Progress Report: Happenings, Discoveries and New Beginnings

Mmmm… tasty!

I’ve officially been on a strict ketogenic plan for the past week or so, and I’m happy to report back with wonderful results, though my most recent stats aren’t available because I’m participating in “No Weigh May,” which basically means I can’t step on the scale until June 1st.

However, I can report now that after being on the plan for less than 10 days, I’ve lost at least 4 pounds (undoubtedly some of that is water weight, but hey, who’s counting?), my energy levels are much higher than normal (afternoon crash? I think not!), and I’ve been eating DELICIOUS food! Boy, I sound like some kind of infomercial, don’t I?

I mean, really, who would have thought that you could swap out the whole grain toast and potatoes for bacon-cheese frittatas and steak and still lose weight? It’s unbelievable! In all honesty, I can’t say I’ve gone through any of the normal symptoms for ketosis induction, namely brain fog, low energy, cravings or bad breath, even though I know I’m in ketosis because I’ve used ketostix and have received positive results each time. I know that many people who make the switch feel the side effect temporarily, and they’re not pleasant, but I haven’t even looked at a piece of pizza and longed for it, nor have I bitten my fingernails at the sight of chocolate cookies or battered and fried onion straws. It’s rejuvenating and I can’t help but feel as though there’s a lot to be gained from a lifestyle change such as this. I’ve even gotten my boyfriend to jump on the wagon with me at full speed, and he’s feeling just as good as I am about it all. We’ve enjoyed being able to come home, light up the grill and smoke our meats while relaxing after a day of work. I even got so excited the other evening that I went out into the garden, plucked a few (okay, several) dandelions and cooked up the greens as one might cook collard greens (recipe below). Delish!

Dandelion Greens

Go out to your backyard/neighbor’s yard/local park and pick off enough leaves from large-sized dandelions to fill a medium-sized bowl. You may want to pick as many as you possibly can, because these guys cook down quite a bit. Pick from an area that has relatively low automobile traffic and that isn’t sprayed with harmful chemicals.  Wash the leaves off three or four times to make sure that all of the dirt, small twigs and bugs are washed away. Now you can prepare your base:

  • 4 strips of good bacon (you can double this if you are feeding more people/love bacon!)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • as many dandelion greens as you can gather!
  • low-carb hot sauce of you choice (this is optional, but if you want hot sauce, I’d recommend Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, Sriracha or Tabasco)
Cut up the bacon into small, 1/2-inch strips and place them into a large pot. Heat the bacon on medium heat until it has just started to brown on the edges. At this point, throw in the red onions and diced garlic and stir until they’re well-blended together. Allow the onions to sauté in the bacon grease until they’re slightly translucent, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Dump the apple cider vinegar into the pot and allow it to reduce to about 1/2 the volume. Then, pour in the water and salt, add the dandelion greens, and cover. Simmer the greens with the cover on for ten minutes. After about 10 minutes, open it up (be careful of hot steam!) add as much or as little hot sauce as you like, stir it in completely, then re-cover it and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until all of the greens are darker in color and limp. Serve as a side to any pork or chicken dish. These greens are slightly bitter with a very “green” taste to them. They can also be mixed with your regular salad mix to add a fiber boost.

In other, somewhat unrelated, news, I’ve just officially graduated from my University and I couldn’t be happier. I graduated high school in 2007, hit a few bumps along the way through my first couple of years in college, and have finally reached the end–victory is so sweet! In just a few weeks, I’ll be packing my bags and getting ready to make a trip 1,000 miles from home to beautiful Colorado, where I hope to start my career, get back into my hobbies (poetry, soapmaking, DIY projects), and meet new people. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Colorado and am finally able to make it back after leaving 16 years ago. I can’t wait to see where thing brings me next!

Adieu for now,

Megan

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