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It was a very keto Christmas!

First off, happy holidays everyone! I hope you and your loved ones all had a wonderful Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

The past couple of weeks have been difficult in terms of staying on keto, but I stuck to my guns and I think in the end I didn’t do too badly. I even received a couple boxes of chocolates from some neighbours (who didn’t know I was on keto) even one that had a card that said “We hope you really really really like chocolate!” (I do… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ thanks for that.) but I didn’t even open the boxes! I took them over to my parent’s yesterday to share with the family but (conveniently) forgot them. In all honesty I didn’t mean to leave them there, but it’s probably for the best ๐Ÿ˜›

The last couple of days have been filled with lots and lots of baking and cooking. My mom suggested I take care of the appetizers and snacks before dinner, and suggested I make them all keto-friendly. With help from a fellow /r/keto redditer, /u/Craigasaurous and his awesome site full of great keto recipes… I put together a pretty decent sized spread ๐Ÿ™‚

First off, I made a sweets plate:

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These turned out pretty good! By the time we went home there was only 1 left on the platter (and who really wants to be “that guy” who takes the last cookie?). The amusing thing about this recipe is that I didn’t have a zester, but I (naively) thought that I might be able to use my cheese grater. Well, it turns out that just doesn’t work, or maybe my cheese grater just isn’t sharp enough, or maybe it was because I bought mini honey mandarin oranges (with the idea that since they’re only about an inch in diameter, if I caved and ate an orange they’re portioned out so a single orange couldn’t possibly do much damage). So… I improvised! I peeled a mini orange or two and tossed the skins into my coffee grinder (I’m sure many of you are cringing right now) but hey, it worked! The other beauty of using mini honey mandarins is that when it came time to adding the freshly squeezed orange juice, one orange came out to almost exactly 1 tablespoon! And when I didn’t have a juicer… well, I used my garlic press and it worked like a charm ๐Ÿ˜› one entire orange fit into the garlic press!
Per cookie: 223 Calories, 21g Fat, 6g Protein, 7g Carbs, 3g Fibre, 4g Net Carbs

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
I’ll start by mentioning I’m really not a fan of rosemary… I left it in the deviled eggs, but having the flavour in cookies just… seemed unappealing to me completely. Craigasaurous suggested that I tone down the lemon a bit if I plan to leave out the rosemary, so I also left out the lemon zest (which was helpful since I didn’t have any lemons nor a zester). I think they turned out pretty good as well, my Mom seemed to particularly like them. I think it could have used a little more lemon in it, so in the future (if I ever get a zester) I’ll probably leave in the lemon zest.
Per Cookie: 113 Calories, 11g Fat, 3g Protein, 3g Carbs, 1g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

Mock Snickers Bars
This was by far the most difficult to make… to start with I didn’t have any granulated stevia. I thought maybe I’d try substituting with granulated xylitol, but from what I read it was not even close to a 1:1 ratio in terms of sweetness, and the added dry powder would have given the bars a significantly different texture (if it even turned out at all). So I decided to substitute it 1:1 anyways and add a few extra drops of liquid stevia in hopes it would even out the sweetness. I think in the end it ended up being a bit too sweet for me, but my family seemed to love them. Aside from the sweetener dilemma, I had to toss out the first batch of peanut butter filling… it seemed to go from being of perfect texture and consistency, to an oily congealed mess in a fraction of a second. So I started that part over again and it turned out much better. The other issue was that the peanut butter part was very soft, whereas the chocolate was very hard… which made cutting it into squares very messy, so I ended up cutting bigger squares because it was such a pain in the ass; getting 10 squares out of the batch instead of the recommended 16 (which ultimately raised the carb count). I think that had to do with not having quite the right size of pan, so the layers of peanut butter and chocolate were a bit thicker than they were supposed to be. Anyways, as I said, although it didn’t look too pretty my family seemed to really like them, and I thought it was pretty good too (aside being being a little too sweet). I think of all the desserts on the sweets tray, this was probably the one that I would have the most trouble convincing someone that it had very few carbs.
Per Square: 378 Calories, 33g Fat, 7g Protein, 9g Carbs, 4g Fibre, 5g Net Carbs

Next, I put together 2 savoury plates. Along with some slices of cheddar, havarti, and garlic sausage, I included:

Spiced Bacon Deviled Eggs
This was probably my personal favourite of all the appetizers I brought with me. I had made this before, so I knew it was definitely worth making again. Unfortunately though, this time around I left the bacon grease out of the yolk mixture as my brother is vegetarian (and left the bacon out of a few of the deviled eggs) which gave them a bit more of a mayonnaise taste than they should have had, but they were still really good.
Per Egg (2 Halves): 175 Calories, 14g Fat, 8g Protein, 2g Carbs, 0g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

Mini Grilled Ham & Cheese
This was definitely a family favourite. Of course I left the ham out of a couple of the sandwiches so my brother could give them a try, but as with the chocolate orange cookies, there was only 1 left on the platter by the time we left. These were slightly frustrating to make, but only because they were the last appetizer I made and by that time there was zero counter space left in the kitchen, and I had zero patience and very little sleep. So of course, when grilling them they started to burn, set the smoke detector off 3 times, and I had no where to put the frying pan… it was just. very. frustrating. Ultimately though, they turned out pretty delicious!
Per Sandwich: 183 Calories, 16g Fat, 8g Protein, 3g Carbs, 1g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

Bacon Crusted Frittata Muffins
This is another one that turned out a bit messy… I think the problem here was that my muffin tins are small? I’m not exactly sure to be honest, but when the recipe saidย  “they will puff up” I expected it to rise… a little. However, when I checked on them half-way through the cooking time, they were spilled out all over the muffin tin and burning on the bottom of my oven ๐Ÿ˜ฆ In terms of taste though, they turned out pretty good, near-zero carb, and pretty filling as well.
Per Muffin: 307 Calories, 21g Fat, 23g Protein, 0g Carbs, 0g Fibre, 0g Net Carbs

 

2013-12-26 15.16.14All in all, I think I did pretty well at not giving in. I ate a lot of the keto foods I brought, avoided the potatoes, stuffing, and sweet treats, and while I did go over my 25g daily limit, I only went up to 39g and seemingly have stayed in ketosis. In other news, one of the gifts I received this year was a digital food scale! This should definitely go a long way to helping me stay on keto!

Anyways, that’s about all I have to say… in terms of progress, I seem to have slowed, but not stalled. I can live with that since it’s the holidays and we’re all eating more than usual, but hopefully it will pick back up soon.

Happy New Year and keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 32.8lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 49.0lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $128

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Week from hell? Keto ice cream to the rescue!

Keto Ice Cream

2013-12-11 15.56.28I ordered an ice cream maker last week off amazon and it arrived yesterday! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s only a half-pint maker which is pretty much perfect considering I have the smallest freezer in the world. I didn’t realize when I bought it but it makes soft serve ice cream, which I think is actually better. So I made some keto-friendly ice cream today and it was actually pretty good! A little high in carbs because of all the heavy cream, but at 6.5g per serving I can have a little bit from time to time. I tried vanilla first;

  • 2013-12-11 16.08.271.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

The recipe booklet suggested 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2cup of half&half, I may try that next time as it might turn out a little bit lower in carb, and it might have a bit of a nicer, “lighter” texture. There is also a chocolate ice cream recipe which I’ll have to give a try as well, I opted for vanilla this time because I often find chocolate keto treats to be ultimately disappointing.


Week From Hell…

This past week has been pretty rough… I was sick with a cold all week, on top of that it was shark week, which meant I of course gained about 2 or 3lbs over the week and craved nothing but chocolate… which was only made worse by having an advent calendar chocolate every day… it was like poking the monster with a stick ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I felt like I was back at week 1 of keto where I was all OCD and couldn’t think of anything except chocolate and other carby treats. I even bought a bag of Werther’s Chocolate Caramels and got back into the bad habit of “topping up” my daily carb intake with however many chocolates I could eat and still stay under 20g. It’s a very dangerous, very slippery slope. Fortunately though, I made it through, didn’t cheat, lost the shark week water weight, and today I got back to my rowing. I didn’t do very well at all in terms of time, but for my first time back in a week it’s not so bad… I’ll eventually get back into the swing of things and find my stride.


Christmas Season

So, it’s the holidays… and we all know what that means… evil sugar plums. I have resolved to stay on keto for the entirety of the holiday season. It will be difficult, but I’ve requested that my family refrain from putting anything edible in my stocking. In the coming weeks I’ll be experimenting with various keto-friendly desserts so I might be able to bring a batch of something sweet to nibble on while the rest of the family eats the typical Christmas sugary stuff.

I am a little worried about this coming weekend, my best friend works for one of the largest cable and internet providers in Canada and for the third year in a row, has invited me to come along to the annual Christmas party (lucky me!! :D). The worrisome part is that they spend a lot of money on this thing… including a lot of money on a very impressive dessert buffet… It’s going to take a lot of willpower to restrain myself from digging in as I did previous years, but I think the best strategy will be to avoid even looking at the table. These are a couple pictures from previous years’ dessert selections…

On the positive, I tried on the dress I bought 2 years ago for the Christmas party, and despite the fact that I could barely zip it up back in October 2012 for a cruise I was on (it took spanx and a very long and gruesome battle with the zipper), it now fits perfectly, and comfortably, and zips up with ease.

 
Anyways, that’s all I have to update for today… keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 27.2lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 54.6lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $108

Keto Support Group and Egg Drop Soup!

Egg Drop Soup

egg-drop-soup-lg

Om nom nom Egg Drop Soup

So I’ve been pretty well down for the count the last 4 days with a terrible cold (I blame Jason! He had it first!). I asked my fellow ketards what they eat when they have a cold and the main answer I got was “broth”. Bleh. I’ve never been a big fan of broth to begin with, and I did try to add some to my regular diet to get some more sodium but I just couldn’t stomach the taste… But I had to have something to help this cold. So I decided to give egg drop soup a try. Or at least my adapted version of it (I’ve never made it before so I just kind of wing’d it). Essentially I added some chopped green onion and a teaspoon of salt to about 2 cups of chicken broth (I tried a different brand this time, it seems much better!), brought it to a boil, kept it stirring and slowly dropped some egg into it.

The result was… delicious! I’m not a soup person to begin with, but I could see myself making this on a regular basis (if only to help my sodium intake). As an added bonus, when I have some I feel a little better almost instantly ๐Ÿ™‚


Keto Support Group

A week or two ago someone posted on the keto reddit an idea about putting together a Keto Support Group via Skype. I jumped on board, and on Monday at 7pm PST we had our first group “meeting”. There were about 6 of us (one had to leave a bit early as she wasn’t feeling well, and another arrived a bit late), and we figured we’d meet for about an hour… well, about 2 and a half hours later, we were still talking! I think it turned out really well and I really enjoyed talking to other people who can relate to the keto lifestyle. We had a pretty diverse turnout, from keto-newbies of only one or two weeks, to keto-veterans of 1 or 2 years.

Our nextย  meeting is the same time next Monday, and we’re still looking for more people to join! If anyone is interested, feel free to comment below or add me on Skype (username is daerina).

 
Anyways, my weight loss appears to have stalled briefly the last few days… I’m not entirely sure if it’s due to shark week or if my head really is as heavy as it feels! Either way hopefully by next week I’ll be back on track ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep calm and keto on!

Dani

Free Samples are Evil!

I’m going to consider this post to be more of a PSA about the evils of free samples in grocery stores…

I was craving some chinese food, but unfortunately it’s not exactly Jason’s favourite so I decided to put off ordering any until one night when he’s working late… so we wandered over to Safeway to see if anything looked appetizing, and I saw they had ginger beef in the deli. I figured I’d give it a try and asked for a sample, she gave me 3 pieces and I ate them as we walked around picking up our groceries. I stopped for a moment to check the nutrition info on MyFitnessPal, and found that I had just eaten 10g of carbs in those 2 and a half little pieces…

Word to the wise… look it up before you eat it up! Suffice it to say I was a bit more limited on what to have for dinner, so I opted for steak. Nice, carbless, delicious steak.

2013-12-01 11.36.49In other news, Jason bought me an advent calendar for December! He went through the trouble of looking at the carb counts on all of the calendars until he found the one with the fewest carbs per chocolate. It just so happened to be a Lindt calendar (I love Lindt!) at 3g of carbs per chocolate, which I can definitely live with! Today’s chocolate was even chocolate hazelnut, which is my absolute favourite!

Happy Holidays, and keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 26.0lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 55.8lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $104

Eating too… little?

calchartI’ve noticed lately that my calorie count has been rather…. low.Like, really low. I’m aiming for 1200 calories per day but I’m averaging probably somewhere around 800, with many days rounding out at about 600. The thing is, I’m eating. And I’m eating until I’m full… stuffed, even.

Although I learned quite awhile ago that starvation mode is a myth, this still didn’t really sound right to me, so I consulted the all-knowing /r/keto to see what they had to say… and it turns out, that’s okay! Basically, your body will tell you when you have had enough to eat. And while in ketosis, your body is burning your body fat as fuel. While there is a limit to how much the body can burn and contribute to your daily energy, some bodies are simply better at it than others. The key is to listen to your stomach, it will tell you when it’s had enough. If you’re sated, you’re sated, and there’s no point in overeating if you don’t need to. So… I’ll stay where I’m at, it does seem really weird to be eating so little, but my body knows best! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ketosis, Simplified
A few days ago, a fellow keto’er wrote up an article about ketosis, in a very simplified way. There was some demand for an infographic based on the article, so I figured I’d give it a try. I realize the graphics should tell more of the story, but unfortunately there aren’t a lot of figures and numbers to work with, and to make it less wordy I’d have to really diminish the information in the article. I tried my best to break it down into bite-sized chunks that would be easy to follow on an infographic. So… for all you folks out there who are new to keto, here’s your chance to learn all about how it works in a nice, simple image.

Keto on!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 25.2lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 56.6lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $100

Fatburger and Fail Muffins

2013-11-12 20.42.55Fatburger… is as good for keto as it sounds!
You would think that a burger joint with the word “fat” in it and a high fat diet going hand in hand would be a no-brainer, however… I am still epicly impressed with Fatburger! One night we were feeling a bit lazy so we figured we’d have some burgers. I was getting a little tired of McDonald’s crap (especially because it’s literally in the same building where we live), and since I’d never been there before, we decided to give Fatburger a try. Once I read through their menu and they said that you can order any burger with no bun and they will wrap it in lettuce for you, and add on to that that they have awesome burger additions such as guacamole and egg… I was sold! I ordered the old style bacon cheddar burger with egg and no bun… and this is what I got: (top right)

I know the image quality is not the best, but they practically made a bun out of lettuce, wrapped it in a nice little paper wrap so you can hold it… it was actually edible as a burger instead of the usual bunless burger where you have to drag out the old fork and knife! And aside from presentation, it was delicious! Definitely going to be visiting fat burger again!

Fail Muffins ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
2013-11-17 15.18.40Someone on /r/keto posted a link to a blueberry muffin recipe the other day, and it sounded pretty good! Since I’m not a huge fan of blueberries, I decided to modify it and turn it into a chocolate strawberry muffin recipe. I added 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2tbsp of chocolate protein powder, replaced the stevia with 2 tbsp of Splenda, and replaced the unsweetened almond milk with unsweetened chocolate almond milk. And of course, replaced the blueberries with strawberries. The whole apartment smelled amazing for the entire time they were in the oven, and I was super excited to try them… and then I pulled them out of the oven and…. this is what they looked like: (look left)

They definitely didn’t look muchย  like muffins… and somehow despite adding chocolate almond milk, chocolate protein powder, and cocoa powder, they had absolutely no chocolate taste to them at all. They were a bit too dense, but to be honest I’ve found that to be a trend when trying to bake keto foods with almond and/or coconut flour… unfortunately they just don’t rise the same way that regular flour does. They tasted just okay… edible, but not something I’d make again. Even my cat took it upon himself to toss one into his water dish ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Progress Report
So this week I am officially back on my way to my goal! Not only have I lost 2lbs, but I was finally able to beat my rowing time from October 28th (2000m @ 11:49)… twice! 2000m @ 11:22 on November 13th, and 11:15 on November 15th. I think my times may begin to go up for the next week or two as I’m going to try and focus on increasing the distance before I need to take a break. This usually leaves me winded and impacts the over all time because I need to take more breaks after my initial “burst”, but I think if I can keep pushing it, eventually I will be able to do the entire 2000m in a single shot without needing breaks at all (which ideally will give me an awesome overall time).

I’ve decided to give myself a small reward once I reach 20lbs down, I’ll be sure to post a picture when I do! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Keto on, friends!

Dani

Weight Loss So Far: 17.6lbs
Weight Loss to Go: 64.2lbs
Fat Fashion Fund: $68

Quickie Update!

Just a small update for today…

I’m proud to say that I have completely reversed the damage done on my birthday cheat weekend, and am now merrily on my way to onederland ๐Ÿ˜€

Also, I tried the last flavour of Quest bar (as mentioned in yesterday’s post), peanut butter and jelly… and I must say, this is definitely my favourite. It reminds me of a PB&J granola bar I used to have when I was a kid.

Lastly… the header on my blog (or lack thereof) is really bugging me. I would massively appreciate any suggestions you could throw my way! I am pretty decent at graphic design and graphic editing (it is my job, after all) but unfortunately I lack any skill when it comes to drawing…

Have a great day, and keto on!

Dani