Well, I’m on day five of my trek into ketosis and I’m feeling just fine. By midday, I’ve consumed one large egg, 1oz. cheddar cheese, some bacon, broccoli cole slaw minus the sauce, steamed broccoli and a can of tuna mixed with extra virgin olive oil, dill weed and lemon juice. My levels for fat, protein and carbohydrates are at 72.1%, 23.2% and 4.6%, respectively. My mood is fairly chipper–I was singing with my cats before I hopped into the shower just a while ago–and my hunger levels are at a mild-to-moderate level. I luckily haven’t experienced any strong cravings for any sort of bread, pasta or sweet treat, even with my roommate’s chocolate chip cookies hanging out in the open downstairs, and the bucket (yes, bucket) of cheese puffs sitting beneath my desk (trust me, those were purchased long before I decided to go keto).
I haven’t yet entered that much-feared “keto flu” stage yet, nor have my energy levels seemed to drop. I don’t know for sure if I’ve entered full ketosis, and I’m considering buying KetoStix from the pharmacy to keep track of where I am. I question my status because the first few days were not completely strict in terms of what I ate and how I tracked my carbs (darn you, classmates, for bringing in tasty lasagna and mini blackberry pies!). If anything, I’ve been following a strict keto regimen for only 36 hours, and I might not be able to expect a full turnaround for a little while longer.
In my search for low-carb and carb-free foods that are at least marginally similar to the carby foods I used to enjoy, I’ve stumbled across two low-carb options that got me super excited, for one of which I’m going to provide a recipe. First on the list? Shirataki Noodles. These little delights are extremely low-carb and contain water-soluble fiber, and although they have little taste on their own, they’re an excellent substitution for noodles in asian dishes (or any other dish, for that matter!). They’re made from a type of yam called konjac, although some varieties are tofu-based. Shop around and stock up, it may help curb your psychological addiction to carbs!
Next on the list are flax meal crackers. Flax seed is one of many heroes for the keto lifestyle, with zero net carbs and a bunch of fiber. It also contains important omega fatty acids, such as omega-3, which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy heart. I’ve provided a recipe below, lifted mainly from the low-carb dieting section of about.com, for these tasty, fiber-rich crackers. You can flavor these in any low-carb way that you please, though I chose to leave mine plain.
- 1 C. Flaxseed meal (be careful of which kind you buy–check the carb count on the back of the package. If there are any carbs, it is likely filled with flour, and therefore important to avoid. Bob’s Red Mill is a good brand to look for.)
- 1/2 tsp. salt (try Morton’s Lite salt–it has extra potassium)
- 1/2 C. water
Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 205 Celsius) and lightly grease a cookie sheet with butter or olive oil spray.
Mix all of the ingredients together until a thick, doughy paste is formed. Drop the mixture onto the cookie sheet and start to spread it out towards the edges of the pan using a flat, wooden spoon. It’s surprisingly malleable and doesn’t stick too badly to utensils.
Once you’ve gotten your mixture fairly well spread out, take a piece of wax paper large enough to cover the cookie sheet, place on top of the mixture, and use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about 1/8″ thick. It’s important to make sure the spread is consistent from middle to outside; if any section is thinner than the others, it wil crisp and burn more quickly. You can sprinkle whole flax seeds on top, or you can cover it lightly with parmesan cheese, freshly chopped rosemary, or iodized sea salt.
Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the center is firm and crispy. Once done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool. Snap off a piece and enjoy with smoked salmon and dill, or perhaps some homemade salsa!
Cheers to all!