You know the saying, “plan to fail or fail to plan…”, or better yet, “plan to succeed, or fail to plan”. You know what I mean, right? Plan, to succeed, end of story. To truly succeed with a ketogenic lifestyle, you really do need to PLAN. If you don’t plan, and you don’t have your keto-friendly foods, then even one high carb meal will actually kick you out of ketosis for a while! There are tricks and tips (that I’ll get in to sooner than later), to get you right back in to ketosis faster than the average bear, but let’s try to PLAN to stay in Ketosis in the first place, deal?

Here are a few tips on planning, AND succeeding:

  1. Shopping list.
    • If you are just starting out, what I did was find a clean keto shopping list with foods that I know I like, are affordable and easily accessible. My first bout of keto shopping was the most challenging, the most expensive, and took the longest time, but what it provided was a perfect roadmap of the supermarket for future shopping trips. I took the time to read nutrition labels, ingredients, and even scanned a few things in to my macro tracker app. I bought a base of keto foods to stock my kitchen and pantry with. I also picked a few recipes for keto meals that I wanted to try, and added those ingredients to that first list. Making a shopping list, and sticking to it is the first plan to succeed.
  2. Be open to alternatives.
    • To stick to a cleaner keto, lower inflammatory, healthier food list, it is important to look at the options for the foods on your list.
    • Meat: free range, grass fed/grass finished. >80% red meat, >90%poultry (no need to get high fat with poultry as it is not great fat)
    • Bacon/Cold cuts/processed meat (if any): nitrate-free, sugar-free, less ingredients.
    • Eggs: cage-free (darkest yolk is best)
    • Dairy: full fat, organic, hormone-free
    • Fats: MCT (medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil) + omega 3 (fish/krill oils) > MUFA + PUFA (fruit oils: olive/avocado) > SCFA (short chain fatty acids like butter) > LCFA (long chain saturated fatty acids) > omega 6 (plant fats like soybean, safflower, cottonseed, corn, canola) >>>> trans fats/hydrogenated fats/partially hydrogenated fats and vegetable oils (margarine = gross)
  3. Research for “dirty dozen/clean fifteen”.
    • 12+ fruits/veggies that are heavily sprayed with pesticides or genetically modified and should (if possible) ALWAYS purchase ORGANIC option vs conventional
    • 15+ fruits/veggies that are either not often sprayed with pesticides or not often genetically modified, are fine to purchase CONVENTIONAL option.
  4. Buy in season, buy from farmer’s markets, buy in bulk, buy from different stores. Find the stores, areas, markets that carry the best quality for the best price.
  5. Buy some organ meats! Ask your butcher.
  6. Consider the fattier, cheaper cuts of meat if not poultry.
    • Don’t buy the expensive lean meats, buy the cheaper fatty ground meat, buy the fatty pork chops, and buy the cheap chicken that still has the skin on.
    • Consider the cheaper stewing meat and use your slow cooker/crock pot
    • Find a local butcher who sells pork skins to make your own crackling which is a perfect low carb snack.
    • Use bones from a roast dinner or from the butcher to make bone broth!
  7. Cook once, Eat twice
    • Leftovers are so convenient and essential to my life! I often make a larger dinner, and then portion out my lunch for the next day before I even eat the dinner (prevents me from eating it all!)
    • If there is a discount for bulk purchase, you can cook in bulk, freeze the extra portions, and have meals for days! I often buy larger bags of organic veggies and keep them frozen, take out and place in a bowl the night before, and add that to my meat I had already cooked for the next day’s meal!
  8. Keep it Simple 🙂
    • My trick is to keep a few bags of low carb organic frozen veggies in my freezer, boxes of organic mixed leafy greens, a few avocados, olives, creamy dressing in my fridge, and then add meat that I cook every few days to the greens for my dinner and lunch. Sometimes I use cheese, nitrate-free cured meats, or a fat bomb for a snack. I started my keto journey with a variety of keto foods, but over the last few months, I have really narrowed it down to a few staples. Find what you like and don’t make it too complex!
  9. Track your food with a macro/net carb tracker for a few weeks to really get a sense of what you’re eating, how you’re feeling, and how many net carbs and grams of fat/protein you can have to stay in ketosis and feel the best.
  10. Prepare to have cravings in the beginning, so purchase a few great snacks to have keto alternatives. The one thing I craved the most in the beginning (cravings change, sweet tooth disappears!), were nachos! So I purchased cheese crisps (as chips alternative), then added all the other regular toppings. I actually realized it was easier to use the cheese crisps to dip with instead of cover with the toppings, but still, it satisfied my cravings and now I don’t even crave nachos (barely)… Another thing I craved was something sweet, so I started making keto fat bombs and freezing them in a smaller portioned ice cube tray (20 small silicon poppable tray), which really helped my hunger and cravings! Be creative. Know there are options 🙂 It is so much easier once you just get started, and you’ll probably never look back.