I don't think it's any secret that I often have a giant, fat-filled, “ketogenic kale shake” for breakfast…
…and sometimes not just for breakfast, but multiple times during the day, especially on busy days. Heck, there's been occasional days where I have had a shake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You’ll need a powerful blender for this one. Take a couple large handfuls of kale (preferably dinosaur kale that's been lightly steamed and drained), and toss the kale into the blender. Then add a handful of raw almonds, 3-5 raw brazil nuts (purchased in the shell, like this), 1/2-1 avocado, a teaspoon cinnamon, 1-2 tablespoons dark chocolate powder and 4-6oz full fat coconut milk (preferably the BPA free variety like this). I'll often also add in a handful of fresh herbs (i.e. mint, cilantro, parsley, oregano, etc. – which are fantastic for cleansing the gut and liver too).
Then push blend.
After 30-60 seconds of pulverizing, you can stir in 1-2 heaping scoops grass-fed, cold-processed whey or vegan protein powder and for a bit of added texture (yes, I like to chew my smoothie for better nutrient absorption), 1 teaspoon sea salt (I highly recommend this Aztecan stuff), and a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes with a tablespoon or two of organic cacao nibs.
It tastes magical.
And this recipe has never ripped me out of ketosis – despite it being a good 800-1000 calories if you make a big one! Here’s a video of me punishing the process of gracefully making a variation of that Ketogenic Kale Shake.
Now that shake is certainly a good example of a high-fat, low-carb meal that keeps you in ketosis – and I discuss the benefits of ketosis in Chapter 14 of my book “Beyond Training. But perhaps more importantly, the shake is also extremely nutrient dense, a characteristic of low-carb meals that is often lost in an era of simply guzzling MCT Oil or consuming insane amounts of heavy cream and butter.
Lack of nutrient density is one serious danger of ketosis, and my guest on today's podcast is going to explain why that is, tell you the best way to achieve ketosis, and also give you the best nutrient dense foods that you must include on a ketogenic diet if you truly want to optimize your vitamins, minerals, nutrients, micronutrients and hormones.
Her name is Dr. Terry Wahls.
Dr. Wahls is a board certified internal medicine physician and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, where she teaches internal medicine residents in their primary care continuity of care clinics, sees patients in a traumatic brain injury clinic and conducts clinical trials.
But she is also a patient with a chronic progressive neurological disorder – secondary progressive multiple sclerosis – which confined her to a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. But during this time, Dr. Wahls did not give up.
Instead she began reading the medical literature night after night, looking for her own answers about what drove disability in the setting of MS. She delved into the latest research on autoimmune disease and brain biology, and decided to get her vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids from the food she ate rather than pills and supplements.
Dr. Wahls adopted a nutrient-rich Paleo diet, gradually refining and integrating it into a regimen of rich nourishing foods, neuromuscular stimulation, and the spin on a ketogenic diet that you're going to discover in this podcast.
First, she walked slowly, then steadily, and then she biked eighteen miles in a single day. In November 2011, Dr. Wahls shared her remarkable recovery in this “Minding Your Mitochondria” TEDx talk that immediately went viral. Now, in her new book “The Wahl's Protocol“, Terry shares the exact details of the protocol that allowed her to reverse many of her symptoms, get back to her life, and embark on a new mission: to share the her protocol with others suffering from the ravages of multiple sclerosis and autoimmune and chronic diseases, but also people who simply want to maximize their performance, health and longevity.
During our interview, you'll find out:
–The science of why ketosis works for things like nervous system disorders, improving physical endurance, or healing the body.
-How Terry used a ketogenic diet during her healing journey.
-Why Terry need to modify the ketogenic diet, and what some of the potential dangers of a ketogenic diet actually are.
-A “day in the life” of nutrient dense eating for ketosis.
-The most important things to measure if you're going to do ketosis.
Resources from this episode:
–The Wahl's Protocol book
-Fasted, fat-burning, ketogenesis expert and nutritionist Barry Murray, who was interviewed in this podcast episode and is now a nutrition consultant and coach for Pacific Elite Fitness! You can hire Barry for a consult or for coaching or consulting by clicking here. He specializes in fasting, endurance exercise, low-carb, high-fat protocols and ketosis.
-My Premium podcast episode: “Insider Pro Athlete Nutrition Consult with Ben Greenfield”. In this Premium episode, you get to sit in and hear me analyze the diet of a professional athlete I work with. Click here to go Premium for $9.99/year.
If you have questions, comments or feedback about how to maximize the nutrient density of a ketogenic diet, then leave your thoughts below!
Also published on Medium.