Whether you believe it or not, there will come a time during your keto walk that vegetables will become very important to you. In the beginning, I focused on salads and celery. After all, pre-keto the majority of my vegetable intake consisted of salads with something fried on top and/or starchy veggies such as corn, carrots and potatoes. If you have put on considerable weight, I can safely assume that this was the case for most of you as well. Early on, you learn that all starchy veggies and any potatoes are a no-no, so that usually leaves salad. At first this is great! After all, you get to indulge in delicious full-fat dressings on top of your salads! That makes salads along with your protein and fat a no-brainer as far as keto meal choices go. After some time, salads can get old. You will soon discover that you are craving a little more variety. Vegetables have the most options for you as far as variety goes. After all, no matter how you spruce up beef, chicken, pork and eggs, it is still beef, chicken, pork and eggs. That’s not all bad, but discovering new vegetables can feel like an adventure and give you something brand new to focus on and create! You NEED this in your life. If you are to be successful changing your old ways, it is critical that you turn your focus onto new things. Our brains and bodies crave variety and new experiences….this is what makes human beings who they are. Long term, you will burn out and quit if you ignore this very critical step in the process. One can only consume so many bunless cheeseburgers and scrambled eggs before their brain will begin to resist and rebel against this lifestyle. Don’t lose heart! Get those creative juices flowing! Go to the store with your list of acceptable keto veggies and throw at least 2 into your cart and resolve to experiment on them! Believe it or not, if you have been practicing keto for several months, your taste buds will have changed. I began to crave what I considered VERY strange things when I gave up my side dishes of potatoes and corn (2 of my old favorites). I craved celery with pimento cheese, brussels sprouts, cabbage (even raw), avocados, radishes and turnip greens, just to name a few. While you are experimenting, don’t make it too complicated. Stay away from lengthy recipes and such. This could cause you to skip certain veggies because you will think that they take too much work. Almost any veggie tastes good pan fried in some bacon grease! Start there! I cook my green beans and turnip greens in ham or bacon…YUM! Sautee your radishes in some butter. “Rice” your cauliflower . Try frying some bok choy or swiss chard! Don’t assume that you won’t like a certain vegetable because you didn’t like it before you started keto…things change. The enjoyment of veggies, and how many of them we consume when we make the change to keto, is one of the reasons that our health improves so much when it’s done correctly. When I look back on the way that I ate pre-keto, compared to how I eat now, it is no comparison! I eat so many more healthy vegetables than I used to eat. I do my best to get in 7 cups a day of a variety of different vegetables. I actually look forward to them. You will as well.
Don’t worry if you are just starting out and this sounds overwhelming to you. You will get there! When I first started, some days, I survived on beef jerky, cheese, salami rolls, fat bombs and Monster Zero energy drinks….Lol!! Not very healthy, but it did the trick while I evolved my eating habit! You will get there one step at a time. Don’t be so hard on yourself and allow a learning curve. Patience and a slow evolution of your habits and your menu will ensure long term success.