It's a good day, so far. I think my pain is slowly improving. Staying away from grains and sugar religiously is helping. I need to never let sugar back into my life. When I eat it, I want it all the time. When I don't eat it, I don't care.
I do plan to make these (or one of my kids will) for Mother's Day:
They are grain-free and sugar-free (and low carb). Yum! The recipe calls for a mixture of erythritol and stevia. I do not care for stevia, so I am just going to use Swerve. Probably will only make 2 of this version and more with normal ingredients. Maybe. Or someone else could bring a different kind of dessert. (It is my day, after all. My daughter's too, since she is now a mom. I know she would probably like to try this because she is trying to watch what she eats too.) The crust is made from almond flour and also has a little unflavored whey protein in it. I am finding a lot of baked goods are using a little whey protein, which seems to help make the texture more like something with wheat. Still different, for sure, but better. I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy this since lemon meringue pie has always been a favorite. I have some little tartlet pans like these that I have barely ever used, so that will be fun.
Breakfast was bacon and eggs this morning. I went with 3 eggs again this morning. That seems to hold me better and I think it is less calories than eating peanuts or something like that to tide me over to lunch. Lunch is going to be the other bacon taco I did not eat last night. If that is not enough, I also brought some more tomato basil soup (but it was enough).
Tonight my plan is to make creamy cilantro chicken (you sauté your chicken breast and it has a creamy sauce made with cream cheese, and cilantro, of course). Very tasty. I will probably make some cauliflower mash with it and some kind of salad or other vegetable. I don't want to overdo the salads and get tired of them, but they sure have been tasting good lately.
I have not craved sweets at all the last couple of weeks. I have eaten some fruit and that has satisfied me just fine. I do plan to make some desserts every once in a while, with approved ingredients. Just to keep life interesting. I have been finding a treasure trove of ketogenic recipes of all kinds and I think trying new ones is the best way to keep from getting bored with eating very low carb. Doing things like making a taco with a bacon or cheese shell lets you have something that you have always loved and still stay on plan.
I have seen advertisements for pre-prepared cauliflower pizza crusts from a company called Cali'flour Foods. I am sure they are good, but they cost $12.95 for 2 9" pizza crusts. I was going to order a package so I would have them in a pinch, but the shipping for that one package is $9.95. That means almost $23 for 2 pizza crusts. I am "cheaper" than I am lazy, so I will just make my own. If you buy the cauliflower crumbles, that makes it a lot easier and I found a way to do them in the microwave where you don't have to squeeze the moisture out with a towel, and that makes them even easier. I need to make a pizza soon. I miss pizza sometimes, and getting the gluten free variety some places offer is no better for you and makes me hurt when I have been following a strict program. Having alternatives like a cauliflower crust makes it much easier.
I have made a cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower crusted grilled cheese sandwich, so I wonder if I can make a cauliflower tortilla. That way I could make an enchilada or quesadilla "legally." I'm going to give it a try. I would make it the same way; just make it as this as possible.
We are doing some family pictures this weekend. We have not done this in years, mainly because I hate to have my picture taken. But my kids really want to do it, and I need to get over that anyway. Wish I could have gotten more weight off before then, but I have done my best.
As I said above, the one taco was enough without having the soup with it. It is now after 5:00 and I know I do not have to work late, so I should be good to make it until dinner.
I probably have said this before, but I think another step I need to take for reducing pain and getting better is to start moving to organic foods. I want to buy a quarter beef from a grass-fed beef source (a farm near Dallas). Buying grass-fed at the grocery store is so expensive, and I can get it for $7.49 a pound if I buy a quarter beef. I can get ground beef for $7.49 a pound at the grocery store, but good cuts of meat can be at least $15-$20 a pound, so it will definitely cost less in the long run. I will also have to buy a small freezer, but that's okay. I would prefer to be able to pay cash for it, but at the same time, I want to get my health moving forward as soon as possible. The sooner I can reduce pain, the sooner I can get more exercise, which will speed up the weight loss process. And I have read that grass-fed/pasture raised meat products make a big difference with pain issues. I think the animals being grain fed is closer to my eating grain myself, not to mention the antibiotics and steroids used in commercially raised meats. I also need to start buying organic fruits and vegetables. (I really wish I could grow my own.) The thing that has held me back is the cost. I am doing my best to get out of debt and I have been putting every penny I can toward that from each paycheck. I will have to decide if it can wait a little longer.
I should be largely out of debt in less than a year. And when extra money comes in, that is what I use it for. Sometimes it comes in from more overtime than expected, and sometimes it comes from my boss, who is a very generous man. He often pays me to do personal tasks for him or just gives me a "bill" before a holiday. He is the most generous man. One of the main motivations for getting out of debt is so I can greatly increase how much money I am putting in my retirement fund. The way it is right now, I am going to have to work until I die.
Another thing I may be doing to save money is to move when my lease is up. I will have to move further away from downtown Dallas, but I could pay up to half of the rent I am paying now if I get further away. Also, my daughter's friend may want to move in with us if we have a 3-bedroom house, so having another person to divide the rent (or house payment, if I decide to buy) would be helpful. I think this would be a wise thing if I can find a good place, not too, too far away, but far enough where rent is reduced significantly. Also, one of the biggest stressors for me at home is the situation with our pets. My daughter got a dog a few months ago, and her dog and my dog do not get along. They don't fight so much as create such a ruckus that it is not restful. Also, her dog is always after my cat, so I have a gate on my bedroom door and my cat stays holed up in there most of the time. We also have to use pee pads for the dogs. I live on the 4th floor and it is just too much for me to take my dog out every time he needs to potty, nor am I home enough for him to do that. I guess my daughter agrees, because she also uses pee pads for her dog, even though she does take her dog down to the dog area as much as she can. We need a yard. And a doggy door. I am so tired of dealing with the smell and mess of pee pads. I know having a yard will help.
I got home and immediately went to work cooking dinner. As planned, I made creamy cilantro chicken, creamy mashed cauliflower, and a small salad. Everything tasted sooooo good. And I have lunch packed for both me and my daughter for tomorrow. My daughter had to work late tonight, which never happens, but they are about to fire someone tomorrow, so she needed to do some catchup work that this person has not done.
As I said, I think the biggest key to making the low carb thing work is keeping variety. And the thing that keeps me eating like I should so that pain is reduced is to cook my own food so I know what is in it. I am glad I am feeling good enough physically to do that, even if I don't always feel like it motivationally. It is very important that I spend time each weekend planning and preparing food for the week. My daughter has not helped much this week, but she typically does these days.
I seem to be retaining water, so I am trying to take steps to combat that, including drinking more water, adding lemon or lime to some of my water, and taking magnesium (which I also need to take for pain issues). I also took some potassium because my feet were cramping. Guess I have not been drinking enough. If I can get rid of this extra fluid, I would probably drop a few pounds. I do feel like my clothes are a little looser.
Guess that's it for tonight. I feel good about sticking to my plan. I do think pain is improving. Thank the Lord.