My keto struggles - introduction post

(Pennie Malone) #41

Yay on the laptop I know how to quote stuff

Getting ingredients will be hard as I have to import most things that aren’t usual food stuff here on Crete.

I haven’t found this yet here. So far the highest I’ve found was 85% (i think) and that was nearly €4 a bar. 74% is about €1,80 which is still quite high compared to what it was in the UK before I moved. I’ve made sure to add extra fat and cocoa to my old recipe to compensate. I think I’m just going to have smaller portions of it

Something that is very annoying in Crete is that fatty protein is more difficult to come by. I went round every butcher in town (we have 3 as its quite a big town) and not one did chicken thighs or legs. Nor skin on breast. I can buy whole birds, breasts and sometimes wings. Beef is only available in the big supermarkets; it isn’t grass fed; and there is next to no fat even on the stewing steak. Not one bit of white was on the beef selection the other day when I went on the hunt for chicken thighs (no thighs in the big supermarkets either)

Pork is plentiful although no bacon, however personally I don’t eat huge amounts of pork. Lamb is also plentiful and I do try to have this but I’m getting bored of chops, need to find some new recipes to try.

There is no sour cream here and the cream we can get is UHT (its gross) but I don’t like them anyway. I can just about eat whipping cream when made into a chocolate mousse with avocado but I have a just disgust reaction to most things creamy. I’ve tried to get over this by forcing myself but it hasn’t worked. I’ve always hated creamy stuff apparently as a baby too.

I’m coming to the conclusion that I don’t think I know what hunger is. I’ve had issues with low appetite, food aversion and meal restriction for at least half my life. Now I’m’ not purposely restricting anything but I assume my metabolism is well underground by this point as it’s been surviving off a hypocaloric diet for a couple of decades. I would also assume that my stomach is small from being a grazer when I do/did eat so eating OMAD would be impossible with the volume my stomach can currently hold.

I’ve just been listening to the shows regarding feasting and eating hypercaloric meals. I have a feeling I need to do this but first I need to find a food I LOVE :heart_eyes: that I can feast on which is keto of course. So far nothing is in that category. I was talking to my mum who has been keto for a few years now and she said “well keto is all about those creamy, cheesy, melt in the mouth foods that I know you hate; keto is like Pennie’s worst nightmare but stick at it my gal and you’ll find something you love. You know how well it makes you” and she is so very right. Hate or put up with almost all keto food I’ve had so far; like maybe 2 or 3 things; and love nothing. However it really does make me so much better so I have to stick with it. Just need to add more things to that like category and find something to put in the love category. Chicken wings with salt are in the like verging on love category but I can only get 8 or so a week if I pre-order them from the butcher so I can’t feast on them :frowning: I’ve asked if there is any way to get more but the butcher says she takes them off the whole bird for me and then she can’t sell that bird as a whole one. The other butchers said no outright. How frustrating, but just a down side to the beautiful island life I guess.

I’m going to continue trawling through recipe books and pages picking out things I might like and adding them to my recipe book. Hopefully I’ll find that LOVE meal that really hits the spot. When I got into no eating ruts when not on keto my got to food I knew I’d eat was cottage cheese and jam on plum bread toasted - so very not keto :frowning: Got to find that go to food that is keto

Hmm that is an interesting thought. I’m deficient in many micronutrients from my poor eating habits for the last decade or so. I don’t know if zinc was tested (I don’t think it was from what I remember looking at my blood panel yesterday for finding my HbA1C) but what was tested was below normal. I’m meant to be taking 20 supplement tablets a day along with keto as prescribed by my doctor but I struggle enough just to take the essential one that if I don’t take I get really bad withdrawal from so at the moment I’m ignoring the rest of my boxes of tablets and pretending they don’t exist but I really should take them. Actually it’ll help get my fat intake up if I take them as I swallow them with olive oil as most are huge or taste nasty and the oil helps them get down.

I definitely have a listen to this podcast as I do need help

As I think I said above (or I may have gone back to delete it because I was writing too much) I don’t know what a hunger signal is. I can’t remember experiencing one for 2/3 of my life since I’ve been in control of what I eat since about 10 years old. I know at times I’ve had my blood glucose taken and it has been so low I’m at coma level and been walking around feeling fine. I did a 50 mile hike over 3 1/2 days on a single loaf of brioche (~1000 calories) and got home and didn’t fancy eating. The only time I do feel what I think is hunger (but probably just cravings) is when I don’t sleep at all and have an all-nighter (either voluntarily or due to insomnia) then a food monster is ravenous inside my head and that’s when I used to eat all the junk hit a glucose high and usually fall asleep.

Ok I’ve written a huge essay yet again, sorry guys. I guess I have a lot going on and it’s no wonder I’m in such a tizz


I am in kind of a “bleh” phase about eating just now. Which is in a way great. Especially now around the holidays. But eggs. Eggs never excite me, but they never let me down either. They are my friends. Along with fat and protein they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Including the ones that prevent your eyes going bad later.

I bet they have good ones where you are, and you can make them so many ways. :heart:

(Pennie Malone) #43

I think I’m going to have eggs every day again just not omelettes or scrambled as these bore me the most and turn me off. Might be a ball ache making them but poached eggs are yum

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #44

I poach eggs in butter. Very nice.


WHAT. I feel super lucky in Hungary then… We have super fatty pork everywhere, chicken thighs are dirt cheap too… Oh my.
But pork and lamb is promising… And you can add fat to leaner meat, maybe butter?

One can live without hunger sign. A tad weird when I never am hungry but I still must and can eat… But I had overeating problems almost all my life, you have the opposite and keto easily may make things worse, I know such people.
You need to be determined, you probably need change yourself mentally too… And a find solution. The right food, timing, whatever. You don’t need to wait for hunger or appetite to eat. Whenever you can, eat. And not some low-calorie super satiating stuff.

I never thought stomach capacity matters much especially on keto. You can eat super dense food many times a day so even a tiny volume is enough. Okay, it’s probably not that easy but my keto food is so low volume due to its density… No need for a big stomach capacity (that I totally have).

I don’t think keto is all about creamy food. You can eat drier stuff only too if you want… And some roasted meat or hard cheese isn’t creamy either. There are options (but it’s really hard for you there, I see that. no chicken thighs, seriously…). It may take time, I needed time when I changed my woe too and I am not particularly choosy… Hedonism fueled me but you dislike eating food you don’t like either…
There are so many different keto recipes, hopefully you will find nice ones. I don’t believe in keto bread, good low-carb bread is possible, the keto one isn’t for me (edible but I rather eat anything else on my menu, I only have tasty things) but many thing is doable on keto. Or you can have a tiny amount sometimes. When I was bored with my food due to circumstances, a little break helped a lot. And a little break doesn’t cause problems, it seems, it’s not so easy for many others, though.


Oh do! And hopefully you won’t have to wear readers when you are my age! I am like a witch in Macbeth hunting around for my “eyes”. :joy:


Sometimes I am bored of simple egg dishes, all of them. That’s when I eat sponge cakes every day… Made from only eggs. It’s my bread, basically.

But there are zillion egg dishes. I never ever could get bored of them all. And we can use spices and other items… Not like spices help me much but surely help others… But a little tomato makes wonders, our egg stew has it. So, so many possibilities!

(Pennie Malone) #48

Too many egg recipes come with cheese or cream and without are often just egg. So that doesn’t always help.

Butter is also pretty scarce here. I have to go to the city to buy it which is maybe once a month I can manage it and its over €4 for 250g at the moment. So I use it very sparingly. Not having cows here makes for dairy to be low fat goat and sheep stuff. I just about manage to cope with the taste and smell of cow dairy but add the pungent goat or sheep-ness and its an absolute no. I have found one sheep cheese I can manage to eat but its not great macro wise.

Here it’s olive oil instead of butter which isnt a bad thing.

I’m still getting over the fact that I can’t buy chicken legs and thighs easily and that I’m limited to how many wings I can buy a week.

I have found just now a great looking jerk goat curry. Just got to find a substitute for coconut cream. Might just be yucky Uht cream with some coconut oil?

Ugh keto was hard enough in the UK. I’ll get there though.

I’ve also booked an appointment with my doctor because it is more than apparent I have an eating disorder I need to conquer but do it in conjunction with staying keto. Today’s crying session ended with a massive craving for chocolate (and I do have a chocolate bar in the house, a limited edition one which I loved so bought 3 while they still existed and hid them away for a time that is safe to have just a bit when I “want” but not “crave” such a thing) but I’m being good. No giving in to cravings. So I’ve sent my poor friend out in the rain to see if there are any chicken wings available in town to have a comfort food fix that is keto

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #49

Too bad about butter. I know lots of folks consider olive oil to be good stuff. It’s certainly way better than seed oils. But I think the fatty acid profile of butter, and especially ghee (clarified butter) is far better. I used to consume mostly olive (Kalamata) and avocado oils, but not so much any more.


What kinds of salad greens are available in Crete?

I guess if I were lucky enough to be there I would make a big salad each lunch with hardboiled egg, fish, seeds, whatever meat, and an olive oil, red vinegar, Dijon dressing. Some interesting cheeses. Goat or sheep’s milk or whatever is local.

(Bob M) #51

Me too, though I do sometimes have a salad with olive oil (from California, so I know it’s real) and vinegar. I now emphasize more saturated fat, even eating – gasp! – dairy. (Meat really isn’t high in saturated fat.)

(Pennie Malone) #52

Depends on the time of year really. I can get romaine most of the year and a very bitter type of rocket (argula). More salad stuff available in winter and spring when it is cool enough to grow it. I’d like to get a growing station set up in the house for baby leaves but that will take a bit of time and energy to set up.

I do get a fair chunk of fat in from salads as I do have a lot (30-60ml) of olive oil as a dressing with some mustard and vinegar.

If only I liked cheese, I’ve found 3 I can bear to eat here: a cow cheese that is kind of flakey/stringy as in it peels as you take a bite (quite fun to play with a pick at, like a grown up cheese string) this doesn’t melt at all as I learned when I tried to make pizza when I first moved here; a greek made gouda that is very mild and more cheddar like in texture not as soft as the dutch version; and a sheep cheese (shockingly) that is like Jarlsberg which is mild, fairly flavourless and hard.

(Pennie Malone) #53

Just had a chat with my mum. Mum’s are so good.

She knows me well. She is certain my “waaaaah” super depression mode that I’m experiencing this time and when I first made this post is my version of delayed keto flu. It’s probably when my body has got through the glycogen storage stage and is happily making ketones but perhaps unsure how to use them efficiently. I don’t have a physical “keto flu” but definitely have a mental one. This time I’m not going to let it over come me. I’m going to indulge in gaming and chicken wings (house mate managed to get me 4) and try to leave that chocolate bar in the cupboard be for a few more weeks.

Thank you to those reading and, especially, to those responding for letting me have this post to get my feelings out and bounce ideas off. It is much appreciated


Olives, fish and feta are thick on the ground where you are, you lucky girl. Might be worth experimenting with! :bouquet:


Butter is too expensive for me (lard is tastier anyway) but I have so many other things at least… I am careful with dairy so I use mostly dairy-less egg recipes. I made some myself, it’s easy… I can mix any meat with eggs and fry it… Once I made poached eggs in a tomato-onion-curry thing, that was nice… And the egg stew doesn’t contain dairy either. I even have dairy free ice cream, maybe that’s not for everyone… Cakes easily have lots of eggs and no dairy too…
I put eggs into very nearly everything. It’s great in chocolate too, it’s some kind of chocolate cream… But you don’t like creamy things…

Tricky, I respect you for being determined and try to find a solution - for your own good but not everyone does that when it gets hard.


I am surprised no one mentioned shake or meal replacements yet. I often get into the "bored with all of my options, attitude. Those shakes are kind of a quick fix. I have only had one I hated, several I can tolerate, and one I love. I am a home schooling mom and sometimes just don’t want to worry about prepping food but am always hungry. I realize it is not a solution to your relationship with food but may help you supplement calories.

(KCKO, KCFO) #57

Maybe try strapatsada? Eggs, scrambled in olive oil with chopped tomato and feta cheese? I love that combo.

(Pennie Malone) #58

I would try this minus the cheese. I don’t like most cheese, and the cheese I do like must be very far away from egg

(Pennie Malone) #59

Yay I’ve found a new food that is in the like maybe even love category

Pizza chicken: chicken breast with tomato puree, herbs, 3 slices of salami and grated mozzarella. I’m well and truly stuffed so couldn’t gorge on it but want to have it again ASAP 550 calories in one meal. Quite happy with that

(Pennie Malone) #60

I did make a milkshake that was in the OMAD category last year when on keto that I did like just about. But it had ingredients I can’t get here on Crete that is affordable. I might try and make it with the alternatives I can get and see how many carbs it has when made with normal milk instead of almond milk.