4th of July Keto Menu

The most stressful thing about starting a new diet or being on a diet are those social settings, like holidays or get togethers where you don’t know what to serve or what to eat. You don’t want the host to feel uncomfortable because you aren’t eating what they are serving because you don’t know if you can, and you don’t want to make others feel like that are eating some crazy diet food. Well good news, with this 4th of July Keto menu, you don’t have to worry about those social settings!

4th of july

Image via Pexels

Being on the Keto diet for over a year and a half now, I am, in no way, an expert, but I do feel comfortable going anywhere and knowing I will have something to eat. Well, unless it is an Italian pasta themed party…then I may have a little trouble! Thankfully, pasta themed 4th of July parties are not typically a thing! The nice thing about 4th of July parties is that they are typically BBQ’s and meat is A-OK on the Keto diet! Just skip the bun!

 

Bacon & Butter: The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet CookbookBacon & Butter: The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet CookbookSimple Girl Carolina Style BBQ Sauce - 12oz - Low Calorie - Sugar-Free Diabetic/Vegan Friendly - Gluten/Fat/MSG Free - Compatible with Most Diet PlansSimple Girl Carolina Style BBQ Sauce – 12oz – Low Calorie – Sugar-Free Diabetic/Vegan Friendly – Gluten/Fat/MSG Free – Compatible with Most Diet PlansLynchburg Tennessee Whiskey Sweet & Mild SUGAR FREE Gourmet Deli & Grillin' Sauce 16ozLynchburg Tennessee Whiskey Sweet & Mild SUGAR FREE Gourmet Deli & Grillin’ Sauce 16oz

4th of July Keto Menu

Like I mentioned above, traditional BBQ foods like hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, etc. are really good for the Keto diet. Typically a BBQ will have lettuce for the burgers. Grab a couple and wrap your food in the lettuce or just eat it on a plate with a fork and knife like I do! If you are hosting the 4th of July celebration, your Keto Menu (which your guests will never realize is full of “diet” foods) should look like this:

Appetizers

Main Course

  • 80/20 Burgers with all the fixings
  • Hot dogs
  • Sausages (I like the Koegel brand)
  • Spicy Chicken Thighs

Side Dishes

Now you may be thinking that this is a great menu, but what about dessert. The nice thing about the Keto diet is that there are many options that you can make/modify that are Keto friendly and just as good! This Strawberry “Pretzel” salad is one of them. I am willing to bet your guests will not know that this is not the traditional strawberry pretzel salad that they are used to!

When it comes to 4th of July parties, you do not have to fear going! As you can see, there are many options for you to eat. If you are worried about what to drink or are afraid you won’t be able to enjoy a drink with your friends and family, fear not! Grab a diet drink, add some alcohol and have at it! I guarantee you will have a great time and be plenty full. Your guests will even ask you for some of your recipes!

What Keto recipe are you having at your 4th of July party?


How to Start the Keto Diet

So you’ve heard about the Keto diet, but you’re afraid to get started. I mean, eat fat to lose weight? How is this even possible? What if you end up gaining more weight? Doesn’t this go against everything you ever learned from, let’s say, the American Heart Association, for instance? Believe me, I had the exact same freak out. All I kept thinking was, “I am 250 lbs. I can’t afford to gain any more weight“. However, at the same time, I was 250 lbs. I couldn’t afford to NOT do whatever I could to try and change that. Right? Continue reading to learn more about how to start the Keto diet.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

start the keto diet

So as I was saying, at my highest weight, I was 250 lbs. My body hurt, I was always out of breath, I had no energy, etc. I could literally go on and on about how bad things were when I was that heavy. Besides the physical side of things, my health wasn’t all that great either. With a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, high cholesterol, and a strong family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes, I definitely had one foot in the grave. My doctor had my on diabetes medication and cholesterol medication…both of which had horrible side effects that I was tired of dealing with.

After researching and researching more and more about how to start the keto diet, I decided that I had nothing to lose. Sure I could end up gaining more weight and failing miserably at the diet, but at that point, I was already 250 lbs, what was a few more pounds? If the diet actually worked for me, the results could end up being life changing. And life changing they were! Here is a picture of me at my absolute highest weight with a picture of me yesterday.start the keto diet

If you don’t know what the Keto diet is, it is a diet that focuses on a high fat intake, moderate protein and very low carbs (around 20 total carbs a day). Basically, it very simple terms, your body will start using the fat you are consuming, as well as your stored body fat, as it’s new energy source instead of carbs.

How to Start the Keto Diet

Once I decided to make the jump to do the Keto diet, I knew I had to be all in. I couldn’t go halfway. In knowing that, the first three things I did were:

  • Wrote down my measurements and starting weight
  • Figured out my Macros using this Keto calculator
  • Purchased the premium membership for My Fitness Pal

The first two items are paramount. You have to do these things to succeed with the Keto diet. A premium membership for My Fitness Pal is not required, but because I was “all in” I wanted to make sure my macro percentages were exact. With the free version of My Fitness Pal, you have to round your numbers. I wasn’t OK with that. You may be and that’s OK!

Pro Tip…Pick up this bullet journal and pens to create your Keto Diet Bullet Journal. You can design it how you would like, but what a great place to track your success, write out your goals, etc?!?

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook - Dotted Pages - BerryLeuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook – Dotted Pages – BerryHuhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set, 0.38 mm Fine Line Drawing Pen, Porous Fine Point Markers Perfect for Coloring Book and Bullet Journal Art Projects, Pack of 10Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set, 0.38 mm Fine Line Drawing Pen, Porous Fine Point Markers Perfect for Coloring Book and Bullet Journal Art Projects, Pack of 10

What Do You Do Now?

If there was just one thing I could tell you is most important when you start the Keto diet, it would be to plan, plan, plan. You don’t want to eat and track all day long without planning. If you don’t plan, then you will get to dinner and be out of protein and have WAY too much fat left to eat and you’ll end up eating a stick of butter for dinner. So I eat breakfast and while I am entering my breakfast for the day, I immediately figure out what I am going to eat for dinner, enter than and whatever I have left I divide between lunch and snacks. If I know I am going to a particular restaurant for dinner, I always plan out what I want for dinner and work backwards. Besides being strict and consistent, planning has been my biggest success with this diet.

OK I have My Fitness Pal and My Macros, Now What?

Be sure to scroll through my Keto diet resources. I have a lot of delicious recipes for you to try. Especially recipes specific to summer! A few, must have items that I think you should consider picking up from Amazon are:

The Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Easy, Whole Food Keto Recipes for Any BudgetThe Wicked Good Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Easy, Whole Food Keto Recipes for Any BudgetBacon & Butter: The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet CookbookBacon & Butter: The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet CookbookSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb Diets

My favorite, of the three above, is the Sweet & Savory Fat Bombs cookbook. In the very beginning, I really struggled with getting enough fat in. I don’t know if it was more of a mental thing or what, but you won’t lose weight if you aren’t consuming enough fat. This cookbook has a lot of delicious ways to get your fat in! Two fat bomb recipes I really like are:

Things to Remember When You Start the Keto Diet

When you first start the Keto diet, you will need to remember a few things. First, once you deplete your carb stores and begin to switch over to using ketones to fuel your body, you may experience the “Keto Flu”. This is normal. Just power through out. Trust me. It will get better after a few days. Second, in the beginning, as your body is adjusting to its new fuel source, you will experience insane hunger. Power through. If you must go over your calories and whatnot in My Fitness Pal, do it…but make sure your macro percentages always stay where they need to be. That is the important part. Finally, stay hydrated. It’s important to be hydrated all the time, but even more so with the Keto diet. In order to prevent your body from retaining water, you need to drink more water. Sounds crazy, but just trust me. Also be sure to take a look at what supplements you are taking. I personally needed to cut out my multi-vitamin, but add in a magnesium vitamin. Discuss with your doctor exactly what vitamins you need.

Right now, I am currently down about 83 lbs. My husband, who started the Keto diet with me, is down 125 lbs! We no longer look at this as a diet, but more as our new lifestyle. I ate a little sugar and some potato chips the other weekend and I ended of knocking myself out of ketosis and had the lovely experience of the Keto flu all over again this week. So…for me…sugar and potato chips are not worth it to me!

Good luck on your Keto journey. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will do my best to answer it!

Parents That Travel for Work – Tips for Surviving

I’ve been married for 15 years. A couple years into our marriage, I had my son. Two and a half years later, I had my daughter. 13 of those 15 years, my husband traveled for work. A lot. In the beginning he was only gone a day or two, here and there. Now, the travel is much more substantial. It’s not abnormal for him to be gone every week day, every single week. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it sucked having parents that travel for work. Since I have been doing it for so long, and with kids the entire time, I put together this handy list of tips to help you survive the travel.

travel for work

Parents That Travel for Work – Tips for Surviving

Being a stay at home parents has its own set of challenges, as any job does. However, being a stay at home parent when the other parents is gone the majority of the week can and does have many challenges that not everyone thinks of or acknowledges. It’s not the same as being home with the kids between 9 am and 5 pm. If you only take one thing away from this article, take this. It is important…no it is VITAL that you set up a routine for yourself and the kids. It can be as loose or as strict as you want it to be, but have something in place. Whether it be a set meal schedule and sleep schedule or more rigid with the same things done on certain days of the week, it doesn’t matter. It just matters that your children know what to expect. And it helps you too! Trust me on that!

Thoughts on Mom or Dad Calling Nightly

You have to know your child. If they are the type of child that needs to check in with the parent each night or has the ability to talk with the parent and say goodbye when the conversation is done without getting upset, then by all means, set up a time each night for mom or dad to call. With my children, I was always very matter of fact with them.

“Daddy is gone because he is working to provide for our family so we can eat, have a house, do fun things, etc” 

Tip…Pick up this Cloud Pet. You can record messages on the stuffed animal using an iOS app or android app!

CloudPets Talking Dog - The Huggable Pet to Keep in Touch Through the Cloud, Recordable Stuffed Animal by CloudPetsCloudPets Talking Dog – The Huggable Pet to Keep in Touch Through the Cloud, Recordable Stuffed Animal by CloudPets

I never set up a time for my husband to call each night. His schedule was often unpredictable. So the one thing I did not want to have happen is for him to tell the kids that he will call every night at 6 pm and then something happen and he not be able to call until much later or not call at all. For me, it was better for the kids to randomly and periodically talk to him during the week. Thankfully that approach worked very well for them. As I said before, he’s been traveling for the last 13 years. My kids are 13 and 10. They are very used to it and while they wished he was home, they get it and sometimes don’t talk to him all week long. When he does get home, my daughter will talk his ear off and tell him EVERYTHING that went on all week!

Setting Up a Routine

I briefly touched on the importance of setting up a routine. In the beginning, I was very rigid. My kids woke up at the same time every day, they took a nap at the same time every day, and they went to bed at the same time every day. As a result, their mealtimes were also at the same time every single day. As they have gotten older and involved in more things, I’ve had to relax on certain things, but the general schedule shell is still there. They know what to expect and when to expect it. By setting up a routine, it allows for the week to go by smoothly and, in some cases, a bit quicker!

Bringing Gifts Home

Don’t do it! I mean it. Once in awhile is OK, especially when mom or dad travel to a unique place, but gifts every single time will make things VERY difficult on the parent at home. Trust me. I know from experience. My husband used to do this and not only did the kids start to expect it, but it always made me the bad guy. I could be disciplining them for something during the week (or even that day we pick dad up) and then dad gets in the car with a gift. Now…if you want to suggest that the spouse bring YOU a gift each time…that’s OK. I am all on board with that! Just kidding! Well…sort of!

Rustic Town Handmade Vintage Antique Looking Genuine Leather Journal Diary Notebook Gift for Men Women Him HerRustic Town Handmade Vintage Antique Looking Genuine Leather Journal Diary Notebook Gift for Men Women Him HerExpandable Inspirational Bracelets “Be Thankful, Brave, Happy, Kind, True, Strong” - Perfect Gift for HerExpandable Inspirational Bracelets “Be Thankful, Brave, Happy, Kind, True, Strong” – Perfect Gift for HerKindle Paperwhite E-reader - Black, 6Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6

 Don’t Forget to Live

Early on I fell into the trap of not wanting to do certain things because I was worried my husband would be sad he missed out. We spent many years not doing much of anything because of that. Don’t do that! If you want to take the kids to the Science Museum or even a little two night trip to the beach. Do it! Yes your spouse may feel sad that he or she can’t be there, but it’s OK. You will have plenty of other opportunities to do fun things together at another time. Sometimes it just works out better to do these things during the week, rather than waiting until the weekend when it will be crazy busy.

Rely On Friends

This is something I just started to do, even though he has had to travel for work for the last 13 years. I am the type of person that does not like to inconvenience others. However, if someone ever needed help, I am the first person to help. Over the past year, I finally started to rely on friends and asking for help when I need it. It has definitely made things easier. While I still get a little uncomfortable to ask, it is something you MUST do. Unless we somehow figure out how to clone people, you can’t be in two places at once. No matter how hard you try!

While things are difficult for the parent that is home, it’s just as difficult for the parents that travel for work. They miss out on so many things. That’s where you come in. Take lots of pictures and videos. While it’s not the same, I know my husband has always enjoyed seeing the pictures and videos that I text him. And, while it’s easier said than done, try to be patient with the parent that has to travel for work and know that they wish they were home with the family too.

What tips for people that travel for work do you have?


Surviving Summer on Keto Diet

School is finally out for summer! Can you tell that I am one happy mama! No more alarms; No more school lunches to make; Just park programs, soccer camps and lacrosse tournaments to fill our days. When you follow a very specific diet plan, eating out or enjoying BBQ’s with friends and family can be pretty stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Surviving summer on the Keto diet can be very simple and you don’t have to worry about feeling like you are missing out on something. Trust me!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

surviving summer

Surviving Summer on the Keto Diet

So you’ve been following the Keto diet all winter and now summer is upon us and you are afraid that you won’t be able to enjoy all the summer fun with friends and family. Don’t worry! Following the Keto diet in the summer is no different that following it any other time of the year. If you’ve been on this diet for any amount of time, you know that it is a mindset and a lifestyle change, more than a diet. Like anything else, you need to plan, plan, plan.

Appetizers for Your Summer BBQ

In planning on how you will be surviving summer on the Keto diet, you need to think about things like appetizers. At most BBQ’s over the summer, appetizers include things like chips and dip, chips and salsa, or hummus and veggies. None of those options are Keto friendly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take something with you that is Keto friendly! Try one of these three recipes:

Delicious Deviled Eggs Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Both of the bacon wrapped recipes could probably be made on the grill! However you choose to make them, they will be a crowd pleaser and a nice addition to the other food at the BBQ.

Pro Tip #1…pick up one of these cups. It is the perfect summer cup!

Simple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid - Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug - Sweat Free Coffee Cup - Simple StainlessSimple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid – Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug – Sweat Free Coffee Cup – Simple Stainless

BBQ Main Meal

Bummed because you think you won’t be able to eat a burger or a hot dog? Don’t be! I can honestly say that I do not miss hot dog or hamburger buns. Plus, by not eating the bun, I don’t feel embarrassed when I load my plate up with both a hamburger and a hot dog! If you really must have a hamburger that you can pick up, just wrap it in lettuce! I personally like to eat my hamburger on a plate with a fork and knife with a little Franks Red Hot sauce and sometimes a little ranch dressing! I used to be a ketchup-aholic…I don’t even miss it!

Pro Tip #2…if you absolutely need some crunch, either on your salad or in place of chips, pick up these Parmesan Whisps!

Cello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 OunceCello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 Ounce

Keto Desserts

While you won’t be eating pies and other traditional BBQ desserts, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. For me, if I have the carbs available, slightly frozen raspberries or blackberries are my dessert. When you’ve completely cut out sugar, fruits like raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries start to taste like candy to you! Now, some people that are super strict with the Keto diet will not eat fruit at all. I have had tremendous success by only allowing me fruit on occasion and only when I have the carbs to accommodate it. Another Keto friendly dessert you may want to try are these delicious Keto cheesecake bites! So good!

 

What are your favorite Keto friendly recipes for surviving summer?


I’m Bored Free Summer Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias

My kids are finishing up their last week of school before summer vacation starts. I have to say, I am pretty excited to be done with this school year. The break from waking up at 6 am and making school lunches will be nice. I’m not looking forward to, however, the “I’m bored” comments from my kids. Thankfully, we have an extremely busy summer ahead filled with lots of weekend getaways for my son’s lacrosse tournaments. One thing I will be making sure to pack is my Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen. Protecting mine and my families skin is very important to me.

I'm bored

Whether we are going to a lacrosse tournament, soccer tournament, or just hanging around outside, this bag is always with me in the summer packed full of all the things I need like this Blue Lizard® sunscreen. If you aren’t familiar with Blue Lizard® products, then you need to be! Their products contain a unique zinc oxide formulation and provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection (SPF30+). I personally like it because I can easily find it at Walmart Stores and it is a brand trusted by dermatologists (for over 15 years!!), pediatricians and moms! Head to your local Walmart to pick up a bottle of the Blue Lizard® Sensitive, Baby, Face, or Sport! I picked up the Sensitive version, but all varieties were located in a center aisle display near the toiletry section of the store!

*For children under 6 months of age, please consult your pediatrician before using any sunscreen. For children older than 6 months, Blue Lizard® Baby or Sensitive products are recommended to minimize risk of skin sensitivity.

I'm bored

While we will be having our extremely busy moments this summer, we will have some down time too. The one thing I do NOT want to hear is, “I’m bored”. Those two words drive me crazy! Especially in the summer! There is so much kids can be doing to keep themselves occupied. I put together this great (and FREE) I’m Bored printable for you to print out and hang on the fridge.

I'm bored

Print Your FREE I’m Bored Printable HERE

Once you print this off, hang it on your fridge, and when your kids utter those two words you don’t want to hear, simply point to the list. If your kids are like my son, and a long list of items may be too hard for them to choose something to do, you can either pick for them or make an I’m Bored jar and have them randomly pick a slip of paper. What they pick, they do! Use the printable as a checklist…sort of like a summer bucket list…with a few chores thrown in between. Don’t worry, I have your back!

I'm bored

Remember…any activities you do outside this summer, make sure you put on Blue Lizard® sunscreen! Protect that skin! If you are heading out to your local Walmart to pick up the Blue Lizard® Sensitive sunscreen, be sure to join iBotta and earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen – Sensitive, 5 oz. bottle only.

I'm bored

Blue Lizard® sunscreen has a patented Smart Bottle™ technology. What does this mean? When the bottle is exposed to harmful UV sunlight, it changes from white to blue! This is a great teaching tool for your kids on when to re-apply sunscreen!

Pick up Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen today and enjoy the wonderful summer outdoors!!