One Year Blog-iversary!!

This time last year I embarked on a new life style with keto.¬† There’s been lots of ups and downs and lessons learned along the way.¬† It has definitely been worth it though.¬† I still believe, at least for me, that keto is the best way to eat.

After a lot of Holiday indulgences, I have been really getting strict.¬† I’ve had a good week where I’ve hit 25-50 grams of carbs a day.¬† I feel like my extra holiday “wiggle” is melting away.

I know I’ve said it before (I’m a glutton for learning the hard way!) but being strict keto is so much easier than a more lackadaisical approach.¬† If I am eating a little sugar, it quickly escalates to “more” sugar.¬† If I eat it, I want more.¬† If I cut it out, the cravings go away.¬† I feel much more content.

I’ve been aiming for more protein this time around.¬† I listen to the ketogenic girl podcast and she has had good results with incorporating more protein.¬† I’m not a huge meat eater so it’s been an effort to eat more chicken and beef.

Another big thing I have been doing is drinking pour over coffee.¬† Why?¬† Well, it tastes better for starters… but more importantly; it’s a much¬†cleaner¬†cup of coffee.¬† I was recently slightly horrified to learn that virtually¬†all¬†coffee makers have aluminum heating elements.¬† The water is being boiled by the hot aluminum.¬† This is a big deal because, especially over time, more and more aluminum is being deposited into your coffee.¬† Here’s a video on the topic from Dr. Dennis Crouse… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmt9keoVz08

You can hunt down a coffee maker without aluminum but is isn’t easy.¬† I packed away my coffee maker and bought an inexpensive ceramic pour over. 20181202_0850206085283468224575690.jpg

It takes about the same time to make, or maybe even less.  I boil some water in a glass tea pot then slowly pour the hot water over fresh coffee grinds.  The resulting coffee is aluminum free and well worth a little bit more effort!

I’m not a big tea drinker but I’ve been trying to branch out and try new things.¬† One thing I have discovered that I love is cold matcha lattes.¬† I work at a Starbucks so I first tried them there.¬† Nom!¬† But sadly, the Starbucks matcha powder is half sugar by weight.¬† It tastes good, but is definitely¬†not¬†keto friendly.¬† I picked up this unsweetened matcha at Wal-Mart today. 20190109_160049-15035507395074814450.jpg

I blended a tablespoon of matcha with slightly less than a cup of half and half (or breve, if you’re used to Starbucks jargon!) and a tsp. of pyure sweetener.¬† It was just as good as the starbucks version but much healthier.¬† Clocking in at about 10 grams of carbs instead of the 30 you’d get from the Starbucks version.¬† I’m not a tea person but this drink really hits the spot.¬† It’s great for a sweet afternoon “pick me up”.¬† You’ll get energy without jitters along with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Anyways, thank you for all of you who have read the blog through this past year.  I hope your new year is off to a wonderful and healthy start!

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Back on Keto

Today was an emotional day for me.¬† My son, Gabe; who had been doing school at home was finally well enough to go back to his elementary school.¬† I brought him in and helped him carry all of his supplies to his new classroom.¬† It’s a little school so everyone knew he was coming back.¬† Teachers stopped to hug him and his class was buzzing with excitement.¬† Tears threatened to gush out of my eyes.¬† It is just such a big step.¬† He’s come so far from the days where he couldn’t even walk because he was in so much pain.

I’ll have much more time to myself now though.¬† Even though I’m going to miss my little buddy while he’s at school.¬† I love him like crazy but he is so much like me that we can grate on each other.¬† Plus, just caregiving in itself can be very tiring.

But anyhoos, I wanted to talk about where I am; diet wise.¬† In my last blog on diet (a couple blogs ago, I believe) I decided to take a good long break.¬† I think that is important, for both mental and physical health.¬† It’s called a “re-feed” or just, uh, “pushing the ‘f-it’ button” for awhile.¬† Whatever works.¬† It was great.¬† I ate a lot of whatever I wanted.¬† Then the carby-luster wore off and I found myself struggling to squeeze into my pants.¬† More than that, I missed the brain boost I get from ketones.¬† When I was burning sugar instead of fat, I noticed a nose dive in my desire to write.¬† My brain wasn’t firing.¬† I also found myself (again *sigh*) eating too much freaking sugar and falling into depression.

That’s just how life goes, right?¬† We are always striving to find balance and that is ok.¬† I am back on keto and doing pretty good.¬† I have a much more casual approach this time around.¬† I think if I decide I can never have a snickers or reeses again I will despair.¬† I just do one day at a time.¬† Some times I cheat.¬† I just reset the next day.¬† I’m getting back to where I am more comfortable with my weight and feeling more mentally clear.

I hope you all are well and finding joy and balance this Holiday season!

Cheesy Keto Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

First; the recipe and then an update on how my kids are doing so far on keto. 20180714_1859348371197084850478944.jpg

This is a recipe I found at allrecipes and adapted to keto with a couple tweaks.¬† It’s supposed to be done on a grill but I cooked it in the oven instead.¬† It is pretty good, as you can imagine!

Cheesy Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf (keto!)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 diced yellow onion
  • 3 tbs. low sugar ketchup
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. parsley (I used dried spices)
  • 2 pounds grass fed ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 7 slices uncured bacon

First you want to take a long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (long enough that it would be about the length of a cookie sheet¬†after¬†folded in half).¬† Line up the bacon horizontally in the middle of the aluminum.¬† (You’ll want to be able to shape your loaf on top of the bacon and fold it up over the sides.)¬† Using aluminum isn’t 100% necessary but it¬†really¬†cuts down on cleaning time.¬† Preset your oven for 375 degrees F.¬† Add the first 11 ingredients to a large mixing bowl.¬† I mix by hand (I find it easier) but do whatever works for you to get all the ingredients well combined.¬† At that point you can dump the mix on top of the bacon slices and form it into a loaf shape.¬† Wrap the bacon up over the sides.¬† Fold the edges of the aluminum up to form a makeshift loaf pan and transfer onto a cookie sheet.¬† Put that pile o’ meat on the bottom rack.¬† I baked mine for about 65 minutes.¬† You’ll definitely want to check it with a meat thermometer and make sure the middle is at least 160 degrees F.¬† When you take it out, let it “rest” for 5-10 minutes.¬† You can brush on extra ketchup, but that’s extra carbs and honestly, the meatloaf really doesn’t need it.¬†20180714_1907237275425801692758309.jpg

The bacon flavor really permeates the entire loaf without overpowering the other flavors.¬† It’s so good you almost feel guilty eating it!!¬† It was a big hit at my house.¬† I’ll definitely make it again.¬† It’s not the¬†prettiest¬†or most elegant meal to photograph but it is insanely delicious and filling and satisfying.¬† No midnight munching after eating this!

Sorry guys, I don’t have nutritional info as I kind of threw this together today.¬† It does have 7-8 good size servings with a very small amount of carbs.¬† Serve next to a low-carb veggie (with butter, of course!) for a perfect keto dinner.

So…. we’ve been doing keto as a family now for two days.¬† I feel like it is going really well so far.¬† The second morning my oldest woke up and was hungry and shaky.¬† My youngest actually vomited.¬† I think it is because with their fast metabolisms they were going through the keto flu period at an¬†accelerated rate.¬† I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, making nummy food for them.¬† I made a keto cheesecake and two batches of my chocolate keto muffins so far.¬† They (inspite of some complaining) mostly like the food so far.¬† They seem like they are doing pretty well, aside from that first morning when their bodies were obviously still struggling to adapt.

There isn’t much information about how to do this diet for kids online.¬† I’m just going to have to discover as I go.¬† That’s one reason I feel like it’s important to blog about our journey.

 

 

Lurching into Keto

I know I blogged that we were going to go keto as a family probably well over a month ago…but life.

I’ve really been wanting to start but hemmin’ and hawing over the whole thing.¬† I decided to just bite the bullet and start.¬† The start of any new diet needs some sort of a grocery haul.¬† Of course, I went to costco.¬†20180711_1559527856548830844102775.jpg

Today was day one.  After my oldest had cereal for breakfast (dope!) I decided all contraband needed to be boxed up and hidden away in the basement.  The thing about keto is that it really eliminates 95% of processed, junky foods.  We boxed up a lot.

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our super bare pantry!

There was a LOT of kid whininess going on.¬† A lot of resistance.¬† “What do you mean I can’t have fruit or candy?!?!”

I just feel like we owe it to them to at least try.

I really hope that the therapeutic effects of ketones can reverse the autism/ADHD symptoms present in my oldest and youngest child.

I think my middle child could greatly benefit in his anxiety and hopefully with his skin condition.

Thankfully I feel like I am pretty comfortable with the diet, since I’ve been doing this for 7 months.

This is officially the start of our trial to see how the ketogenic diet might help us as a family.

I am a bit overwhelmed but much more excited.¬† I would really love to get my 6 year old daughter’s autism diagnosis removed.¬† I would love just more calm in our home.

I know it won’t be perfect but that’s ok.¬† My daughter managed to get ahold of a triscuit and cram it into her mouth before I could stop her.¬† All three of them were showing signs of sugar withdrawal and the start of the fat-adapting process (crankiness, excessive thirst).¬† We’ll just take it one day at a time and see if the benefits prove to be worth it.

 

Chilly Keto ColdBrew Mocha

Guys, I was doing a flex-keto approach and doing high and low carb days along with some intermittent fasting.  Which worked well for awhile until I found myself eating TWO big ole gluten free smores last weekend and then realizing I had gained, or was well on my way, to gaining back all the weight I had initially lost.  *sad face*

So I did what I usually do to atone for too many dietary sins.¬† I started tracking¬†every single gram of carb¬†with my fitness pal.¬† It’s still amazing to me that calories don’t really matter.¬† 1,500 calories with over 100 grams of carbs will have me gaining weight while 1,800 with less than 30 grams of carbs will have my body fat quickly dwindling away.¬† This may not hold true for all but I know it certainly is for me.

20180603_0941431091780791.jpgI’ve said it before but I’ll say it again- one of the best things about keto is the fact that you can still have creamy, delicious treats.¬† Like this cold brew based coffee drink I am sipping right now.¬†If you’ve read the blog for awhile you’ve probably figured out that I am a bit obsessed with both coffee and chocolate.¬† So I love finding new, low-carb ways to combine them.

I picked up some starbucks brand cold brew at target.¬† If you get some, make sure it is unsweetened.¬† Most kinds come pre-sweetened.¬† Definitely don’t want that!

I blended about a cup of cold brew with half and half (food of the gods!), cocoa powder and my monk fruit sweetener to get this delicious, frosty treat.¬† You can also add ice to make it more frappuccino-esque.¬† I think for future versions, I’ll have some coffee ice cubes on hand to add in.¬†¬†20180603_093440940081504.jpg

Keto ColdBrew Mocha

  • 1 Cup Cold Brew Coffee
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half ( you can sub in filtered milk, almond milk, or heavy cream)
  • 1 tbs. Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbs. Natural Sweetener (such as stevia, monk fruit, or¬†erythritol)

Combine ingredients in magic bullet style blender and enjoy!  This refreshing treat is sure to put some pep in your step at 182 calories, 8.7 grams of carb (about 6 net carbs), 14.5 grams of fat and 4.6 grams of protein.

 

Frozen and Cheating

It hasn’t been a great week.

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My oldest son, definitely sums up the week!

In the spirit of being transparent and real (keep it real!)- I’ve been cheating left and right.¬† Popcorn.¬† Easter candy.¬† Chocolate bunnies.¬† I’ve been on the cheating train and that train is a crazy one.¬† In my defense, it has been spring break week.¬† It has also been snowing, freezing, windy and nasty.¬† So I’ve been pent up with three kids with serious spring fever.

We’re not going to kill it 100% of the time.¬† I am working on viewing myself with a bit of compassion, honesty, and of course- humor.¬† I stepped on the scale yesterday to face the music and thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I feared.

I got super strict with my carbs again and got that rush of ketone-energy that I’d been lacking.¬† The problem with the diet is that it only works as long as you follow it!!

I’ve found that the more I cheat, the more I¬†want¬†to cheat.¬† I just need to be super strict, and it is actually easier.¬† Because a “few” sips of my kids chocolate shake turns into a few chocolates turns into gummy bears turns into feeling awful… you get the idea.

It doesn’t help that my husband thought it’d be a good idea to stock up (and I do mean STOCK up) on clearance Easter chocolate and candy because it was 70% off! ūüėí

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I’m not kidding!!!!¬† This isn’t even all of it!

But honestly, as long as I’m being super strict, the cravings disappear and I can ignore the obnoxiously abundant supply of chocolate-covered peanut butter in my pantry.

It really boils down to getting back in touch with your goals.¬† Then you can decide, is it worth it?¬† Then you just do it.¬† Succeeding long term requires a mixture of being honest with yourself but also giving yourself grace… and believing that you are worth it.¬† That your health should be a priority.¬† Because junk food may taste good but it isn’t worth it.¬† Because feeling good is better than momentary indulgences.