Everything You Need To Know About The Keto Diet

There’s a lot of diets out there, and it’s hard to know which one you should be following for optimum weight loss. If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while and you’re not seeing results, then the Keto diet may be for you. Here’s what the diet does, how it can benefit you, and what you can eat on it.

What Is The Keto Diet?

Keto DietThe Keto diet is an eating plan that looks to cut out carbohydrates and include more protein and fats in your diet. This is because when you eat normally, your body uses carbs to help create energy in the body while storing the fat. This leads to weight gain, which you’re trying to avoid. You want your body to start using the fat reserves instead, burning them off and helping you lose weight.

When your fat reserves are being used, this is called being a state of ketosis. Under regular circumstances, you’ll enter this if you’re in starvation. When you’re following the Keto diet though, you’re creating that state of ketosis while still taking in necessary nutrients. By drastically reducing carbohydrates, you’ll induce ketosis and start losing weight.

Is It Safe?

Like all diets, there are some issues you’ll need to be aware of before you start. The Keto diet is great for weight loss, but there are a few side effects. For instance, you may find that you suffer from cramps, constipation, and reduced physical performance. These are quite common and can be avoided by ensuring you stay hydrated, and are getting all the nutrients you need.

Like any diet, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first. They can give you a checkup and ensure that you’re in good physical shape before you start.

What Can You Eat On This Diet?

The Keto diet is unique in that you’re encouraged to eat a good amount of meats, dairy, and other sources of good fats. You’re asked to avoid grains and sugars, to lower your carbohydrate intake and start losing weight. Here’s what you can eat on the diet:

  • Meats: Fish, beef, lamb, poultry, and eggs are all on the menu as they offer vital protein.
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale and other leafy greens help you take in many necessary nutrients.
  • High-fat dairy: Hard cheeses, high fat cream, and butter are all encouraged.
  • Above ground vegetables: Veggies that are low in carbs, such as broccoli and cauliflower are great.
  • Sweeteners: Low carb sweeteners, such as stevia, are a great alternative to sugars in your diet.

There’s plenty you can eat on the Keto diet, so it’s easy to follow without feeling like you’re missing out. Try taking a look at Keto recipes online, and you’ll see there are thousands of ideas out there. You can also head to your local natural foods store Pembroke Pines and ask the staff what they can recommend. Vitamin supplements are another good idea, as they’ll ensure that you’re still getting all the nutrients you need while you’re on the diet.

What Are The Benefits Of The Diet?

The main benefit of the Keto diet is, of course, weight loss. However, you’ll be surprised at how many other benefits there can be. Here’s just a few that you may notice:

Controlled blood sugar: Many people who live with diabetes, or are at risk of diabetes, report a lot of success in following the Keto diet. As you’re controlling your carb intake, which leads to glucose production, you’ll find that you can reduce your blood sugar significantly.
Increased mental focus: Hitting a Pembroke Pines vitamin store and taking in the right nutrients can help your focus. Controlling your blood sugar means that there are no blood sugar spikes, making concentration easier. Taking in more fatty acids also means that you’re feeding your brain, making it easier to work.

Normalized hunger and increased energy: You’ll find that when you’re on the Keto diet, you’ll feel fuller for longer. That’s because you’re taking in more good fats, that will help normalize your hunger. You’ll also see an increase in energy levels, so you can get more done during the day.

The Keto diet can be a great way to lose weight and reap the rewards of a low carb diet. You’ll lose weight while still feeling full, which is something that won’t happen on a lot of other diets. Give it a try, and see what it can do for you.


Four Healthy Snacks You Can Make With Lean Meat

If you’re looking to improve your diet, then you’ll be looking for snacks that are much healthier than the ones you can buy in stores. Many pre-made snack foods are full of sugar, fats, and other undesirables. That’s why homemade snack foods can be so much better. Here are four healthy snacks you can make with lean meat, and why you should be eating these rather than the store-bought snacks that are available.

Why Lean Meats?

Lean meats are considered to be healthier meats, as they have less fat than other types of meat. In recent years, they were considered to be the only type of meat you should be eating. Healthy eaters ditched any kinds of meat that contained extra fats, opting instead for skinless chicken breast, trimmed pork shops and marble-less cuts of steak.

Nowadays it’s recognized that some fat in your meat is good for you, and so it’s easy to find meats if you’re committed to healthy eating. However, lean meats are fantastic for snack foods. A good snack is something that will fill you up until the next meal time, keeping blood sugar high and giving you the energy to get on with your day. Lean meat can do all of this, so keeping it in your diet this way is highly recommended.

Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks With Lean Meat

1. Jerky

Now, of course, jerky is easily found prepackaged in many stores. There are so many different varieties that you’re spoiled for choice. The problem is, though, that these prepackaged varieties can be incredibly high in things like salt and sugar.

If you love your jerky but want to stay healthy, then you can easily make your own. There are lots of recipies out there that reduce the amount of salt and sugar needed, and you can make jerkies that are very much to your own taste. All you need is some lean beef from an organic health shop Pembroke Pines and an oven, and you can make your very own jerky.

2. Deli Rollups

If you love your sandwiches but are trying to eat less of them to lose weight or be healthier, then this is an option for you. A deli rollup gives you a snack that can include any of your favorite deli meats, without the bread or sandwich spreads that can make it fatty or less than healthy for you. They’re also great if you’re on a Paleo diet, as they’ll satisfy hunger cravings for you.

Again, there are lots of recipes online that’ll help you make tasty roll-ups. What’s great about them is that you can add in any of your favourite vegetables with the meat, to make it a truly healthy snack. A roll-up is usually created with lettuce as the ‘wrap’, and some cheese to add extra protein. You can include anything you like to make a snack you’ll love.

3. Tuna And Crackers

Healthy SnacksYou’ll be surprised to see tuna in this list, as fresh tuna certainly isn’t a lean meat. As it’s full of Omega-3 fatty oils, it’s a healthy fish but it’s not for someone who’s trying to eat lean meats. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat it at all. Canned tuna can actually be much lower in fats, making it a perfect snack ingredient.

One of the best ways to get your tuna fix is to scoop it up with some crackers. It’s a lovely, simple snack that you can enjoy any time of the day, without the fat. Take a look at what’s available in your health food store Pembroke Pines. You’ll see that there are plenty of canned tuna varieties that are actually reduced fat, making them great for snacks.

4. Mini Burritos

If you’re ever craving something spicy in between meals, a quick little burrito could be just the thing to pick you up and keep you going until dinner. You can buy smaller tortillas in your local supermarket, which are the perfect size for snacks. Add some ground beef, cheese, and beans, as well as a little salsa, and you have a tasty snack!

Of course, anything you can wrap up in a tortilla can be a filling snack. Another option is to wrap cooked chicken breast and veggies together for another pick me up. It’s amazing what you can make work in a little wrap! These are great for kids too, as it keeps them full up until mealtimes, giving them the energy to play and learn.

These are just four ideas for homemade snacks with lean meats. Take a look around online and you’ll see many more. These are all easy to make, taste great, and they’ll fill you up. Try them now, and you’ll never go back to prepackaged snacks again!


Dr. Axe and Jordan Rubin: Keto360

It has been over a week since the dynamic duo of Dr. Josh Axe and Jordan Rubin co-founders of Ancient Nutrition visited two of our Nutrition Smart locations to give a lecture on ‘Ancient Nutrition for a modern world’ and our stores are still buzzing with excitement.

Our staff learned so much and customers are asking tons of questions on how to include collagen, bone broth, herbs and spices into their diets. Customers also got to take a few #selfies with them!! One of our favorite parts of the lecture was hearing Dr. Josh Axe and Jordan Rubin talk about the launch of their Keto360 products and their personal experience with Ketogenic dieting.

Guys and gals, we are being exposed to toxins unlike any time before in history. These toxins promote fatigue, stress, poor overall health and weight gain and science has proven that those of us who are significantly overweight are at a greater risk of having health challenges as we age. Many of us have started one ‘cool’ diet after the next and are pretty fed us with the back and forth. What we loved about the Keto360 discussion was how easy Dr. Axe and Jordan Rubin make it. Literally all the resources you will need to get started and to keep going are in the Keto360 Blueprint.

Need a quick refresher or a 101 on Keto?

Here it goes, straight from Dr. Josh Axe and Jordan Rubin: “What is “keto,” exactly? The term keto is short for ketosis. Following a ketogenic diet like Keto360 puts your body into a health-promoting state of “ketosis,” which is a metabolic state that occurs when a portion (small or large) of the body’s energy comes from ketones (end products of fat metabolism) in the blood, rather than from glucose (sugar). Essentially, when in a state of ketosis, your body uses fat as fuel, including your very own stored body fat. This is in contrast to a glycolytic state, where blood glucose (sugar) provides most of the body’s fuel (or energy). In other words, you go from a “sugar burner,” who gets his or her energy from carbs, to a “fat burner,” who actively burns fat stores (including stubborn fat!) for energy instead. Cool, huh? So, where does the “360” come from? When we decided to create our program, we wanted to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-follow (and maintain) keto protocol. And the best way to do that is to provide a 360-degree approach. This means that with Keto360, we’ve covered every angle to help you achieve and sustain your health goals.”

The amazing team behind Ancient Nutrition have given us permission to share with all of our customers and fans access to the blueprint, recipes, shopping lists, meal plans, exercise plan and so much more.

Get ready to download!

  • Click here to download the Keto360 Blueprint  – easy to follow user guide that will explain everything and includes a 14-day meal plan, a forever phase meal plan, journal and more!
  • Click here to download the Keto360 Shopping List – Make sure to do this a few days before you begin the program so that you have all the food, supplements and other tools you need to be successful.
  • Click here to download the Keto360 Recipe Guide – Be sure to try out the Coffee360 recipe, it is delicious!
  • Click here to download the Keto360 Burst Training Plan – Burst Training a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), consisting of a series of “bursts” in your workout, followed by a period of rest. Bursts are when you are pushing your body to its maximum potential for 10 to 60 seconds.
  • Click here to download a $5 off Ancient Nutrition coupon that can be used at any of our Nutrition Smart locations. To find the location closest to you visit our locations page or click here.

Did you miss the event and want to watch it? Visit our YouTube page by clicking here and watch the entire lecture.

We look forward to our next event and if you have any questions just leave a comment below or reach us on Facebook or Instagram at @nutritionsmartofficial


Healthy Christmas Dinner Ideas

The end of 2017 is upon us and soon the time for resolutions and new perspectives will come about. Before that, however, we’re faced with one of the most important traditions of the year: Christmas dinner. Traditionally, this is the time to forget about diets and simply ‘let go’, but if you’re finally sticking to those resolutions you made last year and really want to stay healthy, then it might be time to find a few new recipe. You might not be able to control what others contribute to the Christmas dinner, but you can control what you make. The most important thing for you to know is that healthy doesn’t have to taste bad.

The Main Course – Time to go Beyond Poultry

Admittedly, either poultry or ham has become the typical centerpiece for any Christmas dinner, but if you’re looking to move away from that, then we have a great recipe! You can make this as a centerpiece and it will keep your guests happy for the duration of their stay. Check out the recipe below and feel free to change the ingredient measurements as needed to accommodate more or fewer guests. Remember: all of the ingredients can be found at health food stores in Pembroke Pines:

Red Lentil Winter Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce and Butternut Squash (Gluten free, vegetarian)


  • health food stores in Pembroke Pines5 cups (1 pound, 5 ounces) cubed butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 2 (15-ounce) jars roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • 24 ounces chickpea cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta (TRY: Tolerant Organic Red Lentil Rotini Pasta)
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss together squash, 1 tablespoon oil, three cloves minced garlic, shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast squash 30–40 minutes or until tender when tested with a fork.
  2. In a food processor, purée the drained roasted red peppers; set aside.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion and remaining four minced garlic cloves for 5 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, pepper, red pepper flakes and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté 1–2 minutes; then add Swiss chard and sauté another 1–2 minutes. Stir in red pepper purée. Transfer sauce to a large bowl, and set aside.
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions but remove 2 minutes early. Before draining pasta, reserve 1 cup cooking liquid.
  5. Add cooked pasta and roasted squash to bowl with sauce; toss gently until coated. Mix in ½ cup Parmesan. If pasta seems too dry, add a little of reserved pasta-cooking water. Top with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.


As a vegetarian dish, this recipe will open up your options and create a more welcome atmosphere around your Christmas dinner table. Keep in mind that this is just one idea for a side dish, and if you want to give it a shot, all of the ingredients can be found in our Nutrition Smart stores just in time for Christmas.

This is a great dish, but having a side is equally important, so why not Zucchini Squash Bake?

Serve the Perfect Side with Zucchini

Zucchini Squash Bake


  • 1 small (about 2 pounds) kabocha, red kuri or delicata squash
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 small zucchini, grated (about ½ cup)
  • ⅔ cup ricotta
  • ½ cup grated hard cheese, such as Fontina, Emmental, Gruyère or non-aged Gouda
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (regular, gluten-free or panko)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Drizzle oil and 1 /8 teaspoon salt over cut side of squash halves. Place squash, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover squash loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove foil and let the squash cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, place grated zucchini, ricotta, grated cheese, parsley, thyme, pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt; stir to combine (all available at nutrition stores in Pembroke Pines). Mix in beaten egg and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss bread-crumb ingredients together; set aside.
  4. Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl and add lemon juice; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Gently fold ricotta cheese mixture into squash until combined.
  5. Grease a 2-quart round baking dish, and reduce oven temperature to 375°. Scoop squash mixture into baking dish, and top with bread-crumb mixture. Bake until topping turns golden brown in spots, about 25–30 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.


Side dishes are often one of the most important parts of the meal, but once all is said and eaten, dessert is going to be the star of the show. As the grand finale in your culinary holiday ensemble, it needs to send the meal out with a bang, and we think we have just the thing.

Moving on to Dessert

Grain-Free Avocado Sweet Potato Cake Bites


  • ½ cup sweet potato purée (1 small sweet potato) or pumpkin purée
  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips, divided
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


  • 4 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate (at least 60 percent cacao)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners or grease with oil.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips and walnuts. Blend just until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and optional walnuts. Fill each mini-muffin liner with batter.
  3. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  4. While cake bites are cooking, in a glass bowl, melt chocolate and honey in 30-second increments in the microwave; whisk. Whisk in oil until smooth and shiny. Place wire cooling rack with cake bites over a foil-lined baking sheet or parchment. Drizzle glaze over top or dip cake bites into the glaze. Repeat until all cake bites have a glaze topping. If desired, top with walnuts.


Build a Christmas Dinner You can be Proud Of

Nutrition Smart Pembroke PinesChristmas dinner isn’t just the everyday meal that you make for your family; this is something special; it’s a work of art, and it’s something to be remembered. The three recipes that we detailed above aren’t just tasty, they’re vegetarian! That means you’re going to be able to meet the needs of anyone who drops by your house for dinner regardless of their dietary stance.

As a final note, we strongly recommend that when setting your dishes out for consumption on Christmas Day, you provide a small index card which lists the ingredients (minus the portions) of each dish. This ensures that those who may have food allergies or an intolerance can read and determine whether they want to dig in or pass.

In a later post this month we are going to spend some time discussing food allergies and how you can prepare for your guests who might be intolerant of certain types of food, including gluten. Until then, start your shopping at Nutrition Smart and build some of the best holiday dishes ever!