Tag Archives: keto diet

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.

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!!

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 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….

Yummy new keto snack to add to my arsenal: salt & vinegar almonds

Rick and I went to the movies last night, and I knew enough to prepare by snacking on something before going in. Those concession stands are nothing but a big, expensive, and carb-filled enemy to the keto plan.


I love chili lime almonds and eat them daily as a snack at work. They have often saved me from pigging out on one of the fatty treats that my workplace always has on the snack table. I am a BIG lover of salt & vinegar potato chips, so when I discovered S&V almonds on Amazon a couple of months ago, I started looking for them on the local shelves. I always order in bulk from Amazon, and I didn’t want to take a chance by ordering a whole lot of something that I didn’t like very much. I needed a small taste test first.

Well, Rick found a 1.5 ounce pack at CVS, and they are as good as a handful of salt & vinegar chips. I loved them! I felt like I was indulging in some forbidden treat. Needless to say, I ordered a dozen cans from Amazon this morning. That amount should last me quite awhile, and I’ll always have a nice back-up treat when temptation calls.