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Desi Vegetarian Keto Meals

This is by far the most requested post from me since I started doing ‘Keto Sprints’ over a year and a half ago.  I am hoping that this will be the start of an ongoing share that I put together to help you achieve your weight loss goals as I have for the first time in ten years.  See my initial results here.

Fit and Healthy

Although I am not a vegetarian, I have been asked time and time again for a menu that will work for vegetarians. Although it was not easy, I have compiled these meal ideas for you.

Before we get into what you can eat, let’s talk about Keto. 

What is the Keto Diet?

“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread. So although it may feel odd at first to be eating so many fats, there is science behind this.

When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis. It’s important to note that the ketogenic diet is a short term diet that’s focuses on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits. 

— Source: WebMD

Desi Keto Meals

You will love the burst of energy you feel when depriving your body of sugar.  Carbs are addicting and without them you will feel the difference in your appetite as well as mood.

keto meals

Carb Counts for Traditional Indian Foods Can be Found Here

Things to Remember

-Magic numbers: 35-50 g Carbs Daily, Protein 20% daily diet intake , Fats 75% daily diet intake, you need a LOT of fat in your diet when you eliminate carbs therefore cheese and avocados are now your best friends.

-Count NET CARBS (Carbs MINUS grams of Fiber for Net Carbs)

-You can actually eat anything on Keto (cookies/pizza etc.) just watch your  numbers and when you are out of carbs, make a different choice. I definitely eat things like pizza from time to time, but I consider those numbers in my daily count. With pizza I sometimes just eat the cheese – its actually really satisfying not eating the WHOLE piece.

-Fats are your friend, eat butter/avocados/pistachios/almonds liberally.

-Limit fruit intake.  Bananas have 12-15 carbs, grapes are approximately 1 carb each!  Stick to berries in ¼ cup portions.

-Total Carbs per day should stay under 35-50 grams TOTAL, it is important to keep count, if you don’t know, google it.  Here is an incredibly helpful link with carbs for ALL INDIAN foods.

Some of My Favorite Low Carb Finds

What to Expect

If you are doing this right, after about day three you should not feel hungry.  The combination of protein and fat in your diet should keep your satiated. 

After Three Days: Check to see if you are in ketosis, I use these sticks.

After One Week: You should start seeing some weight loss.

After Two Weeks: You will see a difference in your body. 

I hope you found this post to be helpful. The Keto Diet has changed my ability to manage my weight and my outlook on food completely. If you would like to see more meal options, drop me a comment and I will start working on a follow up.

Your Chick,


My Love Hate Relationship With the Keto Diet

Honestly, this whole diet was about one thing and one thing only –belly fat! A few years ago I had gone through several cycles of Cool Sculpting.  Cool Sculpting promises to “freeze away” about 20% of existing fat cells in common areas of accumulation (like the abdomen). Although I can endorse that I did see a moderate amount of tightening around my mid section, I am 100% confident that was the only improvement that I noticed.  There are also a few other reasons I WOULD NOT do it again: first, the weeks of numbness that come after getting each section treated — so uncomfortable; second, the cost – each section can cost between $350-$600. Considering that multiple sections and sessions are needed, the total cost can add up fast! — I digress.

This is where the Keto Diet comes in.  With so much hype surrounding the diet I had to try it for myself.  After my experience with Cool Sculpting, I had to see if there was a cheaper, easier, and more effective way to lose the belly fat.  It turns out Keto is the answer, BUT its not all good news here.  So here it is – the good, the bad, and … the before and after pictures.

The Diet

In a nutshell, the Ketogenic diet is one that involves an intake of moderate proteins, high fat, and low carbs.  When I say low carb and high fat, I am not kidding – you have to eat less than 25g of carbs a day and 80% of your calories each day have to come from fat (only 20% from protein).  The idea is to use fat for energy instead of carbs which is what makes this diet work.

Carbs are everywhere (5g per spoon of ketchup, 23g in a banana, 13g in a glass of milk) and frankly, it is madness once you start looking at it.  I have a daughter with Type 1 Diabetes, so counting carbs is not new to me but, as the kids say, “WOOOOOOW”.

The Good

The Ketogenic Diet has many benefits from a day-to-day lifestyle perspective. For one, you are NEVER hungry on this diet.  Not once did I go to sleep hungry on Keto, which was a notable difference considering every night I dream of raiding my cereal cabinet. Something about the amount of fat and protein just keeps you satiated.

In my everyday life, I experience fatigue right around the time I have to go pick up my kids from school at 3pm. I start yawning, dreaming about coffee or a nap. For the entire duration of this diet I felt more energetic throughout the day.  It is crazy when you do something literally *every single day*  (like get tired in car line) and then one day you just don’t feel as tired.  I had Keto to thank for that.

I was on my top of my game! Part of not being tired means getting stuff done and, boy, did I hustle.  I worked, and worked, and worked without batting an eyelash or complaining.

Keto Coffee, or Bulletproof Coffee, is actually REALLY good!

Lastly I lost 5 lbs in 4 weeks which may not sound like much, but when your weight has been stable for YEARS, it feels like a real breakthrough.  I had begun to wonder if it was even possible – those last five pounds. And now that I have an idea of the process, I think I could lose even more weight if I tried to do this again.

So… all of this sounds pretty great right?!?!

The Bad

After 4 weeks, I felt deprived. I am part of Chicks And Salsa after all – chips and salsa are literally my favorite food and I did not eat even ONE CHIP for a month!  I missed bananas, cereal, and pizza! At first, binge eating my favorite cheeses and tons of avocado felt great. But then it got boring – fast!  It was easier for me to just have a list of go-to foods and rely on those (I will list some below for reference).  Also, eating enough fat to really rock this diet is SO HARD – there are literally recipes for ‘fat bombs’ to help you get
there that are loaded with butter and cheese — and honestly, this felt a little odd.

My husband did accuse me of being cranky every now and then.  I felt like there had to be another way when the month was over.  Food is just one of those things that bring people so much joy, without it I enjoyed less.

The Takeaway

This is a tough call and to tell you the truth I would probably do it again.  Maybe there is a way to do it for 3 weeks, take a week off, do it for 3 weeks, take a week off – that would be ideal.  But it is an extreme diet that requires a lot of management, planning, organization, and attention.  I felt deprived so I quit, but within 48 hours of going back to my normal diet I was back to yawing in carline and feeling bloated.  Carbs do slow you down and knowing what that magic carbohydrate number is for you is important for a long term true lifestyle change.  I can’t imagine doing this indefinitely but with the results that you get, I would definitely do it leading up to a major life event or vacation.

My Menu

Here are a few things I lived off of for the month:

Breakfast: Eggs, Avocado, Turkey Sausage, Turkey Bacon

Lunch: Low Carb BLT (Low Carb Tortilla, Mayo, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Turkey Bacon), Salads with Ranch Dressing and Hard Boiled Eggs, Grilled Chicken Strips dipped in Ranch, Cheese Chips and Guacamole.

Snacks: Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt with 2 oz. Pecans, 14 Blueberries with Whip Cream, Almonds, Cheese Chips from Trader Joes, Cheese Slices from the deli, Edamame, Muscle Milk, Asparagus spears, Water (lots of water!)

I hope you found this post to be helpful if you are considering the Keto Diet. There are so many good AND bad things about it.  Like anything else in life, I think it comes back to moderation and mindfulness.  Exercise, drink lots of water, be kind to your body, and eat as clean as possible.  But if belly fat is what is getting you down – try the Keto diet and see how you do!



NOTE: At the time of this post I have been off of Keto for 2 weeks and have only re-gained one of the five pounds that I lost – I have transitioned mostly to an intermittent fasting model.  Let me know in the comments below if you want to hear my take on that!

Chick Picks:

Shopping Day at the Shops Around Lenox

After a very long, very isolating year, I FINALLY got out of the house for all my favorite “F’s” – Friends, Food, Fun, and Fashion!!  The Shops Around Lenox are located right along Lenox Mall itself and boasts a designer corner with all your favorites such as Lululemon, Fabrik, West Elm, Kendra Scott, and so much more! 

I got so many compliments on my outfit, so I have linked it here for you. I am now an Express Ambassador, a partnership I have wanted for several years, so expect to see lots of looks from Express from me this year, starting with this top (which also comes in this pretty rust color).

As always you can shop all my looks on the blog here or on LikeToKnow.It.

Shops Around Lenox

I was excited to start my day at BLO Dry Bar, where I was spoiled by Alfred with a “Pillow Talk” blowout.  These glamorous blowouts start at $45, and they have a membership program for regulars!

Blo Out

Next, I visited Draper James.  This brand is owned by domestic goddess Reese Witherspoon and is SO WELL branded.  They have furniture in the store that she actually has in her house to really hit home that this is truly representative of her style.  The prints are adorable, and the qualities of the designs are amazing.  I tried on several dresses in hopes of places to wear them in the coming months. 

Shop this Dress Here

My last stop was for lunch with a friend at Seven Lamps restaurant.  They have indoor and outdoor seating that is both trendy and casual to suit the weather and your mood.  My favorite part was obviously the craft cocktail menu.  I ordered the Pistol Pete, a blueberry and basil margarita, and it was AH-mazing. 

Thanks for stopping by Chicks and Salsa!

Your Chick,


Chicks Picks:

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him

To say that 2020 brought my husband and I closer together would be an understatement. Usually, we function in a parallel reality where we divide and conquer the responsibilities of day to day life. But last year was different, with us spending every weekend at home and spending more hours together, I learned A LOT about him and his interests, likes, and needs. This list has truly been created in honor of my husband, but may make sense for your significant other as well!

To see all of my Gift Guides, click here.

To keep things simple, these are all Amazon finds to make shopping easier for you! To see what else I have been shopping on Amazon, visit my storefront here.

Massager | Wireless Headphones | Hair Trimmer | Slides | Bomber | Columbia Jacket
Car Vaccum | Bedside Organizer

Bedside Organizer

I love the idea of creating a little space that doesn’t spill all over the side table like this one.

Also, for phones that can charge wirelessly, I cannot speak highly enough about these charging stands, I HIGHLY recommend them.

Adidas Slides

Every few years I feel that his slides need to be replaced. He uses them for trips to the mailbox, to take out the trash, hang poolside. These are classic and comfortable!

Columbia Zip Jacket

My husband grabs for his zip up jackets EVERY DAY! Years ago I wrote about the cost to wear ratio and with this one it is totally worth it. You can’t beat this deal and style.

Cordless Hair Trimmer

With all the money we all saved taking haircuts into our own hands in 2020, why not upgrade your equipment? This one has 60 minutes of shave time making it the perfect travel set too (whenever we do that again)!

Beats By Dre Wireless Headphones

Ok, if you are going to splurge a little, get these! For $70 you can have some peace and quiet during at home workouts. These not only have great sound qulaity, but also won’t fall out (ahem… air pods)!

Portable Car Vaccum Cleaner

I knew my husband loved his car, but wow, he is more meticulous about it’s maintenance than I am about my makeup! He will be unusually happy about this gift, you are welcome!

Massage Gun

With almost 3000 4.5 star reviews, this device is cheaper and equally as good as the popular Theragun ! This is a gift for him (and you too)!

Tommy Hilfiger Bomber

So if the Columbia Zip Up is his pick, then this bomber is mine. It is a stylish layer that I would prefer he wore when we are out an about. At less than $50, this is a great gift!

I hope that this list was helpful! I know shopping for the guys can be challenging!

Your Chick,