Keto Diet – Week One

– The Diet Song – Bobby Bare –

Disclaimer (it’s worth repeating again) – I am NOT a doctor and I am NOT promoting this diet to others.  I am simply sharing my thoughts and experiences going through this change.  If you decide to try a keto diet (especially if you are a diabetic or have high blood pressure or other complicated illnesses, be sure to consult your doctor as your medications will most likely change).  Consult your doctor, consult your doctor, consult your doctor!  I am a HUGE fan of making sure your doctor is on board with your diet!

I’ve been on this diet for six weeks now.  There are many ways I can feel the difference in the changes going on inside.  After six weeks, there are way more pluses than I expected, but here’s how week one went.

Day 1

After nearly a year of dread, it turns out that it wasn’t really all that bad.  I had written out a diet plan for the first two weeks and I knew exactly what was on the plan and what I needed get at the grocery store. Breakfast was supposed to be 1 scrambled cheese egg, but due to unforeseen events, I ended up grabbing a few Cello Chips (Parmesan cheese crisps) and a bottle of water before heading out the door. 

Going out for lunch was somewhat unavoidable.  I’d done a little research and knew that I could get grilled chicken and green beans from KFC with a glass of unsweetened tea. 

Later at the grocery store, I took out my list and began my normal route through the aisles.  I made it through the fruits and vegetables just fine as many of the items on my list are things that we eat anyway (spinach, tomatoes, lettuce).  I made it to the deli counter without any problems and then I rounded the first aisle – bread/snacks.  Nothing on that aisle to get.  Next aisle – soup/pasta/international foods.  Nothing on that aisle to buy.  Next, canned vegetables, canned meat, and all the box stuff (rice, potatoes, Hamburger Helper).  Nothing there either.  More went by until I found the baking aisle looking for stuff that I have never looked at in my life and only half-way thought might be there (monk’s fruit??). 

That is when in dawned on me that this diet wasn’t going to be like weight watchers at all.  There wasn’t going to be a lot of the counting that I’d obsessed over in the past, but the trade-off was that meals will have to be thought about and cooked…by me.  Crap! 

I pushed away that little voice that said this is gonna be so hard and kept shopping, getting the things on my list.  When I got home, I went to the next page in my planner where I’d planned out things that needed to be cooked up for the week.  While I was working on that, I started dinner.  

After everything was cooked and I was putting dinner on the table, I realized that I didn’t have a bread to serve.  As The Dane pulled out his chair and sat down, I was deep in thought about just how much bread we do use.  We eat crackers for snacks and bread at every single meal in one form or another.  Being from the South, there’s breading on just about everything we eat from pickles to chicken.  I suddenly had a panicky feeling inside that  every food, every meal has led me to just where I am now and I suddenly felt like I wasn’t going to know how to do this. 

The Dane sat down, said the blessing, and we had dinner.  While we ate, we chatted about all manner of things just like we always do.  When we finished, he patted his tummy and said, “that was good.  I hope you add that one to the list”  (He meant to my list of recipes that go into our rotation).  He hadn’t even noticed that dinner was “diet” food or that we hadn’t had bread with the meal.  For him, it was just dinner.  (Incidentally, dinner was chicken with a heavy cream sauce, mushrooms and spinach salad).

I woke up several times during the night having to go to the bathroom (that seems to go hand in hand with this diet).

Day 2 – 1 lb lost

It started off okay with one of the batch of sausage/egg/cheese “muffins” I’d made the night before (enough for the whole week), but by lunch, I was truly missing my one soda…and the bread, but then I ate lunch (BLT salad) and was full and didn’t think about food again until dinner. 

Dinner was fairly easy as it was a Taco Soup recipe I found on Pintrest.  Since it was soup, I never even missed the shells.  I did fine with drinking water with my meal instead of the sugary drink I would probably have had in its place.  The Dane suggested that we try the unsweetened tea with monk’s fruit.  NOTE – I loathe artificial sweeteners and have always had issues, even with Stevia, which I will sometimes use in my coffee.  I had no problem with Monk’s fruit as there is zero aftertaste.

With the kitchen clean and the meal plan on the refrigerator for Day 3, I moved on.  Except suddenly the dull roar of a headache I’d had all day kicked into high gear.  I took Tylenol, that didn’t work. I powered on through as I wanted to do a food diary (on Spark People).  By the time I’d finished entering the food for the day, the headache had gotten worse. 

I remembered reading about Keto flu and went back to see if headache was on the list.  It was.  I looked back over the list I’d entered into Spark People and realized that I’d really slashed the carbs and was going through withdrawal.  A couple of morsels of dark chocolate knocked out the headache almost instantly.

Day 3 – 1 lb lost (2lb total)

The first thing I noticed was that my fingers didn’t throb when I got out of bed.  My thumbs (which are generally the worst) still ached a little, but I didn’t wake up with claws like I normally do. 

Breakfast was another egg “muffin.”  Lunch was leftover Taco Soup.

I worked late and then went to my Zumba class. For a few of the dances, I noticed that I couldn’t get my legs to follow the instructions from my brain.  There was a bit of lag and time enough for me to wonder if my sudden confusion regarding the steps was related to my diet, then everything kicked back into gear and I dismissed it.  On the way home, I felt a wave of nausea, but it passed quickly.

When I got home, I didn’t have that ravenous, I need to eat right now feeling and almost forgot about dinner until I had those hunger pangs that kinda let you know you need to eat.  Class night is always a light dinner night, which means no cooking, so I put together a meat/cheese tray (and ate all the meat and left the cheese for the cheese-head that I live with). 

The headache was back, though a bit minor.  A couple of semi-sweet dark chocolate morsels and it was gone.

 

Day 4 – lost 1 lb (3lb total)

Upon waking, I noticed that only the thumb on my left hand was an issue. 

I know I’m talking about my fingers a lot, but my fingers have been a real issue this last year (I had trigger thumb in both of them).  This “issue” landed me in the doctor’s office getting cortisone injections in each one and folks, if you’ve never had an injection in your thumb let me just tell you that it is NOT pleasant.  I was looking at having a third and forth, starting with the left which was throbbing almost constantly.  To wake up with no pain in any of my fingers except a minor ache in the left thumb is mind-blowing for only being on the diet 3 days!

I grabbed an egg “muffin” for breakfast.  It’s easy.  Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and eat it on the go. 

Lunch was a little harder since I was going out with my girlfriends.  All of them were happy to go to a place of my choosing, but I wanted to be sure they were happy too.  We ended up going to a local sub shop and getting sub salads.  The one I chose was called a “Scrap” salad.  This is mainly scraps of meat chopped up in lettuce.  I added oil and vinegar and was good to go.  The nice lady added three packs of crackers to my plate.  As I sat down, I thought about them for a moment and then promptly gave them to my girlfriends to share.

Dinner was on The Dane.  He grilled brats for us, which I ate without a bun.  I made a hogpog sauce with mayo, ketchup and mustard (which he fussed about since he’s from Milwaukee and they eat them condiment free). 

Later on, I found I had a bit of a sweet tooth.  A teaspoon of peanut-butter fixed that.

 

Day 5 – lost 1 lb (4lb total)

This turned out to be an interesting day.  I had another egg “muffin.”

Lunch was a Sausage/Bacon/Egg/Cheese bowl.  After lunch, I wondered how long it would be before I actually grew tired of eggs (which I love).

Dinner was a new recipe called Egg Roll in a Bowl and OMG it was delicious.  The Dane ate a few bites and said, “I think I like this new diet we’re on.”   (Find the one I used here.  The only change I made was that I didn’t add green onion.)

The most interesting thing about this day, is that I didn’t think about my fingers upon waking.  Didn’t have to run warm water over them.  In fact, I didn’t think about them at all until around midday.  The only pain happens in my left thumb when I hyper-extend it.  This hasn’t happened for well over a year.  I’m probably still going to have to have an injection in that thumb, but at least it isn’t a constant throb.

For our evening exercise (walking), I felt more energetic and felt like my joints were moving much easier. 

Day 6 – lost 1 lb (5lb total)

On this day, we were traveling out-of-town for a party.  In a rush to get out the door, I did little more than eat half a Quiche and a cup of coffee.

On the road, The Dane wanted to stop for a burger.  As he was deciding where to stop, I had a moment of panic.  Sincerely I did not want to go off my diet (that has NEVER happened).  We ended up stopping at Hardee’s (there were about 10 of them on our route so it was pretty much a given).  I told The Dane to get me a small regular burger and I’d eat it on the way without the bun.  He wasn’t sure how that was going to work, but with some tricky maneuvers, I managed it.

The party was a bit trickier.  I am a little weird about telling people I’m going on a diet.  One of the main reasons is that the first thing some well-meaning person says is, “Oh go ahead and have [insert mouth-watering food here].”  This party was for my niece at my sister’s house.  The party was a gathering of relatives from our family and my brother-in-law’s family.  My B-I-L had gone to the trouble of grilling hotdogs, hamburgers and chicken which meant buns, buns and more buns.  My sister made homemade mac-and-cheese, homemade baked beans and had a large variety of chips were available.  In addition, there was this fabulous looking cake and Neapolitan ice cream.  There was so much food and it all smelled so yummy (and my sister is an EXCELLENT cook, no really, she is amazing).

When it came time to eat, I had a hotdog with no bun and a small burger with no bun.  Next to the heaping plates, mine was definitely noticeable.  In addition, my sister knows that no human in their right mind would pass up her mac-and-cheese.  It wasn’t long before my meager meal was the topic of conversation.  You can imagine the questions.  Still not wanting to bring attention to a new diet (especially in front of my whole family), I made some excuse about having a lot of heartburn.  Pretty soon, we were talking about something else and no one gave my plate any more attention. 

Now, the cake…it was sitting there in front of me.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to eat a piece.  I did want to…badly (doesn’t it just LOOK like it would taste good?)  Luckily, I’d read an article that said that if you “eat a few bites of dessert off your neighbors plate, it will satisfy your craving.”  Also luckily, The Dane is very good with sharing food.  I took a few bites off of his plate and sure enough, I was satisfied.

Exercise for the day (hours of swimming).

Day 7 – 1 lb lost (total 6lbs)

This day was a total failure. 

It started with breakfast.  Usually, at a family breakfast, I drink apple juice.  It’s always been a favorite and pretty much my entire family makes sure to have apple juice on hand if I am spending the night with them.  The rest of breakfast wasn’t hard as bacon, sausage and cheese eggs were served.  My plate didn’t look any different from anyone else’s plate.

Lunch was a different story.  I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a country girl.  For me, a fresh tomato is the absolute bomb!  Since I don’t grow my own (tried once and made a ton of really great grape tomatoes), there have been times when I have driven all over the county (not country) to find a fresh tomato. My family is very aware of this and made sure to have fresh tomatoes for me.  Now, here’s the thing, a fresh tomato goes between two slices of white bread that has a dollop of Duke’s mayo spread on the sandwich side of the bread.  On top of the mayo (both sides) is a sprinkle of salt and lots of pepper.  Once it’s put together, the bread has to be mashed so that when that first bite is taken out of the sandwich, tomato juice drizzles down your arm.  When that fresh, homegrown tomato was put in front of me, there was no backing down.  No hesitation.  I didn’t care how many carbs were in white bread.  Inside my head, I thought, oh, it can’t be that much.  As soon as that first bite hit my tongue and the juice oozed down my arm, I was in pure bliss and I don’t regret a minute of it!

As an afterthought, I decided to check the carbs on the bread.  For the record, I try to stay below 50 carbs (and in reality have been sticking to less than 25).  Bread total was 30 carbs.  I thought, well, ok, I haven’t blown it too bad. 

I went on about visiting with family, enjoying our visit.  At some point, I got thirsty and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and it dawned on me that I’d drank the juice that morning.  A sinking feeling hit me as I looked at the label – 29 carbs for a total of a little over 60 carbs.

After that, caution went into the wind.

My mother keeps a bowl of M&M’s in a dish on her coffee table.  About 10 of them found their way into my mouth.

Later on, that lovely, delicious cake and ice cream found its way to the table and a healthy slice and a scoop of gooey strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla swirl found a way to get plopped on top.  By the time all of that started digesting, I knew I’d overdone it.  

Our original plan was to go swimming again, but suddenly I just felt way too lazy to do that.

~~~

Overall, I didn’t know how to feel about the way the week ended.  I was disappointed that I went so far off just when I was getting my head around how it all worked.

But then I realized something.  Even on the day that I got off track, I still didn’t completely ruin it.  Since then, I’ve amended this even more.  It’s unrealistic to think that I will never want bread or M&M’s.  There are going to be times when those things will override a diet, no matter how “good” you want to be.  And they should override at times because otherwise there’s going to be a lot of disappointment that makes the diet feel too restrictive.  Some moment’s are just going to require eating that cake – dammit!

Despite the cake – I ended up losing a total of 7 lbs the first week.  I can’t even remember how long it took me to do that with WW, but I’m pretty sure it was more than a week.  Now, it bears saying that this 7 lbs was water weight mostly.  But I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was great motivation.  Around week 3, I started gaining it back, but by week 4, I was back to losing again, but at a much slower rate.

The first set of pictures were taken in April.  I bought this top at Maurices.  It was so soft, I wanted it immediately.  But this was definitely a case of what you think you look like vs what you really look like.  When I saw the pictures from the first shoot, I knew I wasn’t going to use them for a blog.  It’s also what made me realize that I had to get my weight under control.  I figured since the shirt was what got me in gear, I’d keep using it to note my progress.  These pictures denote roughly a 10 lb difference.

~~~

I’ve decided that I’m not going to begin to focus my blog on this diet.  Back when I was in WW, I kept a diary of sorts and everything just seemed so obsessive.  When there seems to be something to share about the diet, I’ll post it and I might post a meal planner if I can figure out a way so that there aren’t leftovers; otherwise, there are other things I’ll probably want to talk about besides my diet.

However, if any of you are on a Keto diet, I’d love to hear about your progress, any tips to share and definitely recipes!

Thanks for stopping by!

~PJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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