Shopping!!!

Check out more keto favorites below!

 

The Best Keto Cereal

The Best Keto Cereal

This is the only Keto Cereal recipe you’ll ever need.

I’ve never considered pork rinds to be a staple in my diet. Until I started Keto, I never really thought anyone actually ate them. They’d be there in their own little corner of the convenience stores we’d stop at on our way to the cabin or on a road trip, kind of sitting there pathetically, on their way to expiration until someone decided that animal skin was their last resort because all the Cheetos were out of stock.

I couldn’t even stomach them when I began Keto, because of what they are. Let’s not even talk about it.

I started by eating them with buffalo chicken dip. Then I started making Keto Churros. And now I’ve graduated to the very best use of pork rinds, which is in the form of Keto Cereal. And life has never been better. Because I LOVE CEREAL. I gave it up a long time ago, but there was a moment in time when I would eat a bowl of cereal for every meal of the day and think that was fine (not a joke).

How to make Keto Cereal:

See the video below, but if you don’t have time to watch it, here’s what you need:

4T of butter

3T Swerve CONFECTIONERS (make sure it’s confectioners!!!!)

Cinnamon to taste

Pork Rinds

Directions: Melt 4T of butter in a microwavable bowl (~45 seconds). Once it’s melted, put in your Swerve and cinnamon. Then crumble up your pork rinds and add them in little clusters, coating them with the mixture. You want to add little handfuls (about 1 cup of crushed rinds) until they’re all evenly coated. Once you’re done, but the whole bowl into the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then, take it out, add unsweetened almond milk and you’re done!!

The Nutrition Facts, as inserted to my Carb Manager App, should look a bit like this:

2g Net Carbs, 1g Fiber, 59g Fat, 22g Protein

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keto cereal

What to Do at the San Diego Zoo with a Toddler

What to Do at the San Diego Zoo with a Toddler

I’m still in dream mode, reminiscing on our trip to San Diego a few weeks ago. I wrote this post on our visit to the San Diego Zoo last year, and figured I’d share my top 5 favorite things to do at the San Diego Zoo with a toddler this time! If you haven’t been to this zoo before, you need to put it on your list if you live in SoCal, or if you’re traveling out that way. My mom and I have been going to San Diego for 25+ years, and we go every.single.year. It’s usually our first stop, and we absolutely love it! Now that we’re bringing the kids along, we don’t get to hit Balboa Park and the Spanish Village right next door like we used to, but we’re still in it to win it at the zoo!

My Favorite Things to Do at the San Diego Zoo with a Toddler

Take the Safari Bus

We always do this first! The view is amazing, especially from the top!

See the Flamingos

I love this spot because you’ve got a perfect stroller-view!!

Play at the Polar Bears

There aren’t a ton of play areas at the zoo. There’s a children’s zoo area that does have a playground, but I love this little one at the polar bear spot where the kids can climb in and out of seal holes in the “ice”!

Get a Kid’s Meal

This sounds crazy, but it’s real! Each kid’s meal comes with a ton of food for about $9, and it also has a souvenir bag for the kids. My daughter loved carrying her lunch bag around putting leaves and other treasures (read: trash…ahh!) in it.

Take the SkyFari

Who doesn’t love the SkyFari!? The only downside is that you have to leave your stroller, just like at the Safari bus, so bring your valuables!

These aren’t my only favorites, of course; we LOVE the children’s zoo, the hummingbird area that’s kid of set back a little bit from the path, the Koala walk, and the new Africa Rocks exhibit too!!

San Diego Zoo with a Toddler