Diets and Dietary Restrictions

Diets are one of the many ways for people to adhere to certain health conditions, beliefs, or values. A dietary concept that I was interested in is the Ketogenic diet. With this diet, I will try to consume basically as little carbohydrates as possible while prioritizing fat consumption and moderate protein. A good rule of thumb is to be no higher than 20g of carbs a day according to various keto forums online. Following the keto diet, I will also choose soy as a pretend allergen.

A typical daily menu for a ketogenic diet could look something like this:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon
  • Lunch: Grilled salmon and zucchini noodles
  • Dinner: Ground beef tacos with cheese, salsa, avocado, sour cream in a lettuce wrap

Here’s an easy recipe for someone who wants to pack a keto lunch to work or school:

Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brocolli and Zucchini

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 head of broccoli, florets
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400f
  2. Combine all spices and reserve
  3. Coat chicken thighs in olive oil and then rub spices evenly and place onto baking tray
  4. Place chicken in oven for 25 minutes
  5. Remove baking tray and add broccoli florets and zucchini slices
  6. Cook for another 15 minutes until chicken reaches 160f internally
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Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brocolli and Zucchini

Example 7 day Keto Log

  • Day 1
    • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
    • Lunch: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
    • Dinner: Steak with Hollandaise and Garlic Broccoli
  • Day 2
    • Breakfast: Sausage and Avocado
    • Lunch: Tuna Egg Salad
    • Dinner: Chicken tinola
  • Day 3
    • Breakfast: Spinach and Cheese Frittata
    • Lunch: Chicken soup (no noodles)
    • Dinner: Roasted Pork Belly and Cabbage slaw
  • Day 4
    • Breakfast: Mixed berries and full fat yogurt
    • Lunch: Lettuce wrap tacos
    • Dinner: Grilled Salmon and Zucchini Noodles
  • Day 5
    • Breakfast: Ham, cheese, onion omelet
    • Lunch: Bacon wrapped asparagus
    • Dinner: Roast Beef and Cauliflower mash
  • Day 6
    • Breakfast: Strawberry avocado smoothie with almond milk
    • Lunch: Stir fry beef and veggies
    • Dinner: Dry rub pork baby back ribs with green beans and grilled corn on the cob
  • Day 7
    • Breakfast: Bacon cauliflower hash
    • Lunch: Oven roasted chicken thighs with broccoli and zucchini
    • Dinner: Pork chops with caramelized onions

Reflection

This was a tough diet to follow. I was able to follow it for some of the meals during the week, but not all. Breakfast was the easiest while lunch and dinner were more difficult to adhere to the diet. My biggest trouble was not including rice since it is a staple in my diet. One noticeable effect I had was reduced bloating. Due to not be able to eat heavy carb junk foods, I felt much lighter. Here are some pictures I took of the food I ate.

Maintaining this diet as a chef will be challenging, but I think can be done. Keto has become very popular recently and I think many modern chef’s like to have a culinary challenge. Carbs are usually found in sides like mash potatoes which can be changed to cauliflower mash or tortillas/taco shells which can be replaced by lettuce wrap. I believe all that a chef needs to have in order to tackle this challenge is creativity. Although I did enjoy attempting this diet, I do not think I would continue with it. I do think I will try and do a less extreme version with a paleo diet.

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