However, using all of the weird and wonderful new ingredients and supplements within this restricted diet meant that some of my recipes probably weren’t as good as they could have been – hence why a colleague and I decided that 2 weeks on the ketogenic diet over the summer would help us to understand the restrictions and develop some recipes of our own.
We chose to follow the modified ketogenic diet and worked out our plans to hit 1500kcal as follows:
The only time I was officially in ketosis was during the weekend when I didn’t eat regular meals and was able to restrict carbohydrates to 4-5g per day. This, however, wasn’t feasible on a work day when I was required to concentrate more! I didn’t really feel any different when I was in ketosis, maybe a bit light-headed but that could also have been because it was really hot weather whilst I was on the diet. I think I needed to be in ketosis for longer than 2 days to be able to make a proper judgment.
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Throughout the entire fortnight I was incredibly thirsty, and unable to work out if it was, again, due to it being the hottest 2 weeks of the year or not. I found myself constantly obsessing over my numbers – counting up how many carbs I had left, how much fat I had eaten, and if there was any way of squeezing some more in. It took over my entire life for that fortnight and I now have a whole new respect for families who take this on, in particular if they also have other children to feed – I only had to think about myself and that was hard enough!
Now, after 2 weeks on the ketogenic diet I can tell you the main 5 things I learnt:
- It is really disappointing when you don’t get high ketones after trying so hard
- ‘Can’t you just have some more cheese?’ is a phrase I will never use again
- It is very important to plan in advance
- Trying to fit all of the fat into one single meal makes for a very greasy meal, a main and a pudding is the best format
- Don’t overcomplicated recipes, start small and as you get more confident with meals then start to experiment
This picture gallery below shows our proudest achievements:
Chicken and pepper courgetti:
Cauliflower rice with mozzarella:
...And here is one of the meals we would rather forget - Tuna ‘pasta’
To summarise, I feel like following the ketogenic diet for a fortnight was eye opening. Although I knew the theory, I learnt so many practical tips that I have since found invaluable when discussing with parents and patients. I had a load of recipes I planned on trying out, but then some of the ingredients were so expensive I didn’t use them because I was worried it would be a waste - Almond flour ‘flurry’ = £10 a bag! I found the best plan was to keep it simple - making a pie using ketocare bread as a crust or using the ‘Lo dough’ at work or for a quick meal was great, and having cauliflower rice and courgetti was a real lifesaver.
Betaquik®, keyo® and MCTprocal® are foods for special medical purposes and must be used under medical supervision. These recipes have been specifically designed for use in a ketogenic diet. Refer to labels for allergen and other product information.