It's that time of the week again! Time to start thinking about what we will eat in the week ahead. As most people who attempt a change in diet are aware, planning is essential if you want to minimise the chances of falling off the wagon.
In these posts, though, I do not plan ahead, but show you what I've eaten this week in the hope that thy will help you in your planning. These are my favourite meals from the past week, meals I can look back over in the future when I'm short on ideas. I hope they will inspire you too.
I usually plan my meals once the groceries have been done by my parents and I know which foods have been prepared by my mum and frozen for me. I do not cook for myself anymore as I am chronically ill. I create the recipes according to my macro requirements and my sister cooks for me. Mum makes things like meatballs and desserts which can be made in bulk and frozen.
As the title suggests, these are meal ideas for people who are following the ketogenic way of eating. I eat only once a day most days, so each meal is quite large and usually has vegetables in it, but will always have below 20g of carbs.
This week was my birthday week, so I had a few naughty treats like a little bit of hummus and some apple. I even had a slice of pizza with some crisps! (a small 1/8 slice of pizza) Oh! I also had a tiny brownie for breakfast. All of that still came to below 55g of carbs, so not bad at all.
It did trigger a slight histamine response, nothing serious, just a bit of light itching, but it did exaggerate my ME/CFS flare, I was flat on my back the whole following day! Ingredients matter, friends! Click here to find out how I'm using the ketogenic diet to reduce my ME/CFS symptoms.
I have had some delicious meals this past week, definitely look forward to trying some of them again.
This week I have tried to add more detail to the meal ideas: ingredients and macro calculations. Let me know if this is useful or not. I feel like some people might find it useless if they are confident enough in their keto ways, but others might find it helpful to use as a starting point from which they can then adjust and grow as they get used to the keto way of eating and cooking. I appreciate any feedback.
Meatballs and green salad
Approx. cal 754 | 7.6g c | 63g f | 40g p
4 meatballs on top of a salad made with:
half a baby gem lettuce, 1 stalk of celery, fresh chives, parsley and thyme and 1 ball of mozzarella. Seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil and pink Himalayan salt. You can add a drop of vinegar if you can tolerate it.
This meals is quite easy to make, it doesn't take too long to put together since we use previously prepared meatballs which we store in the freezer for those low energy days when you don't have the inclination to cook.
Lamb chops with roasted vegetables
Approx. cal 672 | 12.6g c | 43g f | 61.6g p
20g each of courgette, carrot and bell peppers & 10g each of celery & onion (roasted in the oven)
100g pumpkin (boiled & topped with butter)
200g lamb loin chops (fried in coconut oil)
Salad made with romaine lettuce and watercress, seasoned with olive oil and pink Himalayan salt.
One of my all time favourites!
Creamy zoodles with minced beef
Approx. cal 923 | 13g c | 80.6g f | 36.5g p
124g courgette, spiralised (zoodles).
190g minced beef fried in coconut oil with:
2 heaped tbsp of soffritto (onion, celery, carrot)
20g bell pepper.
Once meat and veg are ready, add zoodles, 25g cream cheese and 1 tbsp olive oil, mix and serve.
Tastes great with garlic and any herb you love, like sage, thyme, oregano or parsley.
Such a simple dish, quick to put together and tastes so good. Comfort food!
Chicken mayo lettuce boats
Approx. cal 717 | 4g c | 59g f | 43.7g p
200g boiled chicken breast, shredded & mixed with 45ml mayonnaise (I used store bought), chopped chives and pink salt.
3 large romaine leaves, fill with watercress and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and pink salt.
Fill lettuce boats with chicken mixture.
This was my birthday meal, so it actually has a few naughty treats like mayonnaise, hummus and apple, but I made sure to keep the carb content low and only have small amounts of some things I really like. I'm glad I didn't get much of a reaction from this little cheat.
These are some of my staples. I eat this dessert, or a variation of it, daily. You can find my recipe for the keto bounty bars here. I often enjoy my bounty bars with a cup of decaf and coconut oil.
I'm no longer aiming for weight loss as I'm now happy with my weight, so I need to meet my fat goals (117g a day) if I want to maintain my current weight. You do not need to use as much fat in your meals if you have body fat you want to lose.
Salmon with stir-fried vegetables
Approx. cal 495 | 12g c | 35.7g f | 29.6g p
120g salmon fillet friend in coconut oil.
In a separate pan, fry 124g courgette, 50g onion, 60g bell pepper, 1 clove of garlic in coconut oil.
One of my favourite protein sources is fresh salmon. My sister cooks for me as I'm unable to cook due to my chronic illness and she has become so good at cooking the salmon - crispy outside and melt-in-your-mouth inside. Love it!
I believe her secret is using a timer and turning the salmon every 2 minutes so it cooks evenly from both sides until she can see the colour changing towards the centre. Yum!
That's it for this week. I hope these meals ides have given you some inspiration for your meal planning. I'd love to hear what your thoughts are. What would you like to see on these meal idea posts?
As of September 2017 I have been on a low histamine ketogenic diet.
The keto part is to manage symptoms of ME/CFS and I have had great improvement from being in ketosis. One of the biggest benefits has been dramatic decrease in chronic pain and no longer being bedridden. You can read about that here.
The low histamine part of the diet is due to the fact that my body seems to have trouble managing histamine levels and I have entered a permanent state of allergic reaction including constant itching as well as rashes and hives. By controlling the types of foods and amount of histamine I ingest, I have been able to reduce these reactions dramatically. You can read about that here.
It’s been a while since I wrote a personal update. I have recently been extremely drained and weak, so haven’t been very social or active online. My primary focus this month was on my itching. I wanted to try to get it under control as it was really getting me down, much more than my ME/CFS does. I was in tears and so very frustrated. The scratching was utterly exhausting and to top it off, I caused myself a massive ME/CFS flare too!Continue reading
It’s almost noon and I’m still in bed. I just Sat up actually when my sis brought me a nice big mug of decaf with coconut oil and quercetin in. Part of my morning routine now, though I’m starting to wonder whether coffee is one of my histamine triggers, despite being decaf. I might stick to golden tumeric milk instead.
I had been doing so well for so long that I had almost forgotten how bad these flares can get. It can be discouraging when you are reminded so unexpectedly of the horrible passenger you carry with you always.
This ME/CFS might be managed or worked around for a time, but it does come back to show itself from time to time, makes sure you remember it’s still there and just how strong it is.Continue reading
Have you been experiencing itching, rashes or hives since changing your diet? Have you had no luck in identifying an allergen or trigger despite elimination diets and eating clean? If you have recently switched to a low carb diet, it is very possible that you are experiencing an allergic reaction, though you might not be allergic to individual items, it might be a little more complicated than that.
Something I recently discovered, which surprised me, is that people can be histamine intolerant. Many people aren’t aware that histamine is present on all our food, even the fresh, natural produce and meat you buy from your local supermarket. Not only can ingredients contain histamine, but some liberate histamine already present in the body.
Histamine is a compound that is produced by our bodies as well as by the bacteria that grows on our food as it ages. It is released when there is inflammation or an allergen introduced to the body. It has healing properties, but some people are sensitive to it. Anybody who has ever suffered from seasonal allergies will know what that feels like.Continue reading
I have spent so much time on the sofa and in my bed again this week. One would think I’d no longer be surprised by this, but I continue to shake my head every time it happens.
It’s the carbohydrate effect.
This current flare is most likely due to the fact that I’m out of ketosis again since trying to deal with my allergies/histamine disorder. I assume I’m no longer fat adapted because, amongst other things, my munchies have returned with a vengeance!
You see, I’ve increased certain carbs (mainly apples and sweet potatoes) which help reduce histamine building up in the body, but by trying to solve one problem (itching, hives) I’m causing another (ME/CFS flare).
It’s a vicious circle, but one has to decide what the priority is and work with that. For me it was the itching. I just couldn’t take it anymore!Continue reading
I went to the doctor again this week. This is the fourth doctor I’ve seen about my itching. She was lovely and also thinks it’s an allergic reaction after examining the bumps with a magnifying tool. She initially thought folliculitis, but changed her mind upon inspection.
So I’m taking Fexofenadine and Ranitidine daily for the allergic reactions I’m having constantly. They don’t go away anymore. They used to just last about an hour then go away, this week has been non-stop.
Hives, rashes and insane itching and burning. It’s now all over my body. It calms down at times and then flares up after meals and with heat and stress. So if I’m in bed it flares, and dressed too warmly, sit in the sun, argue with somebody or eat certain foods, etc.
Doctors seem to be certain it’s allergies, but haven’t sent me for any tests yet. So still unsure what’s causing it, though the low histamine diet did provide some relief for a few weeks.
The current flare started after reintroducing a couple of things last week. Going to have to stop them again and see if it subsides.
This morning the hives and itching woke me at 4.20 and I was scratching non-stop for about 2 hours before I fell back asleep. The sun was already rising.
I then woke again with another flare around 9. It’s past noon now and it’s still quite itchy and the hives are not subsiding yet.
It’s super debilitating. Being so itchy that you can’t think straight or do anything but rub or scratch your skin all over because you need relief, even if it causes pain, the pain is a distraction from the itching. I now have bruises all over too from scratching so hard.
This of course means I’m exhausted because scratching requires physical exertion which causes payback for anybody with ME/CFS. So as you can imagine, I’ve not been very productive for the past week. Spending most of my energy on scratching, digesting a meal and then scratching again…
Distraction is my best weapon at this point as the pills aren’t really taking it away yet. So I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and TV this week. It does help to keep my mind off it.
I added apples and sweet potato to my diet in small quantities this past week, although they’re not Keto friendly, but they contain quercetin which is a natural anti-histamine. I’ve also added thyme which apparently helps prevent anaphylaxis.
Have you ever gone through anything like this? How did you relieve the itching? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
UPDATE: find out how I’m reducing the itching as well as the rashes and hives that later appeared, here.