Okay, really quick update--I'm so, so sorry for not keeping to my promise of blog posts twice a week! Truly, I am. The last week and a half has been impossible. Between my personal life and then catching the flu (the real flu, not the keto flu), I've been pretty much out-of-order lately, and for that, I'm so sorry! That said, I had half of a post written for last week before things got out of hand. I've edited it to be more current, but here it is.
Remember when I said I was craving cinnamon rolls and that on my cheat day (which was going to be last Saturday initially) I was planning on eating that and a giant pretzel? Well, as per my usual self, I did a lot of research on cheat days and the ketogenic diet. Most people said not to do cheat days, and all of them have good reasons. The most common one was that once you begin cheating, it's hard to stop. Soon you're allowing yourself more and more slip-ups, and before you know it, you're back where you started and the weight you've lost comes back. Maybe not all of it, but enough to where you feel like a failure.
Well, I cheated a smidge. I had four chocolate cookies (small ones) and a few potato chips. The next day, I felt mildly bloated and I gained back four pounds, but figured if I worked out and stuck to the diet, it would come off again. Fast-forward a week and none of that weight had come off. It was incredibly frustrating, and so I basically said, "Ef this," and had three cheat days in a row. And then I caught the flu and life went to hell in a hand basket. Well, this morning (first morning without the flu), I weighed myself, and I'd not only lost the four pounds I gained back, but another one and a half on top of it. Yay! I'm not saying that all of that will stay off, but I am going to try my best to adhere to my diet and keep chugging forward now what I'm feeling better. I've also decided my body simply has trouble digesting white flour carbs, so I'll be staying far, far away from those from now on.
Kidneys require carbohydrates to function, but what most people don't know about keto (before doing their own research, anyway) is that many of the food items you eat on keto have carbs, and when you eat high-fiber food with carbs, the fiber and carbs "cancel" each other out. Your body is still getting those carbs, which means your kidneys use them to function properly, but you're not burning them the way you would refined carbohydrates, like bread or pasta. The more research I did on carbs and cheat days, the more I decided I wouldn't do true cheat days, but I would give myself keto-friendly days off.
Two Saturdays ago, I decided to make these keto cinnamon rolls. I made them a bit bigger than the author of the recipe, mostly because my husband is a tall man (6'4") and requires bigger meals. I also adjusted the recipe a little and doubled it. Most of my adjustments revolved around adding more butter, because everything was too dry and didn't feel like it would bake properly. I guess we'll see. My husband's doing keto with me, which I think is fantastic. He doesn't need to lose weight, mind you--he's a bean pole! But he's doing it because he wants to support me and be healthier overall. It's an adventure I'm glad we get to share together. He does do cheat days, but for me, I don't miss bread enough to do them again.
I honestly thought the cravings for bread--specifically bread--would be driving me crazy by now, especially after my three cheat days in a row. I think maybe the flu might have something to do with that lack of cravings, but who knows. We'll see what happens. What I do want is variety. I'm so, so, so sick of eggs and bacon. Those are words I never thought I'd say, but dang it, I want something different for breakfast. Which is why I did some more research and found these muffin recipes. I plan on making a giant batch of the lemon blueberry ones tomorrow that will last us the whole week, plus a few extra cinnamon rolls for the days we need an extra kickstart. (Update: I made the muffins, and BOY, do I need how to bake with coconut flour, because they turned out way too dry and tasted horrid.)
As I learn more about the keto diet and how to work around refined carbs, I'm finding that breads and potatoes and the like are things I don't truly miss all that much. I want to live a healthier lifestyle, and as I progress on the keto diet, I plan to adjust a few things here and there so that I feel comfortable with the lifestyle as a perminant change. Now, I know I have a lot of research to do still. Many resources say keto isn't a good lifestyle change; what I aim to do is lower the number of carbs that I take in (but raise it above keto levels), lower the number of fats to be more realistic, and raise the amount of protein, vegetables, and fruits. This will take time, and I feel like the keto diet is giving me a chance to scrub the slate clean and start over fresh. It's amazing that I don't yearn for carbs. Seriously, it is. Every once in a while, I think about bread rolls fresh from the oven with melted butter on them, but then I move on. I don't really miss that sort of food.
This is something that I actually have to adjust a lot sooner than expected. It turns out I'm allergic to yogurt (the low-carb stuff especially) and am starting to have major problems with dairy products overall. I don't want to lose my ability to have a splash of heavy cream with my tea, or cheese on a hamburger, so I'm going to talk with my husband tonight, and we're going to adjust the diet again. Unfortunately, this is pretty common for me. I eat something for a long enough period of time (typically a week or two), and I become allergic to it. My face either goes numb (as is the case with almonds and other nuts) or my entire jaw and mouth start itching (yogurt and many fruits). This makes it seriously difficult to eat healthy, especially on diets that require you restrict your intake to a few types of foods.
So, I'll be dropping keto and focusing on taking in few carbs (such as breads) and instead going with a balance of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. I'll add dairy again in a week, once my body isn't so angry at it. I'll probably do 10% fruits, 40% veggies, and 50% lean meats or eggs. Less bacon now, which is okay with me, and more healthy foods. Not sure how this will work, but at least I'll stop having allergic reactions for a little while. I sort of wonder if the flu I had was one massive allergic reaction to yogurt and heavy whipping cream, but I have no way of knowing until I try dairy products again next week. I'm not all that eager to find out right now, anyway. One thing I won't be adding back in is diet soda.
Speaking of diet soda, I used to drink a ton of it. I was addicted to Diet Pepsi. Even when I started keto, I missed it a lot. I don't at all anymore. One, I stopped drinking it and went full-on keto mode for the first two weeks. Other than sweet potato fries, no cheating. Two, I found a replacement. I liked the texture of Diet Pepsi (and the taste was okay), so I did some research and found the Kroger brand flavored seltzer water. Make sure you get the canned ones and read the ingredient list. The bottled flavor seltzer water has artificial sweeteners in it, which I'm trying to stay away from. I oopsed and bought a few of those thinking they had the same makeup as the canned ones (which are made of carbonated water and natural flavors, but have no sweeteners), but they had so much more junk in them! After drinking the seltzer water for a while, the sweetened ones tasted terrible. My husband finally finished the last of them last night, which was awesome. Read the ingredients always before buying anything. Count your carbs and fibers, and calculate your net carbs, and then look at the sugars and read the ingredients for artificial sweeteners. Even though I won't be doing full-on keto anymore, I will be bearing all of this in mind and will be adhering pretty strongly to those changes.
My last keto thought for today: The best way to stay keto on cheat days is to stick with keto-friendly foods, but allow yourself a little more of them. Have a bigger steak. Have more lobster or crab. Enjoy a giant salad with extra grilled chicken. Make keto-friendly sticky buns or cinnamon rolls. Do things outside of your comfort zone. If you have a craving, chances are, the keto diet has a recipe for that specific food. It may not taste exactly the same, but it will help with the cravings and help you feel like you're being sneaky even if you aren't.
I can't help you if you like gummy bears or gummy fruits, though. Man, there is nothing quite like a solid gummy orange.
Now the fun stuff--books! Books, books, books! If you follow my Facebook page or my Twitter, then you know I had two short stories released this week! That's pretty exciting in itself, because both of these shorts took me a long time to get just right. If you'd like to read more about them, just click the pictures! The links will take you to my publisher's Website and the page for each short story.
This short story takes place during The Soulbound Curse and is meant as an enhancement to that epic fantasy story. I highly recommend reading The Soulbound Curse before picking up a copy of Soulbound Origins: The Crow Prince, because there's a good chance you won't know what's going on and what the significance of Nicholas's actions are overall. Just a thought! You're of course still welcome to read it as you like. :)
The second short story that came out this week is Frendyl Krune Origins: The Sandstone Script. This short story will be FREE starting tomorrow, and does fine without reading Frendyl Krune and the Blood of the Sun or the other Frendyl Krune books first. I think it's pretty enjoyable, and I did both of the illustrations for it! Yay!
Of course, next month, Frendyl Krune and the Stone Princess comes out, which will be very exciting, as it's the third book in the Frendyl Krune series, and a great deal happens in it!
Now, I said I would update my work for all to see, and here you are. I've been fairly lax on the writing end due to the flu and other personal things, but am back in the swing as of today!
Frendyl Krune and the Stone Princess: 72,595 - COMPLETE Frendyl Krune and the Nightmare in the North: 5,183 - haven't worked on lately; bad Kira! Frendyl Krune Origins: Their Pretty Bones: 487 - Did some planning, but otherwise, haven't worked on; bad Kira! The Soulless King: 229,087 - Increased by nearly 15,000 words during editing Paper Sun: An Ekra Clan Short Story: 10,072 - Currently with my editor Princess Yorsyl's Rise: Book One: The Glass Heart: 6,212 - haven't worked on; bad Kira!
The other projects sit where they've been for the last week or so. They haven't been touched, simply because I have other priorities right now. I plan to change that within the coming week.
Legends: Mirijyl: 5,223 Legends: Vilboyen: 2,956 The Rise of the Four Kings: 11,053 The Vow of the Four Kings: 24,429
Thank you, all, and thank you for your patience while I got over my illness and started writing again. I'll be back on Tuesday! Take care, and have an awesome week!