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Cottage pie

Cottage pie

Quick question, for those who have made something like this. Would ground turkey be a good substitute? I am trying to cut back on beef. My triglycerides are kinda high so every little bit I can cut out helps.

Published at Fri, 08 Apr 2022 14:06:31 +0000


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Keto Coffee

Keto Coffee

Learn how to make the BEST keto coffee that is perfectly smooth, creamy, and tastes like a latte! Made with zero carbs, it’s packed with health benefits and keeps you fueled all morning!

keto coffee

If there is one food or drink that is a staple in any diet out there, it has to be coffee.

There is a reason it’s called liquid gold. Most of us can’t function without at least one cup a day, with many of us requiring several.

For those of us following a low carb diet, there is a secret twist on the magical beverage that provides tons of health benefits, including weight management.

Is coffee keto? 

Black and unsweetened coffee is suitable for a keto diet. It has no calories or carbs. Where carbs and hidden sugars come into play is what we may add to it. Sugar, milk, and flavor syrups can add tons of carbs to a single carb and would kick someone out of ketosis.

Luckily, you can make a keto coffee that is an absolute game changer for any low carb dieter out there.

What does keto coffee do to your body? 

Like a standard cup of caffeinated coffee, there are plenty of benefits. These include a boost in energy levels and promoting weight management. However, this blend of keto coffee does even more.

The combination of coconut oil and butter helps promote weight loss, because of its appetite suppression properties. It also promotes good digestion, which can often be an issue when following a low carb diet. 

Why you’ll love this keto coffee recipe

  • Rich and frothy– This coffee tastes like a frothy latte but with no milk!
  • An easy meal replacement– Full of healthy fats and caffeine, this drink can keep you fueled and energised for hours! 
  • Ready in two minutes– All made in a blender or using a hand mixer. 
  • Easy to customize– Add your favorite sugar free syrups, sweeteners, or even coffee creamer!

No preparation necessary, a cup of this kind of coffee will keep you going for hours right up until you dig into a keto lunch!

What is keto coffee made of?

  • Brewed coffee– Instant coffee or espresso will also work. 
  • Coconut oil– Adds an extra layer of richness and energy. 
  • Butter– Unsalted butter. 
  • Heavy cream– Heavy whipping cream or double cream works. 
  • Cinnamon– Just a pinch to add some warming flavors. 
  • Sugar substitute- Only add this if you prefer a sweetener coffee. My favorite keto sweeteners are a brown sugar substitute or a keto powdered sugar

How to make keto coffee

Add all your ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 30-40 seconds until frothy. Pour the coffee into a glass and scoop out tablespoons of the froth on top.

how to make keto coffee

Storage tips

Coffee is best enjoyed freshly made. However, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to consume, microwave for 30-40 seconds until hot.

What coffee can I drink on keto? 

Many people assume that plain black coffee is the only keto friendly caffeinated beverage on the market. Luckily, that is NOT the case and there are many delicious ways to enjoy this liquid gold.

Here are 7 keto approved coffee recipes that all have less than 2 grams per serving.

Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro coffee has taken the keto world by storm. It has no carbs and virtually no calories, but yields the smoothest and silkiest beverage you’ll ever drink. Nitrogen is added to the coffee making process giving it that glorious layer of foam on top.

Net carbs per serving: > 1 gram. 

Bulletproof coffee

The most famous low carb coffee, bulletproof coffee follows a similar formula to this recipe. The only differences is that it uses MCT oil instead of coconut oil and has no heavy cream or milk added. 

Net carbs per serving: 1 gram.

Iced Coffee

Nothing beats an iced coffee on a hot day…or anytime, really. By swapping out the milk for a dash of heavy cream and keto condensed milk, you have something sweet, refreshing and satisfying, without the sugar.

Net carbs per serving: 1 gram.


Who said you can’t enjoy Starbucks at home? Sure, there are tons of keto Starbucks drinks, but you can also make it at home for a fraction of the price and none of the carbs.

Net carbs per serving: 2.5 grams. 

Cold Brew

Making your own cold brew concentrate saves you tons of money and also lets you make a cold brew coffee. Rich and dark on its own, add some sugar free caramel syrup or simple syrup for some extra sweetness.

Net carbs per serving: > 1 gram. 

Almond milk latte

Everyone’s favorite milk-based coffee drink gets a keto makeover! Per one cup serving, unsweetened almond milk has just 2 grams of net carbs. Add some espresso and froth it up and you’ll still be looking at a low carb drink!

Net carbs per serving: 2.5 grams. 

Whipped coffee

Made popular on TikTok several years ago, Dalgona coffee is brewed coffee and sweetener blended together until frothy.

Net carbs per serving: 1 gram.

More keto coffee recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between keto coffee and regular coffee?

The key difference is what is added to the coffee. In regular coffee, you’d typically add milk, sugar, and/or cream. In keto coffee, you add coconut oil, butter and either half and half or heavy cream.

Is keto coffee good to lose weight?

Regularly drinking coffee, especially keto coffee, is fantastic for weight loss. It naturally suppresses appetite and, when consumed in regular intervals, can reduce snacking and overall meal consumption.

Can you drink keto coffee everyday?

You can drink 1-2 cups of keto coffee every day. Drinking anything caffeinated in excess can lead to interrupted sleep, so monitor your tolerance if concerned.

Can I use whole milk instead of heavy cream?

While whole milk in small amounts is suitable for a keto diet, heavy cream is a much better option. Not only does it have fewer carbs, it also yields a much creamier beverage.

keto coffee recipe
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon butter unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 30-40 seconds, until smooth and frothy.

  • Carefully pour the coffee into a glass or mug, then scoop out the foam on top.

For a sweeter coffee, add a tablespoon of a brown sugar substitute or keto powdered sugar.
You can add keto coffee creamer if you’d like.
TO STORE: Coffee is best enjoyed freshly made. However, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to consume, microwave for 30-40 seconds until hot. 

Serving: 2coffees | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

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Published at Sat, 09 Apr 2022 08:00:00 +0000


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3 ingredient Breakfast Cups

3 ingredient Breakfast Cups

3 ingredient Breakfast Cups:

Cheddar cheese, Ham slices, Eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degress. Grease a cupcake pan with cooking spray. Lay in slices of ham. Sprinkle cheese into the ham cups. Crack whole egg into each cup. Add cheese on top. Put in oven and cook for 15 minutes for fully cooked yolks. Enjoy!

Published at Tue, 12 Apr 2022 13:52:06 +0000


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Air Fryer Pork Chops

Air Fryer Pork Chops

These air fryer pork chops are the BEST way to cook pork! Juicy, tender, and ready in under 20 minutes, you’ll never cook boneless pork chops any other way again!

air fryer pork chops

For all those times you’ve made pork chops and fear they will turn out dry or chewy, fear not. Using the air fryer to cook them will transform the way you cook pork from now on.

It’s no secret that I love using my air fryer for almost anything, including desserts (hello, cookies and donuts) and fun snack foods (like pizza rolls). However, my favorite kind of food to cook in this amazing gadget are proteins. When done correctly, it can make dinner time a breeze and yield perfectly juicy and tender protein every single time.

We’ve done it with chicken breasts and with salmon and now, we are obsessed with pork chops.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • 3 Ingredients. Pork chops, oil, and spices are all that you’ll need. 
  • BETTER than pan fried. While baked or pan-fried pork chops are delicious, air fried ones are even better. There is just no comparison! 
  • Juicy and tender every time. Using thick pork chops and a touch of oil guarentees the pork is cooked perfectly every single time. 
  • Ready in under 10 minutes. This is the easy and healthy dinner you can make in no time! 
air fryer boneless pork chops

Ingredients needed

  • Pork chops- Boneless and skin-off pork chops. Choose thicker cuts of pork as there is potential for the dry ones to overcook and dry out. 
  • Olive oil- Or any flavorful oil. 
  • Spice mix– Smoked paprika, cumin, and onion powder all give robust and smokey flavors. 
  • Salt and pepper- To taste.

How to make pork chops in the air fryer? 

Marinate the pork chops: Add pork chops and olive oil to the bowl. Rub the olive oil all over the meat. Add all the spices and coat the pork chops on both sides. 

Preheat the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer (190C.375F) for 5 minutes. 

Cook the pork chops: Add the pork chops in a single layer into the air fryer basket and cook for 8-9 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Serve: Serve your pork with your favorite sides.

Pork chops in air fryer

What are the best pork chops for the air fryer?

The best pork chops to cook in the air fryer are thick, center-cut, boneless pork chops. The recommended thickness is between 1 ½ to 2 inches.

Using thick pork chops (as opposed to thinner ones) in the air fryer gives them a lovely seared exterior and juicy middle, which is what you’d expect from a well-cooked pork chop.

How long to cook pork chops in the air fryer?

It will depend on the pork chops you choose for air frying, either boneless or bone-in. Here is a quick guide to give you an idea of how long it will take for pork chops to cook in the air fryer: 

  • Boneless pork chops- 8-12 minutes with flipping halfway through the cooking time. 
  • Bone-in pork chops- 11-15 minutes with flipping halfway through the cooking time. 

You can also check the internal temperature of pork chops. If the internal temperature is 145F, they are ready to serve. 

Tips for success 

  • Don’t add all the pork chops at once if they crowd the air fryer basket. If your air fryer isn’t big enough to hold them all comfortably, cook the chops in batches. 
  • Use an instant thermometer to check the internal temperature to avoid overcooking the chops. 
  • Allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. This will redistribute the juices all over the meat. 

What to serve with pork chops

Simple sides are the best accompaniment to pork chops. If I could have it my way, I’d eat it with a heaping of mac and cheese, but here are some other options-

Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions

  • To Store: Use air-tight containers to refrigerate pork chops. They will keep well for up to five days. 
  • To Freeze: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months. 
  • Reheating: Either microwave the chops for 20-30 seconds or reheat in a non-stick pan until hot. 
pork chops air fryer

More pork recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook thin pork chops in the air fryer? 

Depending on their size, thin pork chops will take 1-4 minutes per side to cook completely in the air fryer. Be very careful when cooking thin chops as they are prone to easily dry out.

Can you put raw pork chops in the air fryer? 

Yes, raw pork chops are fine to put in the air fryer. Like with any kitchen utensil or gadget, always wash and clean the air fryer basket after using it.

Why are my pork chops tough?

If you overcook the pork chops or don’t flip them halfway through, they are prone to becoming tough and chewy. If you worry about the chops over-cooking, under-cook them then let them rest for 10 minutes.

air fryer pork chops recipe
  • 4 medium pork chops boneless
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teapoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F. 

  • Pat dry the boneless pork chops, then add into a bowl and rub the oil generously over them all. 

  • Mix the spices in a bowl, then rub on both sides of the pork. 

  • Place the pork chops in the air fryer basket and cook for 9 minutes, flipping halfway through.

  • Remove the pork from the air fryer and serve immediately.

TO STORE: Use air-tight containers to refrigerate the pork chops. They will keep well for up to five days. 
TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to two months. 
TO REHEAT: Either microwave the chops for 20-30 seconds or reheat in a non-stick pan until hot.

Serving: 1pork chop | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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Published at Wed, 13 Apr 2022 08:00:00 +0000

Air fryer recipes

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Air Fryer Salmon

Air Fryer Salmon

Air fryer salmon is the BEST way to cook salmon that turns out crispy and flaky every single time! Ready in just 6 minutes, a secret trick guarantees perfectly cooked salmon every single time. 

air fryer salmon

I often use my air fryer for our dinners. They cut the cooking time of our favorite proteins, and honestly, it’s been a game changer. Our favorite protein to cook in the air fryer is chicken breast, pork chops, and recently, we’ve been loving salmon.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Healthy and delicious. Air-fried salmon has low carbs and low calories, making it a healthy meal compared to oil-fried salmon. It’s perfect for anyone who loves salmon and is on a diet. 
  • Cooks in 6 minutes. The preparation and cooking will only take 10 minutes. 
  • Perfectly crispy and flaky. It hits the nail in the texture department. 

My secret trick to perfectly cooked salmon every single time is to remove it from the air fryer basket a little earlier than usual. You then let the salmon rest for five minutes before serving and it turns out perfectly flaky every time. 

Ingredients Needed 

  • Salmon fillets– Skin on salmon is preferred, as it helps cook the salmon completely. 
  • Olive oil– Keeps the salmon crispy on the outside but flaky and soft inside. 
  • Salt and pepper– To taste.
  • Brown sugar– helps caramelize the fish and give it a crispy exterior.
  • Spices– Smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder enhance the flavor of the fish and gives it a lovely, smokey flavor. 

How to cook salmon in air fryer

Preheat the air fryer: To 200C/400F. 

Season the salmon: Add the salmon and olive oil into a small bowl and mix. Add the salt, pepper, and spices, and rub onto the fish. 

Cook in the air fryer: Put the seasoned salmon in the air fryer basket and air fry for 6 minutes. 

Garnish and serve: Remove the salmon from the air fryer basket and serve immediately. 

how to cook salmon in air fryer

How to know when salmon is cooked? 

The best way to check when the salmon is cooked is to check its internal temperature. Once the center of the fish shows an internal temperature of 145F, the fish is cooked. 

If you follow my secret trick to the best cooked salmon, remove it from the air fryer basket once it reaches 135F. You then let it rest for five minutes before serving.

What to serve with fried salmon

Some of the best food pairings that are made using air fried salmon are: 

Tips for making salmon in the air fryer 

  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket so that each fillet will cook completely. If needed, cook the salmon in batches. 
  • Choose salmon fillets of similar size, so they cook evenly. 
  • Do not overcook the salmon, or you risk it being dry. Use a thermometer to check. 

Storing and freezing instructions

  • To Store: Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled salmon in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to two months. 
  • Reheating: Heat the leftovers gently in a skillet or pan on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. 
salmon in air fryer

More salmon recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature should I set my air fryer for salmon?

The temperature of the air fryer should be set to 200C/400F.

Do you have to flip salmon in the air fryer?

There is no need to flip the salmon in the air fryer, especially if the skin is intact. Salmon can be quite delicate, and flipping it risks the fish breaking apart.

Do you have to thaw salmon before air frying?

You can use frozen salmon directly into the air fryer, but you risk the fish becoming quite tough and gummy.

air fryer salmon recipe
  • In a small bowl, coat the salmon with oil, then add the salt and pepper. 

  • Mix the remaining sugar and spices and rub over the salmon.

  • Add the salmon skin side down to the air fryer basket and air fry at 200C/400F for 6 minutes, or until cooked.

  • Remove from the air fryer basket and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
TO FREEZE: Place the cooked and cooled salmon in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to two months. 
TO REHEAT: Heat the leftovers gently in a skillet or pan on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. 

Serving: 1salmon fillet | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 849mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 193IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

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Published at Sat, 16 Apr 2022 08:00:00 +0000

Gluten Free Recipes

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Protein Sparing Noodle Carbonara

Protein Sparing Noodle Carbonara

If you haven’t made my protein sparing noodles, what are you waiting for?

The flavor in this delicious keto carbonara will blow your mind! You will never miss the carbs!

I will be doing a demo of making my noodles on my Keto Italy Trip and we will have them for a stunning dinner! You should join me on the Italy trip! Adventure of a lifetime! Click HERE to find my events!

You will love this protein sparing noodle recipe! Carbonara is simple, fast and only 6 flavorful ingredients.

To make my Protein Sparing Noodle Carbonara, I used Pederson Farms sugar free bacon!

It is hard to find bacon without sugar and when you do, it is really expensive! That is why I always order a bunch from Pederson Farms!

I love to support small businesses and by ordering a bunch of sugar free bacon for my PSMF Carbonara, you get to eat delicious food while supporting a small business family!


Protein Sparing Noodle Carbonara

Prep time

Cook time

Total time


  1. Place the Parmesan and eggs into a medium bowl and use a fork to combine well. Set aside.
  2. Fry the bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until starting to crisp. Remove half of the bacon pieces for garnish and set aside, keeping the bacon drippings in the pan.
  3. Add the onions, and garlic to the pan with the bacon drippings and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the noodles are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the protein sparing noodles and heat for 30 seconds (not too long or the noodles will fall apart). Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the Parmesan mixture and stir until the cheese is melted.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, tasting first to check the salt level, as the cheese adds quite a bit of saltiness to the dish. Garnish with reserved bacon and parsley if desired. Serve immediately.
  6. I will be doing a demo of making my noodles on my Keto Italy Trip and we will have them for a stunning dinner! You should join me on the Italy trip! Adventure of a lifetime! Click HERE to find my events!

Nutritional Information:
268 calories, 14g fat, 32g protein, 2g carbs, 1g fiber
P:E Ratio 2.1


“So today was the day!  I have been morbidly obese my entire life.  Almost 5 years ago my friend Jessica turned me on to keto.  I was 315lbs at my heaviest.  I lost 85 lbs in the first year and then plateaued.

January 1st, came with Maria Emmerich’s 30 Day Ketogenic cleanse and 3 days of PSMF per week.

Today I hit ONEderland!!!!  I will be 51 in August, have not weighed under 200lbs since I was in 8th grade.

Thank you Maria Emmerich and Craig Emmerich for your wise words, guidance and excellent recipes.

(Pardon the wax on the scales)” Marcy

Published at Sat, 16 Apr 2022 07:13:53 +0000

Keto Comfort Foods

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Do You Need Carbs to Thrive?

Do You Need Carbs to Thrive?

The idea of carbohydrate restriction seems to be an extreme dieting approach for a lot of people. After all, we’ve been taught that carbs offer important benefits, such as supplying fuel to the brain and body.

However, the ketogenic diet limits carbs to only 50 grams or less per day, to stimulate ketosis — a metabolic state in which ketone levels rise. This way of eating can make a person ask, “Do you need carbs in your diet or are they even essential for survival?”

If you’re curious about carbs and possibly following the keto diet, this guide explores carbohydrates and their role, whether you need them, research studies on low-carb diets, opinions from other experts, and more.

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates (or carbs) are a macronutrient (or macro) along with other macronutrients including protein and fat. They come in different types such as sugars, which are simple carbohydrates, and starches and fiber, which are complex carbohydrates.

During digestion, sugar and starches get converted into glucose. If your body doesn’t use glucose, it can be stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles. Otherwise, high amounts of carbs — or unused carbs, such as when you eat more calories than you burn — get stored as fat[*].

Meanwhile, your body doesn’t digest fiber. Study shows that this “indigestible carbohydrate” increases the diversity and richness of the gut microbiome[*].

Foods that contain carbs include vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, and especially unhealthy sources like soda, packaged snacks, desserts, and other processed foods.

The Role of Carbohydrates in Our Body

Carbs serve as fuel since carbs turn into glucose, and glucose provides energy. However, this only applies to individuals who get most of their calories from carbs — around 45% to 65% of your total calories, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans[*].

However, during low carbohydrate intake, your body can leverage ketones as its alternate fuel instead of glucose. The fact is that you can do this on purpose — restrict carbs and induce nutritional ketosis — to reap its health and weight loss benefits[*][*].

Do We Really Need Carbohydrates in Our Diet?

Cutting carbs from your diet has been considered, for many years, unsafe and unsustainable. Despite that belief, there is substantial evidence that your brain and body don’t require carbs to function and thrive. We’re going to cover some studies on low-carb and keto diets and their impact on health later in this article.

In the meantime, here are some points to support the idea that carbs aren’t necessary:

Carbs Have No Established Minimum Requirement

Carbs are the only macronutrient with no established minimum requirement[*]. In fact, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies of Sciences stated[*]:

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“The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed.”

Early Evidence of Stamina While In Ketosis

One of the earliest documented evidence of physical stamina in ketosis was the Schwatka 1878–80 expedition. The leader of the expedition, Lt. Frederick Schwatka, wrote in his diary[*]:

“When first thrown wholly upon a diet of reindeer meat, it seems inadequate to properly nourish the system, and there is an apparent weakness and inability to perform severe exertive fatiguing journeys. But this soon passes away in the course of two or three weeks.”

Meeting Your Micronutrient Needs

Focusing on a wide variety of whole low-carb foods can supply your body with the right amounts of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). These have critical functions, such as energy production, muscle contraction, and fluid and electrolyte balance.

Just because you’re cutting carbs, doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on important micronutrients.

Glucose Synthesis from Non-Carbohydrate Sources

Are carbs necessary to produce glucose for energy?

Before answering this question, it’s important to note that some cells depend only on glucose to function since they lack mitochondria (whose primary function is to generate ATP). This includes your mature red blood cells and mature lens fibers[*][*].

On the other hand, fast-twitch muscle fibers (Type IIX or IIB), which are involved in powerful movements like sprinting, jumping, and powerlifting, have low mitochondria. They also fatigue more quickly[*].

Fortunately, even in the absence of carbs, your body still produces glucose — a process called gluconeogenesis.

The fact is that gluconeogenesis is always taking place, but it increases during prolonged fasting (such as during a low-carb state) to form glucose from non-carb substrates like lactate and pyruvate, amino acids from muscle breakdown and dietary protein, and glycerol from fat metabolism[*][*].

So, does the body need carbs to make glucose? The answer is no.

Yet, whether this information is known to people or not, some still choose to incorporate carbs for personal reasons:

  • To add variety to their diet and especially if they have high-carb “non-negotiables” or favorite foods.
  • They consider some carbs their comfort food because they taste highly palatable (for example, ice cream, pizza, chocolate, etc.)
  • In the bodybuilding community, to make muscles look “fuller” since carbs retain water in muscles.
  • They find that adding carbs gives them extra energy to power through intense workouts, such as those involving sudden bursts of energy like sprinting, jumping, powerlifting, and high-intensity cycling.

What Happens When We Don’t Eat Carbs?

Drastically cutting carbs will result in short-term symptoms such as headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, gastrointestinal problems (constipation or diarrhea), and a distinct bad breath (also known as keto breath)[*].

Collectively, these symptoms describe the keto flu. This is your body’s normal reaction when withdrawing from carbs. You’ll experience it within a few days of reducing carbs and it may last from one week to one month depending on your adaptation[*]

Furthermore, you’re likely to notice a drop in water weight. This significant weight loss in the first week of carb restriction happens because your body uses up its glycogen (the storage form of carbs, which is bound to water) and starts tapping into fat[*].

Your liver produces ketones from fat breakdown, which you’ll be able to measure more accurately using a ketone meter or a ketone testing strip.

Sticking long enough to a very low-carb diet (a.k.a. the keto diet) allows your body to get used to running on ketones for fuel. During this time, keto flu symptoms disappear. Moreover, keto dieters report noticing higher energy levels, a decrease in their appetite, sustained fat loss, improved mental clarity, and better cholesterol[*].

What Research Says About Low-Carb and Keto Diets

Many people assume that there’s not enough research on low-carb and keto. So, here’s a compilation of studies that may help you better understand the impact of this dietary approach on your health, fitness, and performance:

Research on Type 2 Diabetes

While type 2 diabetes is typically managed using a low-fat diet and antidiabetic drugs (which promote weight gain), a study involving 238 participants showed impressive results. After 10 weeks of an individualized program that included nutritional ketosis, participants had better blood glucose control, weight loss, and were able to reduce their medication use[*].

Research on Obesity

In a one year-controlled trial, 63 obese men and women were assigned to a low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet or a typical low-calorie, high-carb, and low-fat diet. Note that these subjects weren’t pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications that might affect their weight. Results within the first 6 months demonstrated that a low-carb diet produced greater weight loss, at about four percent[*].

Research on Cardiovascular Disease Risk

A 2020 meta analysis assessed the relationship between low-carb diets and cardiovascular disease risk. Data were collected from 12 randomized trials. In conclusion, following a low-carb diet was greatly associated with reduced weight, lowered diastolic blood pressure, plasma triglycerides, and fasting blood sugar levels. Furthermore, there was an increase in HDL “good cholesterol” levels[*].

Research on Exercise Endurance

Five endurance-trained male cyclists had volunteered for this study. Results showed that despite a lower muscle glycogen content at the onset of moderate intensity exercise, they felt less tired on a high-fat diet. The results suggest that delayed fatigue may be related to the body’s increased ability to burn fat for fuel (or fat oxidation)[*].

Research on the Preservation of Muscle Mass

While it’s often claimed that very low-carb diets lead to a significant loss of muscle mass, Volek and his team studied the impact of a 6-week very low-carb diet (VLCARB) in healthy men. From their usual diet, they switched to a diet comprising only 8% carbohydrates. They avoided or reduced their intake of fruits and fruit juices, most dairy products, bread, cereals, and desserts. At the same time, they focused on eating beef, chicken, fish, oils, eggs, protein powder, and low-carb diet drinks. Results showed a significant reduction in their body fat while lean body mass significantly increased[*].

Related article: Building Muscle on Keto: The Ultimate Guide

Research on Brain Health

Ketones produced in a very low-carb diet help to improve the energy crisis that’s present in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, in which brain glucose metabolism is reduced. Furthermore, clinical studies show that ketone bodies are neuroprotective and that cognitive benefits have been noted in patients with Alzheimer’s or who are at risk of the disease[*].

Related article: Ketones for Brain Fuel and Metabolism

Research on Weight Loss Maintenance

A 2012 randomized clinical trial found that participants on a very low-carb diet (10% from carbohydrates, 60% from fat, and 30% from protein) had the highest resting metabolism. In contrast, those who followed a low-fat diet had the lowest resting metabolism[*]. This means that a very low-carb diet allows you to keep your weight off after losing it.

Other Experts’ Opinions About Dietary Carbohydrates

Some experts go against low-carb or do not recommend it at all for various reasons such as saturated fat (since fat becomes your alternative fuel instead of carbs) being bad for the heart. With regards to this belief, there’s no evidence that reducing saturated fat reduces cardiovascular disease incidence. Furthermore, replacing fat with a diet high in carbs may even increase one’s risk of death[*].

Another common belief among non-low-carb experts is that nutritional ketosis impairs one’s energy and exercise performance. Following the keto diet properly, such as ensuring an adequate intake of electrolytes and fat, and allowing for keto-adaptation to take place, will improve the body’s energy needs.

So, Can We Survive Without Carbs?

Does your body need carbs to gain energy, synthesize glucose for tissues that rely only on this fuel, meet your micronutrient needs, and preserve muscle mass? No, we don’t need carbs to live and function at our best.

In fact, limiting carbs while consuming adequate amounts of protein and fat has many advantages, from blood sugar control to weight loss maintenance.

But, at the end of the day, what you eat is a personal choice. Despite the available research on low-carb and keto diets, some people still find reducing carbs too restrictive. This is where long-term adherence becomes challenging — but not impossible!

However, if you’re thinking of going keto, it’s important to keep in mind that keto-adaptation (or the body’s ability to utilize fat efficiently as its primary fuel) takes time.

At Perfect Keto, we’ve supported people on their keto diet journey, allowing them to attain life-changing results. Feel free to check out their success stories and get started today.

Published at Thu, 14 Apr 2022 14:12:57 +0000


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Is Plant-Based Meat Healthy?

Is Plant-Based Meat Healthy?

Regardless of the diet you’re on, to be healthy and well you need to meet your nutritional needs by consuming mostly whole foods. This refers to foods that retain their natural state or undergo only minimal processing.

So, whether you’re eating plant-based or meat-based, the key is to stick with real foods.

Plant-based meat (a.k.a. vegan meat or meatless meat) has become significantly more popular in the past few years — although it has originated in the 1970s.

Some people switch from traditional burger patties, sausages, and other deli meats to plant meat for a variety of personal reasons. For example, they believe it helps offset climate change, reduce their saturated fat intake, or eat “cleaner.”

But does it promote optimal health? This article answers the question, “What is plant-based meat?” and examines its ingredients, taste, quality in comparison to animal meat, and its pros and cons.

What are Plant-Based Meats?

Plant-based meats are basically meat alternatives made by combining different plant sources such as soybeans, potatoes, and canola, as well as other ingredients. This is to make them look, feel, and taste like real meat and achieve a macronutrient profile that’s comparable to popular processed meat products.

You’ll find plant-based versions of anything, from ground meat to burger patties to sausages to chicken nuggets. Vegan meats are not just aimed at vegans and vegetarians, but also at omnivores who may be curious to try these cheaper and more convenient meat-free options.

While eating vegan substitutes like Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger — two of the most popular meat replacement brands today — allows you to skip ready-to-eat meats, the fact is that these products are still considered highly processed or ultra-processed.

That said, plant-based meats are not exactly the best foods for your health.

What are Plant-Based Meats Made Of?

Some of the ingredients in plant meat products are either linked to health problems or have untested health effects. These include:

1. Genetically modified (GM) crops like soybeans, corn, canola, and beets

While GM crops withstand herbicides without causing harm to the soybean plant itself, there is a concern that genetically modified crops may cause food allergies[*].

2. Whole grains like quinoa and barley

Whole grains contain antinutrients such as phytic acid, saponins, and oxalates. Antinutrients are substances that hinder the absorption of nutrients. Consuming them frequently and in large amounts could potentially lead to nutrient loss, especially in people who are at risk of them[*]. This includes pregnant women, children, adolescents, and those who are obese, and critically ill[*].

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3. Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is intended to replace animal fat in plant-based patties and nuggets, and raise the fat content of these foods. Unfortunately, sunflower oil (and other vegetable oils like canola oil and corn oil) has a high linoleic acid content (omega-6). Too much omega-6 in your diet causes inflammation, raising your risk of being overweight or obese[*].

4. Cultured dextrose

Cultured dextrose has been advertised as a more natural way of sweetening and preserving processed foods. It’s made by combining glucose, a simple sugar, with the bacteria Propionibacterium freudenreichii. It may increase your blood sugar levels and cause food intolerance symptoms like headache, fatigue, and joint pain[*].

5. Carrageenan

This is an additive that improves the texture of plant-based meats and holds their shape together. There’s evidence showing that carrageenan can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating and inflammation. It’s also linked to ulcerative colitis and intestinal cancer[*].

6. Flours and starches that create structure in vegan meat

Potato starch and yellow corn flour are commonly used as gluten-free alternatives in plant meats. They’re derived from potatoes and corn, respectively. In addition to being genetically modified crops, they contain high amounts of carbohydrates. These are not exactly the kind of ingredients you’ll want in a product when you’re on a ketogenic diet.

Just because it’s meatless, doesn’t mean it’s good for your body.

Plant-based meats fall under the category of ultra-processed foods (just like instant snacks, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and pre-prepared burgers).

The NOVA food classification defines processed foods as industrial formulations which include sugar, starch, proteins, oils, colors, flavor enhancers, and other additives. In addition, they undergo extensive processing and manufacturing[*].

For instance, extrusion processing is used to imitate meat texture by subjecting proteins to thermal and mechanical stress. Another would be inserting soy DNA into yeast to produce leghemoglobin, a heme-containing protein that would make vegan meat “bleed” like real meat[*][*].

How Do Plant-Based Meats Taste?

While companies that sell plant-based meats claim that they taste and cook like real meat, the reality is that they’re in that strange middle ground — they taste “sort of” like the meat product they’re trying to imitate, and yet they don’t fully meet your expectations.

But, at the end of the day, everyone has their opinion on the taste of vegan meat. You may want to consider trying it yourself and see if there’s a difference.

Mimicking the taste of meat is a difficult process and takes trial and error. To achieve the right taste, food companies need to understand and use the Maillard reaction (which seared steaks and roast chicken, among many other foods undergo)[*]. This is a “browning reaction” that happens when amino acids and sugar molecules react to form a darker color, along with a kind of flavor and aroma that make food delicious.

Is Plant Based-Meat Healthier Than Animal Meat?

Focusing on whole foods — foods that do not have added starches, flavor enhancers, and coloring — helps to improve your health and avoid disease.

In other words, plant-based meat is highly processed and inferior to animal meat, including vegetables and fruits in their natural forms. Animal meat is just animal meat, while even the “healthiest” plant-based meat has a long ingredient list, some of which you may not understand or let alone pronounce.

Eating unprocessed foods lets you maximize your vitamin and mineral intake to support essential bodily functions, from energy production to tissue repair. This is also why we encourage a clean keto approach while on a keto diet.

What you should know about animal-based foods and saturated fat:

Contrary to popular belief, saturated fat (found mainly in animal foods) does not contribute to the development of coronary artery plaque. Rather, what clogs your arteries is a combination of insulin resistance and systemic inflammation, which are caused by too much omega-6 and refined carbohydrates in your diet[*].

If you’re steering away from animal meats because of saturated fat, perhaps it’s time to reassess this belief.

Here’s an article that discusses saturated fat in detail with a link to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology’s guidelines stating that unprocessed red meat and whole fat dairy are not linked to heart disease[*].

What are the Advantages of Plant-Based Meats?

There are no advantages to plant-based meats when it comes to long-term health.

However, like other processed foods such as packaged snacks, energy drinks, and frozen meals, they may save time and reduce meal prep. This allows you to meet your macros (whether or not you’re on keto) and stay plant-based if this is your preferred way of eating.

Furthermore, if you’re curious to try them, definitely it a go. Just don’t rely on plant-based meats to meet your regular nutritional requirements. Always prioritize nourishing, natural whole foods.

What are the Disadvantages of Plant-Based Meats?

The dangers of plant-based meats — their excess consumption, in particular — include possible nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, inflammation, weight gain, heart disease, and other health risks associated with ultra-processed foods.

Limiting highly processed foods, including deli meats and not just plant meats, is one of the things you can do to achieve optimal health that’s supported by research.

How to Choose a Healthier Plant-Based Meat Option

Processed foods like plant-based meat can still be a part of your diet as long as whole foods are your primary focus. But, when it comes to choosing plant-based meat, it’s still important to make sure that you’re not getting lots of artificial stuff.

It pays to do more than checking health claims on the front of a plant meat packaging. Common examples of these health claims include “gluten-free,” “non-GMO,” and “enriched.” As a best practice, carefully inspect every ingredient on the list.

Reading food labels allows you to better understand what you’re eating. They provide not just the number of calories and macros per serving, but also the product ingredients used.

A few helpful rules include checking for the presence of additives, vegetable oils like canola and sunflower oil, sugars, food colors, and other ingredients you can’t pronounce. The fewer and simpler the ingredients, the better.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you may consider making your own plant-based meat at home. That way, you have more control over the ingredients and obviously avoid the ones you know can trigger negative reactions in your body.

Bottom Line

Highly processed plant-based meat can’t compare with real vegetables, fruits, and animal flesh which are packed with quality nutrients.

On the topic of helping the environment, eating plant-based meat is not necessarily better. While companies claim to reduce footprint, they may not always be transparent about production and how it actually affects the environment. In contrast, regenerative agriculture, which includes practices like minimizing tilling and avoiding fertilizers, can help solve climate change and improve soil health and crop yields.

Ultimately, whole foods as the focal point of your diet can boost your health in many ways and lower disease risk. However, it’s also vital to avoid an all-or-nothing or perfectionist mindset. At times when meal prepping is impossible, have something ready to eat that’s still in alignment with your dietary preference.

The key is to make clean eating a way of life (and not a short-term fix) for the best results.

Published at Tue, 12 Apr 2022 14:12:49 +0000


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Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Learn how to make crispy air fryer chicken wings in less than 10 minutes! Using either fresh or frozen chicken wings, a secret trick guarantees perfectly cooked wings every single time. 

air fryer chicken wings

If you’re a big fan of chicken wings like me, these air fryer chicken wings will be a treat. No need to marinate; these wings are easy to make and super delicious that you’ll never order chicken wings from a restaurant again. 

They are healthier and make you forget all your favorite restaurants that are your go-to places for enjoying chicken wings. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Works with fresh or frozen wings. While fresh wings are preferred, frozen wings can work!
  • Ready in 10 minutes. With no need to marinate the chicken, these wings take less than 10 minutes to cook! 
  • Crispy outside, tender inside. The texture is everything you’d want with chicken wings. A secret ingredient guarantees crispy wings every single time.

What I love about these air fried wings is how much healthier they are than deep fried or fried wings. Cooking the wings in the airt fryer removes excess oil and there are no added oils/butter needed! 

Ingredients needed

You’ll need the following ingredients to make air fryer chicken wings: 

  • Chicken wings- Use a mix of wings and drumettes. While frozen chicken wings will work, fresh is always better and guarantees the crispy exterior.
  • Olive oil- Enhances the crispy skin and keeps the juices intact.  
  • Brown sugar- A touch of brown sugar caramelizes the exterior and gives the skin an even crispier texture. For a low carb option, use a brown sugar substitute
  • Smoked paprika- Adds a lovely smoky flavor.
  • Salt and pepper- To taste. 
  • Baking powder– The secret ingredient to guarantee crispy chicken wings (just like in keto chicken wings!).

How to make crispy wings in the air fryer 

Preheat the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F and lightly grease the air fryer basket. 

Season the chicken wings: Toss the wings with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.  

Air fry the wings: Add a single layer of the chicken wings to the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Garnish and serve: Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with dipping sauces. 

chicken wings in air fryer

How do you know when the wings are cooked?

Your chicken wings are cooked when the juices run clear and are the meat is no longer pink. Another way you can know when the wings are cooked is by checking their internal temperature. For properly cooked chicken, the internal temperature should be 165F (or 75C). 

Can I bake these in a traditional oven? 

If you don’t want to air fry the chicken wings, you can bake them in the oven.

Increase the cooking time to 45 minutes and flip halfway through. The oven temperature remains the same as the air fryer, at 200C/400F.  

Tips for success

  • Make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket so the hot air can cook the skin to ultimate crispiness. 
  • Use room temperature chicken wings, as it will help the wings cook evenly. 
  • Ensure you pat dry the chicken before adding the seasonings or else you risk the wings not cooking properly. 
  • Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. 

Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions

  • To Store- Leftover wings can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days. 
  • To Freeze- Cool the chicken wings to room temperature and then place them in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for 6 months. 
  • Reheating- Microwave the wings for 20-30 seconds or reheat in a preheated air fryer for two minutes. 

What to serve with chicken wings?  

While carrot and celery sticks are a must, the perfect pairing for wings are the sauces. Some of our favorites include ranch dressing, bbq sauce, cheese sauce, and ketchup. Other non-traditional ones include guacamole (trust me on this!), salsa, and alfredo sauce

Salads also work well, and we love coleslaw, cauliflower potato salad, and a mock potato salad

Of course, you can also do low carb breads. Try pairing wings with rolls, buns, tortillas, or toasted keto bread

chicken wings in air fryer

More air fryer appetizer recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do chicken wings take in the air fryer?

When prepared as instructed, chicken wings should take no longer than ten minutes to cook.

Can I put raw chicken in the air fryer?

Unless re-heating pre-cooked chicken wings, all wings that go into the air fryer should be raw.

How do I make air fryer wings crispy?

For extra crispy wings, add 1 tablespoon of baking powder to the mixture. This is another trick to help the wings become crispier.

air fryer chicken wings recipe
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken wings drumettes and wingettes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute or traditional brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Lightly grease an air fryer basket, Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F. 

  • Pat dry the chicken wings ensuring there is no moisture.

  • Toss the wings in a bowl with olive oil. Add the remaining seasonings and mix well.

  • Add the wings to the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for 9-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

  • Remove the wings from the air fryer and serve immediately.

TO STORE: Leftover wings can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days. 
TO FREEZE: Cool the chicken wings to room temperature and then place them in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for 6 months. 
TO REHEAT: Microwave the wings for 20-30 seconds or reheat in a preheated air fryer for two minutes. 

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 649mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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Published at Tue, 19 Apr 2022 08:00:00 +0000

Air fryer recipes

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Request for cheese sauce recipes

Request for cheese sauce recipes

My friends, I’m a pretty good cook, if I do say so myself. But I have a few blind spots… One of them is that I cannot make an edible cheese sauce to save my life! Please help me!

I like my sauces to be strong and thiccccc, yes with 4 c’s. I’m not afraid to throw some xantham gum at things, though I’m not overly fond of that weird slimy feel on your tongue if you use a lot of xantham.

I would prefer it if commenters could use measurements in grams or something, because what even is a cup of cheese??? It confuses my poor European brain! Also I’m Dutch so when I say cheese, I mean what Americans mean when they say Gouda. Structurally I’m pretty sure Gouda, Gruyere, Emmenthaler and Cheddar are similar though, so cheeses similar to that are fine.

Published at Thu, 21 Apr 2022 09:41:11 +0000