100 Days of Keto: Achievement Unlocked!

100daysofketo_wk11

I am so excited to be writing this blog post right now. It took a little longer than I planned on my last challenge post but, with 3 weeks still to go, I reached my goal this week on the 100 Days of Keto challenge! In fact, I kind of blew this week out of the water by losing EIGHT POUNDS! I owe it all to an unplanned intermittent fasting day this last Thursday. I was sure I would gain it all back over the following few days (I was very skeptical of fasting) but I kept on losing and went down another pound. This has been an incredible journey and I can’t wait until the next challenge starts.

This past week I also had my yearly check up with my doctor. Last time he saw me I was 35 pounds heavier. Needless to say I blew him away. It was also a refreshing surprise that he wasn’t against the Keto diet at all. He was happy it was working for me and just made sure to do thorough testing.

This past week has been an important milestone for me. Not just because I succeeded in my first weight loss challenge but I also learned that it’s okay to go out and relax as well. Last Friday I went out with co-workers and had a few drinks and munched on very non-keto friendly bar food. I had quite a bit of anxiety leading up to going out because I was afraid it would destroy my progress. It was a pleasant surprise for me that it didn’t stall my progress at all but I learned at the end of the day it’s OKAY to enjoy yourself and have fun with friends. All in moderation, right?

Here’s to another 100 Days of Keto and more amazing experiences!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

mexstuffedpeppers

I tried a new spin on cooking with La Fiesta Taco Seasoning and it was a hit! Full of flavor and, dare I say, better than taco salad.

MEXICAN STUFFED PEPPERS

Servings: 4

4 Green Bell Peppers
1 lb Ground Beef
1 - 2 tbs La Fiesta Taco Seasoning (keto friendly!)
1 1/2 - 2 cups Shredded Dubliner Cheese

Toppings:
Sour Cream
Salsa
Whatever you like!

1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. In a frying pan, cook up the ground beef and
   when it is nearly cooked through add
   Taco Seasoning to your taste.
2. Prepare peppers by using a paring knife 
   to cut the tops off. Scrape out the inside
   a bit with a spoon but be careful not to
   penetrate the sides or bottom.
3. Place your peppers on a baking sheet and
   when your taco meat is cooked through start
   layering the meat with cheese inside your peppers.
   I shred Dubliner because it has 0 net carbs.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.
5. Top with your favorite taco toppings like sour cream,
   salsa, or hot sauce!

Net Carbs

For 1 pepper with the taco meat and Dubliner cheese (no toppings) we are looking at about 4 Net Carbs depending on the size of the pepper which is the only source of carbs.

Keep in mind many cheeses will have carbs in them so don’t forget to count them.

Low Carb Meatloaf

lowcarbmeatloaf

Meatloaf has always been one of our favorite home cooked, Sunday meals. Since starting on my Keto journey we have been avoiding it because of a few of the main ingredients in my traditional recipe: bread crumbs, ketchup and brown sugar. I recently decided to take on the task of converting this traditional favorite to low carb goodness.

LOW CARB MEATLOAF

Loaf:
 2 lbs ground beef
 1 tbs minced garlic
 2 tbs dried onion flakes
 S&P
 1 tbs dried oregano (or more depending on your taste)
 1 tbs dried basil (or more depending on your taste)
 1c Pork Rind crumbles
 1 egg

Sauce:
 2/3 cup low carb tomato sauce
 * We had left over low carb spagetti sauce so I used 
   that and it worked out fine
 1 tbs Dijon mustard
 1 tbs Worchestershire Sauce
 1 tbs Brown Sugar Sweetner
 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. Grease a loaf pan of your choice
3. To create Pork Rind crumbles I used a food processor 
   but you could also place the rinds in a sandwich bag
   and crush them to make the crumbles
4. Over low heat in a sauce pan mix together 
   ingredients for sauce. 
5. After a the sauce begins to simmer
   remove from heat
6. Mix together loaf ingredients in a
   separate mixing bowl
7. Add about 1/3 c of sauce to loaf mixture
8. Add loaf mixture to loaf pan. I tend to 
   flatten it out for more even slices
9. Spread a few spoonfuls of the sauce on 
   top of the loaf and place in oven
10. Cook for about 45 minutes
11. Around 45 minutes add a little more
    sauce to top along with sprinkling
    brown sugar sweetner then place into
    broiler for 5 - 10 minutes. This creates
    a tasty little crust on top. 
12. Keep an eye on the loaf in the broiler. You
    are watching for caramelization but, of course,
    don't want to burn the top of your loaf.
13. Allow the loaf to sit for a few minutes after
    removing from the broiler before slicing.
14. For extra flavor return the sauce to the
    stove top and warm through. Serve on top of
    meatloaf slices, like gravy.

Net Carbs

The entire loaf, based off the brands of ingredients I used, was about 9 net carbs. That is about .75 to 1.25 net carbs per slice, depending on the size of your slices.

Cheesy Zucchini Noodles with Sausage

My new favorite kitchen tool has been the Vegetable Spiralizer from ScharfPro. When we are trying to have a quick dinner I pull it out, spiral up some zucchini and toss it into a pot. Our latest favorite, by both big and little people in our house, is zucchini noodles with cheese and sliced sausage.

CHEESY ZUCHINI NOODLES WITH SAUSAGE

3 medium size zucchinis
2/3 cup shredded cheese
2 or 3 sausage links. 
Extra virgin olive oil or cooking oil of choice

1. Using a spiralizer, create strands of zucchini 
   resembling noodles.
2. Warm oil in pan on medium heat. Add zucchini noodles 
   and cook thoroughly. Cover with lid to cook faster.
3. Once Zucchini has cooked drain access liquid 
4. Return to heat and add shredded cheese and sliced sausage
5. Return lid and lower heat to low while cheese is melting 
   and sausage is warming through.

 

Net Carbs

About 8 per serving (half of dish)

This completely depends upon what type of cheese and sausage you use.

100 Days of Keto: Week 6 Update

100daysofketo_wk6

As the summer officially came to a close I finished it out with a bang. This week I broke my weekly weight loss high score by losing 5.6 lbs in 7 days. A lot contributed to that such as busy days cleaning and moving things around the house, consecutive days with 10 or less net carbs and I also feel including Bulletproof Coffee with Brain Octane in my daily regimen has significantly improved my weight loss progress and my overall well being.

Current weight loss: 16.8 lbs
Remaining challenge weight to lose: 8.2 lbs
Weeks remaining: 8

I’m going to challenge myself to lose the remaining 8 lbs of the challenge in 4 weeks. With the great progress I have been making I’m confident I can do it!

My next goal will be to lose another 10-15 lbs in the remaining 8 weeks before the new year. With that loss I will be entering the new year 57lbs lighter than when I started Keto in mid-July.

I have been working on some new recipe ideas which I’m excited to share on the blog. I will be writing those out this week. I also am putting together some grocery shopping lists to share and help newcomers to Keto. I found Keto initially very intimidating and what got me started was the One Week Keto Meal Plan on the Keto sub-Reddit. Look for those in the coming days and weeks.

Hope everyone is having a great start to their week! We got this!

wegotthis

 

Low Carb Biscuits & Gravy

biscuitsandgravy

Biscuits and gravy has always been a beloved special breakfast in our house. Now that I am on a ketogenic diet and my family is slowly converting I thought I would put a keto twist on our old breakfast favorite.

LOW CARB BISCUITS & GRAVY

Serves 6

GRAVY
1 lb pork sausage
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

MUFFINS
Follow Baking a Batch of Low Carb Flax Muffins

1. In a skillet, brown pork sausage
2. Once thoroughly cooked, sprinkle in the almond flour.
   I add it in at about 1/8 cup at a time. You want it 
   to soak up the fat in the skillet and coat the sausage
3. Pour in heavy whipping cream in 1/4 cup increments. 
   If you feel you need to thin out the gravy add in 
   coconut milk. Feel free to use more heavy whipping 
   cream instead if you want.
4. Warm through with heat on low, keep in mind it 
   will continue to thicken over time
5. Serve over flax muffins

Macro Nutrients *

Serving size: 1/6 of skillet

Without Muffins
3 Net Carbs
30g Fat
10g Protein
325 Calories

With 2 Muffins
7 Net Carbs
46g Fat
24g Protein
575 Calories

* These are estimates based on the specific ingredients I used

Baking a Batch of Flax Muffins

flaxmuffindozen

Being the only full-time ketoer in the house I generally only make one flax muffin at the time using my Quick and Easy Flax Muffin recipe. Today, I needed to make a batch to go with biscuits and gravy so I spent some time to expand the recipe. Afterwards I realized I forgot to add butter or coconut oil but they still turned out great! Feel free to include a fat base if you want. It would make the muffin more moist and dense. I would recommend 1/4 to 1/3 cup depending on your taste. Just make sure it’s in liquid form so you can mix it in easier and don’t forget to adjust your macros.

KETO FLAX MUFFINS

Yields 12 medium sized muffins

2 cups flaxseed meal
1/4 cup Swerve (powdered Erythritol)
1 tbs baking powder
2 tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
5 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Grease muffin pan or use muffin cups. 
3. In a mixing bowl combine flax seed meal, Swerve, 
   baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt. 
4. Once dry ingredients are combined add eggs and 
   unsweetened coconut milk. Mix well.
5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 13-15 minutes

Macro Nutrients *

Serving size: 1 muffin
Servings in batch: 12

2 Net Carbs
8.25g Fat
7g Protein
125 Calories

*These are estimates based on the specific ingredients I used

Victory & 100 Days of Keto

100daysofKeto_2

I have been meaning to sit down and write an update for a few days now. I have had a fairly busy past two weeks with big projects under way, multiple birthday get-togethers and trying to squeeze in some fun before summer is over.

If I had to condense the past two weeks of keto down to one word it would be triumph. After a birthday dinner and get together I had nearly knocked myself out of ketosis. I was crushed but determined not to give up. Earlier in the week I had happened upon the Bulletproof web site and had ordered both Bulletproof coffee beans and Brain Octane Oil – which just so happened to arrive the day after nearly overdosing on carbs. I nursed myself with Bulletproof Coffee, slowing crawling out of the carb-induced hangover that had overcome me. I was sure that I had lost all of the progress I had made the previous week and worried over reaching my goal on the 100 Days of Keto challenge but over the next few days something amazing happened. There is no other word to describe it other than to say that I just started feeling awesome! Every day, as I worked my way up to a full serving of Brain Octane Oil, I felt more and more awake. It’s as if I power-washed my brain.

As the week continued I wondered if I had gained back any weight. Scared and nervous over what I would find, I weighed myself halfway through the week and I was stunned. I had lost almost 2 pounds in a matter of three days – including the night out! With renewed resolve and determination I finished out the week feeling amazing.

I weighed myself again this morning before writing this update. I’m down nearly another 5 pounds. Now, I can’t say if it’s solely because of Bulletproof Coffee or not but one thing is for sure – in the week that I have been drinking Bulletproof Coffee I have felt more alive, more me than ever before. I am so excited to check in for week two on the 100 Days of Keto tomorrow!

Over the next two weeks I should have lots of recipes to post about. I went a little overboard shopping today with tons of big ideas in my head on new meals and keto-fying dishes. Stay tuned and to stay in touch on day-to-day things be sure to check me out on Instagram as @Ketoswitch.

 

First Month Complete!

onemonthimage

It has been a crazy busy weekend in our house but I wanted to take few minutes to write about my first month on keto. With one month complete I am down 15 lbs and so far averaging 2-3lbs per week after water weight. I have settled into daily life keeping track of my macro intake and it’s become second nature. Keto has influenced the rest of my household as well. Both my spouse and son are consuming less sugary foods and carbohydrates overall.

Today I spent  quite a bit of time cooking and preparing food for the week. I have herb baked eggs for breakfasts, chicken salad for lunches and I baked up a loaf of almond bread that I am super excited about. I will definitely be posting that recipe soon!

As I start in on my second month I have joined in on the /r/100DaysofKeto challenge. My challenge for myself is 25lbs in 100 days. If I can keep up my pace, I should hit that no problem! I can’t wait to see!

Cheesy Spinach Breakfast Muffins

cheesyspinachmuffins.JPG

I loved having these on hand for work during the week. I just snagged one and tossed it in my lunch bag on my way out the door. You could make these up in a mini or full size muffin/cupcake pan. Just be sure that you split the macro nutrients accordingly so you can have an idea of what you’re eating to keep track.

It can be hard to keep track of your macro nutrients with recipes like this because one muffin may have more spinach or cheese than another. I tried to do my best to make them equal but at the end of the day I think if you can stay as close as you can to your personal set macros then you’re doing great!

CHEESY SPINACH BREAKFAST MUFFINS

6 eggs
1 tbs heavy whipping cream
1 tbs dried onion
1 tbs minced garlic
2 cups fresh spinach
2/3 c shredded colby or sharp cheddar
olive oil or butter
salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°f
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and heavy whipping cream
3. In a frying pan, warm olive oil or butter to cook up the spinach.
4. Once all of the spinach is wilted down, add in garlic and dried onion.
   Mix well and warm through then remove from heat.
4. Add the spinach mixture and cheese to eggs and salt and pepper to
   your preference. Mix well.
5. In a buttered muffin pan, fill each cup about 1/2 to 2/3 full
   with your eggy mixture.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
7. Reheats in microwave in about 30-60 seconds.

Macro Nutrients*

Serving size: Entire batch **
Servings in batch: 18-24 mini muffins or 12-18 full size muffins

15 Net Carbs
96g Fat
57g Protein
831 Calories

* These are estimates based on the specific ingredients I used
** Be sure to take the numbers above and divide by the total number of muffins you made to get your macro nutrient count per muffin