Health Progress, Keto Basics, Open Blog, Pregnancy, Supplements, Uncategorized

Miracles Do Happen!

It’s still really early and there are some things that still worry me, but I’m excited to tell you that I’m pregnant!  My body repaired itself enough to actually get pregnant!!  What?!?  It’s so dang crazy, I can hardly believe it myself.

I did Keto so that I could get healthy and have a chance at getting pregnant.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would work.  I mean, 20 years ago a high-profile Endocronologist told me that I have PCOS (polycycstic ovarian syndrome) and that in no uncertain terms would I ever get pregnant.  He added that if I do get pregnant that I would surely miscarry.  That was 1998, just before I turned 18 and graduated from High School.

Over the years, more has been learned about PCOS (though still not much) and many women have gotten pregnant and had babies.  It gave me hope, but in the back of my mind I always remembered what that one doctor told me…and it was confirmed by the fact that I never got pregnant.  In some ways it was a relief.  If I never got pregnant, then I never had to worry about having miscarriages and lose the baby.  I also didn’t have to worry about my health problems becoming the problems of my baby, which were pretty bad, if I never had a baby.

Did I ever not want children?  No.  It was like a biological need that was so strong coupled with the fact that I want to prove the medical field wrong.  I just wanted a baby to love and care for.    There were times that I thought I might be pregnant but never got a positive test.  I’m aware if was probably wishful thinking and uncontrolled hormones causing me to think it was possible.  It was a let down every time.  It became a game over the years that I almost wouldn’t want to take the pregnancy test because as soon as I took it, the possibility of being pregnant went away.  (I’m not an idiot.  I realize this is crazy.  But sometimes its nice to have hope.)

In this serious about my pregnancy, I want to talk with you about how I improved my health and actually got pregnant.  I will keep updating the blogs to you can follow along with how things are going with me and the pregnancy.  I hope this provides some hope to just one person out there.  If you want children and can’t have any, there still may be hope for you.

To get the notifications about the postings, please click on the Follow button.  If you have questions, comments or would like to share your story to give others hope, be sure to write in the comments section below.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!  -Rebecca

inflammation, Open Blog, Uncategorized

Dealing with Inflammation

I have terrible inflammation.  It hurts and I know its a symptom of something worse going on inside my body.  In today’s blog I’m going to offer some ideas on how to deal with this inflammation and swelling using my experiences and some found during research that I have yet to try. (Yesterday’s blog: Inflammation & You)

#1: Chronic inflammation is a serious problem and should be discussed and presented to a medical professional, which I am not.  I’m just a regular person whose had some experiences to share.

#2: It’s really important to identify what is causing the inflammation.  It’s natural to want to treat the inflammation because it can come with some mild to severe pain, can limit your range of motion and just be unsightly in general.  I hate when I can’t fit into my wedding ring because my fingers have become swollen sausages!

#3: After you’ve identified the root causes (#2), you need to deal with them.  It’s of no help to know what’s causing the problems but ignore it.  Basically, you’re going to need to get healthy and heal yourself.  This can be done in many ways, but you definitely want the support and guidance from your doctor or you could be risking making things worse.

Sometimes, you come across something that impacts your life and things change for the better.  Sometimes these great changes improve other areas that you were not intending.  Personally, I desperately want to have children with my husband.  I’m overweight and have serious health problems, like PCOS (polycycstic ovarian syndrome), anxiety and allergies with a lovely (not really) chronic sinus infection.  Most of my health issues are intertwined but are easily seem as different issues.

I’ve had a lot of failures but the many doctors that I have seen seem to think that if I just lose weight I should have no problem getting pregnant.  Having PCOS makes it dang near impossible and being sick with sinus infections keeps me in bed a lot making it difficult to go to the gym and workout.  I’m a mess.

I am happy to share that I am far less a mess today that I was even 1 year ago.  I stumbled across Keto from a friend at work and I am so grateful!  Not only is it easy to follow, I’m not hungry all the time, or crabby, or starving…and it worked!  Not only has it been working, I’m getting healthier in more ways that just losing weight!  And, I’m also having success with improving my other health issues, like anxiety.  I went in to try to lose some weight and now my hormones and blood sugar are balanced and where they should be, I’m no longer a prediabetic, I’ve seen improvements with my mental health and I’ve really seen a difference in my inflammation!

It took a long time to identify that I had anxiety issues.  I thought I was losing my mind and doctor’s couldn’t figure it out either.  Mostly it’s the anxiety and burnt adrenal glands that seem to impact my inflammation the most.  Now, I have noticed that I can handle more stress (good or bad) before a reaction…and, when I do have a reaction, the inflammation goes away much more quickly.  I’m loving this improvement and it gives me hope that one day I might be done with it altogether.

For me, the ketogenic diet really helped me to address many mental and physical health issues that I have.  In addition, I take supplements and prescribed medications to address the problems individually.  Technically, I do not do anything in efforts to rid myself of the inflammation as it is now healing itself.  It kind of helped me to know that the swelling was a reaction to something else going wrong.

Whatever you do, follow the three steps above to begin dealing with your inflammation.  It’s so important that we do not ignore this as just something that happens.  Swelling and inflammation should not be ignored because its your body telling you that something is seriously wrong!

Here are a few things you might want to ask your doctor about or research to help address inflammation:

  • Adrenal and cortisol relief herb/supplement…I like the one from Dr. Berg but just started the one from Mother’s Market and don’t see much difference.
  • Avoid or limit certain foods that may increase or irritate inflammation: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, margarine, vegetable oils, grains and grain flours (breads and pastas), french fries, alcohol, processed meats, MSG, aspartame (most diet sodas), too much protein, dairy (milk, heavy whipping cream,
  • Add certain foods that help reduce inflammation: fresh fish (not farmed), tomatoes, avocado and olive oils, avocados, green leafy veggies (kale, spinach, etc), strawberries, blueberries,  nuts, coffee (but don’t go too crazy), garlic, spices and herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, curcumin, chili peppers), green tea, onions

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please write in the comments section below.  I’m hoping that this helps even one person out there in this world to feel better and know that something can change for the better.  Also, if you would like to share your experiences with inflammation, please add it to the comments below so that you too can potentially help others.

Feel free to follow this blog to be notified of new postings and share the information to help others!

PS-Tomorrow I’m interviewing a nutritionist today about inflammation and I could not be more excited!  I will be recording my first video for many months and will let you know what it’s posted on YouTube for your enjoyment.  Keep a look out!

Health Progress, Keto Basics, Open Blog, Uncategorized

Inflammation & You

What do you know about inflammation?

Quite honestly, when I thought of inflammation pre-keto I mostly thought about the way my fingers and neck swell in response to a stressful event in my life.  I didn’t realize that inflammation has such a huge impact on the body.  I had no idea that inflammation is a symptom of something more, as well as being adding strain to other areas of your health.

It seems that it doesn’t matter if the stress/anxiety is caused because of joy and happiness or drama and a heavy heart, my body still responds with an inflammatory response in a negative way.  In the year that I have been following the ketogenic life, I have noticed a real change in my inflammation.  It takes more stress to cause a reaction and it resolves itself much more quickly.

In addition to following keto and avoiding foods to avoid inflammatory response (except dairy…I’m just not there yet), I’ve worked really hard to get my anxiety under control, remove unnecessary stress, added supplements that support my adrenal glands and cortisol responses and allowed myself time to heal.  The latter seems to be the most important.  Nothing is an overnight success but requires time and effort to allow the body to heal.

Definition:  According to Medicinet.com, inflammation is “A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a result of infection, irritation, or injury.”

Additional information about health risks and issues associated with inflammation:

Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. … In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues.” -WebMD

I read an interesting article from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Inflammation that I recommend you checking out.  The basic gist is that inflammation can be good to protect you, but it can also cause problems, including, “arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, blindness, cancer, diabetes and, quite possibly, autism and mental illness,” which are obviously bad.  It can even kill you (that’s the ugly, in case you were wondering).

In what ways does inflammation impact you?
What has helped you with your inflammation?

Did you know you can be having inflammation as an allergic response?  This week I will be interviewing Laura Maldonado, a Nutritionist with information that can help us all with improving our health through Keto, paying close attention to identifying and dealing with inflammation.

Stay tuned for the interview video to be posted on YouTube.  For up to date information, be sure to follow this blog and join the BeckDoes keto support group on Facebook for shared experiences, recipes, mildly humorous memes/jokes, and the support of those trying to improve their health.

Extra note: the image is from Violet from Willy Wonka and the Choclate Factory.  I thought it was fitting because when I have issues of inflammation I feel just like this.  Well, not blue, just round and uncomfortable.

Health Progress, Open Blog, Uncategorized

Anxiety & Keto, my experience

I’ve been doing Keto now for 1 year and 15 days.  But I’ve been dealing with anxiety for much longer.  Before I began Keto I was doing fairly well and was stable on my medication.  I saw these two, Keto and anxiety, as very separate not thinking one could have an impact on the other.

Technically, when I started Keto, I think I was off my Lexapro for almost a month.  I think many of us find that Keto has greatly helped improve mental health but seems to make it spark up at the beginning.  In combination of excess work/life stress and the beginning of Keto, I had to go back on Lexapro and stabilize.

It wasn’t until about April 2018 that my psychologist suggested that I try again.  She really felt that I was ready.  She was also super supportive on Keto.  I had to wait until the end of the school year because I knew from last summer it would cause some problems.

July 2018 I started stepping down from the Lexapro to 7.5mg daily

August 2018 – 5.0mg daily

September 2018 – 2.5mg daily

And in about 10 days I will be on 0mg of lexapro daily.

Each time I dropped I had a freak out/panic attack.  This last step really has me going though.  This is my second panic attack and I just want this all to stop.  It’s totally worth it because I hate this feeling and I don’t want to go through this withdraw again.

When it gets bad I take my prescribed Ativan to help me calm down.  The part that I hate the worst, more than being frustrated and irritable about every little thing, it feels like I’m jittery with electricity throughout my body.  It feels like my heart is pounding but I am sitting on my bed doing not much of anything.

You might be wondering why I’m writing about my anxiety on a Keto blog.  The fact of the matter is that Keto effects every single aspect of your mental and physical health.  Sometimes it can be a little rough in the beginning, especially if you’re already having an issue with anxiety, but after that little bump, there is nothing but a brain healing itself.

Keto has helped me more than group and individual therapy, medication, stress reduction, and meditation ever has.  Everything I could do was to help me identify and cope with my issues.  I really couldn’t do much to help heal my brain.

I started Keto without the goal of improving mental health but am excited to tell you that Keto really does help with brain issues.  Now, I am not a medical professional.  This is my experience.  I ask that you use common sense and the advice of your medical professionals.  But don’t be afraid to add Keto to your regime.

If I had known Keto could help my brain heal itself, I think I would have tried it sooner.  It’s was a pleasant surprise.

What are your experiences with Keto and mental health?  Have you had any improvements?

Long story short, I’m 10 days from being off of my medication and I attribute this all to Keto.  I expect a few bumps after I’m completely off, a few bad days that I should keep myself from other humans so I don’t freak out and take it out on them.

___________________________________________________________

For those of you who haven’t ready about my anxiety adventures before in this blog.  I’m sharing because when I looked for information about how people got off their anxiety medications and their experiences, I simply couldn’t find it.  It was scary for me.  I hope that someone can benefit from me sharing my story in some way.

Please take care of yourself.

Previous posting: Getting off Medication

 

 

Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics: Favorite Recipes, Part IV

Getting your body into ketosis is easy.  You don’t need any special diet supplements or drinks or anything crazy.  You don’t need to pay for classes to learn about keto.  What you need is access to free resources and food.  It’s that simple.  The resources help you learn more about the specifics of what to eat and when.  The food is what you need to get your body into a healthy, fat burning machine.

There are tons of Keto recipes online, in cookbooks and shared among friends.  And yet, it is still so hard to find a great recipe that actually tastes good!  It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is.  If I’ve learned anything about cooking Keto over the past year, it’s that difficult recipes are rarely worth the effort.  Complicated recipes are time consuming, require a lot of (sometimes) usual ingredients, are difficult to follow properly…and, after all of this, the taste doesn’t reflect the efforts and resources.

If you’re looking for a few great recipes, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are a few recipes that my family and I all love, are easy to make, are keto-friendly to help you stay with your macros, and above all, taste great!

FYI: This blog got really long.  So I’m splitting it up by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks & Desserts (here).  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think it’ll be worth it because I have some great recipes and information which include eating out!

Snack Ideas:

Cucumbers w/ Ranch

Cucumbers are amazing!  They’re easy to find at the store, they can be eaten raw with or without the skin (I buy organic and eat the skin), they can be used as something crunchy and even as a cracker replacement.  Am I crazy enough to think a cucumber is a crack?  NO!  But you can use cucumber slices as a vehicle to put other things in your mouth, like tuna salad or dip.

Ranch can be tricky.  You need to monitor the nutritional information and ingredients label to make sure you don’t get something with ridiculous sugar and whatnot.  I’m in love with Bolthouse Farms’ Yogurt Ranch dressing.  It’s 2g carbs per 2 tbsp and it totally worth it.  You can buy this just about everywhere, including Walmart, but it’s in the salad section and cannot be found on the shelf with other dressings and condiments.

1/2 cup of cucumber slices:

  • 7.8 calories
  • 1.6g net carbs
  • 0.1g fat
  • 0.3g protein
  • Lots of vitamins, minerals, sterols
  • 49.5g water

2 tbsp ranch dressing:

  • 45 calories
  • 3g net carbs
  • 3g fat
  • 1g protein

Note: I can eat a cucumber straight.  I love to just cut 1/2 of an Organic English/Hothouse cucumber and munch on it with or without any sauce or dressing to dip it in.  I love it!

Salted, Roasted Almonds, Pecans and Macadamia Nuts

I like to keep an eye out for a good sale on keto-friendly nuts that have high fat, moderate protein and low carb.  Macs (macademia nuts) seem to be the most expensive but have the best macros, so I go crazy when I see them on sale on Amazon or my local market. 

At my home, I like to keep a good stock of roasted, salted almonds, pecans and macadamia nuts to just grab and go.  Sometimes life happens and we need a quick and easy go-to food.  The reason I prefer them salted is because on keto you need to add more salt to your diet and if it’s already salted that is less for me to think about!

We do keep other nuts in the house like walnuts, cashews and peanuts.  But these don’t have such idea macros, so we enjoy them sparingly…or if we want nuts and I’m out of the previously mentioned variety.

Note: I’m not generally a fan of pecans or walnuts on their own.  I usually use them for cooking and baking.  A great idea is to melt some sugar-free chocolate, like Lily’s mentioned below, mixed with some coconut oil and cover the nuts you don’t love on their own.  That is a really tasty, chocolatey treat!  It’s okay to spoil yourself once in a while!

Quest Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips

I’m a crazy huge fan of these Quest Protein products.  I have yet to try the protein powder, but I have tried the chips and cookies.  Well, most of them.  Their newest creation are tortilla chips and they have great crunch and mouth feel.  The flavors are insane.

While my husband and I liked the flavor of the Ranch Tortilla Chips, it has some sugar in it.  So our actual pick is the Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips.  Oh my gosh.  These are both like eating Doritos!!

I haven’t found these at the store, not even the specialty stores.  But you can buy them directly from QuestNutrition.com with 8 single serving bags per box.  It’s a bit pricey at about $2 per bag, but the macros are great (140 calories, 4g net carbs, 4.5g fat and 19g protein), and it’s a wonderful treat on occasion!

Dessert:

Fresh Berries w/ Whipped Cream

Need dessert but want something fresh, simple and satisfying?  This is a favorite in my home and can be customized with crunchy bits of nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes.

Base ingredients include: heavy whipping cream HWC), Swerve or Lakanto, vanilla extract, and fresh berries of choice.

Put very cold HWC in a cold bowl with vanilla extract and sweetener (I prefer Lakanto), and whip until you get stiff peaks.  Put fresh berries in a serving bowl.  Top with your whipped cream…and if you would prefer, add sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, shredded or flaked coconut.

Crap.  This is so good!  It’s high in fat and isn’t too crazy on carbs as you’ll be getting most of the carbs from the fruit.

The macros really vary based upon the ingredients and types of berries you use.  Just put what you’re making for yourself into your digital tracker, like Carb Manager, and it will tell you the macros.

I generally have 1/4 cup of mixed berries, 1/2 cup of whipping cream, a 1 tsp salted sunflower seeds and maybe a sprinkle of hemp hearts.

Lily’s Chocolate Bar or Choc Zero Almond Bark

It’s necessary in my home to always have some low-carb sugar-free chocolate on hand.  I like Lily’s Creamy Milk chocolate bars as they’re easy to get (Sprouts and Whole Foods).  They taste amazing but I get horrible gastrointestinal issues when I eat my 1/2 of a bar.  It’s so sad because I love them so much!  I get this reaction from the erythritol.  My husband, like most people, don’t have any issues at all.  I seem to do fine with the baking chips, but that might be because there aren’t that many.

The ChocZero chocolate is also amazing.  Instead of being sweetened with erythritol, they use mink fruit.  It tastes great and I don’t have any smells farts after.  I have to buy these from Amazon, so it’s not always as easy to get them.  I’ve also dried the milk chocolate and dark chocolate almond bark.  I’m usually a fan of milk chocolate, but hands down, the dark chocolate almond bark is my favorite!  I buy 2 orders every time we are running low (so I get 4 boxes with 6 bars each…24 servings) for about $35.  My only problem with the ChocZero is that is has to be mailed, which some times means the chocolate can melt in transit and resolidifies.  If this happens, just contact Amazon or ChocZero and they’ll gladly refund your money or replace them.  I totally think it’s worth getting a replacement…it’s worth the trouble, trust me!

Both of these bars are great options if you’re looking for low-carb, sugar-free chocolate that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  My husband and I both love them a great deal and definitely recommend trying them both.

Quest Protein Cookies

I mentioned the Quest line earlier in this post under snacks.  And let me tell you, I love these cookies.  I don’t have to bake any thing this summer because I can enjoy a peanut butter, chocolate chip or double chocolate chip cookie with little to no effort.

These cookies taste amazing, have decent macros (though high in protein) and will meet your need for a cookie.  It tastes like a real cookie to me.  A real, big cookie with good density and flavor.  My favorite depends upon my mood.  Sometimes it’s either peanut butter or chocolate chip.

I buy these from Amazon or QuestNutrition directly.  You get 12 in a box and it costs about $25 per box.  I try to keep a box or two in the house so we can grab and go.  In addition to these being a great sweet treat, these cookies also make a decent meal replacement if you’re in a pinch.  Obviously it’s better to eat real food, but life happens and that can’t always happen.  Extra tip: don’t leave it in your purse too long or it will get crushed at the bottom and become a crumby mess.  It’ll still taste good but doesn’t feel like a cookie anymore.

There are so many great recipes.  I’ve given you a few ideas and hope you find this helpful.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and meal ideas.  There are more, but I wanted to give you three for each category so I didn’t overwhelm you.  You’ll probably notice that none of it is some crazy bread alternative…that’s on purpose.  Keto Bread isn’t bread, so don’t waste your time.  The only one that has worked for us is the Cheesy Bread/Keto Bagel Loaf.

Be sure to follow this blog to get notifications of blog postings by clicking on the Follow button.

I always recommend having a support group of fellow Keto’ers to help you.  You can even check out my group Beck Does Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  We all share a lot of helpful information, encouraging messages and recipes!

Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics: Favorite Recipes, Part III

Getting your body into ketosis is easy.  You don’t need any special diet supplements or drinks or anything crazy.  You don’t need to pay for classes to learn about keto.  What you need is access to free resources and food.  It’s that simple.  The resources help you learn more about the specifics of what to eat and when.  The food is what you need to get your body into a healthy, fat burning machine.

There are tons of Keto recipes online, in cookbooks and shared among friends.  And yet, it is still so hard to find a great recipe that actually tastes good!  It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is.  If I’ve learned anything about cooking Keto over the past year, it’s that difficult recipes are rarely worth the effort.  Complicated recipes are time consuming, require a lot of (sometimes) usual ingredients, are difficult to follow properly…and, after all of this, the taste doesn’t reflect the efforts and resources.

If you’re looking for a few great recipes, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are a few recipes that my family and I all love, are easy to make, are keto-friendly to help you stay with your macros, and above all, taste great!

FYI: This blog got really long.  So I’m splitting it up by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (here), and Snacks & Desserts.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think it’ll be worth it because I have some great recipes and information which include eating out!

Dinner:

Bacon-wrapped Pork Chops w/ Riced Cauliflower

My brother, who is a culinary genius, taught me how to make this amazing bacon-wrapped pork shop recipe.  It tastes so good and is actually pretty simple.  I like to pair it with all kinds of veggies or salad, but I’ll focus on riced cauliflower for now.  FYI, the pork chops were eaten way before Keto and it just happens that they fit the lifestyle perfectly 😉

Directions for Pork Chops:

Preheat oven at 400 degrees and put butter in a skillet to allow it to melt while preparing the pork chops.  Stretch the bacon and wrap a piece of bacon around the side of each pork shop, securing with a toothpick or two.  Season one side of the pork chop with Steak Seasoning and the other lightly with dried, crushed rosemary.  Place in the skillet to sear both sides (it usually takes about 5 minutes or so on each side) and then put in the oven to cook until it reaches whatever temperature pork should be to be safe.  I kind of eyeball it but it’s better to use the temperature gauge so you don’t accidentally overcook it.  When it reaches the proper temperature, remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before plating and serving.

Ingredients for Pork Chops:

  • Thick cut, boneless pork chops cut in half to make them slightly thinner
  • Bacon, at least 1 per pork chop
  • Toothpicks 1-2 per pork chop to secure the bacon
  • 2-3 tbpn butter
  • Dried rosemarry
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning

Directions for Riced Cauliflower:

I recently discovered riced cauliflower.  Honestly, I’ve known about it but I just didn’t know what to do with it or how to make it.  My taught me and it’s so delicious and easy.

Put as much cauliflower as you’d like to make into a microwavable bowl.  (Sorry, I haven’t figured out how to make it without the microwave yet.)  Microwave until warm.  I generally start with it as it’s beginning to defrost, so it’s about 5-7 minutes on High, stopping every few minutes to stir and check progress.  

Once the cauliflower is warm, add in the remainder of the ingredients.  I believe this to be a flexible and forgiving recipe, so feel free to have fun and customize your rice.  Nuke it again until it’s all nice and hot, mix it together and serve.  Yes, it’s that easy.

Ingredients for Riced Cauliflower:

  • Riced, frozen cauliflower (I get a huge bag from Costco and use about 1/2 for 4 adults and leftovers)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Dried parsley
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese (I have a baggy from Trader Joe’s that works out really well)
  • Butter

Note: This recipe is very flexible and I’ve been eyeballing the ingredients.  I think I used 1/2 huge bag of riced cauliflower, 1 tbsp dried parsley, a bunch of salt and pepper, 1/4-1/2 cup of cheese and maybe 4 tbsp butter.  Taste your creation and make some adjustments as needed.

Fathead Pizza

After we first started Keto, my husband was dying for pizza.  The man loves pizza.  And, to be honest, I really like pizza too.  It was a little bit into Keto before I discovered Fathead Pizza which is now a family favorite for Keto and non-Keto eaters alike.

The dough is simple and can handle regular pizza ingredients like sauce, cheese and a few toppings.  I discovered a few things to share with you: #1-Keep the dough thicker as it doesn’t hold together well when it’s too thin and may not satisfy your pizza needs, #2-I like mixing herbs and spices into the dough because it’s rather plain.  Our favorite is adding Everything But The Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s or Italian seasoning.

Directions:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put shredded mozzarella, cream cheese and almond flour into a microwavable bowl (I generally use my 4-cup liquid measuring cup from Pyrex)  and give it a mix.  If you’re adding extra seasoning to your dough, this is the time to add it in.  Nothing serious will happen here, you’re just trying to get a little of everything around so it makes it easier later in the process.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and check for meltiness.  You’ll want to microwave it again for 1 minute, stir and check it.  After that, you’ll want to nuke it 30 seconds at a time.

When the cheese is all melted and stirred (it’s not going to be liquid cheese, so don’t cook it that far), you’ll want to mix in an egg and stir, fold, etc. until everything is incorporated.  Trust me, it will get incorporated into a dough.  I don’t know how it all works, but it does.

Once combined, transfer dough to a large sheet of parchment paper and cover with another large sheet of parchment paper.  Use your hands or anything you’d like to smooth out the dough to the desired thickness and size.  It’s usually really hot, so if you’re using your hands like I do, you may want to have a kitchen towel on top of the top parchment paper so you don’t cook your hands too.  Take everything off the top of the dough and transfer your dough with the bottom parchment to your cookie sheet/baking pan.  Poke holes with a fork all over the dough so you don’t get big bubbles.

Put the dough in the oven for 10 minutes.  It should be getting brown and delicious.  At this point, remove the dough, carefully flip this over and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  During this time you’ll want to be cleaning up the kitchen mess and getting pizza ingredients ready to go.

When the pizza dough is done remove it from the oven and place on either your stove or a heat safe counter…no need to burn your counters and wreck them in the name of good food!  Add a little low-carb pasta, pizza, or marinara sauce, top with more mozzarella cheese and other low-carb toppings.  Put the pizza back in the oven on the top rack for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown (that’s my favorite way pizza cheese should be enjoyed).

Remove the pizza from the oven.  It’s really hot and looks like pizza.  Cut into pieces and enjoy.  It does well as leftovers, if there are leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg

Optional ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp sauce of choice…I use Victoria’s Marinara from Costco
  • 2 tsp Everything But The Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • High quality pepperoni
  • Mushroom slices
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Note: This recipe is very forgiving.  There are many postings and recipes online for Fathead dough.  Some say to include baking soda or powder but I’ve found that it isn’t totally necessary.  Enjoy this pizza!!!

Claim Jumper

I love eating out.  And I love a good steak!  Claim Jumper is a restaurant that has really good American Steakhouse food that is carby and delicious.  Did you think I would give up good food just to get healthy?  Heck no.  I just request changes to my order and I rarely have any issues.  In regards to budget, it doesn’t break the bank because one meal is split between 2 adults, so it’s pretty good, especially for eating out and a nice restaurant.  I guess you should know that I’m not a fancy-pants kind of lady.  So, Claim Jumper is about as nice a restaurant as I want to go.

We order a medium-rare porterhouse steak with lightly steamed vegetables (what they have, but it’s usually zucchini and squash), an extra order of the veggies and a salad with ranch dressing.  To be honest, it doesn’t give us much salad each, but it’s no big deal because we have plenty of veggies and steak coming right after.

This meal is so filling and delicious, it’ll make you feel like a King (or a Queen).    Could you make this at home?  Yes.  I have.  But if you’re the one person in your home that cooks, it’s nice to go out and not have to do the cooking and cleaning for the evening.  What a treat!

If you need a date-night idea, this is a good place to go eat.  If you don’t like steak, you’re a monster.  JK!  Claim Jumper actually has some really great options that are keto-friendly with a few modifications.  Ask questions, trade out some foods and watch the sauces…and you’ll be golden!

Note: About date-night.  You might not want to go to the movies after dinner because that buttery popcorn smell is so crazy enticing!  However, it’ll be tolerable because you just ate so well and won’t actually be hungry.

Click here to read Part II (lunch ideas) or Part IV (snack & dessert ideas)!

There are so many great recipes.  I’ve given you a few ideas and hope you find this helpful.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and meal ideas.  There are more, but I wanted to give you three for each category so I didn’t overwhelm you.  You’ll probably notice that none of it is some crazy bread alternative…that’s on purpose.  Keto Bread isn’t bread, so don’t waste your time.  The only one that has worked for us is the Cheesy Bread/Keto Bagel Loaf.

Be sure to follow this blog to get notifications of blog postings by clicking on the Follow button.

I always recommend having a support group of fellow Keto’ers to help you.  You can even check out my group Beck Does Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  We all share a lot of helpful information, encouraging messages and recipes!

Keto Basics, Keto Beginner, Recipes, Uncategorized

Back to Basics: Favorite Recipes, Part II

Getting your body into ketosis is easy.  You don’t need any special diet supplements or drinks or anything crazy.  You don’t need to pay for classes to learn about keto.  What you need is access to free resources and food.  It’s that simple.  The resources help you learn more about the specifics of what to eat and when.  The food is what you need to get your body into a healthy, fat burning machine.

There are tons of Keto recipes online, in cookbooks and shared among friends.  And yet, it is still so hard to find a great recipe that actually tastes good!  It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is.  If I’ve learned anything about cooking Keto over the past year, it’s that difficult recipes are rarely worth the effort.  Complicated recipes are time consuming, require a lot of (sometimes) usual ingredients, are difficult to follow properly…and, after all of this, the taste doesn’t reflect the efforts and resources.

If you’re looking for a few great recipes, you’ve come to the right place!  Here are a few recipes that my family and I all love, are easy to make, are keto-friendly to help you stay with your macros, and above all, taste great!

FYI: This blog got really long.  So I’m splitting it up by Breakfast, Lunch (here), Dinner, and Snacks & Desserts.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but I think it’ll be worth it because I have some great recipes and information which include eating out!

Lunch:

Leftover Salad

I’m a fan of using what I have as leftovers to make new meals.  I don’t like to waste, but I don’t always like to eat the same meal day after day.  So, the idea is to take leftovers and turn them into something else that’s edible.

For dinners I like to make meat and vegetables which leave me with many leftovers, especially meat.  Salads are forgiving and I have yet to find a meat that doesn’t work in the salad the next day.

Directions:

Put lettuce of choice on  a plate or in a big bowl (I love mixed greens, but any will do).  Then add all ingredients and top with some dressing and something crunchy.  You don’t have to have dressing or something crunchy, but that’s how I like it.  That’s it.  So simple.

Ingredient Suggestions to Make 1 Big Leftover Salad:

  • Lettuce or Mixed greens (3+ cups give or take)
  • 1-2 tbsp shredded cheese of choice
  • 1 tbsp salted, roasted seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower
  • 1 tsp hemp hearts
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 3-4 berries (optional)
  • 4-5 Whisps (optional, but they add more crunch)
  • 1 tbsp homemade bacon bits (optional)
  • Some leftover meat…I’ve tried shredded pork, chicken and beef, and strips of steak
  • 0-2 tbsp low carb dressing ( I like the Chunky Blue Cheese yogurt dressing from Bolthouse Farms and ACV dressing from Bragg’s) 

This Leftover Salad is easy to make, doesn’t take much time and helps you from wasting valuable food.  It tastes great and is healthy.  No one will ever know in your lunch room that your gourmet salad is leftovers put together that morning!

This filling salad is something I eat several times a week.  I also send my husband to work with this meal and he enjoys it with coworkers wondering how this is a “diet” salad with cheese and meat and dressing and crunchy bits.  LOL

Note: Practically everything in this salad is optional.  It’s a very flexible meal and you can add what you have in the house, including cucumbers, celery, a tiny bit of carrots (but they’re high carb, so be careful), pieces of high fat nuts, and even sugar free bbq sauce and ranch to make a bbq salad like they serve at Lucille’s BBQ restaurant.  It’s an easy way to get your veggies in.  I cannot recommend this more.

Chicken Wings (and Bacon) w/ Ranch

There’s a local restaurant called Bravo Burger that has the most delicious chicken wings (sans sauce…too spicy), bacon and ranch dip ever.  To be honest, I think the chicken is keto-friendly, the bacon is marginal because I’m pretty sure it’s cured in sugar, and the amazing ranch has got to have sugar in it because it is way too good. 

Not only is this meal not totally keto-friendly, but it’s somewhat expensive.  We get 1 order of chicken wings (8), 2 orders of bacon (8) and an extra ranch (2) to split between my husband and I.  I discovered dipping that thick, crispy bacon in the ranch…WHOA!  

This has inspired me to create this meal at home for much less.  It really doesn’t even require that much effort either.  Plus, it’s keto-friendly and we can eat way more…and possibly have leftovers for another day.

Directions:

Put all chicken wings into a big bowl and add seasonings to your liking.  Mix with hands or a large, strong spoon to get an even coating on all chicken pieces.  This can be done 30 minutes ahead or longer.  Even allowing an overnight marinade is great!  Bake bacon on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.  Add as many wings to the basket of your preheated air fryer as possible.  You’ll want to cook this for 10 minutes, carefully remove the basket to flip wings around and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until done.

While the bacon and wings are cooking make your own homemade dipping sauce.  I like ranch but blue cheese, another low carb sauce or even plain will work.  I prefer to mix my ranch mix, salt and pepper in with sour cream, then refrigerate as long as possible (at least 20 minutes).

When the bacon is done, take it from the oven and let sit aside on a paper towel to remove some of the bacon grease.  I have zero problem eating bacon grease, but I hate when it drips on me when I’m eating.  Annoying!  Just let it drain off a little and you’ll be good to go.  When the chicken wings are done, remove them from the air fryer and put in a big bowl.  You’ll want to salt them one last time.  Remember, we need extra salt in our keto diets because our body do not retain salt like they once did.  Salt is vital to our survival…so don’t be afraid to salt your food.

Put some wings, bacon and cold ranch on your plate and enjoy!  This also goes well with vegetables, like cucumbers, mini peppers and even raw broccoli.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken wings
  • Bacon
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt (some for the marinade, some for the chicken when it’s done cooking)
  • Cracked pepper
  • Garlic and onion powder (optional, but go light because it’s higher in carbs than you’d think)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cayenne powder or chili powder (optional but adds light heat…or high heat if you’d like)

Note: This recipe for the chicken wings is very forgiving and can take just about any spice you feel like.  I’ve also tried just salt and pepper, and an Italian seasoning version with thyme and rosemary.  In addition to plain bacon, you have to try adding freshly cracked pepper and Herbs de Provence…it is delicious!

Which Wich Sandwich Bowl

My husband has really gotten into this Keto life.  He’s really become quite mindful of what he’s eating and has a great idea about what’s keto-friendly and what he should avoid.  One day he tells me about this new lunch he loves at his old favorite sandwich shop, Which Wich.

This is a pretty good fast food restaurant and it usually isn’t too expensive, plus you can customize your order.  But, did you know that you turn any sandwich into a salad there?  And this is when I was introduced to the Wicked Sandwich Salad with spinach, mushrooms, pickles, cucumbers, double meat and cheese, bacon, avocado, olives and either ranch or mayonnaise.  It’s about $17 each but it’s 2 really good sized meals for me and there’s so much meat, cheese, and other goodies that you really don’t feel like you’re eating a salad.  It’s delicious and I recommend giving it a serious go.

Another great thing about Which Wich is that you can order from a phone app and pick it up at a scheduled time.  That means you don’t have to wait in line to order or wait for them to make it.

Saves time.  Tastes good.  Is filling.  Is a decent price when eaten as two good sized meals.  Check it out the next time you’re looking for a good meal and there is a Which Wich near you.

I have yet to try other sandwich salads here because when I find what I love I don’t really like trying new things unless I frequent the establishment often, which I don’t.  I think I probably go once a month.

What a treat!

Click here to read Part I (breakfast ideas) or Part III (dinner ideas)!

There are so many great recipes.  I’ve given you a few ideas and hope you find this helpful.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please share in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and meal ideas.  There are more, but I wanted to give you three for each category so I didn’t overwhelm you.  You’ll probably notice that none of it is some crazy bread alternative…that’s on purpose.  Keto Bread isn’t bread, so don’t waste your time.  The only one that has worked for us is the Cheesy Bread/Keto Bagel Loaf.

Be sure to follow this blog to get notifications of blog postings by clicking on the Follow button.

I always recommend having a support group of fellow Keto’ers to help you.  You can even check out my group Beck Does Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  We all share a lot of helpful information, encouraging messages and recipes!