GEEKS Do KETO! Diet Journey Day 7 Update
We survived a full week of the Keto Diet! This calls for a celebration in the form of an update post!
We’ll start by going right to the point everyone wants to know: yes, we’ve lost weight! Jason is down about 6.5 pounds, and I’m down approximately 3 lbs! That’s the biggest drop either of us has seen in ages, so I’m impressed with the diet so far. In fact, I’m honestly pretty amazed. It’s difficult to get over the counter-intuitive idea that eating more fat is a good thing. Yet, it’s working! This is one case in which I’m happy to be wrong.
We also learned a lot about our food options, pros and cons, and our, *ahem*, tolerances in the past week. Let’s go through the past 6 days (you can read about day 1 here) and check out all the highlights and low points.
In my first post I mentioned that day 1 was mostly punctuated by moments of “what the hell can we eat?” However, the dinner in particular was delicious and put us in good moods for the beginning of the diet. Day 2 was quite similar. I’ve never been the best at planning ahead, so the day was rife with ransacking the kitchen.
Breakfast was a boiled egg with a few thin slices of roast beef and a very small portion of peaches. It wasn’t bad, but was an odd combination that I basically cobbled together out of duress. I also concluded afterward that the packaged peaches I’d bought should be saved for days when our net carb count has been very low. Even that small portion had more carbs than the rest of the meal combined. Curse you delicious fruit!
Dinner was once again the highlight of the day, however. I made a recipe I found on Pinterest: Italian Keto Meatballs with Mozzarella Cheese. IT WAS DELICIOUS. Genuinely delicious. It was basically meatballs bound with cheese and eggs instead of breadcrumbs, with a sauce based out of whole canned tomatoes. It would have been a little more filling and hearty if it had been paired with some kind of noodles, but more on that later…
Later that night (yes, we’re still in the terrible schedule habit!) we each had an open-faced sandwich with keto bread and some leftover sandwich meats. Though it was a little difficult to eat with only once slice of bread, it was tasty enough. Along with that we had a bowl of sugar-free Jello, which might be my new favorite thing. It has zero carbs! Unfortunately Jason is very much not a fan of Jello, so I’m still looking for a similar treat that he can have instead.
All in all, Day 2 was a good one. There were moments of hunger, and plenty of “dammit, we can’t eat that” moments, but we were starting to get the hang of things.
On Day 3 I decided to put a little more effort into breakfast. I mixed up some eggs, heavy cream, green onions, and ripped up sandwich meats, and fried us up a delicious omelette. It was more filling than I expected it to be, and we ate it later in the morning, so we once again ended up skipping lunch. I know! It’s terrible! We’ll eventually get better!
Dinner wasn’t as good on Day 3 as it was the first two days, but it was still delicious! I made a “Big Mac Salad”, which I also found on Pinterest. For all intents and purposes it was all the ingredients of a Big Mac aside from the bun. It even had it’s own “salad dressing” designed to taste like the Big Mac secret sauce. I think Jason was a little iffy when he saw the look of this one, but he scarfed it down all the same!
Snacks & Keto Carb Burnout:
The snack later that night was a single Hot Rod salami stick. If that seems pathetic, it’s because it is! Here’s the thing: day 3, for me, was the “I feel like I might die” day. It takes approximately 2 days for your body to burn out it’s carb stores, and it doesn’t figure out right away that it can start burning the fat instead. So day 3, for me, was the day during which my body apparently wasn’t burning anything at all. I was exhausted. I felt weak as a kitten and couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without thinking that I might collapse. Yet, strangely, I wasn’t particularly hungry. All I wanted was to go to sleep, and we did end up in bed earlier than usual that night.
I feel so much better! Time for Jason to hit carb burnout!
By the time day 4 dawned I felt much better. I don’t know if my body learned to burn fat overnight, but something flipped because I felt awake and alert. Unfortunately day 4 was Jason’s day for feeling like he might die. The symptoms were pretty much identical to mine. He was tired, lethargic, and had a very hard time with things like stairs. He also had an unfortunate incident at lunch-time, which I’ll get back to in a moment. On the good side of things, he was seeing some results, which made him rather happy!
Breakfast once again involved eggs, but I changed it up a bit by making some breakfast sausages as well. It was plenty yummy, but I do have to say that by this day I was beginning to get annoyed with eggs. They seem to be one of the only breakfast staples that won’t destroy your carb count first thing in the morning. But, of course, eating them every single day is boring. More on that later.
Lunch (yes, really!)
We actually got up and ate breakfast at a decent time on day 4, so I decided to break tradition and make lunch! I tried romaine lettuce leaves as a sandwich wrap and stuffed them with flaked tuna and a bit of mayo. It wasn’t bad, but also wasn’t exactly the tastiest thing I’ve ever had, and I don’t think Jason liked it much at all.
This is when Jason’s unfortunate incident occurred, because something in the tuna (we’re assuming) broke his damn tooth. Okay, to be fair, the tooth had already been broken for a long time – a piece chipped off at some point. But something in that tuna drove straight down into the nerve, and he’s been in some pretty serious pain ever since. So, yeah, that didn’t put either of us in the greatest of moods, and has been making it a lot more difficult for Jason to eat, of late.
Dinner that night was actually my own creation. I’d intended to make cheese-and-broccoli soup, but it was just far too hot to put up with that nonsense. Instead I fried up some simmering steak, broccoli, and onion in beef broth and soy sauce, and threw the whole thing on top of some NuPasta. Bada bing, bada boom, you’ve got beef and broccoli noodles!
Hold up. What the heck is NuPasta?
Well, if you’ve got a strong pasta tooth and you’re trying to do the Keto diet, NuPasta might be the thing that saves your sanity. I just happened to spot it on a shelf near the gluten-free options in our grocery store and picked it up to take a look. It’s made from konjac, which is kind of fibrous root that grows in Asian countries. The NuPasta company forms noodles from konjac, and because 100% of it’s carbs come directly from fiber, it contributes nothing to your daily carb count. (Net carbs = carbs – fiber)
I grabbed a package just to try and ended up going back to grab more for future meals. We don’t eat a ton of pasta in the Tobin house, but this stuff tasted so much like regular flour or egg noodles that I couldn’t pass it up as a net-carb-free option to bulk out a meal. Two thumbs up for finding carb-free options!
Days 5 & 6
I’m throwing days 5 and 6 together because we traveled “down home” for the weekend. Some of Jason’s family from away was going to be visiting, and his aunt was having everyone to the house for food and drinks and fun. This, of course, presented some interesting roadblocks, as we could neither eat most of the food she was serving, nor could we drink the types of things we normally drink.
So what did we eat?
For those two days we did a lot of scavenging and a lot of picking things apart. We ate more eggs (ugh) at Jason’s parent’s house, as well as some more roast beef and cheese. At his aunt’s house we ate hot dogs and hamburgers without bbq sauce or buns (thank goodness for cheese, lettuce, and mustard). The following day at his aunt’s house we ate slices of ham, and we got really crazy and started picking the breading off chicken wings and tenders so we could eat the chicken.
It was completely foolish. I honestly felt like a bit of a twit. And, as Jason and I spoke about afterward, we felt incredibly rude for not simply eating the food that had been provided us. So after two days of not eating all that much at all and feeling exceptionally rude, we decided that future trips to visit family will officially be our “cheat days”.
So what did we drink?
Drinking – and I assume at this point you’ve realized that I don’t mean family-friendly beverages – didn’t turn out to be that big an issue. First we tried some of the new carb-free “coolers” that have been popping up. Blue Lobster – vodka and soda water with a hint of lemon and lime – was probably Jason’s favorite. The berry-flavored Splash – vodka and soda water with artificial flavoring – was mine. The grapefruit Splash was pure garbage. Grapefruit lovers, what the hell is wrong with you? Seriously?
Beside that we’d also picked up some flavored carbonated waters called Fruit-2-O, which mixed quite well with vodka. Also, I picked up a bottle of diet root beer and mixed that with rum. Both options turned out to be more enjoyable overall than the “coolers”, and it was all carb-free, so we could drink as much as we wanted!
*Cough* Which…isn’t necessarily a good thing.
This is where I admit that I went way overboard on Saturday night. I was so surprised that the carb-free drinks were actually enjoyable that I may have drank them a little too fast. And a little too enthusiastically. With too much gusto, if you will.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time! For a while. But eventually the lack of food, the abundance of liquor, and the fact that I probably hadn’t had enough water that day hit me hard. I ended up getting rather sick. The type of sick that you can hardly remember happening afterward, except for flashes of your head in a toilet.
This is where I point out that I have an absolutely incredible husband. Though he was pretty well in the bag himself, he took very good care of me while I was all but dying. Somehow or other he got me back to his parent’s house that night and got me to bed without me swallowing my tongue or anything. A mighty task considering I could hardly hold my head up by that point.
The following morning I refused to move for hours because I woke up dizzy, hot, and with a pounding headache. Jason brought me water, Advil, and strawberries, which may have saved my life. Eventually he encouraged me to get up and get moving if I wanted to get better. I’m fairly certain I’d still be laying on the air mattress in his parent’s living room if he hadn’t (slowly and gently) kicked my ass into gear.
I’m definitely not saying that I didn’t simply drink too damn much. But there’s also something to be said for drinking while on a new diet, and I probably should have taken it extra easy that night. I did not. Thus, I paid the price. I have learned my lesson. Seriously. Good god, have I learned my lesson.
The final day of the first week was a bit of a lazy one, since we were both so generally exhausted from two days of family shenanigans. We took it easy, relaxed a bit, and tried to ignore the persisting heat, and I think we’ve both pretty much recovered from the weekend’s events now.
I refused to eat any more eggs. Refused. We had breakfast sausages and keto “toast”. I say “toast” because it turns out that keto bread doesn’t really toast, exactly. It might have done a little better if I’d cranked up the heat and left it going longer, but it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen. And I was impatient. Regardless, it was edible and better than more eggs. I just couldn’t do any more eggs.
Wait, did we not eat lunch again? Why is this such a difficult system to get into? What time did we get up? I’m genuinely confused as to how this keeps happening.
Here comes another Pinterest recipe! Now that I was back in my own kitchen, for day 7 I tried out Bacon Cheeseburger Mini-Meatloaves, paired with steamed broccoli. They were pretty good! I will say this, however: they were not meatloaf. They were shaped like small loaves, but they weren’t meatloaf. They more or less tasted like burgers with the cheese and bacon on the inside. Which, hey. Tasty! Who cares what they’re called as long as they taste great, right? Right.
Okay, here’s the thing. One repercussion of the weekend with family is that by the end of it Jason and I were both dying for something sweet. We’d been surrounded for two days by things like strawberry shortcake, ice cream, and mini-cupcakes. It was torture.
So I took to my good friend Pinterest again and found tons of recipes for keto-friendly sweet treats. I decided to try out the pound cake, which was surprisingly low-carb for the size of it, and was paired with a delicious carb-free glaze.
I literally have hearts in my eyes as I’m writing this. It was just what I needed. I wouldn’t say that it necessarily tastes exactly like pound cake, but it tastes like cake, and that’s all that matters to me. I could have eaten the entire thing by myself. Surprisingly, my willpower has been at an all-time high, so I managed to finish off day 7 without running my streak and gorging on my sweat treat.
Thoughts About Keto Diet Week 1
The week went as well as could be expected. Keto is definitely not easy, but I’ll honestly say that it hasn’t been as difficult as I expected it to be. Dinners have been delicious, and now that we’ve found options for treats, things are bound to become even easier. That said, there are definitely some major annoyances as well.
In conclusion, here’s a quick list of some of some of the most important occurrences/realizations/epiphanies of week 1 of our Keto diet:
- Too damn many eggs. I don’t dislike eggs, it’s just that anyone would get sick of them after nearly a week straight. I definitely need to find more options for breakfast-type foods.
- Pinterest is definitely your best friend for Keto-friendly recipes. There are also some awesome websites like DietDoctor and Ruled.me. If you’re thinking about Keto, there is definitely no shortage of helpful recipe sites.
- Finding carb-free or very low-carb snack options is a must, especially if you’re the kind to get snacky at nighttime.
- Big suggestion: get a food scale. It’s practically a necessity for making sure you’re portioning things properly and thus not accidentally going over your carb limits.
- Alcohol is not our friend. I’m not saying don’t drink while on Keto, but definitely take it easy, and make sure you’re still getting tons of water during the drinking.
- If you’re going to be hanging out in large groups for extended periods of time, consider having a cheat day. Being surrounded by excellent food that everyone else is diving into while you can’t have it is psychologically painful. I’m proud of Jason and myself for managing it, but it wasn’t fun, and ultimately having that one night off wouldn’t have destroyed the diet.
- Don’t be like me: plan ahead! I haven’t got the hang of this yet, but it would be much easier to get through the day if I knew ahead of time exactly what I was going to make for each meal.
We made it through the first week and we both lost weight. Considerable weight, when you realize how difficult a time we’ve had with weight loss in the past. All while eating some pretty delicious meals and failing to get any real exercise. I can’t help but find myself wondering what kind of success we would have had if we had been exercising. But that’s a question for another day. Onward and upward through week 2!