With January being almost over, I know that statistically, most people’s New Year’s Resolutions have already failed. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t make resolutions – not in January at least. If I plan to make a lifestyle change, I wait until after all of the New Year’s hype dies down. Then, I make strategic plans in order to truly see success.
Last February is when I started really trying to take better care of myself. I had found that once I became a mother, I truly forgot myself. I was spending so much time trying to attach to our kiddos and to make sure they were healthy and happy, all while working from home, that I got totally lost in the shuffle. It wasn’t a deliberate decision to put myself last but it happened. Last February, after getting bloodwork results and feeling like I was on my deathbed, I started slowly making changes.
One change I made was to really start to watch what I ate. Food is and always will be a struggle for me. I love food. I love to eat it when I’m having bad days and I love to eat it to celebrate when I’m having good days. It’s a struggle. But I started loosely following the KETO way of eating last winter with the hopes that I could reign in some of my food cravings and get healthier. The Ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein and low carb way of eating. I followed it loosely. I wasn’t so devoted that I tracked my ketones or logged how many grams of carbs/protein/fat I ate. Instead, I focused on staying away from sugar (sugar is the devil – and it’s in EVERYTHING), upping my protein and intentionally adding more healthy fats to my meals. Doing this wasn’t as hard as it sounds.
The first few days were rough. You don’t realize how addicted you are to sugar until you remove it from your diet. My biggest struggle was my 2 cups of daily coffee. By no means did I stop drinking coffee but I removed sugar and switched to Stevia. I just don’t like the taste of stevia in coffee. So my coffees were miserable for at least a few months. Then, a friend introduced me to Pyure. It’s an organic Stevia blend that has more of a vanilla taste and much less of the bitter Stevia aftertaste I was used to. If you like to sweeten your coffee and don’t want to use sugar, Pyure is an awesome option for you.
It is now almost one year after I started reducing the amount of sugar I ate and I still rely on the principles KETO and low carb eating. I definitely have cheat meals 😉 And I definitely have moments where my eating gets out of control. Like I said earlier – food will always be an issue for me. BUT, I always go back to focusing on vegetables and proteins and healthy fats. Once I regroup and start eating healthy again, my cravings for junk disappear quick. AND, I’ve kept the almost 30 pounds that I’ve lost off. As I lost weight and started taking 20+ supplements to get my bloodwork back to more healthy ranges (sadly I’m still anemic – but my iron levels are improving albeit slowly), I’ve been able to gain the energy to start running again. I have more energy to take care of myself better care of myself, cook healthier and to chase my kiddos around. It’s marvelous.
Below are some of my favorite Low Carb and/or KETO recipes. I make these recipes at least once a month in my programmable slow cooker.
My friend Kasey Trenum created this yummy soup. Chicken Pot Pie Soup is such a hearty and tasty low carb soup idea. Once I started following the KETO way of eating, I realized quickly that eating low carb does not equal deprivation. Low carb meals can be nutritious with low sugar AND decadent. This soup combines chicken and vegetables with cream cheese and heavy whipping cream. See!?! Decadence!
Salsa Chicken is one of my absolute favorite low carb meals to make. I’ve made it in my slow cooker as well as my instant pot. I always search to make sure I’m using a salsa that doesn’t have a lot of sugar (extra points if I use homemade salsa). I will put my salsa chicken on a salad or on roasted vegetables. It’s so good! For my kiddos, I will make them a chicken burrito bowl and top rice and refried beans with the Salsa Chicken. Or, I’ll make them burritos or tacos with the chicken. This recipe is so versatile and so good!
If you are looking for a meal that tastes like you are cheating, this Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken with Bacon and Cheese from Kasey Trenum will do the trick. One of the things I learned early on while following KETO is that bacon is your friend. It not only tastes awesome but the fat in the bacon will help fill you up while helping your body burn more fat. It’s awesome. This Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken with Bacon and Cheese is a family favorite. The kiddos even love it!
One of the difficult aspects of low carb eating is realizing that beans are high in carbs. I used to cook with all different types of beans multiple times a week. Not anymore. This Keto Low Carb Chili from Wholesome Yum is wonderful because it has all of the amazing flavors of chili without the high carbs from the beans!
I created this Spaghetti Squash Pasta w/ Shrimp, Bacon & Feta Cheese Recipe while I was working on a blogging project. I love using spaghetti squash as a low carb alternative to pasta. This recipe is truly decadent. When I originally created this recipe, it wasn’t a slow cooker meal. But it could easily be adapted to one. Simply add cooked (and shredded) spaghetti squash as well as all of the fillings except the shrimp. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Add the cooked shrimp 30 minutes prior to completion. This meal is filling and so very tasty.
This Slow Cooker Curry Chicken Thighs Recipe from Mom Foodie is so good. It is a hearty stew that will keep you warm on these chilly winter days. I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs so sometimes I will substitute chicken breasts for them. When you make this recipe, your house will smell so good as it’s cooking. And your taste buds will love the flavors!
If you enjoy eating at Chipotle, you must try Wholesome Yum’s Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe. It is OH SO GOOD. Using my slow cooker, this recipe is so easy to make. The meat literally falls apart once it’s done cooking. I top lettuce with Chipotle Barbacoa and avocado or guacamole. Or, I’ll roast vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and/or brussels sprouts and serve them with Chipotle Barboaco on the side.
Head HERE to see all of our recipes on Addicted to Saving!