12 Sep

So, it's been a month of changing my eating habits. I have not changed my exercise routine yet, but I plan on it. So far I have lost 17 pounds as of this morning. I am jumping for joy. I had a few goals 1. to be under a certain weight 2. feel good 3. not starve myself. I have tried so many diets and if I starve myself I will not stick to it, plain and simple. I love food and I love to eat. I eat when bored, stressed, and sad. I tried diet pills and shakes and I never like the taste or the funny energy rush feelings. I read about Keto and it sounded like something I could do. I love bread, pasta, rice, potatoes cheese and crunchy foods (like chips and popcorn), so finding out I had to cut a lot of that out, I didn't think I could handle it, but I figured I would try a day, then 2 days, then a week, and now its been a month! 

At first taking away bread was hard because I eat Portuguese pops smothered in butter and cheese. I cook potatoes almost every meal with meat, and pasta probably 3 times a week in place of meals with meat and potatoes. I love all my concoction stir-fry recipes with rice. I am an Irish/Portuguese girl with a big butt and I have also been known to be a bottomless pit, literally never feeling full. Knowing I could eat a lot of cheese and still eat the meats I wanted I was happy. But I feared losing my snacks. I LOVE nachos and dips with crackers. Oh and popcorn loaded with butter and salt. So after reading what I could have and couldn't have I started watching keto recipe videos. I went grocery shopping and realized, I don't like eating 3 sticks of butter and counting macros/protein. I wanted to feel healthier without shitting all day. 

First thing I did was stop eating boxed food, anything you can read an ingredient/serving size list on the back of. No pasta, canned soup, cake mixes, those bags with past or rice and seasonings; pretty much anything that is a premade thing and you just have to add water or eggs. Also, no premade seasoning bags. You can use almost any seasoning you want, but not the bags already mixed up for you. I don't know the whole science behind it, but they must add something to it that adds carbs. So no meatloaf seasoning, chili or pot roast flavoring. Taking away pasta was a big thing for me because I love all my recipes I make for pasta; I don't mean spaghetti I am talking about chicken broccoli alfredo and dishes like that. Now, I make the sauce and the meat just the way I normally do, I just don't make pasta. Some people do zucchini noodles which taste pretty good. There is also tofu noodles that are a great substitute.
 But definitely try it if you're making a spaghetti dish. Instead I make a bag of frozen cauliflower and serve it over that, or eat the sauce and meat alone. The first few days are hard, but once you get used to it you think about pasta and it has no flavor and really what is there for? Just to take up space in your stomach? I would rather fill that with more broccoli or chicken. 

Bread the devil, just kidding; but for real I love subs and sandwiches and wraps and bread and butter. Sometimes at night before bed I would just lather butter on a piece of bread instead of dessert. So, this was more of a habit thing. Like a mind over matter. Don't buy rolls, don't make rolls, at the beginning don't think of any dinners that are good with fresh warm rolls with it.  I roll up my meat and cheese, put my condiments on it and eat it like that. With that said, I want to add that you shouldn't eat packaged deli meat, get it from the deli and still don't eat to much of it. If you have to have bread, make your own. You cannot use traditional flour, you need to get almond flour or coconut flour, I get both because sometimes the recipes call for one or the other, check out my grocery shopping list to see what I get. It is very easy, I use a 90 second recipe for myself, it gives me enough for one serving. My kids still eat bread, but if you're making enough bread for everyone you should use a different recipe, like one for a whole loaf. 

Cheese, I am not sure where this idea came up that you cannot have cheese with Keto, but you absolutely can. I use cheese on every dinner almost. The issue is milk. Milk has so much sugar in it. If you have to have milk they tell you high fat milk is best but I am shying away from high fat foods in my keto diet. I swap out milk and use cream in cooking recipes. I use unsweetened coconut milk in my coffee. I use cream cheese and cottage cheese a lot (read the back for less sugars and carbs and don't eat it in excess). My ice cream recipe is literally cream cheese and butter, sounds gross but when you can't have ice cream, it is heavenly. Look for my keto ice cream recipe. I stole a keto fat bomb recipe but I put it in a bowl with whip cream and peanut butter on it and now you can see why I am not starving. Seriously I am not jealous of ice cream sundaes. 

Potatoes was probably the hardest thing for me. I cooked it with every meat and I had so many variations for it. My only fix for that is cauliflower, I do mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, cauliflower soup. It sounds boring but having the right seasonings makes all the difference. I am not a big fan of sweet potatoes, so I make broccoli, carrots, cabbage. There are some vegetables that are high in carbs, so get Carb Manager on your phone and type in whatever you want, or just google it. Look for my recipe for cabbage and carrots, even a cabbage hater will love this!

Another big issue for me is sugar. I didn't think I had an issues with sugar but once you go Keto the first few days your body craves the wackiest things and literally I felt like Edgar from Men and Black- sugar water. I didn't but I wanted to, so I had to find ways around that. This is probably the only thing about Keto I don't like. Instead of using sugar you need to use erythritol. It works, but if you don't like the fake sweetener taste you're screwed. You cannot use sugar substitutes like sweet and low but you can use stevia; again I don't know the science behind it and what the difference is. I just bought a big bag of stevia and use it for my desserts, coconut oil helps add sweetness too. I am not a big coffee drinker I only get it once very few days, when I do I use 1 sugar. If you drink coffee everyday, you should use the erythritol. Saying all sugary things is out of the question is not exactly true. You can have fruits, but use your carb manager. Berries are best. Bananas has more carbs than my daily allowance, so I don't eat them. I have met people who successfully still lost weight with even a banana a day. If you are going to intake carbs, make sure it is worth it. I was good for 2 weeks before I ate a few potatoes pieces and some macaroni salad; I really didn't enjoy the taste anymore but it didn't slow anything down. I have heard people eating too much carbs though and not going through ketosis, so what's the point? Last night I went to movies and ate a crap load of popcorn. Anything in excess is bad for you, but if I am going to screw up my ketosis I would rather have enjoyed it! 

There is such a thing of the keto flu. I did not really get this but when I eat something that has too may carbs I feel it. I read that a cup of bone broth is good to help with the a headaches or upset stomach. I use pink Himalayan salt instead of regular salt now. And I would just heat up water and a packet of chicken bouillon when I felt a headache coming on and it helps. 

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