Monthly Archives: June 2020

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!


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


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:–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.

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 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.