Slow start keto with some concerns



I have been flirting with the idea of a ketogenic diet for a while (as well as waffling and second guessing) and I believe I have decided that I want to go for it. Weight loss is needed and important but it isn’t my primary goal and I favor losing slowly over quickly.

I do have some pretty serious health concerns. I have had high blood pressure since my pregnancy with my first child (he’s about to turn 19) and it seems to just keep getting worse. I take a beta blocker to control the hypertension as well as tachycardia (100Mg Metoprolol ER, some people have issues with this med?). I have been diagnosed with Fatty Liver disease and have had my gallbladder removed. I am not pre-diabetic but my mother is Type 2, so it may just be a matter of time.

The lack of a gallbladder and the way a fatty meal would send me running for the bathroom post-removal is probably what has held me back from keto for so long. My doctor has been pushing a very low-fat diet, of course, as a result. I will have a meeting with him about mid March… we’ll see what he thinks about this then. :sweat_smile:

So far, I have been testing the waters by adding in more fat to see how my system reacts. I have been eating less carbs, but definitely not managing low carb just yet. But at least I am not having painful digestive distress. Today’s big moment was I finally tried the bulletproof coffee with Kerrygold unsalted butter and HWC. Coffee is a necessity at this point and I needed to be sure I could make the transition to a low-carb high fat cuppa before I could commit to keto lifestyle. My ideal coffee has been heavily laced with the ultra sweet liquid creamers you find in the dairy aisle. They give the serving size in Tablespoons, but I add ounces of the stuff and could easily drink a whole pot of coffee like this for over 1000 calories throughout the day. Today I managed only 32 oz of bulletproof style coffee with 2 packets of stevia + erythritol… but I did have to throw in a splash of my old liquid creamer to touch on that deliciousness that I am used to.

I know from past experience with cutting sugar that I will be able to make the adjustment, but it’s going to take a better sweetener. I’m used to drinking what is basically liquid candy and the aftertaste of stevia is just going to spoil that good time.

I won’t be able to rid my house of all carbs since I have family who can’t/won’t participate in this new way of eating. I really enjoy a lot of high fat foods but I still have some concerns about eating things I would usually scoop up with bread or chips or crackers… without that crunchy vehicle. I know cauliflower can stand in for potatoes or rice depending on how it’s prepared, but what do I spread my soft cheeses and nut butters on now? Cucumber slices? Mushrooms? Pepperoni? :exploding_head:

What keto approved sweetener tastes the most like real sugar without bitter/sour aftertaste to help wean off a candy-style coffee habit?

What do you sub in for chips/crackers when snacking?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

I suspect you’re doing the right thing slowly reducing carbs and increasing fat. There are some folks on the forum who also don’t have a gallbladder and hopefully they will have some specific advice for dealing with that. You may want to add “gallbladder” or something similar to your title to get their attention.

As for ‘sweet’, my opinion is that the sooner you lose it the better. Sweet serves no useful purpose and is the gateway to a lot of metabolic damage if you’re not careful. But… if you’re addicted to sweet and don’t/won’t/can’t drop it cold turkey, again easing off slowly over time may work for you. Or not. I think long term agony is less bearable than short term pain. But do what you can. You may discover over time, with appropriate ketone/glucose testing to confirm that some specific artificial sweeteners are OK for you. Or not. Again, many other folks on the forum deal with the same issue.

(Jane) #3

I don’t snack anymore because I am fat adapted so don’t get hungry between meals and it also spikes insulin which is bad for trying to lose weight ir improve your health.

That being said… I use celery, pork rinds or Lavash bread baked into crackers for crunchy dippers. For a sandwich I have a Dash waffle maker and make “chaffles”.

If you need instructions on the Lavash crackers let me know I will post.


I can tell you what I did. It was hedonistic, sweet-toothed and extremely slowly, though. It was my way, no regrets but if you can get away without sweets, do it. It seems it’s not the case.

Sweetener: it’s very individual. I prefer the taste of xylitol but it has net carbs. I used it on low-carb. Erythritol isn’t as good but I got used to it and it works if I don’t use much of it. Both may cause problems for certain people (never for me and my family) and some people hate erythritol as passionately as I hate stevia. Some people like monk fruit, some hate it, I couldn’t try it out yet but I usually hate every very concentrated sweetener. Sucralose works for many in this forum, its healthiness isn’t clear as I’ve read.

Coffee: I gradually lowered the sweetener until I reached zero. I can’t stand bitter things, it took a long time, the least bitter coffee I could find and my coffee is super weak. Lots of HWC would work with a stronger one but in the beginning… Probably not. Try things. Drink less coffee so the amounts are smaller…? People use various things, flavorings, even salt, there are options, maybe something works.
I drink a lot of coffee sometimes. Definitely not calorie-rich ones, I need proper food as calories. Some people likes a big BP coffee in the morning but it’s their energy for several hours. You probably will learn what you can afford or not. In the very beginning it’s usually okay not to worry about eating very much but drinking tons of fat is usually a bad idea…

Chips? Cheese crisps, easy. I put little pieces in a big sylicon mold, some time in the microwave oven and voila. My SO loves them soft, I go for the crunch! I don’t need them, they are just nice (and I need to do something with the leftover, drier cheese parts. as it’s slightly aged gouda, its outer harder part is actually a tad too hard, it won’t melt into a nice round shape but I still like it).
I used to make oily seed wafers too. But I have keto bread too as I need a softer thing if I fancy some butter and Marmite on bread. I can live without that too and usually do but it’s useful to have that recipe. Marmite is the stuff I can’t eat alone, soft cheese isn’t a problem. I ate nearly everything with raw vegetables before (including fried vegetables). Cucumber slices is actually a great idea for soft cheese, close to no carbs and they are good together.

We are all different, hopefully you will find your ideal style way quicker than I did. I liked my old keto but the carbs messed with me. For others, it may be snacking, sweeteners, dairy… Sometimes we change the style of our keto and everything gets WAY easier. I get control if I eat properly, I know when to stop eating, I don’t desire various not ideal things often, I enjoy my food better… Some people go for a stricter version right away, others take it easy, I definitely needed to do it gradually - and sadly, we don’t even know what our final destination is. I like to experiment. Simple keto isn’t enough for everyone of us. Especially not with sweets and snacking.
Don’t focus on treats and sweet coffees too much. If sweet coffee or quitting keto, have it but keep in mind it’s better if you don’t keep these habits forever. Unless if you are sure you want that, I really have no right to judge you, I never gave up anything on keto that I had on low-carb, I think. I just eat/drink them rarely and/or in super tiny amounts as they cause no problems to me that way but I enjoy them. Don’t let anyone tell you what you totally must do. Advices are very useful, of course but you are you, an individual with your unique circumstances.

(Jill F.) #5

I used to love chips and sweet coffee! I drank tons of sugar and Coffee Mate in my coffe it was hard to break.
I started using heavy whipping cream and Splenda and I also buy a sugar free syrup vanilla flavored and mix in it. It is really good!
Another tip to try is MCT powder in coffee. It is creamy like a creamer so good.
For salty and crunchy I switched to pickles or cucumbers or pork rinds.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #6

I was on a renal diet for years and couldn’t consume dairy in any significant quantities. I was addicted to those creamers and like you poured liberally. So what I was drinking was an espresso flavored hot artificial milk shake basically. Every ingredient in that stuff is pretty much poison to your body. It’s a trifecta of vegetable oil, modified corn starch and high fructose corn syrup. The perfect recipe for liquid diabetes! :scream: Just get rid of that and you’ll be doing a lot for your health. Find a substitute to add zing, vanilla extract, cinnamon, whatever you like. Use the artificial sweeteners if they help you stay on track starting out and keep you off real sugar. Try to ween off, it’s doable and I did it. Use the HWC and soon you’ll find it does add a subtle sweetness of it’s own as your taste buds become more sensitive to the natural sugar content in cream and vegetables and even meat. Real sugar dulls our taste buds and when you get away from adding sweet flavors to your food you will begin to have a shift in your taste perception. I find now when I eat something really sweet like I used to it’s unpleasant at first and I would have to keep eating it to get used to that level of sweet, but fortunately I don’t do that. Give you taste buds a chance to change back to the way they’re supposed to be. :cowboy_hat_face:


I have no gallbladder and I enjoy fatty foods and am fat adapted now. What gives me digestive issues is lactose.

You will find tons of things you will love to eat, and that your family will likely enjoy also. Peek at the recipe section here. No bread? Chaffles are so much better. There is a long chaffle thread with recipes too. Use them for sandwiches, to mop up your gravy or whatever you like.

I always say that Keto is not a rule book, it’s a guide. If you start reading here you will see that there are as many different versions here as there are people. Stay under 20 carbs and you are Keto. Lots of ways to shape it so it fits you personally.

I am off my blood pressure meds and good riddance. I had no idea how badly they affected my overall health. My blood pressure is fine now, without meds. My feet were increasingly numb from diabetes - they are thawing out. Blood sugar is perfectly under control.

Your whole body starts to repair on this diet. The first few weeks can be a bit trying, but once you are fat adapted, it’s easy sailing.

Oh, and by the way, I lost 70 pounds.:grinning:


No gallbladder here too.
I also don’t like the taste of stevia. I use erythrit MIXED with a bit of stevia. It tastes fine that way. Erythrit is very mild and the stevia gives it a little boost without that aftertaste we dont like.
If I may say so- change doctors. This doctor will NEVER support your choice to go keto and will always find negatives. I say this as a doctor myself. I have colleagues - like a good friend who is a cardiologist-- who told me “How could I tell my patients to eat eggs and butter?? I could NEVER do that.” There are some old school doctors who will never change their POV. It would help you a lot to change doctors, I think. He will give you more fears to contend with and make this journey harder for you by filling your head with doubts.
I have been on keto for 3 months. I have lost 7-8 kilos and was just for checkup. My blood pressure is 130/80 and my doctor wanted me to quit taking my meds altogether but I was too afraid to go cold turkey yet- so we halved the dosage. Blood glucose is no longer prediabetic. And my blood fats are lower than a year ago.
And as for your fears of loss- all that you might miss? There is a surrogate for everything that is simply modified to be keto. There is keto bread and there are keto desserts. But the thing about this is that your tastes will change, and in maybe 3-4months you wont want to eat what you used to crave. Those cravings will have disappeared.


I am a big snacker, myself. It’s nice to know that some of that craving may fade with keto. But as I am not the cook of the house and not everyone will be embracing keto, I expect I will sometimes need to “snack” my dinner, charcuterie style.

Chaffles, huh? Well, out of all the things I might need/want to buy for going keto, a waffle iron was about the last thing I expected, lol! :laughing: But those do look quite good! Maybe I had better start with some things I already have though, like a muffin pan or a cookie sheet. (Man, even our cookware is carb focused!)

I saw some “Lavash” crackers at the grocery store, but the carb counts were too high. I’d love some tips on making something like that that works for keto. I was surprised that even Nut-thins have as many carbs as they do!


I swear I have never found anything as addictive as this coffee creamer! I started out like a normal person, adding a little sugar and milk to my coffee and I loved it. But ever since falling for those liquid non-dairy creamers, I couldn’t be happy with anything else. Even knowing I was overdoing it was no defense against it. I tried using less even just to save money, but it was a constant battle between wanting to improve things for tomorrow or having hot bliss in a big insulated tumbler right now. This is why I knew that whatever I switched to would have to be just as decadent or it would never work. Fortunately, I love the rich, creamy mouthfeel of the bulletproof coffee enough to work through switching to low-carb sweeteners and then later weaning off them, hopefully.

@Shinita What sort of coffee did you find that helped you switch to black coffee? I don’t particularly like a weak brew, but then I have always put in stuff to dilute the coffee flavor and it has to be fairly stout to be tasted through all that.


My waffle maker isn’t good enough and I usually make a mess and like being simple anyway so I just made cheesy omelets after I have found the chaffles topic here… Cheese on the outside, it’s so good, crunchy, tasty… Waffles are a bit more fun though.


I doubt I can help you as I am a weirdo, I only like instant coffee and only use cheap ones (with my huge coffee addiction, even that costs too much. I don’t mind spending money on good food but a useless drink? I could drink water. It’s not like coffee does much good to me).
Try out different brands, add your things… A little bit of HWC can make a somewhat bitter, boring coffee nice to me…
And I admit I still don’t like black coffee. I am just able to drink it. If it’s super weak and/or not the very bitter kind. If I want to really enjoy it, I usually need something in it.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #13

They are very addictive, you’re absolutely right. I would get it on sale and buy three or four half gallon jugs of my favorite flavor. I made a travel mug/nursing bottle full twice a day, 20 ounces each which was around 1/4 creamer and the rest stovetop espresso. I would drink it over a couple hours to make sure my blood glucose and insulin was always jacked up! :scream::joy::joy::joy::cowboy_hat_face:

(Natasha) #14

Hi and welcome to the forum. Don’t feel that you have to drink bulletproof coffee. You could try a cup with 2, 3 or more tbsp of HWC and some sugar free flavoured coffee syrup. :coffee:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #15

You might like cold brewed coffee. Less bitter and acid comes out of the grounds than with hot brew. I drink a liter of cold brew every morning for breakfast. I have my own ‘keto’ mix I add to give a lot of nutrition. No sweetener other than a very small amount of sucralose in one of the whey powders.

(Jane) #16

You have to be careful and not binge on them, but they are a nice snack with some protein and fat (chx or tuna salad). 1/2 sheet is 6 g net and is a nice portion.

Take a sheet of the Joseph’s Lavash bread out and spray or brush with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle seasoning on one side (ranch dressing mix, garlic salt and cracked pepper, cinnamon and sweetener for sweet ones). Score into cracker squares with a pizza cutter.

Place on parchment paper and bake at 400F for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully as ovens vary a lot. They can go from crispy brown to burnt in a hurry! I flip mine over for another couple of minutes. You want them lightly browned so they crisp up but not too brown.

Remove from oven and let cool. Break along score lines into crackers and store in plastic containers. They keep and stay crisp for quite some time.


I have heard about trying this as well as some odd sounding methods like mixing egg into the grounds as it brews or a yolk into the coffee afterward. I really like coffee hot though and I love the convenience of my auto-drip machine… I know microwaving brewed coffee effects the flavor. Maybe I could use cold brew for a bulletproof frappe. :thinking:

@Janie Oooh, I will look for that. Probably won’t be able to afford often anyway even if I can find them, but it’s nice to know there are options. It feels less… confining.


@Natasha I was intrigued by the idea of bulletproof coffee when I first heard of it. It was a big draw to try Keto, honestly. I have subsisted off some form of liquid breakfast all my life. When I was a kid, it was cereal with lots of milk. This just naturally transitioned to coffee (with sugar and milk) once busy adult life set in and somewhere along the way, I lost the desire to consume solid food in the morning. I have swapped coffee out for tea with honey when I was cutting caffeine and/or dairy and for fruit and yogurt/kefir and/or green smoothies.

Frankly, this is the first way of “healthy” eating I have tried that doesn’t want me to drop coffee like a hot rock and that makes me very happy! :star_struck:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #19

@bluedove I brew my coffee cold, I drink it hot. I don’t use egg. I do use a couple of different whey powders and hydrolyzed collagen, MCT and coconut oils, ghee and whipping cream. I use a blender with a mason jar to mix. Here I am with Bubba:

(Jane) #20

Waaaaay cheaper than a box of crackers! A bag of 4 is less than $3 at Walmart (are you in the US?) and it make a huuuuuge tub of crackers. I had company over and she showed me how to make them and we baked up the 4 sheet that came in a package and the 4 of us munched on them for days. I had chicken salad and pimento cheese to go with them. Yum.