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Keto Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast food is hands down my favorite food!  The issue is I never want to wake up and dirty my kitchen first thing in the morning, which is why I started to make these breakfast casseroles.  I would make them the night before and keep them in the fridge.  In the morning I would let my dog out, pre heat the oven, shower while the oven is heating, put the casseroles in and get dressed while they warm up in the oven.  It added 5 minutes to my morning routine and allowed me to have breakfast with only creating four  dirty dishes: our casserole pans and our forks.

This recipe is completely keto!  It may differ in nutrients depending on the brand you use which is why I am not putting a nutrition panel on this post.  You can always switch out the meat, or add more meats, and low carb veggies.

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Serves: 2 ( or as many as you split)

Ingredients:
• 6 oz of Sausage (I use Tennessee Pride Spicy)
• 6 Eggs
• 1/2 C diced onion (I used frozen pre-diced Meijer brand)
• 1/2 C Died Green Pepper (I used frozen pre-diced Meijer brand)
• 4 Cloves of Garlic Minced
• 1 1/2 C Cheddar Cheese
• 1/2 C heavy cream
• Salt and Pepper to taste

Toppings (optional):
• Chives thinly sliced
• Sour Cream
• More cheese!

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375; meanwhile start the garlic in a medium pan on the stove top until fragrant.
2. Add In the sausage to the pan until fully cooked, then add in the peppers and onions.
3. Meanwhile in a bowl whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, 1 cup cheddar cheese and salt/pepper.
4. Get a small casserole pan and spray it with olive oil. I used two small bakeware pans instead of one.
5. Add in the sausage/pepper mix to the pan(s) and then add in the egg mixture. Top off with the rest of the cheddar cheese.
6. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes (or until done).
7. Top with sour cream and chives then enjoy, or keep in fridge until ready to eat then preheat oven to 350 and warm up for ten minutes then top and enjoy!
This recipe is great for meal prepping! I usually make a couple serving at a time in individual serving size pans and just have to heat them up in the morning.

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Featured

Keto Peanut Butter Fat Bars

I love keto, but my sweet tooth is HUGE!  I love sweets and these fat bars are the perfect treat for after dinner.  They are full of fat (8g to be exact!) with less than 1g of carbs per serving.   I found these on another blog and slightly modified it.  The original version had only 8 servings but I like to make it into 16.  If you decide 8 servings is better for you then just double the nutritional information per serving.

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Keto Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup of Almond Flour
  • 1/3 Cup of Stevia
  • 1/2 Cup of Mara Natha Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2oz (1/2 stick) of Butter (softened or melted)
  • 1/2 Cup of Lilly’s Dark Chocolate Chips Sweetened With Stevia
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Vanilla *Optional*
  • You will need parchment paper too!

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  1. Mix the almond flour, stevia, PB, and butter together in a bowl.  I used a mixer but hand mixing is okay too!
  2. Take a 6″ baking pan and put parchment paper in the bottom.
  3. Evenly spread the base mixture in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Melt the chocolate chips in the mircrowave for 30 seconds, stir.  Then 10 second intervals until melted and make sure you stir in between.
  5. Evenly spread the melted chocolate over the top of the base.
  6. Freeze!  I did over night but a couple hours will do.
  7. Break into 16 even pieces.

 

 

Featured

The Beginning of My Keto Journey

As of yesterday I started my journey into the ketogenic diet!  I have always been fascinated by the human body and how it uses nutrition to sustain life.  Growing up I took all of the nutrition classes that I could in school and read (even though I’m not a big reader) as much as I could put out by Dietitians of America.  Now I can look back and say that from what I have researched on the American diet most of it is bull shit.  It has been based on false hypothesises created by Ancel Keys.

I watched the document on Netflix called The Magic Pill.  It is all about the science behind keto and why a high carbohydrate diet isn’t always safe.  I am not a firm believer that carbs are the devil, and I think when found in whole foods they can be very safe in moderation.  However,  I do believe that the American diet is full of unrefined sugar which is very dangerous to our health.

When looking at the breakdown and how our body works it makes sense that we can sustain a very healthy life using fat as our main source of energy.  Our body can either use carbs or fats as a main source of energy.  When using carbs we are actually using glucose for energy, and when using fat we use ketones as energy.  Once our body switches over to using fat as a main source of energy it is known as being in Ketosis.  Also fun fact:  all of the cells in our body are made up of fat!  So when we deprive our body of healthy fat we are doing a lot of damage because we are not giving our bodies the fundamental building blocks to build and rebuild cells.

Switching to a keto diet for me is for weight loss.  Over the past year or two I have gained about 10-15 pounds of unwanted weight.  Thankfully, I am not doing this diet change alone and Stephen is joining me.  I am NOT an expert of the ketogenic diet so please keep that in mind, but I do understand the breakdown of nutritionist in our bodies.  What happens when we deprive our bodies of carbohydrates is that the glycogen storage in the liver begins to break down for us to use as fuel.  Once our glycogen storage is depleted then our body will start to breakdown our fat storage to burn as fuel.  Our body does this through what is called beta-oxidation which creates Acetyl Co-A which creates Ketones that can then convert (in a series of steps) into ATP(fuel) for our body to sustain life.

From what I have been researching there are so many other health benefits of a ketogenic diet, but I will not be posting on these until I completely understand them.

My first day of keto went really well and for dinner I made a Keto Stuffed Chicken that I will post the recipe for on a later day.  The macro ratio that I am starting out with is 10% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 70% fat.  These are my daily goals:

  • Caloric Daily Intake: 1,610 Cal.
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Protein: 81g
  • Fat: 125g

Again, I am LEARNING about ketogenic diets while I take my journey and I am have so many questions that I hope to answer in blog posts later.

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Featured

Clearwater Beach, FL

Florida is one of my favorite places to visit and one of my favorite things to do when I travel is EAT.  I love food!  In my day to day life I try to eat pretty clean but when on vacations I will consume just about anything.  I traveled with two pre-teens so all of these recommendations were family friendly.

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Food

While in Clearwater I ate at a lot of good eats up and down the beach area and when I Blog-1764ventured into St. Petersburg.  Besides the places mention in this blog post I also had enjoyable experiences at Cooters; Jimmy’s Fish House and Iguana Bar; Saki Sushi & Hibachi and The Donut Experiment.

The first night we got in pretty late and it was hard to find a late night bite at 11pm that allowed kids was hard to find.  We eventually found a joint called The The Brown Boxer Pub & Grille; it wasn’t exactly family friendly but they had the best chicken nachos I have ever had.   We ate there twice.  The first time our service was pretty iffy at the fault of the waiter, and the second time we had great service.  Both times we had the chicken nachos, and let me tell you they are AMAZING!  I ate the fish tacos the first time around and the second time we all got fish and chips. P.S. They are dog friendly!

 

My favorite breakfast spot would have to be Another Broken Egg Cafe!  This place was absolutely adorable an had large windows that opened so you could be immersed in the beautiful weather.  The menu is a breakfast lovers dream and a reasonable price.  My first experience there I had the Lemon Blueberry Goat Cheese Pancakes with a side of the best sausage I have ever had!  I also had a grapefruit mimosa.  My second time visiting I had the Pancake Trio with the Banana Foster (my second favorite), Peach Cobbler and the Lemond Blueberry Goat Cheese Pancakes; again with the best sausage I have ever had.

 

If you are looking for a buffet styled meal I highly recommend Shepard’s Ocean Flame.  We went for dinner one night outside on the patio, and to our surprise the tiki bar that was attached to the hotel had an outdoor band playing that night.  We got the best of both worlds: a great buffet dinner (with crab legs) and entertainment of the outdoor stage.  The buffet was very good and everything was very fresh; we also paid the up-charge for crab legs which were maid fresh for every order.

One day we took a trip down to the St. Petersburg are for the shopping area Johns Pass and the Sunken Gardens; on the way back up we stopped at a higher end restaurant RumFish Grill.  It was one of the coolest places I have ever been, and you may have even see on the show Tanked.  In their main dinning room they have a 33,500 sq. ft. fish tank that you can reserve swim times in!  Sadly, I didn’t get to swim in the tank, but I am putting it on my bucket list.  They also have Guy Harvey’s, a Jamaican wildlife artist, art all over the restaurant.  Our appetizer was the Smoked Fish Dip which was delicious!  My brother had the RumFish “Cioppino” which was very good.  I had two apps as my main meal I had the Tuna Poke and Muscles which were great.  It was on the pricey side, but if you’re looking for a nice meal I would recommend it!

 

During out stay we had a nice hotel and a nice pool, but the hotel next to us had a roof Blog-1771top pool with a bar.  So, the boys and I snuck into their pool.  They had two pools one large on in the center of the roof top and one that meets the edge of the roof.   The bar they had was very nice and I am not much of a drinker, but I found my new favorite drink!  They called it a Twisted Bellini; it was made of Prosecco, Titos vodka and Peach Snaps.  During our visit to the neighbor pool we tried their Buffalo Chicken Dip which is one of my favorite appetizers and they definitely met my standards of BCD.

On my last day of the trip I finally got the tacos I was looking for, and I only found them at one place Crabby’s Bar & Grill.  Everyone in my party was looking for Mahi-Mahi tacos with a mango pico de gallo on top, and oh boy!  We found them!  I also had a mimosa to accompany my tacos.  I would say best tacos on the beach hands down.  My other favorite part of the deck area was that they had hibiscus flowers, and I stole one for my hair.  We enjoyed the joint so much that we even bought a shirt.  Best way to end my vacation was enjoying the early afternoon at Crabby’s.

 

Things to Do

On our first full day on Clearwater Beach we went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  It was a very fun day trip, but maybe would have been more suitable for younger children.  We still enjoyed ourselves watching the dolphin show and exploring the many rooms of the aquarium.  We saw Winter the tailless dolphin and in their enclosures after the show they were all happily performing their tricks.  My two favorite parts: the dolphin show (warning you will get soaked) and the stingray enclosure.   In the stingray enclosure you can not only watch, but you can stick your hand in the tank which lets the stingrays graze around your hands.

 

The boys favorite part of the vacation was hands down the jet ski tours guided by H20 Jet Ski Rentals.  We rented two ski’s.  Thankfully my jet ski did not flip, but the other ski we rented flipped so hard it through both passengers a good 50 yards.  However, they said it was the best part of the whole trip.  I don’t remember who our guide was, a younger dude, but he was a great guide.  He knew where the sand bars were so we could avoid them, as well as how fast we could take turns and even hit some waves that made us jump.  I would not say this would be the best option for kids 8 and under; but if they are older it should really be the only option of rental places.  We played follow the leader until we got out the open ocean and then we got to play in the open area for about 30 minutes, we then played follow the leader back to the dock.  I have been on a few jet ski tours and this trip topped all of them.  It was all they talked about the rest of the trip, the plane ride home, and once they got back to their houses.  We had a blast.

One of the days we took a day trip down to the St. Petersburg area to check out someClearwaterApril2018-4977 different check points along the way to Sunken Gardens.  We stopped by Johns Pass to do some shopping; the shopping area here was definitely the coolest walking district in the Tampa area.  I stopped by a spice and tea shop to pick up souvenirs, as well as a couple of small jewelry shops.  We had ice cream at small ice cream parlor down there that I cannot think of the name, but they had this awesome mermaid painting on their wall.  We walked along the board walk area for a while, and if you need to do some souvenir shopping I highly recommend this area.

I will save my favorite part for last which was Sunken Gardens.  This site was one of the things I wanted to tour around so badly, and I am so happy that I got the chance.  The garden was founded by a local plumber, George Turner, Sr.,  in 1906 when the property was bought.  In the 1920’s he started charging his neighbors to walk through his beautiful garden that was full of tropical plants and flowing rivers.  The garden was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in real life.  The photos do not give it justice to its true beauty.  If you are a gardener like myself or just enjoy tropical foliage, then the Sunken Garden needs to be a stop on your next vacation to the Tampa area.

 

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Healthy Banana Bread

Growing up some of my fondest memories include baking with my family; or should I say eating all of the baked goods after with my family while we enjoy a TV show or a movie.  We didn’t stay still for a long time, so this was a much needed time for rest in our busy lives.  My favorite part about baking was giving it to family and friends as gifts; it is crazy how much joy those cookie dough truffles I created would bring to someone’s face.

*maybe one day I will post my cookie dough truffles recipe

I was very young when I decided I wanted to go into the health and fitness industry about 14 or 15 when I made my mind up.  Every single nutrition class I could fit into my school schedule I took until there were no more classes left for my school to offer me.  So, I took an independent study my senior year.  All of these classes I learned more and more about the harsh effects that sugar natural and artificial sugar had on the body.  As I got older, I took more classes read more books, and gained experience learned how grey nutrition was.  There was no black and white and staying on an extremely strict diet was very hard to do.  All most people can afford to do is make the best choices when given the options.  With that being said one tradeoff I cannot afford to lose is baking.   Especially baking banana bread, and like I said before all anyone can do is make the best choices when given the options.

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Some options that I chose will be vegetable oil instead of butter; honey, instead of sugar; water, instead of milk; and I add ginger because it gives it that extra pow pow.

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Today I am going to be making banana bread with the best options that I currently have at my house under this stay home order.   I have looked at so many banana bread recipes, so I picked out what I liked and added in what else was around.  If you enjoy my recipe, please share it with a friend and leave a comment below.

Healthy Banana Bread

Serves 8 | Prep Time 15 minutes | Total Time 1 hour and 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup vegetable oil

½ cup of honey

¼ cup of water

3 mashed ripe bananas

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of ground ginger

1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5 pan
  2. Mash your bananas with a fork and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix together oil and honey. Once it has combined beat in eggs, banana and milk one at a time.
  4. Add in baking soda, vanilla, salt, and spices at once and mix together with a whisk.
  5. Then slowly fold in the flour with a large spatula.
  6. Add in any additional mix-ins.
  7. Pour batter into your bread pans. Add any additional garnishments.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until fully baked. Test with a toothpick.
  9. Let cool and enjoy!
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KetoCoffee It Works!

So today I tried the KetoCoffee from it works that I got from a friend who sells it, and now I will share with you my 100% honest opinion.  Also, when you read the package you will see there is 3g of carbs and 2g of protein.  The company claimed it wouldn’t break my fast and raise my blood sugar but I didn’t believe them until I put it to the test.  I took my blood sugar before, 15 minutes after and about 1 hour after; guess what?  My fasting blood sugar only went up by 2 points but I think it was just from being an hour deeper into my fast.  In my opinion (which remember I am not a medical professional), I would say it is KETO APPROVED!

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Taste:

Wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t my favorite either.  You mix it with 6-8 oz so you can guzzle it down pretty fast without a bad taste.

Texture:

I prepared mine cold which made it a little thick.  I think if I were to add in more water or use hot water the texture would be fine.

Convince:

The convince of this was my favorite part!  I 100% will be buying a package of this in the future simply for days that making a pot of coffee and using the blender just isn’t in the time frame.  Or for vacations.  If you are into intermitted fasting with bulletproof coffee then these are a MUST for quick mornings.

Price:

They are not badly priced for a pack of 15 it is $39.00.  For vacationing and convince they are worth the price.  Or you can get a pack of 4 (60 packets) for $117 which saves you $39!

Overall:

Looking at the big picture I will be buying a pack in the future, but not for everyday use.  I will mainly be getting these for when I travel or for the days I miss my alarm and making coffee isn’t an option.  On a side note they did upset my stomach for about twenty minutes after I drank it, but it did subside once my stomach settled.

 

 

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken

This is almost like two recipes in one!  Stephen loves the bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers I make for him so I decided to make it into a entrée.  It is the same recipe I use for the poppers only instead of just wrapping the jalapenos in bacon I wrapped them in chicken and put the bacon wrapped around that!

This recipe was super super easy to make, and I plan on making it again with some more spice added.  Even though it says jalapeno it is VERY mild, and you may even want to add some more spice too it if you are looking for a kick.

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Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken


Serves: 4

Bake Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 oz of cream
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 whole jalapeños
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 pieces of bacon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut the tops off the jalapenos and deseed them.  Then put an X cut on the bottom of them so that when we are stuffing them the air can come out the bottom and we can stuff more!
  3. Put the cream cheese and mozzarella in a bowl, and then microwave on high for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the paprika into the cheese mixture and mix together.  Optional to add spice add in some of the jalapeño seeds!
  5. Stuff the jalapenos with 3/4 of the cheese mixture, and set them aside.
  6. Tenderize the chicken flat (or butterfly cut).
  7. Get a pan ready for the stuffed chicken.
  8. Lay the chicken breasts flat, and use a spacula to spread the rest of the cream cheese mixture on to the chicken breasts
  9. Place the stuffed jalapenos on the center of the chicken, wrap the chicken around the pepper and then wrap the bacon around the chicken.
  10. Place in oven for about 45-50 minutes (or until done) and enjoy!