The Weight Loss Begins!

So, this is day four or five of the ketosis push. That involves staying at 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. That includes any time you get up in the middle of the night to sleepwalk to the fridge. I don’t do that, but I know that some people do. However, those carb grams can be counted for the next day if it’s after midnight. 😉

I ran today. It was my usual plodding 10.7 minute mile, but I kept at it for a good 30 minutes, and I did intervals. 3 minutes at 5.0-5.5 mph, followed by 3 minutes at six mph, or more. Repeat that every three minute session until 30 minutes are up. I need to get faster, but my heartbeat is still hitting the target range.

Blogging. Maybe I will never be famous, and never make enough money to retire from this. I got that reality firmly into my head over this last year. I had to decide that those things were never truly the reason, and should not be the reason for blogging.

Did I share anything that people enjoyed? Did I share a good recipe? Did I inspire even one person to help meet their goals?

If so, then I truly have succeeded, whether I have 12 followers or 1200.

The weight loss: Well, generally, the first three pounds melt off seemingly overnight, and the elation flows. If one dropped the ketosis at this point, though, it would most likely be a mistake. I’ve accidentally gone over yesterday and today by 3-5 grams, and that will slow me down. Yeah, it’s that tight, that tough, that unbelievably important to keep to 20 or less. However, don’t throw in the towel. Keep it up. Keep exercising. It may feel much harder to get motivated to move during ketosis. Be sure to keep drinking a lot of water, and move anyway. Despite feelings or motivation, KEEP AT IT. Don’t cave in, and in time, more results will come.

It’s always a while for me before I can jump up to 26 grams. My weight loss stops at 25 grams, and I start to gain at around 32-35. I think the key to success this time, that I failed at before, was keeping my fats intake high in proportion to my protein. I was eating a lot of meat before, and now I am focusing more on things like sour cream, butter, and avocados.

I can’t tell you that I am going to drop these 7-10 pounds overnight. That’s not sensible, nor realistic. When I say ‘overnight”, I mean in less than a month. That’s a lot! But within three months, I feel this goal is attainable. It’s the little decisions every day that add up to a habit, and habits add up to a lifestyle. A lifestyle sets our course in life like a rudder sets the boat’s direction. Having my ‘map’, I also arm myself with positive affirmations, and recognize that my weight and my diet are just a PART of my life.

I am ready to let this new direction of health and fitness pull other aspects of health toward me. a HEALTHY MINDSET is also very important.

I AM GREAT AS I AM. I am AMAZING. I help others. I am growing. I know how to use emotional maturity. i choose to believe the best of others. I will give more of myself for the good of others. I will look for opportunities and seize them. I am worthy of love, acceptance, and a bright future. Age is just a number. I will not stop, I will not give up, and I will not go down without a fight!

These are the things I am telling myself. I am learning to be better about managing my time and resources. I am gaining friends and my career is about to take off in a positive direction! God loves me, my family loves me, and I bring joy to my work and to others.

So, that’s what I am feeding myself. In addition to salads and avocados. 🙂

What do you tell yourself?

Advertisements

Bacon Avocado Bowl Salad!

Ah, Bacon!  I’m pretty sure we all love it. Well, I decided to go back into ketosis- requiring 20 grams of carbohydrate or less per day. So- I saw this advertisement on TV for “the bacon bowl”, so I thought I could replicate that at home. All day long I have planned to have this salad tonight. It was really delicious. Never really having had bacon cooked in the oven before, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. It was delicious! The bowl could have been more bowl shaped, but it worked out. I wove the bacon onto another of my favorite kitchen gadgets- the tortilla bowl maker. I wanted the fat to drain fairly well, so I turned it wrong side up to form my bacon bowl. This took about 15 minutes in the oven. I let it cool, gave the dog the bacon grease on her food, and made a closer friend.  Once out, I simply loaded it with my favorite salad goodies, like Baby Bel cheese, avocado, sunflower kernels, grape tomatoes, and covered it in Ranch. I used a mix of greens, as shown below. High in good fats, low in carbs, and no extra meat or eggs on top, because I really don’t need an overload of protein right now. I hope you enjoy this, and I look forward to your even better ideas! Please share!

20140108-193718.jpg

20140108-193726.jpg

20140108-193735.jpg

20140108-193746.jpg

20140108-193754.jpg

Low-Carb Product Reviews of the Month

I ordered some more products from Viva Low Carb, and am still enjoying most of them. I polished off the very tasty peanut butter cookies first!

Product Name SKU Price Qty Subtotal
Subtotal $38.95
Shipping & Handling $10.95
Grand Total $49.90
MiRico – Cinnamon Bagels – Pack of 6
643737201014
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
MiRico – Hot Dog Buns
643737201083
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
Health Express – S/F – Gluten Free- Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
643737501343
$6.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$6.99
Ed’s of Maine – Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips
649164892368
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
Great Low Carb Bread Company – Everything Bagels
757901707193
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
So, here is the invoice sheet. You can clearly see the prices, and exact items I purchased.
First, the Cinnamon Bagels by MiRico. These come in at a net carb gram count of 8. This is probably due to their sweeter constitution than the Everything  bagel, but I don’t know why that should be so. Obviously, any sugars could have been replaced by any number of the usual sweeteners for these type things- malitol, mannitol, xylitol, Sucralose, brown beet sugar, etc. Even stevia. Speaking of stevia, it seems to not be in favor as a sweetener with any of the low-carb or sugar-free baked goods available. I am not sure why that is.
The bagels are soft, tasty, and satisfying. However, today I am attempting to get back into ketosis, and I am not eating the cinnamon type for the next few days. It’s a good deal, and I had a free shipping code for Viva Low Carb . I don’t always have free shipping, so  I really wish that local grocers would carry low-carb breads. There are enough diabetics to support the sales, and they already carry low-carb tortillas, one of my mainstays, and so it wouldn’t be such a big jump. Meanwhile, there are a lot of online vendors for these, and the prices are acceptable.
The Everything Bagels by Great American Bread Company are also chewy, delicious, and have a bite like a real bagel. They also only come in at a net of 2 grams of carbs. Slather one up with cream cheese or butter, and it’s a great snack, breakfast, or other light meal. Thoroughly enjoyable, with no silly manufacturer attempts to plump it up with added protein powder or some gritty flour substitute.
The Health Express Sugar and gluten free peanut butter cookies were really quite yummy. I  finished those off much faster than I should have. But that just speaks to their quality- Ok, and my sweet tooth! They have a crispy start that melts into a chewy finish, with no artificial sweetener aftertaste or bitter bite. I really need to get some more of those. I would have appreciated a larger ounce size on those for the money. All my attempts to make something like this at home have been dismal failures. On the other hand, I really should spend more time at the http://www.Ibreatheimhungy.com website, Mellissa has some wonderful recipes and great ideas!
The Mi Rico hot dog buns. Well, my batch was a bit over-browned. The bite is very chewy and screams “Hearty grains”, and would have made  a great recipe for a toasting or eating bread, but was too overpowering for a hot-dog bun. They are very fiber-rich and somewhat seedy and again- not the greatest for a hot dog bun. I would have liked a softer chew, and less hearty richness. How could that be done? Well, the Everything bagel dough would have been perfect, sans seeds, shaped into a bun. Let’s just say that. The one good quality of the buns though is that at least they don’t have that ‘full- of- cellulose- because -we- didn’t- know -what else- to- do- to -make- them- taste- like -bread” chew to them. So again, they DID taste a lot like real bread. Just too hearty for a hot dog bun.
The KALE chips. This was my first try of any kale chip, packaged or otherwise. I can only say that the ‘sour cream and onion’ concentrate powdered flavoring all over them was way too much. It gave the entire thing a fake, sour flavor that was NOT enjoyable. I think homemade kale chips with just a bit of salt and spice would have been preferable. I left the majority of them in the break room for the staff, and there seemed to be no takers.
So, there’s the review from Viva Low Carb. I am always looking to find not just reasonable substitutes, but preferable ones in my low-carb lifestyle.
One honorable mention: On a previous order, that I did not review here, I ordered several Desserts of Distinction mini-cheesecakes from Viva Low Carb. They are excellent. I’ve had them before, and they are always really good. They are a bit pricey, but small and freezer-ready, so you can always have them on hand. At 2 grams of of carbs per cake, they are satisfying and worth the  money for the occasional order. I am ready to try some new products, and am looking for companies who want to pay me in product to review those items on my blog.  I will be honest, and if I don’t like something, I will tell it like it is, as I have been doing.
Let me know what your favorite low-carb products are, and please share!

I’m BACK!

Well, it’s been what feels like a very long vacation from the blog. I have been fairly naughty over the holidays, like many of us, and I am ready to get back on the low-carb wagon. I think tomorrow I will get back under 20 grams and pursue ketosis again! I have been running, beginning in December. I have run 21 miles and done a lot of crunches and ab work. However, that does not cause me to lose pounds. Maybe that’s ok, since I am still feeling stronger and leaner. The bad news I have been slowly breaking to us all is that my weight is up from an all time low of 123, which my family said was too little, to a now weight of 135-7. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not even overweight. But it’s not my ideal. I’ve decided that 126-130 is my ideal weight, and so in order to lose that 7-10 pounds, I have to get pretty strict again.
I’ve been happy with RunKeeper on my i-phone. It allows me to track all of my workouts, and I can set reminders that will prompt me of days I had pre-set to run, and it also keeps track of my total mileage and whether or not I am getting faster, or running longer- or not.

Reminders that I have found helpful are to remember that getting into ketosis is more about FATS, not protein, and keeping my carb count to less than 20 grams per day.

So, today and the last few days, I’ve probably been eating around 35-50 grams per day, which is really too much. This is too much for me to maintain my weight, even with running. So, back to the grind we go.

It’s not about a one-time dash to the finish, it’s about a long-term marathon. There will be good days and bad days, but you don’t give up. You get BACK up!

Tomorrow’s blog will be about my first day in pursuit of ketosis. Also, I am going to review some products I purchased at Viva Low Carb. These are items I chose for myself, and paid for. They include low-carb hot dog buns, two types/brands of bagels, and some really yummy peanut butter cookies, which I have already eaten and enjoyed thoroughly.

Stay tuned!

Stupid, Wonderful LIFE

No matter how drunk I have ever been, no matter how many times I’ve thrown up in that state, I never missed the toilet with my urine. Why is that?

I like the idea that I am actually a free-agent at work. Since the new reality in the USA is for low-to-mid level retail workers such as myself, part time work is the new reality , no matter how great you may be, I enjoy pretending that my 3-4 days off per week are my choice.

I enjoy perusing Craigslist for jobs that I am not qualified for. My overactive imagination allows me to picture myself doing the job, then the entire length of the career, and the interesting conclusion, without even ever applying!

I usually feel as though I don’t have any skills that are really vital or appreciated in society. This is the result of low confidence combined with feeling mostly ignored at large. According to “The Secret”, I am attracting being ignored, and any lack of talent and skill is simply a result of poor thinking. The law of the universe…I have been focusing on what I want- recognition and fat stacks. I am still focusing. Somebody help me out.

I feel young and old at the same time. I just turned 45. My sex drive is voracious, but my gray hairs are multiplying. Isn’t that strange? I guess my body is trying to maximize my few fertile remaining years to best production. But science tells me that my eggs are few and puny at this point. Plus, my tubes have been tied since age 26. So, the body isn’t all knowing after all.

I still have dreams, but sometimes I feel a large part of me is still 19, waiting for my life to begin, and not knowing where to start. I’ve never really had a HUGE dream that I clung to, that carried me all throughout my life. As things arose, I embraced them. Things I have always loved- dreaming, music, and feeling. Reading was my salvation as a child. I spent so much time in fiction, I guess I never came down to Earth much. When I finally did, I feel like everything had passed me by.

I was lost until age 19. Like most, I didn’t know I was lost until my life hit rock bottom. I asked a God I didn’t know to save my soul. Since then, I am still a sinner, still a crazy fool. Thank God for grace and forgiveness. I need it every day.

A look inside my head: If you didn’t know me, and if you didn’t think of me as the low carb blogger…

Mold me, shape me. I take on my environment and the people around me. I learned early to adapt to survive. It doesn’t mean I am not real. It just means that I only show you what I think you will approve of if I care about and respect you. If I don’t respect you, I feel free to show you all of what I am. For better or worse.

I should have been an actress. I used to think that becoming something I was not would be impossible. Now I realize that is how I operate my entire life.

I dream of things that cannot be as though they already are. I wonder if I am insane. I love my body and hate it , too. I embrace the light but play too much in the dark junk yard of my mind.

I am standing in a junk yard at night. You have a flashlight, but I don’t really need it. I don’t notice details that you do, and you don’t notice the poignant details that I do. You look for parts, I look for the stories behind the deployed air bag, the angle of the rear-view mirror and the tiny shards of stained glass that splatter the front seat. I see people, feel the resignation, feel the pain.

I was ten. I found a mattress in the dumpster. It was stained with many shades of blood and plasma. I felt the anguish, the sick, deep, dark hopelessness. I felt Hell and heaven and all the weight of the entire world upon my being. It soaked into my soul-my deepest perceptive senses were suddenly very acquainted with grief. In the instant that I stared, I absorbed a feeling that was not mine, but became mine. I owned this, but knew it not. Later, I was told that the mattress belonged to our upstairs neighbor. She shot herself in that bed.

I don’t know. What is it? I saw a photograph in the Time magazine when I was sixteen that showed the ovens where Jews were cooked. I saw the death camps. I didn’t actually SEE the photos as though they were a piece of history. My analytic mind was silenced. All I did was soak it in. I was revolted and horrified. Tears sprung to my eyes. I cannot tell you now that this was not just compassion and shock. But I KNOW it was much different than that. I was there. I FELT it. I can’t live in those places very long. I have to leave. I spend so much time trying to make a mark on the world, but I can never undo the mark it has left on me. I remember the day I learned about the potential of the nuclear bomb, the JFK assassination, and the 9-11 disaster. All I could do was hide in music, cry, and pray. I can tell you that I am not strong enough for the evil of this world. I can only call on Jesus. I can’t do it alone. The evil finger that occasionally reaches out to freeze and terrorize my heart can only be stopped by Him.

Life. The best things- love, selfless sacrifice, innocence of mind- the purity of music…the beauty of a smile. These things I cling to, but I never have felt, and never will feel, as though I fit into this world. I am a stranger here. As much as I am a part of this ancient Earth, and my body will return to it, I don’t really belong here. I have no real friends. I have family. I have people who love me. But, I never seem to get too close to many.

I inhaled the beautiful aroma I doused myself in. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, and perfume. I spent time carefully concealing dark spots on my face, red nose and chin, dark circles under my eyes. I spent more time scrunching my curls,plucking the grays, applying cellulite reduction cream, but the truth is never far from my mind, None of this matters. Not at all. This is just a shell. But this shell is perfectly designed to have me survive this planet. I have to keep it healthy. I fart. This ruins it all and makes reality even more important. I am really stinky inside. Gross.

On to more important things. The mind. What I think, I am . So I practice thinking beauty, health, love, and peace. These are among the most important things. I always believe that I am safe and secure. And so I am. Nothing threatens me.

Daily chores begin. I wash and fold. I sort and hang. I scrub and organize. But deep inside this productive feeling is a small child who doesn’t get any of it, the importance of it. That girl wants to spin, skip, and dance, and forget every ugly thing of this world. Then I go to work. I treat every person as if they are the most important person in the world. Sometimes I don’t feel they really are. I do it anyway.

I fear that everyone’s love is false. I don’t believe in flattery. Nobody is my age. I am older or younger than everyone. Nobody knows my age. Nobody knows ME.

I love smooth river rocks. I love dry river beds, and roaring white water. I love deep pools of clean, clear water. I love eyes that are full of light. I love proficiency and speed. I love brown, and blue, and green. I love deep red, the sunny blue sky, and ice cream.

I love my children. No matter how old they become, they are my children.

I love all that is right, good, and awesome. I hate my restless spirit.

I will write the great American novel…eventually. I know that the people I love also love me. That is enough Most all the time. I still am just a drifter, a dreamer, a wanderer, and schemer. Yet, I never want more for you than a sweet lullaby, or less than to feel the beauty of the sunrise, the warmth of the sun on your skin , and that you know- deep in your soul- that all the sweetness and love you find in others is just reflecting off your own magnificent and large heart.

I get depressed. Easily. I am an addictive personality. Pain makes me apologize. I love cats. I rely too much on feeling. I am an empath. I can be apathetic, but I hate living that way.

I will write more fiction and poetry soon. Hope to see you there.

Update to Let’s Get Real – The Day …and The Dinner

Gentle Readers,

Turns out I did a little of good, and ‘bad’ today. I did go on a run. 3.5 creeping miles. I ate a good, low-carb dinner. I also drank a bit of beer , but at least it was Light beer. I cleaned up the house like a whirling dervish, and I am did also eat a few squares of sugar-free chocolate. So, it was a mixed bag of my usual tricks. Some of them were real treats.

Let’s look at dinner. Literally. I called this creation Turkey and green been Alfredo. In the mix was a lovely Ciao Carb pasta product I have just tried for the first time tonight, and really enjoy.

I will show you the easy steps, and product choices.

Image

So, this Proto-Pasta from Viva Low Carb online is quite satisfying. A whole cup of it is only coming in at 10 grams net carb count. The flavor and texture, with the sauce, was quite delicious.  By the way, Viva Low Carb nor Ciao Carb have given me one red cent or even so much as a coupon to talk about their products. They do not know I exist. Well, they know when I order, but that’s about it.

Image

These are the frozen turkey patties. With the sauce I used, Ragu light Alfredo, no salt was needed, as I found out later. The garlic was a great idea, though. Obviously, you could use beef, tofu, chicken, or cuts of beef in this recipe. It’s basically meat, sauce, veggie of your choice, add sauce. Really not difficult. Maybe you hate green beans but like broccoli. This would be great with chicken and broccoli. I used what I had, and what I was in the mood for.

As the meat cooked, I broke it into bite size pieces, cooking on medium. This allowed it to cook faster, as well. I added the green beans, some chopped green onion, garlic, and then the Ragu sauce. I mixed this up as it simmered, and finally added grated Parmesan cheese. Actually, it was the Green can version. It was cheap, easy, and good. Just how I like my dinner after a long run.

As you can tell, this is very versatile and super easy. The great find was the low-carb pasta, but if you are in the beginning stages of Atkin’s, of some of the other popular paleo diets, etc., you may not be ready for this. I’ve had many a meal that were just meat, veggies, and sauce. That’s great, too! Enjoy!

Let’s Get Real

I started this low-carb blog with several purposes in mind. First, I wanted to flex my typing fingers and actually write. I never intended to post strictly about low-carb eating, despite my blog’s title. Next, it’s good to be in a like-minded group of other low-carbers, to offer up strategies, recipes, and most importantly, support.  Finally, it feels good to write again. I would love to tell you how I am such a great writer, that I’ve been discovered and asked to write for magazines. That hasn’t happened. It’s a sobering ego-check to realize that you’re probably not that great. Then again, I usually just sit down and bang these blog posts out with very little planning or editing. You get back what you put out, to a large degree. I have not wanted to post anything here that might be good enough to plagiarize. That’s my excuse, and I like it.

As to low-carb weight loss! I am now maintaining my weight at about 132. That’s up from my all time low, as you may recall, of 122. I am certainly not depressed over being 132. I was at 147, even an all time high of 155 at one point, and I have no plans to return there. However, I would like to examine why it is that my weight has crept up.

1) I’m not holding myself to a strict 20-25 grams per day. I could not realistically continue to maintain that low carb count for two straight years. Maybe I could have, I take that back, but I didn’t.

2) In addition to playing fast and loose with the numbers, I have allowed more cheat days to creep in. There’s a bad habit our bakery department has at work of leaving mistakenly made or not-picked-up items in the break room for the employees to devour. After about the third or fourth time of walking by it, sitting next to it, and smelling it- after seeing so many other employees of all weights and sizes partake, I am only human. I cave. Incidents like these have happened more frequently as summer has come to a close. Is it just me, or does it get harder to eat right at this time of year? Every brother and their mother is bringing baked goods to work, and I even bought some canned pumpkin, which I have not opened yet. Then, my birthday is coming up, and I am already planning my splurge day.

3) Running.” You’ll get smaller,” they said. “It’s all muscle weight”, they said. I don’t know about all of that, but it seems the more I run, the more I gain. “Run more”, they said. “I’ve had enough this week!”, I said. Truth be told, I feel quite accomplished to run at ALL. I don’t know that I want to up the ante and get to 15-20 miles a week. I’ve been good at my 2-3k, 2-3 times per week. Sorry if that’s not good enough, all you hard-core runners. In fact, sometimes it’s even less. My neck and shoulders have been aching due to some sort of bone/muscle issue I’ve had off and on for years, and I haven’t run since 10-14. I did four miles that day.

4) I make the mistake of eating sugar free treats because I miss sweetness. I  have always had a huge sweet tooth, and sometimes it’s actually a fang. I eat the stuff, and I have lots of gas and frequent trips to the bathroom for hours or a day when I do. Sorry to be so graphic, but that’s why I called this post, “Let’s Get Real”. It’s not like it’s all sunshine and roses over here. I struggle to stay on low-carb, and sometimes I really run off the path and get lost in the Black Forest (cake).

So, what am I doing right? Why haven’t I gained all the weight back? Why haven’t I just given up completely?

What I am doing right: I exercise for health and heart strength, strong bones and muscles above weight loss concerns. Though I need to be more consistent, I have not given up. I keep getting back on that treadmill and doing those crunches and planks.

I still eat the majority of time in low-carb mode, including snacks. String cheese, nuts, raw veggies and ranch were yesterday’s snacks. Dinner was kielbasa and green beans with a light alfredo sauce. I was satisfied. I buy no-carb bagels online that are mostly soy protein. I drink almond milk. I enjoy eggs, bacon, and plenty of salad regularly.

I don’t throw in the towel and give up just because I splurged one day, or even on two occasions in a week, for example. I start all over the next day, attempting to balance things out.

I resign myself to the knowledge that if I really want to lose about eight pounds fairly rapidly, I will go back to eating only 20 grams of carbs per day, until I reach that goal. Turns out I am not feeling like I have to right now.

Finally, I remember that cravings for certain foods are not just physical. They are psychological and even spiritual for me. My natural desires can either be directed toward healthy habits and hobbies, or destructive ones. For example, if I am off of work, sitting here on the couch, contemplating what to do with my day, I have choices. I can involve myself in housework, work on my blog, chat with friends on Facebook, or go outside and play with my play-deprived dog. That would be constructive behavior.  OR, I can dump some food in her bowl, get in the car and do some mindless shopping for things I don’t need and can’t afford. I might throw beer or wine into my cart, with plans to enjoy it later. I might buy more sugar free foods, or another makeup item i don’t need. This is destructive behavior. Even worse, I might just never get off the sofa, watching TV all day- a huge creativity and productivity killer, with plans to work out on this gorgeous, sunny fall day, that never actually materialize.

I don’t always make the right choices. Do you? Are you the super-motivator? Are you so regularly spectacular that you are a motivational speaker now and have a couple of books published? Does Tony Robbins consult YOU? If so, congratulations. Enjoy every  moment of the fame, success, and all that life has to offer.  Wow, am I bitter?

🙂 Anyway, there’s more to life that feeding our faces or our desires. My mom is probably sitting on her sofa, wishing she could even leave her home and do anything other than suck on that oxygen tube. There are a lot of people not too far from us who could use something we have to give. I have to give. TIme, love, friendship.

Take care!