Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Welcome To Low Carb Cork

This blog is a collection of recipes and tips I've collected over the course of my transition to a low-carbohydrate diet.

People typically think of a low-carb diet as consisting mainly of unhealthy, samey fried meats day in, day out. This blog shows the many varied, delicious and healthy meals you can put together while avoiding unnecessary sugars. And some of those fried meats too.

Some of these recipes have come from friends and family, some I've picked up from TV, books, other blogs. Some are just experiments I've come up with over the course of switching to a low-carb diet. A little bit of trial and error later, what is posted here is the end result. I'll also try to include local recommendations for other ketoers in the Cork area.

A lot of the information and ideas come from S, who is at this stage a low-carb expert and my keto spirit guide.

What is a low-carb diet?

Carbohydrates in the form of sugars and starches come from foods like potatoes, grains, (most) fruits, pasta, rice, breads, sugary drinks and cereal. A typical diet will burn carbohydrates for energy and convert the left-over carbs into stored body fat.

Eating low-carb food removes sugar and starch from the diet, and forces the body into a state called 'ketosis'. In ketosis the body will instead burn fat for energy (including stored body fat). Ketosis is a much more efficient metabolic process and more in line with the diets of our ancestors than typical modern diets.

Typically, a low-carb diet for weight loss should contain less than 20g of carbohydrates per day. This does not include dietary fibre, which is passed through the body. If you're at a healthy weight but want to cut back on your carb intake, the recommended level is about 50g per day.

Even if you are not trying to lose weight, eating meals made up of low carbohydrate ingredients can help health issues from asthma and arthritis to PCOS and diabetes. If you are interested in finding out more, the keto thread on reddit is a great source of information.

Once you start to take notice, you will be shocked at how many every-day foods contain sugar.

Beautiful West Cork

What can I eat?

You can eat as much as you want of dark green leafy vegetables, small amounts of high-water content veg such as peppers and cucumber, red meats, white meats, fish, offal, eggs, seeds & nuts, full-fat dairy (including cream and cheese, but no milk) or anything else you can find rich in nutrition, fat, protein and fibre.

Stay away from any 'diet' or 'low-fat' products- these contain man made chemical compounds which often consist of sugars.

If you like a drink, stick to spirits with tonic water or sugar-free mixers. Dry red wines like syrah or cabernet sauvignon are also a great option, with about 2-3g of carbs per glass.

Any Tips?

If you want to undertake a low-carb diet in order to lose weight, get some Ketostix (aka urinalysis strips). You can use these to test if you’re ‘in ketosis’ or not.
As long as you are in ketosis you will be burning your fat stores. If you fall out of ketosis, you'll have to go back into it again which means going through sugar withdrawl all over again.

It's very important to keep hydrated on a low-carb diet, so drink as much water as you can. Drinking a large glass as soon as you wake up will kick-start your system and boost your energy levels.

A Food Thermometer makes cooking steak, ham, roasts and chicken so much easier. It allows you to cook just about anything with little knowledge. Just stick it in the oven and wait for the beep.

Stevia is a natural sugar substitute plant extract. It looks and tastes like sugar and can be used in baking or added to tea and coffee.

Take some supplements. Green Tea Extract will increase the rate of weight loss and boost energy and Psyllium Husk is great fibre supplement to keep you regular and prevent diarrhea.


And hey, I'm not a dietitian so don't be looking for detailed nutritional information. If you're trying to lose weight make sure to do your carb math based on the ingredients you use. I'm just posting recipes that I love, and that keep me on the dark end of the keto strip.

All oven temperatures are in degrees celsius, unless otherwise stated.

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