Lunch During the Week Vs. Lunch On My Day Off

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I had the day off today so I got the southwestern salad from California Tortilla for lunch today after spending way too much at DSW. I forgot to ask for no corn or tortilla strips, but I’ve been really good lately so I just said fuck it and ate the small amount of corn and tiny tortilla strips mixed into the salad. I swapped the grilled chicken for taco meat because I’ve been hankering for a good taco salad for days now. I don’t go here often because it’s sort of out of the way for me, but it’s good when I need a change.

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I made turkey burgers for during the week. I eat a turkey burger with A-1 sauce and green beans with butter every day for lunch at work. It’s easy to throw into a Tupperware to bring to work, easy to reheat, and is filling. Since I’ve been eating this for lunch, I’ve been losing weight better. I really like the Mighty Spark burgers, which taste great and also give back to charity. Feel good food!

So far, I haven’t gotten sick of my turkey burger and green bean lunches. I figure I can swap out the veggies or change sauces if I get too bored with it!

Weekend Weigh-In: 183.8 Pounds - The Lowest I've Been in a While!

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I have been back from vacation for over a week now and I’ve been “back on the wagon” with keto since I got home. I’ve been working on losing the few pounds that came on during vacation and today I’m at a new low of 183.8 pounds. I’m so close to the 170s, I can almost taste it! Hitting the 170s will be a big victory for me. It’s my first “goal” weight. Then, it’s off to my next goal of 150 and my final goal of 135 (although my final goal could change as I get closer to there. It’s been a long time since I was THAT low so I may not want to go that low when I get there. We’ll see.)

My keto routine is probably quite boring, but it’s working so well for me that I don’t dare mix it up too much!

Breakfast: McDonald’s Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit minus the biscuit. I don’t really like the biscuits at McDonald’s so it’s pretty easy for me to just toss it aside and not worry about eating it.

Lunch: Turkey Burger with A-1 and green beans with butter. It’s quick and easy and fills me up.

Afternoon snack: Muscle Milk Banana Crème shake - I don’t really like bananas as a fruit, but as a shake - so good!

Dinner: I got the Moe’s at Home last week and that worked out well. I may do that again or just eat Chipotle or Bunless Bacon and Cheese Whoppers minus the bun since it’s a short week and I don’t feel like cooking.

Night Snack: I have my GG crackers at night - four of them with cream cheese and Everything Bagel seasoning. The added bonus, if you can call it that, is that thanks to all the fiber, you don’t want to overeat them. I’m scared to see what would happen if I ate more than four because four is enough to get you making a bathroom trip almost as soon as you wake up! They are super filling so I usually don’t need any other snacks at night after my crackers. That has really helped my weight loss.

On weekends, I don’t eat breakfast and have Chipotle or some other meat + salad type meal for lunch and then Quest Pizza or a bunless burger for dinner. If I get sick of any of it, I try something that I know is keto-friendly to keep me from getting bored. Like today, I had Panera, which I usually dread going to, but I just couldn’t eat Chipotle again! The green goddess salad is amazing and full of good stuff like chicken, eggs, bacon, and avocado.

Walmart Keto Haul

I stopped in to Walmart today to get one thing - Everything Bagel seasoning for my GG Crackers. I didn’t even get a cart. I hate going to Walmart unless it’s like super early in the morning. It’s too crazy when it’s busy! But I was desperate for my Everything Bagel seasoning because I ran out last night. As I entered the store, I decided to swing by the prepared foods area to see what they had. I had been planning on having Chipotle all week for dinner, but I figured I’d check and see if there was anything interesting at Walmart.

I saw the Moe’s at Home Fajita Style Shredded Chicken and got so excited. I haven’t seen this before, but I do know my coworkers rave about Moe’s. At 130 calories and 1 g net carb per serving, this looks like a great option. So, I grabbed the chicken, but now of course I need some toppings so I grab some guac, which is right next to where the prepared foods are. But, then I realize I’m going to need lettuce and cheese and suddenly, I need a cart. I set the chicken and guac down and go snag a mini-cart. One of the customers laughed at me when I came back to grab the stuff I had randomly set down in the fruit section. “I just came in for 1 thing and now I need a cart!” We had a good laugh over how that always seems to happen.

Now with my cart, I got a bag of shredded lettuce and some shredded cheese. I also stocked up on Chiptole Tabasco, which I meant to get earlier at the grocery store, but had forgotten, but this will go great on my Moe’s. So, now dinner for the week is set! Everything I bought (including the Everything Bagel seasoning) was around $20 - half the price of having Chipotle bowls every night. I’ll let you know how the chicken tastes. They also had a steak version!

Ultimate Guide to Eating Keto at Your Favorite Restaurants and Fast Food Spots

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While cooking your own keto meals often gets you the best results, sometimes you just have to eat out, whether you’re out running errands or at a restaurant with friends. I’ve gathered your best keto options at tons of popular fast food places and restaurants so you’ll never wonder what to eat!

APPLEBEES

They’ve got lots of keto friendly options. Pick a protein and add a veg or salad. Easy. One option is the Grilled Chicken Breast With a Side of Fire-Grilled Veggies.

BAJA FRESH

Build a bowl with Lettuce, Chicken, Guacamole, Cheese, and Pico de Gallo or ask for the Side By Side, which is charbroiled chicken, jack cheese, handmade guacamole, and Pico de Gallo alongside an avocado topped salad. I’ve found that it’s a bit of a secret menu item. It’s not always listed on the menu, but they usually will ring it up if you ask.

BAREBURGER

If you’re sick of lettuce wrapped burgers, Bareburger will cover your beef, turkey, or bison burger in collard greens. They also have keto-friendly fats like cheese, bacon, avocado, and other veggies that you can add as well.

BLAZE PIZZA

They’ve got a keto pizza crust now made from a base of cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, flaxseed, and eggs. Each slice is just 3 g net carbs.

BONEFISH GRILL

They specialize in seafood so stick to grilled and seared proteins like salmon, sea bass, steak, shrimp, and trout.

BOSTON MARKET

Get the rotisserie chicken and a caesar salad or one of the veggies like green beans or broccoli. The creamed spinach is another option.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

Their Traditional Wings have 0 carbs and many of their sauces only have 1-3 grams carbs. Try Mild, Medium, Hot, Wild, and Blazin' sauces, as well as the Parmesan Garlic and Spicy Garlic.

BURGER KING

The Bacon and Cheese Whopper minus the bun is my go-to lately.

CHEESECAKE FACTORY

Check out their Skinnylicious category. The grilled salmon, lettuce-wrap tacos, and salads are all good choices.

CHICK-FIL-A

They’re known for chicken, so check out their grilled chicken. They are one of the few places serving grilled nuggets. Their salads are pretty good, too.

CHILI’S

Get the steak plus a green veggie. Burgers are always an option (minus the bun).

CHIPOTLE

Bowl with no rice or beans. Add fajita peppers, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole, as desired. I usually choose sour cream OR guacamole to keep calories in check.

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IN-N-OUT

Choose "The Flying Dutchman," which is two patties with two slices of cheese melted in between. And you should definitely get that "Animal Style" with extra spread, pickles, and grilled onions. East Coasters are crying.

JERSEY MIKE’S

Just get the Sub in a Tub. It’s all the toppings and fillings of your favorite sub minus the bread.

JIMMY JOHN’S

Get the unwich and your favorite sub. I like the turkey with provolone or the tuna unwich. If you think you’ll miss the chips, get a pickle as a side.

MCDONALD’S

Get the Quarter Pounder with Cheese or Big Mac and toss the buns. The Big Mac special sauce will add carbs, but I’ve eaten it and still lost weight if I watch the rest of my carbs for the day.

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NOODLES AND COMPANY

They’ve got zoodles now! Your best option is the Zucchini Pesto with Grilled Chicken. The Caesar Salad with Chicken (minus the croutons) is another good choice.

OLIVE GARDEN

The herb-grilled salmon is a good option. Watch the salad as it will add carbs from the dressing.

OUTBACK

Order a salad or other veggie instead of a baked potato. Pick any of the steaks or fish like lobster, halibut, crab, and salmon. Their salmon is actually really great!

PANERA

Get the green goddess salad, which has chicken, egg, and avocado.

PRET A MANGER

Get the Pret’s Chef Salad With Herb Ranch Dressing with roasted turkey, eggs, avocado, and bacon over the top of greens with cucumber. Add herb ranch dressing for a keto-friendly meal.

RED LOBSTER

Just say no to the Cheddar Bay biscuits. Choose items like the steamed lobster, crab legs, grilled shrimp, or scallops. Add some veggies or a salad.

RED ROBIN

Red Robin is known for their burgers so get one with a lettuce wrap or just toss the bun and use a fork and knife. The Royal has a fried egg on top and the Guacamole Bacon is a keto lover’s delight.

RUBY TUESDAY’S

They specialize in Cajun-style dishes so look for the dry rubs. They also have burgers and steaks and chicken dishes with avocado or bacon.

SHAKE SHACK

Get a burger with a lettuce wrap or consider the Smoke Shack (minus the bun), which has cheese and bacon and spicy relish.

SUBWAY

Get your fave sub as a salad. Don’t bother with the chopped salad (they bring out a giant bowl and chop everything up). Just ask for the regular salad. They’ll just layer everything in a bowl. Much quicker and easier for everyone! Just avoid sugary dressings and stick to vinegar and oil. I like the tuna salad.

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TACO BELL

Go for the Cantina Power Bowl, but skip the rice and beans. Get lettuce, sour cream, cheese, extra protein, guacamole, and hot sauce.

TGI FRIDAYS

Try the Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken or a lettuce wrapped burger. The salads are a lot of calories so order the smaller lunch size. Ranch, blue cheese, and Caesar are your best dressing choices.

WENDY’S

The Baconator is a good choice here. Toss the bun and hold the ketchup. Wendy’s has grilled chicken, too.

Up 4 Pounds from Vacation, but Probably Water Weight!

I did my official weekend weigh-in and it wasn’t pretty. I’m up 4 pounds from my pre-vacation weight of 184.8 pounds. The good news is that I think most of this is just water weight and it will fall off pretty quickly now that I’m back to keto. I was 192 pounds the night I got back from vacation so I’ve already dropped some. I stuck to keto when I could (including this awesome Caesar salad from Broadway Burger), but I did go off plan so I’m paying the price now! I am pretty good about getting right back on plan when I get home from vacation, but it does usually waste a week getting back to where I was before.

It feels good to be back on keto because it takes all the guesswork out of what to eat. On vacation, our biggest debates were what to eat. My girlfriend is notoriously picky and I was attempting to stay keto so our options were limited. Now that I’m back home, I’ve got my good old staples that I rely on during keto - Chipotle bowls, my Quest pizza, bunless burgers, my GG crackers.

My motivation is at an all-time high though because of the pictures of my outfits from vacation. Seeing the results I’ve gotten so far is just motivation to keep going! I know I can lose the weight. I’ve done it before so it’s just a matter of sticking to my plan and giving it some time.

My get back on track menu is Chipotle bowls for lunch, Quest pizza or bunless burgers for dinner, my GG crackers with cream cheese and Everything Bagel seasoning for night snacks. During the week, I’m going to get my usual bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit minus the biscuit for breakfast, turkey burgers for lunch, and dinner will probably be Subway salads or Chipotle.

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The new Carne Asada from Chipotle is pretty tasty. I’m not a huge beef eater, but I’ve recently gotten sick of just chicken and pork so I’ve tried the steak and now the Carne Asada from Chipotle. The Carne Asada is a bit more flavorful than the regular steak. I’ve had it twice now with guacamole, salsa, cheese, and lettuce and it’s working well to get me back on track. I do like my bowls better with Chipotle Tabasco on top. I ran out and had to go without today and that was sad.

6 Steps to Keto-fy Your Kitchen

Ready to take the keto plunge, but not sure how to start? Getting your kitchen keto-ready will set you up for success. Here’s a few tips to make the transition!

1. Pick a Start Day

Before jumping in unprepared, stop and make a plan for when you’re going to start. Picking a date helps you have time to plan your meals, clear out your kitchen of the bad stuff, and fill it up with keto-friendly choices.

2. Sort Out Your Pantry and Fridge

Take some time to get rid of food that isn’t on plan. If you have breads and cookies laying around, you’re more likely to go off plan just as you’re getting started. If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it.

3. Stock Up on Keto-Friendly Food

Make a menu so you know what you’ll be eating and then fill up your fridge with keto-friendly options. Things I always like to have on-hand: hard-boiled eggs, cream, protein like chicken or tuna, cheese, veggies, ranch dressing, coconut oil, butter, low carb protein shakes, Chipotle Tabasco (for adding some kick to my Chipotle bowls), cream cheese, GG high-fiber crackers, and Everything Bagel seasoning.

4. Make a List of Carb Counts for Your Favorite Foods

When you’re first starting out, you might want a reminder of how many carbs are in the main foods you eat. I also like the Stupid Simple Keto app because it takes the guesswork out of counting carbs.

5. Don’t Forget the Drinks

Food isn’t your only source of carbs - drinks can be full of carbs. Juices are a no-go as are sugary sodas. Make the switch to water, tea, or seltzer or other low carb drinks. Water is best, but I need something like Crystal Light to put in it because I don’t like plain water. Make sure to count the carbs in those - most have a gram or two of carbs! Don’t forget to count alcoholic drink carbs as well. I stick to Spiked Seltzer or Rum and Diet Cokes.

6. Make Sure You Have Cooking Tools

Although it’s possible to eat out and stay keto, most people do better if they make their own food. Stock your kitchen with the tools you’ll need to cook such as pans for frying eggs, baking dishes for roasting veggies, a bullet blender for making Bulletproof Coffee, a George Foreman Grill for cooking burgers. I also make sure I have a stash of storage containers for storing and transporting food for lunches.

Dr. Now from "My 600-lb Life" Gives Diet Advice in New Book

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“My 600-lb Life” is one of those shows that I watch when I’m flipping around the channels and always manage to get sucked in and end up watching like 5 in a row. Dr. Younan Nowzaradan aka Dr. Now doesn’t put up with anyone’s sh*t! He knows when you’ve been sneaking fast food and he’s not afraid to call out the spouses or family members for enabling (because many of the patients featured are too heavy to be mobile and get their own bad food). It’s compelling TV although I think part of me watches it as a cautionary tale because I have a relative on one side of my family who is extremely obese and I worry about genetics as well as how easy it is to pack on pounds if you let it get away from you.

Dr. Now says obesity is "a worldwide epidemic" that affects nearly one third of the earth's population. "The Scale Does Not Lie, People Do" talks about the many different factors that cause weight gain and gives his diet advice. There aren’t many reviews out since the book is new, but some praise the advice as sound while others complain the book is too short and repetitive. Here’s Dr. Now’s 22 diet tips.

1. It’s genetic - Obesity is caused by several things, but can mostly be attributed to a genetic predisposition, combined with epigenetics, which is affected by the environment, Dr. Now says. Basically, you may be predisposed to gain weight thanks to your genes and to make it even worse, some genes may express themselves based on your environment and experiences.

2. Economics play a part - This isn’t discussed as much as it should be, but fast food is cheap. Healthy food often isn’t. If you are poor, you aren’t going to waste money on organic fruits and vegetables or grass-fed beef.

3. Remember "FAT" - FAT stands for Frequency, Amount of food and Type of food. Don’t eat so often, practice portion control, and make good choices. It’s the sensible advice he gives on the show.

4. Frequency - Limit your eating to two or three times a day. As a grazer, this has been one of my struggles, especially at night. Keto does make me more satisfied so I’ve learned to just not keep snackable foods like cheese around.

5. Snacking - Avoid snacking - there is no such thing as healthy snacks! I think a lot of people will struggle with this because snacking is so ingrained in American culture and we’ve often been told to eat a bunch of small meals throughout the day. The problem is that many people aren’t eating small snacks. They’re just eating regular meals or high-calorie “snacks” that just add weight in the end.

6. Stay from sugary drinks - I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth and I grew up drinking Diet Coke in my family (caffiene-free Diet Coke is absolutely the most useless beverage on earth) so I never developed a real taste for soda, but I did go through a juice phase in college where I was drinking tons of orange juice and other juices, but they are just so full of sugar!

7. Amount of food - Limit the amount of calories per meal. If you’re eating three meals a day, eat 400 calories at every sitting. Two meals a day should be 600 calories per meal. This is what I aim for while doing Keto. While people often say you don’t need to track calories on low carb or keto, I find that I lose weight best when I do track what I’m eating.

8. Numbers are your friend - Always read the calorie content of the food or look it up on the web. You will be surprised what a difference this can make. Now, I check if I don’t know because there are tons of foods that may seem okay but actually aren’t! PF Changs has a bunch of choices that seem okay because they are just meat and vegetables but when you look up the numbers, they are super high in carbs thanks to sauces. Starbucks was a big one for me because I would choose the “skinny” mocha or caramel macchiato, but they’re still full of sugar. On my most recent trip, I switched to the Cold Brew with just cream or just a coffee where I’d add my own cream.

9. Type of foods - Eat healthy types of foods that are low in carbohydrates and low in fat, but high in protein. This is pretty basic advice and I’d argue a bit that higher fat helps keep you satiated, but for the patients Dr. Now is dealing with, this is probably a big enough change.

10. Fiber is your friend - Include fiber in your diet. It helps with digestion. I have noticed a difference in my weight loss since I have added the high fiber, low carb GG Crackers to my diet.

11. Stay away from fads - For the most part, I agree. Some people say Keto is a fad, although keto and low carb in general are more ways of eating that are a lifestyle change. Things like the Cabbage Soup Diet may be more fad-ish because once you stop the diet, you’re back to eating the way you were before.

12. Avoid restrictive diets - Diets that restrict food choices are temporary solutions to permanent problems. I get what he’s saying here. At some point, you’ll be faced with a birthday cake or whatever so avoiding things like carbs aren’t offering a permanent solution. However, I think people who are leading a keto or low carb (or even vegetarian) lifestyle, are just choosing to avoid that one aspect (whether it’s carbs or meat or whatever). For me, weight loss has ALWAYS involved some sort of restriction of foods. You can’t get to your goals doing what you have been doing.

13. Exercise - Even with limited mobility, there are exercises you can do. Many of Dr. Now’s patients start with limited walking and work up to walking longer and longer.

14. Concerning numbers - Obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes were the most chronic health problems affecting county residents where Dr. Now is based.

15. Secretly unhealthy - Some foods that many believe are “healthy” actually aren’t. Most fruits are actually very high in sugar. I remember talking to a guy at the gym who was eating like 20 fruits a day and was complaining that he wasn’t losing weight and I was like “dude, you are eating over 2000 calories just in fruit” not to mention how much sugar that was. He probably would have eaten less calories and carbs by having 1 cupcake a day versus 20 fruits!

16. The scale doesn't lie. People do - Weigh yourself once a week, to avoid disappointment when your weight fluctuates every day. The scale is the best indicator for whether you’re on track. It’s best to do it naked, first thing in the morning at the same hour each time. I follow this advice although I do weigh every day. I only “count” my weekly weigh-in though and I pick one day to be the official weigh-in day.

17. Put down the sweets - Avoid high sugar foods, such as sugar, candy, cookies, cake, and donuts. I’ve never struggled with sweets but I know many people who do!

18. Honesty is the best policy - Be honest about the calories you’re consuming. I know I have a tendency to underestimate the amounts of food I eat. Tracking your food as you eat it is a way of being honest about what’s going in.

19. Watch calories - The best way to maintain healthy eating is to choose your own diet that includes the foods you love, but still accounts for caloric intake. I agree that you need to find a way to eat the foods you love, whether it’s portion control or finding substitutes like zoodles for pasta. Some people, like my girlfriend, can do a diet where they may save up calories so they can have pizza at night. For me, that doesn’t work as well because I get hungry and would rather eat normal meals than save up for one “splurge” meal.

20. Vitamin power - Take daily vitamins. I make sure to take a multivitamin as well as Super B Complex, which helped when I had aura migraines due to stress. I kept taking them because I feel good when I do!

21. It's not easy - Sadly, there is no magic pill, no miracle diet, and no easy fix. It comes down to finding a plan that you can stick with and just sticking to it!

22. Take accountability - Dr. Now says, "it's our own responsibility to understand what the problems are and what the solutions are.” I think a lot of people avoid taking responsibility for their weight gain and loss and put too much blame on outside factors. You have to take a hard look at the reasons why you gained weight and work to fix those reasons. In some cases, they’re emotional. I know I am an emotional eater if given the chance so I work to find other ways to handle stress that don’t involve food. If you have medical issues keeping you from losing weight, it’s important to work with a doctor to see if you can get those under control instead of just feeling like it’s pointless. I think that’s the part that people often get mad at Dr. Now for - he makes them take responsibility for their own health and choices. He can come off as a bit of a curmudgeon, but you can tell he does care deeply for his patients and wants them to succeed.

So there you go! I agree with a lot of Dr. Now’s advice with a few exceptions that I personally have had different experiences, but overall, these are good general guidelines for anyone wanting to lose weight.

Progress: Vacation Shots from Atlantic City

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I used to hate taking full body shots, especially on vacation! It was a reminder of how much weight I had put on. Even if I was having a blast, I hated having the photographic evidence staring me in the face. I took a lot of head shots and clever angles. It’s f*cked up and a bit baffling since I usually felt pretty good about myself regardless of size, but seeing it in photos was that dose of reality I just didn’t want.

This trip, I took lots of full body shots! I was feeling pretty fabulous on this trip. I hit a new low weight - 184.8 pounds before I left and I was definitely feeling myself. Our hotel room sadly did not include a full-length mirror, which was annoying AF, but we just took photos of our outfits so we could see what they looked like! I did find a nice big mirror in the ladies room in the casino so I snuck a picture in there, too.

I’m finally seeing the progress of all the hard work I’ve done and it’s just so weird to me because I’m not even to my first goal yet of 179, my former “before” weight. It’s so wild to me how great I feel at this weight when it was this same weight that spurred me into action years ago the first time I did low carb and got to goal.

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I’ve been trying to take lots of pictures to document my progress because it helps me see that changes are happening, even when the scale is slow to catch up. Speaking of which, the scale is not happy post-trip. I did really good at sticking mostly to plan at the start of the trip, but ended up eating whatever I felt like towards the end. I didn’t go crazy, but it definitely knocked me out of ketosis. I weighed in at 191.8 today, which is 7 pounds up. I know I didn’t eat 7 pounds of calories so it’s most likely water weight and will drop off now that I’m back on plan. My fingers are STILL feeling a bit swollen from all the salt in the restaurant food.

This weekend will be my reset where I focus on getting back into Keto full-time and I’m hoping some of that vacation weight starts dropping off soon!

3 Tips For Making Keto Easier

I’m always looking for timesavers and hacks for doing keto. Anything that can make it easier to stick with helps keep me on track and sticking to my plan.

Have you ever run out of cream for your coffee? I used to hate when that happened. Now, when it happens, I don’t panic because I keep butter and coconut oil stocked up so I can make Bulletproof coffee. Some days, I’m just in the mood for Bulletproof coffee, but other times, it’s because I’ve run out of cream and am too lazy to go to the store!

I made a keto pumpkin spice bulletproof latte using the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice K-cups, coconut oil, and butter. I add a tablespoon of butter and oil to the brewed coffee and whip it for a few seconds in my bullet blender. It’s frothy and yummy. I was worried the butter/coconut oil might not work with the Pumpkin Spice but it tasted great!

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Tip #2 is for making roasted brussel sprouts. I made these last week and liked them, but wanted them crispier - that’s the best part. So, this time, I cut the brussels smaller and sort of fanned them out so they weren’t in a little ball. I tried to separate the leaves as much as possible. Then I added oil and Montreal Chicken Seasoning (which is great on everything) and baked for 35 minutes in a 400 degree oven. The leaves came out crispy and browned, just like I like them! It takes a bit longer to do this, but you can make a big batch and have them for during the week.

My last tip is making a list of your go-to fast food meals for those days when you have to work late or just need food NOW. Chipotle is usually my standby, but I wasn’t in the mood so I went to one of my other fast food options - the bacon and cheese Whopper from Burger King (minus the bun). It’s got all the good toppings - lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo, and ketchup with the added bonus of bacon and cheese. It’s an easy meal that is on plan. I usually scrape off some of the ketchup because it’s higher in carbs and also because without the bun, the ketchup can be a bit overwhelming. Bunless burgers are always a good bet for fast food restaurants!

184.8 Pounds Before Vacation

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I did my official pre-vacation weigh-in and came in at 184.8 pounds. We’ll see how I do on this trip! This morning I have a few swigs of a protein shake and the cheese off the top of a Sbarro pizza at the train station. I’m going to attempt to stay on Keto for most meals, but I know I’ll probably go off my plan a bit.

I’m looking forward to wearing all the new clothes I got last weekend so stay tuned for those!

The Scales Not Moving, but I'm Getting Smaller

The mystery of my weight loss continues as I weighed in today and am no lighter on the scale, but I’m actually looking smaller! My clothes are looser and I can see the weight loss when I look in the mirror, but I wouldn’t know it from the scale! Cue The X Files theme. I feel like these pictures accurately reflect how truly short I am!

I’ve dropped two sizes, but only a few pounds on the scale since June so I’m basically ignoring the scale at the moment and just going by how I look and how my clothes feel. I may be picking up some muscle from starting to jog and I’ve done a bit of pilates mat work when I feel like it.

I’ve been pretty happy with my food this past week. I ate cream cheese pancakes in the first half of the week and bacon, egg, and cheese in the latter half of the week for breakfast. The turkey burgers with A-1 were great last week so I’ll probably do that again this coming week. The Quest chips are too good, but they’re great with my burger or as a snack at night (and sometimes, both LOL).

I tried a new place today for lunch because I was in a different area running errands. I got a chicken salad from California Tortilla. It was tasty! I had them hold the corn and tortilla strips and I got ranch dressing. I’d definitely go there again!

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I ran out of cream today. I usually prefer that in my coffee, but bulletproof coffee to the rescue. I had butter and coconut oil so I added them to coffee and blended in the bullet blender for a few seconds. I actually don’t mind the taste of BPC so it’s good to have that as a backup option when I run out of cream!

I treated myself this morning to a perfume that I’ve wanted for a while. Guerlain Art of Materials - Spiritueuse Double Vanille Eau de Parfum is one I’ve had my nose on, but never purchased. I pulled out the tiny sample I had of it and gave it a sniff and it’s love at first whiff. It’s a boozy vanilla that just smells so great to me. My gift to myself for sticking with my diet, even during my very stressful week!

Another Progress Photo - 186 Pounds: Front, Side, Back

I both hate these and love them. I love the front/side/back shots because I really think it gives you a good idea of how you are looking and what you still need to work on. I hate them for the same reason! I tried to take a very “honest” photo series with no fancy stances to make me look taller or whatever. Just straight on. Wow, I look short. That was my first thought when I saw these pictures. I actually am much shorter than I apparently appear online because whenever I meet someone who has only seen me online, they say, “wow, I thought you’d be taller!” I’m a very average 5’5”.

I’m very happy with how my waist is looking. I have a very hourglass figure, but it’s nice to have a waist! I’m actually okay with my legs as well. My hips and butt still need some work. I seriously feel like I need a “wide load” sign on my back. I can joke about it, only because my partner loves my butt so I’ve learned to love it as well even though I’d love to love less of it! I tend to shrink evenly so they will hopefully just get smaller as I lose more weight.

I’m lucky that my arms just seem incapable of gaining much weight. I’m like a T-rex with these useless little things! I may eventually start using some hand weights to get some more tone in my arms.

I’ve also started doing some old pilates moves I used to do. Many years ago, I started doing pilates and really liked how it made my body look so it’s something I’m starting up again. I think it helps with toning and getting a leaner look. I’m very paranoid about how my tummy is going to look when I lose more weight. It’s okay now, but I’m a bit paranoid about getting droopy skin so I’m doing what I can now to mitigate that. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m older than the first time I lost weight and I have more weight to lose than I did then so I need to be realistic, but at the same time I’m like - I WILL get that body back!

Dinner: Gorton's Grilled Salmon with Kohlrabi Noodles

I knew this was going to be a busy week for me so I made sure I had some easy dinner options for when I come home too tired to mess with making a big dinner. My dinner tonight was Gorton’s Grilled salmon. I added butter, lemon juice, and pepper to spice it up a bit. I do microwave it, which isn’t the recommended preparation, but in less than 4 minutes, I have salmon ready. I also had a side of kohlrabi noodles with butter and Parmesan cheese. I add salt and some crushed red pepper on top. It was a filling dinner!

I am actually sad I didn’t stock up on more of the grilled salmon (there’s only 2 in a pack), but I can stock up next week since this is a short week and I probably won’t have time to run to the store after work. These little salmon squares can be used in so many different ways. Add some salsa for a fish taco inspired meal or add soy sauce or coconut aminos and vegetables for some Chinese takeout!

Food Prep for During the Week

Having Monday off is always so confusing because I do “Sunday Things” on Monday! That means today was food prep day for during the week. My menu this week is:

Breakfast: Cream Cheese Pancakes with butter and Walden Farms 0 carb syrup with McDonald’s bacon and coffee with cream

Lunch: Turkey burger with A-1 sauce and Green Giant broccoli with cheese sauce

Snack: Banana Cream Protein Shake

Dinner: Salmon with kohlrabi noodles and parm (and maybe Chipotle or other “out” food later in the week)

Dessert: small piece of keto fudge (coconut oil + cocoa powder + Truvia)

Snack: avocado

I purposefully tried to make this week’s menu super simple. I’m going to be pretty busy at work this week so I didn’t want to fuss with complicated recipes. I need grab and go! The cream cheese pancakes are easy to make the night before and reheat well. I’m going to supplement them with some bacon from McDonald’s since I stop there every day to get my coffee.

Turkey burgers are super easy to throw on my George Foreman grill so now I’ve got burgers to last the rest of the week. I use the pre-shaped burgers from the grocery store and add a bit of Montreal Chicken Seasoning before they go on the grill. I’m keeping it simple with just A-1 as a topping and a frozen vegetable side. The Green Giant broccoli with cheese sauce tastes great although a box doesn’t make very much. I only got two smallish servings out of it.

I have some frozen salmon that I’ll heat up tomorrow or dinner with some kohlrabi noodles with parm and butter as a side. That will be at least two dinners. The other nights will probably be my old standby - Chipotle!

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Dessert is keto fudge. I make this once or twice a week and just nibble away at it throughout the week. Put 1/4 cup coconut oil and 3 TB cocoa powder in a mug with dash of Truvia or other sugar free sweetener. Microwave for 40 seconds and pour onto a parchment lined plate (or container of your choosing). Put in the freezer. I just break off a small piece when I want a sweet or chocolatey snack.

I’ve got some avocados on standby for snacks. I’ve been making parm chips with everything bagel seasoning as well when I need a snack. Pile a generous pinch of shredded parm onto a plate. I usually make three piles and pat them into a circle shape. Microwave for one minute. Let stand for a few seconds until they hardened up a bit and then pry off the plate with a fork and top with seasoning.

So, there’s my food for the week!

Bunless Big Mac to Celebrate Another Pound Down

I feel like I’m fighting for every pound on the scale this time around, but I am getting smaller and I’m going down sizes so I’m trying to ignore the numbers on the scale. I still feel like my weight loss isn’t all that obvious, but the computer guys at work noticed and commented it on Friday telling me that I looked good and to keep doing whatever I was doing!

I’m at that zen-like place in my weight loss journey where I’m not really having cravings for things. I have my certain foods I eat and that seems to be enough. I’m even struggling to figure out what I want to eat because I’m never really craving much of anything!

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Today, I got a bunless Big Mac for dinner. The bunless Big Macs are actually a great treat. They aren’t tons of carbs, but they taste very much like a regular Big Mac so I don’t even miss the bun. The Quarter Pounder with Cheese (minus the bun) is also another great option that I’ve eaten in the past. Most fast food places can be keto-friendly if you toss the bun. I had some veggies and dressing at home as a side and finished off the meal with some keto fudge (coconut oil + cocoa powder) that I make in batches and keep in the freezer.

Perdue Lightly Breaded Chicken Strips in a Salad

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While looking for some new lunch/dinner options, I saw people raving over Tyson Blackened Chicken Strips. People couldn’t stop talking about them, which is odd for a frozen chicken strip. The Tyson site was full of reviews about how great they were, many from fellow Keto dieters, but also complaints that people couldn’t find them anymore. The Tyson folks were kindly answering questions in a friendly vague way that wasn’t really all that helpful. A quick search showed there were no Blackened Chicken Strips anywhere near me. I began to mourn a chicken strip I had never even had.

During my grocery trip today, I searched in vain, just in case the internet was wrong, but alas, no blackened chicken strips. I did, however, find some Tyson Lightly Breaded Chicken Strips that were only 6g carbs. I had tried the fresh version of these that is available with the lunch meat and prepared foods, but I’d never tried the frozen ones, which oddly have like half the carbs!

I wasn’t in the mood for cooking this week so my plan was to just make a simple Cobb-ish type salad with the chicken strips, eggs, black olives, feta cheese, lettuce, and dressing. All was well until I noticed I bought the fat free Feta by accident. It’s not the end of the world, but is pretty much the antithesis of keto. There’s plenty of other fats in my salad so this isn’t a crisis, just more of an annoyance because who wants fat free feta anyway! Blech. The salad turned out okay, even with the fat free feta. Thank god I got some parm as a backup.

Last week I was having the kohlrabi noodles every night. Well, today, there was NO kohlrabi noodles to be found. They were gone! This blog isn’t that popular to cause a rush on kohlrabi noodles….or is it! I’ll have to check back in a day or so to see if they’ve stocked up again. I’m sad about it. They didn’t even have any shirataki noodles. My whole area must being doing keto.

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I did some massive shopping yesterday. My clothes are getting pretty tired and I felt like I needed a bit of an upgrade since I’m starting a new project at work. The scale is as stubborn as ever. My weight loss for the week was .2 pounds, but I am getting smaller somehow! I’m feeling really great about how I look at the moment so that’s been nice. I still haven’t even reached my former “fat” weight so it’s nice to feel so good about myself even if the scale is doing its own thing.

Recipe: Cucumber Salad

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I gave this family favorite a makeover to make it keto friendly. Growing up, my parents made cucumber salad a lot. There always seemed to be some in the refrigerator (probably because my dad had a mini garden in the backyard and too many cucumbers)! There is something so yummy about this salad that has a little bit of everything - sweet, sour, spice! It’s super healthy and a great snack especially when you swap out the sugar with sweetener.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cucumbers

  • 1 small onion (optional)

  • 1/2 cup Vinegar (or enough to cover cucumbers)

  • 3/8 tsp (or 1 1/2 packets of Truvia (or to taste)

  • pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Slice the cucumbers, removing skin if desired. I feel like they soak up the vinegar better if you remove the skin, but if you’re too lazy, it still turns out great! I’m not super precise with this recipe so I usually just kind of wing it, tasting as I go!

Add to a bowl or tray and cover with vinegar. Add Truvia or sweetener of choice, pepper, and salt, to taste. Stir to combine and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two so the cucumbers soak up the vinegar. The longer it sits, the better it tastes! But I usually can’t wait that long.

Progress Picture: 8/19/19

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I haven’t taken a progress picture series in a while. I don’t feel like I’m that much smaller, but my clothing sizes are going down so I must be losing inches. I wish I had taken measurements when I first started so I could compare. I do think my hips are a bit smaller and I also feel like I have less of that annoying back roll stuff!

Breakfast today was 2 strips of bacon with cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning smeared on top. It’s amazing how getting a bit of “bagel” flavor satisfies me. My ginger garlic ground beef bowl reheated great at work and was super filling. I had a shake for an afternoon snack and my cream cheese pancakes for dinner.

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My biggest struggle I think right now is just eating too many snacks. I’ll have a great day, but after dinner, it’s snack city! I just ate an entire bag of Kohlrabi linguine! It was only 11 net carbs for the whole bag, but still. At the same time, it’s a vegetable and not super high in carbs so I’m not going to stress eating vegetables! I had sugarsnap peas with ranch after dinner and some moon cheese.

So, everything is pretty on plan…just too much of it!

I almost went on the treadmill today but I still have an annoying cough left over from my cold.

One highlight of today was that I don’t have to report for jury duty tomorrow. Whew!