Today’s Lunch: Buffalo Chicken with Cheese, Celery & Peanut Butter, and Cottage Cheese

Every now and again, I like to remind people just how easy it is to stay low-carb even when you’re at the office. While there might be a box of donuts in the break room, you can always keto on if you plan ahead. Case in point, my lunch today:

todays lunch

  • Baked chicken breast with Frank’s Buffalo Sauce and melted colby-jack cheese with ranch dressing on the side
  • Celery and peanut butter (2 tbsp of PB measured in advance)
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese (4% milkfat)
  • Powerade Zero (Fruit Punch flavor)

I cooked the chicken last night and prepared the sides this morning before leaving the house. See, preparing keto-friendly meals on the fly doesn’t have to be hard!

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PSA: Adding Gelatin to Your Keto Diet May Aid in Weight Loss

As a child, one of my favorite desserts was also jello. I loved how sugary, fruity, and…bouncy it was. When I started eating low-carb, I was happy to find out that not only does sugar-free jello exist, but it also isn’t half bad. Thus, it quickly became a staple of my keto diet for those days when I craved something sweet. I’ve been enjoying sugar-free jello for nearly two years now, but I never thought of the possibility that it might be giving my weight-loss an extra boost.

Now for today’s science lesson. Gelatin, which is found in sugar-free jello, is derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products such as skin, bones, and connective tissues. Yum!

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Gelatin is roughly 98-99% protein by dry weight. Though it has less nutritional value than other protein sources, gelatin has high amounts of glycine and proline.

Here’s where things get interesting. When consumed, glycine may promote glucagon to be released from the pancreas. What is glucagon, you ask? It’s basically the opposite of insulin.

“In place of insulin, your body will secrete a powerful hormone called glucagon, which will mobilize fatty acids and begin laying the ground work for some serious fat burning activity. And no hiding places can elude the ‘eagle eyes’ of the almighty glucagon! Cellulite (rhymes with the smell of your feet) doesn’t stand a chance against the triglycerides’ torching power of glucagon. Nor do double chins, love handles, beer bellies, bubble buns, lumpy legs, or thunder thighs.” (source)

In short, glucagon tells your fat cells to release fat, which in turn may aid and benefit in your weight loss.

Now, to be quite honest, sugar-free jello does not contain that much glycine. So if you’re looking to get directly to the source, try something like powdered gelatin or visit your local vitamin shop and purchase powdered glycine. Once you’ve got those handy, find some keto-friendly recipes that call for gelatin and see how it may benefit you.

As always, I encourage you to do your own research and consult a dietitian or doctor if you have specific questions before trying something new. 

7 Keto-Friendly Fast Food Restaurant Meals

For most of us, eating keto-friendly at home is (and should be) easy. We head to the grocery store with a food list and recipes planned out for the week, get what we need, and head back home. Simple enough. With that said, going out to eat at a restaurant can often prove to be more difficult.

We’ve all been in this situation: a friend calls you up and asks to go grab some food. Pizza place? Can’t do it. Italian? Pasta is a no-go. Mexican? Tortilla chips and rice aren’t allowed. Burgers? Buns and french fries are a problem. Clearly, making a decision that will work for both you and a friend can be tough.

The good news is that there IS a solution. We just need to think outside of the box. If you look hard enough, just about any restaurant (either fast-food or sit-down) should be able to accommodate your low-carb needs. It’s important to know that these keto-friendly options might not always be advertised, though.

Below, I’ve listed 7 keto-friendly fast food restaurant meals and how you can order them. I’ve done my best to select options from restaurants that are found commonly across the United States. Let’s eat:

1. Jimmy John’s – Unwich 

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Next time your friends want to grab some sandwiches, make sure you go to Jimmy John’s. Any of their sandwiches can be ordered as an unwhich. The unwich substitutes bread for a lettuce wrap which drastically reduces the carb count of any sandwhich. Delicious.

2. Chipotle – Salad

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Your friends are craving tacos? No problem. You’ve got this. Head to Chipotle and order yourself a salad. Throw some meat on there. Toss some cheese on there. Add guacamole and sour cream. All on a bed of a romaine lettuce. Completely filling and entirely keto-friendly.

3. Five Guys Burgers & Fries – Bacon Cheeseburger with NO Bun

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You and your pals are craving burgers? That’s easy! Head to Five Guys and order a bacon cheese burger without a bun. They’ll provide you with a hearty spread like the picture you see above. Word on the street is that extra bacon is also free, so be sure to ask for it when you order.

4. Panera – Power Breakfast Egg Bowl with Steak

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Panera may be known for their bread, but they haven’t officially left low-carb eaters out in the rain. Next time you head out of the house for breakfast, try Panera’s Power Breakfast Egg Bowl with Steak. Packed with protein, healthy fat, and only a tiny amount of carbs, this breakfast bowl proves itself to be mighty keto-friendly. If you’re at Panera for lunch or dinner, try the Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Salad.

5. KFC – Grilled Chicken 

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Kentucky Fried Grilled Chicken. While KFC has always been known for their crunchy fried chicken, they have recently begun to push their grilled chicken options more. That’s good news for people like us. As long as you have the courage to skip the mashed potatoes and biscuits, feel free to order grilled chicken next time you find yourself at a KFC and you’ll manage to escape unharmed.

6. Wendy’s – Chicken BLT Cobb Salad

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This one is easy, and I’m willing to bet that each and every one of you have a Wendy’s in or near your neighborhood. If you’re looking for a keto quick-fix that you can pick up in a drive-thru, stop at your local Wendy’s and pick up their Chicken BLT Cobb Salad. Ask for a side of full-fat ranch or blue cheese dressing.

7. Starbucks – Iced Skinny Flavored Latte

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When you find yourself feeling tired of no-bun burgers and salads and looking for a sweet treat, head to Starbucks and order iced skinny flavored latte. A tall (12oz) typically has only 9g of carbs. To reduce the carb count even further, ask your barista to substitute milk for heavy cream or half & half, as the drinks are normally made with skim or 2% milk. This is a perfect and refreshing choice on a hot summer day.

See? Finding low-carb options at restaurants may be easier than you think. Like I said, just think outside of the box and be sure to clarify your food orders with the restaurant employees in order to ensure that you keep your meals as low-carb as possible.

Do you have your own low-carb restaurant recommendations? If so, let us know in the comments below. 

5 Uses for Hemp Seed on a Low-carb Diet

I’m constantly searching for new and exciting ingredients to add to my keto diet. Variety is the spice of life, right? So every time that I’m out grocery shopping, I try to keep my eyes open for any keto-friendly item I can add to my cart.

The other day, I stumbled across a new item that I had not yet purchased before – hemp seeds. Specifically, this brand:

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Hmmm. These look interesting. Most seeds are keto-friendly, I thought. So I looked at the nutrition label:

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Boom. Do you see that?! 0g net carbs per serving. Zero! On top of that, we’re looking at a hefty amount of vitamins and protein as well. As soon as I finished studying the label, I added the package to my cart and headed to the checkout lane.

Immediately after I got home, I opened the package. Let’s peek inside:

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Like I said, I had never purchased hemp seeds before. Before I opened the bag, I noticed that the seeds inside felt a bit soft. They felt more tender than say, sunflower seeds. After opening the bag, I took in the smell with a big whiff. The aroma reminded me of peanut butter. Nutty and sweet but with a bit more earthy-ness to it.

I poured some into a small bowl:

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They almost look like tiny flower pedals, don’t they?

Less than a minute later, I found myself spooning my first sample of hemp seed into my mouth. Just as I thought, they were softer and chewier than other seeds. While the smell reminded me of peanut butter, the taste was closer to sunflower seeds. They were nutty and salty as any good seed should be.

So here I am with a full bag of hemp seeds and not a clue of what to do with them. Where do I go from here? Like any normal person, I turned to the internet. After doing a fair amount of research, I came up with a solid list of practical uses for hemp seed. Let’s take a look at 5 of my favorite uses:

1. Add them to your salad. 

Okay, so I may have stolen this idea directly from the package of seeds that I bought. But hey, it seems logical. Seeds are a perfect addition to any salad, and these little buggers would add the ideal nutty zip.

2. Add them to your (full-fat) yogurt. 

The package also recommends adding them to your favorite yogurt. Be sure to go with a full-fat brand of yogurt without any sugar added. Try tossing a few raspberries in for added sweetness.

3. Make hemp seed pesto. 

Wonderful, wonderful, pesto. The great green goodness. Bob’s Red Mill recommends adding hemp seed to pesto for added flavor and nutrients. Check out a recipe here.

4. Sprinkle them on your avocado. 

Try sprinkling hemp seeds directly onto our favorite low-carb super food, the avocado. They should compliment each other quite well.

5. Eat them raw. 

That’s right, I said it! Open the bag and spoon them directly into your mouth. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a quick, nutty seed snack. Did I just say quick nutty seed snack?

You are now ready to head out to your local natural food store to pick up your own bag of hemp seeds. Just be aware that you should refrigerate the package after opening, and you should be good to go!

How do you use hemp seeds? Let us know in the comments below. 

Cheesy Buffalo Scrambled Eggs – Made in a Coffee Mug!

breakfast

George Michael wasn’t wrong.

One of my favorite parts of the Keto Diet is that I consistently wake up full of energy and ready to take the day on. On the weekends, I go crazy over decadent omelettes, piles of bacon, almond flour pancakes, and other morning treats. But on weekdays? That’s another story.

We all know this routine too well. Wake up, let the dogs out, take a shower, brush your teeth, and get dressed just to make it out of the house by 7:00am. That doesn’t leave much time for a hearty breakfast, does it? But if you’re like me, skipping breakfast altogether isn’t an option. So we just need to get creative.

Any low-carber should be aware of the benefits and versatility of eggs. These mighty things are perfect. Your typical egg has only 70 calories, 0g carbs, and still manages to pack in 5g of fat. And they’re a breakfast staple. So rather than waiting until the weekend to eat my eggs, I searched for a quicker way to make them during the work week.

I decided to look to my almighty microwave. I thought to myself, why turn the stove on and dirty a skillet when I could just zap my eggs in a minute flat? So I decided to go with it. Without a further ado, I present to you – Cheesy Buffalo Scrambled Eggs, made in a coffee mug:

What you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shredded cheese (any kind, but I recommend colby-jack)
  • Your favorite buffalo wing sauce (I prefer Frank’s)

Directions: 

Step 1: Crack your eggs directly into a coffee mug

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Step 2: Using a fork, whisk up the eggs. They’re ready when they look like this.

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Step 3: Place the mug into your microwave and cook for 1.5 – 2 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.

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Step 4: Remove the mug from the microwave. CAUTION: IT MAY BE HOT! Your eggs should look like this.

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Step 5: Add dashes of salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle on your desired amount of cheese. Using a fork, mix everything together.

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Step 6: After mixing the eggs, salt & pepper, and cheese, add your buffalo or hot sauce:

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Step 7: Mix in the sauce. The final product should look like this.

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And just like that, your cheesy buffalo scrambled eggs are ready to eat. Plus, you only have a coffee mug and a fork to clean! Enjoy!