I lost 40 pounds in a year on the keto diet — and I bought a lot of my grocery staples at Costco.
Kirkland Signature's canned chicken breast, coconut oil, and almond flour were my pantry staples.
I always had fresh mozzarella, eggs, and Kerrygold butter in my fridge.
My Costco membership was a key part of how I was able to follow the keto diet for a year.
Before starting the keto diet, I traveled abroad for two years, visiting over 50 countries. I experienced an incredible diversity of food and enjoyed conversations over many glasses of wine with people from all over the world.
Although I never regretted eating an empanada in Argentina or ordering a Khao Soi in Thailand, the extra 40 pounds I gained left me feeling fatigued and out-of-character.
So, with the goal of losing weight, I began following a strict keto diet, which replaces carbs with fatty foods.
The keto diet can help with weight loss, but it's worth noting it can also come with negative side effects and risks, especially for those with certain health conditions. Always do your research and consult with a doctor before drastically changing your diet.
After 11 months, I lost a total of 40 pounds — and being able to shop at Costco helped me keep on track and stay within my budget.
Keep reading for some of my go-to, keto-friendly picks.
Kirkland Signature's almond flour is a staple.
I believe introducing almond flour to my diet was one of the reasons I was able to sustain a strict keto diet for an extended period.
Whether creating bread for sandwiches, delicious baked goods for dessert, or faux "bread crumbs" for keto-friendly chicken nuggets, almond flour was the superstar.
Anywhere a traditional recipe would call for flour, I replaced it with almond flour. It has a similar consistency and taste to traditional flour, but with a fraction of the carbohydrates.
What's excellent about Kirkland Signature's Almond Flour is the price, quality, and quantity. I've found the price per unit is significantly cheaper at Costco than at Whole Foods Market, Amazon, Thrive Market, or even HomeGoods.
Try 90-second cheesy mug bread:
⅓ cup of almond flour
1 tablespoon of cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon of butter
1 pinch of Italian (or oregano) seasoning
½ teaspoon of baking soda
Combine all ingredients into a microwave-safe mug
Heat up for 90 seconds
Remove from mug and enjoy
I can't get enough of Kerrygold butter.
Kerrygold butter is incredibly delicious and comes from Irish grass-fed cows. Although you can find this in most supermarkets, it always made more sense for me to buy it at Costco.
The unit price here is significantly lower than other supermarkets and I went through butter quickly while on keto.
Sometimes I'd even add a tablespoon or two of butter to my coffee to help fuel me and make my drink creamy and delicious.
If you aren't able to get through the butter in a timely manner, you can also freeze a few bars at a time.
I use Kirkland Signature's organic virgin coconut oil in a lot of my recipes.
When it comes to keeping heart-healthy fats on hand while following the keto diet, I choose the versatile virgin coconut oil.
It's also a sturdy fat that has an excellent smoke point of 350 degrees. I would purchase a utility-sized jar of organic virgin coconut oil to make delicious fat bombs — a keto-known snack that increases your macros while curbing your sweet tooth.
Try chocolate-coconut fat bombs:
1 cup of almond butter
½ cup of melted 80% (or higher) dark chocolate
½ cup of melted coconut oil
¼ cup of chopped macadamia nuts
Pinch of sea salt
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of monk-fruit sweetener
Mix all ingredients
Distribute mixture into baking cups
Put in the fridge overnight, then enjoy
Del Real Foods has slow-cooked pork carnitas that are easy to prepare.
These carnitas helped me prepare a dinner that was easy, tasty, and macro-friendly. Each container contains two packs and took as little as seven minutes in the microwave to prepare.
Sometimes I'd use romaine hearts as lettuce wraps for the carnitas. As a bonus, toppings like sour cream, cheese, and hot sauce are not only allowed in the keto diet — they're encouraged.
The Spirella Minis are macro-friendly and easy to eat.
Food cravings hit you hard when adjusting to the keto diet. When I started, I liked having food on hand that is easy to eat and macro-friendly.
Getting in high doses of fat, especially in the beginning when trying to develop ketones, can be challenging. This is where Cheese King's Spirella Minis were helpful.
Keeping these stored in my fridge and accessible anytime I got hungry changed my outlook on the diet.
I think these work best as a snack — eventually I found it was better to get my fat macros from foods like coconut oil, avocados, salmon, and grass-fed beef.
Whisps cheese crisps are about as satisfying as potato chips.
Whisps Cheese Crisps have less than 1 gram of carbs per serving and a crunch as satisfying as any potato chip, but without all of the carbohydrates.
With flavors like parmesan, cheddar, and tangy ranch, Whisps have enough options to keep me from getting bored.
I also used crushed Whisps, almond flour, and chicharrones as breading when making chicken nuggets and fried pork.
Kirkland Signature's canned chicken breast is so versatile.
Many on strict keto have a love/hate relationship with chicken breast.
Chicken breasts are high in protein and low in fat, making it harder to balance out keto macros. On the other hand, chicken breast is so versatile and suitable for almost any dish.
Kirkland Signature chicken breast was always a staple in my Costco cart. Whether I was making homemade pizza crust or avocado boats, canned chicken was a convenient go-to when I didn't know what to make for lunch or dinner.
Try chicken-crust pizza:
1 can of Kirkland Signature's Premium Chunk Chicken Breast
¾ cup of grated parmesan
1 teaspoon of oregano or Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
Desired toppings (tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, etc.)
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Combine all ingredients (except for toppings) in a bowl
Mix until components distribute evenly
Lay flat on a baking pan covered with parchment paper
Cook for 15 minutes
Using parchment paper, flip pizza crust over (this helps add an extra crunch!)
Add desired toppings to your pizza
Cook for the remaining 15 minutes, or until your toppings and cheese have melted.
Those who follow the keto diet tend to consume a lot of eggs, so I always got the 24-pack at Costco.
Each carton of eggs comes in a 24-pack, and to be honest, this won't last long on keto. Those on keto use eggs for pretty much everything.
Eggs are often used as the glue in keto recipes to combine ingredients (like mug bread or chicken pizza crust). Eggs are also an excellent macro food for the keto diet, as one egg contains about 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.
Try homemade mayonnaise:
4 egg yolks
2 cups of avocado oil
Juice from ½ lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1 ½ tablespoon of water
Combine egg yolks, salt, lemon juice, and water in a blender or food processor
While pulsing, slowly blend in avocado oil
Pulse until mixture forms a mayo texture
Store in a tightly sealed container
Sukhi's chicken tikka masala helped me miss takeout less.
The number one thing I missed on the keto diet was Asian takeout. When I found this tikka masala at Costco, I was excited to see it could fit into my diet.
Each serving has 7 grams of net carbs. Still, this dish may not be the best for keto beginners. I think it's great for anyone who's followed it a little longer or who is getting off of the diet.
A bag of frozen, riced cauliflower can last me quite a while.
Many keto-friendly dishes would taste phenomenal over a bowl of rice. But since rice is heavy in carbohydrates, you have to implement substitutions — this is where Purely Frozen's organic riced cauliflower comes in.
Since I cook for one, I love that this cauliflower rice comes frozen and thus has a longer shelf life.
Try cauliflower fried rice:
1 ½ cups of cauliflower rice
2 teaspoons of coconut aminos (heads up, soy sauce has gluten)
1 green pepper, diced
1 bunch of basil
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sesame seeds (optional)
Crack two eggs in a bowl and whisk until combined
In a large pan or wok, heat coconut oil
Add to the pan/wok, your cauliflower rice, and green pepper
After 5-7 minutes, create a small hole in the middle of your wok/pan.
Add the whisked eggs to the center of your wok/pan
Scramble until fluffy (not fully cooked)
Combine the eggs, cauliflower rice, and diced green peppers
Add in coconut aminos and garlic
Stir for 1-2 minutes
Stir for 1 minute
Take off heat, top with sesame seeds, and enjoy
Kirkland Signature's fresh mozzarella can turn into a great pizza crust.
Maybe I'm biased because I'm Sicilian, but keeping Costco's brand of sliced, ready-to-serve fresh mozzarella in my fridge at all times was one of the best decisions I made while on the keto diet.
It's great on its own, with olive oil and tomatoes, or on top of almost any baked dish.
Mozzarella is also used in a popular keto-friendly dough recipe is adapted from the 2009 fast-food documentary "Fat Head."
Try "Fat Head" dough:
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons of cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cup of almond flour
Melt mozzarella cheese and cream cheese together in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute and thirty seconds. *Stir the cheese every 20-30 seconds until melted
Mix in almond flour, egg, and egg yolk
Once combined, let cool before baking
I frequently bought Kirkland Signature dry-roasted macadamia nuts with sea salt.
Macadamia nuts are a great option for those on the keto diet because they're full of healthy fats and rich in nutrients. Plus they have good macros for keto.
I have also followed countless recipes that call for macadamia nuts, like pesto, fat bombs, homemade macadamia-nut milk, and more.
Macadamia nuts can be pricey — but, at Costco, I've paid less than $20 for 1 1/2 pounds of them.
Try macadamia-nut and pesto salmon:
1 handful (or cup) of macadamia nuts
1 cup of avocado oil
½ cup of parmesan cheese
1 bushel of basil
1 bushel of cilantro
2 8-ounce salmon fillets
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
In a blender, combine macadamia nuts, parmesan cheese, basil, cilantro, and avocado oil
Blend until smooth (if you notice the texture is too dry, add more avocado oil)
Place the mixture on top of the salmon fillets
Put salmon in the oven for eight to 12 minutes depending on your preference
Take out of the oven, top with freshly squeezed lemon juice, and enjoy
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