My Keto Story: Weight Loss, Results, and a Surprise

Confession: I took a hiatus from my work, this blog, and my Keto lifestyle since July last year. The reason, I’ll divulge by the end of this entry. But for now, I really want to “end” my Keto journey by sharing my story and results.

At the start of 2018, I wrote down my goals for the year and one of them was to lose weight and regain what was once my energetic self. I’ve never been thin my entire life, but I knew I was already overweight. Once upon a time, I was athletic, spontaneous, and adventurous. Now I just felt sluggish all the time and I knew it was about my weight.

Feb. 4, 2018: I’ve been avoiding the scale for some time, and imagine my surprise when I found out that I weighed 158 pounds!!! I was definitely at my heaviest, and I wanted to do something about it. I’m happy we now live in a world where people are starting to love their bodies in whatever shape or form or weight they come. Let me be clear that even though I knew I was overweight (158lbs at 5’4″), I still didn’t feel any hatred towards myself or my body. I just really missed my energetic self. And let’s be honest–I also missed wearing well-fitting clothes.

A few days before, my friends and I were discussing the Ketogenic diet and so I decided to do more research. What got me sold, aside from the many testimonials I’ve seen, was that it seemed easy enough to do. Just eliminate sugar and carbs, and you’ll see results right away, right?

Wrong. After a week of the Keto diet, I realized that it’s a very scientific and precise lifestyle and it took me a lot of discipline to power through. I’ve always believed that sugar, not fats, is the real enemy so I was more than willing to cut back. But boy, did I miss my carbs! I must admit that I’ve had cheat days in between, but I’m proud to say that I stayed on track for six months.

Weight Loss + Results

From 158 lbs, my goal was to go back to my wedding weight of 135 lbs. That’s a total of 23 pounds. I did not set a deadline, just that I knew I had to reach it before the year ended. By the time I stopped the diet in July, I was down to 140 pounds–just 5 pounds short of my goal.

Aside from the weight loss, I also found that my clothes fit better and I was registering on photos better. This is a very superficial thing, I know, but hey–I’m just being honest. Who doesn’t want to look better? I also tested my blood sugar, cholesterol, and uric acid levels and they were normal all throughout I was on Keto.

Taken in November 2017, my heaviest at 158lbs. I had to “thinnify” myself before I posted this picture on social media. Guilty.
Down to 140lbs by May, 2018. No filter, no “thinnifying.”
I lost more than 2 inches off my waist.

 

Pretty soon, I would be back at doing sports–hitting the beach, surfing, and maybe even take up hiking. I didn’t get to do all those, though. Because by the end of July, I abruptly ended my Keto diet.

Continue reading “My Keto Story: Weight Loss, Results, and a Surprise”

Superstar Virgo Cruise: Why I Took a Keto Break

Confession: I took a [very] long break from my Keto diet. Last month, my family and I sailed to Japan and Taiwan from Manila via Superstar Virgo. I knew that the cruise would have amazing (read: FREE!) food, so I decided that I would take a break during the six-day trip.

May 19, 2018: Aboard the Superstar Virgo cruise

I actually broke my diet two days before the cruise. I told myself that my body needed time to adjust to all the food I’ll be eating on the ship. But really, here’s another confession: I MISS CARBS AND SUGAR LIKE CRAZY!!! And boy, did I eat!

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Baked Turmeric Chicken

I’m sure you have one of those days when you’re so lazy and hungry at the same time? When laziness and hunger strike, I go for a dish that’s super easy to make–with an even easier clean-up. This is one of those dishes.

This savory dish is light, fresh, and vibrant. Whenever I eat this, I imagine myself strolling down a spice market in some beautiful foreign place. Turmeric, of course, is commonly used in curry dishes. It’s one of the most nutritious spices out there. For a full list of its miraculous health benefits, click here. Aside from its nutritional value, though, I love this spice because its color is just so pretty!

Try making this recipe for your next lunch or dinner. Serve it to guests, and have a mini Asian party! If you’re not on Keto, this dish is best served with rice. As for me, I’d settle for salad on the side, or probably cauliflower rice (if I’m not that lazy).

Baked Turmeric Chicken

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A fragrant and light recipe perfect for a savory lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • cilantro, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all the spices together.
  3. Season chicken thighs with more salt and pepper.
  4. Rub the spices on the chicken, and let it marinate while you’re waiting for your oven to get warm.
  5. Drizzle coconut oil on to your chicken, and then bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, turn the chicken pieces, and bake for another 20 minutes.
  7. It’ll come out dripping in oil (good stuff!), which I like to put in a separate bowl. Garnish with cilantro and serve. Enjoy!

Super Easy Keto Breakfast: Baked Avocado With Bacon & Egg

Whether you’re on Keto or not, you will surely love this simple breakfast dish. It’s so easy to do, too! Just cut the avocado in half, put all the other ingredients, and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Frankly, I don’t understand how millennials nowadays love avocados so much. I used to hate them when I was young! I only ate them in shake form or when paired with lots and lots of condensed milk. Now that I am old(er) though, I’ve become one of this fruit’s biggest fans.

And being on Keto, I only have few kinds of fruits to include in my diet. Avocado is one of them, and it’s definitely on top of the list! Aside from its nutritional benefits, here’s why this super fruit is perfect for the Keto lifestyle: Per 68 grams of avocado (about one-half of the fruit), there’s only 0.5 grams of sugar and a little more than 1 gram of carbs!!!

I know this dish has been done countless of times before, and you’ll probably find a bunch of recipes on the net. No matter, I’ll still add my take here. 😉

Baked Avocado W/Bacon & Egg

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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This dish is super easy to whip up every morning--a perfect way to start a busy day!

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • parsley, for garnishing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Cut the avocado in half, and take out the seed.
  3. If the hole is too shallow, you can scoop some out of the meat. Season each half with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Put one egg into each hole. I tend to take out most of the white part. Season with more salt & pepper to your liking.
  5. Add the grated mozzarella cheese.
  6. Top with bacon bits. Some prefer their bacon to be crunchy so they fry them first. But I like mine a bit chewy so I put them in raw.
  7. Place the avocado halves on a muffin tray to keep them in place while baking. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Casserole With Shrimps & Spinach

Cauliflower, for me, is the most versatile ingredient for Keto recipes. You can make rice, pizza dough, and even desserts using this low-carb veggie hero. A cup of cauliflower florets contains only 2.9 grams of carbs, as opposed to 26 grams (gasp!) per cup of diced potatoes.

The easiest and simplest way to incorporate cauliflower in a Keto meal is by grinding and frying it to make cauliflower rice. I’ve done this so many times. I even keep ready-to-fry cauliflower rice in the freezer for when laziness strikes, which is very often! But today, I decided to slave a bit in the kitchen and make a cheesy casserole, just ‘coz I’ve been craving for Bizu’s baked rice.

Cauliflower Rice Casserole

I used three kinds of cheese here–parmesan, mozzarella, and gruyere–but you can skip the fancy ones and just stick to mozzarella (or any quick-melt cheese). The result is a gooey and creamy dish that’s a complete meal on its own. And did I say low-carb?

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Keto-Friendly Mushroom Aglio Oglio Pasta

It’s been exactly three months since I started my Keto journey. Quite frankly, I never thought I’d be a believer. But back in February, I decided to read up about it. That was after I weighed myself and was appalled by what the scale told me–but I’ll save my weight loss story for another post.

Aside from the pounds lost, what made me stick to the diet is the fun I’ve been having in the kitchen. The Keto diet allows me to experiment and find lighter alternatives to my usually sweet and carb-heavy cravings. I’m not really a rice person, but I do enjoy other forms of carbs! Especially pasta!

I’ve been missing really good pasta since I started this whole Keto journey, so imagine how happy I was when I saw shirataki noodles being sold at Healthy Options. Keto + Pasta? Yes, we can!

Shirataki Pasta, miracle noodles
Shirataki Pasta, P185.00 per pack at Healthy Options

Shirataki noodles, or “miracle noodles” as most people call them, are really that–miraculous. They look and taste (almost) like regular pasta but without the guilt! They’re made from the konjac plant, which can be found mostly in China and Japan. Shirataki noodles contain virtually zero calories and zero carbs (only 3g per serving), so they’re perfect for the Keto diet!

I assume they’re really meant to be used as an alternative for Asian dishes such as ramen or even Pad Thai, but since I was craving for a really good pasta dish I decided to make an oil-based, Italian style spaghetti.

There’s a trick to preparing these miracle noodles, though. When you open the packet, you’ll notice the funky smell right away (think stinky tofu). You definitely don’t want that smell in your pasta dish, so you have to rinse the noodles thoroughly in running water. And then you’ll have to fully drain them otherwise, they’ll be soggy and clumpy and you also don’t want that. I’ll detail the preparation process below, but don’t fret–once you get the hang of it you’ll find that it’s even easier than boiling real spaghetti noodles!

I used portabello mushrooms for this dish because I just love their earthy, smoky flavor. Was considering to make it a cream-based pasta, but I figured olive oil would make this dish taste lighter and fresher. Added some garlic, fresh basil, and crunchy bacon bits and ooooh, craving satisfied!

Continue reading “Keto-Friendly Mushroom Aglio Oglio Pasta”