It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas. Not New Year’s. Not Winter. It’s that time of year when I get so sick of being overweight that I dive headlong into a new diet plan and do my very best to trim down. Generally it goes really well for 2-4 weeks and then I binge eat pizza, cookies and brownies for three months and end up weighing two pounds more than when I started. This time, I am trying the Ketogenic diet and I joined a great support/weight loss guide group called Keto Dash to help me. If you’re interested in learning about the Keto diet, I highly suggest checking them out as a resource. Today I want to share with you my experience with the program so far and some recipes that I have tried and loved!
First Two Weeks Going Keto
I started the Keto diet a little more than 2 weeks ago. If I were to totally oversimplify it, it’s a low carb/low-no sugar/high fat diet. One of the things I loved about it is that cheese is allowed. Encouraged even. I love cheese and if I can have pepperoni and cheese as a snack on a daily basis, then I stand a chance of sticking to a diet.
One of the things I hate about keto is you can’t have sugar. I tried a sugar detox once and I literally thought I was going to have to go to the hospital. Ok, maybe urgent care, but for real, no sugar for one day and I was feeling like death. Horrific headache AND nausea. It felt like the flu. It was not something I wanted to ever feel again. So, I sort of gradually cut back sugar for a few days this time and while I did have some serious headaches for a few days, I didn’t have the “I can’t get out of bed” type of withdrawals. Today, for instance, I ate close to zero sugar and I feel fine. Actually, now that I have reduced my sugar intake pretty drastically, I feel really good. No lie, my husband just said to me, you laugh at more things since you’ve lost weight.
Which brings me to my very favorite part of the Keto diet! It works. I’ve lost weight. 9lbs so far and that’s 2 weeks and a day in. I haven’t been perfect throughout the two weeks, but I’ve been pretty close most days and that’s showing up as results on the scale. And the results on the scale are really important to me. I’ve been told that it shouldn’t be that important to me, but for me it’s a tangible result that I can hold on to when I go to visit my mom and she tries to shove brownies in my face. I can say, “No, mom! I’ve lost 9 lbs! Leave me alone!”. She still sees me as a super thin 16 year old gymnast, I think. Not the 42 year old mother of two who apparently also sees herself as a 16 year old who can eat whatever she wants and never gain an ounce.
Looking Ahead on the Keto Diet
I have two majors concerns as I move forward on the Keto diet. Number 1, pizza. Number 2, cookies. Pizza, for my family, is not just food. It’s sort of sacred. Every Thursday night we order from our favorite place and we go home and celebrate having made it to the day before Friday. It’s a treat that my kids look forward to every week and it’s such a simple little indulgence that makes them so happy that I can’t not do it. What I can do, is order a Greek salad with chicken and eat that instead of pizza. And our favorite place makes a mean Greek salad, but it’s not pizza. So, I’ve been good and eaten the salad the first two weeks, but it will take A LOT of will power to sustain that. Who will win in the battle of weight loss against pizza? Weight loss is the underdog right now because he’s like 0-6 in my adulthood, but I always have loved the underdog. I’m definitely rooting for him.
Cookies, my #2 concern is a bigger problem than pizza. First of all, I freakin love cookies so much it’s not normal. Secondly, my kids like cookies and they are kids and I’m not going to ban cookies from them just because I have zero self control when it comes to cookies. Additionally, I have tried I think 4 different Keto “dessert” recipes at this point and it’s bad, guys. Like, I made keto cheesecake brownies (a recipe I did NOT find on Keto Dash, btw) and they tasted like mud with chemicals in it. They tasted exactly like what I imagine mudpies would taste like, but with a dash of chemicals sprinkled in. I’m still working on the dessert thing and I have pinned a few from Keto Dash that I’m going to try and I will most definitely share any good ones I find.
The Keto Recipes that Worked
The meals I’ve made while on Keto have been great. I’m someone who can totally live without pasta and potatoes, so it hasn’t been too difficult for me. Here are the one’s I’ve tried so far:
This casserole from Genius Kitchen is ridiculously good. It tastes indulgent and everyone in my family (13 year old daughter, 10 year old son and 44 year old husband) ate it and loved it. I might cut back a smidge on the herbs next time, but this is a must try. I can’t wait to make it again this week. Totally delicious. Definitely a winner.
Soup is my favorite thing in the winter and this one from My Natural Family is a winner. I didn’t actually cook it in the crock pot because I feel like you get more flavor when you cook it on the stove, but this was still super simple and totally delicious. Instead of the crock pot, I seasoned my chicken and cooked it in the bottom of the my soup making pot first, removed the chicken then added the veggies and cooked those with seasoning in the bottom of the pot and then finally shredded the chicken and added the broth in. I always come up with much more flavorful soup when I cook it in stages like that. But the crock pot is super convenient and it will still taste delish, I’m sure.
Simple Shrimp w/ Butter & Garlic
This shrimp recipe is possibly the easiest thing on earth. It’s just cooking shrimp for about 4 minutes in butter and garlic. But it’s SO good! I eat this with broccoli or some other green veggie (green beans!) and it is so satisfying and totally simple for a busy weeknight. Luckily everyone in my family loves shrimp!
Those our my three favorites so far. I am not giving up hope on finding some great dessert options! It’s actually an integral part of the program, so I know I just have to keep trying until I find something that works. And you know I will be back to share it with you when I find a good one!
If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put a Pin In It