Celebrating “Thanks-Keto-Giving”

Today’s guest blog post is by ketogenic dietitian and Nutricia Keto Ambassador Vanessa Aldaz, MPH, RD, CDE. Vanessa provides her tips and recipes ideas for families celebrating Thanksgiving on the ketogenic diet.


The holiday season is around the corner. Thanksgiving may have a different meaning for each household and how we choose to celebrate it may vary from home to home. However, I believe

thanksgiving 2that one thing most people can agree on is that it is centered around coming together with family, loved ones and friends. Here are some ideas for your keto family to consider when celebrating “Thanks-keto-giving” this year (aka: thanksgiving with a keto twist).

Keto-friendly Recipes:

The following are a few good recipe ideas for you to try. Don’t get overwhelmed with the options or feel that you need to make them all. Two sides and 1 dessert can easily make your keto-child or keto- friends feel included and very “keto-thankful”.

Main Dishes

Choose from an array of protein choices: These main dishes are perfect as most of them are carbohydrate-free.

  • Roasted turkey (not stuffed)- Instead of traditional stuffing, you can stuff with herbs and citrus rinds to give your turkey flavor and holiday flair
  • A “Turducken” (duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed inside a turkey)
  • Roasted whole ham leg or a spiraled ham (without the brown sugar glaze)
  • Non-traditional main dishes such as salmon, lobster or filet mignon

Side Dishes

  • Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower drizzled with good quality butter or try KetoCal® Mashed Fauxtatoes (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Try the KetoCal Cauliflower and Cheese recipe- sooo good! (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe, MAD recipe)
  • Green salads- use group A and B vegetables if you are on the Classic Ketogenic diet. Read the food label of your favorite creamy dressing and add heavy cream, mayonnaise, or oil to make it your ratio. Check your specific diet ratio and amounts with your ketogenic dietitian
    • My favorite: kale and baby spinach, cucumbers and sunflower seeds, topped with blue cheese dressing with extra heavy cream and mayonnaise.
  • KetoCal’s Thanksgiving Stuffing (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • KetoCal’s Green Bean Casserole Recipe (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Chicken or turkey keto gravy (3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Squash Curry Soup (if you are not a fan of curry try adding pumpkin spice instead)
  • Charlie Foundation’s High Fiber Bread Roll (4.16:1 recipe) (you can also use these high fiber rolls as a base for stuffing)

Desserts:

Family Activities

Another way to make “Thanksketogiving” a success is to try not to completely focus the day around the food. Get up and go do other fun and exciting activities to add to your memories. Depending on where you live there are many holiday activities you can participate in.

Go to the movies!

Thanksgiving weekend is a popular time for opening day of some big movies of the year. There are a variety of movies, animated and not, that feature heroes, superheroes, and other beloved characters of the season. There is something for everyone!

Take a walk!

Weather permitting, it’s nice to get outside as a family. Take a walk around the neighborhood or out to the zoo.  If you live in warmer climates, play touch football, soccer or baseball in your backyard or a nearby park.

Play games!

Get your friends and family together and play charades! Have everyone write random words, famous people, phrases or themes on pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. Make your own rules and have fun as all ages can play this game. Or, if you don’t like charades, family board games are always fun.  If relatives are coming, have them bring some of their favorites so you can all play together!

Play & sing!

If your family likes to sing or play music, consider bringing music sheets or a karaoke machine! You can always use pots, pans and plastic containers that aren’t used for the meal to make musical instruments and form your own band.

Get crafty!

Set out festive craft supplies for your little ones to create placemats, napkin rings, wreaths and centerpieces to use as your Thanksgiving Day table decorations. You can find some Thanksgiving-themed craft ideas here.

And finally, don’t forget to share with each other why you are grateful to be together or what you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-Vanessa

 

Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day!

Did you know that today is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day? Each year on the second Wednesday of March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics honors the many contributions of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).  The expertise and dedication of RDNs has a great impact on the health and well-being of their patients and community. If you have a child on the ketogenic diet, you know just how important and valuable it is to have a knowledgeable and committed RDN. If you are grateful for your ketogenic dietitian (a RDN with special training and expertise in implementing the ketogenic diet), today is the perfect day to let them know!

We’d like to give a special recognition to the many dedicated ketogenic dietitians out there, especially our five awesome Keto Ambassadors. Your contributions make a difference in the lives of your patients and the entire ketogenic diet community! Read more about our Keto Ambassadors here: http://www.myketocal.com/ambassador.aspx.

Check out this YouTube video to learn more about the many ways that RDNs make a difference.

Keto Highlights of 2014

2014 Highlights

As we finish the final days of 2014, today’s KetoConnect blog post looks back at the highlights of 2014 for the ketogenic diet community.

International Conference:

The highlight event of 2014 was undoubtedly the International Symposium on Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy & other Neurological Disorders, which was hosted by Matthew’s Friends in Liverpool, England. Around 270 healthcare professionals, scientists, and parents attended the first International Symposium on Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy & Other Neurological Disorders, which was held in 2008 in Phoenix, AZ. This year’s symposium had nearly double the attendance with roughly 500 attendees from 27 different countries.

Global Growth:

The use of the ketogenic diet continued to expand geographically in 2014. As mentioned in the paragraph above, this year’s International Symposium had attendees from 27 different countries! In the August 2014 issue of Keto News, Dr. Eric Kossoff discussed the global growth of the ketogenic diet, which is now offered in at least 60 countries!

More Research:

Research interest in the ketogenic diet has increased tremendously in recent years and the trend continued into 2014. There were more scientific articles on the ketogenic diet published in 2014 than ever before. The graph below shows the steadily increasing number of publications on the ketogenic diet, with a whopping 172 articles published in 2014 (along with 13 articles e-published ahead of print in 2015)! As Dr. Eric Kossoff discussed in his recent Keto News article, there has never been more research interest in the ketogenic diet. It is a very exciting time for our community!

Source: Pubmed.gov

Source: Pubmed.gov

Increased Online Interest:

In addition to the trend for increasing research interest, there is also a trend for increasing online interest in the ketogenic diet. Google Trends allows you to compare online interest in certain topics over time based on how many people search the Web for that topic. As you can see from this graph comparing online search trends over the last 10 years (below), there were many people searching for the ketogenic diet online in 2014!

Source: Google Trends

Source: Google Trends

Loss of Dr. John Friedman:

The ketogenic diet community mourned the loss of Dr. John Freeman in 2014. Dr. Freeman was an internationally renowned neurologist from Johns Hopkins University who revived the use of the ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Dr. Freeman’s contributions live on in the many patients that he helped.

New Keto Ambassador Program:

Nutricia North America launched a new “Keto Ambassador” program in 2014, connecting expert ketogenic dietitians with less experienced dietitians for support and guidance. In 2015, the Keto Ambassadors will host the first ever “Keto University” for dietitians!

 

For more 2014 highlights from our friends across the pond in the UK, check out the 2014 project summary from Matthew’s Friends.

Happy New Year, everyone! We’ll see you in 2015.

-Mallory