In February 2019, I decided to embark on my Keto journey after getting my blood test results. Besides a high triglycerides level, I was also suffering monthly menstrual and endometriosis pains that were incapacitating me every two weeks of the month. That was literally being out of action every half of the month. It was unacceptable.
So I made the decision to cut the carbs to experiment on whether it would help with the cholesterol and the inflammation that was causing the monthly pains. I lost about 5 kilos in the first 2.5 months, which was great, as I could fit into clothes from three or four years back again. But mostly, my period was also delayed (probably from the weight loss) which meant no pains for the first time in a long time. I also found out that in some cases, Keto could affect hormones and hence the late periods too. While the periods have resumed since, the cycles are longer and the pains last at most, one or two days. While this could also be coinciding with peri-menopause, I am inclined to believe that the Keto diet has helped in some way or other. Most of all, I stopped falling asleep in front of my computer in the afternoons and have more energy than before.
So 1.5 years down the road, I think Keto can be a sustainable diet. Mostly because I am happy to stick with a few familiar foods, and have found substitutes to what I would normally like to eat. So, I have no major cravings. Except for bread. I have yet to find a Keto bread that tastes like real bread. Oh, and noodles, those konjac or zucchini or pumpkin noodles are just bleah ….
While I started with eating lots of eggs in the beginning as it was the easiest to prepare, has one of the lowest nett carbs and are thankfully cheap, I did exhaust the variety of ways eggs could be cooked after a while. Salads were another option but some days, one just needs warm food. So after experimenting with many Keto recipes online, I kind of settled on a rotation of foods which has managed to sustain this Keto lifestyle. Here’s a list of what I (more or less) eat on a weekly basis:-
- Eggs (scrambled / omelette)
- Grain-free granola (self-made) with Greek yoghurt and blueberries / strawberries
- Low Carb bars (occasional when I have no time to make granola and am egged-out)
- Coffee with walnut milk or some fresh milk
- Salads (assorted)
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Pizza (Fat-head dough)
- Pancakes with NuNaturals Maple Syrup
- Tofu (different styles of cooking)
- Cauliflower rice (staple) to accompany whatever low carb stuff the family eats
- Keto bread (Bob’s Mills Low Carb Bread was best but has since been discontinued, oh woe!!)
- Veggie medley (usually broccoli, carrot and cauliflower) to accompany whatever low carb stuff the family eats
- Keto muffins (blueberry / chocolate)
- Mini cheesecakes
- Fathead dough bagels / rolls
- Nuts (assorted)
- Cheese / peanut butter
So I get by with a little help from mixing and matching a variety of stuff. I have never been a voracious carnivore so unless Korean chicken wings are calling, I can pretty much omit meats from the menu. However, since I was and am not getting enough fat from my meals, I get hungry sometimes with a bout or two of gastritis when I don’t eat regularly enough. This is where cheese and peanut butter come around to save the day. I never was a big fan of peanut butter since scraping it off the palate is always a pain. However, these days, it does help to stave off some hunger pangs so there are at least 2 or 3 types of the stuff in the kitchen now.
There you have it. This has been my Keto auntventure so far. Thanks to tonnes of recipe and nutritional resources online, I am still experimenting with new stuff. Some work, some definitely do not. I have also come to the conclusion that Keto substitutes are NEVER like the real thing (with the exception of cheesecakes and tiramisu, yay) so I have settled into accepting the almond-flour concoctions as they are. Coconut flour, however, is still a NO.
Also happy to see that there are more champions of Keto here in Singapore. Many suppliers, from home-bakers to commercial kitchens, are also coming forth with Keto options. Most tend to be on the expensive side which is inevitable given that ingredients cost more and the market is smaller. But maybe things will change in the near future.
Meanwhile, am trying out Keto-friendly items out there and sharing my reviews and findings from time to time. Also happy to share and swap Keto recipes, stories, experiences, etc with anyone so yah, do drop comments if you have any.