Hey!! We made it through week 4!!!! Are you still with me? This week I spent half the week on the road and the other half back at home. I met some unique challenges that I'll chat about a little. Otherwise I am super excited to head into another month still going strong!!
Day 1: Restaurant-ITALIAN
Yep, I found a delicious meal at an Italian restaurant!!! YAY!!! And let me tell you, it was delicious!!! I started with a Caprese Salad-I am a sucker for fresh mozzarella & balsamic vinegar!! Then I had this delicious Flat Iron Steak salad (photo)!! Y'all, it was incredible!!! And I remembered to snap a photo!!!
Day 2: Dutch Oven Pot Roast & Veggies
This was for our last meal on the road and it is one of my favorites to make!! Every time I make it, it is a little different but thats what is so great about it! You can use anything you have in the refrigerator without making a grocery store stop. I make mine in a dutch oven when we are camping but you could do this just as easily in the crock pot or instapot. Just sautéed the first part in a cast iron pan prior to adding it to the crock pot or instapot.
This is what I did this time:
Day 3: LEFTOVERS!!
You know what I love about cooking big meal? Leftovers!!!! I just warmed up the remaining Roast & Veggies and we had another delicious meal! AND...I was exhausted from our trip home so I would have totally sucked at cooking anything!!
Day 4: Black Pepper Shrimp
Oh holy buttery goodness!!! I felt like changing things up bit tonight & cooking up some shrimp for dinner! And it was a HUGE hit!!! oh...and SUPER EASY!!! Some advice:
Day 5: Filet Mignon & Roasted Zucchini
It is absolutely unbelievable how easy this meal is considering how delicious it ends up! (It also helps that my husband grills the filet's so I basically do...nothing! lol)
Day 6: Girls Night Out!!!-Cobb Salad
I went out to dinner with a couple of my mom friends. I thought I'd be really good and get a cobb salad with shredded chicken, bacon, avocado, eggs & a balsamic dressing with blue cheese. You guys, it was horrible!!! It was a big bowl of iceberg lettuce, almost nothing to speak of as far as toppings & the dressing was basically mayonnaise with a dash of balsamic vinegar. SO GROSS!!! But...someone else got the most amazing dinner that I will definitely grab next time! It was Bison Meatloaf wrapped with bacon & over a bed of mashed cauliflower!!! It was so good!!!!! so....next time...
Day 7: InstaPot Old Fashioned Pot Roast
This Pot Roast recipe was super easy! But I did make some changes. I seasoned the roast really well with salt & pepper (mostly pepper) before searing it. Then I removed it from the InstaPot and sautéed some smashed garlic cloves (about 8 cloves) just until fragrant. Then I added a can of fire roasted tomatoes (instead of tomato paste), salt/pepper & some basil. I added the roast back into the pot then poured the beef broth over the top.
For cooking time, I would recommend 90min +15 min NR instead of the 75min +15 min NR they suggest. My roast shredded on the outside but the center was still pretty tough. There was plenty of the shredded part to feed us a nice helping for dinner. But to remedy the tough part for leftovers tomorrow, I will let it sit in the gravy overnight then cook for a bit longer than normal until it softens up.
I also made a quick gravy once the roast was finished cooking. I removed the roast to a serving plate then ladled the remaining liquid through a sieve to catch the chunks of tomato & garlic. I poured the liquid into a pan then added a mixture of arrowroot and about 1/2 c water. Warm until thickens and pour over shredded pot roast.
This weeks challenges
I was really proud of myself this week. I stayed on track with meals & maintained my workout routine on the road, even when it was hard...and freakin freezing cold!! I was really excited to get home and not feel like I needed to "catch up" with my prior progress! Then I weighed myself. NOT WHAT I WANTED TO SEE!! I Gained. UGH!!! If I was going to gain anyway I wanted to say my progress on the road wasn't worth it. That I should've just eaten what I wanted and taken the week off from working out. But then I took a chill pill & thought about what might've affected this weight gain & realized that there were a few factors that were totally temporary & I would be back to results quickly!
Now that I aback home I can get back to incorporating more movements-like pull ups, rowing, GHD's, etc... And get back to my weekly Yoga class (I will actually start going to a yoga studio on the road moving forward!).
I also did more push ups & heavy slam balls so my chest is a bit sore this week! But my yoga class was really small and the instructor was able to give more one-on-one attention to issues. We did a lot to open up the tight areas so I feel fantastic today!!!
Here we go! Already in week 3!! We are heading out on the road again mid-week so this is my first time being put to the test. In the past it was traveling that really got me off track so now its time to get serious! Wish me luck!
I had so much fun coming up with fun/helathy/on the road meals this week!! Once we hit the road I didn't use a single recipe online and I totally sucked at taking pics for you, so...oops. But, most of what we ate was quick, easy, no brainer food. So hopefully you can still use the guide to get your week going!
oh...and wine...yep! I had that too! A girls gotta live, right!
Day 1: Stir Fry
I had some veggies (broccoli, cauliflower & yellow squash), eggs & chicken left over from the week so I decided to put them together in a stir fry with a little liquid aminos (soy sauce), fresh garlic, peanut butter & onion powder (would've used real onion but the hubs isn't a fan so powder it is!). Add a little sriracha at the end if you like a little kick!
Day 2: Restaurant: Burger (no bun-obviously!!) & green salad with oil/vinegar
This restaurant was absolutely fantastic!!! The burger was delicious!! EASY PEASY! Ive got this!
Day 3: Restaurant ...I know....again...but hey, we're on the road)
We had to visit one of our favorite restaurants in Paso Robles, CA! It's called Tin Canteen, its new & its fantastic. But its pasta....and wood fired pizza. So I had to dig through the menu to find something that worked for us. and let me just tell you...OH MY MEATBALLS!!!! SO GOOD!!!! So I had that & a wedge salad. A lot of the time when I eat at restaurants, I find the best keto friendly meals are a mix of a couple of appetizers or appetizers with a small salad.
Day 4: Restaurant-Ramen
This was one of those times when I had to get creative with keeping it keto. We had been hearing about their AMAZING homemade ramen all week and I was really excited to try it. But with all of those noodles it wasn't going to work. Instead, I decided to give my noodles to Ashlyn then I could enjoy the incredible bone broth, pulled pork, egg & seaweed. AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!
Day 5: Tri-Tip & Broccolini
There is a local butcher shop here in Templeton, CA that we have been eager to try out called J & R Natural Meat. We finally stopped in and grabbed a grass-fed tri-tip to throw on the grill. We seasoned it with simple salt & pepper & a little garlic powder. AMAZING!!! The quality of the meat was so good!! For the broccolini I just sautéed some fresh garlic in a cast iron pan then added the broccolini and a little water to steam them up a bit. I like them a little crisp still so not a lot of water, just enough to soften them a bit.
Day 6: Steak Salad
We grabbed some pre-cooked carne aside from the local Whole Foods here. Let me tell you, it was fantastic!!! And so easy!! Arugula, feta cheese, olive oil, seasoning (I have a tin of ranch seasoning from a local shop that I love to sprinkle on salads.) & lots of steak!!!
Day 7: Grilled Hamburgers with Fontina cheese & arugula
This was out ANNIVERSARY dinner. We were just wanted to hang out back at the RV so we cooked up some burgers & watched the blood moon. It was so beautiful!!! An Anniversary to remember no doubt!
For the burgers I just used salt & pepper to season them. I go a little crazy with the pepper because I love the flavor with the grass fed beef but it is also a great compliment to the fontina cheese. And what an easy meal...but yet so FANCY!! Just grill up your burgers, place a pile of arugula on the middle of your plate, burger on top of that, dollop of fontina cheese & Voila!!! DINNERS READY!! I was being a little lazy but a little bacon would be a fantastic addition as well.
We travel in a motorhome so it's pretty easy for us to bring some small equipment with us. Most of these can be packed in a car as well, or, if you're flying, you might find them in the hotel workout facility. Either way, just use what you've got! the important thing is that you keep the momentum & get your body moving. Here's what we brought:
Y'all, I had so much fun working out this week! It definitely took a little more work since we were out of our normal routines but I am so proud of myself that I kept to my goals!!! And because of certain limitations (location, equipment, etc...) we had to get pretty creative to change it up everyday. But man, I hit my legs HARD this week!! Whew! Im talking squats, SDHP, kettlebell squat cleans!!! You name it, if it was a leg workout we did it!
And abs! OH MY ABS!!!! Not only did they get worked directly via sit ups, but man, those kettlebell swings will get 'cha!
Overall I feel fantastic! Im not overly sore anymore as my body is getting used to the new routines. I still feel a little tight in my upper abs & groin muscles but I hardly even notice it. And the tightness/pain in my sciatic is SO MUCH BETTER!!! I am so happy that it feels so much better in such a short period of time!! YAY!!!
(eek! I didnt bring any of my measuring tools so Ill have to update progress on next weeks post)
Welcome to my Keto Journey & my first progress post! Since week 1 was a short week I decided to combine it with week 2 for a longer post!
Ok! Ive gotten through the first 2 weeks & have so many things to share with you! How many things I've already had to overcome as well as how I'm feeling overall. It feels SO GOOD to be back into my routines!! Check it out...
Beginning of week 1 (partial week):
Waist: 34 3/4"
End of week 2:
Weight: 164.4 (down 6.2 lbs)
Waist: 34 1/4" (down 1/2")
Hips: 43.0" (down 1.0")
Thighs: 25.0" (down 1.0")
**There is a big change that happened over these 2 weeks! I definitely feel a difference in my body but I also know not to have this kind of expectation for results every week. I had been eating a terrible diet prior to this so my body was full of inflammation!! A lot of this change this past week and a half was from the elimination of that inflammation!
Wow! Ive got a lot of kinks to iron out! Like, literally! That occasional Sciatic pain I've been having lately really showed up as I got started. During the first warmup I couldn't bend over more than about 45 degrees without my leg buckling!! Yikes!! But after I got going that totally loosened up and I am now able to get closer to that 90 degree bend without pain! What a big change in just a short week & a half! I can't believe how much better I already feel!
OK, here is the FUN PART!!! FOOD!!! One thing I really love about the KETO DIET is that I can still have my rich, creamy foods! Yummy!! Here's what we ate for the last week and a half with recipe links and helpful ideas:
DAY 1: Filet Mignon and Sautéed Broccoli
We have a local Pasture Raised Meat Market that has filets at a fantastic price! My husband grills them & you could cut them with a fork! Super yummy!! We simply let the steaks sit at room temperature for about 20-30 min, then season with a little salt & pepper, throw em on the BBQ & voila! Delicious steak dinner!
For the broccoli I simply use a little avocado oil to sauté them, then add a little salt & pepper and garlic powder. Easy Peasy! I like my broccoli a little firm but if you want it softer just add a little water midway through then cover with a lid to steam for a minute. (Just a little water-like 1/4c so that it evaporates fairly quickly)
Day 2: Restaurant
We ended up heading out to a restaurant for this meal. I chose a chicken breast stuffed with broccoli, artichokes & cheese with a side of creamed spinach. This is such a fantastic restaurant and easy to choose things that stay within the keto diet. And its right by our house, YAY!!! But not all restaurants are this easy. If you are heading out for a meal, it is easiest if you look for a steakhouse. They will always have meat options (and most now offer grass-fed options!!) and veggie sides. Just make sure to stay away from the high carb sides like baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, pasta based salads or macaroni, etc.... If you find yourself at a restaurant that does not offer cuts of meat (or no grass fed options) I recommend you look for a burger without the bun or a salad with oil & vinegar (most restaurant dressings are going to contain sugar so avoid these if possible).
Day 3: InstaPot Cream Cheese Chicken
I absolutely LOVED this recipe!! It was (mostly) easy-see next post InstaPot: The Good the Bad and The Ugly, lol. There were a few changes that I made:
Day 4: Instapot Butter Beef
This Recipe was so good!!! It had so much flavor & everyone loved it!! It was only the second time I had used my instapot & I can't believe how easy it is to create such incredible meals so easily!
The recipe calls for both ranch dressing & italian dressing. I had used the garlic vinagrette for the Creamy Chicken so I ended up making my own using this recipe HERE.
I also could only find peperoncini peppers and even though they are similar to the banana peppers, they are a bit "tangier". But I thought that would just add so much flavor I went for and it was fantastic!!
I will definitely be making this again in the future!!
Find the recipe HERE
Find more yummy/Instapot recipes HERE
Day 5: LEFTOVERS
Here's the 2nd thing I love about my Instapot: LEFTOVERS!!!! I had plenty of the creamy chicken & the butter beef to create another meal and I thought the flavors would actually go really well together...AND THEY DID!!! It turned out fantastic! Here's what I came up with:
I found this keto/paeleo/gluten free bread mix that I wanted to try and i figured tonights meal would be perfect! I found that it needs a little salt added to the mix but other than that I really liked the texture and overall flavor. ORDER HERE
Once the bread was finished, I made my brussels sprouts. SO EASY!!! Just trim, halve, toss in avocado oil/salt/pepper/garlic powder, place on cookie/baking sheet with butter on top & roast for about 15 min at 425 degrees. While they were cooking I put the beef in a pan with a little avo oil until it was warm. I placed the warm beef onto of a piece of bread, then repeat with the chicken. Top with a little shaved parmesan and a side of brussels sprouts for a delicious meal!!
Day 6: Eating at a friends house
We were invited to spend an evening with our good friends and their super adorable 1 year old twin boys! And thank goodness they are totally on board with our keto lifestyle so this was going to be easy! They were making smoked trip-tip (delicious!!!), sautéed broccoli & salad. I made these super yummy zucchini fritters and they fit in really well!
If you are headed to a friends house for dinner that might not be sensitive to your new lifestyle, always offer to bring something keto friendly so that you can at least have a side dish or salad to eat. And communicate to them what your restrictions are so you avoid a pasta dish or something you can't easily remove the carbs from. Otherwise you can pretty much make anything work with your side dish!
Day 7: Instapot Hamburger Soup
I made this in my Instapot and couldn't believe how much flavor it had! Like, day after you made it kind of flavor! My husband likes a little spice (or maybe like tongue melting kind of spice) so i added a few sprinkles of Cayenne Pepper to his before the parmesan cheese & he really liked it!!
I did have to make a couple of changes to the recipe so that it was keto. I eliminated the potatoes and substituted cauliflower. I also added little grass-fed butter for a little more fat.
Get the recipe HERE Find More Yummy/Instapot Recipes HERE
Day 8: Insta Pot Buttery Lemon Chicken &
Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon
Im going to admit that the chicken was not my favorite this week. I didn't even take the time to grab a picture. But that probably has a lot to do with my modifications! But I LOVED the cabbage! Super yummy!!
Here's where I went wrong with the chicken:
Day 9: Free Range
This is something we do often on weekends. We eat leftovers & small snacks throughout the day. Since it is a Saturday it has worked out nicely to give me a break from meal prepping, plus we eat up all the leftovers and don't waste any food! WIN!!
**Side note: We also went to a birthday party today that had wasn't Keto-Friendly. Don't get me wrong, they threw an awesome party, complete with a GRILLED CHEESE truck! and CAKE!!! But we ate before we went so we didn't allow ourselves to make a bad decision that we would regret! Because, let me tell you, grilled cheese & birthday cake are like CRACK to me. LIKE CRACK!! lol
Day 10: Chicken & Broccoli Soup
I had to make quite a few modifications to this recipe to make it work for us but I am so happy with the way it turned out! And the sauteed garlic smelled so amazing!!!
Here are my modifications:
I did a couple of different types of workouts this week. I started with a lot of stretching & warming up before each one! I mean, A LOT!! My flexibility needs some serious work! Then I did some strength training, some cardio & some yoga. I love the change everyday!
The first workout was more weight oriented-dumbbell flys, air squats, farmer carries, etc... Then I got to do some more heart rate increasing style workouts with the rower. I really liked both styles and felt revitalized after each one!!
Then I added a day of Yoga each week. I am telling you, this was SO GOOD FOR ME!! I get such a great workout but also feel so relaxed and free of the stresses from the week. My husband gets together with his buddies and does a big workout every Saturday so Sunday's are mine to get out and do something good for myself! Sometimes it has been hard to get up and go to the studio but if I can get over that part & get my butt out there it is totally worth it!!! SO, for all of you busy mommas that are trying to balance everything, give it a try. You are doing yourself & your family a favor by taking care of yourself!
Welcome to my Keto Journey! I've been following the ketogentic lifestyle for about a 2 years now and I've lost 55 lbs since I started!! That got my pregnancy weight off and then some. I still have 20 lbs to reach my goal weight (I'll talk more about why I chose this goal later), so I thought I'd invite you all to join me while I accomplish my goal, then transition to a maintenance Keto lifestyle.
Why I Originally started The Keto Diet
After a few years of IVF I had gained a few lbs by the time I got pregnant with Ashlyn (I weighed 173# at that time). Then I gained a whopping 50# during my pregnancy. And much to my chagrin, I did not lose most of that weight after the birth of the 8# baby and what I thought would weight a lot more than it did, the water. 2 months after she was born I was still up 40lbs from the day I got pregnant. And up 60-70 lbs from my ideal weight/comfort zone.
This hit me hard. I was not able to find clothing in regular stores because their biggest sizes didn't fit me. I started having pain in my knees & ankles that I had never experienced before. The pain was all a result of carrying so much extra weight that my body had not had time to prepare for. It started putting so much pressure on my lower limbs & just the process of standing up was painful.
Then I couldn't shake the feeling that I was just about to turn 40. That in itself didn't bother me (age is just a number, right?). It was that I was a new mom at 40. I would think to myself, my own mom is a very young 63-very physically active, active in her career, travels, etc... When Ashlyn is my age, I will be 80. That is a big difference and if I don't stay as healthy & active as I can, I won't be able to be that mom for her when she is my age. I fear that I will instead become a burden on her. Someone that she needs to take care of. I don't want that. I am going to make a change! I am going to be around & be my best for her, for as long as I can!
Getting Going-Trial & Error
I started the Keto lifestyle for the first time in January of 2017. I am not going to lie, it was hard at first. I got into ketosis fairIy quickly but I also definitely got the "keto flu" (feeling crummy as you enter ketosis). Luckily it only lasted for a few days and was usually just for a few hours a day. But...I was losing weight like crazy!!! I lost 16 lbs in my first month! That got me back under 200# and I was ecstatic!! But my aches & pains weren't gone yet. So on I go!
Within a few weeks of starting, we took our first trip on the road. We decided to "reward" ourselves with some "regular" food while we weren't home. This was a huge mistake!! First of all, in hindsight, if I want to make a change to my LIFESTYLE then I also need to change my views on what is a REWARD. Erasing all of my hard work & walking backwards is no-ones reward. And I certainly paid for it! It took me 3 months to get back into ketosis. I hadn't lost an ounce of weight & I was frustrated. But I pushed on.
Over the course of the next 12 months I was finally back into ketosis, losing weight consistently & the aches and pains were gone!! Down 55 lbs & I felt great! And the keto lifestyle was getting easier and easier! I was getting used to how many carbs/fat/protein were in most things that we ate so I wasn't relying on apps as much and we had a pretty good routine down!
Getting Off Track
Now, don't get me wrong! 2018 was one of the best years for us as a family! We bought our RV, travelled to new places, met so many new friends & just had a wonderful year as a family! But, again, when we were on the road we would "take a break" from the keto lifestyle because we enjoyed eating at certain restaurants, etc...
This became an easier and easier excuse to make because at this point I was able to get back into ketosis within a day or so after returning home! Here's where it got out of control-the "breaks" started getting longer & longer and more frequent & more frequent! At first I would "take a break" for the week we were gone. Then I'd rationalize that I should just continue my "break" until the next time we head out on the road because it wasn't worth going back and forth. Then, before I knew it, I was off keto for 2 months!! My weight would YoYo up about 7lbs each time then I'd spend the entire time between breaks trying to work those lbs off again. I'd finally get back to losing weight, back to my 163#, when we would head back out again and so on and so on. Fast forward to now and I have been off the keto diet for over 2 months, haven't worked out in at least 6 months, I'm up to 171 lbs and started having aches and pains again. I can't bend over to pick something up or try to sit down without my sciatic causing my leg to give out. My right knee hurts every time I try to climb into bed or sit on the floor to play with Ashlyn. Im not ok with any of it and its time for me to get my priorities back on track!
So now what?
I've made a commitment to myself (& to all of you!!!) that I am going to get back into a keto lifestyle and workout routine & find a way to maintain it-even on the road. No more "breaks". No more YoYo. No more aches & pains. No more excuses! And I hope sharing with you will help you get over some hurdles yourself and make the full time change to a keto lifestyle!!
Check out my next post for my first week and a half progress! I'll be sharing my meal plans with recipes, how my workouts have gone & how I'm feeling overall. And please comment with your experiences-frustrations-advice for me, etc... If you have read through all this it means we are in this together!! Lets go!!
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I am 2 years into my keto lifestyle! Lost a total of 55 lbs since I started-!! Will be sharing my ups & downs, recipes that work, grocery shopping tips as well as weekly workout schedule! Check back every Monday for an update & kick start to your week!