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Hercules and Keto

12 Labours of Hercules screenshot

That was my day yesterday, researching more in-depth on Keto and playing The 12 Labours of Hercules. We started Keto again yesterday, January 2nd, and I found myself wanting to eat just for the sake of … eating … I guess, so I distracted myself by finishing achievements in this super cute little game. I am trying not to buy anymore games until I’ve played more of the ones I already have. I’m assuming I got this game on a sale at some point and wish I’d gotten the others as well. They’re great for distraction and when you don’t want to deal with a super involved ‘break out the notebook so you can keep track of your characters’ kind of game. The graphics are cute, the game play (on some levels) takes a *little* strategy and the achievements come easy. There’s three more games in the series and I WANT THEM ALL! You have to gather resources: food, wood and coin. You need food to keep your energy up for gathering and building. You use the wood to repair bridges and eroded or otherwise destructed bits of pathways so you can finish your tasks. Sometimes you have to free prisoners who, in turn, work for you giving you extra man-power to complete your tasks on time. You also free other Greek mythological peeps who, also, become part of your team. It’s a simple yet, to me, satisfying game to play and it did the trick to keep me out of the fridge!

Since starting this post I’ve had to quiet and play with a crying baby while his mother took a shower, get lunch for 4YO and sit for discussion with one of my kids. This is why I rarely blog anymore … no quiet time to devote to a post.

Anyway, I wanted to talk Keto for a bit. All five of us are doing it but not in the same way. Three of us are doing no more than 20 carbs a day. One is trying to stay under 50 a day and the other is limiting themselves to 100 carbs a day. So! I’m cooking for 20 carbs a day and the other two can do whatever with the rest of their carbs. I’m using a guesstimate on how many proteins I need. I do not know my body fat percentage, nor do I care to if I’m honest (shudder!) so I’m using a min/max based on approximates to determine how much protein I can eat without kicking me out of ketosis (once I’m in it, that’s VERY important). You multiply your weight in pounds by 0.6 to get your minimum and by 1.0 to get your maximum amounts of protein per day. Going under your minimum can cause you to lose muscle and going over your maximum can kick you out of ketosis. I stayed well under (and over!) yesterday so I’m on the right track with both carbs and protein. What worries me is the amount of calories I ate yesterday.

My day end totals yesterday were 1,741 calories, 19.5g (net) carbs and 159.8g protein. If I’d remembered the amount of chili that makes a serving correctly my totals would have been 1,512 calories, 17.25g carbs and 126.8g protein. I wish I hadn’t goofed on the chili because those calories feel high to me. I’ve read calories aren’t the MOST important thing to watch on keto, that following keto properly tends to keep you from overdoing it on calories. But, 1,741? If I want to lose weight, isn’t that a TON? I’m confused and disappointed in myself and, try as I might, couldn’t find a definitive one-way-or-the-other answer on this after at least two hours searching JUST for that answer last night. Frustrating!

Lazy Keto chicken and steamed broccoli

Breakfast was a slice of quiche, lunch was (2 servings) of chili and the above picture was dinner: Lazy Keto Chicken and (overly) steamed broccoli. By the way, I’m not sure if my vision is messing up or if I just took a bad picture. I’m changing some settings in my phone and, hopefully, it’ll help. Anyway, I also had three cups of coffee, each with a tablespoon of heavy cream and two drops of liquid sucralose and, after dinner, made pesto keto crackers and ate three of those. I *really-super-badly* wanted a cheddarwurst last night but that would have added another 200 calories, 2g carbs and 8g protein. UGH. I love eating cheddarwurst at night. I really, really, really do! But, not enough to give up my coffees.


I started this post several hours ago. Should have been posted at least two hours ago. Such is life. I have laundry waiting and need to eat lunch. Have a happy!


Menu Plan Monday: Week of chicken dishes

This week marks our return to “CaveManKeto” in terms of what we’re eating for supper. His recipes are simple and so tasty! I’d backed off of using them as much because they’re also typically heavy on meat and cheese. We love meat and cheese but, after a while we all wondered if it was a good idea to eat as much of it as we had been. I’m going to skip the whole ‘fats is bad’ debate and just say this: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it if you’re following a good keto/Atkins/paleo/what-have-you life style.

I cross checked recipe ideas, recipes and what I already had on hand and found I had most of what I needed  for the following dinners. I expect a bit of tweaking here and there as the week progresses, but, for the most part, our main dishes will follow the plan precisely. Here’s what we’re eating for supper this week.

I will have to make a few adjustments along the way. I do not have the chili garlic sauce the Spicy Chicken calls for but I do have sriracha so I’ll sub for that instead. Oh, and I have lemon juice rather than lime but, in some cases, they are very interchangeable depending on what you need the (acid) juice to do. My family prefers breasts over thighs so I’ll be using chicken breasts in each of these recipes. Can add a little butter to up the fat since breasts aren’t as fatty as thighs.

I’ve made up a batch of grain and sugar-free breakfast bars for the week and roasted a turkey breast over the weekend to cover lunches. Babygirl and Goose will not want the breakfast bars or the turkey so I’m going to make a big bowl of treet meat salad for them today to use of a few pantry items I don’t want anymore, such as pasta.

Hope you had a great weekend! I centered mine around the Super Bowl, making sure I did enough cooking on Saturday so I wouldn’t have to spend ALL day in the kitchen on Sunday. It worked, too, but the Super Bowl, to me, was a huge let down. In hindsight, I almost wish I’d skipped it this year. It was a defensive game that showed just how unprepared the offensive lines were (I’m an O-line lovah!), had a few moments of supreme childishness and, in the end, I’m not sure either team was deserving of the title based on that one game. Bleh. All in all, a let down for me that felt like the perfect ending to an overall fail-week.

Looking up from here, though!

What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?

Menu Plan Monday: Not entirely sure I’m prepared this week

We start this month off by pulling sugar from our diet. Well, almost. Couldn’t find sugar-free peanut butter at the grocers but, other than that, no sugar! It’s going to be hard but I hope if we can stay excited about our food and how we eat it then we’ll want to know more about what’s IN our food and learn to avoid sugar. The family is asking questions, and good ones, such as ‘Can we eat fruit?’ or ‘Is there sugar in sports drinks?’ so I’m taking that as a sign we’re committed to making better choices!

I just hope I’m prepared.

I’d planned on spending a lot of time this past weekend going over my pantry, freezers and meal plan but I was either cleaning or feeling on the crappy side so that didn’t happen. I did make sure to get the needed ingredients for a few fat bomb recipes and they’ve already told me which one they want to try first. I think subbing fat bombs in place of sugar may help them feel less deprived. I hope, anyway.

Here’s the menu plan for this week.

Meatloaf meatballs

Meatloaf meatballs

  • Monday- Broiled cod with roasted beets and greens (still learning how and when to do beets)
  • Tuesday- No-roll fajitas on baby spinach (this didn’t happen last week so was moved to this week)
  • Wednesday- Creamy tomato soup (adapting an old recipe of mine to be as keto-friendly as I can get it)
  • Thursday- Meatloaf meatballs with steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes
  • Friday- Beefy cheesy nachos on greens (instead of with corn chips)
  • Saturday- Spinach and mushroom smothered chicken (family favorite!)
  • Sunday- Chicken roasted over onions, celery, tomatoes and butternut squash

The fat bomb I’m making this week is this gorgeous Peanut butter cinnamon chocolate bomb one that has them drooling. I don’t know when yet as I think I’m going to wait and feel them out and make them when a sweet tasting treat is needed. I’d love to see the family do okay during the week so we can eat our fat bombs on the weekends. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could start to associate ‘treats’ with dinners on the weekend when we have more time to hang around at the table after dinner? We’re a bit rushed during the week most of the time, clearing the table as soon as we’re done rather than sitting and talking for a bit.

Ah, we’ll see.

What’s cooking at your house this week?

Menu Plan Monday: Trying out new recipes

I have five new-to-us recipes on the plan this week and, I must admit, am pretty stinking excited about them! These are mostly from keto-friendly sites and we’re in need a of fresh batch of meals to keep the interest up in eating healthier. I’m still making the chili, buffalo chicken and chicken salad for lunches as well as quiches for breakfast (I alternate between bacon, sausage and now broccoli as well as making them as written to keep them from always being the same) so I want to try extra hard not to always have the same things for supper.

This menu plan will get us through the end of January. I’m hoping these new recipes are exciting for the family to eat not just because I want them to enjoy eating but also because I want them as fired up to start February as I can get them. January was ‘No Junk January’ for us. Junk food was not allowed to be brought into the house. We’re expanding on that next month by pulling sugar from our diet. I talked with everyone and gave them a choice to vote on, removing sugar or flour. They all voted for sugar so we’re going to give this big scary step a go. Wish us luck!

Here’s my menu plan for this week.

Wrapless crockpot chicken fajitas

I made Goose stop eating right as he started for this picture. Ha!

I’m having cataract surgery on Thursday morning. I’m told you walk out there completely fine but if I don’t feel up to cooking something new I’ll swap Saturday’s supper with Thursday’s as it’s a ‘throw it in the crockpot and walk away’ kind of meal.

Suppose I could work a bit on my sides to add something other than greens, broccoli and sweet potato but, honestly, I love them! So far no one has said anything about how often they’re on the table …. though I’ve probably just jinxed myself. Ideas?

Menu Plan Monday: I goofed last week!

I’ll tell you, sometimes, even with the best laid plans, things can go wrong. This is a tale of human error three-fold. We still have a few spaghetti squashes from the garden so I’d planned on us having spaghetti squash casserole for supper on Saturday. I had Goose retrieve one from the basement for me and I washed the outside (we don’t eat the outside but I always give them a good scrub as my knife goes through the outside of the squash into the center of it), cut it in half, scooped the seeds out and then salted each half. I then inverted them onto a foil lined pan and put them in the oven to roast. I never use oil and or water when roasting spaghetti squash because, in my experience, it makes the squash mushy. I can’t stand mushy squash! I lightly salt each half to help draw out the water so it’s a bit firmer in taste and texture.

A bit later I went to grab the ground turkey from my fridge to start the meat sauce when it hit me … I never gave a single thought to needing ricotta cheese, an ingredient that I feel is what marries everything else in this dish together in perfect wedded bliss and makes spaghetti squash casserole amazing. When I made the menu plan I wrote down every ingredient I’d need to cook the plan and then checked them off, one by one, as I built my grocery list. Completely forgot about the ricotta! I decided to ditch the planned dinner as a cooked spaghetti squash will keep in the fridge for a day or two and go with my back-up dinner.

That’s vital, for me, to plan a back-up dinner or two when menu planning. Sometimes things just will not go according to plans, after all, and this was a great example of that! My back-up meal was a treet meat salad. I grabbed a box of gluten-free pasta, jar of pimentos, the treet meat and an onion from my pantry. Then I opened the fridge to get the celery, mayo and Velveeta cheese I’d also need.

The partial loaf of Velveeta I’d had, that I’d counted on using, was gone.

I don’t know who used it or for what but, at that point, it didn’t matter. What’s done is done. Mike offered to shred cheddar to use in its place but when I’ve done that in the past, subbing real cheese for the velvatized fake stuff, it just doesn’t taste right in this pasta salad. I was stumped as I had nothing else ready to cook and, for the third installment of the human error I mentioned earlier, I was starving!

I didn’t eat when I woke Saturday morning. I didn’t eat until around 3pm Saturday which means I’d gone about fourteen hours with no food. That’s super bad for me as my sugar levels go bonkers when I don’t eat every few hours. When I realized I hadn’t eaten I checked my sugar level (201, people!!) and made myself eat even though I wasn’t hungry. That worked to start bringing my sugar level down but it also made me more hungry. Hungry in the way I started craving all sorts of crazy carbs! I know myself well enough to know if I don’t hit one of those cravings square in the face I will continue to eat, snacking on everything in sight, until I’m literally sick of food.

So after a good thirty minute debate we had a late supper of burgers from our only restaurant in town.

I didn’t want to order out but everyone was very hungry, supper, by this time, was way late and everyone else wanted the burgers. This week I’ve double checked ingredients as well has having Mike check them, too, to make sure we don’t find ourselves in a similar situation this coming week.

Here’s the plans for this week:

Monday- Spaghetti squash casserole with a side salad

Tuesday- Chicken roasted over sweet potatoes, celery, onion and tomatoes

Wednesday- Ham steaks and cheesy spinach eggs (grits for Babygirl and myself as we don’t like ham)

Thursday- Crockpot broccoli and cheese soup (keto friendly, uses cream cheese instead of flour to thicken)

Friday- Round steak fajitas over greens (no wraps)

Saturday- Buffalo pulled beef over greens

Sunday- Spinach and mushroom smothered chicken

What’s on your menu plan for the week?