After I wrote this post with Kelly LeVeque of BeWell by Kelly all about what goes into a ketogenic diet, I saw several of you commenting saying you wanted to know what a daily keto menu would look like. Well, since I can proudly say that I’ve been eating keto for about five weeks now (minus a few weekend cheat days here and there), I consider myself pretty well versed in the ways of ketogenic eating. I’ve found several delicious meals that work for me and I’ve been sticking to them, which has made creating new habits feel effortless. And today, by popular request, I wanted to share my keto diet menu plan with all of you…
Now, since I am not a doctor or dietician, this menu is of course not an expert recommendation by any means. It is simply how I’ve chosen to translate my knowledge about ketogenic eating into a realistic, wholesome and healthy menu of everyday meals that I’ve been relying on. You will see that each of these meals focuses on four main food categories: healthy fats, fiber, greens and protein—with healthy fats being the most prominent. As a refresher, the reason why healthy fats are the focus here is because going keto involves eating a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. Think of it as giving your body 60-75% of its calories from healthy fats, 5-30% from carbs protein, and 5-10% of calories from carbs. I also always make sure that I am creating meals that have as many nutrients as possible—the more colorful, the better.
You will see that each of these meals is not only healthy and delicious, but easy to make—I can whip up each one in about 20 minutes or less! So, without further ado, here is a little look into what a day in my ketogenic life looks like, through meals…
Breakfast: Fructose-Free Green Smoothie
I find that sticking with a routine is what helps me create healthy habits, especially in the morning hours of the day. Which is why I make the exact same breakfast almost every morning: a fructose-free smoothie inspired by Kelly’s fab four recipe. Before going keto, I used to pop a few blueberries or ½ a banana into my BeWell smoothie, but fruit can quickly take you out of ketosis and eat up your carbohydrate limit for the day. So, I’ve recently made my smoothies keto-friendly and fructose-free by eliminating the fruit, and they honestly are just as satisfying and still taste just as good! I also started adding coconut oil and XCT oil to my smoothies since going keto to increase my percentage of healthy fats. It may feel kinda weird to add oils to your smoothies, but this is the easiest way to stabilize your energy, satisfy your hunger hormones and get your morning off to a ketogenic start. Here are several recipes for delicious fructose free smoothies, and here is my favorite that I make every day below.
Blend together the following:
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop Tone It Up plant based protein powder (the coconut flavor is my favorite)
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. bee pollen (I recommend starting with ½ tsp. and gradually working up to 1 Tbsp.)
- ¼ tsp. He Shou Wu (learn more about why I add adaptogens to my smoothie here)
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. XCT oil
- 1 tsp. unsweetened almond butter
- 1 handful spinach or kale
- 1 handful ice cubes
If you’re more of an eggs person than a smoothie person, another great keto breakfast option is a veggie omelet with a side of avocado, drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Go for the full eggs instead of egg whites as they have more nutrients and will keep you fuller longer.
Lunch: Keto Cobb Salad
If you are like me and you pack a salad to bring to work most days of the week, then making lunchtime keto-friendly is simple. With a few modifications to your go-to lunch salad, you can easily hit your keto percentages. I took out the chicken I used to add to my salad as it adds too much protein in one sitting, which can therefore kick it out of ketosis. And for my dressing, I simply mix olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of garlic and pink Himalayan salt and pepper, but there are plenty of good salad dressings that are high and healthy fats and keto-approved. Primal Kitchen makes several good ones. Here’s what I put in my daily lunch salad:
Mix together the following:
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup shaved brussels sprouts
- ½ cup shaved red cabbage
- ¼ cup sliced carrots
- ½ avocado
- 1 hardboiled egg
- 2 Tbsp. bacon, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. pine nuts
- homemade dressing:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- pink Himalayan salt & pepper to taste
I also appreciate the excitement of mixing things up when it comes to salads. After all, getting bored with food is a surefire way to be tempted to go off the plan. Sometimes I will add olives, celery, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, swap the pine nuts for slivered almonds, or change up my dressing. Having some variety helps me stick with the plan.
Afternoon Snack: Coconut Cacao Almond Butter Cups
One of the best things about keto is that you don’t have to totally skimp on afternoon sweet or savory afternoon snacks, just as long as they’re high in healthy fats. Many keto advocates call these snacks “fat bombs”… I call them almond butter cups! Okay, they don’t taste exactly like a Reese’s, but I have grown to think they are just as delicious and way more satisfying than the traditional refined-sugar-laden sweets. The main ingredients are coconut oil, coconut butter, almond butter, cacao, Himalayan salt and a pecan on top. When I first started making these cups, I added a few drops of vanilla Stevia to make them a little sweeter, but I’ve started to prefer them without. It’s a good idea to always have a batch of these stashed in your freezer at home and your office freezer so that you have something to grab when cravings hit. They are also a great tool to turn to if you are having trouble hitting your keto fat percentages at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here’s my recipe:
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup coconut butter, melted
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 3 Tbsps. unsweetened almond butter
- ¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- a few drops of vanilla stevia (optional)
- handful of pecans (one per cup)
- cupcake wrappers
Blend together all ingredients except pecans using a handheld blender or immersion blender. Pour into cupcake wrappers and top with a pecan on each. Freeze for 30 minutes to an hour before enjoying.
If you get more of a savory tooth than a sweet tooth, macadamia nuts are the perfect keto snack for you. They’re super high in healthy fat and have a lower amount of protein than many other nuts. Plus, they are easy to pack in a baggie to go to work or keep in your car. A fourth of a cup is the perfect amount for a keto snack.
Dinner: Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burger with ½ Avocado
For dinner, my fiancé and I love the ritual of unwinding after work by cooking a healthy meal together. It allows us to talk about our days while we’re in the kitchen together, not to mention that it’s nice to have a buddy who is on board with ketogenic eating as well. Our latest favorite dish is a turkey burger with spices, wrapped in a lettuce “bun,” topped with carrot and zucchini ribbons and avocado. To hit our healthy fat percentages, we will make an aioli or olive oil-based sauce to drizzle on top. Here’s how to make our latest favorite dinner dish:
- 10 ounces ground turkey meat
- 1 romaine heart
- salt & pepper for seasoning
- ½ tsp. garlic powder for seasoning
- ½ tsp. onion powder for seasoning
- 1 large carrot
- 1 zucchini
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
- juice from ½ fresh squeezed lemon
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Mix the turkey meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder with your hands, then form into patties. Cook on medium high heat in a saucepan with olive oil, butter or ghee for about 4-5 minutes per side or until thoroughly cooked. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot and zucchini into thin ribbons. Mix mayo, lemon and red pepper flakes together for a homemade spicy lemon aioli. Serve patties on top of romaine lettuce, topped with carrot and zucchini ribbons, avocado and aioli.
A few more keto dinner recipes we have on rotation are these chicken zucchini enchiladas, this delicious coconut chicken curry topped with avocado and served over cauliflower rice (my go-to for making any rice dish low carb), and these slow cooker carnitas served with sautéed fajita veggies and guacamole. When I’m ever in doubt of hitting the right keto markers, I always try to swap out the carbohydrates in a recipe for veggies (lettuce burger buns, zucchini tortillas, cauliflower rice), and add avocado as much as possible. I mean, who can argue with that?
Have you tried the ketogenic diet?
If so, what does your keto meal plan look like?
And, do you have any healthy summer meals you’ve been cooking up lately?
Share your two cents in the comments below!