As any of you that follow me know, back in early January, I decided to go on a diet. Not unlike the thousands of people that, on New Years Eve, while basking in a pleasant alcoholic haze, said “this year I am going to lose weight”. Only in my case, I was stone sober and motivated by something called my A1C. I decided that I was tired of taking medication that was prescribed because of my eating habits and the resultant excess weight I gained. So, after perusing the alternatives, I decided to check out the Keto diet.
After getting over the initial shock of what I couldn’t eat (or drink} I started to concentrate on what I could and it was not all bad. It took a while to adjust. Keto bread is definitely an acquired taste. It’s just not what you probably envision when you think of a loaf of bread. I have baked several loaves and they have all come out resembling a meatloaf. They don’t use yeast for which I have subsequently acquired a healthy respect.
Fast forward a couple of months, and here I am, surrounded by things like almond and coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, something called xanthan gum, and eggshells. Lots and lots of eggshells. It seems that they are a staple when baking. I saw one recipe that called for 2 cups of egg whites. Do you know how many eggs that is, to bake one loaf of bread? Well, I do. It is 16. I decided to pass.
I‘m not militant about this Keto thing. I do try to stay around 25 carbs per day, but I’m not doing macros and meal planning to achieve optimum balance in my diet. I naturally crave variety, so chicken one night, a steak or pork chop or some fish another, and a couple of salads keeps me happy. And, I have found a new food friend. It is cauliflower. Who knew. I never thought I would say this, but I don’t miss potatoes or rice. It is the most versatile vegetable out there. Mash it, rice it, add spices, make patties, broil it, add it to casseroles, etc., etc. I am also developing a new appreciation for cabbage. Again, adding it to dishes and/or frying it with herbs or making low cal cabbage rolls, or a pork stew. It’s not just for coleslaw anymore, or with corned beef on St Patrick’s day.
I must say, I do miss my beer and a couple of slices of a real yeast crust pizza. I have tried hard seltzer drinks, but they are just OK. A couple of glasses of wine are permissible however, and I have found a low carb margareta mix. I’m still experimenting with pizza crust recipes. King Arthur Flour has introduced a Keto “friendly” flour that actually has a little wheat flour in the blend. It contains a couple of extra carbs, but since this whole thing is about trade offs, I can live with that. And, through the magic of sugar alternative sweeteners, (no, they don’t still have an aftertaste) I am enjoying cupcakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, and even a key lime cheesecake. Of course, the downside is that serving sizes are verrrry small. But hey, two cookies is only 4 carbs. And, if no one is looking, I may do three.
So, I guess I am in this for the long run. I am becoming acclimated to my new eating regimen and find that I am seldom, if ever, hungry. I have dropped 25 pounds since the first of the year, my A1C is down, and I feel better then ever. I am learning to convert conventional recipes, taking out a lot of the carbs and leaving in the flavor. I still want to drop another 10 pounds to get down to a healthy weight, but I am definitely happy with the results to date. It has been, and is, a challenge, but I’m glad I decided to take the plunge. Now, if I can only figure out what a person does do with 16 egg yolks.