Category Archives: eating out

Day 283: A really good salad: Big Boy’s buffalo grilled chicken salad

Total weight loss: 39 pounds

Well, I really enjoyed that early morning breakfast Wednesday, so I made the effort to rise early and try it again. This time, we went to the Senate Coney Island, which is a bustling diner even at 7:30 am. I ordered a cheese omelet, asked them to add grilled onions, and skipped the toast. The side of bacon was enough for me to share with Rick. I topped the egg with sour cream (of course) and called it a meal. The service was fast, the omelet was delish, and the bacon was perfect. No extra hash browns to deal with and I just skipped the toast. We’ll be back.

Lunch was on the run, again. More paperwork and banking to do. This house closing is dragging on, and there are still details to cover and items to move from the house.

chicken-saladWe went to Big Boy. Since this blog is all about honesty, I had a really difficult time deciding NOT to eat carbs. I love BB fish and chips, so that was hurdle one. I was tired, stressed and hungry (too hungry), so my decision making processes were hampered by the need for some comfort food. I had tried the buffalo chicken salad a while back and decided to try that. The spiciness might make me feel like I was having some tasty treat, and the blue cheese dressing that comes with would be creamy and fill that need for comfort.

It was a hit! I was a little worried that I made a wrong choice when I saw that the chicken had some kind of coating on it, but at that point, I was eating it no matter what. The tangy buffalo sauce was subtle on the small slices of chicken and blended well with the blue cheese. It was filling and delicious.

Again, I forgot to take a picture, so here’s one that looks similar. I will definitely be ordering this again soon, so I’ll get an authentic one on my next visit.

I looked up the nutrition information when I got home and it passed muster. Without croutons (which I removed), it’s 10.2 grams of carbs minus 2.3 grams of fiber, for a net of 7.9. That’s not counting the blue cheese dressing, but after a really low carb breakfast, I knew I’d be able to stay under 19 for the day. It also looks like they have similar salads at Chili’s and other restaurants.

Bad afternoon – I worked until 6:30. At 5:30, that damned Halloween candy bowl at work called my name. I ate a peanut butter cup and 9 whoppers (actual circles of candy, not packages).  I have no defense. I do think a salad doesn’t stick with me long enough to ward off the temptations. Whatever. I guess I’ll just have to plan ahead in case I’m tempted again tomorrow – drink a lot of water and eat almonds in the late afternoon?

Dinner – home late again. Rick didn’t feel like cooking, so we stopped to pick up a rotisserie chicken. Again, I was tempted. I had already eaten candy, so how about some macaroni salad on the side? NO NO NO. Rick didn’t buy it, and I made cauliflower mashed potatoes instead. Wonder why this is so difficult lately.

Oh, here’s a tip I figured out in the past few months. I really like the cauliflower mashed potatoes, and I really don’t like cooking very much (in case you didn’t figure that out). I now buy small frozen packages of cauliflower and have about 4 on hand. I use the same recipe as I have posted here, but here are the amounts of the ingredients I use with this size package….

Easy peasy cauliflower mashed potatoes – open one bag of cauliflower, pour in bowl, microwave 5 minutes. Put the cauliflower, 3-4 tbsp of cream cheese (definitely less than half a package), and one tbsp of butter into a food processor. The cauliflower should be steaming hot to melt the cheese easily. Process and eat. One package makes a little more than 2 servings. If Rick doesn’t eat his, it warms up well the next day.

Well, that quick recipe was a life savor, and I avoided the carby macaroni salad. I ate about 6 ounces of chicken with the “caulitatoes.” Dessert was 2 squares of chocolate with natural peanut butter.

Six months on Keto: thoughts and resolutions

Total weight loss: 35 pounds

For anything to be successful, one needs to look back over the successes and failures to plan for a better future.

Things I’ve learned:

Plan meals in advance

Always have keto-friendly snacks on hand

Always have keto-friendly cooking ingredients on hand

Remember which cheat meals didn’t satisfy

Keep a list of fast food keto-friendly foods in mind

Look at bread, rice, buns, tortillas, pasta, cakes, cookies, donuts, and other high carb food and think negative thoughts: “how pasty looking that is,” “it looks good, but it’ll make me feel lethargic and half-dead after I eat it,” “that rice under Chinese or Indian food, will make me gain, and really doesn’t have much flavor; cauliflower rice tastes just as good”

Even if you eat twice the amount of almonds you’ve planned, it’s still better than potato chips

Cheat meals/days must be thought out VERY carefully. Pick something that will really satisfy you and allow you to keep on the keto plan longer

Drink lots and lots and lots of water

Drinking no-carb alcohol may be okay, but keep it in limits. Over indulging makes me gain water weight and being drunk makes me really tempted to binge on whatever high carb party food is on the table.

There is ALMOST ALWAYS SOMETHING YOU CAN EAT in a fast food place or restaurant. For example, what about chicken marsala in an Italian place?

And there is usually some salad option anywhere you are. Burger joints, just remove the bun.

Mexican and Chinese restaurants give me the most difficulty, because any low carb option is not the reason I would go to the restaurant in the first place.

If you MUST go to a Chinese buffet (I attended a funeral dinner at one), you can find options, but they probably aren’t going to be your favorite General Tso’s. How about the salad bar choices? eggs? the insides of eggrolls, and I even ate the insides only of crab rangoons. Leaves quite a pile of discarded shells on the plate and look like you really waste food.

That’s all I can think of right now, but these ideas have helped me realize the first real weight loss I’ve achieved in more than 15 years! YAY KETO!

Day 168: Monday at work and trivia night

Total weight loss: 31 pounds

I had low carb yogurt for breakfast and some almonds for a morning snack.

Rick needed some things at Lowe’s, so he dropped by to pick me up. I bought the supplies we needed for the electrician to finish the jobs at the house we’re fixing up and selling.

After Lowe’s, we started to go to Culver’s, but it was pretty packed. Instead, we decided to try Ryan’s buffet. I always think I should be able to find lots of low carb options, but it was a pretty disappointing lunch. I had salad, of course, and selected anything I could see that looked like a good possibility: taco meat topped with cheese, a couple of tablespoons of chicken in teriyaki sauce, some broccoli. I also decided to try collard greens. Nope!

I did really well, but it wasn’t all that enjoyable and there were not many options. Not a wise expense.

At Albert’s for trivia and late dinner, I ordered the usual chicken club salad with blue cheese dressing. It is mighty filling, packed with grilled chicken slices, and muy delicioso!

When I arrived home at 9:30ish, Rick was sitting by a bon fire. I decided to have a glass of cabernet with him. We didn’t go inside for an hour, and then watched the season opener of HBO’s new Aaron Sorkin series: the Newsroom. I ate 2 squares of 70% cocoa topped with natural peanut butter. I don’t know if I would even like a real peanut butter cup anymore. These are delish.

Day 161: Totally on track and some disappointing no carb bread

Total weight loss: 25 1/2 pounds

Monday morning started out with low carb yogurt. For lunch I made a bacon, spinach, and tomato on  zero carb bread. The bread is really disappointing. I think I liked it just as well in a bowl last week.

I ate some almonds for a snack, since I knew I wouldn’t be eating dinner til around 7:30 at trivia.

At Albert’s, I ate the grilled chicken club salad with blue cheese. The dinner was delicious. The trivia score was not so great.

For dessert, I had a zero carb cookie. I’ll probably order these again, because they’re a nice conservative treat. I probably should investigate the ingredients, because who knows what I’m eating that makes them taste okay at zero carbs.

Day 153: Graduation party

Total weight loss: 29 1/2 pounds

Yesterday was Sunday. We had lots of work to do on the rental house – it’s ALMOST ready to sell. We started out at the local diner, as usual. I had a 3 cheese omelet and bacon, as usual. LOL

There wasn’t much time for lunch, so I grabbed a KFC original recipe breast. Linz looked it up and it’s only 4 carbs, so it’s a great option for a quickie lunch.**[please see this comment]

We were due at a graduation party, which I figured wouldn’t tempt me too much. I’ve been through quite a few parties now, and I can usually find something low carb.

I chose a hot dog, no bun; sloppy joe, no bun; and some dip and cauliflower.

Then the temptation set in…. I DO LOVE tortilla chips and cheese. I took 7.

After watching my fellow keto family (Bran and Linz) devour about a dozen cupcakes of various flavors, I succumbed to peer pressure. I ate one choco-peanut butter cupcake. It wasn’t worth the carbs. (Not that it wasn’t good. It just wasn’t good enough to risk slowing down the weight loss.)

I have to have that thought in the forefront of my mind when it starts playing temptation tricks on me.

Day 146: Catching up

Total weight loss: 29 1/2  pounds (Gained 2 in Saturday’s weigh-in)

I’ve been remiss in keeping up my blog for the past 2 1/2 weeks or so because life became more complicated, and more depressing.

My father passed away 11 days ago. He was in the late stages of dementia from Alzheimer’s and it was a tough thing to watch. With all the nursing home visits, complicated by my having an upper respiratory infection, plus working a day job, running my web business, and trying to finish up renovating a house to sell, this blog just didn’t make it to my list of essential things to do.

However, I have been keeping to the program throughout. I’ll admit, I was tempted to have some emotional eating binges, but I really only ate carbs the day of the funeral, when I honestly didn’t care whether I ate the bun on a Big Mac, or not!

The day of my dad’s burial, my husband and I left town for an improptu trip to my dad’s house “up north” on Lake Huron. I stayed on the keto program the entire time, bu I did eat an ice cream sundae on a lark on the trip back home 3 days later.

I skipped one weigh-in (the day of the burial), and I think I did eat carbs that morning and during the drive up north, now that I think about it. However, I am pretty proud (and surprised) at how ingrained the keto habit is now. The next weigh day revealed a 2 pound weight gain, but I am still losing size. In fact, I got behind on doing laundry and had nothing to wear a few days ago, so I pulled out one pair of jeans I’ve been waiting to try to fit into, and voila!, they fit!

So, I will get back into the blogging habit now. However, I don’t really record my calories/carbs in much since I can pretty much do this carb calculating by heart now.

Back to recording:

Yesterday was Sunday. I made some eggs with cheese and onion for breakfast. I had about 6 pieces of baked bacon with that.

Lunch was Pizza Hut – the topping from a pan pizza with cheese, sausage, onion, and jalapeno. I had two trips to the salad bar: romaine lettuce, onion, cheese, creamy Italian, and a couple of sunflower seeds on top.

I wasn’t hungry for dinner, due to the late and large lunch, so I had some almonds for a snack, and then Rick and I made some chocolate mousse. Haven’t had that in quite a while.

That’s it for Sunday. It feels good to be back on habit, and great to know that I can keep on the keto plan through good times and bad. I really hope and pray that this is a lifelong habit. I believe after the past 2 1/2 emotionally draining weeks, that the habit is ingrained and I’ll do okay.

Day 124: Yummy keto-friendly BLTs

Total weight loss: 26

Saturday started slow because I still have a bad cough. However, I couldn’t let that stop me from attending the trivia finals!

Jo came by to pick me up for the semi-finals which started at 11a.m. at the Pizza House in Ann Arbor. I didn’t have time for breakfast because I stayed in bed as late as possible. Our team was actually allowed to skip the semis and go straight to the finals, but we like to get in the spirit and watch the teams compete, plus we try to answer the questions ourselves to see if we would have made it through the semis without our “pass.”

I ordered chicken quesadillas for brunch. Not strictly keto, I know, but being ill, having a good weigh in and all, I decided to throw caution to the wind. During the past week, I went over on my carbs a couple of times and the weigh-in was still good. I think its more about drinking lots of water and eating ENOUGH calories to be successful on this plan.

I didn’t have much of an appetite, so I only ate 3 slices of the 8 or so on the plate, then asked for a box. During the afternoon finals, I also had 5 tortilla chips from Brandon’s nachos. That was it for my morning and afternoon consumption. I got home around 7. (Yes, we spend an entire day in a bar on finals day, but it’s fun!) Oh, and we didn’t win.

I sat outside and regaled Rick with the story of my day. We came in to watch a movie around 9, and I decided to try baking bacon, a trick Brandon and Lindsey told me about. I preheated the oven to 425 degrees, lined a rimmed cookie pan with foil and baked for 17 minutes. The outside pieces were crispy and done, but the inside pieces were a tiny bit floppy. I HATE floppy bacon, so I nuked those pieces on a plate for 3 more minutes. Two would probably have been better; they were a bit TOO done, but still tasty.

I decided to try to make some keto-friendly BLTs. I used Mama Lupe’s low carb tortillas, mayo, bacon, a slightly diced up vine tomato, and spinach leaves (I had no lettuce on hand). They turned out very well.

Later, while watching TV, I had one square of chocolate. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the wrapper, and I discovered it was one of Rick’s orange-flavored chocolates, and not my keto-friendly version. Oh well.

Day 121: Bon voyage party at Red Lobster

Total weight loss: 24.5 pounds

Yesterday was the last day at work for my friend Chris, the IT guy at work. He is off for greener pastures, and the boss threw had a goodbye lunch at Red Lobster.

Before going to lunch, I had a breakfast yogurt. I didn’t want to go into the den of temptation ravenous.

My best accomplishment? Ignoring the cheesy biscuits. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Red Lobster cheesy biscuit. Which reminds me, I have some Carbquik and should work on perfecting that fake biscuit recipe some more. But I digress.

We had a lobster pizza appetizer, so I ate the top off of my piece. I ordered the shrimp scampi with a side of broccoli. Do I have a halo, or what? Normally, I order the Walt’s fried shrimp with garlic mashed potatoes and unlimited CBs. This time I ate sparingly and had a little Caesar salad with my meal.

I really am not craving the carbs, and it really wasn’t that difficult to eat keto-friendly choices.

After work, we stopped by to see my dad, but he was sleeping. I’m always disappointed when I don’t get to talk to him.

We then set off for the Home Depot. We stocked up on the rest of the supplies we need to finish up the house for sale, then headed home for dinner.

I made another successful spaghetti squash and we had Cincinnati chili leftovers. The meal was just as good as the day before.


Day 115: Steak with onion and blue cheese sauce – one of my all-time Keto favs

Breakfast was yogurt, as usual. I do think I’m going to start eating a bigger breakfast next week, since I’ve been ready about the issue of slow metabolism and eating a good breakfast is a key to improving it.

Lunch was 2 delicious slices of leftover shawarma pizza. If you recall, I accidentally took crusts only for lunch yesterday. I really like this pizza, even without the crust.

I had about 3 hours after work before I had to be at the Thursday family trivia night at Marvaso’s. We’ve been winning steadily and had $40 more gift certificate dollars to spend, but they don’t have a lot of low carb choices. Rick offered to grill up some steaks, so I made the onion, blue cheese sauce, plus sauteed some mushrooms as a side dish. The combination was delicious. I posted the recipe on my site, but if you’d like to see the original, it’s here: The Pioneer Woman website.

I ordered a Caesar salad and water at trivia and took half the salad home for tomorrow’s lunch.

I’m back in the swing of things. We’ll see how the weigh-in goes.

Day 113: Jimmy John’s Lulu unwich and chicken shawarma pizza

Total weight loss: 20 pounds. Next weigh-in: Saturday, May 5th

I started my Tuesday with yogurt (am I a creature of habit, or what?)

For lunch, I opened up my “half” of leftover salad and discovered that I had only put chicken into the container. I think I started to halve the salad and we were asked a trivia question which distracted me. It is what I’m there for, after all.

So, I tried eating some almonds, but I was disappointed that I didn’t have a very exciting lunch, so I asked Brandon to pick me up a Jimmy John’s Unwich while he was getting his own. I’m a staunch liberal, as well as an aware consumer, and I don’t frequent Jimmy John’s on principle. He is a conservative who has denigrated my favorite president and he supports everything I dislike politically.

So, that being said, I had an Unwich. Sigh. I’m SORRY, my liberal friends. I won’t do it again. I promise.

After work, Rick and I went to work on the house. On the way, we noticed that our local restaurant was serving chicken shawarma pizza. That just sounds yummy. On that way home, I stopped in to pick one up, and ordered some fried kibbies for Rick. I ate 2 bites. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get the cravings under control.

Of course, while there, I tried to interest the owner’s nephew in a website. I left some company literature, so we’ll see.

The pizza was just scrumptious! I ate only the top with some extra garlic sauce. It was like eating shawarma imbedded in cheese. yum yum yum. Here are some before and after shots. LOL








I have to say, I will be getting the shawarma pizza again. And my dog loved the crusts! Rick ate some, but we had two leftover pieces for the next day’s lunch. We had low-carb mousse for dessert.