Going Keto?

This is a quick quide on how to get started.


What is Keto?

Step 1 – Accept that you’ve been lied to you entire life.

American Food Pyramid

Keto Food Pyramid

Step 2 – Now what are you going to do about it?

So where to begin?

Side effects?

Carbing up Or Carb Loading

How to know you are in ketosis?

Artificial Ketones

Favorite Recipes

Pizza crust

Hamburger pizza

No lettuce Salad

Polish sausage and kale soup

Detox Pina Colada Smoothie

Keto Food List

Step 3 – Listen to your body!

Step 4 – Get educated!

What is Keto?

A ketogenic diet where you re-teach your body to use fat energy versus glucose energy. I am not a medical specialist or a nutritionist, but I’ve done a lot of research. Encourage all to do their own research.

If you think of the macros we digest (carbohydrates, fat and protein) and how our body uses them my logical conclusion is that most of us should be living a keto lifestyle. If you eat too many carbs or glucose, how does your body store them? It turns them to fat. Why? Because we were never made to store glucose. It is not an ancestral genetic trait we have been handed down. If you look at history, diabetes (sugar sickness) started with only the wealthy who could afford rich sweet food. As sugar industry made its way into everything packaged, we are now a country full of diabetes and diseases.

Why do we store fat? Our body’s energy source is called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). Fat is your body’s preferred energy source because 1 molecule of fat = 140 molecules of ATP. Research the mitochondria and how it works. One molecule of glucose can only make 38 molecules of ATP and that is only when the glucose makes it to the mitochondria. Our bodies are so full of glucose thanks to the advised America diet that a lot of our glucose is converted in the cytoplasm of the cell and doesn’t even make it to the mitochondria (1 glucose=2 ATP). Who eats an apple and is starving a few minutes later? I am certainly.

Conclusion – My body stores fat as back up energy. My cells can get the most energy from a molecule of fat than anything else. Why don’t I eat more fat???? Why am I consuming so much glucose (breads, pasta, sugar, fruit, etc.)?

Note - This is not the atkins diet. This isn’t eat as much fat and as much animal fat and nothing else. That can still make you sick as well. You want a well-balanced diet of good fats, meats/proteins, veggies and occasional fruit.

Step 1 – Accept that you’ve been lied to you entire life.

I feel appalled by the American food pyramid and what it teaches. Let’s reverse it!

American Food Pyramid


Keto Food Pyramid


*These images were found online and not created by myself

Step 2 – Now what are you going to do about it?

There is so much information about going Keto that it is hard to tell you where you should begin. So I’ll just tell you were I began.

I don’t consider myself a big eater… by that I mean I don’t typically over eat. I eat relatively healthy, but I work a desk job and seem to never get enough exercise. Since having my 3 kids I’ve done the following with varying results:

1) Went Vegan for 4 months and lost maybe 3-4 lbs. I was hungry, miserable and had low energy.

I do love watching fullyrawkristina and all her amazing ideas on vegan food

2) Ate well and exercised twice a day for a year. In the mornings, I did work out videos like T25, Brazilian butt lift… and in the afternoon, I walked. I got my fitbit that year and made sure to get 10k steps every day. Within the entire year I might have lost 10-12 lbs. I firmed up some, but no it didn’t seem like much progress for the amount of effort I was putting into it. Smoothies, health foods, green drinks, etc.

3) I went gluten free for 8 months and lost approximately a pound a month. I did see my energy levels improve, my skin clear up and general stomach discomfort disappear. From those results I was sure I was gluten sensitive.

4) I’ve juiced for weeks at a time and may have lost 1lb if any during those durations.

5) I’m a huge fan of intermediate fasting (IF). I started this a few years ago and it has promising results. A good book to read is The Fast Diet. There is so much research on fasting and illness. This doctor does 5 days on and 2 days off. I usually pick days when my schedule is so packed it is hard to get a bite in anyways. With Keto, IF is amazingly easy. I don’t recommend starting this right off. Take your time and listen to your body. I typically now just fast a dinner once or twice a week. Because that gets me an extended fasting period with no misery.

So where to begin?

Start slowly and remember how you want to begin is up to you. You don’t have to do everything at once. You don’t have to buy everything I use to start.

I started with a 3-day detox. I really like Danette May and her programs. She has good information and a lot of her recipes can be made fully keto (most of them are already). This cut carbs from my diet (at least the bad ones) and I still enjoyed some fruit and detox benefits while starting transition. How are you feeling? Energy high or low? If you do any detox there are usually some bowel elimination affects so don’t be worried.

What I believe is key to my success is the bulletproof or butter coffee. Yes, it sounds gross. But it isn’t. Everyone does his or hers a little different. Google or youtube it and look at the different recipes. Even if you don’t like coffee, I still recommend this. I have friends who started doing this just because it fuels their day and they feel so great (even though they don’t like coffee). This is what I like in one cup of coffee (can have up to 2 cups a day):

  1. 1 tsp Ghee. I like SurySpa, but it is pricey. Trader Joes has one for $10-15. Go for grass fed, organic. Ghee has a very caramelized nutty flavor (doesn’t taste like butter). You can even make your own (butter and cheese cloth is all you need). This health foodie blog has it documented the same way I make it.

  2. 1 tsp Coconut oil – can get any brand, but go organic.
  3. Sprinkle turmeric (for all its many health reasons).
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon (for taste) or any other flavor you like.
  5. Sprinkle cacao powder (100% dark chocolate powder – get organic, no sugar).
  6. 1 tsp Collagen – Collagen and hyaluronic acid can be bought separately or you can buy together from your favorite supplement brand. This is completely optional. Both are good for skin and to prevent sagging skin with excessive weight loss.
  7. 1/8 tsp hyaluronic acid
  8. Note – the above works for me, but your taste buds might need something else. I mix it up by using different flavor extracts (vanilla, coconut, almond, etc.), any seasoning you love (pumpkin spice, cardamom, etc.), unsweet coconut or almond milk, etc.
  9. BLEND IT – it is most delicious if you put in a mixer and make it frothy. Just stirring it does not have the desired blend. Drink hot!

    Try it for a few days. How does it make you feel? Do you feel amazing, have more energy and feel full and have to try to remember to eat lunch? Does your hair and skin already feel better?

If just adding some fat to your diet feels that good, then start cutting the carbs. I think it is important once you make this decision to go all in for a few weeks. You want your body to understand it is completely transitioning and not getting the glucose. It needs to know fat is the source of energy so don’t be cheating and tricking it. Also realize with sugar and carbs being cut out you are now doing through a sugar detox. You may feel sluggish the first week or so and the more carbs you cheat with the worst you will feel. Don’t go over 50 grams of carbs in this transition period. You can do it! And if you feel tired up your fat intake. Google fat bomb recipes and see all the madness that’s been cooked up for sugar free indulgence.

Decide what works for you with other food. I do dairy free except for cheese. Maybe some day I’ll want to cut this out, but it hasn’t happened yet. See what works for you.

I like to track my food (and exercise) because I am trying to lose the most amount of weight healthily as I can. I use MyFitnessPal app since it already has all the food ready for adding plus the nutrition option shows the macros (bonus it syncs with FitBit).


If you are unsure what you should be eating for your macros, calculate them with this trusty calculator. Know that the more you work out the more protein you will need. However, if you aren’t working out then you will need less protein. Your body is smart. If you have tons of extra protein, it will try to turn it to glucose to get rid of it fast (because it can’t store excess protein either). I’ve tried a bunch of different protein powders. Isopure has zero carbs, but has Splenda (can order from amazon). Weslap.com has carb free and stevia sweetened protein powders and well as Jay Robb protein powders. Protein bars I’ve found with low net carbs (can subtract fiber and erythritol from total carbs) are Quest, B-UP and D’s Naturals. Find what works for you.

Will eating Keto cost me a fortune? No, I probably save money even with the ghee and protein power. I don’t have to buy myself any carbs, breads, pastas… Quest bars are at Walmart. I buy a lot from amazon and jet.com. Ordering is just easier for me with the kids.

What do I eat?

o I start every day with bulletproof coffee. If you are caffeine sensitive, do decaf or try in your favorite tea or in a warm cup of water.

o I don’t eat breakfast often, but if I do I usually do 2-3 eggs and 1-2 bacon/sausage.

o I try to work out daily so I usually have a protein shake. My favorite recipe:

2 cups unsweet coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp unsweet coconut flakes

½ cup ice

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

Side effects?

o What do I snack on when I need a quick fix? Pepperoni, string cheese, nuts…. All make you full fast.

o Typical dinners are meat with veggies. Or salad with veggies/meat. Do fresh or frozen. No meats are off the table. Do full fat ranch and cheese.

o Add as much avocado and coconut to your life as you can stand. I love them so much I’m not sure I can get enough!

o You will not feel deprived. You will feel fuller than you probably ever have.

o After a while consider some practices of carbing up and intermediate fasting.

o MCT Oil is a good fat you can throw in foods. Shakes, etc. to up the fat content with no taste.

o Drink hot tea. Seriously, Oolong tea takes you more calories to burn than it has in it. There are so many deliciously flavored teas that have very little to zero calories. These are like desserts to me. Some of my favorites:

Good Earth Sweet and Spicy (at Kroger and probably the best tea I’ve ever had)

Yogi Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life

Stash Oolong Chocolate mint

Bigelow Salted caramel (yes – salted caramel!)

Skinnymint.com has two detox teas that taste good.

A morning boost

A bi-daily night cleanse. Any tea with senna leave will invoke a cleanse of the bowels. Zija has a version that my system can’t handle, but the skinnymint is very mild.

o Lily’s chocolate – this chocolate is most cacao powder (dark chocolate) and sweetened with stevia. Don’t go crazy for there are some carbs, but a little goes a long way when you are just throwing a little in coffee or making fat bombs or just need a bite of chocolate.

o Before bed do a warm cup of water with half a lemon, up to two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (with mother root) and pinch of cayenne pepper.

o Well after a while you won’t crave sugar at all. Which I find strange. I loved sweet tea and it is weird that I don’t even care about it. Unsweet all the way.

o Your taste buds get super sensitive to any sugar. I had cottage cheese the other day and it was so sweet I almost couldn’t eat it. I have never enjoyed fruit in my cottage cheese. I had to put in hot sauce just to stomach it.

o Your insulin and hormones will regulate.

o You may no longer have heavy periods with lots of cramping or your periods may regulate.

o Some people who cut too many carbs for too long have some hair loss issue. That’s why it is important to listen to your body. It was four months with almost no carbs in my diet before I saw this affect. This is fixed by Carbing up Or Carb Loading.

o Insulin causes your kidneys to hold sodium. If you are on keto, your insulin goes down and so does the storage of salt. SO EAT SALT! I’ve just been doing table salt and Himalayan Pink Salt comes highly recommended.

o I do take a supplement for zinc and magnesium. I’m taking ZMA.

o Electrolytes can go low on keto, but I’ve not yet had this issue. There are MIO’s with electrolytes too but I try to stay away from Splenda when possible.

o Recommended to drink an ounce of water a day for every pound you weigh. Stay hydrated.

Carbing up Or Carb Loading

Once you are in ketosis and have been that way a few weeks then you can start carbing up. This means once a week add more good carbs to your diet (more fruit). It is also recommended to do this for dinner to help with melatonin production for a good night’s sleep. I love to do a Detox Pina Colada Smoothie, a green drink, fruited chicken salad (grapes, green apples, walnuts) on spinach leaves with strawberries as ways of carbing up. Walmart has a Purely Inspired Organic Green powder that is not expensive and has a good taste.

How to know you are in ketosis?

There are breath test, blood test, urine test…. The cheapest of all is the urine strips. You do not have to check. However, when I was first starting I was not sure if I was in ketosis or not so I would test. I got some cheap test strips from amazon.

Artificial Ketones

They can be expensive, but I did try 3 day sample of Keto OS. It was amazing. I’d like to get more for pre-workout. It ups the amount of ketones in your system so can burn even more fat during a workout.

Do your research. There are mixed reviews on if you are truly already in ketosis then adding articifical ketones can actually slow ketosis. However, if you eat a high carb diet these are more than you would be getting otherwise.

Favorite Recipes

Pizza crust – I’ve blended a couple different recipes I’ve found for a delicious pizza crust that is really easy to make. Use it for any of your favorite pizzas. I like mine best with cheese, or margherita style and also hamburger pizza.

2 oz cream cheese

½-1 cup of mozzarella cheese 1 egg

¼-1/2 cup almond flour

½ grinded cauliflower Salt


Italian seasonings (oregano, basil, parsley – whatever you have) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash cauliflower and throw in blender for fine pieces. Sometimes I put a little avocado oil for taste and to help it move easier.

Put in a bowl cheese and melt in microwave a few seconds (20 for instance). Take out and stir. If need to melt more put back in microwave. Don’t heat for too long at once or will burn the cheese (like melting chocolate in microwave). Could also do on stove if preferred.

Stir in the remaining ingredients to the melted cheese. Once combines, place on a sprayed baking sheet.

Bake 5-10 minutes (until crust is getting golden). Then top as desired and bake to melt cheese.

Hamburger pizza

Keto crust

1 pound hamburger Jar of dill sliced pickles

Jar of tartar sauce (or make your own) Shredded lettuce

Shredded cheddar cheese Make a keto crust above.

Brown a pound of hamburger with whatever seasonings you like (onion, garlic, pack of dry ranch, Worcestershire or liquid amino – whatever you have).

Top crust with layer of tartar sauce, then hamburger followed by lettuce, pickles and top with cheddar.

Bake on 425 until cheese melted.

No lettuce Salad

Avocado Tomato Boiled Eggs

Fresh mozzarella cheese

Wash and cut tomato. Cut avocado, cheese and eggs. Top with salt, pepper and olive oil. Also can optionally add a pesto dressing. So easy, delicious and quick.

Polish sausage and kale soup

  1. pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices 2 medium onions, chopped

  2. tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch kale, trimmed and torn

4 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 bay leaves

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth

Optional: liquid aminos or Worcestershire.

Optional: I like to add a little nutmeg and dry mustard to any greens cooked.

Slice and brown polish sausage. Add all other ingredients to a pot. Boil until vegetables tenders. Eat!

Detox Pina Colada Smoothie

½ cup kale or spinach

1 cup coconut milk or coconut water or plain water 1 tsp coconut oil

½ cucumber

½ cup fresh pineapple Fresh lime (optional) Ice (optional)

Blend in blender until all mixed. Taste like a pina colada. You will not even notice all the healthy greens.

Keto Food List


Step 3 – Listen to your body!

Change one thing at a time or dive in head first. Whatever you prefer and works for you. Be aware that you’ll have sugar detox and may not feel that great at first. You’re body has to transition itself to being a fat burning energy machine.

In a couple of weeks get your labs checked. Remember there are two types of LDL’s and only if LP(a) is high should LDL be a worry.

How are you feeling? If you feel great, keep going!

Step 4 – Get educated!

Do a little research. It never hurts to learn as much as possible.

These are some great informative videos:
Starting Keto
Fat Adaption
Keto and Cancer

Here are my favorite bloggers/websites:
Healthful Pursuit
Keto Connect

Pinterest is full of keto recipes and ideas.

Happy Health!
Tasha Hammond