Ketogenic Lifestyle – Eating Out

So continuing from my last post about our diet change, I’d like to extend and touch on what we normally eat when we go out. And just to summarize it quickly: We don’t do any processed carbohydrates, which means no rice, noodles, pasta, bread, pizza, sweetened drinks etc; that’s obvious, right? But a lot of people don’t realise that almost everything has carbs (with the exceptions of fatty meat) and some vegetables have higher carbs than others. Apart from reducing carbs, the amount of fat would have to be increased significantly. You can imagine that eating out becomes a bit of a challenge. How do we do it? Here’s a general idea for you.

Bear in mind though if you do eat out, there’s always going to be some hidden carbs in the form of sauces and seasonings because you can never be 100% sure of what they put into your dish. Then again I think it’s commonly agreed that home cooking is better than eating out, am I right? But of course, not everyone has the luxury to cook every single day. So for the purpose of this blog post, let’s start with hawker centres and kopitiams:

Pork Noodles

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Pork noodles stalls are everywhere in Klang Valley, and we all have our own favourite shop/stall. It’s the easiest dish to be made Low Carb High Fat. Ask for no noodles (most of them would happily oblige nowadays), extra crispy pork lard, and add an egg or two. It’d be good to check if they cook it with any sugar. The meatballs are made with fillers though, so best to avoid. The picture above is a dry version, but this one has hidden carbs from the soy sauce, so do count that in the macros. The vegetables they put in the soup is usually choy sum or lettuce, which is perfectly fine.

Chinese Style Roast Meat

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Siew Yoke is another perfect keto food item that’s super easy to find. Ask for fattier cut, no sauce, then eat the cucumbers. The chili sauce (like the one in the pic) is best to be avoided too because there’s sugar in it. Note that Char Siew is not keto compliant because it’s made with a lot of sugar. Bored of Pork? Roast Duck is great too, just make sure no sauce or sweet marinade.

Curry Mee

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Not the best choice but if you want a bit of variety you can try asking them to replace the noodles with bean sprouts, don’t eat the tofu pok and go easy on the soup because there might be hidden sugar. Those with Roast Pork would be better because of higher fat content. And on that same subject, I’ve seen people doing Char Kueh Tiaw with bean sprouts too, but hard to imagine that it’d taste good hahaha.

Beef Noodles

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Again, same concept with the pork noodles, just the beef parts and broth, no noodles. Skip the meatballs. This picture above is from Yung Kee Beef Noodles, which in our opinion serves the best beef noodles in town. Now that we can’t eat their famous lai fun, we opt for the fatty cut of beef in broth and other parts like tripe. Yum!

Kueh Chap/Kueh Tiaw Kia

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This is my favourite comfort food because it reminds me of home (Sarawak, though the one above is from JB). Admittedly both of these are not easy to find in Klang Valley, but if you do, you can also skip the noodles and just go for the pork parts and egg, no tofu though.

Chicken Rice

This should be quite obvious. Just the Chicken (thighs and drumsticks, both roast version and white version are ok), eat all the skin, eat the cucumber, no sauce. Organs are good too. No picture because well, I don’t eat chicken as my body reacts badly to it.

Bak Kut Teh

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Well well, this is a controversial one. BKT is the easiest way to obtain fatty pork parts (Tua Kut, Pork Belly, Pork Leg… all great selections), but the only thing is, the thicker the soup, the higher the carb (from soy sauce and the Chinese herbs… Yes they have carbs). So eat the meat/fat, and only drink the soup sparingly if you must. Since you are eating without the rice and You tiao, you don’t even need that much soup.

Ok…. Moving along to restaurants/cafes. Our two favourite things would be Mookata (Thai BBQ) and Korean BBQ. Why? Because you can just eat all the meat and some of the low carb vegetables.

Korean Food

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A few things you can order: Bo Ssam is Boiled Pork Belly served with Kimchi and Lettuce. As keto as it gets! Just don’t take the sauce because sugar.

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BBQ meat is also an excellent choice, but do go for the ones without marinade though. The picture above is from Palsaik which has meat marinated in 8 different flavours including Gochujang etc…. give the sweeter ones with friends who are not on Keto hahahaha. Anything that says Bulgogi or made with Gochujang, skip. Kimchi is usually made with a little bit of sugar too so don’t eat too much of it.

Mookata/Thai Restaurants

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Thai food is generally a little bit tough to be made Keto because almost everything has sugar as their seasoning. Mookata, however, is a pretty good option: just order the pork slices (no marinade) and some of the lower carb vegetables (water spinach, cabbage, mushrooms usually). Ordering the Basil Fried Pork with Egg and no rice is probably fine once in the while, and the Herb Omelette is safe too. Braised Pork Leg might be a good source of fat, but most of them tend to be too sweet so nowadays we avoid too. The grilled fish is great, grilled pork neck is probably fine too, but definitely skip the Moo Ping so it’s also super sweet.

Japanese

A wide range of choices here: Sashimi (choose fatty fish like Salmon and Tuna), Chawanmushi, Grilled Fish (salt grilled only), Yakitori stuff (pork, chicken, organs). No teriyaki sauce (sugary) or aburi/mentai-yaki stuff (coz of the mayonnaise).

Filipino Food

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This one might come as a surprise to you but they do have a lot of keto friendly dishes. The Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette), Lechon (roast pork), Bicol Express (Pork cooked in coconut milk and cincalok), Sisig (Sizzling Pork Face meat… awesome stuff though careful with the amount of onion/garlic), Sinigang (tamarind based pork soup, but watch out for high carb vegetables) and of course the crispy pata (Pork Knuckle). But of course, skip the rice.

German/Bavarian Cuisine/General Western Cuisine

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Go for Sausages, Roast Pork, Pork Knuckle, Roast Lamb, Roast Chicken, Salmon. Avoid Pork Ribs unless you can find those without BBQ sauce. Eat with, Green Salad, Roast vegetables (skip carrot/corn/anything else that grows below ground), Sauerkraut. Fantastic food to stay low carb. There are also a lot of pork-based restaurants around that serve these kinds of food: Three Little Pigs and Big Bad Wolf (this place even has a Keto menu), S.Wine, Brussels, The Brew House, Tipsy Boar, Uncle Don etc which made low carb meal an ease.

I hope this list is helpful for you to decide when you eat out. I’d probably come back to add more to the list, so feel free to add your suggestions too. Happy Keto-ing!

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It’s been a while…..

Hi everyone! I’d like to apologize for my absence on this space. It’s truly been a crazy ride the first few months of this year. Everything was building up until our big trip (8 days are considered extra long for our lifestyle) in Siem Reap and Bangkok. There are many things I want to blog about, but then it’s hard to decide what to post first. So this post will serve as a general update for those who are still reading.

So after 2 years and a bit of being extra lenient on our eating habits, Kevin and I both were not feeling the best: bloating, allergy problem (mainly me), and just constantly tired and worn out. One day, as though seeing the light, he said: “B, we can’t continue like this anymore….. time to go on a diet!”

Me being me, was like: “Say no more!”. Prior to this, I’ve been reading up on a “new” way of eating: The Ketogenic Diet. The name is daunting as it sounds like a complete metabolic overhaul, and it is. Those who have been around here for a while would know that I used to do Paleo Diet for quite a period of time. And this is another step up from that. Basically, we are talking about severely reducing carbohydrates, increasing fat intake and moderate protein intake.

Long story short, we started the diet right after Chinese New Year, and to date, both of us have already reached our goal weight (he lost 6kg, I lost 5), his mother who was half forced (haha it’s a dictatorship when it comes to kitchen management in this household) into the diet lost 8kg! So it’s rather impressive, considering we never had to starve ourselves ever.

So I guess the next step here is to share some of the food that we’ve been eating (that I cooked) over the past couple of months. A typical meal would consist of a sizable portion of meat (fatty meat preferred), and probably around equal about of vegetables. No rice, no pasta, no bread, no noodles, no quinoa, and definitely no sugar of any kind. As for the vegetables, anything grown below the ground has to be avoided. And most fruits are also banned. Let me show you some of our meals then:

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Pork Belly, Green Beans, Tomatoes

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Minced Pork, Cauliflower Rice, Greens

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Pork Hamburg, Broccoli, Green Beans

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Tonpei Yaki (Bacon, Cabbage, Omelette)

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Keto Compliant Pork Sausage (no sugar, no fillers, increased fat) with Green Beans and Tomatoes

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Pork Knuckles and Grilled Vegetables

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Beef Brisket Stew

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Braised Pork Knuckle

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Lechon Porchetta!

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Because it deserves another photo: Lechon Porchetta with Homemade Sauerkraut and Greens. The crackling is amazing!

And speaking of crackling:

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I’ve been perfecting my Siew Yoke (Crispy roast pork) and will be selling them soon too!

The eating out photos shall be shared as a separated post to give you an idea of how we avoid carbs in restaurants and cafes.

Apart from weight loss, there have been several other major benefits too. I no longer have cravings for anything (might not be a good thing for a foodie lol), you can sit in front of me and gobble down rice, noodles and bread and it will not tempt me. My mind is clearer too because there will never be any food coma without sugar and carbs. My energy level is better without the afternoon crash. We have yet to go for our yearly checkup though, that would probably be the next thing to do. I’ve always had high cholesterol. The Paleo diet helped me reduce a little, so it’d be interesting to see what happens this time.

Ketogenic way of eating is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. It requires a complete shift of mindset. We must first realise that sugar is the main cause of metabolic syndrome, and that cholesterol is our friend. That way, you would go into this lifestyle without holding back. I will be sharing more specific topics in the future, but if you have any questions feel free to throw it my way!