Keto Update 4Read Now
It's been two weeks since my last Keto/weight loss update so it's time for an update. I hid the columns from 1/1/18 to 2/17/19 on my spreadsheet as it was becoming impossible to read (yes there is more than a 1 lb loss between 260 and 234 haha) and I wanted to make it easy to see this week's changes as well as totals. Here we go...
5.6 pounds guys... in two weeks I lost 5.6 pounds! That's awesome news and I'm absolutely thrilled. Even better I went down almost a full point on the BMI scale AND lost inches. I did go up in my chest measurement but I think that I just mis-measured last time as it was exactly what it was the previous measurement day again. That means I've now lost 31.6 pounds and 21.2 inches total. I would really like to get to 50 pounds down by Gaufest in June but I'm trying to not to set unreachable goals (that would be at least 2 pounds per week every single week until then which is not guaranteed even if you are eating perfectly, on any diet plan). Instead my goal is to continue my progress towards 50 pounds gone by the end of the summer and if I get close before then I will adjust the goal to a larger number (such as "below 200 by the end of summer"... for the first time in a decade. That would be beyond wonderful to get there.)
For the last two weeks:
Another thing that I'm tracking is how well my weight loss correlates with what's going on in my life as those might be useful once I have more information. If I lose a lot less weight when I feel my sleep has been horrible than when its been ok or great then I will know that I need to focus more on that for instance. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest...
Compliance/Remaining "Keto": 9
Quick Keto Meal Idea:
For lunches this past set of meal preps I've done a number of lettuce wraps: salsa chicken, beef taco, tuna salad, ham and cheese, etc. It's a quick and simple way to eat something you would normally have with a lot of carbs- like tacos or sandwiches- or to mix up the same ingredients in a new way. A few pieces of leaf lettuce and leftovers packs a lunchbox in minutes which is definitely something I can get behind.
Try some of the following...
What other fillings for lettuce wraps do you do in your household? Let me know!
Until next time,
Keto Update 3Read Now
So I fell off the face of the Earth on this series for a little while and yes it was because I 'fell off the Keto wagon' but I'm back. If you're reading consistently on the blog you will have likely read the "Comfort Eating" post a few weeks ago and I was just not able to consistently keep myself on track for a while after than, on any plan, not just Keto. Life got a little stressful but I've been working on finding ways to manage my stress more efficiently and am hopeful that my stress level won't be an excuse to ignore my health goals in the coming months. Not hopeful, determined. That is a much better mindset I think. I am determined that I will remain on track towards reaching my goals despite stressful situations that might arise. I've been back low carb for two weeks and Keto for a little over a week and have lost the weight I put back on -at the highest was 7 pounds- as well as 1 additional pound. I also lost an additional 0.4 inches off my chest (I had gained 1 inch as of last week but lost it plus 0.4 inches this week) and 0.2 inches off my waist somehow, not that I'm complaining!.
My favorite food the last two weeks while I've been getting back on track has been my keto pancakes that I'm sure anyone who follows me on Instagram has seen posted several times lately. They're so good and I'll likely end up doing breakfast for dinner with a few of them paired with scrambled cheesy eggs. A quick meal as I keep a stock of pre-made pancakes in my freezer as part of the meal prep process but still super tasty and filling.
I haven't had that many cravings this week but I did want a couple of carb-y things earlier in the week when I made the transition to keto from low carb. I wanted tomato soup and a (gluten free) grilled cheese when it was cold and wet outside and I wasn't feeling all that great. I expect that one was more of a comforting memory trying to come back into my life- habits are hard to break! The second was ice cream, because ice cream haha. I'm not sure why this one came about but it coincided with some insomnia so that may be related.
I'm thinking that keeping track of how well my weight loss correlates with what's going on in my life might be useful so I'm adding a scaled list of items that may affect or be affected by my diet. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest...
Compliance/Remaining "Keto": 9
Next update I may add a few sample days of menus as well but I'm not sure what would be the most helpful. Let me know please. Are you guys interested in meal plans or meal prep posts and videos?
Until next time,
Keto Week 2Read Now
OK, this week is going to be a pretty short update. Right up front: I didn't lose weight... not an ounce. I actually gained and had to work back down to where I ended up last week. This could be due to a couple different possibilities, the highest likelihood being either:
I'm trying to do a vlog every week along with the blog overviews. This week's is below.
Until next time,
Keto Week 1Read Now
This isn't the first time I've gone on a diet nor is it even the first time I've gone keto. Last year I lost over 40 pounds on keto and felt amazing. Unfortunately I let myself give in to stress and go back to old habits and ended the year with a net 20 pound loss and a desire to get back on track. As much as progress photos aren't any fun and I'm definitely embarrassed at how far I still have to go I'm going to be sharing my journey with you all online. I find stories of people's journeys helpful and inspiring for myself so the hope is that I can be an inspiration to others looking to start their own health journeys as well as keep myself accountable.
I started on 1/2/2019 at 240.6 pounds. I forgot to take photos and do measurements as I was coming off of a migraine (I had suffered from several the week before and it was horrible) and it was all I could do to remember my lunchbox to be honest. I actually forgot to put the ice pack into the lunchbox if that helps explain how exhausted I was that morning. I will be taking photos later for the next update and have already done measurements. I definitely suggest you do progress photos and track measurements if at all possible rather than relying solely on the scale. It can help keep you stay motivated when the scale says you're not doing as well as you'd prefer.
Measurements (taken mid-week so no update this week)
As I mentioned, I went with Keto again because I usually feel amazing on it. This week I would say I felt about like I remember feeling- lots of energy and not super hungry between meals. I ended up moving back to two larger meals within week one rather than in a few weeks as I'd planned as my body wanted to go back there naturally. I will say that I had a few side effects this week which can likely be attributed to the transition:
Finally, I lost 5.6 pounds this week which brings me up to 25 pounds lost from the beginning of my journey to now. I say in the video its 35... I don't know what I was thinking *sigh* major former math teacher fail. Anyways, I'm looking forward to week 2!
Until next time,
Check out the Keto in Canada series of blog posts to catch up on what happened during the Keto Reset then watch my first vlog (ever, eek!) detailing the final results of two weeks completely keto while traveling on business.
Would you like to see monthly updates on my weight loss, and specifically keto, journey? Let me know!
Until next time!
I'm sorry this is so late. It's been a little bit crazy since I got back home. I'll keep this update short and sweet and make up for it with a vlog next week about the final results after the full two weeks which included the second half of the week once I returned home.
Simply put, this Keto Reset was a success. I had the energy to do as much as I needed most of the days I was traveling- without dips in energy or crankiness. And I am not a morning person, ask anyone. Haha, a little caffeine first thing in the morning to wake up and I was good to go all day. That alone would have been enough of a reason to do this reset but I also lost a nice chunk of weight!
To recap, I started this reset at 233.2 lbs. Here's what the scale said the morning after I came home...
That's 7.6 pounds in 12 days, including traveling which is notorious for causing a bit of gain. Two days later it looked like this... a total of 9 pounds in two weeks. I did my official "two week keto reset weigh in" the next day and fluxuated down a tiny bit more.
As a side note... my scale's biometric numbers (fat, bone, muscle, etc.) are not accurate. It's a known issue with these scales. The weights are right but I ignore the other stats as they can vary minute to minute pretty drastically if I re-weigh.
I left my tape measure at home accidentally (I'll get this blogging on the road thing down for next time guys) so I don't have exact measurements but I did go down essentially a whole pants size. I took two kinds of jeans with me and the first didn't return. They were ruined by pigment but even if they hadn't been they were falling off by my last day there! The other type of jeans I took with me were able to go on and off without unbuttoning but didn't actually fall off my hips so they were my mainstay those last few days and the ones I have in my closet now.
I'll be talking about the pro's and con's of traveling keto in the vlog so check it out next week!
Until next time,
Keto in Canada Update #1Read Now
Its been a long but productive weekend on this Quebec trip and, to be honest, I'm pretty exhausted. I did want to pop online to give you a quick update on how the Keto Challenge has gone so far though. Basically... it's going really well. Both myself and my coworker have been making smart choices when it comes to meal time and are feeling pretty great and confident that we're both back in ketosis again based on our past experience.
Any Keto Flu?
Not this time, thankfully. I think I've got it figured out for my body this time around and with the added water and electrolytes I didn't have any headaches or muscle cramps in the first few days. I'll have to stay diligent though as I'm spending a good amount of time in non air conditioned areas and/or outside right now so losing both water and electrolytes quicker than I would normally back home.
What Has Mealtime Looked Like?
Breakfasts have been at the hotel every day I've been here and have consisted of eggs, cheese, a small amount of meat (usually ham but one day I had a slice of bacon), and possibly a small amount of something with a couple of carbs as I knew that the first few days would have a nice calorie burn before lunch hit- some nuts or 1-2 ounces of fruit.
There hasn't been a lot of snacking really, some nuts or fresh veggies and ranch occasionally here at the hotel here or there but that's about it.
Lunches and dinners have been a little all over the place depending on the schedule and what my coworkers wanted. I can usually find something anywhere and am happy to let them choose so long as there is a gluten free option that I can manage with my eating style (its rare that you can't make that happen here which is pretty great). I'll just write out a list below to make it easy.
Have I Lost Weight?
I don't know as I don't have a scale with me here at the hotel but my pants feel a little loser which is always a good thing and I am feeling great so I'm content to stick with it.
I'm really hoping for a nice amount to have come off by the time I get back home though. The first several pounds will just be water weight, I know that... they came back on within a couple days and will go back off in the same time frame but I'd really like to lose at least 7-8 pounds in the two week period (including the water weight). 10 would be amazing but pushing it I think, even with the addition of all the stairs I'm climbing here and the change of work environment adding more movement and calorie expenditure to my day. I'm not counting calories, at all, on this trip, by the way. We'll see but I'm hopeful. Even if I lose very little I will be ok with it though as I'm feeling great and my mind is working at full capacity with all the extra fats I'm throwing at it so I'm getting a ton done. Keto's worth it for those two alone in my opinion- weight loss is just the bonus that makes me do a happy dance at the end of the week.
Until next update!
Heading to Canada... Keto Reset!Read Now
I wanted to jump on to do a quick blog post as the next couple of weeks will probably be a little crazy for me as I'm in Montreal on a business trip. I'm looking forward to the crazy as always but it means I'll be changing up my blog post plan to accommodate the trip just a bit.
Another coworker (who is on this trip as well) suggested that we do a keto challenge for two weeks as we've both "fallen off the wagon" and will be out of our normal routines together so can hold each other accountable. I, of course. said "let's do it"... then our first evening here we went out for Italian food with a coworker from this office. We didn't make a great start of it *sad trombone* but we're going to start fresh tomorrow and get this challenge knocked out. I'll be making periodic updates about how its going. I'm hoping this reset sets me up for success again once I return back home.
My starting weight before I left:
Not my best weight, obviously I gained a few pounds through the last few months of being lackadaisical with my habits but I'm determined to hit my under 200 goal this year so this keto reset is exactly what I need. Let's do this!
Back to Basics: How to Make GheeRead Now
"Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India and is commonly used in South Asian cuisines, traditional medicine, and religious rituals." -Wikipedia
In today's world there are a lot of people who cannot tolerate dairy, myself included. One of the good things about ghee is that, when it is prepared correctly, the milk proteins are removed. This means that many people who cannot tolerate butter can tolerate ghee. Basically, it is the best of both worlds: the benefits (and taste!) of butter without the casein and proteins that you may react to.
You can find ghee in the store:
... but I suggest you make it yourself if you have lactose intolerance as I have found that it is very easy and a lot more of the milk proteins seem to be removed when I make it myself than when I purchase it at the store. The exception to this would have to be Tin Star Food's ghee. I have heard awesome things about their ghee from people who do not tolerate dairy well. This isn't to say that other brands' ghee isn't great, I just haven't tried it so I don't want to speak to it. The brand of ghee you see above ended up making me decide to stop being lazy and make some ghee at home again. That's good for you guys though because you can now see how I make it!
1. Place butter in sauce pan over low heat. I couldn't find grass-fed unsalted butter so I am using a salted variation.
2. Check on butter regularly over the next 2-3 hours, stirring as necessary. It does take a long time to make but you don't have to stand over it the whole time. I often put it on and then go clean my house or do homework, checking on it about every 20-30 minutes.
3. When you see the milk solids have settled to the bottom and begun to brown so your liquid butter has become golden in color it is time to remove it from the heat. When it gets close to this point though I suggest you stick close to your pot to make sure you only slightly brown the solids verses burning them. I should have left this batch on the stove for a few more minutes so that the milk solids would brown a bit more but I was running behind. It still came out beautifully though.
4. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth into a non-plastic container (I have melted a plastic one before... oh the mess!). The milk solids will remain in the cheesecloth while your ghee will strain through the mesh to the container beneath.
5. Place your ghee in a container. If it has been prepared properly you won't need to refrigerate it and it will last for months.
The unrefrigerated ghee is on the left but if you do store it in the fridge it will look like you see on the right.
One thing to understand about ghee is that the flavor is more intense than the butter you started with. I would suggest adding a little at a time to your dish when first learning to cook with ghee for this reason. Another, awesome, thing to know is that the smoke point is incredibly high so it is great for high heat cooking like sautes and stir fries! I have heard it said that 'you flavor with it like butter but cook with it like oil' and I find that to be fairly accurate but I tend to use less ghee than butter when flavoring with it due to my personal preferences on taste.
Once again we look at chicken. This easy recipe has about 5 minutes of hands on time and is ready before I've finished my evening 'chores' making it a go-to meal when I was married. I've had it on salads, as a protein main with steamed or sauteed veggies, and sliced cold in a wrap... it was pretty tasty any way I tried it. Feel free to mix it up and try this with other spice combinations, the recipe listed below uses Taco Seasoning mix but there are other options. See the "Mix It Up" note at the bottom for two alternate versions that I have already tried out myself.
2 lbs Chicken
Enough taco seasoning to coat the chicken (1/4 C or 1-2 packets of clean taco seasoning or this)
Large bag or deep bowl for coating chicken
MIX IT UP: You can do this with a Tbsp of almond meal and Italian seasoning as well. Just add a little melted butter or ghee drizzled over the top for a delicious pairing with zucchini pasta or other Italian inspired meal!
Want a Cajun version of this? Just sub the taco seasoning for cajun spice mix and you've got the beginnings of one of the tastiest ceasar salads I have ever had. Yumm!
The possibilities are endless! :)