The Keto Issues Blog

This blog entry discusses some of the things that I wish I had known about before starting my Keto journey.

Hello again, readers!  It’s me, Sian, and I’m here with a new blog for you!  As I may have mentioned in one of my blogging blitz posts, I am on the Keto diet.  To give a quick recap, I say no to sugar and carbs and eat a lot of fat, which forces my body to burn through its fat stores for energy.  I’ve lost a significant amount of weight on the diet, and I’m happy with my results.  What I’m not happy with is the little after effects of being in ketosis.  Saying “not happy” may be a bit strong, but I was certainly surprised by some of the changes that my body has undergone while in ketosis.

I just wish that someone would have warned me.  A lot of the websites out there tell you all of the benefits of being in ketosis, and that’s great.  I think it’s important for people to know all of the things that come with being on the keto diet, good or bad.  That way, someone can make an informed decision about whether or not this lifestyle is the best for them.  Also, keep in mind that everyone is different, so it’s possible that you won’t experience some of these issues, or you may experience some that I haven’t.  So, allow me, your humble blog writer, to tell you of some of the not-so-great things I’ve experienced on the Keto diet.

The first thing that no one really tells you about is your increased thirst.  People will tell you that it’s very, very important that you stay hydrated while you’re in ketosis, and that is very true.  Unfortunately, you’ll find that your thirst is pretty near unquenchable.  Obviously, you don’t drink things like soda or sugary drinks anymore, but the things that you can drink will not slake your thirst, no matter how much of it you drink.  Even when you aren’t thirsty, you can still polish off a bottle of water with little trouble.  I was never the type to drink water as soon as I wake up, but now I crave it.  It’s a weird issue to manage.

The second thing that no one really tells you about is…and you may have already guessed this…increased urination.  You will find yourself going to the bathroom a lot.  As soon as you drink that bottle of water, you may find the urge to go.  It’s quite inconvenient as well.  One minute, you’ll be living your best life, and the next you are smacked with the overwhelming need to relieve yourself as soon as possible.  It’s actually a bit funny, thinking back on it.  I just make sure that I’m always near or relatively near a restroom to avoid any potential unpleasantness.

The third thing that no one really tells you about is the smell of your breath.  Now, this was probably the most shocking Keto issue that I’ve come across.  You know how you just breathe into your hand real quick to make sure that your breath is on point?  (Don’t act like I’m the only one who does this, either.)  Well, when you’re in ketosis, your breath will always smell.  Keep in mind; it’s not a bad smell.  It kind of smells like overripe fruit, and let me explain why this happens.  When you are in ketosis, your body will produce certain chemicals.  The most important of these chemicals is ketones, which is what your liver produces to help you burn fat.  Now, what no one tells you is that one of these ketones is called acetone, not the kind of acetone that’s in paint thinner and nail polish.  This is natural acetone that’s normally produced in the body.  When you’re in ketosis, the production of acetone ramps up, and it’s most evident in your mouth, hence the smell.  Lovely.

I’m sure that there are other little side effects that you experience while on the Keto diet, but those are the major three that I’ve come across.  I don’t want you to panic, readers.  From what I’ve seen, this is all fairly “normal” and part of the process.  I just wish that this information was more readily available.  So, tell me, readers, if you’re on the Keto diet, did you experience any of these issues?  Did you have any issues that I didn’t talk about?  How does this make you feel about the Ketogenic Diet in general?  As always, let me know, and thanks for reading.

Slow Cooked Jerk Chicken and Baked Brie

Today’s blog is about a couple of dishes that I’ve cooked this week that are too good not to share.

Hello, readers!  For this blog, I’m going to talk about two of the dishes that I’ve cooked recently.  I want to remind you readers that I do not come up with these recipes.  I find them, and if I like them, I cook them.  If I really, really like them, I cook them again until I perfect them.  I don’t get one red penny from writing about and cooking these recipes.  (However, if you want to pay me, I will happily accept money for words.)  I also need to remind y’all that everything I cook is keto-friendly since I’m on the keto diet.  Keto-friendly foods usually mean high fat content, minimal protein, and very low to almost no carbs.  Bearing all of that in mind, let’s get to the food!

The first recipe that I cooked is called the Slow Cooked Jerk Chicken, and it’s fairly self-explanatory.  It’s also ridiculously easy to make.  I literally prepare it and let it cook until it’s time for dinner.  I got this recipe from a book called “The Essential Keto Cookbook” by Louise and Jeremy Hendon.  They run a website called KetoSummit.  I purchased this cookbook from them, and it contains several recipes for breakfast, dinner, dessert, and everything else in between.  It’s come in very handy when I’m looking for something new to try.  Here’s the end result!

For added flavor, mix the chicken trimmings with the cauliflower rice.
Slow Cooked Jerk Chicken Leg Quarter and Cauliflower Rice as a side

In order to make this recipe, all you need is a crock pot, some chicken, and some spices.  You’ll more than likely have all the spices in your cabinet already.  All you need is salt, black and white pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and paprika.  Honestly, I don’t understand the love affair with paprika.  I don’t think it tastes like anything but whatever.  Now, the recipe calls for eight chicken drumsticks and eight chicken wings.  Personally, I didn’t do that.  I normally use leg quarters, but this is just personal preference.  I will say that whatever part of the chicken you want to use, make sure it has the skin on it.  It’s not as tasty without the skin, and you need the fat content for keto.

For cooking, you’ll need to mix up all your spices, in a bowl, rinse off your chicken and put it in the spice bowl, cover the chicken in the spices and put the chicken in the crock pot on medium.  Then, go about your day.  Go to work, go to school, do you.  When you come home a few hours later, you will have the most delicious chicken ready and waiting to be devoured.  It will literally fall off the bone.  One of the things I like to do is take the meat off the bone and mix it with some cauliflower rice.  It’s a deliciously easy meal that’s sure to please.  I will warn you though readers, it’s a bit on the spicy side.  If you don’t like spice, I might stay away, but when you smell it, you may not want to.  Just exercise caution and have some milk just in case.

The next recipe is not as easy as the first.  I’ve wanted to make baked brie for a long while now.  Plus, Tuesday was National Cheese Day, so it made perfect sense for me to make it on that day.  Since I am on the keto diet, it’s been hard to find a recipe that will work for me.  Cheese is keto-friendly (depending on who you ask) but wheat dough not so much.  I had to find a recipe that still kept the spirit of the dough surrounding the brie intact, which meant flakey and buttery.  I was super thrilled when I found a recipe for keto-friendly baked brie.

I acquired the recipe from www.gnom-gnom.com.  The curator there is Paola, and she has some truly amazing recipes that are keto-friendly.  I love the way she goes in depth to why she makes certain choices to get as close as she can to the way a dish is prepared in the traditional sense.  Her recipes are easy to follow, and I do recommend that you go to her site, look around, and see if you can find a recipe to make.

I’m not going to like to you, dear readers.  Making this baked brie was a task and a half.  If you search for baked brie on her site, you would be thrilled to see that all you need is the crust, the brie, pecans, garlic powder and thyme.  Super easy, right?  It’s right there where you would be wrong.  See, the crust is what makes the difficulty of this recipe ramp up exponentially.  Making the crust is not that hard.  It’s handling the crust that will give you fits.  This crust is much more delicate than a traditional crust.  As such, you’ll need to break out the kid gloves.  You’ve got to let the crust rest in the fridge for at least an hour.  You need parchment paper on both sides to roll it out, and if the dough gets too warm, you have to put it back in the fridge before you can try to mold it again.

Now, I recognize that not everything can be easy, and if you really want to do something and do it well, you have to work through it, failures and all.  I am incredibly happy and proud to say that the baked brie came out fantastically well.  Don’t believe me?  See for yourself.

This keeps well in the fridge.  For a warm pick-me-up, put it in the microwave for no longer than 15 seconds.
Keto-Friendly Baked Brie

Yes, it’s not as pretty as the picture on gnom-gnom.  I certainly don’t have the skill to make any pretty shapes like Paola.  Regardless of that, this brie was so good!  The thyme really brought this earthy, savory flavor that almost had me drooling.  When I made the first cut and the cheese oozed out, it was like a weight had been taken off my shoulders.  I did it right.  Now, I will say that the recipe calls for 30 minutes to bake.  I baked mine for 45 minutes because it wasn’t browning to my satisfaction.  As always, with any sort of pastry baking, you have to baby it.  I may or may not have camped out in front of my oven, just to make sure that I wasn’t burning it.  It was a lot of work to make this, but I’m beyond pleased with the result and the taste.

So, let me know, readers!  Would you like to try to make and eat these recipes?  Do they look scrumptious?  Are there any recipes that you’d like to see me try to make?  I’m always on the look out to try new things.  See you next time, and thanks for reading!

The Health and Fitness Blog

Day Three of my Seven day Blogging Blitz talks about my ongoing journey with my physical and mental health.

Hello, my gentle readers!  In this blog post, I’d like to talk about being healthy, both mentally and physically.  Let’s get this out of the way.  I’m a big woman.  I got tummy rolls, thick thighs, and stretch marks.  I’m always going to be a big woman.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t work out because I do.  I enjoy going to the gym.  I enjoy lifting weights.  I’m not a fan of cardio, but I do it anyway.  I say all of this because I don’t want you, my readers to get the wrong idea with this blog.  I’m not going to be criticizing your lives and telling you what you should be doing with it.  I’m merely telling you what’s important to me, and my overall health is one of those things.

This blog is sort of a continuation of my cooking blog because my cooking is directly linked to my health.  After all, the food we eat is fuel for our bodies, and if we don’t have the right fuel, we don’t work at our best.  I’ve done a lot of diets in my day, and pretty much all of them have disappointed me mightily.  It wasn’t until I started working with a personal trainer that I was able to find a way of eating that actually gave me results.

He saw that I was working hard in the gym, killing myself day in and day out, but the food wasn’t matching up with what I was doing in the gym, so he put me on the Keto diet.  Now, what the Keto diet is that your diet consists of 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% of carbs.  Carbs are your body’s most preferred energy source.  It’s just the easiest to break down for energy.  Now, when you start on Keto, you force your body to use other things for energy, which is fat in this case.  Your liver begins to produce ketones, which break down your fat stores to give you energy for the day.  You eat mostly fat because it keeps you full and curbs any cravings you might have.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You’ve heard of this diet, and you’ve heard that it’s not healthy and so on and so forth.  That’s fine.  I’m definitely not going to dismiss your concerns.  I will reiterate that everyone’s body and health is different and what worked for me may not work for you.  I’ll also say that in the time that I’ve been doing this diet, I’ve dropped 30 pounds.  My weight loss has slowed down, due to me not being as strict as I once was, but I’ll be starting up again and getting those lbs down to where I want them to be.

Oh, but I did call this a continuation blog, didn’t I?  The reason for that is because in my cooking blog, I talked about how much I love to cook and eat.  Well, everything I cook is Keto friendly.  That’s right, readers.  Everything that I make is high fat, minimal protein, and very low carbs.  Crazy, I know. I don’t skip meals, either.  I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Well, to be honest, I try to have breakfast, but most times I’m not very hungry when I wake up.  The main point is that anything that you see on this blog that I’ve cooked will be Keto friendly.  That means it’ll have no sugar, no flour, high fat, and slim protein.  I did promise to always tell you the truth, so this is just another step in being transparent with you.

That is only one aspect of health, the physical side.  There’s also the mental side as well, which is arguably, the harder side to keep healthy.  This life is not easy, and we all have to make our way through it.  Some have a more difficult time than others.  It’s okay to acknowledge when life is beating you up at the moment.  That is not a weakness.  In fact, it’s a sign of strength, to admit that something’s not quite right, that you may need a little bit of health to get through your current situation.

Now, I am by no means a mental health professional, but I do advocate for mental health.  I’m a huge proponent of exercising self-care.  If you need it, get the help that you need.  Talk to someone; make that appointment to a therapist.  I know it’s scary, the thought of bearing your soul to a stranger.  No one’s saying that you even have to do that the first time you meet a therapist.  That sort of work can’t happen without trust, so develop your trust with someone first.

Also, the therapist is not out to get you.  They genuinely want to help you, but it is your life.  That means that whatever you put into therapy is exactly what you’ll get out.  Your therapist is never going to work harder than you will.  If you want results, you have to put in the work.

This advice works for wanting to make a physical change as well.  It’s hard, I know.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.  I can’t speak for others, but I want you, my readers, to be the healthiest person you can be, inside and out.  Being healthy generates positive energy, and that energy can be passed on from person to person.  Who knows, you might inspire someone to want to better their life.  That’s what I hope to do.  I want people to read this blog and think to themselves that if I could do it, then they could as well.

That’s my entry about fitness and health.  I won’t dwell on it for too long, but every so often I will talk about it, and I didn’t want it to come as a surprise.  Don’t hesitate to share with me what’s worked for you and what you do to take care of yourself.  Let’s keep the positive energy circulating.