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!

Obstacles and Motivation

I got an email from a reader who had some questions for me. I thought I’d try and address them here.

The vision that motivated me was twofold. First, I was tired of being in pain. I was having a lot of health issues (high blood pressure, pre-diabetic). My back and knees and feet hurt all the time from the extra 100 pounds. Second, I was tired of not being okay in my body. There was definitely an emotional aspect to wanting to lose weight–wanting to be skinny, wanting to be pretty, wanting a life partner some day, wanting to be able to wear cute clothes that actually fit properly. There is definitely a motivating factor in vanity, but I would say that the health issues were the #1 reason I wanted to lose weight.

The biggest obstacle? Good question. I would say there were several. The first obstacle was that the idea of losing 100 pounds was a very overwhelming number. It seemed unattainable. In order to overcome that very scary, very unrealistic goal, I decided I would start small. I was going to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding in one year and I wanted to lose 50 pounds by then. I worked really hard and reached that goal and then it didn’t seem so hard to lose another 50 pounds.

Another obstacle would probably be the weight loss plateaus. Those were really hard. I’d be losing weight, feeling better, getting stronger, buying clothes in smaller sizes…and then all of a sudden it would stop. I didn’t know a lot about nutrition, really, and I definitely went through phases of overexercising thinking I could just work off the weight. I see now that that was pretty disordered–like working out for 3 hours because you ate some pizza. That’s not healthy. It’s better to just recognize your mistake and do better the next day…not punish yourself!

I don’t know that I ever “failed.” Failure implies that I gave up or that I stopped trying. I was so determined and so focused on my goals that failure was not an option. I was not going to quit. Even when I hit plateaus, when my weight fluctuated up and down, I kept my eyes on the road and just kept doing what I was doing. And it worked in the end.

These days, I am definitely finding it harder to not look at my lack of weight loss post-baby as a failure. I have been very hard on myself about how difficult it has been to lose even 10 pounds. It can be discouraging and frustrating and depressing. But I am still trying. I never gave up before, and I don’t plan on quitting now.

Whenever I didn’t hit a goal before, I looked at what I was doing and tried to figure out things to I could change. I often got into ruts and switching up my diet helped. Cutting out trigger foods helped (pizza and ice cream). Changing my workouts was definitely good! I started running and fell in love with it and it was very motivating for me in terms of weight loss and just EATING BETTER. I had to re-evaluate everything I was doing to be a better runner.

Training for races helped. It helped keep me focused. It gave me a goal to work towards. It helped me stay motivated to work out. I had something to train for. Something to look forward to. That has been the #1 thing keeping me going–HAVING A GOAL (losing 50 pounds before the wedding, training for a race, etc). I think it’s better to have focused, specific goals instead of vague ideas.

So there ya go, hopefully that answered the questions!