Having your kids on a keto plan means that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. A lot. Cooking, baking, cleaning, oh my!
My plight is perhaps even worse because of the fact that my oldest child is growing like an inch a week and always hungry. He’s only 13 and he is almost 5’9″!
They’ve been getting sick of eggs in all their different forms. so I’ve been making a lot of chocolate shakes for breakfast. I just blend up half and half with peanut butter, raw cocoa powder and my monk fruit sweetener blend. They really like the shakes and get a gazillion calories to fuel their weed-like growth.
We agreed that Friday would be a “cheat” day were they could eat whatever. I figure it’s a good bribe to keep everyone happy and they are still getting the benefits of ketosis while getting a good dose of carbs once a week.
My daughter spent the weekend with my mom. I wasn’t about to try to make her follow the keto plan at grandma’s house so Shiloh had a weekend full of fun and gluten. I just got her back this evening and…wow. What a difference. She’s burst into tears no less than 10 times. I had to take her to the grocery store and it was like trying to herd a stray cat through a maze of frenzied shoppers. I guess it really serves as confirmation that at the very least she is benefiting greatly from a gluten free diet. On the keto plan I have seen her become way more calm and focused.
I’ve been watching Naomi Whittel’s documentary series on the ketogenic diet. One really interesting thing that I’ve learned is that mankind actually shrunk a foot when they transitioned from a hunter/gatherer lifestyle (think paleo) to and agricultural one. One reason is, many of the grains we consume today are high in lectins– effectively an anti-nutrient produced by plants as a defense against getting eaten. It’s the reason that if you eat beans that aren’t fully cooked you can get very ill. The lectins are tearing up your gut. They cause the gas, bloating, lethargy and poor absorption of nutrients that many people just live with. The two main ingredients that make up the bulk of processed foods- wheat and soy (which are also mostly GMO) also happen to be the highest in lectins. I’ve noticed going keto has really improved my digestion. So when I occasionally eat a treat that is definitely not keto or healthy, it doesn’t affect me nearly as much as it used to. I suppose my gut is healing on this much less inflammatory diet. Since gut and brain are intimately connected; it makes sense that a flexible keto approach to eating would be a wise choice for growing kids.
We started Keto as a family last Thursday so today would be day 6 of our “keto adventure”. Well for everyone except my husband who is still sneaking foods like triscuits and heavily sweetened “coffee”. *eyeroll*
So, what have I noticed, other than a lot of complaining?
It’s hard to tell for sure but two instances stand out. My daughter and I were shopping at Target yesterday. Not a get in an out kind of trip, more like “I need to get of the d@mn house before I lose my mind” kind of trip. Lots of meandering. Midway through I glanced down at my daughter, Shiloh, with the sudden realization that she was being good. Very good. She quietly and calmly walked right next to my side through the entire store.
My Little Capuchin!
Then I remembered how eerily well behaved she was yesterday when we took my MIL to a huge antique store. We were nervous bringing her into a cramped place jam packed with breakable items. But she was borderline angelic the entire time. Which, yes, is a huge improvement from her norm. Running off, grabbing stuff, tantrums… oh my. In my opinion, it’s still to early to tell. The real test will come when they go back to school.
I did pick up some keto test strips yesterday for the first time. I tested my daughter this morning and she is definitely in ketosis. The reading was very high, which I attribute to the fact that she was in a fasting state after having just woke up.
I don’t know if I’ve noticed an improvement in either of my two sons though. My middle child, Gabe, is my little sugar baby and has been very vocal and cranky about the diet. He’s always loved his carbs though. That kid could live off of bread alone.
If I don’t see any benefits for my two boys, of course I won’t make them stick with the diet. It is, however, a great way to reboot and kick sugar addiction. Even if I ease up I think it will be much easier to limit sugar and junk because they will have so completely changed their eating habits.
First; the recipe and then an update on how my kids are doing so far on keto.
This is a recipe I found at allrecipes and adapted to keto with a couple tweaks. It’s supposed to be done on a grill but I cooked it in the oven instead. It is pretty good, as you can imagine!
Cheesy Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf (keto!)
1/2 blanched almond flour
1/2 diced yellow onion
3 tbs. low sugar ketchup
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley (I used dried spices)
2 pounds grass fed ground beef
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
7 slices uncured bacon
First you want to take a long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (long enough that it would be about the length of a cookie sheet after folded in half). Line up the bacon horizontally in the middle of the aluminum. (You’ll want to be able to shape your loaf on top of the bacon and fold it up over the sides.) Using aluminum isn’t 100% necessary but it really cuts down on cleaning time. Preset your oven for 375 degrees F. Add the first 11 ingredients to a large mixing bowl. I mix by hand (I find it easier) but do whatever works for you to get all the ingredients well combined. At that point you can dump the mix on top of the bacon slices and form it into a loaf shape. Wrap the bacon up over the sides. Fold the edges of the aluminum up to form a makeshift loaf pan and transfer onto a cookie sheet. Put that pile o’ meat on the bottom rack. I baked mine for about 65 minutes. You’ll definitely want to check it with a meat thermometer and make sure the middle is at least 160 degrees F. When you take it out, let it “rest” for 5-10 minutes. You can brush on extra ketchup, but that’s extra carbs and honestly, the meatloaf really doesn’t need it.
The bacon flavor really permeates the entire loaf without overpowering the other flavors. It’s so good you almost feel guilty eating it!! It was a big hit at my house. I’ll definitely make it again. It’s not the prettiest or most elegant meal to photograph but it is insanely delicious and filling and satisfying. No midnight munching after eating this!
Sorry guys, I don’t have nutritional info as I kind of threw this together today. It does have 7-8 good size servings with a very small amount of carbs. Serve next to a low-carb veggie (with butter, of course!) for a perfect keto dinner.
So…. we’ve been doing keto as a family now for two days. I feel like it is going really well so far. The second morning my oldest woke up and was hungry and shaky. My youngest actually vomited. I think it is because with their fast metabolisms they were going through the keto flu period at an accelerated rate. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, making nummy food for them. I made a keto cheesecake and two batches of my chocolate keto muffins so far. They (inspite of some complaining) mostly like the food so far. They seem like they are doing pretty well, aside from that first morning when their bodies were obviously still struggling to adapt.
There isn’t much information about how to do this diet for kids online. I’m just going to have to discover as I go. That’s one reason I feel like it’s important to blog about our journey.
I know I blogged that we were going to go keto as a family probably well over a month ago…but life.
I’ve really been wanting to start but hemmin’ and hawing over the whole thing. I decided to just bite the bullet and start. The start of any new diet needs some sort of a grocery haul. Of course, I went to costco.
Today was day one. After my oldest had cereal for breakfast (dope!) I decided all contraband needed to be boxed up and hidden away in the basement. The thing about keto is that it really eliminates 95% of processed, junky foods. We boxed up a lot.
There was a LOT of kid whininess going on. A lot of resistance. “What do you mean I can’t have fruit or candy?!?!”
I just feel like we owe it to them to at least try.
I really hope that the therapeutic effects of ketones can reverse the autism/ADHD symptoms present in my oldest and youngest child.
I think my middle child could greatly benefit in his anxiety and hopefully with his skin condition.
Thankfully I feel like I am pretty comfortable with the diet, since I’ve been doing this for 7 months.
This is officially the start of our trial to see how the ketogenic diet might help us as a family.
I am a bit overwhelmed but much more excited. I would really love to get my 6 year old daughter’s autism diagnosis removed. I would love just more calm in our home.
I know it won’t be perfect but that’s ok. My daughter managed to get ahold of a triscuit and cram it into her mouth before I could stop her. All three of them were showing signs of sugar withdrawal and the start of the fat-adapting process (crankiness, excessive thirst). We’ll just take it one day at a time and see if the benefits prove to be worth it.
My photos from a year ago popped up on my phone this morning. I saw a pic of where I was at then and I had to of course compare it to now, 6 or so months into a ketogenic lifestyle.
The second picture was this morning. Of course I had to make a dorky face. Might as well if you’re taking bathroom selfies, and flexing no less. I think I look leaner and more defined. I’m probably only a couple pounds lighter. I started lifting heavier and increased my lean muscle mass while cutting a bit of body fat.
In the “before” pic I was very fit, working out very hard but not getting the results I wanted. I remember thinking I should be getting more out of the work I was putting in. I wanted to be leaner but, as much as I knew about health and fitness, I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I knew just cutting calories wasn’t a great plan because cutting calories is a sure fire way to slow your metabolism which is like shooting yourself in the foot.
I have to admit this all pure vanity stuff. Of course I want to be healthy but when it’s five pounds plus or minus it’s pretty much aesthetics. I’ve had three babies but I really wanted great abs.
I don’t do crunches or count calories. I just keep my carbs low, eat plenty of healthy fat and protein, and lift challenging weights. When I do cardio I keep it very short with HIIT style workouts.
My belly button looks wonky and I have plenty of stretch marks, but they’re badges of honor. I just want to be the best version of me and honor what my body has accomplished.
Guys, I was doing a flex-keto approach and doing high and low carb days along with some intermittent fasting. Which worked well for awhile until I found myself eating TWO big ole gluten free smores last weekend and then realizing I had gained, or was well on my way, to gaining back all the weight I had initially lost. *sad face*
So I did what I usually do to atone for too many dietary sins. I started tracking every single gram of carb with my fitness pal. It’s still amazing to me that calories don’t really matter. 1,500 calories with over 100 grams of carbs will have me gaining weight while 1,800 with less than 30 grams of carbs will have my body fat quickly dwindling away. This may not hold true for all but I know it certainly is for me.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again- one of the best things about keto is the fact that you can still have creamy, delicious treats. Like this cold brew based coffee drink I am sipping right now. If you’ve read the blog for awhile you’ve probably figured out that I am a bit obsessed with both coffee and chocolate. So I love finding new, low-carb ways to combine them.
I picked up some starbucks brand cold brew at target. If you get some, make sure it is unsweetened. Most kinds come pre-sweetened. Definitely don’t want that!
I blended about a cup of cold brew with half and half (food of the gods!), cocoa powder and my monk fruit sweetener to get this delicious, frosty treat. You can also add ice to make it more frappuccino-esque. I think for future versions, I’ll have some coffee ice cubes on hand to add in.
Keto ColdBrew Mocha
1 Cup Cold Brew Coffee
1/2 Cup Half and Half ( you can sub in filtered milk, almond milk, or heavy cream)
1 tbs. Cocoa Powder
1 tbs. Natural Sweetener (such as stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol)
Combine ingredients in magic bullet style blender and enjoy! This refreshing treat is sure to put some pep in your step at 182 calories, 8.7 grams of carb (about 6 net carbs), 14.5 grams of fat and 4.6 grams of protein.
I posted awhile back about wanting to try the keto diet for the whole family.
Reasons being, I now technically have three special needs kids. One with severe eczema/TSW, one with aspergers, and my youngest now with autism and/or ADHD. All three struggle with anxiety to some extant.
One unexpected perk I experienced going keto was a drastic reduction in my own anxiety, along with an increase in mental clarity and focus.
They are all three very thin so this would technically be a therapeutic approach and I’d have to monitor their weight to make sure they weren’t dropping any. It’d be wonderful if we were able to avoid perscription drugs for my youngest, and get my oldest off of his. I really believe in the therapeutic value of ketones for brain health. keto for ADHD
Either way, it can’t hurt to cut out refined sugars and empty calories.
We’ve been slooowly easing in by having keto-style dinners. Thankfully, my kids generally like veggies and meat. I decided, for the sake of my sanity, to wait until school was out before going full-bore.
A high fat diet is great for developing brains. Not to mention fresh veggies and good protein. Admittedly, it’s probably going to be a tough transition so we’re just doing a trial period to see if the potential benefits are worth it.
There’s one week of school so I have time to start meal planning. I’ll post as we go!