Sunday, September 1, 2019

Elimination Diet - Week One







The first week of the keto-fied experiment consisted of removing all beef, pork, eggs and dairy from my diet. (Also caffeine, gods have mercy!)

As a versatile cook, this new culinary challenge is easy to tackle but the foodie in me was not ready to give up cheese, or eggs, or butter. The recipes flows from my mind to my fingertips, whipping out eggsless muffins and curries, chicken salad and even chili but the beast sitting on my shoulder (It hasn't been a monkey in a long time) is screaming bloody murder at me. "CHEESE! CHEEEEEESSSEEE" it yells and I ponder and think and juggle those thoughts in my mind. Cheese is a great source of casein which carries protein and sugar from milk, it may just have been enough to keep my sugar addiction alive. For sure there's sugar in vegetables but while I eat veggies once a day, I can vacuum a brick of cheddar in a matter of hours and often did so while telling myself "It's okay, it's keto!"

Smoked salmon with guac and tomato, cukes










I've been experiencing a very powerful keto high, laden with extra energy and mental clarity. Took the pup hiking a few times this week and got a lot of stuff done. Intermittent fasting is a lot easier when your blood sugar is this low. Hunger is almost non-existent.





There is one thing I've decided to do and it's a fairly big one for this experiment but I'm going to re-introduce eggs into my diet, in limited amount of 3 per day maximum. Why? First of all, I'm not allergic to eggs and these are not grocery store eggs, they're the ones from my own chickens. After reading up on the inflammatory question, I've decided that eggs were not something I had to be wary about. I feel like I pulled back the bowstring a bit too tight and I missed eggs like crazy. I cheated and had some cheese now and then, also bought some low-carb wraps and cursed myself for it.

One big thing I've realized is about nuts.. too many nuts makes this one's stomach very unhappy, even almond flour so I'm trading eggs for nuts. No more nuts for the remainder of this experiment.


Week 1 Starting weight: 288
08-24-19 to 08-30-19

09/24/19
09/25/19
09/26/19
09/27/19
09/28/19
09/29/19
09/30/19
Lunch: Baked chicken, roasted vegetables, salad and olive oil

Dinner:
Ground turkey curry with konjac noodles and mixed veggies

Late snack: Salted walnuts
Lunch: Salad with olive oil, cukes, walnuts and grilled chicken

Snack:
Zucchini “muffin” (zucchini, almond butter, almond flour and oil)

Dinner:
2 Chicken thighs grilled
Lunch: Tomatoes +cukes w walnut oil,
lox, guacamole

Snack: 2 Zucchini muffins,
handful of walnuts

Dinner:
2 lamb shanks grilled w salt n pepper
Lunch: Ground turkey curry with konja noodles and mixed veggies

Snack: 2 Zucchini muffins with almond butter
Lunch:
Spinach turkey meat balls in Rao spaghetti sauce with ghee and konjac noodles

Snack: Brazil nuts

Dinner:
Salad with cukes, tomato, peppers, lox and walnut oil
Lunch:
Spinach turkey meat balls in Rao spaghetti sauce and ghee

Dinner:
1 Chicken thighs

Trail mix
Lunch:
Nuts n Seeds trail mix with almond milk

Dinner:
Chicken wings

Snack
Low carb wrap with almond butter

Week 1 Observations 
– Rapid weight loss, high energy, massive cheese craving
- Zucchini muffins caused a mild bathroom discomfort, could be almond flour or zucchini
- After tuesday, no more zucchini muffins, ugh!
- Had a few weak moments and ate some cheese, (it's still in my house!) No real change
- Large amount of nuts isn't always my friend :( Need to moderate.

Start Weight 288 End Weight 279





Friday, August 23, 2019

The Elimination Diet Experiment

Elimination Diet Experiment

THE ELIMINATION DIET
(Click here for the day to day journal!)

Sounds kind of dramatic, doesn't it? Tonight on my desk, I have a packet of around 80 pages explaining to me what an elimination diet is and why I will be doing it for the next 7 weeks.

First of all, I will tell you that I'm doing a 7 weeks diet because my health insurance won't cover a ten seconds blood draw (I will likely end up paying for one myself.)

And secondly, I am doing a 7 weeks diet because I'm tired of wondering what the heck is wrong with my guts. Diverticulitis has been plaguing me for the last 12 months, forcing me to crawl back to urgent care with the nastiest pain in my guts for no apparent reasons.

Three major factors comes up whenever I have a flareups: stress, binge eating and carbohydrates. I since quit my job and actually on my last day, I was in urgent care getting another dose of antibiotics for diverticulitis. Joy!

Seven weeks sounds like forever but looking at my sheet here, the break down is fairly simple.

KETO-FIED ELIMINATION DIET


YESNO
Week 1-3Fish, poultry, other meats: buffalo, elk, lamb, venison, nuts, oils, vegetables, berriesShellfish, canned meat, cold cuts, pork, beef, eggs, dairy, hot dogs
Week 43 days of eggs – 4 days withoutShellfish, canned meat, cold cuts, pork, beef, dairy, hot dogs
Week 53 days of beef – 4 days withoutShellfish, canned meat, cold cuts, pork, eggs, dairy, hot dogs
Week 63 days of dairy – 4 days withoutShellfish, canned meat, cold cuts, pork, beef, eggs, hot dogs
Week 73 days of pork – 4 days withoutShellfish, canned meat, cold cuts, beef, eggs, dairy, hot dogs

While I know that I'm not sensitive to eggs, the nutritionist was adamant that we tested for it as well and I won't fight it, I'm bummed out not to be able to eat my eggs but oh well. We're doing this! I'm not testing for shellfish or cold cuts but those food are well known for being high in histamine, aka inflammatory and we want a clean slate as much as possible.

I decided to journal publicly what I'm eating daily. I'll try my best to keep it interesting, especially for my poor husband who's a super trooper. I'm putting together a menu but I'm looking at a 16/8 feeding window to make it easier (basically I'll be allowed to eat from 12-8pm) and skip breakfast entirely.

Megan Condon, MS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian

Monday, August 19, 2019

Talking Chaffles

Breakfast of the champions?

Chaffles have taken the keto community hostage! Just today I joined 3 groups sharing chaffle recipes and I couldn't be happier. I just love seeing people get EXCITED and PASSIONATE about something. I feel silly realizing that the tiny waffler I bought two months ago as a joke was going to become the next best thing.

This little guy, for you people who live under a rock.


I made a lot of Headbanger's kitchen peanut butter waffles with it and those are just awesome, the waffle making in itself is a little cheap, it gets VERY hot (no touchies) and bare minimal light when ready but for $9,99 you can't go wrong. I use it more than my expensive faberware belgian waffle maker. Waffles are ready in minutes.

There's many recipes but this one is mine.

Chaffle

Makes 2 mini Dash size waffles

60grams of shredded mozzarella (shred your own, don't be lazy and avoid the extra starch)
1 egg
2 tsp of coconut flour


And.. whatever else your heart demands. There is a chaffle for every need. It makes a great waffle, toast, bun, cake... how imaginative are you? This morning I ate 2 with cream cheese and smoked salmon. It's not a bagel but it's delicious and very filling. A perk of eating ketogenic.


Not a fan of coconut flour? You don't have to use it, I prefer adding a little bit because it absorbs a lot of water and makes the end result crispier. Ketochow is a GREAT addition as well, I threw in 2 tsp of snickerdoodle flavor and a dash of nutmeg for the most wonderful treat (and butter melted on top) and also a very savory version with keto approved pizza seasonings and dipped in warm Rao sauce. Heaven can wait!



So many ideas flutters through my mind, carrot cake chaffles, monte christo chaffles.. chaffles chaffles.. oh my!

Here's a few Facebook groups to get you started down this mad path:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Chaffles/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/chaffle/


Have a great day and remember that you're awesome

Hungry Julie

Friday, August 2, 2019

Read the ingredients

Rise Coffee found at Walmart. 4 cans $10,88

Read ALL the ingredients

With keto taking off like rocket, consumerism does what it does best: A product for every need! Ten products for every need, as it turns out and the quality these new offerings varies wildly. Remember, these are the same companies that used to sell us junk food and their number one concern is making a profit. Slapping KETO on a box does not make it so, SUGAR FREE doesn't mean carbohydrate free and even 0 carbohydrate doesn't mean you should be eating it either.

When I first started keto, I was trying to eat only whole unprocessed food, with the addition of cheese, bacon, sausage and lunch meat, what I like to call the lesser of two evils. While I lost an amazing 70 lbs at first (woo!) my weight loss slowed down to a creep. Always go back to the source – FOOD.

HUGE offenders in zero carbohydrate food are sweeteners such as dextrose (GI 100), maltitol (GI 35) , sucrose (GI 65) and maltodextrin (GI 110). Being so high on the glycemic index will certainly rise your blood sugar just the same as regular sugar ( GI 100) and still be considered carbohydrate free.

While Stevia (GI 0), Eythritol (GI 1), Yacon Syrup (GI 1) etc have a very low glycemic index, the body is programmed to react to the sweet flavor even though no sugar has entered the body. Studies shows that insulin is secreted by the pancreas soon after tasting sweetness and thus, raises the blood sugar.

Sugar free chocolate and candy, flavored almonds, flavored pork rinds, diet soda, all these foods might be the cause of your weight stall. I try my best to glance at the ingredients and whenever I spy dextrose and so on, It's easier to just skip it but once in a while, this girl needs a treat. (I won't mention this amazing bacon aioli I found in a squeezy bottle.)


I found two example of keto product during my trip to Walmart and I am not impressed at all:


Mighty Coffee's Keto Coffee, first of all, the website printed on the box does not exist and I could find no record of either Mighty Coffee or Frozen Beans inc. online. A little sketchy in my opinion, the coffee can be found at Walmart or Amazon from third party sellers.  Two words: Corn fiber?


It looked fairly decent till reading the ingredients... yep, right there at the bottom:



Maltodextrin, because people can't possible drink or eat something without sugar in it.


That being said, sensitivity varies wildly between people. Some people can remain in ketosis and lose weight easily while eating suspiciously high carbohydrate foods (I'm looking at you, Hubby). Know what works for you and start cutting back if things don't work out the way you want them. A great tool to use is a sugar blood meter, the Walmart brand and the strips are fairly cheap (I swear I'm not being paid by Walmart, I'm just a cheapskate). Test your blood sugar when waking up. Eat the item you wish to test, wait thirty minute and test again. You'll know exactly how it affects you, or not.

Have a great day, keep calm and keto on

Hungry Julie

Monday, January 14, 2019

Chickens!

Winnie, Wicket, Wednesday, Buffy, Foggy and Freckles (under the ramp)

I mentioned our new feathery friends recently, we started out with the three that I found abandoned in the woods back in May and just recently, after Thanksgiving, I got a call about 3 more needing a home. The introduction was interesting but two months later, the girls are finally getting along AND they started laying again as the days grows longer.

I've never had animals that could feed me, not that we think of them any less than our cats or dogs. It might be an idealistic view of things but these are our pets, I've no intention of culling them if they stop laying or ever to eat them. I just want to spoil them and give them a good life. That being said, I still eat chicken; there's very little I won't eat, within reasons.

We recently visited Walker's Farm at Worthleberry Hill for some grass fed beef and also spent a good part of the day petting happy cows. Seeing a thriving farm that doesn't have to rely on horrible techniques gives me hope for the future of the industry. You should check them out, they were also on the 2 Keto Dudes podcast recently. Let me say this much, there's nothing like grass fed beef. Oh-my!

I want to talk a bit more about the chicken that we eat, from grocery stores and restaurants. A friend recently mentioned the newly opened Chik-fil-A in town and how healthy they felt after eating a grilled chicken sandwich from there. I've always shy'ed away from fast-food chicken, visions of Salmonella dancing in my head but also the rubbery mouthfeel of thawed chicken. So gross.

I dug a little deeper. These data are from the corporate websites:

Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich


Ingredients for the chicken breast onlyboneless skinless chicken breast filet, water, seasoning [apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, yeast extract, salt, modified corn starch, palm oil, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, corn maltodextrin, sea salt, natural flavor, sugar, chicken stock, cane molasses, chicken fat, spice, natural flavor {including smoke}, dextrose, lemon peel, citric acid, red bell pepper, orange juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, natural flavor, paprika, vinegar, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, and spices])

Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Ingredients for the chicken breast only: Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (Salt, Natural Flavors, Corn Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Spices, Dehydrated Garlic Powder, Dehydrated Onion Powder, Paprika, Gum Arabic, Yeast Extract, Canola Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sugar), Potato Starch, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin.

McDonald's Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich (No direct link)

Ingredients for the chicken breast only: Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Salt, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Honey, Onion Powder, Natural Flavor, Dried Vinegar, Rice Starch. Grilled with Clarified Butter (Pasteurized Milk [Butterfat]).


I highlighted all the instances of sugar found in the lists. First of all, can we all take a minute to appreciate the sad irony that McDonald has the most normal looking chicken in the list? While there is very little of it, being the seasoning and preservatives, I wouldn't want to eat any of that at all.

"It's healthy because it's grilled!"


Ingredients for the chicken breast only: Fresh Chicken Marinated With: Salt, Sodium Phosphate and Monosodium Glutamate. Seasoned With: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat Flour, Monosodium Glutamate, Coconut Oil, Spices, Natural Flavor, Canola Oil, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Extractives Of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, And Not More Than 2% Each Of Calcium Silicate Ans Silicon Dioxide Added As AntiCaking Agent.)




🐓I rest my case against that nightmare that is fast-food grilled chicken.🐓

Grocery store chicken, a nightmare of another color and flavor. I'm not a breast person, that'd be my husband (ba-dum tssh). I've never had a bad tasting thigh or leg but ever so many disappointing bland and chewy breasts where I'd rather eat the table leg instead.  

What's in a chicken breast?

There's chicken, water and sodium. Those plump even juicy looking lumps are modified to look the most appetizing before packaging in shinny plastic. Get your chicken from a wholesale store and you'll notice the difference right away. 

Coming to the end of this blog entry. I invite you to re-consider those 'little ingredients' that seems so innocent at first glance, the process that turns a simple ingredient like chicken meat into a science experience. Nobody would eat "a little" bit of rat poop on purpose... and yet we do and the FDA approves that and then some, here's an article breaking it down more simply.

Also keep in mind that these items comes up as 0 carbs per serving. How does KFC gets away with 0 carbs label while there's flour in the meat? Serving size! Amazing fuckery and we're the butt of the joke.

Have a great week folks! 

Hungry Julie

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tales from the kitchen

Hungry Julie and Hubby Chris on the road to Walker Farms




2019 is here and our heads haven't stopped spinning from the craziness of 2018. We gained a new dog, 6 chickens, lost a cat, moved in my mother in law... some good, some less. Empty holes can never be filled but love expands around us constantly.






After the whirlwind of holiday cooking and eating, we're back in a steadier frame of mine and armed with a newfound determination. Hubby and myself, support each other on this winding journey of ups and downs. I tell you, this man never stops working. He sits in the kitchen while I finish cooking dinner and I hear him mumbling over his laptop about things that escapes me but at the same time he listens to my rambling about the animal shelter. A rare dinner together, too often we both retreat to our computer desks and eat alone like a pair of cats but tonight, he's fixing the bathroom door after he's done eating.


Baby the Brat


Our dogs click-clack around us on the linoleum, sniffing madly for a dropped piece of meat or looking awfully adorable when looking up in hope but no- not after all those leftover cabbage you ate earlier and the cookies daddy gave you. The old girl is relentless but she's learning, slowly. Eventually they vanish into the living room, defeated. A dog's life!

I promised myself to stop eating after 7pm, difficult to do when the hubby comes home around 6 but I try, I'll be less stubborn and have dinner ready and eat when I need to eat... but I like cooking so it's ready just as he comes in, so he can taste the dish at it's best. We compromise.

🐓-----🐓

Tonight's dinner is Headbanger's Kitchen potstickers  and Low Carb Maven chicken satay with peanut sauce. A long time favorite, pre and post keto, with only a few modifications. Swerve instead of sugar in the sauce for a neat balance of  flavors and the potstickers are made with cabbage instead of a doughy skin.

It's different, tasty but I think the dumplings needs a little tweaking, the meat texture isn't quite right. The satays are just perfect, grilled on the BBQ for 6-7 minutes, the peanut sauce's a real delight. Well worth making again. Can't go wrong with either blogs, always a pleasure to cook with the confidence that the food will come out marvelous.




By the end of the night, we were full and I had a working bathroom door. Love a happy ending, eh?
The man and his tool

Scale victory: down 8 lbs since January 1st.
Non-scale victory: 2 weeks without cheating
Listening to: The Obesity Code Podcast with Dr.Fung and Meghan Ramos
Plans for the weekend: Keto Meetup at Carl Franklin's house

Forever and always,
your Hungry Julie

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Food on the Go!

Not that kind of chicken on the go! I rescued this gal and her two sisters, they are now laying eggs for me.

Disclaimer: I am not paid or rewarded in any way for this post, these are personal experiences only. Also, I firmly believe that chains will be the death of us and small business and local restaurants are the way to go but life happens, it gets in the way, we have to be kind to ourselves.

I work a lot, I'm not home as often as I used to be and sometimes lunches ends up rotting in the fridge at work. I love my crappy fast food. Wendy's, McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Dunkin' Donuts. I won't include 5 Guys because it's already a step up without the drive-tru. Too quick and easy to order 1000 calories in one go, the vegetarians have paved the way for others to modify their meals to meet their needs without too many grumbling or eye rolling from the underpaid employees.

Right away our biggest foe is the bun, then the fries. The main meal is always meat wrapped in bread, asking for a burger without a bun would have been unthinkable a few years ago, not without the double take and confirmation of the drive-thru attendant. An awkward situation, we ordered the burger and tossed the bun, which stuck to the cheese and meat.  Now a days, they have these pretty plastic and crisp containers (Not recyclable enough!) that holds out meals. As for the sides, fries have come a long way, now they offer chili, salads, baked potatoes and then some, our choices are limited but no longer abysmal. Finally the drinks, diet soda, unsweetened ice tea or coffee now also expends our horizons.

With a wind of corporate mistrust, many rumors have cropped up about fast food beef, ranging from claiming worms were used as filler or came from companies called "100% beef" to sneak it right under our noses.. I want to believe that it's not true, we're talking 100% beef, no preservatives, no fillers and there's zero reasons to believe otherwise.

My adventures in ordering fast food have come a long way from my weekly Montreal-Bellows Falls trip when visiting hubby, leaving a wasteland of Chinese food buffets in our fray (Looking at you, China Moon in White River JCT) or trying out the entire menu at Wendy's in one trip to Virginia.

Now a days, I'm far more conscious of what I order and what I CAN order, which led me to falling in love with the McDonald's app to order. You can pull out your phone and customize any order right from that mini computer without feeling any judgement or confusion from the employees and not only that, you can eat for very cheap from the daily specials.  Burgers minus the bun/ketchup/onions and extra bacon/cheese/egg/lettuce or breakfast on the run with extra eggs and sausage, I love it. Also to top it off, the website has a nutrition calculator that you can also customize and you know exactly what you're eating.
The Meat Monster!

Personalized Order on the go!

Baconator with no bun at Wendy's
There's also the food kiosks that comes to our advantage as well. Fast food marketing realized that people ordered more when they didn't have to spell it out to a cashier so yes please on making that a 4 burger patties and cheese monster.

I still have issues at Wendy's with ordering a burger with no buns but when I manage, they have these perfect little boxes and side salads (which are seriously fresh and crisp) but beware any kind of mayonnaise which has lots of corn syrup in it.

At Dunkin' Donuts it was surprisingly easy to order an "Egg, sausage and cheese" with no bread, silence on the speaker till she said "Do you want two eggs so you can eat it like a sandwich?" Why.. YES!

As far as the guilt goes? I have close to none, I need to eat, I'm human and eating LCHF doesn't mean I have to starve while on the road. While I love cooking, life comes at you with responsibilities and chores that chips away at those measly 24 hours, so when our choices are limited, at least we can try picking the lesser of two evils.




Remember to keep calm and keto on!


Hungry Julie