Keeping it Basic

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. – James Beard

Let’s just face it, everything pumpkin spice has arrived. This recipe is pretty simple but will satisfy your craving for that fall flavor that we start looking for this time of year.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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What you’ll need:

Base –

  • 1 Cut da Carb Flatbread
  • 5oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1T sour cream
  • 3T Swerve confectioners
  • 1t pumpkin spice
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 3T pumpkin purée

Topping –

  • 3T heavy cream
  • 1/2t pumpkin spice
  • 1T Swerve

Extras –

Hardware:

  • Small cast iron skillet (or other circular ovenproof cookware)
  • Coconut oil spray (or any other oil spray you have around)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start off with your flatbread and skillet. You’ll need to cut out a circle from the bread about 1in wider than the circumference of your cookware of choice. Once that’s done, gently push the bread into the skillet so you can avoid it cracking. Lightly spray it so browning goodness to take place. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until it becomes golden brown and delicious. You can also take a risk and use the broiler, but yeah… Once that’s done, remove from oven and set aside.

If you have an air fryer or NuWave oven (which I use), this can be much quicker.

Note: What can you do with the scraps? Fry them into chips.

For the cheesecake batter, get yourself a bowl and drop in all of your ingredients. Please make sure your cream cheese is softened because you’ll get little annoying lumps otherwise. We don’t like those. Mix until smooth then pour into the shell. Place in fridge for about 2 hours or until it’s firm (hence the long prep time above).

While that’s going on, you’ve probably already washed the bowl you used and it’s ready to be the home for the whipped cream, right? This is the easy part…

Cream, spice, sweetener, and hand mixer. You know what to do. This won’t be as sweet because you’re getting that from everything else but feel free to taste and modify before plopping it onto the cheese.

Pipe (or scoop) whipped cream onto the cheesecake.

Add granola.

Sprinkle some pumpkin spice.

Done.

Share with your friends.

Oh, hi! – Keto Key Lime Tart

I’m terrible. The last post was over a month ago. If you’re reading this, you probably came from my Instagram page. Thanks for stopping by!

Since I wasn’t able to fit the recipe within the IG caption, I figured I’d post it here so you can enjoy some lip-puckering pie.

Keto Key Lime Tart

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: medium
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Most of the prep time comes from making the condensed milk which you can make a few days in advance. I can drink it for breakfast.

Condensed Milk

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 Swerve confectioners
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

In a heavy pot, bring the the heavy cream to a boil. Once this happens, turn down heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the cream has reduced. Remove from heat, add butter, sweetener, and xanthan gum. Whisk until it’s smooth and fully incorporated. If the mixture isn’t thick, add additional xanthan gum. Set aside.

Crust

  • 2 tablespoons nut flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon egg white (I buy the liquid in cartons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking power
  • 1/2 tablespoon Swerve confectioners

This is an easy crust. Mix all the stuff and spread into a silicone tart mold; no crevice left behind! Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Set aside to cool. You can keep the oven on at this point.

Filling**

  • 1.5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 teaspoons lime juice (this is if you like a pucker)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • pinch of salt

Mix cream cheese and lime juice first, until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients until fully combined. By this time, your crust has somewhat cooled down. Pour mixture into the crust and bake for about 15-18 minutes; filling should be slightly bouncy to the touch. Once you reach this consistency, let cool, then place in the fridge for about an hour to set.

Whipped Cream

  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Swerve confectioners
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice, optional

I mean… if you read my posts, you know how I feel about instructions on making whipped cream. Once your tart has cooled and firmed up, top with whipped cream and a slice of lime if you wanna be extra.

**This recipe will make enough to fill two tarts, however, all of my current fat bombs and desserts are meant to fit my macros for Deeper State Keto. The second half of the mixture was baked crustless, as a custard, in another mold. Feel free to make a second crust.

Note: I stay on the lower side of sweetness. Feel free to taste the mix before baking to make sure it’s to your liking.

I’m definitely not a recipe developer so any posts I have on here and my IG page may be a little wonky, don’t worry. As always, feel free to contact me through Instagram if you have any questions on this and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Deeper State Keto – The Commitment

I’m a little nervous, but the excitement is outweighing that emotion. My last post was about my commitment to the Deeper State Keto 14-day meal plan, and while I liked it, I felt it wasn’t for me. Since then, I’ve gone back to eating my regular Keto fare and still feel just as great; however, I want something to push me. I’ve gotten better at testing my mental and physical strength at the gym, but I feel like I need to add a different element to that. The only thing left is to commit to a stricter diet.

I was fortunate enough to meet Matt and Megha from KetoConnect during KetoCon a while back, and they were some of the few people who learned about my life’s goals. They were kind enough to give me their support through the Deeper State Keto program, and with that said, today is day one. Alongside the DSK program, I’ll be restarting Jeff Cavaliere’s AX-1 routine. This program has really helped me break some plateaus with my weight training and cardio, and I’m looking forward to the results I’ll see from that and my diet.

For the next 90 days, I’ll be following a fairly strict set of macros that suits my own personal numbers and goals. I’ve seen and read so many success stories with this program so I thought, “Why not me?” Though, tough days come with success and limiting yourself when it comes to food isn’t the easiest or “natural” thing to do. Most of us enjoy eating because we don’t always see it as fuel but as an indulgence. I’ve told myself that the time will pass, regardless of what I’m doing with life. I’ll be buckling down, keeping daily food logs, weigh-ins, and of course, trying to make sure my food still looks great on my Instagram account. My goal is to have weekly blogs to keep myself accountable. In addition to the stand blog post will be my “Recipe of the Week.” I plan to stick to OMAD with fat fasting in the morning, but I’ll highlight the best meal that met most of my daily macros. 

I’m looking forward to the challenge that this protocol will eventually bring but the end result should be worth it. 

The End of 14 Days

Sticking to something for 14 days can be a walk in the park or a crawl through Legos. Is it too restrictive? Is it out of your comfort zone? Is your mindset not in it? These questions don’t just apply to a way of eating but also other things in life. However, this was definitely about the former.

My goal wasn’t necessarily weight loss (though after fluctuations it was about a 5.2lb loss) or chasing those higher ketone levels but to see if this was something I could stick to long term — sustainability is everything. 

My goal was 80% fat, ~20% protein, with 10 total carbs, but I learned that this doesn’t work well for me on a daily basis. I do think it can be incorporated a couple of times a week, if needed though. What got me was the total carb intake being that low. I’ve seen progress, and most importantly, felt great with what I was doing beforehand which proves that we need to do what works best for us. So many people put on that badge and start dictating what is and isn’t the “right” thing to do with this lifestyle. People are post their successes and not everyone is doing the exact same thing. You see those sticking to whole foods and those that have frankenfoods every single day and everything in between with progress.

What was the overall purpose of this? To try something new.

You can’t bash something until you give it a try. There are a variety of ways to eat within this realm, and we need to find our place in it by stepping out of that comfort zone. Do some research, reach out to those who’ve tried something you’ve been curious about, ask questions, make a plan, and then take the plunge. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, lesson learned.

Empanada Dough

  • Servings: 3 medium empanadas
  • Difficulty: easy
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You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/3 C mozzarella cheese
  • 1 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/3 C coconut flour
  • 1 tsp pink sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, microwave the cheeses for about 30-45 seconds or until fully melted. Add in the egg and ghee along with the dry ingredients then knead until fully combined. If the dough firms up, place in microwave for 10-15 seconds.

Form into three balls of dough which can then be spread by hand into what will look like personal pizza-sized crusts. Fill with your favorite meat (mine was roast) and crimp the edges with a fork. Place your empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and delicious.

Pro Tip: Halfway during cook time, brush on some ghee so you can get some crispiness on the outer crust.

Week One, Done. Moving Forward.

By the time you read this, you’ll have seen my latest post for day seven and the start to week two. I’m liking the regimen because it makes me really put some thought into what I’ve been eating. Coming from a more carnivore-based approach, switching gears into 80% fat has been a bit of a challenge. I’m finding myself having to not only limit my protein intake but also taking into consideration those total carbs which hasn’t been part of my journey until this plan started.

With that said, however, pairing this up with tracking weight and ketone readings has definitely opened my eyes to how our/my body reacts to different a new way of eating. As of this morning, I’ve seen a loss of 6.8 pounds since Monday, June 25th. My ketone readings have fluctuated every time and it’s interesting to see the numbers (highest being 2.1) but I’m relying on how I feel. Until now, I seem to be firing on all cylinders.

Let’s go back to talking sweets. I brought this up a post or two ago. My goal throughout this 14 day plan is to not consume foods prepared with sugar but I’m still using (less) sweeteners for my BPC and trying to stay away from the free sodas at work. I won’t lie… I’m missing those treats and I can’t wait for Dessert Week after this wraps up.

On a more serious note, here’s something that I wanted to share my thoughts on, for whatever they’re worth.

I’ve been reading a few posts from people saying they’re wanting to or have already given up on this lifestyle. Generally, that’s okay. This isn’t for everyone and it isn’t easy when you first start out. Out of curiosity though, I peruse their feed, read the captions, and part of me realizes why they may have called it quits.

Mindset is key. I’ve said so many times before that discipline and priorities are the only two things to get yourself where you want to be. Motivation isn’t a thing. I’m not motivated to have my alarm go off at 3am to be at the gym soon after. I’m not motivated to breakdown what I’m eating throughout the day. Without those two things, however, you may find yourself back to square one time after time. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Take some time so see Jeff’s Caveliere’s newest video. It won’t be necessarily a Keto-based explanation but something we can all benefit from hearing. I follow this guy on YouTube and even have his Athlean-X program. His no-bullshit approach to a healthy lifestyle has helped me now that I have a better understanding of physical and nutritional health.

It’s a new week, guys. A clean slate has been set in front of you. Wake up and commit to change. Consistency over perfection. Should I go on?

I’m not only talking to you but to myself. Let’s get it done. Until next time, my friends.

– Joe

My First Real Recipe: Bacon Chipotle Bread

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll notice that I don’t post recipes much. For one, it adds more work on my end and I’m naturally lazy. However, I want to be able to help more people reach their goals. If it means taking some extra time to write down a simple recipe, that’s what I’ll do. I can’t promise everything I post will come with one but I’ll try my best!

Bacon Chipotle Bread

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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You’ll Need:

  • 2oz cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2T ghee
  • 1T almond flour
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1T McCormick Grill Master Bacon Chipotle
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4t pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a bowl, add in the cream cheese and microwave for about 20-30 seconds. With the exception of the cheese, add in the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour mixture into a buttered 4-inch spring form pan (or divide into three muffin tins, 2/3 filled); top with the cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (if you have a NuWave oven, you’ll use the highest temperature for 15 minutes) or when it passes the toothpick test.

Enjoy!

Pro Tip: You can use the first five ingredients as the base for your own version.

Bread

 

The First Few Days

Day 1 was interesting. I woke up excited to see what my ketone levels were, but it was my first time using Keto Mojo and, apparently, my blood doesn’t give up without a fight because I couldn’t draw blood. And I eventually decided to stop wasting  strips. I mentioned it on my Instagram story, and I will say it was awesome to get feedback on the different methods people use to get blood flowing because what happened the next day? A reading!

I feel like I should admit something: I’m about 80% lazy Keto. By this point, it’s easier to eyeball my intake but this new routine has forced me to really nitpick everything that’s being consumed. I’ve also forgotten how tedious tracking macros can be. Is it better to track raw or cooked? Volume or weight? So many variables can be involved with tracking, but trust me, it’s worth the attention it requires. Even if you’re not following a specific protocol, I highly recommend to take a day or two every other week to see where you are macro wise. It may be eye opening.

Speaking of tracking what I consume, the topic of coffee came up. I don’t get bored with Bulletproof Coffee these days. If you would’ve asked me how much coffee I drank a little over a year ago, my answer would have been, “maybe a cup or two…a month.” Let’s get one thing straight though: I don’t like the taste of coffee as much as I like the taste of it after I add in everything. 

My usual go-to for a 16oz of dark roast coffee is: 

  • 1 tablespoon of ghee 
  • 2 tablespoons of MCT 
  • 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream 
  • 1 scoop of collagen peptides 
  • 15 drops of English toffee Stevia 
  •  dash of cinnamon

This usually keeps me going until after lunch.

While it’s only been three days, part of me is already missing sweets. If you’ve noticed, I typically make something sweet every other day. I’ve limited my sugar intake to my drinks (coffee, diet soda, etc.), but I haven’t made anything to eat that contains the sweet stuff, which brings me to my next point…

It’s not just real sugar that’s totally addicting or creates unhealthy habits. I love the desserts and other sweets I can have within Keto, but you, and myself included, still need to be aware of how much is eaten. Keto isn’t the magic bullet; calories still count. With that said, I recently tried out a recipe for Salted Caramel & Pecan Pork Rind Cereal. Yes, pork rind cereal. After giving it a try, I swear that I don’t need real cereal anymore. I can’t wait to be able to get back to these again. Recipe below.

Anyway, I look forward to what the next few days will have in store and what the rest of the 14 day routine will yield. As of this morning, the scale showed a 2.8lb decrease, and although there are a lot of variables that can impact this, I’ll take what I can get!

– Joe

Salted Caramel & Pecan Pork Rind Cereal

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1.5oz pork rinds (I used the Epic brand)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1.5 tablespoons erythritol
  • 2 ounces pecan pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Break down your pork rinds to small pieces and set aside
  2. On medium heat, melt butter until golden brown but be careful not to burn
  3. Once the butter has developed some color, remove from heat and add the cream, erythritol, pecans, vanilla extract, and cinnamon
  4. Reduce the mixture until a caramel has formed
  5. Mix in the pork rinds and coat evenly
  6. Transfer your rinds to a parchment or foil lined pan and cool down your cereal in the fridge for 20-30 minutes or until the caramel hardens
  7. You can add pair this up with your favorite low carb milk; mine’s macadamia milk