One Pancake to Rule Them All

Keto Girl Pancakes

 

Hello fellow ketoers, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Most of this has been for lack of inspiration, but through some recent cooking experiences, I think the blogger’s block is gone.

And to kick off a new set of recipes, I thought I’d share with you my recent favorite recipe, The Best Keto  Pancakes in the world.

Pancakes have always been a favorite of mine. When I was little, my nana would make them for me from a box in a pan with a ton of grease to the point when they were “crispy around the edges”. My mom would refused to make them that way, thinking that the fat in the grease would clog my 3 year old arteries. Of course, mom was a product of the low fat high carb craze of the time, and somehow miraculously stayed thin through that crazy time.

As a teenager, I learned the dangers of high carb diets, so despite my love for them, I generally stayed away from them. However, three or four times a year, I’d whip up a batch and devour them with a smile on my face. Pancakes are definitely a favorite “comfort” food of mine.

As a ketoer the last few months, I have been very intrigued by various recipes and have tried a lot of “low-carb” versions of famous high carb foods. I tried the cream cheese pancakes, made primarily of cream cheese and egg. I found them to taste very… ummm…. cream cheesey and eggy…. for lack of better words. I literally felt like I was eating cream cheese eggs. Not a fan. And then I tried mostly almond flour based ones. And they tasted very gritty and grainy. Much more like a “health food” than a “comfort food”.  And then I’ve SEEN recipes for other pancakes with 50 low carb ingredients that I’ve never heard of and would not be able to buy at my local grocery store. Sorry, but I am a human, and if I crave pancakes, I can’t wait for my amazon order of low-carb foods to arrive in 2 weeks… I want pancakes NOW.

And so, after several attempts, I have found my absolute new favorite recipe for pancakes. And I’m going to make a bold statement: I like them better than high carb pancakes!

No crazy ingredients. These pancakes call for things that almost every ketoer probably already has.

Basic Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of almond flour or meal
  • 1 brick of cream cheese

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You can make these pancakes with just these ingredients. However, I add a little more to them to make them tastier.

Full ingredient list:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1 brick cream cheese
  • 1 TBS vanilla (in the picture it looks like vodka, don’t get too excited. That’s homemade vanilla extract!)
  • 2 TBS Sugar Free Caramel Syrup
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

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Directions:

  1. Measure out all the ingredients and blend them together. I used a magic bullet (it didn’t quite fit, but I mixed it up in two batches). You could use a hand blender or a food processor. A blender might be more difficult because a a lot of the ingredients are solid or semi-solids and may not mix well.

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2. Put a BUNCH of butter in a big skillet or griddle, and turn the burner on a medium heat.

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3. Once the butter has melted, put the pancake mix in. I make each pancake about 3-4 Tablespoons, about the size of the head of my spatula. These pancakes stay together pretty well, but still break occasionally, especially if they aren’t ready to be flipped yet. The pancakes aren’t ready to be flipped for 3-5 minutes. Once they bubble up, like regular pancakes, you can flip them. This is one of the reasons I prefer this recipe over the cream cheese and egg only mix, because it was impossible to tell if the pancakes were ready to be flipped or not.

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Above, is what the batter looks like when you first put it in the pan. Below, you can see what the flipping process looks like. The ones on the left were just flipped, and the ones on the right are ready to be flipped.

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5. Top with your favorite toppings. I like making my own whipped cream and then adding a couple of Tablespoons of low/no carb syrup.

 

Carb facts for this batch are below. In the picture, there are 5 pancakes. The batch makes about 30. So the myfitnesspal information is for 1/6 of a batch.

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Keep Calm, Keto On, and Enjoy!!! 🙂

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Tips for Starting Keto and Bonus Update

It’s about the time of year when people start re-evaluating their New Year’s Resolutions. We start to ask ourselves questions like, “Do I really need to give up smoking, I’ve already been doing it for 20 years, the damage is done, right?” “Is it realistic to put  50% of my income toward debt so I can be out of debt by the end of the year?” and “Can I really make it to the gym that early and workout for that long? And in the end, is losing a pound per week worth it?”

For most people, New Year’s resolutions means you start something on January 1st or maybe the 2nd, and you stick with it for the entire year. According to the United State’s government, three of the top thirteen resolutions made in the United States are directly related to eating healthier, losing weight, or getting fit. And According to the New York Times, “Losing weight and getting fit” and “eating a healthier diet” are two of the top ten most broken New Years resolutions.

So, if you made a resolution to get healthier, lose weight, eat better, go to the gym more, etc, you are not alone.

You are also not alone if you feel like giving up! Only twenty percent of people that begin a new diet plan are keeping that plan at the three month mark!

A lot of people have already been telling me that keeping their New Year’s resolution in difficult. I thought I’d explain some of these best reasons to at least try Keto for 30 days.

  • Fat keeps you full. If you aren’t eating fat, you’re eating either carbs or protien. Protein will keep you full better than carbs, but not as much as fat. Also, too much protein will be converted into carbohydrates in your body, so if you eat excess protein, it’s almost as bad as eating carbs.
  • On the other hand, Carbs make you hungry. It’s not just that fat will keep you full, it’s that carbs add to your hunger. Check out our trusty sugar addiction chart below. Keep in mind that all carbohydrates are just strands of sugar that once they enter your body, are broken down into simple strands of sugar, not much different than a dum-dum sucker of slice of pecan pie. The more carbs you eat, the more you’ll want to eat. So, if you are on a low-fat, high carb diet like the American Heart Association recommends, you’re going to be hungry all the time.
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  • “Low Fat” foods replace fat with sugar to add flavor. Do I need to say more?
  • Insulin spikes leads to food storage. When you eat carbohydrates and your body has enough energy for the time being, your body will store the carbohydrates as fat. Boy doesn’t that make a banana split sound awful?
  • Weight loss is quick. Studies have shown that women that lost weight quickly, were more likely to stick to their diets than women who did not.

So now you might be a little more interested in keto verses the American standard diet of a low fat, high carb diet. Here are some steps to get you started out.

  1. Read as much about Keto as you can. I could reiterate a lot of information that has already been written, but it’s just not necessary.  Here are a couple of links to some very helpful resources: Keto in a Nutshell and r/keto’s FAQ page. 
  2. Calculate your “Macros”. This is just a fancy word for the numbers you want to get as close to possible each day. For most people, you will want to have about 5% or less of your diet coming from carbs, 30ish% coming from protien, and 65ish% coming from fat. This calculator is amazing. It takes into consideration your age, height, weight, gender, body fat percentage, activity level, and how much you want to lose. 🙂
  3. Keep track of what you eat. Find a way to keep track of what you are eating. All day. Everyday. Count everything, because everything counts! My Fitness Pal has an online site that can help with this, as well as an App. The best part is, it’s free.
  4. Connect with people doing keto. Thankfully for introverts, you can do this on your laptop. http://www.reddit.com/r/keto is an excellent site for support and help for those that are excited about doing keto. You will not be a stranger there.
  5. Remember to drink lots of water. A gallon of water a day is not too much on this diet.
  6. The Keto Flu will come. The first week, as your body adjusts to not using carbs and begins to use ketones, you will probably start to feel crappy. It’s normal and expected. It lasts 1-3 days at most

Most importantly, don’t give up. This diet will make you feel more energized. You will likely sleep better at night. Eating healthy has more benefits than just looking good.

As Promised: a Bonus Update:

4 months into Keto and I’ve gone from wearing tight Xtra-Large clothing to comfortably wearing mediums!!!

My body fat percentage has gone down 12%

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For comparison:

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No wonder I feel better about myself!

Finding Real Comfort in Food

Up until just a few months ago, for most of my life, food has been my security blanket. Whenever I had a rough day, an interaction that left me feeling insecure, or my depression began to enclose on me again, I knew exactly how french fries and a cheeseburger would make me feel. I knew they wouldn’t reject me, they’d make me feel the same way they always did, and I could enjoy them for about ten minutes. Ten minutes of comfort. Ten minutes of easing the pain of being tormented by depression and insecurity. Ten minutes of feeling “happy”.

For a brief moment, I felt good.

But all of those brief moments of good tasting mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, and pizza left me feeling empty inside. When my plate was clean and the dishes were done, I was still insecure. I was still depressed. I was still ashamed of my body.

And each time I ate a curly fry dipped in Arby’s sauce, I gained a little more on my waist, and lost a little more confidence in who I was.

Why couldn’t I control my weight? Why couldn’t I have controlled what I had ate three months ago, so I look different today? Why was the person in the mirror so much different than who I thought I was?

To be fair, I didn’t eat fast food or carbs all of the time. I did not seek comfort in every single meal. Primarily, I ate pretty good. I ate a standard “food pyramid” American diet with the occasional fast food.  But I did eat impulsively sometimes. And sometimes I’d stretch those ten minutes of feeling good into twenty minutes by getting a second helping of a meal. Part of this was biological; when we eat a few carbs, our body starts wanting more, so we eat more. The other part of this was psychological. We feel good when we eat carbs, so we want more.

So, week after week, I lost the food battle. The weeks turned into months, and the months turned into years. And after I had lost enough battles, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of defeat. That feeling of defeat controlled me. It became a part of who I was. Most of the time, I hung my head down in shame. I avoided pictures with my family. I avoided mirrors. I avoided people, because I didn’t want them to see me like this.And the extra weight that stuck to my body stood as a testament to my lack of self-control and my battles lost.

And so the cycle would continue. I’d eat to numb that pain. I’d eat to feel in control. As if I were telling myself, This isn’t something that is happening to you, it’s something we are choosing. It’s ok to be a little “thick”. I’d eat for that ten minutes of feeling “happy” again.

Then, I started Keto. For those of you that are already ketoers, you probably know the feeling of eating just for the sake of getting your body some nutrients. Eating keto usually means eating a lot of the same foods over and over. After about two months of keto, your body starts to stop craving carbs all the time. I thank God that I had the discipline to keep it together for those two months, to get those cravings out of my body!

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I’d been winning the battle, though. While at multiple Christmas dinners this year, I realized my plate was not as full as it was in previous Christmases. I did not make excessive trips back to the food to fill my plate again. I did not feel overly stuffed or uncomfortable with the foods I ate.

In fact, over Thanksgiving, I lost a pound. And over Christmas, I maintained my weight.

That is what real comfort food, my friends.

Food that makes you feel comfortable in your own body. Food that helps you exude confidence, rather than defeat.

Food that’s “good feeling” lasts longer than the ten minutes you are tasting it, you have that good feeling every time you look in a mirror. Food that gives you fuel to be the person that you know you are. Food that doesn’t make you feel guilty or fuel your depression.

Real comfort food isn’t about what makes you feel good for a fleeting ten minutes. Comfort food is about fueling your body so you can be confident in who you are.

And this is why I won’t go back to the other lifestyle. Its about more than what is on my plate. I don’t want to go back to hanging my head in shame. I want to continue to be happy with who I am. I want the food I eat to reflect who I want to become.

I broke the cycle. I’ve won the battle. It’s about keeping it that way now.

One Week Of Keto: Monday

This is what a normal Monday looks like for me

5: 00 AM — Up for Work. Drink 32oz of water.

Work from 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM and then drink another 32 oz of water.

Work out at the Gym from 9:30-11:00. This was my routine today:

  • 30 minutes elliptical “cardio setting” 300 calories burned.
  • 30 minutes running at a 2.0 incline. 2.33 miles done 225 calories burned.
  • 100 crunches
  • 3 sets of 30 of the following: bicep curls, tricep curls, and push ups

All this… without food. Oh, and drink another 32oz water.

11:00-12:00 rest, water, food

  • Today I ate some toffee fat bombs at about 11:00
  • At about 11:45 I ate my lunch. Mashed Cauliflower with bacon. Ham, pepper jack, and mayo roll up. A side of Hot Chocolate.Image
  • Then I make dinner. Today it’s just 1/2 cucumber and 2 fat bombs. I’ll probably dip the cucumbers into some ranch.Image

I finish my day at work. I eat my dinner at about 5:00, then I stop eating until the next day. I keep pounding down the water to stay hydrated.

English Toffee Fat Bombs

I’m pretty sure that Fat Bombs were named by a male because the name does not sound nearly as appealing as the treat itself is. I think if I invented the fat bomb, I’d probably name it “PMS Lifesaver” or “Chocolaty Drops of Heaven” or “There’s No Way I can Eat these and Lose Weight Candies”.

These delicious treats keep me full for hours with providing me with my coconut oil needs for the day. They also help get my fat intake up, which is essential to the keto diet. If you have concerns about me eating too much fat and my body absorbing all the fat, don’t worry. Remember, on Keto, my body runs on fat, not glucose. In fact, studies, like this one completed last month in the UK, have shown that even saturated fats aren’t bad for you. Remember, fat doesn’t just go straight from our mouth to our stomach to our hips and gut. It’s broken down and used by the body, just like other nutrients. If there is excess, then yes, the body will store it. However, your body won’t store the fat if it is used as energy.

Ok… Enough already!

This is the recipe for English Toffee Fat Bombs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbs Davinci Gourmet Sugar Free English Toffee Syrup

The suryp comes in a bottle like this:Image

Directions:

  1. Put all of your ingredients in a pot on the stovetop on a medium/low heat. Image
  2. Stir until everything melts together and is smooth.Image
  3. Pour them into a mold of some kind. I used a mini muffin pan, but I hear some people use silicone pans. Pop those suckers in the freezer for a few hours.Image
  4. After a few hours, they’ll be good to go. Pop them out and try not to eat them all! They store well in the freezer.Image

Nutritional Information:

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Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes…. Errr… Cauliflower

My second favorite food is potatoes. I like them cut and fried. I like them smashed and covered in butter, cheese, bacon and garlic. I’ll take em baked or broiled. I’ll eat them in a salad or with a burger. I’ve even eaten them raw. I like white ones, red ones, and purple ones. I don’t care if their from Idaho or Ireland or Frito Lay; if they are that starchy goodness, I’ll take them anyway you make ’em.

Giving up potatoes has always been difficult for me. In the past, cheating on low carb diets usually meant eating at least one helping of potatoes. I’ve actually thought in the first part of this round of Keto, “I’m probably going to have to occasionally cheat on my diet because I can’t live without potatoes.”

Then I stumbled upon a recipe for Mashed Cauliflower.

I know what you must be thinking. “There is no way on earth you can make cauliflower taste like a potato. It’s impossible.” I thought the same thing when I heard about some Ketoers eating it.

But believe me, as a self-professed potato addict, this recipe for mashed cauliflower is so convincing that I call them mashed potatoes. When I’m told my husband what I was making for dinner, I said, “Mashed potatoes,” and neither of us batted an eye. I just don’t refer to it as mashed cauliflower. Part of that probably is because it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but the other, much larger part of it, is that they taste incredibly similar to mashed potatoes that I forget what it is I’m actually eating.

So without any further ado,

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes Cauliflower

Ingredients:

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These are the ingredients. Except I forgot the butter! You need a stick of butter!

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 stick of butter (and you must say it like Paula Deen as you pull it out of the fridge)(Just Kiddding… but I imagine myself saying it like her!)
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese
  • 5 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (I started shredding my own from a block because of the additional additives in shredded cheese)
  • 3 Tbs of fresh baby dill, or 1 Tbs of dried dill
  • Any other toppings you want on your potatoes (I add crumbled bacon to mine)

Directions:

  1. Chop your Cauliflower into smallish pieces, put it in a pot of water, and let that sucker boil for a good 30-40 minutes until it is super soft.Image
  2. Drain the Cauliflower. Put it back in the pot (now without water since you drained it) and put the cream cheese, Parmesan, and butter on top of the cauliflower. Mash those suckers up with some sort of mashing device. You could also use a hand mixer, but don’t put the mixer in a non-stick pan unless you want bits of Teflon in your potatoes. Just transfer it over to a mixing bowl before using a hand mixer.Image
  3. Once those are mixed up, add the shredded cheese, garlic and heavy cream. Keep on mixing! Image
  4. Finally, add the dill. Mix the potatoes up really well and cook them on low for 5-10 minutes so all the flavors blend in.
  5. Serve it up, however you like it. I threw some bacon crumbles on top.Image

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. This has been a lifesaver on Keto. I’m so glad I don’t have the urge to quit Keto for a day to gorge myself on unhealthy starches. Eating a few portions of this every few weeks actually keeps my potato cravings in check.

The Nutrition facts (without garnishes) are as follows:

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New Lowest Weight (in this decade)

I’m not sure when the last time I was 152 was. When I started a low carb diet in high school I was at 155. I lost 20 pounds then, maybe a little more. Then my freshman year I stopped working out and started eating more pizza and before you knew it I was at 155 again. For most of the last 5 years, other than one year where I was “content” in the 170 range, I’ve lived at around 155-165. So when I stalled in that 155-158 range for the last month, I was disappointed.

This week I buckled down. Not that I wasn’t committed before, but I think I may have gotten a little too lax with artificial sweeteners. I made some FAT BOMBS  which are primarily coconut oil and natural peanut butter. (Side note: Coconut oil is excellent for you! Studies have shown that people that incorporate coconut oil in their diet lose more fat than people that ate similarly but without coconut oil in their diet.)

Apparently, my hard work paid off. I woke up at 152.0! My body fat percent went down a little, too. This means I’ve lost 21 pounds on the scale!!! I’ve lost 26 pounds of fat and put on 5 pounds of muscle). My plateau in the mid 150’s is over. Before I know it, I will be swimming in the 140’s and wearing my favorite size 8 Levi jeans.

This is a picture of how much FAT I’ve lost!

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