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Why the celeb-beloved ketogenic diet is having a moment


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You know something billed as a high-fat diet is bound to create some buzz—even if it doesn’t exactly mean eating Ho-Hos for breakfast. But as more and more celebs sign on (think Megan Fox, Adriana Lima, and Kim Kardashian), it’s hard to ignore: The ketogenic diet is having a moment.

At its core, the nearly-100-year-old approach to eating is a celebration of healthy fats (from fish to coconuts). Under the ketogenic diet, you’re supposed to get a whopping 80 percent of your calories from fats, 15 from protein, and only 5 from carbs—a ratio which science has shown to be effective when it comes to weight loss. And yes, that means lots of avocados.

You’re supposed to get a whopping 80 percent of your calories from fats—which science has shown to be effective when it comes to weight loss.

“Almost every cell in our bodies can burn two fuels: glucose and ketones,” explains keto evangelist Maria Emmerich, the best-selling author of The Ketogenic Cookbook and her newest, The 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse. “Glucose is made from sugar and ketones are made from fat. This lifestyle switches our bodies to burn ketones as its primary fuel source,” she says. That means more balance for your body—including your hormones and metabolism.

Emmerich says the diet is great for anyone who suffers from inflammation-related issues. She personally noticed a huge change: For years she adhered to a low-fat/high-grain diet, but still had acid reflux and weight issues—despite being a marathon runner. “I began reading all the latest science on nutrition while writing my books, and it brought me to a ketogenic diet,” she says. I’m surprised just how good I feel.”

Generally speaking, people notice a difference in about a month, hence her latest book’s 30-day peg. “It takes about four to six weeks for your body to get efficient at using fat—and ketones—for fuel,” she says. “But after that transition time you should see [your] energy soar.” An added bonus: she says you might notice a major mood boost and less brain fog, too.

Want to give ketogenic eating a try? Get started with these three recipes from The 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse.

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ketogenic chai
Photo: Maria Emmerich

Sugar-Free Keto Chai

A cup of hot tea can be healing and good for your gut, but after Emmerich noticed that many loose teas have added sugar, she crafted the recipe for this homemade chai. The nut milk gives it a creamy texture and the cardamom adds an anti-inflammatory kick.

Ingredients
8 whole cloves
7 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1, 2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into thin rounds
5 cups cold water
5 bags black tea
2 cups unsweetened nut milk
2 Tbsp Swerve confectioners sweetener
1 Tbsp coconut oil per cup of tea

1. Place the spices and ginger in a medium saucepan. Toast on low heat while lightly crushing the spices with the back of a spoon.

2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for five to ten minutes, depending on how strong you want the chai flavor. Remove from the heat.

3. Place the teabags in the saucepan and steep for four minutes. Remove the teabags and add the nut milk and sweetener. Stir, taste, and add more sweetener if desired.

4. Bring the chai to a simmer over medium heat, then strain it into a teapot. Just before serving, place a tablespoon of coconut oil in each teacup, pour the hot tea over it, and whisk to blend the coconut oil into the tea. Store extra tea in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

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ketogenic fat bombs
Photo: Victory Belt Publishing

Bone Broth Fat Bombs

These jiggly little fat bombs are perfect for on-the-go energy, Emmerich says—kind of like a savory Jell-O. Or, throw one into any stew or soup that calls for bone broth to give a thicker texture and amp up the flavor. (Note: you’ll need a silicone mold with 12 cavities.)

Ingredients
1 Tbsp grass-fed powdered gelatin
2 cups bone broth, any type, warmed

1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the broth and whisk to combine.

2. Place the silicone mold on a rimmed sheet pan for easy transport. Pour the broth into the mold. Place in the fridge or freezer until the gelatin is fully set, about two hours. To release the fat bombs from the mold, gently push on the mold to pop them out.

3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for several months.

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bacon and eggs ramen
Photo: Victory Belt Publishing

Bacon And Eggs Ramen

Ingredients
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 12 oz. package fully cooked pork belly cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup minced onions
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken bone broth
2 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp coconut vinegar
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 serving Zoodles (zucchini noodles)
4 large eggs, soft-boiled
Sliced green onions, for garnish

1.  Heat the oils in a large soup pot over medium heat. Fry the pork belly in the hot oil until crisp on all sides, about four minutes per side.

2. Remove the pork belly from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pot. Add the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook over low heat for four minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

3. Add the chicken broth, coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, and tomato paste and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 8 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Just before serving, divide the zoodles among four bowls. Top each bowl with one cup of the broth. Place a soft-boiled egg in each bowl and garnish with green onions and red pepper flakes. This dish is best served freshly made.

For dessert, try making one of these (healthy) fat bombs. And if you’re curious how the ketogenic diet compares to other eating plans, check out this helpful guide.