Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Porn...of the best kind - FOOD!!!!

So I have been eating a ketogenic diet now for almost 2 months - it will be 2 months on March 6, 2014. I can't believe how well I feel.  I really thought that I would miss sugar, but now I find if I have anything sweet, it is too much.  I had a Coke Zero the other day and I had to double check that I wasn't drinking just a plain, regular coke.

What do I eat...good lord...where do I begin.  I eat stuff like this:

The beginning of a bacon cheddar explosion.  This is ground pork rolled up with a bacon weave and cheddar in the centre.
 And then you wrap it up in another bacon weave...

 And it comes out looking like this thing of beauty.

Bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with cream cheese and spinach and some mushrooms in a cream sauce.  There really is quite a bit of bacon in this way of eating.
Brie stuffed burger on a bed of baby arugula.

 Cheddar cheese crisps and salsa.  These are nifty.  You turn your oven on to about 350 and on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, drop mounds of shredded cheese.  This cheese was Kraft Habanero Heat (a fave of mine).  You need to watch these because they crisp and brown up pretty fast.  When they are done, take them out, let them cool and voila - chips.  I had these with salsa but I have also had them with cream cheese and just a sour cream dip.
Chia breakfast pudding.  Yes...Chia as in Chia pets.  These little seeds plump up when left overnight in a glass of almond milk, vanilla extract and some liquid sweetener and you end up with a sort of milk pudding.  The chia seeds still have a bit of a crunch to it.  I was a little hesitant at first, but love this.  This particular batch is 2 servings.  Full of fibre and very filling.
Chocolate whipped cream mousse with some dark chocolate.  Simplest thing I have made.  2 tablespoons of whipping cream, some unsweetened cocoa and some liquid sweetener.  Blend that up and add a bit of 85% dark chocolate.
Mint chocolate mousse.  Same procedure as above but add some mint extract at the end.  I also do this and use orange extract - tastes just like a Terry's Chocolate Orange.
 Peanut butter almond chocolate fat bombs.  Fat bombs - what are fat bombs.  Well they are pretty much a sweet way to get extra fat into your diet.  These ones are composed of cocoa, coconut oil, butter, almond butter, all melted and poured into foil cupcake liners.  Then I topped these ones with unsweetened peanut butter and added a dollop of fresh cream.
Curry fritata.  I make a lot of fritatas as they are just eggs and you can add what you want to them.  They have the consistency of a crustless quiche and are extremely filling.
 Lemon fat bombs and almond crackers.  Mmm fat bombs again. This time made with lemon juice, lemon zest, cream cheese, butter, coconut oil and shredded unsweetened coconut.

Not that fond of the almond crackers but needed to give them a try as I eat a ton of cheese.  All different kinds of cheese.  Om nom nom.
Fathead pizza - with a shitload of meat, cheese and jalapenos. You just have to Google this.  I didn't think it would turn out - heck I was wrong.  I thought I would now be one of those people that had to pick off all the toppings off my pizza because I couldn't have a crust.  I was wrong.
 Cheddar jalapeno biscuits.  OMG these were to die for.  Like seriously to die for.  There is also a copycat recipe for the Red Lobster biscuits as well.  I ended up making my own "Sausage and Egg Muffin" with one of these and it was great.
 A buried burger - stuffed with goat cheese, sirracha mayo, avocado on a bed of lettuce.  I have a thing for goat cheese.  I love goat cheese, heck I love all cheeses but goat cheese has this tanginess that just bites with this burger.  I am sure a lamb burger would be better suited with the cheese, but I certainly wasn't complaining.

 Lamb chops and bacon with fried kale covered in bacon ranch dressing.  I have always loved lamb.  It's fatty and crisps up, it has a gamier taste to it, it's good.  So this has been one of my go to items of meat while I have been eating like this.  I cannot wait for bbq season and throw some of these on the grill.
 Non-grain nut cereal.  I miss having a bowl of cereal and so this seems to work out perfectly.  It is pecans, slivered almonds, coconut and slivered hazelnuts.  Toasted in the frying pan with some butter and lightly sweetened with Truvia.  Two tablespoons of this with a half cup of almond milk or coconut milk hits the spot.
 Spinach and mushroom omelette with a side of bacon.  I have a lot of breakfast for supper eating this way.
Roast with a side of green beans and cheddar .
Pork rind crusted chicken with a side of cauliflower/garlic/cheese mash.  Right, so I can't use your conventional flour and I didn't have almond flour so I saw that some people crushed pork rinds and made a coating for chicken.  It was phenomenal.  Crispy and yummy and my chicken was still juicy.

And if you haven't tried cauli-mash...you really should.
Pork rind nachos.  Yep, pork rind nachos.  Chicken, beef, whatever you would like to toss on there that is Keto friendly.
 Roast with fried kale and ranch dressing.
 A little snack of salami layered with cream cheese.  I had this before my work's Winter Gala.  Fat is very filling so I wanted to make sure I had something just in case I got to dinner and couldn't eat anything.  This is 7 pieces of salami with some chive cream cheese in between each slice.
 Salmon patties with a sirracha sauce and roasted cabbage
 Steak and Shirataki noodles (done stir fry style).  Shirataki noodles or the miracle noodle.  Barely any calories and no carbs.  I think they are an acquired taste.  These were the thin noodles and I prefer the ones that look like fettuccine noodles.  They are a little more chewy than your normal pasta but they are great for a side or to throw together with some cream sauce and meatballs.
Stuffed green pepper.  Gotta have a stuffed pepper.

So that's pretty much it. Well actually it isn't, I have a lot of food pictures because I like to annoy my Facebook friends with them, but if you are reading this, we are likely friends, and you are likely on my Facebook and you have likely seen this.  Surprise...you get to see them again.  Like I said, this is the best I have felt in a long time.  My skin is better, I feel better, I am not craving carbs at all.  I don't feel like I am sacrificing anything in the name of a "diet".  I am enjoying what I am eating.  All in all I would say that is a win-win situation.And everyone needs a win-win situation now and again.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Reading, Riting, Rithmatic

Let’s just get that “Rithmatic” shit out of the way.  I don’t like it, I don’t do it (other than to dish out equal portions to 3 children who screamed unfairness that their sibling got “more than they did.”  I think I unconsciously gravitated to the helping careers because there was no math involved.  So that’s out of the way.

I love, love, love to read.  I think reading is a gateway for a time out or an escape from the harsh confounds of life.  What I have read has not really changed since I began reading in my younger years, however how I read has.  I cringed when my favourite book was released – in hardcover only.  See I read in bed and hardcover books are cumbersome and annoying and don’t sit properly.  I hate breaking the spine and usually with a hardcover (take a big breath fellow book reader), I get frustrated and snap the spine.  So it was a choice, muddle through a hardcover, or wait for the paperback.  I usually waited for the paperback.

Now I read digitally.  Again, not always the greatest way to read.  You have never experienced pain until the tablet you are reading your latest novel from, falls on your face as you realize you have actually drifted off to sleep.  I am always grateful that I don’t need my glasses to read as I only imagine that would intensify the pain.

I really had a sullen part of childhood.  I was a brooder; I spent a lot of time in my room.  My introvert side was quite prevalent as a child and young adult. Of course there are only so many books you can read before your eyes get crossed and so one day I decided to pick up a pen and write. 

My family is famous for writing stupid poetry to each other, poems about tripping over pigs and the like (never said I came from normality!).  My poems were harsh.  They were written from a place of pain and sadness and confusion and rarely were they about rainbows and butterflies.  I wrote a few stories, one of which I handed in as an English assignment and is still in the school library to this day.  I didn’t ever have any goals of becoming published.  I did it because I liked it.  I did it because it brought me some peace while my mind was occupied in the imagination zone.  I was able to scratch the scab and let it bleed if you will. (Like I said sullen, brooder).

I am not sure why I stopped writing.  I think a big part of it was that life got more enjoyable.  I got married and had children – oh, wait, there’s my answer right there.  Any parent knows that any recreational activity that requires aloneness and concentration cannot be achieved with little people under the age of 5.  Heck, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom alone until they were older and one of those little people still tries to talk to me through the door.

I also think that my ego kicked in and my inner voice let me know, quite loudly that I probably wasn’t good enough and should just stop wasting my time.  I am working even to this day to change that voice – it criticizes me in a lot of areas in my life.
So here I am, on this journey to rediscover Melanie.  The person, the woman.  Not the mother or the wife or the ex-wife or the friend, or the co-worker.  I know that person, but I have lost me, the person I once spent a lot of time alone with.  I have spent a good many years being all things for everyone else and have stepped off my own path, only to discover that I don’t know where I am anymore.  I don't think that everyone is going to like the fact that I am looking for my path, or like it when I get back on it and that's okay because you can't please everyone all the time and honestly I am pretty tired of trying to.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Long Time no Talk

Crazy, I log on and see the date...3 years ago.  My last entry was so long ago.  I guess I was talking :)

So many things are so different and yet so the same.  I read the last posts I made and to be honest am slightly amazed that "I" wrote those.  I love to write but I don't always think that what is in my head will come out as eloquently on paper (or in this case - a digital page).

I have recently made a lot of changes in my life - mostly due to un-happiness and a feeling of being stuck in quicksand that has been taking it's time in sucking me to a depth I can never climb from.  Suffocation in your own life is the worst feeling.  Self-imposed suffocation is worse.

On January 5th I read a status update on Facebook that a friend had made.  It was a re-cap of the previous year - It was the beginning of a new year, we all do it.  Anyway, she had made a reference to losing 30 lbs over the last year thanks to LC-HF.  I had NO idea what LC-HF so I used what any person in this generation uses and Googled that right up.

You know you need answers when you find yourself actually clicking on Page 2 of your search.   It was just so interesting, this information.  LC-HF stands for Low Carb-High Fat or as it is technically known - a Ketogenic way of eating.  It is actually used to assist children with seizures.  In a nutshell, it is a way of eating that converts the way you burn fuel.  Generally on a "normal" diet, you eat a lot of carbohydrates and in turn, your body uses these "sugars" as a way to fuel your body.  In a Keto way of eating, your body doesn't have the option to burn carbohydrates, so it burns fat instead.

It is really hard to wrap you head around the fact that you actually eat a lot of fat, albeit it good fat, but a lot of it.  We are taught that fat is bad for you and is going to cause clogged arteries and obesity and you will eventually just balloon up and end up in an episode of "My 600 lb Life" or worse, you will be driving to work and just collapse of a heart attack.

I have already figured out the numbers I needed in order to lose weight (from my old way of dieting).  I am short, so my BMR is pretty low.  This is the number that you really shouldn't eat under.  Mine happens to be around 1325 calories.  This number is basically what I burn just breathing.  If I sat my behind down on the couch and did nothing at all this is the number of calories I would burn in a day.  So, my body needs this many at least.  For women, they do say not to go below 1200 calories a day as this can set you up for some issues later on.

Of course we do things during the day.  Walk to the office from our cars, walk to the photocopier, move around, talk, laugh - all of which burn more calories.  Adding all these things up gives you your total daily calories burned.  Depending on what I am doing, mine tend to be around 1600 or so.  So in order to maintain my weight, I should just eat 1600 calories a day.  In order to lose weight, I need to create a deficit.  I can do this one of two ways...exercise (Bwah ha ha) or cut my calories.  So I cut my calories.  I eat around 1350-1400 calories a day.

Now I have to factor in the percentages of carbs, protein and fat I need to eat.  I usually eat around 10% carbs, 20% protein and 70% fat.  A far cry from what I used to eat - the majority of calories came from protein and carbs.  Confused yet?  Yeah, it's pretty hard to figure out so thank goodness there are programs that do that for you.

I use My Fitness Pal to track what I eat and ensure that I stay within my percentages.  It is eye-opening when you track to actually see where things are at in terms of your eating.  A little nibble and taste here and there can really add up to lot of calories.

So I have been doing this since January 6, 2014.  Is it working?  Well let's see:

This is my weight tracker that I use.  As you can see, it's working.  I started out on January 6th at 163lbs.  Today, February 17th, I stepped on the scales and recorded 148.8lbs.  This is the lowest I have been in 2 years.

I am trying to get back to where I was when I quit smoking - 135lbs and I am now 14lbs away from goal.  I love how I eat.  I love the creative recipes that are out there in order to make low carb fun (remember no bread, no pasta, no rice).  I have made some great breads out of almond flour and coconut flour.  I have created cereal for myself because I missed having cereal.  I plan to put some of my stuff up here eventually.

So there we go, an update from the long lost me.  The weight journey is just one path I am on this year.  The rest will be a discussion for next time.