I’m sure most if not all of you have heard the old saying “You Are What You Eat”. Well, I would like to add to that “I Am Also What I Don’t Eat”. Since going on a low carb diet at the first of the year, my whole culinary life has been amended. Oh sure, the protein is the same, it’s just everything else that has changed. But, it is a means towards an end. I succeeded in losing the 35 pounds that I set out to lose, and may even push it another five. But, by and large, I am in maintenance at this point.
Since eating this way is a forever thing, I learned quickly to stop dwelling on my sacrifices and to start concentrating on my successes, and there have been many. Although my home baked bread still resembles meatloaf, I have, after a lot of trial and error, found a low carb bread called Aunt Millie’s Live. Since low carb hasn’t really taken hold up here product wise like gluten free has, I am forced to buy off the net which adds a few bucks to my budget. But, finding a source for bread and rolls is kind of like buying a winning scratch off ticket. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you rejoice.
There of course have been many other changes. I routinely use almond and coconut flour in place of all purpose. It’s not the same. To me, not even close. But my muffins and cookies tasted good, so I’ve convinced myself that this is what it is, so get over it. King Arthur however has introduced a ‘Keto friendly’ flour that, while slightly higher in carbs, is a one for one substitute for all purpose. Yes, it has wheat in it, but unless you are one of those that religiously follows a strict Keto regimen, (I’m not) then a couple of extra carbs here just means a few less somewhere else. I try to stay around 25 a day, give or take. I don’t do macros.
I never thought I would see the day that I would be haunting the produce section for root vegetables. Things that I here to fore have seldom or never eaten. I have extolled the virtues of cauliflower, so it was easy to cross potatoes off my list of eatables. But I have also discovered the turnip. I found a recipe for french fries using the turnip in place of a potato. Does it taste the same. Nope. Does it taste good. Yup. So I thought I would go a step further. My wife had a recipe for a basic potato salad that I used to love and have missed. So I wondered if I could make it with turnip instead. The answer is yes. By replacing the sugar with Swerve and the potatoes with turnip, I turned out a very acceptable knockoff. One more ‘can’t have that’ crossed off the list.
I can’t say that all is well in paradise, but the exceptions aren’t earth shattering and I have been known to cheat from time to time. For instance, now that I am in maintenance and strictly in the name of science, I have started allowing myself to have a couple of beers every week. There is also Keto ice cream for sale, and ‘no sugar added’ Jif peanut butter in moderation is not bad either. I am constantly on the hunt for new low carb recipes and have built a rather extensive cook book of great tasting foods. More recently, I have started delving into the world of converting existing recipes to reduced carb versions. Once I realized that for most high carb ingredients there usually is a low carb substitute, I thought ‘why not’. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but so far, I haven’t thrown anything away. There are just some I didn’t make twice.
So, there you have it. With my air fryer and Instant Pot pressure cooker, I can go where I have never been before. My next challenge, now that the enforced isolation has been partially lifted, is to rediscover restaurants. It’s going to take some research to find places that offer some low carb choices or at least dishes that I can fit in my diet. But, in the back of my mind there is still a little voice saying ‘no one ever got fat eating one slice of pizza. Or two. Just sayin.