Find Filling Favorites

Most of what Tim Ferriss recommended in his Slow-Carb diet aligns with what Lisa and I have found to be effective for weight loss and health.

I no longer eat beans daily as he suggests, and we don’t do the cheat days every week either. We have occasional pizza nights, perhaps twice a month, and we enjoy holiday meals to the fullest without guilt or regret.

One Ferris tip I’ve continued to follow to this day, however, was his suggestion to “Eat the same few meals over and over again.”

What that really means from my perspective is that I need to identify some go-to meals I can make at any time, and which I know will be satisfying.

Doing that has an extra benefit of making it a lot easier to skip meals and move toward intermittent fasting, #BodyBabyStep Four.

And because I don’t have to overthink my meal choices, I’m not spending time focused on thinking about food. That reduces temptation. I can just pick one of my standbys and know I will be satisfied.

Here are some of my favorites.

Top Choice: Scrambled Eggs

I probably have this at least five times a week. My concoction typically includes four eggs and some kind of meat (bacon, diced ham, sausage or steak) cooked in grass-fed butter or bacon grease. I usually add guacamole and a few Brazil nuts, and lately have been including cream cheese, too.

Last week for the first time I decided to count the macronutrients in this hearty meal. My estimate: 133g fat, 37g protein and 16g of carbs, but with 4g fiber that brings net carbs to 12. Total calories: 1,393, with 86% from fat, 11% protein and 3% carbs. Clearly ketogenic.

That may seem like a lot of calories in one meal, but because it is so filling it can often be my only meal of the day, and with almost no carbs I don’t get blood sugar spikes or crashes, and hence have no cravings.

Grilled Steaks or Bunless Burgers

Having a mini-Weber charcoal grill enables me to have delicious steaks year-round, even in December or January. Just add a few more coals to make up for the frigid outdoor air.

This whole stack wasn’t for me. We had company.

I have come to appreciate fattier cuts like ribeye, and whereas I previously would have trimmed off the fat thinking it was a healthy choice, now I do my best to eat the whole thing. Fat is our friend.

I typically grill an extra steak and then save it in the refrigerator, cutting it up to put in my eggs for the next two or three days.

For a lower-cost option, I grill four burgers with bacon and cheese, and eat two of them without a bun. I save the others to warm up for the next day’s meal, and that has the added benefit of reducing my thinking about food.

When I have steak or burgers I’ll often accompany with frozen broccoli warmed in the microwave, with grass-fed Kerrygold butter melted over it.

Beef Stroganoff

For this one I’m kind of at Lisa’s mercy, although I guess I could learn to make it. It’s my youngest son’s favorite, so she typically makes it when he’s home.

With regular rice it’s high in carbs, but riced cauliflower has a consistency I’ve come to find acceptable at least, and that keeps it ketogenic.

Other Favorites

Lisa has found these low-carb recipes and occasionally whips up a double batch that lasts us a few days. If she’s only cooking every two or three days that makes it easier for her as well, not having to be thinking about food constantly.

Being an empty-nester has its advantages!

  • Salmon Chowder
  • Chicken Curry Salad (leaving out the raisins)
  • Baked granola made from with pecans, almonds, unsweetened coconut and raw pumpkin seeds. It’s seriously addictive.
  • Meaty chili with cheese and sour cream
  • Baked cheese crisps

Every week Lisa typically tries one new recipe (often from The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen) and if we like it she adds it to our rotation.

Filling and Tasty Dessert

As part of our last meal of the day, we’ll typically have our awesome more-than-full-fat yogurt and berries. I’m in charge of making that.

I usually have raspberries or blackberries, while Lisa prefers blueberries.

Along with the yogurt, I often have smoked string cheese and a small 85% cacao dark chocolate bar.

Lisa never has more than two meals in a day, and I rarely do.

Often we just have one, in the mid to late afternoon. My teleworking due to COVID-19 has given us more flexibility in mealtimes, enabling us to have a narrower eating window and more prolonged periods with low insulin levels.

Making it Work for You

You need to find what’s appealing to you, and that is relatively low in carbs and high in good fat. And by good fats I mean saturated and monounsaturated fats from animals, avocados, nuts and olive oil, not so-called vegetable oils, the polyunsaturated fats.

What hearty and healthy meals are your favorites? Tell us about them in the comments!

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Best. Yogurt. Ever.

As I mentioned in my last post, Dr. William Davis has recommended a particular strain of bacteria, Lactobacillis reuteri, as having many health benefits.

He discussed those benefits in the video I embedded in that post, and now as promised here’s a video I produced that demonstrates how to make it.

Dr. Davis suggests you can make the yogurt by putting the liquid in a pan in the oven. He says you can just turn the oven up to 350ºF for 90 seconds, and then shut it off, repeating the cycle every few hours to keep the temperature between 100-110ºF.

In my experience that’s way too much work, and is susceptible to failure. If you forget to turn off the oven, you kill the bacteria. If you fail to turn on the oven at least once in the middle of the night, the whole mix can sour. I had a couple of flops in my first five batches using that method.

That’s why I decided to get a yogurt maker, which keeps the mix at a constant temperature with no need to pay attention to it. Since then I would guess I have made 50 batches or more, and haven’t had a single failure.

After getting the BioGaia tablets, which contain the bacteria, and inulin powder as a source of prebiotic fiber on which they feed, all you need is the liquid that will be turned into yogurt.

Dr. Davis says he uses half-and-half as his base, and also has made yogurt from almond milk or coconut milk. If you use almond milk, he says you need to add some sugar to your mix, in addition to the inulin.

Whole milk is another option, but my choice is a mix of half-and-half with heavy whipping cream, as you’ll see in the video. This is definitely not low-fat yogurt.

I have gotten great results by keeping the mix at 104ºF for 36 20 hours, and by putting some water in the yogurt maker it keeps the temperature more even throughout the jars. After they’re done, I put them in the refrigerator.

As you can see, this is the thickest yogurt you’re likely to find. It stands up straight.

When it’s time to eat, I take one of the jars from the refrigerator and spread it out in a dish, adding three more teaspoons of the inulin both to sweeten the yogurt and to provide some prebiotic fiber to feed the bacteria in my GI tract.

I think it tastes great plain, but I typically also top it with some fresh raspberries or blackberries.

This is a delicious dessert, and I think the benefits Dr. Davis cites seem to hold true for me. He says it has a powerful appetite-suppressant effect, and while I think my low-carb diet has helped me not experience cravings during my typical 18-hour fasting window, the yogurt could definitely be a contributing factor.

Dr. Davis also touts the skin-thickening and collagen-increasing properties of L. reuteri and this yogurt, which supposedly results in a more youthful appearance and faster wound healing. I found a picture that isn’t necessarily definitive in this regard, but it might give a clue.

The picture on the left is from January 2019, when I was just starting to make and eat the yogurt. I tried to duplicate the angle in the one on the right this evening, 16 months later. The horizontal forehead creases seem less pronounced to me, but you be the judge:

I think the oxytocin-enhancement benefits are real too, as I’ve been able to put on muscle mass through weightlifting.

Since I find it so delicious, and because research suggests benefits that my own experience tends to support, I plan to keep making this for Lisa and me for the long term.

If you try it, I’d love to hear about your experience.

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Postscript: I had originally kept the mix at 104 degrees F for 36 hours, but I had a couple of bad batches. Through conversation with John Bishop (profiled here) I discovered that 36 hours is likely too long. Now I set the timer for 24 hours and then usually check and take out the jars after about 20. I haven’t had any spoiled batches for about 6 months.