+ the healthy chef +


  • By
  • Teresa Cutter

I was introduced to a standard low carb diet also known as the “keto” way of eating in my early 20’s when I started lifting weights and training for fitness figure competitions. I am still fascinated at the body’s ability to change composition, based primarily on how you eat and how you train. In the early days, I was a real gym junkie…training 6 days a week and carefully monitoring my low carb diet to support the high-intensity workouts I was putting my body through. I learnt a lot, in particular, how to fine tune my diet and in order to support a lean physique.

The key to a keto eating plan is not to obsess about any one ingredient. Just because a ketogenic diet is a relatively high-fat, it doesn’t mean you should start eating large spoonfuls of coconut oil and almond butter throughout the day. Like any diet, it’s about moderation, and being ketogenic is about eating lower carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and including some protein at every meal.

Ketosis works mainly because it focuses on a nutrient-dense low carb eating plan – this also helps us in reducing the amount of sugar we tend to eat on a daily basis. Numerous studies show that a ketogenic diet is a safe and natural approach for weight reduction.

I find that a ketogenic diet helps reduce my insulin levels, which makes me feel less wired, and keeps my appetite under control. The diet also supports my gut issues, so it’s wonderful therapy for the management of my SIBO.

This is essentially what keto is all about – restricting carbohydrate intake and balancing daily fat and protein. By doing this, you allow your body to shift into ‘ketosis’, which is when your body becomes incredibly efficient and burns fat for fuel, instead of glucose.

Insulin is an anabolic hormone that increases storage of fat, protein and glucose. It’s main effect in regard to fat is to block lipolysis (oxidation of fat).

In fact, research has shown that a ketogenic diet can result in efficient weight loss since it lowers circulating insulin and shifts the body into burning fat.

A ketogenic diet is a dietary approach that focuses on minimal carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and a moderate healthy fat consumption. This is essentially what keto is all about – restricting carbohydrate intake and balancing daily fat and protein. By doing this, you allow your body to shift into ‘ketosis’, which is when your body becomes incredibly efficient in burning bodyfat.

One study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved.


The way I eat has always been consistent with what is now popularised as keto. But while many people are fanatical and count every gram or calorie of their macronutrient intake, I am not an advocate for this. I listen to my body and let my hunger and satiety cues tell me how much food I need to eat.

Food is to be enjoyed and you have to do what feels good for you. Having said this, I am always mindful of what I eat and drink and where my food comes from – it needs to be fresh and made from wholefoods. In this way, I know that I’m supporting my health in every way and maintaining a lean and healthy physique.

My diet basically includes good quality protein sources from wild caught fish,  eggs, poultry and Healthy Chef protein which i designed to be low in carbs and sugars.  I add Healthy Chef Protein into my smoothie each day, as it helps keep me full and energised all morning.


I also consume high-fat foods such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and nut butters, grass-fed butter and coconut oil. My carbohydrate sources come mostly come from lots of leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables such as kale, zucchini and cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli.

I also consume high-fat foods such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and nub butters, cultured butter and coconut oil. But don’t go overboard.

For many people on keto, there is a tendency to miss out on probiotics and nutrients from high-fibre fruits and vegetables, which is why I like to supplement my diet with The Healthy Chef Green Smoothie, which is an easily digestible blend of organic greens and probiotics. I also include The Healthy Chef Superfood powder in my smoothies, which offer good prebiotics to help feed the probiotics for better gut health.


Research shows that the benefits of a ketogenic diet go beyond weight loss. According to The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ketogenic diets may even have benefits against cancer, epilepsy and neurological diseases.

In my case, going keto has helped my ongoing digestive issues. Because I suffer from SIBO and Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS), I need to avoid certain foods that cause bloating and digestive issues.

In fact, one of the primary dietary treatments for SIBO is the restriction of fermentable carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs, which I have written a lot about in Perfect Digestive Health. 

Keto allows me to enjoy the foods I love. I eat delicious protein and high-fat foods, many of which are featured in my best selling cookbooks Purely Delicious and Perfect Digestive Health. This automatically reduces the foods that can trigger my gut issues.

That is why I have designed my Healthy Chef protein as it allows me to hit my protein requirements, when I need a quick, convenient and easily digestible meal on the run.

A ketogenic diet lowers insulin and blood glucose levels and can be an effective way of eating for those with diabetes. A study published in Nutrition & Metabolism found that 7 of the 21 participants with type 2 diabetes were able to stop all diabetes medications.


While there is a lot of confusion and conflicting information about keto and other diets out there, it’s important to note that everyone is individual and what may be a way of life for some, could be unsustainable and not necessary for others.

The key for weight loss and optimum health and wellbeing is eating wholefoods and finding a good balance that works for you. Combine this with regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress reduction techniques, you will never have to follow strict dietary guidelines, count calories or lose the pleasure of enjoying delicious meals with loved ones.

The key for weight loss and optimum health and wellbeing is eating wholefoods and finding a good balance that works for you. Customise your eating plan based on your unique requirements and live the 80/20 lifestyle.


  1. Em says:

    Can you please advise a days worth of eating like this ? I have your 80/20 book and it’s not like that?

    • Hi Emma, 80/20 is definitely based around a low carb eating plan. You can call it a modified keto or paleo diet that has be designed for weight loss as well as overall health.
      Strawberry Smoothie (recipe in the book) made with Healthy Chef WPI vanilla or
      Scrambled Eggs / Omelette (in the book) served with avocado or spinach OR
      Smoked salmon, poached egg, spinach (recipe in the book)

      Greek Salad with Tuna + balsamic Dressing (recipe in lunches) or
      Smoked Salmon + lettuce wraps or
      Detox Salad

      low carb bolognaise (recipe in dinners)
      Salmon Burgers
      Stir fried chicken

      • Em says:

        Thanks for reply . I’m definitely a person who doesn’t do well on low carb. Tried it many times in my life and always end up with depression and migraines .

        • Em says:

          Hmm I’m thinking of trying this again because perhaps when I tried this before my calories were too low and perhaps I didn’t eat enough fat and fibre with my protein :-) thanks

          • Keto or low carb is not about just eating loads of protein…extremes of any diet is not great for your health. Just look at your eating plan as a wholefood diet….focus mainly on fresh vegetables including some of the great starchy veggies and fruits like sweet potato and banana. Your body needs good carbs too! Include healthy fats from avocado and extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds then add protein such as salmon and sardines.

  2. Gail Smith says:

    I have noticed on virtually all “healthy food/lifestyle” sites people shown are always under 40. Sometimes under 50 and it is uncommon and over 50. I’ve been reading your helpful information but I wonder if the nutritional information is relevant to people 60 and over. eg. protein requirements. Researched and tested information for people over 60 on nutritional requirements is all but impossible to find. Certainly the messages like exercise, wholefood, fresh vegetables etc, lower stress apply whatever your age. I wonder though as I read your Keto information how much of that applies to me at 66. So much changes as you get older. eg. Ability to maintain and build muscle. I eat SLOW, practice yoga, attend personal training and meditate. These are the beliefs I have followed most of my life. My point being, that I would love to have better information aimed at older needs. What amount of protein, carbs etc to I need at 66 and beyond? There is virtually no information.

    • Hi Gail….your point is well heard and I’ll aim to write more on the nutritional needs of older adults.
      My posts are basically inspired by my own diet and lifestyle and I’ve definitely noticed a considerable change in not only in how I eat, but my overall state of health – I’ll be turning 50 next year. The current body of evidence indicates that a dietary protein intake of at least 1.2 g/kg/day is required to maintain optimal muscle function. Increasing protein intake as you get older is definitely ideal. The meltdown of muscular tissue with ageing, otherwise known as sarcopenia, starts from the age of 30 and accelerates after the age of 65. Sarcopenia makes the person more vulnerable (risk of fall, fractures, loss of force); it has therefore consequences on the quality of life. Thanks so much for your email. T:)

  3. Pip Honour says:

    This is an amazing post and I just love how you highlight the importance of taking an individual approach to dieting. Love your work and you x x

  4. Gail Smith says:

    Thanks for your response Teresa. I, and many others, would appreciate age relevant nutrition advice whenever relevant. Cheers

  5. Mel says:

    I’ve recently adopted a vegan diet and while it was supposed to be temporary to help with some gut issues, I’ve really enjoyed it and don’t have any inclination to change back. Aside from your pea protein, I’m a little clueless as to how to add protein into my meals and wondered if you could suggestion a typical vegan day of meals? Any help most appreciated.

  6. Emily says:

    Hi Teresa I love your simplicity. One question, I am currently training for a marathon at the end of the year. I need to eat before I leave home to boost my energy on my training runs. what do you suggest I eat before and during a long run (of 30-35kms) to stay well fuelled and hydrated without eating a high carb/high sugar option.

  7. Sandra says:

    I have read your books and enjoy your recipes and tips. I exercise 5 times a week and eat a low carb diet. I have always been weight conscious and, therefore have remained within my BMI for 50 years. Since becoming perimenopausal I am gaining weight even though I am doing everything right. I am thinking of introducing fasting days. Would you agree? Do you have any literature for women at this stage in their life?

    • Hi Sandra thanks for your email. Weight gain is very common after the age of 40. You’re doing a wonderful thing exercising 5 times a week as studies show that having more muscle mass, not only increases your metabolic rate, it also protects the body against insulin sensitivity and weight gain.

      In regards to diet…..Making sure you also include adequate protein at every meal meal as this will assist in feeding your lean muscle and maintaining at your ideal weight. aim for 80 – 120 g per day. If you feel you’re not getting enough I recommend you use one of our protein powders and make a meal replacement shake for either breakfast or lunch….Berries, HC protein, water, almond milk, spinach, ice is a good start.

      Reduction of portion size is a key factor as your metabolism will naturally slow down….I’m a fan of intermittent fasting throuout the week and consume a light protein shake made with our protein and water or a raw vegetable juice instead. I often have brunch instead of breakfast and lunch over a weekend.

      Look at other factors such as getting enough sleep and alcohol plus your overall diet. Hope this helps. T:)

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