I shared the details of doing clean testing experiments in an effort to break a year long weight loss plateau, and testing my ketone levels regularly to identify food culprits that are making my weight fluctuate so much.
I am currently in optimal ketosis so it’s a great time to do my next food test ~ and I don’t want to.
Or I’m torn about it, I guess I should say…
My weight dropped half a pound the day after my last report, from 141.1 on Thursday to 140.6 pounds on Friday morning. On Saturday, I weighed in at 140.8 – and have stayed there, every morning: 140.8 Saturday, Sunday, Monday – on repeat, lol.
I know my own weight loss trends pretty well after doing this for so long, so I feel I’m on the cusp of a loss as I tend to lose / hold / hold / lose. And I lose small amounts and very slowly this close to goal weight (within 5’ish pounds, I’d guess).
Half a pound a week is GOOD weight loss for me.
On a good streak I might lose 1-2 pounds a month at the most. That’s because I’m so close to goal weight, like I said. But also because I eat low carb consistently – meaning: I’m not making any major lifestyle (or food) changes.
Something is going on with my hormone cycle right now too, but I’m not sure what it is since my uterus went missing a few years ago.
Another issue at play with me right now is stress. Sometimes that makes me NOT want to eat, and that’s something I have to be aware of and do something about – because it’s simply the opposite of my past binge eating problem.
It’s funny (not funny!) that NOT eating, or not eating enough, can also stall your weight loss – or slow it down. But I’ve definitely seen that play out with my own body as I worked through my weight loss journey.
Trust The Process – Patience Is Key!
My point with all that is to share that I’m taking this in stride and not expecting miracles or anything. I’m testing, tracking, listening to my body, and just trusting the process – and tweaking as I go.
I’m also going easy on myself, and just letting things play out as they will. The stress will lift, tough phases pass, and your body will do it’s own thing in it’s own time.
I’m planning to put my next low carb product to the “ketosis test” but I’m holding off for two reasons. First, because I want to see what happens with my weight this week, and if I see the drop I’m expecting. And second… because I’m going dancing on Thursday night, and I don’t want to go out bloated – or worse: with keto flu!
I do NOT like the feeling of being out of ketosis, so I’m kicking myself for committing to the food testing process lol. Ugh! But bear with me… I’ll probably resume the tests after my date Thursday night.
I also don’t want to screw up any “clean tests” by throwing alcohol into the mix, lol. I rarely drink, so I’m very much looking forward to a low carb beer, or rum & diet coke!
In the meantime, below is my food diary for yesterday.
Then in my next post I’ll show you my meals and macros going back over the last week, so you can see what I ate to get (and stay!) at optimal ketosis levels.
I should start by saying that my Monday’s are FULL and hectic, and also a very LONG work day for me – so it was definitely a day of “convenience eating” with very little time for cooking ‘n such…
My Low Carb Meals on Monday
It was late in the morning before I finally sat down to eat (maybe 10am?), and honestly I had to eat at my desk and keep on rolling. I finished what was left of my parmesan chicken. I just diced it up, added cheddar, warmed it & called it breakfast.
That parmesan chicken was great, btw! You just coat chicken in mayo, then coat it in finely shredded parmesan, and bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Then I topped mine with organic salsa and provolone and stuck it under the broiler for a sec. Yum!
I had a big delicious buttery vanilla coffee keto shake for lunch, because I was consulting over lunch hour. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be tied up, and I would be drinking coffee anyway, so I just turned that into a meal.
I used the Ketologie keto shake mix, hot coffee and butter.
I had a LARGE 24 ounce mug (with 24 ounces of coffee) and used 2 scoops (one serving) of the shake mix and 2 TBSP of butter. I just hit it with the mixer for a sec so it was nice & frothy – and went back to work!
I got up this morning and made Low Carb Blueberry Cinnamon Bun Muffins using the Nut Butter Recipe I shared with you last week.
The muffins were beautiful, and my friend Kelly tried one and really enjoyed them. It’s a great recipe. But I didn’t feel like eating any. I put them away for when I’m in the mood for them.
I’m not sure what’s going on with my lack of appetite, or lack of interest in food, but I would guess it’s ketosis at work: given it’s a natural appetite suppressant.
That and stress, just normal life stuff, which will pass soon enough. Along with the extra pounds I’m wearing at the moment.
I’ll be interested to test with my keto strips after having a few drinks Thursday night, and seeing how THAT affects my ketone levels. Alcohol is something I haven’t tested yet – so I suppose we can call that my “clean test” for the week.
This testing requires A LOT of patience, with a dash of discipline.
I’m being VERY strategic about it so I can be absolutely sure of the results, and give you accurate reports of what I discover in the process.
I’m finding it much easier to “eat clean” and stick to foods I already know do not stall my weight loss or affect my ketone levels. I’m good with simple.
But convenience is nice too, and I miss having the freedom to just grab something in a rush – like that Cinnamon Know Cookie that was taunting me yesterday, lol.
I’m committed to seeing this through, as much work as it is, and as much as I dislike the thought of potentially throwing myself out of ketosis again.
And I’m committed to patience, and just trusting the process and allowing my body to release weight in it’s own time.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to be lazy or complacent about it. I know that stress and sleep quality play a part in ME holding on to weight, so I’m taking measures to relieve stress and get better rest — and to stop skipping meals, because that just freaks my body out.
p.s. The Low Carb Waffle Recipe I shared a few days ago also makes DELICIOUS low carb muffins & pancakes. This is the recipe I used to make the Blueberry Cinnamon Bun Muffins this morning.
You can use ANY nut butter in this recipe, but the best I’ve tried so far are the delicious flavored nut butters from Legendary Foods. Specifically: Apple Pie, Blueberry Cinnamon Bun and Pecan Pie Almond Butter. See Legendary Foods and use code LOWCARBTRAVELER for our special discount. ENJOY!
I don’t personally know any other nut butter that has the flavor and texture of Legendary Foods, and tastes THIS amazing straight out of the jar off a spoon!
Meaning: if you use plain almond butter or peanut butter you’ll want to add additional ingredients or something to flavor and/or sweeten your nut butter recipes, which will of course increase the carb count.
Not only are Legendary Foods nut butters SUPER RICH, they are VERY low carb.;)
In addition to being delicious and FULL of flavor, they’re keto-friendly (and don’t affect my ketone levels at all, based on my clean testing) plus they are VERY low carb.
Some of their flavors are even lower in carbs than regular plain peanut butter or almond butter too, and PACKED with flavor.
The Pecan Pie Almond Butter for example, is only ONE net carb per tablespooon (or 2 net carbs per serving of 2 TBSP) and extremely RICH.
In addition to my finger, or a spoon when I’m being civilized (lol) I’ve discovered that the Apple Pie Almond Butter is GREAT on cold crisp cucumber slices or on celery, for a quick healthy & delicious snack!
Plus the flavored nut butters make delicious muffins, that are even better topped with a tabespoon of the nut butter they’re made with.
Let’s dig in to the recipes, because you could’ve had these made already!;)
Low Carb Nut Butter Recipes:
Keto Candy aka LCHF Fat Bombs
You can basically take any nut butter and mix it with coconut oil so it will set up in candy molds, or even as “bark” or in any shape & size you prefer.
If you’re using plain almond butter or peanut butter, you may want to mix it 2:1 or even 3:1 (2 or 3 parts nut butter to 1 part coconut oil) since plain nut butters don’t have a lot of flavor, or aren’t very rich.
You can also add things to jazz up the texture & flavor, such as: vanilla extract, sugar free chocolate chips, chopped nuts, unsweetened coconut, or whatever suits your fancy!
All you have to do is melt the nut butter & coconut oil together, which I do in a large glass measuring cup, blend it all well – adding any extra ingredients you chose.
Then pour the liquid mixture into a mold (or even paper muffin cups). Pop them in the freezer to set up, then take them out and enjoy them straight out of the freezer…
They’ll be cold but soft and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Small or large paper muffin cups work great, or you can pour your mixture into a larger dish and slice it into squares later. But I really love silicone baking molds.
I use those to make my small squares (you’ll see those in a minute) and they come in all shapes and sizes – which is how I made the heart-shaped candy above.
Your candy pops out in perfectly portioned shapes with these!
Since it’s already incredibly RICH I mixed it 1:1 with coconut oil, and since it’s already very low carb – mixing it 50/50 with coconut oil lowered the carb count even more, to just ONE net carb per piece! ♥
I made several different sizes, some with 1 TBSP of mixture (one net carb each) and a larger one in a muffin paper cup with 2 TBSP of mixture (2 net carbs for that one).
It came out BEAUTIFUL, so rich and sinfully delicious!
From the bottom you can see they really don’t skimp on the blueberries (or the flavor!) in these specialty nut butters.
Total Carbs minus Fiber & Erythritol = 4 net carbs per two tablespoon serving, or 2 net carbs per tablespoon.
You can get fancy with different flavored nut butters like these, or even plain almond butter – and add in your own sugar free chocolate or other ingredients.
In this version, the heart shaped candy on the left is the blueberry nut butter above mixed 1:1 with coconut oil, with a thin layer of sugar free white chocolate on the bottom.
Get creative with fun variations!
Or just get Legendary Foods specialty nut butters that are already creatively fancy, and your nut butter recipes are even easier.
This “Blueberry Cinnamon Bun Candy” was as quick as melting it 1:1 with coconut oil and letting it set up in the freezer.:)
For my Pecan Pie Nut Butter Candy I did the same thing, except I created a small chocolate layer for the bottom – which was a really nice flavor combo!
Using the extremely rich Pecan Pie Almond Butter, I mixed it 1:1 with coconut oil. This is probably the richest of all their nut butter flavors, and one of their most popular.
It’s also their lowest carb nut butter, at just 1 net carb per TBSP.
For chocolate layers you can melt down sugar free chocolate chips or make your own with cocoa & sweetener mixed with coconut oil so it will set up. There are also products like ChocZero Dipping Cups you can use to create chocolate layers.
For my chocolate layer I had to get a big creative this time because I’m currently in a clean testing phase and am only using products I know don’t affect my ketone levels or knock me out of ketosis.
It took a bit of testing to get the ratio right, melting & mixing & adding more coconut oil until it tasted like I wanted it to. I ended up with 1 scoop of the shake mix (half a serving) and 4 TBSP of coconut oil – but mine did come out a little strong and you could definitely add more coconut oil to make it go farther.
Especially since I don’t eat off plan or have cheat days.
That’s why I started doing Ketone Testing while strategically working through a series of “food tests” to see if I can identify my culprits, or what’s causing my weight (and ketone levels!) to fluctuate so much.
I am VERY close to a “goal weight” by the way. I started this challenge at 139.6 pounds and this morning I weighed 141.1 pounds.
At this point the number on the scale (my weight alone) is such a small piece of the overall picture. What you can’t see in that one number staring back at you is: water weight, inflammation, lean muscle weight, muscle LOSS, body fat, etc.
It’s just a number.
I hit my lowest weight last winter at just under 135 pounds (134.6, I believe) with some pretty decent lean muscle built up. I was down to a very comfortable size 6 (sometimes size 4) and am back up to a very comfortable size 8.
I’ve lost some muscle tone this past year and also had some issues staying in ketosis.
So my two main goals right now are to get back to my regular workouts (toning), and figure out which foods are causing my weight to fluctuate so much.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not unhappy with my current weight or size.
The ketone & food testing I’m doing right now is not just about staying in ketosis. It’s not just about weight loss either. It’s about identifying which “food culprits” are affecting my body and my overall health.
It’s also a means of going a level deeper with the low carb products and foods I review and recommend, and encouraging you to do the same – since we all have different tolerances and sensitivities to certain ingredients.
Plus… you need to know what to do, and HOW to do “clean testing” in the case that you ever find yourself in a frustrating spot with your own weight loss.
When Your Low Carb Weight Loss Stalls or Plateaus
It’s one thing when you go a few days without the scales moving, or a full week or two even. That’s not a true plateau, but usually just a normal weight loss trend – assuming you haven’t changed or added anything new.
My own weight has been fluctuating the same 5 pounds, between 139.6 and 144.6, for a full YEAR now.
You can see that in this graph of the last 90 days, which looks pretty much the same if I go back the entire year:
I use MyFitnessPal to track my daily meals and my weight loss progress.
That ^ is the key to knowing any real facts about your weight loss journey: tracking. If you aren’t tracking, and doing “clean tests” on yourself, you’re basically just guessing or grasping at straws.
* I’m not suggesting you become obsessive about it, especially if you’re just starting out. In the beginning it’s important to focus on changing your habits, changing your mindset and simply losing weight. It’s not until you experience a true long-term weight loss stall or some kind of perplexing issue, that you need to explore deeper.
Being so close to goal weight, I’ve been really lax about this whole plateau thing. It all started a little over a year ago when I got sick with a nasty flu that I just couldn’t kick. Three rounds of antibiotics and two rounds of steroids later, I just continued eating low carb and staying within my keto macros – and figured my body would “bounce back” in it’s own time and went about my business.
That didn’t happen.
Not only did my weight stay slightly up, which is normal for a spell after taking certain medications, I also became less active – and ultimately a bit complacent. Okay, downright comfortable.
But I started noticing something odd…
It wasn’t just my weight that was bouncing around like a ping pong ball – something else was going on TOO. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it SEEMED like I was having slight “keto flu” symptoms along with it off and on.
At this point I was just guessing (not testing), but I started paying MUCH closer attention to the trend and definitely had the mild keto flu symptoms prior to my weight dipping back down, and slight “out of keto” symptoms when my weight was rising back up.
Odd. I’d only ever experienced extreme IN or OUT with ketosis and keto flu.
Instead of the full-on symptoms though, I might have a relentless headache one day, the rare leg cramp here and there, some irritability and moodiness out of the blue maybe. But hey, I’m a woman – those all sound like normal things you experience now and then right?!
It finally occurred to me that it may be a certain low carb food I was eating that was causing the more recent fluctuations and weird symptoms – and more specifically: knocking me out of ketosis, or at least dramatically affecting my ketone levels.
I’m actually more concerned with becoming so sedentary and getting back to my regular workouts than I am with my weight, but…
I definitely wanted to know if there was a food or product I’ve been eating that affects ketone levels (and therefore weight loss) for YOUR sake – and also because randomly getting pissy or weepy is not really pleasant, lol.
Use “Clean Testing” to Identify Your Culprits
You know that saying: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” – I really dislike that saying lol. Anyway, that’s what usually happens when people start guessing without doing any real testing.
You don’t want to restrict your diet to the point of total food boredom, assuming this or that affects you in a certain way, without any real test to determine that as a FACT.
And it’s not just foods that can cause low carb weight loss stalls. Things like medications, vitamins & supplements, stress, sleep quality etc can all play a part in your weight loss.
In case you missed it, this all started just before my last trip. I opened this discussion and shared my initial thoughts & results here:
The fastest, easiest way to get back into a state of Optimal Ketosis* is to eat super simple and “super clean” with no products or processed foods and as few ingredients as possible – sticking to keto macros of 20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum.
That means no bars, no products, no processed foods – just meat & greens + healthy fats. I tend to eat simple anyway, but my 3IMAX method is GREAT to break a stall – or get back into ketosis quickly.
So that’s exactly what I did. I headed out on my low carb trip and ate super clean, limiting “products” I took with me to those I was already super familiar with.
I left in ketosis, I returned in ketosis, and then I started a series of “clean testing” by introducing one “questionable” product back into my diet at a time – and testing my ketone levels each morning along the way.
What I’ve Learned So Far…
I went back to my “usual staples” of low carb foods I was eating last year which includes cheese, cream cheese, almonds, pecans, peanut butter and some of the other “known culprits” that might stall weight loss for some people. In addition to steak, chicken, salads, green vegetables, etc of course.
So I ruled those foods out as an issue for ME, because I got back into Optimal Ketosis and my weight started dropping again immediately.
I also continued using my Coffee-Mate Hazelnut Sugar Free Powdered Creamer through this test, so I ruled that out as a problem as well.
*The powdered is lower in carbs than the liquid, and creamier (takes less), and the hazelnut flavor is the lowest in carbs with the best taste of all the flavors. I was sure I would like vanilla better but it has a funky flavor or aftertaste to it, where the powdered hazelnut does not.
Is it a frankenfood with way too many ingredients? YES. It’s also delicious and you can pry it from my cold dead (skinny!) hands.
My first “big test” when I returned home from my trip was to experiment with the Keto Kookies to see if they affected my ketone levels at all.
In order to make it a TRUE TEST, I ate SIX of them.
That was my first true “product test” and like I said I ate SIX of the Keto Kookies (my last six, lol) in two days, or more like 36 hours.
I continued to stay in Optimal Ketosis (a deeper purple on the strip) throughout the entire week as I added in other favorite low carb products one at a time and paid attention to how those affected me – positive or negative.
Here’s what I’ve tested and ruled out so far…
Meaning: these products do NOT throw me out of ketosis or stall my weight loss – or have ANY negative impact on me at all.
Plus the foods I mentioned above: cheese, cream cheese, almonds, pecans, peanut butter – as well as: heavy whipping cream and sugar free syrups, which I enjoyed at various Starbucks on my travels.
So far so good!
CLEAN TESTING REQUIRES SERIOUS DISCIPLINE
In order to rule in or rule out specific foods or products, you have to test only one at a time for ideally two full weeks. I’ve been doing 3-day tests off and on myself for the last three weeks, but only on foods I’m more familiar with – so far.
And then — I ate the No Cow Protein Cookie that came in one of the March boxesand BAM, I was out of ketosis by the next morning.
This one totally surprised me, but…
If you look at the nutrition facts for that cookie it lists a “Protein Blend” as the first ingredient. I totally missed that! My fault, for not reading the label before I ate it.
I have been suspecting (and so far trying to avoid) these “protein/fiber blends” in some products as MY culprit.
These are the protein or fiber blends that jack up the fiber & protein counts – which I’ve been eyeballing a bit suspiciously for awhile now.
Confirmed by a previous test using NutiLight Hazelnut Chocolate Spread, which lists Chicory Root Fiber as the first ingredient – and also knocked me straight out of ketosis (with just one serving).
Here’s an example of what I mean…
Notice that this product has NO sugar alcohol – yet VERY high fiber (and very sweet to the taste):
These are low carb / low sugar gummies, “only 9 net carbs for the entire bag” and apparently quite good. I haven’t eaten any of them myself (I don’t really like gummies), but had a whole box to review – and all my friends love them.
That is the ONE thing that the NutiLight Hazelnut Spread and the NoCow Protein Cookie had in common, a protein or fiber blend as the first ingredient, and both products knocked me out of ketosis with a single serving – in a clean test, with only my usual low carb foods that day otherwise.
These two food tests were four days apart, I experienced the mild keto flu symptoms again, ate “clean” and got back into optimal ketosis, then had the cookie and got knocked back out.
EveryBODY is different…
What affects one person might not affect the other, so you may have no trouble with these various soluble fiber and/or protein blends used to lower net carb counts, increase protein or fiber, and also provide sweeter flavor.
You may also be sensitive to dairy or gluten or get migraines from red wines or dark chocolate. You know your body best, and you’re the only one that can discover your own personal culprits – through mindful clean testing and through the process of elimination.
“and thus should be viewed as a slow digesting carbohydrate rather than a “true fiber.”
“It is important to keep in mind that everyone is metabolically different, so if you are consuming food items with these fibers in them, be sure to monitor blood glucose and ketone readings to find how each of these fibers personally affect you.”
My testing continues…
I said that both products knocked me out of ketosis, but after the NutiLight I still had trace ketones when testing – it simply knocked me out of Optimal Ketosis levels.
After eating the NoCow protein cookie I had no trace of ketosis whatsoever by the next morning.
I find all of this incredibly interesting. Not only is food science something that fascinates me, testing how various products and ingredients affect MY body and my health is very enlightening!
It’s been 2 days since I ate the NoCow Protein Cookie (which was terrible anyway, btw), so I expect I should be back in Optimal Ketosis by tomorrow morning.
I admit that this seems like a good time to take a detour and enjoy a sushi dinner… but I have more testing to do, and am anxious to test that next product! lol
Dealing With Low Carb Weight Loss Stalls & Plateaus
I hope this proved helpful, or at least interesting. I’ll keep you posted of course. I think it’s important NOT to obsess over scales and ketone testing and dieting in general, but to also be mindful and aware of what you’re eating and how it’s affecting both your weight loss journey AND your health.
If you are using any bars or products, try cutting those out for two weeks. Limit nuts, cheese & cream cheese too and eat super simple: just 2-3 ingredients per plate, mostly meat & greens + healthy fats.
Stop giving up, stop starting over, stop quitting on yourself, and STOP putting off what you KNOW you want.
Every day you wait, every bad choice, and every excuse you make for yourself just makes you feel worse. It makes you have less confidence and less willpower.
Each of those things turn into a REGRET… and regrets suck.
Plus it just makes it take longer to get where you want to be in your life, and to turn into WHO you want to be.
So just cut it out already, and MAKE your life awesome! It won’t happen with one choice or in one day. Nothing does, good or bad. It’s all the little choices we make one hour after the other that shape us into who we are – or who we want to be.
You’re not just “shaping your body” with every decision you make (or don’t make). You’re also shaping your mindset. You either turn yourself into a more confident, happier person with more motivation & willpower… or you continue allowing yourself to be a less confident, unhappy and unmotivated person.
A few weeks from now you will either be SO GLAD you made the choices you did, or you will be full of REGRETS for the choices you made. The same goes for a few months from now, and a few years from now.
Take a moment to think forward, and decide how you want to look and feel 90 days from now… The same? Better? Worse? It’s totally up to you!
There’s no sense waiting or dragging it out.
You aren’t doing yourself any favors at all with that.
When you do get serious about your weight loss goals, and make that a priority – you’ll look back and ask yourself: “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!” …because the results feel AMAZING.
I can’t even put into words what THIS feels like for ME:
Do you know how long that took me?!
Too long. (YEARS!)
I got stuck on the “dieting roller coaster” of self-sabotage, giving in, giving up, getting mad, getting back on track, falling back off track.
It was nonstop on/off in/out and it was totally maddening. It was consuming, whether I was high or low. It’s all I thought about – and it got OLD.
I finally got sick of being all wrapped up in my head about it, day in and day out. It can really suck you down the rabbit hole.
So one day I just decided to QUIT. I didn’t quit eating low carb or quit on my goals, I quit making it so HARD. Because the truth is: it isn’t. We tend to make it harder than it should be, but I discovered that’s all so unnecessary.
One day out of the blue I just let it go, took a deep breath, and decided to LIVE MY LIFE. I woke up every day and chose to eat low carb for my health, and for my mental well being. I got more active, with a focus on having FUN instead of “exercising to lose weight.”
Dieting sucks. It’s consuming, and you can get seriously obsessive about it. The day I stopped doing that was SO liberating! And guess what? The days turned into weeks that turned into months – and the results have been SO much better since then!
Plus I’m not driving myself totally batty all day every day anymore.:)
What Do You Do When You Reach Your Goal?
I get asked this all the time. I have not actually reached my own goal yet.
I weigh less than my original “weight loss goal” but I’ve weighed less than this (by about 5 pounds last winter). Not now or then did I ever consider myself “done” – or consider going back to my old lifestyle. I’m enjoying the “New Me” way too much!!
I still track my macros consistently and I pay attention to food quality and ingredients. It’s become second nature for me at this point. I’m aware when I’m being too sedentary or getting too complacent. My overall health and quality of life have become a PRIORITY, and it’s something I’m constantly improving.
You’ll discover that your weight loss goals turn into more of a health journey in the long run. You’ll change from someone who needs to lose weight, to someone who enjoys being and feeling healthy – and you’ll DESIRE anything that contributes to that feeling!
You’ll also discover that number on the scale that you give so much power and control… is not the bottom line. You can be “skinny fat” or lean and out of shape. You can have more muscle and less body fat and actually weigh a little more.
I still have some body fat to lose, but I also have a lot of toning and strengthening to do. Throughout my own weight loss journey I’ve lost fat, gained muscle, lost muscle tone, and seen myself at the same weight but a totally different size and body composition. It’s quite eye opening!
I don’t think you ever really reach your goal. You simply transform into someone with a totally different mindset, and on ongoing goal of being your happiest healthiest self.
I’m not done yet!
While I can pull off a great photo (with Spanx on! lol) and I am VERY proud of myself for what I have accomplished so far – and for sticking with it – I am nowhere near done. I still have so much I want to accomplish, and so many ways I want to improve myself and my health – and my overall body composition.
I feel SO good about taking control of my health & weight loss, and finally getting over the hump with tough stuff like emotional overeating and binge eating. I love the person I have become… so far.
I wrote this for me, as much as you.
I wrote this as much FROM my personal experience so far, as I did FOR myself where I am in my own weight loss journey at the moment.
I’m somewhere between looking back and looking forward. I’m still working on practicing self-love and self-acceptance every single day. I’m still working toward being my healthiest, leanest, strongest self. I’m still working through regrets for not getting back to my workouts…
Right now I’m coming out of a “comfortable phase” where I did find myself getting a little too complacent again. I caught myself though, and decided to get seriously refocused on my overall health – and also get back to my toning & core strength goals. (I want to feel STRONG inside and out!)
In my next post I’ll give you some things to consider (and test/try!) if you are not losing weight, or seem to be struggling with any real weight loss progress – because that’s MY issue lately, so I’ll share how I’m dealing with it, and what I’m doing about it.
Keep an eye out for that, and make sure you’re signed up by email so you’ll get it right in your inbox as soon as it’s published.
I really hope something in this note spoke to you today, depending on where you are with your goals and what you need most to get to the next rung on your own ladder. We’re all at our own place, but we’re in this together… *cheers*
You can use ANY nut butter in this recipe, but the best I’ve tried so far are the delicious flavored nut butters from Legendary Foods. Specifically: Apple Pie, Blueberry Cinnamon Bun and Pecan Pie Almond Butter. See Legendary Foods and use code LOWCARBTRAVELER for our special discount. ENJOY!
The Keto Boxes are really popular and a lot of people ask me for my recommendation on which low carb subscription box is BEST. So last month I did a very detailed Keto Subscription Box Comparison on the top three companies, based on my personal experience with them all over several months.
This week I got all three March keto boxes, and have also been listening to feedback around the web on each of them, which makes me want to update my original review… maybe.
Here’s what’s in each of the 3 boxes THIS month… to give you a better idea what to expect month to month, and also to give you another low carb food list of interesting new keto products to check out!
I’ve been working with Keto Krate the longest (almost 2 years), and work with all three companies on a sponsored and/or commission basis. I’ve been getting The Keto Box for more than six months, and Keto Delivered for a little less than that.
The three Keto Boxes I’m comparing are:
(Use promo code FIVE2018 for $5 off your first box)
The Keto Box
(Use promo code MIX11 for 10% off your first box)
Confession: This is a little overwhelming for me every month.
We’ll start with a quick snapshot of what each of the three keto boxes looked like when they arrived, then I’ll give you a list of what’s inside each box.
I’ll include the best place(s) to get those products if something piques your interest and you want to try it out… along with my thoughts & personal experiences of course!
The March 2018 Keto Krate:
The March 2018 box from Keto Delivered:
The Keto Box, March 2018:
Now for what’s inside! All the weird, fun, neat, interesting low carb products sourced from a variety of keto companies. That’s what makes these boxes so fun, because you never know WHAT you’re going to find in the box!
A 4-serving packet of “Cave Fat Packs” – which I look at… and have no idea what to do with. lol. You can only order them in 5-pack boxes for 29.95 on CaveManShake.com, or $25.46 + Free Shipping on Amazon.
It says you can eat it right out of the bag, add it to your coffee, add it to recipes, etc. It’s basically just to “get your fat in on the go.” I don’t have any problem meeting my macros or getting enough healthy fats in my diet, but I’m sure I can get creative with it!
What’s IN it? Organic cococnut milk powder, organic stevia and salt. That’s it. It’s THREE carbs per serving, with 4 servings per packet, and 90 calories (88 from fat).
From the reviews on Amazon it’s basically “powdered coconut milk” and has a sweet coconut flavor.
You can find these offline in a variety of flavors at stores like Walgreens, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Food Lion, Costco, etc. You can also get them on Netrition in individual packs and a variety of flavors, and mix and match your preferences.
When you break it down, they’re about HALF the price (per gram) on Netrition as they are on Amazon for the 3oz packs.
Anyway, this is a fun tasty low carb snack and I love individually sized / sealed products like this! They’re great to grab & go when I’m on the run, or to throw in my pack when I’m off for a hike.
You can get these on Netrition in 5 different flavors & sizes. They’re zero carb and gluten free. You can buy them in individual packs there too, for only $1.29 – $2.49, so you can mix & match flavors. (They’re 3.75 per bag on Amazon and you have to buy 4 bags.)
I’m not a big fan of pork rinds, unless they’re plain and I toast them in butter & cinnamon. I need creative ideas for these! I suppose they would be great with a garlic herb cheese dip, but I prefer raw veggies in that…
These are $6.00 on their website or on Amazon (plus shipping at either). I’ll eat these when I’m traveling or hiking, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy (or eat) beef sticks – and they are expensive.
Which is what I love about getting to try things like this in my boxes!
BUT, if you (or some guy you know!) loves beef sticks and beef jerky… look what I found on Amazon! Great gift idea for a low carb or meat-eating person in your life.
Their website is in Italian, but you can find these on Amazon in 10-packs for $1.52 per ounce.
Again, that’s what I love about the variety in these boxes. I wouldn’t necessarily – okay, scrath that – I would never order olives online, but this will be a great food to toss in my bag or in my hiking pack when I’m on the go!
F.I.T. stands for Flavor Infused Tenderizing. This 4 ounce package is $8 + shipping on their website, but you can get twice as much in an 8oz package on Amazon for only $12 (or 4x as much for only 2x the price with the 16oz) – PLUS free shipping.
I saved this for last because it came with a coloring book. Or I thought it did lol. It’s actually a detailed full-color recipe booklet for making fun keto stuff – like Dark Chocolate Matcha, Mexican Chocolate Fat Bombs, The Wild Shake, Wild Butter Tea, etc.
What is it? I’m not sure. I had to put on readers (magnifying glasses) to read the package, but I think it’s 4 discs of wild cocoa butter – maybe?
It says their great for traveling, but I’m not sure what to do with them, so I’m going to read up on it more at their website.
You can only get this on their website right now (link above), but they are “coming soon” to Whole Foods stores! It’s a no-bake mix and it’s described as “chocolatey with a coconut crunch” and there are all kinds of creative ways to use it – to make keto bars, fat bombs, “bullet proof balls” etc.
They give you several options on the back of the package, but I want to make the balls with coffee instead of water (yum!) and half with coconut oil and half with Pecan Pie Almond Butter.
This was the product that piqued my interest most this month!
I have some sugar free honey I could use too (from Netrition), if I want to sweeten them up a bit – per the instructions on the package.
Just because you’re traveling, socializing or out with friends doesn’t mean you can’t stick to your priorities: your health goals and your way of eating.
Assuming your health & weight loss goals ARE a high priority to you.
It took me a long time to realize that, to change my mindset, and to actually start enjoying LIFE instead of always focusing on the FOOD.
It started with becoming mindful of my choices (and being deliberate about them), and also being realistic about “treating myself” -vs how BAD I was treating myself.
I finally realized that choosing to indulge meant choosing to feel bloated, guilty, and down on myself. It meant choosing to be back in chronic pain, and miserable with inflammation and swollen ankles.
Now… going out is an opportunity to have FUN. While I still enjoy beautiful foods (low carb, of course) the food is no longer the focus – it’s simply the fuel.
Although the food is still delicious!
I had amazingly delicious meals while traveling last week AND tons of fun!
Including a HUGE ribeye steak I shared with my friend Alice in the bustling San Diego Gaslamp Quarter ~ where we also shared a grilled artichoke, sautéed spinach and grilled asparagus.
My lunch the next day was a beautiful salad of butter lettuce, seared scallops & prawns. Saturday in San Diego I ate a delicious low carb meal of “real foods” at IHOP, then an easy low carb dinner in the Phoenix airport.
Sunday was low carb take-out (bacon & eggs) from the Cracker Barrel by my hotel, a fabulous low carb restaurant lunch with my siblings, then low carb dinner at Ruby Tuesday in Clarksville that night with my son.
Not ONCE did I feel the least bit deprived.
Life is busy and full and go-go-go. There are tons of options and choices every single day. But… if you have to eat anyway, why not eat healthy?
It’s as simple as choosing what you want to put in your body – and ALWAYS knowing (and honoring) your priorities.
It’s not JUST good for the body, it’s good for the heart the mind and the soul, knowing you’re on your right path. You’re always happiest when your choices align with your goals & priorities – right? So keep it simple and: choose HAPPY!
I want to be healthy, happy, lean, more self confident, have a better self image, feel good about my choices (instead of feeling guilty, disgusted or defeated)…
I want to SMILE more, second guess myself LESS, and make every day the best day it can be. I want to keep improving, keep moving, and ENJOY life, while I still have the opportunity – and have a “today” to live.
Today is a good place to be.
It’s only 24 hours.
Today I can be mindful of my goals, today I can make all the best choices for myself, today is easy. Then I’ll wake up tomorrow and do “today” all over again.
Because I am worth it!
And so are you.
I like the way I look now, and I like the way I feel.
Mostly I really LOVE being in total control of that. There’s a HUGE sense of accomplishment that feels amazing: I did that!! And with that came an inner strength and improved self confidence that flows through every other part of my life.
While my body is not perfect, and reaching my goal weight hasn’t meant it’s the end of my journey or that I’m done improving (because I have a lot of toning to do still!) it feels GOOD to be able to say: I like the way I look.
There has never, not once, been a donut that made me feel as GREAT as that cute little dress.
It seems like such a simple thing that should come so easy: “I like myself.” It wasn’t easy for me to get to that point though. There’s so much more to the transformation than can be captured in a photo, or even seen by the human eye.
Again: You are worth it!
Never stop working toward what you want, or how you want to feel. Never give up, no matter how many times you trip up. Get serious with yourself, and get committed to discovering what it FEELS LIKE to reach your goals.
I’ll tell you a secret…
When you do reach your goal, you’ll have more confidence and more strength to set and reach new (bigger!) goals. And it will be easier, for what you gained – through what you lost.;)
This low carb journey started out as just about weight loss for me, but it has resulted in SO much more than just pounds or a number on the scale.
I like the new me.
My next goal: to LOVE how I look and feel.
And to be able to look in the mirror and say “I like the way I look” … without Spanx on. haha!
Every single choice you’ve made in your life has brought you where you are today. And every single choice you make from today forward, will take you exactly where you want to go.
The choices stack up!
Earlier on in my journey, with many more pounds on and much farther away from my goal (or from even liking myself), I had plenty of days where I figured a binge here and there or “taking the day off” wasn’t going to make that big of a difference anyway.
That’s exactly why it took me so long to get where I am now.
It is EVERY choice, EVERY day, that matters.
Every single minute one after the other stacks up to your “Today” – and why it is what it is, or is NOT. Keep that in mind as you make your way through your busy life, your social outings, the mundane work week, your usual routine, etc.
Every choice you make (or do not make) is shaping your next “Today.”
Here’s to making better choices, making deliberate choices, always keeping our goals in mind, and to continuing this journey together – on the path to becoming the happiest, healthiest version of ourselves. *cheers*
p.s. This journey is not easy. Changing your entire lifestyle is a major undertaking. But it’s SO worth it! Practice loving yourself (or at least liking yourself) as you are, today – every day. I’m still practicing that myself…