Keto is the latest rage in the health and wellness community. The more people migrate from paleo to keto, or the more people that find how well keto works for them, the more people who find they need to do keto without dairy.
Back when I began keto there were zero dairy free resources. Now, several. But as this has been my personal way to keto. I am happy to share my very own GUIDE TO DAIRY FREE KETO!
First thing’s first… What is this keto?
The ketogenic diet is a diet which promotes the metabolic state of ketosis. When you are in ketosis your liver is producing ketones, which will use dietary and/or stored body fat as fuel. Instead of your body pumping out insulin which shuttles blood sugar into cells for fuel you will now use fat. Think of sugar (glucose) as kindling, fast burning fuel and fat as the logs in a fire, slow burning.
The benefit to slow burning energy is that you don’t have spikes and falls of energy. You stay satisfied much longer, no need to re-fuel every few hours. Beyond that there are many studies that attest to the healing aspects of a ketogenic diet.
Used for over 100 years in clinical settings to treat neurological disorders, a ketogenic diet is very powerful. It also has many faces. Folks keto in many different ways. While the medical ketogenic diet needs to be very high in fat (brain fuel) and very low in carbs (sometimes in efforts to stave tumors!)….. the more casual keto diet is being used my many people to find a healthy body weight, experience better energy, mental clarity and athletic performance.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ROCK A DAIRY FREE KETO LIFESTYLE!
Some people put a strong emphasis on hitting macronutrient goals to get into ketosis or stay there. The traditional keto macronutrient ratios are:
75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs
However, I usually do something like
70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs
I track total carbs, not net carbs (carbs – fiber). I also don’t partake in too many keto bread, treats etc… I feel if your carbs are from vegetables, it’s not imperative to restrict them as much. But that’s just me.
Being in ketosis isn’t only about not eating carbs. Many people enjoy a ketogenic state, despite their diet. They practice fasting or do a ton of cardio every day. Once you’re out of glycogen, your body will go into ketosis. There are many ways to get there.
Bonus on a dairy free keto, and usually a more whole food keto… you know, broccoli isn’t going to kick you out of ketosis.
Set your protein goal (.5-1 g per lb of body weight), set your carb limit (30-50 g total/day), the rest of your calories come from fat, eat as much or as little as you need to feel food. That can range from 100 to 200 g a day depending on your needs!
When you first lower your carbs and up your fat your body will go through a transition. It will have to learn to use fat as fuel before glycogen. This may take a few weeks or a few months.
Once you have trained your body to prefer fat as fuel, you’re fat adapted.
Being fat adapted is nice because your cravings will subside, you will have more energy and your meals will be very satisfying. Also, you have a little more wiggle room when it comes to what you eat, and it kicking you out of ketosis.
Again, ketosis is a metabolic state. Some people, like Cross Fitters, can eat 80-100 grams of carbs a day and be in ketosis because of their demanding physical activity. They have metabolic flexibility, going in and out of ketosis without skipping a beat.
Our bodies will always use a measure of glycogen, even making it out of protein if need be, so don’t go hating on glucose, it’s there for a reason. We just don’t need to overeat sugar and carbs all day every day like most of us do on a standard American diet (SAD).
Keto in 1, 2, 3….
- Omit all starches + sugar from your diet to include grain, beans, tubers, sweeteners, most fruit, potatoes, oatmeal, sweet peas, pasta, etc.
- Replace these foods with healthy fat and above ground vegetables, mostly green ones. Eat plenty of avocado, olives, coconut oil, rendered animal fats.
- Make sure you’re getting in enough protein. .5-.8g per pound of your body weight. Strive to source quality proteins not to ingest inflammatory corn and hormones via your animal proteins.
Because you don’t retain water when you eat low carb, you need to make sure you hydrate and get in electrolytes.
- Drink water with a pinch of pink Himalayan salt and a squeeze of lemon
- Take an electrolyte supplement. I also like Iodine supplements.
If you have a lot of weight to lose and start dropping pounds fast you will need to help your body detox. We store a lot of crap in our body fat.
- Milk thistle and/or calcium d-glucarate to support your liver
Having trouble digesting fats? This happens. After a lifetime of low fat, high fiber foods our bodies forget!
- Digestive supplement with ox bile (I like Bio-Gest by Thorne)
Make sure you drink enough water. Make sure you eat enough. Fat can be very satiating, but the fast road to hormone imbalance, hair loss and adrenal fatigue is not eating enough.
What do I eat on Dairy Free Keto
Quality animal proteins, eggs, bacon, coconut, green vegetables will be most of what you eat. No need to eat tons of cheese to get fat into your diet. Chicken thighs, ribeye steaks, pork shoulders all have plenty of protein. Add some good sauces to your plate, sauces made with anti-inflammatory fats like avocado oil mayo, coconut milk curry and Sunshine sauce and you will be cruising on your keto lifestyle.
Best Fast: Coconut oil, avocado oil, Nutivas Butter Flavored Coconut Oil (so good), Rendered Animal Fats, Olive oil.
Super Foods: Broccoli, Cauliflower (hello Cauli-rice), Spinach, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Coconut, Asparagus, Bok Choy, Saukraut, Arugula
Easy Proteins: Eggs, Bonesless Skinless chicken thighs, ground beef, ground pork, salmon, fatty steaks
Beyond Plants and Animals
Because keto with a paleo twist (an emphasis on whole, ingredient foods) is amazing and all. But sometimes we just want the damn dairy free keto cookie.
I like using coconut flour and flax seed meal for baking. Fine ground almond flour is effective, but easy to over consume. Nuts consumed in large amounts can be inflammatory. Proceed with caution.
Dark chocolate is my BFF. I stick to 80% dark or higher. You can also get stevia-sweetened dark chocolate.
Creating meals that stratify cravings is fine, it’s a need, it’s what I do for a living. This is meant to be a lifestyle change. It’s forever. So you bet your ass we’re going to eat delicious foods. It’s all about getting creative with cooking. Some of my most popular recipes are:
- Teriyaki Meatball Noodle Bowl
- Low Carb Power Bowl
- Avocado Brownies
- Sheet Pan Taco Bowl
- Keto Crispy Wings
- Beef and Broccoli Bowls
- Vanilla Tahini Fudge Fat Bombs
Keto and ______
AIP? Nut Free? Whole30? Etc, etc, etc.
It can be done. You can eat however you want. It’s your body. You figure out what works best for you.
Do I use sweeteners? Which ones? Yes. On occasion, I use Stevia Glycerite. Swerve or Lakanto. I recently started using Lakanto. I prefer it over Swerve, by a lot! However, I try to use no sweetener or use Stevia first (to keep things paleo). Lakanto and Swerve are both made with erythritol that is sugar alcohols from fermented corn.
Dairy Free Keto Cookbooks: