Cheese, glorious cheese!

If you have to give up bread, at least you can keep your cheese habit on the ketogenic diet. Recipe »

Pizza? On a diet?

With a limited amount of sauce and a delicious crust made of cauliflower, pizza can remain a staple of your diet. Recipe »

A world of bacon

The ketogenic diet will challenge your imagination. How many ways can I use bacon in one day? Oodles and oodles of possibilities. Recipe »

Wheres the beef?

The mainstay of the keto diet is protein. Steak, chicken, seafood, and low-carb veggies keep you feeling full and happy. Recipe »

The perfect ending...

With some heavy whipping cream and cocoa, you can enjoy the same delish desserts you\'ve always craved. Yum! Recipe »

 

18 week update = 35 pounds gone!

Well, it was good news and bad news at this follow up doctor visit.

The good news, the challenge was to lose 2 pounds per week and return in 3 months. It’ more like 4 months later due to scheduling issues, but I met the challenge thanks to the ketogenic diet plan!

Yup, in the past 18 weeks I’ve lost 35 pounds. Okay, I’m one pound short of the goal, but neither the doctor nor I care about that. The fact is I’m doing it!
thirtyfive

Bad news: the doctor who had earlier told me that weight loss could alleviate the symptoms of atypical adenomal hyperplasia (the reason I was to have a hysterectomy), now says he never told me that. He says I still need the surgery. I plan to seek a second opinion on the matter, but, I’m still very thankful that this whole situation gave me the boost I need to get back on the keto plan.

I’m happier, healthier, and weigh 35 pounds less than I did 18 weeks ago. I rarely crave carbs, never even eat “fake” desserts, and am enjoying fitting in all of my “too-tight” clothing all thanks to keto.

 

One month update – 16 1/2 pounds gone!

Well, it’s a month since I posted, and first, let me say a big thank you to all of you for the kind thoughts! I’m still going strong and I’m down 16 1/2 pounds. It’s the not quickest I’ve ever lost, but it’s steady and I’ve kept between 20-23 grams of carbs per day – with very few cravings. My clothes are looser, and I keep finding more in my closet that I can wear comfortably now. Bloat gone, more energy – what’s not to love!? (No exercise yet.)

My husband has type 2 diabetes and he decided to join me after a couple of weeks, which has made me really happy (who wants to get healthy only to lose a partner because of CARBS?!). He isn’t strictly keto, but is staying under 80g per day and his sugar went from 224 to an avg of 80-100! I foresee us living/eating this way for the rest of our lives. It’s so much easier doing this as a team than having junk in the house.

Reading reddit keto subgroups daily has been a huge inspiration. I’ve also been reading (listening to) The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person, and I highly recommend the book. She uses cognitive therapy to help people learn to stop the cycle of yoyo dieting and self-sabotaging behavior. She doesn’t endorse any special diet, and I figured at this ripe old age, I should learn to change my thinking as well as my food intake, so I’ve been staying strong and focused even when I would usually seek carby food for comfort!

With the support of my husband, and the delicious recipes (and advice) of fellow keto redditers and this book in my arsenal, I know I can do this!

Hoping for a medical miracle

It’s been a while since I “dropped out of the keto lifestyle” and gained back all the weight I originally lost (plus more, to be honest). It’s time to go back to the only way of eating that will help me lose weight and keep it off. For me, Keto is now a way of life, not just a temporary diet.

I’m really hoping that my story will alert (and inspire) other women about the medical dangers of ignoring too much body fat.

I’m not one for the whole “doctor scene.” The only reason I have a primary care physician is because about a year ago I couldn’t ignore the dizzy spells I kept having at the morning meetings at work. Turns out my blood pressure was 180 over 100 and I needed some medication to lower it, but otherwise I’m fit as a fiddle. Until this year.

I went for a check up in February and just happened to ask the doctor if it was okay that I had “spotted” recently. I’m mid-50’s and went through menopause a couple of years ago. The doctor lowered his clipboard and took on a serious look. “No, it’s not okay.” Turns out this is one of the primary symptoms of uterine cancer. EGAD.

So, I had a few tests. Each test was supposed to disprove the cancer, but each test led to the final diagnosis that I had “atypical adenomal hyperplasia” – or an enlarged endometrial lining with precancerous cells. The surgeon recommended a complete hysterectomy. This calls for 3 days in the hospital and 6 weeks recuperation – and everything goes.

After taking a vacation break (physician approved), I went back to the surgeon to discuss the whens, wheres, and hows of this upcoming surgery. He explained it would be a little more complicated because of my weight. There were dangers of blood clots in my legs, so he’d put me on blood thinners, I had more chance of infection, etc. etc. etc. OH MY GOD.

I asked if it made sense for me to hold off on the surgery and take a few months to lose weight, say 6 months and 50 pounds. I told him I’d been on the keto diet a couple years ago and lost nearly 40 pounds in a few months. The doctor got excited and said, “YES!” Turns out weighing less will make the surgery go a bit smoother.

It also turns out that I could avoid surgery completely and even correct the problem by losing weight.

As the doctor explained, “More women need to realize that being overweight can cause cancer.”

In my case, (and in layman’s terms) the body fat messed with my hormones, which produced excessive amounts of estrogen, which caused cells to form and thicken my endometrium. Excess cells mean more cells that can turn cancerous, and mine have about a 30 percent chance to do so. The excess cells were removed during the D&C/biopsy, but will grow back from the same process: fat > estrogen formation > thickened lining > atypical pre-cancerous cells, etc. etc. The doc said it’s safe to wait a bit because the cells were focused and not spread throughout the tissue. So he was whole-heartedly behind me losing weight before doing the procedure and even encouraged me that I could stop this excessive estrogen problem.

I asked how much I need to lose to stop the cycle. He said every pound counts. So think about it, this surgeon who would make money off the operation is rooting for me to not have it and to even lose enough to avoid having it in the future. I like this guy!

So here I am. I left the doctor feeling like I’d had my sentence commuted. Talk about motivated! This is seriously the most inspiration I could need or want to lose this weight once and for all. I need to lose more than 100 pounds, and the only hope I have is keto.

10483275_10205743275723021_5478352649102175283_nI know I can do this. My husband is backing me one hundred percent. My friends are cheering me on (despite the fact that they had gotten me a lovely “Farewell my friend” cake with a uterus drawn on it in icing).

I know I need to immerse myself back into all I learned on keto last time. I also know that keto subreddits inspired me alot with success stories, the really supportive people/comments, and the delicious recipes that kept me enthused. Last time I did keto, I lost the pounds quickly, started a “Healthy Keto” recipe blog, and felt more successful at losing the weight than I had in years. Then, (who knows why?) I just quit, and gained back the 40 plus another 10!

This time I know it’s forever. I don’t want cancer. I don’t want to be this fat. I don’t even want to take a blood pressure pill every day. I’m too old to keep up this yo-yo diet thing. I need to eliminate carbs from my life for good!

So, I’m back to cauliflower mashed potatoes, and lots of omelets, and squash “pasta” tricks. I wonder if there are other women out there who have stopped their estrogen-related medical problems by doing keto. I’m geeked, but Im back. I visit the keto subreddit several times every day as my “one day at a time” support group! Everyone there understands how hopeful, yet fearful, I am.

I need to be successful this time and for good! My life really does depend on it. It’s day 5 and I’m going strong. Wish me luck!

Keto renewal – the great escape from carbs and their consequences

I haven’t posted in a long time. During the communication gap, my dedication to the keto eating plan has been sorely lacking. I have also felt lethargic, gained back all the weight I lost on the plan, and am probably in the worst shape of my life.

I started this blog a long time ago with great hope that the ketogenic diet was finally the answer to my weight loss problems. I still believe that notion was correct.

I am the only person who can make the decision to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start once again. The keto plan was the last great hope after trying and failing on several other diets. I am throwing myself back into the plan wholeheartedly. The food was delicious, reducing carbs gave me energy, and I saw a significant weight loss in a short amount of time. I have the knowledge, the recipes, and the ingredients. All I need is the will to begin again.

Today –

BREAKFAST…

was 2 eggs over easy with bacon. I had not made up my mind about going back on keto this morning, so I had one piece of whole wheat toast and 1/4 cup of hash browns.

Then came the decision to break out the recipes and get back to it.

LUNCH

chi-chisTacos: 2 pieces of provolone cheese, nuked and curved into taco shell shapes. I used Chichi’s taco flavored meat (about 4 tablespoons) and topped with 1/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, and some chopped jalapenos. The Chi-chi’s is 3 grams of carbs per 4 tablespoon serving.

The entire process took fewer than 5 minutes and the tacos were as good as any fast food joint’s carb-laden version. The Chichi’s meat is definitely an expensive cheat. I could easily make myself the same mixture with some ground beef, but I think time and convenience will be of the essence as I reintegrate the keto plan.

DINNER

Rick grilled steaks and Portobello mushrooms. I made a salad with grated cheddar and blue cheese dressing.

VOILA! Drank lots of water until bedtime. Day one was a breeze.

A change in plans – no more daily blogging about keto

If there’s anything I know about myself after all these years, I know I’m obsessive.

I want to stay on the keto plan. I want to eat perfectly every day, and I want to blog about my successes and failures in order to throw myself into this wholeheartedly.

However, I also have a lot on my plate (metaphorically) because I have a day job, a business, and a whole lot of things I want to do: write, continue to explore genealogy, travel, read, finish remodeling the house….

Instead of trying (and failing) to keep this daily food journal, I’m going to blog the highlights, issues, and new recipes or tips that I find in my daily trek through keto-land.

The blog posts may come once a week, once a month, or whenever…but they will keep coming.

As of today, I still haven’t weighed myself (I don’t intend to until I FEEL that a satisfying amount has been lost), but my clothes are getting looser, the belly fat is diminishing, and – best of all – I have tons of energy!

I feel great and I have hope that I can stay on the keto plan until I’m at my goal.

Day 6: Keto “fettucini” with cheese and garlic sauce and Bang Bang Shrimp

Breakfast was at home. I didn’t feel like eggs, and I didn’t feel like eating until around 10:30, so I tried a new recipe. Years ago, when I was a single mom (and still not much of a cook), I used to boil fettucini, then top with parmesan cheese and chopped garlic. I loved it. I decided to try it with yellow squash, shaved into keto fettucini noodles. Instead of parmesan, I used grated Dubliner cheese. It’s similar in flavor, but I don’t think it tasted as good as the real parmesan would have. 2014-02-01 11.32.35 It as a day for experimenting with new recipes.

For lunch, I decided to try a hot dog recipe I saw recently on one of those Food Network challenges. On the show, the contestant slit hot dogs, filled them with pepper jack cheese, wrapped them in bacon and deep fried them. I didn’t feel like getting the deep fryer out, so I did the same recipe with precooked bacon and put them in the microwave. There were only a mild success. The Hebrew National frank flavor completely overpowered the flavor of the bacon. I guess those precooked slices can’t hold up in the flavor department. The result was just okay. 2014-02-01 15.47.47For dinner, I had a craving for some bang bang shrimp. I love this dish at Dave’s Fish Market, and I really enjoyed the similar version of the shrimp I had in a restaurant in Florida last month. When we discussed the dish with the waiter in Florida, he said that the sauce was a simple combo of mayo, sweet and hot thai sauce and hot sauce. I looked up the recipe for bang bang shrimp online and came up with my own keto version. 1 1/2 cups of mayo 1 tbsp Taste of … sweet/hot chili 1 tsp srirachi sauce I sautéed a pound of shrimp in 1 tsp of butter mixed with 1 tbsp olive oil for 4 minutes. When finished, I coated with the sauce and let it simmer about one minute.

2014-02-01 19.34.23The picture doesn’t do it justice. My son said it looks like mac and cheese. Next time I make it – and I WILL make this again! – I will separate the shrimp and make it more attractive like they do at the restaurant. It wasn’t quite spicy enough for me, so I drizzled a little more srirachi over the top. YUM

 

Day 4: A really simple 2-minute low-carb / keto pizza snack

Breakfast – egg/cheese/sausage patty in a bowl

Lunch – leftover cream cheese and spicy sausage mixture in a low carb tortilla

Dinner – here’s where  got creative…

I was pretty hungry about 4 pm, but we weren’t ready for dinner. I had some work to do for our web design company, and I wanted to finish it up before I started cooking.

I came up with this delish snack (probably not an original – but it was to me. LOL)

Take some pieces of pepperoni, mound about a tbsp of mozarella in the center of each, put the plate in the microwave for about 30 seconds – and VOILA! tasty hot pepperoni pizza treats. They were quick and delicious and assuaged my hunger until dinner could be prepared.

2014-02-02 18.30.44

For dinner, I cooked a pound of ground beef, added taco seasoning and put the mixture on a plate. I topped it with grated cheddar cheese, chopped onions, one half an avocado, and a tablespoon of sour cream. I’ll admit, I do love a taco shell, deep fried flour tortillas and all those other crunchy Mexican carbs, but this meal still tastes good and is a great substitute for carby Mexican meals.

Day 3: Chicken and stuffed jalapeno pepper leftovers

I AM FEELING THE ENERGY!

I even had a coworker notice. She said I wasn’t as groggy in the morning as I usually am. I am reaping the keto bennies already! Why oh why do I ever go off this plan?

I had the usual breakfast at my desk at work: 2 scrambled eggs with cheese and 2 sausage patties

For lunch, I had a small salad and about 6 of the leftover stuffed peppers from last night. I made the rounds at the office, offering my coworkers some hors d’ouevres and the peppers were a hit!

2014-01-29 19.21.45For dinner, Rick cooked chicken and green peppers in a delicious spicy green Mexican sauce. I forgot to take a picture, but I have pictures of the jar. It’s low carb (3 g. per serving) He used the whole jar with 9 chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces. I ate about half the jar, or 9 grams of carbs.

It was just the right amount of heat and spice, and tasted really good.

Later, I was still a bit hungry, so I took some of the leftover cream cheese/spicy sausage mixture that I used to fill the peppers and stuffed it into a low carb tortilla. It was quick and delicious. Gotta love leftovers!

I’ve been trying to cut down on the diet pop consumption. Zero carb Sparkling Ice helps a lot. I especially love the black raspberry and lemon lime flavors.

2014-01-29 19.21.59

Day 2: Stuffed jalapenos – perfect low carb / keto snack

Day 2 of my new beginning went swimmingly. I’m getting right back into the swing of things.

Breakfast was Rick’s egg/sausage/cheese bowl. As usual, eggs will be a staple of the plan – especially for breakfast.

2014-01-28 13.17.43Lunch – I had to meet Rick at the airport to return our rental car. That took up nearly 45 minutes of driving time, so I needed a quick, low-carb restaurant. The Senate Diner near my workplace is pretty fast, so we dropped in there.

I ordered two coney dogs with no buns. Delicious as I remembered.

We planned to have leftover marinara sauce on something, so I tried my fake “fettucini recipe.” It’s hardly a recipe, since all I do is trim fettucini-sized pieces from a yellow squash using a potato peeler. Plop the squash on a plate, cover with marinara and cheese and voila!

2014-01-28 19.17.48

I’d been meaning to try Lindsey’s stuffed jalapenos for a snack treat. They turned out really good, but they really didn’t taste much like jalapenos. They could have been any stuffed pepper. Maybe I should have left some of the seeds, or more membrane, in the peppers. I mean the filling was great, but I missed having the jalapeno flavor.

I’ll add this recipe to my Healthy Keto, since it’s pretty tasty.

That’s it; made it through day two with no hitches. Already feeling the energy. When I got in the car after work, after a few minutes, Rick said, “Well, you’re in a good mood!”

Was I? I think I had more than the usual energy after a long day at work. Let’s see what happens. On to day three….

Starting all over again, Day 1

The keto plan was the answer to my weight-loss prayers: I lost approximately 40 pounds in around 6 months. And then I started fooling around…

Well, maybe I’ll have a couple of pieces of toast. How bad could it be?

Boy, that pizza crust looks great. Maybe this one time, I’ll eat the entire piece of pizza, not just the toppings.

Hmm, maybe I’ll eat what I want at this party, then I’ll get back on track starting Monday.

I regained the weight – at least 35 of those pounds straggled back on. So, I started over, and stopped, and regained. And started over, and stopped, and regained.

And…in order to beat myself up a little more, let me remind myself that – not only did I regain all that weight – I also could have been LOSING another 40 (or more) during this same time span! An 80-pound weight loss puts me into “normal” sizes and a happy happy place.

What to do? Go back to the beginning.

Strict keto, journalizing, immerse myself in the topic. I started a keto recipe site last year; keep that up to date. Live, eat, and breath the keto lifestyle. No other choice. It worked before, and it will work again.

product_BuffaloRanch1Day 1:

Breakfast – 2 scrambled eggs, one sausage patty, topped with 2 ounces grated cheddar.

Lunch – mixed greens, 2 ounces grated cheddar, topped with Wishbone Buffalo ranch dressing (2g carbs) and 14 almonds

Dinner – one small squash (cut to resemble fettucini) topped with Rick’s marinara sauce and cheddar cheese (we’re out of mozarella).

Snack – salt and vinegar pork rinds with 2 tbsp french onion chip dip.