Keto Pancakes aren’t Pretty — Day 38 Food Diary (7/16)

Low carb was beginning to break me by this point, even though I’d felt a bit accomplished from getting ketone readings for awhile now. I had a desperate craving for pancakes, so I made myself a big keto pancake. It was flat, mealy, eggy, and was only edible once slathered in chocolate; it was my one keto recipe so far that didn’t turn out. But naturally I gobbled it down anyway out of desperation. Not to mention, the whole affair was about 4x more calorific than its carby equivalent–at this point I’d rather just have a nice, whole wheat vegan pancake made with bananas for a fraction of the calories and for much better texture.

And, even after all those calories, I was still having snack attacks a few hours later at lunchtime! Looks like the appetite reduction just isn’t working for me anymore.

At my boyfriend’s house at night, I started drooling over a package of oreos he had, and just kept checking the nutrition info again and again… 10 carbs per cookie. I tried to kill the craving by eating a bunch of almonds, but I finally broke down and had one as I was leaving. So I ended up with a ton of calories from the almonds, and a ton of carbs from the oreo. Low carb is too hard when I’m surrounded by delicious carby foods 😦

Copious toppings to disguise the poor excuse for a breakfast pastry

Copious toppings always do the trick!

Breakfast

  • Keto pancake: 500
  • Pancake toppings: 265

Lunch

  • Tea with soy: 70
  • Tofurkey and almond cheese: 120

Dinner

  • Spaghetti squash with tomatoes, veggie meatballs, goat cheese, kale, mushrooms: 200

Snacks

  • Cherries: 40
  • Almonds: 140
  • Oreo: 50
  • Chocolate: 150

Total: 1530 –   Burned 55 extra  (3300 steps)

Net: 1475

  • Net carbs: 68g  (23%)
  • Protein: 72g (18%)   |   Fat: 59%
  • Water: 3.5L
What a tragic excuse for a pancake.

What a tragic excuse for a pancake.

Less Keto, More Low Cal

Although I’m loving the effects that low carb has been having on my skin (I can’t find even the tiniest little blemish!), and originally my appetite, it hasn’t been working out so well this week. The lack of fruits and starchy vegetables has been difficult, and has been making me overeat fake sweeteners and calories in general to make up for what I’m missing. What really matters in diet plans is calories in vs calories out, and keto has not been keeping my calories low enough. Also, most importantly, it’s been hard on my boyfriend and he’s suggested I stop; I’ve only been able to eat out with him once these last 2 weeks for lack of low carb choices, and he can see how crazy my cravings have been the last few days.

So, even though I love keto for when I’m on my own in college and have more control over everything I eat, it just doesn’t work well at home. Especially as a vegetarian who avoids eggs. And now this means I can start heading back towards my old vegan ways! Though this keto experiment did help me come up with a lot of great low carb recipes that I’m planning on incorporating regularly, since avoiding blood sugar spikes is always good regardless of what overall diet I’m on.

My new experimental plan is: try to do keto days 2-3 times a week (studies show this somehow has helped people lose weight, probably due to appetite reduction overall), so it won’t drive me crazy with a long term craving for smoothie bowls and sweet potatoes. The other days, I’m going to try my best to keep it under 900 calories, besides maybe one datenight a week where I go to a restaurant.

Looks like it’s back to moderation for me!

Special thanks to my boyfriend for helping me see my own slight dieting misery:

Taken on our 3.5 year anniversary last week!

Taken on our 3.5 year anniversary last week!

Logic & Miracle Squash — Day 37 Food Diary (7/15)

I had my logic midterm on Tuesday, and also had insomnia for most of the night before–completely unrelated to the midterm, but very unfortunate! I missed one question, even though I had the right answer down originally… curse these ambiguously worded questions 😦 (I had a 100% in the class before so that’s why missing one question was a bit upsetting.)

Because of the lack of sleep (at least that’s a trend I’ve noticed in myself, and backed up with studies on sleep deficits), I had insane cravings for carbs all day long. So I went snack crazy, which worsened when I went to my boyfriend’s house, as usual. I shot some video of his band’s studio session, where my boyfriend was laying down some drum tracks for their first few songs. During the whole session, I could not get the thought of ice cream out of my head–it was bizarre. At least I was able to satiate the craving with a 100 calorie fudge pop at my boyfriend’s house, but the whole carby catastrophe still left me 20g over my carb limit for the day.

It’s amazing how our sleep, or lack thereof, has such profound effects on so many cognitive processes throughout the day.

Also, on a happier note: I’m convinced spaghetti squash is God’s gift to man. It should be renamed miracle squash. It’s unbelievably low calorie, low carb, and it magically emerges from its shell in spaghetti form. I actually like my spaghetti squash pasta dishes better than normal pastas I get at restaurants…

Coming up with this dish was probably the highlight of my day--it was that good!

Coming up with this dish was probably the highlight of my day–it was that good!

Breakfast

  • Flax bread with avocado and mozzarella: 295
  • Mascarpone, chocolate hazelnut butter, roule d’or cookie: 225

Lunch

  • Iceberg lettuce with carrots and bleu cheese dressing: 70
  • Tomato soup: 115

Dinner

  • Spaghetti squash with tomatoes, veggie meatballs, goat cheese, kale, mushrooms: 300
  • Homemade coconut oil chocolate: 45

Snacks

  • Fudge bar: 100
  • Tea with soy: 45
  • Chocolate and almonds: 110

Total: 1400  –   Burned 400 extra  (8600 steps)

Net: 1000

  • Net carbs: 71g  (29%)
  • Protein: 51g (13%)   |   Fat: 57%
  • Water: 4.25L
Drummer boyfriend recording some songs!

Drummer boyfriend recording some songs!

Seriously, give spaghetti squash a try if you haven't already

Seriously, give spaghetti squash a try if you haven’t already. Your taste buds and waistline will thank you.

Progress & Nutrition Check-in #2

Because of the inability to cook just for myself that resulted from the wedding and then the next weekend at 4th of July, my weight hasn’t budged for almost half the time I’ve been blogging… besides in the upward direction. (And this was despite netting at or below maintenance overall! 😦 )  But thankfully, that’s changing.

I suppose that, even despite my obsessive calorie counting, I must have underestimated how calorie-laden the restaurant/family-made food has been. I always like to think they aren’t just pouring calories into my food, but that seems to be the case–good taste means high calories and gives a better profit margin for restaurants.

And this is why I can’t trust food I didn’t make myself!

Weight one week ago: 118 lbs

My weight today is

115 lbs — right back where I was last check-in.

However, my waist is down to 24.5″, whereas it was 25″ last time I was 115. This is generally the more important number to me, since the scale is so unreliable when it comes to how you actually look.

At least I’m moving back in the right direction, with no more big food-related events for the summer. And the low carb diet has been going well for me!

Nutrition goals // outcome:

  • Carbs: <50g average per day // Eaten: 39g average   (Yay!)
  • Calories: 900 average per day // Eaten: 980 average
  • Protein: 280g  //  Eaten: 321g
  • Iron: 85%*  //  Eaten: 45%
  • Vitamin A: 100%* //  Eaten: 105%
  • Vitamin C: 100%* //  Eaten: 101%
  • Fiber: 140g  //  Eaten: 155g

*Percents are relative to the goals that MFP sets.

Thank goodness I take iron supplements. Low carb vegetarian iron sources besides soy are difficult to come by. (And most of my dietary iron does come from soy and spinach.)

Day 36 Food Diary (7/14)

Nothing starts the week off like a day at the beach. Although, it was a bit of a strange beach trip: every Tuesday during my summer classes, I have a logic exam, so I had to get used to the idea of studying while in a traditionally fun-filled locale. Although I did miss swimming, beach bumming is now definitely one of my favorite ways to study! (Despite the sunburn that I somehow got while under an umbrella…)

We then continued our study sesh at our favorite cafe, where they actually serve avocado on its own–a vegetarian low carb dieter’s dream.

I then made my first keto bread at night, and turned it into a gourmet grilled cheese with goat cheese and apples. Definitely a perfect way to end a great day. I’ll have to do a separate post about the bread, though, because that stuff is seriously a game changer when it comes to low carb anything.

With my friend and fellow blogger (on the right)!

Unfortunately our view got blocked by people setting up in front of us, but oh well!

Breakfast

  • Flax crackers with mozzarella and brie: 145
  • Chocolate hazelnut butter and mascarpone: 175

Lunch

  • Avocado: 110
  • Iced hazelnut latte: 90

Dinner

  • Grilled cheese sandwich with homemade flax bread and goat cheese, apple slices: 620

Snacks

  • Vegan crepe cookie: 80
  • Tofurkey and cream cheese: 100

Total: 1320  –   Burned 170 extra  (5000 steps)

Net: 1150

  • Net carbs: 41g  (19%)
  • Protein: 62g (18%)   |   Fat: 63%
  • Water: 3L
Earl grey and some logic studying

Earl grey and some logic studying

Cafe time! Avocado and iced latte

Cafe time! Avocado and iced latte

Day 35 Food Diary (7/13)

On Sunday, I decided that since I hadn’t had my weekly allotted “carb up” day, I should let myself have a little fruit. Specifically, my favorite breakfast for a warm day: avocado berry smoothie bowl with coconut milk, acai, flax, protein powder, etc. I still stayed below 60g net carbs for the day, but something about the sugary breakfast left me craving sugar all day–even despite the fact that my smoothie had plenty of fats, fiber, and proteins to prevent a total blood sugar spike. I couldn’t resist making a keto chocolate chip cookie at night since I’d been thinking about it all day, and I had a bit of a cheese-shopping spree after breakfast.

I want to be able to have a somewhat balanced diet and get enough fruit, but apparently doing so in the morning turns me into a snacking monster! More evidence for the benefits of low carb breakfasts…

Oh, and since I was lamenting the loss of my ability to have my cheese (vegan or otherwise) with crackers, I decided to do something about it: I made flax crackers. They’re delicious, especially considering how healthy they are!

Flax cracker with laughing cow mozzarella wedge!

Flax cracker with laughing cow mozzarella wedge!

Breakfast

  • Avocado berry smoothie: 430

Lunch

  • Laughing cow sun-dried tomato and basil mozzarella wedges: 70

Dinner

  • Goat cheese and brie: 270
  • 5 homemade flax crackers: 100

Snacks

  • Vegan creamer
  • Keto-friendly deep dish chocolate chip cookie: 395
  • Chocolate hazelnut butter: 180

Total: 1450  –   Burned 150 extra  (4500 steps)

Net: 1300

  • Net carbs: 58g  (24%)
  • Protein: 65g (17%)   |   Fat: 59%
  • Water: 4.75L
Still working on the presentation

Still working on the presentation

Day 34 Food Diary (7/12)

It was the strangest thing–I felt nauseous and the thought of eating was completely revolting to me all morning long. I finally got some hunger pangs (but still had no appetite) around 2pm, so I made myself eat then. I ended up sticking to my day’s eating plan by eating more later in the day, but I really didn’t feel like I needed it. (Except the truffle was a bit out of plan–it was the last one I had and I wanted to get rid of it before it got stale.)

Not having an appetite is just miraculous for me… usually my problem is getting my appetite to turn off, even when I’ve just stuffed myself!

Breakfast

  • N/A

Lunch

  • Spinach, and tofurkey with cream cheese: 225

Dinner

  • Homemade vegan avocado ice cream with protein powder: 340
  • Almonds: 60

Snacks

  • Tea with soy and coconut oil: 60
  • Chocolate hazelnut butter and mascarpone: 145
  • Sugar free chocolate truffle: 100

Total: 930  –   Burned 0 extra  (1900 steps)

Net: 930

  • Net carbs: 29g  (18%)
  • Protein: 38g (15%)   |   Fat: 67%
  • Water: 2.75L
Avocado-coconutty goodness fresh from the ice cream maker!

Avocado-coconutty goodness fresh from the ice cream maker!