Savory, Sweet Truth

CHAI TEA MUFFINS WITH CINNAMON GLAZE” by You Thyme, fellow WordPress blogger, spoke to me as a person that doesn’t follow the standard American diet. You Thyme talks about feeling shame for indulging in foods that aren’t actually terrible for you and the struggle of adjusting to a paleo lifestyle.

S and I have been low-carbers for coming up on three years and we have both had tempting moments and slip-ups here and there. It’s completely normal and human. When you restrict yourself so greatly, to the point you can’t stop at the tiniest taste of whatver… You’re already too far down a tough path.

We enjoy beers when we’re with our brew buddies, which isn’t often, and who can’t resist a bomb margarita in the summer?! We never feel like we’re on a diet and beer has really been the only thing we miss. We LOVE a good brew. I appreciated You Thyme’s honesty in this post and I’m excited to try the recipe!

You can be healthy AND enjoy life.

Squishy Fries? A+

These bad boys were so delicious! We simply sliced the avocado in frylike pieces and wrapped them in bacon. On medium heat, we cooked and rotated each bacon-wrapped avocado in a pan.


We didn’t add any seasoning this time, but I imagine some cayenne pepper and a dash of salt would set these off just right.

The texture is very interesting. The outside is gloriously proud and crunchy, while the avocado center washes over your tastes buds like an intoxicating avocado elixir.

This dish is great if you’re craving bar munchies and want a fun conversation-starter at your next cookout. Prep time is minimal and you cook the outside until each side has that awesome, fried bacon glow.

Buttered n’ Grilled Chicken. It’s What’s for Dinner.

S and I recently bought a new grill and decided to have some fun with it tonight. We melted real butter – you know the kind with only two ingredients and no hidden sugars or random chemicals that are, pretty much, sugar?  – and added seasoning to the melted butter. We placed 6 bone-in-with-skin chicken thighs in a large bowl and worked the seasoned butter mixture around the chicken until it solidified; making it easy to manipulate and cover every side of the thighs in a glorious explosion of healthy fats.

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I’m pretty sure the neighbors thought we were burning the place down. Some weeks back we had a good friend over who covered his steaks in a sugary marinade that flooded the bottom of our new infrared grill. This resulted in the grill smoking like a bomb had just gone off until the last of the marinade burned off. At just below medium heat, the chicken was ready to sizzle and dance on the marinade stained grates.

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I like to keep it simple, so I added some spinach to my plate with some homemade keto Dijon sauce on the side. The sauce was made by mixing a couple tablespoons of Dijon mustard, a dash of full-fat mayo, and a couple teaspoons of MCT oil. The oil is tasteless and is an easy way to add some healthy fat to your meal. Be careful though! Too much of this and you’ll be running to the toilet.

Everything is better on the grill. There’s no arguing that. Putting the damned thing together was a pain in the ass, but I’m thrilled now that we can do a little more than our stove-top or baked creations for dinner. Summer may be coming to an end, but you’d better believe we’ll be grilling our low-carb-high-fat hearts out until the snow arrives. But then again, growing up in Alaska, my parents often grilled with snow on the ground…

And Don’t Forget the Hot Sauce…

Pork shoulders fried in bacon grease has become one of our favorite ketogenic meals. Not only is it easy and quick to cook, it’s delicious and filling. I couldn’t wait to tear into this glorious piece of meat after snapping this photo. Paired with spinach (tossed in spicy guacamole), this keto treat will keep me full until lunchtime tomorrow.

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Progress Report 3

Hello! And Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a progress report, so here goes:

Data collection #3, November 18, 2015:

Weight – 232.4

Body fat – 27.1%

BMI – 31.4

Data Collection #4, January 16, 2016:

Weight – 231.3

Body fat – 25.2%

BMI – 31.3

The holiday season was trying, per usual, and I did put on some weight. Last week I was back up to 237 lbs, but was able to get back down in just one week. I’ve been doing strong lifts in the gym, and made it a point to make sure I was really digging deep this past week. Adding 2.5 lbs to 5 lbs on each of my sets (each week) has kept me challenged, and really showcased the fact that heavy lifting, and a good amount of healthy fat consumption, can make all the difference during a carb detox/recovery. My weight was up and down since my last progress report, and it’s all due to those couple of carb moments, and slacking off on my intermittent fasting schedule. We’re back on it, though! Get ready for some results 😉

Overall progress since data collection #1:

down 14.2 lbs

down 5.3% body fat

Hold The Treats

Victory comes in the form of turning down all the tempting, delicious, carb-filled treats that my mother-in-law will present when S and I visit home.  We had to put our foot down, and really prove to ourselves that we could stay true our health and fitness goals. S and I try not to worry our friends with our low-carb lifestyle, but a voice popped into my head before we hit the road down South. It was the voice of one of my best friends, ST, in Minnesota. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask someone to respect your diet and lifestyle…” Never wanting to come off as a snooty, delightfully rude individual, I would always eat what was presented, and never put in any special requests for any meal.

What ST said during our visit in Minnesota turned into a gospel, of sorts, just hours before leaving the low-carb sanctuary we call home. The few days we spent visiting the parents went surprisingly well, and it was easy – easier than expected, anyway, when saying no to a mom – to not eat any sprinkled, cream-filled, frosted item.  In the past, we would visit home, and assume we’d be eating terribly. It felt good to put an end to an assumption like that, because we now feel like we have full control over how we eat when we aren’t at home. Dealing with naysayers can be enough when it comes to our low-carb, keto lifestyle, but it’s a small price to pay for how great we feel sticking to our regular routine. The downside of it all will affect S’s mother the most… She’s a mom! She will always think we aren’t eating enough.

Progress Report 1

As promised, I have my first month’s results of maintaining a low carb and ketogenic lifestyle; sticking to my only drinking on Saturday rule:

Data collection #1, August 24, 2015:

Weight – 245.5 lbs

Body fat – 30.5%

BMI – 33.3

Data collection #2, September 26, 2015:

Weight – 237.9

Body fat – 27.5%

BMI – 32.3

Now, remember, I lift weights and do body-weight exercises regularly. Weight-loss is not important here, and is just another benefit of the lifestyle. I’m focused on lowering my overall body fat percentage. If I’m being completely honest, my workouts definitely have room for more intensity. I’m getting comfortable with my current routine, so it’s time to mix things up with some new workouts, and slightly tougher yoga sessions. With that being said, expect the next report a couple weeks early! October 17th is Indiana University homecoming, and I will be enjoying some not-so-low-carb-treats on that day, so expect the next report to come in on October 16th. I’ll eat low carb and keto, but I MUST have a couple beers that day with my fellow Hoosiers 🙂

Bourbon On The Rocks, Please.

Hangovers are real, ladies and gentlemen, and I hadn’t experienced one in quite some time.  For the past two weeks, S and I have been drinking once a week – picking Saturday as the day to consume our favorite poisons in a socially moderate manner. Not drinking during the week is something we are already familiar with, but with this past summer came plenty of opportunity for us to slip up occasionally, and throw ourselves back into a drinking-freely-post-work-or-whenever spiral.  It’s the start of week three, and I just had some random thoughts about how I’ve been feeling over these past couple weeks; particularly about how I’ve been feeling my last couple Sundays.

I love a good drink – beer, bourbon on the rocks, or vodka waters are preferred – and have recognized that part of my weight loss and fitness plateaus are due to overconsumption of my desired elixirs.  Let me tell you. The past couple Sundays have been rough. I used to brag that I never got hangovers – what a tool-ish and bro-like thing to do, first of all – and that’s only because my tolerance for alcohol was really high. Much like a muscle, a high tolerance to alcohol is something that was exercised, and made to be strong with each drink consumed. There have been a number of instances where I simply stop drinking, because I become aware that I’ve consumed a good number of drinks – empty calories – and had no locale markers on my inebriation radar.

My drinking total for the past two Saturdays consisted of a few (low carb) mixed drinks, a LOT of red wine, and bourbon or two. Given my past ability to drink haphazardly with major admittance into Hangoverland, I did not think my body would be rocked as hard as it was come either Sunday.  The first Sunday of our new drinking rule was mostly okay. I felt very lethargic and just sat around for the greater part of the day; not doing anything productive besides tending to the puppy. The second Sunday was game over for my mind and body. I had a headache that felt like an ongoing earthquake, my body ached all over, and I found it extremely hard to focus. “Really?! (Enter a paralyzed eye-roll here)” I thought, but what should I have expected? My body had clearly gone through some form of detoxification during the week, and by not being careful – on my one day of alcoholic freedom – I was punished and reminded to think before I acted.

Now, with all that being said, I will continue to have drinks with friends on Saturdays. The past couple of weeks have taught me to be weary of even just the few drinks I may consume, and to respect the possibility of feeling like a true pile of bear shit if I cross the line. I feel completely recharged having not drank during the week. My mind is clear, and my workouts are focused and productive. In the two weeks since we’ve been following our new drinking rule, I’ve lost about eight pounds, and S has lost a good amount of weight as well. Our workouts are not crazy intense. I lift weights twice a week for about thirty minutes, and do about twenty to thirty minutes of mild-to-medium yoga a few times a week. I’ll be posting my body stat updates during this journey with the FATboys category of Gays in the Life. My weight, BMI, and body fat percentage will be shared. This will only happen once a month, however, because I get scale crazy, and don’t wish to psych myself out. You can’t go solely off your weight when you lift weights, lol.

Be healthy,

You do you. We’ll Do Fat.

FATboys: A Mostly Ketogenic Health Journey. I named this category of Gays in the Life “FATboys” because the lifestyle we follow promotes a low carb, high fat diet.  We love butter, coconut oil, bacon, and all the (good) fatty things in between. When people hear “low carb,” they tend to freak out, and I’m not sure why. My husband and I have been following this lifestyle for almost two years, and have witnessed amazing results in each other. We have energy throughout the day, we don’t get that two-o-clock feeling at work, and weight loss is just a bonus. Like any diet out there, you can over consume, but when you’re living a ketogenic lifestyle – rounding out your day’s meals with a 70-80% fat to 15-20% protein to less than 5% carbohydrates – you don’t get hungry. Your body fills up on gloriously healthy fats, and you just don’t get hungry. Don’t believe me? Add a half cup of heavy whipping cream to your coffee, and see how long it takes before you’re hungry again. Try it! And keep in mind that the feeling of thirst is notoriously confused for the feeling of hunger.

We’ve learned to listen to our bodies, and not rely on the “calories in, calories out” concept. We don’t plan on counting calories for the rest of our lives, and with low-carb/keto living, we grasped a way to do just that. I know it’s hard to be open and change what we’ve been taught as a society; how we’ve been programmed as a society. When S first told me he was going low carb, I resisted. It took me a month before I got on board, and decided to try it out. Low carb is all I know now. I’ve seen the science in my own health. I’ve seen the change in my body – with weight loss not being the goal, but an added bonus – and am more and more hypnotized with the various stories I find on the internet, and in podcasts we follow. I work out for a half an hour each day, and do yoga whenever I feel like it, and see plenty results. We feel good, our bodies respond crazily – keeping us energized and sexy – and we aren’t killing ourselves with hours and hours a week on an elliptical or treadmill.

I won’t get into all of the science just yet, because my goal here is not to convert anyone. If you’re reading this, it’s because you enjoy Gays in the Life, and you’re taking a peek into another room in the house that is our life. Everything presented in FATboys will apply to our life, and our lives only. I’ve received some pushback on social media from old high school associates and close friends regarding the low carb world, and to them I say – and to any comment or reasoning that I’ve lived, read about, studied, and researched – “That’s fine. You do you, and I’ll do me. We’ll see who’s healthier in the long run.” I say that with humor, because we as a people are so stubborn; myself included. I’ve learned to listen to others, to give ideas a chance, and if the pro-carbohydrate police showed up on my doorstep, trying to sell me on their views, I’d listen and think. The science of the life I’ve been living for the past two years is too rich for me to seriously leave it now, though.

Today my husband shared this TEDx talk with me, and it made my day. Watch it if you want, and be open. We FATboys were pretty excited to see another doctor helping the low carb and keto communities spread awareness. The proof is in the (carb-smart) pudding!