Monday, August 7, 2017

How I Keto

I've had a lot of questions about how I've lost my weight. The first 65 pounds I lost by literally working my tail off. I worked out 2-3 hours a day, 3-4 days a week. I carefully monitored every bite I put in my mouth. I was obsessed with food. I thought about food all the time--what I was eating; when I could eat again; and what I couldn't eat. I was successful, but I knew I couldn't maintain that level of activity. Especially when my father-in-law got sick. Eventually he was diagnosed with non-treatable liver cancer. I had to adjust my priorities. I couldn't spend that much time at the gym because my family needed me. Over the next couple of years I started--and finished--graduate school. During this time I managed to maintain a 55 pound weight loss.

In January 2017, I began a ketogenic diet. I had heard about keto for months from several friends. But  I was just not interested. I liked my bread. But some friends (a medical doctor and his personal trainer wife) offered a class at church to "Kickstart to Health". My husband agreed to go with me.  We learned the science behind it, and the basics of how to do it.  I've been consistent since January. I have taken three detours. I don't call them cheats because they were conscious decisions. For our 30th anniversary (6 weeks into keto) I decided to splurge--and I got really sick. And twice I've had popcorn (also made me sick).

So, how do I keto?

I don't eat any added sugars.
I don't eat any grains.
I don't eat any beans or potatoes.
I don't eat any fruits.

I eat bacon, salami, pepperoni, and deli meat.
I eat eggs.
I eat beef, chicken, pork, and fish. (I love salmon!)
I eat cheese--a lot of cheese!
I look at net carbs not total carbs (that means I deduct dietary fiber from the carb count).
I drink Bulletproof tea.
I use pork rinds in place of flour as breading for chicken or fish.
I eat pork rinds by the bagful.

I eat "lazy keto" or "dirty" keto.

I don't count calories.
I don't measure anything.
I don't weight anything.
I don't log my macros.

I drink Diet Coke. (I know--it's bad for me.)
I use stevia, erythritol, and Sucralose.
I don't eat grass-fed, organic, or cage free--unless there is a really good sale.
I use Hidden Valley Ranch--even though I know there is some added sugar.
I don't have time to make my own mayonnaise or salad dressing.
I eat low carb veggie without worrying about the total carb count.
I eat lunch meats with nitrates in them.
I eat some bacon, but not as much as many keto followers.
I eat a lot of cheese. (Did I say that already?)

So, what does a normal day look like? 
Every time someone hears about my success, their first question is "What does a typical day look like?"

Tough question. I do have not typical day.

When I first started, I kept lots of snacks: black olives, sliced cheese, pepperoni, and fat bombs (that will be another post). I was always prepared and ate before I got hungry.  Now, I rarely eat. If I have breakfast, it's Bulletproof tea. (Basically hot tea with high fat ingredients added and blended until frothy. Many people make Bulletproof coffee--but I don't drink coffee.)

Whether I have Bulletproof tea or not, I rarely eat before noon. At work I keep a lunch bag in the fridge with lunch meats, cheese, olives, and other keto components. Sometime I bring leftovers from the night before.

For dinner, I keep it simple with meat and veggies.  We usually have a salad. Lately we've had zucchini almost every day (thanks to the Grace garden and generous co-workers!).

Desserts. I've made an incredible ice cream in a mason jar. (Ask me for the instructions or google it.  Maybe I'll post it soon). I love Lily's Chocolate.  These bars aren't cheap--I usually pay $4-5 per bar. But I break off one (of five) rows.  It is just enough to satisfy. (And this is the girl who used to eat a full sized candy bar almost every day!  They also make chocolate chips, but I haven't found them locally.

For snacks, I like pork rinds (sometimes--sometimes they just get stuck in my throat!)  I'm looking at some recipes to try with pork rinds. I've seen some that mimic churros and some that are like Muddy Buddies.  I eat a lot of cheese as a snack. My current favorite is panela.  It's a soft Mexican cheese. I eat way too much.

My brother recently joined me on the keto lifestyle has lost 60 + pounds since April! When asked about cravings, I thought his answer explained it well. He said:
It took me less than a week on keto to not be hungry. After going without carbs, I quit craving them. I miss pizza and pasta, because I like them, but have no cravings.
That is so true! I don't crave the things I used to eat.  But I do miss some of them. I miss grabbing a pack of Hostess donuts on my way to work. Or eating whatever is served at a luncheon. Sometimes I don't feel like prepping food.

But I ask me if I miss bread.


  1. God will use you to touch many! Thank you for taking us along on your journey! The inspiration is in your faithfulness! I know the journey is long, and, as Heb 12:11 says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Good job!

  2. Well done, friend! I've also cut all wheat (learned it was what was giving me migraines!) BUT I still eat other grains. I'm also trying to add more fat to my diet (really important to brain injury recovery!) and make my own version of tea (I call it my "bulletproof tea" even though I had never met anyone else who tried bulletproffing anything but coffee). Fruit is the thing I haven't wanted to make a choice to give up. - Jenni


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