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When we devised this keto on a budget meal plan and shopping list we wanted to create something that was truly all-inclusive. Therefor we have things like butter and salad dressing included. Most people will have a lot of the basics already in their kitchen, so you could be pulling this plan off for well under $5 a day. Further down in this post we will talk about possible substitutions you could utilize to make this plan even healthier and cheaper with bulk purchases of a few items you’ll be using frequently on your keto journy!
I also have to tell you that you are HILARIOUS! I laughed so hard reading your lead up to the 3 day plan. Thank you for your guidance, honesty, outstanding sense of humor (we all need it), incredibly delicious recipes and your baffling organization. I truly don’t know how you get it all done. You make it “do-able” and fun. I’m actually excited to start!
For those of you that have claimed to gain or plateau… have no fear! (LOL) I’ve been on some type of low carb/high protein diet since the Atkins diet first showed up in the 70’s… Believe me when I tell you it DOES work!! You just need to stick to it!! The heart association and other organizations will still tell you that fat is bad… IT’S NOT! Here’s some things to remember:
Bear in mind that those macronutrient ratios refer to calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrate, not actual grams of each. Protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram, so it’s actually a relatively easy task to let your fat calories pile up to keto-appropriate proportions if you consume fattier proteins and embellish your food with an extra bit of pure fat. To illustrate, if a portion of a particular food has 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbohydrate, that portion contains 130 calories, 90 from fat and 40 from protein, and is about 69.2% fat and 30.7% protein (allowing for rounding).
Hi Stephanie. I’m sorry the dessert did not set well. It could be one of three reasons. First, as you mentioned, it could have been the lactose free cream cheese. Having the dessert refrigerate overnight should have been perfect. The other reason may be because I updated the pudding recipe to have less cornstarch/ arrowroot because people kept complaining that they did not want to use it even though it resulted in a superior recipe. I would suggest adding 1/2 more teaspoons of arrowroot powder. And third, it may have been that the pudding was not cooked enough. It should be really thick after cooking and refrigerating before adding it to the layered dessert. I hope this helps. -Kim
Hi Jason. It depends on what your definition of healthy is. If it needs to be under 200 calories per serving then you will need to cut this dessert into smaller pieces. It is very rich and very filling so if you are serving it to kids, you could easily cut it into 24 pieces. My definition of “Healthy” is sugar-free and made from scratch with wholesome ingredients and little added chemicals. If your definition of healthy is low calorie and low fat, then this dessert is not for you. There are many recipes for Chocolate Lasagna or Chocolate Layered Dessert on-line which would meet your needs. You could make it very cheaply buy buying low fat cookies, cream cheese, low fat pudding and low fat coolwhip. As far as costing the dessert… I calculated the nutritional data in a recipe program but I did not cost it out. You will have to do that yourself depending on how you want to make the recipe. If you have any more questions, let me know. Have a great day! -Kim

I just made this over the past 2 days, and I’m curious if the pudding will stiffen up again after being mixed with the almond milk? It had such a great pudding consistency and then when I added the almond milk it became very runny, so then it was difficult to put the whipped cream layer on top. All of the layers have been super delicious! I hope that the crust will still be good even though I didn’t bake it. I wasn’t thinking and wish I had. Thanks so much!
The remaining calories in the keto diet come from protein — about 1 gram (g) per kilogram of body weight, so a 140-pound woman would need about 64 g of protein total. As for carbs: “Every body is different, but most people maintain ketosis with between 20 and 50 g of net carbs per day,” says Mattinson. Total carbohydrates minus fiber equals net carbs, she explains.
Something that makes the keto diet different from other low-carb diets is that it does not “protein-load.” Protein is not as big a part of the keto diet as fat is. Reason being: In small amounts, the body can change protein to glucose, which means if you eat too much of it, especially while in the beginning stages, it will slow down your body’s transition into ketosis.

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This process of burning fat provides more benefits than simply helping us to shed extra weight — it also helps control the release of hormones like insulin, which plays a role in development of diabetes and other health problems. When we eat carbohydrates, insulin is released as a reaction to elevated blood glucose (an increase in sugar circulating in our blood) and insulin levels rise. Insulin is a “storage hormone” that signals cells to store as much available energy as possible, initially as glycogen (aka stored carbohydrates in our muscles) and then as body fat.

I do understand where you are coming from, of course it's better to eat straight from your garden and keep it simple. I carefully buy products that 1. are worth the money 2. save me time 3. Don't have scary ingredients. So for example I do by some flax crackers from rude health, because the crackers I make never turn out crispy no matter what I do. I also buy some frozen cauliflower rice with nothing else added because I can't be bothered with the mess.
I agree-the folks that buy the new "keto" products are not even bothering to read ingredients-most of the new products have ingredients that are definitely non-keto. Remember, these are the same folks that have yo-yo dieted for years (myself included) and have tried everything to lose weight. People feel like they need a paid program, protein shakes, protein bars, processed junk, etc, etc to lose weight. I guess it is too hard to believe to just eat the allowed whole foods that you cook yourself. Keto on my friends-good luck to you all with your journey.

Restricting carbs forces your body to burn its stored fat, creating ketones, another source of energy the body can use (instead of glucose). When this occurs, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis, i.e. burning fat-derived ketones instead of carb-derived glucose. It’s a much more efficient metabolic state which will result in the reduction of the stored fat and longer lasting energy without the ups and downs of blood sugar levels.
Meal prepping is the secret to eating on a tight budget. It allows you to buy the items that are on sale, in bulk, and prepare them for quick access throughout the week. The meal prep detailed here took us about 2 hours of “active time” and another 3 hours of “passive time”. The passive time was mostly waiting for the chicken to cook/cool. The items we prepped for this meal plan are:

“It is definitely worth the time it took to make and I don’t think it took much longer than when I used to make a high sugar dessert similar to this as I always made my chocolate cream layer from scratch. If someone wanted to cut the time then they could do like you suggested and make some of it the day before. What I love about this recipe is it is so similar to what has been one of my family’s favorite desserts. It felt like welcoming an old friend…but so much better because of the carb count. The high sugar version of this dessert was the first dessert I ever made for my hubby…so it was great to welcome it back into our lives!!! (I love your addition of the chocolate to the shortbread crust!)


Hi Maya. I LOVE your site!! Interesting, informative with fab recipes and ideas. Hubby and I have just started eating low carb and I have to say, we are not finding it too difficult and I already feel sooo much better!! I find the hardest part is choosing low carb veg, I feel as if we are not eating enough. Any suggestions on how to get more veggies into our diet?

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The Recipe: This simple snack recipe from Minimalist Baker makes for a delicious low-carb dessert. The small bites are naturally sweet, thanks to the inspired combination of just a few healthy ingredients. Pop the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture feels like dough, roll into balls, and chill in the fridge or freezer before you’re ready to indulge.
Bear in mind that those macronutrient ratios refer to calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrate, not actual grams of each. Protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram, so it’s actually a relatively easy task to let your fat calories pile up to keto-appropriate proportions if you consume fattier proteins and embellish your food with an extra bit of pure fat. To illustrate, if a portion of a particular food has 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbohydrate, that portion contains 130 calories, 90 from fat and 40 from protein, and is about 69.2% fat and 30.7% protein (allowing for rounding).
One of the meals you will see recurring frequently in the meal plan is a Cobb Salad. We are big advocates for the Cobb Salad! You know us… shills for Corporate Cobb Salad. Really though, we find Cobb Salads to be a great way to get a meal with perfect keto macros as well as pack in some much needed micro-nutrients. We love them so much we made a video to show everyone how we make them! For this meal plan you’ll be making a salad just like the one in this video minus the shredded cheese:
Hi Monica. Thank you for the feedback. I will change the recipe to omit the almond milk, but I have found that most often the reason the pudding mixture fails to set is because it wasn’t cooked enough. I’ll see what I can do to make the recipe a little easier. Thanks again for the feedback, I read each comment and really appreciate it. Enjoy your week. -Kim
This process of burning fat provides more benefits than simply helping us to shed extra weight — it also helps control the release of hormones like insulin, which plays a role in development of diabetes and other health problems. When we eat carbohydrates, insulin is released as a reaction to elevated blood glucose (an increase in sugar circulating in our blood) and insulin levels rise. Insulin is a “storage hormone” that signals cells to store as much available energy as possible, initially as glycogen (aka stored carbohydrates in our muscles) and then as body fat.
This process of burning fat provides more benefits than simply helping us to shed extra weight — it also helps control the release of hormones like insulin, which plays a role in development of diabetes and other health problems. When we eat carbohydrates, insulin is released as a reaction to elevated blood glucose (an increase in sugar circulating in our blood) and insulin levels rise. Insulin is a “storage hormone” that signals cells to store as much available energy as possible, initially as glycogen (aka stored carbohydrates in our muscles) and then as body fat.
If you’re a newbie planning your weekly keto diet menu, make the meals as easy as possible. A keto breakfast, for example, can take advantage of many classic breakfast foods, including eggs, bacon, sausage, and ham. Eggs are real winners in the keto world. They’re extremely versatile, easy to cook, and have just half a gram of carbs but 6 g of protein and 5 g of fat.

2) Since this is an older blog… I will tell you that Coconut Oil is “the miracle ingredient”! It goes RIGHT to your liver and is metabolized as ketones… it is what’s called an MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride, kinda of a “good” saturated fat) I have been eating 2 – 3 tbls a day since I started back with a vengeance and will tell you not only has it helped me to be more consistent in my weight loss, but it has even improved my complexion… I am 57, and was starting to get sun spots on my cheeks… but they are actually fading after only a month.. I’ve lost 15 lbs in this first month and feel 35 again…
I don’t want to sound — or be — judgemental or sanctimonious. I know that each person’s keto journey is their own to travel. We all have to figure out which way of keto or low carb eating makes us feel our best, what gives us the best health and weight results, what makes this big change to one’s old way of eating the easiest to navigate and sustain. Those choices do have align, of course, with one’s values, needs, taste buds, desires — and pocket book.
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