Easy Ways to Make Keto Simplified
If this headline caught your eye, you’re probably looking for some inspiration in following a keto friendly diet. It might be because you’re new to the keto lifestyle, and possibly feeling a little overwhelmed with the change, or maybe you’ve fallen into a bit of a rut and need some inspiration to simplify your diet. We get it! Changing your diet can be tough, especially when it goes along with essentially reprogramming your mind and the way you think about food. A ketogenic diet is very different from the standard American diet we were taught growing up (anybody else remember the gigantic space grain took up on the food pyramid??) and it can be a bit daunting to make the switch. Not only that, but it seems like life just keeps getting busier and busier these days, and sometimes you just want to take some of the guesswork out of what you eat to make life a little less overwhelming, but still keep in line with your dietary goals. Plus, there are easy ways to make keto simplified as you'll soon find out.
As you likely know, the focus of a keto diet is on eating foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat. This helps the body maintain ketosis, which means that your body uses up its stored glucose before turning to the burning of fat rather than carbohydrates for energy, releasing acids called ketones. This threshold of low carbohydrates and high fats needs to be maintained consistently in order to reap these benefits. To properly follow a keto diet, your calorie intake should look like this:
- 5 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates (such as non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens)
- 20 percent of calories should come from protein, such as meat, eggs and cheese.
- 75 percent of calories should come from fats like oils, nuts, butter and avocados.
If you’re not used to eating this way, it can be intimidating to start - but like anything else, the more you get used to it the easier it is.
So, How Can You Simplify Your Keto Diet?
Like anything else, when it comes to following a keto diet, a little preparation goes a long way! Any way of eating is going to seem more difficult when you’re constantly flying by the seat of your pants on the way out the door and wondering what on earth you’re going to pack for lunch or make for dinner when you get home. A little bit of meal prep and planning can really take the pressure off - once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably wonder why you were so overwhelmed in the first place! First, let’s discuss a few easy meal planning tips to give you some inspiration.
Precook Meat and Meal Prep
Chicken is high in protein, and while it’s lower in fat than some other meats, it can be paired easily with lots of other keto-friendly foods, and is versatile in lots of different meals. Once you have your shredded chicken ready, here are some great options for quick keto meals:
- Mix in a keto friendly mayo and some spices for a quick chicken salad - serve atop ready-washed greens for a quick salad or with keto bread (more on that later!) for a filling sandwich
- Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta, and cooks in the microwave in under 5 minutes - top cooked spaghetti squash “noodles” with chicken and a store bought or homemade-in-advance keto friendly pasta sauce
- Top pre-washed spinach or spring greens with shredded chicken, cheese, nuts, and avocado for a delicious and filling ketogenic salad
Likewise, pre-cooking beef can open up the meal possibilities during the week. We love pre-cooking some ground beef. It can be used for lots of different meals, like homemade keto-friendly spaghetti sauce served with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, or a taco salad with chopped olives, fresh greens, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.
Chop Veggies Ahead of Time
Let’s be honest - sometimes prep work in the kitchen takes even longer than actually cooking the meal. Chopping vegetables definitely fits into that category, and it can seem easier to reach for a less nutritious substitute if you’re short on time or energy. Doing some of this prep work ahead of time makes it way easier to stay on task. Choose several veggies for your weekly menu, and chop them ahead of time. This makes it super easy to reach for some veggie sticks and keto-friendly dip for a snack, or to throw pre-chopped vegetables onto a baking sheet for roasting, or into a salad. If you’re following keto strictly, you’ll want to make sure that the veggies you’re prepping are keto-friendly. We found an easy graphic here to help make your planning even easier.
Boil Eggs for High Protein and Quick Keto Snacks
Hard boiled eggs are ridiculously easy to make, and they make a perfect grab-and-go quick keto snack. They can be eaten as-is, made into egg salad for use as a meal or a veggie dip, or chopped up and used as protein filler for salads. If you want to get fancy, you can make deviled eggs to have on hand for a low carb snack, but a regular hard boiled egg is easy if you’re looking to simplify things.
Find Keto-Friendly Products that Make Cooking Easier
Meal prep is going to revolutionize your keto diet. Another way to always make sure you’re prepared is to invest in keto-friendly products that take the guesswork out of cooking. We created our Grain4Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix so that consumers following a keto diet could still enjoy their favorite breakfast foods easily. Similarly, our Chili Paprika and Lemon Pepper Seasoned Coatings make cooking up a batch of fried chicken, chicken tenders, or chicken wings super simple and keto friendly!
Following a new diet doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and these simple prep tips will hopefully give you some meal prep inspiration and the pressure out of starting or maintaining a keto diet. Once you get used to doing a bit of prep work ahead of time and find some favorite keto recipes to have on hand during the week, we think you’ll find that following a keto lifestyle is much simpler and delicious than you think!