Podcast from: bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketocleanse
[04:59] About Maria Emmerich
[09:29 & 11:49] Ketogenic Diet, Potassium and Maintaining Lean Muscle
[13:35] What is the Keto Snow Cone?
[17:07] Why too Much Seeds and Nuts is a Ketogenic Diet Mistake
[22:44] The Top Sweeteners for Maria and Why She Blends Them
[25:27] Erythritol: The Sugar Alcohol that is Okay to Use
[28:23] Maria’s Amazing Chicken and Waffles Recipe
[33:13] Four Sigmatic/Thorne Supplements
[35:41] Hot Pockets or Keto Pockets
[39:04] How to Make a Fat Bomb
[41:27] Maria’s Recipe for a Ketogenic Fruit Salad
[43:59] How to Make Dairy-Free Fat-Free Ketogenic Bread
[47:11] How Maria Makes Refried Beans
[50:54] The Truth About Omelette Batter in Restaurants
[53:44] Comfort Food: Maria’s Definition & The Unique Psychological Benefit of Eating It
[55:46] Maria’s Favorite Comfort Food Recipe
[1:01:08] End of Podcast
Ben: Keto bread. Keto waffles. Yes, you can actually make healthy bread and healthy waffles. Not just health but this stuff is not going to spike your blood sugar through the roof. And you are about to learn how.
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In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“I’m feeling like a lot of metabolically damaged women a lot of them going through menopause truly struggling to lose even five pounds.” “Most of the time it takes people two to three weeks to a month to adapt to hunger going away and that type of stuff. So that a lot of times would help people just get rid of that hunger.” “I grew up with my mom told me, ‘You know, finish everything on your plate.’ So I’m a product of the clean your plate club. And so I like making smaller desserts so I don’t eat the whole thing.”
Ben: Hey, folks if you have ever wondered if there is such a thing as ketogenic bread a.k.a keto bread or keto waffles. Specifically, keto chicken and waffles or keto fruit salad or any other kind of low carb but ketogenic option for foods that you probably would have never thought could be low sugar or low carb, then you’re in for a treat on today’ show because my guest on today’s podcast has not only written a copious, a dizzying number of books on ketosis and ketogenesis. She is a nutritionist. She is an exercise physiologist. She, like I mentioned is an author. She’s a blogger. She’s written the ketogenic cookbook. She’s written quick and easy ketogenic cooking. I recently read three of her books; “The 30-day Ketogenic Cleanse,” “Keto Comfort Foods,” and “Keto Restaurant Favorites.” And my mouth was watering during all three. Even though I’m not even like a big ketogenic guy anymore, like I love the idea of being able to control blood sugar with some of these foods even if you’re not freaking like measuring your blood ketones every morning when you wake up. It’s so pretty cool to learn how to avoid a lot of these high-glycemic starchy foods and sugars from a longevity, and an energy and a gut fermentation standpoint, so I love it when books like these come around and Maria, I want to welcome you to the show and warn you, I have a boatload of questions for you about ketogenic cooking and the ketogenic diet.
Maria: (Laughs) Well, I am very grateful, Ben. Thank you for having me and well, thank you for reading my books. I really appreciate it.
Ben: And when I just tried to call you, you were hiking in the wilderness. You have to pull your car over for a [0:06:20.2] ______ connection. Is that true?
Maria: Yeah, I’m living in a tent for a while. It’s my little boy’s eight birthday and we like to just fish, and hike, and swim and do all that. So we tried to hike to the top of this mountainous area and it really wasn’t working, so we had to drive around. Which I don’t really to even be in my car so it’s like, oh, bummer but we found a spot and it’s all good. So I’m very appreciative.
Ben: Wow! Cool. So you’re just like out living in a tent?
Maria: Oh yeah. In my past life I was a Native American that lived in a tent and that’s where my happy place is. I just love to just be with nature and be outside and I even have… we’ll I’m sure I’ll talk about it later, but cold therapy. I have like a cold shower outside and ‘cause I don’t even like to go inside to do that.
Ben: I love it. A woman after my own heart.
Ben: And having written these ketogenic cook books, I’m curious what would kind of like your camp pantry look like as far as a replacement for say like, Graham crackers and S’mores and refried beans?
Maria: Oh, yeah. They don’t even, my children are with me, and they don’t even know what that stuff is, but we have been frying up some fish. We haven’t caught any here yet so we definitely packed some with. I always bring hamburger and well, we make hamburgers on the grill and gosh, you name it. My kids love my skillet spaghetti which is really, really easy and we’ll just take ground up hamburger and we’ll fry that up. Put some seasoning in there and some tomato sauce that I bring with and we’ll just do that and you know, you could put ém on over zoodles but we just like it plain. So we do that a lot, too. I mean, eggs and bacon.
Ben: When you say zoodles, I assume you’re referring to like zucchini noodles?
Maria: You know, the keto word for zoodles but we don’t even get in to those too much so we just eat it plain. But I mean bacon and eggs are staple breakfast than the, I don’t know I guess I grew up loving food obviously it caused a lot of issues with my childhood. And I still love food. I just like to make it a little different. And like you said, whether or not you want to check your ketos. I’m a minimalist. I don’t like gadgets. I don’t like any of that stuff. I don’t test but obviously my whole family we’re eating about 10 carbohydrates a day. I’m pretty sure we’re in ketosis. It surely feels like it, anyway. Our energy is through the roof and we don’t touch caffeine or anything like that.
Ben: Yeah, interesting. Well, I certainly do a lot of green tea and caffeine. And I believe my children had indeed because they have a friend over today who travels with his cereal. I didn’t realize…
Maria: Oh, no!
Ben: Children these days travel with their cereal. But he travels with his cereals so my kids had his cereal. It wasn’t too bad. It’s like some kind of like an organic rice krispy thing with coconut milk but, anyways they usually do bacon and eggs and of course, I’ve got my plant-based high fat smoothie that I do in the mornings.
I’ve got some questions for you ‘cause you go into some stuff in your book that I haven’t seen before. Like you talk about maintaining lean muscle when you’re on a ketogenic diet. Maintaining lean muscle. And one of the things that you talk about in that discussion and this would be in the “Ketogenic Cleanse” book. You talk about using potassium to maintain lean muscle when on a ketogenic diet. Why do you talk so much about potassium in that section?
Maria: Well, when you do low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet what happens is a lot of people complain of low energy or even sometimes low moods or heavy legs walking upstairs. And what’s going on there is carbohydrates help retain water. And when you go on a low carb or ketogenic diet obviously, you don’t have those carbohydrates to retain water but along with that water loss goes a lot of electrolytes like potassium, and the important thing about potassium is it combines with magnesium to help aid in muscle contraction, control and growth. And protein needs potassium to hold on to those amino acids in your body. And so if you don’t get enough potassium or if you’re losing it because you don’t have that carbohydrate to retain those electrolytes. Along goes that energy, the muscle contraction is not going to be there so your runs or exercising is going to be more difficult. So a lot of times when people say, “Why trade low carb or ketogenic diet? It just didn’t serve me well.” A lot of times those little tips that you need that will get you past those issues that happen in the beginning.
Ben: Yeah, and I know it happens a lot of times in terms of the sodium potassium ratio getting…
Ben: It would be larger when people are on a ketogenic diet and you can exactly eat potassium obviously, or you can’t exactly eat bananas in copious amounts when you’re in ketosis. So when it comes to potassium, I know that magnesium is important because it helps aid in the absorption of potassium and for a lot of people who are on a lower carbohydrate or a ketosis-based diet doing like a transdermal or an oral magnesium or something like that is a good idea, but when it comes to potassium, do you actually recommend for people who are on a ketogenic diet to supplement with potassium or do you have certain higher fat lower carbohydrate foods that would be more rich in potassium that you would do instead? Or both?
Maria: I know, but it’s crazy what most people don’t realize when you think potassium like you said, banana or some people think potatoes. You know what’s great? Beef. Beef is where it’s at. Beef is where it’s at and so many people are afraid of beef but we get a cow from the neighbor, a grass-fed cow and beef is where it’s at. So don’t be afraid of your beef. Get that on.
Ben: Avocados have quite a bit of potassium, too.
Maria: Yes, they do. Yup, so there’s other ways to get it. I do have people that do need to supplement with it in the beginning just to get them past that plateau of that low energy.
Ben: Yeah, and one I’ll throw in there by the way would be squash. You talked about zoodles and I know squash is definitely not a high glycemic index carbohydrate and I would say it would definitely be something that a lot of people who are eating low carb or slow carb would be able to handle this fine. But there’s other decent source of potassium as well, so yeah there are things other than bananas that you can eat…
Maria: (Laughs) Yup.
Ben: To maintain but I do appreciate that you go into that in the book that a lot of people will salt their food because they hear they’re supposed to do extra electrolytes on a low carbohydrate diet. And that’s certainly important to maintain energy levels and as you dump glycogen and as you dump minerals however, the specific to that I think people really need to go out of their way to do that I wish I had known more about back when I was doing a lot of Ironman triathlon competitions in full ketosis is potassium and magnesium specifically by going out of your way to get those.
You talk about in the part of the book where you discuss healing the mitochondria, you have a whole bunch of tips in there. One of the things that you describe is the keto snow cone. What is the keto snow cone?
Maria: (Chuckles) Well, I’m really getting in trouble with this like all the dental hygienist out there but we make shave ice, we stay in Hawaii over the winter, you know Wisconsin could be quite cold and they have that shave ice everywhere. And so we make our own. We got a little shave ice machine and we make it just about every night. My kids love it too and then we just add our own little natural sweetener that is stevia-based to give it that little bit of flavor to it, but even just plain ice if you wanted to go there and I’ll say with those dental hygienist out there saying, “Don’t chew on ice!” Shave ice is very fine, you basically just suck on them but this is just getting your body temperature down. Too often we’re told to take warm showers before bed time or anything like that but shrinking that mitochondria makes it much more efficient. And like you know, being an athlete that’s another great way to grow your mitochondria too is getting your exercise on. Too many people think that exercises were like the whole calories in calories out thing. It’s more about building that healthy mitochondria which is going to benefit you way longer in the long run than focusing in on that calories in calories out.
Ben: Yeah, I interviewed Dr. Mercola and we geeked out on mitochondria.
Ben: He called his new book “Fat as Fuel”. Dave Asprey has a good recent book called “Head Strong” that’s also a great resource for mitochondrial health. But ultimately you are correct, movement is one of the best things that you do. Movement, light, air, water. Those are some of the biggies but to return to this keto snow cone just to make sure I understand here properly. You’ve got a shaved ice machine. Just like one of these basic shaved ice machines and you’re just doing shaved ice with stevia, that’s it?
Maria: Well, it’s basically a mixture like a stevia but they make fruit punch flavored and different flavors that you can add whatever, grape or…
Ben: Now, why won’t you put coconut milk or I guess you could use an MCT oil or something like that to add extra flavor or texture. But why would you kind of add in other things on top of the shaved ice or how do you experiment with things other than just like stevia?
Maria: Well, you certainly could. However, that would take you out of your fasting, so you have that within your fasting. I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting.
Ben: Oh, so you’re going 100% calorie-free. So this would be like a lot of people will do a high-fat ice cream or something like that in the evenings. You’re just saying what you would use this for would be if you just want to do no calories at all, it’s just basically stevia and shaved ice?
Maria: Right, and you know if you wanted to…
Ben: I have to try it.
Maria: If you wanted to add some fat to it or whatever but that’s going to take you out of your fasting or whatever.
Ben: Okay got it. We’ll I’m a big fan of Omica Organic Stevia. I get a three pack from them about every month that’s vanilla, and butterscotch, and plain, and it’s really good Stevia. It doesn’t have maltodextrin and stuff in it like some of the coca cola brands do. Now you also talk about how one of the common mistakes people make when they’re on a ketogenic diet is consuming too many seeds and nuts. Why do you say that?
Maria: Well, in school we all learn that nuts are in that carbohydrate family. A lot of people think of them as fat or protein but they’re actually in the carbohydrate family. And a big mistake that people do is they subtract fiber from the total carbohydrates to get net carbohydrates. And if you want to be successful, you’re going to want to count total. Do I have a lot of athletes at your caliber, absolutely not? I’m dealing with a lot of metabolically damaged women. A lot of them going through menopause really struggling to lose even five pounds doing everything that they are trying, and so I’m dealing with that very metabolically damaged population. And that’s where we cut nuts, and seeds, and especially flax, and chia, and all of that type of stuff that’s very estrogenic. And that’s that belly fat that you are concerned about for women and even some men.
Ben: So you would say that when people are eating nuts by the handful and assuming let’s say macadamia nuts, those are very popular as a ketogenic food. I think they have about four grams of carbs in an average serving of macadamia nuts and maybe two of those are comprised of fiber, and so a lot of people will say well, I only count that macadamia nut as being, not to get too orthorexic here, as two grams of carbohydrates. So what you’re saying is you count the full four grams and in addition to that you’re careful with mouth-stuffing with too many seeds and nuts when people are trying to maintain ketosis because a lot of people don’t realize that both the normal sugars as well as the fiber-based carbohydrate in something like a seed or a nut can actually keep you from for example, restoring insulin sensitivity or restoring pancreatic cell activity or doing some of the other things that you would want for someone who would be using full on ketosis for something like management of anything from diabetes to Alzheimer’s or something like that.
Maria: Right. And when you chew crunchy things whether it be nuts or chips or something with crunch there’s something called sensory specific satiety. Try to say that really fast. But that means it’s not even in your mouth that you’re feeling this. It’s in your ear. And it’s an addictive thing that happens and it feels fantastic to your body. And so you usually over eat anything crunchy whether it be chips, crunchy cookies, nuts and also if you hold nuts in your hand, in each hand and one has 450 calories one has 250, they almost look the same. It’s really easy to over eat them but also dairy and nuts are constipating and that’s something that I do see a lot with my clients is that, “Okay, I started this diet and now I’m not going number two.” There’s a whole bunch of issues going on but if you want to have success you want to cut dairy and nuts together ‘cause you want to go number two every day. That is an issue. If you’re not and your doctor says, “Oh well your body has always been like that. You’re normal.” That’s not but you don’t want to have that happen because those estrogens get reabsorbed. It’s a whole other issue that’s going on.
Ben: Estrogens get reabsorbed. What do you mean by that?
Maria: If you aren’t eliminating daily that’s how you eliminate toxins and all of that. There’s three different types of estrogens that a woman produces; one is only when she’s pregnant. I’m not talking about that. One is from her ovaries. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about external estrogens whether it be from alcohol, environmental factors, topical products you’ve… they’re producing this estrogenic-like effect. And that’s estrogen-dominated cancers would be like prostate cancer in men so they can have that. Thyroid cancers, ovarian, breast cancer, those are all estrogen-dominated cancers. And so they get reabsorbed and basically locked inside those fat cells making not just weight loss very difficult but causing that unwanted belly fat and a lot of health issues like the cancers I was just describing.
Ben: Okay. Got it. So essentially the take away here is that if you’re trying to do a ketogenic diet and you’re having difficulty getting some of the therapeutic effects of it be careful with seed and nut consumption and especially be careful with excess consumption of some of the more potentially estrogenic seeds like flax or chia et cetera?
Maria: Yup. Yeah. Absolutely.
Ben: Okay. Alright. Got it. Now, man I would love to dive in to kind of like the potential anti-breast cancer effects of things like some of these estrogenic foods when we look at them in Japanese cultures, but I don’t have time to delve into that right now but I certainly have my own thoughts on some of these estrogenic-type of foods when it comes to the health effects of some of them in their fermented and properly prepared forms as you’d find in a lot of Japanese or Okinawan cuisines.
Maria: Yes, I agree with you.
Ben: And I certainly do have plenty of high quality miso’s and fermented forms of soy, nato things along those lines upstairs but yeah, I think that is different than my powdered flax seed, I agree.
Maria: Oh yeah.
Ben: Anyways, discussion for another day, but I want to delve into sweeteners. What are the top sweeteners that you like? You mentioned stevia. You also mentioned in both your books “Keto Comfort Foods” and also the “Keto Cleanse.” You mentioned how you blend sweeteners sometimes. So fill me in on sweeteners and some of your best practices for sweeteners and the ones that you like.
Maria: Well, I’ll say this. Some people are like, “Why do you even allow that?” But I want to say that like I told you earlier, I grew up loving food. I love to entertain and having a keto dessert for my son. He turned eight yesterday and we had a big old party and you know when he sees everybody else having cake on their birthday, I want to be able to offer that to him. So that’s why I do allow that type of stuff.
Ben: Okay. When you say you wouldn’t allow it, I think the argument a lot of people make is that you would still see from the taste of something sweet and increase in some of what are called your incretin hormones perhaps a small surge in cholecystokinin which could spark appetite or a surge in insulin potentially even from simply tasting something sweet like stevia even though it’s hypocaloric. And some people say, well that spikes your appetite later on in the day or you still get as little bit of a hormonal response, and again I think part of it kind of depends on whether we’re talking about hardcore athletes trying to limit carbohydrates versus someone doing it for full on therapy and medical management. Kinda depends what can be fall into but I’m kind of in your bandwagon like I don’t want my food to taste like cardboard. If I’m going to have shaved ice, I don’t want to just chew regular ice. I’ll put stevia on it. Darn it. So for you what are the sweeteners that are your go-to sweeteners?
Maria: Well, I say I work with a lot of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. I actually have recipe [0:24:33.1] ______ that are at both camps and they test themselves with my recipes and sweeteners and they don’t have response whatsoever. So I’ll just leave with that. But I do love stevia, like you said, with no additives, like you said maltodextrin that stevia in a raw that has maltodextrin defined both cut up and you know that’s a core derivative. You want to stay away from that but my favorite stevia is called stevia glycerite because it’s a non-bitter form of stevia. It’s a thick honey-like substance, and so I usually always add a little bit of that to anything that I’m either baking or cooking and know that once you bake something if you’re tasting the batter, some of the sweetness will bake off so it will be less sweet once you bake it. But I do love Swerves. Swerve is an actual brand. And it’s not because they pay me to endorse or whatsoever but it measures cup to cup.
Ben: Swerve is a brand of stevia?
Maria: It has its brand of erythritol and they have some other blend in there, I think its monk fruit but it doesn’t have that cooling effect like erythritol does which is a sugar alcohol that doesn’t raise blood sugar whatsoever.
Ben: Okay. The other one that you mentioned was stevia glycerite.
Ben: And stevia glycerite what you’re saying is that doesn’t have a lot of the bitter effect or the bitter taste that some of these other forms of stevia can have?
Maria: Right. It doesn’t have that bitter after taste that turns a lot of people off that when they taste something with that.
Ben: And is that in this Swerve stuff?
Maria: No, it is not.
Ben: Okay. Got you.
Maria: I’m sorry. They’re all different.
Ben: So it’ll be something different. But you kind of pick and choose these. I know you have a lot in your book about them but you would say like having a stevia glycerite and then having something like this Swerve stevia would be a pretty good one-two combo?
Maria: Yup. So I would put as something called for a cup of sugar, I would probably use a half a cup of Swerve, a teaspoon of stevia glycerite and then maybe a little bit of monk fruit, maybe a teaspoon of that. When you blend them they act more like what you want when you’re baking it. It’s all science and they also taste a lot better too.
Ben: Yeah, and you’re okay with erythritol?
Maria: Yes. That’s the only sugar alcohol that doesn’t affect blood sugar. When you get into xylitol not only is that dangerous for dogs and stuff because their intestines aren’t long enough to digest it. They do have some glycemic effect in them.
Ben: Yeah, it’s great for the teeth, Xylitol is I don’t mind it on gum but you’re correct erythritol yeah, it can get fermented by dental bacteria. It doesn’t affect blood sugar. It doesn’t affect insulin and perhaps most important for a lot of people the body absorbs it, so it doesn’t pass through the colon for fermentation so it doesn’t cause the same amount of GI distress. So it’s a lot easier what sugar alcohols do.
Maria: Right (chuckles). Yeah, I made the mistake of having when I was much younger having those sugar-free candies and that was not confirm whatsoever and it makes you just so uncomfortable.
Ben: Yeah. But erythritol I’m pretty cool with. So as far as recipes, I want to delve in to some of your recipes. So one is something that I hadn’t had for a very long time until I rediscovered it at a kind of like a private health retreat I was at. And they actually served this. I don’t know if they got it from your book or what, but they served this chicken and waffles, right? Southern comfort food. Total southern comfort food recipe and I’m not a southern boy. I’m from Idaho but I do like chicken and waffles. And you’ve got your own version in “Keto Comfort Foods” of chicken and waffles. So tell me about how somebody can have chicken and waffles for breakfast or any other time of day, really? And have it be like a low carbohydrate, low glycemic index meal?
Maria: You know, there’s a lot of different ways you could make waffles. We’ll see different ones on the internet using almond flour or coconut flour but like I told you I try to avoid nuts and seeds. And so what I did was, you’re going to think it’s crazy but to make the batter thick, I use hard boiled eggs. You can use beef protein powder if you wanted to do like that or collagen, but that’s how I make them. So there’s no almond flour. There’s no coconut flour. Anybody who’s very metabolically sensitive will see no rise in blood sugar with those waffles.
Ben: Walk me through this. How are you using hard boiled eggs and beef protein to make the waffle? Just walk me through like how I would actually make a waffle?
Maria: Okay, so I guess I don’t have it right in front me, so I’m going to tell you, you know.
Ben: That’s okay, give us the basic idea.
Maria: I’m going to put two raw eggs into a blender and then I’m going to put two peeled hard boiled eggs into the blender.
Maria: So it’s about a one to one ratio. And then I put about two tablespoons of beef protein powder. You can use the ones like an egg white protein powder something like that. They make some really tasty flavored protein powders. And then I’m going to add a little bit of stevia glycerite to make them sweet. Maybe some cinnamon, a pinch of salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer. It’s not just to make things savory. It’s a flavor enhancer whether it’d be sweet or anything so adding a little bit of salt to your desserts will let you add less sweetener because it’s a flavor enhancer. You can also add some of that butterscotch stevia that you have (chuckles) and then I’m going to…
Ben: That would actually be pretty good.
Maria: Yeah, right? And then have your waffle iron superhot. Make sure it’s greased well and then blend that up. And then you pour that mixture. What I do often times is I’ll put everything in the blender the evening before I want to do something like waffles because it seems like mornings are always rush, rush, rush. Or I’ll make the waffles and then I’ll freeze ém just like they’re an egg ‘o waffle and then my kids can toast them in the toaster oven by themselves.
Ben: Now my only concern and again I don’t want to get too orthorexic with this podcast is I’m pretty careful with egg white protein powder. The main reason being because I get concerned about oxidized cholesterol from the actual protein. There’s some minimally processed whole egg powders with very little oxidation. They can be kind of expensive but a lot of like if you’re just grabbing egg white protein powder off the shelf in many cases it actually is pretty oxidized. So I’m kind of careful. I’m careful with bone broth powder for the same reason.
Maria: Okay, I’ve never had bone broth powder.
Ben: Yeah, that’s a big thing now. People are like powdering bone broth and you oxidize a lot of the amino acids and a lot of the cholesterols and I think it winds up unless you get a very low heat process type of bone broth powder which I’m not aware of right now. Yeah, you’ve got to be careful with some of that stuff but ultimately it’s a very interesting recipe I hadn’t thought before by using whole boiled eggs and then something like a protein powder as the batter.
Maria: You know, I just play around with it and I needed it to be thicker and I was like, I don’t want to add any type of gums or things like that to thicken it. What could I use and so it just came to me, and no, knowledge is power. I love that you’re throwing this stuff out there because I’ve never heard of. I mean, bone broth is so easy to make. I do it in a slow cooker and why would you want it to a powder?
Ben: Admittedly, we make bone broth but I also order it ‘cause there’s a company I’ve interviewed them on my show before. Kettle & Fire.
Maria: Oh, I love Kettle & Fire.
Ben: There’s like a really good organic bone broth chicken and beef and we keep that around too. What I like about that is one box is a perfect amount for my morning smoothie so I can use one box on my morning smoothie and it’s like the exact texture that I need.
Maria: Oh, and it tastes so good.
Ben: Yeah, and they have a new one now. They’re taking their chicken bone broth and combining it with mushrooms.
Maria: Oh, nice.
Ben: Meaning like a lion’s mane mushrooms and cordyceps and stuff like that, so it’s kind of a cool combo. But yeah.
Maria: A lot of [0:32:51.3] ______.
Ben: I interviewed them on my show. So those of you listening in I’ll put a link to my interview with the folks from Kettle & Fire in the show ‘cause it’s pretty good stuff.
Maria: That was my son’s first food was bone broth besides breast milk.
Ben: Yeah, it’s amazing. Amazing stuff.
Ben: Hey, I want to interrupt today’s show. At the time that you’re listening to this show I’m in Finland and when I go to Finland I harvest mushrooms. And on my last mushroom harvesting trip I actually had the chance to chuck chaga off of birch trees and do a dual alcohol and water extraction with it which was quite laborious, but which was an amazing tonic particularly for my nervous system. Chaga is an amazing elixir chock full of chemicals that strengthen the nervous system, reduce joints and arthritis pain, offer anti-aging support for your skin and your hair. A ton of anti-oxidants. A ton of anti-inflammatories and this company Four Sigmatic based out of Finland and I have harvested mushrooms with these guys straight over in Finland. They’re giving all my listeners not just a 15% discount on chaga, but a 15% discount on all their mushrooms. Their reishis, their mushrooms blends, you name it. All you do is you go to foursigmatic.com/greenfield. That’s f-o-u-r sigmatic dot com/greenfield. And you’d be able to get 15% off with coupon code Greenfield. And there you have it. You are welcome. As they say in Finland, “Ole Hyva.”
And in addition to that, this podcast is brought to you by the amazing, amazing Thorne Supplements. Thorne Supplements makes the highest quality supplements. They have like hundreds of thousands of dollars of health diagnostic technologies and supplement analysis machines and supplement creation technologies, and their facility’s about 40 minutes from my home here in Dover, Idaho. I’ve toured their facilities. They’re one of the top brands that physicians use, chiropractic docs use. You know what you’re getting when you get a Thorne Supplement. It’s the multivitamin that I use. It’s the curcumin that I use. They have a fantastic anti-aging supplement called ResveraCel. They have an amazing digestive enzyme that actually gets into your gut the right way like a lot of them don’t called Bio-Gest. I carry all of the Thorne Supplements over at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com. You just go the greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/thorne and you’ll be able to see all of the different Thorne products that I personally endorse and highly, highly recommend to you. So check it out. Thorne over at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com and now back to ketogenesis.
Ben: So another thing that you talk about is something I used to stick into the microwave when I was a teenage boy almost every day and eat like it was going out of style and that is a keto pocket. Alright, for me it wasn’t a keto pocket it was a hot pocket. You have something. You talk about called keto pockets. So what is a keto pocket?
Maria: So a keto pocket is again I grew up with all of these crazy foods too and what I did was I just played around and mortadella was kind of like a, what do say an Italian bologna? What do you say? It’s very thin and you can get these at Trader Joe’s or whatever but you would scramble your eggs and make all the fillings and then you’re going to use a piece of mortadella around it and fold it like a hot pocket and then you just fry that up to make the mortadella a little crispy. And you can make like you were saying, I plan ahead for meals and so I’d make a few of these and just keep them in the fridge and then fry them the morning of that we wanted to have those for breakfast.
Ben: I love it. Very cool. And mortadella by the way, for those of you listening in it’s kind of like bologna and a lot of times it’s flavored with spices. Like I discovered when my wife and I are riding our bikes across the deli like they put black pepper in it or berries like sometimes pistachios or different kinds of nuts. It depends on what you get. But it actually is pretty tasty stuff. And you’re basically using that to make your pocket but you’re using that as the actual wrap for the pocket?
Maria: Yes, for the outside.
Ben: So you’re using that in the same way that someone might use butter lettuce or kale or nori or something like that. It’s like a carbohydrate-free wrap. You’re just using meat?
Maria: Yes, we joke that we are carnivores.
Ben: Well, I like it because that’s a thin enough meat where you can kind of wrap it. Now we do like these big long tubes of meat that we order from US Wellness Meats like braunschweiger which is like a mix of grass fed beef and the grass fed beef liver. It’s kind of very similar to like a liverwurst. They do a liverwurst as well. The liverwurst is liver, heart, kidney and beef and these work really well for my kids to scramble up with eggs or to just toss in a stainless steel skillet with some olive oil. But they’re kind of crumbly, so you can’t use them as like a wrap. It sounds like this mortadella that you’re using would be a little bit more conducive to be a little bit less likely to fall apart if you were going to use it as a wrap?
Maria: Yes, it doesn’t fall apart at all. I know exactly what you’re talking about with braunschweiger ‘cause my dad loved that on with Ritz crackers and it was always that stuff that had a lot of bad fillers in it. But you know you just, yeah.
Ben: I would imagine where you get your mortadella would probably be something you want to take into consideration as well, you know. Obviously…
Maria: Yeah, for sure.
Ben: You are what you eat, so make sure it’s the good organic stuff but yeah, that’s really interesting. I will by the way, for those of you listening in, everything that Maria and I talk about for recipes and her books and stuff. I’ll link to if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketocleanse that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketocleanse.
So another thing that you talk about is it seems like ever ketogenic book has this in it but I’m curious to hear about your twist. A fat bomb. Tell me about the fat bomb? What’s the fat bomb?
Maria: Well, a fat bomb is something that I utilize to help people in the beginning when they’re still having cravings whether it be sugar cravings or hunger. Most of the time it takes people two to three weeks to a month to adapt to hunger going away and that type of stuff. So fat bomb a lot of times would help people just get rid of that hunger ‘cause that’s what fat is is very satiating, and many times you’ll see fat bombs made with cream cheese, or peanut butter, and nut butters, and obviously this book is dairy and nut-free so it’s none of that. So (laughs) I usually use coconut oil and you can use that butterscotch stevia. I need to get some of that ‘cause I love butterscotch.
Ben: Yeah, it’s the Omica Organic stuff.
Maria: Omica Organic. I will look that up.
Maria: But it’s basically just a little fat bomb to help with things that.
Ben: Okay. Got it. And so the recipe again just for people who want to make their own fat bomb. What’s the go to recipe?
Maria: I use coconut oil and there’s a little bit of coconut milk in there. I use coco powder so this one is a chocolate one. It’s very, very easy. A lot of kids really like it. I actually use a little English toffee stevia in there and there’s a little bit of cinnamon. You stir it all up and then you can pour it into molds and then cut it into squares. It reminds a lot of people of fudge.
Ben: Okay. Got it. Cool. I have my own little version of this where I’ll take like a full fat coconut milk. Like a native forest for example, that’s like a BPA-free coconut milk and then I’ll put some unsweetened coconut flakes in there typically some kind of like a dark cacao powder and then that same stevia I mentioned and then I’ll whisk all that up and just stir it up really quickly and then throw that in the freezer. And if I do that before dinner, by the time dinner is done I’ll take that out and it’s kind of got liquid consistency of ice cream. You can also blend it but if you’re just too lazy…
Maria: Where’s your cook book, Ben? My goodness you have great ideas.
Ben: I’ve got a few recipes in my Beyond Training book and that one actually is in there.
Ben: Okay, so back to things that we wouldn’t traditionally expect to be ketogenic. Fruit salad. You’ve got fruit salad on there. Fill me in on how you can do a fruit salad that’s like a low glycemic ketogenic food.
Maria: It’s kind of a joke because everybody’s like, “Oh, Maria do you eat fruit?” I’m like, “Absolutely, we love olives and we love tomatoes,” and you know so it’s kind of like all those nuts like caper berries, you know capers and things like that which are more salty than anything. Cucumbers that type of stuff, so it’s a fruit salad. It reminds me of a Greek salad with olives and capers, tomatoes, cucumber. It’s basically a Greek salad but it is technically all with fruit.
Ben: Okay, are you using low glycemic index fruits like berries and blackberries, blueberries things like that or?
Maria: No, it’s cucumber, olives, tomatoes.
Ben: Okay, so there’s no fruit at all.
Maria: That is fruit though, technically.
Ben: Yeah, I guess you’re right they are. Those are the ovaries of plants, right?
Maria: (Laughs) Yes, so that’s why it’s kind of a joke.
Maria: Yeah, it’s the way we enjoy our fruit. Its low glycemic and all of that. It’s more of a savory Greek salad.
Ben: I was going to say, it’s more like Greek salad. What’s the dressing that you’re using?
Maria: The dressing is using MCT oil and then some Greek seasoning that type of stuff. You could use olive oil if you had that instead. A good quality one.
Ben: Okay. Got it. Cool. So that’s obviously the fruit salad that’s not really. Honestly, if it were me I would still throw blueberries in there. I’m a big fan. If there’s one fruit that I’ll eat that you will actually find in my house it’s blueberries or another one that well, there’s two that I harvest from our land here. It’s very small tart berries that really are extremely low on the glycemic index. And from a nutrient density versus a calorie standpoint or a flavonol and a polyphenol standpoint. Well, their very sirtuin-rich too. S-i-r-t-u-i-n and that’s a class of proteins that’s associated with anti-aging actually. So it’s very interesting they have a lot of what’s called diasalase activity but any of these very dark kind of tart berries are pretty rich in sirtuin.
Maria: Oh, I’m not judging, it was just kind of a joke, you know.
Ben: I hear you. I get where you’re coming from. You’re a lot more strict than I am with some of these stuff but I love to go through your recipes here. Which brings me to next one. Keto Bread. You do a keto bread. So I’m curious what you’re keto bread looks like because like we do a low glycemic index bread which means that we take local non-GMO red wheat berries from the Palouse and my wife ferments them and makes a sourdough and when you ferment of course, you lower the glycemic index and that of course, is one way to do it but I think you’re not even using wheat or coconut flour, almond flour or anything like that, is that correct?
Maria: No. And that’s why the word cleanse they think that it’s like I’m going to be drinking my calories and things like that. Nope, I love everything about chewing your food. I think it’s so satiating and everybody likes the bread and so the reason why I called it The Cleanse is because it’s dairy enough for you to make it really successful. So what you do is you take egg whites. You separate your eggs. So you have your yolks and your whites and you put the whites preferably into a stand mixer ‘cause you’re going to want to whip it for eight minutes. And I have a video on this ‘cause it’s a little tricky. And you whip it until those whites are really stiff. And then you’re going to add your quality protein powder whatever form it is. I don’t like [0:45:15.1] ______ first because it’s dairy and it also dumps into your blood stream faster than other protein powders, so I describe all of that on how to choose one. And then you can slowly stir those yolks back in there so you get that nice soft yolks and then you put that into your bread pan and bake ‘em. And you can make ‘em into buns or whatever but that’s basically the keto bread.
Ben: What’s the texture like on those?
Maria: People say it’s like wonder bread.
Maria: ‘Cause it’s just like white bread but the problem is especially in the summer if you have a humid house if you touch those whites at all with a spatula that has a touch of water or you put it into a bread pan that has a touch of water, they’re going to fall and you’re going to get a gummy bread and you’re going to come and complain to me. If you have cream of tartar in your house you can add a teaspoon of that to stabilize your whites but I would say the biggest mistake is people under whip ém because they read that if you over whip ‘em it’s going to ruin ém, but I’ll let my stand mixer go for 10 minutes. I’ll go outside and water the plants and then I put it.
Ben: And you just use one of the counter top stand mixers?
Maria: Yup. I just let it go.
Ben: Yeah, those work well. My wife does a lot with that as well.
Maria: Yeah, I told you I’m not a gadget person. That’s something I use all the time. All the time. Those hand mixers, they just don’t do it.
Ben: Or you just let them go and walk away. That’s what I like about the stand mixers. They need to do something like that except for like a latte frother instead of making a lot of green tea matcha, green tea lately. And matcha green tea whether it’s hot or whether it’s cold is really good if you whisk it. So if anybody knows of any good ways to do like a similar to a stand mixer but like a walk-away-and-let-it-froth type of mixer for tea, leave a comment over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketocleanse ‘cause I’d totally check that out.
Maria: I’ll watch for that.
Ben: Ok. Refried beans is another one. Tell me about how you make healthy refried beans as something that’s ketogenic.
Maria: Now you’re talking about the restaurant one.
Ben: Yeah, you talked about this in your restaurant book.
Maria: Yeah. So a lot of people are afraid of smoking food. They look at a smoker and they’re intimidated. Oh, man it is so easy to smoke food and especially the vegetarians I work with, they want that meaty flavor and what I do is I smoke eggplant. Or you can smoke your zucchini like you’re talking about the squash earlier and you actually puree this with a couple of different ingredients, but it makes this bean-like texture that people just miss because you know, beans aren’t on the ketogenic diet but it tastes great with any Mexican-type food. You could add if you aren’t vegetarian some bacon to that adds even a better flavor and the bacon fat goes right in there and you puree that up until it smooths like a refried bean.
Ben: Okay, so walk me through this one more time. How are you making these?
Maria: Okay, so there’s two different ways and two different recipes in that restaurant book. One is a vegetarian way where you smoke the eggplant, and so you slice the eggplant thin into slices and you’re going to salt that up and you’re going to put into a smoker and I have a video on how to smoke foods. It’s super easy. It’s one of my favorite ways ‘cause it’s a very low temperature. It’s not causing issues with me and things like that. That you were referring to earlier. You would take the peel off too unless you want to keep it on there. It’s going to add a little of texture but you throw in the blender, you add some salt. I guess I don’t have it right in front of me, but that’s basically you puree it up into beans. Now if you wanted to do it over a stove top if you don’t have a smoker, you would cut up pieces of bacon and fry that up and leave the bacon fat in there and add your cubed eggplant. So you peel it and slice it into like inch sized pieces. It doesn’t really matter but you’re going to fry that up and the eggplant soaks up all that yummy bacon grease flavor and you wanna add some salt.
Ben: Eggplant with bacon fat. Wow.
Maria: That was actually one of my son’s first foods was I used lard and bone marrow and eggplant and I would bake that. The bone marrow right over the eggplant, and as the bone marrow cooks that slimy stuff comes out. Most people scoop it up with bread but I let it soak into the eggplant and he just love that.
Ben: I may have to try this. My kids and I are making dinner tomorrow night and we’re going to do some wild plant foraging and I want to go out and get nettles and make this new nettle recipe I read about. It’s kind of like an old Native American recipe with a little bit of raw milk and raw local honey and some [0:50:09.0] ______ and nettle seeds. Kind of made into a little bit of a tea and that’s about as far as I’ve gotten so far for planning dinner. That’s like how we’re going to start dinner off but I may have to try some of these healthy fried refried beans because I’ve got bacon fat and I can hunt me down some eggplants. So I’ll have to try this one out because I actually like this idea of using eggplants and bacon fat. That to me sounds like a pretty good one-two combo. So I’ll give it a go and let you know what I think.
Ben: Okay, so we’ve got refried beans. We’ve got ketogenic bread, ketogenic “fruit salad,” this amazing chicken and waffles recipe that I really want to try. And then you kind of get into some other things that I wanted to touch on in your restaurant book and in your comfort foods book. One thing that you talked about in the restaurant book that blew my mind because a lot of people who are doing a low carbohydrate diet will get omelettes or some type of an egg mixture at a restaurant when they go out to a restaurant. Tell me what you say in the book about omelette batter ‘cause this one I was not totally aware of.
Maria: There are some diners that actually will add a little bit of pancake butter but what was really disturbing to me is I was at a hotel and it was kind of a pretty nice hotel in Breckenridge at a low carb conference that I was at. I was scooping up some scrambled eggs and someone said, “You know, those are powdered eggs?” So I was like, “What are powdered eggs?” Like you said they were just eggs that were powdered, they added milk to them and so it was probably quite high in carbohydrates, highly processed. So I was like, “It’s easier than cracking an egg open.”
Ben: But you have a huge amount of milk sugar in most of the powdered eggs that you’re going to find at hotels and even some of these like you mentioned like the fancier, nicer buffet breakfast they actually had. They add a lot of milk. They add, as you mentioned in the book, they’ll add like pancake batter to the almond butter. They’ve certainly done studies and you can find these in PubMed on oxidized cholesterol levels and cholesterol particles in the body. And the things that are probable primary cause of atherosclerotic lesions and one of the primary components of these are just basic commercial dried eggs and dried egg powder. It’s one of the worst things you can do for your body.
You know, we all are aware now that egg yolks are probably pretty good for you and there are books like “Eat the Yolk” and this idea that eggs are not responsible for cardiovascular disease but when you heat them and you dry them, you can create some pretty big issues. That’s why I even recommend and again a guy I mentioned earlier, Dr. Mercola who I had on my show, he talks a lot about like even when you’re making your scrambled eggs and I give my kids this lecture ‘cause they do scrambled eggs now every morning, cook it at a very low temperature and you cook it just the minimal amount they actually need to.
Maria: Yeah. And not just that they usually cook them in vegetable oil and stuff. I speak in a low carb cruise a lot and going to the buffet I always say, “Could you use the real eggs?” And then I usually hand them a pat of butter so I feel that even if you do have dairy issues that’s better than the vegetable oil that they’re using.
Ben: Yeah, and then of course you look at the fact that they’re kind of languishing under heat lamps for several hours exposed to heat and light and air after having been cooked in industrial [0:53:40.3] ______. Yeah, it could be an issue.
Okay, so another thing that you talked about in your comfort foods book, and by the way how do you define a comfort food?
Maria: What’s that? How do I define it?
Ben: How do you define a comfort food? ‘Cause for me I just think back to things I liked to eat when I was a kid but I’m curious if there’s an official definition of comfort foods ‘cause I don’t I’ve much had a comfort foods author on the show before.
Maria: I guess that’s how I felt. Foods that you think about that you remember making you, you would sit down and have with your family or just something that makes you warm and fuzzy inside when you think about it. That was kind of what I thought about it. And then I also thought about southern food like chicken and waffles you know, that type of stuff or gum ball or crawfish etouffee. Those type of things really make me think of comfort foods.
Ben: Right. Exactly. What I always do when I get home from a long journey, whether or not I’ve eaten on the airplane or the airport or not, I walk in the house and I open up the refrigerator and I look for the foods that I know are going to be in there that I consider to be now my comfort foods. You know, my comfort foods back when I was growing up would have been the twenty nine cent hamburger from McDonald’s and Kraft macaroni and cheese, and of course, those hot pockets. And now when I open up the refrigerator I definitely look for mom’s or my wife’s homemade kombucha, big fan of that stuff. Usually, she has something pickled or fermented. She’ll have like some kind of like a pickled or fermented raddish or carrot or green tomato. And those again, it’s just like this thing I open up the mason jar and I grab it and it’s the feels, the textures, the pop in the mouth. Oh, I am a fan of taking out some of that sourdough bread and I’ll toast that and have that with a couple of slices of whatever protein or fat I can happen to find in the refrigerator.
But there are these little things that I grab and you of course, get a little bit I guess more fancy in your book on comfort foods and all sorts of different comfort foods but what would you say, if you could choose like your favorite recipe from your comfort foods books as far as like something that you think should be on everybody’s bucket list to try, what would it be?
Maria: Ah, the bananas foster for two (laughs).
Ben: Alright, fill me in.
Maria: I think a lot of times, and I have this problem too, I grew up where my mom told me, “Finish everything on your plate, “so I’m a product of the clean your plate club. And so I like baking smaller desserts so I don’t eat the whole thing, but I love bananas foster and I think that it’s just fantastic and the caramel sauce is amazing and there’s actually no bananas in it. I use banana extract, an organic one.
Ben: I was going to say (chuckles). Well, bananas foster which I’ve had before, a big part of that is kind of like taking your fork and slicing through the banana going through the caramelization and the hard part and you have the soft banana inside. How are you achieving that?
Maria: So I made little cakes that were long tube-like like a banana and so you have basically three little Twinkie-type looking things that have banana flavor and then you have a scoop of keto ice cream and some whipping cream whipped on top of that and then you put your caramel sauce on top of that. And then some walnuts. The comfort food book is not nut-free and it is not dairy-free, I’ll tell you that.
Maria: It is all about comfort keto foods.
Ben: Yeah. So it’s still extremely calorie rich just not carbohydrate rich.
Maria: Absolutely. It’s just for me, my journey was a really long one. Some people they really want to heal super fast. They want to lose weight like really super fast but for me it was a slow process, and that’s why I really love these books because if you just want to start lowering your carbohydrates and still be really satisfied, it works that way, too. Like you said, you still have squash and things like that. If you want it to be slower, it works that way too.
Ben: Yeah, the books are jam packed with all sorts of food porn and mouth-watering recipes. I do highly recommend that if you’re listening in and you want some new ideas and I am going to try these refried bean recipe. I think tomorrow night, I’m going to ‘cause my kids and I love to cook together for mom sometimes ‘cause she works so hard. Usually some days of the week cooking, we like to put some food on the table every now and again and for me it’s usually trying weird things that I’ve talked about with people on podcasts.
Maria: Oh, fun.
Ben: So anyways, if you want to try any of these recipes then check out bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketocleanse, and over there I will link to Maria’s “Ketogenic Cleanse” book but then also this “Keto Comfort Foods” book, and the “Keto Restaurant Favorites” book. And then I’ll also for you guys who want to buy any of the things we talked about, I’ll link to that liverwurst that we order from US Wellness Meats and the Kettle & Fire bone broth too along with some of the forms of stevia that we talked about.
Maria, thank you so much for taking a break from your hike today and joining us.
Maria: You’ll have to check out the hike we took to try to find you or try to find internet service. I posted it on Instagram if you check that out I thanked you.
Ben: Oh, you did? Okay.
Maria: Yeah, we were in some bad thunderstorm the last few days so it’s a real watery hike. You have to check it out. Looks like we were hiking through a waterfall.
Ben: Nice. And that’s with just you and one of your eight year olds or all your kids?
Maria: My six and eight year old.
Ben: Six and eight year old. Nice. I love it. Alright. Cool. I’ll check that out on Instagram. Maybe will use that as the show artwork.
Maria: (Laughs) Thanks.
Ben: Anyways, well thanks for joining me and enjoy the rest of your time in the wilderness out there. Take a cold shower and I’ll keep in touch.
Maria: Thank you so much. I’m very grateful.
Ben: Alright folks, this is Ben Greenfield and Maria Emmerich, the author of a whole host of books on ketogenic diet signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com/ketocleanse. Have a healthy week.
Keto fruit salad?
Yep, all those low carb options and more are totally possible on a ketogenic diet. You just need to know what to do, and my guest on today's podcast, Maria Emmerich, knows exactly how to do it.
Maria is a wellness expert in nutrition and exercise physiology. She is the author of several cookbooks and three nutritional guidebooks, including the global bestseller The Ketogenic Cookbook, Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking and the books we talk about on today's show…
Maria’s success stems from her passion for helping others reach and sustain optimal health through programs and education that work on a personal level. She understands the connection between food and how it makes us all feel inside and out. Her specialty is brain chemical neurotransmitters and how they are affected by the foods we eat.
After struggling with her weight throughout her childhood, she decided to study health and wellness so she could help others who are discouraged by their appearance and do not feel their best. The nutrient-rich, relatively high-fat dietary approach that she developed for herself and the exotic, little-known replacements for typical high-glycemic starchy foods and sugar are what finally gave her total peace with food, something she never imagined possible.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Why Maria is such a big fan of using potassium and magnesium to maintain lean muscle when on a ketogenic diet…[9:35 & 11:50]
-How to make a ketogenic snow cone…[13:42]
-Why one of the common keto mistakes is consuming too many nuts and seeds…[17:05]
-What are the top sweeteners that Maria likes and why she “blends” sweeteners…[22:45]
-The one sugar alcohol that is best and OK to use…[26:50]
-The shocking truth about omelette batter in restaurants…[50:55]
-Maria's definition of a comfort food, and why you get a unique psychological benefit from eating comfort food…[53:50]
-What Maria's favorite comfort food recipe is…[55:50]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
-Organifi – Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Organifi and use discount code BEN for 20% off your Green Juice order. You can also use discount code REDBEN for 20% off your Red Juice order!
-HealthGains – Text the word “GAIN” to 313131 to receive a $250 voucher toward your HealthGAINS treatment.
-Four Sigmatic – Go to FourSigmatic.com/Greenfield and use code code BENGREENFIELD for 15% off.
-Thorne – Go to GreenfieldFitnessSystems.com/Thorne to check out pure, high quality supplements.