Friday, May 12, 2017

Keto Day, well... Ch- Ch- Ch- Ch- Chaaanges!

I've been following a low carbohydrate, spefically Ketogenic, diet since March 4th, 2017. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and I'm a slow loser coming in at a 10 lb weight loss just barely as of Thursday morning. 

My old jeans began feeling loose weeks ago, so I went online and found the next size smaller (my favorite brand are hard to find locally). They arrived Wednesday night. When I looked at them, I thought, "Damn, I forgot to get the curvy fit, these aren't going to work." I put them aside and went to bed feeling depressed. Thursday morning, I begrudgingly tried them on, and they fit PERFECTLY (the photo posted shows the difference between my old and new jeans).  That made my day!!!

And my week!!!

Thank goodness, because I needed it.

I recently gave up dairy products with the support of my OBGYN in hopes that it would have a positive effect on my menstrual issues.

Well, it didn't.

About 2 weeks ago, I increased my carbohydrate intake for 5 days to see if that would help (sometimes lady stuff responds negatively to big diet changes, like going super low low carb).

That didn't help either.

I called my OBGYN on Monday to problem-solve and she was not at work. Tuesday morning she called me and said she could see me in June... JUNE!!! I am hopping on a plane with my boyfriend next week for a trip East Coast and trust me, you don't want the girl problems I've got while flying.  I expressed this and was told she'd go see what other options were available.  About 15 minutes later I got another call; there was a miracle 11am cancelation!!!

At my appointment I was told that although my blood sugar levels all look good (and have for the last 10 years of annual bloodwork), it's not because they are good... it's because my pancreas is frickin' awesome, apparently. In other words, my pancreas is working harder than it should.  I also learned that I'm insulin resistant.

I have now been put on Metformin, a medication very familiar to a lot of folks with diabetes.  In addition to helping my body use insulin better, it should also have a positive impact on my girl issues. Yesterday was the first day that it didn't make me feel like hurling every other second, or sleeping like a hibernating bear.  With those side effects gone (for now, until further titration in 2 weeks), I'm feeling a bit less angry about it all.  I'm just not a fan of having to take medication... and still a little pissed that it took so long to figure this out despite my diligence in having annual blood panels done (because I know I'm high risk for diabetes).

Since eliminating dairy did no harm or good, I was told to reintroduce it into my diet or start taking a calcium supplement.  Since most vitamins/supplements cause severe vomiting for me... hellooooooo dairy!!!

Yogurt and cheese... I missed you. [Insert heart emoticon here.]

Also... I was instructed to increase my daily carbohydrate allowance from 20 grams to 50 grams, 40 at the very least.  So, this means I'm still following a low carb diet, just not strictly Ketogenic anymore.

If my OBGYN believes this in conjunction with the Metformin will help with my girl issues, I'm on board.

Of course I'll still hop on and blog periodically, because the adventures continue! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Keto DAY 39 - RIP Dairy

Monday (yesterday) was the day I originally planned to go dairy free, but I failed. I really hate wasting things, and I had some cheddar cheese left in my fridge, as well as some sour cream.  Soooooo... I made an epic Keto-friendly meal full of dairy last night, hardly ate any of it, and my mind is now at ease.

Today... today is the official beginning of my dairy-free ketogenic adventure in hopes that it prevents further PCOS-related "girl issues" (see my last post), and maybe increase the rate that I drop weight; I am losing, just v-e-r-y slowly in comparison to others I've talked with.

That being said, I went into autopilot mode at the grocery store this evening when I saw single serving low-carb yogurts on sale.  I stocked up, did the rest of my shopping, and while unloading my cart at the check stand... remembered I ditched dairy. What a heartbreak, and I felt like a jerk for making some store employee restock it all.

RIP dairy products. I'm not used to this yet...

On a positive note, my chicken allergy has taken a back seat for now, so I can have chicken until my body decides it's poison again. Chicken is one of my 19 food allergies that come and go on a rotational basis. Knowing it's OK for a bit, I stocked up on some frozen chicken I can prep for lunches, etc. There are currently some little drumsticks in my toaster oven baking. I brushed them with olive oil, then sprinkled them with sea salt, garlic powder, and a touch of black pepper.  They will take 80 minutes to bake from frozen at 350 degrees, and I chose to flip them at the 40-minute mark to brush on more olive oil and spices. I'm so excited; I miss chicken immensely when I have to go months (sometimes years) without it.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Keto Day 36 - I am past the MONTH mark!

I have survived over a month following the ketogenic WOE (way of eating), and I'm feeling great!

The previous digestive issues I was plagued with for over 7 years have continued to be absent since day 2 of this new adventure, and boy am I grateful!

A friend requested that I share the recipe for some baked egg cups I made semi-recently (photo included in post); they were an improvement on some fairly bland ones I posted about previously.

Here you go, Tami!

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray non-stick spray inside your small containers of choice (ramekins, muffin tin, etc.). Whip 10 eggs, 2 Tblsp of pesto, 20 slices of hard salami (chopped into little pieces), and 1 cup of shredded cheese  (I used Mexican blend) in a large bowl. Pour contents into your little containers (it fit into 5 of my medium ramekins), and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Also, I want to brag on my wonderful boyfriend, Rick.  He made breakfast for us the other day (photos included in this post) and made my portion Keto-friendly.  He has not joined me in this way of eating, but he is very supportive of my shenanigans. Gosh, I love that man!

WARNING: I'm going to get really real about girl stuff for a second, so if you're squeemish, you might want to leave now.

No, seriously, I'm going to be very frank with what I share.

Turn away now or forever know too much about things women don't always freely discuss.

You were warned!

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and unlike a large portion of ladies with PCOS who often don't have their periods for a long time... I struggle to get mine to go away.  A year ago, it was at its worst.  I hemorrhaged for over 2 months straight (anywhere from 2 to 6 cups of blood per day and golf ball sized clots).  I went through days where I could barely walk due to dehydration from bleeding so much and low iron levels, and ended up at an urgent care once and the ER three times because my doctor kept sending me there instead of seeing me herselfNothing and nobody had anything useful for me.

I ended up going to see a recommended OBGYN in town, desperate to just stop bleeding to death.  After being poked, prodded, tested, and examed, cancer and a few other things were thankfully ruled out. After high doses of Progesterone didn't stop the bleeding, I was put on a birth control pill.  That didn't work to stop or reduce anything until my OBGYN had me triple the dose for 3 days, then double it for 3 more days, then return to a normal regime. Holy hormone central, but it worked.

I have enjoyed a fairly normal menstrual cycle for the past year.  My periods are rough, but they have an ending... until I started this new way of eating.

You see, changes to one's diet can mess with one's hormones.  The ketogenic way of eating has been known to be really good for women with PCOS, because we have an extra difficult time letting go of weight.  It also is known to help get long-absent periods restarted again, and increase fertility.

I am not thinking about my fertility at this moment (future, yes, but not now), and I'm the last person who needs a period to restart! You know what has been going on? I had my period around the time I started this keto adventure... and it never stopped despite the birth control! Thankfully, it was just heavy spotting each day, so I've been patient. However, last week it changed, and it was last year's horrid adventure all over again

Thankfully, I thought to call my OBGYN and get her blessing to triple up on the pill again for 3 days, double for 2, and continue as normal if everything calmed down.  She approved, but said if it didn't work, I had to go see her again. Well, yesterday was day 3 of the triple dose, today is day 1 of the double dose, and I'm happy to announce that things are about 90% improved

I'm soooo grateful to be out of that crazy zone again.  After some reading, I believe it might have to do with dairy, which happens to be nicknamed "estrogen juice" among many of those with PCOS who are following the ketogenic way of eating.  Cheese is a very versatile high-fat and low/no carbohydrate resource... and I'm giving it up (along with all dairy products) as of this weekend.  Wish me luck!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Keto Day 23 - Best leftovers ever!

I made crockpot broccoli and cheese frittata/casserole, and twice baked mashed cauliflower for dinner on Saturday with my amazing but non-keto boyfriend and 2 Mormon missionaries, and they could hardly believe the cauliflower dish wasn't potatoes! That's a WIN

You know what that dinner produced?

The best leftovers ever for Sunday after church (which what is in the photos, 'cause I forgot to take photos of the original dishes)! Recipes included in images too!

Even Mango, my crazy orange tabby cat, wanted in on the yummy food!

I'm still doing well, and my digestive system continues to cooperate better than it has in years. So grateful!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Keto Day 20 - Meatzza? Ooooh... meatzza!!

I made a Ketogenic compliant pizza for date night... and it worked!

Rick's reaction: "It's like meatloaf and pizza.  I know how I'm making meatloaf in the future!"

Then he had seconds, and thirds.  My man ate 4 pieces of it! 

Recipe:
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
-Mix 2 pounds of ground beef and 2 eggs with Italian seasoning and garlic powder (the amounts of seasoning is to your discretion; I just threw some in).
-Grease an ample baking pan. I used a 9 × 11 (guesstimate) glass pan and greased it with Pam.
-Smoosh the ground beef into the pan and make sure it covers the bottom and is pressed down evenly.
-Bake for 20 minutes.
-Take it out of the oven and load it with your favorite pizza toppings.
-Bake for 20 more minutes.

Facts about my pizza:
-I used generic store-brand marinara sauce that had 9 carbs per half cup. Since I only used a half cup over the whole pizza, and the pizza produced 6 pieces, each piece had less than 2 carbs from sauce.
-I used an entire 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, which had a total of 4 carbs in it. So, each piece of pizza had less than 1 carb from cheese.
-Instead of pepperoni (my favorite, but Rick is not a fan), I used crumbled pork sausage as a topping. The whole tube of pork sausage had a total of 4.5 carbs in it. I pre-cooked the whole tube, but only used part of it. Each piece of pizza had less than 1 carb from the sausage.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Keto Day 16 - Salami Egg Muffins!

I did some food prep and made 24 salami egg muffins today!  Each muffin has 0.6g of carbs, 8g of fat, and 9g of protein. They're yummy, fluffy, and convenient!

I sprayed 2 muffin tins (12 muffins each) with olive oil non-stick spray, put 1 slice of hard salami in the bottom of each cup, whipped together 24 eggs, poured them between all the cups, and topped each with shredded Mexican blend cheese (a cup and a half total).

I preheated my oven to 325 degrees, and put the egg muffins in for 32 minutes.

I love how fluffy they turned out! That's the perk of whipping the eggs all together instead of just cracking one in each cup.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Keto Day 10 - Be Prepared, but...

Back when I had my gallbladder still (8-ish years ago), if I was too busy to eat, I would just not eat. No big deal. Since I have no gallbladder and a constant bile drip that my body never adapted to (my doc said about 1 in 1,000 never adapt), I can't skip meals without getting very ill. 

This morning I was faced with the desire to get to work early, and the reality that I had failed to prepare food last night for today. I ate 2 string cheese sticks right after waking up (I have learned that if I don't put something in soon after rising, I get stomach issues), got ready for work, and left home with hopes of finding luck when I stopped for gas.

It's best to be prepared, but if you find yourself running out the door in the morning for work without having made breakfast or lunch, there are easy and Keto-friendly rescue options out there!

Thank goodness!

The Holiday gas station near my office had packs of cheese and meat sticks, cheese slices with salami to make "cheese sandwiches," and boiled eggs!!!  My total carbs today are good and low at 4 grams (3 grams of those are from my vitamins). My fats are on target, and my protein is only a few grams high.

Mondays are weigh-in days for the Facebook group I joined for support with this Ketogenic WOE (way of eating).  I'm down 5 pounds in 10 days.  My NSV (Non-Scale Victory) is that my jeans can now be put on and taken off without unbuttoning or unzipping them!

I'd like to also add that my mean ol' digestive system continues to work properly again with this new WOE.  That's my biggest NSV ever!