How I Survived The Holiday Season

Every holiday season I find myself dreading and craving all the snacks ahead. I’ve never been the fittest one in the bunch, so when I’m doing particularly well on the health front I cherish any progress that’s made. This holiday season was different. Normally I’d worry, and worry, and worry some more about baked mac and cheese, potato salad, and a couple other treats that aren’t so keto-friendly. I decided to keep things as light as I could and did my best to grab a small win each day; the biggest of which is being able to fit into my “skinny” jeans at the top of 2020! 

 

You’ve heard me mention before, here on GITL, about my sensitivity to dairy. This is an undiagnosed sensitivity, but a sensitivity nonetheless. Whenever I’m not consuming dairy, my skin is effortlessly more clear, the pounds stay off – not to mention bloating is non-existent – and I have much more energy. I wasn’t perfect in completely avoiding dairy, but keeping a realistic approach, I managed to stay away from cheese and other delicious, creamy treats. 

 

Towards the end of summer, my husband and I sold our condo. All of the work that went into prepping our then home was exhausting and took up a lot of our energy. Getting to the gym was hard; even after we were settled into our new space. Instead of stressing myself out about not getting to the gym, I approached each week with a lighter mindset. If the weather was nice, we’d go for a walk. Most days I found myself doing push-ups, squats, and free weight workouts at home. Finding at least twenty to thirty minutes to perform those workouts, a few days a week, helped me stay focused and helped me gain that feeling of accomplishment. 

 

Remember – Set attainable goals. As you hit your marks, you gain more  momentum and fuel to accomplish great things. Celebrate the wins and stay on track. 

 

Intermittent fasting has helped me reel in my snacking. My goodness – working in a corporate office has its gluttonous challenges. Cookies here, catered lunch there, it’s like there’s no escaping sugar! This January marks year seven of being  low-carb and keto, but there are plenty of days where sneaking that bite doesn’t seem so bad. Fasting during a set window has helped me maintain my nutrition goals this holiday season and made resisting corn-syrup-injected treats much easier. Most nights, I’ll stop eating by 8PM, and won’t eat again until noon the next day. My husband is great at waking up, going to work, and not eating until he gets home. I’m not that strong. If Linda walks into the office with cookies after lunch, I need to be within my eating window and armed with a fiercely packed lunch. Macadamia nuts, please! 

 

You’ll have days where you slip. Own the slip. Get back on the wagon the next day. Whether deviating from the plan was planned or not. I strive to be as keto and low-carb as I can, but I do have those days where I just want a crispy IPA. I’ve learned not to beat myself up about enjoying a treat –  that doesn’t fit into my nutrition plan and goals – here and there. Most of the time, I’m pretty damned good, so I don’t see the problem with this. All we can do is our best, people! Keep it light and do just that.

Butter and Eggs, Please!

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Sunday means keto brunch noms! We had some simple fried eggs, cooked in butter, with a side of peppered spinach. Delish! What did you all have for brunch today?

Mini Quiches

Good morning! What’s for brunch today? Mini quiches.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 4 oz of ground sausage
  • 2 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp of animal fat (or coconut oil)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup of spinach
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • A few shakes of salt
  • Shredded Colby-jack cheese

Supplies:

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • Medium-large skillet
  • Spatula
  • The appropriate measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 standard sized muffin pan (makes 12 quiches)
  • Coconut oil non-stick cooking spray

 

I love making these bad boys. They’re so easy and get tastier each time we make them. To start, begin to brown the sausage in stove-top skillet set to medium heat. As you chop and brown the sausage, add your animal fat to keep our next ingredients from sticking to our non-stick pan.

You’re probably thinking, why do we need to add an ingredient that helps ingredients sticking to a non-stick skillet? We all know our non-stick skillets and pans lose their power as we use them. Adding animal fat helps in this department AND add to the flavor.

After you’ve added your animal fat, throw in the chopped red onion, spinach, and cream cheese. Keep an eye on your cream cheese. As it heats up it’ll soften, allowing you to mixing it up with all the other ingredients in the skillet.Mix up your eight eggs in the large mixing bowl and add your seasonings. You’ll need to spray your muffin tin with a non-stick cooking spray. I prefer Spectrum’s Coconut Oil Spray.

Fill each muffin space on the pan with just enough egg to cover the bottom. Spoon your sausage, cream cheese, spinach and onion mixture into your muffin pan and be sure to leave room for more egg. Each muffin space should only be about half full at this point. Go ahead and add more egg to each muffin space to submerge the sausage mixture. Sprinkle a dash of Colby-jack cheese on each space. Time to bake!

Your oven should be preheated to 400 degrees. I wish I had an amount of time to share with you here, but I don’t. Channel your inner Aunty, Grandma, or Mom and bake until golden brown.

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Serve warm and enjoy!

Note: Don’t be afraid to have fun with this recipe. I once made these with mushrooms, jalapeños, and ham. I believe I sprinkled sharp cheddar on those though. I suggest serving these with your favorite hot sauce on the side as well.

 

 

 

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.