As we turn our attention to the holidays, we think of family time. And family time is often spent in the kitchen or around the table. Some people find it hard to introduce keto to the rest of the family, especially with kids, so we bring you Deana Karim who has not only managed to introduce keto principles into her home, she’s made a business out of it!
Some of you may know Deana from her keto / lowcarb / sugar-free baking mix company Good Dee’s, born after embracing low-carb and sugar free after the birth of her first child. After an overwhelmingly positive response to her keto cookie recipe at brunches and fashion events, she went on to perfect low carb cookie mixes, and then muffins, cakes, brownies, and pancake mixes too!
As someone who believes in and practices a daily ketogenic lifestyle, she takes a more moderate approach with her husband and kids because even small modifications away from carbs and sugars add up. As with anything when it comes to children, compromise is key! When we want them to select a healthier lifestyle, it’s often best to offer up appealing options so they feel like they are making their own choices. When they discover some of the great options out there like cauliflower tots instead of tatertots or flaxseed crackers and cheese, they might just start asking for these alternatives on their own!
How were you introduced to the ketogenic diet and what made you want to make that lifestyle change?
I had my first son in summer 2012 and I just could not bounce back like before. I used to be able to track calories and lose weight but realistically I was always fluctuating. In February 2013 I tried Dukan and while it was not for me, I was able to find Atkins again which led me to Keto! Research is amazing and by August 2013 I started the ketogenic lifestyle and finally found my groove! I realized sugar and I are not really that great together and discovered a whole new world of ingredients.
Do you track your ketone or blood glucose levels? If so, how often and with what method?
I used the ketone urine strips up until I purchased a blood ketone meter, the keto-mojo! Pretty excited to try it out for research purposes with different foods.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have found being on the ketogenic diet?
In the beginning, it was all the advice I would get against going low carb. I was told it’s not realistic and moderation is key but at the end of the day, I did what works well with my body.
What has been your biggest personal achievement with keto?
Oh a few things! First, Good Dee’s was born out of my lifestyle switch and for that I’ll always be grateful. On a personal note, I have SUCH a different relationship with food. I have a balanced view of it that I never had before and keto really helped facilitate that. Not to mention, I was introduced to foods I had never tried that are now staples in my pantry.
You are not only a mother, but the owner of Good Dee’s Baked Good Mixes! That sounds like a full schedule! How do you handle meal prepping for you and your family?
Great question as I’m not always successful at this. I have a lot of my goodies in the freezer so muffins are an easy go to (and one of my kid’s personal favorites. For dinner, I usually take out a protein in the morning and after I drop my older son off to school, I’ll make it during my 2 year old’s nap time. Any side dishes can go in the oven closer to dinner time or in my air fryer which I love!
What are your go to snacks for on the go?
Cheese sticks, my portioned out mixes (I love the muffins made savory!), and although not a snack, coffee ALWAYS!
If you could offer advice to a parent looking to transition their family to the ketogenic lifestyle, what advice would you give?
Honestly, I would tell them to not push it on anyone. Some days my husband eats exactly what I’m eating and other days he wants rice so I give options, one for my family and one for me. With the kids, I don’t push the lifestyle on them but I DO let them try everything so that they get accustomed to different foods. Also kids are always watching which is why my 6 year old eats his burger with no bun, but still loves ice cream so...balance. I try to limit their sugar as it sneaks up in a lot of “kid” foods so I either make replacements or just try to balance their day. I think it’s important for them to learn how to eat on their own with guidance from us as parents. If they choose to go the keto route when they get older then they have the tools and knowledge right there for them.