Category Archives: Weight Loss

Friday Night is for Pizza! FATHEAD Pizza

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Friday Night is for Pizza! FATHEAD Pizza

Making stuff makes me happy.  I used to own a scrapbook store and loved creating samples for my store, coming up with new ideas in my own scrapbooks and then eventually learning to make personalized cards and, well, anything paper and sticker related.  I still am pretty crafty, but I love all the machines and things they have come out with to help you with all of the little things.  The Cricut machines are my jam.  I love them and with all of the snow days we have had here in NC, I have had a lot of time to play in the kitchen and in my craft room.

Cooking is like creating to me.  Granted I am usually trying to recreate what someone else has, but it is still interesting and fun.  Then after you have recreated someone elses master piece enough times, you can begin to put your own twist on it.  Pizza for dinner on the weekend has been a long time favorite.  My girls attended the school where I am not the principal.  They both teach at our rival school, but I am very fortunate to work in a school district that is student-centered.  The principal of their school and I are friends and it is nothing to pick up the phone (or shoot a text) to see what she does in this situation or have her get in touch with me about how our school does something else.

I say all of that to say this:  I am a super collaborative person and hope that people always feel comfortable shooting me a text or an email (or even a phone call) to ask me about this or that, including cooking some of these items.  I will help in any way that I can.  Just know that I am NEW NEW NEW to this, so I will only be able to share with you the struggles I have had.  As you read my blog, you will see that I have a lot of struggles!  LOL.  Anyway, tonight we eat PIZZA!

I have to laugh a the name of this pizza because it seems so funny that we are struggling with our weight and trying to get healthy, but we call this Fathead Pizza.  I somehow picture in my mind two little kindergarten students angry with each other and the worst they can think to call each other is “Fathead.”  In reality, todays kindergarteners know much worse words that Fathead.  I guess it is just my memories of yesteryear.

Anyway, we are used to having a night out after various sports with our girls where we all go to the local pizza place and the whole team and all of the parents eat together in true southern fashion.  Now that my children are grown, my husband and I still love pizza.  I would dare say it might be one of my most favorite foods.

Kristie’s Fathead Pizza Dough is on page 129 of her book, or you can watch her video here.  The dough is relatively easy if you have ever made boxed kinds of pizza dough.  If you aren’t familiar with this, I highly recommend putting the dough on parchment paper and then placing another piece over the dough before rolling it out.  This is just a quick and not-so-messy way to get the dough flattened out the way you want it.

Because I have tried Keto a bit before, I have made other Fathead Pizza Dough recipes.  I can honestly say that Kristie’s recipe with the oat fiber and italian seasoning steps it up a bit in texture and flavor!  I seriously considered just covering it in garlic and butter and eating it as garlic bread (hmmmm…..that is a thought for another meal).

**Be mindful that it can be very sticky when you are kneading the dough.  You will “need” to do this in order to mix it well.  Don’t hesitate to oil your hands using whatever oil you prefer.  Some recipes call for olive oil, but just slathered up with coconut oil since it is so good for your skin anyway.

I used a Pampered Chef baking stone and the parchment paper to cook the dough until it began to brown.  Because I like a crispy crust, I took it out of the oven after the 10-12 minutes and flipped the dough off the parchment paper directly onto the baking stone to cook the other side.  It took a little less time, but I stood in the kitchen to watch it.

I used a no added sugar tomato paste with a little oregano mixed in to add a depth a flavor.  About 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to a 1/4 teaspoon of oregano.  I then diluted it with water to get the consistency a little thinner so I could spread all over the dough.  A little mozzarella and some pepperoni = time to chow down!  I have been thinking that bacon would be good on it, as well.  I used to love bacon pizza!  Or even a taco type pizza like you get at some of the more popular pizza places.  Oh!  The possibilities are endless!

For this yummy recipe, I say, “Kudos Kristie!!!”

Today’s Meals:

Breakfast:  Bulletproof Coffee

Lunch:  Some left over sausage gravy and a belle’s biscuit (I couldn’t eat it all, so I am no sure how much of it I actually had….I’d say around half)

Dinner:  A slice of this yummy pizza….the rest will be left overs for tomorrow (or my grandson will most likely eat it before I ever get to it tomorrow).

Until Next time,

Keto on, my friends!

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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy: It’s what’s for dinner.

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Biscuits and Sausage Gravy:  It’s what’s for dinner.

Did I mention I like to cook?  I am not, by any means, a great cook, but I do love it.  I grew up in the south on good country cooking.  I guess that is why a lot of Kristie’s recipes appeal to me because they are things I like, not some kind of fancy dish that I would only make for company.  You can tell that she cooked for her family and the dishes that she makes are real.

I am a real person, too.  I mean that in the sense that I am just me.  I like to do a variety of things.  I am a country girl who wears cowboy boots and blue jeans every chance I get.  My day job is a middle school principal.  Most people don’t realize it, but I am a loner, shy, actually, but I love people and love to be around them when they are real, too. I love my day job.  I thrive on chaos and there is definitely chaos with 700 middle schoolers each day.  Cooking relaxes me and it also is my way of showing others that I love them.

I am telling you, tonights dinner was amazing.  We have always loved having breakfast for dinner and I am about tapped out on eggs and bacon or sausage.  I needed something more decadent and soulful.  This is it!!  Biscuits and Sausage Gravy.

In Kristie’s cookbook the biscuits are called Belle’s Biscuits.  She has a pretty amazing story to go along with the name of the biscuits.  I will let you research and read that story for yourself (Or you can watch her video on these biscuits here). These really are a game changer in the Keto Lifestyle!  Aren’t they beautiful?   Since there are only two of us, I made half the recipe and they were so delicious!  They are on page 126 of her book, A Journey Worth Taking (2017), or you will find the recipe under the comments, usually, of her video.
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Here is what they look like before going in the oven.  When Kristie says in her video to “make sure the tops look the way you want them,” that is the truth.  They didn’t change much from the way they look here:

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The Savory Sausage Gravy is on page 28 of her book or you can find the recipe here with the video.  I like watching the videos because it helps me see the products she uses.  I don’t have access to all of the products she uses, but I have been ordering what I can from Amazon.com.  Oat fiber, for instance….that is a life changer when it comes to baking keto!!!

I used hot sausage for my recipe.  As it was cooking and once the spices were added, the recipe smelled so familiar.  It reminded me of a recipe my daughter made at Christmas where she had sausage and cream cheese inside of a croissant.  I was so hoping that this recipe would taste like that, and it did!  The biscuits are light and fluffy and the sausage gravy, being made with cream cheese and heavy cream was exactly what she entitled it:  savory.

I think the main question most people would have is if you taste the instant coffee in the recipe.  I am here to tell you:  NOT at all.  You smell it when you first put it in, but it just adds a depth of flavor and some color.  Otherwise the gravy is very white.  This picture shows the gravy just after I have added it all in.  It totally thickens up as it cooks a bit.

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I can’t wait for my husband to get home from Praise Team practice to hear what he thinks of this recipe.  I hate he didn’t get it fresh out of the oven/off the stove.  I am anxious to see how this is as left-overs tomorrow.

My meals for today:

Coffee with heavy whipping cream – 2 cups, one piece of sausage

Lunch – not hungry, but had some hot tea just to relax.  Sweetened with Stevia

Dinner:  This amazing dinner:  Biscuits and Sausage Gravy!!!

Snack:  One piece of Kristie’s Perfect Pound Cake (see previous post)

Until next time,

Keto On!

A New Year

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Funny how time gets away with you.  As you know, I did a 30 day Keto challenge before Thanksgiving.  I guess you could say this was a trial run to see how hard it would be to change my way of thinking about food, sugar and carbs.  I tested a few recipes and failed at quite a few.  I did, however, shed a few pounds and really liked some of the foods.

I have mentioned it before how I have always struggled with my weight.  I was never the body beautiful girl but more of the curvy (although not fat) girl in junior high and high school.  I can remember being the first one to get boobs in my class.  That was fun.  Not. And of course, they didn’t “come in” gradually.  It was like, HELLO, HERE I AM, the day we started 5th grade.  I guess they grew a lot during summer, but I didn’t notice. I was too busy climbing trees, riding motorcycles with my brother, and getting lost in the woods exploring!  Fast forward to years and years (and years) later:  Its is a constant struggle.  So…

The day after Christmas, my husband and I decided to go for it. We (or at least I) am doing this as a permanent way of life thing, which means changing my way of thinking, finding recipes that I can cook for my family for Sunday dinner, and sticking to it…..forever.  Do I think I will splurge?  I am human, so that is a possibility, but I am not wanting to or planning to.  I cannot tell you how much better I feel and it helps that I have lost 11 pounds since Christmas day.

This new year I have decided to take Dr. Kristie H. Sullivan’s books, A Journey Worth Taking, (2017), which is a collection of some of her favorite recipes, and try them.  I have had her book for a while and have perused it several times.  For some reason I have turned to the internet for recipes, though.  Not sure why, but probably because taking a cookbook into the kitchen (a novel idea, huh?) means it could get messed up.  Printing off the internet means I can toss the paper in the trash.  I also just recently found out that she lives in a town just 20-30 minutes from the small town that I live in.  We travel to her town all of the time if we want to do anything:  shop, eat, go to the movies.  We have very little of that in my hometown.

I have really just decided to try these recipes this week which means I am not that far behind in posting which ones turned out well and which ones did not.  So, Tuesday night, I made the Pizza Casserole on page 58 of her book.  It was quite easy.  I did think it would rise a bit more, but I don’t know why I thought that.  It is cheeses and meats with a little baking powder.  I used the exact measurements for spices, but I think I might like a little less Italian Seasoning.  For me it made it taste more like a quiche than a pizza, but that is just me.

Hint:  I can tell you that you might want to go ahead and invest in a digital food scale.  They aren’t that expensive and they make life in the kitchen so much easier.

Last night, I decided to try the Perfect Pound Cake recipe on page 137.  Since I was able to have left-over Pizza Casserole for dinner, I thought I would use that time saved in the kitchen for a sweet treat.  Let me tell you, I was impressed.  I probably goofed it up and could have made the pound cake a bit prettier, but it said in one section to whisk all dry ingredients together.  Then on another line it said to cream the butter and sweetener together, first.  Ooops….note to self:  Read the entire recipe and directions once through before attempting to follow it.  Lesson learned.  It still turned out beautiful and absolutely yummy.  If I hadn’t already cut it into slices, I would share a picture with you.  I will certainly take one the next time I make it, since I KNOW there will be a next time.

I want to tell you one of the biggest things I have found doing Keto that will hail as the most important tip that I could give:  Drink plenty of fluids!!!  I have totally noticed on the days I don’t drink what I need to I stall in weight loss.  Getting those fluids in will help with so many things:  flushing the body of the toxins, keeping you hydrated, and help with digestion and elimination.  So, in the words of Nike:  “Just Do It.”

I am not comfortable sharing my weight or pictures of me, because I am embarrassed.  I do want you to know that yesterday I ate the following items and lost 2 pounds:

4 pieces of bacon, a serving of pizza casserole for lunch, a serving of pizza casserole for dinner, two servings of pound cake, two cups of coffee with heavy cream, and two cups of hot tea, plus plenty of water.  I was not hungry at all.

I have been reading more about intermittent fasting and noticed that now there is a recent study out about those people who eat a normal diet but only eat between the hours of 8am and 2pm.  This study has shown some weight loss.  To me that is basically the same thing as intermittent fasting, except I am so busy between the hours of 8 and 2 that I don’t have time to eat.  I will have to change my hours from 2pm to 8pm, which may defeat the purpose to some degree because the study says that it take around 4-5 hours for food to digest and what has been helping folks lose weight is that they are burning up stored fat at night by going to bed with that empty stomach.  I guess I could do 2-7pm, since I don’t really go to bed before 11 or 12 each night, anyway.

Until next time….

Keto On, My Friends!

 

 

Keto: Day 1

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Well, I have survived today.  I am nearing the end of day one of eating Keto.  I feel pretty good and am surprised at how hard it is to get in the fat you should get in.  I am also surprised at how hard it is for me to drink water (or anything for that matter!).  I actually can’t believe that I made it through our Sunday Family Dinner and ate Keto the whole time.  I didn’t cheat at all.  Yay, me!

My menu today consisted of the following:

Breakfast:

I slept a little later than an average day but I am not usually a breakfast eater, anyway.  I had two cups of coffee with Stevia and heavy whipping cream.  I would like to tell you I measured the cream, but I didn’t.  I like my coffee to look more like hot chocolate, so there’s that.

Lunch:

I had some tuna fish packed in water, drained it and added two tablespoons of Dukes Mayonnaise and a little pickle relish (about 1/2 tsp).  I ate a few celery sticks with some ranch dressing, too.

Dinner:

YUM!  I made Keto Asian Stir Fry from the DietDoctor.com.  You can get the recipe here.  I followed it as close as I could, making enough for left-overs so I would have some to take to work, and so, hopefully, I won’t have to cook for a day or so.

I can tell you that in making this recipe, I used a cast iron dutch oven instead of a frying pan.  It housed the mounds of cabbage much easier than it spilling over the sides of a frying pan.  I still made a mess, mind you, but not quite the mess that I would have made!  I had trouble finding Wasabi in my area, too.  I did get some but I don’t think it was what I should have used, so I may have blown it since I did notice there was some sugar in the mix.  I sure hope not because the wasabi mayonnaise takes this recipe over the top.  I bet it will taste even better tomorrow!

Snacks:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs.   You can click on the name for the recipe.  They are pretty awesome and I had four today, but for me and the tray that I use, the recipe makes 18.   I love these!  They help with that craving for something sweet.

Water.  Water.  Water.   I sure hope I got enough in today.

Calories today:  1605   Carbs:  18g      Fat: 131g     Protein: 82g

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Personal stuff:

Ugh, I measured my waist today.  That made me want to cry!!!  It is hard for me to believe I am the size I am now.  It is harder for me to think that, at my heaviest, I weighed 40 more pounds than I do now.  I just don’t even know how this happened.  I am not lazy, by any means.  Never have been.  It seems like yesterday I was young and raising children.  I have to admit that eating the way I did today has left me feeling huge.  I hope I didn’t make mistakes.  I don’t know what they would have been, but I am learning.

This weekend, I was able to have my grandson (age 6) with me all weekend.  He is so much fun, loaded with personality.  We went for a bike ride.  He wants desperately to learn to ride his bike without training wheels.  Unfortunately, his bike is a little small for him, so he has trouble balancing more than usual.  I guess I know what we need to make sure he gets for Christmas.  🙂

Christmas!  Is it time to be thinking about the holidays, already?  As a middle school principal, life seems to speed by.  I can’t believe I have blinked and it is almost November.  October is always a hard month for educators.  It seems long and there is nothing but, what seems like, a month of full moons and a holiday full of sugar that now gets celebrated in multiple ways throughout the month.

November brings a sigh of relief for most educators as we look forward to the breaks that come with the holidays that stack up, one behind the other, over the next several weeks.  It is not that we don’t love our kiddos and our jobs, but just like the students, we need a brain break and a moment for ourselves, beyond a weekend, to restore our joy, enthusiasm, and that momentum that will catapult us through the dreary winter months.

Keto, Anyone?

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Still. Struggling. Here.

I lost about 20 pounds for my daughters wedding last year.  Although I haven’t gained it all back, I have gained most of it and, well, it isn’t pretty.

I have seriously decided that I can lose the same 5-10 pounds every week or so, but just put them back on with one or two meals on the weekend.  Family meals on Sunday are a killer for me, as my will power, after cooking all afternoon, is usually shot.  At 51 years old, I am not the athlete I once was.  I need to move more, get out more, and just do a whole lot more than I do.  Having recently broken my foot, I have also found that I don’t heal like I used to AND the stress of being on my feet for a few hours, makes the, once broken, foot swell and hurt.  How about you?  Any of you out there doing any better than I am?

I am hearing the buzz of Ketogenic (Keto) diets or low carb diets and am truly intrigued.  I have been studying it for quite some time now and have actually played around with a few recipes.  I love several FaceBook pages and websites that spell things out simply.  Basically, you need to eat a high fat, medium protein, and low carb diet.  When they say low carb, they mean LOW CARB:  20 grams of carbs per day or less.  High fat means HIGH FAT:  75% of your macros should be from FAT.  Can you say, “HELLO BACON!”?

I am truly a bit skeptical, but there seems to be a lot of success stories out there.   Me, being a bit leary of anything you read on FaceBook, and having noticed that many of those successful story writers don’t ever seem to answer a comment/question:  I tell myself that someone has stolen photos from some other diet page and posted them with a sappy story of how someone has lost a hundred plus pounds while eating fat, fat, fat.  In reality, again I tell myself, that it’s just fake; that this is the food industry getting Americans to eat unhealthy in an effort to control population (my brain goes to very dark place when it comes to dieting).

Keto believers don’t call it dieting.  They are religious about saying it is a way of life (WOL) or way of eating (WOE).  In fact, they have all kinds of acronyms that you have to be versed in to follow most of their posts on FaceBook.  They are a pretty friendly group, welcoming folks in, showing you all the places you can go to get help with understanding the lingo, recipes, and more.  If it weren’t for them and their encouraging spirit, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I am about to do….right out here…..in front of everyone in this cyber universe.

Keto gets a bad rap from a lot of people.  There are memes out there about eating an apple and gaining 3 pounds because of the carbs in an apple (I tell you, I have been reading and playing around with this for months).  Obviously, thinking about giving up carbs, a staple of the American diet, is, for lack of a better word, horrifying.  But Keto-goers brag on all the bacon and butter they get to eat.  They have come up with versions of “bread” that uses Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, or other ingredients to concoct something bread like.  They cook something called Crack Slaw (Amazing, by the way!), Fat Head Pizza, and drink coffee with real cream or something called Bullet Proof Coffee that has butter and coconut oil in it, blended and frothy (YUM!).  They claim that once your body is in ketosis and you are “fat adapted,” your appetite is suppressed and you can begin intermittent fasting with somewhat ease.  Some people don’t do the fasting, but it apparently helps the weight to fall off.

Reading all of this over the past few months, and trying some of the recipes to make sure I like them (like someone wouldn’t love butter, bacon, sausage, eggs, real mayo, cream, etc!!!), I have thought that this might be something I could try.  I think I have tried everything else out there.  I know that there is something called Keto Flu that I am going to have to just push through, but bullion cubes and pickle juice are said to be just the thing to help with that (apparently you become salt deficient, and these things help with that).

I can tell you that I need to lose 65 pounds to be at my dream weight (yep, I put it right out there for everyone to read – no shame).  In reality, there is tons of shame and I would probably be happy with about 50 pounds, simply because I don’t need to have that same body from high school or college.  I have been through a lot, my body has battle scars and memory maps (my new term) that tell where I have been and what it took to get through some of those places.  For me, I would like to look and feel better.  I would like to be able to be more active with my kids and grandchildren.  I would like to lose some of the inflammation and bloating that seems to be so natural for me these day.

So, here is what I am going to do:  For 30 days (Oct 22 to Nov 21), I am going to give it my best shot.  I will share recipes, ups, downs, feelings, struggles, you name it:  the good, the bad, the ugly.  I will try to be faithful in writing every day….about something related to this WOL.  I will share the loss or gain in weight.  I will commit to getting my water in daily (I hear that’s a thing and I suck at it).  AND…after I am sure I am over the Keto Flu, I will add in some walking on a regular basis (mainly because of this app that pays me 0.95 per 11,000 outdoor steps that I take).  I will share favored apps and tools.  I will share anything I think is helpful for anyone wanting to try this WOE.

Wish me luck.

A Simple Fish Dinner

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I know that I should eat more fish.   I don’t care for fish.  I can’t stand fish that actually has that fishy taste.  When I have to eat fish, I prefer it to be double battered, dipped in every kind of sauce there is…….that way I can pretend it is something other than fish.  Over the years, I have tried all kinds of ways to make fish at home, besides the way I can eat it….anything to make it bearable.   This recipe will walk you through an super easy way to fry fish.   I usually buy Swai in big bags at Walmart.  Some people like Tilapia, as well.  I can eat either, but Swai is my preference.

For the crust, I used 4 of these:

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Placing it all in the food processor to create my own “italian bread crumbs.”

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After adding a bit of salt and pepper to the bread crumbs, I coated the fish and placed them into a frying pan on medium heat.  I had previously GENEROUSLY sprayed it with Pam Cooking Spray.

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The first photo above is when I first placed the fish in the pan.  Second photo is once it was flipped.  Notice the nice browning that occurred.  I did have to spray Pam in the pan several times during the cooking process.

The Dill Side Sauce was simply two ingredients:

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It ended up looking like this:

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and was absolutely YUMMY with the fish (I know, I was trying to steer clear of using Greek Yogurt, but after researching it all day, I decided I might add it to my grocery list).

Drinking lots of water today and even walked/jogged 3.14 miles.

On a side note, my daughter, who attends UNC – Chapel Hill, got stuck in traffic due to this terrible winter storm we were experiencing.  She went to the grocery store that is 5 minutes from her apartment, but while in there it started to snow.  She grabbed four things and headed home…….6.5 hours later, she abandoned her car at the entrance of her neighborhood and trekked through the snow and sleet with her bag of goodies to safety.  I am very thankful to all my FaceBook Prayer Warriors who prayed during that time.  Now to rescue her car.  :/