I began my weight loss journey a couple of years ago. I’m an elementary school teacher and at time time I worked on the second floor of my school. Daily out of breath only half way up, and needing to pull myself the rest of the way. I would grab a Diet Pepsi, my poor attempt at trying to lose weight, and collapse at my desk as I caught my breath. The school was planning a field trip from South Carolina to Washington, D.C. and I volunteered as a teacher chaperon. I bought new shoes to start walking and began a low calorie diet. Yes, I did lose weight, but never managed to keep it off. I did, however; keep up with the group while in D.C. even out paced some of the other adults (of course they were twice my age or better.)
Looking at those pictures, I realized I was taking up too much room in the photographs! People were getting squished out of the pictures because of me. I knew I had to make more of a lifestyle change if I was to become healthy.
In June of 2014 I discovered the low carbohydrate/ketogenic diet. Finally, a plan and lifestyle change that showed results! After staying on the “meat and cheese” diet as I called it, I knew their had to be more of a variety of recipes that could help me maintain my lifestyle change. Seriously, there’s only so many salads a girl can take!
Ruled.me quickly became a site that would show up as I searched for new recipes to cut the carbs. After trying several of the recipes available on the website, I purchased the set of cookbooks available. From reading everything Craig provided about macros, I was able to drop even more weight. Everything about a ketogenic diet was clearly explained and I loved how it was broken down so that I was able to understand the importance of balancing my fats, proteins and carbs. I’m so appreciative of all of the time, energy and efforts Craig has put into each recipe he has tested before placing it into his cookbooks. They are all winning recipes to me, but my favorite right now is the Pumpkin Pancakes! The directions are clear and give short explanations about how some of the key steps should look as I cook.
Since June of 2014, starting a ketogenic diet and quickly finding ruled.me, I have lost more than 75 pounds! My family and coworkers are supportive and offer encouraging words. Many have asked for my recipes that I bring to lunch! As I start planning my 5th end of year school trip, again going to Washington, DC, I’m reminded of how far I have come. Thanks to Craig for creating an easy to navigate website and fabulous weekly menu plans in the cookbooks. By making changes one meal at a time, I’m still continuing on my journey.
What is your favorite recipe from Ruled.me?
My favorite recipe from Ruled.Me is the Blueberry Banana Bread Smoothie. Most of the ingredients are what I consider keto kitchen basics such as flax seed, chia seed, unsweetened coconut milk, MCT oil and liquid stevia. It’s easy to make and I can throw all of the ingredients in my blender for a quick breakfast on the go. Since it makes two servings and tends to thicken, I’ll put the other half in two small bowls for a blueberry dessert in the afternoons.
What is your favorite ingredient to use when making ketogenic recipes?
My favorite ingredient to use when making ketogenic recipes is an egg. I know it may sound silly, but eggs are so versatile and can be used for much more than just breakfast. I use them as:
- snacks as deviled eggs
- sliced boiled eggs on a salad
- egg drop soup
- faux bread
- faux noodles
What is/was your motivation to keep on track?
My initial motivation was just to lose weight and become healthier. More than seeing a change on the scale, was a notable difference in how I felt. I wanted to breathe easier, and to actually workout (walk/run) without stopping after five or ten minutes. As extra motivation, I formed a group of friends and coworkers to run in a 5k Color Vibe close to our hometown. This created a goal more tangible for me to work towards.
Did you ever encounter a stall? If so, how did you get over it?
I’ve encountered stalls many times over that past year. I found that even if the scale wasn’t changing, my body was! There might have been a stall in my weight but my shirts or pants would fit looser. If I felt that I was really “stuck”, I would increase my fat intake and decrease my carbs even more for just a few days (no more than a week) to break the stall. Sometimes it was just a matter of finding a particular ingredient that my body didn’t process well. For me, I know my body can’t handle processed items that are sugar free (Atkin’s bars, sugar free jell-o, and some sugar alcohols). If I start to stall, these are one of the first things I cut and eat in moderation.
How did you hear about keto, and why did you start?
I first heard about keto through a coworker who was cutting back on carbs. I did a bit of research and read the books Grain Brain and Wheat Belly. Both are great reads to get more information about how our bodies process wheat, gluten and carbohydrates. Keto Clarity also offered some good information.
In what aspects have your life changed since going keto?
The biggest aspect of my life that has changed since going into keto is my confidence. I’m proud of my hard work and the lifestyle changes that I have made. This is not just a diet and I take the time to properly plan and prepare my meals and snacks.
What piece of advice would you offer to people that are just starting out on keto?
The biggest piece of advice I would offer to people just starting out on keto is no cheating! On diet programs you can splurge and “borrow” points from one meal to another or save calories until the weekend. That just can’t happen if you want your body to stay well into ketosis. Make sure you are tracking or staying aware of every carb you eat and learn where your net carb count is to lose weight or maintain your current weight.
What did you personally do in your first 2 weeks of keto? (i.e. Drink broth, go for a walk, throw food out, etc.)
For my first two weeks I wanted to really get into ketosis. I knew I had to see some dramatic results in the beginning and have that positive motivation and encouragement on the scale. I made sure I took before pictures and started a picture motivation wall as extra encouragement. I also hung up a pair of my smaller pants that I wanted to be able to fit back into at my bedroom door so I would see them as I started my day. On hand at my desk, I would keep Knorr chicken broth cubes and fill my thermos up with hot water from the Keurig. This was a life saver! I also had raw almonds, macadamia nuts and snack olives in one of my desk drawers at work. Being prepared for a snack or craving the first two weeks is a must. I cleaned out my cabinets and fridge to make it more keto friendly and stocked up on chia seeds, flax seeds, xanthum gum, coconut flour, almond flour, and for the refrigerator almond milk, and tons of cauliflower and spices.