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
  • Print

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.

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. 

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
  • Print

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
  • Print

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

Welcome to Day 0: Whole Food Eating

Thanks for dropping by! My name’s Joe and if you’re here, you’re probably also following my Instagram account (more on that later).

I used to have another blog a few years ago: Tasty Travels. One night I decided to go onto Blogspot and start typing, typos and all. At that time, I was moving on up in the Urbanspoon (now Zomato) rankings while taking pics of the most carb-fueled, high octane foods in the area.  The amount of carbs I was consuming per week was astronomical. I’m serious, check it out: CulinaryStuff

Fast forward to 2018. I changed my way of eating and switched to a Keto lifestyle and have found myself with a mildly successful Instagram account, KetoCulinaryStuff. There, you’ll primarily find foods I eat on a daily basis, the random quote post, and the occasional gym pic.

After nudges from a few people, I decided to start a new blog to provide more insight on what I do behind the scenes. Here, you’ll mostly find food pics, but also some thoughts on the protocol, and what I’m most asked for — recipes.

Now to the heart of this post. If you’ve scrolled through my Instagram feed, you’ll see a lot of beautifully plated foods that’ll make you wish we were neighbors so I could cook for you. Okay, maybe not. However, you’ll notice a lot of the foods are Keto versions of traditional carby fare. Although keeping my carbs low with these foods and hitting the gym on a daily basis has helped me shed almost 70lbs, I’ve recently toyed with the idea of moving towards a more whole food approach. While I really enjoy my Keto snacks and frankenfoods, I also want to see what other ways of eating will do for my body and health.

I’ll be following a modified version of the Deeper State Keto 14 Day Meal Plan. Since I was late to the initial enrollment, I’m curious what the full 90 day course is all about, so this would be the best toe-in-the-water approach.

My overall goal is to keep the healthy fats high, low protein, and no more than 10 (ten) total carbs. Also, artificial sweeteners will be limited to only those that are in my Bulletproof Coffee or other drinks; no foods will be prepared with them during the 14 days. I’ll have daily weigh-ins along with glucose and ketone readings. (Thanks to Keto Mojo for hooking me up with a monitor!)

I’ll be posting daily through my IG account and updating my progress on here as well. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, suggestions, or advice. Thanks again for tuning in!

– Joe