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Monday, October 15, 2018

Close, But No Cigar



This week was just another week in my life where some days go according to plan and other days find any plan I made falling like a wobbly house of cards. Life just gets complicated sometimes. I have the choice to either get crazy frustrated or punt and because my frustration harms me more than it does anyone around me, I will punt nearly every time.  I do have a question for those of you who have a crazy organized and regimented life.  How do you adapt on the fly to things not in your daily plan, because the day I have planned rarely coincides with my actual day.

The keto way of eating is continuing except for Friday night when I had planned to have whatever I wanted while we were out celebrating our combo birthdays/anniversary dinner. The wedding dress fits better this week, but it is still a tad snug.  Word to the wise. . . for an accurate critical view of what something looks like, do not hop out of bed with unbrushed hair, no makeup on, wearing a sports bra to try on a semi formal dress.  Yeah, don't ask me how I know what a horrifying picture it is.

Since the dress fit is still not exactly to my liking I am following an extreme keto regime this week. I had no idea it could be more extreme than what I was doing, but along came Dr. Berg's video of how to lose a size in one week just in time to prove me wrong.  This week I have no margin for chaos and need to follow it exactly, sea kelp and all.

This is what I planned last week Grilled tuna steaks, broccoli, cauliflower mashed "potatoes" (Big sale on tuna this week)

2, Mississippi pot roast (Cooked and frozen)  over cauliflower mashed potatoes with green beans and sliced tomatoes

3. Pork tenderloin, over spinach, radish "hash browns" (I know it sounds horrid but it is actually quite tasty) cucumber slices.

4. Sausage and kraut bake, tater tots (TheHub) steamed cauliflower (me)

5, "Fried" chicken,  corn on the cob (TheHub) green beans, sliced tomatoes, sliced cukes

6.  Out to eat. We both have birthdays as well as an anniversary in a 30 day stretch. Since I have been doing the keto thing we decided to combine them this year. Friday night I am going to have whatever suits my fancy, then most likely fast on Saturday  to get back into ketosis quickly.  (Unless I decide to stick with the keto way of eating while celebrating)

7. Depending on what happened Friday night I will either be fasting or eating a bowl of some keto broth based soup. TheHub and Son2 are going to a 6 pm football game and will not be here to eat anyway, so at best  I will throw some veggies and chicken bits in some chicken broth and call it a meal. 

And this is what happened instead

Sausage and Kraut, tomatoes, cucumbers

Mississippi pot roast, mashed cauliflower "potatoes"

Keto oven  "fried" chicken, broccoli, chopped salad

Laap with cauliflower rice (long day at Mom's made take out a necessity)

Birthday/Anniversary meal, lamb chops, bread (yes real bread), romaine, walnut and strawberry salad, asparagus, oh yeah and cookies

Leftover lamb (the salad was huge and I had 3 large pieces left over) shredded cabbage, cucumbers

TheHub's actual birthday and he wanted burgers. They had burgers, chips and baked beans, I had a hamburger patty, shredded cabbage, parmesean crisps.

And now on to this week with no/limited eating flexibility

1. Indian butter chicken, cauliflower rice, brown rice (TheHub)

2. Keto crack chicken, steamed spinach, baked potato (TheHub)

3. Grilled tuna steaks, cauliflower mashed "potatoes" cucumber slices, tomato slices (TheHub)

4. Grilled pork tenderloin, cooked cabbage, baked sweet potato (TheHub)

5. Spaghetti sauce with ground beef, zucchini noodles, real pasta (TheHub) chopped green salad

6. Grilled brats (ball game meal) corn on the cob (TheHub) coleslaw

7. Chili, mine plain, with beans (The Hub) coleslaw, cornbread (TheHub)

And I am sure after following this for a week I will be just like Cinderella and magically transformed, right? Anyone out there have a spare fairy godmother they would like to send to Alabama?



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This Meal Works for Every Diet (Except Vegetarian)

There are a few things I keep on hand all the time for nights when I need something that I can throw together in about 10 minutes, let it cook a bit and voila, dinner is served.  I always have a pound of pre-cooked ground chuck  in the freezer (Truth be told I probably have 8-10 in the freezer right now. I also keep a bag of individually frozen hamburger patties. Each time ThePig has ground chuck on sale I replenish whatever has been used from my stash. I always have chopped cooked chicken frozen as well as a couple of chicken casseroles, a pork tenderloin, and a frozen pizza. Don't get me wrong, my freezer is at max capacity right now, the but above things are in there 100 percent of the time. Additionally I keep 3 pounds of smoked sausage in the freezer and one pound in the refrigerator all the time.  Maintaining a stock pile is very soothing to me, and I am a little anal compulsive about replenishing immediately or even preemptively.

The other night was one of those "I need a quick fix" meal nights.  Since I had the sausage in the fridge it was a no brainer.  My go to quick sausage meals tends to be sausage and kraut and we really do love it. What can be easier than browning the sausage and dumping a jar of kraut on top of it? But__I am trying to really add as many uber low carb veggies to every meal as I possibly can.  I had read a recipe for a sausage, kraut casserole and thought the concept sounded really good, unfortunately, it had a few too many ingredients to constitute quick, plus it had a lot of non keto things like potatoes and lots of onions and other delicious stuff, so I modified it a bit and this is what happened.

                                         Sausage, Kraut and Cabbage One Pot Dinner


1/2 small onion sliced thin (use more if you aren't counting carbs)
2 tablespoons ghee, oil, bacon fat (whatever floats your boat, really)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound smoked sausage cut into piece sizes of your choosing
1 large bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup chicken broth (can use any broth but I had chicken in the fridge)
1 small head cabbage, washed, cored and cut into slices (or grate or cut into fat strips, your choice)
1jar of kraut  (I buy a 16 ounce jar, most cans have 14 ounces and that would work fine too, or add as much as you want. It will taste good no matter what  you choose)
herbs  about 1 teaspoon each.  I was looking for savory and did not see any at first glance but thyme and marjoram were front and center on the lazy susan that holds all my seasonings, so that is what I used

Put the ghee or oil or fat or whatever in the bottom of a large heavy bottomed pot.  Heat on medium high. When hot add the onion, stirring constantly until it is pale and wilted.  Add the garlic and stir
for about a minute, then quickly add the peppers. Continue stirring until they are somewhat wilted, toss in the smoked sausage. When they are sizzling add the cabbage and the chicken broth.  Top with the kraut, add the herbs, give everything a good stir and slap the lid on the pot. Cook until the moisture is evaporated and the cabbage is moist. Serve and call it a day! We had some tomatoes and sliced cucumbers with ours. TheHub had some delicious smelling cornbread with his and I had a fake bread roll. It was more than enough for our dinner, with enough left over for several lunches.

This was a wonderful alternative to plain old kraut and sausage and is going to become my new normal sausage and kraut meal.  We both loved having the peppers, garlic and onion in it. The cabbage mellowed the kraut flavor and added a little textural change and the addition of the herbs really did send it over the top.  The best thing is it works for whole30, paleo, keto, regular everyday dining. If you are vegetarian some fake meat sausage and veggie broth are all you need to make it work for you too.

If you need a quick meal, try it! If you just want a meal that tastes good, try it! It was really that good.

Monday, October 8, 2018

I Am So Bad at This

When I look at the week I wind up shaking my head and wondering what exactly I was thinking. I plan my meals with intention and actually think my week is going to coincide with my meal plans. I guess that is what I get for thinking, huh?

This is what I had intended to have for the week:

1. Buffalo chicken salad on greens with sliced tomatoes and  brussels sprouts

2. Goyza meatballs over cauli rice (me) and brown rice (TheHub), asparagus

3. Pork tenderloin, German "potato" (cauliflower) salad, green beans

4. White bbq chicken, broccoli, cucumber/tomato salad

5. Carnitas, coleslaw, tortillas for him and keto tortillas for me if I feel inspired enough to make them.

6. Sausage and kraut bake, tomatoes, potatoes for TheHub

7. Leftovers or out to eat

keto cookies, keto sausage balls (Saturday lake breakfast), keto cheesecake

I had my weekly weigh in last Monday  (Oct 1) and did not lose an ounce, even though I had strictly adhered to the keto way of eating.  I was bummed out all week but still stayed true to the eating plan. I decided I would not weigh again until October 31. I understand weight can fluctuate so I will have an entire month between weigh ins and should have a more accurate picture of how things are progressing. This way  I will not know if I should be depressed or not, which could eliminate the potential for any self sabotage. Yeah, right now I am into mind games.

I will continue to try on the wedding dress every Monday. This morning it did fit a little better than it did last week, but is still not exactly like I had hoped. If it is not substantially better by October 22 I will order the other dress I found and save this one for a formal event we have coming soon. The dress will not go unused either way. (Plus I bought it on clearance along with a 15 dollar first time customer discount so there was very little actual cost for the dress)

What actually happened:

1. Carnitas, salad, cucumber slices (Tortillas for TheHub)

2. White bbq chicken, brussels sprouts, sliced tomatoes

3. buffalo chicken salad on greens

4, Steak, tossed salad, baked potato (TheHub) rolls (TheHub) keto fake bread roll for me

5. I forgot the Greek Food Festival was this past week so we did our annual take out. I had lamb kabobs and tossed salad, The dog ate my rice and roll. (I really wanted that roll)

6. Spaghetti meat sauce over zucchini noodles (me) and spaghetti noodles (The Hub) with tossed salad.

7. Grilled hamburger patty, cukes and tomato slices, asparagus

I did not make the keto cookies or the cheesecake, but I did make a keto lemon cake. It was not the worst thing I have eaten and the cake part was actually pretty tasty. Next time is will just whip some  heavy cream instead of the keto frosting (which just tasted and felt like lightly sweetened whipped cream cheese)



And now this:

1. Grilled tuna steaks, broccoli, cauliflower mashed "potatoes" (Big sale on tuna this week)

2, Mississippi pot roast (Cooked and frozen)  over cauliflower mashed potatoes with green beans and sliced tomatoes

3. Pork tenderloin, over spinach, radish "hash browns" (I know it sounds horrid but it is actually quite tasty) cucumber slices.

4. Sausage and kraut bake, tater tots (TheHub) steamed cauliflower (me)

5, "Fried" chicken,  corn on the cob (TheHub) green beans, sliced tomatoes, sliced cukes

6.  Out to eat. We both have birthdays as well as an anniversary in a 30 day stretch. Since I have been doing the keto thing we decided to combine them this year. Friday night I am going to have whatever suits my fancy, then most likely fast on Saturday  to get back into ketosis quickly.  (Unless I decide to stick with the keto way of eating while celebrating)

7. Depending on what happened Friday night I will either be fasting or eating a bowl of some keto broth based soup. TheHub and Son2 are going to a 6 pm football game and will not be here to eat anyway, so at best  I will throw some veggies and chicken bits in some chicken broth and call it a meal. 

I want some cookies so I am definitely going to make those coconut chocolate chip keto cookies. I guess I need to make them today! Other than that I will be making a loaf of the eggy tasting "bread". It toasts pretty easily and will amp up a meal that is lacking.  I still have about 8 rolls in the freezer and even though they don't exactly taste like bread they do "feel" like it and are a decent vehicle for transporting sugar free jam to the mouth.

So now another keto week begins. Fingers crossed the dress fits even better next Monday.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

What Really Happened?

Week one___ and the upcoming MOG dress is still a tad to tight. I weighed bright and early Monday morning, which is my usual weigh in day, and somehow even doing keto all week, I had managed to gain 1 1/2 pounds. WTH!!!

So I did the only thing possible. I ate not one, not two, but 3 cookies and a 2 inch stack of Pringles. Then I realized I would not lose anymore weight if I kept eating like that so I got back on the proverbial keto wagon and ate keto the rest of the week.

This is what I had planned vs. what actually happened

1. Mississippi pot roast/ green beans/ carrots (TheHub)/  potatoes (TheHub)/ cauliflower  (me)
Had this sans carrots and potatoes for TheHub. He had rice instead.

2.  Italian sausage with onions, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and garlic/ coleslaw
Had this but added new potatoes for TheHub

3. Chicken curry/ broccoli/cauliflower rice (me)/ brown rice (TheHub)
Had this but served asparagus instead of broccoli. This was really good

4. Grilled steak/ baked potato (TheHub)/ tomato, onion, cucumber salad
Nope, Seared scallops, tossed salad, TheHub had tater tots and I had mashed cauliflower

5. Baked chicken tenders/ cauliflower fake potato salad/ sliced tomatoes
Chicken tenders, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes

6. Carnitas/ tortillas (TheHub)/ tossed salad/ * keto tortillas is I feel really ambitions
Not sure what we had this night but I know it was not carnitas.

7. Take out, or leftovers, or a fake bread grilled cheese. I don't care which, but I am not cooking every day.
Out to eat

In addition to this I made and froze a recipe of keto rolls and a loaf of keto bread (neither of which tastes remotely close to the real thing, but, if you have had none since June, are perfectly acceptable. I will buy TheHub some bakery rolls which with satisfy him.  I have also been making us a keto dessert once a week. This week I am making cheesecakes that taste remarkably similar to a plain old cheesecake.

I did bake the "breads" but did not eat them though I did buy a pack of rolls for TheHub, and he ate one only 2 nights. I intended to make the keto cheesecake but never got around to it. Maybe this week, or maybe I will make some keto cookies.

Menu for the coming week

1 Buffalo chicken salad on greens with sliced tomatoes and  brussels sprouts

2 Goyza meatballs over cauli rice (me) and brown rice (TheHub), asparagus

3. Pork tenderloin, German "potato" (cauliflower) salad, green beans

4. White bbq chicken, broccoli, cucumber/tomato salad

5. Carnitas, coleslaw, tortillas for him and keto tortillas for me if I feel inspired enough to make them.

6. Sausage and kraut bake, tomatoes, potatoes for TheHub

7. Leftovers or out to eat

keto cookies, keto sausage balls (Saturday lake breakfast), keto cheesecakes

Now fingers are crossed that weigh in tomorrow morning is a successful losing venture!



Sunday, September 23, 2018

Hopeful for the Week

I bought a dress for Son2's wedding that I really do like. The wedding is in mid November which is generally gorgeous weather here. Additionally it is mid day on a Sunday. If the weather is typical it should be gorgeous. The MOB decided to wear a long dress so I am also wearing long, but I just don't wear things that have shine, sparkles or sheen to them, which severely limited my options. I found a lovely light grey long embroidered sheer duster that tops a light gray chemise. I love the simple style, the needlework on the duster, the long sleeves and the chemise. I hate the buttons on the duster though. Since Son3 lives in Manhattan I am getting him to help me out a little. There are 2 fantastic button stores that I know of, so I will get him to go to them (We will just call this payback for college tuition?) and Facetime as I look at buttons. (I went here and found nothing I like. TheHub and I went to one of the button stores there and walked out with about $150 worth of buttons, so I know they will have something I like).

Buttons aside there is another small issue with the dress. I have been doing keto since June and am having much success with it, so I ordered the dress a size smaller than what I am wearing right now. It could almost work right this minute, but I would feel uncomfortably tight in it. I have a tad over 50 days to keto away and it should be prefect on the wedding day as long as I do my part. 

Instead of leaving anything to chance, I decided I will really track everything I eat until then, so I will be keeping a pretty extensive menu for me. I am only posting my dinner menu because no one really cares if I eat cream cheese and olives on cucumber slices for lunch.  I know me well enough to understand I have to have varied flavors if I am going to continue eating this way, and I have to have it convenient so I will not have any excuse not to eat it.  I have cooked ahead and frozen many meals in serving sizes for TheHub and me, so my main meal prep on any day is cooking a couple of veggies or making a salad. This is what my next 7 days should look like.


1. Mississippi pot roast/ green beans/ carrots (TheHub)/  potatoes (TheHub)/ cauliflower  (me)

2.  Italian sausage with onions, peppers, spinach, tomatoes and garlic/ coleslaw

3. Chicken curry/ broccoli/cauliflower rice (me)/ brown rice (TheHub)

4. Grilled steak/ baked potato (TheHub)/ tomato, onion, cucumber salad

5. Baked chicken tenders/ cauliflower fake potato salad/ sliced tomatoes

6. Carnitas/ tortillas (TheHub)/ tossed salad/ * keto tortillas is I feel really ambitions

7. Take out, or leftovers, or a fake bread grilled cheese. I don't care which, but I am not cooking every day.

In addition to this I made and froze a recipe of keto rolls and a loaf of keto bread (neither of which tastes remotely close to the real thing, but, if you have had none since June, are perfectly acceptable. I will buy TheHub some bakery rolls which with satisfy him.  I have also been making us a keto dessert once a week. This week I am making cheesecakes that taste remarkably similar to a plain old cheesecake.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Another Day

I suppose I should post something, but I am in a rut and can't seem to pull myself out of it. I am not dealing with depression or angst, but just seem a little mired down with my current day to day living. Mom's knee is better and we did let the sitter go for the time being, but she really cannot take care of herself any longer. I got an emergency call from her yesterday afternoon when she couldn't find her inhaler. Fortunately I knew where an unopened one was and could tell her the exact location. She was gasping for air (partially asthma and partially panic) and hung up on me, so I grabbed my keys and went flying down to her house. I found her sitting in her chair and she was fine. Me? Not so much. I wound up  talking to her about how difficult it is when she can no longer be responsible for her day to day living, but her need to control everything keeps My Beloved Sister and me from adequately providing for her. We are going to have to make some difficult decisions and I expect some fallout from Mom. Lots of fallout, disappointment and guilt.



I need chocolate and a stiff drink!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

It was Just One of Those Things

Ever had one of those days that start out not great, then take a turn for the better where you are really enjoying things, only to have some huge disturbance in the force and things go from just irritating to worse?

I have mentioned before that Mom can be a tad difficult. Two weekends ago we had a family reunion and Mom face planted on the deck. She blamed my cousin for having an uneven board rather than admitting she fell off her sandals. Yep, if you are 87 and a tad unsteady sandals should not be your footwear of choice. Anyway fast forward to this past Saturday. It seems she fell again in her house and wound up hitting the ceramic tiles in the bathroom leaving her unable to stand. She recovered in about an hour and was walking, but was using my dad's Alpine walking sticks. (He felt he was much too cool to use a cane and the walking sticks suited him just fine) Instead of using one in each hand putting one in front of her body in alternating fashion, she used just one and held it in front of her like she was riding a hobby horse or propelling a gondola.  Long story short she refused to go to the doctor and kept refusing.

Until today. I had just gotten back from an early morning airport run since MyBeloved Sister and her husband are taking a long overdue trip to DC for some sight-seeing. I did stop at the grocery store on the way home for some cashews and macadamias, but it only added about 10 minutes to the total round trip time. I walked in the door and saw the phone blinking. Without even looking I knew who it was and what they wanted. I checked my voicemail and heard "Anne I need to go to the doctor"

Selfishly I told Mom I had made plans and would not be home until 1 but I would take her then. She was not sure she was OK with that but I was not going to change my plans since she would not go see about it when asked a million times in the past few days.

I even involved TheHub who called the clinic manager and got them to leave the back door open so we would not have to sit in the waiting room. (I hate people who use privileges, unless it is me dealing with Mom and then I will accept every single advantage I can find) They rushed us in a room, offered us bottles of water and coffee while we waited, but__ their room was too cold, the xray machine was uncomfortable, the room floors and the hall floor didn't match, the Dr. was dawdling, she was tired, her back hurt, she didn't get to eat enough for lunch plus I had a white thread on my black slacks and it was bugging her. By that time there was no amount of money anyone could have offered me to remove the offensive thread.

Well the xrays were processed, the doc did come back into the room only to tell us her kneecap was broken in two places. Great. Again I got TheHub involved and had him call an orthopedist he is friends with. After a quick call to me they agreed to wait at their office until we got there. We pulled out of the clinic parking lot and went straight to the orthopedists office. After more films and a gozillion new patient forms we saw the doc only to find she is now having surgery at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

I hope MBS enjoys the sights and sounds of the city. I will be in the waiting room

The upside? I hired a sitter to say overnight with her for a few days. I can go over during the day but I am not going to spend he night and thankfully the doc told her she would need help,  Still you might notice some action on the richter scale when she finds out I "went behind her back" and hired someone