KETO COMMUNITY CHAT: Meet @LOWCARBDASHIAN

MEET JESS aka @LOWCARBDASHIAN

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN

How long have you been keto?

14 months




What led you to this way of eating?

Joe Rogan's podcast! I started by cutting out cake and thought that was enough. Then I really started diving into the science and found meals that I loved that totally satisfied my cravings, and the rest is history! 





What are some of your go-to meals at home?

I still have a love for comfort foods so things like chicken parm, lasagna and Shepherd’s Pie are staples at my house! I really enjoy cooking and have had so much fun recreating the flavors from my past. I also live off of veggies- We have broccoli, green beans, asparagus,  brussel sprouts, or cauliflower with almost every meal.

Get the Shepherd’s Pie recipe HERE

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN

What about when you eat out?

Steak and loaded broccoli, wings, or bunless buger. Im also fortunate to live in a big city where health is a huge focus and we have a few restaurants that cater to our lifestyle. Lou Malnatis & Breakfast Kitchen Bar.

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN

Favorite keto snack?

Meat & Cheese, cucumbers or celery with dips, candied pecans, fat bombs

 

What is one thing that has helped make your keto journey a little easier?

I am so grateful that my whole family eats this way but also kentucky butter cake. It tastes like a donut <3 And without being too sappy.... the IG community has given me better friends and opportunities than I ever dreamed possible.

 

Do you have any tips for people who are just starting keto?

Start slow with what you know and level up as you go. I did not mean for that to rhyme =)

Too many times I see people want to wait until they fully understand everything and get it all right before they even begin. Just get started, even if you are eating some of the wrong things... and as you know better, do better. My process was to start with focusing on eating the right foods. I did this for probably two months before even considering the caloric content or hidden carbs. Once I found about 10 meals that I could easily rotate, I focused on controlling my calories and started tracking carbs. I started finding hidden carbs and reading ingredients and choosing brands that limited things like maltodextrin and maltitol. This is when I started diving into electrolytes and supplements and it wasn't until about 5 months ago that I really started to focus on quality of ingredients. The point is, if you try to take it all in at once, it is a lot like drinking out of a fire hose and it can be way too overwhelming that way. Also, I know it sucks but you really need to drink water

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN

Photo via @LOWCARBDASHIAN


KETO RECIPE: Lasagna

This keto lasagna is even better the second day! The original recipe is from Peace Love and Low Carb, click HERE for the original recipe.

Photo via Peace Love and Low Carb

Photo via Peace Love and Low Carb

For The “Noodles”

  • 4 large eggs

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup Italian blend or Parmesan cheese shredded or grated 

  • 2 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt

For The Filling

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage 

  • 1 Jar marinara sauce - I recommend Raos Homemade Sauce- low carbs, no added sugar and so good

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 1 egg

  • 1 16oz container cottage cheese (you could sub ricotta)

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp ground fennel

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

  • 1 tsp dried parsley

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • Oil spray 

 

INSTRUCTIONS


FOR THE “NOODLES”

  1. The original recipe states that you can make this step a day in advance if you like! 

  2. Preheat oven to 375° Line 2 9x13 baking dishes with parchment paper

  3. In a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together softened cream cheese and eggs.

  4. Next, add Italian or Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, dried rosemary and onion powder. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in mozzarella cheese and mix until well incorporated.

  6. Spread the mixture into each baking dish, forming a nice even layer.

  7. Bake both on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes.

  8. When the "noodles" are done baking, set aside and cool about 20 minutes 


FOR THE FILLING

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine ground beef, oregano, garlic powder, ground fennel, dried basil and a pinch of salt. Cook until the meat is browned.

  2. Drain excess fat from pan and add jar of marinara sauce to meat. Add a splash of water if yours is too meaty but be careful with this step. You don’t want watery lasagna!! Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

  3. In a separate bowl mix container of cottage cheese, egg and dried parsley until well combined. 


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

  1. Spray oil spray into bottom of clean 9x13 pan. Top with the first “noodle” layer. You could also use a few tablespoons of your marinara sauce.

  2. Layer half of the 1/2 cheese

  3. mixture. Spread evenly...Top with even layer of half ground beef mixture then cover with second“noodle” layer. Repeat steps.

  4. Cover ground beef layer with  mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle dried oregano on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Broil on 525 for 5 min ish for golden brown cheese



KETO COMMUNITY CHAT: Meet @KAWAIITREATSANDEATS / @MY_KETO_JOURNAL


MEET SOURY DUCKSON aka @KAWAIITREATSANDEATS & @MY_KETO_JOURNAL

Soury is the owner of Kawaii Treats and Eats, which sells keto friendly pancake, brownie, cookie and cake mixes! The mixes are sugar free, gluten free, and don’t contain anything artificial. She has always been a baker and a candy maker of the "carby" kind, but it wasn't until Soury started living a ketogenic lifestyle that she realized there was a great need.  A need for low carb mixes with clean ingredients, where taste wasn't compromised. This is how Kawaii Treats and Eats was born!

 
KetoInTheCity_KetoCommunityChat.JPG

How long have you been keto?

2 years , yay!

What led you to this way of eating?

Honestly, I was tired of being embarrassed to have my photo taken, tired of shopping in the plus size section, and tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.  Each year the pounds were slowing creeping on, and each year I’d go up a pant size.  A friend of mine mentioned the keto diet and said she was having good success on it, so I researched and decided to give it a try.


What are some of your go-to meals at home?

I LOVE stuffed poblanos! It doesn’t matter with what, it if sounds remotely good, I’ll try it, haha. I also love stirfry and curries, and incorporating miracle noodles into my meals.


What about when you eat out?

Chipotle or five guys are my favorites!

Photo via @my_keto_journal

Photo via @my_keto_journal

Favorite keto snack?

Crackers and cheese, yogurt with granola and jam, People’s Choice Beef Jerky

What is one thing that has helped make your keto journey a little easier?

Definitely at the top of the list, the keto community!  I’m not sure if I would have last this long without their support and other sharing their knowledge and journey. 

Do you have any tips for people who are just starting keto?

Keep it simple, your food and your approach. Research the basics and ease into it, don’t get overwhelmed by all the “extras”.  At its core, keto has some very basic principles, the rest will come with time.


KETO RECIPE: Cheesy Poblano Beef Bake

Taking my poblano pepper obsession to a whole new level! This is now one of my new favorites because it's creamy, cheesy, comforting and is a cross between 2 foods I really love - lasagna and meatloaf ;)  If you've never had a poblano, it's a fairly mild pepper, just make sure to remove all of the seeds.

Photo via @my_keto_journal

Photo via @my_keto_journal

 

Here's what you'll need 2 large servings (or 3 smaller servings).

  • 1/3lb ground beef

  • 1/4lb spicy ground sausage, or breakfast sausage

  • 3 TBSP finely ground pork rinds (I used @porkkinggood)

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 TBSP italian seasoning

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1 large poblano, the flatter the better

  • 1/2 cup low carb marinara sauce (I like Rao's or Bello Organico)

  • 1.5oz cream cheese

  • 4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese

 

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the first 8 ingredients (beef thru sea salt).  Blend well with hands, you're basically making a meatloaf.  set aside.

3. Carefully slice the poblano in half, lengthwise. Remove all of the seeds, trim off a little towards the top edges if you need to, to make it flat, like a sheet of pasta.  A little extra isn't a problem though. Lay pepper halves in pan, skin side down.

4. Wash hands with soap to get pepper oil off!

5. Dollop meat mixture over peppers, then press evening into pan.  Basically, a large sheet of meat mixture.

6. Spread marinara sauce over all the meat, dollop cream cheese all over, top with the sliced cheese, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

7. Check to make sure meat is fully cooked at 35 minutes, if so take foil off and broil for a few minutes to finish of the cheese on top.

8. I cut mine into 4 (or 6) squares, and stack them on my plate to get the 2-layered look.


KETO COMMUNITY CHAT: Meet @STAY_SNATCHED


BRANDI CRAWFORD AKA @STAY_SNATCHED

KetoInTheCity_InfluencerProfile.jpg

How long have you been keto?

I’m currently not strict keto, 80% strict keto, 20% freestyle. I started keto 2 years ago and met my body goals within a few months. After that, I struggled to stay strict keto without losing weight. I’m very active in the gym. I exercise 4-5 times per week, and incorporate complex carbs twice a week. 

What led you to this way of eating?

I am addicted to carbs like bread and pasta. I crave them. I love that while in ketosis my cravings disappear. I started keto with the goal to lose some weight, but more so, to find a way to deal with my cravings. What I love most is the mental clarity.

What are some of your go-to meals at home?

I make seafood like salmon and scallops often. I typically pair it with cheese stuffed mushrooms and green veggies like broccoli and green beans.

What about when you eat out?

Burgers, hold the bun!

Favorite keto snack?

String cheese

What is one thing that has helped make your keto journey a little easier?

Creating my own recipes has helped a ton. There is so much information available online and via social media. I do a lot of research and then I freestyle and come up with my own creations.

Instant Pot Low Carb Jerk Chicken via staysnatched.com

Instant Pot Low Carb Jerk Chicken via staysnatched.com

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Latte via staysnatched.com

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Latte via staysnatched.com

Do you have any tips for people who are just starting keto?

Gather the tools necessary to commit to a keto lifestyle. The most important tool is knowledge. Research what keto is and how ketosis works. From there, arm yourself (I say arm yourself because it can feel like you are going to war with your old self) with all of the food needed to prepare your meals. Plan your meals in advance. If you have an outing scheduled, check the menu before you arrive to select what keto-friendly items are available. Planning is very essential.


KETO RECIPE: Shrimp Zucchini Noodles in Cream Sauce

Low Carb Creamy Shrimp Alfredo With Zoodles via staysnached.com

Low Carb Creamy Shrimp Alfredo With Zoodles via staysnached.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds zucchini, spiralized the number of zucchini will vary based on size, this is about 4-5 zucchini

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 

  • 4 oz cream cheese cut into chunks

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan reggiano cheese shredded

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • parsley to garnish

 

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a sheet pan with paper towels. Place the zucchini noodles on the paper towels. Sprinkle with the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Allow the zucchini to sit for 30 minutes to sweat out excess water.

  2. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, shrimp, and minced garlic. Cook each side of the shrimp for 1-2 minutes until bright pink.

  3. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside on a plate.

  4. Add the butter to the skillet on medium heat. Allow the butter to partially melt and then add the chunks of cream cheese, Parmesan reggiano, heavy cream, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Stir continuously until the cheese has melted. The cream cheese may take some time to dissolve.

  6. Add the shrimp and zucchini noodles to the pan. Stir to coat the zucchini. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the zucchini softens.

  7. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.


KETO COMMUNITY CHAT: Meet @KINDKETOMAMA


MEET DARLENE GARCIA aka @KINDKETOMAMA

KetoInfluencerProfile_Kindketomama.jpg

How long have you been keto?

1.5 years

What led you to this way of eating?

I gained 60lbs from my back to back pregnancies and I had no energy to keep up with my babies. I knew I needed to change something but I also knew I didn’t want to starve myself and feel deprived. I had also tried “The Atkins Diet” before but I was turned off from all the shakes and bars they offered. Even though I was seeing results I didn’t like the way I felt after having them. While researching recipes for Atkins/Low Carb I started seeing the word “keto” and I began to research and realized this was the way of eating I’d been looking for.

What are some of your go-to meals at home?

My Low Carb Chili and Cornbread Skillet is always requested by my fiance. It’s very cozy and comforting. 2. Egg Roll in a Bowl is delicious and easy. 3. Zuchinni Pizza Casserole is also one of our favorites!

What about when you eat out?

We rarely eat out. Maybe one meal a week unless we’re really busy. For fast food we love The Habit. I always get their “Santa Barbara Char Burger” lettuce wrapped, it’s packed with fresh mashed avocado. So good! For a sit down restaurant we love ramen. Our favorite place is Shin Sen Gumi. I ask them for no noodles and pretend bean sprouts are the noodles.

Habit Santa Barbara Char Burger via @kindketomama

Habit Santa Barbara Char Burger via @kindketomama

Favorite keto snack?

Well, I just tried the vanilla almond Stoka bar last night and it was incredible! It reminded me of those granola bars in a green wrapper that I used to eat when I was little. For a fresh snack, my go to is usually pork rinds with my Sour Cream Dill Pickle Dip! Ever since I started practicing eating keto I really began craving pickles and anything briney. Maybe that’s my body’s way of telling me that I need more electrolytes.



What is one thing that has helped make your keto journey a little easier?

Honestly, opening my @kindketomama account on IG has really helped me because it helped hold me accountable. The community there is also really positive and helpful. They root me on and visa versa. I’ve also learned so much from everyone there. We all post helpful tips and recommendations on how to ketofy your favorite foods.



Do you have any tips for people who are just starting keto?

People message me all the time for tips and I always tell them to make electrolytes a priority from day 1! When we cut down our carb intake, our body flushes out a lot of fluids and in turn it flushes out electrolytes. I supplement by adding extra himalayan salt to my meals and also adding “Nu Salt” potassium to my apple cider vinegar drink. I have the recipe for that in my highlights on my instagram. I drink that 1-2 times a day.

 

KETO RECIPE: SOUR CREAM PICKLE DIP

I mentioned this dip above. It’s really good with pork rinds, flax crackers or even sliced veggies. It’s a big hit at parties, not just for us keto folk but everyone else too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 8oz full fat sour cream

  • 7 pickle slices, diced

  • 1/4 cup dill pickle juice

  • 1 tbsp fresh dill

  • 3/4 tspn onion salt (You can also substitute with onion powder, garlic powder and additional salt)

  • Salt to taste (I used 1/4 tspn)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl combine the sour cream and pickle juice. Continue stirring until completely combined.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

  3. For best results cover and chill in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving, to allow flavors to marry. (picture below)

Keto Sour Cream Pickle Dip via kindketomama.com

Keto Sour Cream Pickle Dip via kindketomama.com

Keto Sour Cream Pickle Dip via kindketomama.com

Keto Sour Cream Pickle Dip via kindketomama.com


KETO COMMUNITY CHAT: Meet @PATRICKMAESE


MEET PATRICK MAESE aka @PATRICKMAESE

How long have you been keto?

2 years


What led you to this way of eating?

Out of curiosity really. I lost 100lbs doing IIFYM and then heard about the ketogenic diet as a method of biohacking (cognitive improvement, satiation, more energy). I began researching the science behind it and decided to give it a shot. Since I’m a bit of a foodie, I loved that everything tasted amazing (because fat!). After a few months on the diet I was hooked and have been strict keto since. I also do heavy strength training so I’ll often eat large protein heavy meals which will inevitably raise eyebrows when I order enough food to feed a small family.

What are some of your go-to meals at home?  

I make chicken crust pizza pretty often since there are lots of topping variations, but a ribeye steak is my favorite go-to meal.

What about when you eat out?

Bun-less burgers, fajitas, steaks and since I live in Texas, lots and lots of BBQ.

Favorite keto snack?

Cheesecake Fluff!  I make a batch of it nearly every week.


What is one thing that has helped make your keto journey a little easier?

The Keto community! Everyone is so supportive and encouraging of each other’s progress and personal victories. I’ve made so many friends and connections within the community that it makes this so much more than just a way of eating.  


Do you have any tips for people who are just starting keto?

Do you research.  I spent several months devouring information, science publications, podcasts… anything I could get my hands on.  It’s helped me better understand how the body works in ketosis which ultimately made it easier to eat intuitively.  

 

KETO RECIPE: STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS

Strawberry Compote

  • 1 Plastic tray of Strawberries

  • 3 tbsp water

  • 1 tbsp @lakantosweetener Monkfruit Sweetner

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • Sprinkle of Konjac Flour (Xantham gum also works)

  • Optional - red food coloring

Cheesecake Crust

  • 2 cups Almond Flour

  • 1/3 cup Melted Butter

  • 3 tbsp @lakantosweetener Monkfruit Sweetener

  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 oz Cream cheese (room temp)

  • 1 1/4 cup Powdered Erythritol

  • 3 large eggs (room temp)

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 16 oz sour cream (room temp)

DIRECTIONS

Compote

  1. In a saucepan, combine strawberries and water over medium heat.  Cook until strawberries are softened (5 min)

  2. Add sweetener, lemon, konjac flour and 4 drops of red food coloring and stir for about a minute. 

  3. Add mixture to a small bowl and roughly mash the strawberries

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9” springform pan

  2. Stir all ingredients in a medium bowl and press the dough into the prepared pan.

  3. Cook in oven for 10-12 minutes until barely golden. Let cool completely.

Cheesecake Filling 

  1. Lower oven to 300F

  2. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sweetener at medium-low until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, while continuing to beat.  Finally, add lemon, vanilla, sour cream and strawberry compote to batter and mix through.

  3. Pour filling into pan and over the crust, smoothing the top with a spatula

  4. Bake for 1 hour.

  5. Open oven door and let cool for one hour, and further cool on wire rack to room temperature before placing in refrigerator to cool overnight (this prevents it from cracking).

  6. Serve with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake via @patrickmaese

Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake via @patrickmaese

Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake via @patrickmaese

Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake via @patrickmaese

Patrick also has an EggNog Cheesecake recipe on his IG!