Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Too many calories, still too many carbs

It's taking me awhile to get into the swing of things with this keto-for-weight-loss schtick.  At first I was just, "all the meat and cheese and butter you can handle!!" but it appears as though I really DO need to be paying attention to calories as well.


In the nearly 2 weeks since I've begun, I've only lost a couple of pounds, and I keep flirting with ketosis (according to my pee sticks, which I know are not super-accurate) but have not entered and solidly stayed there.  I've gone above my carbs limit a few days because I'm not accurately planning ahead.  Instead, I just have stuff on hand that I'll grab, but starting today, I am switching up my strategy.

From now on, I'm solidly planning my day on cronometer.com in the morning so I'll know the basics of what carbs I'm working with, and can have some "swing snacks" handy that won't impact my carb level too much.  Yesterday my heavy-hitting carb dishes were romaine lettuce (nearly 4), cherry tomatoes (3.5), eggplant (nearly 9.5), and mozzarella cheese (3).  I "allowed" myself some mustard-based BBQ sauce at lunch which I knew would give me some extra carbs (4), not realizing how high my dinner eggplant would be...wow!

I think I'm having a hard time letting go of the old "3 square meals a day" mindset when I really don't need to get stuck in that pattern.  I'm still encouraged that eating keto will give me a better opportunity to practice intuitive eating; I have a bad habit of eating because it's "time to," not because I'm hungry.  So overall I'm discouraged in myself but still encouraged by the diet.  I know it'll give me a better handle on insulin regulation/hunger as well as the aforementioned intuitive eating, so I'm not giving up.

For you keto-ers, did you find yourself in a similar predicament in the beginning?  Has it gotten easier for you?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Keto Eggplant Casserole

I'm starting to follow a ketogenic diet (why am I seeing it everywhere nowadays??) and am really enjoying the variety of foods I'm cooking with that I've shied away from for awhile. The novelty of it is making it easier to stick to - I don't have much desire to cheat because I'm enjoying my food so much more now, and my satiety has really improved with my fat intake increase.  I'm still learning as I go and am figuring out what kind of daily routine is best for getting all my macros in without going overboard.

Tonight for dinner, I made an eggplant casserole to go along with some lean pork chops.  I sliced and salted some eggplant to draw out some of the moisture.

After letting the slices sit about 10-15 minutes, I pressed on them with a paper towel to get some water out before flipping and repeating on the other side.  In a saucepan, I sauteed some onions in butter and added a block of frozen chopped spinach along with a little chicken stock.  BTW, this is one of the best kitchen hacks - freeze some of your favorite stock in ice cube trays and put them in a freezer bag to easily grab and go.  Stock has a place in so many recipes (hell-O pan deglazer!) but I'm hesitant to keep a container of it in the fridge in case we don't use it fast enough.

But I digress....

Once the frozen chopped spinach was thawed, I added some salt, pepper, and garlic powder in addition to a small can of tomato sauce.

Not much to look at, but it was a great binder!  I layered the eggplant slices with the spinach tomato sauce and shredded pizza cheese - mozzarella, parmesan, romano, etc.

I covered the dish and baked it for about 40 minutes at 375° and was pleased to see bubbly browned cheese when I opened the oven door!

We'll be snarfing on this big ol' dish for awhile!