Going Keto & Joanna’s Beef Stew

Going Keto & Joanna’s Beef Stew

Going Keto
I think my story is common. I’m 50, I am a mother of 4, I didn’t do all I could during my parenting years to take care of myself physically. What can I say? I loved donuts. From a young age I learned to “eat grains” for energy. As an adult, I did what many folks do; I exercised a little bit, I felt better, I had more energy, lost a little weight, but it would always come back. I tried some of the national weight loss programs; count this, weigh that (you know the drill) – all with similar results. Until I met some folks that do things a little differently, and helped lead me down the path of discovery to seeing that eating is for fuel.

Ketogenic Diet
“The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.” It’s not easy at first, but very worth it!

My journey began 4 months ago, and it’s working like it should; slow and steady with 24 pounds down so far! In the 7 months prior to my dive into Keto, I followed doctor recommendations to simply eat “less calories every day”. During the 200+ days of restrictive eating that followed, 15 lbs came off. The difference in how I felt for those 7 months and how I feel over the last 4 months is the most important reason I would recommend Keto to everyone. There are lots of eating programs similar to Keto, I won’t bore you with all the rules, suffice it to say they are similar in style and philosophy. Using fat for fuel rather than carbs is the key to feeling like you aren’t missing out on anything. Food as Fuel. Nothing more, nothing less.

I started out trying to remake everything I was accustomed to eating with Keto friendly ingredients, in some cases I succeeded and in others I did not. Then it dawned on me; it took nearly 50 years to get used to eating one way, perhaps it would take a moment to adjust to new things. After 6 weeks, the need to replace the sweets I used to enjoy had vanished. After 2 months, I was no longer “hungry” all the time. Now, I make recipes that taste good and have the whole ingredients and I only use Grass Fed for meat and butter (2 very important components in Keto).

Grass Fed, especially beef, is so important to this movement. The Grain Fed beef industry is driven by revenue. Fatter cows = more money; per cow, per acre of pasture, per cowboy, per tractor. It isn’t about health or nutrition. You must take care of you, because those guys are only thinking of money. Grass Fed beef contains up to five times more Omega-3 fats than Grain Fed beef, and don’t get me started on the antibiotics and hormones that are pumped into feed-lot confined cattle! For those skeptical of food that can taste good and be good for you I am including a beef stew recipe for you to try. You don’t have to be Keto to enjoy it and I promise the stew won’t turn you into a health nut just for trying it! 😉

Let me close by saying that you can make changes in your life, big or small, any time you are ready to make a change. If you aren’t ready you will fight yourself all the way. I was really ready and it is working.

Joanna’s “Go-To” Keto Beef Stew
2 lbs x Grass Fed Beef (cubed)
1 x Rutabaga (cubed)
1 x Russet potato (cubed)
2 x Carrots (sliced)
1 x Onion (I prefer sweet)
2 cups x Beef Stock (preferably bone broth)
½ cup x Red Wine
16 oz x  Portabella Mushrooms
1 TSP x Xantham Gum
2 TBSP x Coconut Oil
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put ¾ of the coconut oil, salt and pepper in a cast iron dutch oven and brown the stew meat. Set it aside
  2. In the same pan toss in onions some more salt and pepper and the rest of the coconut oil and let the onions sweat and become translucent. About 3 to 5 minutes depending on how thick you like your onions.
  3. Once the onions are soft you can toss in the carrots and rutabaga. Let them cook another 5-10 minutes, when they are soft you can deglaze the pan with the red wine. Get all those good bits off the bottom of the pan!
  4. Next add your beef stock and potato (a little more salt and pepper) and then put your beef back in the pot. Let this cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes you can add your mushrooms and let it cook for 10-15 more minutes
  6. Your last step is the magic Keto gravy maker, Xantham Gum. This fine powder does what a traditional roux does for sauces and gravies, without the king of carbs, flour. 1 tsp for every 2 cups of liquid is my rule, but you can adjust to your desired thickness start out with a little less, adding ¼ tsp at a time. It needs to be incorporated well so the best process is to pour some broth into a mixing bowl and whisk in the Xantham Gum thoroughly, then add that back to your stew and stir well. Let this cook for another 5-10 minutes to tighten up.
  7. Serve with cauliflower rice and enjoy!
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Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical.

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