Today’s topic is how the keto diet and dairy fit together. The keto diet is catching on more and more it seems to me. That might be because it works. Today I want to share some of my story and how I use dairy and still stay in ketosis. I’m even going to share a keto chocolate ice cream recipe with you.
But first, let me say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I want you to know how much I appreciate you. And I’m going to ask a favor.
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I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week. Let’s get started.
- Homestead Life Updates
- Keto Diet and Dairy
- Keto Chocolate Ice Cream
Homestead Life Updates
Things are getting back to normal at the homestead after our internet outage. It will take a while longer to get caught up again, but we will get there eventually.
It was Thursday afternoon before we got out internet back. Scott and I have discussed how to manage this issue. This is not the first time we have had to put business on hold due to lack of internet. This time we came up with a solution. It was simple. Purchase a spare modem and keep it on hand to be used as needed. When the modem blows out as it inevitably will, bring out the spare. Easy peasy. No waiting for days to find out if that’s all we needed in the first place. Once we get the replacement modem, the spare goes back into storage until needed again. I’ll let you know how that pans out.
Canned today: 13 qts whole milk, 6 pints peas, 16 pints goat broth, 5 quarts goat meat. Still to come is blueberry pie filling.
I have 36 quarts of cream canned and 26 quarts of ground beef canned. Those projects took lots and lots of time. I have skim milk to can also in the line up.
Trees down all over. Scott estimated 3 dozen trees down. Yeah, 3 dozen. One fell on the orchard fence and still needs to be repaired.
Last week I think I forgot to mention that the beehive was blown over. Scott got dressed up in full protection and put the hive back together. Those bees were hopping mad. Even with all that coverage, he got stung four times.
It has been many days since then and the bees are doing well after their incident.
I have had little chance to set foot in the garden other than a quick walk through to see what might need attention. Here’s what I found.
The onions need to be harvested. The tops have fallen over and that means they are ready to be pulled and set out to dry. The green beans are doing well. The dried beans are doing even better. The Mississippi silver cow peas are doing the best. They always do. That’s why we like to grow them.
I have one tomato that is starting to turn. There are many, many tomatoes that are green. I have those conical cages around my tomato plants for support. Many were blown over during the storm. I set them all back up right and the plants are doing well.
I’m so excited. This year I’m going to can lots of tomato sauce. In the past I’ve canned whole tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes, or chopped tomatoes, or diced tomatoes. Last year, late in the season, I watched a YouTube video on how to make tomato sauce. The last batch of tomatoes I harvested from the garden were used to make a few jars of tomato sauce. It was much easier than I ever thought it would be, and again, I’m so excited to do an even better job this year.
We took a steer to the butcher for processing. Almost all of that is sold. Let me know if you are looking for good grass-fed beef. We still have a steer or two that you can snag. A quarter is about 100 pounds of meat and would cost you around $600.00. Speak now or forever hold your peace.
It’s on. Breeding season is upon us. We wanted to do artificial insemination. That would allow us to have greater control over our genetics, and we could also get sexed semen which would allow us to dramatically increase the probability that our cows would have heifers, or girls. The timing for getting the semen that we desired did not work out. So, we will continue to pursue this option, getting the semen now for next year.
Buttercup was the first of our girls to show obvious signs of being in heat. I’ve noted the date in my spreadsheet that automatically calculates her projected delivery date. For cows, the gestation period is between 279 and 385 days. My spreadsheet calculates the 279 days as that would be the earliest time that she would have her calf.
Claire is Buttercup’s older sister. She may have been in heat a few days earlier, but I’m not sure. I recorded the date anyway. If she shows signs of heat in a month, I will simply change the date to reflect the new likely delivery date.
I’m not sure I’ve introduced all of our cows to you so I’ll take a moment to fill you in on them.
I know I’ve introduced Butter. She is our Jersey cow recently purchased from a nearby farm. She is a registered Jersey and produces A2A2 milk. If you’re not familiar with A2A2 milk, check out my podcast, “What is A2A2 milk?” Link in the show notes.
About 50% of Jersey cows in the United States have the A2A2 genetic trait. While we haven’t had our Normande cows tested, about 88% of the breed carries the A2A2 genetic trait. And since we will be using artificial insemination, we can breed for the trait. All of the sires that we have to choose from via our supplier are certified A2A2. Our goal is for our small herd of dairy cows to be 100% A2A2 certified.
Next up is Violet. She is a beautiful cow. And she is interesting. She only has one horn and she has a big round belly. Like all of our cows, she’s really friendly.
Lastly is Cloud. Cloud is only 75% Normande cow. She is one quarter black Angus. Her frame is tall—taller than all the rest.
The Wheel of Time and the Calves
Then there are the four calves. They are all named after fictional characters from a fantasy novel that both Scott and I enjoy listening to over and over. There are 14 books in the series, The Wheel of Time. I saw a Facebook post just this morning that Amazon is rapidly moving forward with a TV series that will be streamed to Prime members. Filming to begin later this year. If you like Game of Thrones, you might like The Wheel of Time as well. It is not nearly as dark and the central theme is more esoteric—a battle between good and evil.
Butter’s calf is Egwene, also a purebred Jersey with A2A2 genetics, and she looks like a little deer. Claire’s calf is Matrim. Buttercup’s calf is Perrin. And Dora’s calf is Rand. We lost Dora 3 days after Rand was born. Violet’s calf was named Galad. He now resides at a new home in Eastern Virginia.
I want to take a moment to introduce our donkeys as well. They are all miniature donkeys, 36” tall or less. We keep them as livestock guardian animals. Well, they are also pets. Donkeys love human interaction.
We have Daisy, the matriarch. Her daughters, Sweet Pea and Cocoa. And then there is Johnny, sire of Cocoa. He can no longer sire and we keep him paired up with Sweet Pea and the boy sheep and goats. Daisy and Cocoa guard the girls.
Sheep and Goats
I’ll refrain from naming all of the goats. That would take a long time. The does all have names, but the 2 kids from this year and the 9 from last year do not. And only one of the sheep has a name. Remember Lambert? I suppose we will name them all at some point. We’ve just never gotten around to it. We identify them by number because we had around 70 and the numbers were the best way to keep up with who was who.
They are all healthy and happily eating grass is those green pastures. Now moving on to my eating habits.
Keto Diet and Dairy
There is a picture of me and Scott on our website. It’s on the “About” page. That picture is very out of date. I weigh 45 pounds less than that picture indicates. Ideally, in the next year or two, I will have dropped another 45 pounds. How did I do it? A variation of the keto diet.
In order to get to my topic of the keto diet and dairy, I’ll have to fill in the basics of the ketogenic diet. At least the one I use. Dr. Eric Westman’s Duke University Diet Clinic videos are my source. And “Go Keto with Casey” is my support resource. That’s Casey Durango from Greensboro, NC—right down the road from me about an hour and a half. I’ve met her in person.
Basics of Keto
I’ve tried many diets in my life. Until October last year, I had given up the idea that I would ever be able to be small again. The keto diet involves reducing carbohydrate intake to a minimal level. When I started in October last year, I reduced my carbohydrate intake to less than 10 g per day.
Let me briefly describe my current protocol. I consume fatty sources of meat and take in 20 g or less of carbohydrate daily. Ideally, I eat only when hungry and stop when I’m satiated. Those last two points I’m not really that good at. I still tend to eat at the same time every day because I always eat at that time. Or I eat dinner because I always had eaten dinner. Those are not reasons for eating.
That’s it. Eat fatty sources of meat. Keep your carbs under 20 g a day. Only eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re satiated. Four simple steps. There are many amazing things that have changed in my life over the past eight months.
The first thing was the reduction of inflammation. At my age I thought I would always wake up with sore joints in my hands. My back was stiff. That went away within a few days. Where before, I absolutely could not close my hand in the morning because of the inflammation, now, my hands close easily.
The best thing I have experienced is that I don’t think about food anymore. Anyone out there who has struggled with their weight will know what I’m talking about when I say that my day used to revolve around food. Before I would do anything, I would first evaluate whether I needed to eat first, or if I was going out, what was I going to eat, or would I wait to eat until I got back home. While eating, I might be evaluating what I was going to be eating at my next meal. I spent a lot of time planning meals, thinking about what food I was going to cook, when, and for which meals. I have a new problem. Very often, I haven’t planned at all. Dinner comes around, and Scott doesn’t have anything to eat. I can throw a burger in the pan and have a meal in 15 minutes.
I literally have to make myself think about food. Planning meals has become a task on my calendar. It is the most radical and bizarre change in thinking I have ever experienced in my life. It’s a great diet plan that fits very well with our traditional homestead. We raise animals and we have dairy. We also have quail now that are providing eggs. They will also provide protein. These are the basics of my diet at this point. Meat, dairy, eggs.
Keto Diet and Dairy
Dairy is where I have to be the most vigilant. It is not unlimited. Milk has a significant amount of carbohydrates. I actually poured a glass of milk today. About 8 ounces. If it was 3.5% milk from the store that would be 12 g of carbohydrates. Still under my goal of 20, but leaving only eight as wiggle room. That’s the first time in the last eight months that I’ve poured myself a glass of milk. I would have a sip here and there, but not a full glass.
Aged cheese on the other hand, has less than 1 g of carb. Still I must be vigilant. Cheese is a calorie dense food. Cream is great. Also, very calorie dense. While I only track carbohydrates, in the end, calories do matter.
Dairy products can fit very well into a ketogenic diet. What matters is keeping your body in ketosis. That means your body is burning fat for fuel. Your carbohydrate intake is so low that your body stops looking for carbohydrates and transforms itself into a fat burning machine.
Carb Cravings Gone
Carbohydrate cravings completely disappear. That part was not quite as easy as I would’ve liked. I went through a time where the carbohydrate cravings were quite cute. The way I made it through was to increase the fat and protein that I was eating. Every time I would want a cake or cookies or some other sweet, I would go and eat another hamburger. I was aware that I was over eating. But it got me through. I got to the point where I couldn’t stuff another mouthful in or I would burst. That overrode the carb craving.
And after a few days, they stopped. I could literally sit and watch Scott eat some sweet dessert and not feel compelled to reach over there with my fork and grab a bite of it. Those of you that are listening that have had issues with weight may find it hard to believe. I know I did and I was experiencing it.
So, on the keto protocol I have to be careful with dairy. But it is totally the greatest part of my diet. And I’m going to finish up here with the recipe for keto chocolate ice cream. As I said, cream is great and there are some great artificial sweeteners out there that keep this very low-carb.
Keto Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe
This recipe does not use an ice cream maker. With heavy whipping cream whipped to soft peaks, the result is similar to a fluffy chocolate mousse.
What You Need
- 5 oz 85% or 90% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 2 oz cocoa butter
- 4 large eggs, separated
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup powdered erythritol or Swerve
- 1 tablespoon sugar-free vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
What to Do
- Melt the chocolate and cocoa butter in a double boiler over medium heat then cool to room temperature.
- Separate egg whites from egg yolks. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar. As the egg whites thicken, slowly add the powdered Erythritol. Beat until they create stiff peaks.
- In another bowl, beat or whisk the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
- In a third bowl, mix the egg yolks with the vanilla extract.
- After the chocolate has cooled, using a rubber spatula, add about a third of the fluffy egg whites and mix with the chocolate. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold in without deflating them.
- Slowly stir in the egg yolk and vanilla mixture.
- Finally, fold in the whipped cream using the spatula, creating fluffy chocolate mousse.
- Transfer chocolate mousse to a 9 X 9-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Freeze at least 4 – 6 hours, or until set.
You can use 1-cup, single-serving containers for portion control. If the ice cream is too hard, leave it at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Serving size: ¾ cup Calories: 267 Fat: 25g
Carbohydrates: 5.5g Protein: 5 g
I hope you enjoyed getting to know our animals a little better. We love them and hope you do to.
The keto diet is working for me and I am so glad that I can still use my dairy products. Wouldn’t that have been a hoot if I had found something that improved my health dramatically and it completed contradicted my life’s work. That didn’t happen. Meat and dairy are the center of our lives and the center of my diet.
You’ll have to measure that keto chocolate ice cream, but I think it will be well worth your time. A serving is ¾ of a cup and contributes 5.5 g of carbs.
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As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”
Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.
What is A2A2 Milk? – Peaceful Heart FarmCast
Dr. Eric Westman – LCHF Treatment for Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
Casey Durango – Go Keto with Casey
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