Author Archives: Kate

Face gains

Before and after keto – about a 50 pound difference since this photo from before I started last time to this one from last month. Lots of weight to lose, but I’m so happy I caught myself before gaining back all I lost on my first round of keto. Can’t wait to see where I am a year from now!

Time for a B and A

I’m finally seeing some small results. It’s been 12 weeks since I first weighed in and I’ve lost 21 pounds (still not to my lowest weight after my first round of keto, but getting closer!

Left: Top weight before keto, Right: a month ago.

I’m back on the keto journey. I’ve been IF for a few weeks now:  16/8 and two meals a day. I have not gone over on carbs once in the 14 weeks since I started!

It’s all about planning. I meal prep on weekends, and I plan ahead and prepare when visiting friends. Plus, I’m steadily adding an exercise routine.

I have specific weight goal, just to stay keto for minimum one year – and I’m loving the energy, the clear mind, and the even moods. I also cut my bp meds in half cuz my bp went so low! Keto works!

keto meal prep

Day 15 – For keto success, meal prep is everything

I’m starting Day 15 of my one-year keto commitment. As I look back on the week, I realize how important it was to have meals prepped and ready. I’d get off work and just want to hurry out to my pool to try to get some sun – yet I’d be hungry. So… I’d select which meal to eat from those I prepared on Sunday. Keto versions of taco salad, tex-mex goulash, or beef stew. It was quite a treat and made my day so much easier!

I have never been fond of cooking, to put it mildly. It’s just not on the top of my list of things to do when I have a little spare time. I have a full-time tech writer/editor job, a web/print design business (that takes up maybe 5 hours of each week in maintenance), a house to clean, a variety of home improvement projects to finish – and I like to meet up with friends for canasta games or just to drink some wine and chat – all by Zoom and Facetime during the quarantine. That doesn’t count needing time to write my blogs, or work on writing contests, and the thing that I’ve missed doing for a while due to lack of time: genealogy.

So, cooking is WAY below anything I’d choose to do in my spare time. However, losing weight on keto is the top goal on my list, and the #1 item on my vision board, so cooking and meal prep need to happen to make that goal attainable.

My meal prep time is slotted for tomorrow afternoon. I’m considering:

  • More taco meat for salad (throw the meat, cheese, crumbled Quest nacho chips, and salad dressing into a bowl and voila!)
  • A Mexican tuna dish adapted from my friends recipe
  • Grilled chicken to use for quesadillas or buffalo chicken salad
  • Kielbasa and sauerkraut
  • Butter chicken – to eat over cauliflower rice

I’ll decide tomorrow. Today is just some pre-planning. Now it’s time to enjoy brunch outside on the deck, eating the last of the meals I prepped last Sunday.

 

tex-mex goulash

Day 11 – Last night’s meal prep – Tex-Mex Goulash (no corn or black beans)

Well, 10 days down and 355 to go. I’m starting to get that feeling, though… that energetic, positive feeling that comes when the ketosis kicks in. I’ve been in and out of ketosis so many times, that I rarely get the keto flu now. Not sure why that is, but it’s a good thing.

Yesterday, I started IF and I was almost successful. After my zoom canasta game with my friends, I decided I needed to cook the ground beef in my fridge before it spoiled. I had two pounds and two recipes in mind. First, I love taco salad and could literally eat it every day, so I made some taco meat.

Next, I had been meaning to try to make one of my late husband’s specialties: Tex-mex goulash. So, I did. It calls for corn and black beans, but I skipped that. My soy black beans haven’t arrived from Amazon yet. Tomato juice is the carbiest element of the recipe at 10 grams per cup, but when the calories are divided by serving, I don’t think it’s too bad. This made a huge pot, so I’m guessing at least 6 servings. It’s not the lowest-carb meal I’ve made, but at ~13 grams of carbs, and paired with a salad, it will be a nice meal during the week.

I bagged up the taco meat to add to the rest of the taco salad ingredients later. But here’s where my IF failed on the first day. I couldn’t resist eating a bowl of the goulash. I had eaten in an 8-hour window (11-7) and that only included eggs for breakfast and a quesadilla for dinner, so I was well under my carb and calorie count for the day, but I was a little disappointed that I didn’t stay inside the 8-hour window by eating this snack so late at night. Today is another day!

Tex-Mex Goulash (My keto-friendly version contains no corn and no black beans)
One Pot Tex-Mex Goulash - beef, taco seasoning, corn, black beans, tomatoes and pasta - delicious! Great weeknight meal that is ready to eat in 20 minutes! The whole family loves this easy one-pot Mexican recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb hamburger (0 g)
1/2 small onion (3.5 g)
2 cups low-carb elbow macaroni (28 g)
2 cups tomato juice (20 g)
1 (1-oz) package taco seasoning (18)
1 tsp cumin (2.7)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (7 g)
Total for entire recipe = 79.2
6 servings = 13.2 per serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

Boil macaroni and set aside. Sauté beef and onions in skillet. Drain fat; add tomato juice, taco seasoning, and cumin. Simmer 10 minutes. Add in cooked macaroni and cheese and heat and stir for a couple minutes.

Here’s the original recipe on which I based my version.

intermittent fasting

Day 10 – Time to start intermittent fasting (IF)

I read a new article about intermittent fasting in the Washington Post. I had been considering doing it, and yesterday I woke up at 8am but just wasn’t hungry at all until about 1pm. So, I thought, why not? I know others who have tried it with success, so when I happened across the article about the health benefits, I took it as a sign. lol

Here’s the article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/intermittent-fasting-works-for-many–not-only-for-weight-loss-but-also-for-heart-health/2020/06/12/11420c1c-a4d5-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html

I’m going to do 16:8. I was never much of a breakfast eater, but was convinced that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Where did that idea come from, anyway?

Here’s another good article that explains more about IF. (It’s also where I snagged this great graphic.)

The premise behind IF is that it lowers your insulin levels so your body starts to release stored sugar and burn it as fat.

https://www.atkins.com/how-it-works/atkins-blogs/colette-heimowitz/the-facts-behind-intermittent-fasting

starting over

One year of keto

Looks like I’ve been here before in this on again, off again battle.

Since my last post, more than a year ago, I’ve continued to make some attempt at the keto lifestyle. However, I’d last a couple weeks (and sometimes only a couple days) before I’d lose my resolve. There were a variety of reasons, I suppose. Rebellion: why do I have to fight this battle? Laziness: I don’t feel like cooking for the week. Comfort eating: Eating this macaroni and cheese will make me forget my lonely widow existence.

In 2016, I was flying high. I had successfully lost 59 pounds in six months on the keto plan, and I was looking forward to losing more. I had a thriving website of keto recipes and tips. I was living the keto lifestyle. After years of trial and error, yoyo dieting, and losing and gaining weight,  I knew keto was exactly the right way of eating for me! My 60th birthday was approaching, and I wanted to lose another 60 by then. It was a great goal. Finally conquering a life-long battle and meeting my golden years ahead in much better shape than I had been in years.

That goal lost its momentum that fall when my husband Rick was diagnosed with lung cancer. I stopped focusing on myself and my goals. My only thoughts were of him. In the 10 months I cared for him, I dabbled at eating right, but my heart wasn’t in it. When he wanted an ice cream cone at 10 pm, I was hard-pressed to ignore the desire to join him… and eventually, I gave up.

Rick encouraged me to follow through with the party he had planned for my big 6-0. I’m glad I did, because I have fantastic memories of our time together with family and friends that evening. But the big “perfect weight” goal didn’t happen that birthday.

After his death in 2017, I sought a grief therapist. She helped me cope with the grief and remake my life. Now, nearly three years later, she’s still helping me – this time as a life coach. She’s helping me learn how to love myself as I am, cope with my addictive nature, and attain my goals.

So here I am…

The good news. I haven’t gained it all back – and that is somewhat of a miracle. Starting keto, and doing lazy keto, has at least contributed to helping me maintain the weight loss for the past three years, and that’s a great place to begin. So begin I did. Last week, I started back on keto. It’s a bit more difficult without my husband. He was not only my biggest encourager, he was also my personal chef! He loved to cook. I don’t. His help with my weekend meal plan was tremendous – grilling chicken and veggies, making low-carb meatloaf, stuffed peppers, fat-head pizzas. So, now I’m on my own in the kitchen, but I’ve got this!

I’ve come up with an idea to get me past that first week or two when I’m still tempted to return to the carb-laden food. I know for a fact that a month into the plan, I don’t even look at the wrong foods. I’ve been there. A month into eating low carb, I’m in ketosis, and my mind is solidly focused so much so that I’m not even tempted by sweets or snacks.

So – I’m setting out on my new goal: one year of keto. That’s it. One year of staying under 25 grams of carbs a day. One year of pre-planning my week and getting foods ready so I have no dinner decisions to make after a hard day at work. One year of using all the knowledge and support that helped me lose 59 pounds five years ago. I have no specific weight-loss goal. Wherever I am after a year, that’s where I am. However much I weigh, it will be less that what I weigh now. I will be healthier, carb-free, and in better physical shape, because that’s what one year of keto does.

For one year, I will tap into all my keto knowledge, support, and inspiration – reading Reddit posts, finding delicious new keto recipes, weighing in weekly, looking at other successful ketoers and their before and after photos. For one year, I will journal through my feelings, not attempt to eat them away in denial. For one year, I will blog my journey, and I will update my healthyketo.com site with more delicious keto recipes.

For one year, I will invest in myself.

Here goes. Wish me well! (I didn’t say “luck,” because luck has nothing to do with this.)

This morning I start day 9 of keto; 356 days to go.

Taking stock and starting over

In the beginning of 2016, I had successfully lost 59 pounds on the keto diet. Despite needing to lose at least another 50+ pounds, I was maintaining the loss doing lazy keto. I was a little more lax about my carbs, but I wasn’t gaining the weight back. That, in itself, was a huge change from my typical yoyo diet pattern!

In October 2016, my husband of 20 years was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. My life was turned upside down, and in the 10 months of chemo and radiation treatments, remission, and complications, until his ultimate death in August 2017, I tried to maintain the weight loss despite lots of emotional upheaval. Food had been my comfort of choice since my the first chocolate chip cookie I was handed for comfort as a small child. My entire family either ate or drank alcohol to cope with uncomfortable feelings. Coping with my husband’s cancer ordeal and death had me looking for that comfort in food, again. I maintained for awhile, and then I didn’t.

I knew I had gained back some of the weight, but was afraid to face the scale. After a year of grief counseling and coping with my new life as a widow, I was finally ready. In November of 2017, I finally decided enough was enough, and faced my fears. I discovered I had regained 30 of the pounds I’d lost in 2015.

Needless to say, I’m not happy about the regained weight, but if I look at it in terms of my typical yoyo diet pattern, I’m thrilled that in the nearly two years since I lost 59 pounds, I didn’t gain it all back. That was my typical “MO.”

So, here I am. I’m back in the saddle. I’m reclaiming my Keto Kate lifestyle. Let’s see how this goes.

Ultimate weight loss after ~42 week = 59 pounds

I’m doing a quick update because it’s time to get this blog back on track. I started the ketogenic diet in March 2015 after I was told I would need a hysterectomy and my weight would make the surgery more risky and complicated. I told the doctor I could lose 60 pounds in six months, because I knew it was possible with the keto diet.

By the six month deadline, I had lost about 48 pounds, and the doctor was impressed. However, when I revisited the surgeon’s reasons for doing a “full-cut” hysterectomy vs. a laparoscopic procedure, he admitted that I was a candidate for the less invasive procedure but that he, personally, did not perform that type!

He referred me to a new gynecologist who ran a completely new series of tests. I did NOT need the surgery at all. What a relief!

I began to get lazy and started doing what is literally referred to as “lazy keto.” Who knows why? Eating right, dieting, and healthy living are all so tied to emotional issues, that I’m not sure what made me come to that decision. I do know I wasn’t nearly close to reaching my goal and needed to lose at least twice the weight I had by that point.

I’m updating this blog because it’s time to get back on track. Besides writing it for accountability, I want to leave a record of my first foray into keto eating in 2015. Now it’s time to delve into 2019 and get this party re-started!

Week 32 = 55.5 pounds gone!

I had a huge lapse in blogging. I’m not sure what was happening in my life in mid-2015, but I failed to note progress, update the blog with new recipes, or blog in general.

I continued losing weight at a bit of a slower pace than in the beginning, which is no surprise. By week 32, however, I had successfully lost 55.5 pounds pretty effortlessly and eating well on the keto diet. I did absolutely no exercise apart from swimming in my backyard pool, but I definitely didn’t do so at an athlete’s pace. Keto rocks!!

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.