Amazing #meatless Monday Keto foods!

We get asked a lot about vegetarian keto recipes, so we decided to create this roundup of recipes to get you started.  These recipes are all meatless, but do make use of eggs and dairy products

1. Vegetarian Greek Collard Wraps

This vegetarian Greek inspired veggie wrap is full of square cut veggies and thick hunks of salty feta complimented by the creamy tang of tzatziki. Tzatziki is an easy spread made from Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, and lemon. You can make this simple sauce in a jiffy or if you are like me, find an authentic brand and always keep it in your fridge! I also added kalamata olives but you could even use other Greek flavors like marinated artichoke hearts or pepperoncini rings.

vegetarian greek collard wraps

2. Keto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Crunchy toasted bread with cheese that oozes out the sides.  You may have thought that grilled cheese was impossible on a keto diet, but think again!  The bread recipe is well worth checking out for making veggie sandwiches.

 

keto grilled cheese

3. Tomato Basil Gallette

The beauty in a galette is that they don’t have to be beautiful to be delicious. In fact, the more rustic they look, the fancier the appear. This imperfect crust method is great for gluten free baking because it’s so forgiving in its looks and versatile in the fillings. You could go with a sweet “dessert” galette and fill it with low-carb fruits, or even a sweetened cream cheese filling, but today I want to share a cheese filled savory variety that will make you think you’re eating a the real deal….but without all of those pesky carbs!

tomato basil stromboli

4.  Low Carb Broccoli and Cheese Fritters

These broccoli fritters aren’t like regular deep fried broccoli. They have crunch and body to them. They’re similar to hushpuppies, but made out of broccoli instead of corn meal. Trust me when I say this – everybody will love them.

meatless monday side dish

5. Fresh Bell Pepper and Basil Pizza

bell pepper pizza keto

Keto Struggles Debunked!

Keto Struggles

Studies have proven that low-carb diets are the most effective tool for losing excess body fat. Despite that, it’s not uncommon for many people to hit a weight loss plateau with low carb diets. By weight loss plateau, I mean the frustration someone feels when they start concentrating on the scale and do not see it move, up or down, for weeks. No matter what you do, the extra pounds of body fat are just not coming off. Keto Struggles can be hard!

Specific diet plans such as fat fast has helped many people break through long-lasting plateaus but fat fast shouldn’t be used as a quick fix every time your weight is stalling. In the long term, you need to focus on getting your diet right and avoid some of the common mistakes listed below.

Using keto as a Quick Fix

Some people may use the keto diet as a quick fix to their body issues. Rest assured, keto diets are NOT quick fixes, just as supplements should not be used as quick fixes for fast weight loss. Ketogenic living is a lifestyle change that you’ll want to stick with to benefit from long term results.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll most likely see some quick changes on the scale, but let me explain why. Carbohydrates hold onto water. In fact, glycogen holds 2.7 g of water per gram. When carbohydrates are not consumed, more water is released from the body thus showing us big drops of numbers on the scale due to water weight loss.

When you see these numbers drop quickly, some, not all tend to jump right back into their old eating habits like before and expect those changes in the number to stick around. It’s very easy to fall back into your old body and you’ll be right back to square one if you do this.

Again, the ketogenic lifestyle is a change that you need to be prepared to stick with for long term.

Not Knowing Your Macros

As you may know, calories do count, even on a low-carb, ketogenic diet. When you eat nutritious foods low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in fat, you will naturally eat less. For this reason, most of you won’t need to count calories on a keto diet.

However, just following a low-carb diet doesn’t guarantee weight loss. It helps to keep an eye on your fat intake. The closer you get to your target weight, the more important that becomes. Additionally, you need to ensure that you’re eating sufficient amount of protein to stay satiated and prevent muscle loss. You can find out your ideal macronutrients by using our keto calculator.

For a quick guide on how to set up your macros with myfitnesspal and carb manager use this guide in the Bee-Xtreme Community.

Only Focusing on Carbs

Most of you know that when following a ketogenic diet, you have to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you are eating. However, this doesn’t mean that the less carbs you eat, the more weight you are going to lose. In fact, I’ve seen many people following a close to zero-carb diet who were plateauing or even gaining weight. A very low-carb diet will simply not ensure fat loss!

Some people do well on a moderate carbohydrate diet while others see better results with a greater carb restriction. There is simply no one way for all and that’s why we need to embrace personalized nutrition in order to determine the best method for each individual

I use non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries, which are all high in fiber, thus total carbs

Not Eating Adequate Protein

Eating sufficient protein is important, especially for those who are trying to lose weight. Adding some protein within the recommended limits may help you break through a long-lasting plateau. When you eat a high-protein meal, your body releases glucagon which counterbalances insulin and plays a significant role in satiety.

This doesn’t mean that you should overeat protein. Protein is not a particularly efficient fuel source and too much of it may raise your insulin levels. As you may know, high insulin levels will block fat burning. Also, not all protein sources are equal and some amino acids may cause greater insulin spikes. You don’t need to worry about a few extra grams of protein.

Eating slightly more protein will not kick you out of ketosis because not all excess protein converts into glucose via gluconeogenesis. We generally do not recommend using protein shakes on the ketogenic diet due to the high insulin spikes associated with protein shakes.

 Make sure you also include quality protein sources such fatty fish high in omega 3s.

Not Eating Adequate Fat

When following a ketogenic diet, you regulate your energy intake via fat, as protein and carbs remain more or less constant. It’s simple: if you want to lose body fat, you need to stay in a calorie deficit. You should get most of your fats from omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish, and foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids such as avocados and extra virgin olive oil.

Also, make sure you get enough vitamin D. Chances are that even if you eat fatty fish and other foods high in vitamin D, you may be deficient in this vital micronutrient.

Avoiding Vegetables and Fiber

Non-starchy vegetables have their place in a healthy low-carb diet. There is no reason to avoid vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers or fruits like avocado or berries. These foods are very high in micronutrients, low in carbs and won’t impair your weight loss efforts. So unless you have food sensitivities you should include them in your diet.

We whole heartedly believe in a healthy ketogenic diet so consuming enough veggies is vital in our opinion. We recommend if eating 3 meals a day, to aim for about 7 cups of veggies throughout your day. If you’re practicing intermittent fasting with the ketogenic way of eating (which usually comes naturally, read more about IF here) you should consume about 5 cups of veggies a day.

If you’re a warrior and only consume one meal a day, which many people do, please make sure you are consuming at least 4-5 cups of veggies with your meal for adequate micronutrient counts.

If you do not get adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients with the ketogenic diet, it can escalate to a slew of problems. If you do not consume enough veggies consider taking an electrolytes supplement.

Focusing on the Scale

Yes, the diet is designed to help you lose body fat, thus shedding the pounds off your body. However, this is a process and obsessing over your weight is only going to make things harder.

Checking your weight multiple times a day or even on a daily basis is going to make you get in your own head and things will start to slowly go downhill from there.

You have to trust that if you’re doing everything the right way, staying away from the sugars and carbs and hitting your macros every day, the weight is going to come off. That’s just how it is.

Checking your weight hours apart is going to get you discouraged. You can’t expect to see a massive change in weight in a matter of hours. Significant change happens over multiple days and weeks, not hours.

I would suggest that you only check your weight once a week. If you need to check your weight daily it’s best to check first thing in the morning after your first urination.  The same time every week as well. Give yourself a minute time slot on the same day of each week to see the progress you’ve made up to now. This is when you’ll start to actually see the change you’re expecting

Being Afraid of Fats

Most of us growing up were always told that fat is bad for you. Well with this diet, you need to eat fat to lose fat. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it works. Some people may see that once they’ve calculated their macros, the amount of fat they have to eat is a massive amount.

On this diet, you may have to consume a large amount of fat to help your body reach the goal you’ve set for yourself. About 70% of the food you eat needs to come from fats. That’s a high percentage of your food content and may come as a shock to you, but to be successful with this diet, this is how things need to be.

Don’t be afraid of the amount of fat you have to eat.

Understand that this diet is only going to help you in the end so if you follow everything how it is presented to you, you’ll have almost no problems. To go along with the last mistake, you need to make sure you’re eating the right fats.

Don’t just assume that since your meeting your daily fats requirement that it means you’re eating the right kind of fats. There is such a thing as good fats and bad fats.The bad fats that people may struggle with are the processed fats. This can be found in processed vegetable oils. So, because of this, cooking with these oils is a no-no.

Fats that you want to be consuming are the saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and naturally occurring trans fats. Getting these types of fats are fairly easy when you’re looking to avoid all of the processed trans fats.

These good fats can be found in butter, eggs, avocados, walnuts, and fish oils. There are plenty of other sources for these fats, but those are just a few examples. You can get these fats through fat bombs as well. These are going to give you the fats you may desperately need when you’re on this diet. Adds those to your meals and you’ll see that you’re hitting your fats requirement while staying with the good fats.

Too Much Stress

Stress is a significant factor when it comes to weight loss. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels rise. This will then raise blood sugar and lower ketone levels. In order to cope with chronically elevated blood sugar, your body will produce more insulin to cope with chronically high blood sugar. When that happens, you will find it difficult to get into fat-burning mode. I know, it’s easy to say and difficult to do but try to reduce your stress levels.

Here are a few tricks you can try:

Too much exercise, especially chronic cardio, increases stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol is linked to increased fat storage, especially the unhealthy visceral fat round your belly. Try strength training and yoga instead of some of your cardio sessions

Try supplements such as melatonin, magnesium (Natural Calm) and B-complex, that will help you reduce your stress levels and improve circadian rhythms.

Don’t spend too much time on the Internet. It’s no secret that social media and constant checking of your inbox are significant stress factors. Read books, meet friends or go for a walk instead.

Not Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep or a circadian rhythm disorder may be one of the factors. With less energy, it will be more difficult to lose weight. Sleep deprived individuals produce less growth hormone, have impaired glucose metabolism and show a decreased level of leptin – the hormone that signals satiety.

Lack of sleep also leads to an increased level of ghrelin – the hormone that tells the brain when we are hungry. People who are sleep deprived are more likely to store body fat. Here are some tips:

  • Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every day
  • Don’t eat heavy meals before bed. Your body
  • needs to rest, not spend the whole night digesting your dinner.
  • Don’t exercise 3-4 hours before bed.
  • Don’t use your computer before bed and try blue light blockers.
  • Sleep in complete darkness. If possible, don’t keep your laptop, tablet or phone in the bedroom.

Not Enough Water

During a keto diet, your body is going to lose a lot of fluids, so it’s important to stay as hydrated as possible. For some reason, people seem to forget about this a lot.You’re losing a lot of fluids and electrolytes that can easily be put back into your body through water.

When you aren’t staying hydrated, your body is going to store as much fat as possible. Again, this is the opposite of what we want to happen. Staying hydrated also means that your organs are going to be working the way they should. Your body will be working like a well-oiled machine. Aim to drink at least 64 oz of water a day. Ideally you should try to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water a day.

Comparing Yourself to Others

This is huge for everyone. Whether or not we consciously realize that we are doing it, we are always comparing ourselves to others. Constantly comparing yourself to others only weighs negatively on you and never achieves anything. Always compare yourself to your previous self and no one else. Are you making progress? Good! That’s where you need to be.

Not Enough Sleep

The process of getting into ketosis, when your body starts using fat as its energy source, can cause you to lose a little bit of sleep. You need to do what you can to get the proper amount of sleep that you need. Everyone needs sleep and getting the right amount can go a long way.

Not getting the right amount of sleep will prevent your body from functioning as well as it should. If you’re able to get a good nights rest, your body will be better equipped to handle the changes it’s starting to go through with the keto diet.

 Eating Too Many Nuts

One of the common mistakes people make is to overeat nuts. You may experience weight stalling or even weight gain not because nuts will kick you out of ketosis but because they are calorie-dense and easy to overeat. 100 grams of macadamia nuts have over 700 kcal and over 70 grams of fat which is half of the energy intake for most people trying to lose weight.

This doesn’t mean you have to exclude nuts altogether. Nuts are particularly high in insoluble fiber which has zero effect on blood sugar. That’s just one of the reasons why you shouldn’t worry about their relatively high total carb count.

How About Peanuts?

Peanuts are legumes which are avoided on a keto & primal/paleo diet for two reasons. Firstly, although they are relatively low in carbs, peanuts contain lectins and phytates which makes them hard to digest. Also, legumes in general have been linked to leaky gut syndrome, PCOS, IBS and Hashimoto’s. I do eat peanuts but I have to eat them in moderation. They are addicting little creatures especially when you’re craving that “crunch”.

Eating Too Much Dairy

Full-fat dairy commonly eaten on a ketogenic diet is high in calories and easy to overeat. Also, dairy contains a specific type of protein that can lead to greater insulin spikes than other protein source If dairy makes your insulin spike, cut back on high-protein dairy products like cheese and yogurt.

Eating Products Labeled “Low-Carb”

Simply put: Eat real food. Avoid prepared meals full of additives and deceptive labelling. It’s no secret that low-carb products are often higher in carbs than they claim to be or contain unwanted additives. A common practice is to exclude all sugar alcohols and other sweeteners from the carb count. This is wrong as not all sugar alcohols and other sweeteners have zero effect on blood sugar. There are a few decent products you can use even on a keto diet but you have to be extra careful.

Drinking “Bulletproof” Coffee Every Day

There are a few reasons why I don’t drink “bulletproof” aka butter coffee every day. I like the taste and drink it occasionally, usually instead of breakfast – not as part of it. BPC is mostly fat and very low in other nutrients. While for some people it seems to suppress hunger, I wouldn’t personally drink it every day. While BPC may be a good addition to your diet, you should get your calories from real nutritious foods together with protein, vitamins and minerals.

Not Exercising Right

Not exercising at all or exercising too much are both counterproductive for weight loss on a keto diet. In a nutshell:

Never use exercise to burn calories. This approach simply doesn’t work in the long-term. Studies show that excessive exercise leads to an increased appetite and you will likely eat more.

Depending on your goal, choose the right type of exercise. Light cardio shows to have great health benefits, especially for the heart and

brain. Weight training and HIIT are great tools for muscle growth and long-term weight loss.

 Join a Keto Community!

Weight Loss of any kind can be a struggle when you don’t have a support group. The Bee-Xtreme Community is filled with AMAZING individuals eager and ready to help you with your struggles! 

Does Sugar Free Creamer Break A Fast?

There is so much conflicting information on the web as to whether this or that will “break your fast” so I’ve decided to take it upon myself and test some of our favorite morning drinks to see just exactly what it does to our body!

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

Why is it worthwhile to change when you’re eating?

Well, most notably, it’s a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing. In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. (Most people eat bigger meals during a shorter time frame.) Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while getting lean.

With all that said, the main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. We’ll talk about how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss in a moment.

Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of “simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.”

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

To understand how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss we first need to understand the difference between the fed state and the fasted state.

Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.

After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.

When you’re in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.

Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Fat loss is great, but it isn’t the only benefit of fasting.

1. Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler.

I’m big on behavior change, simplicity, and reducing stress. Intermittent fasting provides additional simplicity to my life that I really enjoy. When I wake up, I don’t worry about breakfast. I just grab a glass of water and start my day.

I enjoy eating and I don’t mind cooking, so eating three meals a day was never a hassle for me. However, intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and I like that.

2. Intermittent fasting helps you live longer.

Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When you’re starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.

There’s just one problem: who wants to starve themselves in the name of living longer?

I don’t know about you, but I’m interested in enjoying a long life. Starving myself doesn’t sound that appetizing.

The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.

Way back in 1945 it was discovered that intermittent fasting extended life in mice. (Here’s the study.) More recently, this study found that alternate day intermittent fasting led to longer lifespans.

3. Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer.

This one is up for debate because there hasn’t been a lot of research and experimentation done on the relationship between cancer and fasting. Early reports, however, look positive.

This study of 10 cancer patients suggests that the side effects of chemotherapy may be diminished by fasting before treatment. This finding is also supported by another study which used alternate day fasting with cancer patients and concluded that fasting before chemotherapy would result in better cure rates and fewer deaths.

Finally, this comprehensive analysis of many studies on fasting and disease has concluded that fasting appears to not only reduce the risk of cancer, but also cardiovascular disease.

4. Intermittent fasting is much easier than dieting.

The reason most diets fail isn’t because we switch to the wrong foods, it’s because we don’t actually follow the diet over the long term. It’s not a nutrition problem, it’s a behavior change problem.

This is where intermittent fasting shines because it’s remarkably easy to implement once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time. For example, this study found that intermittent fasting was an effective strategy for weight loss in obese adults and concluded that “subjects quickly adapt” to an intermittent fasting routine.

I like the quote below from Dr. Michael Eades, who has tried intermittent fasting himself, on the difference between trying a diet and trying intermittent fasting.

“Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.

Most of us have contemplated going on a diet. When we find a diet that appeals to us, it seems as if it will be a breeze to do. But when we get into the nitty gritty of it, it becomes tough. For example, I stay on a low–carb diet almost all the time. But if I think about going on a low–fat diet, it looks easy. I think about bagels, whole wheat bread and jelly, mashed potatoes, corn, bananas by the dozen, etc. — all of which sound appealing. But were I to embark on such a low–fat diet I would soon tire of it and wish I could have meat and eggs. So a diet is easy in contemplation, but not so easy in the long–term execution.

Intermittent fasting is hard in the contemplation, of that there is no doubt. “You go without food for 24 hours?” people would ask, incredulously when we explained what we were doing. “I could never do that.” But once started, it’s a snap. No worries about what and where to eat for one or two out of the three meals per day. It’s a great liberation. Your food expenditures plummet. And you’re not particularly hungry. … Although it’s tough to overcome the idea of going without food, once you begin the regimen, nothing could be easier.”

— Dr. Michael Eades

In my opinion, the ease of intermittent fasting is best reason to give it a try. It provides a wide range of health benefits without requiring a massive lifestyle change.

What Breaks A Fast?

Well, this is where the information you’ll find in today’s society is conflicting. I’ve studied several doctors and sports medicine individuals and they all say something a little different. So, I’ve decided to take it upon myself to test all these hypothesis on myself.

The first hypothesis I’ve done is “Will sugar free creamer break a fast?”.

We can all conclude that black coffee does not break a fast. This is a given. Black coffee may increase the production of ketones and increase fat burning.

But, coffee with sugar free cream? Can it be done?
Here’s what I found out:

Sugar Free Creamer Breaking A Fast

I started the morning off with a fasting blood sugar of 110 which seems a little high for me, but continued on anyway. After just 1 tsp of the SF Peppermint Mocha creamer from Coffee Mate my blood sugar rose to 132 after just 30 minutes. This high spike in blood sugar is what would tell me that the sugar free peppermint mocha creamer from coffee mate did in fact put sugar into my blood stream which caused an insulin reaction and brought the blood sugar back down at 60 minutes. 

If you understand blood sugar and fasting and insulin, you’ll know when your blood sugar spikes within 30 minutes as showed, insulin comes to the rescue in the body to capture that sugar in our blood stream. When insulin is present, all fat burning stops. This was a bummer for me. =(

However there may be some good news ahead! 

I also tested my ketone levels at the exact same time as the blood sugar. I tested my morning ketones, and every 30 minutes after the coffee with sugar free creamer. The sugar free peppermint mocha creamer did not kick me out of ketosis. (almost at that 30 minute mark) but an ideal level of ketones is 0.5-3.0 in the blood so I was definitely still in ketosis at that point. You’ll see my ketones went back up at 60 minutes and beyond. So I’m happy to report that this did not kick me out of ketosis but unfortunately did break a fast. 


Stay tuned for more testing! 

Keto Apps Compared

Have you ever wanted to compare different Keto apps? There are so many apps out there it can be confusing to try and understand them all. I thought it might be helpful to compare and contrast the major Keto apps in one spot so that you could see what is available and what each Keto app offers. 

Although I don’t personally use an app to track macros every single day, after reading about each, it is very interesting just how much informationeach provides. I could see how it would be very helpful, especially in the beginning. If you aren’t sure how to get started to even figure out your macros, please visit the Bee-Xtreme Keto Diet Calculator here. Otherwise, I have listed some of the Best Keto Apps for tracking macros below along with the cost and features.

MyFitnesspal

My Fitness Pal

Cost: Regular is free, but the premium is priced at $9.99 a month or $49.99 for the year

Features: In the free version you can track your diet, exercise, keep goals in view, connect with friends

Premium features allow you to:

Food analysis- You can see which foods you logged are the best or worst.

Macronutrients by the gram- You can set macros by gram or percentage.

Exercise calorie setting – You can track your exercise without changing your calorie or nutrient goals.

See a macro breakdown for each meal that is logged into your account.

You can add recipes yourself, import recipes from your favorite websites, scan barcodes, and it is also super user-friendly. The downside to either the free or paid version of My Fitness Pal is that it does not know to subtract fiber and sugar alcohols (if you subtract those) from carbs to get net carbs: therefore, you will need to do that calculation manually. It does show a nutritional breakdown with carbs and fiber so the information you need to calculate net carbs is in front of you, but it does require an extra step on your part to do the math.  For a detailed video of how to set up MyFitnessPal specifically for keto, please visit the Bee-Xtreme Community and see this video here

Carb Manager

carb manager

Cost: FREE but in app purchases available, the premium
version is $3.34/month

Features: Most of the features available are only on the premium version. However, you can easily find recipes, smart analysis, health reports, view macros and nutrition per meal, and much more.

I have heard a lot of people say that they downloaded Carb
Manager to help them on the Keto diet. It’s a specific Keto diet app that’s
free to download. You can get the premium one for an additional cost per year.
This varies from My Fitness Pal because Carb Manager was created for those who
may be following a low carb or Keto lifestyle. Just like other data apps, you
can track what you eat easily.

 

keto diet app

The Keto Diet App

Cost: Basic is $3.99 Premium is $8.99

Features: The Keto Diet App was created for those following a Ketogenic lifestyle. Many Keto dieters love this app net carbs can be tracked
without having to do manual calculations, which is an important part of the Keto diet.

The advanced version allows you to plan meals, create your own meals, set carb limits, and sync data. The free version allows you to see at least 300 low carb recipes, explanation of the keto diet, and access to a blog with lots of info.

Again, many people like using this app because they can track weight, manually set goals, track measurements, and the food they’re eating.



Total Keto Diet

Cost: FREE

 Features: Want to succeed in the Keto diet? This app may be for you! You will get access to free recipes, offline reading, recipe suggestions, shopping lists, intuitive ingredient shopping, and even a Keto Diet Beginner’s Guide. You truly get all the Keto basics for FREE.

 

senza

 Cost: FREE

Features: This app may be simple and free, but it does have plenty of features. You can see macros, monitor electrolytes, get meal ideas, barcode scanning, find low carb items near you, restaurant menus, thousands of keto specific recipes, and record what you eat. It has a clean interface that is easy to control and you can share with friends.

cronometer

Cronometer

Cost: Free version or in app purchase that is $2.99 to download. There is also a gold version that’s $5.99 a month or you can pay annually or twice a year.

Features: When it comes to paid apps, Cronometer is one that can help you with the tracking of your diet and fitness. They have a wholefood database of 200,00 + foods that helps you track your micronutrients and it calculates net carbs, so no manual calculations are necessary. This app is great for support of people on specialized diets, like the ketogenic diet.

Baritastic

Cost: FREE

Features: Baritastic says that it is for Bariatric patients, but it has a lot of good features that would help anyone on the Keto diet. You can track your nutrition and water. You can get daily reminders for things like taking your vitamins and eating your meals. You can even upload photos and have a journal of sorts to track things during your progress.

It’s completely free and so user-friendly. Not only does it track my foods, it tracks my pounds lost and inches lost. I can scan in foods or I can manually enter them. I can also enter ingredients of a recipe and it will figure out the macros for me. I love it!

Keto Cycling. Have your cake & eat it too?

Some people have an “opinion” about keto-cycling because like anything else in life, their allowed to! I say if it works for you then why the hell not?

As a certified Keto Coach, I’m always pushing people to “try” the keto way of eating because of the health benefits I’ve personally seen in the last year with this way of eating. I’m the type of person who doesn’t have issues following something I’m super passionate about, but what about those who “have fallen off the wagon” and “can’t get back on” because they miss their favorite foods once in a while?

What if I told you there was a way to cycle carbs and live a ketogenic lifestyle and still reap the benefits of keto as far as fat loss, weight loss, and insulin resistance? Would you consider it? The requirements would be ketogenic way of eating 5-6 days a week and one cheat day with higher carbs that include your favorite foods as long as you follow the scheduled eating plan the very next day and include one workout of choice!

There is another way of going keto that doesn’t involve giving up your sweet potato fries forever: keto-cycling.

Well How would it work and does it work?

According to keto enthusiast Dr. Josh Axe, you follow two ketogenic days then a you may have a higher carb day and repeat. On your keto days you’ll eat under 30g of carbs and the carb day you may eat between 80 and 100 grams of total carbs.

When would this way of eating be acceptable?

After a complete 30 day reset of the ketogenic way of eating. This is because your body should be fat adapted to utilizing fat for fuel after 3 weeks of following a strict ketogenic diet. And of course you’ll want to stick with good-for-you carbs, this isn’t an excuse to have a cupcake free for all every few days.

Increasing your carbs a few days per week takes you out of ketosis. (This is basically the goal of the ketogenic diet—and it’s associated with benefits like increased energy, weight loss, and mental clarity.) Instead, on those days, your body ends up running on glucose from the carbs. By the second day, when you go back to eating keto, your body returns to ketosis.

“Our bodies should be like hybrid cars. It’s like driving gas and electric—we are able to burn both carbs and fat efficiently for fuel.”

It may sound counterintuitive to switch things up like this, but according to research it helps keep your metabolism sharp.

Kim Crawford, MD, is another fan of keto cycling, particularly for its gut-health benefits. “We’ve observed that long-term ketosis interrupts the mucus lining and the function of the microbiome,” she says. “We don’t know the clinical significance of this, but we do know it’s very important to have a nice mucus layer and good bacteria doing their good things.” Her version of keto cycling involves adding starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or squash, to a dinner every two weeks. “Going super-high on carbs will make it harder to get back into ketosis the next morning,” she says.

But ultimately, Dr. Axe recommends cycling because it makes keto-style eating more sustainable and less restrictive. “Getting to eat carbs two days a week is basically something to look forward to, and it allows [you] to stick to [keto dieting] more long-term,” he says. Looks like you really can have your avocado and your grain-free toast, too.

If keto cycling interests you and you want to learn more about it, please join the Bee-Xtreme Community to learn more!

Supplements recommended when keto cycling:

Xtreme Ketosis, exogenous ketones, to help your body recognize high levels of ketones in the blood and stimulating it to make more ketones to use for energy. Not everyone can follow a very strict, high fat, low carb diet. For those who have done ketosis before, they will know that when you get kicked out of ketosis, it can take awhile to get back in. Not anymore. You can use exogenous ketones to ramp your body back into ketosis quicker than it would on it’s own resources.

Using exogenous ketone supplements after a period of eating carbohydrates will tell your body that you want to be using ketones for energy instead of those carbs. Instead of eating very low carb for days, you can just take a scoop of exogenous ketones and get back into ketosis (provided you stop eating carbohydrates).

This makes it so you don’t have to go through the awful “keto flu” phase, which is where all the of the nasty side effects are.

B-Lean Xtreme

Remember when probiotics were all the rage in the health and wellness word? Digestive enzymes are quickly becoming the new probiotics.

Your body can’t directly use the food you eat without digesting it first. Chemically speaking, digestive enzymes are small, specialized proteins your digestive system produces to break down food and drinks you consume into usable macro- and micronutrients.

Your body is then able to absorb these nutrients and perform all its duties. Once any undigested food particles reach your small intestine, these enzymes come out to finish the job. They break down and convert your food and drinks into usable forms of energy.

Now, even though these enzymes surface in your small intestine (SI), most are actually produced in your pancreas and are then shipped to your SI as needed. That’s why they’re also called pancreatic enzymes.

There are several types of digestive enzymes and each one has a unique job to do.

  • Lipases, which break down fatty acids
  • Amylases and maltase, which digest starches and simple sugars
  • Peptidases and proteases, which break down proteins
  • Elastase, which process elastin and other proteins

As you can see, enzyme production is vital for optimal digestive health.

There’s also another group of people who may benefit from supplementing with digestive enzymes: new keto dieters.

Are Digestive Enzymes a Good Idea In Keto?

With a keto diet, your body not only has to adjust to a decrease in carbs, it also must figure out how to digest your increased fat and protein intake too.

Most of the time, this is no easy feat.

Many people experience the keto flu while they make the transition to keto-adaptation, and a smaller portion may even see the digestive upsets I just mentioned.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, and to avoid those uncomfortable symptoms altogether, you may want to consider supplementing with digestive enzymes — especially at the beginning, before you’re fat adapted. They can make your digestive process a lot easier.

Digestive enzymes will help your body break down the extra fat you eat and they’ll also help you absorb all the satiating nutrients hiding in that fat too.

Xtreme Collagen

Collagen is, of course, a protein, and just like any other protein, too much of it will cause you to revert from a fat-burning state to a glucose-burning state. However, collagen also has plenty of benefits that are important to keto practitioners. Collagen is rich in amino acids that are often lacking in modern diets and can go a long way toward promoting gut health, which is important for nutrient absorption.

The amount of protein found in a serving of Collagen Peptides (7 grams) is not enough to kick you out of ketosis, so you probably don’t have anything to worry about. However, if you want to stay in ketosis, it may be a good idea to add some healthy fats, such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, to your collagen. I add my collagen to my bearable bulletproof coffee.

Xtreme Electrolytes

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals found in the body and are the electrical signaling molecules used for maintaining functions within the body, such as regulating your heartbeat and allowing muscles to contract for functional movement. The most relevant electrolytes in this context are sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium.

Why is Monitoring Your Electrolytes Important?

When you shift to a ketogenic diet, your body tends to release more water as opposed to storing it. The reason being that there is less insulin produced as a result of the composition of the diet. This leads to hormonal signals via the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system signaling your kidneys to excrete MORE water and retain LESS.

Along with increased excretion of water, the minerals found in that water are lost at a higher rate.

Don’t Forget The Water!

While you need to make it a priority to keep your electrolyte intake escalated, it is also important to increase your water intake as well. With the switch to a ketogenic diet, you will probably experience increased urination during the first few days. Additionally, as mentioned before, your body does not retain water as well. Thus, it is important to keep your water intake high to ensure proper hydration.

An easy and convenient way to determine hydration status is to check the color of your urine. If it is a pale yellow or clear color, like lemonade, then the odds are that you are well hydrated. The darker it is, more like the color of apple juice, the more you may need to drink up. Whether you are preparing to embark on a ketogenic diet, or are suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms, make sure you are conscious of your electrolytes and not just the macronutrients of the foods you are consuming.


Question!

How do you feel about keto-cycling? Do you think it would work for you or do you think it would make you fall back into “old-habits”? Let us know in the comments!