Reader Questions

Keto Reader Questions

Reader Questions

I’ve gotten a lot of questions and comments and I wanted to address some of them here. I also wanted to share a few products I found (Amazon affiliate links) that I’ve liked so far! But first, on to the FAQ:

Cheat Days

One question I get is do I have cheat days? My answer is no. Not so far, anyways. I am planning on having a “cheat day” in a few weeks for Logan’s birthday. We are having pizza and cake. But other than that I am not having cheat days. Since February 1st when I started this diet I have been on the plan. I’ve had a few bites here and there of things that were not “on plan” but no cheat days. I don’t want to get out of ketosis. I don’t know if that one bite of Logan’s banana or a few M&M’s I had in a month and a half were enough to knock me out of ketosis, but I hope not!

I don’t think cheat days are necessarily the right route to take in the initial phases of Keto. I think once you lose the weight, or get to whatever goal you want to get to, making a modified Keto schedule is a good plan. Maybe planning a cheat day or cheat meal is a good thing. Or having a carb cycling schedule….something. That’s something I plan on doing once I get to my goal. We’ll see.

Alcohol

The biggest question/comment I’ve gotten is that people are curious about keto and want to give it a try but they don’t want to give up their weekend glass of wine! I was totally in the same boat. About 8 months ago, I decided on a strict no-alcohol during the week rule and went back to my old “only on the weekend” treat rule. It’s easy for the “creep” to start and before you know it, you have a glass on a Tuesday night without even thinking about it.

But I was wanting to lose the Prozac Weight, and so I went back to my old rule. (And not seeing any weight loss, see previous post about my struggles.) When I decided to try Keto, I was reluctant to COMPLETELY give up my weekend wine. I mean, in my mind I was going back on the super restrictive (aka MISERABLE) low carb diet, and I did NOT want to give up my Friday glass of wine on top of that.

Thankfully, I found out I didn’t have to. Like everything–it just means moderation. And make sure you are choosing a SMART adult beverage. So since starting keto, I’ve restricted my intake to weekends and keeping it to one or two glasses tops (which was my norm before anyways) and I stick with Pinot Noir or a sparkling white or Pinot Blanc. I tend to like super dry/crisp/not sweet wines anyway, so that works for me!

I do kinda miss beer a little bit, but oh well!

Websites

What websites do I use for recipes? I use Instagram a lot of the time. I find recipes on there and then I will use these websites:

Diet Doctor

Cast Iron Keto

Low Carb Yum

Nom Nom Paleo

 

Snacks

Another question I’ve gotten from people are what to have for easy snacks, especially on-the-go snacks or snacks that are easy to take for work, etc. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

Cello Parmesan Whisps – We buy these at Costco. They are an easy and tasty “chip” substitute and low in carbs.

LonoLife Grass-Fed Bone Broth – I’ve tried a few different brands and so far this is by far my favorite! I really like it! It actually tastes really good. One packet is 50 calories, no carbs, 10g of protein. If you buy it on Amazon and do the subscribe and save option, it’s cheaper.

Quest Bars – I’m not a huge fan of processed bars but I tried a few different flavors of the Quest bars and they were actually ok. The good news is that they were under 200 calories for the whole bar and usually around 4 or 5 net carbs. I tend to split the bar in half and have half of it as a snack.

Atkins Bars – Like the Quest Bars, the Atkins Bars are low in net carbs and high in fiber and quick and easy treats/snacks. Depending on which flavor you get, they taste ok. I got the chocolate mint wafer ones and all I could taste was the chemical/fake sugar flavor. But the caramel chewy one was really delicious. So experiment and see which ones you like.

Nuts – I buy these at Trader Joes. They are the best priced. I buy the roasted/salted sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts and the raw walnuts. Those are my go-to nuts for snacks. I usually eat 1/2 a serving of whatever the package says with some cheese as my snack.

Cheese – Cheese sticks are a great snack (and paired with nuts are great!). It’s nice to have some variety, too. So Michael gets the Babybel rounds at Costco and then I buy different flavored cheese sticks at the grocery store (currently going through a habanero phase).

Plain Greek Yogurt with Berries and Flaxseed – I use the Fage Full Fat and add some frozen raspberries and 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed. It’s delicious, high in fat and high in fiber! This snack is great pre-workout because it’s a little bit higher in carbs than my other snacks.

Keto Bark – Holy crap is this delicious!!! I gave it a try and got it on Amazon in a two pack. It is so good! Individually wrapped, which is nice. 120 calories, 10g of Fat, 2g of net carbs…the perfect snack or dessert if you are watching carbs. And it actually tastes SO good!

Other Finds

Liquid Stevia– I wanted to give this a try because the regular Stevia packets has some carbs in it but this liquid version doesn’t have any carbs in it. Plus I thought it would be easier to use liquid stevia in cooking some keto recipes I’ve found that I want to try.

Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Vanilla Coconut – I got this to try in my coffee. I was interested in seeing if it was a good alternative to putting stevia in my coffee. I liked that it was in individual packets so I could take it to work easily. It mixed well, but I did notice that some of it did settle to the bottom of my coffee cup so that last sip was a little gross in texture.

The flavor was really nice. I tasted mostly vanilla, not so much the coconut. I made my coffee with the collagen packet and some heavy cream.

If you have any other tips or questions, please leave a comment! Thanks!

Running Questions

I got a great comment from a reader, Beth, who had a few questions. I started typing out a response and realized that I was going to be very long winded so why not just make a whole post about it?

“I’m having trouble fitting in everything I want to do – maybe I need a schedule like yours. My primary training is biking, since I’ve got Reach the Beach in 2 weeks and Cycle Oregon in September, but I do want to squeeze learning to run in somewhere too.”

 

I had the SAME problem. I still have that problem. My currently workout schedule is working okay but I am struggling to find time to fit in a run three times a week like the Couch to 5k app says to do.

Last year when I was struggling with my knee injuries, I decided that I needed to give yoga a REAL shot. Like going consistently and not just once in awhile and expecting to see results. I decided that I had to drop one of my swim days. I was swimming twice a week but I was struggling to fit in all the things I wanted to do.

Weight lifting was my priority for the last two years. It was both to help tone and get rid of some of the body fat that has plagued me since I lost 100 pounds but to also heal my injury. I had imbalances in my body and that was resulting in my knee pain. The weight lifting (and the kettle bell gym) did wonders! It was so beneficial and I attribute my current injury-free state entirely to weight lifting. More so than physical therapy ever did for me.

Recently Suzanne wrote a post for me called Why Recover? In it she said: “When you add something, you have to take something away.” Seeing that in print was a big lightbulb moment. Duh! There isn’t enough time in anyone’s day to do EVERYTHING. So what is the priority?

For me the priority is strength training at least twice a week and yoga once a week for injury prevention and then running because I’m training for my 5k. But what about my swimming?

Swimming is something close to my heart. I love it, it’s meditative for me, it’s relaxing, it’s a must. I will always include that in my schedule. So maybe that means I have to cut back on something else. Maybe it’s something I do every other week instead of every week so that I can include other things I like.

My fitness schedule changes with the season. It’s really easy for me to lift weights and swim and do yoga in the winter. When summer comes, some of those things fall back and the priority becomes doing stuff like biking to work and going for hikes with Michael and the dog. While I am frustrated that I can’t always fit in 3 training runs a week, I’m okay with the 6 week program taking 12 weeks. It’s okay to repeat a few weeks in a row because I didn’t get to that third run. I’m trying not to put pressure on myself by saying I HAVE TO RUN!!!!

Long Distance Runner
The next question is more about injury. She asked:

“Is it normal for my legs to BURN from the knees down when running? They’re okay when walking and when not running… I can’t tell if I’m out of shape or if I have bad shoes or something. Any thoughts?”

When I signed up for Couch To 5k I had many months (like 6 months) to train. I wanted to give myself enough time to SLOWLY get back into running. History has proven that I need to take it easy and not increase mileage too quickly.

I’m not a doctor or physical therapist obviously, but I do have an extensive injury history. My first thought is that maybe it’s the wrong kind of shoes. OR it’s time for new shoes. Read this post about shopping for running shoes: Is it Time for New Shoes? I really think all runners should get fitted for shoes according to their stride. It’s so important in injury prevention!

If it’s a nagging ache it could just be that it’s a new activity. Running is Hard and it uses muscles we may not have used doing other activities. Take it slow, follow a running program, don’t push it too far too fast. Learning how to pace yourself while running is also crucial. It’s really easy to go FAST out the gate and then burn out before you’re done running.

If it’s pain in the shins, it could be shin splits. That can happen to new runners who aren’t conditioned yet for running. It could also be OLD or BAD shoes. If it’s the wrong fit, they could be hurting you. It could also be that running on the street is too much for you. Try a treadmill or a track to see if the softer cushion helps.

If it’s knee pain, try to figure out where the pain is. If it’s on the outside of the knee it’s most likely the IT Band. If it’s on the inside of the knees it is most likely runner’s knee. Read: R is for Runner’s Knee and So…About that Runner’s Knee….

When it comes to injury, I’ve had a few and I’ve written many posts about the subject. Here is a little list of some old posts:

Coping With An Injury

How (Not) to Train for a Half Marathon

8 Mistakes I Made While Injured

Yoga & Runners

Tip for New Runners: Foam Roller

I’ve had a lot of aches and pains with running and wondered, Uh oh, am I injured? But I will tell you this: YOU WILL KNOW IF YOU’RE INJURED. Trust me. The REAL injury pain is obvious. There aren’t any doubts. When I first got overuse of IT Band I diagnosed myself while I was out running on the track. I knew it. I just had a gut feeling that said “this pain is different.” And it stuck around and when I saw a doctor I was right.

It’s so important to listen to your body and if it’s telling you something, take note. Don’t try to push through an injury. It will just make it worse and longer to heal. Also, you can get Runner’s Knee from other activities–not just running! Just like getting fitted for good running shoes, go get fitted for your bike! It makes a world of difference. Read: Professional Bike Fit & New Doctor.

I hope I answered your questions. I’m not an expert in running by any means but hopefully some of my experience can help other new runners in their journey.