weight loss

Keto, Low Carb & Quarantine

I want to start by saying that Keto is not for everyone. It’s a diet that takes a LOT of planning. It takes a LOT of tracking. You have to be on top of things or you are not doing the keto diet.

I was doing keto and basically maintaining at this point, not losing, which was frustrating in a lot of ways.

Then this covid-19 thing happened and things changed. Suddenly, the grocery store felt like a battle ground. You had to wear a mask, wipe everything down, try to avoid touching things as much as you can, avoid people…we were working from home and I was only going to the grocery store about every 9-12 days instead of weekly (or twice a week).

So my buying habits had to change. We were pretty stocked up on proteins because of Costco (in our freezer we have: frozen chicken thighs, burger patties, pork chops, salmon, shrimp, scallops, bratwursts). I had frozen veggies (cauliflower rice, green beans, cauliflower mash, etc). But fresh produce does not last long so I had to be creative.

For awhile there eggs were hard to find in my grocery store. We were never OUT of them but had to ration (now stores have them fully stocked).

So for breakfasts I rotate: one day I do my plain greek yogurt with blueberries (frozen, from Costco, defrosted) with almonds, chia seeds and keto granola. Another day I will do keto toast with cream cheese or avocado and two fried or scrambled eggs. Sometimes Michael will make a hash (sauteed sweet potatoes topped with smoked salmon, arugula and fried eggs). Logan has frozen waffles, eggs, toast with applesauce or fruit or oatmeal. He’s also on a rotation. πŸ™‚

Dinners are largely the same when we were doing keto but once a week we are doing a pasta or rice dish to help stretch the pantry items and make it so I don’t need to go to the grocery store as often. One night I wanted an easy dinner and made rice, beans, avocado, salsa, with sour cream and jalapenos. Basically a vegetarian bowl. Another night we had pasta with cajun shrimp.

It’s definitely harder to stick to a keto or low carb diet during the quarantine because we can’t have fresh items as often. And we have to be creative with meals sometimes. I do see a lot of keto people sticking to it, and I commend them.

So far in the 6 or so weeks that I’ve been home I’ve been working out 5 days a week still and I gained 2-3 pounds. I guess from eating carbs. There are days here and there where I am a little “snacky” and eat junk (like crackers or chips) but I try not to buy junk food at all to not have the temptation in the house!

I have started up doing sourdough bread again.

Which is fun. It’s something to do as a family, too. Logan helped!

And Michael even tried his hand at doing his very own loaf!

It’s been a struggle with the weight and exercise thing (more mentally than anything). But right now is not the time to focus on that–now is the time to give ourselves grace and be patient with ourselves while the world is a scary place.

QUESTION: How has your diet/exercise mentality changed during the covid-19 pandemic?

Mediterranean Diet

Recently I talked about wanting to try the Mediterranean Diet.

I’ve been doing keto on and off since February. It worked really well in the beginning. I lost about 10-12 pounds or so in the first few months and I honestly felt really good! I cleared up my psoriasis, I had energy and felt pretty good. I definitely felt better and more satisfied than when I tried low-carb diets in the past.

What I didn’t like about keto? It takes a LOT of tracking. It’s hard to stay under 25 grams of carbs for the day. It takes a lot of mental energy and planning to stay on track with your macros and meal planning. It was also a little triggering. I found that I started to look at certain foods as being “Bad Foods” and then feeling anxiety or guilt if I ate them. I don’t think that’s a healthy way to look at any food. I can see that someone with a history of anxiety or eating disorders could get very obsessive on a diet like keto.

I started reading about the Mediterranean Diet and it sounded really good. It wasn’t new to me. There are a lot of benefits to this diet. It’s helpful for heart health, controlling blood sugar, it might protect against cancer and depression. Supposedly it’s good for your brain, too.

It’s fairly simple to follow, which is also a plus. It looks to me like you can basically eat MOST things in moderation, unlike keto that is very restrictive.

Avoid these Foods

  • Sugar (soda, candy, etc)
  • Refined grains (white breads and pasta)
  • Trans Fats and Refined Oils (margarine, soybean oil, canola oil, etc)
  • Processed meats (sausages, hot dogs, etc)
  • Highly processed foods (anything that is “low fat” or “diet)

Foods to Eat

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and eggs
  • Whole grains (brown rice, rye, barley, whole wheat, corn, buckwheat)
  • Dairy
  • Herbs and spices
  • Healthy fats (EEVO, olives, avocado, avocado oil)

Looking at these food pyramids, I don’t know that I am 100% on board with it. One of my takeaways from doing keto is that I DO agree, that limiting carbs is a good thing. It just is. Maybe you don’t need to do extreme low carb, but maybe just cutting out bread and pasta and getting your carbs from vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruit and beans. (So basically a variation of Slow Carb).

The good news is that this diet is basically ME. I love all of those things. I love Greek food. I love hummus and plain Greek yogurt. I eat a lot of seafood. So basically I need to limit red meat, cut out sugar and it’s not a huge change from what I used to do before keto!

So I recently spent a few hours perusing websites for recipes and meal plans and created my own meal plan for three weeks. I found some REALLY delicious-sounding recipes I was excited to try.

I am still going to try and limit my carbs (bread and pasta). Maybe the pasta dishes are just once a week. I definitely won’t be eating pasta daily!