Our first guest reviewer is Ian Gee, whose name has cropped up in photo captions on the website. Ian kindly donated COOKING WTH MEN IN MIND for review, as well.
If you haven’t heard of The Natural Ketosis Company before, the company has a You Tube channnel, which explains the basics of ketosis, pretty well.
On to the review …
The Natural Ketosis Company
My partner Robert and I first became interested in a low carb diet after his nephew, Steven, went ‘keto’ for the second time in four years to lose weight. The first time he went on the keto diet I don’t think we really took that much notice, other than seeing that he had shed quite a few pounds and was very happy about that. The second time, owing to COVID and the fact he lives about 300 miles away, we only found out several months later when he and his wife were able to visit and he was no longer on the diet as he had reached his target weight. At that time both Robert and I were becoming more and more aware that our weight had increased to a point we were not really happy about it and felt we could no longer blame our weight gain on the everyday stresses and strains of living in a COVID pandemic. Like a lot of people we know, COVID had given us permission to keep ‘treating’ ourselves and since lockdown in March 2020 our cry had been ‘What does it matter, lets enjoy ourselves and have another slice of cake, roast potato, bowl of trifle, bar of chocolate…., as we could have COVID next week!’ It was when we realised that there were items of clothing that were being pushed to the back of the wardrobe as they no longer felt comfortable, that we decided to do something about it. We talked to Steven during his visit about his experience of the keto diet and decided to give it a go.
With Stevens help, as well as multiple web searches, we planned a two week rotating menu of low carb recipes and made a start at the beginning of August. It wasn’t long before we entered ketosis and started to lose weight. As with any diet the initial weight loss was very encouraging, but after about two months things slowed down to the point of coming to a bit of a full stop. Again, the web was helpful in terms of keto plateauing, so we made a number of changes to our diet, but really did not seem to be able to get back to where we wanted to be. We were stuck in a pattern of losing a pound one week and then plateauing for ten days before losing another pound. What I eventually realised was that though we controlling our carb intake, we were not doing a good enough job of managing portion size and the number of calories we were eating. It was at this point I came across the Natural Ketosis Company and we decided to give them a try.
The Natural Ketosis Company offer a range of services via their website which include buying individual low carb food items through to fourteen and twenty eight day meal plans. Plans which provide breakfast, lunch, supper and an evening treat with the only thing you need to add being vegetables to go with your evening meal and berries and cream to go with breakfast. The company also offer both on line and telephone consultations to help you choose the plan that is right for you. We settled on the ‘28 day Keto Kick Start Plan’ which limits your carbs to under 50g per day. Once you have chosen your plan, you then select meal options starting with breakfast, moving through to lunch and supper and then finally one treat per day. Each food choice has a link that takes you to a comprehensive list of ingredients, the nutritional content, amount of carbs, sugar, fibre etc. So even though we chose a plan with a carb average of 50g, we were able to pick food items that actually kept us below 20g of carbs.
The website has a handy downloadable pdf of extras and additions you can include in your diet and still keep yourself in ketosis. This also provides a guide to the vegetables, fruit and dairy you can add to breakfast and supper. We both felt there was a very good selection of food and have tried out most of what is offered and found nothing that we did not like, or would not have again. Of course, there are some things we prefer over others, but that really is just a matter of personal taste. Their service is very quick and once ordered your food is delivered within forty eight hours and is very well packaged.
All the food, other than breakfast, is prepared sous vide and so it can be microwaved, heated it up in a saucepan or a bowl in the oven. Each pouch of contains 250g and along with the cooking instructions, the back of the pouch provides a comprehensive list of ingredients as well as nutritional information. The pouches are plastic and sadly cannot be recycled in our area. Though I assume that in areas where cat and dog food pouches can be recycled, these could be as well, as they seem to be made of similar material to the pouches out cats food comes in. Breakfast comes in small plastic pots, with each pot containing seven days’ worth of servings and these can be recycled in our area. All the other packaging is cardboard and so is fully recyclable.
There are four breakfast choices, of which we have tended to have the following two:
- Seed and berry granola
- Nut and coconut granola
To breakfast we add 50g of either raspberries or blackberries, 30g of double cream and the same amount of almond milk.
Lunch is a soup, to which I add either a boiled egg or three of four slices of salami. Robert has 40g of chicken wings with his lunch. Examples of soups include:
- Pea and pancetta
- Thai chicken
- Broccoli and blue cheese
- Ham hock broth
The selection of meals for supper is fairly extensive and includes vegetarian options:
- Chicken and mushroom fricassee
- Slow cooked lamb
- Beef bourguignon
- Sausage casserole
- Chicken with leeks and cream
- Mushroom stroganoff
We add 200g (100g for each of us) of fresh vegetables, e.g., Brussel sprouts, sautéed cabbage, asparagus, mange tout, green beans, etc
The evening snacks, of which you have one, includes:
- Apple and cinnamon bar
- Pork crunch
- Raspberry and almond bar
- Caramel and sea salt bar
In addition, I often have 40g of cheese and a couple of sticks of celery
What we both like about the food plan is that we don’t have to think that much about it. The food is good, with plenty of different things to choose from and it makes being low carb very easy. Much more so than when we were simply following recipes where we struggled to get the balance of fat, carbs and calories right and did not properly control portion size.
Neither of us has felt hungry whilst we have been on the plan nor have, we suffered from any form of constipation! Something that became a bit of a bother when we were working under our own steam and that led to us regularly having to take ispaghula to move things along! The ease of ordering through to cooking is also a winner. The company also offer help by looking at restaurant menus to advise on what is best to eat, if and when you are dining out, to enable you to remain in ketosis. Given the pandemic we have not eaten out very often, but have used this service twice when we have been invited out to celebrate friend’s birthdays and found it very helpful. We have also had zero food waste whilst being on the plan.
The main issue a lot of people will have with the Natural Ketosis Company is the cost of the plans. They are not cheap, with an advertised price of up to £289 for 28 days which works out at a little over £20 per day for us, which is more than we would normally spend on food we cook at home. However, we are yet to pay the full price as the company regularly offers discounts of up to 15% on their website and when they don’t, I have always been able to find a 10% or 15% voucher code on the web. I know that we are lucky to be able to afford to use their services and are willing to pay for the convenience the company offers and fully understand not everyone is in the same fortunate position that we are in.
There are two other things that are very minor issues we have the service the company offers. Firstly, every time you place an order you have to start from the beginning, rather than simply clicking a link in your account to reorder what you had previously and secondly the food pouches are half a centimetre too big for our microwave and we have had the occasional spill. Our microwave is a large combi oven, so I doubt we are the only people to have had this problem. Despite cutting slits in the top of the package, as directed and folding down the top of the pouches, they have occasionally caught the roof of the microwave, fallen over and leaked. We have got around this problem by cutting off the tops and standing them in a microwavable bowl.
Despite one seven day plateau, our weightloss has been excellent since we have been on the plan, ranging from one to three pounds a week. We worked out the plateauing was because we had over done the extras during that week and added too many calories to our diet.
Since we started our low carb lifestyle, I have lost 32 pounds and Robert has lost 34 and we have decided to continue with a low carb diet until mid-February and will be using the Natural Ketosis Company to help with this.
After that, with the help, advice and support of Theroigne Russell, the owner and editor of this website, we intend to move to a moderate carb diet and I don’t think that other than at Christmas, birthdays and other holidays or special events we will ever go back to eating unrestricted carbs. Of course, living near the sea as we do, we are looking forward to the occasional fish and chips, but will see this as being an rare treat, rather than a regular occurrence! Being low carb for the past six months has changed our relationship to food and in particular to sugar.
Over Christmas when we allowed ourselves to be less restricted and eat ‘ordinary’ chocolate we both found the sweetness of it very off putting! Mind you neither of us felt the same about the Christmas cake or Christmas pudding and I cannot imagine giving those up for ever! We both believe that controlling our carb intake is not only a good way of shedding and keeping off the extra pounds we really don’t need, but also are happy with the health benefits a low carb diet offers. Things like an increase in ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, reduced blood sugar and insulin levels and a lowering of the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
If you can afford it, I have no qualms in recommending the Natural Ketosis Company as a way of helping you get started on a low carb lifestyle, but suggest that before you make a start, you plan how to shift from the very low carb the company’s products offer, to moderate carbs to both maintain your weight loss and enjoy a less restricted diet
If Ian’s review has gotten you interested, have a look at the website. There’s a 15% off everything code with HAVE15, to midnight today (28/02/22)
The Ketogenic Diet for Faster Weight Loss | Natural Ketosis Company