So you are emerging from lockdown, and, like a lot of people, you find yourself confronted by the dreaded ‘Quarantine 15’! Or, more gently, ‘COVID Curves’.
It shouldn’t be a surprise — between the stress, change in work routines, and gym closures, everybody looked to comfort food as a respite from the long hours of isolation.
Now that things are opening up and life is resuming a more normal pace, a look back shows us that there was a 238% rise in flour sales (pun intended) and General Mills experienced a 75% boost in their bottom line due to sales increases in baking supplies like yeast and cake mix.
We’ll long remember 2020 as the year there was triple-digit growth in baking supply sales, along with, wait for it…hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cookies, and pants with elastic waistbands.
Time to Get Back Out in the World
Now, thanks to vaccines and science, it is become safe to leave the house and gather with friends and family.
And it’s the “going out” that has prompted people to look at their keto diet with fresh eyes.
In fact, there have been 25.4 million google searches about the keto diet since the start of the new year.
As people are rejoining their normal routines, we are seeing a burst of healthy eating options.
In the first quarter of 2021 (year over year), grocery stores began seeing massive growth in fresh food sales like vegetables and seasonal herbs (jalapenos were up 454% and cilantro 415%) and less processed foods.
Once we got the ‘all clear’, it didn’t take long to see that people were ready to get back to their pre-pandemic healthy lifestyles.
Bouncing Back with the Keto Diet
People have been more than ready to get back out in the world but have been beating themselves up for the ‘quarantine 15’ which, in turn, can cause them to overeat.
It’s a vicious circle that probably feels more familiar than anyone wants to admit.
Following the uncertainty of the last year or so, the most important thing to do is commit to a renewed focus on health and fitness through a keto diet lifestyle.
That means going back to the keto diet basics and focusing on foods with ‘zero net carbs’.
That means cutting the majority of carbs from your diet and instead replacing them with healthy fats and some protein in the following proportions:
- Fats — 75% of your total calorie intake
- Proteins — 20% of your calories
- Carbs — 5% of your calories
Remember, you can eat foods using their net carb calculation.
This is calculated by taking the total number of carbohydrates and subtracting the sugar alcohols and fiber which don’t impact your blood sugar levels (hence the name often used on food labels of “impact carbs”).
While one of the benefits of the keto diet is eating fresh, unprocessed foods, the natural food industry is continually launching new products.
These new offerings allow you to enjoy old favorites that have very low net carbs or impact carbs and support your keto diet lifestyle.
Best Keto Diet Products
While most people were self-isolating, the food industry kept on working and keto diet products launches have doubled in the last year.
With everything from breads and pancakes to condiments and sauces, the food manufacturers (especially in the specialty foods and natural foods categories) have been working overtime to bring you delicious alternatives to the classics you grew up with.
We want to share some of our favorite categories and leave it up to you to find the brand that best suits your palette.
One of the hardest things for people to give up is bread. Well, why give it up?
Today, there are outstanding options for white and wheat bread mixes (so you can still indulge your inner Ina Garten) that taste fantastic and have 2 grams of net carbs and 4 grams of protein.
Typically, you add water, eggs, and a bit of melted butter to the gluten-free dry mix ingredients, and 35 to 40 minutes later, you have a delicious loaf of bread, plus your home smells great!!!
The taste of these five-star reviewed breads explains why there has been a 249% increase in keto bread consumption in the last year.
Imagine burritos wrapped in tortillas made entirely of cheese?
You can use them for wraps and sandwiches or crisp them up for edible salad bowls too.
No, seriously stop!
And they are made from only cheese — Parmesan, Cheddar, or Jarlsberg. With 11 to 13 grams of protein, you have to be a little careful. But what a great way to indulge.
There are pasta sauces made simply with tomatoes, olive oil, and basil — nothing else. Perfect to keep handy for quick meals.
You can serve over zucchini noodles or toast one of the afore-mentioned cheese tortillas and you have a pizza crust that can hold some pasta sauce, toppings, and more cheese for the perfect quick meal.
Imagine the perfect breakfast cereal that’s made from almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds, and only has 2 grams of net carbs.
Add your favorite nut milk, and you have a power-packed start to your day.
Today, granola comes in flavors from blueberry cinnamon to vanilla raspberry to birthday cake, all with minimal net carbs and maximum healthy fats.
Something for Crunch
Sometimes you just need that crunch. It’s why potato chips and popcorn are so satisfying.
It’s the mix of savory and salt that makes it so appealing. And food manufacturers are rising to the challenge with a wide variety of snacks that satisfy our urge to crunch.
There are much more than pork rinds to choose from today.
Such a vast variety, it’s hard to list them all, but here are some favorites:
- Cheesy Savory Snack Mixes with nuts, pepitas, and dried cheese shreds
- Crackers made from Nut Flours
- Salmon Skin Chips
- Air-Dried Beef Chips
- Seaweed Chips
- Chicken Skin Chips
And for sweet alternatives, try glazed nuts that use monk fruit sweeteners to add glazed perfection that’s perfect on a salad or as a snack.
What if you could find fluffy, mouth-watering biscuits that only had 2 grams of net carbs and were completely keto-friendly?
You’re asking yourself, how can that even be possible, right? Well, add two eggs and some grass-fed butter and pop them in the oven for hot, delicious biscuits in about 15 minutes.
Since ice cream typically has a lot of sugar, it seems like an unlikely candidate for ‘keto-ization’.
It turns out that low-carb ice cream is possible when you make it with plant fibers and sugar alcohols (neither of which can be digested and don’t contribute any added carbs to your diet).
You end up with creamy, luscious ice cream with 2 to 3 net carbs per serving in flavors like chocolate peanut butter, cookie dough, and butter pecan.
Pancakes and Waffles
Imagine Sunday morning with a hot cup of coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and pancakes fresh off the griddle?!?!?
It’s not only possible but also easy with a pre-made pancake and waffle mix that has 1 gram of net carbs and is gluten-free.
You can top them with fresh fruit or try one of the many syrups made from monk fruit or stevia for a sweet, traditional taste.
To a Healthy Future
Hopefully, we’re on the other side of the pandemic and can look forward to eating in restaurants, going to concerts and sporting venues, and enjoying the great outdoors.
If you were able to maintain your keto diet lifestyle during the lockdown, congratulations!
If not, well you have our full encouragement and support to jump back in the game — you’re going to do great!
We’ve shared our favorite keto diet products (and even shared a few recipes) in the hopes that it helps you see the possibilities available.
Whatever your reason for eating keto — weight loss, health reasons, or just because you feel better — you don’t have to feel deprived or like you’re missing out on something.
Trust us, once you settle in, you won’t even miss carbs.
Read our blog or follow us on medium.com to learn more about the keto diet lifestyle and our keto diet products.
Here’s to your health!
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