Lunch During the Week Vs. Lunch On My Day Off

losewithamy_70718468_172129880575707_549941601250392158_n.jpg

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.

losewithamy_71041712_2482314215426537_6623781767117485553_n.jpg

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!

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.

losewithamy_70520493_230112637952962_8562953718900067123_n.jpg

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.

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!

thestylecandy_70669768_2433336423660654_5830653302316267527_n.jpg

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!

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!

theamycraves_70786434_177730966724142_3775281461097114074_n.jpg

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!

theamycraves_67395167_405315927008454_2527334889832556586_n (2).jpg

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

losewithamy_67433474_630360347457652_4241835605536066411_n.jpg

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.

losewithamy_67577247_3215520281821502_7874518953758768750_n.jpg

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.

Video: My Eggfast Results Plus My Menu for the Week

In this video, I discuss my egg fast experience and results. I also walk you through my meal plan for the week. I do plan to incorporate some of those egg meals into my week, just not all at once!

Here’s some of the products that will make your life easier. I love the Ecolution ceramic pans. I have them in big and little sizes and they cook great and clean up easy! I got mine at Home Goods. A bullet blender is so useful for so many things. I use it for blending my Bulletproof coffee and most recently, for making my cream cheese egg pancake batter. The Dash griddle and waffle maker are so adorably cute. They are TINY. They come in fun colors and are perfect for just making food for 1-2 people. I haven’t quite mastered mine yet, but I have both the griddle and waffle maker and they are adorable.

Doing an Egg Fast This Weekend

eggfast.png

In all my years of doing low carb, keto, paleo, etc., I’ve never done an egg fast. An egg fast is a short-term eating plan that involves eating eggs, cheese, and butter. Many egg fasts go from 3-5 days. I’ll just be doing a quickie over the weekend to see how it goes.

Egg fasts are often used to break weight loss plateaus. I’ve been hovering around 189-191, thanks to several vacations. I got as low as 185 pounds around my birthday in July, but I had two vacations where I didn’t stick to keto and gained a few pounds back so it’s time to get serious and get out of the 180s.

The Egg Fast Rules:

Whole eggs — yolks and whites — are the main source of fat and protein.

1 tablespoon of butter or healthy fat per egg consumed.

Eat a whole egg within 30 minutes of waking up.

Eat an egg-based meal every three to five hours.

Eat a meal even if you’re not hungry.

You can eat up to 1 ounce of full-fat cheese per egg consumed.

Eat at least six whole eggs per day.

Stop eating three hours before bedtime.

You can drink up to three cans of diet soda per day but aim for one or less.

Day One

  • Breakfast: an egg-cheese omelet made with 2–3 eggs, cooked in 2–3 tablespoons of butter with Chipotle Tabasco

  • Snack: 1 stick of string cheese

  • Lunch: 2–3 deviled eggs

  • Snack: 2 ounces brie

  • Dinner: cream cheese pancake — 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of cream cheese blended until smooth and cooked on a pan or griddle with 3 tablespoons of butter and sugar free, zero calorie syrup

Day Two

  • Breakfast: cream cheese pancake — 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of cream cheese blended until smooth and cooked on a pan or griddle with 3 tablespoons of butter and sugar free, zero calorie syrup

  • Snack: 1 cheese stick

  • Lunch: egg salad — 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 ounce cheese microwaved until crispy to make a cheese cracker

  • Snack: 1 ounce brie

  • Dinner: 2 eggs fried in 2 tablespoons of butter with cheese and Chipotle Tabasco

I’ll definitely keep y’all posted on how this goes!

Quick Keto Lunch Ideas

I’m always looking for quick lunch ideas that don’t require a lot of prep and are easy to transport to work. This pre-made chef salad from my local grocery store has plenty of turkey, ham, cheese, eggs, and veggies and even comes with a dressing packet. Here’s some other quick ideas..

  • Tuna or chicken salad with veggies or lettuce

  • Roasted or grilled chicken with roasted veggies and dip

  • Bacon, hardboiled eggs, and lettuce or veggies with dressing or guac

  • Turkey or chicken sausage with cooked or raw veggies and dip

  • Pepperoni, salami or other meat with string cheese and tomatoes

  • Cobb salad

  • Caesar salad with chicken (minus the croutons - use parmesan crisps instead)

  • Bunless burger with cheese and your choice of toppings (pickles, onions, mayo, mustard, guac)

  • Steak, pork, or chicken bowl with cauliflower rice, cheese, salsa, sour cream, cheese, guac

What are some of your favorite Keto lunches?

Find Your Go-To Fast Food Keto Meals So You Always Know What To Eat

We’ve all been there. You’re out running errand after errand, running from place to place, and next thing you know, you need food NOW. This could be a recipe for disaster if you haven’t planned out some Keto-friendly options ahead of time.

I make sure I know what I can eat at every shopping center I go to so that I’m never stuck without food. At any of the popular “burger” joints, you can get a burger and just toss the bun. If they have grilled chicken, that works, too. Watch the breaded or “crispy” chicken as it will probably contain lots of carbs in the breading. Some fast food restaurants have pretty good salads. Again, choose grilled chicken if that’s an option.

Subway’s are everywhere and you can do what I do and get a salad instead of a sub! I get the regular salad (not chopped because that takes too long). I get the tuna, but you could get almost any of the other meat options like steak or roasted chicken. Add whatever veggies and toppings you like. I just get oil and vinegar with the tuna since the tuna already has mayo in it, but you can add a dressing - just check that it’s not full of carbs.

At Chipotle, a burrito bowl is my go-to. I get it without beans or rice. I load up on the fajita peppers, salsa, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream or guacamole. If you are at another Mexican restaurant, get the fajitas and just skip the tortilla wrappers or get a taco salad, but don’t eat the shell if it comes in one.

Noodles and Company now has several Zoodle options and you can get any of their regular noodle dishes with Zoodles instead. If you’re ordering Chinese takeout, just skip the rice and stick to meat and vegetables. Some places will even let you get sauce on the side or offer a steamed version. Pizza is harder but in a pinch, just eat the toppings! When all else fails, just pick meat or seafood and vegetables - this works for almost any restaurant of any kind.

If I’m worried there won’t be options I can eat, I toss a low carb, ready to drink protein shake in my bag so I’ve got something to hold me over until I can eat a real meal.

Now that you’ve got your plan, you can shop with ease, knowing you won’t be tempted by chips or fries from the food court!

Bored with Your Chipotle Bowl? Try the Chipotle Tabasco Sauce

chips.png

I eat a LOT of Chipotle bowls. They take the guesswork out of what to eat because it’s so easy to just grab one on the way home from work. My go-to bowl is usually:

  • No rice or beans

  • Fajita Peppers

  • Chicken or Carnitas (Steak or Barbacoa when I get bored of those)

  • Tomato salsa

  • Medium salsa

  • Corn salsa (sometimes)

  • Sour cream or guacamole (I pick one or the other - not both!)

  • Cheese

  • Lettuce

Even with choosing different meats or sour cream one day and guac the next, I had gotten in a bit of a rut with my Chipotle bowls. One day, I was getting my fork and napkins and I noticed all the Tabascos lined up with to-go cups. I like Tabasco, but never got it at Chipotle. I saw a Chipotle Tabasco (the pepper, not the restaurant itself), which I didn’t even know was a thing. Guess what? I loved it! It gave my bowl a different flavor and it was like eating a brand new bowl. It’s got a smoky flavor and a medium level of heat. I may have to stock up on my next grocery store trip.

Zoodles for Lunch Today!

I was sick of all my usual options so I headed to Noodles and Company for their Zoodles. I’m a huge fan! The Pesto Grilled Chicken zoodles are your best carb bet. A small is only 6g net carbs while the regular is 13g net carbs.The Pesto zoodles are very flavorful and I feel full after eating it, but not weighted down.

I’ve tried the Truffle Mac Zoodles, too, but a small portion of that is 13 net carbs so you’ll want to go easy if you try that one - stick with the small versus the regular which has 28g carbs! You can calculate the different nutrition info for different combos and sizes of their meals on their My Menu page.

I need to get back into making zoodle meals again. Every time I eat them, I love them! I bought a zoodle maker awhile ago and it’s super easy to make zoodles, but just takes some prep, so I’m thankful for places that are offering zoodles! My grocery store carries them both fresh (but expensive) and frozen (but they don’t taste as good), but making my own would be the most economical and flavorful, too!

This is the Spiralizer I have at home and I’ve found it easy to set up and also easy to clean.

Recipe: Super Easy Quick Keto Chili

the.ketoblogger_65302923_434544064064083_8063133849751405507_n.jpg

I was in the mood for chili tonight and this was super easy and quick to pull together. I woke up from a power nap and was eating in 20 minutes or so. What’s great about this recipe is that you can easy tweak it to suit your tastes - add onions or peppers, add different kinds of diced tomatoes, add avocado -whatever you want.

RECIPE:

  • 1 TB butter

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • spices (onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cilantro, etc.)

  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (garlic flavor)

  • sour cream

  • shredded cheese (i used 4 cheese Mexican blend)

  • salt and pepper

Melt butter in pan over medium high heat. Add ground beef and brown. Add your spices as the meat is browning. I just did a few shakes each of onion powder, garlic powder, cilantro, and chili powder. When meat is cooked, add the diced tomatoes. Lower the heat a bit and let simmer for a bit. Serve with sour cream and cheese and whatever toppings you like. Top with salt and pepper as desired.

This came out so good, especially since it was so quick to make. The fire-roasted tomatoes really added great flavor. You could easily add some onions, peppers, and garlic to this, but it doesn’t even need it!

This was my first time using the squeeze sour cream, which was kind of weird but I see the appeal! I may be a convert to this odd little packet!

Now I’ve got lunch for the week all sorted!

Keto on Vacation

I didn’t think I could stick to keto during my vacation, but I (mostly) did! With the exception of a caramel macchiato and some chips and salsa, I was able to keep my meals keto-friendly while on vacation. I usually don’t count the first day back weigh-in, but as of this morning I was 194.4, meaning I’m only up 2 pounds - less than half of the extra vacation pounds I usually come home with!

The first day started out good. You can read all about it in my previous post about Keto on the train. However, that night we were going to the BTS concert at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. After checking into our hotel and getting ready, we ended up skipping our planned stop at Wendy’s (I was going to eat a sandwich bunless) in favor of getting to the stadium earlier because we were worried traffic would be bad. There ended up being no traffic so we were like, ok, cool, we’ll just eat something at the stadium. Unfortunately, due to the large crowds, most of the food booths had super long lines. Me and one of the other girls ended up getting cheesesteaks (I just ate the meat and cheese). It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either, but it could have been worse. It got me through the concert! I also had a Spiked Seltzer, which was sort of odd, but as far as alcohol choices went - it was only 90 calories and 0 grams of sugar per can. I’m a convert!

After the concert, we decided to hit the Wendy’s since we were all pretty hungry, but easier said than done. It took over 2 hours to go 3 miles and there’s nothing more frustrating than sitting in traffic for two hours and realizing you literally are still in front of the stadium. We made it to the drive thru finally around 1:15 am and I ate the Asiago Ranch Chicken with no bun.

Breakfast the next day was much easier. Our hotel, which was amazing, had free breakfast so I loaded up on eggs and sausage with cheese and salsa. We were headed to Atlantic City next so I figured I’d stock up on a big breakfast.

Our first dinner in Atlantic City was one of my faves! I got pulled pork with gravy, asparagus, and a Caesar side salad. It was perfect and exactly what I wanted!

Breakfast the next morning was bacon and eggs (I skipped the hash browns that came with it).

Lunch was blackened fish tacos (I skipped eating the shells) and a skinny margarita on the rocks.

Dinner was chicken fajitas at Rainforest Cafe. These were super tasty and filling and I just didn’t eat the tortilla, rice, or beans that came with it.

This is me being crowned Queen of Keto on Vacation for actually sticking with it. Most of my meals were easy to make keto just by skipping eating the non-keto friendly parts. No one even batted an eye when I substituted a salad for fries or didn’t eat my rice.

The day I came back home, I got egg bites from Starbucks. I was happy to have a keto-friendly option although they are a little deceptive at 9g carbs - that’s more carbs than I thought they’d be since they just seemed to be eggs and bacon. Still, in a pinch, it’s better than bread. I scarfed down a cheeseburger from McDonalds with no bun before I got on the train and later, I had the protein plate from the Amtrak cafe. I’ve grown to enjoy the protein plate (although they need to work on their celery, which was kind of weak and gross). I don't even know how you f*ck up a celery stick so bad.

I’ll be curious to see the scale tomorrow. All in all, I’ve proven to myself that I CAN stay keto on vacation and it didn’t require as much willpower as I thought. I went into it as an experiment to see if I could do it and I think that mindset helped me make good choices throughout my trip, just to see if I could. I’m going back to Atlantic City for my birthday in 7 weeks so I’m hoping to be another 14 to 25 pounds down by then.