Happy New Year! I took a few months off from blogging to focus a little more on self-care, and I did so by finally doing what my rheumatologist told me to do months ago: go on a low-carb diet. I had been hesitating for some time because I assumed it would be too expensive for me to pursue at my current income level. However, I was invited to join a keto group that piqued my interest.
The funny thing is about getting started was that I decided to start for the sole purpose of proving that I wouldn’t be able to afford to continue. That was in September 2018, and I’m still doing it, so I was wrong as two left shoes.
There are different types of low-carb diets, and after reviewing the versions of the keto diet, I decided to go with LCHF (low carb, high fat). Attempting strict keto turned out to be entirely too stressful for me. I didn’t like counting macros, I tend to make up recipes that wouldn’t be listed in any carb-counting app, and there were times when I had to make some exceptions for financial reasons. (For example, most of the food I eat isn’t organic and I have never purchased avocado oil because I can’t afford it.) To be honest, I’m not trying to get into ketosis, and I have never checked to see if I was, either.
Yeah, that’s right. For the strict keto follower who may be reading this, I apologize in advance for offending you, but peeing on test strips just wasn’t for me. Anyway…
What I do is aim for keto-friendly meals and snacks most of the time. I generally avoid sugars, starches and grains as well as most fruit and legumes. I do indulge in carbs here and there, but it’s a conscious decision rather than just mindlessly eating pretzels while on Facebook like I used to do. I also designated Saturday as my cheat day to keep myself from feeling deprived. (I jokingly call this a keto sabbath.)
Have I lost weight? Yep. Dramatic weight loss? Nope. I prefer to lose weight slowly to improve my chances of keeping it off. As of today, I have lost 17 pounds since I started this low-carb journey. It still amazes me that it happened because some of the meals I make don’t feel like I’m on a special meal plan at all. I had fun experimenting and reading about low-carb recipes online. Here’s some of the foods I made with a full disclaimer that I am not a food stylist:
Thanks to recipe tips from keto groups, Pinterest, YouTube, keto websites and just Googling, I was able to find lots of ideas, some of which I tweaked because I didn’t have all the ingredients. (Xanthan gum is still on my wish list.) However, here’s the Cheesebuns recipe I used for my pizza crust, although I also add 1/2 tsp of baking powder to mine:
I still have a long way to go with the goals of reducing chronic inflammation and getting back under 200 pounds, but I have begun to see a difference. I imagine that I will continue this way of eating in some form for the rest of my life so that I can keep my health in check. After all, doctor’s orders.