Keto check-in: One month

It’s now been a month since our group (and a smattering of friends, too) have been on the keto diet. Since many of us have done either keto, a Whole 30, or Paleo before, it wasn’t a huge transition, but you learn a few new things each time. So, here’s our one-month ketosis check in.

Immediate transition

I got a huge headache on the first day, but that always happens the first day of a Whole 30, too. Usually because I’m overeating sweets the day before in a quest to have all my favorites in the 48 hours prior. I’d recommend a gradual reduction in sugars to more easily glide into ketosis to avoid the headache. I’d recommend it, but I’ve never been able to do it…

The transition wasn’t terrible for our group of about six people. Cravings plagued us every once in a while, but overall it was a smooth process.

Helping hands (snacks)

Through determination (desperation?) we found some additional snacks that were lifesavers.

  • Pork rinds: Eat them out of the bag, dip them in sauces, crush them and use them as a coating. They make some really inventive flavors nowadays.
  • Pickles: Great to have on hand to break up the sometimes monotony of tastes.
  • Chomps grass-fed beef sticks: I pretty much always carry one in my bag.
  • Macadamia nuts: If you’re not good at control, maybe stay away. They’re so good and you can only eat a few a day. They certainly help mix up food texture.
  • Epic Provisions Chicken Sriracha Protein Bar: When I need to mix it up from the beef sticks.
  • Swerve sweetner: I used this sweetener in a couple of recipes below.
  • Tea: Herbals and peppermint teas really helped out when I needed to remember what fruit tasted like and settle my stomach.

Cravings busters

Normally I try to avoid any fake sugars in my normal life. But keto is long and sometimes the hormone-related cravings are strong. So I made a couple of things with Swerve:

Keto chocolate mousse (1 serving)

  • ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (or more depending on how chocolately you like it)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of Swerve (adjust to your desired level of sweetness)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Whip it up with a hand mixer until it forms a chocolate whipped cream. If you drink water right after eating it, you will get a weird aftertaste (worth it, it’s so good). I ate it straight from the bowl, though you could use it to frost something like…

Keto french toast

  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of Swerve
  • 1 tsp melted butter
  • A generous shaking of cinnamon

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and pour into a small microwaveable container (I used silicone).

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Microwave for 50 seconds.

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Pop it out, slice it if you need to, and put it in a well-buttered skillet to crisp up. It should only take a minute or two to get that french-toast golden brown look.

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Here’s where I’d top it with whipped cream! Instead of the chocolate, I made a vanilla cinnamon whipped cream and added more Swerve to sweeten. You could also dump the sweeteners and use this is sandwich bread or a dipping mechanism.

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We also made a lot of this great cheese-based bread and used it for dipping and pizza. It was a hit even when cooking for non keto people. You definitely need a good silicone baking mat for it, though. If you don’t have one, do invest. They’re cheap, reusable, and safe.

Restaurants

We did a lot of Chipotle salads. Pretty much weekly. You have to be a bit careful (watch out for the pico), but they have a nutritional calculator online that will help you build the least-carby salad possible.

When we were at a local place, though, we tended to go with burgers without buns and salads. A lot of salads. We didn’t eat out much this month, as we quickly grew tired of the places we knew would be keto friendly. I did get tripped up once. I had a work lunch during which I got a salad and forgot to have them put the dressing on the side (I was going to taste test it for sugar). The dressing did kick me out of ketosis for a couple days. Rather than worrying about it, I just kept going.

Still going strong!

My goal is to get to February 18 (a family member’s birthday, where it will be very hard to avoid carbs). A few others in the group are breaking earlier. C will break for the birthday, too, and then continue on. My plan is to have a short break (through the 20th) and then go back in a bit longer. This is the easiest time of year for me to be low carb. The fruit (in my part of the country) isn’t great, there aren’t fun outdoor festivals, no farmers market, and it’s far from my favorite activities. I might as well get as much keto time in now and save my carbs for summer. Plus, I’m down 5 pounds and, more importantly, my pants fit better!

Did anybody else do a Whole 30 or January-only diet? We’d love to hear about how it went!

— K

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