The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle, by Amy Ramos

When I decided to start ketogenics I bought a general book plus three cookbooks. This book was the smallest of the three cookbooks but easily the most useful.

Ramos includes basic ketogenics information at the front of the book and tips for eating away from home at the end. In between is a lot of helpful information.

The book contains a two week menu for beginners. (Face it, there’s a 90% chance you won’t follow it to the letter, but it does help set your thinking in the right direction.) For each individual week there’s a shopping list which, by itself, will help you adjust your kitchen quite a bit. There are tips on the best sweeteners (Swerve over Splenda), the oils you’ll need, produce, canned and bottled items, pantry items, and meats. Something to consider as you go along is that some items, like almond and coconut flour are expensive items to stock up on, but you’ll use considerably less than non-keto recipes will use for regular flour. Do what you can afford. Just know that there are some must-have staples like coconut oil and olive oil.

The recipes themselves are divided into smoothies and breakfasts, appetizers and snacks, fish and poultry, meats, veggies and sides, desserts, and staples. Each individual recipe gives an overall “keto quotient” (how close it fits the idea balance of fats, carbs, and protein) as well as what each serving contains in calories and the fats, carbs, and protein for those servings. This makes life a lot easier if you are using a phone or tablet app to keep an eating record.

I find myself in the kitchen a lot more, but that’s a good thing, especially since I’m gaining more energy and endurance from the diet. Since I live alone I’ve also invested in more plastic bags and containers. When I use one of the recipes I divide the finished product into the number of servings, eat one and bag the rest for the freezer or fridge.

Recipes include items like homemade salad dressings and mayonnaise in a good keto balance. Since I’m eating a lot more salad this has been handy to have. I also thought I would miss sweets but I’ve been using the book to make snacks with stevia products. There are some chocolate recipes using cocoa powder and oils that help stifle any chocolate cravings. The oils often melt at a little above room temperature so I put chocolate pieces in bags in the freezer and granola in the fridge in snack bags.

I have yet to find a recipe that didn’t turn out well, though my tastebuds like a little more salt. Better to add it in later because you can’t take it out once it’s cooked. The only bad turnout I had was my mistake, assuming that coconut flour would substitute for almond flour. It won’t.

There’s a wide variety of tastes to help you learn your way through adapting the lifestyle to your tastes.

Personal note:

Still losing weight and keeping up my energy. I did have an experience with “keto flu”, not at the beginning but late last week. I went to an Italian restaurant with a friend. Much wine was had and dinner finished off with a lemon tart. The next day my ketone levels had gone from high to zero and I barely had the energy to walk across the room let alone to the park with grandkids. A lesson for me and I hope for you.