Keto, Holidays and First Drafts

Keto

Okay, tomorrow for sure I’m back on hard line keto. No more chips, no more biscuits, no more potatoes with dinner. I’m going to eat what I ate from September 2020 to February 2021, when I lost ten kilos. I will lose the kilo’s I’ve regained and even more. It’s going to be great.

I’m going to get my keto mojo back and by August, when we have a month long holiday, I’ll be a size sixteen, oh please let it happen.

The keto diet has really changed the way I think about food. Nothing tastes so good that I have to have it in my day. For instance I used to love pasta and make at least twice a week, but now I just don’t care about it. I really don’t care about it. This is still weird to me, that eating the keto way has switched off that need to eat all the yummy food and plenty of it.

I’m making a grocery shopping list and as always when I’m on keto, I’m impressed by how little I need to buy. Canned tuna, cheese, mayo and lettuce for lunch every day. Chicken, lamb, pork or steak and one or two veggies from the freezer for dinner. That’s how we do keto. Every now and then I do a Caesar Salad for lunch because bacon and cheese are so good. Some nights we do a cheese platter with a few olives and pickles, cabanossi and salami. Variety is overrated in my mind and on my plate.

When I eat like this, I go from zero to ketosis very quickly. The keto flu slams me for a day or so and then I’m peeing on a stick and learning that I’m back in ketosis. In a way, I think that this is why I fell off the keto wagon this time. I was completely confident that I could go back to it as soon as I was really ready again. I can munch on a whole lot of carbs knowing I am able to go back to my preferred life of fulltime keto as soon as I’m ready.

Having said that, I will still be nervous until I get that first tuna salad into me after fasting until two pm tomorrow. I love intermittent fasting, especially on keto, I only need to prepare two meals a day and I already know what they will be. So very easy.

Holidays

We love winter, so we take a month off every winter to enjoy it. This will be our third one together. This year we might stay home for at least part of it and get some renovations done. It would be great to get the painting done in our bedroom, the living room, kitchen and dining room at least.

Thanks to the pandemic, we’re limited as to where we can go, but we love a good road trip, no matter where we end up. There’s a zoo down the south coast of NSW I’d like to visit again. If we head that way there are other things to do as well, like Treetops Adventure in the Illawarra district, and the blowhole at Kiama. If we go further south we can visit Eden, which is a gorgeous coastal town.

The best thing about going away will be enjoying time alone. We live with my son and Rob’s daughter, who we love very much of course, but we love our holidays on our own as well. It is handy sharing the house when we go away because they take care of the house while we travel.

First Draft

I want to have completed the first draft of my book by August, so I can leave the story alone over the holidays. That means I will need to write about fifty thousand words in sixty-one days. Big job. Can I do it?

In the past I used to write two thousand words a day every day, year round. You get a lot done this way. I pumped out first drafts of six books this way. Those six books were my apprenticeship in fiction writing. This way of writing gave me a lot of confidence in the whole facing up to the work every day and just get it done method of writing. At that time, I bought myself some cute toys to have around me. They were fun to look at and even play with, especially if I felt a bit stalled in my writing.

Writing by powering through feels like I’m recording a memory, rather than making up a story. It just pours out onto the ‘page’ and I either love it, I work with it or I ditch it later. My muse is happy, whatever I decide to do with the words.

Time to go put a load of washing on, make myself a cup of coffee, and start writing that story.

Keto Diet, Better Health and Writing

Keto Diet

My low carb, keto diet is still helping me to lose weight. It’s a slow process, but I hope that by Christmas 2021 I’ll be an entirely different shape and loving it.

Since I started keto I’ve lost all of the inflammation I’d suffered with for a long time. I’m still overweight and I have a lot to lose, but the excess weight isn’t choking me, bloating me, making me feel exhausted every minute. Which is wonderful.

I have more energy than before, my head is clearer, and I’m able to write again. I’ve been writing every single day for weeks now. That hasn’t happened for years and I’ve tried many times to get my writing mojo back. It turned out I needed the keto lifestyle to clear my head.

I know that sounds unlikely, and I wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t happened to me. I started keto for health reasons, but I didn’t know just how much it would change in me.

Novel Writing

My novel, The Naked Ladies Writing Group, is growing every week on my website www.thenakedladieswritinggroup.com. I now have thousands of words there, some of it story, some of it about writing and some character development.

It’s so exciting, writing this book at last. The title came to me years ago and finally creating the world of those women makes me happy every day.

Some of the characters are nice and some not as nice, and I love writing about all of them. I find it a little bit tougher to write nasty characters and I want to explain their lives, why they act the way they do. Sometimes I write that in my journal, so I can avoid diluting the real nature of my character in the story itself.

We writers like to include life experiences in our work, adding details that are familiar and heart felt. It is fun to write a character who is just as lovely as an old best friend, or as wicked as a person from your childhood.

Instagram

I discovered Instagram in 2020. Well, of course I’ve known about it for a long time but I’m finally having a good go at it using my writer name RachelGraceWrites.

As I write my book, I take breaks to play on PicCollage making visuals for Instagram posts and stories to hopefully bring people to my websites.

Getting Married

We would have been married last year, but the pandemic messed up our plans. We are hoping that this year will be the year we get to have our wedding.

Now that I’m losing weight, it’s really tempting to wait until late 2021 when I’ll be smaller so I can feel even better in a nice dress. This sounds great, except we want a winter wedding. Maybe we’ll wait until winter 2022 instead? Or maybe by winter 2021 I’ll be happy enough with my shape.

Do I Change The Name Of My Blog?

After I get married, I plan to change my surname, so I guess I’ll want to change the name of my blog. I might just add a domain with my married name and keep this Rachel Keerie one as well, so people can find me by searching either one.

I hope your 2021 is better than your 2020.

Keto, Writing, Reading and Renovations

The house is completely silent. A currawong is singing in the trees behind my house. Everyone has gone back to work for the year and I’m ready to write.

There are chicken breasts in the fridge and the makings of a low carb, keto, Mexican dinner in the pantry. So I don’t have to think about what’s for tea.

Last night, as I was reading in bed, an idea came to me that solves a big problem in my story. (The Naked Ladies Writing Group and you can read it here)

It’s so great when ideas come out of the blue like that, when you’re not even thinking about the problem. When I’m folding laundry or showering, doing some mindless task, my unconscious is free to work on those nagging thoughts that hound a writer.

This will be a year of writing, reading, yoga, low carb and keto, house renovations, gardening and magic.

Right now, it’s time to write; fix the problem in my story. The rest will have to wait for another day.

I Made Keto Cauliflower Mash

Chicken thighs roasted in satay sauce and cauliflower mash

I made keto cauliflower mash and it was a waste of perfectly delicious cauliflower. I followed the instructions from a few different recipes; steaming the cauliflower, adding salt and pepper, butter and cream cheese, blending it with a hand stick blender, and it looked great, most importantly not runny. Runny is apparently the devil of cauliflower mash.

Doesn’t the food in the photo look great? I mean apart from that piece of chicken at the top looking like a choc chip cookie, it looks like a potentially delicious meal.

My family liked it and I got requests to add it to the rotation, as we say in my family, but I found it mealy, grainy, and the flavour wasn’t cheesy and it wasn’t like cauliflower. It was a disappointment to me.

Maybe next time I make the mash, I’ll put it in my bullet blender. I don’t want to end up with a puddle of mash, though. These are the trials of the keto diet; grainy mash or a puddle of mash.

I’m fussy about my food, I know that, and being on a keto diet and intermittent fasting, I try to make sure that both of my meals each day are delicious. One unhappy dinner does not derail me, though.

Tonight I’m making lamb chops with peas and it’s hard to go wrong with that.

If you like reading books online, check out my other blog at www.rachelgracewrites.com where I’m writing my novel The Naked Ladies Writing Group, one post at a time.

I’m Under 100kgs Thankyou Keto

This morning I weighed in at exactly ninety-nine kilo’s and I’m pretty damn pleased with myself.

I cannot believe I’m saying this but I’m under a hundred kilos. I’d given up on losing weight, because of my thyroid disease and meds I take for mental illness that tend to block weight loss. Apparently keto is king, and will not be beaten.

Having absolutely no appetite is what makes this diet so easy to do, for me. I’m fasting from after dinner one day to lunch the next day, eating under 30 carbs a day, doing some walking about three times a week and doing absolute beginner yoga each morning. That’s it.

I’m not doing clean keto, which is all about wild-caught salmon and organic meats, dairy and produce. I mostly eat meat, dairy, veggies, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Yep, that’s about it. The only processed food I’m eating is a little Denada Ice Cream after dinner, which is absolutely delicious. I like the chocolate and the caramel with chocolate chips flavours best. I drink water, coffee with full fat cream, green tea, black tea with a splash of milk, Coke No Sugar, Solo No Sugar and mint tea.

On Monday, I went to a shopping centre and I decided to cheat and have a donut, I love donuts so much. I went to Donut King and scoped the range and nope, nothing called to me. Not one of those creamy, custard-filled, frosted beauties made me want to eat them. This is still incredibly weird to me. I am a lifelong foodie, which I guess I now reframe as a carb and sugar addict, and before keto I could eat all the donuts, all of them. Now I honestly couldn’t be bothered and anyway it would make me feel like crap emotionally and probably physically as well.

Before keto I ate what I wanted, and I ate a lot. I ate McDonalds, Hungry Jacks or KFC once a week. I ate huge platefuls of food and I often had seconds. Since keto, I haven’t eaten any take-away food at all, I eat a smaller amount of food and feel completely satisfied after every meal. Since starting intermittent fasting I’ve only eaten twice a day, lunch and dinner and I’m rarely hungry. I don’t get hangry any more, which is nice for my family.

If you’ve tried everything except a keto diet like me, I recommend you give keto a go. Do what’s right for you, and see your doctor before you do anything like this, but also, give it a go and I hope you get under a hundred kg’s like me.

Check out my other blog, where I’m writing my novel, at: www.rachelgracewrites.com

Low Carb Satay Beef 7 carbs

This was a really delicious dinner. Made for 2 people:

2 cups of beef mince

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 teasp curry powder

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Sesame oil

1 cup water

1 cup snow peas

1 cup Asian greens

Carbs pp 7.4

Brown the mince, add the flavour ingredients and sesame oil and stir, add water and simmer until reduced, add veggies and stir, don’t overcook the snow peas.

I served ours on a bed of baby spinach and with zoodles on the side.

Serve in a bowl and be careful not to burn your mouth as you snarfle it.