Monthly Archives: February 2012

Day 50: Excellent Mexican rice

Weight loss: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, March 3rd

Day 50 and I’m still going strong. I’ve had a couple of disappointments on the scale, but the clothes keep getting looser. And–with Rick’s help–this has been fairly easy. The recipes that create mock food items, like spaghetti squash and cauliflower mashed potatoes, make me feel like I’m not missing anything. The high-fat and protein dishes keep me feeling full, and also keep me from feeling cravings when others around me eat sweets or bread.

The steak fries tempted me a couple of times, but as they say, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” Yeah. We’ll see if I can get to that “thin” part. LOL

Yesterday started with my egg breakfast, followed by a yogurt lunch and an almond snack.

By dinner time, I was ready to experiment with something tasty.

I cooked some hamburger in taco seasoning and prepared 2 slices of provolone cheese “taco shells.” Then I took out my trusty cauliflower and a recipe Brandon gave me for Mexican rice. He found it here, tried it, and had very good results.

I grated the cauliflower, then put the rice-like substance in the microwave for 5 minutes. In the meantime, I put 3 tbsp of butter and a 1/2 cup of onion in a saute pan. When the onion was translucent, I added about 2 cups of the cauliflower and 1/2 cup of salsa.

The recipe called for a “small” head of cauliflower, but even using only 3/4 of it seemed too much and it didn’t look very colorful. I added another 1/2 cup of salsa.

The results were pretty impressive. It looked and tasted like Mexican rice! Eureka! Another great substitute.

I felt like I was eating an authentic Mexican meal (well, authentic “American Mexican”, at least). It was no Xochimilco, but it was as good or better than Taco Bell. I totally forgot that I have some Costco guacamole in the fridge. I guess I’ll use that for tonight’s leftovers.

I know I added at least 2 more grams of carbs by doubling the salsa, but the results were pretty good.

Rick had leftover spaghetti, and it didn’t bother me in the least. I’m really not craving the pasta with these great available substitutes for the starchy things I used to eat. We ate quickly, then set off to pick up our friends Wally and Karl from the airport. Our home is close enough to DTW to make us a handy shuttle service.

Upon our return, dessert was the usual chocolate mousse.


Day 49: Disappointing foccacio grilled cheese

Weight loss: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, Feb., 25th

Back to work yesterday. I started the day with my usual egg dish.

Snack at noon was a handful of almonds.

Lunch was a low-carb yogurt.

I was pretty hungry after work, but it was trivia night, so I had no time to eat. I found a Slim Jim and had that to hold me over (2 carbs). There aren’t a lot of options at the bar, but I knew I could get a big salad. Since Jo wasn’t planning to eat the side salad that came with her calzone, I ate hers. It was small but filling….for a time.

After getting home, I decided to try an idea I had last week: using the new foccacia bread in a grilled cheese. I butter both sides, slapped on some Dubliner cheese and grilled it. The results were disappointing.

The sides of the bread didn’t grill well. They were sort of a semi-blackened cake. The flavor was bitter, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. However, I ate both just to get some nourishment. You win some; you lose some. [literally, I hope]

Rick was craving his dessert, so I made some low-carb mousse.

The past couple of days have been disappointing in comparison to the first few weeks of delicious menus. That topped with a zero weight loss have made me less than exuberant about the plan. I’m going to continue, because I know if I prevail, I’ll continue to lose. I also feel good and my clothing fits much better. I decided to have tacos for my next dinner, to regain some of the enjoyment I had when I began the keto plan.

Day 48: Sunday at home; steak dinner

Total weight loss: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, March 3rd

Yesterday morning was a quiet pleasant Sunday. I made myself three scrambled eggs with cheese and onion. I had some leftover bacon, so I warmed that up to go with the eggs. I usually eat while doing my NYT Sunday puzzle, but I wanted to catch up on Downton Abbey, so I watched the Christmas Special, instead.  I enjoyed the leisurely meal and entertainment.

We intended to go work on the rental house, but Rick started cleaning out the garage. This led to a couple of bins and boxes of my dad’s paperwork landing in my office. Since I have been looking for some of his documents, plus I didn’t want my office to get messy, I spent the afternoon and evening going through everything. I stopped for a quick almond snack around 3, but worked straight through until about 8:30.

Lucky for me, Rick took care of the cooking. When I finally came up for air, he had a grilled steak and portobello mushrooms waiting for me. Those big juicy mushrooms make up for my usual baked potato, or baked sweet potato, and I don’t miss either of those foods.

We watched the Oscars while we ate. The meal was delicious. I had a big glass of Silk unsweetened almond milk (zero net carbs) to go along with the meal.

Dessert was chocolate mousse. I think the result was my lowest daily carb count so far: only 6 net carbs!

Day 47: Keto-friendly Red Robin dinner

Weight loss to date: 14 lbs. Next weigh-in: Saturday, March 3rd

Big deadline looming at work, so I had to go in for a few hours. Rick and I took the time to go to the diner for breakfast, and I had 3 scrambled eggs with 6 pieces of bacon.

A few hours later, I ate a low-carb Kroger yogurt with some chili-lime almonds. It was a light meal, and I saved lots of carbs for dinner/movie night.

Rick and I sometimes do the Red Robin movie/dinner deal, so I looked up my keto-friendly possibilities. Red Robin is on top of things! They have an Iphone (and website) app that allows you to swap out meal ingredients and check the nutrition as you do so. It’s called the Red Robin Customizer. They also have lots of burger bun options, including a big lettuce bun. Smart marketing, Red Robin!

I installed the app and had some fun playing with options. I decided to get the guacamole bacon burger with a lettuce bun for 7 net carbs. I also saw that their wing appetizers were only 2 carbs, but decided not to get them when I got to the restaurant. The appetizer was 9.99, or I could choose a side salad in place of the fries that came with the burger – for free.

The burger and salad were both very good. The burger itself was really tasty. It was easy to eat on the lettuce bun–if a little too large for my tiny mouth. Near the end,  the guacamole started sliding around and misplacing the bun. I had to use a knife and fork to eat the last 1/4 of the burger.

The most difficult part of the meal was watching Rick eat his bottomless steak fries. I like those ALOT. Trying to be helpful, he moved the ketchup bottle in front of the plate, but I knew they were there. At the end of the meal, I took 1/3 of one steak fry and chewed it slowly. It was very good, and that got the craving out of my system.

I know I could probably binge and eat something like that now and then, but after yesterday’s zero weight loss, I’m not very tempted. That tiny taste kept me satisfied.

We went to see Safe House. It was a little too action-packed for my taste. I hate the “shakey-cam.” Dessert was at home: sf lime jello.

Clever pasta, rice, and potato substitutes

There is nothing I love more than pasta. Fortunately, the keto plan has left me satisfied, and I’ve had few real cravings for breads, pastas, and sweets. However, there are some meals that just NEED pasta to be complete.

For Cincinnati chili, I have been using spaghetti squash as a base in place of, well, spaghetti.

For Indian butter chicken, I have used “riced” cauliflower.

I have also gotten the cauliflower mashed potato recipe to turn out well. Years ago, we tried it when Rick was on a diet, and it never turned out quite right as mashed potato substitute. However, now I make it by cooking it in the microwave without water. Then I throw it in the mixing bowl with 2 tbsp of cream cheese, and 1 tbsp of butter. That’s it! Mix it on high for a little bit and it comes out just right. I experimented with adding a clove of garlic one time, but it came out a little to “tangy”–and I’m a garlic lover. Perhaps next time, I’ll precook the garlic.

I found a site with lots of substitution ideas for low carbers:



Day 46: Weekly weigh day

Today’s weight loss: 0

Weight loss to date (6 weeks): 14 pounds

This is the first time I’ve gone a week without weighing in, and the results were very disappointing!

I suppose I could look on the bright side: I didn’t waste my time and emotions seeing no progress each day vs. one day of bad news. To cheer myself up, I took measurements and I’ve lost one inch in both my waist and hips. I knew I was losing, although the scale implies otherwise.

Well, I’ll put it behind me until next week and get back to my food diary…

Friday is usually work-at-home day, but I decided to go into the office since it’s deadline time again. We went to the diner first, and I ordered scrambled eggs with bacon and sausage. I gave Rick the pancakes that came with the meal. That was the last full meal I ate yesterday. The rest of the day was supplemented with snacks and leftovers.

Around noon, I had some Planters chili/lime almonds. I bought them on sale at Walgreens, but I decided that I don’t like them as well as the Blue Diamond version.

I worked until 7, so around 5 I heated up about a 1/4 a portion of leftover Indian butter chicken. I was out of “rice,” so I put it on top of leftover cauliflower potatoes. I also had some cut up bread with crab spread.

After work, I really didn’t feel like figuring out a dinner plan or taking time to make anything. I had more cut up bread with crab spread, artichoke dip, and jalapeno yogurt. Before bed, I had more almonds, and we had chocolate mousse for dessert.

Day 45: A successful bread discovery

Weight loss to date: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012

Yesterday began as usual, at work with a McRick breakfast. I had an almond snack about 11.

I didn’t eat lunch until around 2. I brought taco salad to heat up, but I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I was debating just going out to search for low-carb fast food, but I didn’t have the gumption or the time. I was hungry, yet nothing I could think of appealed to me.

Brandon offered me a low-carb Kroger yogurt. He had 3 in stock back in the kitchen. I tried the raspberry and it was really flavorful. That will be going on my (Rick’s) grocery list right away. It was only 4 carbs and it really hit the spot.

After work, we stopped by to visit my dad, but he was sleeping. We headed on home and I immediately tried a recipe I had found online and been meaning to try. I haven’t missed bread because I crave the flavors or taste of it; I’ve missed having something to use for a sandwich or to convey dips to my lips.

This recipe for foccacia-style flax bread was on in their low carb recipe section. It appeared to be pretty simple, so I started assembling the ingredients when I got home: milled flax seed, eggs, oil, baking powder, and water. After mixing those together and letting them sit for about 5 minutes, I poured the batter(?) into a 10×14 pan lined with parchment paper. I sprayed the paper with a little Pam first. I baked it for about 20 mins at 350 and it couldn’t have been easier.

The bread had a nice texture, but was very cake-like. It also doesn’t taste like much. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not bad at all. It just doesn’t have much flavor. I don’t think Wonder bread has much flavor either, but it gets the sandwich ingredients to my mouth, and that’s about all I was hoping for.

Rick was about to make himself a couple of chicken sandwiches, so I stole a bit of the chicken and some onion. After assembling the sandwich, with the addition of some mayo, of course, I realized that bacon would add some zest.

I ran down to the freezer, got out a pound, and thawed it in the microwave. As it was cooking on the stove, I made a few tiny appetizers using the bread cut in small pieces and topped with crab spread. YUM.

After the bacon was cooked, I added that too my sandwich. It was a pretty good dinner, with some chili lime almonds on the side.

This bread is labeled: SUCCESS

I intend to make up another batch in a day or so. This time, I’m going to experiment with adding some garlic or cheese (thanks for the idea, Matt and Brandon).

Dessert was chocolate mousse.

Day 44: Taco salad

Weight loss: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012

I was really busy at work, so I ate a late breakfast yesterday. I had the usual egg bowl made by Rick, which is a really convenient and delicious start to my dad.

I had a “midmorning snack” at around 1, then ate a boring lunch: two hotdogs on a plate, topped with mustard. That’ll teach me to plan ahead.

By dinnertime I was looking for something different. I decided to adapt my taco salad recipe to the keto plan.

I cooked ground beef, added onions and black soy beans. Those are the only type of keto-friendly bean I have found. They are okay tasting, will help me get more fiber into my diet, and make a nice filler for mexican meals. I added taco seasoning and simmered it all together.

I ripped up some lettuce, added grated cheese, and topped with the beef mixture. Then I sliced up an avocado and put it on top. I used 2 Taco Bell taco sauce packets, because those are low carb. The only thing missing was the crunchy bag of Doritos. I cut a Flatwrap into triangles and sauteed in olive oil until mildly crunchy and broke a few up and tossed them into the salad. Of course, I topped it all with a dollop or two of sour cream.

The result was meh. It tasted just okay. I think there were too many tasteless items and not enough spicy ingredients to make up for the missing Dortitos. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t nearly as good as traditional taco salad. Experiment #1 was a failure.

Day 43: Meat loaf, part 2

Total weight loss: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in: Saturday, Feb 25, 2012

Yesterday began at work, as usual. I had my egg/sausage/cheese bowl, made by Rick.

Lunch was 2 hotdogs microwaved in the last of the chili.

Snack: chili/lime slmonds

At the end of the workday, I got some more bad news. Another friend passed away suddenly over the weekend. When I got home, I decided to have a drink, and a vodka and Diet Coke provided a no carb option.

Brandon and Lindsey dropped by to let me try some wings they picked up from Buffalo Wild Wings. I don’t usually eat traditional wings. I’m a bonelss wing fan. However, each wing is only .3 grams of carbs, so I had to give it a shot. They were parmesan garlic wings and they were pretty good dipped in blue cheese sauce. I could definitely get used to them at 3 wings per one carb!

Rick makes a really good meatloaf. Last month, he tried to adapt it to the keto plan, but I thought the ground pork rinds made it too bitter. This time, he substituted chopped cauliflower and the results were much better. The only thing missing now is the barbecue sauce, but the only really low carb option I found is about $21 for 6 bottles online, and I’m not sure I want to commit that much money to something I haven’t tried yet!

I made the faux cauliflower potatoes to go with the meat loaf. Doesn’t this look like a traditional meat and potatoes dinner?

Dessert was sugar-free lime jello mixed with cream cheese.

Day 42: Leftovers and salads

Total weight loss to date: 14 pounds

Next weigh-in Sat., Feb 18th

Yesterday was non-eventful. The day began with a trip to the dentist for some new fillings. Once I got to work (and my mouth was no longer number) I ate my delish “McRick” meal breakfast.

Lunch was 2 warmed up hotdogs in Cincinnati chili sauce.

Snack was 28 chili/lime almonds.

After work, I stopped by to visit my dad. By the time we left, I was pretty hungry, but it was off to trivia…

Dinner was at trivia (Albert’s in Garden City). I ordered the grilled chicken salad. It was huge and topped with shredded cheese, bacon, onions, and cherry tomatoes [which I donated to others]. It was a huge salad and very filling. It had lots of grilled chicken.

After trivia, Rick and I watched some TV and had our chocolate mousse dessert.

Not weighing daily is somewhat anticlimactic. Hoping that Saturday’s weigh in makes it worth the wait.