Monthly Archives: February 2012

Day 41: Indian butter chicken cooked the right way

Weight loss to date: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, Feb 25th

I had another relaxing Sunday, yet accomplished a lot. Breakfast was at home. I ate the leftover pizza from last night while doing the NYT Sunday puzzle.

Lunch was piecemeal. I had a handful of almonds while  I worked on websites. I did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and by then it was time to go tile the floor at the rental house. I grabbed the leftover 1/4 dish of Cincinnati chili and warmed it up when I got there. It wasn’t enough to call lunch, but it held me over until dinner.

Brandon made crackers from a recipe I found yesterday. They weren’t very good, but the jalapeno yogurt dip tasted very good on top. I guess we’ll all stick to bbq pork rinds to use for dipping.

For dinner, I decided to try to cook the Indian Butter chicken correctly this time. I microwaved it for 22 minutes on medium power, and it turned out well. I took a new picture of the way it is supposed to look, not dried up like my last venture.

I cooked a half a head of grated cauliflower in the microwave and served the butter chicken over the top. I certainly have eaten more cauliflower than I ever have in my life.

I had mousse for dessert.

It felt odd not to weigh myself this morning, but I am definitely going to hold out until next Saturday.

Day 40: Saturday night pizza

Weight loss to date: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, Feb 25

We decided to relax at home yesterday, and boy did I!

I started the morning playing around online. Unfortunately, I get caught up in what I’m working on (pictures for our new website) and I forget to eat breakfast. I finally decided to eat around 1 p.m. I did, however, have my allotted 28 almonds as a  pre-breakfast snack.

When I finally set out for the kitchen, I warmed up a plate of Cincinnati chili. I guess that’s my go-to leftover. Since I was taking this relaxing thing seriously, I ate it while watching some of the TV shows I had recorded during the week. I discovered my appetite is not what it used to be, and I could only finish half the plate.

I went back to working on my site in the afternoon, and had no lunch to speak of. When I got hungry in the evening, I had another handful of almonds.

Rick and I played with some logo ideas for our business. We’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years, but we’ve never fully agreed on the logo. Time to get that ironed out, because there are lots of items we’d like to purchase: tshirts, hats, folders, bags. We worked until about 8, then it was time for Saturday night pizza.

I decided to try the cauliflower crust that I found on reddit. Brandon and Lindsey tried it before, and he gave me some advice on cooking it a little differently than the recipe online.

I processed a half a cauliflower, then micro’d a cup of it in a bowl. I added 1 egg, about 1 and 1/4 cups of mozarella cheese, a clove of garlic, some oregano, and some parsley. I glopped the whole mess onto a pizza pan lined with parchment paper and baked it at  410 for 10 minutes. (I have no idea how I arrived at that temp. 450 seemed to much, I guess)

I then removed the crust and turned it over. I baked it directly on the pan for another 10 minutes.

It looked pretty official. I should have taken a picture of just the crust, but I will next time. I topped the crust with mozzarella and Mexican blend grated cheeses, some Italian sausage that I cooked while waiting for the crust, some onions, and some sliced jalapenos.

At first I was a bit disappointed. When I cut the pizza, it was pretty gooey. However, I waited for Rick to finish cooking his English muffin pizzas, and by then the pizza was solid enough to pick up and eat like a real slice. I dipped each slice in sour cream (because I can!) and enjoyed it very much. Half the pizza was about 10 grams of carbs.

Dessert was chocolate mousse. What a life.

Post about the “dangers” of keto – fat is NOT unhealthy

Here’s a quote from an interesting article on reddit:

Given the evidence, I am greatly annoyed that people still consider fat unhealthy. There are no documented adverse affects of a high fat diet when carbs are removed. It is mostly hearsay and pontification of supposed experts.

That’s from Diary of an Unknown Physicist

I have had a few people comment that the high fat and high cholesterol of this diet are dangerous. This is only one man’s experiment, but there are others online that confirm fat isn’t bad.

Day 39: Progress!

Weight loss: 2 pounds    Total weight loss: 14 pounds

Oh, this is much better. It’s been 4 days since my last weigh-in and I’ve lost 2 pounds. I will now continue to weigh in only once a week, on Saturdays. I knew logically that if I continue to eat on this plan, I will lose weight, but going up and down a 1/2 pound or a pound at a time was very frustrating after eating nearly perfectly to the ketogenic plan. Seeing bigger numbers once a week should be much more satisfying.

I only needed to go into work for 4 hours yesterday, so Rick and I had a leisurely breakfast at the diner. I chose the spinach/feta/tomato omelet with 4 pieces of bacon. It was a filling start to the day.

After work, we went to Costco. I walked through the cheese and dip section looking at the carb count on all the products. I purchased the tzaziki sauce (2g), a jalapeno yogurt dip (1g), a crab dip (1g), guacamole (1g), and of course, Dubliner cheese. I’ve been eating a couple of avocados a week, but they spoil quickly. I’ve had the Costco guac at my friend Walter’s house and it was pretty good, so I thought the guacamole would be more cost-effective than avocados, due to the individually wrapped portions.

I walked through the cracker/chips aisle hoping to find something low carb, to no avail. Nothing good in the frozen section, except the vegetables, of course. I thought I might find pre-made eggplant lasagna or something like it, but nope.

I looked at the nutritional info on so many items, that I automatically checked the back panel on the shampoo I was looking at! Oops.

After making it through Costco for just under $200, we were both hungry. (We NEVER get out of there without spending lots of money, but we do have plenty of toilet paper and paper towel!) I had been craving a 5 Guys burger earlier in the week, so we dropped in there. Rick was concerned that I would be tempted by the french fries, but I’ve never been a big fan of theirs.

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger (the 2 patty version) with mayo and double grilled onions (no charge). I wasn’t sure if their relish is sweet pickle or regular pickle and the sweet type has a few more carbs, so I passed on the relish. Rick automatically ordered two pops, so even though I’ve cut down drastically on my diet soda intake, I decided to live it up! They had a cool new pop dispenser and I found Coke Zero lime, which was really a treat.

Back at the table, I removed top and bottom bun (of course) and ate with a knife and fork. It was a flavorful experience, and I ate slowly while finishing a crossword puzzle. Low carb, good flavor, win, win.

After a visit with my dad, we went home for the evening, and I headed to my office to work on client websites. We’re also updating our own website. It’s been a few years since we revamped it, and we were never really satisfied with the lack of information on the original site (the shoemakers children, etc.). While working, I snacked on some cocoa-flavored almonds. They were just okay, but I could see how they might be a nice treat if I am ever craving a chocolate fix.

For dinner, I reheated the other half of the Indian butter chicken and cauliflower, topped it with sour cream, and enjoyed it just as much as I had the day before. Dessert was chocolate mousse.

This keto plan is really the most satisfying I have ever come across. I have craved carbs maybe one time in the last 5 1/2 weeks. I don’t crave junk food, and I can pass up donuts, sweets, and chips without batting an eye, because I know that there is some form of low carb treat I’ll be able to eat instead. Of course, I have to give a big shout out to Rick! He has gone out of his way to study which foods are low carb, keeps the larder stocked, and cooks up dinners that I can eat on the plan, even while he sometimes makes a second meal for himself. The ironic thing is that he likes BBWs. That’s true self-sacrifice on his part. LOL

Thanks, honey.

In three days, I will have been eating on this plan for 6 weeks and so far I’ve lost nearly 15 pounds. I think I have gone over on my carb count 1 or 2 times – barely – and I have enjoyed many many of the meals. I have more energy, and it’s pretty thrilling to feel my clothes get looser. I haven’t had this much success on any of the past 5 or 6 attempts to cut calories and exercise. Viva keto!

Day 38: Indian food on the keto plan

Total weight loss to date: 12 pounds

Next weigh-in Saturday, Feb. 18th

Yesterday didn’t start well for my nutritional intake.

We were out of sausage, so I opted to take leftover Cincinnati chili w/ squash for breakfast and grabbed a pack of hotdogs for lunch. I decided I could put some of the chili over the hot dogs to spice them up a bit, since bunless franks are a bit droll.

When I got to work, I discovered that the microwave was broken. Ok. I can adapt. I thought I’d make the hotdogs on the toaster oven for breakfast instead. Only there never was a good time. We had meetings, I had deadlines, and I never got back to the kitchen for breakfast.

At 2 p.m., I went back to make those hotdogs and found a new microwave, not yet installed, but set up for use. I ate the Cincinnati chili.

Rick called about 4 pm with a dinner idea he discovered while down in the pantry. Last year, he built himself a fabulous larder in the back corner of the basement. It’s pretty barebones, but it does have overhead lighting and lots of built in shelves where he stores cases of food or paper supplies he buys at Costco or onsale at Kroger. I also buy alot of our staples on Amazon through “subscribe and save,” so we had need of a place to store these items.

He was getting something from the larder and noticed my packets of Kitchens of India butter chicken seasoning paste. I love this product! It’s about as close to the traditional Indian restaurant dish as I’ve ever had.  Lo and behold, one serving [the packet makes 4] is only 5 grams of carbs! Needless to say, I was a happy gal.

When I arrived home that evening, I had a glass of cabernet while waiting for a pound of chicken tenders to finish thawing. I usually make the meal on the stovetop, but discovered it can be made easily in the microwave – my kind of cooking!

I cut the chicken into bite-size portions. I threw those, the packet contents, 3 tbsps of butter, and a cup of water into a covered glass dish and set the micro to 22 minutes. WRONG! I sadly discovered it was supposed to be set at 22 minutes on MEDIUM. Oops. It was pretty dried up, and less appealing that usual, but DELICIOUS.

While the chicken was cooking, I set out online to discover what to use in place of rice. Cauliflower, of course. Processed it with the grater blade on my food processor, put in a covered glass dish, and put it in for 5 minutes after the chicken was finished.

I topped the “rice” with my somewhat dried out chicken, and added some sour cream. What a tasty treat it was!

I took a picture for  the blog, and discovered even better news! There are 2 grams of fiber in a serving. My net intake for 2 servings was only 6 grams of carbs [not including the cauliflower]. WOW

You can bet this will become a weekly staple of my eating plan. Next time, I’ll be careful to cook it correctly, so I end up with some of that savory sauce instead of the dried up [but did I say DELICIOUS?] meal.

I’m sure glad Rick took the time to investigate. He knows how much I like this dish, and his thoughtfulness made me a happy gal.

Day 37: Chinese buffet tactics

Total weight loss to date: 12 pounds

Next weigh-in Saturday, 2/18

Yesterday was a day of trials and successes. I battled my way through a few difficult meals, but came out successful.

I was very busy at work in the morning, and had no time for breakfast. Rick planned to pick me up around noon to get some lunch before driving to a funeral an hour and a half away. [Yes, another funeral! I have lost 4 friends and/or acquaintances in the past 6 months.]

We drove a bit and I decided I was in the mood for a burger with grilled onions. We stopped at a small diner and I took a quick look at the menu. While I was still mulling over the choices, the waitress advised us that the bbq pulled pork was very good. I ordered that with some deep fried zucchini.

Minutes after the waitress left to put in our order, I looked up the carb content of the pulled pork. What was I thinking? It was over 40 carbs on most entries! I forgot that barbecue sauce is not my friend.

Rick grabbed the waitress and asked if she could put that order to go, and switch to a burger for my meal. She was quite amenable, and I had a 1/2 pound cheeseburger with grilled onions, a slice of tomato, and mayo. I disassembled it and put the bun into the bag with the sandwich to go.

The next trial was the zucchini fries. Of course they were breaded before they were fried! I certainly wasn’t thinking – could be that my brain was addled from lack of food, because by this time it was about 2 pm. I cut each piece in half and pulled the coating off. Good, but not great.

The hamburger, however, was very good tasting and filling.

After the funeral, we were all invited to…..

the Chinese buffet.

I LOVE the Chinese buffet. And I was positive that I couldn’t ever go there again. However, I was determined to find SOME low carb choices, but I knew the the trick would be passing the carb-laden foods that I love: crab rangoons and General Tso’s chicken.

I started by getting some baked crab, then some sauted shrimp. As I was passing the eggrolls, I realized that I could probably scoop the insides out and eat just that portion. So I took 2 eggrolls and 1 spring roll. Hmm. If I can do that, why can’t I eat only the insides of a crab rangoon. After all, crab and cream cheese are legal. For the entire meal, I had 6 of them. Each yielded about a tbsp of crab/cheese after the exterior fried shell was eliminated. For a bit of variety, I put some type of steak and veggie combo and some cheesy broccoli on my plate.

The meal took some work, since I had to slice things open and carve out the innards, but it was pretty tasty, and I was somewhat full when finished. I really have a difficult time figuring out exactly how many grams of carbs were in each item, since most online nutrition details don’t include the carb count for only the insides of eggrolls and rangoons, but I have to think I did okay.

I skipped dessert, of course, and ate some sugar-free jello/cream cheese mousse at home.

I’m going to take some time this weekend to figure out the carb count of various items that I could encounter so I can be better prepared next time I need to make a quick decision. I am pretty encouraged that I could do this long term. I know it will be awhile until I reach my goal, and it’s nice to know that I can go to some of my usual haunts and still find food that fits the plan.

Day 36: Valentine’s Day steak dinner

Lost: NOT WEIGHING FOR A WEEK  Total weight loss: 12 pounds

I decided to give it a rest. I’m tired of watching 1/2 pound come and go every day. Let’s see if I can see a significant loss in a week. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. The day began with my egg breakfast. Lunch was Cincinnati chili. Snack: almonds.

For dinner, Rick and I decided not to cave to the Hallmark holiday pressure. He said he didn’t buy me chocolates, because why bother? We really don’t like crowds, so eating out didn’t appeal. And with Netflix at home on our big screen tv, who needs the movies on a traditional big date night?

We opted to have grilled steaks and watch a movie at home. Being in a really festive mood, I had a big glass of vodka and Diet Coke (ZERO carb drink!), and we played 3 Boggle matches while waiting for the steaks to cook. In all modesty, I won’t say who won, but they were all close matches.

We each had 2 great big grilled portobello mushrooms with our steaks, and they were a really delicious accompaniment. I didn’t miss potatoes or any other high-carb side dish. Although for about 10 seconds, I fleetingly pictured enjoying some bread and oil with the meal. It must have been the vodka messing with my inhibitions!

We ended the meal with some freshly made lime “cheesecake.”

I’m still not used to see only 1 or 2 carbs after entering a huge meal into A big steak, 2 mushrooms and dessert hardly moved the numbers, but I was very full and very satisfied.


Day 35: 12-hour workday; planning ahead pays off

Lost:  +.5  Total weight loss: 12 pounds

ARRRRRRRRRRRGH! This is going backwards! I ate under 20 carbs, yet again, and the pounds are going up, instead of down. I did only have 5 glasses of water yesterday. And I ate dinner at 10 pm. Otherwise, I am eating according to plan, so this is quite a downer. [except pants, fresh out of the wash, fit much, much better!]

I’m sure glad I planned ahead Sunday, because yesterday I had no time to cook.

Breakfast – eggs/sausage/cheese in a bowl. We had two long meetings at work, so I didn’t get a chance to eat until 11 a.m.

We had a print deadline at work, so I stayed at my desk until 8:30 p.m. At around 4, I started getting hungry, and lo and behold, I had leftover Cincinnati chili. Actually, it wasn’t leftover, since I hadn’t eaten any since I made the batch in preparation for the week. It was a small bowl, but it filled me up so I could keep working.

I had some habanero almonds for a snack a couple of hours later. I miss the chili lime. I have to buy some next chance I get. A couple of us were comparing almond prices. Meijers has them in one pound bags for $6. Amazon sells 3 one-pound bags for about $20. Neither tops the 2 for $4 sale they had at Walgreen’s. I hope they have that again soon.

The book was finally ready, and I gladly left work at 8:30. By the time I got home, I was pretty hungry. I had another plate of chili over squash at 9:30. Rick and I ate the last of the lime jello “cheesecake” for dessert.

I need to find some lavash bread that Brandon let me try today. It’s a huge piece of pita-like bread that only has 8 grams of carbs for one. He made something like a quesadilla with one and it was big enough for a meal. I’ll have to get the name and brand from him and pick up some soon.


Day 34: Lime cheese cake and weekday preparations

Lost: 0  Total weight loss: 12.5 pounds

Zero, zero, zero. Sigh. My plan to start weighing once a week after I hit 15 pounds may have to change. I’ll give it a couple more daily weigh-ins, but if I continue to see no progress on the scale, I may stop weighing for a week or so. Today, I think I’ll drink about 12 glasses of water. I’ve been reading ideas about how to get the pounds to start coming off when the progress is stalled.

I spent yesterday at home working on client sites and a revamp of our own business site. Before getting started, we did take an hour to have breakfast at the local diner. I had the feta omelet and bacon, and gave Rick all the extras that came with the meal.

For lunch, I cooked up some hamburger with taco seasoning and topped it with cheese, onion, and a couple of tablespoons of salsa.

I was in the mood for pizza, but didn’t have enough ambition to try creating a crust from cauliflower. Instead, I adapted a recipe I found that used a mini muffin pan. I put a piece of pepperoni in the bottom of each muffin slot, topped with mozzarella and a bit of onion and green pepper. Then I sprinkled them with pizza seasoning and put chopped jalapeno peppers on half.

I baked them at 350 for 15 minutes. The original recipe called for cream cheese, eggs, and other items. I think that would have been more like a quiche.

The result was just so-so. They were tasty, and they were cute little cups, but the jalapeno pizzas were too salty. I ate about 8 of them, but that was the extent of my dinner.

I learned my lesson about planning last week. It seemed like I was always looking for a quick meal or having a snack for dinner. While my tiny pizzas were cooking, I prepared spaghetti squash and cooked up some Cincinnati chili. Then, before bed, I layered all the ingredients for a 5-layer chili dish into plastic dishes, so I could grab one for lunch as I left the house this a.m.

Last night’s dessert was something I’ve been meaning to try; however, again, I adapted the recipe to an easier version. I had found a few recipes that used sugar-free lime jello and cream cheese to make a sort of mock cheese cake. Some called for cooking, some called for crust. I just mixed the jello and cream cheese together and chilled for a couple of hours. Before serving, I topped with whipped heavy cream.

It was heavenly. Rick said it hit every one of his taste buds. The flavor of the cream cheese blended well with the lime taste.

Day 33: No brownies for me, thanks

Lost:  +.5  Total weight loss: 12.5

Sigh. Gained a half pound back. No reason I can think of. I guess I have to do something…drink more water? ride my bike? I’ll investigate the best way to jump start my system this afternoon.

I worked at home yesterday, first on my day job as a writer/editor, then for a couple of hours helping Rick create websites.

I made my favorite weekend treat: peanut butter pancakes and topped them with a tbsp of Polaner grape jelly.

Lunch was late and followed a handful of habanero almonds: 2 chicken shawarma, wraps minus their wraps.

Dinner was a quick couple of hotdogs with beanless turkey chili and cheese topping.

Jo came by to watch the 2nd and 3rd Stieg Larsson series Swedish movies, and she brought a pan of her famous yummy chocolate brownies. I abstained and whipped up some fake chocolate mousse.

I continue to look at breads, rolls, donuts, chips, and sweets and think how many carbs they would add to my day. Even one would essentially throw me out of ketosis. I have spent 33 days eating fewer than 20 carbs a day. At the most, I’ve gone up to 25 a couple of times accidentally. That makes it easy to say no to the carb-laden food.