Have we lost our minds?
You might have noticed a few unexpected ingredients popping up in a couple of our latest recipes, such as fat-free yogurt and whey protein powder. We also use cottage cheese and lean cuts of meat like chicken breast more frequently. So, what’s cooking?
Personally, I have taken a hard pass at highly processed and fat-free products since 2009 when I started my LCHF (keto) journey. So when Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, my boss and founder of Diet Doctor, started talking to me about a high-protein diet with immense excitement, I almost didn’t want to listen.
I pictured tasteless “diet food” like dry chicken breast and steamed broccoli, and I honestly thought that maybe this is the time for me to move on. I’ve been an advocate for keto for so long because I don’t feel deprived and I get to enjoy delicious food every day. There’s no chance that I would go back to counting calories.
The fact is that according to the latest research, a diet with a higher protein percentage (meaning fewer calories coming from fat and carbs) has proved to be very effective for weight loss — especially if you combine it with low carb. It sounds good on paper, but what does it mean for us who have to eat this stuff?
The crucial question for me as Head of Recipes at Diet Doctor was: Can we make high-protein recipes that will work well with our meal plans, are easy to prepare, and, most importantly, taste amazing?
After I started experimenting with the high protein recipes and the macros, I learned that you have to choose your fat sources more wisely. If you would like to try the higher protein approach, you can still enjoy chicken thighs with skin, mayonnaise, and cheese — but not all together or in limitless amounts.
For example, if you want to make a sauce with cream or butter, you need to use a leaner cut of meat like tenderloin, instead of pork chop, to get the right balance between fat and protein. Want to eat bacon? Stupid question … of course, you do! Use the bacon fat to fry the eggs instead of frying them in extra butter and pair it with other ingredients with less fat, such as eggs and veggies.
So, have I completely changed the way I’m eating now? Do I eat steak and eggs for breakfast? Am I shredded?
The answer is “NO.” I believe that diets do not have to be black or white. You can choose what works for you and skip the rest. For me, that means I’m more restrictive with adding fat to my food than I was before. I still enjoy full-fat dairy products, chicken with skin, and mayonnaise because it tastes amazing and makes me happy.
I also learned some new tricks. For example, fat-free yogurt is excellent to bake with and cottage cheese topped with cinnamon and berries is a quick and filling snack.
Some days I do intermittent fasting; some days I eat strict keto with lots of protein; some days I eat vegetarian food. And believe it or not, sometimes I even eat pizza that is not made of a vegetable.
You do you.
You will always progress by keeping an open mind, listening to your body, and learning from your experiences.