I am now entering week 8 of my keto experiment, and unfortunately, I still can’t say that it’s working all that good for me. For the first time in my life, I am seriously considering giving up on a challenge that I’d set for myself.
Initially, I thought I would give this keto thing at least 12 weeks, but for the for the time being, I am less than convinced that I will tough it that long.
For some reason, it would seem that I’m really not responding well to the keto diet: I’m hungry all the time, feel super tired, have very little energy (barely enough to make it through my workouts) and my brain gets pretty foggy, too.
As if this wasn’t enough, I feel I’ve been gaining weight in the past few weeks. At least, that’s what the scale and caliper have been telling me.
When I first started, I kept my daily calorie intake at around 1950 calories per day and I tried to stick as closely as possible to the following macros: 25g net carbs, 90g protein and 165g fat. Then I started working out again, so I upped that to 2200 calories per day, 30g net carbs, 110g protein and 180g fat.
I have to admit that I’m finding it terribly hard to stick with it. Having to plan ahead and write down absolutely everything that passes my lips is painstakingly long and it kills all my inspiration and creativity. I sometimes feel like I’ve already forgotten how to eat instinctively. Before I make any decision that’s food related, I need to crunch in the numbers, first. -“Can I afford to add this cute, fresh, crisp and mouth-watering mini seedless cucumber to my breakfast plate? Hmmm, not sure… Lemme check first… Nope! Sorry, no can’t do! Having that cucumber would set me over my carb allowance for that day. But hey, you can have an extra teaspoon of mayo, instead!”
And I go like FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWK! (oh yeah, cuz I get hangry, too!)
Coming up with proper dishes ain’t even fun anymore. I always have to calculate macros first… “Hmmmm… carrots would go great in this, but no way, can’t add that… carrots are way too high in carbs. Let’s leave the carrots out. And forget about those tomatoes, too. Oh, and better use only half that broccoli, you know. Adding the whole bunch might throw the carb count a little over the permissible amount…”
It’s veggies, for crying out loud. Veggies are supposed to be good for you. They are the one thing everyone *supposedly* agrees on in saying that they are a healthy addition to anyone’s diet.
In short, I feel this keto diet is way too restrictive and leaves out WAY too many AWESOME and WHOLESOME ingredients.
If I could eat nothing but eggs and mayo and leafy greens all the time, I would be fine. But that would kill me. I love food, you see? I love to cook, I love to create, I love to mix flavors and textures. So far, no changes in my diet has ever killed my creativity in the kitchen. Until Keto, that is. No grains? No refined sugar? No processed foods? No *gulp* dairy? No problem! But practically no veggies? Now THAT doesn’t sit well with me.
I’m this close from breaking up with Keto. *This* close.
I’d rather have a little bit of extra fat on me and be satisfied with and by the food I eat than suffer day in day out in an attempt to force my body into letting go of those few extra pounds it just obstinately clings to.
That said, not all keto food is bad…
I still manage to come up with a decent dish, once in a while. This Creamy Cauliflower and Ground Beef Skillet would be one of them… BUT, it’s the kind of dish that is very calorie dense, so you don’t get to put too much on your plate. You’ll probably want to serve that with a mountain of spinach, so your brain feels like it’s been given plenty of food.
Alright, enough jabbering on my part. Let’s start the cooking shall we? Just one more thing, though: please, forgive the lighting for these photos. It was getting fairly dark in my kitchen when I made this dish but I still wanted to log the recipe, so I had to put it together real quick and do my best to take decent pictures…
Good thing I did: it was entirely worth it. So let’s make this!
Melt some ghee in a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) set over medium-high heat. When the fat is nice and hot, add onion, garlic and jalapeño peppers and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2-3 minutes.
Add ground beef, salt and pepper and continue cooking until the beef turns completely brown.
Lower the heat to medium-low and throw in the grated cauliflower; stir well and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until that cauliflower is slightly softened.
While your cauli and meat are cooking, add the mayo, water, sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, fish sauce and cumin to a large measuring cup and whisk until well combined.
Pour that right over the ground beef and cauliflower mixture and stir until well incorporated. Continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Oh, and try not to spill some all over the place like I did…
Remove from heat, spread the meat mixture nice and evenly and make 4 shallow dimples on top.
Now you don’t want those pits to be too deep, because if they are, your yolks will sink to the bottom and will one, not show up at the surface at all when cooked, and two, probably end up cooking way too much.
Crack one egg in each of the dimples…
… and then sprinkle with salt and pepper and sliced jalapeño peppers.
Set your oven to broil and place the skillet right under the broiler for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
While your skillet is basking under the heat of the broiler, mix 2 tablespoons of mayo with the apple cider vinegar.
Drizzle that all over the skillet as soon as it comes out of the oven, then garnish with diced avocado and fresh chopped parsley.
Poke the yolks if you want to (the skillet will look a lot prettier if you do) and serve immediately with a mountain of leafy greens.
Extra spoonful of mayo optional!
- 2 tsbp ghee (or make your own)
- ½ small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 jalapeño peppers, sliced
- 454g (1lb) lean ground beef
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 small head cauliflower (454g | 1lb), grated
- ½ cup paleo mayo
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup toasted sunflower seed butter
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 4 large eggs
- 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
- ½ ripe avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp paleo mayo
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Melt ghee in a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) set over medium-high heat. When the fat is nice and hot, add onion, garlic and jalapeño pepper and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground beef, salt and pepper and continue cooking until the beef is completely brown. Lower the heat to medium-low and throw in the grated cauliflower; stir well and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. (You can use a box grater or the grater disc of your food processor to grate the cauliflower.)
- Meanwhile, add the mayo, water, sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, fish sauce and cumin to a large measuring cup and whisk until well combined.
- Pour that over the ground beef and cauliflower mixture and stir until well incorporated. Continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat, spread the meat mixture nice and evenly and make 4 shallow dimples on top. Crack one egg in each of the dimples then sprinkle with salt and pepper and sliced jalapeño peppers.
- Set your oven to broil and place the skillet right under the broiler for about 8-10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
- In the meantime, mix 2 tablespoons of mayo with the apple cider vinegar.
- Drizzle all over the skillet as soon as it comes out of the oven, then garnish with diced avocado and fresh chopped parsley.
- Poke the yolks and serve immediately.