Back after a pandemic year away (from eating healthily)

(Seth S.) #1

Like SO MANY people I completely fell off the horse when it all hit. Pretty much immediately. I wanted comfort food, but also was trying to go to the store once a week max, which (for me) meant buying lots of stuff that could last a while like pastas and breads. With pasta and bread came soda and sweets. In all I regained about 2/3 of the weight I’d taken off doing keto – so, not as bad as it could’ve been, and I’m focusing on moving forward and celebrating that 1/3 that I held on to.

Still, as you all know it is just so hard to get back into the groove. My biggest weakness is still sugar – I’ve been spending a lot of time with family, and my sister has kids and so she and my parents all keep sugary treats around their houses for the kids, and I have SUCH a hard time being around it all. But at the same time, I want to see them, and I can’t ask them to keep their houses sugar-free just because of my thing. So I’m trying to remember all my keto tricks, like filling up on a really fatty meal before I go over to visit family, drinking tons of water.

Anyway, this is all just me thinking out loud and it’s prob not very interesting but I was trying to remember the things that helped me launch this successfully a couple of years ago and suddenly remembered this wonderful forum, and thought posting this would help me get back into the spirit, and build up some accountability for myself. Thanks for reading, and happy spring!

(Laurie) #2

Yes, forums can really be helpful. I hope things work out for you again. Looks like you’re doing well so far!

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #3

Within a few weeks of getting back on the horse, you will feel amazing. Keep calm and keto on!

(Edith) #4

Nice to see you back.

(Seth S.) #5

thank you!

(Seth S.) #6

Oh wow is this so much harder the second time around! My trouble is that I truly detest cooking, and quickly grow sick of the same things I know how to prepare (steak with salad, pork chops and salad, air fried chicken thighs). I really need to learn how to make a couple of very simple keto-friendly meals I think – otherwise I get so sick of these foods that I break down and get a frozen California Pizza Kitchen pizza. OK it’s time to suck it up and KCKO!

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #7

I find the Fathead pizza crust very easy to make. And then the toppings can be whatever you want (my family and I prefer pepperoni, which is dead easy). My dad has a good recipe for sausage and peppers, which he occasionally makes for us. He also makes meatloaf, which is less keto-friendly, but I eat it anyway. When I cook, it’s usually a roast or chops, with broccoli or cauliflower. I make a cream gravy for the meat and a cheese sauce for the vegetable. It makes for a fairly easy and enjoyable meal. My sister makes a number of tasty slow-cooked stews.

When I lived alone, I would fry up a bunch of chicken thighs all at once and have several meals left over to take out of the fridge later. I would buy sausages or hot dogs in bulk, divide them up into meal-sized portions and freeze them. Then it was easy to take a bag out of the freezer, pop the contents into the microwave, and have a simple, easy meal. I also discovered that a pork picnic (shoulder joint) is dead easy to roast (for one thing, it’s self-basting, so nice and juicy) and yields quite a few really tasty meals.

(Laurie) #8

Seth, do you eat eggs or dairy? Those can help round things out. Another thing that helps is having more than one kind of meat/protein dish at each meal (e.g., a beef patty with some salmon salad on the side).

I have lots of limitations as to what I can cook or eat, but I still get lots of variety. A few ideas:

Don’t chop ingredients. Where recipes call for chopped onion, garlic, celery, etc., use shortcuts like dried onion and garlic powder.

Make enough for 2 or 3 meals. Leftovers can be eaten cold or microwaved. Or put the cut-up leftovers on top of the salad. This can be really yummy.

Mayonnaise contains ingredients you might not want. Make a batch of yogurt dip or sour cream dip to use instead. Use cream cheese or mascarpone as thickener to get the right consistency.

Egg salad, salmon salad, etc. By “salad” I don’t mean veggies; I mean mixed with above dip (or mayo) plus a few seasonings.

Pure ground beef can be bought in premade patties. It’s a change from steak; you can even melt a slice of cheese on top.

If you’re a Costco member, you might find some keto-friendly meats that require little to no preparation. My Costco (in Canada) has 0 carb precooked sausage patties, and 1 carb per “serving” sliced roast beef. They also have 0 carb pulled pork, but it’s not like any pulled pork I’ve ever had; it tastes more like ham. Anyway, easy and edible.

Rotisserie chicken from supermarket. Some supermarkets have cooked pork ribs in the same section. (These might contain sugar or other junk.)

Canned sardines are an easy meal or side dish.

Eggs can be prepared in various ways that don’t require much work: boiled, fried, scrambled, etc.

I have a favorite cheese, and I have a piece of that every day after supper. So even if the supper is boring, I have something to look forward to.

(Jane) #9

My favorite go-to is a one skillet meal that is close to spaghetti and meat sauce as you can get on keto.

Our local Walmart carries angel hair cabbage in the produce section. Not cole slaw mix - just cabbage finely shredded.

Brown some ground beef or sausage in a skillet, add a jar of Rao’s marinara sauce (lowest carb), throw in some shredded cabbage and cook until the cabbage is wilted.

I either sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top or grate some mozzarella and put on top and pop it under the broiler to melt (make sure your skillet has an oven-proof handle).

Easy-peasy, fast and one skillet to clean up.

(Jane) #10

Alfredo sauce is pretty low carb.

You can use pre-cooked chicken and add the Alfredo sauce to it. I usually add a bit of the angel hair cabbage to give it some bulk, but not necessary. I use Alfredo sauce from a jar to save time.

(Seth S.) #11

thank you so much for the wonderful reply! I’m definitely going to follow up on these.

(Seth S.) #12

oh that’s a great idea!

(Seth S.) #13

thanks! I’ve never tried fathead pizza though I’ve read about it. Think I’ll try that today!

(Bob M) #14

Fathead dough is good and easy to make, once you make it once or twice.

However, it’s cheese based. Then you add more cheese. For me, this is a lot of cheese.

I’ve moved instead to using canned chicken for pizza. It also uses some cheese, but no nearly the amount with Fat Head pizza.

As for meat sauce, we usually just take sausage and ground beef, cook, add sauce. That’s it. (Personally, I like to add some anchovies and kalamata olives…but no one else likes this.) I don’t use any “noodle” to go along with it. (And I’m 50% Italian and my dad’s family came on a boat from Italy.) But it’s not a bad idea. I just don’t think it needs noodles.


only way to 'hold all your best results for health, vitality, weight loss and more is to NOT leave your plan. No matter what :slight_smile: It was the only thing I found but I get ya about covid and all. It is insanity truly on a global scale and effects all of us for sure.

You are back on the wagon and embrace the lifestyle and put that work you need into making your eating plan work long term and you won’t leave it again. Wishing you the best, you got it in ya, go for it!!!


I like cooking (if it doesn’t take too much time and effort) but for my main dish? I just toss something into the oven and I have food for days. There are so many cuts of meat and so many animals we can eat… Even changing the cut it’s another world to me (sometimes the same cut is different)! And egg dishes are super quick and versatile, it’s just never my main food. Or extremely rarely.
I like to keep some boiled eggs at hand, they are good as some extra addition, I use them as “bread” or side dish and they are the base for many simple dish.

My egg sandwiches are boiled egg halves, some meat (typically a slice of flavorful sausage per half egg) and optionally cheese. And mustard. They can’t make a whole meal even when I get satiated easily but they can help.

If you just need some extra calories with your nutritious protein rich meal, there are so many options. Handmade mayo, sour cream… I am not familiar with it as I just eat fatty meat with eggs and it’s perfect but even I know some options and there are zillion more! It helps with making your food more interesting or different.

(Jane) #17

Cook up a big pot roast and you have several meals. I use the 4-5g carb wraps from the store for sammiches with leftovers. Look for them in the tortilla section.

(Laurie) #18

Thought of a couple more:

If you make the dip (with a fair bit of dried onion and a bit of garlic powder you have a decent onion dip): You can buy vegetables that are already cut up, e.g., celery sticks or broccoli florets. Have these with dip, as a change from salad.

You can also have pork rinds with dip. However, pork rinds should be an occasional snack only – for various reasons. Although not a bad food, they are not a complete protein (they are missing tryptophan). And because of the collagen they contain, they can cause constipation if you eat too much. Try to buy a brand that is fried in lard, not oil.

If you’re driving home after a hard day, or just don’t want to cook … Stop at a fast food outlet and order “burger patties only please.” Depending on how much you normally eat, 2 or 3 large patties (e.g., Quarter Pounder or Whopper patties) will be enough for a meal. Even if the cashier isn’t sure how to ring it in, the manager or another employee will know what to do. The cost of a patty is usually less than half that of the complete burger.

(Seth S.) #19

OH MAN I fell away again. I got a bad injury that took a couple of months to recover from, and just went fully down the chute of bad choices. So now I’m back on the wagon AGAIN, and this time will keep calm and keto on. Thank you all again for the wonderful food ideas. This time if I can just keep myself free of sugar I’ll be able to stay on plan – that is one hell of a drug! But I’m going to do it. THANKS!

(Jane) #20

Good luck this time around!