Doing the Keto Diet on a Budget

The ketogenic diet does not have to be expensive unless you want it to be. In fact, after ditching most of the convenience foods that I had been eating, I noticed that the food budget actually went down! While you always want to strive to buy organic foods and high quality meats, there are ways to do this diet on a budget!

Using Coupons for the Ketogenic Foods

There are times when the foods on a ketogenic diet will have a coupon. Most of the time, you won’t find coupons for fresh produce or meats. However, there are staples on the ketogenic diet that often do have coupons or go on sale. These include frozen veggies, frozen berries, mayonnaise and other canned vegetables. Often deli meats do have coupons. Occasionally, brand name dairy products like heavy whipping cream or cheese will have a good coupon. Most of the time, coupons are advertisements for products that are convenience foods, so this isn’t going to be a big source of savings on your ketogenic diet. Before you leave for the grocery store, scan through the coupons to see if there are any for the foods that you buy.

If your grocery store doubles coupons, shop on the day when they are doubling the coupons. It can make a big difference in your bottom line! Many people become very proficient at combining coupons and sales to reduce their cost to almost nothing.

Buy the Frozen or Canned Version

Canned seafood is much less expensive and can be very versatile. I buy cans of wild caught salmon and tuna from Costco. It is so convenient for lunches. You can easily add tuna fish or salmon to a salad for a boost of protein to your meal. Canned tuna makes a good tuna salad if you add mayonnaise, celery and some relish. You can use canned salmon to make salmon patties and fry them in olive oil for a fun entree.

For some vegetables, it just makes more sense to buy the canned version. For a pumpkin recipe, canned pumpkin puree is going to save you a ton of time and money over buying the whole pumpkin! This doesn’t even include the time that I would spend preparing the pumpkin. I’m planning on using canned pumpkin for my pumpkin cheesecake bites and my pumpkin soup recipes this fall. It will save me a ton of time and headache![easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B0062A87HA” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”mcurle08-20″ width=”104″]

Buy fresh when it is in season. Buy frozen when it is not. Most of the time fresh vegetables are going to be more expensive than frozen. Frozen food have the added convenience of being washed and chopped beforehand. They are flash frozen and often retain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts which tend to lose some in transit.

Some people may not like the texture of frozen spinach or broccoli. However, this can easily be remedied by using them as an ingredient in other foods, such as casseroles, quiches and soups.

Shop seasonally!

This goes along with shopping the sales. When vegetables and berries are in season, they are going to be in abundance and grocery stores will want to move them faster. They are going to be more likely to be on sale during those times. Knowing what is in season and when will help you when you are making decisions on what to buy. Berries are going to be summer fruits. Most grocery stores are shipping them in from other countries, but during the summer months, they will likely be less expensive.

Broccoli, spinach and winter squashes are going to be priced the best during the fall and spring months. They are “cold weather” crops. These vegetables do best in cooler temperatures. Look for their prices to be best during the fall.

Certain meats will go on sale a week before a holiday. You will likely to find good prices on turkeys during November and just prior to Christmas. Ham is almost always on sale around Easter time. I purchased corned beef just prior to St. Patrick’s day for a little over a dollar a pound.The next week, I noticed that the price had risen considerably. If you are flexible with your meat purchases, you can get great deals around the holiday times. For people with large freezers, you may want to purchase an additional turkey or ham and plan ahead for future meals.

My strategy has always been to buy the meat that is on sale and then find a recipe for it. This is easily accomplished with the use of google. You can always type in “ketogenic recipe for xyz” and come up with a lot of great ideas!

Invest in a pressure cooker or a crock pot. The least expensive cuts of meat often are the toughest cuts of meat. However, if you make use of a crock pot or a pressure cooker, you can turn the toughest piece of meat into a tender entree!

Costco and Other Wholesale Clubs

Costco can offer a lot of great deals when it comes to the ketogenic diet. Nuts are priced well at costco. I pick up canned wild caught salmon from Costco, as well as olive oil. When I lived near a costco and didn’t have a car, I frequently bought my groceries there, which is really unusual for a single person, but it was a lifesaver. They have good quality produce and meats that are usually great prices.

Shopping at Costco will save you lots of money if you are buying staples for ketogenic baking, such as almond meal or almond flour. It is about 60% of the cost of almond flour on Amazon or in the grocery store. However, don’t feel like you need to do baking. That tends to be a bit more expensive.

I discovered great prices at the local Super H (Korean grocery store in Fairfax, VA) when  I lived near a Super H. While I didn’t recognize many of the vegetables, I could almost always find a great deal on produce. Get outside your comfort zone and try out ethnic grocery stores, you may discover some great deals!

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My Sample Keto Diet

Before starting the ketogenic diet, I really thought that it was all lettuce, mayonnaise and heavy whipping cream. I had no idea what I could put together that would taste good and sustain me throughout the day. Not only that, but my neurologist told me that the ketogenic diet wasn’t right for me. It wouldn’t work for me. Of course, as a teenager, it was far easier to take the anticonvulsant that the doctor was prescribing. After all, it provided instant results and the side effects were tolerable, or so I thought! As the years wore on, I realized that I couldn’t improve my health as long as I was taking an anticonvulsant. It would be constantly working against my liver. So, after a couple decades, I took the plunge and went keto. This page is a sample of the things that I am eating on the keto diet.

Get the recipe for this chicken stir fry
You don’t need bread! A lettuce wrap with tuna fish and tomatoes is great!
Lunch can be salads with deviled eggs! It is great!
Berries are a low carbohydrate fruit and a great way to make a smoothie!

As you can see, this sample keto diet demonstrates that there are a wide variety of things that you can add to your menu. Berries are great for breakfast smoothies and as a side dish or dessert! There are lots of different vegetables that you can eat and combine with other vegetables to make them taste great! A hamburger does not require a bun and can be jazzed up with sauteed onions and mushrooms or served with a slice of cheese for added flavor!


How To Get Motivated For Exercise

Exercise is not everyone’s favorite thing to do. Telling someone to exercise sounds a bit like a punishment. It is all psychological though. You can motivate yourself for exercise in the morning or evening. It doesn’t have to feel like a chore, you can discover that you love it and begin to embrace a healthier lifestyle for yourself.

Make the Decision to Exercise

The first step for achieving any goal is to simply make the decision that you will do it. If you are waffling on whether or not you will do it, most likely when the going gets tough, you will quit. I know. I’ve been there and done that. When exercising is a choice and you are tired or have a busy day lined up the next day, you may decide the movie on television holds your interest more and you will procrastinate starting to exercise. Make the decision that you will exercise.

Set Aside a Convenient Time

Schedule it into your routine. The exercise will get done when you have a set time and place to do it. It won’t get done if you think, I’ll squeeze in fifteen minutes of walking sometime tomorrow. That fifteen minutes gets eaten up by cleaning, taking care of the kids, running errands and before you know it there was no time in the day to exercise.

Tap Into the Power of Your Subconscious

This is perhaps one of the most underutilized strategies for motivating yourself to exercise. Listen to positive affirmations everyday. I listen to the Think Right Now programs as I sleep and throughout the day. I’m amazed that after listening to them consistently for a week or two that my behaviors start to change. Things that I may have been procrastinating start to get incorporated into my day. For example, when I was listening to the “I am organized now!” program, I didn’t get immediately organized, but I discovered that I was starting to put things away instead of leaving them out. The dishes would get done on time. Mail would be opened and answered in a timely manner.

As I listened to the Setting and Achieving Goals program, I made the decision to exercise everyday. I started running on my treadmill, doing yoga poses, and taking daily walks within a week of setting the goal. I am not averse to exercise. In fact, most of the time I love it. However, I can get out of the habit of exercising due to an injury or a setback. It was a simple and easy thing to play the audio in the background as I completed other tasks or during the night while I slept. I discovered that I took action incredibly fast. It was amazing! [easyazon_image align=”left” height=”120″ identifier=”B007O98NMW” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”mcurle08-20″ width=”160″]

Get a Support System

Your friends and family that are embarking on the same fitness journey can be a great source of motivation. As I have been doing the ketogenic diet, I discovered the power of innundating myself with positive people who are doing the same thing. I joined a bunch of facebook groups on the ketogenic diet. I also started following people on youtube who were interested in doing the low carbohydrate, high fat diet. It was wonderful to share encouraging words and kept me on track with healthier eating.

Having a support system gives you accountability. You are more likely to take the steps towards your goals when you know other people are cheering you on. Being in social media groups and sharing your progress and results keeps you accountable. It keeps you on track. The people in the group may also motivate you through their successes. You may discover that you are inspired through their different work out ideas as well.


Sometimes it is our attitudes that are keeping us from success. You can change your attitude towards exercising and motivate yourself to do it consistently when you put it in a positive light. You’ll start to enjoy exercise and even crave it when you view it as a positive in your life. Support groups and positive affirmation tapes can go a long way in getting you motivated for exercise. Not only will you be motivated, you’ll actually start doing it!




Ketogenic Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe

Chicken broccoli stir fry is one of my favorite ketogenic recipes. It can be very easy to make it quickly. If you have the ingredients handy and cook them in the proper order. This is an ideal go-to recipe because it can be cooked in fifteen minutes and often the ingredients are on hand in my kitchen. Also, if you don’t have one of the vegetables, you can swap it out for another stir fry type of vegetable. For example, onions can be swapped out for green onions or scallions. Bell peppers are not essential, but add great flavor. The broccoli can be fresh or frozen. Mushrooms can be added or left out depending on whether you have them on hand or not. If you happen to have sugar snap peas, you could add those. I don’t tend to keep those on hand, but they are a great stiry fry ingredient too! 


  • Frozen chicken tenders
  • bell pepper
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • olive oil
  • Tamari (soy sauce – optional)
  • salt and pepper



For this, I start my chicken broccoli stir fry with the thing that cooks the slowest first. I place my frozen chicken tenders in the pan and turn it on high.

I get out the next slowest thing to cook, the broccoli. I cut and break the broccoli into bite size pieces and toss it in the cast iron skillet. I stir up the broccoli and the chicken so that the olive oil coats it a little and it evenly cooks. Next, I grab a pepper and chop it into bite sized pieces.

I toss the pepper into the hot skillet with the chicken and broccoli.

Next, I slice the mushrooms and add them.

Finally, I chop the scallions and add them to the pan. At this point, the chicken is half-way cooked and can easily be cut into bite sized pieces. I remove the chicken and then cut it into bite sized pieces. I cook it for a few more minutes (until the chicken has turned white and looks cooked).

Finally, I season it with about a teaspoon of Tamari, a dash of salt and pepper and serve![easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B000EITYUU” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”mcurle08-20″ width=”101″][easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B01BMYSNSS” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”mcurle08-20″ width=”47″]


Love chicken and broccoli? Check out my ketogenic chicken and broccoli casserole recipe! You’ll love it!

Need more ketogenic recipes? Check out the FREE Bacon and Butter Cookbook! 

How to Bounce on a Trampoline to Improve Your Health

Rebounding, or bouncing on a trampoline, has many health benefits to it. It improves your coordination, it strengthens your muscles, and it improves your lymphatic circulation, which stimulates the removal of toxins and improves your immune system.

Bouncing on a trampoline can be done in many ways. You can try to jump as high as you can, you can do twists and tricks, you can flip over. There are a million combinations to bouncing on a trampoline. There are probably just as many ways to hurt yourself if you land improperly. Therefore, I wanted to share some safety tips for bouncing on a trampoline.


  1. Bounce by yourself. The more people that are added to the trampoline, the more likely that you will collide into each other. On larger trampolines it is often more fun to bounce with friends. Following a few simple rules with multiple people can keep you safer.
  2. Smaller, more frequent bounces stimulate the lymphatic system more than big bounces. Start with a health bounce where you feet don’t leave the mat and begin with the vertical motion of up and down. This is the safest way to use your trampoline.
  3. On larger trampolines, use a safety net. This won’t be necessary with a health bounce, but as you advance to jumping higher, you may land wrong and bounce into the net. Having a net can prevent you from falling off and stabilize you. On a mini-trampoline, you may want to use a stability bar as you begin to feel more and more comfortable with your bouncing technique.

As you bounce on a trampoline, it stimulates peristalsis, which is the the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine, creating wavelike movements that push the contents of the intestines forward. Your digestion should improve as you regularly bounce on a trampoline. You may want to consider drinking a glass of water prior to bounding on a trampoline and using the restroom afterwards to help the elimination process along.[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”500″ identifier=”B00JOIKSTM” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”mcurle08-20″ width=”313″]

You’ll have the best results when you match the type of trampoline with the goal that you want to achieve from bouncing on a trampoline. There are cheap trampolines that will help you get started rebounding without much investment, however if your goal is to be using the trampoline daily for an hour or two, you may want to invest a bit more. For the simple health bounce, you may not want the bounciest trampoline because you want to focus your efforts on frequent up and down movements instead of powerfully pushing up and jumping as high as you can.

Ketogenic Crustless Spinach and Mushroom Quiche Recipe

One of my absolute favorite breakfast meals is a crustless quiche. I love a great quiche and with this recipe, I barely notice that there is no crust because it is so

The first time I made this, I used multiple pans to mix the ingredients. I now heat the spinach and veggies up in a cast iron skillet and cook it in a cast iron skillet. It makes fewer dishes to clean up!

flavorful. The other thing that I love about this spinach mushroom quiche is that I can transform the frozen spinach from something gross into something totally delicious. It amazes me each time. (Without some additions, I think frozen spinach is disgusting.)

The other great thing about this recipe is that you can make it ahead. It stores in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, so you can get extra mileage out of your efforts. I know that some people are not fans of leftovers, but for me they are timesavers.  I like to make this on a Sunday when I have plenty of time and put a few extra servings in tupperware containers for the next few breakfasts. It keeps me on time and on track with my ketogenic eating plan!


  • 16 oz. chopped frozen spinach
  • 5-6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 medium sized onion
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 sausage (optional, for flavor)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 7 eggs (medium or large)


Preheat oven to 350.

Heat a cast iron skillet to high or medium high. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the frozen spinach. Chop up the sausage into a small dice and place into the pan with the spinach. While the frozen spinach is thawing out on one side in the pan, focus your efforts on chopping up the onion and mushrooms. Once you have diced the onion and sliced the mushrooms, flip o

You can serve with a side dish of broccoli and mushrooms!

ver the brick of frozen spinach to allow for it to thaw out on the other side. Add the mushrooms and onions to the olive oil. Stir. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. You will want to break up the frozen spinach. Add salt an

d pepper.

As the onions, mushrooms and spinach are cooking, grate the cheese and break the eggs into a bowl. Whisk half of the grated cheese with the eggs. Turn the heat off and remove the skillet from the burner. Place on a hot pad so you don’t burn your counter. Pour the egg and cheese mixture into the cast iron skillet and gently stir to mix up the ingredients. Top the eggs and veggies with more cheese.

Place the cast iron skillet into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Most of the ingredients have been half way cooked at this point, so it is just a matter of cooking the eggs and allowing the flavors to blend together.



And again with avocados for more healthy fats!

For more ketogenic breakfast ideas, click here!

Low Carb Spaghetti Sauce

While doing the ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet, I have been missing pasta, but not so much the pasta, but the sauces that go along with them. I love spaghetti sauce! It is so delicious! I love the combination of tomatoes, olive oil and basil.

Today, I made a low carb spaghetti sauce and put it on top of spaghetti squash. While the spaghetti squash is a healthier option than noodles, it doesn’t really replicate the noodle texture all that well. However, it does provide a great base for the sauce, which is where all the flavor in a dish of spaghetti is anyways!

Here is my Low Carb Spaghetti Sauce Recipe that I created today! (I’m all about throwing things in a pot. Every time I make something it is a new recipe.)


  • 2 large sausages
  • 32 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 stalk of celery (not the whole bunch, just one piece)
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


On medium heat, saute the sausages, onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms for 1-2 minutes. Add in the canned spaghetti sauce and seasonings – Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, olive oil.  Let simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Today, I used the Kirkland brand of tomato sauce, which actually did have some added sugar, but the carbohydrate count was pretty low, so it still fit into my macros. I decided to search online for a better option and discovered that Hunt’s has a no sugar added canned pasta sauce, which would probably be a great option. It is zero carbohydrates and the added mushrooms, onions and sausage that you add would make it taste great if it doesn’t already! [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B005OSRUU6″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”mcurle08-20″ width=”137″]The other thing that you may want to purchase is a nice Italian seasoning. [easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B001PQREOI” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”mcurle08-20″ width=”160″]




Check out my ketogenic chili recipe! For ideas on the best ketogenic snacks click here!



Roast Beef Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Starting out with lettuce, cucumbers and mayonaise

This ketogenic lunch utilized leftovers from my pot roast dinner last night as well as some fresh vegetables.  I started out by washing two leaves of lettuce and overlapping them. One thing that I did with the romaine was to bend the stalk in a few places, so that I could roll the ingredients that were inside the wrap.  This actually turned out to be really helpful.

I spread mayonnaise on top of the lettuce and added some thinly sliced cucumbers that I had on had.

Next, I sliced some roast beef, tomatoes, red onions and added some avocado. I tried to keep the ingredients as thin as possible to make rolling it easy.

The rolling of it was tricky. I won’t lie. It isn’t like stuffing it into a tortilla. Lettuce tends to break easier than tortillas and not fold quite as easily, but it did work!

The rolled product.
The final product. It tasted great!
Adding in the tomato, roast beef, avocado and red onions
It rolled up!

One thing that did help was I used a paper towel to wrap around it so that it wasn’t as messy.


  • 2 leaves of Romaine lettuce
  • 3 slices of roast beef
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 slice of red onion
  • 1/4 avocado sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions: Lay the lettuce flat on the cutting board. Spread mayonnaise over the lettuce. Add the veggies and the roast beef. Roll the lettuce and other ingredients together. Wrap a paper towel around it to make eating it easier! Enjoy!


My Hunger Crushing Ketogenic Berry Smoothie

Some mornings, you just don’t have time to cook, but you don’t want to leave the house on an empty stomach. For these mornings, I make a coconut kefir berry smoothie.

Coconut milk has fewer carbohydrates than regular milk and fermenting it to turn it into kefir adds probiotics to help you digest better as well as reduces the carbohydrate count as the bacteria eat up some of the sugars in it.

The berries are a fun flavor. You can swap them out for some vanilla if you prefer. Because berries are a little tart and kefir can be a bit bitter, I mix in a teaspoon or two of zero carbohydrate sweetener, like swerve.

The health benefits of coconut oil are immense. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that will help you boost ketones and get into that fat burning zone.


Coconut oil is a good source of medium chain triglycerides. Medium chain triglycerides are converted in the liver into ketones that can be used by your body as fuel instead of glycogen. Your body uses them for immediate energy rather than storing them. Research has demonstrated that MCTs are thermogenic and therefore great fat-burners.

Try this coconut berry smoothie as one way to incorporate coconut oil and medium chain triglycerides into your daily ketogenic diet.

Here’s my ketogenic berry smoothie recipe:

  • 1 cup coconut milk kefir
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (for healthy fats and energy)
  • 1 teaspoon Swerve

Blend it together in a blender for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until it looks smooth. Enjoy!

You can adjust the coconut oil up if you are trying to hit your macros and need more fats. I’ve added as much as 3-4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil before and it still tasted great, although more coconut flavor than I prefer. Also, you can skip the swerve or add more to your taste. 1 teaspoon is just where I like the sweetness. The net carbohydrates for this drink come in about 8. Two carbohydrates for the kefir and six for the frozen berries.

Time saving tip: I use the Magic Bullet Blender to blend up my smoothies. The blender cups can be used to drink out of saving me time washing the containers!


Easy Exercises to Lose Weight At Home

Going to a gym can be intimidating for many people. For moms, it can seem like an impossibility because they have to juggle childcare, work, and the job of keeping up a home. You can work a lot of exercise into your daily routine without requiring a ton of time commitment.

Focus on the major muscle groups to maximize your weight loss.

If you don’t have a ton of time on your hands, you’ll want to work on the exercises that build the largest muscles first. These are going to be squats! Squats are not easy, but they are incorporated into almost every activity of daily living.

You do a squat as you sit down and when you get out of a chair. To effectively make the most of the squats that you do during your day, pause right before you sit down. You should be able to feel your muscles working. Rise slowly from the chair making sure that you feel your legs and gluteus maximus engaging.


These can be done when you are picking up items from the floor. They can also be worked into a vacuum cleaning routine. So, you can knock some of these out when you are cleaning up your home!

Arm raises

If you have a baby, you can lift it over your head. Otherwise, you can put objects away on high shelves. If you don’t have weights, you can raise cans of food above your head. Since these are lightweight, you’ll want to do at least 10-20 repetitions at a time.


Getting your cardiovascular workout in during the day. When you are at home doing tasks around the house, it is nearly impossible to log a mile or two in here and there. You can increase your cardiovascular efforts with whole body motions. So, picking those socks up off the floor and putting them where they belong will boost your heart rate especially if you are doing it quickly. Simply increase the speed at which you accomplish tasks. Think faster. Walk to the next room faster. Pick things up faster.

Incorporate a lot of these Exercises for Lazy People into your daily routine. The more movement that you get throughout your day, the more calories that you end up burning!